New Zealand Court Orders Return of Evidence to Kim Dotcom in Megaupload Case

May 31, 2013 -

A New Zealand Court has ruled that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is entitled to all the evidence that was seized illegally (according to a NZ court ruling) in early 2012. The FBI and the Department of Justice, who are looking to extradite Dotcom from New Zealand to America to face a litany of charges related to his file-sharing and data storage service, only wanted to share one document. During the raid on his mansion law enforcement seized property and lots and lots of data.

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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.

9 comments | Read more

Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 50

May 6, 2013 -

Episode 50 of the show is certainly a milestone for hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight (and myself) - which just happens to mark nearly a year of the podcast to boot. So, yay for us! On this week's show we discuss the prank on pirates played by the maker of Game Dev Tycoon, the Nyan Cat / Keyboard Cat- Warner Bros. lawsuit, the latest poll over at GamePolitics, and some other fun stuff. Download Episode 50 now: SuperPAC Episode 50 (1 hour, 15 minutes) 68.6 MB.

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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Pirates Feel the Effects of Piracy in Game Dev Tycoon

April 29, 2013 -

Developer Greenheart Games has released a "cracked version" of its $8 PC and Mac title Game Dev Tycoon on torrents that's specifically for pirates. The cracked version of the game causes game development studios in the sim go bankrupt due to rampant in-game piracy. Greenheart claims that the pirated version of the game made up 93 percent of its player base at launch, and caused an outburst from pirates complaining about their in-game titles failing through (ironically) piracy.

8 comments | Read more

Russia Won't Hold Individual File-Sharers Liable, But will Target Piracy Sites

April 9, 2013 -

If you live in Russia and enjoy piracy, then you'll probably be delighted to hear that the Russian government thinks it is a waste of time to pursue you or any other person with any kind of serious punishment. Those who are foolish enough to run a piracy website better watch their backs though.

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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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Spain Proposes Draft Bill to Crackdown on Pirate Sites, Outlaw File-Sharing

March 22, 2013 -

Today the Spanish Government released details on amendments to its copyright law (so-called Sinde Law, which was instituted in 2012) that will provide more protections to rights holders and offer stricter rules against infringers. At a press conference this week, Spain's Culture Minister José Ignacio Wert said that the new reforms have three objectives.

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Cablevision Disconnects Serial Infringers for 24 Hours Under New Six Strikes Anti-Piracy Scheme

March 1, 2013 -

While the "six strikes" anti-piracy program agreed upon by Internet service providers and intellectually property owners went into effect this week, service providers and the entertainment industry have not been so keen on sharing what the ramifications are if users are accused of engaging in copyright infringement online. Most ISPs have claimed that six strikes is simply a program to educate consumers on the evils of illegally downloading and sharing copyrighted materials and that it has very little to do with punishing individuals.

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Report: Six Strikes Copyright Enforcement Scheme Going Live Today

February 25, 2013 -

According to DSL Reports, the "six strikes" copyright enforcement scheme agreed upon by rights holders in the music and movie industry and various internet service providers will go into effect today. The anti-piracy enforcement efforts facilitated by the Center for Copyright Information and ISP's will warn internet users when they are accused of infringement with notices and redirection to educational materials on copyright infringement laws.

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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.

Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 41

February 18, 2013 -

Happy President's Day! You know, the made-up holiday where we honor two presidents with one half-assed holiday. Don't President Lincoln and President George Washington deserve separate days to be honored properly? Apparently not. Anyway.. on this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the file-sharing case headed to the Supreme Court, the President's executive order on cybersecurity, the latest poll results, and more. Let freedom ring.

U.S. Government Supports RIAA in Supreme Court File-Sharing Case

February 13, 2013 -

The United States government has weighed in on the Jammie Thomas-Rasset v. Capitol Records file-sharing case, siding with the RIAA and the recording industry and asking the U.S. Supreme Court to deny Thomas-Rasset the Writ of Certiorari she seeks. The case is the longest running file-sharing case to date, and the first to be heard by the Supreme Court (previously the Court refused to hear two cases related to file-sharing damages).

8 comments | Read more

Anonymous Embeds 'Konami Code' in Government Web Sites

January 28, 2013 -

Hacktivist group Anonymous continues its assault on various U.S. government websites in retaliation for the prosecution of Reddit co-founder and internet activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide earlier this month. Naked Security reports that Anonymous targeted the website of the US Sentencing Commission with a "Konami Code" that activates an Asteroids-like game and a message:

"PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW! End Prosecutorial Overreach!"

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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: Six Strikes Anti-Piracy Scheme A Bane to Free Wi-Fi From Small Businesses

January 18, 2013 -

Will the new Six Strikes scheme to fight online piracy and illegal file-sharing be the death of free Wi-Fi in America provided by small businesses? It sounds like it. According to a TorrentFreak report, citing a leaked document from Verizon's plans to implement the new system, business accounts will also be subject to the copyright alert system. What this means is that business customers who offer free Wi-Fi will be subject to the same alert system.

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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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Hollywood Complains About Piracy While Employees Engage In It

December 26, 2012 -

While Hollywood talks about the billions of dollars in lost revenue it loses from piracy it seems that its employees have a different philosophy. According to this TorrentFreak report - using data from BitTorrent monitoring company Scaneye - employees of major studios love downloading movies, TV shows and video games.

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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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Hotline Miami Publisher: Game Has Been 'Torrented to Extraordinary Levels'

December 11, 2012 -

In an interesting conversation with Eurogamer Hotline Miami publisher Digital Devolver reveals how much the gruesome indie action game has sold to date, how much it has been pirated and the shock at just how popular his little indie game has become.

Project manager Graeme Struthers Hotline Miami has sold 130,000 copies since launch seven weeks ago. While he was happy about those numbers, Struthers said that PC piracy has had a serious impact on sales.

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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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TorrentFreak Trolls Copyright Troll

November 21, 2012 -

Prenda Law is one of the law firms involved in ongoing mass-BitTorrent lawsuits in the US. They represent a number of adult entertainment companies, but their tactics are so repulsive and rude that they stand out among the pack of firms around the world hoping to collect settlements from alleged infringers. With the aim of squeezing a settlement from a target the firm has engaged in such behavior as calling people at home urging them to pay up.

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Kim Dotcom Launches Teaser Site for 'Mega'

November 1, 2012 -

Megaupload co-founder Kim Dotcom has launched a teaser site for "Mega" at Me.ga. Dotcom says that the placeholder site is already getting millions of hits despite offering very little to visitors beyond information on how it will work when it launches. Kim Dotcom claims that Mega will use encryption methods that make it so that only those users who are uploading something know what it is. By hiding what users are uploading, Dotcom hopes to avoid the long arm of U.S. law enforcement.

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CCI Addresses Selection of Former RIAA Lobbyist to Review Evidence in 'Six Strikes' System

October 31, 2012 -

Last week we wrote a story about how the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) had named Stroz Friedberg to be its "impartial and independent technology expert" to review claims of copyright infringement as part of the new "Six Strikes" enforcement rules. The "Six Strikes" system was agreed upon by the MPAA, RIAA, and five major ISPs but one of the core tenets was that it would have an independent body to investigate the validity of claims of copyright infringement against file-sharers.

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Report: Video Game Industry Will Join in on France's 'Three-Strikes' System in 2013

October 24, 2012 -

Until now France's Hadopi system only took claims from the recording and movie industry, but apparently a new partner is about to join in on the action. According to French publication PCInpact (by way of TorrentFreak), next year France's Hadopi agency will get strong backing from the video game industry in the country.

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BPI Seeks Bans on Three Torrent Sites, UK ISPs Say 'Get a Court Order First'

October 23, 2012 -

Having found victory in getting The Pirate Bay blocked in the United Kingdom, BPI (the trade and lobby group representing the music industry in the UK) is looking to get even more Torrent sites blocked in the region. According to the BBC, six UK ISPs including BT, Sky, Virgin Media, O2, EE and TalkTalk, received letters from the BPI asking them to block three torrent sites: Kickass Torrents, H33t and Fenopy.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 25

October 23, 2012 -

In Episode 25 of the Super Podcast Action Committee hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about what happens when a fully funded Kickstarter project (in this case the game Haunts: The Manse Macabre) fails to become reality, the wisdom of knowing when to shut down a failing Kickstarter campaign (the focus of that topic being Loot Drop's attempts to fund the 'Old School RPG'), the latest on the "six strikes" copyright enforcement scheme adopted by U.S. ISPs, Andrew's latest video, and the horrors of using voice chat on Nintendo's Wii U.

ISPs Prepare Alert System to Fight Illegal File-Sharing Among Subscribers

October 17, 2012 -

Illegal file-sharers beware: there's a new sheriff in town and its name is whoever your service provider happens to be... AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and other Internet service providers are about to launch a copyright alert system to curtail illegal peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted material "over the next several weeks," according to Jill Lesser, the executive director of the Center for Copyright Information.

2 comments | Read more

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.

Portugal: File-Sharing for Personal, Non-Commercial Use is Legal

September 28, 2012 -

Last year the movie industry anti-piracy group ACAPOR delivered boxes full of IP-addresses that they alleged had engaged in illegal file-sharing to the Attorney General’s Office of Portugal. The group wanted the AG's office to act against these 2,000 alleged pirates, saying that they were doing anything they could to "alert the government to the very serious situation in the entertainment industry." Fast-forward to the present day and the AG has a decision that the group is not too pleased with..

3 comments | Read more

 
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Goth_Skunk"The New Totalitarians Are Here" from The Federalist. http://ow.ly/Pjz3b07/07/2015 - 11:31pm
MattsworknameThere was a time in america when we needed unions and they served a good purpose, but that time hasnt been tbe case for about 20 years or more. The same could be said of our current system for teachers in higher educatoin,but thats a whole nother story07/07/2015 - 10:22pm
TechnogeekIn large part, though, that's an extension of the level of unjust deference given to police in general. Kind of hard to find any real grievances to defend against when the organizational culture views "complains about coworker" as worse than "murderer".07/07/2015 - 8:45pm
TechnogeekThat's a police union.07/07/2015 - 8:43pm
TechnogeekNo, police unions are worse by far. Imagine every negative stereotype about unions, then add "we can get away with anything".07/07/2015 - 8:43pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: No, I do not agree they are union members.07/07/2015 - 7:48pm
E. Zachary KnightTeachers unions are just as bad as police unions, except of course you are far less likely to be killed by a teacher on duty than you are a cop. But they also protect bad teachers from being fired.07/07/2015 - 6:29pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, so you agree they are still union members. Thankfully we have a first ammendment that protects people from being forced to join groups they don't support (in most cases any way.)07/07/2015 - 6:27pm
E. Zachary KnightAh, police unions. The reason why cops can't get fired when they beat a defenseless mentally ill homeless person to death. Or when they throw a grenade into a baby's crib. Or when theykill people they were called in to help not hurt themselves.07/07/2015 - 6:26pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: Non-union employees have no right to attend meetings or union convention/AGM, or influence policy. The only time they get to vote is whether or not to strike.07/07/2015 - 6:24pm
Infophile(cont'd) about non-union police officers being given hell until they joined the union.07/07/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileParadoxically, the drive in the US to get rid of unions seems to have left only the most corrupt surviving. They seem to be the only ones that can find ways to browbeat employees into joining when paying dues isn't mandatory. I've heard some stories ...07/07/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew WilsonI am old school on this. I believe its a conflict of interest to have public sector unions. that being said, I do not have a positive look on unions in general.07/07/2015 - 3:59pm
TechnogeekWhat's best for the employee tends to be good for the employer; other way around, not so much. So long as that's the case, there's going to be a far stronger incentive for management to behave in such a way that invites retalitation than for the union to.07/07/2015 - 3:10pm
TechnogeekTeachers' unions? State legislatures. UAW? Just look at GM's middle management.07/07/2015 - 3:05pm
TechnogeekIn many ways it seems that the worse a union tends to behave, the worse that the company's management has behaved in the past.07/07/2015 - 3:02pm
james_fudgeCharity starts at home ;)07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
james_fudgeSo mandatory charity? That sounds shitty to me07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, if Union dues are automatically withdrawn, then there is no such thing as a non-union employee.07/07/2015 - 2:38pm
Goth_Skunka mutually agreed upon charity instead.07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
 

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