Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, Legal P2P News & Issues
Former chief operating officer of New Music and president of Digital Business at EMI Music Douglas Merrill has caused a lot of controversy in the media when he said that file-sharing is not such a bad thing after all.
Since Merrill was also chief information officer and vice president of engineering at Google, and now he is CEO of ZestCast, his words have considerable weight.
“There’s a set of data that shows that file sharing is actually good for artists. Not bad for artists. So maybe we shouldn’t be stopping it all the time,” Merrill said, as quoted by BoingBoing. “Obviously, there is piracy that is quite destructive but again I think the data shows that in some cases file sharing might be okay.”
At CA Expo in Sydney, Australia, Merrill talked about the rigid stance of the RIAA which was only blaming the ‘dirty file sharing guys’ for the music industry apparent collapse.
“Going to sue customers for file sharing is like trying to sell soap by throwing dirt on your customers,” Merrill pointed out. He went on saying something which was definitely very painful for the RIAA: “That’s not theft, that’s try-before-you-buy marketing and we weren’t even paying for it… so it makes sense to sue them.”
With these views, Merrill’s resignation from EMI in 2009 could only seem natural.
Hadopi, the French independent authority responsible with handling the country’s “three strikes” anti-filesharing law has announced that after nine months since the introduction of the anti-piracy model, no individual has received penalties. The organization also summoned 10 web users to explain their online activity in relation to file sharing, the BBC reports. However, the 10 persons in question don’t have the obligation to appear.
The organization claims it has been tracking 18 million French IP addresses within last nine months and has sent a total of 470,000 first email file-sharing warnings; 20,000 users have received a second warning.
The “three strikes” legislation allows Hadopi to identify people suspected of downloading and uploading copyright protected content and send them notices to stop the illegal activity.
Under the same legislation, those who do not comply after multiple warnings risk being cut off from their internet connection and included on a blacklist that would prevent them from subscribing to services from other ISPs.
Hadopi announced that after the meeting they will decide whether to move forward with legal action. This means that the task of ruling whether a user has violated the law will be passed on to a judge.
“The judge may impose a fine of a maximum of € 1,500 (about £1,326 or $ 2 177) and also disconnect the user from the internet for a maximum of one month,” the body added.
“Alternatively, he may decide to fine the user without the disconnection penalty – or simply let the user go.”
UK has also imposed a similar policy through the controversial Digital Economy Act makes; however, a full explanation of penalties and how they will be applied has not been given yet.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Downloads, Movies, MP3, Digital Audio & Games, Tops
TorrentFreak has published the data they collected with the top 10 most shared movies on BitTorrent for the week ended July 24. All the films included in this chart are DVDrips (unless mentioned otherwise).
No change to the first two contenders of the chart this week and not many changes altogether. While ‘Source Code’ and ‘X-Men First Class’ keep their first and second position, the only newcomer on the list, ‘The Veteran’, occupies the third spot.
This week’s list features one single new entry.
|Ranking||(last week)||Movie||Rating / Trailer|
|2||(2)||X-Men First Class (R5)||8.1/trailer|
|5||(6)||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (TS)
|7||(7)||Bad Teacher (TS)||6.1/trailer|
|8||(4)||Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (TS)||7.2/trailer|
|9||(8)||The Adjustment Bureau||7.1/trailer|
|10||(10)||I Am Number Four||6.5/trailer|
Filed under: Announcements & Events, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
The service paid $115,000 for the new domain name ‘Minus.com’
Earlier this year we introduced you a new service called Minus – a cloud-based, smart, clear-cut file sharing platform where users can upload and share all types of files including videos,music, images, documents etc in a very simple, attractive and efficient way (and for free).
Now the service which previously had Min.us as its primary domain name bought the Minus.com domain name. However, since the min.us domain will not be abandoned (all existing links will continue to work as before) those who prefer the old domain can still use it as such.
“(…) as we have grown, it’s become apparent that some of our users find the .us top level domain to be confusing. As we brand our service with the Minus name, we want to be as accessible as possible to all users and make it easy for users to find us.
So today we are excited to announce that we have acquired the Minus.com name, and we will use that as our primary domain name going forward,” reads the blog.
Besides switching to a new domain, the drag-and-drop service has also added new features and updated its apps.
Here are some improvements that Minus made available recently as listed by Cloudtweaks:
- brand new Android app
- brand new Desktop app for Windows/Mac/Linux
- brand new Firefox 6 + Chrome 12 extension
- Improved UI for Minus.com main web interface and better profiles on minus.com
The announcement further reads:
“ Given that Minus is used widely to share content on Twitter and social media sites – where every character counts – we are going to continue to use Min.us for links to shortlinks for user galleries, files, photos and more. All existing links will work and redirect properly, but Minus.com will now serve as the default domain. If Min.us is your preferred URL, nothing will change for you.
Today’s change marks the beginning of some exciting developments for Minus. There’s a lot of work to be done, but we’re excited to start this new chapter with all of our users. Thank you for your continued loyalty, and please, continue to give us your feedback. We rely on it to make our service better.”
The case of “the file-sharing mom” has become notorious worldwide mainly because the fine which defendant Jammie Thomas-Rasset was ordered to pay to copyright owners for sharing 24 songs online was simply ridiculous – initially $1.92 million then slashed to $1.5 million last year.
Now recently Judge Michael Davis further slashed the fine to $54,000 calling the previous penalty “appalling” and unconstitutional. That means $2,250 per song instead of the original $62,500.
This isn’t the first time this kind of switch has happened and in fact it’s not even the first time it has happened to Thomas-Rasset herself. Her first two trials ended with penalties of $222,000 and $1.92 million. In each of the previous cases Judge Davis either lowered the jury determined penalty or set it aside all together.
As expected, the news did not make RIAA very happy. The trade group commented on the verdict: “We disagree with this decision and are considering our next steps,” which probably means it wants to fight the decision.
Judge Davis said in his ruling:
“The Court concludes that an award of $1.5 million for stealing and distributing 24 songs for personal use is appalling. Such an award is so severe and oppressive as to be wholly disproportioned to the offense and obviously unreasonable. In this particular case, involving a first-time willful, consumer infringer of limited means who committed illegal song file-sharing for her own personal use, an award of $2,250 per song, for a total award of $54,000, is the maximum award consistent with due process.
This reduced award is punitive and substantial. It acts as a potent deterrent. It is a higher award than the Court might have chosen to impose in its sole discretion, but the decision was not for this Court to make. The Court has merely reduced the jury’s award to the maximum amount permitted under our Constitution.”
Finally we get to see some common sense employed here and a level of copyright and file-sharing knowledge superior to previous rulings (and judges) which Davis proved with his decision. He emphasized the aspect of retaliation this lawsuit has taken as music industry seeks to punish one individual for the similar actions of all those whom it didn’t manage to catch.
Since it’s very likely this will not end here we’ll keep you posted as further information rolls in.