For several years, a small number of law firms have made an awful lot of money by identifying people it believes have used BitTorrent to download copyrighted porn, then nudging those people into paying up rather than having their names be made public. Comcast has decided it doesn’t want to be a part of such behavior and is refusing to comply with subpoenas in these cases. [More]
For the first several years of the entertainment industry’s crackdown on online piracy, American pornographers did very little to go after the people who filled up gigabyte after gigabyte of hard drive space with bittorrented x-rated material. But in recent years, realizing there is money to be made by merely threatening “John Doe” defendants with making their names and downloading habits public, that has begun to change. But one California woman is fighting back, claiming that the porn she didn’t violate copyright laws because the porn she’s accused of downloading isn’t copyrightable. [More]
Earlier this week, we told you about how the torrent freaks at TorrentFreak claimed to have discovered that some people at anti-piracy stalwart the Recording Industry Association of America had been illegally using BitTorrent to download copyrighted material, including five full seasons of Showtime hit Dexter. RIAA has since come out with an explanation, one that sounds exactly like the defense used by the very people it has pushed to have prosecuted — “it wasn’t us.” [More]
Although it’s tough for bean counters to take much joy in their product being massively pirated, there’s little question that popularity with the freeloaders translates to success with paying customers. That’s why it’s not much of a surprise that Avatar, the all-time highest-grossing film, is also the most pirated. [More]
“Grandma, what are you doing on the Internet? Oh, downloading porn illegally?” Yeah, that scenario doesn’t seem too likely, but nonetheless, a 70-year-old woman is being told to pay up in a settlement pushed by a Chicago law firm, claiming she and others pirated porn. [More]
Hopefully 23,000 users who allegedly illegally downloaded The Expendables really, really enjoyed the movie, because now they’ll be paying for it with fear and loathing brought on by a lawsuit, as well as possibly tons of money. [More]
Say what you will about this exit survey for unsubscribing Netflix customers, but at least it’s realistic about why people cancel Netflix. It’s especially thoughtful of Netflix to include the addresses of still-functioning torrent sites for those users who aren’t yet familiar with them. (Thanks, MedicallyNeedy!)
Ever have one of those days where you’re browsing along, everything is cool, but then it seems like whenever you try to watch YouTube or download, your speed suddenly plummets? Your ISP could be “shaping” your traffic, intentionally throttling your rates for certain kind of media. To test it out, you can try running this Glasnost test. [More]
Do you share your personal info with everyone on Facebook? If so, there’s a decent chance that data is now part of a file — containing information for around 100 million users of the social networking site — that’s now making its way around the Web. [More]
Wolfire Games is running a special sale called the Humble Bundle, where you can pay as little as one penny via PayPal, Google Checkout, or Amazon, for five cross-platform indie games that are completely free of DRM or even serial numbers. Despite that, says the company, it looks like over 25% of downloads are coming from “shared links from forums and other places without actually contributing anything.” That’s not counting anything happening over BitTorrent. [More]
If you’re trying to pirate the Japanese erotic manga game Cross Days–and I don’t care what people say, I love that I live in a world where I can type that phrase–you should know that the game’s developers are wise to you, and they’re going to do their best to shame and embarrass you. [More]
The New York Times is reporting that Viacom plans to pull its Comedy Central programming from Hulu next week because it can’t reach an agreement with the video site on compensation. In a post today on its blog, a Hulu executive notes that Hulu was “unable to secure the rights to extend these shows,” and that they’ll be gone as of 11:59 pm PST next Tuesday, March 9th. After that, you can continue watching them on TheDailyShow.com and ColbertNation.com. [More]
At first we thought this was a new Black Eyed Peas video, but then we watched from the beginning and realized that it’s actually an attempt to convince you that you should not copy that. Our favorite bit starts at the 2:24 mark, when the little girl’s criminal activity leads to government agents bashing down the door to her house and attacking her poor mama.
Update: It turns out the problem is with OpenDNS, not Qwest. The original post is below.
Google has assembled a suite of free tools (developed by researchers, not by Google itself) that let you measure things like BitTorrent throttling, upload/download speeds, and last mile snafus. In exchange for “free,” the test data is being made public to enable further study of broadband connections. You might want to bookmark the site for future reference when you’re trying to figure out what’s going on with your ISP.
Last week, Walmart sent out emails to its online music store customers letting them know that on October 9th, 2008, they will no longer be able to play any DRM-crippled tracks. Unlike Yahoo, which did the right thing by offering free replacement downloads of unprotected songs when they killed their DRM program, Walmart simply brags about its new unlicensed model and tells you to burn your protected tracks to CD if you really want to listen to them in the future. Good job, Walmart, there goes another betrayed consumer into the welcoming arms of digital piracy. And another. And another…
When we read stories like Tanya Andersen’s and consider the countless others who have been wrongfully targeted by trade groups like the RIAA, it becomes evident that the system by which DMCA takedown notices are issued is very far from perfect. For the uninitiated, DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notices are official statements which assert that an artist’s or company’s intellectual rights have been violated (i.e. copyright infringement) and often threaten legal action against an individual. In a study conducted by the University of Washington, researchers proved that this system is seriously flawed, according to the New York Times. In one experiment, the team received takedown notices from the MPAA which accused 3 laserjet printers of downloading the latest Indiana Jones movie and Iron Man. More, inside…