Jan 30

Dutch court rules in favor of unblocking Pirate Bay as ban ‘ineffective’ (RT, Jan 29, 2014):

People in the Netherlands will soon have access to The Pirate Bay, one of the world’s most censored file-sharing websites, as a court in The Hague ruled that Dutch ISPs need to stop blocking the site after the ban proved ineffective against piracy.

The Court of The Hague released its verdict that two leading ISPs operating in the country – XS4All and Ziggo – no longer have to block access to file sharing website The Pirate Bay.

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Oct 28

Filesharing site revealed to be anti-piracy ‘honeypot’ (Guardian, Oct 25, 2013):

Operator of UploaderTalk boasts of ‘biggest swerve ever’ as he sells user data to anti-piracy company

A high-profile file-sharing site has been revealed to be a year-long pirate “honeypot”, collecting data on users, file hosters and websites.

The revelation, which had users of the forum up in arms, accompanied the purchase of the UploaderTalk (UT) site by US-based anti-piracy company Nuke Piracy.

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Jan 21

From the article:

“Arrests were made at a number of homes in Auckland, New Zealand, on warrants issued by US authorities.”

“In all, addresses in nine countries including the US were raided as part of massive international operation.”


US government hits Megaupload with mega piracy indictment (Guardian, Jan. 20, 2012):

Seven executives charged as filesharing site shut down over accusations they cheated copyright holders out of $500m

Police in New Zealand have arrested four men after US authorities shut down the filesharing site Megaupload, including founder Kim Dotcom Link to this video

The US government has closed down one of the world’s largest filesharing websites, accusing its founders of racketeering, money laundering and presiding over “massive” online piracy.

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Jan 20

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
Megaupload: Web Site Hit by Feds

Popular File-Sharing Website Megaupload Shut Down (ABC News, January 19, 2012):

One of the world’s most popular file-sharing sites was shut down Thursday, and its founder and several company officials were accused of facilitating millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content.

A federal indictment accused Megaupload.com of costing copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue. The indictment was unsealed one day after websites including Wikipedia and Craigslist shut down in protest of two congressional proposals intended to make it easier for authorities to go after sites with pirated material, especially those with overseas headquarters and servers.

The news of the shutdown seemed to bring retaliation from hackers who claimed credit for attacking the Justice Department’s website. Federal officials confirmed it was down Thursday evening and that the disruption was being “treated as a malicious act.”

A loose affiliation of hackers known as “Anonymous” claimed credit for the attack. Also hacked was the site for the Motion Picture Association of America and perhaps others.

Megaupload is based in Hong Kong, but some of the alleged pirated content was hosted on leased servers in Ashburn, Va., which gave federal authorities jurisdiction, the indictment said.

The Justice Department said in a statement said that Kim Dotcom, 37, and three other employees were arrested Thursday in New Zealand at the request of U.S. officials. Three other defendants are at large.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defends free speech and digital rights online, said in a statement that, “This kind of application of international criminal procedures to Internet policy issues sets a terrifying precedent. If the United States can seize a Dutch citizen in New Zealand over a copyright claim, what is next?”

Before Megaupload was taken down, it posted a statement saying allegations that it facilitated massive breaches of copyright laws were “grotesquely overblown.”

“The fact is that the vast majority of Mega’s Internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay. If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue. We have some good ideas. Please get in touch,” the statement said.

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Mar 22

bittorrent

File sharing just became legal in Spain, changing the rules on what is legal, and what is fair.

In a court ruling that will surely shake the Spanish and European legal scene for years to come, a Spanish judge has today declared not only that sites containing links to copyrighted information are legal, but that torrenting copyrighted information for non-profit reasons is also inside of the law.

If you think that we are in some way confused, or kidding, here is a quote from the judge in question:

“P2P networks are mere conduits for the transmission of data between Internet users, and on this basis they do not infringe rights protected by Intellectual Property laws”

It is hard to confuse what that means. Provided that the sharer of the information is not profiting (garnering any revenues whatsoever), off of the transfer, then the action is legal now in Spain according to this new precedent. Continue reading »

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Mar 18

Digital Economy Bill: From BBC Democracy Live

Legislation to tackle internet piracy, including bans for illegal file-sharers, has been passed by the Lords.

The Digital Economy Bill is now expected to be rushed through the Commons before the general election.

Peers had earlier rejected a bid by ministers to include wide-ranging powers over future online piracy law.

But despite criticism, the government said it was still committed to giving courts the power to block websites which are infringing copyright.

The bill, put forward by Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, has been welcomed by the music industry because it includes plans to suspend the internet accounts of people who persistently download material illegally. Continue reading »

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Nov 22

http www globe

The British government has brought down its long-awaited Digital Economy Bill, and it’s perfectly useless and terrible. It consists almost entirely of penalties for people who do things that upset the entertainment industry (including the “three-strikes” rule that allows your entire family to be cut off from the net if anyone who lives in your house is accused of copyright infringement, without proof or evidence or trial), as well as a plan to beat the hell out of the video-game industry with a new, even dumber rating system (why is it acceptable for the government to declare that some forms of artwork have to be mandatorily labelled as to their suitability for kids? And why is it only some media? Why not paintings? Why not novels? Why not modern dance or ballet or opera?).

So it’s bad. £50,000 fines if someone in your house is accused of filesharing. A duty on ISPs to spy on all their customers in case they find something that would help the record or film industry sue them (ISPs who refuse to cooperate can be fined £250,000).

But that’s just for starters. The real meat is in the story we broke yesterday: Peter Mandelson, the unelected Business Secretary, would have to power to make up as many new penalties and enforcement systems as he likes. And he says he’s planning to appoint private militias financed by rightsholder groups who will have the power to kick you off the internet, spy on your use of the network, demand the removal of files or the blocking of websites, and Mandelson will have the power to invent any penalty, including jail time, for any transgression he deems you are guilty of. And of course, Mandelson’s successor in the next government would also have this power.

What isn’t in there? Anything about stimulating the actual digital economy. Nothing about ensuring that broadband is cheap, fast and neutral. Nothing about getting Britain’s poorest connected to the net. Nothing about ensuring that copyright rules get out of the way of entrepreneurship and the freedom to create new things. Nothing to ensure that schoolkids get the best tools in the world to create with, and can freely use the publicly funded media — BBC, Channel 4, BFI, Arts Council grantees — to make new media and so grow up to turn Britain into a powerhouse of tech-savvy creators.

Lobby organisation The Open Rights Group is urging people to contact their MP to oppose the plans. “This plan won’t stop copyright infringement and with a simple accusation could see you and your family disconnected from the internet – unable to engage in everyday activities like shopping and socialising,” it said.

The government will also introduce age ratings on all boxed video games aimed at children aged 12 or over.

There is, however, little detail in the bill on how the government will stimulate broadband infrastructure.

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Aug 25

Commentary by Max Keiser:

Britain is Appeasing the Copyright Cartel Again

Britain is completely on the wrong side of this issue. Copyrights are the public’s rights to help manage the public’s intellectual property. A limited period of time, like 28 years (per the original Constitutional statute), giving individuals monopoly rights over intellectual property is the outer most boundary of time that a society invested in the speech rights and intellectual rights of its people would allow in good conscience. Britain, and it is easy to understand, given the massive cock ups of this Labor government, is allowing themselves to be steered by the copyright cartel just like they allow themselves to be strong armed by the banking, pharmaceutical, and defense industries. This Labor government has abdicated its role as a representative of the People and their position on Copyright is yet another glaring example of their conflicted, misguided policies.

Posted: August 25, 2009
Source: Huffington Post


illegal-download

LONDON — The British government says people who illegally download music and films could have their Internet connections cut off.

Treasury Minister Stephen Timms says the move would allow “swifter and more flexible measures” to clamp down on piracy.

The plans announced Tuesday include blocking access to download sites and temporarily suspending users’ internet accounts.

The announcement drew criticism from some groups, but those representing the music industry were pleased.

The Open Rights Group — which aims to raise awareness of digital rights — said any suspension would “restrict people’s fundamental right to freedom of expression.”

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Jun 19
  • Minnesota wife, mom slapped with fine of $80,000 per song, for total of $1.9 million
  • Spokeswoman for the Recording Industry Association of America lauds jury’s finding

Illegal downloads of musical files will cost a Minnesota woman $1.9 million, a jury has decided.
Illegal downloads of musical files will cost a Minnesota woman $1.9 million, a jury has decided.

(CNN) — A federal jury Thursday found a 32-year-old Minnesota woman guilty of illegally downloading music from the Internet and fined her $80,000 each — a total of $1.9 million — for 24 songs.

Jammie Thomas-Rasset’s case was the first such copyright infringement case to go to trial in the United States, her attorney said.

Attorney Joe Sibley said that his client was shocked at the fine, noting that the price tag on the songs she downloaded was 99 cents.

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May 27

Fears raised changes could lead to policing of legal activities like buying DVDs online

The way Canadians use the Internet and technology – from downloading music to buying new cellphones – could face unprecedented restrictions under new federal policies that critics say are being decided behind closed doors.

The Conservative government has been involved in international talks in recent months to develop an international anti-counterfeiting strategy to reduce Internet piracy and the flow of counterfeit goods. But critics say that instead of cracking down on rogue Internet users heavily involved in illegal file sharing, the agreement seems poised to dramatically increase the government’s ability to police the activities of Canadians, even when they legally purchase music files, DVDs and electronic equipment such as cellphones and personal video recorders.

“This is an attempt here to create a very broad umbrella that strikes at the very heart of every day activities for millions of Canadians,” said Michael Geist, law professor at the University of Ottawa and Canada Research Chair of Internet and e-commerce law.

The issue is gaining significant momentum after a discussion paper on the anti-counterfeiting strategy that purportedly originated with the U.S. government was leaked on the Internet a few days ago. One of the most contentious proposals is to “encourage” Internet service providers to monitor the online activities of their customers and report activity that may infringe copyright law – a move that amounts to spying and could undermine the privacy of Canadians, Prof. Geist said.

The changes may also give border guards the authority to search laptops and personal music recorders to look for any illegally obtained material. Continue reading »

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