The recording industry may loathe users who illegally download free music using peer-to-peer technologies such as BitTorrent, but it turns out that these music thieves are also the industry’s best customers. Per TorrentFreak, a new survey conducted by the American Assembly non-partisan public affairs forum shows that while P2P users do download a lot more free music from the web than non-P2P users, they also buy a lot more music through legitimate venues as well.
Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner Cable and other Internet service providers in the United States will soon launch new programs to police their networks in an effort to catch digital pirates and stop illegal file-sharing. Major ISPs announced last summer that they had agreed to take new measures in an effort to prevent subscribers from illegally downloading copyrighted material, but the specifics surrounding the imminent antipiracy measures were not made available. Now, RIAA chief executive Cary Sherman has said that ISPs are ready to begin their efforts to curtail illegal movie, music and software downloads on July 12th. Read on for more. More →
Swedish registrar and Web host Binero on Wednesday confirmed earlier reports suggesting digital piracy hub The Pirate Bay is currently under investigation by authorities in Sweden. Members of The Pirate Bay team reported last week that they believe the site is currently the focus of a new investigation, and that Swedish police are planning to execute a raid in an effort to seize Pirate Bay servers. IDG’s ComputerSweden on Wednesday reported that the site’s Web host has confirmed that the group’s suspicions are at least partially true. “We can confirm that an investigation is underway against the Pirate Bay. We received a letter with questions,” Binero representative Erik Arnberg said. “We will not share any information about our customers until there is a court order, or when a prosecutor can refer to an applicable law. In this case, we have answered the questions with information that’s already available through Whois services.” Authorities in Sweden raided The Pirate Bay back in 2006 and the company’s founders were later sentenced to jail and forced to pay millions in fines after being found guilty of multiple piracy-related charges. More →
The Internet and mobile devices were instrumental in allowing protesters and activists to organize and even topple oppressive regimes in 2011. Global media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders called out several countries that attempted to stifle its citizens by blocking Internet access in its “Enemies of the Internet” report on Monday, but protesters may not have to rely on traditional land-based or even wireless Internet service providers in the future. Read on for more. More →
The recent ordeal surrounding the now defeated SOPA and PIPA proposals followed by the shuttering of file-sharing giant Megaupload has put online piracy back in the spotlight. Despite studies showing Megaupload’s closure had no impact on online piracy whatsoever, copyright owners continue to pressure authorities in an effort to go after more services similar to Megaupload. The new wave of attention these file-sharing services are attracting is driving some illegal downloaders to seek out new means of sharing copyrighted materials, and decentralized torrent network Tribler emerged as one option. Another interesting solution created by a New York University professor takes things a step further, however, completely removing the Internet from the file-sharing equation and therefore putting pirates out of authorities’ reach. More →
Authorities in Germany recently executed a raid that resulted in at least two arrests and the takedown of another popular file-sharing service. German-language news site Heise Online reported earlier this week that German police arrested two men with alleged ties to file-sharing service Skyload.net, which was subsequently taken offline. The service’s owner, identified as 28-year-old Maik P., was taken into custody along with 25-year-old Marcel E., owner of Skyload.net’s Web hosting service. Both men have been charged with violating copyright laws and Maik P. is allegedly personally responsible for uploading and sharing more than 10,000 copyrighted films. The Skyload.net takedown follows the closure of one of the most popular file-sharing services in the world, Megaupload, which was taken offline last month as its founder and a number of other men with ties to the service were arrested in a raid. While shuttering Megaupload appears to have done nothing to slow digital piracy, authorities around the world continue to battle alongside copyright holders to shut down file-hosting services that allow users to share copyrighted content illegally. More →
BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen took the stage at the San Francisco MusicTech Summit on Monday and gave onlookers a live demonstration of his new peer-to-peer live video streaming technology. Cohen’s new tech is potentially capable of streaming live video to millions of Internet-connected devices without the need for a central infrastructure, and he said the protocol could be used for video conferencing or even streaming sporting events. “My goal here is to kill off television,” Cohen joked to GigaOm at the summit, adding that he developed the new technology from scratch because earlier peer-to-peer technology introduces too much latency for live applications. Cohen said he is in discussions with several potential partners regarding implementations for the new technology, but there are currently no firm launch plans for products based on the new protocol. More →
Copyright holders thought they had scored a major victory last month when one of the biggest file-sharing networks in the world was shuttered. Megaupload had been responsible for an estimated 30% to 40% of all file-sharing traffic worldwide, but a recent study suggests that the network’s closure did absolutely nothing to slow piracy related to file-sharing. To compound matters, another network that has flown under the radar for some time has now been dragged into the spotlight, and it may pose one of the biggest threats yet to copyright owners and their content. Read on for more. More →
AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon have reached an agreement with music and movie publishers that will help enforce copyright infringement while giving the ISPs a chance to level with their customers. According to Ars Technica, copyright owners will continue to scour the dark corners of the net looking for anyone downloading and illegally sharing their content. If an IP is found to be downloading or sharing illegal content — likely via P2P networks — the music and movie companies will alert the ISP directly. ISP’s will then send a note to the offending customer, without passing off private information unless there is a court order to do so. Users may get up to four alerts from the ISP, but after that the ISP can choose to start implementing “temporary reductions of Internet speeds, redirection to a landing page until the subscriber contacts the ISP to discuss the matter or reviews and responds to some educational information about copyright, or other measures that the ISP may deem necessary to help resolve the matter.” If a user believes he or she has been targeted without merit, an appeals process can be started for a $35 fee but, as Ars Technica notes, it’s unclear who will be the judge in that process. Read on for the full details on the six strikes. More →
According to a report filed by The Wall Street Journal, peer-to-peer networking site LimeWire and several major record labels may be working on an out-of-court settlement in a copyright infringement case from 2006. “Lawyers for several major record labels have held at least three settlement conferences with representatives of a file-sharing service that they sued for copyright infringement, according to a federal court docket entry, indicating that the two sides may reach an agreement on a financial penalty instead of waiting for a jury award,” reads the report. LimeWire was found guilty of allowing users to upload and share unlicensed, copyrighted materials over its network. Arista Records, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and EMI Group are all named plaintiffs — LimeWire and its founder, Mark Gorton, are named as defendants. Representatives from the two camps did not respond to the WSJ’s request for comment. More →
Google announced and launched its Music Beta service on Tuesday, and record execs aren’t too pleased with its decision to move ahead before reaching a deal. “People are pissed,” one record label exec told Hollywood Reporter, which explained in one article why it took so long for Google and the music industry to reach an agreement. Reportedly, Google offered some labels larger advances than others, which resulted in some firms holding out for more money. Similarly, the music industry is concerned that Music Beta users will upload music stolen from P2P sites — that the industry already wants removed from Google’s search results — to Google’s music storage locker. Lastly, the recording industry was concerned that Google’s music service could weaken the revenue stream from other sources, such as Apple’s iTunes. Ultimately, driven by competition from Amazon’s Cloud Drive, Google decided to pull the trigger and launch anyway. More →
It truly is the end of an era. AllThingsD is reporting that P2P file sharing service Limewire will shutdown “searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality” as the result of a court ruling last year that favored the recording industry. A Limewire spokesperson had this to say:
While this is not our ideal path, we hope to work with the music industry in moving forward. We look forward to embracing necessary changes and collaborating with the entire music industry in the future.
If you have a drink in your hand, pour a little out for your homeboy Limewire… and go find yourself a good BitTorrent client. More →
If you didn’t already think the people behind the RIAA and MPAA were insane, we’re positive that your opinion on them will change as soon as your read what the two associations have proposed in a recent letter to the Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement. Here are but some of the changes the two have asked for:
- The installation of spyware on computers which would seek out and automatically delete illegally obtained media
- Censorship of the internet which would block the transfer of illegal files
- Giving border guards the authority to search one’s tech gear for illegal files
- The lobbying of foreign governments to follow suit
- Having the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security actively and swiftly enforcing copyright laws
Scary as hell, right?