While sailing the seven seas of legally questionable file sharing, freeloaders apparently cast their treasure nets for the likes of Thor, Glee, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Green Lantern. Those titles were reportedly among the most searched-for BitTorrent phrases in 2011.
The studio that produced The Hurt Locker sued 24,583 unnamed people for illegally downloading the film. Now more than 21,000 of those John Does can breathe a little easier because the studio has dismissed them from the suit, leaving more than 2,300 in its sights.
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.
Nicolas Chartier, the movie producer who was banned from the Oscars for sending nastygrams about Avatar, and more recently, told a critic, “you’re a moron who believes stealing is right. I hope your family and your kids end up in jail,” is nothing if not consistent. Chartier has made good on his earlier threat to sue people who downloaded copies of The Hurt Locker, by filing a suit against 5,000 anonymous downloaders in Washington, D.C.
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.
Digital software downloads! Fast. Convenient. But sometimes, it can’t compare with having a physical disc and a printed product key sitting in front of you. That’s what Daniel’s roommate learned when he tried to download Windows 7 from Digital River.
Yesterday the FCC announced new, expanded rules enforcing net neutrality, and they’ve set aside the next 60 days for public debate. Get ready to hear all sorts of creative end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it arguments from opponents like AT&T. We’ve checked out the official document (pdf) and below we summarize the changes that are open to public discussion for the next two months.
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 lot of people out there on the Interwebs apparently didn’t read our article about Kodak Gallery, and their photos were deleted from Gallery starting two weeks ago if they didn’t either pay up or make a photo print purchase. Many customers were fully aware of the deadline, but since Kodak provided no easy way to export full-size photos from the galleries, they were forced to download thousands of files one. at. a. time.
MP3newswire.net browsed through not-quite-hits from past decades on the iTunes Music Store to see where these fabled 69 cent music tracks are hiding. He tried the Katydids, Camper Van Beethoven, the Lyres, Rock and Roll Trio, but found nothing below 99 cents. Then he went back to be-bop and blues recordings of the ’40s—nope. Finally, he looked at songs from Ada Jones, a recording artist from 1893 to 1922. Everything was still 99 cents.
Say what you will about Apple’s dominion over the music industry, but for a while now they’ve maintained an artificially low market for music tracks by forcing labels to sell songs for 99 cents each. That era is over: in exchange for moving to a higher bitrate and going 100% DRM free (hooray) iTunes has officially introduced “variable pricing” (boo), which means each track may cost 69 cents, 99 cents, or $1.29—it all depends on the song and the label. It looks like Amazon has introduced variable pricing as well, although it’s mostly holding to the 99 cents threshold for now. Amazon’s tracks, by the way, have always been free of DRM.
Cable is one of the first things you should cut to keep expenses down, but that doesn’t mean you should ditch your favorite shows. J.D. over at Get Rich Slowly cut his cable bill from $65.82 to $11.30 without missing a single harrowing plot twist. Here’s how he did it…
Apple has dropped DRM from iTunes — and is offering to remove their DRM from music you already bought for the low, low fee of $0.30 per song.
The Wall Street Journal and Ars Technica are reporting that the RIAA has announced a fairly dramatic change in its strategy to fight piracy.
Reader Michael forwarded Comcast’s official warning about the new 250 GB download cap that they’ve added (or rather, that they’ve now admitted to) in their Acceptable Use Policy. The cap has been in place for some time, but Comcast is just now getting around to telling everyone about it.
Broadband Reports is saying that they’ve confirmed through several sources that Comcast is going to be instituting a 250GB cap on their high speed internet.