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Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?

The Motion Picture Ass. of America (MPAA) is once again looking to rat out known piracy hotbeds to the US government, both online and in real life – and Canada's largest urban center remains high on its list. The MPAA said on Monday that it had provided the office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) with a list of markets that …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Oct 2014
Costumed pirate

France to draft blacklist banning alleged piracy websites – what could POSSIBLY go wrong?

France looks set to increase funding and power for its controversial piracy-battling Hadopi agency. Hadopi started life as a law to stamp out the illegal sharing of copyrighted stuff – primarily by sending warning emails to people caught pirating movies, games, and so on: after three strikes, your ISP is supposed to boot you …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Oct 2014

Users should PAY for their piracy says Turnbull

Australia's government is applying its customary confusion to the copyright debate, with the two ministers most associated with the issue giving divergent messages on how best to solve the country's supposedly-chronic piracy. Late last week, communications minister Malcolm Turnbull – one of the two signatories to the leaked-then …
Baidu Logo

Chinese web firms sue search giant Baidu for video piracy

A group of Chinese web and film companies have banded together to take search giant Baidu to court over allegations of video piracy. The group, which includes companies like Tencent Holdings, Sohu.com and Youku Tudou, call themselves the Joint Action Against Online Video Piracy in China. They are looking for 300 million yuan ($ …

China's piracy watchdog to keep tabs on Amazon, Apple & co

China’s copyright watchdog is set to expand its oversight of e-commerce platforms including those run by Apple, Amazon and local giant Taobao as part of a renewed effort to police online piracy. The National Copyright Administration already monitors 19 major sites in China but said it will be expanding that number this year to …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Jun 2013

Customs cops shutter 700+ domains in global anti-piracy blitz

Customs officers and cops across the globe have teamed up to take down over 700 domains selling pirated goods over the busy Thanksgiving holiday sales weekend. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) team joined forces with Europol and Hong Kong Customs to seize top level domains …
Phil Muncaster, 05 Dec 2013
Logo of Iceland's Pirate Party

Every Friday is rat-out-your-boss-for-software-piracy Friday

For The Cure, Friday was a day of love, for most of us it is the gateway to the weekend - but for pirate-haters it is the best time to shop employers using unlicensed software at work. This is the latest statistic from the Ministry of Silly Numbers, aka the Federation Against Software Theft, whose latest research states 34 per …
Paul Kunert, 05 Jul 2013
An anti-piracy message baked into the game "Game Dev Tycoon"

Pirates scoff at games dev sim's in-game piracy lesson

Australian games developer Greenheart Games has released a cracked version of its own product – a games business simulation called “Game Dev Tycoon” – as an experiment in education of pirates and their reaction to a game that tells them their software-pinching ways are evil. The startup outfit detailed its exploits here, …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Apr 2013

Feuding fanbois in a flap over piracy haven in new iOS 7 jailbreak tool

The “evad3rs”, the crackers behind previous “jailbreaks” for Apple operating systems, have released software they say makes it possible to use an iOS 7-powered device with app stores other than Apple's. Available here and billed as “Compatible with all iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and iPad mini models running iOS 7.0 through 7.0.4 …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2013

Study accuses media companies of cooking the books on piracy losses

A study by the London School of Economics and Political Science has found that media companies are overstating their losses to piracy, that policies to cut off internet users for copyright infringement don't work, and finds that those industry sectors that have embraced digital sharing are growing as a result. "Neither the …
Iain Thomson, 03 Oct 2013

US and China make major bilateral anti-piracy bust

US and Chinese customs officials have joined together on a bilateral anti-piracy blitz that has seen over 240,000 fake electrical items confiscated. The combined operation came as a result of recent talks between the two countries in which they agreed to work together to stem the flood of pirated goods flowing from China – where …
Phil Muncaster, 01 Aug 2013
Amazon Kindle Touch e-book reader

'No discernible increase in piracy' from DRM-free e-books

A little over a year ago, Speculative Science Fiction publisher Tor decided to do away with digital rights management (DRM) for its e-books. The company's publisher Tom Doherty said that the time that authors were supportive because DRM frustrates readers. “It prevents them from using legitimately-purchased e-books in perfectly …
Simon Sharwood, 09 May 2013
gandalf

Mozilla CTO blasts WC3 plans to bless anti-piracy DRM tech in HTML5

The co-founder and CTO of Mozilla Brendan Eich has issued a strongly worded statement decrying moves by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to allow digital rights management plugins to be included in the specifications for HTML5 and future code iterations. Last year Microsoft, Google and Netflix submitted a proposal to web …
Iain Thomson, 24 Oct 2013
Un Frog

France's 'three strikes' anti-piracy law shot down

French internet users need no longer fear having their connections cut off under strict France's Hadopi copyright infringement law, after the government's Constitutional Council on Friday ruled that portion of the much-criticized law to be unconstitutional. Under an official decree issued on Monday, the government can no longer …
Neil McAllister, 09 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Pirate Bay reports pirating anti-piracy group to police

The Pirate Bay has lodged an official police complaint against the anti-piracy group that copied its famous pirate ship logo. Last week the Pirate crew warned that they were considering action against the Finnish Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre (CIAPC) after that organization copied the CSS style sheet to get the …
Iain Thomson, 19 Feb 2013

Alibaba and the thwarted thieves: Cops, bazaar to tackle China's piracy

The biggest e-shopping site in China - a nation considered the counterfeit capital of the world - has promised to help decapitate the "snake" of knockoff goods. Online bazaar Alibaba will, we're told, work closely with five government and law enforcement agencies including the Ministry of Public Security and the State …
Phil Muncaster, 25 Apr 2013

China claims piracy at new low

The rate of software piracy in China dropped to just 38 per cent in 2011, according to new government-backed figures that are markedly different to those from the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which recently branded the country the world's worst offender. State-run newspaper China Daily proudly reported the figures, which …
Phil Muncaster, 28 May 2012
Lego Pirate Captain

YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results

Advert slinger Google has said it's started burying websites that help people illegally download copyrighted stuff. The web giant claimed today it sinks pro-piracy sites way down its search results – yes, beyond page two, the grim wastelands of the web. It's hoped this may dissuade people from seeking out pirated movies, games, …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Oct 2014

Microsoft claims £3.6m piracy scalp in China

Microsoft’s anti-piracy efforts in China chalked up a big win last week when Shanghai retailer Ruichuang Network Technology agreed to pay 36 million yuan (£3.6m) to the software giant in compensation for several infringements. The firm posted a statement on its popular 2345.com portal site expressing “profound apologies” to …
Phil Muncaster, 03 Dec 2012

Japan hides anti-piracy warning on P2P networks

The Japanese government has complemented its already robust digital copyright laws with the unusual practice of hiding warning notices disguised as pirated content on popular domestic peer-to-peer networks. The “copyright awareness” files contain a strongly-worded message designed to scare, shame and deter the reader into …
Phil Muncaster, 05 Feb 2013
The Register breaking news

Chinese man pleads guilty to $100m piracy scam

A Chinese businessman has pleaded guilty to copyright infringement on an epic scale after helping to crack and sell pirated high-end software worth in excess of $US100m over a three year period. Xiang Li of Chengdu in China’s south-western Sichuan province, disputed the value of the software he sold but pleaded guilty to …
Phil Muncaster, 08 Jan 2013
shutterstock_copyright_theft_burn_sidey must credit and link to shutterstock

Kiwi three strikes piracy case collapses

One of the first three cases brought under New Zealand's controversial three strikes copyright infringement has collapsed after the accused demonstrated no knowledge of file-sharing software. Civil liberties group Tech Liberty NZ reports the case collapsed because the accused had no idea how file-sharing software worked. But …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2012

China's IP boss says West distorts piracy problem

China’s IP boss has hit out at ‘unfair’ Western media reports criticising the country’s record on intellectual property rights and piracy, claiming that foreign tech companies wouldn’t build their kit in the PRC if the problem was as bad as it is portrayed to be. State Intellectual Property Office chief, Tian Lipu, admitted to …
Phil Muncaster, 12 Nov 2012
Costumed pirate

Economics prof denies digital pirates plundered €20bn from EU coffers

A European academic has rubbished claims by the Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) group that digital piracy cost the EU more than €20bn between 2008 and 2011. Making the assumption that the creative and service sectors performed at the same level, a grand total of around one million jobs and €47bn of …
Jennifer Baker, 08 Oct 2014

Microsoft tops list of software piracy nailed in UK by FAST

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) - which investigates whistleblowers' allegations of organisations and individuals using pirated software - said half of the copyright-infringement claims it dealt with last year that were settled out of court involved Microsoft wares. The federation today disclosed its stats for the …
Paul Kunert, 29 May 2013
A US Army M1A1 Abrams tank heads out on a mission from Forward Operating Base MacKenzie in Iraq on October 27, 2004

US army bites the bullet in $50m software piracy pay-out

The US army has been forced to pay out $50 million (£30.6m) for copyright infringement after admitting it installed software on thousands of devices without forking out for it. Texas-based Apptricity produces logistics software which the military uses to manage the movement of troops, transport and other supplies across the …
Phil Muncaster, 29 Nov 2013
The Register breaking news

RIAA: Google failing on anti-piracy push

The Recording Industry Ass. of America has issued a report on Google's progress in cutting the availability of pirate websites in its search results, and the verdict isn't so much "could try harder" as "you are an utter failure," as this hack's Latin teacher once judged him. "Our initial analysis concludes that so far Google's …
Iain Thomson, 22 Feb 2013
The Register breaking news

Harvey Weinstein wants US to adopt French piracy laws

Hollywood power player Harvey Weinstein has urged Big Content to take a “hang ‘em first and talk about it later” stance when it comes to piracy. Keynoting at the BFI London Film Festival, he railed against the online industries approach to piracy, and slammed Apple and Google for “getting paid, not the actors.” "I think we are …
Lego Pirate Captain

Blighty's telcos set to CHOKE off another fistful of piracy gateways

More websites serving as gateways for Brits seeking pirated content online are set to be blocked by the country's biggest ISPs. The Register understands that 21 sites are on a new hit list, after the UK's courts told Virgin Media, BT, BSkyB, TalkTalk, EE and O2 to comply with an order to kill access to sites that tout torrents …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Oct 2013
The Register breaking news

Anonymous turns ire on Japan after anti-piracy law passes

It was only a matter of time – hacktivist group Anonymous has taken aim at the web sites of political parties and government departments in Japan in retaliation for a tough new anti-piracy bill passed last week. The update to the Copyright Law was brought about after heavy lobbying by a content industry dismayed that illegal …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Jun 2012

Microsoft drags 9 resellers to court in fresh piracy blitz

Microsoft has its sights trained on another bunch of Chinese software pirates, this time pitting its formidable resources against nine resellers it said installed illegal copies of Windows onto PCs they sold. Redmond said it started proceedings against the resellers in seven cities across the People’s Republic including Shenzhen …
Phil Muncaster, 11 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

Angry Birds boss: Piracy helps us 'get more business'

Music industry chiefs must have been pleased to hear that the maker of pig-squishing iPhone game Angry Birds has learned from its mistakes in combating piracy. Contrasting the music industry's ignore-then-crush approach to piracy to his own softly-softly approach with Angry Birds, Rovio chief Mikael Hed told assembled music …
Anna Leach, 31 Jan 2012
Assassin's Creed III

NATO declares WAR on Google Glass, mounts attack alongside MPAA

Moviegoers will soon be asked to stash their Google Glass before taking in a flick, much like they're asked to pocket their mobile phones today. The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO... no, really!) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) said in a joint statement that NATO's member theaters would …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Oct 2014
The Register breaking news

Irony alert: Pirate Bay accuses anti-piracy group of illegal copying

The Pirate Bay has claimed it will sue Finland's main anti-piracy pressure group, theCopyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre(CIAPC), after the group illegally copied code from their Swedish neighbors. "We are outraged by this behavior," a spokesman told TorrentFreak in what must surely be the spirit of irony. "People must …
Iain Thomson, 14 Feb 2013
Bambi and Thumper

Disney wins Mickey Mouse patent for torrent-excluding search engine

Disney has been awarded a patent for an “Online content ranking system based on authenticity metric values for web elements.” The patent will interest many because Disney says “Embodiments … enable the filtering of undesirable search results, such as results referencing piracy websites, child pornography websites, and/or the …
Blood image

African samba queen: Don't cut off pirates' net connections – cut off their FINGERS

Sick of anti-piracy schemes that don't work? Bored with endless debates about whether or not to sever infringing downloaders' connections? How about a real deterrent – like amputation? That, according to reports out of Nigeria, is what one of that country's most prominent performers is suggesting. African samba crooner Stella …
The Register breaking news

Leaked AT&T files show planned anti-piracy measures

A series of what are claimed to be leaked training manuals show that AT&T will get a lot more aggressive with its customers over suspected internet piracy, beginning this November. The documents, allegedly obtained by TorrentFreak, say that AT&T will contact customers who have been identified as pirates by copyright owners. The …
Iain Thomson, 15 Oct 2012

Cops BUST RING, CUFF BLOKES in Skegness RAID

Microsoft and Adobe can rest easily in their beds tonight after the quack crack squad at the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit nabbed two men flogging dodgy software from their secret lair in Skegness. Specialist fuzz from the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) along with detectives from the …
Paul Kunert, 03 Sep 2014
Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull to Big Content: Let your movies RUN FREE ... for a fair price

Australia's communications minister has scolded Big Content for not making more efforts to make digital content easy to access. Turnbull last night delivered a speech to mark the release of the federal government's consultation paper on online piracy. In those remarks and an interview with ABC Radio he made more or less the same …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

Crazed Microsoft robot accuses BBC kids' channel of Win8 piracy

Microsoft falsely branded BBC CBeebies, CNN.com and other websites as Windows 8 piracy haunts - and ordered Google to remove them from search results. Pages belonging to the Beeb's children’s telly service CBeebies, film reviews site Rottentomatoes and US cinema chain AMC Theaters - as well as web articles by the BBC's …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Oct 2012
troll

Anti-download biz sued for 'abusive' robo-call demands for money

Internet piracy hunter Rightscorp, which shakes down alleged copyright infringers for damages, has been accused of harassment, abuse and illegal debt collection. A class-action lawsuit [PDF] filed in California claims the business broke a load of US laws while making automated robo-calls accusing people of illegally downloading …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Nov 2014
The Register breaking news

One week left before US faces clamp down on piracy

As Americans settle in for the Thanksgiving weekend of food and family, filesharing traffic traditionally shows a modest rise. But those downloading content may look back on this holiday as the last golden weekend of piracy if the major ISPs have anything to do with it. Next week AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and …
Iain Thomson, 22 Nov 2012
Steam

Videogame piracy figures show decline

Videogame piracy may be in decline, according to a study investigating which games were illegally downloaded the most last year. The annual report from TorrentFreak sees Crysis 2 take the centre podium in the PC realm after it was illegally downloaded roughly 3.92 million times. Modern Warfare 3 was close behind, followed by its …
Caleb Cox, 04 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Writers' alliance throws the book at Apple 'piracy'

Apple’s legal troubles in China took a turn for the worse at the weekend after it emerged that a group of writers filed a 50 million yuan (£5m) lawsuit alleging that the fruity tech giant is illegally selling unlicensed copies of their books on its App Store. State-run news agency Xinhua reported that the 22 writers, who have …
Phil Muncaster, 19 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

Study finds piracy withering against legal alternatives

A study has found that people are perfectly prepared to pay for online content, provided that the alternatives aren’t too harsh. The data, from respected think-tank American Assembly, shows that illegal file sharing among family and friends is relatively common – but that people would prefer to use a legal alternative if one was …
Iain Thomson, 04 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Is France's 'three strikes' anti-piracy banhammer working?

The global trade group for the record industry IFPI says France's 'graduated response' scheme HADOPI is helping win the war against piracy. Under the scheme, which began 15 months ago, if a file-sharer receives three warning letters in a year, their account is suspended for a month, and the subscriber may receive a fine of up to …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jan 2012

You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary

A UK government-backed scheme to curtail the widespread use of pirated copies of music, television and film has officially been launched and - as expected - comes without any harsh penalties being threatened against persistent offenders. Instead, millions of pounds of taxpayers' money has been chucked at an education programme …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Jul 2014
BBC logo 2012

Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC that markets its products around the world, has told Australia's government that heavy users of “IP obfuscation tools” are so suspicious that internet service providers (ISPs) should consider them as likely content pirates. The organisation states that case in a submission (PDF) to …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Sep 2014
The Register breaking news

NZ ISP piracy law kicks in

New Zealand’s first crop of internet content stealers will soon receive copyright infringement notices under the recently introduced ‘Skynet’ law. Around 75 internet users have been issued notices by their ISPs for illegal downloads. It is understood that the bulk of the piracy infringements were detected by the Recording …
The Register breaking news

Microsoft guns for web sales biz in piracy crackdown

Microsoft reportedly has two more companies in its sight as the software giant’s licensing crackdown focuses on China. Redmond said it is seeking compensation of at least at least 10 million yuan (£980,000) and a printed apology in the People’s Daily from two Beijing-based e-commerce firms for installing pirated versions of its …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Apr 2012