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Submission + - Antigua applies to WTO for permission to run 'pirate' website (

another random user writes: Antigua is seeking permission to run a website that sells music, movies and software — but ignores copyright law. The Caribbean island is due to appear before the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 28 January seeking permission to run the site.

The decision to set up the site is the end point of a long-running dispute with the US over gambling. The US has objected to Antigua's plan saying it amounted to official "piracy" of intellectual property.

Antigua went to the WTO after the US moved to stop American citizens using gambling services, including web-based betting shops and casinos, run from the Caribbean country. Antigua claims that action deprived it of billions of dollars in revenue.

The WTO agreed with Antigua and dismissed a US appeal against its ruling. However, because the US took no action to lift the controls on cross-border gambling Antigua filed an application to recoup its lost cash by other means.

It sought permission to sell movies, music, games and software via a store that would be able to ignore global agreements on copyright and trademark controls, reports filesharing news site TorrentFreak. It wanted to be able to sell up to $3.4bn of those goods before having to make copyright payments.

The WTO rejected that figure, but said Antigua could sell $21m annually via the store before it had to consider paying copyright fees. The US is believed to have offered to pay Antigua $500,000 annually as compensation for the lost revenue.


Submission + - TVShack founder signs deal with US prosecutors to avoid extradition for piracy (

another random user writes: A student facing trial and possible imprisonment in the United States has struck a deal to avoid extradition, the High Court has been told.

Richard O'Dwyer, from Sheffield, is accused of breaking copyright laws. The US authorities claimed the 24-year-old's TVShack website hosted links to pirated films and TV programmes.

The High Court was told Mr O'Dwyer had signed a "deferred prosecution" agreement which would require him paying a small sum of compensation.

Mr O'Dwyer will travel to the US voluntarily in the next few weeks for the deal to be formally ratified, it is understood.


Submission + - Verizon to choke pirates' browsing speeds (

another random user writes: US net firm Verizon has declared war on illegal downloaders, or pirates, who use technologies such as BitTorrent to steal copyrighted material.

Verizon has said it will first warn repeat offenders by email and voicemail. Then it will restrict or "throttle" their internet connection speeds.

Time Warner Cable, another US internet service provider pledging to tackle piracy, says it will use pop-up warnings to deter repeat offenders. After that it will restrict subscribers' web browsing activities by redirecting them to a landing page.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which campaigns for digital freedom, is highly critical of the imminent campaign, saying: "Big media companies are launching a massive peer-to-peer surveillance scheme to snoop on subscribers." ISPs will be acting as "Hollywood's private enforcement arm", it added.


Submission + - $1.5m fine for sharing 10 movies on BitTorrent (

another random user writes: A federal court in Illinois awarded the damages of $150,000 per movie to Flava Works — the creator of the pornographic films.

The figure is believed to the biggest awarded in a file-sharing case.

The award is thought to be so large because the accused, Kywan Fisher, did not defend himself against claims that he pirated the movies.

In court, Flava Works presented evidence which it said demonstrated that Mr Fisher was the person who put copies of its films on a BitTorrent site.

In its evidence, Flava revealed that it had embedded unique codes in the copies of its films that customers pay to view. Digital detective work connected the code in the pirated films back to Mr Fisher, who had earlier signed up as a customer of Flava and paid to view the movies.


Submission + - Kim Dotcom reveals Mega to replace Megaupload (

another random user writes: Kim Dotcom has announced plans for Mega, a service to replace his shut down file-sharing website Megaupload.

Mega is expected to use encryption methods which will mean only users will know what they are uploading.

It will be decided in March whether Mr Dotcom should be extradited from New Zealand to the US to face charges relating to copyright theft.

The 38-year-old said he would launch Mega on 20 January 2013 — a year to the day since his arrest.

By keeping details of files uploaded on Mega secret from the site's administrators, Mr Dotcom said he believed this would mean the site was not in violation of US laws. "The new Mega will not be threatened by US prosecutors," he said.

"The new Mega avoids any dealings with US hosters, US domains and US backbone providers and has changed the way it operates to avoid another takedown."


Submission + - Web host for SumoTorrent site 'liable for damages' ( 1

another random user writes: An anti-piracy group in the Netherlands, Brein, has won a landmark case, making a file-sharing site's former web host liable for damages.

A court in The Hague has found XS Networks guilty of facilitating copyright infringement by refusing to shut down a site it knew to be illegal.

The firm, which has ceased operations, used to rent its computer servers to the SumoTorrent website. The ruling could create a "dangerous precedent", said the TorrentFreak blog.


Submission + - UK ISPs to block more file-sharing websites (

another random user writes: The UK's major internet service providers have been asked to block three more file-sharing websites

The BPI (British Phonographic Industry), which acts on behalf of rights holders, wants ISPs to prevent access to Fenopy, H33t and Kickass Torrents.

The BPI alleges that the sites are illegally distributing music. The ISPs told the BBC they would comply with the new demand, but only if a court order is put in place.

It follows a separate court order in April which saw popular file-sharing site The Pirate Bay blocked in the UK.

The biggest ISP, BT, said it was also "currently considering" its options. The letter, which was not intended to go public, was sent to six ISPs last week, namely BT, Sky, Virgin Media, O2, EE and TalkTalk.

It is understood that the BPI is hoping all three sites will be blocked before Christmas — far more quickly than the process has taken previously.


Submission + - US film producer Harvey Weinstein attacks 'free internet' (

another random user writes: Harvey Weinstein has criticised media giants Apple and Google for making content available under the guise of "free internet".

"It's a nonsensical idea," he told an audience at the London Film Festival, likening the notion to helping oneself to "free shirts" in a clothing store.

Video-sharing sites like YouTube, he continued, were doing a "massive disservice" to the film industry.

He went on to praise France for passing the world's "toughest" anti-piracy law.

In 2009, France adopted a so-called "three-strikes law" that means persistent pirates can be thrown offline. The legislation, Weinstein claimed, had "disincentivised" people to "steal" content and had resulted in a "robust" local industry.


Submission + - Judge orders piracy trial to test IP address evidence (

another random user writes: A landmark case in the US will test whether internet piracy claims made by copyright firms will stand up in court.

Such cases rely on identifying the machines the IP address of machines from which content was illegally downloaded as evidence of wrongdoing.

Experts have questioned whether the IP address is sufficient evidence because it identifies an internet connection rather than an individual.

An adult film studio (Malibu Media) must take cases to court, a judge has ruled. Malibu Media has instigated 349 mass lawsuits, 43 in Pennsylvania this year.


Submission + - The first person has been fined under France's new anti-piracy law. (

another random user writes: Alain Prevost was fined 150 euros (about $195) for pirating two Rihanna tracks even though his wife admitted she downloaded the songs.

The fine was levied on the 40-year-old because he paid for the web link over which the songs were downloaded.

The case has been complicated by two other factors, reported French tech news site PC Inpact. First, Prevost terminated his web account after he received the first two warnings from the French agency, known as Hadopi, that seeks out pirates in France. Secondly, he is divorcing his wife.

Marie-Francoise Marais, head of Hadopi, speaking to local French newspaper Le Pays, said the agency "was mainly a mission of education, not repression".

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne