A two-factor authentication system is quite common; despite its pompous name, it’s fairly easy to use and understand – we shall call it a double safety net for your online accounts. Banks, Facebook, Google and now Twitter, are all using such a system, but there’s a problem: Kim Dotcom claims patent over it.
Not long after Twitter announced that their service is introducing the two-factor system, a tweet from Kim Dotcom read that Google, Facebook, Twitter, Citibank, and other services (that use the same system) are using his invention without permission.
Dotcom’s claim is somewhat true – the two-factor authentication technology is indeed patented under his name (Kim Schmitz) on US territory (he filed for it in 1998 and was granted the patent two years later). Furthermore, according to a blog post by Emily Weal, Kim had rights over the technology in Europe as well, but lost them in 2011 when AT&T proved to have the patent granted earlier than Kim’s – in 1995.
To make things even more complicated, AT&T, Ericsson and Nokia all have patents over TFA on US territory, also before Kim did.
While the German entrepreneur accused the aforementioned American corporations of stealing his invention, he added that:
“I never sued them. I believe in sharing knowledge & ideas for the good of society. But I might sue them now cause of what the U.S. did to me.”
Then, after some deep thinking, he wrote:
“We are all in the same DMCA boat. Use my patent for free. But please help funding my defense.”
“My U.S. 2FA patent has no prior art because it specifies the use of a mobile phone & SMS. Unfortunately my EU patent wasn’t specific enough. The prior art that killed my EU patent was an old school pager,” Kim said.
While it’s true that AT&T’s patent (in the US) focuses on pagers, it continues to underline that “it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that many other communications mechanisms may be used instead of, or in addition to, wireless paging devices. These mechanisms include, for example, cellular telephones, conventional wired telephones, personal computers, etc.”
You can study Kim’s patent here.
From a blog post signed by the Recording Industry Association Of America we found out that 20 million takedown requests were sent to Google just last year. Furthermore, a similar number of demands were received by infringing websites. Did all this effort help?
“Every day produces more results and there is no end in sight. Importantly, the targets of our notices don’t even pretend to be innovators constructing new and better ways to legally enjoy music—they have simply created business models that allow them to profit from giving someone else’s property away for free. So while 20 million might sound impressive, the problem we face with illegal downloading on the Internet is immeasurably larger. And that is just for music,” RIAA wrote.
One of RIAA’s VPs – Brad Buckles – is pointing the finger at the search engine, claiming that its actions account for nothing.
“We are using a bucket to deal with an ocean of illegal downloading. Under a controversial interpretation by search engines, takedown notices must be directed at specific links to specific sound recordings and do nothing to stop the same files from being reposted as fast as they are removed.
It is certainly fair for search engines to say that they have no way of knowing whether a particular link on a specific site represents an illegal copy or not. Perhaps it’s fair for them to make that same claim at the second notice. But what about after a thousand notices for the same song on the same site? Isn’t it simply logical and fair at some point to conclude that such links are infringing without requiring content owners to keep expending time and resources to have the link taken down?” he wrote.
To no surprise, RIAA’s blog post comes just as the Congress is getting ready to take another look at US’ copyright law and DMCA.
“The DMCA was intended to define the way forward for technology firms and content creators alike, but some aspects of it no longer work,” Buckles signaled.
“It was passed before Google even existed, or the iPod, or peer-to-peer file-sharing or slick websites offering free mp3 downloads. It was after the DMCA that Napster, and Grokster and Limewire and Grooveshark and Megaupload, to name just a few, came on the scene. In particular, it’s time to rethink the notice and takedown provisions of the DMCA,” he concluded.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, Movies, MP3, Digital Audio & Games
A new tool developed by a 30-year-old Kerala-based software engineer could grab the attention of anti-piracy outfits: a device meant to spot when people are using their cutting-edge mobile phones or handy cams to record movies in theatres.
According to Silicon India, it took the developer, Varghese Babu, three years to finish his invention which considering the price (about $27000) would not necessarily mean the end of piracy but definitely the end of Babu’s poverty.
“It has been named as ‘Demolish Duplica’ and has a hardware unit which is placed in movie theatres. The moment anyone tries to record a film, the hardware unit recognises it and stops the recording. An alert is sent to a server and the anti-piracy cell of police,” Babu stated.
Proud of his new device created for the sake of a holy, humble and much in need industry, Babu explained that “the serial number of the mobile phone or the handycam gets recorded on the hardware device, and details of the location from where the recording is being done can be accessed by the authorities.”
The abilities of the Demolish Duplica (maybe just a tiny little bit of too much grandeur in this name here) go even further as the tool can also track tampering of the movie during the editing process.
Asked whether there are currently any other similar products on the market, Babu answered: “Had there been any other application available, there would have been no pirated versions available of new releases.”
“I have been receiving inquiries from the film industry and at the moment I am completing the formalities for getting this patented,” Babu said.
Good for you, Babu! The world needs more men devoted to a better and more moral society such as yourself!
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Digital Media, Mobile Phones, P2P technology, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
Not only The Pirate Bay goes past the tremendous pressure of being a cast out, but it does so in style, with a little help we might add. The Pirate Cinema, a project by two enlightened minds, is putting downloads on the big screen (well, there are actually three of them). The room, besides the screens, has a viewing area (just like a movie theatre) for people to see downloads as they happen. Out of a mixture of 100 torrent swarms, TPC creates a new image (literally) about torrenting.
While millions upon millions of file-sharers use The Pirate Bay , third parties are also keeping their eyes peeled for IP addresses, file hashes, and anything that could build a scientific report on file-sharing, a copyright lawsuit or a list of IP addresses for the six-strikes program.
Nicolas Maigret and Brendan Howell are the two who came up with this daring idea. The Pirate Cinema takes the process of sharing and turns it into images.
If you happen to be at the Sight and Sound Festival in Canada, then you’ll have the chance of seeing what Nicolas and Brendan did – a room with three gigantic screens and a whole lot of computers connected to them.
“An aspect of the concept was to reuse the surveillance systems used by corporations, ISP’s and governments, for other purposes,” Maigret told TF.
“On the other hand, the idea was also to monitor the usages or activity of people on a large scale, and to capture the vivid activity of the communities involved in sharing practices. Lastly, I really wanted to consider this ongoing activity as a live infinite Mashup – a snapshot of global file disseminations,” the artist continued.
TPC’s core is made of Python and Libtorrent.
“The idea was to use only the necessary functions – a few lines of code, and to build our tool around it,” Maigret explained.
“Then we developed all the monitoring parts and later the decoding process using Gstreamer.”
There are two different ways in which the project can be displayed. First, downloads of the most popular torrents (hosted on TPB) are shown as fragments on the screen(s).
“The setup can involve as many as five computers, each monitoring the site for different kinds of files for a few minutes before gathering fresh input,” TF writes.
The second modus operandi is in the form of a live performance. Movie and music files are hand-picked, sort to say, by the operator, and then played just like you do with an instrument. Besides that, the three screens also show the IP addresses and their location.
“BitTorrent was a deliberate choice for many reasons. First of all it’s really a Peer-to-Peer architecture and that’s important even symbolically – people/peers are at both sides of each action,” Maigret said.
“Also BitTorrent is not only about mainstream medias, but theoretically open to all kinds of files and content. In a way, the Pirate Cinema reveals some potentials of this peer-based technical architecture.”
And since this is a peer-to-peer based project…
“This fragmentation loosens the exchanges between different recipients. A file can then be recomposed sample by sample until it is complete, from snippets emanating from separate users and in a disorderly manner. From a cinematic perspective this preliminary fragmentation of the media is also a fragmentation of the film material and of the narration,” Maigret continued to explain.
“It creates many formal specificities: random editing, weaving together different films frame by frame, glitches and merging of different fragments. When watching the installation, we can’t help ourselves interpreting the flows, it produces lots of connections and new narrations, from those chance combinations.”
As far as security and privacy is concerned….
“We saw it as a kind of game. Ever since the beginning of the project, we anticipated the operating modes of the system so that it could be presentable regardless of different countries’ legislations. For example, an encrypted connection to Sweden (iPredator / The Pirate Bay) is used to anonymize each machine used in the project. Fragments of the files are encoded and remain on our machine only temporarily.”
Want to learn more about The Pirate Cinema? Go here.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Legal P2P News & Issues
A new report from policy control company Sandvine states that BitTorrent accounts less and less for the traffic generated in the US
According to the recently published research, BitTorrent only generated 9.2 per cent of peak-period traffic over the past six months, compared to 20.5 per cent in 2012 and 26.4 per cent in 2011. The company points to streaming video services such as Netflix and the likes and the fact they have made improvements in terms of availability of their subscriber-based, paid-for, on-demand content for this great drop in popularity of the controversial file sharing protocol.
“We believe as more over-the-top Real-Time Entertainment sources are made available to subscribers in the future, the rate of decline in share will begin to accelerate,” says the report.
Reportedly, Netflix managed to hold on to a leading 29 per cent peak-period traffic share in the US. YouTube came in second, but also went up 1.6 per cent this year compared to last year (from 13.8 to 15.4 per cent).
Things, however, behave differently when it comes to Europe where BitTorrent peak period traffic share remained high at 40.63 per cent and in the Asia Pacific region where BitTorrent is still the undisputed leader of traffic (because, says the report, here services like Netflix have not penetrated the market yet).
From the report: “Subscribers are likely using applications like BitTorrent to procure audio and video content not available in their region. We believe that Filesharing’s share of traffic may have finally reached its peak in terms of traffic share and will begin to experience a steady and significant decline, as paid OTT video services continue to expand their availability throughout the region.”
Last month in an interview with MotherBoard, Matt Mason, BitTorrent’s Executive Director of Marketing and Content, brought arguments on why ISPs should seriously consider to use the protocol themselves.