A new study reveals that the land down under is overflowing with illicit downloaders. Some 5 million Aussie scallywags pillaged television shows, music, and other online content that supposedly cost the related industries a combined $900 million. That number will rise into the billions in just a few short years.
Apple is reportedly trying to get major music labels to give iTunes customers unlimited downloads of music they've already purchased. If successful, iTunes users would be able to access and download purchased music across multiple devices, in essence having a permanent online backup in case the originals are lost or damaged.
Sony, whose ebook application was blocked from the App Store because it would have sidestepped Apple's system for buying content and deprived the Cupertino company of its cut of revenue, indicated it may pull its artists from iTunes and withhold its games from the iPhone, an Australian news outlet reports. The move would also set up a showdown between iTunes and Sony's upcoming Music Unlimited streaming service, which is set to open in Australia soon.
We realize we're preaching to the choir here, but PC gaming is alive and well, folks. Nay, PC gaming is thriving and well. Sure, your local GameStop/Babbages likely reduced the PC game section to a sad looking rack situated between walls of console titles, but while brick and mortar store shelves are getting smaller, virtual shelves keep growing. No one knows this better than Valve, who's Steam platform raked in nearly $1 billion ($970 million) in revenue in 2010, according to Forcasting and Analyzing Digital Entertainment (FADE).
Boy Genius Report discovered a new memo (PDF) up on Verizon Wireless' website that's sure to ruffle a few feathers, particularly if you're one of the wireless carrier's heaviest data users. Here's the short and sweet of it:
"If you use an extraordinary amount of data and fall within the top 5 percent of Verizon Wireless data users we may reduce your data throughput speeds periodically for the remainder of your then current and immediately following billing cycle to ensure high quality network performance for other users at locations and times of peak demand," Verizon explains.
Many wondered how Verizon would handle the increased data demands that an influx of upcoming iPhone 4 subscribers would put on its network, and here's your answer, or at least one of them. The wireless carrier also said it's "implementing optimization and transcoding technologies" to help transmit data more efficiently. These techniques will include caching less data, using less capacity, and sizing the video more appropriately for the device, Verizon said.
Regardless of how you feel about Apple -- and around these parts, we know exactly how you feel -- you have to credit the Cupertino company for building the most popular mobile application store on the planet. There's really no other way to describe notching over 10 billion downloads, which Apple claims to have done over the weekend.
"With more than 10 billion apps downloaded in just two and a half years -- a staggering seven billion apps in the last year alone -- the App Store has surpassed our wildest dreams," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "The App Store has revolutionized how software is created, distributed, discovered, and sold. While others try to copy the App Store, it continues to offer developers and customers the most innovative experience on the planet."
By Apple's count, there are now over 350,000 apps for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users to choose from, 60,000 of which are native to the iPad. By comparison, the Android Market offers over 150,000 apps and has served up nearly 2.8 billion downloads to date, according to stats provided by AndroLib.
U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood effectively pulled the plug on LimeWire, issuing a permanent injunction against the company responsible for distributing the file-sharing software. According to Wood, the popular peer-to-peer application caused a "massive scale of infringement" by facilitating illegal file sharing of thousands of copyrighted works.
"While this is not our ideal path, we hope to work with the music industry in moving forward," a LimeWire spokesperson said in a statement. "We look forward to embracing necessary changes and collaborating with the entire music industry in the future."
That may prove easier said than done. Citing un-named "music industry sources," CNet reports that LimeWire founder Mark Gorton has been trying to hammer out a settlement agreement with the RIAA for some time, at one time offering to license music from the top four record companies for Spoon, LimeWire's legal music service. However, Gorton wanted the music labels to agree to let LimeWire operate for a year (or more) while users migrate to Spoon, a notion that ultimately killed any potential deal.
"For the better part of the last decade, LimeWire and Gorton have violated the law," the RIAA said. "The court has now signed an injunction that will start to unwind the massive piracy machine that LimeWire and Gorton used to enrich themselves immensely."
Court ordered damages will be levied following a trial in January.
A recent hacker attack against hosting provider Reality Check Network resulted in a massive blackout for several popular torrent sites, TorrentFreak reports. The attack took place on Saturday morning, corrupting the Master Boot Records (MBRs) of several servers, RCN said.
"We are writing this letter to inform you that a very targeted malicious attack took place on our network this morning at 6AM EST. As a result, most of our server operating systems have been corrupted resulting in the current downtime," the company wrote to the affected customers.
"We have access to all backups and have already figured out a strategy for bringing your servers back up, and have all hands on deck working to restore service," Reality Check Network President Moisey Uretsky added.
Much to the dismay of conspiracy theorists, the hacker in question doesn't appear to be a hired goon of the RIAA. Instead, Reality Check Network said "it was the result of an ex-employee" who had worked for the company for three years and "had intimate knowledge" of the systems.
The produces of The Hurt Locker aren't the only ones going after file shares. According to reports, three adult film producers are getting ready to send subpoenas to ISPs across the United States to obtain the identities of subscribers they claim illegally shared movies over the Internet.
Kenneth Ford, the attorney representing the film makers and who also operates an antipiracy company called Adult Copyright Company, has already been granted motions for early discovery by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, resulting in 5,000 lawsuits.
"My intention is to file suit against several thousand more illegal downloaders in the next week or two," Ford said. "The coming lawsuits will name in the neighborhood of 10,000 Doe defendants."
All that glitters is not gold. And the same goes for things that aren't so shiny and new as well. Fact is, a lot of old games are kind of terrible, and popular controversy magnet DRM-free download service Good Old Games is well aware of that.
"The thing is, I believe we are running after roughly 200 good old games," Good Old Games MD Guillaume Rambourg told GamesIndustry.Biz, "and then I think the PC catalogue will be pretty much packed. There are only so many good old games. 450, 500 and then I think we'll be done."
"It took us two years to get 230 games, so I think it will still take us at least another year, maybe two years to get to 400. We still have much on the plate,” he added.
No funny business this time, though, ok guys? Surprisingly, creepy cult robes and videogame services go together about as well as orange juice and orange paint. Seriously, Good Old Games, why? Did Microsoft put you up to it?