Last weekend, after what appeared to be a pre-order blunder, Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok was leaked online in advance of its official release date. Interestingly, it now transpires that director Taiki Waititi is no stranger to piracy himself, after admitting that his showreel for the movie contained source material he’d ”illegally torrented” on the Internet.
The popular torrent meta-search engine Torrentz2 is without links to external torrent sites once again, for some, which makes the site harder to use. This time the issue is not caused by the site though, but by ad-blockers that use the popular Easylist filter.
The UK’s Premier League has won a landmark case against hosting provider Ecatel. The Court of The Hague ordered the company to null-route the servers of customers who offer illegal live streams. The provider has to respond within 30 minutes after being notified, or pay a hefty fine. The ruling can be seen as a clear victory but only on paper, since Ecatel was dissolved last year.
Grumpy Cat feels vindicated and is somewhat pleased. Her owners have won a $710,001 jury verdict in California, against a coffee maker that exploited their copyrights. The bulk of the damages were awarded for copyright and trademark infringement, with a symbolic $1 in nominal damages for contract breach.
Following in the footsteps of the United States, the European Union plans to launch its own piracy ”watch list”. Based on input from relevant stakeholders, the list will identify sites and services that facilitate copyright infringement, to encourage foreign governments to take action in response. Unlike the USTR’s version, the EU list can include American companies as well.
The Pirate Bay has been hard to reach for nearly a day, causing concern among some BitTorrent users. The outage is likely caused by technical issues, so the site is expected to rebounce soon. Meanwhile, some of the site’s proxies and its Tor domain are still working fine.
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.
The Motion Picture Distributors’ Association, which represents the major Hollywood studios in New Zealand, says that there is ”nothing” that can be done to tackle piracy other than site-blocking. Noting the local popularity of The Pirate Bay, MPDA is placing faith in government to pass the necessary legislation. Meanwhile, so-called ”Kodi-boxes” are cited as a rising threat.
In a new campaign video, several Members of the European Parliament warn that the EU’s proposed mandatory upload filters pose a threat to freedom of speech. The new filters would function as “censorship machines” which are ”completely disproportionate,” they say. The MEPs encourage the public to speak up, while they still can.
Kim Dotcom is seeking billions of dollars in damages from the New Zealand Government over an invalid arrest warrant. The entrepreneur accuses the authorities of negligence and misfeasance, which resulted in the destruction of the highly profitable Megaupload service.