(Jenn and Tony Bot)

Warner Bros., BMG, Rightscorp Agree To Pay $450K For Using Robocalls To Hassle Alleged Music Pirates

Even when you’ve been accused of violating the copyright of a major music publishers, you still have the right to not be harassed by unsolicited pre-recorded calls demanding payment for those supposed violations. That’s why Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and other defendants have agreed to pay out $450,000 to thousands of alleged music pirates. [More]

Warner Bros. and DCP contend that these devices are being used to circumvent established copyright protections on ultra-HD content.

Warner Bros. Trying To Block Devices That Get Around 4K Video Copyright Protection

A week ago, Warner Bros. home video folks announced they would be catering to the growing number of 4K TV owners by releasing 35 recent titles — including Mad Max: Fury Road and The LEGO Movie — on ultra-HD BluRay discs. Two days later, the entertainment giant was in court, suing to stop a company from selling devices that would let users get around the digital copyright protections on these, and other, 4K titles. [More]

Cox Must Pay $25M For Failing To Stop Repeat Pirates

Cox Must Pay $25M For Failing To Stop Repeat Pirates

Weeks after a court ruled that Cox Communications had deliberately ignored repeat piracy offenders and put up roadblocks to prevent certain copyright holders from filing infringement claims, a jury has handed down a $25 million verdict against the cable and Internet provider. [More]

Even Pirated Media Files Are Now Upgrading To 4K

Even Pirated Media Files Are Now Upgrading To 4K

The grainy bootleg tapes and even DVDs of yesteryear are gone, gone, gone. Among today’s daily signs that we all are, indeed, now living in a bright, shiny future: Even pirated video is apparently now in pixel-perfect ultra-HD. [More]

Court Ruling On Trade Dispute Also Prevents MPAA From Blocking File-Sharing Sites

Court Ruling On Trade Dispute Also Prevents MPAA From Blocking File-Sharing Sites

The internet can be very weird sometimes, as can the massive patchwork of regulation and case law that holds the world together. And so it came to pass this summer that we found ourselves looking at an otherwise-obscure court case about braces — yes, the teeth kind — that could upend the way the entire internet works in the name of preventing media piracy. Happily, it looks like the internet, in all its chaotic and sometimes illegal glory, gets to keep marching on for the time being. [More]


MPAA Celebrates The Shutdown Of Two Sites Accused Of Circulating Pirated Movies

The Motion Picture Association of America is doing a happy dance right now at the news that two online services that distribute movies and TV have been shuttered: Popcorn Time, which streams content from torrent sites and is sometimes called “Netflix for pirates,” and YTS, a site that has pirated editions of movies using BitTorrent software. [More]


Trade Dispute About Dental Devices Could End Up Changing The Future Of The Entire Internet

The entire future of the internet may now depend on some plastic retainers. Specifically, two competing versions of those clear plastic alignment systems adults sometimes get instead of braces. And if that sounds weird — which to be fair, it really is — well, welcome to the strange, utterly pervasive world of IP law in a digital century. [More]

Universal either has the stupidest copyright bot on the planet or it genuinely doesn't want people going to the one website on Earth everyone goes to for basic information about movies.

Universal Studios Copyright Bot Stupidly Asks Google To Delist IMDb Page For “Furious 7”

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it’s against the law to knowingly misrepresent a copyright infringement claim, and yet copyright holders and the automated bots they use to spit out these takedown and delist demands continue to make sweeping, obviously inaccurate claims without penalty. The latest example comes to us courtesy of Comcast-owned Universal Studios. [More]

Cox Customers Convince Court To Remove Them From Piracy Lawsuit

Cox Customers Convince Court To Remove Them From Piracy Lawsuit

We recently told you about a number of Cox broadband subscribers who were caught up in a piracy lawsuit filed against the cable company by music publishing giant BMG Rights Management. These customers said their personal information should not be involved in this legal dispute because they had nothing to do with the alleged content theft. Last week, the judge in the case sided with some Cox subscribers while saying that others hadn’t done enough to separate themselves from the dispute. [More]

Innocent Cox Customers Fighting To Prevent Personal Info From Being Turned Over In Piracy Lawsuit

Innocent Cox Customers Fighting To Prevent Personal Info From Being Turned Over In Piracy Lawsuit

Imagine you get a letter from your Internet service provider giving you some odd news: You’re not being accused of piracy, but there’s a court order demanding that the ISP hand over your information to a copyright holder who thinks you might be a pirate. That’s the case for several Cox customers who have been caught up in a lawsuit between the cable company and a mammoth music publisher. [More]

This is probably the face the user made when he realized he was being asked to pay $20 for pirating a single Friends episode that's probably airing on a half-dozen stations this week.

Pirate A 20-Year-Old Friends Episode, Get Hit With A $20 Bill From Warner Bros.

A quick search on our TV menu here in the Consumerist Cave finds that there are more than 150 episodes of Friends set to air on various channels — both cable and broadcast — over the next couple of weeks. Not bad for a show that’s been off the air for over a decade and which is also streaming in its entirety on Netflix. Given this ready availability, we don’t know why one would download a pirated copy of a Friends episode, but if you do, prepare to be slapped with a bill for $20 from Warner Bros. [More]

The MPAA's website for its research grant program makes no mention that research papers must be in line with the group's stance on copyright and piracy, but a leaked e-mail from the MPAA General Counsel tells a different story.

MPAA Will Pay You $20,000 For Your Pro-Copyright Research

Are you a college-affiliated academic who could use an extra $20,000? Do you have strong feelings in favor of copyright protections? Then the Motion Picture Association of America has a deal for you! [More]

Netflix Bases International Pricing On Country’s Piracy Level

Netflix Bases International Pricing On Country’s Piracy Level

Netflix has rapidly expanded beyond the borders of the U.S. and now has 60 million subscribers worldwide. However the price of Netflix service varies from country to country, and the company says this is due in no small part to local piracy levels. [More]

Though we can't imagine why anyone would want to watch Game of Thrones through someone else's smartphone, a number of Periscope users chose to share Sunday's season premiere with their Twitter friends. (image via Mumbrella)

HBO Complains To Twitter About Periscope Users Who Streamed Game Of Thrones

While plenty of people were legally watching the Game of Thrones season premiere on Sunday, some of those viewers were also using their accounts on Periscope, the Twitter-owned live-streaming service, to illegally re-broadcast the show to their online pals. In response, HBO has sent takedown notices and these Periscope users may have their accounts suspended. [More]

Judge Says An IP Address Is Not Enough To Identify A Movie Pirate

Judge Says An IP Address Is Not Enough To Identify A Movie Pirate

Since the dawn of online piracy, media companies have been serving subpoenas on Internet service providers to try to compel them to match up IP addresses of alleged pirates with the names on the accounts tied to those IP addresses. Unless the ISPs put up a fight, courts frequently grant these subpoenas, but one federal judge in Florida has said that a mere IP address is not sufficient to identify someone as a pirate. [More]

C'mon, we all know it was Eugene who uploaded the spoiler clips to Vimeo.

AMC Goes To Court To Identify Who Is Posting Spoiler Clips Of ‘Walking Dead’

While most of us never see a TV show until it airs, there are all manner of people out there — from network people to entertainment reporters to advertisers — who often get to see episodes ahead of time, and some of these folks (or maybe their idiot kids or roommates) are then sharing these videos online with spoiler-hungry fan communities. For the producers of hit AMC show The Walking Dead, it’s not enough to just take these spoiler videos down as they pop up, they want to know where the clips are coming from. [More]

People who use pirated versions of Today Calendar Pro can expect frequent reminders to walk the plank. (via imgur)

App Developer Fights Piracy By Sticking Them With Pirate-Themed Version Of App

There are countless ways that software developers and media companies have tried to prevent pirates from illegally copying and distributing their products, but even if those roadblocks work right now, they won’t be effective for long. So one developer of an oft-pirated Android app decided the only way to deal with pirates is to acknowledge their existence. [More]

"Why is papa so sad?" "Because he's been downloaded 500,000 times without getting paid for it."

High Number Of Oscar Screeners Hit Pirate Sites

While you and I have had to pay to see all this year’s possible Oscar contenders (some of which haven’t even been released outside of NYC and L.A. yet), members of the various nominating guilds have been sitting at home and watching these films for free on screeners provided by the studios. And even though the movie industry tries to keep these screeners from getting out, a record number of them are readily available through pirate torrent sites. [More]