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Displaying items by tag: Copyright

The MPAA can score another victory in their ongoing (and lopsided) battle against file sharing on the internet as the popular Torrent search site ISOHunt has announced it is closing down. For the last few years site owner Gary Fung has fought the MPAA over allegations of copyright infringement. The case resembles the one that was thrown at The Pirate Bay several years ago in that ISOHunt did not actually store files on the site. The lawsuit brings many questions to mind about search engines in general and if systems designed to index the internet can be policed.

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For a number of years we have talked about the way the copyright industry (and the laws they have fostered) have been the number one source of the growth of piracy. These groups, designed to “protect” rights holders are so blind in their efforts to maintain a high (and growing) revenue stream that they often forget the impact on legitimate users. When these impacts and restrictions become too great these legitimate users will turn to alternative means to get the items they want. One very widely published incident was with EA and their DRM (Digital Rights Management) software on the popular game Spore. The DRM was limited to three installs and often locked people out during their first installation. Because this DRM was so restrictive people that legally purchased the game went out and downloaded copies just so they could install it when they wanted.

Published in News
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 09:09

Copy and Paste Can Get You Prison Time...


It’s time we asked ourselves some basic questions.  How far is too far?  At what point do the efforts to protect our freedoms encroach on those very things?  Some of you will recognize the name Barrett Brown.  Mr. Brown is known in some circles as an activist.  In others he’s elevated to the level of hero.  Those in other areas see him as a threat, as an example of what should not be allowed to happen in today’s world of terror cells and the anonymous spread of… what exactly?

Published in News
Tuesday, 13 August 2013 16:53

Larry Ellison Says NSA Surveillance is "Great"


Larry Ellison could be very out of touch with reality if some of his recent comments on TV. Since losing a long court battle where he tried to grab millions (well really hundreds of Millions) from Google over approximately 7 lines of very simple and basic code he is back complaining about Google again. This time he spoke out on CBS this Morning with a few comments about how bad Google is for using Java as a development platform. This is despite the fact that the judge presiding over the case stated that the code in question could have been recreated with little effort. Ellison just cannot get over the fact that this lawsuit did not go in his favor and he could not honor his friend Steve Jobs by ruining Android and Google in the process.

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In something of an unprecedented move NBC Universal and Warner Bothers Music have asked that Google delist the entire Mega website over copyright concerns. Now requesting that a link that points to copyrighted material be removed from Google, Bing, or any other search engine is nothing new and not, in itself, a big deal. However this is not a simple request to remove a single copy of a movie or song, it is asking for the WHOLE site to be delisted. This type of wholesale delisting ignores the fact that while there might indeed be copyrighted files on Mega’s servers there are others that are completely legal including movies and music from independent artists that use Mega as a sharing platform. It highlights the claims by some that the argument against Mega and Megaupload before that is not about actual copyright, but about the service and the threat is could pose to the copyright industry.

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After having their ideas shot down by popular displeasure the Copyright lobbyists are now trying to make aggressive tactics ok. They have put together a report on the state of American Intellectual property theft and have managed to build up some of the old boogeymen like they always do. This time, they are starting to make more open suggestions about fighting fire with fire. In the past these reports have always centered on the commercial market and the state of individual piracy, product copying and other more economic concepts. These were enough to get higher mandatory fines, to criminalize certain fair use tactics and more. Now by subtly changing the report to show highlight the national security aspect the industry hopes to be given considerably more power to act.

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The Google Glass project has caused some concern in Washington. They seem to feel that a device that can capture still images and movies which you wear around all the time could be a problem. Already we have seen casinos ban them, which is not surprising as they could be used to cheat the house. Next to ban Google Glass were the strip clubs, again not a big surprise and you can imagine why. Google Glass could be a problem and we can see businesses, schools and other place banning their use in the very near future. Still we wonder about Congress getting involved. Is their concern really about privacy?

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It looks like the US wants to export something new to the world, now we are not talking about a technology. We are talking about our draconian copyright laws. You remember those nasty laws that the entertainment industry and software companies keep extending and expanding. For years our government has tried to be the police for these groups with laws like SOPA, PIPA Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection act and more. Well they are trying to force other countries to adopt these same rules and using trade agreements to do it. They have already been stopped once with ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) when they tried to remove the rights of individual countries to establish their own laws and are at it again with the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Published in Editorials

A Certain Jens R., a 33 years old German citizen, who owns the site, normally located on servers in Russia, received three years and 10 months in prison at the court in the German city of Aachen. As owners of The Pirate Bay, in his case, he is charged for illegal distribution of copyrighted content. In addition, Jens is still under investigation for false report of bankruptcy and embezzlement.

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Apple was found guilty of infringing on the copyright of three Chinese authors by allowing their books to be purchased through iTunes. The Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court found that Apple should have known the books were protected under copyright and not posted them. This was even more true considering that one of the plaintiffs, Mai Jia has works that have been on the Best Seller lists in China.

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