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The Internet

Kaspersky Quits BSA Over SOPA Support 140

First time accepted submitter Cmdrm writes with an article about Kaspersky Lab quitting the BSA over their (now lukewarm) support of SOPA. From the press release: "Kaspersky Lab would like to clarify that the company did not participate in the elaboration or discussion of the SOPA initiative and does not support it. Moreover, the company believes that the SOPA initiative might actually be counter-productive for the public interest, and decided to discontinue its membership in the BSA as of January 1, 2012.'"

New Legislation Would Crack Down On Online Piracy 350

GovTechGuy writes "Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee unveiled new legislation to combat online piracy on Monday that gives the Department of Justice more power to shut down websites trafficking in pirated movies, films or counterfeit goods. The new bill would give the government the authority to shut down the sites with a court order; the site owner would have to petition the court to have it lifted. The judge would have final say over whether a site should be shut down or not. Business groups including the US Chamber of Commerce hailed the legislation as a huge step forward."

DDoS From 4chan Hits MPAA and Anti-Piracy Website 318

ACKyushu writes "Say what you like about 4chan; when they want something done, it gets done. Following a call to arms yesterday, the masses inhabiting the anonymous 4chan boards have carried out a huge assault on a pair of anti-piracy enemies. The website of Aiplex Software, the anti-piracy outfit which has been DDoSing torrent sites recently, fell victim to a DDoS itself. They were joined in the Internet wasteland by the MPAA's website, which also fell to a huge and sustained attack."

Film Industry Hires Cyber Hitmen To Take Down Pirates 457

thelostagency writes "Girish Kumar, managing director of Aiplex Software says his company is being hired by the film industry to attack online pirates. He says if a provider did not do anything to remove the link or content hosted on its site, his company would launch what is known as a denial-of-service (DoS) attack on the offending computer server. From the article: 'Kumar said that at the moment most of the payment for his company's services came from the film industry in India. "We are tied up with more than 30 companies in Bollywood. They are the major production houses." As for Hollywood films, he said they, too, used his services.'"

ASCAP War On Free Culture Escalates 335

An anonymous reader writes "After ASCAP declared war on free culture and Creative Commons responded on the incident, the war of words is escalating. Drew Wilson of ZeroPaid has been following this story closely. The EFF responded to the ASCAP letter, saying 'we don't think that ASCAP characterized EFF and its work accurately. We believe that artists should be compensated for their work, and one proposal we have for that is Voluntary Collective Licensing.' The response from the EFF came with a study and a letter written by one irate ASCAP member who donated to the EFF and to Public Knowledge as a result of the ASCAP letter. Public Knowledge also responded to the letter, saying, 'It's obvious that the characterization of Public Knowledge is false. Public Knowledge advocates for balanced copyright and an open Internet the empowers creators and the public. What we oppose are overreaching policies proposed by large corporate copyright holders that punish lawful users of technology and copyrighted works.' Now the National Music Publishers Association has weighed in to support ASCAP, saying that organizations like Public Knowledge and the EFF 'have an extremist radical anti-copyright agenda,' according to a transcript of a speech posted on Billboard. Public Knowledge has dismissed those allegations, saying 'anybody who has spent more than five minutes on our website or talking to our staff knows that these things are not true.'"

Court Takes Away Some of the Public Domain 431

An anonymous reader writes "In yet another bad ruling concerning copyright, a federal appeals court has overturned a lower court ruling, and said that it's okay for Congress retroactively to remove works from the public domain, even if publishers are already making use of those public-domain works. The lower court had said this was a First Amendment violation, but the appeals court said that if Congress felt taking away from the public domain was in its best interests, then there was no First Amendment violation at all. The ruling effectively says that Congress can violate the First Amendment, so long as it feels it has heard from enough people (in this case, RIAA and MPAA execs) to convince it that it needs to do what it has done." TechDirt notes that the case will almost certainly be appealed.

Submission + - Being sued by the MPAA...what to do? 6

An anonymous reader writes: A friend of mine is being sued by the MPAA for allegedly infringing on the copyright of a movie. Her identity was obtained from Verizon, under due process so there was no reason to fight this. I contacted the EFF on behalf of my friend, who were not at all interested, even advising that my friend should just pay the protection money that is being asked for, as it would be cheaper than hiring an attorney to defend herself. I actually feel that no case can possibly be made against my friend for the following reasons:

1) The file was never downloaded by her.
2) There is no harddrive evidence. She took her computer in to be formatted and reinstalled before ever receiving a notice that she must not delete any media
3) She regularly has guests at least once a month from many different countries, all who use her internet connection
4) She ran an unsecured wifi connection for some time

With no proof and any number of possible people who could have downloaded the file, surely they have no case?

I am familiar with Australian and UK law, not so much US law. The principles are largely the same however, and I would like to try and fight my friends case (just with wording motions and such, not actually representing her), but I am desperate as to where I could get some free advice to enable me to do so. I have very specific questions, and am not looking for free representation. Does the slashdot community have any suggestions on where I may find such advice, or opinions on if I can simply apply to have the case dismissed?

Submission + - New copyright bill to be introduced

NotNormallyNormal writes: The Canadian Gov't is about to introduce new legislation to parliament. It will be a tough new copyright bill — dubbed 'Anti-consumer' by the CBC. Michael Geist reports it is the "most anti-consumer copyright bill in Canadian history". The Globe and Mail notes that the bill will be introduced in the next six weeks and will attempt to bring a tough copyright law that would mimic the much-loathed U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the U.S. and provide Canada's position on the ACTA Treaty. Please write or e-mail to your MP, PM Harper, Ministers Moore and Clement, and the opposition leaders as well. Also, consider joining the new Pirate Party of Canada.
The Media

Media Industry Wants Mandated Spyware and More 373

An anonymous reader writes "The joint comment filed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) requests anti-infringement software on all home computers, pervasive copyright filtering, border searches, forced US intellectual property policies on foreign nations and a joint departmental agency to combat infringement during major releases." The MPAA would also like to have its rent paid a bit by Congress, with a ban on what seems to me like a useful tool (for those in as well as outside the film industry), the recently-discussed futures market for box-office receipts.

Obama Backs MPAA, RIAA, and ACTA 703

boarder8925 writes "In a move sure to surprise no one, Obama has come out on the side of the MPAA/RIAA and has backed the ACTA: 'We're going to aggressively protect our intellectual property,' Obama said in his speech, 'Our single greatest asset is the innovation and the ingenuity and creativity of the American people [...] It is essential to our prosperity and it will only become more so in this century. But it's only a competitive advantage if our companies know that someone else can't just steal that idea and duplicate it with cheaper inputs and labor.'"
The Internet

Submission + - BPI Revealed as Source of UK Website Blocking Law (

Mark.JUK writes: Rights Holders working at the UK British Phonographic Industry (BPI) have today been ousted as the true source of Amendment 120A (Clause 18). The controversial 120A was rushed into the Digital Economy Bill (DEB) at the last minute, without sufficient debate or consultation, and could lead to mass internet censorship in the UK; websites such as YouTube are potentially at risk of being blocked.

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce