The rise, fall, and rise of Popcorn Time

In a move that did not surprise Yours Truly, the unlicensed streaming service Popcorn Time was shut down by its developers a few days after it had gained notoriety. There was no reason why the site was removed, other than the developers needed to move on with their lives (after just 4 days?) There [...]

Is Popcorn Time really immune from copyright liability?

Meet Popcorn Time, the Napster for the streaming age. This is the Netflix of unlicensed P2P file-sharing sites, bringing HD movies to the masses for free, at the click of a button, no waiting required. The service is even entirely cross-platform, with versions for Linux, Windows and Mac, and it does not have ads, [...]

The Return of the Pirates

Pirates have a tendency to come back from the watery grave.

If you took a random sample from news items dating from the first half of the year, you would be forgiven for thinking that piracy was dead, and copyright maximalism was the victor in the Copyright wars. Megaupload had been shut down, its [...]

US judge finds that IP addresses cannot be used to identify infringers

Magistrate Judge Gary Brown has produced an interesting document in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York involving four lawsuits regarding so-called copyright trolls, porn producers who sue lots of users based on IP address evidence. The ruling states:

“The complaints assert that the defendants – identified only by IP [...]

Chronicle of a Block Foretold: UK ISPs ordered to block Pirate Bay

The High Court of England and Wales has ruled that UK internet service providers must start taking steps to technically block access from their customers to The Pirate Bay (Virgin Media has already started). Arnold J has delivered a short copyright order in Dramatico Entertainment Ltd & Ors v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & [...]

Can a court order stop a torrent file?

A typical BitTorrent swarm.

I’ve just finished reading the fascinating case of AMP v Persons Unknown [2011] EWHC 3454 (TCC) via the IP Osgoode blog. This is a BitTorrent case with a twist, as it is NOT a copyright case. Perhaps we have grown accustomed to BitTorrent technology, it is used to share legal [...]

SOPA and network architecture

The media frenzy over the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act (SOPA and PIPA respectively) appears to be finally dying down after last week’s Internet blackout, mostly due to the shocking news regarding the shutting down of Megaupload. While I publicly expressed some misgivings about the focus of the current debate, it [...]

The implications of Megaupload

May you live in interesting times, the Chinese say. Oh my, aren’t we blessed? The file-sharing site Megaupload has been the subject of an international law enforcement operation by U.S. authorities, who have arrested six men charged with running an international criminal operation engaged in copyright infringement. A fact that has been less reported is [...]

European Court of Justice rules against indiscriminate intermediary filtering

Victory! We have victory!

For more than a year, those of us interested in intermediary liability have been waiting for an important Belgian case, Saban v Tiscali (now Sabam v Scarlet). This has been a long-running battle between Sabam, the Belgian rights management agency representing authors, composers and editors of musical works, and Tiscali, [...]

Stop Online Piracy Act: Putting the extra in extraterritoriality

The Internet has been abuzz with the latest attempt to regulate the Internet, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). I’ve finally managed to read the proposed bill, and it really is as bad as everyone is talking about. To quote Treebeard in The Two Towers: “There is no curse in Elvish, Entish, or the tongues [...]