YouTube and copyright has been a controversial subject since they first hit the internet. The problem is who is liable for copyright infringement. Is it the poster or the service? The copyright gang would love to tell you it is both. They want the chance to go after the individuals and also to be sure to get financially compensated by the service provider. Sadly in the US the courts are siding with the copyright cartels for a multitude of reasons (none are based on how technology works though). In EMEA, well things are a tad different over there.
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 you have been following news about piracy, copyright, or indeed almost anything you will know that the copyright industry often employs some rather shady methods to get their way. One of the shadiest methods is the demand letter. If you are not familiar with this term let us explain (if you are bear with us): a demand letter is when a legal firm tries to tie IP addresses they have identified to actual ISP subscribers. They send large numbers of subpoenas to ISPs asking that they put the two together so that they (the law firm) can then send a settlement letter demanding money from the alleged pirate.
Microsoft is making a bold move with Windows 10 and we are not just talking about a redesign of the OS here. It seems that they would really like people to move from Windows 7 and 8.x to Windows 10. To entice you they are offering free upgrades to anyone with a qualifying system. What makes things even more interesting is that there is talk that the upgrade will even be available to non-genuine versions of Windows. This last bit is very much out of pattern for Microsoft, but we have a pretty good idea of why they are doing it.
According to recent reports The Pirate Bay has suddenly become available in the UK for almost all ISPs. The change happened when the Pirate Bay moved to CloudFlare and turned on HTTPS Strict. Once this was done things turned around for the notorious site. What is interesting is that ISPs that were previously blocking the site do not appear to be scrambling to get it back under control. The exact reason for the sudden reappearance of the site is unclear, but speculation is that using CloudFlare’s HTTPS Strict made all the difference.
There is no shortage of jokes about ignorance in big business and government, but there are times when some of the things that are really said just sound stupid. Recently members of the Hollywood Cartel decided that Google fiber will lead to an increase in piracy. Their reasoning is a “survey” that was conducted on illegal file haring as it relates to Google Fiber s that came up with some rather interesting numbers (they are magical). Fortunately for anyone wanting a laugh, it was leaked to the gang at TorrentFreak
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.
The idea of hardcoding a flaw into a game to identify pirate is a pretty old one and one that has been used on more than one occasion. Ubisoft has done this with their most recent game Far Cry 4 by removing a control from the game. The control is the field of view (FOV) in the game. Apparently when the game was put out this control was missing and it was not given out until a patch that you can only get with a legally purchased copy of the game.
There is a misconception in the industry as a whole that “pirates” are inherently evil people and bent on nothing less than the destruction of civilized society. The fact that this sounds like the plot from a bad movie/game is probably not a coincidence. In Hollywood at least the way they portray piracy is right out of fantasy land from their numbers to their claims on how they are about keeping jobs. In the gaming industry it is often not the developers that worry about piracy, but the big distribution/publishing groups. They are very worried about the money they make and also follow the same line as Hollywood when talking about the effects of piracy on their business.