Isohunt to permanently shutter after settlement with MPAA

Popular BitTorrent search engine Isohunt has been slated to shutter indefinitely. After years of court battles over copyright infringement with the Motion Picture Association of America, Isohunt has agreed to settle.

Under the terms of the settlement (PDF), which was issued on Thursday, Isohunt's founder Gary Fung has seven days to shut down the site, as well as close three other sites that redirect to Isohunt -- Podtropolis, TorrentBox, and Fung has also agreed to pay $110 million in damages.

"It's sad to see my baby go. But I have fought the good fight, I … Read more

Broadcasters petition Supreme Court in Aereo fight

Television broadcasters Friday petitioned the US Supreme Court to get involved in their fight against Aereo, the online service that streams their over-the-air programming to its paying members.

Aereo, which is backed by IAC Chairman Barry Diller, uses tiny individual antennas to let consumers watch live, local broadcasts on some Internet-connected devices and store shows in a cloud-based DVR. Television giants including Disney's ABC, CBS (the parent of CNET), Fox, and Comcast's NBCUniversal sued Aereo, alleging that the service violates their copyrights and that Aereo must pay them.

In the petition Friday, the broadcasters asked the court to … Read more

Aereo wins battle against Boston TV station seeking injunction

Another day, another district, another broadcaster fails to halt Aereo's operations.

In US District Court in the District of Massachusetts, Judge Nathaniel Gorton has denied a motion by Hearst and its Boston broadcast TV station, WCVB, for a preliminary injunction against Aereo.

"Hearst has not demonstrated a sufficient likelihood of success on the merits nor the requisite irreparable harm," Gorton said in an ruling dated Tuesday.

Hearst was the latest owner of a TV station to sue Aereo, the startup that delivers over-the-air TV programming to Internet-connected devices. Like others, WCVB filed a suit to stop Aereo … Read more

TV networks will reportedly seek Supreme Court review of Aereo

The nation's television networks will petition the US Supreme Court during the next week to review lower court decisions over the legality of Aereo's retransmission of TV signals on the Internet, Variety reports.

Apparently frustrated with the conflicting courtroom record, the broadcasters have decided to file their petition, or writ of certoriari, by October 15, the entertainment newspaper reported Wednesday night, citing anonymous sources familiar with the case.

CNET has contacted Aereo and the four major broadcast TV networks, which includes CNET parent CBS, for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

Aereo, which launched … Read more

Google logs record 21.5M URL takedown requests in September

The number of URL takedown requests Google receives from copyright holders has skyrocketed over the last couple of years. And now, a new high has been reached -- Google received 21.5 million takedown requests in September.

The new data comes in Google's Transparency Report, which not only gives the numbers but also shows who is requesting the takedowns, the copyright owners, and the targeted domains.

During the last week of September, Google received the highest amount of requests to date -- a whopping 5.9 million. For comparison, not much more than a year ago the search engine … Read more

'Say no to Internet censorship' petition nears 100K signatures

The "Say no to Internet censorship" petition has tallied nearly 100,000 signatures in the past week -- showing that opposition to possible government proposals on stricter Internet laws is growing.

Launched by advocacy organization OpenMedia, the petition calls on world leaders to reject proposed controls on the Internet and protect citizens' rights to Web access.

OpenMedia started its campaign in order to target the leaders of the 12 countries involved in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement talks, which includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Peru, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, and the US.… Read more

BitTorrent returns to Google search's auto-complete

One of the ways that Google deals with sites that infringe on music, movies, video games, and software copyrights is to block them from showing up in its search engine's auto-complete suggestions.

Although BitTorrent claims never to have dealt in piracy, it is one such site that has been blocked for years. Now, it appears that Google has quietly allowed BitTorrent back into the fold.

Previously, when users typed "bitt" into Google's search box, a list of words came up that didn't include "BitTorrent." Now, when "bitt" is typed in, "… Read more

TV broadcasters win preliminary injunction against FilmOn X

TV broadcasters notched a courtroom win Thursday when a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against FilmOn X, barring the Aereo-like streaming service from retransmitting programming over the Internet.

"This Court concludes that the Copyright Act forbids FilmOn X from retransmitting Plaintiffs' copyrighted programs over the Internet," Judge Rosemary Collyer for the U.S. District Court of D.C. wrote in her 35-page decision (see below) granting broadcasters' motion for a preliminary injunction. "Plaintiffs are thus likely to succeed on their claim that FilmOn X violates Plaintiffs' exclusive public performance rights in their copyrighted works. Because there … Read more

Court rules that IP cloaking to access blocked sites violates law

Disguising an IP address or using a proxy server to visit Web sites you've been banished from is a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer for the Northern District of California issued the ruling Friday in a copyright infringement lawsuit between Craigslist and data harvester 3Taps. The legal dispute began in July 2012 when Craigslist sent a cease-and-desist letter to apartment listing app PadMapper, claiming it was violating the site's terms of service by scraping apartment rental information from the online classifieds site. … Read more

Secret Service releases first 100 pages of Aaron Swartz's file

The U.S. Secret Service on Monday released the first 104 pages of agency documents related to its investigation of Aaron Swartz, the Internet activist who committed suicide earlier this year while under federal prosecution.

The heavily redacted documents, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Wired, focus mostly on the specific charges against Swartz and his arraignment as well as computer equipment seized during the execution of a search warrant on his Cambridge, Mass., apartment in 2011. The activist hanged himself in January while facing 13 felony charges of document theft.

"Swartz was … Read more