Articles about Piracy

Apple, Facebook and Coinbase coughed data to finger alleged pirate king

The United States case against alleged Kickass Torrents (KAT) boss Artem Vaulin is built on data obtained from Apple, Facebook and Coinbase. The criminal complaint (PDF) against Vaulin details how the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted a lengthy online probe into the alleged …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016

EFF declares anti-piracy DMCA unconstitutional in new legal showdown

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched a lawsuit claiming that a controversial anti-digital-piracy law in the US is unconstitutional. Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) – which became law 18 years ago – has long been controversial due to its heavy restrictions on what people are allowed …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jul 2016

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
The new Pirate Bay logo

Torrent is a word, and you can't ban words, rules French court

The High Court of Paris has decided there's a limit to France's unpopular anti-copying regime: Google and Bing can't be required to block the word “torrent” from their search results just because BitTorrent is sometimes used for piracy. The case was brought by the Syndicat National de l'édition Phonographique, France's record …

How's this for irony? US Navy hit with $600m software piracy claim

A German software developer has accused the United States Navy of illegally copying $596m worth of its product. Bitmanagement Software GmbH claims that the Navy has copied "hundreds of thousands" of copies of its 3D modeling and tracking software BS Contact Geo without paying. They have filed suit [PDF] in the US Court of …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jul 2016
Smiling man wears VR headset against backdrop of city. Photo by Shutterstock

BOFH: I found a flying Dragonite on a Windows 2003 domain

Episode 9 Hell hath no fury like a Boss who has taken umbrage - and in this case he happened to hear the PFY discussing how he'd "upgraded" the Boss's Pokémon Go to a full augmented-reality app with a "feature" that made large moving vehicles invisible - just before giving him a virtual reality headset and suggesting that there were …
Simon Travaglia, 15 Jul 2016
Image by Daniel Wiedemann http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-89719p1.html

CloudFlare probes mystery interception of site traffic across India

An unknown agency in India, possibly telco Airtel, is quietly capitalising on encryption gaps in sites tended by DDOS-buster CloudFlare to intercept and redirect users. Little is yet known about the attacks, so far detected targeting piracy torrent site The Pirate Bay and a handful of other outfits. CloudFlare engineers have …
Darren Pauli, 14 Jul 2016

Google on piracy: We really, really care

Comment Google has returned some punches in the PR war over YouTube, claiming it has handed over $3bn in royalties from artists using its Content ID system, or $1bn since 2014. But Content ID is actually one of musicians’ biggest beefs. Google’s implementation of Content ID, which "identifies user-uploaded [YouTube] videos to help …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jul 2016

Free concert! Against TPP?

Internet advocacy group Fight for the Future will host a series of music concerts in Denver, San Diego, Seattle and Portland – to protest the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. The Rock Against the TPP idea has been joined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and a number of musicians, including guitarist …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jul 2016
Illustration of a "bitcoin" dissolving into numbers. Photo by SHutterstock

Kim Dotcom pregnant with Bitcoin's mutant offspring

Kim Dotcom running a breeding program to birth anything is not a happy thought, but the legally-contentious New Zealand resident has been doing just that in an attempt to create yet another online content locker. Dotcom has taken to his preferred medium, Twitter, to outline his plans as follows. I can tell you that Megaupload …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Jul 2016
Container ship, photo via Dmitry Chulov Shutterstock

Rolls-Royce reckons robot cargo ships are the future of the seas

Comment Rolls-Royce and the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA) believe the future of cargo transportation is autonomous – and they have published an 88 page white paper (PDF) to prove it. The company outlined its vision of remote controlled cargo ships at the Autonomous Ship Technology Symposium in Amsterdam …
Matthew Griffin, 08 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

Hillary Clinton: My promises to America's tech industry

Hillary Clinton today outlined her policies when it comes to tech – and they are surprisingly good. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee published a lengthy "Initiative on Technology & Innovation" on Tuesday covering a wide range of issues from education to net neutrality. Demonstrating the fact that she – and her …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jun 2016
NHM First Life VR Experience (cropped)

Revive revived: Oculus DRM push shattered as DIY devs strike back

The Oculus DRM system has been shattered, opening the door to modders and pirates. The Revive library was developed to allow Oculus games to be played on other virtual reality units and as a side-effect opened the doors for users to play pirate games. Specifically, Revive functions as a "compatibility layer" between Oculus' …
Darren Pauli, 23 Jun 2016

Dutch court says BREIN should get e-book uploaders' names

A Netherlands court has ordered two Usenet providers, Eweka and Usenetter, to hand over subscriber details over alleged copyright violations. The case was launched by anti-piracy group BREIN, which is trying to hunt down whoever uploaded more than 2,000 e-books to Usenet via the providers. Eweka and Usenetter cancelled the …
Bitcoin

Spanish Bitcoin farm raided

Spanish police have raided six Bitcoin mining centers across the country, arresting 30 people on money laundering charges. The arrests in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Cordoba followed an investigation by the country's tax agency. Reuters reports the operators were laundering cash obtained from pay TV piracy. Some €31,320 …
Darren Pauli, 26 May 2016
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Big Cable uses critics' own arguments to slam set-top box shake-up

Analysis Amid a battle to end Big Cable's $20bn annual windfall from rented set-top boxes, the industry has hit on a novel strategy: use its opponents' own arguments against them. In a filing on the last day of public comment to the FCC's plan to open up the market, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) in the US …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 May 2016
Dread Pirate Roberts

Coders crack Oculus DRM in 24 hours, open door to mass piracy

On Friday Oculus broke its word and instituted DRM (digital rights management) controls on its virtual reality headset, blocking non-approved games from its kit. The weekend wasn't over when coders struck back and their crack only makes Oculus' problems worse. The Oculus DRM controls were supposed to kill off a popular piece …
Iain Thomson, 24 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

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

Getty on Google: It’s all about traffic, duh

Photo giant Getty Images has had enough – it has filed an antitrust complaint in Europe against Google. And the reasoning behind the action is more subtle than readers might think. Getty Images' VP Jonathan Lockwood explained why. Getty’s action isn’t a copyright dispute, he points out. It isn’t about piracy, rights, or right- …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Apr 2016
'Broken Copyright' StockMonkeys.com

Getty Images flings competition sueball at Google Image Search

Getty Images has announced it will file a competition law complaint against Google with the European Commission. The photo library's beef with Google is that in 2013 it changed its image search service so that it instead of displaying thumbnail images users were instead offered “high res large-format content.” That change, …
Simon Sharwood, 27 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
Kick Me by https://www.flickr.com/photos/pasukaru76/ public domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

Big Content seeks to ban Kickass Torrents from Australia

Australia's music industry wants Kickass Torrents blocked by local internet service providers. The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) has announced legal action in the Federal Court against the site, under last year's amendments to the Copyright Act. Those amendments, in Section 115A of the Act, allow a right to …

Microsoft seeks Comcast subpoena to nab activation pirates

Microsoft has asked a US court to issue a subpoena to Comcast, in a bid to obtain subscriber-to-IP address information on users alleged to have pirated en mass copies of Windows and Office platforms. The subpoena filed with a Washington US District Court seeks to identify users behind IP address 173.11.224.197 alleged to have …
Darren Pauli, 09 Mar 2016

Actual pirates hack shipping biz servers to pinpoint vessels carrying precious booty

Clever pirates have hacked into a shipping company to determine the location of valuable cargo before hijacking vessels in targeted attacks. The criminals popped the unnamed company's in-house content management system, using that access to determine which containers have the most valuable cargo. This made its hijacks faster …
Darren Pauli, 04 Mar 2016
Pirate in costume

Big Content picks first download-block target: THE SUN!

Australia might be set to join the UK and Singapore in bringing down the boom on an unlicensed Philippines-registered movie-streaming website. SolarMovie – here, for those who want to see how long it takes to get blocked from ordinary Australian web users – has attracted the ire of Hollywood for freely streaming movies and TV …

Free science journal library gains notoriety, lands injunctions

A repository of 47 million research papers is playing a game of internet cat-and-mouse with publisher Elsevier. Last month, Sci-Hub was forced to relocate to the sci-hub.io domain after its previous home at sci-hub.org was shut down when Elsevier won a preliminary injunction against it. Likewise the addresses libgen.org, …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2016
Texas Friday Night Cowboy Rear View by https://www.flickr.com/photos/markittleman/ cc 2.0 attribution generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Hollywood gives up speculative invoicing attempt in Australia

Copyright-holders of the film Dallas Buyers Club have given up their pursuit of Australian pirates after a local Judge blocked their efforts at speculative invoicing. The owners of the film have pursued Australian internet service provider iiNet for years, winning the right to access the details of subscribers it identified as …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Feb 2016

Comcast repeatedly crams modem upgrade demands into browsers

Comcast subscribers are complaining that the broadband biz has been bombarding them with requests in their web browsers to get new cable modems. According to Chris Morran at the Consumerist, the ISP has been injecting popups into webpages fetched from the internet – specifically, messages that urge people to get new modems to …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jan 2016

Reverser laments crypto game protection, says wares dead after 2018

A top video-game cracker says cryptographic anti-reverse-engineering technology could put an end to the prolific rate of game piracy. The Chinese reverser, known affectionately as Bird Sister, Phoenix, or Fifi, has published a short blog noting that the encryption technology protecting the popular Just Cause 3 title. " …
Darren Pauli, 07 Jan 2016
that's all folks featuring Porky Pig

Intel, Warner lock horns with hardware biz over HDCP crypto-busters

Intel and Warner Bros have lawyered up to stop a Chinese company flogging hardware that strips out 4K copy protection. Intel's subsidiary, Digital Content Protection (DCP), joined with the movie maker in a case filed on New Year's Eve in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The complaint [PDF] says …
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 …
Credit: Robert O'Neill Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en

Kiwi judge rules Kim Dotcom can be extradited to USA

A prima facie case can be made for the extradition of Kim Dotcom and others associated with the download site Mega, according to a New Zealand district court judge. We're indebted to the Twitter stream of Radio New Zealand reporter Kate Newton for the news, as she attended today's hearing in Auckland. Newton reported that the …
Darren Pauli, 23 Dec 2015
Tim Berners-Lee, photo by Paul Clarke

25 years ago: Sir Tim Berners-Lee builds world's first website

There are just under a billion web domains registered in the world today, and over four billion webpages, by some estimates. We've come a long way: it all started to come together just 25 years ago in a small office at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). On December 20, 1990, a Fellow at CERN, Tim Berners- …
Iain Thomson, 22 Dec 2015

Hollywood given two months to get real about the price of piracy

Australia's Federal Court has told Big Content to stop pfaffing around and make reasonable demands of those accused of illegally downloading The Dallas Buyers Club (DBC). The case has seen Voltage Pictures, the film's owners, take on a clutch of Australian internet service providers (ISPs) whose subscribers it alleges …
Simon Sharwood, 17 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

Spotify mulls Swift change of policy – we can stream Taylor, but we'll charge

Spotify has reportedly been considering a major policy change to its music-streaming service, by allowing big name artists to release albums on the platform only to paying customers. It comes after Spotify's chief Daniel Ek very publicly dissed pop star Taylor Swift late last year, after she pulled her catalogue from the …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Dec 2015

Eurocrats deserve to watch domestic telly EU-wide, say Eurocrats

Content producers will be ordered to allow Eurocrats to watch football when they’re staying in Brussels, Eurocrats announced today. It falls short of the hints that the EU Commission would introduce a new pan-European copyright code – which got some slacktivists so excited a year ago. The European Commission’s once ambitious …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 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
'Broken Copyright' StockMonkeys.com

Team America, world police, take down 37,479 counterfeit sites

A band of merry world police lead by the United States Customs and Border Protection service shut down 37,479 copyright-infringing websites hawking counterfeit goods in the lead up to the Cyber Monday buying blitz. The takedown involved varying forms of collaboration between 27 countries including the Britain, France, Denmark …
Darren Pauli, 01 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
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Pic: Jennifer Baker

EU copyright reforms to be 'gradual, balanced and targeted', says Ansip

EU copyright laws will not be overhauled completely but rather reformed in a gradual, balanced and targeted way, EU commissioner for the digital single market Andrus Ansip has said. Proposed changes to EU copyright laws will be set out in a "strategy paper" next month, Ansip said. In a speech in Strasbourg he revealed some of …
OUT-LAW.COM, 27 Nov 2015
Broken record

Rdio's collapse another nail in the coffin of the 'digital economy'

Analysis The “digital music economy” now resembles three bald men fighting over the same hairbrush. It’s hard to think of a better emblem for where the current “plantation era” of internet exploitation has led us than digital music. And it’s hard to imagine a more perfectly shitty outcome for creators, and ultimately for consumers who …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Nov 2015
Windows 1.0

Remember Windows 1.0? It's been 30 years (and you're officially old)

On November 20, 1985, Microsoft unveiled its graphical operating system. Windows 1.0 offered a new way to navigate a PC, clicking a cursor on various boxes rather than scrolling through lines of text in order to navigate data and applications. While arguably less efficient than a command line, the graphical user interface (GUI …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Nov 2015

'Hacked by China? Hack them back!' rages US Congress report

A report laid before the US Congress yesterday encouraged lawmakers to allow American companies responding to Chinese miscreants pilfering their data to hack those companies back to save their info. The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission was established by Congress "to report on the national security implications …
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

Lawyers use anti-piracy law to get website blocked over corporate ID brouhaha

Australian law firm Moray & Agnew has written to internet service providers (ISPs) in an attempt to have them block a site hosted in India, citing the new provisions of Australia's Copyright Act that target pirate websites as justifying the ban. The letter, a copy of which has been seen by The Register, alleges that a site is …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2015
Facepalm

Apple's OS X App Store downloads knackered by expired security cert

A forgotten security certificate renewal appears to be behind a series of failed downloads from Apple's App Store. Overnight, users who downloaded Mac apps from the firm's online storefront found they couldn't open the software. The problem appears to be a software certificate – designed to thwart piracy and verify programs …
Iain Thomson, 12 Nov 2015

Yahoo! crypto! queen! turns! security! code! into! evil! tracker!

Yahoo! crypto ace Yan Zhu has found twin attacks that allow websites to learn the web histories of visitors users by targeting HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS). The timing attack, which works regardless of cookie clearing, was demonstrated on Firefox and Chrome last Sunday at the Toorcon security conference. The attack …
Darren Pauli, 28 Oct 2015