“Grandma, what are you doing on the Internet? Oh, downloading porn illegally?” Yeah, that scenario doesn’t seem too likely, but nonetheless, a 70-year-old woman is being told to pay up in a settlement pushed by a Chicago law firm, claiming she and others pirated porn.
We know, because you’ve told us, that a number of you prefer to get your movies and premium TV via less-than-legal internet sources. We’re not going to judge you for that, but you may soon begin seeing notices from the new Copyright Alert System to let you know that they are aware of your dirty downloads and would you kindly stop.
A copyright lawsuit against CBS Interactive, the parent company of CNET, claims the company helped others infringe on copyrights by promoting and profiting on LimeWire downloads via Download.com in 2008. But when asked to provide a list of songs and movies that CNET allegedly helped others pirate, the plaintiffs came up with only six obscure titles: one movie (2007’s Fish Tales) and five songs which don’t yet have U.S. copyright registration.
If anti-piracy California legislation becomes law, authorities will be able to enter facilities suspected of pirating movie and music discs and seize equipment without first receiving warrants.
Most publishers and some authors believe online piracy robs them of potential income, but at least one writer has managed to turn the digital pilfering of his wares into a potential gain. He says he’s downloaded copies of out-of-print work with the idea of converting the files into legit e-books he can sell.
Hopefully 23,000 users who allegedly illegally downloaded The Expendables really, really enjoyed the movie, because now they’ll be paying for it with fear and loathing brought on by a lawsuit, as well as possibly tons of money.
A lawsuit led by rap artists alleges CBS Interactive, the parent company of CNET, aided copyright infringement by promoting and profiting on downloads of file-sharing service LimeWire.
In a decision that could have long-term implications for cybercrime prosecution, a U.S. District judge ruled that IP addresses do not directly represent people, and thus aren’t fair criteria for copyright holders to subpoena individuals.
In it’s all-out legal quest to stomp an alleged hacker who released a PS3 jailbreak, Sony continues to seem to get whatever information it wants via legal channels. After being allowed to collect the IP addresses of anyone who visited the alleged hacker’s site, Sony has now been given the go-ahead from a federal magistrate to collect the man’s PayPal records.
A major reason for a video game company to come out with a new device is to make it safer from attacks by modders who find ways to let the systems play unlicensed games, as well as swipe copies of legit titles. Nintendo’s honeymoon for the 3DS handheld — which was just released in Japan and comes to the U.S. in late March — is now over before it really started.
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.
Federal prosecutors dropped their case against a California man accused of modding Xboxes to to play pirated and unlicensed games. The reasons the lawyers gave were “fairness and justice,” which was a way of saying they screwed up the case.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.