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."

South Carolina Bill Makes Municipality-Owned Broadband Harder

July 2, 2012 -

Most citizens probably think that letting a municipality or township run local broadband services would be a good idea. There's even some anecdotal evidence that having low-cost broadband in a major metropolitan city controlled by the local government keeps broadband costs down, which in turn entices businesses that use it to set up shop which leads to job creation and local commerce. But it also means that broadband companies lose out on market.

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Information Technology Industry Council Holds Party to Celebrate CISPA Passage

May 7, 2012 -

It's bad enough that Congress pushed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) through to a floor vote without much of a change to its original language or hearings from experts on what the impact of the bill would have on privacy, but this next story is downright infuriating to any citizen that believes we have a right to privacy and that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution is a sacred right.

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Netflix Forms PAC

April 9, 2012 -

It looks like Netflix wants some representation in Washington D.C. and has taken steps to set up a political action committee (PAC) called "Flixpac." This will allow the Internet-based streaming entertainment company to give up to $5,000 to a candidate per election year and up to $15,000 to a political party annually.

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MPAA's Chris Dodd Extends Olive Branch to Tech Industry

February 24, 2012 -

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is trying to extend an olive branch to the tech industry after taking a beating publicly over PIPA and SOPA. MPAA President Chris Dodd told an audience on Wednesday that Hollywood is "pro-technology and pro-Internet," but warned that the fight over piracy was far from over.

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Former Congresswoman and Lobbyist Joins Google

February 23, 2012 -

Former Republican congresswoman and lobbyist Susan Molinari has been named the head of Google’s Washington office, according to an exclusive report by Politico. The new job will put the former member of Congress of the front lines of privacy policy fights and laws legislation like SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA. The search engine giant is facing closer government scrutiny over its privacy policies and business practices.

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RIAA Cries Foul in NYT Editorial

February 8, 2012 -

If you are a fan of propaganda and that classic art form of stretching the truth, then you might want to check out this New York Times editorial penned by RIAA CEO Cary Sherman. In it he claims that technology companies like Google and Wikipedia were the only driving force behind the letter writing campaigns to lawmakers and website blackouts that happened in protest of SOPA last month.

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Following The Money That Influenced SOPA-PIPA Push

February 7, 2012 -

SaveTheInternet points out some interesting information dug up by Media Matters about where a lot of big media money has gone and why some lawmakers pushed so hard for the passage of SOPA and PIPA. While their analysis can't show that the money was directly related to PIPA and SOPA, it certainly shows the level of influence money has in Washington.

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Free Press: Lawmakers Should Give MPAA Contributions Back

January 25, 2012 -

Joel Kelsey, a top political adviser for Free Press, has written an editorial urging U.S. lawmakers who have taken money from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to give it back. Writing over at SaveTheInternet.com, Kelsey makes this request in light of recent comments from MPAA president Chris Dodd made to Fox News. In case you don't remember:

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Hollywood Interest Groups Issue Joint Statement on SOPA, PIPA

January 23, 2012 -

The Directors Guild of America issued a statement on Friday about SOPA and PIPA - in conjunction with the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), and Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

First this collective of Hollywood interest groups attempted to put a happy face on a bad situation:

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ESA Spends $190k to Lobby Lawmakers about PIPA

January 16, 2012 -

What level of commitment does the Entertainment Software Association have in the anti-piracy bills before lawmakers? About $190,000's worth according to a Kotaku report.

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Australian Christian Lobby Compares Games Industry to Tobacco Companies

January 12, 2012 -

Update: This story is apparently ancient history from March 2010. While it's fun to refresh your memory, it's not news. We apologize for presenting it as such.

The Australian Christian Lobby is doing its best to slow down the momentum of an R18+ ratings classification in Australia by using a new tactic: comparing mature video games to cigarettes. The group used the public consultation period for the R18+ classification to assail the games industry.

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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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Who Supports SOPA: Special Interests

December 22, 2011 -

The House Judiciary Committee has released this PDF with a list of organizations and companies that support the anti-piracy/rogue web sites bill, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). We have listed some of the companies that have publicly thrown their support behind this controversial legislation, but today we offer the full list.

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Writers Guild of America West Expresses Concerns About SOPA to Lawmakers

December 14, 2011 -

It looks like the Writers Guild of America West has some concerns about SOPA. In a recent post on the trade group’s site, they wrote about a recent visit to Washington D.C., where they met with various lawmakers and other trade groups about SOPA and other legislation they think is important such as Net Neutrality and the ATT/T-Mobile merger. From the paragraph about their visit to the House of Representatives (I’ve highlighted the important stuff for emphasis):

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CEA Changes Course on Internet Sales Tax Collection

December 14, 2011 -

In the late 1990's and early 2000's a politician proposing an internet sales tax would have been ridden out on a rail. It used to be that lawmakers were scared of the subject. Now even retail associations - some of which represent huge internet companies - say they support the idea. One of those trade groups, the Consumer Electronics Association, has changed sides this week.

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Former Congressional Staffers Who Helped Write SOPA Join Lobbying Firms

December 12, 2011 -

Two former high level Washington staffers who helped write SOPA and Protect IP have joined major lobbying firms that... are helping to get the law they just wrote passed. Now their work addresses are "K Street," where all the lobbyists in Washington call home. Halataei recently joined the National Music Publishers’ Association, and Pastarnack is joining the Motion Pictures Association of America. These two lobbying groups have been pressing Congress to pass the proposals.

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Kaspersky Cancels BSA Membership after it Supports SOPA, Backtracks

December 6, 2011 -

Anti-virus and security software maker Kaspersky is not happy with the Business Software Alliance's early support of SOPA and Protect IP in the U.S. Even though the BSA later walked back its support of SOPA, the Russian firm has had enough. It announced that it plans to leave the BSA over its support for SOPA. Kaspersky has announced that on January 1st 2012 it will withdraw its membership of the BSA.

Following The Money: SOPA, Protect IP

December 1, 2011 -

If you want to know why your favorite senator or congressional representative is supporting Protect IP and SOPA, all you need to do is follow the money. First where is the money coming from? Big media, of course. The Sunlight Foundation does an excellent job of gathering all the info on this topic in one easy post.

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President Obama's Political Campaign Pick Riles Activist Groups

October 25, 2011 -

Environmental groups and open Internet activists are not happy with President Barack Obama's pick to lead his 2012 political campaign. That is probably because the president has picked a lobbyist that represented the NBC Universal / Comcast merger and the Keystone XL pipeline. The lobbyist in question is Broderick Johnson of the lobbying firm Bryan Cave LLP. According to U.S. House of Representatives records, Johnson lobbied our elected officials to “support submission of a presidential permit for Keystone XL pipeline” in the final quarter of 2010.

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NRF Has $10 Million Reasons For Politicians to Listen

September 21, 2011 -

The National Retail Foundation has launched a $10 million dollar advocacy campaign to push its national agenda onto the political scene for the rest of the year. The trade group representing traditional retailers says that it will spend some of that money on lobbyists to push a 13-point legislative agenda important to its memberships. Notable exceptions include corporate tax reform, fixing or repealing the employer health care mandates passed by President Obama, and enacting the "Main Street Fairness Act." The latter should be noted by consumers because it wants U.S.

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Former ESA Head Replaced as CEO at Private Equity Growth Capital Council

August 23, 2011 -

The Private Equity Growth Capital Council announced today that has replaced chief executive officer Douglas Lowenstein, with the group's current Vice President of Government Affairs Steve Judge. Judge will serve as interim CEO while the trade group hunts for a new head.

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Report: Netflix Aligning with Consumer Groups

March 30, 2011 -

According to a report in The Hill streaming video giant Netflix is lining up lobbyists to take on Washington to protect its interests. The company, who hired its first in-house lobbyist earlier this year, is aligning itself with internet reform groups. This makes sense, as net neutrality has the potential to protect the company's core business - steaming video - from usage fees that broadband companies might try to impose on them if given the chance.

Netflix is aligning itself with Free Press, the Media Access Project, Public Knowledge and Consumers Union, who all have a common interest in fighting overage fees on Internet users who access a high volume of data. You know, people that use streaming video like Netflix, Hulu, and other content online.

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Lobbying Machine in High Gear Despite Economy

August 5, 2010 -

As the economy trudges along and prices rise across the board for the working man, you’ll be pleased to note that the business of lobbying is apparently recession proof.

A report from Open Secrets reveals that special interest groups spent over $852 million across April, May and June of this year. Overall more than 11,100 groups hired over 10,500 lobbyists (outnumbering members of Congress by about 20 to 1 it was noted) during 2010’s second quarter.

Companies falling under the umbrella of finance, insurance or real estate spent $126 million lobbying over the three month period, a gain of 12 percent over the same period one year earlier. Commercial banking interests spent $15.5 million lobbying during the quarter, up 20 percent, while firms from the securities and investment sector dumped $27.6 million into lobbying efforts, a jump of 26 percent.

Lobbying efforts in 2010 are on track to outdo 2009 figures, which was a record year:

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Tech Lobbying Efforts Down But Not Out in Q2

July 21, 2010 -

While lobbying efforts from the tech sector took a slight dip from Q1 - $23 million from April - June of 2010, companies like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Google, Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Cisco, Facebook, Yahoo, Apple, HP and Amazon still managed to spend $19 million to influence lawmakers in Q2. While those numbers were lower in Q2, they prove that this small sampling of tech companies is spending obscene amounts of cash to get lawmakers behind their various causes.

Comcast spent more than $3.8 million last quarter to drum up support for its proposed NBC merger and other issues. Verizon spent about $4.4 million to to influence lawmakers on an expanded research & development tax credit and the Universal Service Fund. Hewlett Packard spent $1.6 million in lobbying dollars to influence lawmakers on white spaces, patents and taxes. Microsoft spent a small undisclosed part of its $1.85 million lobbying warchest to get the discussion on cybersecurity started. Finally, Google spent $1.3 million in Washington on broadband, cloud computing and a host of other issues.

Source: Politico's Morning Tech


TIGA: Games Could Aid with UK Economic Recovery

June 14, 2010 -

As the hopes of tax incentives for UK game developers continue to tread water, industry group TIGA has stepped up its pressure, now stating that UK videogame makers could aid the economy by occupying a “valuable role” in an “export led recovery.”

TIGA recently commissioned a research report entitled “The UK Video Games Industry: An Export Success Story,” which it claimed showed that 91 percent of UK game developers export their products. That compares to figures cited from other research indicating that only one-third of small and medium sized, non-game producing businesses in the UK exported their products.

Richard Wilson, TIGA’s CEO, stated:

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ESA Spends $1.2 Million in Q1 Lobbying Efforts

June 4, 2010 -

The videogame industry lobby, the Entertainment Software Association, spent nearly $1.2 million USD during the first quarter of this year to lobby on a variety of issues including the regulation of video game content, First Amendment protection, copyright enforcement and other issues, according to an Associated Press story citing a recent disclosure report. The lobbying effort is up 23 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009, where the ESA spent $980,000.

From January - March of this year the ESA also lobbied on broadband deployment, green cards for skilled foreign workers and the H1-B visa program. The increased efforts probably have a lot to do with the Supreme Court's review later this year of California's Videogame law..

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CTIA: Net Neutrality Not Good for Anyone

May 17, 2010 -

The wireless industry's lobbyists are keen to influence policy makers in Washington on a number of key issues - most notably net neutrality. CTIA, which represents the country's biggest wireless carriers, is the organization flexing its muscle with the help of front man, former Oklahoma congressman and Hall of Fame NFL wide receiver, Steve Largent.

In an interview with C|Net, Steve Largent, along with Chris Guttman-McCabe, talked about how the members of its group feel about net neutrality. Of course, no one will be surprised on how they feel about: they think it's a bad idea. When asked why wireless be treated differently than any other kind of broadband service, Guttman-McCabe and Largent responded with the following:

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ESA Lobbying Funds Rise Nearly $1M from 2008 to 2009

March 24, 2010 -

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) spent $4.604 million on its lobbying efforts in 2009, a significant jump over 2008’s total of $3.654 million.

The group spent $1.208 million in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2009 and $980,000 in last year’s first quarter. 2008 saw $980,000 spent in quarters two, three and four, and $714,364.50 in its  first quarter.

Taking a look at a report (PDF) on the ESA’s fourth quarter expenditures for 2009 shows lobbying funds spent on issues such as the Constitution (First Amendment Protection, Ratings, Video Game Sale Regulation), Copyright/Patent/Trademark (Anti-Piracy, IP Enforcement), Trade (Free Trade Agreements, Special 301 Designated Countries, Trade Policy Reform), Computer Industry (Internet Governance, Virtual Worlds), Immigration (High-Skilled Workers, H1-B Visas and Green Cards) and Telecommunications (ISP Management, Copyright Enforcement, Broadband Deployment).

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U.S. Health Care Reform Subject of iPhone App

December 10, 2009 -

Want to learn more about U.S. health care reform in a simple program with a quiz-like interface? There’s an app for that.

People Operating Technology has launched the free iPhone & iPod Touch application Death Panel in the Apple Store. Promised to be “100% non-political,” the app’s quiz questions and facts are fed by data collected from the White House website, StateHealthFacts.org, the NCHC.org, and FactCheck.org.

Players take the role of an office holder who “must stand on a virtual platform and answer questions correctly about health care from an anxious public.” Twitter and Facebook integration lets users share their scores too.

People Operating Technology co-founder Jason Petralia stated, “Mobile technology provides a fascinating medium though which businesses and other organizations can gain mindshare. We made Death Panel to shed some light on a hot topic in a compelling way.”

Death Panel also contains a Geo-locational who’s who of congressional members, showing their home state, political affiliation and lobbyist funds received.

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MaskedPixelanteNah, I'm fine purple monkey dishwasher.07/28/2014 - 4:05pm
Sleaker@MP - I hope you didn't suffer a loss of your mental faculties attempting that.07/28/2014 - 3:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOK, so my brief research looking at GameFAQs forums (protip, don't do that if you wish to keep your sanity intact.), the 3DS doesn't have the power to run anything more powerful than the NES/GBC/GG AND run the 3DS system in the background.07/28/2014 - 11:01am
ZenMatthew, the 3DS already has GBA games in the form of the ambassador tittles. And I an just as curious about them not releasing them on there like they did the NES ones. I do like them on the Wii U as well, but seems weird. And where are the N64 games?07/28/2014 - 10:40am
james_fudgeNo. They already cut the price. Unless they release a new version that has a higher price point.07/28/2014 - 10:19am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, It most likely is. The question is whether Nintendo wants to do it.07/28/2014 - 10:12am
Matthew WilsonI am sure the 3ds im more then powerful enough to emulate a GBA game.07/28/2014 - 9:54am
Sleaker@IanC - while the processor is effectively the same or very similar, the issue is how they setup the peripheral hardware. It would probably require creating some kind of emulation for the 3DS to handle interfacing with the audio and input methods for GBA07/28/2014 - 9:30am
Sleaker@EZK - hmmm, that makes sense. I could have sworn I had played GB/GBC games on it too though (emud of course)07/28/2014 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, the DS has a built in GBA chipset in the system. That is why it played GBA games. The GBA had a seperate chipset for GB and GBColor games. The DS did not have that GB/GBC chipset and that is why the DS could not play GB and GBC games.07/28/2014 - 7:25am
IanCI dont think Nintendo ever gave reason why GBA games a reason why GBA games aren't on the 3DS eshop. The 3DS uses chips that are backwards compatable with the GBA ob GBA processor, after all.07/28/2014 - 6:46am
Sleakerhmmm that's odd I could play GBA games natively in my original DS.07/28/2014 - 1:39am
Matthew Wilsonbasically "we do not want to put these games on a system more then 10 people own" just joking07/27/2014 - 8:13pm
MaskedPixelanteSomething, something, the 3DS can't properly emulate GBA games and it was a massive struggle to get the ambassador games running properly.07/27/2014 - 8:06pm
Andrew EisenIdeally, you'd be able to play such games on either platform but until that time, I think Nintendo's using the exclusivity in an attempt to further drive Wii U sales.07/27/2014 - 7:21pm
Matthew WilsonI am kind of surprised games like battle network are not out on the 3ds.07/27/2014 - 7:01pm
Andrew EisenWell, Mega Man 1 - 4, X and X2 are already on there and the first Battle Network is due out July 31st.07/27/2014 - 6:16pm
MaskedPixelanteDid Capcom ever give us a timeline for when they planned on putting the Megaman stuff on Wii U?07/27/2014 - 2:23pm
MaskedPixelanteIf by "distance themselves from Google Plus" you mean "forcing Google Plus integration in everything", then yes, they are distancing themselves from Google Plus.07/26/2014 - 12:20pm
MechaTama31I wish they would distance G+ from the Play Store, so I could leave reviews and comments again.07/26/2014 - 11:03am
 

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