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2012: April-June

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Offsite Article: Ebooks shouldn't be restricted by European borders...

Link Here30th June 2012
Why have ebooks if not to access them in an instant? Europe needs a digital single market for its ebook industry

See article from



Offsite Article: U.S. Appeals Court Affirms Parody Was Clear Fair Use...

Link Here14th June 2012
In an important ruling involving parody productions, a federal appeals court affirmed yesterday that a South Park episode called What What (In the Butt) did not infringe on the YouTube video of the same name.

See article from



Offsite Article: DepositFiles Settles Multi Million Dollar Piracy Lawsuit...

Link Here 14th June 2012
In the shadows of the criminal case against Megaupload, another popular cyberlocker is quietly ending its own legal dispute. DepositFiles has settled a million dollar lawsuit adult magazine publisher Perfect 10 brought against them. Hat tip to Nick

See article from



Offsite Article: A Nasty Tasting Sweet...

Link Here12th June 2012
Ludicrous claims for copyright infringement from the glam rock has beens Sweet give the music industry a bad name

See article from



Update: Blockaded...

Sky joins the blockade of Pirate Bay

Link Here3rd June 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block

Sky has become the latest ISP to implement the court order forcing it to block filesharing website The Pirate Bay.

Everything Everywhere (EE) and Virgin Media have already taken similar action, while the order has also been extended to BT, O2 and TalkTalk.

The latter two of these three major broadband providers are still working to introduce the ban, while BT has requested more time to make the required arrangements.

Explaining its approach to protecting copyright, the pay TV giant said it has invested billions of pounds in creating high-quality content for its customers and acknowledged the importance of protecting this material against piracy. Such protection makes sure that consumers continue to benefit from TV programmes, movies and music both now and in the future, Sky stated.



Extract: Three Thousand Links Removed Per Day is Not Enough...

RIAA Demands Unlimited DMCA Power From Google

Link Here 3rd June 2012

After Google published their report last week on DMCA takedowns, the American music industry group, the RIAA, is determined to make out that Google is the problem, because almost 1.25 million removed links in one year wasn't enough, and it's all Google's fault, despite the search giant having absolutely no hand in putting any of them online.

The RIAA is claiming that Google  is not being proactive enough with alleged copyright infringements. Worse, it's claimed that Google are actively hindering the RIAA, because they're not allowing the industry group free reign to have each and every suspect link terminated perpetually.

When Google published their report on DMCA takedowns last week, the RIAA was unimpressed. In fact, they were so unimpressed by the average of ONLY 3,400+ links taken down each and every day, that they did what any well-connected lobby group would do -- it took to its blog and wrote a top-5 list of facts on why it's all Google's fault

...Read the full article



Sharing Letters...

Ben Dover gets court approval for letters to file sharers claiming settlement for damages

Link Here1st June 2012

O2 customers suspected of illegally sharing pornographic films made by Ben Dover Productions will begin receiving letters from the film-maker shortly.

The firm won a court order in March forcing O2 to pass on details of the owners of 9,124 IP addresses linked to illegal downloads.

The High Court has now approved the text of the message that will be sent.

Julian Becker, the commercial director of the firm which is registered at Companies House as Golden Eye International said:

In our first letter we seek to find out more information regarding evidence of an infringement of our copyright. Depending on the response to our letters we will then decide our next action.

It is understood that recipients will be told what to do to negotiate a settlement, and will be warned that if they do not respond they could be found liable. They will be given 28 days to reply after the judge said that a 14 day limit requested by Ben Dover was unreasonable . The firm was also told it could not specify compensation of 700 but should individually negotiate a settlement sum with each defendant. The judge added that a threat to tell users it would ask the ISP to slow down or terminate your internet connection if they did not comply was unjustified.



The Trans-Pacific Partnership...

Another secretive copyright treaty being negotiated

Link Here22nd May 2012

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive trade agreement currently being negotiated amongst nine Pacific Rim countries in San Diego this week. Canada was recently extended an invitation, but its formal membership has yet to be approved by the existing nine countries, including the United States.

Offsite Article: Inside the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Meet ACTA plus, and the people trying to stop it.

22nd May 2012 See article from

Offsite Article: For first time ever, US seeking international limits on copyright

11th July 2012. See  article from



Offsite Article: Ordering Pirates to be Scuppered...

Link Here22nd May 2012
A Greek court has ordered the country's ISPs to start censoring sites that allegedly infringe copyright. The blockades were requested by music rights organizations against two specific sites.

See article from



Offsite Article: Shared Responsibility...

Link Here21st May 2012
Finland court finds that a broadband subscriber is not responsible when the actual file sharer cannot be identified

See article from


16th May   

Double Annoyance...

US DVD and Blu-ray viewers warned that FBI and ICE will now be wasting 20 seconds of their life per disk
Link Here

For a long time US DVDs and Blu-rays have included a 10s warning from the FBI about not copying disks. And of course no matter how many times you have read it, you cannot skip it or fast forward through it.

Well unfortunately the annoyance is doubling. DVDs and Blu-rays from six major studios will now carry two unskippable, 10-second warnings. Immigration & Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations unit, now want their share of the opportunity to annoy viewers.

It seems that they want to encourage viewers to seek out pirate copies where the wasteful 20s has been thankfully removed.


16th May   

Torrents of False Torrents...

New torrent disrupting software funded by Microsoft Russia
Link Here

The Russian based Pirate Pay startup is promising the entertainment industry a pirate-free future. With help from Microsoft, the developers have built a system that claims to track and shut down the distribution of copyrighted works on BitTorrent. Their first project, carried out in collaboration with Walt Disney Studios and Sony Pictures, successfully stopped tens of thousands of downloads.

Pirate Pay has developed a technology which allows them to attack existing BitTorrent swarms, making it impossible for people to share files.

The idea started three years ago when the developers were building a traffic management solution for Internet providers. The technology worked well. It was able to stop BitTorrent traffic if needed, which made the developers realize that they might have built the holy anti-piracy grail.

The company doesn't reveal how it works, but they appear to be flooding clients with fake information, masquerading as legitimate peers.

Last year Pirate Pay received a $100,000 investment from the Microsoft Seed Financing Fund. Microsoft Russia's president praised the innovative idea, which his company would also be able to use in the future.


14th May   

Update: Fair Use...

Perfect 10 fails to convince the US court that Google's thumbnail images used in search results infringes copyright
Link Here

After 8 years the legal battle between Google and adult magazine publisher Perfect 10 has been put to rest. The latter accused the search giant of a variety of copyright infringement breaches which included Google's use of cached images. The case has now been dismissed without the option for further appeal.

In 2004 Google was sued by Perfect 10. The adult publisher demanded a permanent injunction against Google to prevent it from copying and distributing thumbnails of its images, and to stop the search engine from linking to websites where Perfect 10 content was hosted illegally.

Initially Perfect 10 scored a substantial victory as the court agreed with the adult company's position on Google's use of thumbnails. However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals later reversed this ruling stating that this utilization of thumbnails amounted to fair use.

What followed was a lengthy legal battle in which the adult company targeted Google with a wide range of secondary liability claims. These claims were often supported by the MPAA and RIAA, and opposed by digital rights groups such as the EFF. After nearly 8 years of litigation and two failed requests for a Supreme Court review, the case continued at the District Court where both sides accused each other of breaking the rules. Notable is Perfect 10's quite unconventional last-minute attempt to find more dirt on Google. Earlier this year the company called on the public to provide evidence that Google was aiding or abetting copyright infringements. The publisher went as far as offering a $25,000 bounty, which is still listed on its website.


14th May   

Update: Law Like Swiss Cheese...

Switzerland decides not to sign ACTA
Link Here
Full story: ACTA Trade Restrictions...Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

According to web site Geneva Lunch, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) quietly suffered another setback in Switzerland where the Swiss Federal Council said it would not sign the agreement.

The Federal Council noted that since negotiations for the treaty concluded criticism of ACTA has continued to grow in a number of countries. The Federal Council went on to say that they are taking fears expressed about ACTA seriously because they concern fundamental liberties and important legal provisions.

Update: Judicial Review

18th May 2012. See  article from

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will get a judicial review in Europe's highest court, according to the Wall Street Journal. The European Commission has asked the European Court of Justice - the highest court in Europe, to review the treaty and make sure that it is compatible with current European treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The Court's opinion is vital to respond to the wide-ranging concerns voiced by people across Europe on whether ACTA harms our fundamental rights in any way, said John Clancy, the spokesman for EU trade commissioner Karel de Gucht.


13th May   

Fyx Nyxd...

New Zealand ISP stamped upon by control freaks for offering work around to location based internet restrictions
Link Here

On the 9th May, wrote:

Living in a country that is not the U.S., Canada or the UK can be a pain sometimes, especially when it comes to accessing online content. Many online services like Netflix geo-lock their Web site to only certain countries. People in, say New Zealand, can access these sites via proxy, but not everybody is tech savvy enough to take advantage of such technologies.

Enter FYX, a new ISP start up in New Zealand that's offering users the chance to access these geo-locked sites through their service as part of their basic service. It's a subsidiary of New Zealand ISP Maxnet, but it's differentiated itself to perhaps keep its parent company out of legal trouble.

The new ISP's focus is on offering a much bigger Internet to New Zealanders -- the type of Internet the rest of the world have had access to for years, said Chief Internet FYX-er Andrew Schick speaking to New Zealand's National Business Review.

NBR points out that Sky TV currently holds the rights to downloadable media like TV, film, etc in the country. It's not only damaging the growth of local services, but it keeps out other services from competing against their monopoly. It's these kind of monopolies that users could get around with FYX.

But by the 11th May from article from :

Statement from to Chief FYX-er, Andrew Schick:

New ISP FYX has made a decision to withdraw its popular global mode service from the market for the time being.

FYX sincerely apologises to our customers and the New Zealand internet community for putting a halt to global mode, which will happen tonight at 11.59pm.

While legal opinions have supported FYX's global mode under New Zealand law, there are matters that require further consideration before continuing the service.


12th May   

Update: Creating a Legal Bag of Worms...

Judges patch Dutch law in an attempt to ban work rounds to the blocking of The Pirate Bay
Link Here
Full story: Pirate Bay...Pirate Bay, Swedish file sharing site

The Court of The Hague has handed down another ruling that restricts access to The Pirate Bay website. The Court has forbidden the Dutch Pirate Party from linking to, operating or listing websites that allow the public to circumvent a local Pirate Bay blockade. The political party is further ordered to shutdown its reverse proxy indefinitely and block Pirate Bay domains and IP-addresses from its generic proxy.

After two Dutch ISPs were ordered to censor The Pirate Bay earlier this year there was an influx of visitors to Pirate Bay proxy sites. In an attempt to take these proxies offline the Hollywood funded anti-piracy group BREIN obtained an injunction against one of the sites and used this to convince others to shut down as well.

The list of secondary targets included the local Pirate Party, who initially refused to give in to the demands but were later ordered to take their reverse proxy offline by the court. The Pirate Party claimed that the case against them amounted to a restriction of their freedom of speech, and sued BREIN over the order.

The Court of The Hague then delivered its verdict, which confirms most of the earlier injunction. The Pirate Party is now forbidden from encouraging the public to circumvent the Pirate Bay blockade and from listing or hosting tools that can enable others to do so. Should the Pirate Party fail to comply with the Court's ruling it faces fines of EUR5,000 per day to a maximum penalty of EUR250,000.

Pirate Party chairman Dirk Poot told TorrentFreak:

For many who where hoping for the law to come to the rescue of basic civil liberties, today must be a rough awakening. This ridiculously broad verdict allows BREIN to take down any site that is posting information that displeases their censors.

A first in Dutch law is that a judge has now also ordered a generic proxy to filter internet traffic as well. BREIN has created jurisprudence that will now allow them to come after any open proxy they have set their sights on.


10th May   

Updated: The Pirate Bay...

Recommended by media industry copyright activists
Link Here
Full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block

Last week the UK High Court ruled that several of the country's leading ISPs must block subscriber access to The Pirate Bay. The decision is designed to limit traffic to the world's leading BitTorrent site but in the short-term it had the opposite effect. Over the last few days The Pirate Bay has had 12 million more visitors daily than it has ever had before.

A site insider told TorrentFreak that this provided a golden opportunity to educate users on how to circumvent blocks: We should write a thank you letter to the BPI.  It's not possible to buy advertising articles from leading UK publications such as the BBC, Guardian and Telegraph, but The Pirate Bay news was spread across all of them and dozens beside, for free. The news was repeated around the UK, across Europe and around the world reaching millions of people. The results for the site were dramatic.

Another thing that's good with the traffic surge is that we now have time to teach even more people how to circumvent Internet censorship, the insider added.

Last Friday the UK High Court ruled that several of country's leading ISPs must censor The Pirate Bay website having ruled in February that the site and its users breach copyright on a grand scale. The blocks, to be implemented by Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media (BT are still considering their position), are designed to cut off all but the most determined file-sharers from the world's most popular torrent site.

In fact Virgin Media were the first off the blocks and have already started to block the site.

I don't suppose the security services will be very pleased that so many internet users are encouraged to use VPNs and proxies etc. They will now be looking for needles in much larger haystacks with some of the barn lights going dark.

Update: Seeing Orange

10th May 2012. Thanks to James

As of 9th May, The Pirate Bay has been vetoed by Orange.

Here is a screenshot of what Pirate Bay visitors get to see via Orange.

Absolutely disgusted, a total violation of internet freedom and what it is meant for.


3rd May

 Offsite Article: Torrents of Cases...

Link Here
US court tires of copyright troll lawyers as furious judge decries "blizzard" of lawsuits

See article from


3rd May

 Offsite Article: Judge: An IP-Address Doesn't Identify a Person (or BitTorrent Pirate)...

Link Here
US judge outlines the reason for his scepticism that IP addresses aren't sufficient to tie down exactly who has violated copyright

See article from


1st May   

Update: Torrents of Court Orders...

UK High Court orders UK ISPs to block Pirate Bay
Link Here
Full story: Internet Blocking File Sharing in UK...High court dictates website block

The UK High Court has ruled that several ISPs including Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media must censor The Pirate Bay file sharing website.

The blocking process was established in law by the media industry action against the Newzbin2 Usenet indexing site last year. A few weeks later a conglomerate of music labels filed a lawsuit against several Internet providers, demanding that they block subscriber access to The Pirate Bay.

Nine labels including EMI, Polydor, Sony, Virgin and Warner said that The Pirate Bay infringes their copyrights and that several ISPs including TalkTalk and Virgin Media should implement a blockade under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

In February the High Court agreed that The Pirate Bay and its users do indeed breach copyright on a major scale, and this decision has now been followed by a court order.

ISPs Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media must censor The Pirate Bay website in the weeks to come. A sixth ISP, BT, has asked for more time to consider its position.

The Open Rights Group says the court-ordered block represents the thin end of the wedge.

Blocking the Pirate Bay is pointless and dangerous. It will fuel calls for further, wider and even more drastic calls for Internet censorship of many kinds, from pornography to extremism, ORG Executive Director Jim Killock said: Internet censorship is growing in scope and becoming easier. Yet it never has the effect desired. It simply turns criminals into heroes.


23rd April   

Law for Dummies...

Book publisher looks to make an example of people accused of sharing books
Link Here

John Wiley & Sons, one of the world's largest book publishers, is continuing its efforts to crack down on BitTorrent piracy. The company has now named several people who allegedly shared Wiley titles online, and is demanding a jury trial against them. If these actually go ahead it will be the first time that BitTorrent-related evidence is tested in a US court.

Last fall, John Wiley and Sons became the first book publisher to go after BitTorrent users in the US.

In recent months Wiley has filed more than a dozen mass BitTorrent lawsuits involving a few hundred John Doe defendants in total. The Does are all accused of sharing digital copies of titles including WordPress for Dummies, Hacking for Dummies and Day Trading for Dummies.


16th April   

Extracts: Repeat Infringing and Embedding...

US law dictates that websites must take down content when copyright claims are made. But what about if just gets immediately reposted? And how does embedded content fit in with copyright claims?
Link Here

As the battle over the DMCA's requirements and boundaries heats up, Google, Facebook, the EFF, Public Knowledge and now the MPAA have become involved in a copyright case currently being heard by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Is it enough for a site to perform takedowns when copyright holders demand them, or must it also take additional steps to remove repeat infringers?

Flava Works, Inc v. Gunter is an ongoing case involving an adult studio plaintiff and a user-submitted video links/video embedding site.

It has become so important that some of the world's leading Internet companies such as Google and Facebook, rights groups such as the EFF and Public Knowledge, and the biggest entertainment companies through the MPAA, have all become involved in the case.

First a little background. Marques Gunter owns a site called myVidster, a site designed for users to upload links and embed videos hosted on 3rd party sites. In 2010, adult studio Flava Works filed a copyright complaint against myVidster and 26 Doe users of its service.

Flava Works alleged that Gunter had failed to correctly police his site for infringement. Although Flava did not deny that Gunter had responded to specific takedown requests, the company said that despite being made aware of them, Gunter had done nothing to stop a sample of 26 repeat infringers who continually reposted links to infringing material on the myVidster site.

...Read the full article

And What About Embedded Videos?

Via article from

The case has been plagued by confusion over the difference between hosting a video and embedding a video hosted by someone else.

For example, a key issue in the case is whether myVidster qualifies for a safe harbor under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). To qualify for the safe harbor, a service provider is required to have a policy of terminating the accounts of repeat copyright infringers. Gunter apparently interpreted the DMCA as only requiring him to terminate users who directly infringe copyright, and he believes that bookmarking (and, consequently, embedding) a video does not qualify as direct infringement. Hence, he didn't terminate users who bookmarked publicly available videos, even if those videos infringed copyright.

Gunter said that most of the content are embeds which are hosted on external websites, [and] I would suggest contacting the websites that are hosting your content to help stop the future bookmarking of it on myVidster.

If the Seventh Circuit adopts Judge Grady's---and the MPAA's---expansive interpretation of copyright liability, implications for the Internet economy could be far-reaching.

Numerous websites embed content from third parties they have not personally inspected. Under the theory articulated by Grady, and supported by the MPAA, these websites would be responsible for this content, exactly as if they had stored it on their own servers. This could create a serious disincentive for sites to allow users to post embedded content, hampering the convenience and user-friendliness of the Web.

...Read the full article


15th April   

Update: Sharing Blame...

Russia targets ISPs in its battle with file sharing
Link Here
Full story: Internet Censorship in Russia...Russia and its repressive state control of media

The cyber crime department of Russia's Interior Ministry says it intends to get tough on the country's ISPs when their customers share copyrighted or otherwise illegal material. Authorities say they are currently carrying out nationwide checks on ISPs' local networks and could bring prosecutions as early as next month.

Having largely failed in their earlier bids to aggressively target individual file-sharers, in recent times copyright holders and authorities have been forced to look elsewhere for someone to blame.

Worldwide lobbying efforts have borne fruit and now it's almost routine to see ISPs dragged into the debate on illegal file-sharing and treated as if they are the reason the problem exists, or at the very least that it's their place to take responsibility.


9th April   

Update: The Center for Copyright Information...

More about the US implementation of a 3 strikes approach to counter file sharing
Link Here
Full story: International 3 Strikes Laws...File sharers threatened with loss of internet access

In a few months millions of BitTorrent users in the United States will be actively monitored as part of an agreement between the MPAA, RIAA and all the major ISPs. Those caught sharing copyright works will receive several warning messages and will be punished if they continue to infringe.

Starting this summer, the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) will start to track down pirates as part of an agreement with all major U.S. Internet providers.

Last year the parties agreed on a system through which copyright infringers are warned that their behavior is unacceptable. After six warnings ISPs may then take a variety of repressive measures, which includes slowing down the offender's connection and temporary disconnections.

The new plan was announced under the name Copyright Alerts last year and will be implemented by all parties by July 12, 2012. As this deadline nears, the CCI today unveiled several key players who are going to lead the group. Unsurprisingly, the Executive Board is exclusively made up of representatives from the RIAA, MPAA and the ISPs. There is no representation for internet users or consumer rights.

However, the no doubt powerless, Advisory Board does include public rights advocates including Jerry Berman, the Chairman of the Internet Education Foundation and founder of the Center for Democracy and Technology, and Gigi Sohn, co-founder of Public Knowledge.

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