Victory for Hollywood Studios: Court Rules Against isoHunt

The Motion Picture Association of America announced that the file sharing search engine isoHunt is shutting down and will pay movie studios 110 million dollars in damages. The search engine has been fighting with studios since 2006, but is finally reaching its demise due to a court ruling that says it enables users to pirate copyrighted works. The site enables users to find files on peer-to-peer networks utilizing BitTorrent file sharing software.

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Vice Media Partners with BitTorrent for Music Video Bundles

Vice Media worked with Madonna to release a “Bundle” through BitTorrent called “Art for Freedom.” In a period of less than three weeks, the Bundle experienced more than 1.2 million downloads. The Bundle includes the 17-minute film “secretprojectrevolution” that Madonna co-directed with Steven Klein, in addition to special bonus features. The collaboration with Madonna has encouraged Vice Media to partner with BitTorrent to release a series of Bundles. Continue reading Vice Media Partners with BitTorrent for Music Video Bundles

Microsoft’s Mundie Sees DRM as Protection for Personal Data

Craig Mundie, senior advisor to Microsoft’s CEO, is proposing that a form of digital rights management can be used to secure personal data. He believes it is vital, since people do not currently have a method to ensure that the data they share will not be misused. However, DRM has been ineffective at preventing some illegal copying of media files. And many companies may oppose the idea as they require access to personal data for their businesses. Continue reading Microsoft’s Mundie Sees DRM as Protection for Personal Data

Should the Film Industry Embrace Piracy-Related Technologies?

An article in MIT Technology Review this week looks at the history and trends involving content distribution and suggests that Hollywood should consider adopting methods that are similar to those related to media piracy. While efforts to combat piracy continue, some question the perceived impact of file-sharing and other techniques, suggesting the film industry might be better served by adopting new ways to distribute its content and gain potential exposure. Continue reading Should the Film Industry Embrace Piracy-Related Technologies?

Do Movie Fans Turn to Piracy Due to a Lack of Legal Options?

A new website is building a dataset to help determine whether consumers are increasingly turning to piracy when movies are not made available legally via streaming, digital rental or digital purchase. The site — PiracyData.org — lists the top 10 most pirated movies on BitTorrent as reported by TorrentFreak each week, and researches the Can I Stream It? service to determine whether each title is available legally. The authors suggest that shorter windows would help counter piracy. Continue reading Do Movie Fans Turn to Piracy Due to a Lack of Legal Options?

Hollywood Taking Extreme Measures to Keep Scripts Secure

Enhanced security designed to protect scripts is becoming a standard procedure in Hollywood. Filmmakers do not simply worry about piracy, but also about a script being posted online for people to prematurely lambast, potentially compromising success. The strict security measures apply to everyone, and even Hollywood veterans are subject to intense scrutiny before they are permitted to read a script about a potential blockbuster or the sequel to a smash hit. Continue reading Hollywood Taking Extreme Measures to Keep Scripts Secure

Report: LSE Recommends More Collaborative Digital Culture

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has released its “LSE Media Policy Project Brief” as a policy analysis of the digital media industry. It counters claims that media industries’ revenues are in overall decline, points to successful new businesses that are based on sharing, and questions copyright enforcement efforts. The brief also makes recommendations that the British government should halt the Digital Economy Act of 2010. Continue reading Report: LSE Recommends More Collaborative Digital Culture

“Breaking Bad” Fans Flock to Social Media for Series Finale

Sunday’s series finale of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” led to unprecedented social media activity, especially on Twitter and Facebook. While AMC was running a marathon of the Emmy-winning drama leading up to the finale, Twitter experienced more than 100,000 tweets a day, sparked in part by interaction with cast and crew. Additionally, Facebook says that more than 3 million users generated about 5.5 million interactions on its social network during the finale. The activity comes as both social platforms are pursuing television dollars. Continue reading “Breaking Bad” Fans Flock to Social Media for Series Finale

MPAA Study Highlights Role of Google Search in Online Piracy

The Motion Picture Association of America released a report yesterday that criticizes the impact of Google and other search engines on the piracy of movies and television shows. The report determined that between 2010 and 2012, search engines influenced 20 percent of sessions that resulted in acts of piracy. The largest share of search queries (82 percent) that led to infringing film and TV content URLs originated from Google, according to the study. Continue reading MPAA Study Highlights Role of Google Search in Online Piracy

Megaupload Shutdown: MPAA Rejects Findings of Piracy Study

Last week, the MPAA rejected findings of a European study that suggests the shutdown of piracy site Megaupload damaged revenues for theatrical films other than blockbusters. Megaupload was shut down by the FBI in January 2012. While researchers at Carnegie Mellon found that the shutdown boosted legitimate digital sales of movies, a new study from Ludwig Maximilians University Munich and Copenhagen Business School argues that anti-piracy measures may have unintended consequences for different kinds of movies. Continue reading Megaupload Shutdown: MPAA Rejects Findings of Piracy Study

Spacey Recommends TV Industry Give Viewers More Control

Actor Kevin Spacey’s recent MacTaggart lecture at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival is generating a great deal of media buzz while it is busy making the rounds in the tech and TV industries. During his speech, the Academy Award winner discusses how Netflix and other companies are disrupting the traditional network and cable TV models. Spacey suggests that viewers want more control and that adopting a new distribution model could actually help curb piracy. Continue reading Spacey Recommends TV Industry Give Viewers More Control

BitTorrent Trying Image Change as Legitimate Marketplace

BitTorrent is primarily known for software that makes it easy to download and distribute pirated digital content. It is now attempting to change its negative image. In the past few months, the company has been actively attempting to convince musicians and content makers that it can help them earn money. The company is offering its BitTorrent Bundle as a way to encourage users to download content, and give creators a way to charge for it. Continue reading BitTorrent Trying Image Change as Legitimate Marketplace

Lively Provides Music Fans with Recordings of Live Concerts

When attending a live concert, it is not unusual to witness a sea of smartphones, but some find it challenging to enjoy the show while attempting to record it at the same time. And audio quality recorded via the phone is usually disappointing. Tech entrepreneur Dean Graziano may have the solution with a new app called Lively, which allows musicians to sell fans better quality footage from live concerts for a reasonable price: $4.99 for just the audio, or $9.99 for audio and video. Continue reading Lively Provides Music Fans with Recordings of Live Concerts

Startups Use Spy Cameras and Audio Tech to Stop Film Piracy

Two San Diego startups, Verance Corporation and PirateEye, have developed technologies to prevent and reduce media piracy. PirateEye uses cameras in theaters to scan for illegal recording, while Verance uses an audio watermark to determine if a video on a Blu-ray player is legitimate, and gives purchase options if the disc being played is a pirated version. Both Verance and PirateEye have received funding from film studios for their projects. Continue reading Startups Use Spy Cameras and Audio Tech to Stop Film Piracy

Comcast Pitching Anti-Piracy Alternative to Copyright Alert

Cable operator Comcast is developing a new approach to combating piracy that would convert illegal downloads to legal transaction opportunities. The approach would be an alternative to the Copyright Alert System, or “six strikes” voluntary initiative, currently supported by leading programmers, distributors and studios affiliated with the MPAA. Comcast is pitching its plans to film and television executives in hopes of getting major content companies and distributors on board. Continue reading Comcast Pitching Anti-Piracy Alternative to Copyright Alert

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