1. Tech

    Six Strikes And You’re Out: What The Copyright Alert System Means For You

    As of today, three of the major Internet service providers in the United States -- Verizon, Time Warner, and AT&T -- are teaming up with the MPAA and RIAA to let you know that they're watching when you use torrents  to download music, movies or TV shows, and that they don't approve. That disapproval will initially be registered by warnings that remind you that Big Brother your ISP is watching -- the digital equivalent of a disapproving glare -- but that's not the only measure they have at their disposal. Repeat offenders could find themselves blocked from certain sites or even have their connection cut entirely, if temporarily. Keep reading to learn what we know about the new policy, what we don't, and how it could impact the way you use the Internet -- especially if you use it to download media, and come on, who doesn't?

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  2. Entertainment

    Hollywood Motion Picture Studios Caught Pirating Games, Movies, and Television Shows via BitTorrent

    The thought that motion picture studios, including members of the Motion Picture Association of America, or MPAA, have been pirating content through the use of BitTorrent is one of those things that's long been suspected, and TorrentFreak reports that they now have proof. Specifically, they worked with BitTorrent monitors Scaneye to track down what IP addresses associated with the member studios of the MPAA have been illegally accessing, and the results were pretty much what you'd expect.

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  3. Entertainment

    MPAA, RIAA Would Like Some Help From the Government in Fighting Piracy, Please

    When copyright czar Victoria Espinel asked for input from the public about what to do about the future of copyright law and the increasing ease of piracy, she couldn't be surprised when the MPAA and RIAA weighed in with their opinions on the matter. Those opinions -- expressed in the form of a 28 page wishlist released last Friday -- are unsurprising. Oh, except for the parts that are completely out of touch with reality -- like the idea that uploading a video you don't have the rights to should be a felony, because it is just like murder. Right? Right. That notion was a non-starter when it was a part of SOPA, but that doesn't mean it's off the organizations' laundry list of turn-ons.

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  4. Tech

    Kim Dotcom Raid Footage Surfaces

    The MegaUpload raid is still a major point of contention. When the site was taken down and founder Kim Dotcom arrested, it was said that the raid made on his sprawling mansion was excessive to the point of lunacy. Officers with semiautomatic rifles and police helicopters were likely not needed for such an operation, even if he were the piracy kingpin groups like the RIAA or MPAA claimed. This broadcast from 3 News has revealed footage of the raid from the police helicopter's point of view.

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  5. Tech

    The MPAA will Allow Users to Get Files Off MegaUpload Servers Only If No Infringing Files Are Retrieved

    Ever since MegaUpload was taken down over piracy concerns, the data on the MegaUpload servers has been inaccessible. In the intervening times, there have been several scares about whether or not the data would just be deleted; so far total deletion has been narrowly avoided. The MPAA, who wants to keep the data around for lawsuit purposes, has come out and said it would be okay with giving users access, just so long as it can be guaranteed that literally no infringing files are recovered. It's a condition that's as impossible as it is frivlous.

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  6. Tech

    MPAA’s Chris Dodd Admits That Calling Piracy “Theft” Is A Bad Idea

    For years, trade associations like the MPAA and the RIAA have perpetuated the idea that digital piracy, file-sharing, copyright infringment and whatnot are literally theft with statements and ads like the famous "You wouldn't steal a car" campaign. While piracy may have potentially negative affects on sales (something this is quite hard to actually measure), calling it out-and-out "theft" has never been accurate. Now, finally, MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd has changed his tune on the issue. About time.

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  7. Tech

    Major ISPs To Start Throttling Repeat Torrent Pirates This Summer

    This summer, pirates who torrent copyrighted material and have a major ISP are in for a rude awakening. Starting July 12th most major ISPs, including Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable, will begin taking steps to first "educate" and ultimately "mitigate" pirates by adopting a system of graduated warnings after which repeat offenders may experience throttling of their broadband connection. While the plan was agreed on last year, a list of some of the ISPs involved only came to light yesterday at the Association of American Publishers' annual meeting yesterday, where they were announced by RIAA CEO Cary Sherman.

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  8. Weird

    “Send Them Your Money” Campaign Suggests You Pay the MPAA and RIAA for Piracy Losses with Copied Currency

    When it comes to battling piracy, there's a pretty huge semantic problem that is getting in the way of dealing with the real issue. Organizations like the RIAA and the MPAA tend to treat pirated copies of software as stolen copies of software when they're calculating their (inaccurate) annual losses to piracy. In actuality, piracy -- while illegal -- is not theft; it's piracy. That's why it's called piracy, not theft. In a bid to drive this point home, a little project called Send Them Your Money has suggested an elegantly flippant way to "appease" the MPAA and RIAA: Send them full compensation for their losses in the form of copied dollar bills.

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  9. Entertainment

    Study Shows That BitTorrent Piracy Doesn’t Affect U.S. Box Office Profits

    Ever since what seems like the beginning of time, or at least the beginning of widespread digital piracy, groups like the RIAA and MPAA have been projecting their losses by assuming that every illegal download was actually a legitimate purchase lost. While the problems behind that logic may be clear to you or me, the fallacy persists in a lot of anti-piracy arguments. A new study, Reel Piracy: The Effect of Online Film Piracy on International Box Office Sales, has shown that BitTorrent has not had any actual effect on U.S. box office earnings and that a large percentage of losses due to piracy abroad may, in fact, be the movie industry's own fault.

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  10. Tech

    Even the MPAA is Shying Away From DNS Filtering, Saying It’s “Off the Table”

    Perhaps the most egregious and offensive provision of SOPA and PIPA was the one that called for DNS filtering and blocking. Of course, considering it is the same method of censorship used by governments such as China, you might expect that the proposal of its use would be a little unpopular. Recently, supporters of the method have been falling one by one. SOPA author Lamar Smith agreed to drop the DNS blocking provision just as the White House came out against it. In light of all that, the MPAA -- poster child for aggressive copyright defense -- has backed down too.

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  11. Entertainment

    Kim Kardashian, Kanye West And More Endorse MegaUpload In Bizarre Song [UPDATED]

    MegaUpload has been catching some flak in this most recent push against piracy. Neither the MPAA nor the RIAA are particularly fond of the site. But do you know some of the people who are fond of it? How about Kim Kardashian, P Diddy,, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, Kanye West, Lil John, Mary J. BlidgeJamie Foxx and more. In fact, they are so fond of it, they all contributed to a strange, but heartening little music-video-jingle sort of thing that talks about how awesome MegaUpload is, and how they all use and support it.

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  12. Weird

    MPAA Infographic Touts Entirely Inaccurate Piracy Statistics

    The MPAA is pretty widely known for flailing around wildly, complaining that piracy is going to destroy the world, and lashing out at individuals who are tangentially related to actual piracy. These are the guys you have to thank for the obnoxiously pervasive idea that piracy is literally theft (it's not) and now, they've been throwing around an infographic which touts some pretty disturbingly intense numbers. Fortunately, it turns out, those numbers are utterly bogus.

    Steven Lloyd Wilson over at Pajiba took the initiative to crunch some of the numbers and figured out a few interesting details. The MPAA infographic purports that $58 billion dollars are lost due to piracy. Remember, since piracy isn't theft, this needs to be adjusted for the fact that some pirates wouldn't pay for what they are pirating. Or, if you're the MPAA, it doesn't need to be adjusted, apparently. Wilson points out that for this number to be accurate, it would have to be true that if not for piracy, each United States household would be buying an additional 10 DVDs per year. It doesn't stop there, though.

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  13. Tech

    Wikileaks Reveals Some Media Leaks May Be Intended to Help Government Infiltrate Warez Sites

    A recently leaked diplomatic cable reveals that starting in 2009, entertainment entities teamed up with government agencies and at least considered the possibility of purposefully leaking media in hopes of infiltrating topsites. It's unclear whether or not this actually happened, but the leaked cable discusses the option in detail.

    The 2009 cable outlines a meeting involving the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), a representative from the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE), and representatives from the South Korean government. While the cable makes no mention of any specific plans or instances of topsite infiltration, there is language which strongly implies that ICE is familiar with the process as a result of campaigns taking place here in the states.

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  14. Tech

    RIAA and MPAA Make Outrageous Proposal, Sit Back, Stroke White Cat

    The United States government is still wrestling with the tricky problem of intellectual property rights in the digital age, and so the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (also known as the Copyright Czar) has asked the big players in intellectual property to submit proposals full of steps the government could take to curb pirates and other copyright infringers.

    The joint proposal from the MPAA and RIAA is, as one might suspect, the sort of thing that wouldn't seem amiss coming out of the mouth of a black clad man with one cataract-filled eye, who sits in a swivel chair at one end of a glossy conference table and strokes a white Persian cat. Once he finishes speaking, his henchmen drag you away from your computer, screaming.

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  15. Entertainment

    MPAA Wants Homeland Security Agents to Protect Their Summer Blockbusters

    The EFF passes along the news of a doozy of a bad proposal recently filed by the MPAA and RIAA, representing the film and music industries, respectively. Both have been lobbying the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, which was created in the final months of the Bush administration, to enact into government policy a swarm of measures designed expressly to, well, help the RIAA and MPAA.

    These proposals include spyware on your computer that automatically deletes "infringing" files, pressure on foreign governments to adopt copyright policies mirroring the U.S.'s, and border searches of people's personal media players for "pirate or counterfeit [media] items." The MPAA even wants enforcement agents from the Department of Justice and -- wait for it -- the Department of Homeland Security assigned to work on their schedule to protect their summer blockbusters from dangerous file-sharers.

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