You may have heard recently about the ‘Copyright Alert System’, or “CAS” (also being called the “Six Strikes” system. This is the ‘6 strikes’ system that was proposed by the RIAA as a new way for Internet service providers (ISPs) to help combat the illegal downloading of copyrighted materials such as movies and music. Did you catch that? Your ISP is getting involved in the fight to keep you from downloading illegal content.
The scene was a pudgy man being chased around by scantily clad girls, but it wasn’t an homage to Benny Hill, it was Kim Dotcom’s launch party for his re-emergence back into the .com world – his new site, Mega (not to be confused with his now defunct file sharing website, Megaupload). Mega outdoes Dropbox by offering 50GBs of free file storage, unlike the 2GBs offered by Dropbox.
With one simple tweet, “#tangodown godaddy.com…Hello everyone who wanna me to put 99% of the global Internet in #tangodown?” one lone hacker, with the Twitter handle, “AnonymousOwn3r,” took down internet giant GoDaddy.com, causing an outage to the GoDaddy site, 1000s, if not millions, of sites that have GoDaddy-hosted sites, and their DNS, GoDaddy hosted e-mail accounts, and GoDaddy phone service. #tangodown is taken from a military term, meaning a target was successfully attacked. Hackers also use it when it means that a website has been taken offline.
Be prepared for a series of virtual hand slaps if your ISP is saying that you downloaded copyrighted or infringing material or files. A “graduated response” program, aimed at cutting down on illegally downloaded files, was rolled out at the beginning of July and has drawn widespread criticism for both its intent, and execution. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) CEO, Cary Sherman, is at the helm of a new initiative that aims to punish those accused of illegal downloading.
Many of us take free wifi at coffee shops for granted. Many, if not most – or even all – coffee shops now offer free wifi, and lots of people don’t give it a second thought before connecting to and using the free wifi. Some people even make a point of going to a coffee shop and using their wifi rather than using their own home wifi, particulary if they are going to do something of questionable legality. But even if you are not planning on doing anything illegal, certain actions on your part while logged onto the coffee shop’s wireless Internet could cause that coffee shop to have their Internet services suspended! Betcha never thought of that before, did you?
Nearly ever everyone knows about the big bust in January when the Feds took down MegaUpload.com and had MegaUpload founder, Kim Dotcom (get it? Kim .com) arrested. MegaUpload was a file sharing site, where one could upload and download movies, television shows, and other files, and they were busted for piracy. The German-born Kim.com, the thirty-something year old who was born Kim Schmitz, was arrested in his adopted home of New Zealand, on Federal criminal charges. But some very interesting things about Kim Dotcom (who also has allegedly gone by Kimble and “Kim Tim Jim Vestor”) have come to light as of late. Kim, by the way, has a wife, Mona, and yes, her name is Mona Dotcom.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has managed to shut down the public Internet system for the entire town of Coschocton, Ohio, over a single downloading incident.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has issued a statement in which it admits that the figure it has been touting since 2005 – that piracy of movies by college students accounted for 44% of all of the motion picture industry’s domestic losses – was overblown by a whopping 300%.
Much has been made in the media this week about the news that the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) has announced, through one of their lawsuits, that they now consider it illegal for you to copy music from a CD you have purchased to your own computer, for your own personal use. The one thing that everyone seems to be overlooking is that the RIAA has not said this at all. In fact, they have explicitly stated that they are not concerned with people copying music to their computer (or iPod, or other personal MP3 player) for their own personal use.
Allofmp3.com, one of the top mp3 download sites in the world for people looking for mp3 mp3 downloads, allowing people do to an mp3 search of the works of thousands of popular artists, and then download the mp3s for as little as ten cents, has been closed down by the Russian government in a bid to gain membership in the World Trade Organization. Allofmp3.com was considered a barrier to entry for Russia, with what has been estimated to be the world’s largest collection of pirated music, all available as low cost and even nearly free mp3 downloads to Allofmp3’s 5.5 million customers.
The RIAA has sent 400 letters to 13 colleges and universities demanding that they put the squeeze on as many as 400 students for downloading music for free. The “pre-lawsuit” college letters from the RIAA tell the students that they may settle with the RIAA “at a discounted rate” or face a lawsuit.
TorrentSpy, run by Valence Media, has accused the MPAA of hacking into their computers by hiring an ex-employee, Robert Anderson, to hack into their servers. Not uncoincidentally, TorrentSpy was on the receiving end of a lawsuit by the MPAA just a few months previous.
Auction giant eBay has taken a stand against the thousands of auctions involving pirated copies of Microsoft software which regularly appear on its pages.
The State of Texas has become the second plaintiff to file a lawsuit against Sony BMG, using the Texas anti-spyware law.
Sony BMG has issued a statement recalling their CDs containing the XCP rootkit software, and offering to exchange any still out there for CDs free of First4Internet’s XCP.