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Submission + - Canadian Government Steps in to Stop Misleading Infringement Notices->

Dangerous_Minds writes: Recently, misleading notices were spotted being sent out by Rightscorp. Michael Geist posted the letter which, among other things, cites US laws, the Canadians could be on the hook for $150,000 (does not actually exist in the recent copyright reforms now in force) and that payments should be made directly to the company. Apparently, the Canadian government was not amused and has announced that they will be speaking with rightsholders and ISPs to address the concerns that were raised. The government says, "These notices are misleading and companies cannot use them to demand money from Canadians"
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Submission + - Netflix Denies There Was a Policy Change With VPNs->

Dangerous_Minds writes: The other day, Slashdot linked to a TorrentFreak story saying that Netflix was cracking down on VPN users. Freezenet is pointing to a report from PCMag that quotes a Netflix spokesperson saying that there was no change in their policy on VPNs. Freezenet also did some digging around and found very few reports saying there were VPN access issues and even more reports from users say that their VPN solution is working for the time being.
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Submission + - Sony Sends DMCA Notices Against Users Spreading Leaked e-Mails->

Dangerous_Minds writes: Last week, Sony threatened legal action against users spreading leaked information obtained through the e-mails that were leaked as a result of the Sony hack. Freezenet is now pointing to an Arstechnica article saying that Sony has begun carrying through with those threats. Twitter, after resisting demands that a user account be suspended for publishing leaked e-mails, has received a DMCA notice saying that the e-mails are, weirdly enough, copyrighted. Freezenet notes that other media outlets have been publishing the leaked information and wonders if Sony would begin targeting other outlets for similarly publishing leaked information online. Citing Wikileaks as an example of previously leaked information, if Sony were to target others, it is unlikely that the information will ever be fully removed, but it won't likely be without casualties that the information remains online.
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Submission + - Australia Considers Internet Censorship to Slow File-Sharing->

Dangerous_Minds writes: Freezenet is reporting that the Australian government is considering web filtering to combat copyright infringement. The idea is that alleged file-sharing websites would be blocked to would-be file-sharers. Freezenet notes that all this is happening in the wake of a recent incident of overblocking in the UK which saw the Chaos Computing Club blocked by porn filters and suggests that things won't likely be any better in Australia should such a mechanism be implemented.
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Submission + - API Outage Temporarily Takes Down Anti-Spam Filter Akismet->

Dangerous_Minds writes: When it comes to fighting spam on WordPress sites, many users turn to the Akismet comment spam filter plugin. However, recently, many users who use the plug-in are getting notices that there was an API issue that has prevented the plug-in from filtering spam comments. In spite of everything telling users Akismet is working properly, spam comments are not being filtered. What is going on? Akismet is reporting that they are having outages back on the 25th on their end for some users, "There was a sudden surge in spam traffic, on top of spam volumes that were already unusually high. One of our data centers began dropping some API calls, and responding slowly to others. Our systems team routed all traffic to another data center, and after a few minutes the load was stabilised." Today, Akismet is saying, "There was an API outage on November 28th. A switch failure led to cascading problems that took approximately 40 minutes to stabilize."
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Submission + - Multiple Analysis' of Recently Leaked IP Chapter of the TPP Emerge->

Dangerous_Minds writes: Recently, Wikileaks leaked a recent version of the Intellectual Property Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP). People are beginning to publish full analysis of the chapter. Drew Wilson of posted that the TPP would, among other things, create a global three strikes law, resurrect the INDUCE Act, and create a Global DMCA. Michael Geist has also published his observations agreeing that termination of individual accounts is in there along with copyright term extensions.
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Submission + - GIMP Abandons SourceForge. Distributes via FTP Instead->

Dangerous_Minds writes: GIMP, a free and open source altenernative to image manipulation software like Photoshop, recently announced that it will no longer be distributing their program through SourceForge. Citing some of the ads as reasons, they say that the tipping point was "the introduction of their own SourceForge Installer software, which bundles third-party offers with Free Software packages. We do not want to support this kind of behavior, and have thus decided to abandon SourceForge." The policy changes were reported back in August by Gluster. GIMP is now distributing their software via their own FTP page instead. Is Sourceforge becoming the next CNET?
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Submission + - The Pirate Bay Experiences Downtime->

Dangerous_Minds writes: It appears that BitTorrent website The Pirate Bay is experiencing some downtime. ZeroPaid notes that users who attempt to access the site see a "Could not connect to caching server 00" error message. Drew Wilson says that it's unlikely that a raid has occurred and that it couldn't be a DNS problem as users can access enough of the site to receive the error message. Still, details are sparse as to the precise problem of the site at this point in time.
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The Courts

Submission + - TorrentLitigation Offers Database on File-Sharing Lawsuits->

Dangerous_Minds writes: Freezenet recently profiled a website called TorrentLitigation. The website documents the file-sharing related litigation that is going on, then compiles them in a database of multi-Jon Doe lawsuits filed in the US. The database organizes the lawsuits by plaintiff and jurisdiction. There is even a list of files that plaintiffs have been most suing people over. Adam E. Urbanczyk of TorrentLitigation made a number of interesting comments including this: "The website has always been designed to be an objectively-minded “portal” through which website visitors – usually individuals on the receiving end of federal copyright infringement or state-based hacking cases, but also other attorneys and inquisitive individuals – can educate themselves and, if need be, seek our assistance."
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Submission + - Returning NZ Soldier Fined Under Skynet Law->

Dangerous_Minds writes: The publicity for the New Zealand three strikes law (or Skynet law) isn't getting any better. Freezenet is pointing to an article on Stuff which details the latest incident revolving around the Skynet law. Apparently, a soldier was just finishing a tour in Afghanistan and returning to New Zealand. When he got back to the country, he found out he received his third and final copyright infringement strike and was to appear before the copyright tribunal. Despite the obvious circumstances, he was fined $255.97 for downloading music from Hot Chelle and Rhianna anyway. Last month, it was revealed that RIANZ spent $250,000 just to reap the reward of $616.57.
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Submission + - New Calls Surface for Australia to Implement a Three Strikes Law->

Dangerous_Minds writes: In the midst of a debate that pits media corporations against the Australian government over what new regulations should be in place for the media, Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein has called for Australia to be the next country to implement a three strikes law. He says the law should be similar to that of the US, France and New Zealand variations. Freezenet points out that all three countries have had numerous problems since their respective implementations. Examples of these problems include introducing new security risks, failing to slow falling music sales and costing hundreds of thousands of dollars with a mere fraction of that money returning from fines. Since a three strikes law is a marked departure from the debate surrounding what rules journalists should abide by in the wake of the phone hacking scandal in the UK, it''s unclear whether or not this latest call will get any traction.
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Your Rights Online

Submission + - Criticisms Toward Copyright Alert System Mounts-> 1

Dangerous_Minds writes: This last week, the Copyright Alert System was rolled out. Now that everyone is getting a better idea of what the alert system looks like, criticisms are building against the system. Freezenet says that the mere fact that ISPs are using a browser pop-up window opens the floodgates for fraudsters to hijack the system and scam users out of money. The EFF criticized the system because the educational material contains numerous flaws. Meanwhile, Web Pro News said that this system will also hurt small business and consumers as well.
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Submission + - The IIPA Copyright Demands for Canada and Spain->

Dangerous_Minds writes: The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) is demanding a number of countries be placed back on the special 301 piracy watchlist. One country being recommended for inclusion is Canada (PDF). Apparently, even though Canada passed copyright reform laws, any compromise to protect consumers is reason for inclusion. Michael Geist offers some analysis on this move. Meanwhile, the IIPA is also recommending that Spain be included in the watchlist. In a separate filing, the IIPA makes a host of reasons why Spain should also be included. One of the main reasons seems to be that even though Spain passed the Sinde Law in spite of protests, the courts aren't simply rubberstamping any takedown requests and that cases that were dismissed due to lack of evidence is cause for concern. Freezenet offers some in-depth analysis on this development while noting towards the end that the Special 301 report suffers from credibility problems.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - RIANZ Blows $250,000 on NZ Three Strikes Law to Gain $616.57->

Dangerous_Minds writes: Earlier, Slashdot posted a story where RIANZ convicted its first file-sharer under the New Zealand three strikes law. While the fine totaled $616.57, a New Zealand Herald report points out that in order to get that fine, RIANZ had to spend $250,000. Freezenet makes an interesting point that HADOPI (France's version of the three strikes law) faced similar problems when the Socialist party commented that 12 million euros was a lot of money to pay 60 agents to send out 1 million e-mails. In making this connection, the question raised is whether or not this money pit trend will continue when the Copyright Alert System (CAS) starts processing strike notices in the United States.
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"Floggings will continue until morale improves." -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA