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  1. 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. Copyright Holders Want Google to Kill Its Nonexistent Daily Limit on DMCA Takedown Requests

    Obviously, copyright holders have a right to protect their content from being pirated on the Internet, but automatic Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown requests are the absolute pits when it comes to copyright law enforcement. Companies flood Google with thousands of requests a day to remove content that often in no way violates the law. Sometimes it's even the copyright holder's own content. Now anti-piracy groups RIAA and BREIN want Google to eliminate its daily limit on takedown requests, even though Google doesn't have a daily limit on takedown requests.

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  3. RIAA Never Told Six Strikes System Partners the Group’s Independent Expert Once Lobbied for Them

    The copyright alert system, commonly referred to as the "six strikes" system, might have hit a snag this past week. Part of the anti-piracy plan requires an "impartial and independent" expert to review all data gathered to ensure that the alerts are being distributed accurately and judiciously. As it currently stands, the system being used, called MarkMonitor, is supposed to then be itself monitored by Stroz Friedberg, a third-party technology firm. Unfortunately, it turns out that Stroz Friedberg was once the lobbying firm for the Recording Industry Association of America. Even worse? The RIAA supposedly didn't bother telling the rest of the group.

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  4. Survey Says: Illegal Downloaders Also Purchase More Legal Music Than Those That Don’t Pirate

    The argument has long been that music piracy leads to a massive loss of revenue when accumulated across the millions of songs downloaded illegally. That's what groups like the RIAA have pushed for years. According to the American Assembly's upcoming Copy Culture Survey, however, that's just not the case. As it turns out, those that pirate in the United States also purchase around 30% more music than those that don't.

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  5. Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Pandora Pays Artists Millions in Royalties, Not Profitable

    Internet radio, for all the complaints that it receives, is not a field that sees a great amount of participation. Due to the fees imposed by the RIAA, Internet radio has never really been a cost-effective business strategy for most. Webcasting has essentially been abandoned by the likes of Yahoo! and MSN, even though they built a large audience for their respective services. Pandora is probably the most well-known Internet radio company and is still struggling to turn a profit. Part of this is because they pay millions in royalties.

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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. “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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  10. 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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  11. RIAA Responds to Allegations of Pirating, Says It Was Someone Else Using Their IP

    As you may know, TorrentFreak has been using the YouHaveDownloaded tool to delve into the torrenting history of all kinds of corporate entities. Some of the juiciest finds were instances of piracy at several large SOPA supporting organizations, but one of the biggest catches was the piracy of several seasons of Dexter, some Jay-Z albums, and other assorted goodies through IP addresses associated with the RIAA itself. The RIAA responded to the allegations of course, and as you can expect, they didn't admit to anything. Their explanation? "It wasn't me."

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  12. 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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  13. LimeWire Settles with the RIAA for $105 Million

    It might not be the $75 trillion that the record labels were asking for, but LimeWire has dropped a pretty chunk of change in an out-of-court settlement with the RIAA. Following last year's ruling that LimeWire had induced copyright infringement and failed to take meaningful steps to mitigate it, LimeWire and its founder Mark Gorton have agreed to pay record labels $105 million. In a statement, the RIAA said that "the resolution of this case is another milestone in the continuing evolution of online music to a legitimate marketplace that appropriately rewards creators.  This hard fought victory is reason for celebration by the entire music community, its fans and the legal services that play by the rules." However, as TorrentFreak points out, the official RIAA party line is that money recouped in copyright infringement lawsuits doesn't go to the artists, but are rather used to reinvest into the RIAA's "ongoing education and anti-piracy programs." With $105 million on the line and the sort of rhetoric present in the RIAA's statement, it would seem a little daft if artists didn't see a cent of it -- TorrentFreak, for its part, isn't too optimistic that they will -- but the RIAA is not legally obliged to do so. As for that $105 million, yes, LimeWire actually will be able to pay up. RIAA lawyers said during the damages hearing last week that founder Mark Groton has an IRA account containing $100 million, operates a hedge fund and a medical billing company in addition to LimeWire, and lives in a Manhattan apartment worth $4 million. (via Register, TorrentFreak)

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  14. HarperCollins Builds Auto-Destruct Into Library eBooks

    Let's pretend we live in a world where digital objects are forced to reflect the utility of a real-world analogue. For instance, we could say that this blog is a lot like a newspaper, and require that it be sold at news stands, get ink on your fingers, would require the destruction of an entire forest, and only be durable to last a few days. "This world is ludicrous!" I hear you cry. But this is the world in which book publisher HarperCollins wants us to live.

    The Pioneer Library System of Oklahoma has posted an open letter to their blog in which they reveal that the eBooks that HarperCollins makes available to the library for its (groundbreaking, and totally amazing sounding) digital loan program will self-destruct after 26 checkouts.

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  15. Woman Hit with $1.5 Million Dollar Fine for Downloading 24 Songs

    Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the Minnesota mother of four who has fought the RIAA for the past four years over 24 songs that she illegally downloaded and shared over P2P network Kazaa and has become something of a high-profile figure due to her refusal to settle, was handed a stiff verdict on Wednesday: A jury ruled that Thomas-Rasset should pay Capitol Records $1.5 million for those 24 songs, breaking down to damages of $62,500 a song. While the RIAA, which can on rare occasions smell PR poison before it drinks it, has said that it doesn't intend to make Thomas-Rasset pay the full fine, having previously offered to settle for "$25,000 and an admission of guilt," this latest ruling, which marks the third in Thomas-Rasset's case and is subject to further appeal, shows that the days of astronomical piracy suit valuations are far from over.

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  16. LimeWire Ends P2P Service Following Court Order

    It's the end of an era on the Internet: LimeWire, one of the first P2P music-sharing services to attain breakthrough popularity online, is pulling the plug on its Gnutella-connected P2P software following a simmering legal battle with the RIAA which ended today with a court-ordered injunction.

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  17. RIAA: FM Radio in Everything

    Radio broadcasters and music labels have agreed that they'd very much enjoy having Congress make it mandatory for an FM radio receiver to be included in every electronic portable device.

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  18. The Pirate Bay is Back with Pirate Party Hosting and a Message for RIAA “Assclowns”

    Yesterday, BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay briefly freaked us all out when it went down without warning, but it emerged that its bandwidth provider had been blocked from connecting The Pirate Bay and its servers to the Internet, and the folks behind the site said they were working on it. Now, the site is back and defiant: when you go to, you'll see the LOLCat-inspired message above. The biggest revelation, though, may be TPB's new bandwidth provider since CB3ROB backed off: The Pirate Party, the third-largest political party in Sweden.

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  19. RIAA Lawsuit Ruling Clobbers LimeWire: LimeWire Down for the Count

    LimeWire, one of the first and last commercial peer-to-peer filesharing networks online, is now sitting in some very hot lemonade. After a 4-year legal battle with the Recording Industry Association of America, New York-based Lime Wire, LLC was found liable yesterday of inducing copyright infringement and failing to take "meaningful steps to mitigate infringement."

    The ruling, made by U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood, marks a major victory for the recording industry in their fight against online piracy. The RIAA originally sought $150 thousand per copyright violation in their suit, but the damages have yet to be determined. Judge Wood scheduled a hearing for June 1 to move forward with the decision.

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  20. 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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