ECA Hits The Streets Of DC

April 8, 2012 -

In the last week of March, the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) took to Capital Hill to meet with members of Congress about SOPA, PIPA and other issues that effect gamers and game developers.

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Valve Bans CS: Go Community Content Creators for Using Copyrighted Artwork

June 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Valve Software has banned a couple of Steam Community contributors and released a statement to its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive creators, according to this Gamasutra report. The community content creators allegedly used artwork for one of the most popular user-created weapons in the game that they did not own.

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Appeals Court Upholds Conviction of Man Charged With Selling Modded Wii

May 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The U.S. Court of Appeals (Sixth Circuit) has upheld the conviction of Jeffrey Reichert, who was charged and convicted under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for trafficking in technology that modifies video game consoles.

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Developer Creates Wikia Page to Help YouTube Content Creators

December 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Level Up Labs co-founder Lars Doucet has created and deployed a Wikia directory page called WhoLetsPlay that informs video content creators which publishers allow monetized Let's Play videos and which do not. The Wikia page divides publishers into three groups:

YES - Allows Let's Play AND allows them to be monetized.

MAYBE - Might allow monetization under some circumstances, or it is unknown.

No - Does not allow monetization.

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Capcom Kills Ghost 'N Goblins Demon World Kickstarter Campaign

December 13, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Capcom has put the brakes on a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign for an unlicensed Ghost 'N Goblins game. Phantasm Studios' campaign is now the subject of an intellectual property dispute initiated by Capcom, and has been shutdown. The Kickstarter page for the campaign now features a DMCA notice from Capcom.

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Game Companies Push Back Against New YouTube Copyright Enforcement System

December 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Google has implemented a new system that auto detects content that is supposedly in breach of copyright this week, and it is affecting many YouTube stars. They are claiming that dozens or even hundreds of their videos are being removed. Since these claims are automatic because of the new system, many game companies who own the copyrights in question are doing their best to help those affected by the new system.

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Indie Developer: Reviewers Now Know How Developers Feel After TotalBiscuit Situation

October 23, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Indie developer Sean Lindskog pens an interesting editorial (a repost of a blog entry he wrote) on how reviewers like TotalBiscuit now understand the fear that game developers feel when they are at the mercy of someone else. Lindskog, who developed the indie space-themed action game Salvation Prophecy compares his feelings towards a negative review on GameSpot with the DMCA take-down request filed by developer Wild Games Studios against YouTube personality TotalBiscuit.

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Real DMCA Reform: The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013

May 9, 2013 -

Finally members of Congress have put forth serious DMCA reform legislation and rights groups are praising it right out of the gate. The new legislation is called the "Unlocking Technology Act of 2013," and is sponsored by Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Jared Polis (D-CO). The Unlocking Technology Act of 2013 legalizes unlocking cell phone unlocking and modifies the DMCA so that unlocking copy-protected content is only illegal if it's done in order to "facilitate the infringement of a copyright."

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Watchdog Groups and Concerned Citizens Urge Lawmakers to Add an Exception to the DMCA for Unlocking Mobile Devices

March 28, 2013 -

A letter signed by 33 organizations and nine individuals asks the top ranking lawmakers in the House of Representatives (Reps. Bob Goodlatte and John Conyers) and the United States Senate (Sens. Patrick Leahy and Charles Grassley) to make an exception for unlocking electronic devices to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Recently a petition signed by over 110,000 Americans asked President Barack Obama's administration to make the same exception.

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Phone Jailbreaking Petition Successfully Collects Required Signatures

February 21, 2013 -

Earlier in the week reported on a petition over at WhiteHouse.gov asking the administration to direct the Librarian of Congress to rescind the October 2012 decision that removed unlocking mobile phones (commonly referred to as jailbreaking) as an exception to the DMCA. The petition went on to ask the White House - if it could not compel the Librarian of Congress to change that decision - to champion a bill that makes unlocking phones permanently legal.

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GameStick Kickstarter Campaign Suspended Due to DMCA Claim, Reinstated Shortly Thereafter

January 10, 2013 -

In a bizarre move, Kickstarter issued a message to backers of the Android-based high definition console, the Game Stick. The crowd-funding site told backers that the device, which has already been fully-funded and is working on stretch goals, had become the subject of an intellectual property dispute. Because of this Kickstarter said that - under the law - it was required to remove the project from the "public view" during the dispute process. They said at the time that if they could not put the project back up within 30 days than the Kickstarter campaign would be cancelled.

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Twitter Discloses U.S. Government Information Request for First-Half of 2012

July 3, 2012 -

Normally we would ignore what's going on at Twitter (not because we don't care but because the daily machinations of the service have no bearing within these pages), but a change in policy is of particular interest - mainly in how it might relate to current and future cybersecurity bills - like CISPA, PROTECT IT, and the Cybersecurity Act of 2012. Like Google, Twitter has decided to disclose how often the U.S. government asks for information on a user or issues a DMCA takedown via what they call a new "transparency tool."

Microsoft Uses DMCA Takedowns to Purge 'Xbox 720' Document from the Internet

June 21, 2012 -

Microsoft is doing its best to erase a 56-page document detailing its plans for the "Xbox 720" off the Internet with a series of DMCA takedowns. The lengthy document was leaked onto the Internet over the weekend, and offered a glimpse into some of the things Microsoft might have planned for its next-generation system. If there was any doubt as to the document's authenticity these series of DMCA takedowns prove that Microsoft cares about it being read.

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Breaking News: US AG Officially Indicts Ten Individuals From Operation Tangled Web

April 30, 2012 -

Four years ago, Game Politics broke the news that the US government performed raids on mod chip sellers in a program they called "Operation Tangled Web". During this program, ICE agents ran sting operations and raids on more than 32 locations in 16 states. At the time, there was little information and no official indictments of those running mod chip operations. Since then, no new information has been released, until now.

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Public Comment Period on Console Jailbreaking Ending Soon

March 1, 2012 -

Video game console makers Microsoft and Sony are squaring off against enthusiast hackers, academics, and organizations such as the EFF who would like to make the act of jailbreaking legal. There is already an exception in place that allows the iPhone to be jailbroken, so supporters of gaining similar allowances for the Xbox 360 and PS3 are urging the U.S. Copyright Office to make these exceptions. The copyright office is currently accepting public input comments on the subject until Friday, and will likely make a decision soon shortly thereafter.

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EFF Asks US Copyright Office to Exempt Jailbreaking, Fair Use from DMCA

December 5, 2011 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has asked the US Copyright Office to exempt jailbreaking devices such as the iPhone and PS3 from enforcement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

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Court Ruling Suggests DMCA Allows for DVD Ripping

October 5, 2011 -

On Monday a ruling by a California judge suggested that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) allows for DVD ripping if you own the DVD in question. More importantly, educational institutions are entitled to stream legally purchased DVDs on campus without the permission of copyright holders.

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Canada Pushes for DMCA-Style Law

September 30, 2011 -

The government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has resubmitted a revision of the Canadian digital copyright law (C-11) to Parliament. The bill is being described by Canadian media as pretty much the same as the previous bill submitted by Harper's government the last time. This time the bill will probably pass.

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EFF Backs Datel in Microsoft DMCA Case

June 21, 2011 -

This week the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a brief in support of videogame accessory company Datel, which accused Microsoft of using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to take down the competition in the Xbox 360 memory card market.

Microsoft filed a lawsuit in May alleging that Datel's SD-card-based memory cards violate the DMCA's provision against "technologies that can circumvent digital protections," adding that they could possibly be used to change gamer profiles and manually change Xbox Live Achievements. The EFF legal brief argues that the DMCA provision being used by Microsoft was intended to prevent piracy and copyright infringement, and not to block competitors who want to sell compatible products.

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EA Uses DMCA Takedown on Ultima IV Downloads

March 29, 2011 -

In what has been described by some in the Ultima community as a travesty, EA has used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to take down several downloads of Ultima IV. This disruption has affected a number of Ultima IV-related projects including the ultra popular xu4, as well as the Ultima IV Sega Master System emulation from Master System 8 and the IBM-PC port at Phi Psi Software.

One of my all-time favorite Ultima sites, Ultima Aiera, also removed links to many Ultima IV-related projects. The move has incensed Ultima IV fans who thought the game was released as freeware a long time ago. While the game was offered for free thanks to some sites getting permission from Origin Systems a long time ago, EA still owns the rights to the game and can do what they want with it.

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PS3 Jailbreaker Battles for Motion to Dismiss SCEA Case

March 29, 2011 -

In new court documents filed by PS3 jailbreaker George Hotz's attorney, Stewart Kellar, asked that the court ignore recent SCEA filings that make claims about Hotz "running to South America," owning a PlayStation Network account, and deliberately removing data from hard drives submitted to a third-party for inspection by the court. Kellar also asked the court to deny SCEA jurisdiction in California.

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Report: Canadian Government Could be found in Contempt of Parliament

March 22, 2011 -

A Commons committee has recommended the current Canadian government be found in contempt of Parliament, but the ruling party, Conservatives, have a chance of a historic censure if a vote on the budget or other events launch an election first.

The Commons procedure and house affairs committee tabled a majority report Monday concluding that the government is "in contempt" for continually refusing to disclose information about the cost of several major legislative items. They are referring to documents related to the cost of several items including its law-and-order agenda, corporate tax cuts and a plan to buy stealth combat jets. All of the opposition members of Parliament on the committee voted to condemn the government for withholding the requested documents without giving "adequate reasons" for doing so.

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The People’s Court: Wii Modding Moron Edition

March 11, 2011 -

An episode of The People's Court litigates a case involving Wii copyright infringement, piracy, and mod chips. But the case isn't really about all that - it's about a guy that wants a couple of hundred bucks over a modding deal gone sour. The judge, the plaintiff and the defendant never grasp the fact that something very illegal is going on here. Luckily for Nintendo, everyone's name is splashed on the screen for more dramatic litigation down the road - should they find out. We have a feeling they probably will..

And frankly, these two guys get what they deserve for going on a nationally syndicated show to fight each other over both committing multiple DMCA violations. Watch the video, be amazed at the stupidity. Thanks to Andrew Eisen's nameless friend who passed this hilarious video along.

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Top 20 DMCA Cease and Desist Senders of 2010

December 28, 2010 -

Here is a fun little year-end wrap-up from TorrentFreak about the Top 20 DMCA Cease and Desist Senders of 2010. As a rule of thumb DMCA notices are sent in bulk and dozens are sent on a monthly basis. Using data from ChillingEffects (a clearing house for such orders), TorrentFreak found that 12,000 cease and desist notices were issued in 2010.

According to ChillingEffects stats, IFPI, who represents the international music industry, issued the most DMCA takedown notices in the last 12 months. A total of 1272 were sent to various sites. While that might not seem like a lot, many of these notices contained multiple URLs.

In second place was Clube do Hardware, the largest site in South America to publish tutorials, articles and news on computer hardware. That site issued 303 complaints.

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DJ Hero De-Make Gets Cease and Desist Letter

December 7, 2010 -

Indie developer Eric Ruth's 8-bit de-make of DJ Hero, Pixel Force DJ Hero, has been taken down after he received a Cease and Desist letter from Universal Music Publishing Group, Joystiq reports.

A rundown of the entire ordeal between Eric and Jerrold Grannis (representing Universal Music Publishing) unfolds for your pleasure at PikiGeek, but here is the best exchange. First, here is Eric:

 

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Ask Slashdot: Namco DMCA Takedown Edition

December 7, 2010 -

An interesting submission in Slashdot's "Ask Slashdot" section solicits the help of commenters on a DMCA takedown notice for an Android game called "Super Pac."

The developer asks the community what he should do because Namco sent a DMCA takedown notice to him, which in turn got his Pac-Man-like Android title pulled from Google’s Android marketplace. Now he can't sell his game and doesn't know what to do. Here is the question:

First a description of the game from its offficial web site:

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Prosecutors Bail on Xbox Modding Case

December 2, 2010 -

Federal Prosecutors in the nation’s first jury trial to test the anti-circumvention provisions of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act abruptly asked that the case be dismissed today. Today's news comes on the heels of a tumultuous day in Federal Court yesterday. The presiding judge berated prosecutors for a litany of holes and contradictions in the government's case. The judge's strong words caused the prosecution to take a recess to decide whether to even bother to continue. They decided to forge ahead, and watched as their first witness ruined the case.

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Prosecutors Want to Block Hacker’s Testimony at DMCA Trial

October 23, 2010 -

28-year-old Matthew Crippen will be on trial in late November for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by allegedly running a business modding Xbox 360 consoles.

Andrew Huang, who literally wrote the book on Xbox modding, wants to testify at Crippen’s trial that mod-chipping is not a violation of the DMCA, a law which makes it illegal to circumvent technology designed to prevent copyright infringement.  Huang’s strategy is to give jurors a step-by-step tutorial on console modding to show that “what [Crippen] did was insufficient on his own to violate anything.”

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U.S. ISP Disconnects User after Three-Strikes

September 27, 2010 -

While it sounds like something that might emerge from France’s Hadopi law, a suspected copyright infringer had his account suspended for six months by his Internet service provider in the United States.

According to TorrentFreak, a customer of the ISP Suddenlink had his account deactivated after a trio of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices of copyright violations. In a chat log posted on the site the affected customer is arguing with a Suddenlink representative, who implied that the DMCA forces such a disconnection, though that comment was quickly amended to, “It may be the DMCA policy or it may be the way we go about following the DMCA guidelines.”

As TorrentFreak notes, “The DMCA does not and never has required ISPs to disconnect users.” A phrase used in Suddenlink’s Terms of Service agreement does not mention a three-strike policy per se, but alludes to what might happen if copyright laws were broached:

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Defendants, ISPs: D.C. Court Doesn’t Have Jurisdiction in P2P John Doe Case

August 30, 2010 -

As a court case in the District of Columbia court against 14,000 "john doe" defendants filed by the US Copyright Group over file sharing movies continues, increasingly defendants and ISPs are saying that the court has no jurisdiction over them.

One John Doe defendant in the D.C. case sent a letter to the court saying that he has never traded files, nor lived, used an ISP, or worked in the D.C area and that adding him as a defendant is improper because he has nothing in common with the "co-defendants." Here's what he wrote to the court:

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Who's responsible for crappy Netflix performance on Verizon?:

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Sleaker@MP - Looked up hitbox, thanks.07/24/2014 - 9:40pm
Matthew WilsonI agree, but to me given other known alternatives google seems to the the best option.07/24/2014 - 6:30pm
Andrew EisenTo be clear, I have no problem with Google buying it, I'm just concerned it will make a slew of objectively, quantifiably bad changes to Twitch just as it's done with YouTube over the years.07/24/2014 - 6:28pm
Matthew WilsonI doubt yahoo has the resources to pull it off, and I not just talking about money.07/24/2014 - 6:15pm
SleakerI wouldn't have minded a Yahoo purchase, probably would have been a better deal than Tumblr seeing as they paid the same for it...07/24/2014 - 6:13pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's the golden age of Hitbox, I guess.07/24/2014 - 6:08pm
Matthew Wilsonagain twitch was going to get bought. It was just who was going to buy it . Twitch was not even being able to handle the demand, so hey needed a company with allot of infrastructure to help them. I can understand why you would not want Google to buy it .07/24/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew Eisen"Google is better than MS or Amazon" Wow. Google, as I mentioned earlier, progressively makes almost everything worse and yet there are still two lesser options. Again, wow!07/24/2014 - 5:43pm
Andrew EisenI don't know. MS, in my experience, is about 50/50 on its products. It's either fine or it's unusable crap. Amazon, well... I've never had a problem buying anything from them but I don't use any of their products or services so I couldn't really say.07/24/2014 - 5:42pm
Matthew WilsonGoogle is better than MS or Amazon.07/24/2014 - 5:33pm
Sleaker@AE - I've never seen youtube as a great portal to interact with people from a comment perspective. like ever. The whole interface doesn't really promote that.07/24/2014 - 5:28pm
Andrew EisenNor I. From a content producer's perspective, almost every change Google implements makes the service more cumbersome to use. It's why I set up a Facebook fan page in the first place; it was becoming too difficult to connect with my viewers on YouTube.07/24/2014 - 4:50pm
Sleakerwonder if anyone is going to try and compete with google, I'm not a huge fan of the way they manage their video services.07/24/2014 - 4:41pm
Andrew EisenIt happened. Google bought Twitch. http://venturebeat.com/2014/07/24/googles-1b-purchase-of-twitch-confirmed-joins-youtube-for-new-video-empire/07/24/2014 - 4:28pm
MaskedPixelanteI hope Nintendo actually follows through with the DS Virtual Console, that sounds like it could be cool.07/24/2014 - 2:15pm
james_fudgePeople don't deny it persay, they bristle at the idea that it's a "problem" that nneds to be "fixed."07/24/2014 - 2:15pm
Papa MidnightRacism and Misogny are heavily prevalent in the gaming and online arena. Getting people to actually admit that, however...07/24/2014 - 11:42am
Papa MidnightThat very thing is somthing that anyone who has been subjected to racial-based targeting online could actually state that they've experienced.07/24/2014 - 11:41am
Papa MidnightPerfect example: "I have yet to talk to a man who has had to call a police officer due to a stalker, only to be told nothing can be done until they are physically assaulted."07/24/2014 - 11:40am
Papa MidnightNot that said communities are mutually exclusive. Even the very first comment on that last article equates women in the gaming industry with being the n-word. Despicable, aetestable, and (sadly enough) this is not an uncommon presence in either community.07/24/2014 - 11:35am
 

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