Megaupload Founder: U.S. Government Spied on Me Illegally Through Global Spy Program

October 9, 2012 -

Two weeks ago New Zealand’s Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security revealed that the government had illegally spied on Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. Specifically he said in his report that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) carried out illegal surveillance on Dotcom, because the agency is only allowed to carry out that kind of action against foreign targets. When the news became public, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key apologized to Dotcom.

Report: Dutch Government Opposes Canadian-European Trade Treaty

September 26, 2012 -

A report from Holland (uncovered by IT World Canada) reveals that the Dutch government plans to fight a proposed Canadian-European trade treaty because it contains language similar to what had been rejected earlier this year when the European Parliament voted down the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

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Rutgers–Camden Professor Studies the Effects of Copyright on User-Generated Content

September 20, 2012 -

Rutgers–Camden law professor Greg Lastowka is conducting research on the intersection of copyright law and user-generated content and the legal perils that might be involved. His research is being funded by the National Science Foundation. But as games like LittleBigPlanet and Minecraft expand the levels of creativity that players can partake of, an old problem arises: some users will create content that infringes on copyrights. While fans see this as homage to worlds, characters, and storylines they love, the companies that hold those copyrights see it only as infringement.

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Rights Groups Warn that TPP May Bring Back Provisions from SOPA and PIPA

September 10, 2012 -

Rights groups are turning up the rhetoric on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), claiming that the new treaty being negotiated by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and other countries in the Pacific Rim will bring back controversial copyright enforcement provisions pushed by some US policymakers in recent bills and treaties such as ACTA, SOPA and PIPA.

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Hadopi Strikes Back

September 6, 2012 -

You may remember that the newly elected French president said recently that it might not fund the country's Hadopi agency. Hadopi, in case you'd forgotten is a copyright protection enforcement regime that uses a "three-strikes" policy that disconnects repeat offenders from the internet. President Francois Hollande hinted during his campaign that he might reform the agency to make it less repressive and more cooperative. Later in August he said that he would be scaling back funding for it. Now Hadopi is fighting back against the notion of having its resources clipped.

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Middle-Earth Roleplaying Project Mod Launches Petition

September 6, 2012 -

Last week the creators of a Skyrim mod inspired by The Lord of the Rings called Middle-Earth Roleplaying Project (MERP) found itself staring down the barrel of a cease and desist letter from Warner Bros.

In an attempt to save the mod, the team behind MERP set up a petition urging fans and followers to convince Warner Bros. to rescind the order and make an exception for what they think could be a most exceptional mod... From the petition:

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ACLU Calls TPP a 'Threat to Free Speech'

August 31, 2012 -

In a new blog post, Sandra Fulton, a member of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, describes the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement as the "biggest threat to free speech and intellectual property that you’ve never heard of." Fulton makes a good point because U.S. trade Representatives negotiating the treaty and other countries are doing a hell of a job keeping the details of this trade treaty a big secret.

Kim Dotcom Secures $4.83 Million from NZ Court for Legal Fees and Expenses

August 29, 2012 -

At the beginning of this year as law enforcement agencies in New Zealand, the U.S., and Hong Kong worked together to shut down Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom's file-sharing empire, it seized just about every asset the charismatic NZ resident owned - including all of his money. This naturally made it tough for Dotcom to pay his legal fees.

But a judgment today by the High Court in Auckland, New Zealand will give Dotcom some relief.

Rumble Down Under: Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam Slams Government Over TPP

August 9, 2012 -

According to this Computer World Australia report, Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has some harsh words for the Australian federal government for its part in pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is currently in negotiations in the U.S. The treaty is an agreement between Pacific Rim countries such as Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the U.S.

Maxis GM Thanks Game Community for Support in Zynga Lawsuit

August 8, 2012 -

We missed this at the beginning of the week, but it's worth reporting on now even at the eleventh hour. Lucy Bradshaw, the General Manager for EA's Maxis Label, took to the EA Blog to offer a sincere thank-you to the gaming community for its strong level of support in the lawsuit against Zynga. Last week EA filed a lawsuit against Zynga alleging that its Facebook game The Ville blatantly copied key components from its game The Sims Social

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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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EA Sues Zynga for Copyright Infringement

August 3, 2012 -

Hey, remember last month when we poked fun at the ability to make “whoopee” in Zynga’s latest ‘ville’ game The Ville and noted the similarity to the ability to make “woo-hoo” in EA’s Sims Social?

Yeah, good times.

Well, EA thinks “whoopee” and other features are just a bit too similar to its game and are suing Zynga for copyright infringement.

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Report: France's Hadopi Bureaucracy Facing Serious Budget Cuts

August 3, 2012 -

France's new culture minister has indicated that she will drastically cut the budget from the internet copyright infringement agency Hadopi. She will also encourage the agency to lay off on kicking people off the Internet, much to the delight of internet advocates. Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti has appointed former Canal+ pay-TV CEO Pierre Lescure to conduct a review of France's Act II, a set of rules for protecting culture in the digital age - which includes the use of the Hadopi agency for enforcement.

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EA Motion to Dismiss Counter-Claims in Battlefield Helicopter Lawsuit Denied

July 31, 2012 -

A federal judge has denied a motion by Electronic Arts to dismiss counter-claims in a trademark lawsuit filed by Textron Innovations and Bell Helicopter Textron related to helicopters depicted in its popular Battlefield games. Textron Innovations and Bell Helicopter Textron make the AH-1Z, UH-1Y and V-22 helicopters. They filed a lawsuit in 2008 claiming that the game's depiction of these helicopters infringed on Bell-manufactured vehicles in the "Battlefield Vietnam," "Battlefield Vietnam: Redux" and "Battlefield 2" video games.

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Michael Geist: European Commission's Assurance on CETA Don't Add Up

July 26, 2012 -

As more details emerge on the secretly negotiated trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, online rights activists are voicing their opinions on why it is a bad idea and why they are getting a strange sense of déjà vu. Critics of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which was ultimately voted down by the European Parliament, have warned that those forces in Europe and other parts of the world behind such treaties will continue to push parts of that treaty that most citizens do not want.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 12

July 25, 2012 -

In Episode 12 of Super Podcast Action Committee, Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss Fez developer Phil Fish's decision not to fix the patch for the game before re-releasing it to Xbox Live (because it costs too much money), Uniloc's patent infringement claims against Minecraft maker Mojang, last week's results from the GamePolitics poll, and the media trying to blame Batman comics, movies and games for the horrific Aurora, Colorado theater shooting.

Megaupload Lawyers: U.S. Government Trying to Rewrite The Rules

July 20, 2012 -

The legal team representing Megaupload (founder Kim Dotcom and others associated with the file-sharing and storage site) has submitted a response to the U.S. government’s argument that Megaupload should face prosecution in the U.S. despite not having a physical address in the country. They are accusing the Department of Justice of trying to make up their own rules to keep the criminal case alive when the case should be dismissed. Earlier this month lawyers for Megaupload asked the court to do just that because U.S.

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EGLS Gives Into Pressure, Promises to Modify Armed Heroes Online

July 19, 2012 -

Yesterday we reported on Chinese mobile developer Entertainment Game Labs being accused by Runic Games president Travis Baldree of stealing art and sound assets from his company's popular action-RPG Torchlight. After getting some unwanted attention from the press and from fans, the company said today that it will modify "some parts" of its iOS MMO Armed Heroes Online.

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Chinese Developer Accused of Infringing on Torchlight

July 18, 2012 -

Travis Baldree, president of Runic Games is publicly calling out Chinese mobile developer EGLS for stealing art assets and sound files from his company's game, Torchlight. The game in question is an iOS-based massively multiplayer game called Armed Heroes Online. Baldree noticed the striking similarities in the character art from the game and Torchlight and took to Twitter earlier this month to point it out:

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THQ Inquiry Spurs Songwriter Lawsuit against WWE

July 18, 2012 -

A case that was ultimately kicked into high gear over a licensing inquiry by THQ has put one songwriter on the warpath against World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Michael Seitz (aka Michael 'P.S.' Hayes from the Fabulous Freebirds), and others. According to a lawsuit filed by songwriter James D. Papa the defendants in the case redirected royalty payments to several wrestling related songs he either wrote or co-wrote by securing the rights to music unlawfully.

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NZ Judge Overseeing Megaupload Case Steps Down

July 18, 2012 -

The New Zealand judge overseeing the extradition of Kim Dotcom (the founder of file-sharing site Megaupload) has removed himself from the case after comments about the U.S. government being "the enemy" caught up to him. Last week at the NetHui conference in Auckland, Judge Harvey said that New Zealand had "met the enemy, and he is the US." The reference was related to how the U.S. handles copyright cases.

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Poll: Would You Delete Your Copy of a Game You Resold?

July 17, 2012 -

Earlier this month, the European Court of Justice ruled that game publishers cannot stop European consumers from reselling their downloaded games.  Not only that, but a publisher may have to facilitate such a transaction by allowing the recipient of the sale to download their “used” copy from its website.

Oh yeah, they’re going to love that.

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Judge Overseeing Kim DotCom Case Call the U.S. 'The Enemy'

July 16, 2012 -

The New Zealand Judge overseeing the ongoing case against Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has made the news by calling the United States the enemy of his country when it comes to IP law. Speaking at the NetHui conference in Auckland last week, District Court Judge David Harvey said what he thought about the United States:

"We have met the enemy, and he is the US," he said during the event.

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Supreme Court of Canada Rules Against Music Industry Tariffs

July 12, 2012 -

The highest court in Canada has delivered some depressing news for music and other rights holders today: they can't charge additional fees to educators, video game makers, and Internet service providers. In a ruling on multiple cases today the Supreme Court of Canada struck down five cases that had to do with tariffs.

1 comment | Read more

Report: ACTA Provisions Rise From the Grave in CETA

July 11, 2012 -

Less than a week after the European Parliament voted to soundly reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), opponents of that measure are crying foul on a back door deal to get some of the treaty's worst provision enacted as part of another treaty.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 10

July 11, 2012 -

We hit a milestone this week - our 10th episode of the show (although we could argue that it is actually the 11th or 12 episode of the show if you count the lost episodes we determined to be not suitable for public consumption)! This week Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about patent wars, the European Court's ruling that digital games can be resold, Verizon's claim that net neutrality violates its first amendment rights, the controversy over Blizzard banning some Linux-using Diablo III players, and a whole lot of other interesting topics.

Woman Seeks Class Certification in Porn Settlement Shakedown Lawsuit

July 9, 2012 -

A class action lawsuit claims that the adult entertainment industry has found a new business model to earn money: threatening alleged illegal downloaders with an embarrassing and very public lawsuit if they do not settle out of court. The lead plaintiff in the case is Jennifer Barker. Her lawsuit names Patrick Collins Inc., Malibu Media, K-Beech, Third Degree Films, and London-based Raw Films.

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European Court of Justice Ruling: Digital Games Can Be Resold

July 3, 2012 -

The European Court of Justice has made a ruling that could cause lots of problems for publishers in Europe. The highest court in Europe has ruled that game publishers cannot stop European consumers from reselling their downloaded games.

"An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his 'used' licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet," the ruling read. The Court said the exclusive right of distribution covered by a license is "exhausted on its first sale".

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The Tetris Company Wins Copyright Battle Against Cloner

June 20, 2012 -

Cloned games are nothing new to the games industry. You can hardly walk the isles of Gamestop or browse the listings of the iPhone App Store without coming across a clone or two [thousand]. This is especially true for many classics such as Breakout or in this case Tetris.

6 comments | Read more

Japanese Lawmakers Push for Criminal Penalties for Copyright Infringers with New Bill

June 20, 2012 -

According to a Wired report, Japanese politicians are pushing hard for a new law that would make it a crime to download or make unauthorized copies of copyrighted material. The new law would also make it illegal to use copyright circumvention devices. Those breaking the law could face up to two years in prison and a two million yen ($25,400) fine. We assume the devices being referred to are like the R4 used to copy DS games...

7 comments | Read more

 
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Neo_DrKefkaId love to see people come 2gether whether your 4 or against gamergate to gather 2gether and support an anti bullying charity and I would love to see a pro and anti gamegate debate on a neutral platform that promotes discussion and solutions10/20/2014 - 8:33pm
Neo_DrKefkaWhen someone was seriously hurt by a violent altercation. They have a prospective that people who have not had this experience lack. Bullying is a serious issue10/20/2014 - 8:30pm
Papa MidnightStraw Man to the fullest, but it gets the point across.10/20/2014 - 8:26pm
Papa Midnighthttp://i.imgur.com/dw0YPon.png10/20/2014 - 8:25pm
quiknkoldby doing something, Charitable Donations is an example.10/20/2014 - 8:06pm
quiknkoldAndrew : I dont accept any worded apology unless I can look the person in the eye when they say it. For me, he'd either have to make a video so I could read his bodylanguage, or actually do something. actions speak louder than words.10/20/2014 - 8:04pm
quiknkoldwell if they are looking for social pollution, Twitter is a great breeding ground for it. Its a breeding ground for deviance.10/20/2014 - 8:03pm
Andrew Eisenquiknkold - He had three tweets worth of apology the following day.10/20/2014 - 8:00pm
quiknkoldyou know, people keep saying Biddle's comment was sarcasm, but the thing is, Sarcasm doesnt translate well in Tweets. I took his words as really hateful, and unless I see an honest apology, I'm not going to be happy with him.10/20/2014 - 7:38pm
Matthew WilsonI doubt it will change much.10/20/2014 - 7:21pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.bbc.com/news/technology-29689949 Google's current piracy fighting plan.10/20/2014 - 6:58pm
Andrew EisenYikes. http://boingboing.net/2014/10/20/vultures-circle-gamergate.html10/20/2014 - 6:25pm
Neo_DrKefkaDestructoid Editor in Chief stepping down after allegations surface about blacklisting will he be next? http://allmannerofnerdery.tumblr.com/post/100526443850/im-leaving-destructoid10/20/2014 - 6:05pm
james_fudgethere's some inside baseball stuff going on in this Andrew - likely some stuff we don't know10/20/2014 - 3:30pm
E. Zachary KnightGreat musical video about online trolling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nS-QeM2ne810/20/2014 - 2:46pm
Andrew EisenBut again, this whole thing is just too damn vague to form an opinion on.10/20/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenWithout the original communication, it's impossible to say if it could honestly be misconstrued as a friendly suggestion rather than an employer directive. However, it appears that subsequent emails should have cleared up any doubt.10/20/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenThose aren't the owner's words, they're Chris Dahlen's. For what it's worth, we do see an email from Gonzalez stating "you've already broken the only rule we set for you!!!!!!!"10/20/2014 - 2:38pm
Michael ChandraSo really the guy's own words strike me as "wah! How dare you disagree with me!" behaviour, which is the sort of childish attitude I am unfortunately not surprised by.10/20/2014 - 2:17pm
Michael ChandraCorrect AE, but then again the owner's own words are about "wishes", not about an order. No "we told him not to", but going against his wishes.10/20/2014 - 2:16pm
 

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