11/2/2009

Study: File sharers spend more money on music

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Many, especially those associated with making money out of music, feel that pirates who share files should be made to walk the plank to the rhythm of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal.”

However, a survey commissioned by the professional cogitators at Demos in the U.K., suggests that just because one might download illegally, it doesn’t mean one never spends money on music.

Indeed, according to the Independent, this survey, performed by the omeletteheads at Ipsos MORI, showed that those who share files spend 75 percent more on music than those who have allegedly clean hands.

Another omelettehead, Mark Mulligan of Forrester Research, told the Independent that those who share files are simply more interested in music.

11/1/2009

uTorrent 2.0 To Elimininate The Need For ISP Throttling

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

BitTorrent Inc. is about to launch a completely improved implementation of the BitTorrent protocol that will benefit both users and ISPs. uTorrent 2.0, which is currently being tested by thousands of people, will eliminate the need for ISPs to throttle or stop BitTorrent traffic, and will optimize the download experience for its users.

10/31/2009

Pirate Bay founders threatened with fine if site stays open

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

File-sharing site The Pirate Bay should be closed, and if it isn’t, two of the founders will each have to pay a fine of 500,000 Swedish kronor (US$71,500), according to a verdict in the Stockholm District Court on Wednesday.

Back in May, the entertainment industry — represented by companies such as Sony, Universal, Disney and Paramount — filed a motion with the court to fine the people behind the Pirate Bay operation as long as the site’s users can access copyright-protected material.

Previously, ISP (Internet service provider) Black Internet was fined for providing data access to the site. That verdict resulted in the site going down for a brief period, and has since been appealed.

But this time it’s Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg who are in the court’s crosshairs. They have been forced to shut down the site or pay the fine.

The court has stated that the site will have to remain closed unless Neij and Warg are exonerated on another similar case they’re involved in, which is now on appeal.

9/28/2009

Ignoring RIAA lawsuits cheaper than going to trial

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Jammie Thomas-Rasset and Joel Tenenbaum captured the nation’s attention when they were defendants in the RIAA’s first two trials against accused online infringers. But here’s the mind-warping reality: both defendants would have been far better off monetarily if they had simply ignored the complaint altogether and failed to show up in court.

That counterintuitive logic played out again this week in Massachusetts, where federal judge Nancy Gertner issued four default judgments against accused P2P file-swappers who never bothered to respond to the charges against them. Their failure to appear meant an automatic loss, and though the judge does have some discretion in setting penalties, judges often pick the minimum awards in such cases.

That was true in all four cases, where Gertner accepted the record labels’ claims and awarded them the minimum statutory damages of $750 per song. The defendants were accused of downloading an average of ten songs, putting total awards in the $7,500 range, in addition to a few hundred more for court costs.

8/27/2009

Isohunt judge says MPAA has yet to prove direct infringment

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

File-sharing sites haven t had a great year, especially in court, but on Wednesday they received a smidgen of good news.

The Motion Picture Association of America asked a federal court to rule that Isohunt was liable for copyright violations committed by its users, but the judge in the case was unconvinced. In his order, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson said the studios had yet to prove that the Isohunt s users had broken U.S. law.

Lawyers for the MPAA, the trade group representing the six major Hollywood film studios, are trying to convince the judge that Isohunt encouraged and contributed to the infringing activity of users. Wilson gave the MPAA until Sept. 15 to file a brief that convinces him direct infringement at the site was committed by those in the U.S. Apparently, Wilson has questions about whether U.S. residents have pirated content using Isohunt.

United States copyright laws do not reach acts of infringement that take place entirely abroad, Wilson, wrote in his order.

A spokeswoman for the MPAA did not immediately have a response.

The significance of the judge s order, at least from the point of view of Ira Rothken, Isohunt s attorney, is that MPAA s investigators have struggled to draw specific examples of infringement occurring in the U.S.

8/26/2009

Mininova Ordered to Remove All ‘Infringing’ Torrents

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Mininova has lost its civil dispute with Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN. The judge ruled that Mininova is not directly responsible for any copyright infringement, but ordered it to remove all torrents linking to copyrighted material within three months, or face a penalty of up to 5 million euros.

UK says illegal downloaders may lose Web access

Filed under: — Aviran

People who repeatedly download copyright-protected films and music could have their Internet connection cut off under proposed laws the British government unveiled Tuesday to tackle illegal file-sharing.

Treasury Minister Stephen Timms said that previous plans, which would only have restricted users’ broadband speed, did not go far enough. That potential punishment remains under the new proposal, but is accompanied by the possibility of blocking offenders’ access to download sites as well as banning them from the Internet altogether.

8/25/2009

The Pirate Bay Taken Offline By Swedish Authorities

Filed under: — Aviran

Following the earlier court defeat for Fredrik, Gottfrid and Peter and the pending civil action taken by several Hollywood studios, the Swedish authorities have now ordered The Pirate Bay to be disconnected from the Internet. The site’s bandwidth suppliers have been threatened with a large fine. The site is completely offline.

As expected, The Pirate Bay site relocated and is back online (DNS still has to update for some people). A Pirate Bay insider told TorrentFreak that they “got a new connection to the net.” The tracker is still down and is expected to be fully operational tomorrow morning, we were told. Ever since their servers were raided back in 2006 they were prepared for takedown attempts like this.

7/19/2009

New Pirate Bay to be based on give-and-take models

Filed under: — Aviran

One of the world’s largest filesharing Web sites, The Pirate Bay, is going legal through a series of give-and-take payment models that in some cases may even earn its users a bundle of cash, the new owners said Saturday.

“The more you give, the more you get,” said Hans Pandeya, chief executive of Swedish software firm Global Gaming Factory X, which announced last month it was buying the site and would start paying both content providers and copyright holders.

Pandeya said The Pirate Bay, whose domain name and related Web sites were bought by Global Gaming Factory X for 60 million kronor, will not become like pure pay sites, such as ITunes Store and Napster.

“For the great majority it will be free of charge, for a minority it will actually make them money, and for a small portion it will cost them,” he said.

Pandeya said plans are under way to introduce a monthly fee to be able to use The Pirate Bay, but he said the fee could be worked off by, for example, sharing downloaded content or lending storage capacity to others on their PC’s in exchange.

“We know that unless we’re able to create revenues for the filesharers they’ll just move on to the next free, site,” he said. “Filesharers are our best friends.”

Pandeya also said other give-and-take packages were in the works, but declined to elaborate, saying more details would revealed in the next few weeks.

7/1/2009

Pirate Bay Sold

Filed under: — Aviran

Global Gaming Factory X AB, which operates Internet cafes and provides software, said Tuesday that it had agreed to buy Pirate Bay for 60 million Swedish crowns ($7.7 million).

The website made world headlines in April when the three Swedish founders and a financial backer were each sentenced to one year in jail and ordered to pay a combined $3.6 million in damages for breaching copyright law with the free downloading site, which was one of the biggest sites of its kind on the Internet.

Swedish News Agency TT cited one of the founders, Peter Sunde, as saying that the money would not go directly to him or any of the others sentenced in April.

Sunde told TT that the money would be placed in a company outside Swedish borders and it would be used for Internet projects other than downloading sites.

6/29/2009

Pirate Bay judge ruled unbiased

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The judge in the Pirate Bay case, Tomas Norström, was not biased. That’s the decision of the Swedish High Court of Justice, which investigated accusations made by the four defendants in the high-profile file-sharing case.

The accusations were based on Norström’s membership in organizations such as the Swedish Copyright Association, which counts among its members lawyers who represented the plaintiffs during The Pirate Bay trial.

The court ascertained that such memberships do demonstrate a commitment to intellectual property issues, which could be considered by some to be in the interest of the plaintiffs. But it also pointed out that rights-holders’ rights are protected by the Constitution, and so cannot be considered a conflict of interest if a judge endorses the principles behind copyright laws.

The court did say it would have been appropriate for the judge to disclose these memberships, which could have led to an investigation of potential conflicts of interest at an earlier stage in the process.

But as a whole, none of these circumstances are enough for sending the case back to the district court, according to the High Court, which now will look at the main appeal of the verdict.

6/25/2009

Court Orders Rapidshare To Proactively Filter Content

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Regional Court in Hamburg, Germany, has ruled that file-hosting service Rapidshare must proactively filter certain content. Music industry outfit GEMA asked the court to ban Rapidshare from making 5,000 tracks from its catalogue available on the Internet. The court estimated the value of the tracks at $34 million.

rapidshareCollections society GEMA claims to represent more than 60,000 composers, authors and music publishers worldwide, protecting their copyrights. After a request by the group, The Regional Court in Hamburg has ruled that hosting service Rapidshare is forbidden from making any of 5,000 music tracks from GEMA’s collection available on the Internet.

Rapidshare was also ordered to delete any and all of those same tracks from its servers and ensure that they are not uploaded again by users. Previously Rapidshare had been using file hashes to recognize tracks that were already removed after requests from GEMA, to ensure that they weren’t uploaded again. The court decided that the technique used was ineffective.

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