Filed under: Announcements & Events, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Legal P2P News & Issues
Isamu Kaneko, the developer of the well-known Winny file-sharing program, passed away Saturday night at a Tokyo hospital.
The creator of the most popular Japanese file-sharing was 42. A former researcher at University of Tokyo, Kaneko distributed his p2p client free of charge starting with May 2002.
Back in 2006 Kaneko was accused of facilitating copyright infringement and found guilty by the Kyoto District Court. However, in 2009 this ruling was overturned by Osaka High Court which acquitted Kaneko saying he had not intended to encourage copyright violations.
According to the Supreme Court which upheld the high court ruling in 2011, it was each user’s decision how to make use of the Winny file-sharing program.
Kaneko’s case marked the first time Japan was faced with the issue of the extent to which a creator of a file-sharing software can be guilty in relation to copyright infringement.
Rest in peace Kaneko!
South African ISPs are bombarded with requests from copyright owners to hand over personal data of ADSL customers downloading unauthorized content via BitTorrent file-sharing clients
Reportedly, many of the country’s ISPs have received requests from copyright holders to give away personal information of their subscribers suspected of illegal file-sharing.
Fortunately, for the subscribers, however, it seems that most local ISPs are not really anxious to comply with the requests and release the confidential info partly because they do not adhere to local laws.
Mybroadband.co.za published comprehensive material on the issue which we’ll reproduce below:
Cybersmart CEO Laurie Fialkov said that they are receiving requests for subscriber information related to alleged copyright infringements all the time. These requests, said Fialkov, typically come from Sony.
The requests for Cybersmart subscriber info are typically aimed at BitTorrent users who have allegedly pirated movies or music.
Fialkov said that they do not provide any information to the companies because they have no jurisdiction in South Africa.
“Unless they follow the procedure outlined in the Regulation of Interception of Communications and provision of communication-related information Act (RICA), we are not obliged to provide them with any information. So we don’t,” said Fialkov.
Web Africa CTO Alan Kirton also confirmed that they receive requests for personal information from third party companies servicing the large media houses.
These requests, said Kirton, are nearly exclusively related to the use of BitTorrent services.
“The standard request is to disable the account while maintaining any evidence that may be relevant in a lawsuit,” said Kirton.
Kirton said that they do not act on these requests. “Web Africa takes the view that it is not responsible for policing the internet and will only act where required by South African law,” said Kirton.
Axxess marketing director Franco Barbalich said that it has been a long time since they have received a request for personal information.
Barbalich said that the previous requests came from the official content distribution companies, and were aimed at torrent users.
Barbalich said that they do not hand out any personal information of clients unless they get a court order. They do, however, forward the request to the client.
Curiously many other local ISPs said that they have not received such requests. Openweb, Vox Telecom and MWEB have all said that they have not received requests for the personal information of their subscribers on alleged copyright infringement grounds.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, Legal P2P News & Issues
No more easy times for German copyright trolls – a new legislation designed to make “dubious” business practices less possible and more transparent has just seen the green light
‘Cash settlement’ has become over the past two years a key phrase in the vocabulary of many right holders since hunting down file-sharers has become a favorite ‘sport’ that can sometimes generate easy money following heavy copyright trolling activity. The other key word is ‘intimidation’.
Well, it seems that Germany has had just about enough of this copyright trolling game exploiting the file-sharing arena and decided to make it a bit harder to play by implementing a new law designed to discourage business practices that are not exactly fair and square.
The guys at TorrentFreak came with some details about the newly introduced law after speaking with attorney Malte Dedden. The following excerpt is from their article:
“The new law changes several laws – competition law, copyright law etc. Concerning copyright law, the idea is to protect consumers against cease-and-desist [pay-up-or-else] letters that are too expensive,” Dedden explains.
“If you are caught file-sharing a movie or a music album, you might be asked by the copyright holder’s lawyers to sign an agreement to cease the illegal distribution and to pay a) the lawyers’ fee plus b) the rightsholder’s damages in order to settle the case.”
Dedden says the new law establishes certain a format for the cease-and-desist and any settlements requested.
“If certain requirements are not met, you don’t have to pay the rightsholder’s lawyers’ fees and you can claim your lawyer’s fees from him instead,” he explains.
“If the form is correct, the fees are limited to the amount calculated on a “Streitwert” (value of the matter in dispute) of 1000 euros. This would be about 155.30 Euros plus expenses.”
Dedden says that previously the “Streitwert” was estimated by the court and could climb as high as 10,000 euros.
“Unfortunately for heavy users, this new limitation applies only one time with each copyright owner. If you’re caught by Universal’s lawyers once, for example, the next time it will be more expensive, while you can still use the new rule for your first Sony infringement,” Dedden concludes.
Richard Atkinson, head of the Anti-Piracy department at Adobe, believes that instead of blaming pirates for doing what they do, a way to make them paying customers must be found. As such, the popular company is cooking up a plan, and they’re not the only ones to do so.
This year’s Anti-Piracy and Content Protection Summit came with a rather astonishing surprise. David Kaplan, who is leading the Anti-Piracy Operations section at Warner Bros, made public the studio’s intention to reconsider its position on piracy and pirates. In other words, WB realized that piracy is actually acting as an agent for consumers’ needs. With that in mind, Warner Bros started to adjust its marketing plan in order to drive people towards legal content. Also, WB considers that right-holders could help by giving consumers exactly what they want and when they want it. We’ve already spoken about why people are more likely to go and pirate content instead of buying it, and it seems that the industry is finally getting the point.
The same idea is in Adobe’s mind.
“The strategy and concept of moving from traditional ‘enforcement-led anti piracy’ to a ‘business-focused pirate-to-pay conversion program’ is a BIG change, needing changes to operational elements as well as cultural elements,” Atkinson said.
“Everyone is tired of the entire concept and term ‘Anti-Piracy’, even the term ‘Content Protection’ too. It feels like an ongoing war that has been going on for 20+ years… with the same old good-guy vs bad-guy battles,” he continued.
He went on by saying that while online piracy is a problem not to be ignored, the solution to it lies in the hands of exactly those businesses who are trying to fight against it.
“The core fundamental aspect is not necessarily technology… it is UNDERSTANDING what is really going on. In my years working in this space, I have consistently found that very few people actually have FACTS about what is going on,” Atkinson believes.
“Once you have the facts, then it will change your beliefs and your actions,” he added.
Adobe is now taking a new approach by shifting their focus from boxed products to cloud-based subscriptions. To that end, the software company had already launched Creative Cloud, a solution to better the prices of Adobe Photoshop and several other products.
“I do not think people who pirate our software do it because they are bad people, or because they like to steal things. I just think that they decided that they can not afford it,” David Wadhwani working for Adobe said when Creative Cloud was launched.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, Movies, MP3, Digital Audio & Games
After filing appeal to a 2009 court order forcing Joel Tenenbaum to pay $22.500 for each of the 30 songs he shared, the outcome is not surprising at all: he still needs to pay up.
The First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that Tenenbaum’s penalty must be carried out. Tenenbaum appealed the 2009 court order, arguing that the penalty is unconstitutional; as such, he asked for a either a retrial or for the award to be reduced via common law remittitur.
Despite his arguments, the court of appeals said that…
“Tenenbaum carried on his activities for years in spite of numerous warnings, he made thousands of songs available illegally, and he denied responsibility during discovery”.
“Much of this behavior was exactly what Congress was trying to deter when it amended the Copyright Act. Therefore, we do not hesitate to conclude that an award of $22,500 per song, an amount representing 15% of the maximum award for willful violations and less than the maximum award for non-willful violations, comports with due process,” the court continued.
Tenenbaum then explained to the court that he’s emptied the labels’ pockets with only $450, the overall price of the 30 albums.
“But this argument asks us to disregard the deterrent effect of statutory damages, the inherent difficulty in proving damages in a copyright suit, and Sony’s evidence of the harm that it suffered from conduct such as Tenenbaum’s,” the court said.
It seems that one of the longest copyright lawsuits is drawing to an end. Just like it did for the “file-sharing mom”case.
Read the court’s ruling in full here.