Game Dev Tycoon was released yesterday; simultaneously, the makers Greenheart Games uploaded a slightly different version of the game to torrent sites.
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.
Is Google willing to censor? After a December announcement, Google has quietly begun filtering piracy- and torrent-related terms from its Autocomplete and Instant services. While much of the content is arguably illegal, and results will still appear in Google's traditional search, one of the affected search terms is "ubuntu torrent."
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.
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]
WikiLeaks: every current Congressional Research Service report in a Torrent (2.2 GB). h/t Jessamyn's twitter. Americans spend $100 million a year on the Congressional Research Service, a private think tank for members of Congress and their staffs. While technically available to the public, their reports were never posted on the Internet by the government. [more inside]
"[A]lthough it is true that someone who copies a digital version of a sound recording has little incentive to purchase the recording through legitimate means, it does not necessarily follow that the downloader would have made a legitimate purchase if the recording had not been available for free," said US District court Judge James P. Jones, in response to the RIAA's request for restitution against the former admin of Elite Torrents, Daniel Dove, who has already been found guilty of conspiracy and felony copyright infringement. [more inside]
Author Paulo Coelho talks about how creating The Pirate Coelho, a site with links to torrents of his own books, leads to a massive increase in sales.
Hong Kong court jails man for creating and posting torrents.
Chomskytorrents.org provides a gathering place for torrents with progressive and radical content. As for now, it preserves a special place for the work of American dissident Noam Chomsky.
Blog Torrent is out, it's been under development for a while now by the good people at Downhill Battle. It's a really simplified way of uploading files for the bittorrent network with an integrated client/server solution. Right now the client side is windows only, but the core functionality works with any client of course. Pretty neat.