File Sharing

Download this, Mr. Jones

Numerous entertainers have had serious flirtations with digital distribution, but the band Counting Crows has taken its infatuation a step further -- straight into the BitTorrent universe. (Legally, that is.)

The Counting Crows BitTorrent bundle (download), released today, includes songs, art, and liner notes from their latest album Underwater Sunshine. It's available to torrent freaks everywhere -- with the approval of both the band and its label.

"I don't know why everybody's not doing it," said Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz during a phone conversation with CNET. He noted that even at his band'… Read more

Cloud-based storage options for Mac OS X

With more and more computing devices becoming mobile or located in different areas besides the desktop, the need for online storage and syncing options to manage files created or edited on these devices is increasingly important. To tackle this need, Apple has explored various approaches to online document management and sharing with its MobileMe and .Mac services, but these options have been phased out in favor of newer and more integrated approaches to online storage and syncing options.

Apple has its online storage offerings that so far have culminated into its iCloud service, but there are others as well, which … Read more

Amazon Cloud Drive apps for Windows and Mac (hands-on)

Amazon announced today that its Cloud Drive storage apps (Windows | Mac) are available for download, so I went ahead and downloaded the apps on both my desktop machines to check them out. The service was already available at the Amazon Cloud Drive Web site, but with a dedicated app you get easy access for storing just about any type of file on the fly.

After a fairly easy setup (requiring my Amazon account log-in info), a cloud-shaped icon was placed in my system tray (in the menu bar on the Mac) for easy access. Upon first launch, Amazon gives you … Read more

Dropbox now lets you upload photos directly from your camera

Dropbox users who find it a hassle getting photos off their camera and onto their online storage site now have a way to avoid the middleman.

The new Dropbox 1.4 software for Windows, OS X, or Linux can automatically upload photos not just from a camera, but from a smartphone, tablet, SD card, and just about any other gadget that houses your images.

How can Dropbox users set this up? Here's how it works in Windows:

First, install the new version of Dropbox. Then right-click the Dropbox icon in the System tray and select Preferences. You should see … Read more

LogMeIn launches Cubby: File sync and share done right

Dropbox. It's the Apple of Web storage companies. It's got a clan of fanboys who swear by it. And for good reason: It's simple to use and has some strong features. It's also one of the least flexible products among its competitors.

Holdouts (like me) who want the capability to sync files outside of Dropbox's walled garden -- the Dropbox folder on your desktop -- have to look to other products. Likewise, people who want to store or sync more than 100GB of files.

Personally, I've been using SugarSync, which does two things right: … Read more

Black musicians and piracy: Friends or foes?

NEW YORK -- The sun has just come up outside the hallowed Apollo Theater in Harlem, and Lord "Black Jesus" Harrison is doing what he often does on Saturdays: selling CDs of his rap group, Harlem 6.

"We're distributing online and on the streets," Harrison said in a baritone voice on the awakening street. "People got to know who you are... all the greatest did this: NWA, Wu-Tang Clan, this guy 50 Cent."

As his eyes scan the street for potential buyers, Harrison is talking piracy now, and his rapid-fire speech slows to … Read more

Lawyer who defended YouTube against Viacom joins MegaUpload defense

MegaUpload is loading up on high-profile lawyers.

The cyberlocker service has added Andrew Schapiro, the attorney who led the YouTube defense that won summary judgment in the video-sharing service's initial copyright trial against Viacom, MegaUpload attorney Ira Rothken told CNET today.

Schapiro is part of Los Angeles-based Quinn Emanuel Urguhart & Sullivan, which MegaUpload hired to represent the company against criminal copyright charges. Rothken is a well-known Silicon Valley lawyer and the man who is also leading MegaUpload's worldwide defense.

Rothken called Quinn Emanuel "one of the best law firms in the country."

The United States alleges that MegaUpload's leadership, … Read more

Viacom wins second round of copyright battle against YouTube

Viacom has won an appeal in its copyright lawsuit against Google's YouTube, according to court documents.

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to a lower court to determine whether YouTube purposely ignored the infringing material that was posted to the site.

The decision is a setback for technology companies. It negates an earlier decision that set a favorable precedent about responsibility for policing Web sites. But today's decision only requires YouTube to defend itself in a lower court against the charges that it had prior knowledge of copyright infringement on its site. … Read more

Post-SOPA surprise: Common ground for tech, big media

A spirit of cooperation appears to be rising in the technology and entertainment sectors regarding antipiracy efforts.

Three months after the defeat of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), leaders from both sides say they wish to work together to forge a new response to illegal file sharing. No kidding -- there's even talk about trying to once again pass antipiracy legislation.

Though skeptics predict all these kumbaya feelings will quickly turn to bitterness, there's no mistaking that detente is in the air.

On Tuesday, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), one of the lawmakers who helped kill SOPA, said … Read more

EMI, Grooveshark's only major label, tears up contract

EMI, one of the four top record companies and home to such acts as The Beatles and Coldplay, has terminated its music-licensing agreement with Grooveshark, a well-known music-sharing service, CNET has learned.

Court documents filed in New York state court reveal that the recorded-music division of EMI alleges Grooveshark has failed to meet the financial obligations of the agreement. In January, EMI's publishing arm filed suit against Grooveshark for breach of contract.

Grooveshark is a music service that provides free access to songs by enabling users to post their own music to the site. The company issued a response … Read more