Last 10 days on the Internet: file-sharing wars, Aereo deemed illegal, BSA anti-piracy strategy, NSA Transparency Report 2013, ISPs sue GCHQ

  • Copyright

I took the liberty of using one of Rick Falkvinge‘s article headlines from last week, because I couldn’t have said it better: the file sharing wars are anything but over.

Last days were pretty full of events for The Pirate Bay. First, the torrent site was blocked in Argentina, then an Argentinian anti-piracy music industry site was hacked and turned into a TPB proxy. Then, Bayfiles, Peter Sunde‘s file hosting service was removed from Google for no apparent reason.

The EU has released their new report on and action plan for reforming copyright, following their consultation on the subject from last spring. It contains 10 actions, which are questioned by EFF (and not only):

Is Europe Serious About Reforming Copyright, or Just Greasing the Squeaky Wheel?Here is a speech Neelie Kroes gave on reforming copyright and a Techdirt signed commentary to it. Another report released recently comes from the European Publishers Council (EPC) and contains what some would call the “NSA approach to copyright“. Moreover, a US report, The International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus 2014,  raises concerns about the alarming levels piracy reached in India, China, Russia and Switzerland. Finally, a study issued by Business Software Alliance (BSA) points out that software piracy is “still rife in Brazil, but the situation is even worse in other Latin countries” (not to mention World Cup piracy, which is expected to rise all over the world). However, as mentioned some time ago as well, no one asks the right question: why do online pirates continue to pirate.

Talking about BSA, remember their anti- piracy campaign asking Facebook users to report on businesses that use unlicensed software? It turns out that despite a lot of negative responses, it actually works.

Furthermore, the progress advertisers have made in cracking down on ad placements on web sites featuring infringing contents has been praised by Creative Future, a coalition of 250  TV and film companies.

MPAA sent a massive take down notice to Google to remove an entire subreddit that encourages users to post links to full length movies. The good news is that the action backfired and turned the little known forum into a popular and much bigger film community.

Moreover, Aereo had a bad week as US  Supreme Court ruled that it breaks copyright laws. Broadcasters won this copyright battle and Aereo is gone for good – what’s next for television and cloud storage services?

  • Surveillance

The US Government released the annual (?) NSA transparency report for 2013. Meanwhile, leaks keep on leaking! This week:

  • we all suspected this but now we have the confirmation that NSA spies “on pretty much everyone abroad” and has the blessing from FISA;
  • the agency also targets users of privacy services, especially Tor. Tor users are classified as extremists;

Nevertheless, Snowden‘s revelations could have helped Hitler win WWII, says British ambassador.

In Europe, several ISPs from different countries have filed a legal complaint against UK‘s intelligence agency’s surveillance activties and Germany ends its contract with Verizon over NSA worries.

Cover image: Mimi and Eunice by Nina Paley/CC-BY-SA.