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.
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.
Often when we hear about Hollywood seeking to snuff out online piracy, it’s the sites or services that distribute that content that are the targets of any legal action. But this time, the studio behind a direct-to-DVD flick starring Pierce Brosnan is going after 16 users of Popcorn Time, a service that uses an integrated media player to stream movies and TV from torrent sites.
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.
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]
In “who hates Google Glass owners today?” news, the Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners have updated their joint anti-piracy policy to add wearable electronics devices — but really just Google Glass — to the list of verboten items to operate while enjoying that movie you should have just waited to watch on your TV. [More]
Have you been wanting to catch up on Game of Thrones but don’t have HBO (or a friend who will share her HBO Go login info)? People who search for things like “Game of Thrones Download” on Google are now being greeted by ads from services offering legal ways to pay for the content you’re after. [More]
A few years back, the entertainment industry used its unique charms (read: money) to glamour several members of Congress into supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act, one of the few pieces of legislation to draw almost universal disdain from everyone other than the industry that backed it, as it would have exacerbated the shoot-first-maybe-investigate-later model already in place thanks to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Thankfully, some Congressional aides actually look at the Internet and sensed the public backlash wasn’t worth the campaign donations that their bosses were still going to get anyway, and SOPA failed. Now the industry says it wants to combat piracy by winning over consumers instead of arresting teenagers. [More]
The Motion Picture Association of America has released new best practices guidelines for movie theater operators who want to crack down on that worst of crimes — the shaky-cam pirated movie. To that end, the MPAA is suggesting a zero-tolerance policy, not just for people caught trying to record a motion picture, but for anyone who dares to take out their cellphone to take a photo during a screening. [More]
If you read stories about movie piracy, you’ll hear the industry throw around some very specific numbers about how much money is lost to pirates by the U.S. movie business every year, but when it comes time to actually detail those damages in court, the MPAA says actual piracy damages “are not capable of meaningful measurement.” [More]
Google is making some tweaks in how its search engine runs in order to crack down on any sites that could possibly be promoting or hosting pirated entertainment content. As for why, well, there are a few prevailing thoughts. Perhaps it’s because the entertainment industry wouldn’t get off Google’s back for letting users find free movies and music on the Internet or maybe Google just wants to impress the cool kids of Hollywood so it doesn’t get sued.
Making a copy of a new DVD to send to a loved one stationed overseas with the armed forces is something many people would consider just fine. Making thousands of copies of that same DVD for sale on street corners would likely earn some frowns from the public. But what about someone — especially an adorable nonagenarian World War II vet — who makes thousands of copies for the sole purpose of entertaining the troops?
MPAA Calls Anti-SOPA Blackouts A "Gimmick" To Punish Politicians & Turn Us All Into "Corporate Pawns"
The Motion Picture Association of America cares about you. It doesn’t want children to see boobs or hear curse words (though rampant bloodshed is cool) and it doesn’t want you to turn into a pawn of the big corporations that it says are really behind today’s blackouts at sites like Craiglist and Wikipedia, which everyone knows are both monstrous examples of corporate greed.
If you listen very closely, you can just hear the agonized shrieks of torrent site users bemoaning the loss of their favorite movie-providing sites. The Motion Picture Association of America joined forces with Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN to shut down 12 torrent sites in the U.S. and 39 more abroad.
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: