Melon Farmers Original Version

File Sharing Games

UK games industry vs file sharers

20th February

Offsite: Little Sponges...

An interview with Vivienne Pattison

Heather Bellamy: In the last year many people have been discussing the sexualisation of children in our society. Children accessing pornography online would be part of that. However the issue is far bigger; for example, last year Westfield Shopping Centre in London ran a series of pornographic advertising billboards for clothing that anybody could see just walking into the Shopping Centre. Did you pick up on that?

Vivienne Pattison: Yes and there was an outcry and I'm very pleased about that. Retailers and broadcasters or whoever it is, they go so far and then they suddenly realise that they've gone too far and they'll hit a public wall of approbation and people are absolutely furious about it. I don't think that we can point our fingers at any one section and say, it's your fault that children are sexualised like this; it's part of a massive thing. Children are like little sponges soaking up; in educational terms, soaking up all the messages around them. They pick things up from billboards, on the television, they access the internet and they see stuff in shops. All these things go together to form a very complex jigsaw of the way in which they view the world.

...Read full article


25th February

Update: Copyright on Bullying...

Wikileaks facing legal action over copyright letters

Late last year, Wikileaks obtained a copy of one of the copyright infringement letters sent by the infamous law firm Davenport Lyons. The law firm, at the time, had been sending tens of thousands of these letters which threatened to take the recipients to court if they don't pay just over £500.

The law firm is now actively trying to censor the letter itself claiming that the letter is protected under British copyright law.

The legal threat letters themselves contain a file hash value, and IP address and a time stamp that is being used as evidence flimsy evidence according to many people who have observed the legal side of file-sharing. The reason it is seen as flimsy is that many files may have the same hash value. Second of all, there is no evidence provided that verified that the file name matched what the actual work was. For all we know, it could have been a 5 minute porn clip rather than a music video. Thirdly, there's no evidence to suggest that an IP address is linked to an individual. The computer could be used by someone other than the owner of the connection. There could be a wifi connection that other users, including unauthorized ones, could be using that IP address. Finally, a time stamp doesn't contribute much into proving that a copyrighted work has been uploaded.

One might argue that the reason that Davenport Lyons don't want the letters published in the first place is because they don't want their letters subject to public or any real legal scrutiny. It's much easier to attack a single individual singled out rather than attacking a single individual with the public sphere watching. It's little wonder why the copyright industry has been seen as a bully throughout the years really. If they truly feel they are in the right, why the need to hide their activities in the first place?


21st August

Sharing Injustice...

So much for human rights and proportionate punishments

A woman has been ordered to pay more than ฃ16,000 in a landmark ruling. Isabella Barwinska is the first offender to pay damages after being taken to court in the UK by computer game manufacturers seeking to protect their copyright.

The move comes after similar action has been taken by the music industry in a bid to stop illegal file sharing.

The decision was reached last month at the Patents County Court in London. On July 22 the court ordered that she must pay damages of ฃ6,086.56 and costs of ฃ10,000 to Topware Interactive which owns the computer game Dream Pinball 3D.

Former neighbours told how Barwinksa is an unemployed mother of two who has since moved to Canning Town, East London. It is understood that she did not file share for commercial profit or gain and was given 28 days to settle the judgement. She will face further legal action if she does not pay the legal bill by August 25.

In such cases those who file share are initially contacted and asked to pay a nominal amount - normally a few hundred pounds - to avoid civil proceedings after also agreeing to stop file sharing. Some 35% of people pay but others who ignore the threat of legal action or do not attempt to defend it can often find themselves in court and face ludicrously inproportionate penalties.



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