Take down requests against pirated content continues to grow exponentially.
Hollywood has been playing whack-a-mole with pirates for as long as we can remember, but the war continues to rage on with numbers that simply defy explanation. According to Google’s transparency report, 51,395,353 links to infringing websites were removed from the indexer this year, and it is continuing to grow at an exponential rate. Last week alone Google received a mind boggling 3,502,345 take down requests. This represents a 15x increase over what they received in January.
You make a finite amount of money. Typically, that money gets spent on essentials, like paying the rent, your bills and procuring fine single malt scotches. With so many needs to attend to, by the end of the month, most folks find themselves with precious little scratch left over to spend on their wants, meaning that decisions and sacrifices will have to be made. Will you be going out to dinner or seeing a movie? Socking away a bit of coin for a rainy day or for a vacation? Buying software or… not? After all, why buy when you can pirate everything most of today’s popular titles for the low, low cost of free? Well, we’ll tell you. Before you decide to go torrent an application or game you’ve been keen on, consider our 10 practical arguments against piracy, and always try to remember — you get what you pay for.
Creative associations and ISPs have been trying to cast copyright-infringing file-sharers as digital boogeymen for years now. They've also been lobbying for a version of the Internet based around baseball: three copyright violation strikes and you're out of the Internet, cut off not just from P2P but also Twitter, email and MaximumPC.com. "Hold your horses," says a special report by the UN’s Human Rights Council. Apparently, three-strikes-style laws aren't just a ridiculous overreaction, they're a violation of human rights.
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.
Gilbert Sanchez, a 47-year-old budding musician nabbed by the FBI for uploading the Wolverine movie a month before its theatrical release, doesn't deny putting the pirated flick on the Internet, but he does pretty much deny any wrongdoing.
"It's just ridiculous," Sanchez told reports from The New York Daily News. "I bought it from a Korean guy on the street for five bucks. Then I uploaded it. I didn't make any money."
Sanchez contends that there's much bigger fish the FBI should be going after and that he wasn't responsible for the original leak. And according to CNet's "Hollywood sources," the authorities have ruled out Sanchez as the original source of the leak, though it isn't clear if he knows someone behind the scenes at studios who would have access to unreleased movies.
"I had FBI with search warrant in my place," Sanchez wrote in a post at Crazypellas.net under his "SkillfulGil" username. "They took my PC. Now (they're) building a fed case on me for the same thing. Copyright Infringement...So I guess I'll (be) made an example of."
For obvious reasons, Microsoft has never held a soft spot for software pirates, and according to TGDaily, the Redmond company has opened fire with a number of lawsuits aimed at companies allegedly distributing counterfeit software.
The cases are pretty widespread, including one against Kiev Camera USA and Mikhail Fourman, an individual accused of selling illegal software in Atlanta, Georgia and on the Internet.
Similar cases have been filed against BC Tech Gear, Dallas Computer Parts, The Computer Shop (aka mycomputerlady.net), Seifelden Electronics, Royal Distribution, and Viosoftware Corporation, TGDaily reports.
In addition to going on a legal rampage, Microsoft has also just launched an education and enforcement campaign in over 70 countries. Microsoft claims over 150,000 voluntary reports have come in over the past two years from victims who unknowingly purchased counterfeit software, which Microsoft says often comes "riddled with viruses or malware."
More info here. Oh, and pat yourself on the back if you identified the disc on the right as the counterfeit.
Half the internet says The Pirate Bay is dead; The other half says the first half has no idea what it's talking about. Popular BitTorrent index The Pirate Bay is never without controversy, it seems. But is the site's latest move to kill its BitTorrent tracker for good really that much of a white flag? I don't think so, because decentralized BitTorrent tracking has already been here for quite some time now. If anything, The Pirate Bay is just trying to cover its poop deck from additional legal threats.
Here's the deal. For the last many years, anyone could head on over to The Pirate Bay site, do a quick search for a piece of content, download the associated .torrent file, and connect up to The Pirate Bay's tracker. The tracker would, in turn, find you a number of peers to connect to and your BitTorrent client of choice would commence the download of bits and pieces of your file from these multiple sources. Easy.
When a tracker fails to work--or gets forcibly removed from the Internet--you can keep on transferring bits and pieces of a file to those you're already connected to. If you want to start a new download, however, you'll be unable to find any peers seeding the file for you. The same holds true in reverse: Without a tracker, others on the Internet won't be able to connect to you either.
To solve these problems, BitTorrent has embraced two technologies that, together, transform the art of downloading files into a truly peer-to-peer solution: DHT and Mirror Links.
According to TorrentFreak.com, copyright holders have found a way to turn the table on software piracy and profit from the practice of stealing software.
Citing a PowerPoint presentation (in German) by foreign pirate-tracking outfit DigiRights Solutions, TorrentFreak reports that alleged file sharers are sent out emails requesting them to pay about $650 per offense. For its efforts, DigiRights keeps 80 percent of the money to cover IT costs, administration costs, and attorney fees, while the remaining 20 percent is passed on to the copyright holders, TorrentFreak reports.
For copyright holders, that breaks down to $130 for every illicit download, or about 150 times more from pursuing file sharers than from selling actual music. Of course, this only applies to those who actually pay, and according to the report, 25 percent of all recipients cough up the cash, no questions asked.
In what initially looked to be an April Fool's Day prank, film distributor 20th Century Fox wasn't laughing when it learned its upcoming movie "X-Men: Origins: Wolverine" was viewed by thousands of people a month before the flick is scheduled to show on the big screen. While pirated movies showing up online isn't anything new, this particular leak is rare given that it hadn't even premiered yet.
"The source of the initial leak and any subsequent postings will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of thelaw," 20th Century Fox said. "The courts have handed down significant criminal sentences for such acts in the past."
According to 20th Century Fox, both the FBI and MPAA are investigating the leak. Some estimates peg the illicit release as having been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times in its first 24 hours on the web. However, Eric Garland, chief executive of the file-sharing monitoring firm BigChampagne, said that online viewers would only account for a small percentage of the film's total audience.
Garland did also point out that bad word of mouth could be a concern. The copy that was leaked to the internet was missing many special effects and included temporary sound and music.
The Department of Optics at the University of Granada has recently revealed a new technique that provides the means to identify the difference between a bootlegged CD and one made industrially (other than checking if the top has “Workout Mix” written in Sharpie).
At a base level, they’re simply checking out the light diffraction from the surface of the CD. Ideally, it’ll be noticeably different between a CD made at home and made at the factory. In fact they’re so confident with the process, they’ve filed for a patent.
Sadly, they’re a bit late. For many of us, the CD boat has sailed and this technology is generations behind. But, there might be some of you out there that still prefer your music in disc form, and to that I say kudos.