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Software Piracy

  1. Developer Extends In-App Purchase Exploit to Mac App Store

    The developer behind the exploit that lets users bypass Apple's authentication servers with in-app purchases, Alexey Borodin, has revealed that the same weakness can be utilized with OS X applications. This comes on the heels of Apple letting developers know that iOS 6 would plug the hole but that they could put in place measures to prevent it as well. Guess they didn't bother checking to see if their other similar programs had, y'know, similar issues.

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  2. Court Rules That Code Isn’t Physical And Cannot Be Stolen, Only Copied

    In December of 2010, former Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov was convicted of theft of trade secrets when he took some exclusive code out the door with him. This past February however, Aleynikov's conviction was overturned due to a ruling in 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Now, the court's opinion has finally been published and it's been made clear exactly why this conviction was overturned; code is not a physical object and cannot be stolen. The code was not stolen from Goldman Sachs, only copied. Since Goldman Sachs was not deprived of its use, it wasn't theft.

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  3. The Untold Tales of Software Piracy [Infographic]

    Software piracy has had a very interesting, successful history. From bulletin boards, to FTP sites, to IRC fileservers, to the currently popular torrent, the methods of software piracy moves with the times, and modernizes as fast and as frequently as any other technology. Whether or not one supports or abhors software piracy, its long and innovative history is always interesting, and the speed at which software becomes cracked and distributed after release is always impressive, regardless of how illegal it is. The folks over at Starmedia have put together a neat infographic about the history of software piracy, which includes some interesting numbers, such as the average amount of illegal downloads at any given time, based on company. Check out the full infographic after the break.

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  4. Major U.S. ISPs Set to Slap Copyright Infingers with Graduated Punishments

    Some of the United States' top Internet service providers, including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, are set to adopt a new, harsher strategy to handle software piracy. The final agreement between the ISPs and media and entertainment outlets has yet to be signed, but the proposal, which is expected to be reached sometime next month, would have the ISPs adopt a "graduated response," which is fancy talk for punishments that become harsher as infringers are caught repeating the offense. The plan outlines various punishments from which the ISPs can choose, including throttling bandwidth speed or limiting web access -- something this blogger remembers being enacted on some of his peers around his dorm back in college. Almost hilariously, an example given regarding limiting an infringer's web access would have the ISP limit said access in such a way where the infinger could only access the top 200 websites until the infringer proves he or she stopped with the piracy. Another awful-sounding punishment would require the infringer to participate in a program that educates them on why piracy and copyright infringement is bad, similar to the course taken when nailed with a traffic ticket. Luckily for both ISPs trying to run a business and copyright infingers who'd like to keep their service, the proposal does not currently require the ISPs to kick infringers off their service. If implemented, the proposal could have a fairly drastic effect on the piracy community, but as anyone who has been following software piracy over the years knows, pirates tend to be some of the cleverest, quickest-acting people on the Internet, and one can only assume they would eventually find a clever way around ISP monitoring. For more detail on the proposal, check out CNET's coverage. (via CNET)

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  5. U.S. Government Begins New Round of Piracy-Related Domain Seizures

    The U.S. government has resumed the punnily-named Operation In Our Sites, and has seized a new round of domains that have been associated with copyright infringement or crimes related to counterfeiting. This round of seizures signals the fourth round of doman seizures, and the first round since February of this year. Though which seized domains have yet to be officially revealed, TorrentFreak found a handful of the seized sites:,,,,, and If attempting to visit these sites, one will be greeted with the above graphic.

    TorrentFreak reports that both and were linking to movie streaming sites, thus making them both a target, and the rest of the confirmed sites are being linked to the sale of counterfeit items. As more sites are seized -- even though they usually end up operating under a different domain soon after the seizure -- it seems the government is realizing how rampant piracy is, how easy it is to obtain pirated material in this day and age, and are beginning to see various forms of digital piracy as a legitimate problem.

    (via TorrentFreak)

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  6. Judge Denies Copyright Holder the Right to Subpoena ISPs

    District Court Judge Harold Baker has denied a copyright holder the right to subpoena internet service providers of alleged copyright infringers, because IP addresses are not people. This ruling may end up setting a precedent for future cases regarding copyright infringers, as just in the last year alone, copyright holders have sued over 100,000 infringers, but with this ruling, copyright holders may not be able to legally force an ISP to divulge the IP addresses of its customers, which would prevent the copyright holders from obtaining the personal information of the infringers.

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  7. New Zealand Rushes Through Anti-Piracy Law: Ban From Internet Up to 6 Months If Caught

    New Zealand government is moving to rush through a controversial new "three strikes" anti-piracy law that will target users who share copyrighted material without permission of the rights holder, which essentially means anyone who pirates software.

    The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill (which unanimously passed its first Parliament reading in April of last year), will put the aforementioned "three strikes" system into place, where Internet service providers will be required to send warning letters to pirates the first couple of times they are caught pirating, and if they're caught offending again, New Zealand's Copyright Tribunal will be given the power to rule on cases of alleged repeat offenders and fine said offenders up to $15,000.

    The real kicker, though, is that if offenders continue to pirate after the warnings and fines, the Bill will allow a six month period of Internet disconnection to be applied to said offenders--boiling down to software pirates being legally forced off the Internet by the government. Remind anyone of one Zero Cool? Certain government officials are opposed to the inclusion of the mandatory disconnect and want to amend the Bill later on to remove said area, but Commerce Minister Simon Power said the request to amend the Bill to remove the mandatory disconnect would be opposed. The Bill is expected to pass sometime today, and as TorrentFreak points out, is causing protests on Twitter.

    (via TorrentFreak)

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  8. Torrenting Turtle Knows the Truth About Software Pirates

    Anyone who has ever pirated anything has surely seen a message in the included info file that makes seemingly noble claims about the pirated copy being for demo purposes only, or how the piracy group strongly encourages people to buy the product if they enjoy it. Well, everyone knows not all software pirates are that noble, whether or not they claim to be. This tidbit of knowledge is so common, in fact, that even a turtle knows the truth.

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  9. Study Finds Software Piracy is “Better Described as Global Pricing Problem”

    The Social Science Research Council published a report called The Media Piracy Project last week, a key finding of which is that software piracy is "better described as a global pricing problem" with the only solution being copyright holders charging less for their expensive software. The study lasted for three years and focused on regions of the world such as India, Mexico and Russia, where piracy is rampant, and found that the people of those regions are no more immoral compared to people of other regions, but the reason why piracy is so rampant over there is due to the price of software being higher relative to the local incomes.

    The report claims that there is no evidence that any attempt of curbing software piracy has ever stopped the frequency of it, and that the frequency of software piracy has actually grown over the past decade. The Media Piracy Project also claims that piracy doesn't have to do as much with a strong moral debate, as it has to do with pricing and consumer demand.

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  10. Single Avast! Software License Shared 774,651 Times

    Everyone knows if things are able to be pirated, they get pirated. However, it's always interesting to see the exact extent of piracy. Creators of the Avast! security software noticed that a license for their Avast! Pro software, which was originally sold to a 14-user firm in Arizona, began making the piracy rounds online. Instead of putting an end to the circulating license, Avast Software decided to track the pirated license around the Internet, resulting in the license being shared 774,651 in a little over a year and a half.

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