Tag Archives | Piracy

Windows 10 EULA: Microsoft can killswitch your unauthorized hardware and pirate games

windows_10_logo-t22Windows 10 can run authenticity tests on your games and shut them down if they prove to be pirated.

Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing:

When you click through the Windows 10 “agreement,” you agree to let Microsoft subject your games and hardware to authenticity tests and to shut down anything it doesn’t like the looks of.

As intended, this allows the company to impose extrajudicial punishments on you for offenses that it gets to make up on the fly. They’re banning “unauthorized” hardware — if it comes in a box that says “Compatible with Intel motherboards,” and then spoofs the board to trick it into operating with it, is it “unauthorized,” or just a third-party replacement part that does what every third-party printer cartridge does already?

But then there’s the unintentional consequences: Microsoft could get it wrong.

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Piracy on the High Sees: The Devaluation of Content


Let me open with the fact that when it comes to content (audio, video, games, photographs), I am extremely ANTI-PIRACY. I’ll debate with anyone who wants to take up the argument that content should be free. And… if you think the title of this article has a typo, you are wrong. You see, I am in the film distribution business, and I am going to steer this rambling toward 1) film and 2) until you see my point. I want to ‘sees’ the moment. OK… OK… seize it. I’ll stop with the bad puns as I am sure you see my point.

“You should come over one night,” said the man in the nice blue (and somewhat expensive looking) sweatshirt. “I have about 300 films I’ve downloaded.”

He laughed and then told me he hadn’t paid for even one… that he has some back channel way of getting them from a site that grabs them off of cable VOD services.… Read the rest

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Is downloading really stealing? The ethics of digital piracy

Piracy might be theft, but it’s not the same as robbing someone of their material possessions. Josu/Flickr, CC BY

Piracy might be theft, but it’s not the same as robbing someone of their material possessions. Josu/Flickr, CC BY

Christian Barry, Australian National University

Many millions of people throughout the world will illegally download the fifth season of Game of Thrones, released today by HBO. Legally speaking, what they will be doing is a violation of intellectual property rights, or “piracy”. But will they be doing anything morally wrong?

It might seem obvious that what they will do is wrong. After all, it is illegal. But there are many things that have been illegal that people don’t think are morally wrong. Same-sex relationships, divorce and many other practices that are now widely accepted as morally acceptable were once outlawed and criminally sanctioned.

Few people think they were wrong just before they were legalised. Rather, they tend to think the laws governing these behaviours were unjust. So appeal only to the illegality of downloading doesn’t settle whether it is okay, morally speaking.… Read the rest

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The Pirate Bay To Team Up With North Korea

Updated: The announcement of this insane-sounding collaboration turns out to be a hoax, sadly, but imagine what could have been.

An announcement of strange bedfellows by The Pirate Bay:

The Pirate Bay has been hunted in many countries around the world. Today we can reveal that we have been invited by the leader of the republic of Korea, to fight our battles from their network.

This is truly an ironic situation. We have been fighting for a free world, and our opponents are mostly huge corporations from the United States of America, a place where freedom and freedom of speech is said to be held high. And to our help comes a government famous in our part of the world for locking people up for their thoughts and forbidding access to information.

We believe that being offered our virtual asylum in Korea is a first step of this country’s changing view of access to information.

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Is Sowing Artificial Scarcity The Future Of Business?

Via the The New Inquiry, Peter Frase on where we’re headed:

Where we see scarcity, much of it appears to be imposed by choice. In particular, the increasing weight of intellectual property law heralds a world where the prime objective of business is to make things scarce enough that people will still need to buy them.

Unexpected scarcity long characterized agricultural societies—drought, pestilence, fire, and other natural calamities could bring about famine at any moment. But today’s farmers, who have learned to overcome many of these challenges, now face the prospect of a legal, rather than natural disaster. In a case that will soon appear before the Supreme Court, a 74-year-old farmer named Vernon Bowman was ordered to pay $84,000 in damages for infringing on the patents of agribusiness giant Monsanto. His crime was to plant a seed—a patented “Roundup Ready” seed, whose license agreement prohibits using it to produce new ones.

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Major Movie Studio Employees Pirating Movies

Picture: Pirate Flag of Jack Rackham (PD)

Whoops! A classic case of “Do as I say, not as I do”, courtesy of some of America’s biggest movie studios:

Via TNW:

Well, this is awkward. TorrentFreak reports that workers at Hollywood top studios are illegally sharing movies on BitTorrent from IP addresses associated with their employers.

The site worked with Scaneye, a BitTorrent monitoring company, to reportedly compile data on what files are being shared from within the movie studios. It found a handful of movies and TV shows being distributed on BitTorrent from Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney.

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3D Object-Printing Kiosks On Future Street Corners

The Belgium-based design studio Unfold has created a prototype of what will soon be ubiquitous in urban environs, an object piracy cart:

Kiosk is a project that explores a near future scenario in which digital fabricators are so ubiquitous, that we see them appear on street corners, just like fast food today is sold in NY style mobile food stalls. A place where you can quickly get a custom made fix for your broken shoe, materialise an illegal download of Starck’s Juicy Salif orange squeezer that you modified for better performance or quickly print out a present for your sister’s birthday.

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Microsoft Employs Many BitTorrent Pirates While Funding Anti-BitTorrent Startups

MicrosoftWrites Ernesto on TorrentFreak:
In recent weeks the anti-piracy antics of Microsoft have made the news on a few occasions. From censoring The Pirate Bay to funding BitTorrent poisoning startups, the software giant is determined to attack piracy head-on. But perhaps the company should make a start by educating its own employees first. In Microsoft’s offices around the world many company employees are using BitTorrent to download and share pirated movies. YouHaveDownloaded is a treasure trove of incriminating data on alleged BitTorrent pirates all across the world. The site, launched late last year, exposes what people behind an IP-address have downloaded using BitTorrent. This data was gathered from public BitTorrent trackers, and the founders released it to show how much information can be found on BitTorrent users who don’t hide their IP-address...
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Kopimism (The IP Pirate Religion) Takes Root In America

KopimizmAmerican online pirates now have places to worship, reports Jason Koebler for US News:

A Swedish religion whose dogma centers on the belief that people should be free to copy and distribute all information—regardless of any copyright or trademarks—has made its way to the United States.

Followers of so-called “Kopimism” believe copying, sharing, and improving on knowledge, music, and other types of information is only human—the Romans remixed Greek mythology, after all, they say. In January, Kopimism—a play on the words “copy me”—was formally recognized by a Swedish government agency, raising its profile worldwide.

“Culture is something that makes people feel much better and makes people appreciate their world in a different way. Knowledge is also something we should copy regardless of the law,” says Isak Gerson, the 20-year-old founder of Kopimism. “It makes us better when we share knowledge and culture with each other.”

More than 3,500 people “like” Kopimism on Facebook, and thousands more practice its sacred ritual of file sharing.

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Netflix Super PAC Supports SOPA

NetflixSo you thought that $8 a month was a sweet deal? Well, guess what else comes with it. Stephen C. Webster reports on RAW Story:

Video streaming giant Netflix has recognized the compelling financial logic behind Washington’s anti-piracy efforts.

In a recent filing with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), Netflix revealed that it has created its own political action committee called FLIXPAC, designed to support anti-piracy measures in Washington and the candidates that favor them.

The FEC filing, made April 5, was first spotted by Politico. The company has seen its spending on federal lobbying ramp up in recent years, going from approximately $20,000 in 2009 to half a million in 2011, amid heated debates in Washington over restrictions on Americans’ Internet use.

Those restrictions, represented most clearly in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), were initially supported by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who reportedly sent a letter to the Chamber of Commerce expressing solidarity with that bill’s ultimate goals.

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