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Tag: COPYRIGHT

LimeWire shutdown leads to massive drop in music piracy

LimeWire might not have been the downloading program of choice for elite users like those of you reading Download Squad right now, but there's no denying its popularity with the average user. So when the Gnutella-powered LimeWire was shut down once and for all, there was little doubt that the impact on music piracy would be significant. As TorrentFreak reports, the number of users utilizing P2P...

MPAA and BREIN take down over 50 torrent sites, but nobody knows which ones

The Motion Picture Association of America has taken down 12 U.S. torrent sites in its latest round of anti-piracy complaints, with the help of Dutch anti-piracy organization BREIN. The names of the sites haven't been released, but 12 of them were U.S.-based, and 39 were in other countries around the world. The takedowns happened through the standard route of filing copyright complaints with hostin...

Google censors torrent, download terms from suggestions and Instant

It's pretty common for Google to revise its suggestion blacklist, adding in new terms that the company feels shouldn't appear. With the most recent update, you'll no longer see terms related to downloading -- terms such as torrent, RapidShare, and Megaupload. Why? Google, indexing torrent sites and facilitating piracy, has been given plenty of flack from just about anyone with a copyright. I...

U.S. Copyright Group caught stealing competitor's code

Image via TorrentFreak (click image for full size). In an ironic twist, The USCG seems to have been caught quite red-handed in an attempt to lazily steal code from a competitor's website. They didn't just take bits and pieces, either; the site they had "built" was a nearly complete reproduction of the original. To further deepen the irony of the incident, it was the crew at TorrentFreak who calle...

Judge rules that circumventing DRM is not illegal

In what will surely become a landmark case -- or at least a massive thorn in the MPAA and RIAA's clubbed, pygmy feet -- a judge has ruled that bypassing DRM via hacking, reverse engineering or any other means is not in itself illegal. The case itself ruled that General Electric, in using hacked security dongles to repair some uninterruptible power supplies produced by another company, did not v...

BPI sends Google cease-and-desist order: 'Hey, stop indexing MP3s!'

The BPI -- Britain's equivalent of the American RIAA -- has sent a cease-and-desist order to Google, demanding that it removes links to one-click hosting sites with copyrighted MP3s from its search results. The DMCA notice (which you can read in full at Chilling Effects) cites 38 copyrighted works that are all easily found using simple Google searches. The cease-and-desist even lists the search...

Court finds LimeWire guilty of copyright infringement, RIAA cackles gleefully

Chalk one up for the music industry lobby: the RIAA has won a major victory against LimeWire, the popular Gnutella and bittorrent client. Try as LimeWire might to at least appear to be playing by the rules, the court saw things otherwise. When you install LimeWire, the program does ask you if you plan on using it to download copyrighted stuff you shouldn't. It also warns you prior to downloadi...

The Download Squad Brief: Google Books v Copyright

The six year legal battle over Google Library Project has turned a new page, with a court hearing in New York that may determine the future for the controversial venture to build an online library of more than 18 million books. The hearing, before Federal Judge Danny Chin, will decide the fairness of the 2008 settlement, between Google and the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishe...

Viacom vs. YouTube battle heats up on official blogs

The YouTube vs. Viacom lawsuit has turned into quite the exciting drama this weekend, with both sides making accusations via their respective blogs. YouTube says Viacom constantly uploaded its own material from fake accounts, and then filed DMCA complaints about it. Viacom accuses YouTube of being a pirate organization that profits from copyright infringement. Here are the key points each side...

Warner Music stops free music streaming

The Warner Music Group, who represent artists such as R.E.M and Genesis (and more importantly for me, Death Cab for Cutie and Faith No More), have just announced that they no longer wish to license their music for online streaming services such as Spotify, Grooveshark and others. It's not clear at this point whether they will be taking their music down, or just not sign any more licensing deals wi...

Universal sues Grooveshark music service

Grooveshark is a fantastic music service; it lets you immediately listen to almost any song or album you can think of. They've got an enormous library, and the quality is usually decent. We've covered it before, but what makes it special for me is that it is actually one of the few services that work in my geotarded neck of the woods (no Hulu or Spotify for me). And now, Universal Music Gr...

Facebook 'doppelganger' craze is illegal

Yup, through the wonders of copyright law, the doppelgänger meme currently sweeping across Facebook is actually illegal and breaks the Facebook terms of service. If you don't use Facebook (??), or you haven't logged in during the past week, the 'doppelganger' thing is all about replacing your profile photo with your celebrity look-alike. Harmless, you might think, but the Facebook TOS st...

Torrents: now made from 99% copyrighted material!

BitTorrent is an extraordinarily useful technology that allows for more efficient sharing of perfectly legal things like Linux distributions. Nobody's denying, though, that it's most often used to download things like Modern Warfare 2 or the latest season of Heroes. The BitTorrent census, conducted by a Princeton University senior, confirms these suspicions. It turns out that the most heavily DRM-...

The Download Squad Brief: Apple v Psystar

The Battle of Apple vs Psystar has played out in the courts and the blogosphere over the past year and has pitted the personal computing giant against open source community and consumer advocates determined to test the boundaries of the legal protection of software. Psystar is a Miami based company in the business of producing Apple clones by installing OS X and Snow Leopard on Intel desktops und...

Google Chrome Extension Gallery treads lightly on copyright issues

With its doors open to uploads and everyone buzzing about Google Chrome for one reason or another, the Extensions Gallery will be arriving soon. And while there's usually open(source)ness involved when talking about Google and Chrome, the Gallery isn't going to be quite as open as we might have thought. Unlike Mozilla's add-on site for Firefox, it appears as though things are going to run in...