Tag Archives | Copyright

Lots Of Illegal Downloading Occurring At The NBC, Sony Pictures, Fox Offices

universal-bustFrom the pot-calling-the-kettle-black department, via TorrentFreak:

A few days ago we wrote about a new website that exposes what people behind an IP-address have downloaded on BitTorrent.

Armed with the IP-ranges of major Hollywood studios we decided to find out what they’ve been downloading. As expected, it didn’t take us long before we found BitTorrent ‘pirates’ at several leading entertainment industry companies. Yes, these are the same companies who want to disconnect people from the Internet after they’ve been caught sharing copyrighted material.

First up is Sony Pictures Entertainment. This single IP-address alone a wide variety of music and movies have been downloaded. And this is probably just the tip of the iceberg, as YouHaveDownloaded only tracks only a small percentage of all public BitTorrent downloads.

Another Hollywood studio where it’s not uncommon to download music, TV-shows and movies is NBC Universal. The employee(s) behind one of the IP-addresses at the Fort Lauderdale office in Florida downloaded the first season of ‘Game of Thrones,’ some trance music, a DVD of ‘Cowboys and Aliens’, and much more.

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The Freakonomics Of Hollywood’s Piracy Claims

MPAA2The Freakonomics dudes have called BS on Hollywood’s piracy claims. Adrianne Jeffries reports for BetaBeat:

Anti-piracy rhetoric holds that online piracy is a devastating force on the U.S. economy, responsible for the theft of between $200 billion and $250 billion per year and the loss of 750,000 good American jobs. “These numbers seem truly dire: a $250 billion per year loss would be almost $800 for every man, woman, and child in America. And 750,000 jobs – that’s twice the number of those employed in the entire motion picture industry in 2010,” write the economists over at Freakonomics.

But those numbers are wrong, the authors say, citing a breakdown by the Cato Institute’s Julian Sanchez.

In 2010, the Government Accountability Office released a report noting that these figures “cannot be substantiated or traced back to an underlying data source or methodology,” which is polite government-speak for “these figures were made up out of thin air.”

More recently, the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) placed the number at $58 billion; but that reporter is methodologically flawed, Mr.

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Supreme Court Rules Congress May ‘Re-Copyright’ Public Domain Works

719646029Decades or centuries after its creator has passed on to another realm, a piece of art or film or literature may remain copyrighted content, perhaps forever, the Supreme Court has ruled. Ars Technica reports:

Congress may take books, musical compositions and other works out of the public domain, where they can be freely used and adapted, and grant them copyright status again, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. In a 6-2 ruling, the court ruled that just because material enters the public domain, it is not “territory that works may never exit.”

The top court was ruling on a petition by a group of orchestra conductors, educators, performers, publishers and film archivists who urged the justices to reverse an appellate court that ruled against the group, which has relied on artistic works in the public domain for their livelihoods.

They claimed that re-copyrighting public works would breach the speech rights of those who are now using those works without needing a license.

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SOPA Author Is A Copyright Violator

Vice notes that many of the congress members supporting SOPA/PIPA perhaps need to do a bit of inner soul searching, as they themselves have websites with copyright violations. That includes Lamar Smith of Texas, the author of SOPA, whose website background is a photo (likely lifted from Flickr) by someone named DJ Schulte, who does not receive credit or a link as he should have:

lamar

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Missing Wikipedia? Here’s How You Can Access It

As most Internet users already know, leading Internet companies like Google, Wikipedia, and Craigslist are protesting the SOPA legislation very publicly today, with Wikipedia totally blacked out. But, if you really, really need to access Wikipedia today, they have kindly explained how to come in through the back door:
Is it still possible to access Wikipedia in any way? Yes. During the blackout, Wikipedia is accessible on mobile devices and smart phones. You can also view Wikipedia normally by disabling JavaScript in your browser, as explained on this Technical FAQ page. Our purpose here isn't to make it completely impossible for people to read Wikipedia, and it's okay for you to circumvent the blackout. We just want to make sure you see our message.
Wikipedia blackout
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SOPA On The Shelf

EFF (CC)

EFF (CC)

Is there still hope for freedom? Probably not, but at least we’ve got the next best thing: The Interwebs! From the Washington Monthly Political Animal blog by Steve Benen:

Misguided efforts to combat online privacy have been threatening to stifle innovation, suppress free speech, and even, in some cases, undermine national security. As of yesterday, though, there’s a lot less to worry about.

At issue are two related bills: the Senate’s Protect IP Act and the even more offensive Stop Online Piracy Act in the House, both of which are generated intense opposition from tech giants and First Amendment advocates. The first sign that the bills’ prospects were dwindling came Friday, when SOPA sponsors agreed to drop a key provision that would have required service providers to block access to international sites accused of piracy.

The legislation ran into an even more significant problem yesterday when the White House announced its opposition to the bills.

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Spanish Author Quits Writing, Claims More Copies Of Her Books Are Stolen Than Sold

Lucía Etxebarría. Photo: Xavier Thomas (http://photo75.online.fr)

Lucía Etxebarría. Photo: Xavier Thomas (http://photo75.online.fr)

Are things really so hopeless for writers? In Spain perhaps. Giles Tremlett reports for the Guardian (thanks to Mike for the tip):

An award-winning Spanish novelist claims that the illegal downloading of ebooks has forced her to give up writing and start looking for a new job.

“Given that I have today discovered that more illegal copies of my book have been downloaded than I have sold, I am announcing officially that I will not publish another book for a long time,” Lucía Etxebarria announced on her Facebook page.

Etxebarria told the Guardian that Spanish authors faced a difficult future as online piracy spreads from music and film to literature.

She pointed to Spain’s position at the top of the world rankings for per capita illegal downloads. “We come after China and Russia in the total number of illegal downloads but, obviously, there are a lot more of them so we win on a per capita measure,” she said.

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Swiss Government Study: Online Piracy Benefits Artists

uesc_03_img0154Encouraging results regarding unauthorized downloading, via TorrentFreak:

The Swiss government has been conducting a study into the impact downloading has on society. This week their response was published and it was crystal clear. Not only will downloading for personal use stay completely legal, but the copyright holders won’t suffer because of it, since people eventually spend the money saved on entertainment products.

The overall conclusion of the study is that the current copyright law, under which downloading copyrighted material for personal use is permitted, doesn’t have to change.

The entertainment industries have opposed all these technological inventions out of fear that their businesses would be crushed. This is not the right response according to the Swiss government, which favors the option of putting technology to good use instead of taking the repressive approach.

The government report further concludes that even in the current situation where piracy is rampant, the entertainment industries are not necessarily losing money.

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