Articles about Piracy

Students in their twenties sit in a lecture hall in front of open laptops. Photo by Shutterstock

Google harvests school kids' web histories for ads, claims its Mississippi nemesis

Google is once again facing allegations that its cloud for education may be harvesting and selling information on school kids. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is suing [PDF] for full disclosure of how the Chocolate Factory handles and markets any information it collects through the G Suite for Education service it …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Jan 2017

Pirates, pirates, whatchu gonna do? Advertisers cop a visit from PIPCU

Knock knock. Who's there? This Wednesday, officers from the City of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) trying to get your advertising agency to stop helping pirate sites generate revenue. Eight organisations – from influential brands, through to advertising agencies and ad networks – got a polite visit …
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Routes taken by UK prosecutors over supply of modified TV set-top boxes

Analysis Prosecutors are turning to fraud charges in cases against people supplying set top boxes that can be used to access copyrighted material without paying for it because it makes cases easier for juries to understand. But a barrister who acted in one recent such case has told Out-Law.com that those conspiracy to defraud charges …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Jan 2017
Made in China

We've been Trumped! China's Alibaba is a 'notorious' knock-offs souk, says US watchdog

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has put Alibaba's Taobao, the Chinese internet giant's online auction site, on its "notorious markets list" of sites that regularly deal in counterfeit goods. In a bulletin this week [PDF] the USTR noted that Taobao, which is the world's largest online shopping destination by gross …
Iain Thomson, 22 Dec 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Australian Internet policy remains years behind reality

That Australian policy-makers cannot muster a coherent and consistent approach to the changes wrought by the internet has again been made apparent in recent weeks, by a number of events. The national response to the internet remains, most often, to attempt to control it long after accepted practice makes the attempt to do so …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2016
Swamp alligators crowd near muddy water pool. Photo by Shutterstock

Fancy that! Google was keen on 'draining the swamp' in 2013

Faced with a report showing Google’s advertising network allowed big brands' ad money to be spent funding criminal operations, Google welcomed initiatives to “drain the swamp” in 2013 - three and a half years ago. But guess what? The swamp’s still here. And it's feeding a different sort of creature now. Today the Wall Street …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Dec 2016
Adam Sandler

$17k win for man falsely accused of a terrible crime: Downloading an Adam Sandler movie

Hollywood lawyers have been ordered to foot more than $17,000 in legal bills after falsely accusing a bloke of illegally downloading and sharing the Adam Sandler flick The Cobbler. Thomas Gonzales, of Oregon, US, was sued by legal eagles retained by the movie's makers on the basis that an IP address he paid for was being used …
Iain Thomson, 07 Dec 2016
Photo by Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

Trump's FCC will soak net neutrality in gas and toss in a lit match

Supporters of net neutrality are preparing to defend FCC regulations passed two years ago in the face of what is increasingly looking like a determined effort by the Trump Administration to undermine them. Earlier this week, Trump named a third person to his FCC transition team and, as with the previous two, she is a vocal …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Dec 2016
Ronnie Barker and Tenniel Evans in The Navy Lark

Navy STEALS? US sailors dispute piracy claim

The US Navy is hitting back at the allegations it illegally copied more than a half-billion dollars worth of software. The military branch has filed a response [PDF] to the copyright infringement claims filed earlier this year by German developer Bitmanagement. Those claims accuse the Navy of paying for just 38 licenses of …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Nov 2016
Terminator head

Copyright crimefighters FACT change tack after Hollywood calls The Terminator

British IP crimefighter FACT has "pivoted" after the Motion Picture Association cut half of the UK body's funding. The Federation Against Copyright Theft has been fighting TV and movie piracy on behalf of big audiovisual operations like Hollywood Studios and Sky, work that includes bringing private prosecutions. But earlier …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Nov 2016

Trump's plan: Tariffs on electronics, ban on skilled tech migrants, turn off the internet

The United States Presidential Election has been run and at the time of writing looks almost certainly to have been won by Donald Trump. Which means we now have a decent idea of what's in store for the global technology industry in the next four years. And it looks like a wild ride: Trump's policies include a clamp down on H- …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Nov 2016
Flag of Iceland

Icelandic Pirate Party maroons itself from coalition talks

Piracy it seems, does not pay: Iceland's Pirate Party may have won ten seats in the nation's Parliament, but is indifferent about having just one at the negotiating table for a new governing coalition. A year ago Píratar looked like being the dominant party in Iceland's Alþingi, but come election day it won only 14.5 per cent …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Nov 2016
shutterstock_popcorn_cat

More movie and TV binge-streaming sites join UK banned list

Thirteen more pirate sites have have been added to the list of domains that the largest UK ISPs must block*. This time the target sites are dedicated to binge-watching TV series and theatrical run films. Although nobody in the movie and TV business – which is fuelling a tech jobs boom in the UK – claims it's the only solution …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Nov 2016
Snake oil salesman

Kids today are so stupid they fall for security scams more often than greybeards

Millennials are more likely to fall for tech support scams than baby boomers, Microsoft says. The findings are revealed in a recent Microsoft study that saw it poll peeps in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and nine other countries. Redmond's not revealed the number of respondents. Tech support scams take on …
Darren Pauli, 20 Oct 2016

Copyright zealots FAST to pursue 'far greater' fines for historic piracy

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) will step up its campaign to penalise pirates by seeking to get back monies lost to “historic” illegal use. FAST claimed it had run educational awareness events to cut down on intentional illegal use of software programmes, but had received 100 reports in the past year of wanton …
Paul Kunert, 19 Oct 2016

Oracle rip-off merchants Rimini Street fined another $28m, hit with permanent ban

Rimini Street has been hit with yet another fine for infringing Oracle's copyright, as well as a permanent injunction barring it from providing any Oracle software to customers. In a judgment [PDF] on Tuesday, a Nevada judge fined the company $27.7m in prejudgment interest – with more to come. He also issued a permanent …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Oct 2016

Google's Chrome cloaks Pirate Bay in red screen of malware death

Google is warning users to stay away from infamous unauthorised content distribution site The Pirate Bay, as it says the torrent attic is bad for PC health. Mountain View has generally shied away from flagging the torrent site as a malicious entity, other than a handful of times when it was caught serving malware through its …
Team Register, 07 Oct 2016

Alleged German YouTube-to-MP3 ripper sued by labels

The music industry has opened fire on audio-stream rippers. A copyright-infringement lawsuit has been filed in California by a clutch of Warners labels and is targeted at YouTube-mp3.org and its alleged proprietor Philip Matesanz of Germany. The website offers to convert YouTube vids to MP3 files, for free, which allows people …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Sep 2016

Narcissist Heidi Powell wants her dot-com and she wants it now, now, NOW!

Heidi Powell wants her namesake dot-com and she's suing to get it. Heidi who? Heidi Powell of course, the legendary fitness coach from Flagstaff, Arizona. What do you mean you've never heard of her? The Heidi Powell. Perhaps this will help: we're not talking about 60-year-old marketing consultant Heidi Powell who registered …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Sep 2016
Raining money

A-dough-be: Photoshop flinger pumps profits 50 per cent

Adobe is crediting the success of its cloud and digital media groups in reporting record quarterly revenues. The Creative Cloud maker says that its Q3 2016 period (ended September 2) saw a number of units reach new highs: Revenues of $1.46bn were up 20 per cent over the year-ago quarter. Net income of $270m was a 55 per …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Sep 2016
Windows 10 floppy disk

Microsoft sues Wisconsin man (again) for copyright infringement (again)

Microsoft is hoping the third time will be the charm in its efforts to shut down a man once again being accused of pirating its products. The Redmond giant has filed suit [PDF] in the US District Court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, against Anthony Boldin for illegally selling product activation keys for its products. The complaint …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Sep 2016

Daddy, what's 'P2P file sharing'?

So long peer-to-peers, and farewell dodgy file lockers: young music fans now steal their music straight from YouTube instead. Research from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the global body for the recording industry, finds that 49 per cent of 16-to-24s use streaming rippers, overtaking …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Sep 2016
Africa Studio http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-137002p1.html

Ten-year-old Windows Media Player hack is the new black, again

Net scum are still finding ways to take down users with a decade-old Windows Media Player attack. The vector is a reborn social engineering hatchet job not seen in years in which attackers convince users to run executable content through Windows Media Player's Digital Rights Management (DRM) functionality. Windows Media …
Darren Pauli, 08 Sep 2016
stack of newspapers

Anti-piracy site DDoSed

Swedish anti-piracy site Spridningskollen.se was taken offline on Friday by a suspected DDoS attack. The debt collection company behind the site - which aims to identify Swedes engaged in illicit file sharing - suspects that it’s become the victim of a distributed denial of service attack, according to local reports (Google …
John Leyden, 02 Sep 2016

Intel's makeshift Kaby Lake Cores hope to lure punters from tired PCs

Intel's stop-gap Kaby Lake processors – aka the seventh-generation Core family – will ship in laptops starting from September, we're told. According to Chipzilla, the first wave of the new Cores will appear in 10mm-thick notebooks and two-in-one convertible tablets aimed at small businesses and normal folk. The CPUs will …
Chris Williams, 30 Aug 2016

ISPs face piracy sue-balls

Following a US court's decision to make ISP Cox Cable liable for customer piracy, copyright enforcement collector Rightscorp says it hopes to use the case to extract further funds from service providers. "Although Rightscorp was not a party in this case, we are delighted with the outcome. The Federal District Court declared …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Aug 2016
Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

Adobe stops software licence audits in Americas, Europe

Adobe has stopped doing software licence audits in most parts of the world, according to Gartner research director Stephen White. White recently blogged about Adobe's decision, writing that “These programs were closed in the North America, Japan and Latin America markets as of November 2015. Closure of the EMEA program is …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2016

Cox stiffed for $25m after letting subscribers pirate music online

US cable provider Cox has to pay $25m to music publisher BMG for failing to crack down on its subscribers' music piracy. This week, the Eastern Virginia District Court has tossed out [PDF] Cox's appeal of a jury verdict awarding the damages to BMG after deciding that Cox had failed to properly act on warnings that its users …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Aug 2016

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 some …
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