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Piracy

Dropbox uses file hashes to comply with DMCA requests. So what?
April 2, 2014 | 2:50 am

Surprise! Dropbox has anti-piracy measures in place. You’ve probably seen the stories by now. When you right-click that file on your drive and ask for a public link that you can share so your friend can download it, Dropbox runs a hash on the file—it basically takes the file’s fingerprint by assigning a specific character to particular bits. If it finds that hash matches a list of hashes that have been declared verboten by DMCA request, it tells you that you can’t share it. (Likewise, it hashes files so that it can save space by only storing one copy of...

Interesting article on how piracy is devaluing digital goods
March 10, 2014 | 11:15 am

piracy is devaluing digital goodsAlthough it's an older post, it only came across my feed recently, and I thought Baekdal had some interesting points worth sharing. He says the real problem with piracy is the devaluation of digital goods. Here's how he presents this: Imagine that you have $200 left to spend, and you want to buy a new pair of shoes, a new iPad bag (because you feel your old one is looking a bit out-of-date), a couple of books, a movie, an XBOX game, a magazine subscription, and Will.I.am's latest album. Clearly, you can't do that because the total sum is more than the $200 you have....

Dutch intellectual property regime looks like becoming a no-BREINer
February 20, 2014 | 10:25 am

After a series of high-profile instances of both overreach and incapability, Dutch intellectual property lobby group BREIN appears to have been handed a major defeat by Dutch courts. As reported by Slashdot, BREIN appears on track to lose the right to compel Netherlands ISPs to block access to the Pirate Bay, with UPC Netherlands announcing that it will be lifting the blockade even prior to a pending court appeal on the case, with BREIN's acquiescence. The original UPC announcement, in Dutch, is here. BREIN had originally won a court case to compel the blockade, which ISPs promptly challenged. The appeal court...

Tarantino suit of Gawker over link to leaked script may be capitalizing on Streisand Effect
February 3, 2014 | 12:40 pm

tarantinoQuentin Tarantino got so upset that someone leaked a copy of the script for his next movie, The Hateful Eight, online that he announced he would not be making that movie after all. He got further upset when he found out that celebrity/tech news site Gawker’s “Defamer” blog actually linked to file locker sites where the script could be downloaded. So, he is now suing Gawker. Tarantino’s suit claims that Gawker itself posted the leaked script to those sites, which Gawker editor John Cook insists is false. In the end, the suit comes down to “contributory copyright infringement”—the same...

Why I pirated a book last night
January 31, 2014 | 12:25 pm

piratedI pirated a book last night. I didn't mean to, per se, and I know I have been upfront in the past about respecting author's work and paying for the media I consume. So, how did I wind up downloading an illicit copy of something? And why should author Kathy Hester not be at all concerned? Here is what happened. I was on my way home and waiting for a text from the Beloved in reply to my 'do you need anything at the grocery store while I am at the plaza' message, so I thought I would kill some time...

French ‘Three Strikes’ law fails to cut piracy
January 23, 2014 | 7:32 pm

Remember that French “three strikes” law, Hadopi? Ars Technica reports that a recent study has shown that it has had no significant effect in getting people to stop downloading content illicitly.  In the survey of 2,000 French Internet users, 37.6% admitted to illicit downloading. Those who knew about the Hadopi monitoring were no less likely to download illicitly, though there was a slight (but “insignificant”) decrease in the intensity of their downloading. (And the people who knew it was monitoring thought it was monitoring more than it really was!) There was a slight bump in sales, but that was considered...

Wearing Google Glass to a movie theater leads to interrogation by federal agents
January 21, 2014 | 2:23 pm

google-glass-prescription-lenses-900-80Here’s an article that points out a problem that will only become more common as wearables do. A member of the Google Glass program had prescription lenses on his Glass, and wore them everywhere as his regular glasses. He didn’t have any other prescription glasses, so he wore them to a movie, with the Google Glass part turned off. He’d been to an AMC theater with the Glass three times, but this particular time (watching the new Jack Ryan movie, no less) a federal agent came in, plucked the glasses off his head, and proceeded to accuse him of...

NetNames wants you to believe its textbook piracy figures, buy its services
October 18, 2013 | 10:35 am

NetNames Statements by "domain management, online brand protection and online security" company NetNames about the size of the problem of textbook piracy in the UK are being picked up by the BBC and The Bookseller magazine. According to the BBC report quoted, 76 percent of a sample of 50 popular textbook titles were available for download on one file sharing site alone. The reports do focus on the issue of textbook pricing and availability as much as on piracy per se. NetNames' director of piracy analysis, David Price is quoted at length on the issue of textbook pricing, emphasizing that publishers need...

GenCon 2013 Interview: Phil Reed, COO of Steve Jackson Games
October 6, 2013 | 5:00 pm

GEDC1300I last spoke to Phil Reed, COO of Steve Jackson Games, at GenCon in 2011. We discussed e23, Steve Jackson Games’s DRM-free PDF e-book store, which had expanded far beyond its original intended goals of just republishing out-of-print stuff to publishing in-print stuff at the same time as or even before it came out in print. I caught up with him again at GenCon 2013 for another brief interview. We touched on e23’s ongoing success, but Reed had more to say on the subject of Kickstarters—something that was on the minds of a number of other writers and industry...

UK Publishers Association backs police IP crackdown – but does it make sense?
September 16, 2013 | 11:18 am

The UK Publishers Association has come out strongly in support of the City of London Police's creation of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), launched in the UK to tackle criminal IP abuse. “The launch of Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit is a hugely significant development in the fight against online intellectual property crime which undermines the creative industries on a daily basis," said Richard Mollet, CEO of The Publishers Association. "We applaud the Intellectual Property Office in providing funding for this new Unit. We now look forward to working collaboratively with PIPCU and other rightsholders in upholding the...

Copyright vs. Common Sense
September 12, 2013 | 11:21 am

Two tales of copyright idiocy crossed my inbox yesterday. The first, by Techdirt's Mike Masnick tells the tale of the Village People's Victor Willis, who has regained the right's to many of his band's famous songs under the 'termination rights' clause, which allows artists to regain copyright of their songs after 35 years, no matter to whom they had assigned it. Willis, as Masnick reports, is trying to use his new ownership rights to stop the current version of the band from performing songs such as YMCA for which they are known. The second story comes my way via BoingBoing, who...

German publishers hit newspapers with criminal complaint for naming e-book piracy site
September 9, 2013 | 12:44 pm

German book publishers have taken another step in fighting e-book piracy by suing two newspapers that interviewed the operator of a piracy website. Der Tagesspiegel and Die Zeit have been hit with a criminal complaint after the papers ran an interview with a representative of TorBoox, according to a post on Melville House. I followed the links back to the original story on the German site Buchreport. After using Google translate, the report states: “According to information from buchreport criminal complaint against the newspaper publishers was made. The accusation: Aid for copyright infringement.” It seems German publishers are trying to squash piracy any...