Oscar winner '12 Years a Slave' sees illegal downloads triple

The movie "12 Years a Slave" swept the Academy Awards on Sunday and apparently it's also now sweeping movie download sites. According to TorrentFreak, the number of people illegally sharing the movie tripled the day after it won the Oscar for best picture.

On Monday, the movie saw 100,000 more downloads that the usual amount, according to TorrentFreak. Reportedly, the downloads are being shared through BitTorrents.

It's not only "12 Years a Slave" that's experiencing massive downloads, the movie "Gravity" also saw double the downloads after it won seven Academy … Read more

US sides with networks against Aereo in Supreme Court fight

The US government's representative to the Supreme Court filed a brief Monday arguing that Aereo, the service streaming broadcast TV over the Web, is violating copyright law -- but that doesn't mean all cloud-storage services should be put under the same scrutiny.

In an amicus brief, which is essentially an official memo to the Supreme Court justices recommending a decision, Deputy Solicitor General Edwin S. Kneedler classified Aereo's Internet transmissions of broadcast TV as a public performance -- the kind you have to pay a copyright holder to do.

Aereo is set up to assign an individual, … Read more

Utah district court is first to temporarily shut down Aereo

A US district court has granted the first preliminary injunction against Aereo out of the patchwork of lawsuits against the company, handing broadcasters their first clear win ahead of a Supreme Court fight.

A decision by Judge Dale A. Kimball of the District Court of Utah on Wednesday granted a preliminary injunction sought by broadcasters. He also denied Aereo's motion to transfer the case but granted its motion to stay proceedings until the Supreme Court rules on the case later this year. Oral arguments are slated for April 22.

Such preliminary injunctions sought by broadcasters have been denied in … Read more

EU court: Go ahead and hyperlink. It's OK, really

Common sense prevails!

The highest court in Europe ruled on Thursday that it will not mess up a vital part of the Internet's functionality -- a decision that could have left much of the Internet in the 28 member state bloc to its knees.

The Luxembourg-based court decided that it would not be necessary to seek out the copyright holder's permission before someone links to their news article, blog post, or Web site.

In the case of Nils Svensson et al vs. Retriever Sverige, the court ruled this was a silly idea and to leave the Internet … Read more

Google yanks Themer app after Apple copyright complaint

Google removed Google Play access to Themer, an app to let Android users give their phones a different look, after a copyright infringement complaint from Apple about its icons.

The theme in question, called Seven, gives Android phones an iOS 7 styling, and that led to a Digital Millennium Copyright Act complaint, said MyColorScreen Chief Executive Ashvin Dhingra, leader of the company that makes Themer. And though Themer removed the theme in question, the app was missing for more than a week.

The app has been downloaded more than a million times and has more than 200 themes. It went … Read more

Prince drops $22M copyright suit against Facebook fans

The pop artist Prince is known for getting sue-crazy when it comes to copyright infringement of his work, but when he filed a $22 million lawsuit against some of his die-hard fans, it seemed he might have gone too far. Apparently, the artist has now dropped the suit, according to TMZ.

Prince originally filed the lawsuit in the Northern District of California on January 16 against 22 fans. He alleged that they linked to bootleg recordings of his concerts on Facebook and Google's Blogger platform and that each of them owed him $1 million for posting copyrighted material without … Read more

Pirate Bay is free to sail through Holland's Internet once again

It appears that Dutch lawmakers are having a hard time keeping up with technology.

An appeals court in the Netherlands ruled on Tuesday that Internet providers no longer have to block IP addresses associated with The Pirate Bay, according to the Associated Press. The court made this decision because the blockade was apparently impossible to enforce as users would find new workarounds to get to the site.

"This blockade imposed a violation of the basic right to freedom of commercial activity of the providers with insufficient justification," the ruling said, according to the Associated Press. "It is … Read more

Quentin Tarantino sues Gawker over link to leaked movie script

Movie director Quentin Tarantino filed a lawsuit Monday accusing Gawker Media of facilitating copyright infringement after Gawker linked last week to an unproduced script that leaked onto the Internet.

Furious that a first draft of "The Hateful Eight" was circulating on the Internet, Tarantino announced last week that the Western would not be the next movie he filmed. Tarantino told at the time that the script leaked out without his permission after he sent it to six people for their review.

"I give it out to six people, and if I can't trust them … Read more

Prevent unauthorized use of material you share on social networks

"Going viral" is a sure sign of success for a video, image, or other post to a Web sharing service. But what happens when someone starts making money from the unauthorized use of your creation?

You establish your copyright on the material you create the moment you publish it. The simplest approach to enforcing your copyright on your creations is to send the infringing party a cease-and-desist notice. That's usually all that is required to have the item removed from the offending site.

However, if you seek to recover damages for the unauthorized use of your copyrighted … Read more

Aereo's Supreme Court battle may change how you watch TV

A tiny startup you've probably never heard of is heading to the US Supreme Court, and it could change how the entire country watches TV.

The top court in the country on Friday agreed to hear the case pitting television broadcasters against Aereo, an online subscription service with arrays of miniature antennas that grab over-the-air programming, stream it online to paying members, and store it for them in a remote DVR.

The big media companies, riled by lost revenue, say that Aereo is guilty of infringing their copyrights. But this is more than an arcane dispute about broadcast technology. … Read more