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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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.

ITIF Recommends 'IP Maximalist Positions' be Included in TPP Agreement

August 31, 2012 -

The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is looking to bring the same kind of "magic" that it brought to SOPA (you know, like blocking web sites accused of infringement) by urging the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to include "IP Maximalist Positions" in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

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The Binding of Isaac Reimagined

August 29, 2012 -

One of the most interesting games to deal with a horrible social issue (child abuse) is getting a make-over and a re-release. Edmund McMillen's critically acclaimed game The Binding of Isaac is being remade by a new team, with plans for a release on consoles and the PC sometime next year. One of the key features will be local co-op play.

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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.

Tiny Tower Developer Talks Cloning and Zynga

August 20, 2012 -

In an interesting feature over at Develop that lets developers interview other developers, Mobile Pie's Will Luton talks at length with Nimblebit co-founder David Marsh about running the small indie outfit. But the most fascinating part of the interview deals with Marsh's reaction to social game developer Zynga apparently copying the game Tiny Tower. The fun begins with a question about having their games cloned.

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Curt Schilling: Copernicus Was Going to Launch as a Free-to-Play Game

August 20, 2012 -

I wonder how the citizens of Rhode Island feel about free-to-play games... Ultimately their opinion is of paramount importance now that the state owns the rights to Curt Schilling's first MMO project, Copernicus. So what does free-to-play have to do with it? Well, apparently the plan for 38 Studios' first MMO was to launch it as a free-to-play game, according to Boston Magazine. At least that is what Schilling told the publication...

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Tera Lawsuit Settled

August 10, 2012 -

En Masse Entertainment has settled a lawsuit with NCsoft over its massively multiplayer game Tera. The company best known for Lineage and City of Heroes sued the publisher of the game over claims that former NCsoft employees (who were developing the game under a new studio called Bluehole) had swiped assets from Lineage III and used them in the creation of Tera. Apparently the two companies have come to some sort of amicable agreement.

Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

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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.

Rhode Island Secures 38 Studios Game Assets

August 9, 2012 -

The Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. and Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co. are now the proud (?) owners of the game assets of 38 Studios. While we doubt the state of Rhode Island will be releasing Kingdoms of Amular 2 or Copernicus anytime soon, we can expect that they will offer the assets for both of those franchises up for sale at some point in the not-too-distant future.

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Ukrainian Government Takes Out BitTorrent Site Demonoid

August 7, 2012 -

According to the BBC, one of the world's largest BitTorrent sites in the world has been shut down. Ukraine-based BitTorrent site Demonoid has been shut down by Ukrainian authorities. Officials from the Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs raided the data center that was hosting website's servers.

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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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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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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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Kim DotCom Extradition Hearing Pushed to March 2013

July 10, 2012 -

Megaupload found Kim DotCom won't have to worry about the prospect of being shipped off to the United States to faces various charges related to the U.S. government's takedown of the popular file sharing and storage site. A New Zealand judge has pushed DotCom's extradition hearing to March of 2013. Naturally this will give DotCom more time to prepare for whatever lawyers for the U.S. government can throw at him.

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UN Special Rapporteur on Health Praises ACTA Defeat

July 9, 2012 -

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on health rights, Anand Grover, has praised the European Parliament's recent vote to reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), calling it a step in the right direction in ensuring that citizens of the world have access to affordable and essential medication. The European Parliament overwhelmingly voted against the international anti-piracy trade agreement on July 4.

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Dig Dug: The Fake Movie Trailer

July 9, 2012 -

Steven Davis dropped us a note informing us of a trailer that, he claims, he made for "some Hollywood producers" who asked him to make a movie trailer mock-up of Namco Bandai's classic arcade game Dig Dug. He calls the film "a fan made trailer" and lists all the materials he used to piece it together. The movie borrows scenes from such films as The Core, Tekken, Reign of Fire, 9, Monsters Vs.

THQ Returns Devil's Third Rights to Tomonobu Itagaki

July 5, 2012 -

THQ has returned the rights to the Devil's Third back to its creators. The promising third-person shooter from Ninja Gaiden producer Tomonobu Itagaki and his development team at Valhalla Game Studios will have to find another publishing partner. During E3 THQ unloaded the rights to another major franchise - UFC - on EA for an undisclosed amount of cash.

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Megaupload Founder: Vice President Joe Biden Directly Involved in Megaupload Takedown

July 5, 2012 -

Speaking to TorrentFreak, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom alleges that Vice President Joe Biden ordered the Megaupload shutdown at the behest of former Connecticut Senator (D) and current Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) President Chris Dodd. He claims that he has information from a "reliable source" that the Megaupload case and the subsequent takedown of the file storage site was a "gift to Hollywood."

European Parliament Strongly Rejects ACTA

July 4, 2012 -

The European Parliament has officially rejected the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The Parliament voted 478 to 39 to reject the ACTA, which means that it will never be implemented in any member country of the European Parliament. The news is not surprising, given that five committees voted against the treaty leading up to the showdown on the floor of the European Parliament this week. It also didn't help that ACTA was negotiated in secret and citizens in various member countries protested against it because of its loose and murky language.

UK Lawmakers to Repeal Site Banning Provisions from the Digital Economy Act

July 2, 2012 -

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom seem to be having a change of heart about two key parts of an anti-piracy law. Lawmakers said at the end of last week that they plan to abandon legislative plans to block websites allegedly involved in distributing or sharing copyrighted materials.

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Report: Anonymous Claims Responsibility for Japanese Government Web Site Attacks

June 27, 2012 -

Individuals claiming to be a part of the hacktivist group Anonymous have claimed responsibility for a series of cyber attacks on Japanese government websites. The websites for Japan's Finance Ministry, Supreme Court, and the DPJ and LDP political parties were taken down temporarily by attacks. The sites are now back online.

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Research: Patent Trolls Costs U.S. Businesses $29 Billion Last Year

June 26, 2012 -

According to a research paper from Boston University, patent trolls costs U.S. companies and other organizations a staggering $29 billion last year. The study analyzed the effect of intellectual property rights claims made by organizations that own and license patents without producing related goods of their own. Some would say that this is the very definition of a patent troll: a company that buys or licenses patents with the express purpose of litigating its way to financial success.

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Ofcom Releases Draft 'Three-Strikes' Guidelines for UK Internet Users

June 26, 2012 -

Ofcom, the regulations body in charge of media in the UK, has released details of a proposed plan that forces British ISPs to send warning letters to subscribers accused of copyright infringement by video game, music, film and other media companies. Under these proposed guidelines, individuals who receive three letters in a 12-month period would have their personal data, downloading and filesharing history handed over to the copyright owners to help them prepare for a lawsuit.

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White House Seeks Public Input on Future IP Enforcement Policies

June 26, 2012 -

U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel is seeking public comment on the administration's future policy related to intellectual property law and the enforcement of it in the future. Espinel is smart to avoid using any language that would likely get her thousands of emails filled with disdain and anger such as SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, etc.

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Activision Names Top Winners of Independent Games Competition

June 25, 2012 -

Activision has announced the winners of its Independent Games Competition. Christopher Hui's Iron Dragon won first place in the developer competition, and the $175,000 cash prize. Iron Dragon is an action flight adventure game designed for touch-screen devices. Second place and a $75,000 prize went to Michael Stanton's Planet Smashers, a multiplayer action game built from scratch.

The contest entries were judged by IndieCade. All winners retain the intellectual property rights to their games.

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Some Analysis on the First Sale Doctrine Case Headed to the Supreme Court

June 18, 2012 -

Last week we presented the news that a "First Sale Doctrine" case (Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons) was headed to the Supreme Court. Some journalists were sounding alarm bells that an outcome in favor of the publisher in the case could have a serious impact on how people sell used products such as books, DVD's and even video games.

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Ubisoft Seeks Court Declaration that Beiswenger Infringement Claims are ‘Frivolous’ and ‘Without Merit’

June 1, 2012 -

Last week American author John Beiswenger settled his lawsuit against GameTrailers and dropped his lawsuit against Ubisoft "without prejudice." The lawsuit alleged that Ubisoft knowingly used plot points and story mechanics from his novel LINK in their Assassin’s Creed video games. While Beiswenger ended his legal fight, he left the door open to sue Ubisoft at a later date and his lawyer said that he still asserted the claim that Ubisoft had infringed on his work.

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Poll

Is King right? Should all games adopt the free-to-play model?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoAh yes, because by building something nice they were just asking for people to come push them out. Consequences are protested all the time when other people are implementing them.04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew Wilsonok than they should not protest when the consequences of that choice occur.04/17/2014 - 1:06pm
NeenekoIf people want tall buildings, plenty of other cities with them. Part of freedom and markets is communities deciding what they do and do not want built in their collective space.04/17/2014 - 12:55pm
Sora-ChanI realize that they have ways getting around it, but one reason might be due to earthquakes.04/17/2014 - 4:42am
 

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