News tagged: Fileswapping
A final ruling in the European Court of Justice has confirmed that it is legal for lower EU courts to force ISPs to block sites that infringe copyright, despite the fact that some broadband providers wish it were otherwise. The decision will bolster a growing trend in European countries for rights holders to pursue their interests by petitioning ISPs to block sites, either through the courts or through various forms of legislation. story continues..
Ten of the twenty-eight EU countries currently impose website blocks based on court orders, including the UK, where about 30 websites are currently blocked and the legal process for rights holders to petition the court about certain sites is growing ever quicker and more sophisticated. For example, in June last year a court ruling gave a major rights holder organisation permission to add proxy sites to the ISP block list without any oversight from the courts.
Fewer EU states actually have legislation on the books about website blocks. Last year, Norway passed laws which effectively put the court ordered blocks their ISPs already imposed on the books and sped up the process, for example by allowing a block to be proposed and enforced without having to give the site owner a say. Italy is another example. As of the end of last year, the Italian communications regulator can run the whole process, from identifying infringing websites to forcing ISPs to block them.
A little more than a year ago, most of the large ISPs joined a new anti-piracy initiative crafted by the entertainment industry dubbed the Copyright Alert System. In CAS, users are given warning letters for copyright infringement as has long been industry practice, but ISPs will also give users a slap on the wrist for the behavior, ranging from brief filtering of websites (until users agree to receipt of "educational" material) to temporary throttling. story continues..
Most of you should clearly recall the train wreck that was the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a proposed law that was broadly and overwhelmingly criticized
for its attempt to force ISPs and search engines to filter user access to "infringing" websites (among many, many other bad ideas). The House Judiciary Committee this week started the engine on what's to be a rebranding of the disastrous SOPA anti-piracy effort, which will this time be pushed under the moniker "notice and staydown."
These new push is yet another expansion of already dubious copyright law, with a focus once again on stripping ISPs of their safe harbor protections in order to make them content nannies.
NBC insists that the network worked with Olympics officials to thwart some 45,000 pirated streams
of the recent Sochi winter games. Though they didn't show their math to support their claims, the network also insists it stopped 5,000 illegal streams of live Olympics events.
ISPs don't reveal the number of copyright violation warnings they send out as part of the entertainment industry's "copyright alert system," or the number of users who've received multiple warnings. In fact, as the "six strikes" system reaches its one year anniversary, no hard data on the program has been released by anybody involved, whatsoever. story continues..
The makers of Oscar nominated film Dallas Buyers Club
have filed a lawsuit
(pdf) against 31 anonymous Internet users who are accused of having downloaded the movie illegally. One of the film's backers is Voltage Pictures, the company that came to fame for suing 5,000 P2P users en masse
for downloading their film The Hurt Locker,
before heading to Canada to bully smaller ISPs
. This latest case appears more targeted toward a smaller number of IP addresses while, unlike The Hurt Locker
case, ensuring the targeted IPs are actually in the jurisdiction of the court.
The entertainment industry and ISP joint "Copyright Alert System" (aka "six strikes) has had little to no impact on piracy statistics, judging from a preliminary look at popular BitTorrent website traffic levels. The six strikes program was launched back in February
with the cooperation of major ISPs including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
According to Torrent Freak
, AT&T has patented
a new system that detects copyright infringement on its network, assigns those users a "risk classification," then can automatically take action against those users such as filtering the websites they have access to. "Thus far, copyright protection measures that have been deployed by, for example, the entertainment industry, have failed to curtail increases in Internet piracy," the patent proclaims. Granted the technology may never be used, and AT&T has explored similar technologies in the past -- ranging from piracy content filters
to BitTorrent snooping technology
Wikileaks this week released a copy
of the latest version of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that has been under construction behind closed doors for years. As we've long noted
, the TPP attempts to take some of the worst aspects of U.S.
The entertainment industry's "Copyright Alert System" (aka "six strikes) was launched back in February
with the cooperation of major ISPs including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable. While the program integrates "educational" material and a variety of short-lived punishments ranging from throttling to click through warnings, early indications are the program hasn't had much if any impact on BitTorrent piracy traffic
for a variety of reasons (users hiding behind VPNs or proxies, no punishment after the sixth "strike").
Public policy researchers at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center have crafted a new website dubbed Piracydata.org
that takes a look at the ten most pirated movies each week and examines how many of them are available to stream, rent or own digitally. Not too surprisingly, none are available to stream, and very few are available to rent or own.
Sunday night's Breaking Bad series finale not only broke viewership records for AMC (10.3 million U.S. viewers), it also broke piracy records. story continues..
A new study by NetNames commissioned by Comcast NBC Universal released this week
tries to get a handle on the global scope of online piracy. According to the study, some 432 million people engaged in copyright infringement during January of this year in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific alone.
A new study out of Australia has found that graduated response anti-piracy programs simply don't work. A new research paper from Monash University
studied anti-piracy systems that have been deployed in France, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea and the UK.
In the UK, where ISPs are now being forced to impose Internet filters to block everything from BitTorrent websites to porn, some carriers are going the extra mile and taking this mandate to mean they should block VPNs as well
. After ISPs signed a voluntary code of conduct requiring they block all porn by default
(unless you're in Parliament, where viewing porn is apparently all the rage during free time
), some UK ISPs have started blocking tools allowing users to bypass those filters:
...VPN provider iPredator is already blocked under the “adult filter” of some, if not all, mobile providers.
For years data has repeatedly shown
that the entertainment industry's scorched earth tactics (ranging from suing grandmothers to trying to get people thrown off the Internet entirely) have never been as effective in combating piracy as simply developing cheap, easy, and good digital distribution platforms. While the industry is still having a hard time understanding this (especially on the video side), we've come a long
way from the days when legitimate music, game and video digital distribution options were often impossible to find.
Rights holders and the UK government are asking UK ISPs to voluntarily compile lists of IP addresses of copyright offenders for lawsuits and potentially even disconnection. Under the Digital Economy Act, which passed in 2011, the UK technically already has a 'three strikes and you’re disconnected' law
on illegal filesharing, a troubling law which all involved have cleverly gotten around by doing close to nothing to enforce it.
The entertainment industry and ISP joint "Copyright Alert System" (aka "six strikes) has had absolutely no impact on piracy statistics, judging from a preliminary look at popular BitTorrent website traffic levels. The six strikes program was launched back in February
with the cooperation of major ISPs including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
Speaking recently in Edinburgh about his Netflix series "House of Cards," Kevin Spacey talked briefly about the difficulty in getting the show made without the traditional costly pilot "audition" process, as well as the way Netflix's decision to release entire seasons at once gives control to the consumer. From there, Spacey shifts his conversation towards a message the entertainment industry has had a hard time learning. story continues..
In response to the growing number of countries that have forced ISPs to ban access to The Pirate Bay, the website has launched their own Pirate Browser
, which uses the Tor network to skirt government censorship. "It's a simple one-click browser that circumvents censorship and blockades and makes the site instantly available and accessible," the Pirate Bay explains in a blog post
. "No bundled ad-ware, toolbars or other crap, just a Pre-configured Firefox browser." The browser is currently Windows only, though the folks behind the website say that Mac and Linux versions will be offered soon.
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