The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is infamous at this point for being very, very tight-fisted with any and all things Olympic. And it makes sense, to a point: they literally have one job (Olympics) and companies sign contracts worth billions of dollars for exclusive rights to air and share the Games. Even using gifs of Olympic events is banned, a harsh rule in our visual and image-based era. So you can imagine how well the IOC takes to having anyone live-streaming the events on the sly. (Spoiler: not well at all.)
Let’s be honest here: we probably mostly have a mental picture of the kind of entity that gets accused of software piracy, and that picture is probably someone in their late teens or early twenties. What it doesn’t look like in probably anyone’s head is “like a division of the U.S. military.” And yet that’s exactly who — or what — is being sued for copyright infringement on a massive scale.
People, by and large, will do the thing that’s easiest and most convenient to do. In 1999, the easiest way to get digital music was to log onto Napster and leave it running overnight, and so an era of widely-distributed internet piracy was born. These days, it’s pretty easy to access legal digital goods, so more people do that — but piracy still lurks around the edge. So how to quash it?
HBO’s Game of Thrones isn’t just another wacky sitcom about fancy chairs. It’s also the most frequently pirated show on TV, with huge numbers of people clamoring each week to download and share the latest episode. Scammers are now trying to cash in on this sizable audience by sending phishing emails disguised as copyright notices. [More]
Lots of things made our modern all-online, all-video era possible: Internet connections got faster, tech got cheaper, and so on. But the thing that made companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu willing and able to become household names in TV is a little invisible: it’s the ability to keep you paying for content.
Usually, when you hear of a video pirate getting caught, it’s because of vigilant theater staff or annoyed theatergoers, but it was a piracy-monitoring service in India that resulted in a college student from Indiana being arrested for live-streaming a movie premiere from inside a Chicago theater. [More]
Last week, we told you about Screening Room, the streaming video startup from Napster co-founder and guy-who-was-played-by-Justin-Timberlake-in-that-Facebook-movie Sean Parker that hopes to sell home video access to new movies the same they hit theaters. Even though the Screening Room model reportedly includes plans to share the wealth with theater owners, an industry lobbying group is shrugging off the idea. [More]
Kanye West’s latest album, The Life of Pablo, was originally supposed to be a short-time exclusive on the $20/month streaming service Tidal, but then the fickle artist announced over the weekend that it would remain a Tidal exclusive, with the implication that anyone who wants to hear it needs to ante up for the monthly subscription… or illegally download it like more than half a million people have already done. [More]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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.
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.
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]
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]
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]