• German ISPs Surrendering 300,000 Pirating Suspects' Details Every Month

    As ridiculous as the copyright battles are here in the states, it’s a bit surreal when you see them exceeded elsewhere by an order of magnitude or two. According to German internet industry association ECO, ISPs in that country are giving up their subscribers to rightsholders at the mind-boggling rate of around 300,000 per month. To put that in perspective, you remember that big… Read More

  • Pirate Bay Servers Take Refuge In Secret Mountain Cave

    If your website is so internationally controversial that you’ve got Interpol and RIAA secret police knocking on your door every other day, it pays to be a bit circumspect when it comes to hosting. But only the most paranoid (justifiably or not) will go so far as to keep their servers in a top-secret cave in rural Sweden. Read More

  • Limewire Settles For A Measly $105 Million

    Limewire has agreed to pay $105 million to record labels, after a protracted court battle in which the record companies famously estimated Limewire’s damages could reach $75 trillion. So in a way, Mark Gorton and the venerable file-sharing company are getting off easy here. Isn’t it a tacit admission of how ridiculous their arguments were that they’re accepting a fraction of… Read More

  • Sequel To COICA Bill, The PROTECT IP Act, May Be Even Worse

    The COICA bill, a piece of legislation that would eliminate a good deal of due process and free speech guarantees on the internet, is being succeeded by a new bill, the PROTECT IP Act. And yes, that’s an acronym. It stands for “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property” — the most transparent attempt to whitewash a bill… Read More

  • EU Court's Advocate General: Internet Filtering May Conflict With Charter Of Fundamental Rights

    The Advocate General of the European Union Court of Justice, Cruz Villalón, says that national courts there should not have the ability to tell Internet Service Providers to filter their connections in order to prevent copyright infringement because such a move would conflict with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. That was a mouthful, yes. It should be noted that the Advocate… Read More

  • Record Industry: Limewire Could Owe $75 Trillion – Judge: "Absurd"

    So we’re all pretty desensitized by now to the mind-blowing stupidity on display by the record industry in its foolhardy attempts at assigning damages in piracy cases — was anyone surprised when they told one woman, who had shared 24 songs, that she owed nearly two million dollars? Yes, ridiculous. But this — this is beyond ridiculous. This is… sublime. The record… Read More

  • With New Report, U.S. Prepares To Update Outdated Copyright Rules

    The wheels are in motion for a much needed update to this country’s copyright rules, but the only problem is that these new rules seem to have been written by the very same people who thrust the DMCA upon us so many years ago. What fun! Read More

  • Google Begins Soft Censorship Of Arbitrary Piracy-Related Queries

    The efforts of media companies to quash online piracy are a bit like someone trying to put out a forest fire with a wet noodle. The latest pathetic flail comes in the form of coercing Google into censoring its results for some search terms. A number of words will no longer be autocompleted or trigger an instant search, among them the interesting and perfectly legal “bittorrent.” Read More

  • Universal Donates 200,000 Oldies To Library Of Congress

    It’s only fair that after giving the music industry in general a hard time, I should acknowledge when they do something right. Universal Music Group has just donated a huge collection of recordings from the 1930s and 40s to the Library of Congress, where they will be available to be listened to for free. The collection includes iconic, rare, and never-digitized tracks from the jazz… Read More

  • Facebook Complies Imperfectly With DMCA, Suffocates Fan Group

    As Facebook expands its territory and allows for more and richer content, its responsibilities towards that content (and their users, and the law, etc.) become deeper and more complicated. While the structure of Facebook isn’t nearly as permissive as, say, a private message board or tracker site, the sheer amount of activity produced by hundreds of millions of users demands a level… Read More

  • Intel Promises To "Avail" Itself Of Lawsuit "Remedies" For HDCP Crackers

    Intel intimated in somewhat disturbing understatement today that they and everyone else would be suing the pants off anyone who dares to make a HDMI/HDCP encryption workaround device. Listen to this: Read More

  • How will Apple respond to the DMCA revision? They won't.

    Today’s adjustment of the DMCA has far-reaching legal implications, which will only be evident after a few weeks, months, or even years as various parties exploit them however they can. I’m going to let the experts play in that sandbox. But one of the new rules seems to have had a specific target in mind: Apple. To wit: “(2) Computer programs that enable wireless… Read More

  • YouTube takes down video taken of Transformers 3 set on public street

    So imagine you head into your office one day, and find that an alley outside your window has been turned into a set for Transformers 3 — there are cameras and booms and you can hear Michael Bay yelling. They’re about to pneumatically fire a car down the street (it’s been Transformer-punched, you presume) so you whip out your iPhone and start recording. Up it goes on… Read More

  • Did you know? Sony can pull a Reverse Amazon and push updates to your PS3

    This is interesting. While checking up on the implications of Sony’s removal of the “Install Other OS” option, Thinq ran into a particularly troubling clause in the EULA. Some services may be provided automatically without notice when you are online, and others may be available to you through SCE’s online network or authorized channels. Without limitation, services… Read More

  • Bill in UK may disallow public wi-fi

    Good luck sorting this one out, short-sighted lawmakers. An upcoming piece of major legislation in the UK, called the Digital Economy Bill, would essentially force all public wi-fi points offline by requiring impossibly high levels of copyright protection by libraries and small businesses. The bill, which bears some similarity to the controversial DMCA here in the US, is ostensibly aimed… Read More

  • Apple's e-books to be fettered by our old friend, FairPlay DRM

    Looks like Apple didn’t learn its lesson with the whole iTunes DRM thing. I suppose that they might consider some things worth DRM-ing and some not, but I think it’s more along the lines of they’ll do it whenever they think they can get away with it. And they seem to think that’s the case with their new e-book store, which will sell books laced with delicious FairPlay DRM. Read More

  • Google's sudden music blog purge and its implications

    Yesterday, in response to allegations of DMCA violations, several popular music blogs were wiped off the face of the net. They were hosted by Google via Blogger, and it was only after they were completely erased that the owners received emails to the effect of “We got one too many complaints – you’re deleted. Love, Google.” It’s trending around the net as… Read More

  • Reaping what they sow: Canadian record industry faces potential $6 billion fine for copyright infringement

    Oh dear, oh dear. How utterly delightful! It seems that the major members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association have been a bit hypocritical over the last… oh, 20 years. It seems they’ve included a truly enormous amount of tracks on compilation CDs without paying the artists a dime, instead putting them on a “pending list.” This list is somewhere around… Read More

  • Secret copyright treaty is the most annoying thing you'll read all year

    A great African American civil rights activist one said, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” That’s how I feel about copyright these days. You’ve got these entrenched business interests who seemingly have their favorite congressmen on speed-dial, and then you have people who, God forbid, would like to see these businesses embrace new, practical… Read More

  • Changing projector's aspect ratio may violate copyright, according to manual

    You know how sometimes you turn on the TV, and it’s still on 16:9 mode, but you’re just watching the news? And the people are all kinda squashed, but you don’t feel like picking the remote up and hitting the picture mode button? Yes? So, sir, you are confessing that you willfully modified the original copyrighted image, without the consent of the creator. It’s a good… Read More

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