A federal judge yesterday bench slapped the Recording Industry of America, calling a jury’s $675,000 verdict against file sharer Joel Tenenbaum both eye-popping and unconstitutional. The judge struck a strikingly populist tone in reducing the verdict to $67,500, arguing that the same legal reasoning that protects large corporations from excessive punitive damages also protects “ordinary people” like Tenenbaum. [More]
We’re guessing the government has quarterly quotas for number of sites pushing pirated movies it shuts down, because on the last day of June the feds swooped in and shivered the timbers of several sites that had been allowing cheapos to not spend $12 to see Jonah Hex and other fine Hollywood offerings. [More]
If you’re one of the 5,000 “John or Jane Does” accused of illegally downloading copies of The Hurt Locker, and your ISP is Time Warner Cable, you may be safely airlifted out of the battle zone. According to the law firm representing Hurt Locker producer Voltage Pictures, TWC is “a good ISP for copyright infringers” because it won’t hand over the names of its customers as quickly as the lawyers would like. [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]
Yesterday we wrote about someone who downloaded a pirated copy of a game after he couldn’t gain access to the copy he’d already paid for. In that case, which most of our commenters supported, it was clear that the consumer was trying to resolve a problem created by the DRM. But what about if you own a printed copy of a book and you simply want to read the ebook version? Should you have to pay for a second copy? Randy Cohen, who writes the The Ethicist column for the New York Times, says downloading a copy you find online is ethical. [More]
An anonymous gamer wrote in to tell us why he felt justified to illegally download a copy of Red Faction: Guerilla: He bought it on one computer but found the DRM locked him out of re-activating the game on his new computer. When customer service couldn’t help him, he went rogue. [More]
The felony piracy charges against a woman who accidentally taped a few minutes of the film “New Moon” while taking videos of her sister’s birthday party have been dropped. The incident occurred at a theater in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, and Cook County prosecutors announced today that they have dropped the case. [More]
Coshocton, OH has its free muni WiFi back up, less than a week after it was shut down by MPAA actions over a single illegal movie download.
The MPAA forced the town Coshocton, OH to shut down their entire free municipal WiFi network because of a single instance of a single user illegally downloading a copyrighted movie. Here are some of the many other things the town used to use the network for:
The Motion Picture Association of American wants to rent movies to TV viewers earlier in the release window, but they don’t want anyone potentially streaming that video out to other appliances. That’s why last week they went back to the FCC to once again ask for the power to disable analog ports on consumer television sets.
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.
A Boston jury yesterday ruled that file sharer Joel Tenenbaum would have to pay the Recording Industry of America $675,000 for sharing 30 copyrighted songs. The hefty award was all the more surprising because Tenenbaum was represented by a crack team of legal eagles from Harvard’s law school. The trial didn’t unfold nearly the way they planned…
Yo ho ho and a bottle of illegally downloaded Paul Blart: Mall Cop. A Futuresource Consulting survey says 10 percent of the people it spoke to in the United States and Europe have watched illegally downloaded movies.
Let’s start with an explanation of why there’s an Arizona Cardinals jet pictured in a story about a new DVD player: Because the Cardinals’ out-of-nowhere NFC championship earlier this year has so far only been matched in miraculousness by one other development — the advent of Facet, a DVD player that lets you save movies to an internal hard drive.
Update: It turns out the special chips used in the headphone controls of the third generation Shuffle don’t contain any DRM after all, so any attempts at reverse-engineering won’t bring on the wrath of the DMCA.