Leaked Text from TPP Negotiations Indicate an Attempt to Limit Fair Use

August 6, 2012 -

On Friday a few short paragraphs of text were leaked from the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty negotiations. The TPP is being negotiated by nine Pacific Rim countries (in secret) with the goal of producing a free-trade agreement that tackles issues related to intellectual property rights. The next round of negotiations is set to take place sometime in September in Leesburg, Virginia.

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U.S. Wary of Proposed Internet Changes to Be Discussed at UN's ITR Meeting in December

August 3, 2012 -

While some hay is being made over the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union meeting in Dubai in December, most believe it is much ado about nothing. The way the Internet is regulated internationally will face a review in December, but the United States is already pointing out a number of changes that it will absolutely not allow under any circumstances. The regulations under review are from 1988.

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Russian Parliament Approves Internet Censorship Bill

July 13, 2012 -

In the rest of the world websites can go dark, post commentary, or engage in various forms of protests to let governments and corporations know how they feel about a particular issue.

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Japanese Release of Sleeping Dogs to Feature Punishment System for Killing Citizens

June 27, 2012 -

It looks like Square Enix is editing the contents of its upcoming game in order for it to be released in Japan. The game, (called Sleeping Dogs Hong Kong Secret Police in Japan and Sleeping Dogs in other parts of the world) developed by United Front, will be edited to fit the market in some bizarre ways.

Besides getting a rating of CERO Z (adults only), the game will be edited with a system that punishes players for killing civilians. We have no idea what that punishment will be, but we imagine it will be much more than a "time out."

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Game Companies, Parents Sue Over South Korea's 'Shutdown Law'

June 27, 2012 -

South Korea's new "Shutdown Law" was supposed to keep teens from gaming during a six hour block every night to focus on "more important things" like studying, but two groups have already filed lawsuits that question the legality of the new nanny state law concocted by lawmakers in the country. A group of game makers doing business in the region including NCsoft, Neowiz, and Nexon, have filed a lawsuit claiming that the Shutdown Law is unjust and unfair to them.

How Nintendo Will Keep the Wii U Miiverse Clean

June 8, 2012 -

The first thing that crossed my mind when Nintendo showed the Miiverse at its E3 press conference was "how long after the Wii U launch will the first user type out an expletive?" Well apparently Nintendo's solution for dealing with potty mouths is a system that uses actual humans to screen bad or inappropriate language.

Nintendo's chief executive Satoru Iwata says that the company plans to implement and use three separate systems. The first system is a traditional filtering system that checks for unpleasant words and replaces them with asterisks.

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TERA Censorship Solves Everything!

May 28, 2012 -

Why did Frogster censor its MMO TERA when it seemed like no one was calling for them to do so? We don't know, but Andrew Eisen explores the whole affair in his latest video, and channels perhaps the creepiest person I have ever seen on a YouTube video. You'll know it when you see it.. 

We also discuss the issue in the latest episode of the podcast just for fun...

As always, you can check out all of Andrew's videos on his YouTube channel.

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Frogster Tries to Address Elin Race Censorship Controversy

May 14, 2012 -

In a lengthy interview with Eurogamer, Frogster's Lucile Le Merle tries to explain why European publisher censored the scantily clad Elin race in TERA. In South Korea the game features this female race in skimpy outfits revealing their panties, but in Europe and the U.S.

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Court Orders Five More Dutch ISPs to Block The Pirate Bay

May 10, 2012 -

Emboldened by The Court of The Hauge’s January ruling that two of the Netherlands’s largest ISPs must implement a DNS and IP block of The Pirate Bay, anti-piracy group BREIN went ahead and sued a few more Dutch ISPs to censor the site.

Well, chalk up another success for BREIN because the Court has ruled that UPC, KPN, Tele2, T-Mobile and Telfort must also block The Pirate Bay.  The blocking order covers 20 specific domains such as ThePirateBay.org, ThePirateBay.se, ThePirateBay.com, DePiraatBaii.be and TheMusicBay.net.

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Frogster to Return Blood to European TERA Players Next Week

May 10, 2012 -

You may recall last month that European players of the MMO TERA were up in arms over the fact that the game in their region had been stripped of blood. They started a petition and took to forums to complain about it with much gusto.

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Microsoft Dialing Sexy Back in Windows Phone Marketplace

May 2, 2012 -

Microsoft has decided that it’s time to eliminate some of the "racier" apps that are available on Windows Phone 7's app store. The announcement was made by Todd Brix, Microsoft's senior director for Windows Marketplace, on the company's blog.

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Microsoft Rejects Windows Phone Game Because 'Flushing Toilet Sounds' Offend Asians

April 20, 2012 -

A game called Occupied Forever can't get certified from Microsoft for release in China because the flushing sounds it contains apparently offend Asians. At least that's what Austrian indie developer Christian Zangl claims Microsoft told him when they rejected his game from Windows Phone Marketplace in the region.

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Reason TV: Too Much Copyright

April 19, 2012 -

Libertarian-leaning publication Reason Magazine offers a new episode of Reason TV called, "Too Much Copyright?" in a brand new video featuring Ben Huh, CEO and founder of Cheezburger; law professor Tom Bell; and MPAA's head content protection counsel, Ben Sheffner. Host Zach Weissmueller asks all three about the current state of copyrights laws, their effectiveness, and the push for new laws like SOPA and PIPA. Check out the video to your left.


Nintendo Says 'No' to Binding of Isaac on 3DS

February 29, 2012 -

According to several Tweets last night by indie developer Edmund McMillen, Nintendo has decided not to allow The Binding of Isaac on the 3DS.  Nintendo itself has released no statement but McMillen, one of the game’s designers, speculates that it’s the religious context of the game that’s giving the publisher pause.

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Joustin' Beaver v. Justin Bieber

February 28, 2012 -

Android app developer RC3 has decided that it will fight lawyers representing teen heart throb Justin Bieber who sent the company a cease and desist over its game "Joustin' Beaver." The developer has preemptively filed a lawsuit against Bieber claiming that its game is a parody and therefore protected under the First Amendment. 

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The Pirate Bay Faces ISP-Level Blocking in the UK

February 20, 2012 -

Nine recording labels (EMI, Polydor, Sony, Virgin, Warner, and more) asked the UK High Court to block The Pirate Bay, claiming that it infringes on their copyrights and that several ISPs (BSkyB, BT, TalkTalk, Telefonica and Virgin Media) need to implement a block of the site under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

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Oklahoma Lawmakers Introduces Bill to Tax Violent Video Games

February 1, 2012 -

An Oklahoma lawmaker has introduced a bill in the state legislature that would impose a tax on "violent video games" to help fight childhood obesity and bullying. Oklahoma State Representative William Fourkiller (D-Stilwell) introduced bill HB 2696, which would add a 1 percent tax on games rated Teen, Mature, and Adults Only by the ESRB. These funds would be used for fighting childhood obesity and bullying. 

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Forbes Explains Why the ESA Shouldn't Support SOPA

January 5, 2012 -

Forbes has an excellent editorial up about the ESA's support of the Stop Online Piracy Act that does a great job of explaining - in simple English - how it could affect every day web sites who might not necessarily be engaged in anything but providing content.

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Belarus Declares Foreign Web Site Surfing Illegal

January 3, 2012 -

Starting January 6th, Belarus, a former Soviet state that became independent in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, will restrict what its citizens can do on the Internet, thanks to new legislation. The new law requires that anyone doing business in the country must utilize fully local Internet domains when carrying out their activities online. Basically, this law criminalizes the use of web sites such as Amazon or Google if they don't have a web site within the country.

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Joke License App Gets Pulled, Senator Celebrates

December 14, 2011 -

It didn't take long for one misinformed and overzealous lawmaker to help get a poor developer's app removed from Apple's store. The app in question, " Driver License," allowed users to create a mock driver's license to entertain and amuse friends. But Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) didn't see the fun in it, and was concerned that it could be used to create a license. Apparently the Senator believed that this program was so sophisticated that a terrorist could download the app and make a fake ID on the fly for some nefarious purpose.

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Google Street View Shooting Game Takes a Bullet

December 14, 2011 -

While it might have been a clever use of Google's Street View (part of Google maps), Google isn't patting the developer of a first-person shooter game that used the 3D panoramic imagery from the service captured by Google. Instead they have put a bullet right between the eyes of "Google Shoot View." The game was created by Dutch digital ad agency Pool Worldwide said that it created the game to promote its unique marketing services.

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Techland Not Shocked About Dead Island Ban in Germany

November 29, 2011 -

Dead Island has been banned in Germany, and while that's not a surprise to gamers around the world, what is surprising is developer Techland's response to it. Speaking to GameIndustry.biz Germany, a Techland spokesperson said that they expected this to happen.

"This isn't unexpected," said a Techland spokesperson. "Germany has its unique regulations regarding video games and violence and the industry can only comply. "Both Deep Silver and Techland were aware of such a possibility from the very beginning."

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Reddit Users Imagine Censorship-Free Internet

November 28, 2011 -

 Internet users are wary of the U.S. House's Stop Online Piracy Act and the Senate's PROTECT IP Act, and are already thinking of ways to get off the Internet the government hopes to to control very soon. One such movement came to fruition on Reddit, where outraged users decided that they needed to come up with some solutions.

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Iran Bans Battlefield 3

November 28, 2011 -

Iran has banned Battlefield 3 from being sold in the country because it depicts a U.S. military assault against the city of Tehran using tanks and aircraft. This news comes from the Iranian IT magazine.

"All computer stores are prohibited from selling this illegal game," said an unnamed deputy with the security and intelligence division of Iran's police in a statement carried by the Asr-e Ertebat weekly.

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'Saints Row Penetrator' Altered In Saints Row The Third for Japan

November 11, 2011 -

Ding.Dong.Ditch. It looks like Japan is not comfortable with the giant sex-toy weapon in Saint's Row The Third. Even though the game received the highest rating it could for its content in the region (CERO Z - basically adults only), the "Saints Row Penetrator" had to be altered for the game to be released in the region.

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BPI Demands UK ISP BP Blocks The Pirate Bay

November 4, 2011 -

UK lobby group BPI is demanding that UK internet service provider BT block access to the BitTorrent file sharing website, The Pirate Bay. If they do not, the group says it will take legal action against them to make it happen anyway. BT tells the BBC that it has received a letter from the group and that it is considering its response to it.

The ISP said that it would not take action against the site unless a court order was issued, but a source told the BBC that the firm was unlikely to fight a lengthy legal battle like it had in the Newzbin 2 case...

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Righthaven Takes $120K Hit in Latest Lawsuit

October 28, 2011 -

Righthaven has been ordered to pay nearly $119,488 in attorney fees, court costs after losing a lawsuit against former federal prosecutor Thomas DiBiase. The company, which trolls internet sites and sues them for alleged newspaper copyright infringement (it represented the rights of the Las Vegas Review-Journal in this case), couldn't afford to pay a previous judgment of $34,045, and likely faces an even bigger judgment in another case involving the Democratic Underground.

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Freedom of Information Act Change Would Give Government License to Lie

October 25, 2011 -

A proposed rule change to the Freedom of Information Act would give federal agencies a special exemption when it comes to certain types of information requests. The change would allow agencies to tell citizens requesting certain law-enforcement or national security documents that records don’t exist – even when they do.

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Group Uses Justin Bieber to Counter Anti-Piracy Bill

October 20, 2011 -

Using Justin Bieber (of all people) as a focal point for their message an advocacy group has created a campaign to warn U.S. citizens of the dangers found in an anti-piracy bill pending in the Senate. The bill, which was approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill in June, would make it a felony for users to post unlicensed content online 10 times in 180 days. The bill is backed by the Recording Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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Sony Adds Mandatory Arbitration Clause to PSN ToS

September 15, 2011 -

If you are a member of Sony's PlayStation Network, chances are you were greeted with an email from the company this morning telling you that that the terms of service for the network are about to change. The big change, in case you haven't received that email yet, relates to your ability to sue them. From section 15 comes this wonderful new clause:

 
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Matthew Wilsonalso, it looks like sony finally got a clue http://www.vg247.com/2014/11/26/sony-comes-to-senses-at-last-admits-playstation-is-going-to-save-it/11/25/2014 - 10:56pm
Matthew WilsonI wont say them, but there are other sites beyond youtube. it was a good move by HBO.11/25/2014 - 10:55pm
Papa Midnighthttp://www.pcgamer.com/dark-souls-to-move-from-gfwl-to-steam-a-month-later-than-expected/11/25/2014 - 10:30pm
Papa MidnightMatthew Wilson: Considering ContentID, I can't imagine that would necessarily be a problem for HBO.11/25/2014 - 10:19pm
Matthew Wilsonthey know if they dont, someone will.11/25/2014 - 8:40pm
Sora-ChanIt's a HBO show, which to be honest, considering it's HBO, it's actually surprising they even put any up on youtube.11/25/2014 - 8:36pm
Andrew EisenI imagine they hope the clips they do host (some of which are rather long) are enough to entice viewers to watch the show on whatever channel it airs on.11/25/2014 - 5:54pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's odd that these videos are missing from the official Last Week Tonight page.11/25/2014 - 5:51pm
Andrew EisenRelevant or not, the guy's pretty darn entertaining.11/25/2014 - 4:58pm
WonderkarpJohn Oliver : Corporations On Twitter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG_7xur1iRc I feel like this is relevent11/25/2014 - 4:53pm
WonderkarpBurt Macklin, Anthropologist. I look forward to Jurassic Parks and Recreation.11/25/2014 - 4:36pm
Andrew EisenYep.11/25/2014 - 4:16pm
E. Zachary KnightDid Jaws 3 take place in a theme park?11/25/2014 - 4:14pm
Andrew EisenHey, they're remaking Jaws 3. Sweet! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFinNxS5KN411/25/2014 - 3:22pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/11/25/sony-to-refund-vita-customers-in-ftc-settlement-over-false-ads/ Sony is offering a refund to Vita owners who fell for their false advertising during the Vita launch.11/25/2014 - 2:49pm
Matthew Wilsondoes not shock me. people have been representing this as right vs left, but in truth its more like left vs even more left. better put is social libertarianism vs liberal moralism.11/25/2014 - 2:36pm
WonderkarpOfficial Occupy WallStreet Twitter Supports GamerGate https://twitter.com/OccupyWallSt/status/536928387869474818 heh11/25/2014 - 2:11pm
Matthew WilsonI saw that given that the gc adapters have been sold out everywhere, I thought it was higher.11/25/2014 - 11:49am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/11/25/smash-bros-sells-over-490k-on-wii-u-in-three-days/ Some good Nintendo news for a change.11/25/2014 - 11:48am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.865821-Irrational-Games-Rises-From-The-Dead-is-Hiring-Again11/25/2014 - 10:20am
 

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