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29th March

 Offsite Article: TV Streams Trickle Away...

Link Here
fact logoThe popular movie and TV streaming script TVstreamScript has shut down voluntarily following pressure from the UK movie industry group FACT. The script was used by hundreds of streaming sites, which have all been rendered useless overnight.

See article from torrentfreak.com

 

27th March

  Googleised Swedish...


Nice 'n' Naughty

Google tries to get the word 'ungoogleable' struck off Swedish language word list
Link Here

Google logoObjections from Google have forced the removal of the word 'ungoogleable' [ogooglebar in Swedish] from a list of new Swedish words, the Language Council of Sweden says. The word means something that cannot be found with a search engine.

But Google wanted the meaning to relate only to Google searches, according to the council, saying it was protecting its trademark.

Every year, the Language Council publishes its top 10 new words which have become popular in Sweden to show how society and language are changing.

Council head Ann Cederberg told the BBC she received an email from Google soon after publication of the list in December 2012, citing brand protection. It called for changes to the Language Council of Sweden's definition and asked for a disclaimer stressing that Google is a trademark.

The council, worried at the prospect of a lengthy legal battle and balking at the idea of changing the word's definition, removed it from the list. A statement on the Language Council of Sweden's website, asks:

Who decides language? We do, language users. We decide together which words should be and how they are defined, used and spelled.

 

23rd March

  Screwed...


Nice 'n' Naughty

Taiwan authorities decide that owners cannot claim copyright over porn videos
Link Here

taipei district court Taiwanese prosecutors have said that Taiwanese firms that use Japanese-made pornographic films to make profits online have not violated Japanese producers' copyrights.

The Taipei District Court Prosecutors' Office therefore announced it will not press charges against Elta Technologies Co and 10 other Taiwanese firms that Japanese studios have accused of infringing their copyrights.

Prosecutors argued that while Taiwan's Supreme Court rulings recognize copyrights in works of literature, science and the arts, they do not do so for pornographic materials.

The prosecutors also said that their investigation also showed that the Taiwanese firms posted warning signs and blocked minors from accessing their Web sites to view the films. These precautionary steps showed that they had also not violated laws banning the distribution of obscene images and videos.

 

23rd March

 Update: Sharing New Laws...


Nice 'n' Naughty

Spain proposes several strong measures to combat file sharing
Link Here  full story: File Sharing in Spain...Internet censorship in the name of preventing piracy

Spanish flagAfter becoming known as somewhat of a haven for both file-sharing sites and their users, Spain is preparing to crack down on breaches of intellectual property rights. In a blueprint published by the government, sites said to infringe copyright on a large-scale face fines of up to 300,000 euros and having their payment processors and advertisers removed. P2P downloads will also be outlawed by limiting the right to private copy.

In January 2012 it was revealed that the United States, tired with Spain's apparent lack of protection for intellectual property, had threatened to put the European country on a trade blacklist.

During a press conference Culture Minister Jose' Ignacio Wert said that the reforms have three objectives.

  • The first is to ensure that content rights management entities operate with greater transparency than they did in the past, with fines being levied if irregularities are found.
  • The second objective is to crack down on those who facilitate large-scale downloading of movies, music, TV shows and other cultural content.
  • Finally there is to be a review of the right to make private copies, for which rightsholders are currently compensated through a levy on blank media.

Sites will be required to remove wide ranges of infringing content on request, such as that from a particular rightsholder or artist, without having to deal with each instance individually as is the case today. Failure to comply will be costly, with penalties of up to 300,000 euros ($388,400) for sites that repeatedly fail to remove illicit content.

Culture Minister Wert went on to clarify that search engines such as Google, that may unwittingly link to content but comply with takedown requests, would be exempt.

Further augmenting the tools available, the draft sees the Copyright Commission being empowered to force companies to remove their advertising from illicit sites. In line with moves already underway in the United States and elsewhere in Europe, payment processors will also be forced to withdraw their services.

Currently Internet users aren't prosecuted since their downloads are covered by a levy on blank media, but the draft envisions these freedoms being removed -- and then some. The reforms see the right to private copying only covering legally obtained media, meaning that in theory file-sharers could be prosecuted for their downloads from unauthorized sources.

 

15th March

  A Winning Hand...

Opus Dei lose court case seeking compensation from a games developer who used the name for a card game
Link Here

opus dei card gameThe religious organization Opus Dei has lost a lawsuit against a Danish game developer behind the card game Opus Dei: Existence After religion . Opus Dei failed in their demands for compensation from game developer Mark Rees-Andersen.

Opus Dei claimed its name, which is Latin for God's Work was protected by trademark law, but the judges of the Maritime and Commercial Court found this was not the case, because the game was so different from the services that the organization offer. However when it comes to religious education and organizing religious meetings, then Opus Dei are within its rights to run the claim term Opus Dei .

Opus Dei have been ordered to pay $45,000 costs.

 

5th March

  It's Time to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking...

White House agrees with US petition
Link Here

white houseOfficial White House Response to Make Unlocking Cell Phones Legal. It's Time to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking

By R. David Edelman, Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation, & Privacy

Thank you for sharing your views on cell phone unlocking with us through your petition on our We the People platform. Last week the White House brought together experts from across government who work on telecommunications, technology, and copyright policy, and we're pleased to offer our response.

The White House agrees with the 114,000+ of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties. In fact, we believe the same principle should also apply to tablets, which are increasingly similar to smart phones. And if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren't bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network. It's common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers' needs.

This is particularly important for secondhand or other mobile devices that you might buy or receive as a gift, and want to activate on the wireless network that meets your needs -- even if it isn't the one on which the device was first activated. All consumers deserve that flexibility.

So where do we go from here?

The Obama Administration would support a range of approaches to addressing this issue, including narrow legislative fixes in the telecommunications space that make it clear: neither criminal law nor technological locks should prevent consumers from switching carriers when they are no longer bound by a service agreement or other obligation.

 

1st March

 Update: Kicking Ass...

High Court blocks UK internet users from 3 more major torrent sites
Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block

Old BaileyWebsite blocking is continuing in the UK, with the High Court adding three major torrent sites to the country's official ban list.

Following complaints from the music industry led by the BPI, the Court ordered the UK's leading Internet service providers to begin censoring subscriber access to Kickass Torrents, H33T and Fenopy.

Last year nine major record labels led by the BPI asked several of the UK's leading ISPs to censor The Pirate Bay. The process concluded at the end of April 2012 when the High Court ordered the site to be blocked.

October 2012 and the labels were back for more, this time asking six ISPs (BT, Sky, Virgin Media, O2, EE and TalkTalk) to begin blocking three more leading BitTorrent sites under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

 

26th February

 Update: Center for the Lack of Copyright Information...

US anti-file sharing measures kick off from today
Link Here

center for copyright information logo Today the controversial six-strikes anti-piracy system kicks off in the United States.

Soon the first BitTorrent users will receive so-called copyright alerts from their Internet provider and after multiple warnings subscribers will be punished. But, what these punishments entail remains a bit of a mystery. None of the participating ISPs have officially announced how they will treat repeat infringers and the CCI doesn't have this information either.

copyright alertsToday the MPAA and RIAA, helped by five major Internet providers in the United States, will start to warn BitTorrent pirates. The parties launched the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) and agreed on a system through which copyright infringers are warned that their behavior is unacceptable. After five or six warnings ISPs may then take a variety of repressive measures.

CCI Executive Director Jill Lesser announced:

Over the course of the next several days our participating ISPs will begin rolling out the system. Practically speaking, this means our content partners will begin sending notices of alleged P2P copyright infringement to ISPs, and the ISPs will begin forwarding those notices in the form of Copyright Alerts to consumers.

TorrentFreak have been seeking further details without much joy. The website reports:

From leaked information we previously learned that AT&T will block users' access to some of the most frequently visited websites on the Internet, until they complete a copyright course. Verizon will slow down the connection speeds of repeated pirates, and Time Warner Cable will temporarily interrupt people's ability to browse the Internet. The two remaining providers, Cablevison and Comcast, are expected to take similar measures. None of the ISPs will permanently disconnect repeat infringers as part of the plan.

More on this, and the other missing details on the six strikes system, will become clear during the coming months.

 

19th February

 Offsite Article: BPI set to block three more BitTorrent sites...

Link Here  full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block
bpi logoThe British Phonographic Industry (BPI) will ask the UK's six biggest ISPs to block three more sites accused of piracy at a court hearing.

See article from openrightsgroup.org

 

9th February

 Offsite Article: Devalued Games...

Link Here
Rumours that the new Xbox will impose oppressive restrictions to stop gamers selling or loaning their games to family and friends. Microsoft will then have to find different market models to introduce new games

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

31st January

 Offsite Article: Banning BitTorrent Client Software...

Link Here
CBS and CNET have asked a Californian federal court not to grant a ban on the distribution of file-sharing software through Download.com. A coalition of artists and billionaire Alki David claim that CBS induces piracy.

See article from torrentfreak.com

 

29th January

 Update: Now They'll Pay For It...

French Three Strikes legislation has proved ineffective in deterring file sharing, so cash fines look set to replace internet disconnection
Link Here  full story: International 3 Strikes Laws...File sharers threatened with loss of internet access

France flag For years entertainment companies have put huge efforts into campaigns to inflict so-called three strikes campaigns on errant Internet users who download music and movies for free. The ultimate sanction of disconnection has always been touted as necessary in order for people to take things seriously but over in France, a country that pioneered graduated response, it seems that the music biz now wants to ditch disconnections in favor of fines.

After more than five years of lobbying this ultimate punishment was built into the French Hadopi scheme but despite the issuing of more than a million warnings, people just aren't being disconnected. Not only is the measure unpopular and open to challenge, just last summer Culture Minister Aure'lie Filippetti described account suspension as a disproportionate sanction against the end goal.

So, with the disconnection option now pretty much dead in France, what could replace it as a deterrent? Getting hit in the pocket, it seems.

UPFI, (Union of Independent Phonographic Producers), said that it agreed with the opinion of French music rights group SACEM that a disconnection regime should be replaced with warnings along with fines of 140 euros.

In fact the French website Numerama have been told by sources familiar with the matter that it has already been 99% decided a new law will replace the internet suspension sanction with administrative fines (which means they would not be issued by a court after due process, but issued automatically by an administrative body). Numerama editor Guillaume Champeau told TorrentFreak:

Discussions remain as to how to set the thing up in the law ; the automatic fine system could be handled by a dedicated administrative authority, such as the current Hadopi's Rights Protection Committee; or by the Superior Audiovisual Concil, which is the current administrative body for television and radio.

The new law will be debated in Parliament in early 2013.

 

27th January

 Offsite Article: New US phone law a danger to free speech...

Link Here
An end to phone unlocking in the US

See article from blog.indexoncensorship.org

 

26th January

 Offsite Article: US Gambling Debts...

Link Here
Antigua plans to extract compensation for illegal US internet censorship of their gambling companies via a website selling music and films that withholds payment to US copyright holders

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

22nd January

 Offsite Article: Music Sharers are also Music Buyers...

Link Here
Survey shows that file sharers buy 30% more music than non-sharers. But then again listeners have always had to be hooked in by free music, whether it be radio, TV, disco or friends

See article from tweaktown.com

 

9th January

  Unshared Concerns...

US adult industry left out of the Copyright Alert System
Link Here

Free Speech Colaition The porn industry has been left out of the US system designed to counter file sharing.

US broadband companies will soon be sending out warning letters when their customers are detected by file sharing surveillance.

The porn industry wasn't approached about participating in Copyright Alert System, said Joanne Cachapero, communications director of the Free Speech Coalition, representing the US adult trade. CAS not inviting her industry was a significant oversight she said.

 

8th January

 Offsite Article: Dewebbing the World Wide Web...

Link Here
Irish newspapers seek to charge websites for linking to their articles

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

1st January

 Offsite Article: Fair Use...

Link Here
A detailed look at the frequently mentioned exclusion to US copyright law

See article from xbiz.com