Leaked information reveals potential legal tactics and meetings with Google execs
A disturbing new email leak sent to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton in 2012 has revealed a secret meeting between officials from the Department of Homeland Security and representatives from Google that was focused on methods by which the various groups could hobble or block sites known for hosting pirated materials. Meetings also occurred between the MPAA and an unnamed national law-firm across 2013 to discuss methods to force ISPs to block sites hosting or aggregating pirated content.
Comments also made about Google search, 'four strikes' rules
Chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America and former Senator Christopher Dodd told Wired in an interview that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) are not going to return to to the congressional floor. Dodd claimed that "that legislation is gone. It’s over. It’s not coming back" after an appearance at the San Francisco-based Commonwealth Club on Tuesday night.
Industries "need to come to an understanding"
Motion Picture Association of America chief executive Christopher Dodd is reportedly maintaining hope that the trade organization will be able to successfully promote a replacement to the SOPA legislation, which was effectively shot down amid resistance from tech companies. In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, the former senator also suggested that Steve Jobs would side with the MPAA in its fight against piracy.
Samsung Galaxy Note ad out of top 10 for most
Samsung's Super Bowl ad for the Galaxy Note may have been one of the costliest mistakes in advertising in recent memory, based on new Nielsen data from the event. The Android phone's commercial appeared neither in the top 10 most-remembered ads of the football game nor the top 10 most-liked among Nielsen's nearly 12,000-person panel. Instead, the only technology picks went to E*Trade and to GoDaddy, whose flip-flop on SOPA still left it with the ninth most memorable spot.
Lawmakers asked to take "fresh perspective"
A long list of companies and organizations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Open Congress, have sent an open letter urging congressional lawmakers to take an entirely new approach to intellectual property law. The authors suggest concerns raised over SOPA and PIPA legislation are "too fundamental and too numerous" to be resolved through "hasty revisions" to the existing bills.
Trade group claims legislation will worsen problem
The Recording Industry Association of America has come out swinging in opposition to an anti-piracy bill that has been proposed in the wake of the much-derided Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act. The new proposal, referred to as the Open Act (PDF), relies on the International Trade Commission to investigate copyright infringement claims.
MPAA only now edging towards balance
A new exposé of some of the actions behind the scenes of SOPA's rejection has shown the fundamental disconnect between the MPAA and differing points of view as well as signs that there may be progress, if slow, on an alternative. MPAA president and former Democratic senator Chris Dodd explained to The Hollywood Reporter that he had been "assured" there would be no major opposition from the White House and was caught unawares when the administration suggested it would veto either SOPA or its Senate equivalent PIPA if they passed a vote. MPAA members had started to "pick up signals" of resistance at the start of January, but they sincerely thought they had made concessions and felt "bitterly betrayed" as a result.
Megaupload returns fire after shutdown
Megaupload reacted vigorously to shutdowns and arrests with action of its own. In conversation with Reuters, defending attorney Ira Rothken said Megaupload was "looking at its legal options" to bring its site back online. The lawyer objected to FBI and media industry claims that Megaupload was a criminal conspiracy and said that simply having a file upload service wasn't grounds for the raids this week.
ESA drops SOPA support only after too late
The Entertainment Software Association engaged in what many saw as bandwagoneering Friday after it dropped its previous support for the Stop Online Piracy Act. Now that the bill had been indefinitely postponed following large-scale protests, the game advocacy group switched to arguing for a law that "balances both creative and technology interests." It claimed to have wanted an even approach "from the beginning."
Neelie Kroes Twits against SOPA bill
The latest to speak out against the controversial SOPA and PIPA bills is European Union Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes. "Glad tide is turning on SOPA: don't need bad legislation when should be safeguarding benefits of open net," she wrote in a Twitter message. The legislation, if passed, would give the US Justice Department to shut down sites simply suspected of sharing pirated content.
PIPA put on hold after stiff opposition
Both Congress and the Senate have delayed votes on their joint controversial Senate majority leader Harry Reid has stated that he decided to at least delay the vote on the controversial Protect IP Act (PIPA). He explained it as a reaction to "recent events," a euphemism for the widescale protests that turned numerous Senators against the bill.
Anonymous carpet bombs Megaupload opponents
(Update: FBI too) The forced closure of Megaupload and accompanying arrests may have backfired on proponents after Anonymous launched one of its largest attacks ever in retaliation. Multiple statements from the hacking collective confirmed they were responsible for successful denial of service attacks against the websites of the Department of Justice, MPAA, RIAA, and likely arrest instigator Universal Music. All of the sites were partly or completely unresponsive as of early Thursday evening.
US Senate faces tech troubles due to SOPA protest
It appears the work of many sites is working, as the US Senate contact site is facing technical difficulties, likely due to the large incoming amount of e-mails regarding the controversial SOPA bill. Many sites, including Google and Wikipedia, posted some form of protest against SOPA on Wednesday in order to raise public awareness regarding the issue and urge them to do something about it.
SOPA activity resumes next month
Republican Congressman and Judiciary Committee chair Lamar Smith stated Tuesday that the Stop Online Piracy Act would resume the drafting process in February. Despite hopes from opponents that a shelving meant it was stopped, the contentious bill would be back to the markup phase. Pre-election retreats were the immediate reason for the pause, Smith said.
Google will protest SOPA with link on homepage
In its effort to protest the controversial SOPA bill, Google will host a link to an explanation of its opposition on its popular home page. The link will go live on Wednesday, according to CNET, and thus join Wikipedia, Reddit and other tech firms in showing their disagreement for SOPA and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), both of which were spurred on by movie studios and music labels.
Obama White House says SOPA DNS changes won't work
The Obama administration in a direct response on Saturday hinted it would veto any version of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and by extension the Protect IP Act (PIPA), that included domain name blocking. The White House statement said that any proposal had to be narrowly focused on clearly criminal activity and "must not tamper" with the DNS system that translates web domains to IP addresses. Officials wanted "sound legisltation," but saw a bill like SOPA as compromising Internet security efforts like DNSSEC without solving the real problem.
SOPA to no longer censor outside sites
Key Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) promoter Representative Lamar Smith stated Friday that he wanted to remove the domain name blocking provision from the proposed bill. He wanted the Congressional Judiciary Committee to "further examine the issues" surrounding the measure, according to CNET. A corresponding move was already underway with the Senate equivalent of the bill, Protect IP (PIPA), from Senator Patrick Leahy.
US Senator back tracks on Protect IP provision
A key Protect IP backer has started to back away from bill, introduced by the Senate last year. According to the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, has said that the believed a new provision in the bill would require “more study.” The provision would give the US attorney general the ability to seek court orders forcing ISPs to block an infringing website’s domain names or URL.
US music sees digital finally overcome analog drop
US album sales have grown for the first time in seven years, Nielsen Soundscan reported Wednesday. A three percent increase to 458 million albums in 2011 was helped by digital sales from iTunes and other sources jumping by 20 percent, to 103 million, overcoming a six percent drop in CD sales to 225 million. Single songs themselves grew faster, up nine percent to 1.27 billion songs.
Nintendo and Sony rethink unpopular SOPA bill
A quiet update to the list of Stop Online Piract Act supporters (PDF) has shown that Nintendo and Sony have backed away from the proposed bill. Both were originally endorsing the bill as of November but quietly removed themselves from the list sometime in the past month. Neither has acknowledged the change in attitude.
GoDaddy makes clear it loses customers over SOPA
GoDaddy sent a statement to the media in an attempt to step the loss of customers by hardening its reversal on SOPA. Where before it just stopped endorsing the contentious anti-piracy act, it now "opposes" the bill. The bill "has not fulfilled its basic requirement" of getting both technology companies and the community onside, it said.
GoDaddy says limited info standard procedure
GoDaddy has responded to accusations that it was stalling on domain transfers from those leaving over SOPA. It argued to TechCrunch that accuser Namecheap had never contacted GoDaddy itself to ask about lifting any limits. GoDaddy and "many other registrars" limit the transfers to prevent abuse of WHOIS, or domain information requests such as the owner's contact information.
Namecheap says GoDaddy breaking ICANN rules
Domain registrar Namecheap accused GoDaddy on Monday of blocking attempts to move domains away after protest defections over GoDaddy's initial support for the Stop Online Piracy Act. The company claimed that GoDaddy was sending incomplete domain information, making it difficult to switch. It was allegedly violating ICANN rules, which Namecheap took as a sign that the mass domain switches were having a genuine effect.
GoDaddy rethinks SOPA stance after users quit
GoDaddy in a statement backed off of its support of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act. The web domain registrar maintained that fighting piracy was important but decided that the backlash against it meant the company had to adjust its attitude. GoDaddy would only support SOPA if the broader Internet field did, and its very business was based on the concept of free speech many believe SOPA violates.
Debate to continue early next year
The House Judiciary Committee has reportedly delayed action on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which has been met with increasing opposition from the public and tech industry. California's Representative Darrel Issa, a vocal opponent of the bill, published a Twitter post noting that SOPA proceedings had been postponed due to the "House schedule."
Senator Harry Reid pushes for quick vote
The US Senate is reportedly set to vote on the Protect IP Act on January 24, making it one of the first pieces of legislation to be put to a vote when the senators return from their holiday vacation. The controversial anti-piracy bill was said to be fast-tracked by Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada.
Bill had been expected to be pushed to House floor
In a surprise move, the House Judiciary Committee suddenly adjourned today without voting to send the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) to the full House floor. The bill had been expected to make it out of the committee today. The adjournment came after committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, who is also the bill's chief sponsor, agreed that further exploration was warranted of a provision that lets the Attorney General demand DNS (domain name service) changes.
Universal misuses DMCA to silence MegaUpload talk
Universal drew fire Wednesday after it appeared to be misusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to silence news of MegaUpload. The movie and TV studio had YouTube pull down an episode of TWiT's Tech News Today on Monday for including two clips of MegaUpload's celebrity-laden song endorsing its file transfer service. Show co-host Tom Merritt had the show back up after a dispute, but Universal issued a DMCA request on Tuesday and will manage to keep it down for at least 10 days following a counter-dispute from Merritt through YouTube.
Megaupload to join fight against SOPA bill, more
Following the blockage of a YouTube video on Friday at the request of the RIAA and IFPI, cloud-storage service company Megaupload has stated it will sue Universal Music for prompting what it sees as a wrongful takedown. Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom requested YouTube reinstate the music video, dubbed Mega Song, while Universal asked to pull it again. The video in question was a promotional one for Megaupload and included P Diddy, Will.i.am, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Macy Gray, Chris Brown, The Game, and Mary J Blige. TorrentFreak learned.
Bipartisan OPEN Act would target finance, not bans
A bipartisan bill (PDF) drafted by Democrat Senator Ron Wyden and Republican Congressman Darrell Issa could provide a potentially much less controversial alternative to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act, or OPEN, would use the ITC to investigate claims that sites are primarily for pirates. It could then make a cease-and-desist order and only then bring in the Department of Justice for an injunction, such as cutting off ad revenue and those processing income.
Opponents unlikely to be assuaged
The Motion Picture Association of America is reportedly preparing to make changes to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which continues to face criticism from a wide range of companies involved in the tech industry. Despite the promise to soften the legislation—described as overreaching by many opponents—the backers have remained mum regarding specific details of the changes.
DOJ, ICE seize 131 domains thanks to SOPA bill
The Department of Justice, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, have swung into a major anti-piracy campaign after they seized 131 domain names, TorrentFreak learned. The sites are believed to sell, host and/or share pirated content, but the seizures can be appealed. The seizures were part of an official Operation In Out Sites crackdown, the largest such operation to date.
EU prevents SOPA-style law targeting ISPs
The European Union's Court of Justice ruled in a Belgian dispute Thursday that Internet providers couldn't be forced to block sites on the media industry's behalf. Officials determined that Belgium's court and local music royalty agency SABAM would be violating EU law if they made Belgian ISP Scarlet install devices to block subscribers from seeing and downloading what are believed to be pirated songs. Any system would violate the "fundamental rights" of users to private data and to send or receive information.
Latest industry group to oppose bill
The Business Software Alliance has added itself to the growing list of organizations that oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act. The group, which represents several large players such as Microsoft and Apple, initially supported the proposed legislation, however it has changed its stance due to concerns over certain elements that are expected to be troublesome for legitimate companies rather than copyright violators.
Tumblr launches anti-SOPA campaign with calls
Tumblr has joined the fight against the SOPA bill that would give the US the right to close the domains of any site that is thought to illegally host file sharing. The company announced it generated 87,834 phone calls to US Congressional representatives in an concentrated attempt to prevent the bill from becoming law. The Stop Online Piracy Act is before the House Judiciary Committee.
European Parliament joins fight against SOPA
The European Parliament has become the latest to oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), according to TorrentFreak. The Parliament adopted a resolution that effectively criticizes domain name seizures of "infringing" file sharing websites because they endanger "the integrity of the global Internet and freedom of communication." US authorities have began seizing domain names for websites that are found to encourage copyright infringement.