To what degree should Internet services be shielded from liability for the copyright infringements of their users? With the NAFTA negotiations underway this has become a hot topic once again. Content industry groups believe that these safe harbors should be tightened, while Internet law experts and advocacy groups want to expand US-style safe harbors to Mexico and Canada.
A New York federal court has issued a default judgment against pirate streaming site Pubfilm in favor of the MPAA. The movie studios were granted nearly $20 million in statutory damages and an order to have the site’s domain names permanently seized. Taking the site down completely might be easier said than done, however.
The MPAA has submitted its 2018 list of foreign trade barriers to the U.S. Government. The document reveals that Hollywood is concerned that Australia is considering implementing fair use exceptions, allowing circumvention of geo-blocking, and expanding safe harbor provisions for online services. In addition, the MPAA notes that stiffer penalties are required to deter piracy.
When two men were caught ‘camming’ the movie Fate of the Furious earlier this year, there was plenty of news coverage. MPAA investigators helped to catch the perpetrators, who were swiftly brought to justice. While both were subsequently found guilty, Hollywood pretty much ignored the news, probably for good reason.
A federal court in Virginia has granted Megaupload’s request to keep the cases filed by the music and movie companies on hold until April next year. Since all crucial data on Megaupload’s servers was preserved earlier this year, the MPAA and RIAA have no objections against the stay, which was triggered by slow progress in the criminal case.
The CCIA, which represents global tech firms including Amazon, Google, and Netflix, is cautioning the US Government against blaming open source media players such as Kodi for streaming box piracy. Any enforcement actions should be aimed at those who misuse the software for infringing means, not those who code it.
Cloudflare has responded to the repeated criticism of entertainment industry groups, which accuse the company of helping pirate sites. The CDN provider informs the U.S. Government that it operates in accordance with the law and that the complaints bring nothing new to the table.
The MPAA has submitted a new list of “notorious websites” to the US Government. The list features a wide variety of pirate sites including The Pirate Bay, Gostream, and Rapidgator, and also mentions fully-loaded streaming boxes. For the first time, the overview also includes ad-networks, highlighting the Canadian company WWWPromoter as an example.
The MPAA, RIAA and other entertainment industry groups are unhappy with how Ukraine is handling online piracy. The country has become a safe haven for many pirate sites, they say. In a recommendation to the US Government the copyright holder groups recommend suspending or withdrawing several trade benefits until the situation improves.
While millions of people were sending in comments urging the FCC to stop a looming repeal of current net neutrality rules, the MPAA focused on something else. In a recently submitted letter, the Hollywood group doesn’t argue for or against the proposals. It merely wants to ensure that future net neutrality regulation doesn’t hinder anti-piracy efforts.