Australia has passed a controversial new anti-piracy law, according to this Ars Technica report. Why is it controversial? Because it makes it easier for rights holders to censor websites. The bill, which passed both houses, allows a rights holder to go to a federal judge to get a site - even an international site - blocked if they believe its primary purpose is in enabling copyright infringement.
The president of the International Corporation for Assigned Named and Numbers (ICANN), the organization responsible for giving those pesky internet IP numbers actual names that you can type into your browser, says that his organization will not play international internet copyright cops (according to a Washington Post report).
One of the things that is fascinating about recently released emails between U.S. trade representatives negotiating trade treaties like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and trade groups like the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is how amicable they all are with each other.
The BBC's movie about the making of Grand Theft Auto has just run into a mountain-sized obstacle: Take Two Interactive. The publisher of the series and the owner of Rockstar Games is suing the BBC over its upcoming film based on the book, Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto.
Grand Theft Auto series creator Rockstar Games released a statement written by parent company Take Two Interactive announcing that it was suing the BBC for trademark infringement.
According to this TorrentFreak story, notorious file-sharing site The Pirate Bay will lose its Swedish domain names after a court ruled that they must give them up. Back in 2013 Swedish Prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad filed a motion to have both ThePirateBay.se and PirateBay.se seized after he successfully got the main site taken offline for copyright infringement.
Earlier this week we reported on George Weidman (YouTube name Super Bunnyhop) being targeted by Konami for posting a YouTube video called "Kojima vs. Konami: An Investigation." Someone at Konami (Weidman notes that it was the fine work of an attorney who works at Konami Japan) didn't like it and filed a copyright claim against the video.
Update #2: George Weidman tweeted that Konami has lifted the copyright claim from the original video:
"Strike resolved, Konami revoked it. I was traveling before & after this incident began&ended. Sent 3 polite emails to Konami PR. It worked."
According to this TorrentFreak report, the European Commission announced its new Digital Single Market Strategy today, which hopes to improve consumer access to digital services and goods by changing some copyright laws and addressing issues related to geo-blocking. Content providers such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, and others are not available in every European Union countries thanks to restrictive geo-blocking rules.
While it should come as no great shock to anyone, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is funding pro-copyright protection research through its global research grant program. The program is part of the trade group's "Academic Outreach program." The program gives out $20,000 grants to academics doing research on various topics related to copyright infringement and piracy.
Lawyers for Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom have managed to delay his extradition hearing by an additional three months this week, TorrentFreak reports. Dotcom's extradition hearing to decide whether he will be sent to the United States to face a litany of copyright infringement offenses (and other alleged crimes) related to file-sharing and storage site Megaupload was scheduled to take place in about a month.
In an article entitled "The 2048 guys stole my iPhone game" over on Medium, indie mobile developer and Palette L.L.C. founder Matt Akins (who is also the founder of Tapped, "an online community built around iOS game development education") tells the harrowing tale of how he sought help with promoting an iOS game only to have it (allegedly) stolen by Paris-based mobile publisher Ketchapp.
Kitty Powers' Matchmaker is proving to be a popular hit, but the dating simulation starring the larger-than-life personality may cause some trouble for YouTubers. Developer Magic Notion gave a warning to anyone thinking of making Let's Play videos and posting them on YouTube that they might find themselves the target of a copyright claim.
Nintendo has fired off a DMCA takedown notice at Super Mario 64 HD, a remaster of Nintendo's 3D platformer for the Nintendo 64 built using Unity - according to Eurogamer. Specifically, the rework is the first level from the popular Mario game - Bob-Omb Battlefield.
Blizzard Entertainment has filed a complaint against DOTA Legend, a popular Chinese mobile game that topped the charts in China and Taiwan throughout 2014, with authorities in Taiwan. The game, which translates to "Turret Legend," is published in China and Taiwan by Longtu. The company said that it has filed a formal complaint with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that DOTA Legend infringes upon game characters and scenes from its popular MMORPG World of Warcraft and the Warcraft game universe.
Last week we reported that Sword and Tower developer Lilith Games (also known in Shanghai as Lilith Technology) filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against game developer uCool of Menlo Park, California, claiming that the company's mobile game Heroes Charge violates its copyrights. Today we have learned of some further proof that could lend some credibility to Lilith Games' case.
If you missed Saturday's live broadcast of Super Podcast Action Committee (Episode 136), you can watch the video replay on YouTube, to your left, or download it below. On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E.
Popular YouTube personality and games journalist Jim Sterling became a victim of a DMCA takedown at the hands of developer Digpex Games after he made jokes about the quality and gameplay of the company's PC game, Skate Man Intense Rescue. Sterling made light of the game in new YouTube video called "SKATE MAN INTENSE RESCUE - Welp, Videogames Have Peaked!"
Yesterday we reported on artist Kevin Konrad Hanna's claims that mobile gaming giant Kabam copied elements from his graphic novel, "Creature Academy: The Legacy," when it repurposed the Korean mobile game "Taming Monster" (originally developed by South Korean mobile games company Netmarble Games Corp.) and re-released it under the name Creature Academy in North America.
Sword and Tower game-maker Lilith Games (also known in Shanghai as Lilith Technology) is suing game developer uCool of Menlo Park, California in federal court, claiming that the company's mobile game Heroes Charge violates its copyrights. Court documents for the case were not available as of this writing. The civil case was filed in the California Northern District Court and seeks a jury trial. The case (Lilith Games Co. Ltd. v. uCool, Inc. et al) has been assigned to District Court Judge Donna M. Ryu.
Artist Kevin Konrad Hanna claims in a new comic (you read that right) that mobile and web game company Kabam copied his graphic novel Creature Academy to create its game of the same name.
Update: GamesBeat has a statement from Atari explaining its position on the Minter situation and reiterating many of the claims that he made against them. It's definitely worth checking out. What's curious is that Minter has been working on this game for awhile and even released it on PS Vita. Why has Atari suddenly pounced on Minter at this point?
The U.S. Senate has officially confirmed former Google executive Michelle Lee to head the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a position that has been vacant for over two years. The fast tracked confirmation was no surprise given a recent vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of February. The post was last held by former IBM executive David Kappos.
Yesterday we reported that the version of the popular indie game Darkest Dungeon being sold on the Windows Game Store was a fake and was not put there by developer Red Hook or its founder Chris Bourassa. Bourassa tweeted a warning yesterday that the Windows Game Store version was not from his company and that he was reaching out to Microsoft to get the game removed.
The developer of Darkest Dungeon is urging players not to buy the Windows 8 version of the game, according to Eurogamer. Why? Because he and his company didn't put it on the platform. Red Hook Studios co-president and Darkest Dungeon designer Tyler Sigman sent out a tweet warning buyers that the Windows 8 app version available on the Windows Game Store is not an official version.
Howard Marks, founder of indie studio Xreal LLC., shows a letter on YouTube from Zeminax asking him to stop using the name "Fortress Fallout" for his game because it infringes on Zenimax's (and its subsidiary Bethesda Softworks') trade and service marks. Bethesda owns the Fallout series of games, which it bought the rights to from Interplay quite a few years ago. It also notes Xreal's application for a trademark with the word "Fallout" in it.
Earlier this week concerned community members tried to bring to Sega's attention the questionable activities of a company called eLicense, which was making copyright claims on fan-made Sega-related videos found on YouTube. And while these videos weren't taken offline, their creators' ability to monetize them was taken away.
Today Sega finally publicly said that it is doing something about it and that eLicense does not represent its interests or copyrights in any way.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Organization for Transformative Works have jointly filed an amicus brief in Davis v. Electronic Arts currently before the Ninth Circuit court. In its brief the EFF says that "bad facts are making bad law," referring to several court rulings related to celebrities using lawsuits about "rights to publicity" against creative works to trump free speech.
Update: The ESA has issued an apology for a DMCA takedown notice that went out over the weekend. You can read its statement here.
According to this TorrentFreak story, the settlement that the Motion Picture Association of America made with file-sharing site Hotfile was a lot less than the $80 million figure thrown around in public. According to the report, Hotfile ultimately paid $4 million dollars and the site was eventually shut down.