Thursday, October 02, 2008

Hollywood Aims to Block RealNetworks' DVD Software

Hollywood's six major movie studios on Tuesday sued RealNetworks Inc. to prevent it from distributing DVD copying software that they said would allow consumers to "rent, rip and return" movies or even copy friends' DVD collections outright.

The studios stand to lose key revenue from the sale of DVDs, estimated by Adams Media Research at $15 billion in the U.S. this year, if consumers stop buying DVDs and instead copy rental discs from outlets like Netflix and Blockbuster.

Full story

Friday, August 29, 2008

Nigeria: Piracy - Robber of Intellectual Property

While piracy accounts for almost 7% of all global trade, Nigeria accounts for 80% of the pirated international music CDs. In this illustrative essay, Michael Dibie captures the damaging effect of piracy on global trade.

Nigeria's status as a favourable destination for foreign direct investment as well as a place where local creative talent can flourish is in jeopardy. No thanks to the activities of criminals that place no value on intellectual property (IP). That was the alarming message from a panel of experts who debated the enforcement of IP rights at the opening day of the CTO business and technology summit in Lagos recently.

Full story

Monday, August 25, 2008

Organised crime syndicates move into DVD, internet piracy

ORGANISED crime syndicates including bikie gangs have moved into DVD and internet piracy, with some channelling millions of dollars in illicit profits into drug dealing ventures.

They are making their money off the back of movies like The Dark Knight, of which pirated DVDs have already been seized in Australia, and locally funded film The Bank Job, which was on DVD in Australia before its release on the big screen.

Australia is now second only to China in the Asia-Pacific region for the number of pirated DVDs seized, according to the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft.

Neil Gann, AFACT director of operations, told The Daily Telegraph the growing sophistication of the pirate industry meant the big players were taking over from computer geeks and "mum-and-dad" operations.

More than $233 million a year was being stolen from the country's film industry - including video hire stores and suburban cinemas - and ending up in the pockets of criminals.

Full story

Thursday, August 21, 2008

IOC official praises China anti-piracy efforts

BEIJING, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Hain Verbruggen, chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, praised China's anti-piracy efforts against illegal broadcasts of the events on Thursday, calling them efficient.

  In a meeting with Liu Binjie, general director of China's General Administration of Press and Publication, Verbruggen said according to the IOC's automatic monitoring system, the illegal broadcasting of Olympic-related content occurring in the country had all been stopped rapidly and efficiently.

  "The anti-piracy efforts of the Chinese government set a good example for the global anti-piracy work for the Olympics," said Verbruggen.

Full story

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bill Gates predicts software revolution

Bill Gates, chairman, co-founder and former head of Microsoft, has predicted that continual expansion of Internet services will provoke a revolution in software development. 

During a visit to Hong Kong, Gates attended a forum on August 12 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Microsoft Research Asia, the company's regional research lab, which was founded in 1998 in Beijing, and has provided training for more than 2,000 interns from universities in the region. 

This was Gate's first official speech in public after he stepped down as Microsoft Chief Executive in July 2008 to move to a full-time philanthropist role at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Full story

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Canadian music mogul takes on China, pirates welcome

Terry McBride, the Canadian best known as the manager of pop megastar Avril Lavigne said the music industry's obsession with stemming the flow of illegally downloaded material is futile and short-sighted.

"I do not believe that the record label owns the song, the publisher does not own the song, even the artist does not own the song," McBride told AFP in an interview.

"It is the emotion that a fan attaches to that song, to that lyric that makes it popular. What the record business needs to do is to monetise the behaviour of that fan."

McBride said record companies need an alternative to what he sees as an outmoded business model that relies on a few mega-selling artists and copyright protection.

In almost every global market record sales are plummetting as people turn to the Internet for music, increasingly downloading it for free.

A recent survey by MTV of consumers in 12 Asian countries found that 77 percent of people aged between 15 and 24 had illegally downloaded music in the past month, while 59 percent had also made legitimate purchases.

The rampant piracy -- particularly serious in China where the rate of illegal downloading was put at more than 80 percent, which some see as conservative -- has led to aggressive legal action.

Full story

Apple Struggles to Win Fans in China

Yang Weiguo, a 20-year-old university student in Beijing, is a committed Apple (AAPL) fan. Given the American company's limited presence in China, that's no small achievement. In April, for instance, Yang bought a new Macbook through, a fan site for Mac users in China that operates an online store unaffiliated with the company. The online store had someone buy a computer for Yang in Hong Kong and courier it up to Beijing, saving him $293, or roughly 17%, on his Macbook purchase. 

So when Yang, who is spending his summer as a volunteer for the Olympics next month, found out through the Mac community that Apple would open its first store in China on July 19, he knew he had to be there from the beginning. He arrived at the shop, located in a swank shopping mall in the Sanlitun area of Beijing, 22 hours before it was scheduled to open. He was among more than 100 others who camped overnight -- even though he already had his Macbook and wasn't interested in a new iPod. "I don't have anything I need to buy," he says. Still, because he wanted to be there, Yang spent $26 for an adapter cable he could have easily purchased elsewhere. 

Smuggling Challenge Apple executives want to make it easier to convert more people like Yang from the cult of Mao to the cult of Mac. Apple plans to open a second store in Beijing in 2009 and another in Shanghai later. "We expect to be successful here in China because the entire economy is growing," says Ron Johnson, Apple's senior vice-president for retail.

Full story

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Videogame creator calls for ‘free games’ to beat piracy

According to renowned game designer Dave Perry, the best way to beat piracy within the videogame industry is to not cram masses of software protection on each and every disc… but to give the games to consumers for free. 

Speaking in Belfast after receiving an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University for his pioneering contribution to computer and videogame development, the creator of ‘Earthworm Jim’, ‘MDK’ and ‘Enter the Matrix pointed to the Asian market as proof that such an approach can work.

Full story

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Four GTA businesses nabbed in anti-piracy software sting

You can try to run illegal software, but according to the Business Software Alliance, you can't hide.

The BSA announced that four GTA-based companies have paid a combined total of $95,000 in fines after it was discovered they had unlicensed software from Adobe, Autodesk and Microsoft running on its computers.

“Companies should establish proper software asset management policies and procedures in the first place rather than to risk paying damages for unlicensed software use down the road,” said BSA chariman Michael Murphy.

“These settlements demonstrate that even well-managed organizations need to pay careful attention to software licensing requirements. The cost of doing otherwise may be very high.”

read more here...