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.
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.
George R.R. Martin, prolific fantasy author and the creator of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series on which HBO's hit TV series is based, took questions before yesterday's Game of Thrones screening for the new season set to air later this month.
Martin had some pretty interesting things to say about two subjects that get talked about here on GamePolitics: video games and piracy. First, when asked about video games Martin said that he loves them, though his obsessive play sessions tended to get in the way of his work so he has avoided them for quite a long time:
In a recent blog post Super Meat Boy developer Tommy Refenes argues that using DRM to keep games from being pirated and general apathy ultimately hurts developers. He also notes that applying loss prevention techniques to digital products doesn't work in the space.
On this week's show, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight are joined by James Fudge to discuss the new Six Strikes anti-piracy scheme, Time Warner Cable's insistence that customers don't want faster broadband and the latest poll on the PS4's lack of backwards compatibility. Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 43 (1 hour, 14 minutes) 67.8 MB. You can also check out the show on YouTube if you prefer an unedited and more visual experience.
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.
Every year rights holders get to offer their input in the U.S. Trade Representative’s Special 301 report, identifying piracy sites and offering recommendations on how best to combat piracy both online and offline. In a special letter, Wii, Wii U and 3DS maker Nintendo offers its two cents on the issue. First, Nintendo points out that it is suffering major losses at the hands of online piracy:
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.
A patent filed for in 2011 by Sony Computer Entertainment America (and unearthed last week by web site Dark Zero) uses load times to determine if software being loaded into a system is legitimate or pirated.
The patent, "BENCHMARK MEASUREMENT FOR LEGITIMATE DUPLICATION VALIDATION," is described as follows in the patent application:
Microsoft promises "vigorous action" against those individuals who downloaded a pirated version of Gears of War: Judgment. The complete copy of Gears of War: Judgment appeared on internet torrent sites overnight and some decided to download it and play it (some played it online as well), much to the dismay of Microsoft.
The creators of the Zelda-ish 8-bit adventure game Anodyne say that spending just a few dollars to have their game featured on the front page of The Pirate Bay drove more sales than videos or reviews ever could. In a post mortem on the experiment over on the developers' blog, they revealed that they only paid $7 to have their game highlighted on the front page.
"First, it cost $7 to do the promo, all $7 of which were for paying our hosting provider for bandwidth, Nearlyfreespeech.net. There were no other costs."
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.
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).
Two U.S. lawmakers have asked federal prosecutors at the Department of Justice to answer a series of questions about the prosecution of Reddit co-founder and internet activist Aaron Swartz. In a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) want to DOJ to explain why federal prosecutors sought up to 50 years in prison and $1 million in fines for Swartz, who committed suicide prior to his trial. Swartz was arrested in 2011 for downloading 4.8 million documents from the academic archive JSTOR.
Well it is official - the country of Antigua is one step closer to launching a legal piracy portal - according to TorrentFreak. At a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland today the World Trade Organization (WTO) officially granted Antigua’s request to suspend U.S. copyrights - confirming a 2007 preliminary authorization given by the WTO to the Caribbean island.
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!"
The Government of Antigua has plans to launch a website that can legally sell movies, music, and software without paying U.S. copyright holders, according to TorrentFreak. How can the small island country in the Caribbean get away with this? Well it all goes back to the United States issuing a trade blockade preventing the country from offering Internet gambling services to citizens in the United States.
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.
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.
House lawmakers are criticizing federal prosecutors involved with the Aaron Swartz case, who killed himself in New York City after the U.S. Government refused to give the internet activist a plea deal. Earlier in the week the Justice Department officially dropped the case. Lawmakers blasted prosecutors for pushing aggressive hacking charges against Swartz, and vowed to look into the details of the case.
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.
New research from Boston’s Northeastern University shows that blocking or censoring sites has no long-term effects on combating the proliferation or availability of pirated materials. If anything it has a short-term effect. Researchers monitored thousands of files across several of the most frequented file-hosting services and found that DMCA notices are a ripple in an ocean.
Following up on comments he made earlier last month, Mutant Mudds and Dementium developer Jools Watsham clarified his comments about the Nintendo 3DS and piracy in a new blog post (as reported by Eurogamer). Concerned that some in the community took his comments to be a slight against Nintendo and the 3DS platform, Watsham tried to clarify what he meant.
Hugo Smits, founder of indie developer Goodbye Galaxy Games has responded to the concerns of developer Jools Watsham who lamented about the potential uptick in 3DS piracy after a hacker claimed that he was able to load pirated software onto Nintendo's hand-held. Goodbye Galaxy Games has developed a number of games for DSi-Ware including Flipper, Flipper 2, Ace Mathician and the upcoming game Color Commando.
Mutant Mudds and Dementium developer Jools Watsham is concerned about the potential of rampant software piracy on the Nintendo 3DS after a hacker claimed that he (or she?) was able to take full control of the hand-held system, according to Eurogamer.
Hackulous closed its doors for good, according to a report from TorrentFreak. The entire community that catered to offering cracked apps for Apple's iOS devices seems to have unceremoniously died or shut down yesterday. This includes Apptrackr, the web-based partner index for cracked apps; and Installous, an app used by millions to transfer those cracked apps to iOS devices.
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.
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.
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.