Global Trade Group Proposes Universal Release Day for Albums

After several months of discussions, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has officially declared Fridays as the release day for all new music albums. In today’s digital era, music listeners want to have access to albums the moment they are available anywhere in the world. Rather than staggering the releases on different days in different countries, the universal release approach aims to combat piracy. There is no word yet on when this new distribution model will take effect. Continue reading Global Trade Group Proposes Universal Release Day for Albums

Popcorn Time Accounts for One-Ninth of U.S. Torrent Traffic

In less than a year, Popcorn Time has become one of the most popular services to torrent pirated media content online. The slick grid interface looks similar to that of Netflix or Hulu, making the service look more legitimate and easier to navigate to find a TV show or movie. The program is actually an index of other BitTorrent sites. Popcorn Time’s popularity has been growing in the U.S. and abroad, especially in countries where streaming services are less established. Continue reading Popcorn Time Accounts for One-Ninth of U.S. Torrent Traffic

FCC Rules in Favor of Regulating Broadband Internet as Utility

The FCC voted 3 to 2 yesterday to approve regulation of broadband Internet service as a public utility. The new rules, recently proposed by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, are designed to ensure net neutrality by discouraging content blocking and the introduction of “fast lanes” for Internet and media companies and “slow lanes” for others. Wheeler said the FCC was using “all the tools in our toolbox to protect innovators and consumers.” He added that Internet access is “too important to let broadband providers be the ones making the rules.” Continue reading FCC Rules in Favor of Regulating Broadband Internet as Utility

Academy Award Nominations Lead to Spike in Pirated Downloads

Digital piracy tracking firm Irdeto reports that global downloads of pirated Oscar-nominated films jumped 385 percent in the 30 days following the nomination announcements on January 15. Irdeto suggests the pirated downloads represent about $41 million in lost revenue. While Hollywood studios and motion picture companies continue to struggle with the problem of piracy, some have recommended embracing the Internet for initial releases, making films available theatrically and online at the same time. Continue reading Academy Award Nominations Lead to Spike in Pirated Downloads

David Cross Partners with BitTorrent for Distribution of “HITS”

Starting this Friday, viewers will be able to name their price to see “HITS,” the latest feature film from actor/director David Cross. Rather than pursue a traditional distribution deal, Cross and his producing team opted to partner with BitTorrent. They felt that the indie film deserved to be showcased differently than a push into select cities with a VOD release to follow. According to Cross, the flexible pay option, which will run for two weeks, is an approach he hopes will help eliminate piracy of the film. Continue reading David Cross Partners with BitTorrent for Distribution of “HITS”

The Pirate Bay Returns After Being Shut Down by Authorities

Popular file-sharing site The Pirate Bay is back online following a two-month outage after police in Stockholm raided a data center and seized servers. Responding to complaints from Swedish anti-piracy group Rights Alliance, authorities shut down numerous peer-to-peer and torrent-related services on December 9. Later that month, The Pirate Bay page returned, went through several iterations, and eventually replaced its pirate ship with a phoenix logo. A countdown clock indicated a February 1 return, and the site now appears to be live. Continue reading The Pirate Bay Returns After Being Shut Down by Authorities

Online Piracy is Still Going Strong Despite Pirate Bay Closure

According to anti-piracy firm Excipio, the number of global illegally downloaded files has gone relatively unaffected by the recent shut down of The Pirate Bay. During the six-day period following the recent raid of the piracy organization’s data hosting center, illegal downloads slightly dropped, only to go up again a few days later. Even without The Pirate Bay’s active online presence, people have plenty of other alternative sites to visit for pirated movies, music and TV shows. Continue reading Online Piracy is Still Going Strong Despite Pirate Bay Closure

Pirate Bay File-Sharing Service Raided by Police, Shut Down

The Pirate Bay was taken down yesterday after Swedish police raided a server room over alleged copyright violations, seizing computers and servers in the process. Pirate Bay’s file-sharing section and its Suprbay.org forum were both affected. The move follows a series of recent events surrounding the service that have returned it to the spotlight. Online sources are reporting that file sharing services such as EZTV, Torrage and Zoink also went down yesterday, but it is not yet clear whether they were raided. Continue reading Pirate Bay File-Sharing Service Raided by Police, Shut Down

Artists Get Major Cut from BitTorrent Premium Content Bundles

File sharing network BitTorrent is now giving all artists the option to distribute their content in paid content bundles. A paygate-based distribution model is a major departure for the site that is infamous for its pirating. BitTorrent will get a 10 percent cut of the revenue from these paygate premium content bundles, while artists will earn a whopping 90 percent cut. The artists will also get access to valuable data about the consumers who are buying their content on BitTorrent. Continue reading Artists Get Major Cut from BitTorrent Premium Content Bundles

YouTube Music Key: A New Player in Subscription Streaming

For years, Google’s YouTube has been the most visited online destination for free music. And while other companies such as Pandora and Spotify have opted for a pay model to provide consumers with unlimited, uninterrupted music content, YouTube remained out of the subscription streaming business — until now. Last week, YouTube unveiled YouTube Music Key, a music streaming service that offers higher quality, access anywhere, ad-free music for $10 per month. Continue reading YouTube Music Key: A New Player in Subscription Streaming

MPAA Points Viewers to Legal Sources for Movies, TV Shows

The MPAA has launched an ad-free search engine that helps viewers easily locate movies and TV shows available from authorized sources. WhereToWatch.com — essentially a refresh of the WhereToWatch.org site launched last spring — is the latest effort by the trade group to combat piracy and provide consumers with legal options for accessing their media content. The site offers links and related info for titles available via Amazon, Apple’s iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, SnagFilms and WolfeOnDemand. Continue reading MPAA Points Viewers to Legal Sources for Movies, TV Shows

Spotify Chief Exec Responds to Taylor Swift Pulling Her Music

Spotify Chief Executive Daniel Ek defended his streaming service in a statement released Tuesday in response to Taylor Swift’s decision to pull her entire collection of songs from Spotify. Swift, whose latest album “1989” sold almost 1.3 million copies in its first week, pulled her collection from Spotify because she believes the company does not fairly compensate music creators. Ek, however, pointed out that his company has now paid $2 billion in royalties and helps prevent piracy. Continue reading Spotify Chief Exec Responds to Taylor Swift Pulling Her Music

Disney Creates a Search Engine That Filters Pirated Results

Disney has secured a patent for a new search engine that will not highlight sites featuring pirated content in the search results. The search engine filters the results based on “authenticity,” so that illicit content will be more difficult to find. Disney and other companies have been unsatisfied with Google’s efforts to hide pirated sites. Disney’s new search technology also goes a step further by making the authentic trademark holder’s page rank higher than product reviews or Wikipedia entries. Continue reading Disney Creates a Search Engine That Filters Pirated Results

NATO, MPAA Update Anti-Piracy Policy to Include Wearables

The National Association of Theatre Owners, which currently maintains 32,000 U.S. screens, and the Motion Picture Association of America announced in a joint statement yesterday that their anti-piracy policies would now include powering off wearable devices. “As part of our continued efforts to ensure movies are not recorded in theaters,” the groups explained, “we maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward using any recording device while movies are being shown.” Continue reading NATO, MPAA Update Anti-Piracy Policy to Include Wearables

Google Report Explains Enhancement of Anti-Piracy Efforts

Google claims that it has taken additional measures to make search results more resistant to piracy. According to a new white paper, Google has changed its search-engine algorithms so the sites with a large number of takedown notices appear lower in search results rankings. The company has also enhanced autocomplete and related search, preventing the inclusion of terms associated with piracy. New advertising products will also promote copyright-friendliness.  Continue reading Google Report Explains Enhancement of Anti-Piracy Efforts

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