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Build it and they will come

PC Gamer: Do you have a good sense of piracy rates with Steam games?
Gabe Newell: They’re low enough that we don’t really spend any time on it.

Gabe Newell on Steam, piracy and DRM, part of PC Gamer's Valve Week.
posted by Artw on Sep 15, 2010 - 153 comments

 

"Without the participation of Microsoft, these criminal cases against human rights defenders and journalists would simply not be able to occur"

Russia Uses Microsoft to Suppress Dissent - Adding to its long-running series on corruption and abuse in post-Communist Russia, the New York Times has reported on Russian authorities using the pretext of software piracy to seize computers from journalists and political dissidents critical of current policies. In a surprising twist, lawyers representing Microsoft have been found working with Russian police, despite reporters and NGOs providing evidence of legitimate software purchases. An official response to the NYT piece suggests impostors claim to represent Microsoft in Russia, and notes the company's offer of free software licenses to these and similar groups.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 12, 2010 - 25 comments

"host activist...advocates a radical conception of freedom of expression"

Swedish webhost PRQ, home of The Pirate Bay and WikiLeaks, has been raided by police. [more inside]
posted by Pastabagel on Sep 7, 2010 - 44 comments

Maybe next time you shouldn't rationalize your theft with a "manifesto"...

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has shut down nine websites in connection with an ongoing crackdown on internet film and TV piracy. The sites seized are Movieslinks.tv, Planetmoviez.com, ZML.com, Thepiratecity.org, Filespump.com, TVShack.net, Now-Movies.com, NinjaThis.net, and NinjaVideo.net. The feds also seized related Paypal accounts and bank accounts as part of the operation. Ninjavideo was the most notorious of the group, and its admin, Phara, went so far as to record a manifesto in praise of internet piracy.
posted by Pastabagel on Jul 1, 2010 - 197 comments

Sueing 14,000+ P2P users to SAVE CINEMA

Ars Technica reports on the US Copyright Group (website: SAVECINEMA.ORG), an entity that has sent out over 14,000 subpoenas in the past 5 months to P2P users who have downloaded smaller independent movies such as Uwe Boll's Far Cry and best picture Oscar winner The Hurt Locker. To put that in perspective, the RIAA sued 18,000 P2P users during their multi-year anti-file sharing campaign. The law firm takes the moviemakers cases on for free, splitting with them the money the defendants pay to settle the case ($1,500 to $2,500 per subpoena) on a site that will conveniently take your credit card. The law firm and the filmmakers could end up splitting $19.7 million, and it's likely that this kind of approach will be tried with more movies. As you might expect, some targeted individuals have been wrongly accused.
posted by The Devil Tesla on Jun 3, 2010 - 166 comments

It's your own vault, Disney!

Why I Steal Movies... Even Ones I'm In. Written by Peter Serafinowicz, the mind behind Look Around You and Hot Chip's recent music video I Feel Better (previously).
posted by Rory Marinich on May 16, 2010 - 72 comments

How to Pay the Writer

Writers get pirated too - so how can they still earn money? Here are some ideas, but are they workable? [more inside]
posted by divabat on May 3, 2010 - 184 comments

Legality and Ethics in downloading e-books

On the ethics of illegally downloading e-books; a Teleread essay full of interesting links about these modern e-reading times. Inspired in part by this New York Times Ethicist column, and brought to my attention by this ask.metafilter question.
posted by Greg Nog on Apr 7, 2010 - 159 comments

Yarr! meets Academia

Piracy Studies [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust on Apr 5, 2010 - 13 comments

Ya—er, ahem

The developers of erotic game maker Cross Days use DRM to humiliate would-be pirates
posted by Rory Marinich on Mar 30, 2010 - 35 comments

RIAA and MPAA say: Open Source = Piracy

The International Intellectual Property Alliance, an umbrella group for organisations including the MPAA and RIAA, has requested with the US Trade Representative to consider countries like Indonesia, Brazil and India for its “Special 301 watchlist” because they use open source software. (also here) [more inside]
posted by knz on Feb 25, 2010 - 61 comments

Confessions of a Book Pirate

Confessions of a Book Pirate [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Jan 26, 2010 - 114 comments

Cracking the PS3

George Hotz started a blog chronicling his journey to a software-only PS3 crack. Despite tackling a platform that has held strong for three years, Hotz claimed to have gained read/write access to all system memory after five weeks. Although the PS3 actually ships with Linux support, these cracks circumvent the hypervisor that place strict restrictions on low-level hardware access. You may know Hotz as the geohot who released first hardware iPhone jailbreak, added a software-only jailbreak for all iPhones and iPod Touches, and won multiple awards (pdf) at ISEF 2007 for building a working holographic display system while a senior in high school.
posted by d. z. wang on Jan 25, 2010 - 45 comments

Compra Original

The Book Pirates of Peru. A slideshow in which Peruvian author Daniel Alarcón describes the vibrant literary scene in his home country, where the informal publishing industry is the same size as its legitimate counterpart. There's no library system to speak of, the National Library's acquisitions budget is nil, but a culture of reading and writing is booming, with book sales and attendance at literary festivals up, up, up.
posted by WPW on Jan 18, 2010 - 16 comments

anti-piracy font piracy fail

French anti-piracy organisation uses pirated font in own logo.
posted by signal on Jan 17, 2010 - 78 comments

Pirates Paying for Downloadable Content: a Viable Niche Market

Piracy of PC games is nothing new, and has been discussed previously. Due to the high levels of PC game piracy, some development companies have decreased (or eliminated) PC game development, shifting support to console development. But piracy isn't limited to PCs, as modchips and other hacks have allowed users to play pirated and homebrewed games. In the continuing struggle for control, Microsoft banned as many as 1 million modded systems from Xbox Live, resulting in a surge of people reselling Xbox 360s that have been banned from online play (and modders finding a fix for the ban). Some developers have adopted another tactic - increased development of downloadable content (DLC), which has been seen as both good and bad by gamers. John Riccitiello, the head of Electronic Arts, seems to have embraced DLC as a marketing option, in noting that "[people] can steal the disc, but they can't steal the DLC."
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 9, 2009 - 77 comments

Flight 93: "A Lot of Fun!" --Richard Roeper

[FlickrPoolFilter] Crappy Bootleg DVD Covers: Here, you will find Tom Cruise's hit movie, Pepe Likes Tacos. In this universe, Star Wars features Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dustin Hoffman stars in Lost in Translation; witches, pirates, and hobbits inhabit the same world. Titles are improved upon. Reviews are refreshingly frank (if they make any sense at all). Your DVD may also contain subtitles in French, Chinese, Spamsoc, or Martian. (Don't say there was no warning.) Remember, kids: Piracy Creates Jobs!
posted by not_on_display on Nov 5, 2009 - 58 comments

What if copyright law is more complicated then a damn flower?

Take my movie—please. Nasty Old People is a Swedish movie about just that. However, it's been released freely on the web by its creator, Hanna Sköld, under a Creative Commons License, being the first Swedish film to do so. [more inside]
posted by Askiba on Oct 23, 2009 - 36 comments

Every party should be a windows 7 party

Hosting Your Windows 7 Torrenting Party (Previously)
posted by Artw on Oct 22, 2009 - 110 comments

Step 1. Make an utterly fantastic game. Step 3. Profit!

2D BOY made around $100,000 in a week. That’s $50,000 each for writing a blog post about a game they finished a year ago. By letting people pay whatever they wanted. 2D Boy stirred up a lot of discussion (previously) about game piracy when they used online scoreboard data to estimate an 82% piracy rate for their fantastic indie game World of Goo (previously). For World of Goo's first birthday, they decided to try the Radiohead model and let people buy the game for any price they choose. Now they've released extensive data about the results. Short version? "A huge success," even though the most commonly chosen price was only a penny. [more inside]
posted by straight on Oct 20, 2009 - 64 comments

Batman dies in cloud of poison gas – unless you actually buy the game

DRM as a cloud of poison gas. Run an illegally-downloaded prerelease version of the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman always dies in a vat of poison gas. Run the legit version once it gets released and (apparently) there won’t even be any poison gas. (Game developers: “[Y]ou have encountered... a hook in the copy protection, to catch out people who try and download cracked versions of the game for free. It’s not a bug in the game’s code, it’s a bug in your moral code.”)
posted by joeclark on Sep 13, 2009 - 326 comments

RIAA vs. Jammie Thomas

Jammie Thomas to pay RIAA $1.92 million. Found guilty of willful copyright infringement, the jury awarded the RIAA $80,000 each for 24 songs. This is up from $220,000 in the first trial (previously). Ars Technica has a good review of the case. [more inside]
posted by 6550 on Jun 18, 2009 - 138 comments

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Home taping didn’t kill music, says Ben Goldacre - but where did all the money go?
posted by Artw on Jun 11, 2009 - 168 comments

I will make you fishers of men

"What began as a defensive movement by local fishermen has evolved into a complex amalgamation of banditry, organized crime, freebooting, and insurgency targeting all types of vessels from fishing trawlers to oil tankers." Somali pirates holding an American captain hostage were killed during a rescue yesterday. The lack of effective governance in Somalia allows massive vessels from Europe and Asia to decimate the local fish population, which may have forced Somali fisherman into piracy. Other ships use the Somali coast as a toxic waste dump. [previously]
posted by benzenedream on Apr 13, 2009 - 188 comments

"It's rare to come to face-to-face with the people behind the software, music, and media we pirate on regular basis; I guess that's part of the problem."

So there is this guy named Jona Bechtolt and he is an electronic musician and multimedia artist who performs as YACHT. He recently described in an interview some audio software that he had illegally downloaded, adding "Does all this piracy make me a bad person?". The company that makes the software that he illegally downloaded apparently saw his comment and wrote a blog post where they linked to his interview and stated "We've put up with rampant idiocy from people that style themselves members of the creative community but are actually members of some kind of bullshit that doesn't have a name." Then Mr. Bechtolt commented on that blog post kind of apologizing, but also saying "I'm a musician and I haven't bought music in years, nor have almost all of my musician friends." Then the company wrote him an open letter explaining why they did not accept his apology. [via Pitchfork]
posted by ND¢ on Jan 31, 2009 - 130 comments

Pirating the 2009 Oscars.

Pirating the 2009 Oscars [more inside]
posted by the dief on Jan 22, 2009 - 75 comments

DOWNLOADING IS WRONG

A new trojan is on the loose. It doesn't install any harmful adware/spyware, but does block both mininova and the Pirate Bay.
posted by azarbayejani on Jan 6, 2009 - 26 comments

The aXXo files

"If you already know his name, chances are you've been doing something illegal." The Independent on aXXo, the movie pirate king.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 2, 2009 - 107 comments

Almost like an anti-Doctorow

TweakGuides presents a very long examination of software piracy as it relates to PC gaming: "PC piracy and related topics such as DRM seem to have become so shrouded in illogical excuses, hysteria, scaremongering and uninformed opinions that having a sensible discussion on the topic is virtually impossible." [more inside]
posted by camcgee on Dec 15, 2008 - 153 comments

The current state of DRM and piracy in casual gaming

You may have heard by now about World of Goo, an independent game which can best be described as a "physics/construction puzzle game" that touches on everything from beauty to consumerism to internet privacy. The developer, 2DBoy who had originally released the game under a "no-DRM, don't screw us" policy now estimates a piracy rate of 82%. [more inside]
posted by tybeet on Nov 18, 2008 - 46 comments

Yo-ho-ho

Piracy may be on the rise, but it's never really gone away. [more inside]
posted by gman on Nov 17, 2008 - 52 comments

The biggest hacker in China

Microsoft is taking unprecedented measures to combat China's piracy. The people aren't happy. Is the company shooting itself in the foot?
posted by strangeguitars on Oct 22, 2008 - 66 comments

Lo-Fi Video Game Anti-Piracy

Long before user authentication and online validation became a thorn in the side of software pirates, copy protection techniques were a little more friendly and a little more lo-fi: packaged with Infocom's interactive fiction games, "Feelies" (primary link, click on the boxes)were assorted physical items that acted as accompanying illustrations (fake magazine covers, in-game currency, decoder slides, and even scratch-n-sniff cards for specific points during game play) to worlds made entirely from text. [more inside]
posted by Damn That Television on Aug 16, 2008 - 30 comments

Suspension de l’abonnement internet

"There is no reason that the Internet should be lawless," President Nicolas Sarkozy told his cabinet, as Culture Minister Christine Albanel presented a new bill designed to encourage responsible use of the Internet. The legislation would set up a new administrative body that would receive complaints from the music and film industry and track down offenders through Internet service providers. An e-mail warning would be sent to suspected downloaders followed by a registered letter. After two strikes, offenders would risk losing their Internet subscription for up to a year. "We know that we are not going to eradicate piracy 100 percent, but we think that we can reduce it significantly," Albanel told a news conference. [more inside]
posted by three blind mice on Jun 24, 2008 - 143 comments

TV Pirate Tells All

Christopher Tarnovsky, smartcard programmer, gives a fascinating insider account of his years in the cloak-and-dagger world of satellite TV piracy. Tarnovsky began as a satellite pirate himself before being hired by a DirecTV contractor to develop anti-piracy electronic countermeasures; he was allegedly responsible for the "Black Sunday" attack on DirecTV pirates. [more inside]
posted by whir on May 31, 2008 - 13 comments

Republican 1337

I was a Teenage Wares Freak? San Diego Republican Party chairman Tony Krvaric may have been Strider, co-founder of Fairlight. via Slashdot
posted by Artw on May 6, 2008 - 57 comments

Why doesn’t the IFPI dare to stand up for its own history?

What the IFPI tries to conceal about its origins in fascist Italy IFPI is the global version of the RIAA
posted by mr.marx on Apr 8, 2008 - 7 comments

No more posts until Matt starts paying up

Home taping downloading is killing music authorship. The Society of Authors warns that authors will simply stop writing if they aren't compensated for piracy of their work (as unlikely as that seems). Perhaps they should follow the example of Jim Griffin, newly hired at Warner Music to persuade broadband providers to attach a $5 per month surcharge for the benefit of the major labels, in exchange for halting the lawsuits that have thus far been their mainstay weapon against piracy.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 2, 2008 - 88 comments

Stage 6 to Shut Down Today

Stage 6, recently linked in a popular FPP, has announced it will shut down today. Rumors about why include their battle against UMG to a "ridiculous battle of egos."
posted by Avenger50 on Feb 28, 2008 - 13 comments

Illegal downloaders 'face UK ban'

British internet users face ban for illegal downloads. A draft copy of a Green Paper produced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport was leaked to The Times newspaper which detailed how the government was considering introducing legislation that would require ISPs to take action against users who access pirated material. [more inside]
posted by electricinca on Feb 12, 2008 - 37 comments

Canadian Songwriters propose $5 licence fee for P2P

A proposal for the monetization of the file sharing of music from the Songwriters and Recording Artists of Canada. "Most Canadians are aware that the Internet and mobile phone networks have become major sources of music. What they may not know is that songwriters and performers typically receive no compensation of any kind when their music is shared or illegally downloaded... We believe the time has come to put in place a reasonable and unobtrusive system of compensation for creators of music in regard to this popular and growing use of their work."
posted by tranquileye on Jan 29, 2008 - 38 comments

War on Drugs, War on Terror, War on Leaks

Steal this album. "In the dying days of the music business as we once knew it, record labels are waging war on leaks—only to discover that many of the saboteurs come from within the industry itself." It's easy to arrest a geek or lay draconian fines on a single mom; what happens when their witchhunt leads to their own offices? Animal Collective won't always be around to get the culprits off the hook.
posted by Coherence Panda on Jan 2, 2008 - 62 comments

ARTISTdirect MediaDefender

Anti-Piracy agents MediaDefender have 700MiB of juicy internal emails leaked on BitTorrent; are in trouble.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 16, 2007 - 83 comments

Putting their bandwidth where their mouth is

Good Copy Bad Copy is "a documentary about the current state of copyright and culture," featuring Danger Mouse, Lawrence Lessig, Dan Glickman of the MPAA and others. The film's creators are releasing it free of charge, via Bittorrent.
posted by jbickers on Aug 3, 2007 - 30 comments

Shipped off to a foreign jail for warez

The USA playing global sheriff isn't new, but the reach of US laws is extending. Hew Griffiths isn't a terrorist or a violent criminal, he didn't even make any money from his crime. He pirated some software, from his home in Australia. So why is he in jail in Virginia? Some think we might as well join 'em.
posted by bystander on May 8, 2007 - 55 comments

Scrambled? Something like that.

The World's Most Unbelievable Invention Pursuing the demand for fresh eggs, Chinese manufacturers have come across the most amazing solution: man-made chicken eggs. More here.
posted by parmanparman on May 4, 2007 - 51 comments

Online Piracy: Both sides of the coin

One creative cartoonist claims that micropayments would virtually eliminate the problem of piracy. On the other hand, programmer Sean Barrett disagrees.
posted by alona on Feb 17, 2007 - 16 comments

Tube Wars. Get your hose.

Tube Wars: A new front opens as the IFPI [think global RIAA] threatens imminent legal war with ISP's.
posted by trinarian on Jan 17, 2007 - 30 comments

They just want to go home.

I know you're all lining up to buy Sealand, but The Pirate Bay wants to beat you to the punch.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jan 12, 2007 - 33 comments

Glickman v. Barlow

Dan Glickman, president of the MPAA, and John Perry Barlow, Greatful Dead lyricist and co-founder of the EFF, debate movie piracy in this interview (RealVideo) on the BBC's "Click".
posted by Mwongozi on Aug 20, 2006 - 17 comments

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