A legal brief submitted by an attorney representing The Motion Picture Association of America states that intellectual-property holders should have the right to collect up to $150,000 per violation without having to actually prove copyright infringement, Wired reports. The MPAA attorney, who seems to feel very inconvenienced by the whole “due process” thing writes, “It is often very difficult, and in some cases, impossible, to provide such direct proof when confronting modern forms of copyright infringement, whether over P2P networks or otherwise; understandably, copyright infringers typically do not keep records of infringement.” Details, inside…
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…
BitTorrent tracking site The Pirate Bay was raided by Swedish Police, and now the site claims they found evidence that the chief of police who called the raid was in the employ of Warner Brothers. [The Pirate Bay]
Last week the House voted 354-58 to approve a college funding bill that requires colleges to “make plans to offer some form of legal alternative to P2P file-swapping” and to implement some form of network filtering. Luckily for sane people everywhere, the White House has already made veto-noises at the bill for other reasons—but still, the MPAA came that much closer to forcing its admittedly false worldview on universities.
AT&T and Comcast may be willing to help Hollywood control piracy on their networks, but Verizon wants none of it, says the New York Times.
BONUS QUOTE:“Illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing is a society-wide problem. Some of it occurs at college s and universities but it is a small portion of the total,” [Terry Hartle ,vice president of the American Council on Education] said, adding colleges will continue to take the problem seriously, but more regulation isn’t necessary.
DVD sales slipped for the first time since the format was introduced in 1997, says USAToday.
It’s official: Walmart is no longer in the video download business.
The MPAA’s “University Toolkit,” a controversial suite of programs designed to help colleges monitor their networks for copyright infringement has been taken down for copyright infringement. Life is mysterious and magical, isn’t it? [BoingBoing]
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling takes a dim view of independently authored reference books, it seems. She’s joined a lawsuit to stop the publication of a fan-written reference book based on a website that she herself admitted to using while fact checking her writing.
Ars Technica is reporting that there is a provision in a massive new education bill that would punish schools that don’t police p2p traffic on their networks by cutting federal financial aid. In addition, the bill requires that schools offer an industry approved alternative to file sharing, such as Napster or Rhapsody.
MediaDefender, a company that “disrupts” p2p on behalf of record labels and movie studios, suffered an embarrassing leak this weekend when 700MB of internal company emails were distributed on the internet. Oops!
The MPAA is serious about stopping piracy—so serious that they’ve hired DVD-sniffing dogs to patrol border-crossings. No, we’re not kidding. DVD-sniffing dogs are real and they’re already on the job!
Here’s the creepiest complaint we’ve received in a long, long time. Reader Sam says he was filmed by a security guard contracted by Time/Warner during a recent showing of The Invasion at an AMC movie theater.
Don’t use your digital camera in a theater to record 20 seconds of the movie Transformers (even if it’s just to show your little brother) or you could face 1 year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
The CCIA, an industry trade group representing the interests of the likes of Google and Microsoft, asked us to let you know they’ve started an online petition at DefendFairUse.org.
Google, Microsoft, and others speaking through the Computer and Communications Industry Association or CCIA, have announced their intention to file a complaint with the FCC accusing copyright holders such as Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the MPAA and the RIAA of “overstating” their rights in various consumer warnings.