MPAA asks judge to exclude evidence on piracy losses

In a crowded field of talented practitioners, MPAA piracy figures are standout examples of misleading, silly, outright BS. No wonder then, that the MPAA has asked a judge to exclude any data on losses due to piracy from its lawsuit against Isohunt.

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Tracking Oscar screener piracy, the 2013 edition

Since 2003, Waxy.org's Andy Baio has been documenting evidence of pirated/leaked Oscars screeners— in other words, copies of nominated films sent to Academy Awards voters which then make their way on to filesharing networks. The 2013 edition of his spreadsheet is out. He'll post analysis tomorrow. "Most shocking find so far," he tweets, "The Les Misérables screener hasn't leaked online yet. Everyone knows pirates love musicals!"

Thoughts from a Japanese Media Pirate

The following was submitted for publication by a reader who asked to remain anonymous — Rob

I just finished Pirate Cinema and felt the need to write something about it, because it concerns a cause that's near to my heart. I saw myself in protagonist Trent McCauley, who makes new movies by chopping up footage from popular films, despite the consequences of getting his Internet taken away or being fined or imprisoned in the book's near-future scenario.

This is because I do the same thing. I'm one of those people who remixes different media and posts the finished pieces online. I combine Japanese television dramas, films, PVs, and clips from variety shows with mostly American songs, however, because I like the contrast of Japanese visual media with American music.

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Better services, less piracy

John Brownlee on why he stopped pirating music:

It’s clear to me, in retrospect, that my piracy was mostly mere collecting, and like the most fetishistic of collectors, it was conducted with mindless voracity. A good collection is supposed to be made up of relics, items that conjure up memories, feelings and ideas for the owner so strongly that he gets pleasure in simply being in close contact with them. A tended garden. My collection was nothing like this: it was just a red weed, swallowing up and corroding anything I did care about within its indiscriminating mass.

tl;dr newer streaming/subscription services, such as Spotify and Rdio, have nailed it.

92 year old WWII vet is DVD bootlegger who sent 300,000 pirated discs to US troops

photo: Todd Heisler/The New York Times

The New York Times has a profile of Long Island resident Hyman Strachman, "a 92-year-old, 5-foot-5 World War II veteran trying to stay busy after the death of his wife."

He is one of the world's most prolific movie bootleggers, and has shipped hundreds of thousands of discs to US troops stationed overseas, at great personal expense. The man doesn't exactly fit the MPAA's pirate stereotype, in age, appearance, or motivation. Better still, who helped him distribute the copied DVDs to soldiers? Army chaplains.

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Creative Suite 6 subscription plans announced

Adobe's Creative Suite is to become an $80-a-month subscription service, with discounts for people who accept annual contracts: just like cellphones! Thankfully, you can still buy the retail version of the suite in various pre-set bundles: just like cable television!

... the company expects that most of its users will slowly migrate to the subscription service over time. In Adobe’s view, this gives users more flexibility to use apps when they need them ... while Morris stressed that the subscription service shouldn’t be seen solely as a way to combat piracy, he did acknowledge that it has the potential to help Adobe with its piracy problem.

If we have to ruin our product to stop people pirating it, by God we will do just that. [Frederic Lardinois at TechCrunch]

Infringe-a-licious Tokyo tee: best Star Wars shirt ever?

Writer and comics creator Brian Michael Bendis (Twitter) is in Tokyo, and tweeted a series of infringment-spotting snapshots today. The Stormtrooper/Star Wars shirt he found and photographed, above, makes me weep with desire.

British admin for download links database may be first extradited to US for copyright charges

No British citizen has ever been extradited to the United States for a copyright offense. But Richard O'Dwyer, the 23-year-old college student who ran TV Shack, may become the first.

As I understand it, the charges aren't that his (very popular) site actually hosted the copyrighted content, but that it served as a directory of links to other servers online where those downloads could be found.

Torrentfreak has more on the legal battle. The lawyer for accused hacker Gary McKinnon, whom the US would also like to extradite for prosecution, is representing O'Dwyer. They lost their first round in the extradition case today, and have 14 days to appeal.

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Invincible scorpion punishes Serious Sam pirates

Those who pirate Croteam's Serious Sam 3 are in for a surprise. Instead of shutting you down with DRM, the game forces you to do battle with an invincible giant scorpion, dual-wielding assault rifles.

FBI Anti-Piracy warning may now be used by just anyone

You know that unskippable government warning on DVDs, which only big media corporations may use? The FBI's anti-piracy imprimatur may now be used by any copyright holder, not just members of trade associations such as the RIAA and MPAA. It is currently a violation of federal law to use the anti-piracy insignia if you are not one of them. [Wired]