Maxis Uses Pixels to Out 'The Sims 4' Pirates

September 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Sims 4 developer Maxis has put a special "feature" into the game for those who decide to pirate it, according to this Player Attack report (as reported on by Blue's News). Maxis decided to avoid using a DRM scheme for the game, instead opting to utilize the pixels that are normally used to censor nudity in a very creative way.

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President Obama's Choice for 'Piracy Czar' is Cozy With Hollywood

August 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

This week the White House nominated an entertainment industry lawyer to be the new "piracy czar." The job's main function is to coordinate intellectual property enforcement efforts at various federal-level government agencies. The new czar will be Danny Marti, who replaces Victoria Espinel; she left last year to take the reins of lobbying group, The Software Alliance, or the BSA.

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Fraud and Embezzlement Kill Anti-Piracy Group

August 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

SMAIS, the Icelandic branch of the Motion Picture Association, has filed for bankruptcy. According to TorrentFreak, the anti-piracy organization was forced to file for bankruptcy after its board of directors revealed that it had suffered from mismanagement and embezzlement.

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Debunked: Most Downloaded Games Per State Not What It Claims To Be

August 15, 2014 - E. Zachary Knight

Yesterday, we wrote about a report provided by Movoto that claims to show the most pirated movies, tv shows and games from each state. This report showed some interesting results such as Watch Dogs being the most pirated game in the U.S.

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Report: The Most Pirated Game in America is 'Watch Dogs'

August 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

What are the most pirated games state-by-state? According to data collected by Movoto (as detailed by GamesBeat), the most popular game to download illegally from filesharing sites in the United States is Ubisoft's Watch Dogs. By state, Watch Dogs was downloaded the most in Washington, California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and a host of other states. It is by far the most pirated game in many regions in the country.

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Developer 'Other Ocean' Teams Up With ESA for Anti-Piracy Game

July 31, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Developer Other Ocean and trade group the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) have launched a mobile title today called "Save The Game" at the Crime Museum in Washington D.C.

The game focuses on the thorny issue of software piracy and the ways in which the ESA and game developers claim it damages "the livelihoods of independent software developers." After its run at the Crime Museum, the game will be made freely available to the public on Windows RT, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices.

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City of London Government Replaces Ads on Piracy Sites With Warnings

July 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The City of London's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has begun replacing advertising on sites deemed to be "copyright infringing websites" with official warnings from the government informing visitors that the site is under criminal investigation, according to this Wired UK report. The sites receiving these warnings that replace their ads have been designated by the government as "hosting copyright-infringing content" and reported to the agency by rights holders.

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Australian Government Quietly Discussing New Ways to Combat Piracy

July 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A leaked document from the Australian government reveals discussion points on implementing a potential online piracy crackdown. Among them, changing the law to bypass a 2012 court ruling by an Australian court that protected ISP iiNet from suffering for the infringements of its users, and new legislation to allow for ISP-level blocking of alleged 'pirate' sites.

Much of this is coming from Attorney-General George Brandis, but he faces the usual accusations about a lack of transparency during the preliminary phase of discussions by digital rights groups.

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UK Tries Gentler Approach to Fighting Online Copyright Infringement

July 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

UK households that repeatedly pirate music, movies, and other copyrighted material online will receive warning letters beginning in 2015. Beyond that, the new informational initiative to educate the UK populace on the ills of piracy and where to find legal sources for content seems to have no punitive component attached to it.

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Gameloft's 'Modern Combat 5' Pirated By Contest Winner(s)

July 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Gameloft held a contest to let winners have early access to an iOS, Windows 8, and Android shooter called Modern Combat 5, but the company claims that some individual(s) took advantage of that good will, cracked the game, and released it to various dark corners of the internet to be pirated.

To say that Modern Combat's development team is not pleased with the situation is probably an understatement...

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Spanish Court Lifts File-Sharing Site Blocks

July 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

TorrentFreak reports that a Spanish court has overturned a lower court ruling that saw rights holders successfully block several file-sharing sites that they claim engaged in illegal file uploading and downloading.

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Pirated Version of Wolfenstein: The New Order So Big That Some Pirates Opt to Buy it on Steam

May 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this TorrentFreak story, the PC version of Wolfenstein: The New Order is so large that some people pirating the game on torrents have opted instead to buy it on Steam. While the information is anecdotal, it could help explain - in part - how the newest action game from Bethesda managed to unseat DayZ from the Steam top-selling games charts for the week of May 18-24.

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Zynga Sees Voluntary Efforts as the Best Path to Combating Online Piracy

May 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Social game maker Zynga opposed SOPA in 2010, noting that the anti-piracy legislation crafted by Congress would "freeze innovation" and generally damage the way the internet works. But now the company is joining its former SOPA adversaries in supporting voluntary anti-piracy initiatives.

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Kim Dotcom's Appeal of 2012 Raid Goes to NZ Supreme Court

May 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Lawyers for Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom are taking their appeal of a decision on the 2012 raid of his mansion that led to the file-sharing site owner's property being seized. Yesterday the Supreme Court gave Dotcom permission to appeal a February Court of Appeal ruling that overturned an earlier High Court decision that the 2012 raid was unlawful. At the center of the raid is whether the warrants used to launch the operation were legal.

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Kim Dotcom Launches 'Internet Party'

March 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has launched The Internet Party in New Zealand. Dotcom, whose file-sharing site was shut down in 2012 by U.S. and New Zealand authorities, formed the political party to promote "freedom of the internet and technology, for privacy and political reform."

Dotcom is currently fighting extradition to the U.S. over charges of copyright infringement on a "massive scale." While a date for that to happen has not been announced, many expect that Dotcom will have his day in U.S. courts sometime this summer.

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Flappy Bird Fallout: Piracy, Clones and eBay Auctions

February 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Earlier today we learned that indie developer Dong Nguyen pulled his popular and highly criticized Android and iOS game Flappy Bird off of both marketplaces. The result has had an interesting, albeit minor, ripple effect as people try to find ways to cash in on the popularity of the game.

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Audiomaxxx Founder Fined $550K in Piracy Case

December 23, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A Winnipeg man pled guilty to a dozen charges last Thursday related to the sale of pirated entertainment products on his Winnipeg-based web site Audiomaxxx.com. The Canadian recording industry called the music and video piracy operation twenty times bigger than anything ever taken down in the country.

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Hotfile Goes Offline After MPAA Settlement

December 4, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Only a few hours after it was revealed that cloud-based file-sharing destination Hotfile has agreed to pay $80 million to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) as part of a settlement for a trial set to begin next week, the site went offline. Not only did the site go offline, but it took all of the user content being stored on its servers with it. Users who stored legal personal and business-related documents are now left in much the same situation that Megaupload users were left in, but this time it can't be blamed on anyone except the service provider.

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Game Developers Pirate Own Game, Offer it as a Free Torrent

December 3, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Kotaku offers a mildly amusing story about a game development studio that decided to pirate their own game. Vitali Kirpu and Alex Poysky, the developers behind Pixel Piracy, have "pirated" a copy of their own game, and provided a free torrent download on their site.

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MPAA v. Hotfile Trial to Begin Next Week

December 3, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Update: Hotfile has settled the case out of court and has accepted an $80 million judgment, according to Ars Technica.  Hotfile has agreed to pay $80 million and to stop operating "unless it employs copyright filtering technologies that prevent infringement," according to a press release issued by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

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Football Manager 2013 Downloaded Illegally 10.1 Million Times This Year

November 14, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Football Manager GM Miles Jacobson said recently (as reported by MCV) at the London Games Conference 2013 event that 10.1 million copies of the PC version of Football Manager 2013 have been illegally downloaded. The game was cracked on May 12, but the crack featured a strange flaw called Home that allowed Jacobson and his company to track the IP addresses of everyone who downloaded the game illegally and played it.

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CD Projekt Red: Publishers Use DRM to 'Cover Their Own Asses'

November 12, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

In an interview with GiantBomb CD Projekt Red CEO Marcin Iwinski says that most companies use digital rights management software as a smokescreen to cover their asses. Iwinski and his company, who are best known for The Witcher series of action RPGs, is a staunch opponent of DRM.

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Report: Current-Gen Call of Duty: Ghost Pirated, Hacked

November 5, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Call of Duty: Ghost, the latest in Activision's best-selling military-themed shooter series, releases today, but current generation versions of the game have been hacked, according to this Polygon report.

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La Quadrature du Net: CETA Will Impact Internet Freedoms

October 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Canadian Internet rights group La Quadrature du Net warns that a trade treaty between Canada and the European Union will ultimately hurt internet freedoms in both regions if its ratified. CETA recently reached "agreement in principle" status during a meeting between José Barroso, the President of the European Commission, and Stefen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister.

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Report: Six Strikes Anti-Copyright Scheme Costs Millions a Year to Operate

October 17, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Two years ago the MPAA and RIAA teamed up with five major Internet providers to put together a voluntary (for ISPs, not their customers) "six strikes" anti-piracy plan. The interested parties founded the Center for Copyright Information (CCI), incorporated as a non-profit company in Delaware. While the goals of the CCI have been pretty transparent, its finances have been mostly shrouded in secret. At the time of its founding, ISPs joining the scheme and copyright owners agreed to evenly share the cost of the organization and the scheme.

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Study: Digital Piracy's Harm Exaggerated by Entertainment Industries

October 4, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A new study by the London School of Economics suggest that the movie, music, and video games industries have been exaggerating the impact that file sharing has had on their bottom line and found that - for some creative industries - copyright infringement may actually be helping to boost revenues.

Researchers found that internet-based revenues have been a large part of the music industry's growth since 2004 because the industry has adopted methods of distributing and consuming content modeled after file-sharing services such as BitTorrent, Pirate Bay, and Napster.

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Report: MPAA and RIAA Teach Copyright at California Public Schools

September 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this TorrentFreak article, the trade groups representing the music and movie industry are indoctrinating kindergartners in the state of California with an "educational program" about "sharing creative works." The Center for Copyright Information, a partnership between the MPAA, RIAA and five of the largest Internet providers in the United States, are teaching copyright classes in California public schools.

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AT&T Customers Beware: Copyright Infringement Accusation Could Lead to Internet Disconnection

September 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

If you are using AT&T as your service provider and you are accused of copyright infringement by a rights holder, you could end up losing your internet access if you don't pay attention to the notices the company sends you as part of its compliance with the "six strikes" system to fight copyright infringement online.

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Game Dev Tycoon Coming to Steam August 29

August 22, 2013 - James Fudge

Game Dev Tycoon is coming to Steam on August 29, according to independent game development studio Greenheart Games. The game allows players to create a video game start-up company in the 1980's and make it a successful enterprise by developing cutting edge video games. Players will have to design games, research new technologies, build custom game engines, manage office space, build out their development teams, and avoid pitfalls like piracy.

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Russia's Answer to SOPA Not as Draconian as Expected

August 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

On August 1 Russia began using a new law designed to reduce online copyright infringement. Many called it Russia's version of SOPA, but the system is proving to be less draconian than many had first anticipated. The goal of the new law is to identify and block (at the ISP level) sites online that traffic in copyrighted material online such as movies, TV shows, music, video games, and more. As of this Thursday the system will have been in effect for three weeks, but the results might be considered surprising.

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E. Zachary KnightGot that same recommendation on Twitter. So I guess that is a good sign.09/15/2014 - 8:39pm
prh99Portlandia, though I don't watch a lot of sitcoms. Heard it was good though.09/15/2014 - 8:02pm
E. Zachary KnightSitcom recommendations for someone who like Parks and Rec but hates The Office: Go.09/15/2014 - 6:08pm
NeenekoEven if they do change their policy, they can only do it moving forward and I could see the mod/pack community simply branching.09/15/2014 - 12:50pm
Michael ChandraAs for take the money and run, the guy must have a networth of 8~9 digits already.09/15/2014 - 10:33am
Michael ChandraMe, I'm more betting on some form of mod API where servers must run donations/payments through them and they take a cut.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraEspecially since they want it for promoting their phones. Killing user interest is the dumbest move to make.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraGiven how the EULA actively allows for LPs, I'm not sure Microsoft is ready for the backlash of disallowing that.09/15/2014 - 10:31am
Matthew Wilsonthey wont do that, the backlash would be too big.09/15/2014 - 10:25am
ConsterSleaker: how is that a flipside? Sounds to me like that's basically what Notch himself said, except rudely.09/15/2014 - 10:18am
MaskedPixelanteOn the plus side, no more lazy Minecraft LPs, since iirc Microsoft has a strict "no monetization period" policy when it comes to their stuff.09/15/2014 - 10:13am
james_fudgeBut it continues to sell on every platform it is on, so there's that09/15/2014 - 10:09am
james_fudgeOh, well that's another matter :)09/15/2014 - 10:08am
E. Zachary KnightNothing against Notch here. I think it is great that he made something so cool. I just can't understand how it is worth $2.5 bil09/15/2014 - 9:59am
InfophileWhat a world we live in: Becoming a billionaire was the easy way out for Notch.09/15/2014 - 9:42am
james_fudgelots of hate for Notch here. I don't get it. Sorry he made a game everyone loved. What a monster he is!09/15/2014 - 9:37am
SleakerOn the flipside, Notch has been a horrible CEO for Mojang, and the company has grown on sheer inertia, DESPITE being mishandled over and over.09/15/2014 - 9:33am
SleakerI can understand Notch's statements he made to Kotaku about growing bigger than he intended, and getting hate for EULA changes he didn't enact.09/15/2014 - 9:32am
MaskedPixelantehttp://pastebin.com/n1qTeikM Notch's statement about the MS acquisition. He wanted out for a long time and this was the easiest way.09/15/2014 - 9:08am
ConsterEh, I can't blame him.09/15/2014 - 9:01am
 

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