The State of PC Piracy in 2016 [PC Gamer] “Piracy seems like it should be so simple, right? Stealing games is wrong. The end. But piracy is one of the most charged, complex, and divisive debates in gaming. Follow a piracy discussion long enough and it will spiral through issues as complicated as international economic policy, the concept of 'ownership' for digital property, game preservation, and the principle of the PC as an unrestricted technology platform. Piracy in 2016, the age of digital distribution, indie gaming, and Steam’s dominance, is a different animal from the PC piracy of 1990 or 2000 or 2010. Unlicensed software distribution is just as illegal as it was when Don’t Copy That Floppy was a meaningful anti-piracy strategy, but our own understanding of the crime and its motivations haven’t kept pace with technology.” [more inside]
The Cuban CDN El Paquete is a weekly service where someone (typically found through word of mouth) comes to your home with a disk (usually a 1TB external USB drive) containing a weekly download of the most recent films, soap operas, documentaries, sport, music, mobile apps, magazines, and even web sites. [more inside]
The Research Pirates of the Dark Web - "After getting shut down late last year, a website that allows free access to paywalled academic papers has sprung back up in a shadowy corner of the Internet."
The story of Kane Robinson, the man who supposedly stole £240 million from the music industry. Kane Robinson was a kid who loved the web and the Arctic Monkeys. His music forum Dancing Jesus became the target of the largest anti-piracy case ever seen in the UK.
According this latest numbers from IFPI, while the music-buying audience in the USA is still the biggest in the world, the most valuable music fans are actually the proud people of Norway. This may be due, in large part, to the fact that since 2009 piracy in Norway has plunged by 76%.
Poverty traps its victims in intellectual dead zones. I don't pirate games anymore, but when I needed it, it gave me access to the literature and artistic inspiration of my generation.
At work, [Bennie Lydell] Glover manufactured CDs for mass consumption. At home, he had spent more than two thousand dollars on burners and other hardware to produce them individually. His livelihood depended on continued demand for the product. But Glover had to wonder: if the MP3 could reproduce Tupac at one-eleventh the bandwidth, and if Tupac could then be distributed, free, on the Internet, what the hell was the point of a compact disk? SLNYer.
Piratjagt! Discover what patrolling pirate infested waters off the coast of the Horn of Africa is like with the Danish Navy. (6lyt)
The legal framework of terrorism has been ... complex. Under the Bush Administration, terrorists were deemd to be "unlawful enemy combatants," and not afforded the protections of the III Geneva Convention. The policy, thought not the name, has continued under the Obama Adminstration, and this indeterminate legal status has significantly complicated efforts to try or release them. However, there is an older legal model that may suffice: piracy. (previously [more inside]
"Three unpublished works by J.D. Salinger, including The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls, have been leaked online after showing up in an eBay auction. Birthday Boy, Paula, and the aforementioned Ocean are three short stories that form part of a larger collection of Salinger works that was never published." [more inside]
A new report (pdf) released by LSE’s Media Department contradicts widespread claims about the decline of creative industries as a result of copyright infringement. The report shows that the gaming, film and publishing industries are growing and new business models are emerging based on digital sharing. (See pages 7-8 of the report for figures.) [more inside]
With roots in the laws of seventeenth and eighteenth-century England, intellectual property protections go back to the beginnings of capitalism itself. The online magazine Jacobin recently featured a three-part series tracing the history of property law and its contemporary manifestations. [more inside]
Game Dev Tycoon was released yesterday; simultaneously, the makers Greenheart Games uploaded a slightly different version of the game to torrent sites.
Superb merbio bros. gr8 game 4 nintendy entertainment cycstem. u buy now! all copyroughts to nintendy corp. [more inside]
The Verge has a nice article looking at streaming as a business model (or not, of course...) "Do you think it's good or bad for the value of music if the only people who sell it don't care if they're making money on it?" David Pakman asks. "What you really want is an ecosystem with lots of financially healthy companies selling your product." [more inside]
The Pirate Bay has announced via a blog post that they will be using North Korea as a haven to serve pages without facing prosecution from copyright authorities. [more inside]
"And I fell into those thousands of connections that I'd made. And I asked the crowd to catch me." "When you connect with them people want to help you" - The art of asking by Amanda Palmer [more inside]
How good is Zaha Hadid's new building? So good it's already being copied. And the copy may be finished before the original. [more inside]
The American Assembly has released their much-anticipated and well-presented study on Copy Culture. The random phone survey of 2303 Americans and 1000 Germans answers many questions about the demographics and public perception of file sharing and piracy. TorrentFreak pulls out some highlights.
Long-time favorite usenet indexing site NzbMatrix has closed its site as part of a recent sweep of DMCA related takedowns on similar sites. Other recent shutdowns include Newzbin, Newzbin2, and NZBsRUS. [more inside]
An iOS application developer has come up with an extreme way of fighting software piracy—by auto-posting "confessions" to its users' Twitter accounts. "...Enfour, the maker of a variety of dictionary apps, is auto-posting tweets to users' accounts to shame them for being pirates. But the auto-tweeting seems to be affecting a huge portion of its paid user base, not just those who actually stole the apps." Follow-up. A personal account: Can’t spell “pirate” without “-irate”: on DRM and punishing the customer [more inside]
“These companies are willing to shove 1,000 attorneys down your throat if you share music, but won’t even respond to a legal order about actual music theft and piracy.” -Benn Jordan [via] [more inside]
If you're a DVD/BluRay viewer who is already annoyed by delaying, annoying animated menus or previews, get ready for 20 additional seconds of wait time. Yesterday the U.S. government announced an update to the old FBI copyright warning on home video, which will now appear in the form of two different anti-piracy warnings, each ten seconds long and both unskippable.
At 92, Bandit to Hollywood but Hero to Soldiers (SLNYT) - not the typical face you'd expect to see when you hear that somebody has distributed something like 300,000 bootleg DVDs.
It takes 2 minutes to start the movie with the original disc. It takes less than 5 seconds with an MKV.
Cinavia DRM: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Blu-ray’s Self-Destruction The latest Blu-Ray anti piracy technology uses audio watermarking to shut down unauthorised uses. Anandtech's Ganesh T S argues that it is a harbinger of doom. [more inside]
The set of groups that rip, encode, and disseminate pirated materials on the internet, known as The Scene, recently revised their encoding standards of SD television to switch from the video codec Xvid AVI to x264 MP4. A few recipients of pirated material had a few carefully worded comments about this new decision. Most of the aggression stems from the fact that some consumer DVD players included XviD compatibility and cannot be upgraded to play x264 files.
Daily deals sites have sprung up all over, with even Microsoft and Australia's Channel 9 TV operating one called CUDO. Last Thursday's bargain (still on sale) is an ebook reader complete with 4000 books. The listing originally included a link to the 4000 titles, which has since been removed. The title list includes many best seller books from authors such as J.K. Rowling, Douglas Adams, Stephen King, Bill Bryson and Jack Kerouac amongst others. The list originally had the heading: 4001_ibooks_for_iphone_and_ipad_epub. 5832264.TPB.torrent Which corresponds to files on the Pirate Bay, and other torrent sites. [more inside]
"rip lnu". So ends 13 months of the greatest pirate ebook site the world has ever known. [more inside]
Artist and film-maker, Hito Steyerl, asks us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our digital equivalents. Digital images are Things (like you and me) - a plethora of compressed, corrupted representations pushed and pulled through increasingly policed and capitalised information networks. If 80% of all internet traffic* is SPAM - a liberated excess withdrawn** from accepted channels of communication - perhaps it is in The Poor Image we find our closest kin? [more inside]
In 2000, the anime industry was on the brink of what looked like a global takeover, and was pushing live action movies to the side. However, trouble began to take hold just a few years later, when labour issues involving long hours and low pay, along with a sharp drop in anime DVD sales, began to cause serious trouble for the industry. Although some government officials pinned their hopes in beefing up exports in order to breathe life into the economy, to industry insiders the situation looked bleak and possibly unresolvable using traditional models. However, other avenues - such as the internet, and even internet piracy - were studied for their economic effects. The results? [more inside]
Why History Needs Software Piracy: How copy protection and app stores could deny future generations their cultural legacy.
Four days after the shutdown of popular "cyber-locker" Megaupload, rival companies Filesonic and Fileserve have also disabled file sharing. The two companies also owned wupload, upload.to, and a number of other cyber-locker sites. Is this the end of direct download filesharing?
Megaupload has been shut down. Four people, including the founder Kim Schmitz, have been arrested for violation of piracy laws. Two more are named as defendants in the indictment. 18 domain names have been seized, warrants have been issued in 9 countries. Given that Megaupload took the fight to Universal Music Group in December and is on record as being vehemently against SOPA, one wonders if this crackdown is a retaliation of some sort. Given that industry insiders accuse MegaUpload of being responsible for at least $500 Million in lost revenue for the music industry, it's ironic that its current CEO is Swizz Beats, noted major-label rapper and hip-hop producer.
The Obama White House formally speaks out against SOPA, PIPA. The Obama White House has come out against the Stop Online Piracy Act. The move has -- unsurprisingly -- drawn responses from the MPAA, RIAA, and other interested parties.
"A Maryland boat was sent to the bottom by the Virginian navy, and a long contest was the result..." Hostility between Maryland and Virginia began the moment Maryland was created in 1632. Virginia objected to the Catholic nature of the new colony, as well as the unusual border which gave Lord Baltimore's colony ownership of all the Potomac River. Disputed maritime borders lead to conflict over the prized oyster, and naval confrontation on the Chesapeake became common. Maryland eventually created an Oyster Navy, which was charged with bringing order to the Bay and enforcing harvesting laws against the oyster pirates. The "Oyster Wars" were frequently violent. [more inside]
Get your censor on. GYWO creator David Rees takes on the Stop Online Piracy Act. Meanwhile, a group of 83 prominent Internet inventors and engineers sent an open letter to Congress, stating their opposition to the SOPA and PIPA Internet blacklist bills (previously).
MegaUpload is currently being portrayed by the MPAA and RIAA as one of the world’s leading rogue sites. But top music stars including P Diddy, Will.i.am, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West disagree and are giving the site their full support in a brand new song. TorrentFreak caught up with the elusive founder of MegaUpload, Kim Dotcom, who shrugged off “this rogue nonsense” and told us he wants content owners to get paid. “It works like an ad blocker but instead of blocking ads we show ads coming from Megaclick, our ad network,” says Kim. “This way we will generate enough ad revenue to provide free premium services and licensed content so that our users can have it for free.”
YaCy is an open source fully decentralized peer-to-peer search engine designed prevent any single entity from exercising power over search results. [more inside]
Amelia Andersdotter of Sweden's Pirate Party (Piratpariet) will finally become the youngest ever member of the European Parliament this December. [more inside]
On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.
American Censorship Day is an internet protest against the oft-renamed Stop Online Piracy Act. [more inside]
The U.S. House of Representatives has drafted their version of Senator Leahy's Protect IP Act, renaming the bill the E-Parasites Act. Among other changes discussed previously, the bill now makes internet service providers and websites liable for activities of their users that infringe upon copyrights, effectively overturning parts of the 13-year-old Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
A FOIA request by Christopher Soghoian revealed that Obama administration officials, including Copyright Czar Victoria Espinel, Biden’s deputy chief of staff Alan Hoffman, and criminal prosecutor Lanny Breuer, negotiated the deal between ISPs and copyright holders to punish subscribers whose IP addresses participated in copyright infringement. [more inside]
An unauthorized Angry Birds theme park has opened in China. There is also a Blizzard-themed park called Joyland.
With news that Blizzard will require an internet connection to play Diablo 3 to curb piracy and prevent character-boosting cheats (previously), Wall Street Journal's China Realtime Report blog has new coverage of an old game. The article covers the actions of Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd., the Chinese distributor of the MMORPG The Legend of Mir 2, and their fight against illicit private servers that offer increased experience per task and more common rare items.
In October of 1951 a fan snuck a color 8MM camera into a taping of I love Lucy. The footage has resurfaced, here intercut with the actual episode.
Senator Leahy's Protect IP Act would require that U.S. ISPs impose an 'internet death penalty' upon domain after merely a preliminary injunction from a U.S. court that suspects the site of being 'dedicated to infringing activities', even if the domain's owner had never been notified and was not subject to U.S. jurisdiction. There is concern that the legislation would fragment the DNS system and facilitate DNS spoofing by obstructing DNSSEC (pdf). There is also an open letter opposing the bill signed by 108 Law Professors who study intellectual property law. [more inside]