HBO has a bit of a challenge on its hands: every new episode of its mega-hit Game of Thrones is viewed by tens of millions of fans… but a huge percentage of them aren’t actually HBO subscribers. They’re pirating the show, instead. And once again, the show’s most recent season has landed at the top of the “most-torrented” lists for the year. [More]
There are a growing number of pirated live video streams available online, giving viewers unauthorized access to pay-TV, pay-per-view events, and other feeds. Copyright holders say the usual method of sending a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice isn’t fast or effective enough, as hosts of these streams either ignore the demands or quickly move to a different host. Now, Cisco says it has developed a way for copyright holders to play a better game of Anti-Piracy Whac-A-Mole by giving them a way to cut off feeds mid-stream. [More]
Leaking That Movie Where Leo DiCaprio Dances With A Bear Will Cost Former Dr. Phil Show Staffer $1.12 Million
Every awards season, the internet fills up with pristine, pirated copies of Oscar-contending movies, many of them ripped from screeners sent out by the studios to promote the films. One staffer on the Dr. Phil Show who has admitted to leaking a copy of The Revenant online was recently sentenced to fork over $1.12 million to the studio. [More]
There are a number of sites and services that will let you easily convert a streaming YouTube video into a more usable file. YouTube itself has gone after some of these sites, but now the recording industry is challenging the legality of a popular site that allows users to rip audio-only MP3 files from YouTube clips. [More]
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.