EA’s public relations team plays Spincity all weekend long.
SimCity made our list of “most anticipated games of 2013”, and with good reason. This PC reboot was not only long overdue, but the franchise itself is an all-time classic. We were confident Maxis was the studio to deliver a proper sequel, but the studio’s choice of an always online DRM solution has proven to be a complete disaster. Maximum PC online managing editor Jimmy Thang has criticized EA’s handling of the situation, and the company’s PR department has been pulling overtime trying to repair the games reputation.
Some people believe piracy has no negative effect on sales. I am not one of those people. So I sympathize with EA's desire to combat piracy with SimCity. However, I do not believe that requiring users to always be connected to EA's servers to be the best solution to the problem, especially when those servers come crashing down and prevent honest customers from playing legitimate copies of their game.
BitTorrent, and the words “legit” are rarely seen in the same sentence, but the company behind one of the world’s most popular peer to peer downloading clients is hoping 2013 will be the year this all changes. Matt Mason, executive director of marketing for BitTorrent claims he’s been working non stop with content companies for the last several years, and is looking for ways to warm relations, and create partnerships to distribute content legally. As you would no doubt imagine, this is a bit of an uphill battle given how often the company’s products are used to share files illegally.
Imagine if a car thief walked into a dealership and was handed the keys to a new automobile, no questions asked. That would be too easy, right? Well, that's essentially what Microsoft did with Windows 8 Pro when users went to claim their free copy of the Windows Media Center upgrade. One of the unintentional side effects of applying the upgrade is that it permanently activates Windows 8, Venture Beat reports.
When Dropbox announced its “get link” file-sharing feature a couple of months back, a number of tech news outlets, including this one, were quick to report on it. Some of these reports, though, focused more on how the feature could make Dropbox popular among Internet pirates. The cloud storage service responded by saying it employs “a number of measures to ensure that our sharing feature is not misused.” If anyone still had any doubts over its intentions, the company laid them to rest on Monday when it blocked (read: killed) Boxopus, a service for downloading torrent files directly to Dropbox, from accessing its API owing to piracy concerns.
When an Ubisoft dev blamed piracy for the lack of an "I Am Alive" PC port towards the end of last year, he touched a nerve with a lot of desktop gamers -- at least if the heated comments left on the article are any indication. Now, the Jolly Roger flag-waving torrent crowd has helped Epic Games decide to put the kibosh on a Bulletstorm sequel, and not just for PC gamers.
The demise of Megaupload has left a bit of a void in the file sharing community, and rival sites such as RapidShare are beginning to struggle with ways to combat the influx of questionable content. Last month representatives from RapidShare boldly announced to Arstechnicia that they were “not concerned” with the government crackdown on Megaupload, because file hosting is a legitimate business if operated properly. Either way it appears as though they have had to make a few policy changes as a result of their new found popularity, and these measures are clearly an attempt to drive away the un-wanted traffic and legal attention that comes along with it.
The recording industry has long been critical of Google’s handling of its search results, and several months ago, the RIAA and IFPI accused Google of profiting from piracy, and throwing up roadblocks to prevent copyright holders from removing infringing material. According to a leaked document, this war of words might be headed to court soon. Industry groups have obtained confidential legal opinions on the viability of a lawsuit against Google.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota and Wellesley College recently got together to answer one simple question: does BitTorrent hurt U.S. box office numbers? According to this study, the answer is a resounding ‘no,’ much to the chagrin of the movie industry. The study did find a correlation in the data, but it amounts to Hollywood throwing away money.
The BitTorrent community used to think that law enforcement had better things to do than hunt them down, but that all changed in mid-2005, when US-based EliteTorrents was raided by the FBI and ICE. The site had over 130,000 users, and was run by a small number of dedicated staff, including one 19 year-old who recently spoke about the ordeal. He gives a peek inside the first big Torrent bust of what has become an ongoing war on piracy for US law enforcement.