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

New copyright center ready to fire on pirates (exclusive)

The major film studios and music companies will soon unveil plans for a "copyright center," an organization designed to oversee the implementation of the controversial graduated-response program, CNET has learned.

Last July, when some of the country's top Internet service providers, including AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, agreed to begin implementing a series of measures designed to discourage illegal file-sharing, the ISPs said they and the entertainment companies would establish a Center for Copyright Information (CCI) to "assist in the effort to combat online infringement."

The ISPs, major record labels, and Hollywood film studios … Read more

Lawmakers ask advertisers for Web-piracy crackdown

A group of Congress members has asked advertisers to start doing more to fight online piracy.

According to a subscription-only post on the Politico blog, the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus has written letters to three of the large advertising associations to ask that they choke off revenue to sites suspected of illegally distributing copyrighted materials.

Members of the Anti-Piracy Caucus include Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). Washington lawmakers have begun targeting the revenue of sites that allegedly distribute intellectual property, such as unauthorized copies of songs, movies, … Read more

Is Google lining up Republicans against antipiracy bill?

Few companies are as closely aligned with the Obama administration or the Democratic Party as Google.

Google managers and employees gave generously to President Barack Obama's candidacy. Chairman Eric Schmidt stumped for the president and is a member of the White House council for science and technology. Marissa Mayer, a Google vice president, hosted an Obama fundraiser. Former Google employees now hold high-ranking positions with the administration.

Despite those close ties, Google is now taking a much more bipartisan approach than before. Word coming out of Washington last week was that leading up to a September 21 appearance by … Read more

Report: Google bid $100M for cloud music rights

Google threw large sums of money at the four major record labels during negotiations for cloud-music rights, according to a published report.

BusinessWeek magazine is reporting that Google offered the labels $100 million to obtain licenses for a cloud music service. After negotiating for more than a year, talks broke down. Google launched an unlicensed service two weeks ago that enables users to upload their songs to the company's servers but isn't as fully equipped as it might be with licenses.

This is the latest and perhaps most dramatic sign of how important antipiracy efforts are to the … Read more

This Day in Tech: Google Wallet and Offers, Amazon opens Mac download stores

Too busy to keep up with the tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET for Thursday, May 26.

Google Wallet, Offers make their debut Services combine coupons, discounts, and payments at the time people buy things through their phone. Trials start now, with full launch this summer. More

Amazon opens up Mac downloads stores The e-commerce heavyweight launches a pair of online venues targeting Mac users with digital downloads. So far Amazon's stocking about 250 games and apps. More

Senate panel gives OK to antipiracy bill The Protect IP Act makes it through the … Read more

Does Eric Schmidt speak for Google on copyright?

Smart, strategic, and frequently inscrutable, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt's comments must often be closely analyzed. Sometimes they're discounted as regrettable, off-the-cuff remarks. Other times, his statements are a window into what is really going on inside his company.

On Wednesday, Schmidt shocked big media conglomerates, federal lawmakers, and apparently even executives within his own company when he told reporters in London that Google would defy U.S. government attempts to remove sites from the Web that are accused of trafficking in pirated goods. Schmidt, who was at Google's helm during an unprecedented decade-long run of online-advertising success, … Read more

Google vows to fight antipiracy bill even if passed

Google has signaled that the company is prepared to oppose the major film and music companies as well as Congress and the president of the United States on a controversial bill designed to thwart online piracy.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said today in London that the company is prepared to go on fighting the bill should it become law, according to published reports. U.K. publication the Guardian is reporting that in a discussion with reporters during a London business conference, Schmidt said: "If there is a law that requires DNS [domain name systems, the protocol that allows users … Read more

Google accused of hypocrisy on Grooveshark ban

A watchdog group that is also a longtime Google ally on copyright issues, has accused the company of being hypocritical when it recently removed a controversial music app from its app store.

Two weeks ago, CNET reported that Grooveshark, a music service that provides free access to songs by enabling users to post their own music to the site, had seen its app banned from the Android Market. It later came out that Google acted after receiving a complaint about Grooveshark from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the trade group for the four largest record companies. The search … Read more

Porn studio's antipiracy plan rejects mass lawsuits

"I'm not of the mind that someone who pirates one piece of content is never going to purchase another piece of content."

That statement was made a couple of months ago by Quentin Boyer, a spokesman for adult-film company Pink Visual. Los Angeles-based Pink Visual has eschewed filing copyright suits against alleged film pirates in the hope that it can strike some kind of balance in a world where unauthorized digital photos, books, movies, and music are so easily passed around the Internet.

This year, a growing number of porn studios, including such top triple-x filmmakers as … Read more