EFF Warns Americans About the Trade Promotion Authority

August 5, 2013 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is warning American citizens that something foul is happening in D.C. related to trade agreements and copyright laws. According to the EFF, U.S. lawmakers want to pass a bill that limits their own ability to improve or remove language in agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Yes, you have read that correctly.

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Finland's Citizens Write Their Own Copyright Bill

July 23, 2013 -

Finland has made history as being the first country to present a copyright law to lawmakers that was crafted by citizens. Last year Finland passed a law changing its constitution to allow its citizens to propose legislation if they obtained 50,000 signatures. Fast-forward to 2013 and citizens have managed to get fairer copyright law before legislators in the country because they managed to get the required support from fellow citizens.

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Chinese Game 300 Heroes A Mash-Up of Copyrighted Material

June 5, 2013 -

Some game developers in China are known for taking liberties with copyrighted material (read: ignoring copyrights altogether), but a MOBA-style game called 300 Heroes pointed out by Crusader Cast is probably the most blatant mash-ups of stolen material you'll ever see.

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Worst Idea Ever: Fighting Copyright Infringement with Malware and Rootkits

May 29, 2013 -

If rights holders had their way they would have the ability to install rootkits and deploy malware that would include Ransomeware (restricted access to your computer until you pay them a fee) on to the computer systems of hackers and illegal file downloaders in order to fight piracy and cyber attacks. This may sound a little too over-the-top, but these are just some of the crazy ideas presented in a new report by the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property.

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European Commission Mandates the Inclusion of Intellectual Property Rights Measures in TAFTA

May 24, 2013 -

Back in March La Quadrature du Net (a non-profit association defending the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet) joined 47 European and International organizations in asking the European Parliament to exclude provisions related to patents, copyright, trademarks, data protection, geographical indications, or other forms of so-called intellectual property from the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA).

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Super Ubi Land Officially Renamed to Super Ubie Land

May 16, 2013 -

As detailed in this May 7 story, indie studio Notion Games indicated that Ubisoft had asked it to change the name of its game Super Ubi Land to something else to avoid the implication that the game was somehow associated with the French publisher. At the time Notion Games said that it would do just that and that it understood where Ubisoft was coming from.

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Nintendo Targets Let's Play Videos on YouTube

May 16, 2013 -

Nintendo has decided to target "Let's Play" videos on YouTube with "content ID match" claims, according to multiple reports this morning. By making these claims it allows Nintendo to either block content or monetize the video. This is not sitting well with Let's Play video makers like Zack Scott whose videos have been targeted by Nintendo.

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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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Wargaming.net Files Lawsuit Against Project Tank Makers

May 9, 2013 -

World of Tanks developer Wargaming.net has filed a lawsuit against Changyou.com and Beijing Gamease Age Digital Technology Co. in the United States Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The lawsuit alleges that the defendant(s) "stole" Wargaming.net's intillectual property to create an online tank game called "Project Tanks" that is "disturbingly similar" to World of Tanks. Wargaming.net is using the law firm Banner & Witcoff, Ltd.

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Nyan Cat Creator Comments on Warner Bros. Lawsuit

May 3, 2013 -

Responding to the widespread reporting that the "Nyan Cat" creator and "Keyboard Cat" creator sued Warner Bros. over the inclusion of the Internet memes in the game Scribblenauts Unlimited, Christopher "Nyan" Orlando Torres said that he tried to talk to Warner Bros. about the issue but was disrespected on multiple occasions.

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Internet Meme Creators Sue Warner Bros.

May 2, 2013 -

Warner Bros. Interactive is no stranger to the fighting battles about trademarks and copyrights in courts, but a case filed by two Internet meme creators has the industry giant in a role reversal. According to this NeoGAF thread Charles "Keyboard" Schmidt (Keyboard Cat meme) and Christopher "Nyan" Orlando Torres (Nyan Cat meme) filed a lawsuit against publisher Warner Bros.

3 comments | Read more

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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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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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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Kaiju Combat Kickstarter Suspended Over Trademark Infringement Claim

March 21, 2013 -

Update: Sunstone Games owner Simon Strange told GamePolitics this afternoon that legal counsel for Wizards of the Coast contacted him way back in December of last year to complain that "Kaiju Combat" was an infringement of its trademark "KAIJUDO."

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Supreme Court Rules That First Sale Doctrine Not Limited by Geography

March 19, 2013 -

Broadcasting Cable reports that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a Second Circuit ruling on a First Sale Doctrine case that could expand its protections beyond U.S. borders. The court ruled that the Second Circuit court erred when it ruled that First Sale Doctrine did not apply to work legally made abroad and imported into the United States.

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Poll: Should IP Owners Allow Fan Projects?

March 6, 2013 -

Game development team and My Little Pony fans Mane6 were working on a pretty cool looking fighting game based on Hasbro's license.  The only problem?  It's Hasbro's license and Hasbro said "no."

Same thing happened last December to an unauthorized My Little Pony MMO.

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New Scam Threatens Alleged Infringers with Jail Time if They Don't Settle

February 22, 2013 -

Ars Technica points out a new scam trolling internet users with legal threats demanding cash settlements for alleged incidents of infringement. An organization calling itself the Internet Copyright Law Enforcement Agency (ICLEA) recently sent out copyright infringement notices to victims warning them that "if this matter is not settled by Friday, March 1, 2013 then you may face serious potential criminal and/or civil charges filed against you.

EA and Zynga Settle The Ville -The Sims: Social Lawsuits

February 15, 2013 -

AllThingsD is reporting that Electronic Arts and Zynga have quietly settled their long-running lawsuit concerning their respective Facebook games The Sims Social and The Ville.

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The Tetris Company Gets Final Judgment, Permanent Injunction Against Xio in Long-Running Infringement Case

February 7, 2013 -

The Tetris Company announced that the New Jersey District Court has delivered the company final judgment in its case against game maker Xio. The company filed the lawsuit in 2009 alleging that Xio's game Mino for iOS infringed on the copyrights and trade dress rights of Tetris. The court ultimately sided with The Tetris Company, which owns the licensing rights to the popular franchise.

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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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TNT Show Gets Name Change from 'L.A. Noir' to 'Lost Angels' After Rockstar Legal Threat

January 24, 2013 -

The director of such films as The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile has been forced to rename his new television show to Lost Angels. Screenwriter and director Frank Darabont had originally named the show L.A. Noir, but Rockstar Games sent him a letter warning him that they would sue him if he used the name. While the show may have some minor similarities to Rockstar Games' film noir style video game, it is actually based on writer John Buntin's 2009 nonfiction title of the same name.

In a recent interview Darabont explained the name change:

7 comments | Read more

Hadopi Plans to Nearly Double Copyright Infringement Warnings in 2013

January 23, 2013 -

TorrentFreak (based on a Numerama report) is reporting that France's anti-piracy agency Hadopi expects to send out more than 1.1 million strike warnings this year - up dramatically from 668,000 in 2012 - and the agency is increasing its activities even after it saw a 25 percent cut in its 2013 budget.

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Report: Changes Coming to Norway's Copyright Act This Month

January 14, 2013 -

Norway is expected to reveal its new proposals to tackle file-sharing sites that offer copyright material which could include changes to copyright law to allow sites to be blocked, reports TorrentFreak.

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Fired Copyright Reform Memo Author and Former Republican Congressional Staffer Speaks Out

January 7, 2013 -

A Republican House staffer who penned a memo on a different kind of approach to copyright law in November of last year found himself out of work as the new Congress was seated last Thursday and the new head of the Republican Study Committee - Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) - decided not to keep him on. He finally broke his silence on the whole ordeal to Ars Technica.

Tweeria Struggles With Copyright Problems

December 27, 2012 -

Yesterday we highlight the Twitter-based RPG called Tweeria in the ECA Newsletter. Described as a "lazy Twitter role-playing game" by its creators, Tweeria uses replies, retweets and activity to create Tweeria weapons, movements and attacks. Basically all you have to do to play the game is to be social on Twitter.

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Voltage Pictures Targets Canadian ISP TekSavvy

December 11, 2012 -

Canadian internet service provider TekSavvy has found itself in the crosshairs of U.S.-based movie studio Voltage Pictures LLC. The ISP announced on Monday that it had received a request on behalf of the studio to provide subscriber information on "a couple thousand" of its users that the studio alleges have downloaded or shared such films as The Whistleblower, Balls to the Wall, Fire with Fire, and others.

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Unauthorized My Little Pony MMO Shut Down

December 10, 2012 -

When you develop a game without the permission of the copyright holder, chances are you will be in for some sort of legal action. Such is the fate of the My Little Pony MMO, which has been shut down after the developers of the game received a copyright and trademark infringement claim from Hasbro. The game was not approved by Hasbro. Fearing serious legal action the developers decided it would be prudent to just shut the game down.

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U.S. Six Strikes Anti-Piracy Plan Delayed Until 2013

November 29, 2012 -

It looks like the whole "Six Strikes" plan concocted by MPAA, RIAA and six internet service providers in the United States has been pushed back yet again. The system was supposed to be deployed this summer and would issue warnings and - upon occasion - punishments to those suspected of committing copyright infringement on the Internet. This week the group in charge of that system, the Center for Copyright Information, announced that the ISPs involved were not ready to start sending out those warnings just yet, citing Hurricane Sandy as one of the main reasons for the delay.

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Tattoo Artist Sues THQ Over Designs Appearing in UFC Games

November 20, 2012 -

Over the weekend Joystiq reported about an interesting lawsuit filed against THQ by a tattoo artist named Chris Escobedo. Escobedo alleges in his lawsuit filed against THQ for using a tattoo he designed for MMA fighter Carlos Condit. Condit's likeness appeared - with the tattoo designed by Escobedo - in THQ's UFC Undisputed 2010 and UFC Undisputed 3.

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Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
 

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