Law

Pirate Bay continue..

In the spirit of true “Piratism” it doesn’t seem that even jail can stop them. Recently the 4 millionth user signed up. Check-out Freakbits for rad info on all things pirate - read comments for user info and links.

Despite the numerous lawsuits that have been targeted at The Pirate Bay, the notorious BitTorrent site welcomed its 4 millionth user last weekend.

Founded in 2003, the initial goal of the Pirate Bay founders was to build the first Scandinavian BitTorrent community. Due to the enormous international interest in the (former) tracker the operators of the site changed their initial plans and made the site available in multiple languages a year after it was launched.

Since then the number of users has grown by thousands a week, reaching a milestone of 4 million registered users a few days ago.

Its popularity didn’t go unnoticed to Hollywood and the major record labels either. This year there have been several lawsuits that targeted the site, and in April four people associated with The Pirate Bay have been sentenced to a year jail time and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. This landmark case will be appealed in 2010.

Despite, or perhaps due to, all the attention the site has continued to grow, and there are no signs that this will be halted anytime soon.

Pirate Bay, going once going twice…SOLD!

news-pirate_bay-3.jpg

Oh yes Pirates. Our beloved, illegal and awesome bit torrent site has been SOLD. And for a mere $7.5 milj ….. pittance.

An Imagination Scenario
Imagine for a second, an English war ship pulls over a pirate ship (which is beaten and battered), the english ship’s Captain invites the Pirate Captain on board for a rum and coke. The Pirate Captain agrees (first mistake) and swings across to the English ship, “If I’m not back within the hour maties, wait ye longer and then shoot all the bastards!”.
Finally, the Pirate Captain returns, he is sporting a new coat and a shiny new blade. His crew are stunned but trust their old and brave Captain who only utters the co-ordinates of a famous English harbor. They all know the place because they have fought there and killed many army bastards and pillaged the towns around! He tells his crew that for some money they will now be a legal entity. They are still known as THE PIRATES but no army will shoot at them ever again, and they will not be pillaging any longer, they will bater and sell goods. “Ai me maties, nothing will be changed, we shall be the PIRATES still!!! Har Har” he yells from Starboard. The Pirate crew look unimpressed and not convinced by the new legal pirate entity.

A legal, Pirate Entity….hmmm..

The listed software company, Global Gaming Factory X AB (publ) (GGF)
acquires The Pirate Bay website, http://www.thepiratebay.org, one of the 100
most visited websites in the world and the technology company Peerialism,
that has developed next generation file-sharing technology. Following the
completion of the acquisitions, GGF intends to launch new business models
that allow compensation to the content providers and copyright owners. The
responsibility for, and operation of the site will be taken over by GGF in
connection with closing of the transaction, which is scheduled for August
2009.

We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and
copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site, ” said
Hans Pandeya, CEO GGF.

That does sound appealing though doesn’t it. Everyone getting paid… download something you might receive money. Yes please, I’ll have one.
The move in my opinion is the right one. The alternatives for TPB owners included more jail time and bigger fines, not so appealing when your the one going to jail, regardless the street cred that you gain!

Watch this space for more. Many pirates are pissed off and I wonder what the subscriber backlash is going to be. I don’t think pretty. Go and check out The Pirate Bay Blog to read their response to the sale and there is ALOT of messages posted varying from F-U to “That sounds great, what’s Pirate bay..” LOL.

I leave you with this from the CEO of GGF:

”The Pirate Bay is a site that is among the top 100 most visited Internet sites in the
world. However, in order to live on, The Pirate Bay requires a new business
model, which satisfies the requirements and needs of all parties, content
providers, broadband operators, end users, and the judiciary. Content creators
and providers need to control their content and get paid for it. File sharers ´need
faster downloads and better quality, ” Hans Pandeya.

An article on the deal at The DealBook Blog

Old Boy Being remade by Spielberg

Where the heck have I been. Sheesh, I only find out recently that Old Boy is being remade by Hollywoods biggest director Steven Spielberg and would star Will Smith.
Old boy is a South Korean creation and originates from a graphic novel. The film did amazingly at Sundance 2004 and got big praise from Tarintino for its explosive story and (obviously) its tense violent depictions. Albeit the comic and film narrative diverge from one another, and I haven’t read the comic yet, the film is as intense as they come. It has a 8.3 rating on IMDB and sits at number 115 out of the 250 best film of all time.

An average man is kidnapped and imprisoned in a shabby cell for 15 years without explanation. He then is released, equipped with money, a cellphone and expensive clothes. As he strives to explain his imprisonment and get his revenge, he soon finds out that not only does his kidnapper still have plans for him, but that those plans will serve as an even worse finale to his 15 years of imprisonment.

Now the saga continues:

According to a new report from Reuters, South Korean sales company Cineclick Asia, which represented Show East’s Oldboy in international territories, actually negotiated the remake deal with Universal. Of course, the rights to remake the film got bought by Mandate, who later sold to DreamWorks. And while the studio is not publicly commenting about the mess, Dreamworks is still moving forward with the development of the film.

And the lawsuit is as complicated as they come. Futabasga has files a cast against Show East, a company that has not only shut down, but its CEO, Kim Dong-Ju, has disappeared. Complicating the matters further, Big Egg, who co-produced of the original film, has also closed up shop and disappeared.

This has not stopped Dreamworks to continue its drive to get the film made. As far as I understand writer Mark Protosevich will be screenwriting. He wrote Poseidon, The Cell and I am Legend. How these films fit in with Old Boy I cant quite tell. The Cell his rather dark and twisted but thats all I’ve got here…. I guess with seasoned director Spielberg at the helm, what you gonna say??

Personally not the biggest fan of Re-Makes I am not going to hold my breath for the film. I am interested to see how Dreamworks untangles the obvious law mess that this film is entangled in.

Excerpts from /Film

The Law which hath no power.

I recently posted about the French passing an Anti-Piracy law that would cut users from the net for 3-6 months. This law still held the prosecuted liable to pay their ISP fee during that banished time. Today I post with new wind in my Pirate Bay sails.

Lookey ‘ere me maties:

Approved in May by Sarkozy’s ruling party, France’s Creation and Internet Law created a government agency to track Internet piracy and ordered Internet service providers to cut off access to customers caught illegally downloading content on a three-strikes-and-out basis. But, citing France’s 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man, Gaul’s constitutional court ruled that only judges can sanction offenders. This means the new agency’s powers are limited to issuing warnings.

You can’t expect the French legal system to cope with minor offenders. It’s just too cumbersome. The law has lost its teeth,” said Francois Godard, at London-based media research service Enders Analysis. “The point of the law was to dissuade people through the threat of sanctions. It’s now back to square one,” he added.

The ruling is a reverse for Sarkozy and Culture Minister Christine Albanel. The bill was unexpectedly rejected by the French National Assembly in April because few pols turned up for the vote, widely believing that it would pass unimpeded. It was reconsidered and adopted by the Assembly on May 12 and the Senate the following day.

Excerpt from Variety

The Pirates are Walking the Plank

Pirate Bay founders have been found guilty of copyright infringement and manufacturing a space for illegal file sharing. This may not be a surprise to you. After the whole affair we found out that the judge was part of the copyrights board and so the Pirates rallied and called for a re-trial based on bias.

Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Carl Lundström and Peter Sunde all face 1 year in jail and up to $3.8milj in fines. *OUCH Since then the appeal may be turned down because the judge is part of the board to educate himself about copyright, which doesn’t necessarily mean that he has a bias.

The Swedish Pirate Party also won a seat in the European Parliament which is said to be from major backlash from citizens. The party now stands at 40 000 members.

Further inflaming public sentiment in Sweden, the government also announced in April that it would implement an Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED), which would greatly simplify processes for copyright holders to identifying people infringing copyright via file sharing.

Whilst the immediate outlook for the Pirate Bay founders looks bleak in the face of the Stockholm court’s comments, the intellectual property and personal privacy stoush within the EU looks set to only intensify as the Pirate Party makes it an issue within the European Union Parliament .

Excerpt from Independent UK

France passes ISP Law

AARGH. After losing the battle in April I thought the worst was over, even believing the chatter that French parlaiment wont be able to try again. Alas, French Gov has just passed and signed a law that would cut-off ISP users who frequently download illegal torrents. The user will however be forced to continue payment to the network supplier.

This is sad news for me but it does mean that hackers have a new frontier. Not that they dont have enough to do between DRM’s, bit torrents, software and all other digital media. We are at the core now. The government, your government, has taken the side of the corporate “giver” and will (regardless of justify-ability) cut you off from being able to read this blog or google your homework. It cuts deep!

I know Australia recently tried a similar ploy but got shot-down by the people. How long before the battle lines are drawn, will there even be a fight?!

The French government has succeeded in getting its Internet privacy law through the National Assembly, reversing an embarrassing defeat in April when too few government supporters turned out to vote during the Easter vacation season.

Asked a second time on Tuesday, a packed Assembly supported the law by 296 votes to 233. France’s upper house, the Senate, is expected to approve the law today.

The law will require French Internet service providers to cut connections to customers who persistently download pirated material. Suspensions will last from three months to a year, with the disconnected surfer obliged to continue paying service charges.

Companies caught by the law may avoid suspension if they adopt security measures to prevent further illegal downloads. A government agency is to be created to track down suspected offenders and inform ISPs.

From Variety

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act

the_pirate_bay_logosvg-copy.jpg

If you post this on any other site, aggregate this content, copy it for ANY reason or distribute it for ANY reason I will, and I mean I will sue your ASS so hard you’ll wish for prison!”

Woah man, like harsh….

This is the effect of the Copyright law in today’s Pirate (bay) climate. It sucks. There are many against what is going on and war seems inevitable. My imagination wonders about what this war will look like because the armies will be IP address and every soldier/terrorist (depending on what side you stand on) will be invisible. As soon as they see you..Game OVER!

The guys from Pirate Bay have just been sentenced, Real-DVD is being sued, a mom from Colorado is being sent lawyers letters for use of a song in the background of a home movie of her kid dancing. It seems that things are out of hand. The fable of the Rock Giant that refuses to move from the sinking island seems to be coming true.

How long will the suffocating hand of the corporate world stay on my throat..I agree with Lessig completely that a Hybrid is the answer…The extremists seem to be the conservative corporations though and I don’t know about you but convincing Conservative thought that they are being dogmatic is, well, tough.

In order to fight the good battle we need to know what’s potting so here is not only a link but also a break down of the The Digital Millennium Copyright Act that is really the root of many a problem.

According to Micheal Masnick copyright law as it stands could become redundant if creatives follow the Trent Reznor path. To put it into context, the talk was about music but there are overlapping suggestions…
CwF + RtB = $$$$ >> That’s for a later post….

Highlights Generally:

·Makes it a crime to circumvent anti-piracy measures built into most commercial software.

·Outlaws the manufacture, sale, or distribution of code-cracking devices used to illegally copy software.

·Does permit the cracking of copyright protection devices, however, to conduct encryption research, assess product interoperability, and test computer security systems.

·Provides exemptions from anti-circumvention provisions for nonprofit libraries, archives, and educational institutions under certain circumstances.

·In general, limits Internet service providers from copyright infringement liability for simply transmitting information over the Internet.

·Service providers, however, are expected to remove material from users’ web sites that appears to constitute copyright infringement.

·Limits liability of nonprofit institutions of higher education, when they serve as online service providers and under certain circumstances, for copyright infringement by faculty members or graduate students.

·Requires that “webcasters” pay licensing fees to record companies.

·Requires that the Register of Copyrights, after consultation with relevant parties, submit to Congress recommendations regarding how to promote distance education through digital technologies while “maintaining an appropriate balance between the rights of copyright owners and the needs of users.”

·States explicitly that “[n]othing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use…”

Download
dmca.pdf

No Advertising on French TV

In a world where we are trying to work out a business model where Advertisers and corporates can work together and make make money through new avenues (read Internet) to further content creation, french president Sarkozy bans advertising on National Television. For those who have been following the story since 2008, why has no-one mentioned it?! I think this a major step in modern television and rather controversial. Indeed, so controversial that most of the network-(ers) went on strike to try and change the bill.

Most of the controversy actually lies with the fact that Sarkozy’s best friend is owner of largest private broadcaster where all these advertisers now will flock to. ….eish… However, Sarkozy promises better national programming due to the fact that national broadcasters wont have to bend to the will of advertisers any longer and be able to make proper “French-centric” programming. He will off-set advertising revenue with higher advertising taxes and may go as far as to tax cellular and online networks.

I was elated to hear that there will be television with no advertising. My gosh, what a pleasure! If Sarkozy gets this right it may be a flag ship for other networks to follow. So now the focus is turned to his online principles and policies, and they my friends, do not make me as happy.

Some excerpts from News sources about his TV legislature:

Variety TV
Tue. Jan. 6, 2009

Sarkozy’s amendment will introduce a commercial-free, government-supported pubcaster model akin to the BBC in the U.K. However, unions and the left-wing opposition argue the ban will only help commercial nets, which will benefit from the advertising boost.

They also fear it will strengthen Sarkozy’s control over the media, by allowing the government to appoint France Televisions’ topper, previously chosen by broadcasting regulator, the Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel.

BBC News
5 January 2009

Advertising is now banned on French public television between 2000 and 0600. It will be phased out by 2011.
He says his plan will improve the quality of programming but critics say it is a power grab that will deprive state broadcasters of funds.

The shortfall will be funded through a higher tax on advertisements aired on private channels and a new tax imposed on internet providers and mobile phone operators, the government says. But critics say the plan will cause job losses and hand funding to private broadcasters - the largest of which, TF1, is owned by a close friend of Mr Sarkozy’s.

Web in France Magazine
April 14, 2008

In a speech February at the inception of the French commission headed by French National Assembly leader Jean-François Copé to research the recommendations being implemented today, Sarkozy envisioned a French public liberated from what he called the “tyranny” of advertising on French TV. But the President of France said at the time that there were no plans to privatize any channels as part of a planned overhaul of public television, and so far has kept true to his word.

The plan would be an “innovation without precedent” for the audiovisual industry, resulting in “a cultural revolution in the public-television service,” Sarkozy said. He added that the move would “support French culture.” Sarkozy did add that the French government might also introduce a tax on Internet access and mobile communications to finance ad-free state TV in France, though the French president called the possible tax “infinitesimal.” People in France who own a television already pay a yearly tax for the privilege.

Bulldog to bad dog - Racehesky may be turning on Icahn..

Dr. Mark Rachesky, former wunderkind of Icahn in the 90’s and now CEO of MHR (19.2% share in LGF) may not be the ally Icahn thought him to be. In the case of Lionsgate, Rachesky followed suit when Icahn doubled his stock giving the impression, at least to the press, that the two may be in cahoots to make a move on LGF. However, latest news may tell a different tale.

March 19
Dealbook

Is Carl C. Icahn’s former investment chief turning against him as the activist investor seeks to increase his influence over Lions Gate? With Mr. Icahn threatening to mount a proxy battle against the film studio, Lions Gate may be turning to its largest shareholder, MHR Fund Management, run by a former Icahn lieutenant, Mark Rachesky, for help, BusinessWeek says.

MHR, which holds just under 20 percent of the Hollywood studio, said in an S.E.C. filing that in “recent days” it had held “preliminary” talks with the studio about the possibility of adding an MHR nominee to its board. The announcement comes as Lions Gate prepares to its defense against a possible fight with Mr. Icahn. Reuters reported Wednesday that Lions Gate had hired an advisory team, including the investment bank Morgan Stanley and the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, to help it fend off the moves by the activist investor.

And BusinessWeek reported Thursday that Lions Gate had been trying to build closer ties with MHR and Mr. Rachesky, as well. Furthermore, the magazine said, citing those with knowledge of the investors’ actions, Mr. Icahn and Mr. Rachesky have both talked with Lions Gate recently and have not always appeared to be in sync, or even close to one another.

I love when a good twist in the tale!

Previous:
Icahn and the Lion
Icahn prepares a Lions share

Icahn prepares a Lions share

LGF is putting together a board of “A” league players before Icahn puts in his tender to buy up LGF debt.

The mitts are coming off as both sides prepare for the inevitable clash. LGF is calling Icahn a distraction to business and I am sure they wish that this whole debacle could just go away.They are definitely prepping themselves for the worst which includes changing board members, changing business tactics and ultimately changing their CEO… Icahn is still busy with some serious strategy play as he is keen on pushing the September scheduled Board meeting earlier to make a play.
Either way, this game is far from over and the outcome is very unclear.

Read more:
Niki Finke
Icahn and the Lion

YouTube blocks music videos for UK

Google unable to renew license with PRS
Taken from Variety

LONDON. Google Inc. said Monday it will block U.K. users from watching music videos on its popular video-sharing site YouTube after negotiations with Britain’s music royalty-collecting body broke down.

Google said it would begin blocking British users starting Monday night. The Internet titan said it knew the move would cause “significant disappointment.” But it said its hand was forced by PRS for Music, which it said is asking for royalties that would cause Google to lose money every time a video was played on YouTube.

Our previous license from PRS for Music has expired, and we’ve been unable so far to come to an agreement to renew it on terms that are economically sustainable for us,” Google said in a statement. Until a solution is found, it added, “we will be blocking premium music videos in the U.K. that have been supplied or claimed by record labels.”

PRS for Music, which collects money on behalf of writers and publishers worldwide, said it was outraged by Google’s move.

Google has told us they are taking this step because they wish to pay significantly less than at present to the writers of the music on which their service relies, despite the massive increase in YouTube viewing,” the group said in a statement.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS