Remember the Hive-CM8 group we told you about the other day? Well it seems that they have pulled their dump servers down. The reason is not clear, but it could be related to information that has gotten out to the web tied with a few articles about how the copyright groups caught some movie pirates in the UK. I guess we should fill in some gaps in the story now. Hive-CM8 is a group that has been tied to 11 public DVD screener releases and promised to push 29 more out to the world.
As 2015 comes to a close the advanced copies of movies are in transit to different groups and agencies. Many of these are for awards or accolades of some sort and almost without exception, copies of these (called screeners) end up on the internet available for download. This year has seen a bonanza of screener news including tracking one copy of the Hateful Eight to the Co-CEO of a production finance company, Andrew Kosove. As you might imagine things got more than a little interesting after this was uncovered.
If we have said it once, we have said it a thousand times, there is no such thing as a secure network or system. This is especially true when the network is, by design, intended to deal with external user or customer connections. We are, of course, talking about the Sony (Pictures) breach and the subsequent treasure trove of emails and documents that have been flowing from that event since. Sony is in a very bad way since the hack as they have (stupidly) kept some rather sensitive information on their servers that is no open for the public to see.
It was only a couple of days that the internet broke open with the news that The Pirate Bay was offline and that their offices had been raided by police. It looked like the end of the world for the file sharing community and a major win for the copyright gang. However, as it turns out, neither of these is likely to be even remotely close to the truth. Although The Pirate Bay has become synonymous with copyright infringement that was not really the intent of the site nor is pulling TBP down going to have any real impact on piracy and copyright infringement. This, like many other very public takedowns will end up being little more than a footnote in the ongoing war between the copyright cartels and… well everyone else.
We all knew this day would come, with all of the smaller and hidden cameras on phones, smartwatches and products like Google Glass it was only time before the MPAA stepped in and shut things down. This is exactly what they have done in conjunction with the National Association of Theatre Owners (yes NATO). It is not just Google Glass that they have gone after but a number of other wearables that contain recording technology like the Samsung Gear series of smart watches. The blanket ban does not prohibit someone from bringing them in, but it does require that the devices are removed and turned off for the duration of the movie.
There is a subtle art to influencing people’s opinions and the way that a particular topic is viewed. We have seen multiple attempts at this, some good, some bad. For the marketing savvy it seems that nothing they (or their charges) say can ever be negative. For those that are… less competent the message come out all wrong and often changes the intended push into something very negative. The MPAA and others in the anti-piracy community seem to be in the latter group.
Ever since the take down of Napster the copyright industry has taken a much more aggressive stance on piracy. This stance had taken the form of new laws, increased lobbying and a push to make ISPs responsible for policing everyone’s activities on the internet. They have even sought for, and are still trying to get, trade agreements that allow the US to push their laws onto other countries in the form ACTA and the TPP. Now all of these measures have their seedier side to them, but so far none are exactly illegal (immoral and potentially unethical? That is another question)… At least not until you start looking at some of the trials and arrests that have happened in the last few years.
In the soap-opera that has been the case against Kim Dotcom and Mega Upload we now has another chapter. It seems that the copyright groups responsible for the original claims against Dotcom want to have a look at this financial state. If you remember when the case and raid first happened we mentioned that the move was most likely done to remove competition from the playing field. The actions and claims that followed certainly seemed to support our hypothesis.
There is a story running around the internet that says Google is now processing one million piracy take down requests in a single day. Now there are two different spins to this story (and we will cover both) out there. One of them is being pushed by the copyright lobby groups, while the other is popping up through sites like Google and various net neutrality groups.
For years we have heard about the high cost of internet piracy, but other than some seriously twisted math we have never actually seen where this “cost” was coming from. At least not until very recently. No we are not talking about any real financial impact on the copyright holders. While it is true that there is a small impact to them in terms of box office revenue the overall percentage is around 1-3%. Where things really get expensive for them is in maintaining the massive anti-piracy campaign.