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‘Copyright’s True Purpose Is Dead, It Never Existed’


According to the US Constitution, copyrights exist to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts." It's meant to facilitate and encourage artists to create content, which the public can enjoy. But is this how copyright still functions today? Texan A&M law professor Glynn Lunney Jr doesn't think so.

We’re all familiar with the statement that piracy is “killing” the music industry.

It’s one of the main arguments used to argue in favor of stronger copyright enforcement and legislation.

The underlying idea is that strong copyright protection ensures that artists get paid. More money then opens the door to more artistic creations. But is that really the case?

Glynn Lunney Jr, law professor at Texas A&M University, has his doubts.

When the first wave of widespread online piracy hit in the late nineties, copyright holders called for stronger pro...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

Suffocating Financial Power Means Mismatches in Copyright Cases


Being an entrepreneur in the digital age comes with risks, particularly when a business model is connected in any way with the music and movie industries. Kim Dotcom says he's spent $40 million in legal bills fighting his corner while TVAddons founder Adam Lackman is already facing potential bankruptcy. Neither defendant is anywhere close to a full trial on the merits of their respective cases.

Entrepreneurs on the Internet face risks that are in many ways the same as those operating in the physical realm. All have to find a suitable market while combining hard work, skill, and elements of luck to create a sustainable and profitable business model.

While there are plenty of opportunities out there to do things that other people have already done, the online world presents a whole raft of new possibilities to build projects in areas where few – if any – have trod before.

Take for instance Megaupload, the file-hosting site created by Kim Dotcom, which initi...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

Rightscorp Prompted The RIAA to Sue Internet Provider


With help from the RIAA, several companies are waging a legal battle against Grande Communications, accusing the company of not taking proper action against pirating subscribers. It turns out that this idea didn't originate at the music group. Instead, it was anti-piracy group Rightscorp that prompted the lawsuit.

Two years ago, several major record labels filed a lawsuit against Internet provider Grande Communications.

The labels argued that the ISP’s subscribers engaged in more than a million BitTorrent-based infringements, yet it took “no meaningful action to discourage this continuing theft.”

While the RIAA is not a party to the case, on paper at least, the music group’s lawyers are closely involved in the matter. From the earliest stage, it provided the labels with legal assistance.

That said, filing a lawsuit against the Internet provider was not the...

Read entire story 7/14/2018 at TorrentFreak

Anti-Piracy Portal Blocked Due to Alleged Phishing & Malware


A government-backed portal set up to convince pirates that going straight is the best philosophy is being flagged as dangerous by security software. People who receive piracy notices are directed to GetitRightFromaGenuineSite.org but according to anti-virus vendors and even third-parties like Twitter, the domain should be avoided due to a potential malware and phishing threat.

After years of negotiations, last year UK ISPs began sending out piracy warnings to subscribers whose accounts are used to share copyright-infringing material.

The warning notices, sent out by ISPs including BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Sky, politely inform account holders that their connections have been monitored sharing movies, music, TV shows and other content.

The notices are purely educational and no further threats are attached, a welcome approach to what can often be a difficult situation for both entertainment groups and the public.

This week, however, a read...

Read entire story 7/14/2018 at TorrentFreak

Mom’s Defense of “Cheating” Fortnite Kid Fails


Game developer and publisher Epic can continue its copyright infringement lawsuit against a minor. A Carolina federal court, which reviewed a scathing letter of the alleged cheater's mother as a motion to dismiss, sees no grounds to throw out the lawsuit at this stage.

Last year Epic Games decided to take several Fortnite cheaters to court, accusing them of copyright infringement.

Several of these lawsuits have been settled but there is one that proved to be somewhat of a challenge.

One of the alleged cheaters turned out to be a minor, who’s now referred to by his initials C.R. in the Carolina District Court. The game publisher wasn’t aware of this when it filed the lawsuit, but the kid’s mother let the company know, loud and clear.

“This company is in the process of attempting to sue a 14-year-old child,” the m...

Read entire story 7/14/2018 at TorrentFreak

Anti-Piracy Group BREIN Plans to Target ‘Frequent’ Seeders


Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN stresses that its plan to go after frequent seeders of pirated material is still on. The outfit will use its own tracking software to detect persistent infringers and hold them accountable. Movie distribution Dutch FilmWorks is working on a similar scheme, which is also yet to launch.

For many years, the Netherlands has been a relatively safe haven for online pirates.

Downloading movies without permission was not punishable by law, as long as it was for personal use. This changed in 2014 when the European Court of Justice spoke out against the tolerant stance.

In response, the Dutch Government quickly outlawed unauthorized downloading. However, breaking the habits of a large section of the population remains a challenge to date.

While local anti-piracy group BREIN has been very active in its enforcement actions, these only affect a small group of peo...

Read entire story 7/13/2018 at TorrentFreak

Russia Adopts Draft to Prohibit ‘Piracy-Enabling’ Software


Russia's State Duma has adopted a draft law that aims to tackle software applications through which pirated content is distributed. The proposals foresee the owner or operator of an application being warned that infringement is taking place while giving them time to remove the offending content. Failure to do so will result in the software application being blocked by ISPs.

At the turn of the century, most online piracy was carried out using software applications. With their inbuilt search features, tools such as KaZaA and eDonkey were all the rage.

With the advent of BitTorrent, however, a dual approach was required. While the file transfers themselves still took place in torrent clients, the .torrent files (which contain instructions on where to obtain content) had to be downloaded from indexing sites such as The Pirate Bay.

These days that same system is still used by millions but pure web-based streaming platforms are also extremely popular. ...

Read entire story 7/13/2018 at TorrentFreak

YouTube Launches “Copyright Match” Tool to Protect Initial Uploaders


YouTube will release a new tool to help initial uploaders to take action against those who duplicate and re-upload their content without permission. Copyright Match, which will be available to high-traffic users initially, will alert users to new uploads of their work while allowing them to take a range of actions, including communicating with the uploader or taking content down.

Millions of YouTube channel operators use the platform to distribute their own creations, from their latest musical compositions, to tutorials, reviews, or news segments.

While most remain unique, many of the most popular creators are plagued by people who rip their content from the site before re-uploading it to their own YouTube channel. It’s a quick way of grabbing thousands of views with minimal effort while denying creators clicks that would otherwise generate them revenue.

With the vast majority of YouTube content available free to all, there are few excuses for th...

Read entire story 7/12/2018 at TorrentFreak

Usenet Users Have Privacy Rights, But Pirates Can’t be Anonymous


Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN has scored a partial victory against Usenet provider Newsconnection. The Court of Appeal ruled that the company must ensure that it can identify potential infringers. Newsconnection is not required to implement the strict measures BREIN requested, but the court made it clear that pirates shouldn't be anonymous.

Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN has targeted pirates of all shapes and sizes over the past several years.

It’s also one of the few groups to systematically track copyright infringers on Usenet, which still has millions of frequent users.

BREIN sets its aim on prolific uploaders and other large-scale copyright infringers. After identifying its targets, it asks providers to reveal the personal details connected to the account.

Not all providers are eager to hand over this information.

This is also true for Newsconnection. The Usenet provider was previously ordered...

Read entire story 7/12/2018 at TorrentFreak

Warner Bros Presses Library to Rename ‘Harry Potter Festival’


Following pressure from Warner Bros. lawyers, the yearly Harry Potter festival in Odense, Denmark, has changed its name. The movie studio condoned the non-profit event over the past years, but that's no longer the case. All names and images referring to the young wizard's movies are now off limits, which has far-reaching consequences.

Harry Potter is without a doubt one of the biggest entertainment brands in the world.

As a result, the various copyright holders are very protective of their asset, sometimes to the extreme.

For example, publisher Pottermore previously tried to censor J.K. Rowling’s Wikipedia page, as well as several unrelated entries. While this may have been a mistake, other enforcement actions clearly arent.

When an underground restaurant tried to host a Halloween party with a Harry Potter theme a few years ago, Warner Bros. lawyers came knocking. Trying to avoid trouble, the...

Read entire story 7/11/2018 at TorrentFreak