Articles about Copyright Infringement

Alleged skipper of pirate site KickAss Torrents keel-hauled in Poland

The world's favourite torrent website, KickAss Torrents, is down and out with Polish cops arresting its alleged operator Artem Vaulin. Kickass rose to prominence after the scuppering of The Pirate Bay and attracted more than 50 million unique visitors a month. That level of traffic made it the 69th most frequently-visited …
Darren Pauli, 21 Jul 2016
Prison

UK.gov rolls out 10 years' chokey for industrial scale copyright pirates

Digital Economy Bill As it promised in the Queen’s Speech – and as first revealed here – legislation will extend the maximum penalty for industrial scale online copyright infringement from two to 10 years. This is in the hope that criminal copyright cases are actually brought under copyright law. Because the maximum sentence is currently only two …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Jul 2016

Wealthy youngsters more likely to be freetards than anyone else – study

The well-groomed throng of bourgeois protesters that shunned the weekly Waitrose shop and headed for London’s Parliament Square on Saturday had something in common other than a common desire to remain in the EU. The demographic that closely mirrors keen Remain voters is more likely to download content illegally than any other UK …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Jul 2016

GitHub reveals DMCA wipes

Code repository GitHub says more than 8,200 projects were permantently removed last year thanks to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices. In its annual transparency report, the code-sharing site reported that it took down 8,330 projects due to DMCA demands with 8,268 of those remaining offline permanently thanks to …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jun 2016
The new Pirate Bay logo

Finnish court slaps Peter Sunde with €350k fine

Pirate Bay cofounder Peter Sunde has been hit with a fine worth nearly US$400,000 by a court in Helsinki. The Helsinki District Court issued the fine, with local outlet Digitoday reporting (in Finnish) the €350,000 fine is for his role in facilitating copyright infringement. The fine includes €55,000 in costs. The court case …

This is how the EU's supreme court is stripping EU citizens of copyright protections

Special Report An upcoming EU court decision could strip half a billion EU citizens of their copyright protection, and all because of an accidental translation error. In practice, it means that a link to your stolen family photos (which would never happen because the cloud is so secure, right?) would be free to circulate and there’s nothing …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jun 2016

$10bn Oracle v Google copyright jury verdict: Google wins, Java APIs in Android are Fair Use

Google has won the latest round in its long-running battle with Oracle over the use of Java class library APIs in Android. A San Francisco jury today found that Google's reuse of Java's core software interfaces in its own mobile operating system should be considered fair use – meaning Google can avoid paying royalties to …

Goracle latest: Page testifies, jury goes home

Google CEO Larry Page took the stand Thursday in the latest edition of the Chocolate Factory's long-running legal case against Oracle. The Google cofounder was questioned by attorneys from both sides, reiterating his company's argument that the Java APIs developed by Sun and later acquired by Oracle were open tools that Google …
Shaun Nichols, 20 May 2016
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, aged 81, of the United Kingdom. Photo taken during a visit in NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Queen's Speech: Ministers, release the spaceplanes!*

Promises on broadband make up the mainstay of a new Digital Bill, first revealed at The Register back in January and formally revealed in the Queen’s Speech today. It’s one of 21 new legislative proposals. The speech reiterated plans to create the right for every household to access high speed broadband. The plans for a …
Team Register, 18 May 2016
Phone thief, photo via Shutterstock

Catz: Google's Android hurt Oracle's Java business

Google’s free distribution of Android damaged Oracle’s business – according to Oracle. The database giant reportedly told a US federal court that giving Android to handset makers for free destroyed the revenue it could have made on licensing Java. Oracle's co-chief executive Safra Catz reportedly told a San Francisco jury …
Gavin Clarke, 18 May 2016

Queen’s Speech: Digital Bill to tackle radicalisation, pirates

Exclusive A new Digital Bill due to be announced in the Queen’s Speech tomorrow will contain a new 10-year maximum sentencing guideline for online copyright infringement, The Register has learned. Plans for a portmanteau bill were first revealed here back in January. The Bill gathers together a range of unrelated provisions on spectrum …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 May 2016

Motion Picture Ass. of America to guard online henhouse

The Motion Picture Ass. of America will be given a direct line to kill domain names that it says contain pirated information. Under an agreement signed [PDF] with Radix Registry, the MPAA will be a "trusted notifier" across the whole range of Radix registries that include .website, .tech, .online, .space and .host. If the …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 May 2016

Google-backed Yieldify has acquired IP from ‘world’s biggest patent troll’

Yieldify, the Google Ventures-backed startup accused of stealing code from British adtech company Bounce Exchange, has been making some unusual friends. Yieldify has acquired an ancient web patent from III Holdings which was first filed in 2007. III Holdings is better known as Inside Intellectual Ventures, co-founded by Nathan …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 May 2016

UK govt admits it pulled 10-year file-sharing jail sentence out of its arse

Exclusive The UK government's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has admitted it simply made up an official justification for 10-year jail sentences for copyright-infringing file sharers. In response to a freedom of information request by The Register asking for details on the "unpublished research" that was cited in defense of the …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 May 2016

The EU wants you to log into YouTube using your state-issued ID card

Analysis The EU’s enquiry into online plantations platforms will recommend a hands-off approach that will delight Silicon Valley. A draft of the enquiry was leaked this week. The study, part of the EU's Digital Single Market wheeze, also sneaks in one of the EU bureaucrats' top favourite obsessions: national ID cards. You shouldn't be …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Apr 2016

Ten years in the clink, file-sharing monsters! (If UK govt gets its way)

Analysis The UK government will insist on jail sentences of up to 10 years for illegal file sharing, despite its own public consultation saying the opposite. In an act of almost unparalleled Whitehall hubris, the decision was announced in the foreword to a report [PDF] that revealed only two per cent of respondents agreed with the …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Apr 2016
Man in a suit drinking tea out doors reading from his tablet

Stiffer piracy spankings

UK.gov may support heavier penalties for mass copyright infringement. A consultation asked whether the penalties for serious online infringement should be brought in line with those for offline infringement, which carry a potential 10 year sentence. The exercise was notable for generating many robo responses from people who …
Team Register, 22 Apr 2016
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Google ads probe blow

Google's attempt to shut down a probe by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has been blocked by a US appeals court. Hood, along with other state prosecutors, wanted to investigate whether or not Google was complying with a $500m settlement with the US government. As well as coughing up the chunk of change, the web giant …
Chris Williams, 11 Apr 2016
Doctor Who in Listen

Google-funded study concludes: Make DMCA even more Google-friendly

Comment The DMCA must have been a good idea in its day – almost every other country copied it. Today, the DMCA's takedown process is broken, but Silicon Valley's billionaire plantation owners have successfully convinced many that it's broken for completely different reasons. Instead of empowering the little guy to give them more …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Apr 2016
Ethernet cable rises up like a snake (artist's impression). Image via shutterstock

Arista takes on the network big boys with switchin 'n' routing gear

Arista is taking on the big boys of Cisco and Juniper with its new switching and routing platform for cloud service providers and enterprise data centres. The Arista 7500R “universal spine” device combines the functions of a high speed modular switch and a router. It is based on Broadcom’s “Jericho” silicon enhanced with …
Kat Hall, 29 Mar 2016
Oracle OpenWorld cloud

Oracle v Google: Big Red wants $9.3bn in Java copyright damages

The Oracle v. Google fight over Java took a couple of twists just before the Easter weekend. The database giant now reckons it is owed up to $9.3bn in copyright-infringement damages for Android's use of Java. Meanwhile, the judge in the trial wants to ban Oracle and Google lawyers from scouring jurors' social network profiles …
Chris Williams, 28 Mar 2016

The Pirate Party finds a friend: A-G backs member against Sony

The Attorney General advising the European Court on a case that pits a Pirate Party member who operated a public, password-free Wi-Fi network in Munich, has sided with the Pirate. Professor Maciej Szpunar’s opinion isn’t the law, but is often influential in advising the Court’s ultimate decision. Sony discovered the Wi-Fi …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Mar 2016

Google-backed British startup ‘stole our code’, says US marketing firm

A British startup backed by Google stole code from a US startup after meeting them, a lawsuit alleges. Bounce Exchange filed the lawsuit in the federal court for the southern district of New York in December and is seeking $100m in damages for copyright infringement. The company describes its product as behavioural marketing …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Mar 2016
Banned

BT, Sky, EE, TalkTalk and Virgin to appeal website blocking ruling

The Court of Appeal in London must maintain the right of brand owners to obtain website blocking orders against internet service providers as a means of enforcing their trade mark rights against infringers, an expert has said. The Court is expected to hear an appeal by BT, Sky, EE, TalkTalk and Virgin in April against a 2014 …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Feb 2016

Arista cats hiss at Cisco, crack open the cream after bumper sales

Arista Networks has topped analyst expectations by posting a 40 per cent revenue jump in its latest quarterly returns. The networking company said the fourth quarter results put the cap on a "spectacular" 2015 that saw revenues spike even in the midst of an ongoing legal struggle against Cisco. "I have been pleased with the …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Feb 2016

International Trade Commission pens patent love letter to Cisco

The International Trade Commission has handed Cisco another gun to fire at antagonist Arista, finding that the latter violated three Cisco software patents. The patents in question cover router management (US 7,162,537), and private VLANs (US 6,741,592 and 7,200,145). Since Cisco reckons Arista's in violation of twelve …
Hipster with laptop photo via Shutterstock

Sorry slacktivists: The Man is shredding your robo responses

Years ago, we were told that mass democratic participation was was going to be revolutionised by the web. One click was all it would take to effect change - if only enough people clicked. We would tweet truth to power. Instead of arranging to see an elected representative, we could fill in a handy web form. The future belonged …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jan 2016
Banned

Net neutrality-lovin' Sweden mulls law to censor the internet

The Swedish government is considering overturning its long-held opposition to internet filtering – so says one of the country's most high-profile ISPs. According to Bahnhof and its CEO Jon Karlung, the ISP received an email from an investigator who said he had been appointed by the government to look into regulating the …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jan 2016

Oracle blurts Google's Android secrets in court: You made $22bn using Java, punk

An Oracle lawyer has blurted out in court how much money Google has made from Android – figures that the web giant has fiercely fought to keep secret. And those numbers are: US$31bn in revenue, and US$22bn in profit, since 2008, when Android was launched. This money comes from Google's cut from sales made via the Google Play …
Chris Williams, 21 Jan 2016
Doctor Who in Listen

Tell us what's wrong with the DMCA, says US Copyright office

The US Copyright Office is asking the tech industry and members of the public to comment about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and in particular the rules governing copyright infringement. Section 512 of the DMCA gives ISPs and internet hosts immunity from prosecution if material that infringes copyright, such as …
Iain Thomson, 07 Jan 2016
Fail0verflow's opinion of PS4 design

Here's your Linux-booting PS4, says fail0verflow

32c3 There's a long way to go before it becomes an “anyone can do this” hack, but games console tinkerers fail0verflow have replicated their PlayStation 3 work, getting Linux to run on Sony's PlayStation 4. However, as they told the Chaos Communication Conference in Germany, their work is only useful on an older PS4, because the …

'Showbiz hacker touted stolen celebs' X-rated vids, scripts, songs'

A Bahamian bloke is accused of stealing scripts and raunchy private videos from celebrities – and selling them to an undercover agent. Alonzo Knowles, 23, allegedly bragged he had infiltrated the email inboxes of people in the worlds of showbiz and sports – either by tricking them into handing over their account passwords in …
Iain Thomson, 23 Dec 2015
Broken CD with wrench

Security sweep firm links botnet infestation and file sharing

Updated There’s high degree of correlation between organisations with P2P activity and system compromises via malware infections, according to a new study by BitSight Technologies. Correlation is, of course, different from causation. However, the booby-trapping of Torrents to tricks freetards into sucking down on malicious code is a …
John Leyden, 21 Dec 2015

Samba man 'Tridge' accidentally helps to sink request for Oz voteware source code

Dr Andrew Tridgell, creator of the Samba file server and the rsync algorithm, appears to have inadvertently helped to sink a freedom of information (FOI) request for access to the source code of software used to count votes in Australian elections. Tridgell was called as a witness by Hobart lawyer Michael Cordover, who sought …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Dec 2015
fail_parking_meter_648

Aurous shutters for good, will pay $3m damages

Pirate music wannabe Aurous has shut down, barely three months after first surfacing. Billed in Vice as “BitTorrent Music for your Dad”, and described as a “Popcorn Time for music”, the outfit, whose sole proprietor was Andrew Sampson, has agreed to pay damages of $3m. The case is notable for the speed with which the operation …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Dec 2015
Baseball Stars Professional in-game action

14 strikes and you’re out. Or not. Emails reveal how Cox lost Safe Harbor

Analysis We now know why US cable ISP Cox Communications lost the "safe harbor" DMCA liability protection afforded to those who disconnect high volume P2P file sharers. It appears to be down to its failure to take infringement notices sufficiently seriously, a US court has ruled. Last week in an East Virginia court, a judge stripped …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Dec 2015

Music publisher BMG vs US cable giant Cox: Here's why it matters

Special Report A court case that begins this week will define new boundaries in the relationship between US ISPs and creators, regardless of which way it goes. Music publisher BMG, part of Bertelsmann, is suing cable giant Cox Communications for abetting copyright infringement. The core of the issue is how the ISP handled heavy infringers, …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Dec 2015

Court: Swedish ISPs can't be forced to block Sweden's Pirate Bay

In brief ISPs in Sweden cannot be forced to block access to the Pirate Bay – the Swedish search engine used worldwide for pirating software, movies and music. The District Court of Stockholm ruled on Friday that Swedish ISP Bredbandsbolaget cannot be pressured by copyright holders into preventing subscribers from accessing the infamous …
Chris Williams, 28 Nov 2015
Kim Dotcom at the NZ parliamentary hearing

Kim Dotcom slams 'dirty ugly bully' Uncle Sam as extradition hearing ends

The extradition hearing of rotund web baron Kim Dotcom finally ended Tuesday, having taken three times longer than expected. Tweeting on the last day of the ten-week hearing in Auckland, New Zealand, Dotcom railed: "My defense team has shown how utterly unreliable, malicious, and unethical the US case against me is. They have …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Nov 2015
European commission photo via Shutterstock

No, the EU is not going to make hyperlinks illegal

You may have read that the European Commission intends to prevent hyperlinks to copyrighted material. The good news is that this isn’t true. The bad news is that there is a real proposal to change copyright law that could change how we use hyperlinks – the bedrock of the World Wide Web. How does the humble hyperlink fit into …
Andres Guadamuz, 16 Nov 2015
CES 2015 crowds brace for bluster

TPP: 'Scary' US-Pacific trade deal published – you're going to freak out when you read it

Analysis The text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has finally been revealed, after seven years of negotiations and following formal approval last month. The text was first published by the government of New Zealand, but was swiftly followed by the United States government, which has uploaded it across a number of websites and in …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Nov 2015
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China tells local cloud storage vaults to name suspected pirates

China's has issued strong advice to local cloud storage operators that they need to stop hosting copyrighted material. The National Copyright Administration has told local companies they must not just follow copyright laws, but implement technological and human-operated processes to identify and remove copyrighted works and …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Oct 2015
Boxers image via Shutterstock

Down and out? Rimini's Oracle slap spells trouble – for Oracle

Comment The odds of paying Oracle top dollar to keep updating your database or business software shortened this week, despite Oracle’s victory over Rimini Street. Larry Ellison’s giant secured $50m in damages from Rimini in a case that has rattled on for five years. $14m of that will be paid by Rimini’s charismatic chief executive, …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Oct 2015

An Internet of Things music thingy? What, you’ve already got one?

Omnifone and Silicon.com founder Rob Lewis is back with another music venture – this time bundling funky sounds with hardware. The Electric Jukebox service combines a streaming service with two bits of hardware: a Chromecast-style HDMI dongle for your telly, and a motion controller. The initial setup cost is £179 for a year’s …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Oct 2015
The new Pirate Bay logo

Swedish govt appeals court decision guarding thepiratebay.se domain

The Swedish government has decided to appeal a court decision that protected the domain names used by torrent-search site The Pirate Bay from being suspended. In a complex legal decision back in May, the court decided that the company that operates Sweden's .se registry, IIS, was contributing to copyright infringement by …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Oct 2015

Silicon Valley now 'illegal' in Europe: Why Schrems vs Facebook is such a biggie

Analysis Today's victory by Austrian privacy advocate Max Schrems in the European Court has massive repercussions for how the superpowers make law, and how Silicon Valley conducts business. And it may only get worse for America's data processing giants, very soon. Microsoft is challenging the notion that the world's data is by default …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Oct 2015
Kim Dotcom

Megaupload extradition: Rotund web baron Kim Dotcom appears in court

After three years of legal delays, Kim Dotcom finally appeared in court in Auckland, New Zealand, on Monday to start his extradition hearing to the United States. Dotcom faces criminal charges for what the US government has said was an organized plan to make money from selling access to copyrighted music and video. He is …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Sep 2015
heart.germany

Germany loosens liability laws to promote WiFi hotspots

Germany has signalled it will ease laws that make it hard for local organisations to operate public WiFi hotspots. Current laws in the Bundesrepublik make hotspot operators liable for their users' activities. Fearing they'll be held accountable for copyright infringement or other offences, Germany's cafes, hotels, airport, …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Sep 2015
Credit: Robert O'Neill Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

Lessig to NZ court: Dotcom charges would fail in the US

Harvard professor, Creative Commons father, and US presidential hopeful Lawrence Lessig has adopted Kim Dotcom as a cause. He's filed an affidavit (picked up by New Zealand's National Business Review) with the District Court at North Shore, Auckland, in which he says the Megaupload founder and deluded self-proclaimed pop star …
Whack-a-mole

Should take down mean stay down? EU’s Big Internet quiz leaks

Brussels wants to know if you think Silicon Valley’s giant internet plantations do business fairly in Europe – and is inviting views on Big Internet’s biggest legal loophole. A leak of the European Commission’s imminent platforms consultation, seen by The Register – it’s one of several – wants Europeans' views on whether “take …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Sep 2015