Time Warner CEO: Piracy is 'Better Than an Emmy'

August 9, 2013 -

Game of Thrones is a show on HBO.  It's kind of a big deal.  I don't watch TV but even I've heard of it.

The show is so popular, in fact, that it's apparently one of the most pirated shows on TV.  Let's take this straight to the top.  HBO is owned by Time Warner.  What do you think CEO Jeff Bewkes has to say about people watching without an HBO subscription?

"That's better than an Emmy."

Say what?

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Nintendo Sues HackYourConsole.com for Selling Copying Devices

August 8, 2013 -

Nintendo of America has filed a lawsuit against HackYourConsole.com, a web site that - Nintendo claims in its complaint - promotes selling unauthorized copies of Nintendo titles and game copying devices such as the R4. The website does sell R4 devices, but on its Frequently Asked Questions page, it highlights the fact that using software with the R4 device is probably illegal:

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GOG: Our Biggest Competition is Pirates

July 16, 2013 -

In an interesting and lengthy interview on Games.on.net Trevor Longino, Head of Marketing and PR at GOG.com shares his personal opinions on piracy, file-sharing and game sharing amongst friends. The interview also offers a lot of casual talk about gaming in general, but the most interesting part of the interview has to do with whom Good Old Games considerers its competition.

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Hadopi Loses the Power of Subscriber Disconnection

July 9, 2013 -

The French government has decided that one of the tools used in its supposed "three-strikes" copyright enforcement law (commonly called Hadopi) is not necessary. Prior to the change one of the tools that the government had at its disposal was the ability to disconnect individuals who continually engaged in illicit file-sharing of copyrighted materials after several warnings and actions. Now a panel has decided that disconnecting citizens from the Internet as a punishment isn't that good of an idea.

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Nintendo Wins Major Victory Against R4 Resellers

July 9, 2013 -

Nintendo, Square Enix and a number of other Japanese game makers have won a major victory in a long-running battle against two distributors of R4 devices. The devices are used to store and play unlicensed (pirated) versions of games for Nintendo's many hand-held devices.

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Guatemalan Company Sues Microsoft for Anti-Piracy Raid

June 21, 2013 -

Seguros Universales, one of the largest insurance companies in Guatemala has sued Microsoft over what is being called an unwarranted and extortion-like anti-piracy raid. With the help of local law enforcement Microsoft demanded an on the spot payment of $70,000 from the company for the use of pirated software or they said would have all of a company’s computers confiscated.

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Google and Yandex Voice Opposition to Russia's 'SOPA'

June 18, 2013 -

Google and Russia's biggest search engine Yandex are voicing their opposition to a new bill that would block sites accused of hosting (in some way) copyrighted material. The new bill, which has already passed Russia's State Duma, is being called Russia's version of the Stop Online Piracy Act. The bill gives intellectual property holders the ability to sue a web site that they claim is hosting copyrighted materials. The accused site then has 72 hours to remove the offending material (without the option of reviewing the claim).

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France's Hadopi Law Faces Uncertain Future

June 14, 2013 -

After three years in place and "millions" of threatening letters being sent to alleged illegal file sharers in France, the French three-strikes anti-piracy law Hadopi has finally led to the disconnection of one person from the Internet. The individual, who was not named, faces two weeks without access to certain internet functions like web access and access to P2P software and a 600 euro fine.

The individual was caught sharing a few files online and never responded to earlier warnings.

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Miyamoto: Piracy More of a Concern Than Used Games for Nintendo

June 12, 2013 -

Legendary Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto says that used games are less of a concern than the elephant that has always been in the room: piracy. Speaking to CVG Nintendo's most prominent and prolific game creators said that piracy is a bigger threat to his company's business than the used games market.

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Russian Hacker Pirates The Dishwasher, Calls it 'Justice'

June 4, 2013 -

A Russian coder and hacker known only as "Barabus" has ported Ska Studios popular "M" rated XBLA action game The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile to the PC. But before you celebrate, this PC version of the game is not an official port and doesn't exactly have the blessing of Ska Studios founder James Silva. It is basically pirated version of the game.

Barabus defends his action by arguing that the developer of the game should have made a PC port himself and that by not doing so is "not very nice."

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ESA Releases 2012 Annual Report

May 28, 2013 -

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) released its 2012 Annual Report (PDF) today, revealing that it sent a total of 3.4 million takedown notices for copyright infringement and helped remove more than 99,500 Google links containing infringed game files during 2012. The trade group that represents the video game industry (and operates the ESRB and the E3 trade show) also said that it helped to create a 10 percent decrease from 2011 in the speed of removing infringing files.

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USTR Releases 2013 Special 301 Report

May 1, 2013 -

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released its 2013 Special 301 Report, detailing regions outside of the United States that are havens for piracy and do not enforce US copyrights. At the top of that list (which mentions 40 different countries) is Russia. Russia is named in the Priority Watch List, along with Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Venezuela, and Pakistan. China gets a lot of attention in this particular report, as does Russia.

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Pirates Feel the Effects of Piracy in Game Dev Tycoon

April 29, 2013 -

Developer Greenheart Games has released a "cracked version" of its $8 PC and Mac title Game Dev Tycoon on torrents that's specifically for pirates. The cracked version of the game causes game development studios in the sim go bankrupt due to rampant in-game piracy. Greenheart claims that the pirated version of the game made up 93 percent of its player base at launch, and caused an outburst from pirates complaining about their in-game titles failing through (ironically) piracy.

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House Judiciary Chairman Promises Series of Hearings on U.S. Copyright Law

April 25, 2013 -

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) announced yesterday plans to conduct a serious of hearings aimed at identifying problems with U.S. copyright laws and updating them for the modern digital age. Goodlatte was a key sponsor of the failed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) last year alongside the bill's author, former chairman of the Judiciary Committee Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

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Russia Won't Hold Individual File-Sharers Liable, But will Target Piracy Sites

April 9, 2013 -

If you live in Russia and enjoy piracy, then you'll probably be delighted to hear that the Russian government thinks it is a waste of time to pursue you or any other person with any kind of serious punishment. Those who are foolish enough to run a piracy website better watch their backs though.

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Cox Communications Eschews Copyright Alert System for its Own 10+ Strikes

April 9, 2013 -

While Cox Communications may have declined the offer to join the "six-strikes" copyright enforcement and educational program (the Copyright Alert System) that a lot of other service providers have in the United States, that doesn't mean it isn't enforcing its own rules. Cox apparently has a 10+ Strikes program to deal with those who download and share copyrighted material illegally. Cox has an estimated 3.5 million subscribers here in the U.S.

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Spain Proposes Draft Bill to Crackdown on Pirate Sites, Outlaw File-Sharing

March 22, 2013 -

Today the Spanish Government released details on amendments to its copyright law (so-called Sinde Law, which was instituted in 2012) that will provide more protections to rights holders and offer stricter rules against infringers. At a press conference this week, Spain's Culture Minister José Ignacio Wert said that the new reforms have three objectives.

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Game of Thrones Author George R.R. Martin on Piracy and Video Games

March 22, 2013 -

George R.R. Martin, prolific fantasy author and the creator of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series on which HBO's hit TV series is based, took questions before yesterday's Game of Thrones screening for the new season set to air later this month.

Martin had some pretty interesting things to say about two subjects that get talked about here on GamePolitics: video games and piracy. First, when asked about video games Martin said that he loves them, though his obsessive play sessions tended to get in the way of his work so he has avoided them for quite a long time:

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Super Meat Boy Developer Argues Against Using DRM

March 19, 2013 -

In a recent blog post Super Meat Boy developer Tommy Refenes argues that using DRM to keep games from being pirated and general apathy ultimately hurts developers. He also notes that applying loss prevention techniques to digital products doesn't work in the space.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 43

March 5, 2013 -

On this week's show, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight are joined by James Fudge to discuss the new Six Strikes anti-piracy scheme, Time Warner Cable's insistence that customers don't want faster broadband and the latest poll on the PS4's lack of backwards compatibility. Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 43 (1 hour, 14 minutes) 67.8 MB. You can also check out the show on YouTube if you prefer an unedited and more visual experience.

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Cablevision Disconnects Serial Infringers for 24 Hours Under New Six Strikes Anti-Piracy Scheme

March 1, 2013 -

While the "six strikes" anti-piracy program agreed upon by Internet service providers and intellectually property owners went into effect this week, service providers and the entertainment industry have not been so keen on sharing what the ramifications are if users are accused of engaging in copyright infringement online. Most ISPs have claimed that six strikes is simply a program to educate consumers on the evils of illegally downloading and sharing copyrighted materials and that it has very little to do with punishing individuals.

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Nintendo Offers Recommendations on Fighting Piracy to U.S. Trade Representative’s Special 301 Report

February 27, 2013 -

Every year rights holders get to offer their input in the U.S. Trade Representative’s Special 301 report, identifying piracy sites and offering recommendations on how best to combat piracy both online and offline. In a special letter, Wii, Wii U and 3DS maker Nintendo offers its two cents on the issue. First, Nintendo points out that it is suffering major losses at the hands of online piracy:

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Report: Six Strikes Copyright Enforcement Scheme Going Live Today

February 25, 2013 -

According to DSL Reports, the "six strikes" copyright enforcement scheme agreed upon by rights holders in the music and movie industry and various internet service providers will go into effect today. The anti-piracy enforcement efforts facilitated by the Center for Copyright Information and ISP's will warn internet users when they are accused of infringement with notices and redirection to educational materials on copyright infringement laws.

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Sony Computer Entertainment America Patent Filing Shows Method for Fighting Piracy

February 25, 2013 -

A patent filed for in 2011 by Sony Computer Entertainment America (and unearthed last week by web site Dark Zero) uses load times to determine if software being loaded into a system is legitimate or pirated.

The patent, "BENCHMARK MEASUREMENT FOR LEGITIMATE DUPLICATION VALIDATION," is described as follows in the patent application:

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Microsoft Promises Bans for Those Playing Pirated Version of Gears of War: Judgment

February 19, 2013 -

Microsoft promises "vigorous action" against those individuals who downloaded a pirated version of Gears of War: Judgment. The complete copy of Gears of War: Judgment appeared on internet torrent sites overnight and some decided to download it and play it (some played it online as well), much to the dismay of Microsoft.

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Anodyne Developers Claim Pirate Bay Promo a Huge Success

February 19, 2013 -

The creators of the Zelda-ish 8-bit adventure game Anodyne say that spending just a few dollars to have their game featured on the front page of The Pirate Bay drove more sales than videos or reviews ever could. In a post mortem on the experiment over on the developers' blog, they revealed that they only paid $7 to have their game highlighted on the front page.

"First, it cost $7 to do the promo, all $7 of which were for paying our hosting provider for bandwidth, Nearlyfreespeech.net. There were no other costs."

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 41

February 18, 2013 -

Happy President's Day! You know, the made-up holiday where we honor two presidents with one half-assed holiday. Don't President Lincoln and President George Washington deserve separate days to be honored properly? Apparently not. Anyway.. on this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the file-sharing case headed to the Supreme Court, the President's executive order on cybersecurity, the latest poll results, and more. Let freedom ring.

U.S. Government Supports RIAA in Supreme Court File-Sharing Case

February 13, 2013 -

The United States government has weighed in on the Jammie Thomas-Rasset v. Capitol Records file-sharing case, siding with the RIAA and the recording industry and asking the U.S. Supreme Court to deny Thomas-Rasset the Writ of Certiorari she seeks. The case is the longest running file-sharing case to date, and the first to be heard by the Supreme Court (previously the Court refused to hear two cases related to file-sharing damages).

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Lawmakers Demand Answers from Federal Prosecutors About Aaron Swartz Case

January 29, 2013 -

Two U.S. lawmakers have asked federal prosecutors at the Department of Justice to answer a series of questions about the prosecution of Reddit co-founder and internet activist Aaron Swartz. In a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) want to DOJ to explain why federal prosecutors sought up to 50 years in prison and $1 million in fines for Swartz, who committed suicide prior to his trial. Swartz was arrested in 2011 for downloading 4.8 million documents from the academic archive JSTOR.

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Antigua’s Legal 'Pirate Site' Gets Greenlight by the World Trade Organization

January 28, 2013 -

Well it is official - the country of Antigua is one step closer to launching a legal piracy portal - according to TorrentFreak. At a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland today the World Trade Organization (WTO) officially granted Antigua’s request to suspend U.S. copyrights - confirming a 2007 preliminary authorization given by the WTO to the Caribbean island.

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Andrew EisenSleaker - Who the heck are you reading that is claiming "all gamers are bad," we "need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers," that if "you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem," or that gamers are "obligated to stop harassment"?09/20/2014 - 9:44pm
erthwjimhe swatted more than just krebs, I think he swatted 30 people http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/05/teen-arrested-for-30-swattings-bomb-threats/09/20/2014 - 9:31pm
Craig R.Btw, the guy who swatted security expert Brian Krebs? He got picked up recently. It can be done.09/20/2014 - 8:55pm
Craig R.Such things are not done in a vacuum... hence why the 4chan and other logs show what fools you've all been, tricked into doing the trolls' work09/20/2014 - 8:49pm
Sleaker@Technogeek - How do you call someone out that anonymously calls in a SWAT team, or sends threats to people?09/20/2014 - 7:04pm
Technogeek"It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so." I'd say you're certainly obligated to call them out when you see it happening.09/20/2014 - 5:17pm
SleakerNow if you disagree with anything in my last 2 posts then we obviously have a difference in world view, and wont come to any sort of agreement. I'm fine with that, maybe some people aren't?09/20/2014 - 5:09pm
SleakerIt also doesn't mean that just because a news outlet says that Gamers are the problem and you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem. It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so.09/20/2014 - 4:59pm
SleakerJust to re-iterate: People getting harassed is wrong. Just because someone is harassed by so called 'gamers' doesn't mean that all gamers are bad. nor does it mean that you need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers.09/20/2014 - 4:56pm
SleakerAnd furthermore just because someone doesn't 'crusade against the evil' that doesn't make them the problem. You can have discussion with those around you. There's a thing called sphere of influence.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
Sleaker@Conster - one person getting harassed is a 'problem' only so far as the harassee's are doing it. Just because a select few people choose to act like this doesn't make it widespread. Nor does it immediately make everyone responsible to put an end to it.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
james_fudgeno worries09/20/2014 - 4:15pm
TechnogeekI misread james' comment as "we can't have a debate without threatening" there at first. Actually wound up posting a shout about death threats and "kill yourself" not technically being the same thing before I realized.09/20/2014 - 3:59pm
james_fudgeDon't hit me *cowers behind Andrew*09/20/2014 - 3:20pm
ConsterYou take that back right now, james, or else. *shakes fist menacingly*09/20/2014 - 3:00pm
james_fudgeOur community is awesome. We can have a debate without threatening to kill each other.09/20/2014 - 2:50pm
Andrew EisenNo one's crossed a line but I just want to remind you all to keep discussions civil.09/20/2014 - 1:54pm
Craig R.tldr: I'm a gamer, and imo those who support GamerGate should feel free to take a flying leap off a cliff.09/20/2014 - 1:27pm
Craig R.Not only that, I'm pretty sure that if actual studies were done, you'd still deny them, Sleaker. After all, it's not what you'd want to hear to support your rose-colored view of GamerGate.09/20/2014 - 1:18pm
Craig R.There IS an issue. Nor do we need a study to show that if you deny it then you're part of the problem.09/20/2014 - 1:17pm
 

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