ValCom Sues Megaupload

March 23, 2012 -

Clearwater, Florida-based ValCom issued a press release today announcing that it has retained legal counsel and filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Megaupload to get a taste of the millions of dollars seized by the government. While ValCom claims in its releases that it "owns content that was pirated on the Megaupload.com group of sites," the company does not offer a specific list of titles.

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Carpathia Hosting Asks Federal Court for Relief on Megaupload Data Storage Costs

March 22, 2012 -

Dulles, Virginia-based hosting firm Carpathia Hosting is tired of storing 25 petabytes of Megaupload data on more than 1,000 servers in North America because of the government's shutdown of the file-sharing site in January, and is asking a federal court to relieve them of their obligations and any liability.

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Scammers Target Megaupload Users with Copyright Infringement Demand Letters

March 21, 2012 -

Enterprising criminals have apparently decided that former Megaupload users are as good a target as any, and have started sending fake demand letters to people under the guise of a law firm representing rights holders. So far, scammers are using two approaches to target file-sharers: the technical approach (malware and web browser redirects) and the pay-up-or-else-we'll-sue-you letter approach.

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NZ High Court Calls Dotcom Seizure Order 'Null and Void'

March 19, 2012 -

According to New Zealand's High Court, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom may get all of the assets that police seized when they took him into custody in January (thanks to Bear-Dogg-X for the tip). On Friday, High Court Justice Judith Potter declared that the order used to seize Dotcom’s property was "null and void" after finding out that police filed for the wrong kind of court order - an order the High Court says should never been granted in the first place.

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Kim Dotcom: US Government Has Files on Megaupload

March 12, 2012 -

An interesting article on TorrentFreak points out something we should have suspected all along: that everyday Megaupload users are not the only ones that have lost access to legal data - the U.S. government has also had some of its data locked down. According to Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, the Department of Justice and members of the U.S. Senate have stored data on the site, which, ironically, they don't have access to because the U.S. government shut the site down.

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UK's Digital Economy Act Remains Toothless

March 6, 2012 -

While the Digital Economy Act was passed in the UK last year, the UK government can't force ISP's in the region to do anything beyond a letter writing campaign against those accused of infringement. The problem lies in the fact that the government needs to make certain changes to the law before it goes into full affect.

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Artist Eme Navarro Puts Spanish Sinde Law to the Test

March 2, 2012 -

Spain passed the anti-piracy "Sinde Law" late last year, and with it going into effect this week opponents of the law (that allows for the government to block allegedly infringing sites based on complaints from copyright holders), are mobilized to cause confusion to its enforcers. The group Hackivistas and artist Eme Navarro (a staunch critic of the law and a member of the music rights group SGAE) have come up with a unique way of protesting that will test how the new law is used.

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Megaupload Founder: We Will Win Court Battle

February 27, 2012 -

Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom says that when all of the court room drama is over, his company will win the fight against the U.S. government. Speaking to TorrentFreak over the phone (because he is not allowed to use the Internet), Dotcom said that he was doing fine now that he is out on bail and catching up. Dotcom was released on bail February 22. During the interview he recalled the chaos of January 19 when New Zealand law enforcement invaded his home to arrest him.

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RapidShare Throttles Free Users' Speeds

February 24, 2012 -

Online file-sharing company RapidShare has apparently slowed down the connection of users who are not registered members. These free users have been complaining about reduced download speeds during transfers. Some users have reported speeds as slow as 30/kbs. RapidShare says that the reason for this is simple enough: Throttling these users drive pirates away from their service. They claim that, since the close of MegaUpload, they have seen a major uptick in traffic, and some of it is only interested in sharing and downloading illegal software.

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MegaUpload Founder Kim Dotcom Released

February 22, 2012 -

MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom has been given bail by a New Zealand court, with some restrictions of course. Dotcom was awarded bail after a judge determined that he wasn't a flight risk.

"I am relieved to go home to see my family, my three little kids and my pregnant wife,” Dotcom told reporters outside court. "And I hope you understand that that is all I want to say right now."

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MegaUpload Lead Programmer out on Bail

February 9, 2012 -

Bram van der Kolk, the lead programmer at MegaUpload, is out on bail today. The 29-year-old had a hearing in the North Shore District Court before Judge Pippa Sinclair, who sorted out what the bail conditions should be before his release.

U.S. Government Prosecutor Anne Toohey argued that der Kolk would try to set up a MegaUpload replacement as soon as he was out of jail. His lawyer, Guy Foley, called the prosecution's argument ridiculous because he would remain under heavy FBI surveillance.

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BTJunkie Shuts Down for Fear of Persecution

February 6, 2012 -

According to TorrentFreak one file-sharing site isn't going to wait around to be shut down by some government somewhere. Instead its founder is saying goodbye with a new welcome message on the site:

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The Pirate Bay Founders’ Appeal Rejected by Sweden’s Supreme Court

February 1, 2012 -

The Pirate Bay founders are going to jail, after failing to get an appeal hearing before a Swedish court. Sweden’s Supreme Court announced this morning that it will not hear an appeal by The Pirate Bay’s founders Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström. That means that fines and jail time these men faced from lower courts in the country will be upheld.

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EFF Launches Megaretrieval.com to Help MegaUpload Customers

February 1, 2012 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has launched a site - megaretrieval.com - dedicated to helping legitimate customers of MegaUpload retrieve their lost data - put in limbo when the Federal government seized the servers and the assets of the file-sharing site. The goal of the site is to help innocent users who used the site to store data that was not in anyway infringing on other people's intellectual property (in other words, they were not engaged in any type of piracy).

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MegaUpload User Data Safe for Two Weeks, EFF Joins the Fight

January 31, 2012 -

Those who have data on MegaUpload and were concerned that it might get deleted on Thursday by the companies that facilitate the site's storage get some good news this morning - the data has been given a slight extension. And on a related note, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has begun a campaign this week to get "innocent users" of MegaUpload’s service to get in touch with them to explore possible legal measures for retrieving their data. MegaUpload’s online storage service was shut down by U.S. law enforcement earlier this month.

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How Megaupload's Seizure Can Affect its Law-Abiding Users

January 24, 2012 -

Story time!

Last month, musician Dan Bull rapped his thoughts about SOPA in a YouTube video called SOPA Cabana (you should watch it.  It’s really well done).  This video went viral and racked up over a million views.  As it happens, it was through this video that most people discovered Dan’s second album, Face, which he offered for free on Megaupload.

Yeah, I think you see where this is going.

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Apple Targets Apptrackr with DMCA Take-Downs

January 4, 2012 -

Those who use jailbroken iPhones and enjoy pirating software are in for a rude awakening as Apple uses the DMCA to take out a frequently used service - Apptrackr. According to Apptrackr developer "Dissident," Apple has sent what he calls "huge takedown notices" to cut off access to pirated apps found through the software. Apptrackr has decided to move the physical location of its servers outside the United States to get around Apple's legal maneuvers and is also employing a form of redirection to avoid "direct" links to infringing content.

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As Canadian Politicians Push Anti-Piracy Legislation, Staffers Enjoy Stealing Software

January 3, 2012 -

Another day, another group of government officials pushing anti-piracy laws while they are blissfully unaware that their staffers are downloading stolen games, movies and other forms of entertainment. This time out it's the Canadian Conservative majority government. Recently the ruling party in Canada introduced the Canadian Copyright Modernization Act Bill C-11, which would criminalize the act of software circumventing - including the making available to the public software or techniques used to circumvent digital rights management software locks.

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Fifteen Percent of US File-Sharers Download Anonymously

December 30, 2011 -

Last month the American Assembly, a non-partisan public policy forum associated with Columbia University, released a paper titled "Copyright Infringement and Enforcement in the US." That paper came to the conclusion that 15 percent of U.S. file-sharers hide their IP-addresses using proxies and virtual private networks. Researchers, who conducted 2,303 telephone interviews, also found that roughly half of all adults could be branded as pirates.

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Epic Fail: Lawmakers Support SOPA While Staffers Download Illegal Files

December 28, 2011 -

While lawmakers are arguing over SOPA and Protect IP - two bills that could change the way the Internet works in order to fight piracy - it seems that many staffers on Capitol Hill are spending a lot of time downloading movies, TV shows, music, games and books via BitTorrent. According to a report from TorrentFreak over 800 IP's that originate from Capitol Hill are at the BitTorrent trough, even as they write laws against illegal downloading and file-sharing.

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Top BitTorrent Searches of 2011

December 28, 2011 -

TorrentFreak has released its list of the most used search terms on BitTorrent in 2011. The results might surprise some - particularly rights holders who see most file-sharers as dirty, unwashed masses who spend all day stealing. The list, which offers the top 50 most used search terms, has three choices at the top spot that don't even refer to a copyrighted work. 

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Dutch Parliament Says Downloading Movies and Music is Legal

December 27, 2011 -

The Dutch Parliament has come to the conclusion (once again) that downloading movies and music for personal use should be considered fair use and not be punishable by law. Despite this, some in the current government have been trying to find a solution to deal with piracy problems and have pushed for a new bill to make it unlawful across the board. This has made for some interesting political theater, but it's going to be a tough fight for those that want to change things in the region.

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RIAA's Hand Gets Caught in the Torrent Cookie Jar

December 19, 2011 -

It must be tough to push hard for bills like the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP when your employees or members are downloading illegal files. According to a report on TorrentFreak, someone from both Homeland Security and the RIAA (the trade group that represents the music industry) have been downloading popular music. The IP addresses associated with these groups were unearthed on YouHaveDownloaded.com, a site that databases the IP's and downloads of Torrent users.

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Sky Blocks Newzbin after MPA Gets Court Order

December 16, 2011 -

UK service provider Sky is the second company compelled by legal actions from Motion Picture Association to block site Newzbin. The MPA hopes that this will keep Sky customers from accessing the site. Earlier this year service provider BT was compelled to block the site after a court order, and the MPA has vowed to force other service providers in the UK like TalkTalk and Virgin Media. Newzbin's members-only pages provide links to pirated films and music, but they don’t actually host any pirated content.

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SOPA Supporter IP’s Outed as Pirates on YouHaveDownloaded.com Database

December 15, 2011 -

As members of Congress fight amongst themselves about SOPA in committee today, one site is outing proponents of the bill for illegally downloading copyrighted material. This is according to YouHaveDownloaded.com, which tracks IP addresses that use BitTorrent sites.  With those IP addresses in hand, the site then matches them with a list of files that have been downloaded.

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Report: CD Projekt Uses Law Firm to Threaten File-Sharers, Collect Settlements for The Witcher 2

December 9, 2011 -

A TorrentFreak report asserts that CD Projekt has hired a law firm in Germany to go after those who downloaded DRM-free copies of The Witcher 2 - even as it extolled the virtues of its games being DRM-free. CD Projekt was not available for comment at the time of this writing due to the late hour in its home country of Poland - but we hope to bring you an official response to this story as soon as it becomes available.

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Swiss Government Report Says File-Sharing is not a Significant Problem or Concern

December 5, 2011 -

A new report by the Swiss government comes to the conclusion that file-sharing is not a significant problem and that existing Swiss law is sufficient enough. Swiss law allows for downloading copyrighted content for personal use. The report studied and rejected three proposed changes to Swiss law when it come to file-sharing: a three-strike law similar to France's, Internet filtering to block sites that traffic in copyrighted files, and collective licensing regime that would impose a fee on all Swiss internet users that would in turn allow for unlimited file-sharing.

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Estimate: 4.5 Million Copies of The Witcher 2 Pirated

November 30, 2011 -

The Witcher 2 developer CD Projekt RED estimates that 4.5 million copies of its action-RPG have been pirated. The game has sold 1 million copies through various channels. Speaking to PC Gamer, CEO and co-founder Marcin Iwinski said that the number is also a conservative number.

18 comments | Read more

DailyKOS Takes on SOPA, PROTECT IP

November 29, 2011 -

Left-leaning political blog DailyKOS joins the editorial pages of the New York Times and Los Angeles Times in opposition of the House's Stop Online Piracy Act and the Senate's Protect IP Act. In a post titled "Congress is close to destroying the internet (no hyperbole)," DailyKOS says that it is not hyperbole when they say that lawmakers, big Pharmaceutical companies, and the recording, and movie industries are out to destroy the internet.

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Australian ISP's Create Plan to Deal with Copyright Infringement, Rights Holders Reject It

November 29, 2011 -

While Americans were enjoying Thanksgiving last Thursday Australia's Internet service providers held a meeting to come to a consensus on how to deal with illegal file-sharing in the country.

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Papa MidnightRacism and Misogny are heavily prevalent in the gaming and online arena. Getting people to actually admit that, however...07/24/2014 - 11:42am
Papa MidnightThat very thing is somthing that anyone who has been subjected to racial-based targeting online could actually state that they've experienced.07/24/2014 - 11:41am
Papa MidnightPerfect example: "I have yet to talk to a man who has had to call a police officer due to a stalker, only to be told nothing can be done until they are physically assaulted."07/24/2014 - 11:40am
Papa MidnightNot that said communities are mutually exclusive. Even the very first comment on that last article equates women in the gaming industry with being the n-word. Despicable, aetestable, and (sadly enough) this is not an uncommon presence in either community.07/24/2014 - 11:35am
Papa MidnightI only wish someone would lead a similar investigation of the sheer level of irrational racially motivated hate and insults that are perpetuated in the online and gaming community.07/24/2014 - 11:33am
Papa Midnighthttp://www.polygon.com/2014/7/22/5926193/women-gaming-harassment07/24/2014 - 11:31am
SleakerAhh.. I have a feeling it's because they wanted to put up their own games on their own store.07/24/2014 - 10:56am
MaskedPixelanteRemember in 2012 when they decided to include new releases? That's when the whole service fell apart for me.07/24/2014 - 10:47am
Sleaker@MP - sold out? I thought they were always like this.07/24/2014 - 10:46am
E. Zachary KnightHowever, there are still a good number of games that have viable linux versions already and are currently in their games library that are not yet in the Linux store.07/24/2014 - 10:40am
E. Zachary KnightI for one am glad to see them finally support Linux. It has been a long time coming.07/24/2014 - 10:39am
MaskedPixelanteFrankly, I think GOG is on a quality downswing since they sold out.07/24/2014 - 10:22am
SleakerMy respect for them can't get any lower at this point, but at least they cut the bullshit I called them on back when they said it wasn't plausible to release on linux.07/24/2014 - 8:59am
SleakerGoG.com is retconning their previous 'We can't do linux support statements': http://www.gog.com/news/gogcom_now_supports_linux07/24/2014 - 8:58am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.nerdist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/WW_Cv36.jpg The new Wonder Woman design, created specifically to shut people up about Gal Gadot being too skinny to play Wonder Woman.07/24/2014 - 8:12am
InfophileVery nice article, Zen. I definitely agree that many devs won't support something unless everyone has it. So many other examples from the past, even as far back as the SNES and accessories for it like the mouse or superscope.07/24/2014 - 5:40am
ZenWrote up a story about people wanting Nintendo to drop the GamePad...and why I think it needs to stop. :) http://bit.ly/1raIQvv Let me know what you think!07/23/2014 - 10:53pm
MaskedPixelanteHey, so remember that "redeem your Sims 2 key on Origin for a free copy of the all-in-one edition" promotion? Well, it didn't work, so to make up for it, just go into your Origin profile and redeem the product key "I-LOVE-THE-SIMS" for your free Sims 2.07/23/2014 - 9:12pm
Andrew EisenThe Steam controller may have changed again. http://www.vg247.com/2014/07/23/steam-controller-valve/07/23/2014 - 6:46pm
james_fudgePlease use the comments section for bitching about specific articles :) We do read them, after all.07/23/2014 - 10:52am
 

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