Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Movies, MP3, Digital Audio & Games
After a successful campaign against The Pirate Bay, Newzbin and Kat.ph (all three websites are completely blocked throughout the entire island), UK’s anti-piracy measures expand to Movie2k and Download For All, two important movie hubs.
UK’s prominent internet service providers (BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, and EE) are already receiving court orders, demanding them to censor their customers’ access to the aforementioned websites. At the time being, BT, Virgin Media, and Sky had confirmed that they’ve complied with the order. Here’s what their statements read:
“The block on Download4All and Movie2k should start at some point today,” a spokesperson for BT said.
“This is in addition to Newzbin, Pirate Bay, Fenopy, H33t and Kat which BT’s already blocking access to in compliance with previous court orders.”
As for Virgin Media, the ISP said:
“Virgin Media has received an order from the Courts requiring it to prevent access to Download4All and Movie2K in order to help protect against copyright infringement. As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media complies with court orders addressed to the company, but strongly believes that changing consumer behaviour to tackle copyright infringement also needs compelling legal alternatives to give consumers access to great content at the right price.”
Sky had also confirmed that Movie2k and Download For All are being blocked starting with May the 20th, 2013.
While UK citizens can still access blocked websites through available proxies (including The Pirate Bay), PirateReverse.info informed that they’ve already taken measures to keep Movie2k alive on the island. So, there’s some good news there, after all.
“We’ve just deployed movie2kproxy.com (in record time), still working on getting the images to load properly but should all be fixed shortly,” the crew told Torrent Freak.
PirateProxy.net had confirmed that they will (also) join the fight.
Just as the website’s title suggests, WhereToWatch is a portal that informs the American public about which websites offer legitimate video content. We’re almost certain that the regular user will go and check MPAA’s website before watching a video online, but is this the best of what the movie industry can offer?
A pretty big list of legal video services (categorized into movie services and TV stations), including Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, ShowTime, Verizon (On Demand), HBO Go, and iTunes, are shown on MPAA’s website, along with a message from the industry that goes like this:
“Want to get movies and TV shows easily and quickly online, on your tablet or on your mobile device? Here’s a fast-growing array of ways to find and connect with the content you love. This list is aggregated based on services available to users in the U.S. While the set of services offering movies and TV shows differ by country, several of these are available in multiple countries.”
A decent question would be: “Considering that even people who have never used the internet know about Amazon, Netflix and services alike, how exactly will WTW going to fight piracy?”
Well, here’s the thing: opening up a website with plenty of legal alternatives is way easier than coming up with an anti-piracy legislation that preserves your online/offline rights, while keeping content creators happy. But does the MPAA care about its consumers and money makers? We’ll leave you answer that question.
As far as WTW is concerned, MPAA’s Chairman Chris Dodd said:
“There have never been more ways to access movies and television legitimately online, and those platforms continue to grow and develop thanks in large part to a copyright system that encourages innovation, risk and growth.”
“The companies I represent are committed to continuing to create and develop the best ways for audiences to enjoy the entertainment they love.”
Also known as the Center for Copyright Information, the organization lost not only its company status, but also the right to enforce the “six-strikes” system. The CCI violated state laws and is now forced to close down its doors, at least for a period of time.
Founded in 2011 by the entertainment industries, in collaboration with five of US’s most prominent internet providers, the Center for Copyright Information was put together with a clear purpose: to educate the public about copyright infringement and enforce the American copyright law.
After multiple delays, the Copyright Alert System was finally launched by the CCI on February 2013, but proved to have a short life due to some irregularities.
The Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) revoked CCI’s legal right to conduct its business on US soil.
“If entity’s status is revoked then articles of incorporation / organization shall be void and all powers conferred upon such entity are declared inoperative, and, in the case of a foreign entity, the certificate of foreign registration shall be revoked and all powers conferred hereunder shall be inoperative,” the DCRA explained.
As such, the CCI is now facing civil penalties and probably fines. Furthermore, its name is no longer protected by US laws, so be on guard for scammers who may register under CCI’s name.
“When a Washington DC corporation is revoked by the DCRA, its name is reserved and protected until December 31st of the year the corporation is revoked. After December 31st, other business entities may use the corporations name,” DCRA wrote on their website.
Although the CCI could be, at the time being, sleeping with the fishes, it may also run under a different name.
Don’t gloat yet, because the organization is much likely to come back. As a matter of fact, a TorrentFreak’s source that’s connected to the CCI claimed that the necessary paperwork for the CCI to take its status back had been filed.
Sweden’s IIS Faces The Court Of Law; Prosecutor Accuses The Organization Of Assisting Copyright Infringement
Filed under: Announcements & Events, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Legal P2P News & Issues
The Internet Infrastructure Foundation (IIS), Sweden’s company in charge with top-level domain name registrations (.se), refused to put down two of The Pirate Bay’s domain names and is now charged by the country’s prosecution office with assisting copyright infringement.
A little bird told The Pirate Bay (earlier this year), that Swedish authorities will go after its .se domain names. As such, TPB dropped the anchor in Greenland, then in Iceland, and finally in Sint Maarten (.SX).
Although TPB no longer uses any of its .se domain names, Swedish authorities are determined to cut all of the ship’s connections with the IIS. As such, the Swedish Prosecution Authority filed a petition (at the beginning of this month) with the Stockholm District Court, asking IIS to take action against thepiratebay.se and piratebay.se. The organization refused to comply.
“The legal system has not been able to shut down the service after the previous guilty verdict against TPB,” IIS’s Chief of Communications Maria Ekelund told TorrentFreak.
“Therefore the prosecutor has opened a new case against both the domain holders and .SE. The prosecutor is accusing .SE of assisting TPB who are assisting others to commit copyright infringement.”
“In the eyes of the prosecutor, .SE’s catalogue function has become some form of accomplice to criminal activity, a perspective that is unique in Europe as far as I know,” IIS’s CEO Danny Aerts said.
“There are no previous cases of states suing a registry for abetting criminal activity or breaching copyright law,” he continued.
As far as the company is concerned, they did nothing but to provide with a service that’s meant to link URLs to a specific IP address, just as they do for Google(.se).
“.SE translates the .se domain names to name servers, a name server operator translates this into an IP address and a resolver operator (such as Telia) helps .SE respond to the most frequent queries,” Aerts explained.
“IP addresses are subsequently allotted to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) through RIPE. And IANA grants us the right to administer the top-level .se domain. Perhaps I should also remember to mention Google, which helps you find the address if you do not know the domain name.”
In other words, this complex system is keeping the internet online, and IIS is not the only one responsible for doing so.
“Where should the line be drawn for legal processes and matters of liability?” Aerts asked.
“.SE will naturally respond to the prosecutor’s perspective. We have an educational task ahead of us in explaining to the District Court what a domain name is, what .SE does and the fundamentally incorrect nature behind seizing a domain name forever,” he continued.
Unfortunately for the company, the trial will cost a whole lot of money, money that will be taken out of ISS’s educational programs.
“This will be an expensive process and, although our lawyers will find it an interesting case, these are funds that we would rather spend on our investments in schools or digital inclusion,” Aerts stated.
If the Swedish Prosecution Authority wins the case, IIS will be forced to erase any evidence that thepiratebay.se and piratebay.se ever existed as registered under .se domain names.
“Removing a domain name can be compared to taking down the signs hanging outside the shoe store. Although this would make it more difficult for customers to find the store, it would still be there and any customers who were able to find it would be able to continue buying shoes there,” the company’s CEO concluded.
Société d’Auteurs Belge – Belgische Auteurs Maatschappij (also known as SABAM) is the Belgian association representing rightsholders (that is authors, composers and publishers) that reportedly sued some of the country’s ISPs for making a buck out of their internet packages without paying royalties to copyright holders. Well, that sounds interesting!
According to a report by PCWorld:
Sabam wants the court to rule that Internet access providers Belgacom, Telenet and Voo should pay 3.4 percent of their turnover in copyright fees, because they profit from offering high speed Internet connections that give users easy access to copyright protected materials, the collecting organization said in a news release Tuesday.
Since 2000, revenue generated from copyright levies imposed on physical media have declined by 54 percent, Sabam said. This “huge loss” has not been compensated by collections from online services like iTunes, YouTube and Spotify, it added.
ISPs over the years have profited from the switch to online media consumption and they have offered unlimited Internet access with very high download speeds in advertising campaigns, Sabam said. “The Internet access providers have never paid copyright levies for this activity. They hide behind their status as intermediary, without taking responsibility for the information transmitted over their networks,” the organization said.
However, the profit derived from Internet subscriptions in part comes from the intensive use of protected repertoire, Sabam said. Therefore the ISPs should start paying levies, it said. Because negotiations showed that the ISPs are not willing to start paying those levies voluntarily, Sabam decided to sue the three biggest Belgian ISPs in the Brussels Court of First Instance on April 12.
One question that makes total sense would be: if internet service providers are bound to pay royalties to rightsholders, does this mean file-sharers who download copyrighted content without permission get a guilt-free-pass, since all of their activity on the internet is already covered by their respective ISP? It’s not likely for rightsholders to adhere to such a solution, but instead choose the old fashion way – that of suing individuals who infringe copyright.
Furthermore, will this case be a starting point for other countries to force their internet service providers into paying up? It could be, as we’ve seen in the past with the “three strikes program”, but only time will tell for sure. What is sure is that the United States, for example, would have to rewrite the entire DMCA for that to happen.
However unlikely it is for ISPs to pay royalties to rightsholders in other countries, they are worried about a new kind of trend emerging out of these actions.