Tuesday, December 19, 2006

U.S. movie studios win piracy case in China court

BEIJING: Five U.S. movie studios have won a court case against a Beijing shop accused of selling pirated copies of "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" and "War of the Worlds" and other titles, the Motion Picture Association said Tuesday.

The Beijing No.2 Intermediate People's Court ruled the Yu Hao Qing DVD store and its parent company, Beijing Century Hai Hong Trading Co. Ltd, were guilty of copyright infringement and ordered them to stop selling pirated moves and pay 164,000 yuan (US$20,100; €15,300) in compensation.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Microsoft moves to block hybrid Vista

The software maker said on Thursday that the update is aimed at thwarting a technique that was letting some people use pirated versions of the operating system without going through the software's built-in product activation. Microsoft has dubbed the approach "frankenbuild" because it works by combining test versions of Vista with the final code to create a hybrid version.

"Windows Vista will use the new Windows Update client to require only the 'frankenbuild' systems to go through a genuine validation check," Microsoft said on its Windows Genuine Advantage program blog. "These systems will fail that check because we have blocked the [product] keys for systems not authorised to use them."

Although Vista was only released to businesses last month ? and won't hit retail shelves until late January ? it has been making the rounds on the internet, and there have been several reported hacks to bypass its built-in security mechanisms.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

China signs Web piracy deal with U.S. movie group

BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Friday agreed with the Motion Picture Association of America and other groups to do more to tackle copyright piracy on the Internet, the official Xinhua news agency said. China's National Copyright Administration said the country would investigate and punish those suspected of online intellectual property abuses by the movie association as well as other groups such as the Association of American Publishers.
The Chinese and foreign sides would also keep in close touch with each other and exchange information, Xinhua said.
The Business Software Alliance and Britain's Publishers Association were two other groups that signed the agreement, it added.
Piracy is one of the trade issues that has poisoned trade relations between China and the United States, and has been a focus of two days of talks in Beijing, led on the U.S. side by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

China announces anti-piracy crackdown


U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson confronted mixed signals as he arrived in China Wednesday for trade talks, with Beijing announcing a renewed crackdown on pirated goods but also running up a record trade surplus with the United States.

American officials are trying to downplay expectations of breakthroughs from the talks led by Paulson, Washington's point man on economic ties with Beijing, and Chinese Premier Wu Yi. The talks are billed as the start of a wide-ranging "strategic economic dialogue."

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Music Piracy Crackdown Targets Seventeen Countries

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has launched more than 8,000 legal cases against illegal music downloaders across 17 countries in recent weeks. "Consumers today can get music legally in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago ... yet some people continue to consume their music illegally," said IFPI chairman John Kennedy.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Vietnam fines South Korean Daewoo's affiliate for software piracy

HANOI, Vietnam Authorities in Vietnam have fined an affiliate of South Korea's Daewoo Corp. for using pirated software, the first time a corporate user of illegal software has been targeted in the Southeast Asian country, officials said Wednesday.

Police and inspectors from the Ministry of Culture and Information raided the Hanoi-based Daewoo Hanel Electronic Corp., last week and discovered all the software installed in their computers was pirated, said Vu Xuan Thanh, the ministry's chief inspector.

The illegal software included copies of Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office and Auto CAD, Thanh said.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

EU says China main focus of new anti-piracy push

BRUSSELS: China will be the main focus of new efforts by the European Union to crack down on intellectual property violations as it accounts for two thirds of pirated goods entering the bloc, the EU’s Commission said on Thursday.

“Secondary priorities are identified as Russia, Ukraine, Chile and Turkey,” the Commission said in a statement a day after stressing the importance of intellectual property rights (IPR) in a paper on its future trade strategy. “While the EU does not exclude the possibility of action in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against IPR infringement, the EU is not creating a ‘black list’,” it said.

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Microsoft to step up anti-piracy stance

Microsoft Corp. is cracking down harder than ever on software piracy as it tries to boost profits, but some say the harsh repercussions facing people who use unlicensed versions of its new Windows Vista operating system could spur a backlash....The crackdown shows how much more seriously Microsoft has started taking Windows piracy, which for years has been extremely widespread in areas such as Russia and China. The Business Software Alliance, a software industry group, estimates that 35 percent of software installed on PCs worldwide is pirated.

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Hurd warning over investment in China

BRITISH companies may be taking enormous risks by investing in China, according to Lord Hurd of Westwell, the former Foreign Secretary.

He will tell a conference tomorrow that the country possesses few of the enforceable legal and regulatory provisions to which international companies are accustomed.

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Watch out! Big Brother is looking

PUTRAJAYA: The men were hunched over keyboards staring at LCD computer screens.

They were checking out the offers but were not interested in buying anything. Instead, they were relaying information on the websites through the hands-free communication set.

In another room, enforcement officers were sifting through the files to cross check the information received to make a decision whether to mount a raid.

Malaysians who sell pirated CDs, VCDs and DVDs on the Internet should realise that Big Brother is watching them.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

China steps up anti-piracy campaign

China will step up its crackdown on pirated publications during the week-long national holidays, which start Oct. 1, said an official with the National Anti-Pornography and Anti-Piracy Office.

The "golden week" holidays are expected to see massive sales of pirated products, according to the official.

Other departments across China have been urged to carry out repeated checks on pirated and illegal publications.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Piracy to blame for no ITunes Movies For Asia

Fears of fueling the rampant movie piracy business in places like China and Hong Kong likely prevents Apple from offering movie downloads in most of Asia.

Although an Apple representative would not comment on the piracy issue in a report on Yahoo! News, it is difficult to imagine Steve Jobs and company not considering the prospect of feeding movie releases to mass duplicators just as their DVD counterparts hit the shelves at Wal-Mart.

Licensing agreements also have caused problems for Apple, as recording labels in Japan have shunned iTunes in favor of other outlets. A weak presence in the rapidly expanding Asian Internet market keeps Apple from profiting from that userbase.

"We cannot comment on the specifics but it is true that iTunes is not available in Asia," Tony Li, Apple's marketing director for Asia, said Wednesday. "That goes for music and movies."

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Chinese Google?

The Rise of Baidu (That’s Chinese for Google)

IN the summer of 1998 at a picnic in Silicon Valley, Eric Xu, a 34-year-old biochemist, introduced his shy, reserved friend Robin Li to John Wu, then the head of Yahoo’s search engine team.

Mr. Li, 30 at the time, was a frustrated staff engineer at Infoseek, an Internet search engine partly owned by Disney, a company whose fading commitment to Infoseek did not mesh with Mr. Li’s ongoing passion for search. Like Disney, Mr. Wu and Yahoo were also losing interest in the business prospects of search, and Yahoo — in a colossal corporate blunder — eventually outsourced all of its search functions to a little startup named Google.

Mr. Xu, who had called together some friends for a documentary he was making on Silicon Valley, thought the two search guys would hit it off. Mr. Wu says he exchanged greetings with Robin Li, but what most impressed him was that despite all of the pessimism surrounding search, Mr. Li remained undaunted.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Microsoft praises its WGA piracy check

Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage has faced a whirlwind of criticism, but there should not be any complaints about the accuracy of the actual piracy check, according to Microsoft.

"The total number of what might be actual false positives found over the past year amount to only a fraction of a percent," Alex Kochis, a senior licensing manager at Microsoft, wrote on a corporate Microsoft blog this week.

About one in five of the 300 million PCs that have run WGA validations fail, according to Kochis. That is pretty much in line with industry numbers for software piracy, he wrote.

Windows Genuine Advantage is a stepped-up effort by Microsoft to boost the number of Windows users who actually pay for the operating system. The company has said that roughly a third of Windows copies worldwide have not been acquired legitimately--as a boxed product or bundled onto a machine, for example.

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This blog usually reserves judgment on the stories and lets them speak for themselves, but we feel that MS goes too far on this. We have heard of false "negatives" for people that have a valid copy of windows. Also we have heard of numerous people that while breaking the "letter" of Microsoft’s license have abided by the spirit. I am talking about users who bought a machine loaded with XP only to discover later if they had any problems they had no choice but to wipe and reload from a "restore" partition. Gee, they didn't want to do this, go figure. They found a way around it, but now they are pirates. Or, are they?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Physical Pirate Pleads Guilty

There are many ways to obtain free software online. At its simplest, legitimate websites such as SourceForge.com or Download.com can generally supply an individual with a variety of free software. For those with larger shopping carts to fill, gray-market avenues such as The Pirate Bay have proven useful. Then there are flat out illegal operations, making no unclear distinctions between civil and criminal law.

This was the case for Danny Ferrer, owner and administrator of BuyUsa.com, who entered a guilty plea on Friday to one count of conspiracy and one count of criminal copyright infringement. The pirate software site, which began operations in September of 2002, set out with the determination to undersell the competition by any means necessary. Mr. Ferrer achieved this lofty goal, and by the end of the year was selling high demand software for a fraction of the manufacturer’s suggested price. Want Adobe PhotoShop but don’t have the $600.00? This conundrum was easily solved by Mr. Ferrer. For a price tag of about $99.99, Adobe’s premier application was shipped to any location world wide.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

SuprNova.org: The Story of a Legend

Despite the domain being on sale for over a week, there has been no news or discussion on the apparent end to the once all-powerful BitTorrent site, Suprnova.org. Nobody even noticed, and if they did, they decided the news was not worthy or reporting to the world.

It was not always this way, once upon a time SuprNova was as much part of BitTorrent as the client itself, serving up torrents to 420,000 unique visitors a day. Without question, the site revolutionised the dynamics of internet traffic.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

EU Trade Commissioner in China

The European Union's trade chief Wednesday was expected to press China for increased anti-piracy enforcement and greater market access during meetings with top Chinese officials, amid spats over textiles and shoes.

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson spent the day in discussions with Commerce Minister Bo Xilai in Beijing. No details were released. A spokesman at the Commerce Ministry said he had no information on the talks.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Software piracy still costs billions

The software-piracy rate worldwide held steady in 2005 from the year before, but losses from the practice increased by more than $1.5 billion, a new study shows.

More than a third of packaged software installed on personal computers worldwide in 2005 was illegal, according to the study, conducted by Business Software Alliance, an international association of software developers with U.S. headquarters in Washington.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Fight Digital Piracy with Piracy

Digital piracy costs music, movie, and software industries billions of dollars in profits. With decentralized peer-to-peer online networks offering covert means for people to swap files, digital goods producers are waging a global war against such networks and individual users. But, according to new research at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, efforts to battle internet piracy can sometimes strategically hurt digital goods industries.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Bosnia's software piracy rate falls

SARAJEVO : The proportion of software illegally installed on PCs in Bosnia fell to 69 percent last year, industry representatives said on Thursday. But the cost of software piracy increased by $1 million to $13 million, the Bosnian branch of the global Business Software Alliance (BSA) said.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

No movement on piracy

TECHNOLOGY industry lobbyists have blamed poor management practices and a lack of criminal enforcement for Australia's high rate of software piracy, with a study showing the local piracy numbers have barely budged.

A survey released today by the Business Software Association of Australia and its parent, the US-based Business Software Alliance, shows 31 per cent of Australian business software is pirated, virtually unchanged from 32 per cent in 2005 and 31 per cent in 2004.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Staunching a tide of piracy

SO FAR, the entertainment industry's approach to peer-to-peer file sharing has been to hire gumshoes to bang on teenagers' doors at midnight and haul them off to court - an act akin to trying to beat back a tsunami with a tennis racquet. In the process a lot of clever technology has won a bad name, not least Kazaa, owned by Sydney's Sharman Networks.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

U.S. group: China product piracy growing

BEIJING -- China is still doing too little to fight growing product piracy despite repeated crackdowns, causing mounting damage to legitimate producers of movies, music and other goods, a U.S. business group said Tuesday.

"The problem is growing faster than the enforcement efforts," said Charles Martin, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Man sentenced to 35 months for software piracy

A 28-year-old Ukrainian man, Maksym Vysochanskyy, was sentenced late Monday in federal court in San Jose to 35 months in prison for his role in selling pirated copies of software from Adobe Systems, Autodesk, Borland Software and Microsoft through Web sites he operated and on eBay, according to Kevin Ryan, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California.

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Boy, 16, arrested for Web piracy at home

Six months after the world's first criminal conviction of a movie uploader, Hong Kong customs authorities have arrested a 16-year-old Kwun Tong student for using his home computer to make more than 600 songs and 20 movies available for free download on a personal Web site.

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MPAA Employs Piracy-Sniffing Dogs

There is two new members in the fight against pirate DVDs: two black Labrador Retrievers named Lucky and Flo. The MPAA has backed the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) in training the two dogs to sniff out DVDs in packages coming into the United Kingdom.

The groups claim that pirated DVDs are often smuggled in packages with other contents. In their first test at FedEx's British hub at Stansted Airport in Essex, England, Lucky and Flo successfully sniffed out packages and parcels containing DVDs.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Singapore Company Found Guilty for Unlicensed Software Usage

Singapore -- In a landmark criminal case, interior design consultancy PDM International was sentenced to a fine of S$30,000 in court today for the use of unlicensed and illegal software – thereby becoming the first company to be so penalised since Singapore’s Copyright Act was amended on January 1, 2005 to make willful infringement of copyright for commercial gain a criminal offence.
The court case is the result of a successful raid carried out by police officers from the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) branch of the Criminal Investigation Department on September 15 last year where 11 computers were seized.

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BSA happy with self-audit response

PUTRAJAYA: Antipiracy watchdog the Business Software Alliance (BSA) is pleased its efforts to educate local businesses on the need to use genuine software is making progress, despite some companies staying recalcitrant.

The BSA reported that its software auditing programme last year was well received by Malaysian companies, with 1,493 businesses performing self-audits to check if the software solutions they use are genuine.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Gates: Beating Asia Piracy to Take 10 Years

Microsoft founder Bill Gates said on Friday that beating software piracy in China and India and getting compliance up to U.S. and European levels would take 10 years.

"In India and China it will be a decade before we get that level," Gates told business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"But as long as there is year-by-year progress, it holds a great opportunity for us in terms of scale, which helps us do more, and it's a great place where we have people working for us."

Gates said sales of the company's software in both countries were increasing every year and he was optimistic that China and India would eventually adopt proper licensing practices, just as Taiwan and South Korea had done.

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