Old games as standalone apps: no emulator necessary

Games Nostalgia is a retrogame site with a useful difference: instead of simply providing files which then must be fed to the often-difficult gods of emulation, it packages the classics as ready-to-click apps for Mac and PC. Examples to eat your morning: seminal Atari/Amiga RPG Dungeon Master, DOS blaster Doom, and 1990's original RTS Dune II. Then there's Populous, Archon, Shadow of the Beast...

Previously: Vast collection of Amiga games, demos and software uploaded to Internet Archive Read the rest

EU court rules against seller of "preconfigured for piracy" media boxes

An EU court ruled against a seller of customized set-top boxes this week, with the judge saying that his preinstallation of certain Kodi Add-Ons makes the boxes illegal to offer.

Mr Wullems sells, over the internet, various models of a multimedia player under the name ‘filmspeler’. That device acts as a medium between a source of audiovisual data and a television screen. On that player, Mr Wullems installed an open source software that enabled files to be played through a user-friendly interface, via structured menus. In addition, integrated into the player were add-ons available on the internet whose function is to retrieve the desired content from streaming websites and make it start playing, on a simple click, on the multimedia player connected to a television. Some of those internet sites give access to digital content with the consent of the right holders, whilst others give access without their consent. According to the advertising, the multimedia player made it possible, in particular, to watch on a television screen, easily and for free, audiovisual material available on the internet without the consent of the copyright holders

It might seem a 'technical' outcome: it's still fine to sell boxes with open streaming software, the end-user just has to set up arrmatey.plugin their own damned selves. But "Who, whom?" is always important. Read the rest

2016: Once again, piracy was so bad that the movie industry smashed all box office records

As has been the case for many consecutive years, the movie industry beat all box-office records in 2016, earning $11.4B at the US box office (while simultaneously insisting that piracy was destroying the industry and demanding the right to control and redesign the internet to save itself from this existential threat). Read the rest

Kickass Torrents returns after a whole day offline

A day after an expensive, multinational police effort to remove KickAssTorrents from the net culminated in the arrest of its founder and the confiscation of its domains, the inevitable happened. It's back online.

This morning the founder of kat.cr was arrested in Poland. It is another attack on freedom of rights of internet users globally. We think it's our duty not to stand aside but to fight back supporting our rights. In the world of regular terrorist attacks where global corporations are flooded with money while millions are dying of diseases and hunger, do you really think that torrents deserve so much attention? Do you really think this fight worth the money and resources spent on it? Do you really think it's the real issue to care of right now? We don’t!

You don't have to believe the rhetoric to understand how futile it is trying to push cybertoothpaste back in the cyberbottle. Effectively, all the attempt did here was turn an underground piracy site into a mainstream phenomenon, its mirrors linked to by every major news site on the internet. Read the rest

18% of the world's cargo ships are sitting idle

In the aftermath of the 2008 crash, international shipping sank to record lows -- but container ship companies kept on building, turning out some of the biggest ships the seas have ever seen. Read the rest

The U.S. just labeled Switzerland an internet piracy haven

Switzerland is a haven for internet piracy, the Obama Administration's global trade rep says. The European nation famous for Swiss Alps, Swiss Cheese, Fondue, and being a long-term U.S. political ally since WWII is now on America's annual intellectual property shitlist.

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Piracy gave me a future

Poverty traps its victims in intellectual dead zones. I don't pirate games anymore, but when I needed it, it gave me access to the literature and artistic inspiration of my generation.

My 977 days held hostage by Somali pirates: journalist Michael Scott Moore

In 2012 American journalist Michael Scott Moore (who wrote a great history of surfing, Sweetness and Blood) was kidnapped by Somali pirates and held for $20 million ransom. As soon as I started reading his enthralling account of the 977-day ordeal, my heart began to race.

One night in late February, a month after my capture, the guards hauled me in a Land Rover, alone, to a remote part of the bush to meet the pirate kingpin. I had heard of Garfanji but never seen a picture. He was a powerful criminal, with a reputation for cruelty as well as kindness to his own men.

The person I met in the bush that night seemed groggy and dull-witted; he sat cross-legged in the dust and spoke in a high, almost childish voice. He dialled a private American negotiator on his softly glowing smartphone.

The negotiator said, “The man who just handed you the phone is Mohammed Garfanji,” and my blood felt just like ice water. “They aren’t beating you or anything like that, are they?” he asked.

“No,” I said, although one boss, Ali Duulaay, had beaten me several times. “Not systematically,” is what I meant.

"My 977 days held hostage by Somali pirates" [theguardian.com] Read the rest

Pirate Bay domains to be seized

Two key domains must be nabbed, according to a court ruling by a Swedish court, including their "most famous" thepiratebay.se domain. But the site's operators informed TorrentFreak that they have plenty more in reserve.

Filed against Punkt SE, the organization responsible for Sweden’s top level .SE domain, the case reasoned that since The Pirate Bay is an illegal operation, its domains are tools used by the site to infringe copyright. Noting that Punkt SE supplies and controls the domains and is therefore liable for their (mis)use, the domains should be dealt with in the same way that other criminal tools would be, Ingblad argued.

Punkt SE, on the other hand, took the position that holding a registry responsible for infringement has no basis in law. Furthermore, disabling domains is an ineffective way to deal with infringement.

Attempting to hit thepiratebay.se already redirects to other TLDs, replete with a picture of a hydra. Read the rest

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. Read the rest

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!" Read the rest

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. Read the rest

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. Read the rest

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] Read the rest

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. Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

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