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  2. The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'Justice League' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Thor Ragnarok'. 'Pitch Perfect 3' completes the top three. This week we have four newcomers in our chart. Justice League is the most downloaded movie. The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are Web-DL/Webrip/HDRip/BDrip/DVDrip unless stated otherwise. RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart. THIS WEEK’S MOST DOWNLOADED MOVIES ARE: Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer Most downloaded movies via torrents 1 (7) Justice League 7.1 / trailer 2 (2) Thor Ragnarok 8.1 / trailer 3 (…) Pitch Perfect 3 6.2 / trailer 4 (1) Coco 8.9 / trailer 5 (4) The Shape of Water (DVDScr) 8.0 / trailer 6 (…) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 8.3 / trailer 7 (3) Daddy’s Home 2 6.0 / trailer 8 (…) Lady Bird 7.7 / trailer 9 (8) Blade Runner 2049 8.9 / trailer 10 (…) The Gateway 5.9 / trailer https://torrentfreak.com/top-10-pirated-movies-week-bittorrent-02-19-18/
  3. Today
  4. Google and one of Australia's leading movie companies are on a collision course over piracy. Village Roadshow's outspoken co-chief Graham Burke has twice this month accused Google of facilitating crime and is now inviting the company to sue him. Meanwhile, Google is fighting for new safe harbor protections that Village Roadshow insists should be denied. Wherever Google has a presence, rightsholders are around to accuse the search giant of not doing enough to deal with piracy. Over the past several years, the company has been attacked by both the music and movie industries but despite overtures from Google, criticism still floods in. In Australia, things are definitely heating up. Village Roadshow, one of the nation’s foremost movie companies, has been an extremely vocal Google critic since 2015 but now its co-chief, the outspoken Graham Burke, seems to want to take things to the next level. As part of yet another broadside against Google, Burke has for the second time in a month accused Google of playing a large part in online digital crime. “My view is they are complicit and they are facilitating crime,” Burke said, adding that if Google wants to sue him over his comments, they’re very welcome to do so. It’s highly unlikely that Google will take the bait. Burke’s attempt at pushing the issue further into the spotlight will have been spotted a mile off but in any event, legal battles with Google aren’t really something that Burke wants to get involved in. Australia is currently in the midst of a consultation process for the Copyright Amendment (Service Providers) Bill 2017 which would extend the country’s safe harbor provisions to a broader range of service providers including educational institutions, libraries, archives, key cultural institutions and organizations assisting people with disabilities. For its part, Village Roadshow is extremely concerned that these provisions may be extended to other providers – specifically Google – who might then use expanded safe harbor to deflect more liability in respect of piracy. “Village Roadshow….urges that there be no further amendments to safe harbor and in particular there is no advantage to Australia in extending safe harbor to Google,” Burke wrote in his company’s recent submission to the government. “It is very unlikely given their size and power that as content owners we would ever sue them but if we don’t have that right then we stand naked. Most importantly if Google do the right thing by Australia on the question of piracy then there will be no issues. However, they are very far from this position and demonstrably are facilitating crime.” Accusations of crime facilitation are nothing new for Google, with rightsholders in the US and Europe having accused the company of the same a number of times over the years. In response, Google always insists that it abides by relevant laws and actually goes much further in tackling piracy than legislation currently requires. On the safe harbor front, Google begins by saying that not expanding provisions to service providers will have a seriously detrimental effect on business development in the region. “[Excluding] online service providers falls far short of a balanced, pro-innovation environment for Australia. Further, it takes Australia out of step with other digital economies by creating regulatory uncertainty for [venture capital] investment and startup/entrepreneurial success,” Google’s submission reads. “[T]he Draft Bill’s narrow safe harbor scheme places Australian-based startups and online service providers — including individual bloggers, websites, small startups, video-hosting services, enterprise cloud companies, auction sites, online marketplaces, hosting providers for real-estate listings, photo hosting services, search engines, review sites, and online platforms —in a disadvantaged position compared with global startups in countries that have strong safe harbor frameworks, such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and other EU countries. “Under the new scheme, Australian-based startups and service providers, unlike their international counterparts, will not receive clear and consistent legal protection when they respond to complaints from rightsholders about alleged instances of online infringement by third-party users on their services,” Google notes. Interestingly, Google then delivers what appears to be a loosely veiled threat. One of the key anti-piracy strategies touted by the mainstream entertainment companies is collaboration between rightsholders and service providers, including the latter providing voluntary tools to police infringement online. Google says that if service providers are given a raw deal on safe harbor, the extent of future cooperation may be at risk. “If Australian-based service providers are carved out of the new safe harbor regime post-reform, they will operate from a lower incentive to build and test new voluntary tools to combat online piracy, potentially reducing their contributions to innovation in best practices in both Australia and international markets,” the company warns. But while Village Roadshow argue against safe harbors and warn that piracy could kill the movie industry, it is quietly optimistic that the tide is turning. In a presentation to investors last week, the company said that reducing piracy would have “only an upside” for its business but also added that new research indicates that “piracy growth [is] getting arrested.” As a result, the company says that it will build on the notion that “74% of people see piracy as ‘wrong/theft’” and will call on Australians to do the right thing. In the meantime, the pressure on Google will continue but lawsuits – in either direction – won’t provide an answer. Village Roadshow’s submission can be found here, Google’s here(pdf). https://torrentfreak.com/google-on-collision-course-with-movie-biz-over-piracy-safe-harbor-180219/
  5. Google often indulges in theatrics, where it pretends that it is doing what it is required to do. In reality, the 800-lb search gorilla is laughing heartily at having apparently hoodwinked everyone. Earlier, this month iTWire detailed how Google indulges in security theatre, in order to try and make people believe it is serious about security. The most recent case involves images. In April 2016, Google was hit with a complaint by Getty Images under EU competition law, accusing it of creating galleries of “high-resolution, copyrighted content", and “promoting piracy resulting in widespread copyright infringement". Remember the EU is the one which has had the guts to fine Google €2.42 billion (US$2.7 billion) for allegedly abusing its search engine dominance to give illegal advantage to its own comparison shopping service. Google also faces EU fines over its AdSense advertising system and its Android mobile operating system. Hence, it was in Google's interest to pretend that it was doing something to satisfy Getty. But what it has done is a joke. The company said it would remove the "View Image" button that appears when one views an image after locating it by using the Images search option. This View Image button, when clicked, allows a user to see the image alone on a blank Web page, presumably to be saved and used. But removing that does little good. A user can use a context menu, that is available with a right-click of one's mouse, and save the image using the "Save Image as" option. This option is present in both Chrome (Google's own browser which has a 56% share of the browser market) and Firefox. Or one can obtain an extension for Chrome that provides the same functionality that the View Image button did. So how does losing the View Image button help in keeping down the frequency of copyrighted images being used without proper authorisation? Truth be told, it is a figleaf. Google's act is what is described in Hindi as naam ke vaaste – doing a thing simply for the sake of doing something, anything, in order to con someone else into believing one has done what one was supposed to do. If Google was serious about preventing the unauthorised use of copyrighted images, it could have removed the "save image as" option on the context menu that appears when one right-clicks on an image within Chrome. But then when was Google serious about anything except grabbing users' personal data in order to monetise it?
  6. Online education site Udemy is under fire for stealing content from YouTubers for its paid courses. After one YouTuber spoke out last week, Udemy removed an infringing course, but others say there’s still work to be done. YouTuber Chris Hawkes, who specializes in videos on programming and web development, uploaded a video this week accusing online course company Udemy of pirating his content for its site. In a brief YouTube video on the matter, Hawkes highlighted how a paid course listed on the website included one of Hawkes’ own videos on the programming language Python. Hawkes claims he was not asked for permission to use the video, and characterized Udemy’s use of it as content theft. Udemy is a paid platform for MOOCs—massive open online courses—on a variety of topics that boasts 65,000 courses and 15 million students, so Hawkes figured he was owed some sort of penalty for its use of his content without attribution. Or, in his words, “Udemy seems like kind of a sleazy-ass company.” Udemy was built as a platform to allow people to compile their own online video courses on a variety of subjects, then profit from those courses by charging tuition to people who want to view them, or give them away for free if so desired. This is not the first time Udemy has been criticized for using other creators’ content without permission. Back in 2015, the company came under fire when a video by Troy Hunt for Pluralsight, a tech training course site, was posted on Udemy with his name and watermark removed. According to the Verge, Hunt’s publicizing of the matter led Udemy to remove the video, although it was nonetheless on the site for some time. Udemy CEO Dennis Yang subsequently wrote on his blog that no actual money had been exchanged for Hunt’s course. It’s clear that someone has taken notice of the recent controversy regarding Hawkes, judging from the look of Udemy’s Wikipedia page. Early Sunday, Feb. 18, somebody edited the page, inserting a reference to content theft in the opening paragraph. Hunt himself highlighted Hawkes’ story on his Twitter account on Sunday, calling Udemy’s attitude toward piracy “a lousy attitude.” The company’s official account responded, saying it “took down an infringing course” (indeed, it was the one from Hawkes’ video) and included a link to the site’s official terms of service for instructors. Suffice to say he did not seem convinced. Hawkes, for his part, released a follow-up video on Sunday afternoon saying he’s “not losing sleep over it” but he expects more. “Who is this organization? … It’s bullshit, because they could have easily verified that it wasn’t legit.” He says he plans to reach out to another creator whose content was lifted for the course to see if they’re interested in taking action against Udemy as a whole.
  7. Yesterday
  8. 1 X APOLLO Invites Giveaway

    @JonSnow I would like an invite
  9. After hiring the services of a private investigations firm, Epic Games discovered they'd sued another minor for alleged cheating. The gaming company asked the court to keep the personal information of the kid under seal. A private investigator was also used to locate another minor defendant in a separate case, who is now risking a default judgment. Last fall, Epic Games released Fortnite’s free-to-play “Battle Royale” game mode for the PC and other platforms, generating massive interest among gamers. This also included thousands of cheaters, many of whom were subsequently banned. Epic Games then went a step further by taking several cheaters to court for copyright infringement. In the months that have passed several cases have been settled with undisclosed terms, but it appears that not all defendants are easy to track down. In at least two cases, Epic had to retain the services of private investigators to locate their targets. In a case filed in North Carolina, the games company was unable to serve the defendant (now identified as B.B) so they called in the help of Klatt Investigations, with success. “[A]fter having previously engaged two other process servers that were unable to locate and successfully serve B.B., Epic engaged Klatt Investigations, a Canadian firm that provides various services related to the private service of process in civil matters. “In this case, we engaged Klatt Investigations to locate and effect service of process by personal service on Defendant,” Epic informs the court. As Epic Games didn’t know the age of the defendant beforehand they chose to approach the person as a minor, which turned out to be a wise choice. The alleged cheater indeed appears to be a minor, so both the Defendant and Defendant’s mother were served. Based on this new information, Epic Games asked the court to redact any court documents that reveal personal information of the defendant, which includes his or her full name. Epic’s request to seal This is not the first time Epic Games has used a private investigator to locate a defendant. It hired S&H Investigative Services in another widely reported case, where the defendant also turned out to be a minor. In that case, the mother of the alleged cheater wrote a letter to the court in her son’s defense, but after that, things went quiet. This lack of response prompted Epic Games to ask the court to enter a default in this case, which means that the defendant risks a default judgment for copyright infringement. — Epic’s declaration for the motion to seal the personal details of minor B.B. is available here (pdf). The request to enter a default in the separate C.R case can be found (here pdf). https://torrentfreak.com/epic-games-uses-private-investigators-to-locate-cheaters-180218/
  10. Village Roadshow co-chief executive Graham Burke has slammed Google for "facilitating crime" by allowing piracy, saying the multibillion-dollar company is welcome to sue him for his comments. Mr Burke believes Google is partly responsible for hundreds of thousands of illegal downloads of the films Lion and Mad Max: Fury Road causing "millions of dollars lost to piracy". "If piracy isn’t nailed ... the Australian film industry will be over," he said. "It will become like a remote Los Angeles suburb." Lion has been downloaded illegally more than 350,000 times and is likely to have been streamed more than 1 million times, he said. With major films' success relying on ticket sales at the box office, illegal access to the films online can quickly eat into an entertainment company's bottom line. By allowing pirate websites to be on its search engine, the film industry veteran said Google was allowing criminal activity and was "welcome" to sue him for his comments. "We have been involved with films more than any other production company," he said. Mr Burke has been a board member for Village Roadshow since 1988 and describes his involvement with Red Dog as "one of the great joys" of his life. It is the second-best selling DVD in Australian history behind Finding Nemo. "I have an incredibly rich life and a large part of that has been thanks to film ... I want to put something back and if it means taking a risk then that is what is necessary," he said. "How can you make these films commercially viable if it’s being given away free?" One way copyright holders can stop pirate websites is by getting a court order for internet service providers to block a site. In 2016, the Federal Court ordered major piracy website Pirate Bay to be blocked in Australia. In August, Foxtel and Village Roadshow had 59 pirate sites blocked by using these site-blocking laws. Mr Burke is a 13 per cent shareholder in Village Roadshow. On Wednesday, the government put its site blocking laws up for review to determine if they are working and any needed changes. Google does not actively block pirate sites, nor proxy sites that show work-arounds to reach blocked sites. “My view is they are complicit and they are facilitating crime," he said. Mr Burke wants the search giant to be more proactive, rather than relying copyright holders to go through the court for every pirate site. In Korea, where Google is not the dominant search engine, local search platforms remove links to pirated content themselves. A Google spokesman said it took the fight against online piracy "very seriously" and had invested "tens of millions of dollars" to deal with the issue. "We down-rank sites in Search that have a large number of valid [copyright infringement] notices and ban pirate sites from our ad network." He said Google continues to hold "meaningful and earnest conversations with industry about copyright". Mr Burke said the company's efforts on piracy since he first raised concerns with Google Australia two years ago were not enough. "The people [with Google] in Silicon Valley are looking at their global internet and don't think 25 million people in Australia are a priority for them," he said. He likens it to businessman Frank Lowy allowing a shop in a Westfield shopping centre to sell stolen goods and steal its customer's credit card details. "Frank would say he doesn’t want it in his shopping centre," he said. Mr Burke doesn't believe Google would do the same because piracy sites are popular, attracting "eyeballs" to its search engine. "This is revenue lost to the producer, lost to Australia and lost to taxes." At Village Roadshow's half yearly results on Friday, posting a weak result for its cinema arm, Mr Burke told shareholders getting rid of piracy would have an "upside" for the company. The lower earnings of $21.6 million in the six months to December 31, compared to $29.1 million in the first half of 2017, was mostly driven by a "lack of quality titles" due to scheduling. The company also posted "disappointing" results for its theme parks. Mr Burke said the "Dreamworld effect", after four people died in an accident on a ride in October 2016, was still being felt across its business, including Wet'n'Wild Sydney. The Sydney weather also had an impact.
  11. Ewerest: News

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  14. Grangemouth bar The Ellwyn is one of three Scots pubs to be hit with £10,000 in damages for infringing Sky TV’s copyright. The award against the pubs followed a Court of Session ruling after the three screened programmes without the appropriate licence. The Ellwyn, the Thistle Tavern in Fife and and the Fourways in Wishaw were identified as having breached the rules after undercover Sky representatives monitored what programmes they were showing. The action was carried out by Burness Paull LLP on behalf of Sky, in line with a longstanding policy of pursuing pubs and clubs across Britain who are said to breach its commercial conditions, Publicans, including main trade body the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, regularly complain the satellite TV giant’s charges to licensees are unreasonably high. Over the years some Scots publicans have also argued that Sky’s package offers poor value for money in terms of content. But all trade bodies consistently warn against attempts to bypass Sky’s commercial agreement. The firm visits thousands of pubs across Britain every year in hopes of catching out licensees who flout its rules, and damages are regularly awarded against pubs in Scotland. Sky’s head of commercial piracy, George Lawson, argues its investigations protect publicans said to lose business unfairly because of illegal screenings. He said the advertisement of the findings would send a signal out to others in the trade about the consequences of illegal Sky screening. Nobody was available for comment at the Ellwyn.
  15. 10 x nCore Invites GiveAway

    An invite to nCore would be great. Still looking for a good tracker after the demise of SceneAccess. Thanks for your offer.
  16. Sweden's Minister for Justice has received recommendations as to how the country should punish online pirates. Heléne Fritzon received a proposal which would create crimes of gross infringement under both copyright and trademark law, leading to sentences of up to six years in prison. The changes would also ensure that non-physical property, such as domain names, can be seized. Ever since the infamous Pirate Bay trial more than a decade ago, prosecutors in Sweden have called for a tougher approach to breaches of copyright law. In general terms, the country has been painted as soft on infringement but that could all be about to change. After reaching the conclusion that penalties in Sweden “appear to be low” when compared to those on the international stage, the government sought advice on how such crimes can be punished, not only more severely, but also in proportion to the alleged damage caused. In response, Minister for Justice Heléne Fritzon received a report this week. It proposes a new tier of offenses with “special” punishments to tackle large-scale copyright infringement and “serious” trademark infringement. Presented by Council of Justice member Dag Mattsson, the report envisions new criminal designations and crime being divided into two levels of seriousness. “A person who has been found guilty of copyright infringement or trademark infringement of a normal grade may be sentenced to fines or imprisonment up to a maximum of two years,” the government notes. “In cases of gross crimes, a person may be convicted of gross copyright infringement or gross trademark infringement and sent to prison for at least six months and not more than six years.” Last year the Supreme Court found that although prison sentences can be handed down in such cases, there were no legislative indications that copyright infringement should be penalized via a term of imprisonment. For an idea of the level of change, one only need refer to The Pirate Bay case, which would undoubtedly be considered as “gross infringement” under the new proposals. Under the new rules, defendants Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundström would be sentenced to a minimum of six months and a maximum of six years. As things stood, with infringement being dealt with via fines or up to two years’ imprisonment, they were sentenced to prison terms of eight, ten and four months respectively. Under the new proposals, damage to rightsholders and monetary gain by the defendant would be taken into account when assessing whether a crime is “gross” or not. This raises the question of whether someone sharing a single pre-release movie could be deemed a gross infringer even if no money was made. Also of interest are proposals that would enable the state to confiscate all kinds of property, both physical items and more intangible assets such as domain names. This proposal is a clear nod towards the Pirate Bay case which dragged on for several years before the state was able to take over its thepiratebay.se domain. “Today there is organized online piracy that has major consequences for the whole community,” Minister Fritzon said in a statement. “Therefore, it is good that the punishments for these crimes have been reviewed, as the sentence will then be proportional to the seriousness of the crime.” The legislative amendments are proposed to enter into force on July 1, 2019. https://torrentfreak.com/sweden-considers-six-years-in-jail-for-online-pirates-180218/
  17. Critics fear the plan could lead to rampant internet censorship Opposition is mounting to a media coalition's plan to block Canadians from accessing piracy websites. Many people fear that the plan — backed by big players such as Bell, Rogers, and CBC — could lead to rampant internet censorship. "It starts with 'blocking piracy' and ends with corporations blocking information that opposes their goals and viewpoints," wrote Thomas Herr from Barrie, Ont., in a submission to the CRTC on the issue. He's one of more than 5,000 Canadians who has submitted an opinion on the piracy site blocking plan to the CRTC after the broadcast regulator invited comments. Many submissions express deep concern about the proposal. "The start of a slippery slope," wrote Charlotte Bush from Richmond Hill, Ont. "Abuse of the system is inevitable," said Renaud Bissonnette from Laval, Que. 'People are scared' The submissions started flowing in after the coalition of more than 30 members — including media companies, unions and creative industry associations — submitted their request to the CRTC on Jan. 28. They propose that the CRTC create an independent agency to identify blatant piracy websites that internet providers would then be required to block their customers from accessing. The coalition, which calls itself FairPlay, says Canada needs to take action to stop the scourge of piracy sites that are threatening the country's cultural industries. But many Canadians fear FairPlay's plan threatens the concept of a free and open internet. "People are scared," said Laura Tribe with Vancouver-based consumer advocacy group, Open Media. The organization has posted its own online page where Canadians can add their name to a submission Open Media will send to the CRTC opposing FairPlay's plan. More than 16,000 people have signed on so far. "The biggest thing that we're seeing is people who are not in any way in favour of piracy, but just concerned about how grossly overreaching this proposal is," said Tribe. "It opens the door for this to become a lobbying game around what people can and can't see." 'A serious problem' Shan Chandrasekar heads up the Asian Television Network (ATN), which is spearheading FairPlay's efforts. He said Canadians need to understand the seriousness of the piracy problem and shouldn't fear the collation's proposal. "To go after blatant piracy sites is, in our opinion, an extraordinarily simple, common-sense approach," said Chandrasekar, president of ATN, Canada's largest South Asian broadcaster. He said his company has lost close to $4 million in revenue over the past five years, and he blames the decline on lost subscribers who have turned to piracy. Chandrasekar says piracy has become a much bigger threat largely due to the recent popularity of Android boxes. When hooked up to a TV, they allow people to easily stream pirated shows and movies from the internet for free. Many box users are also paying underground operators $15 a month or even less for a subscription to more than 1,000 pirated live channels from around the world. "It's no longer a program that's being pirated on YouTube. That doesn't bother us," he said. "The entire 24/7 channels, the linear channels are now pirated." Cheques and balances? Chandrasekar said FairPlay's proposal focuses on blocking "only extreme blatant piracy sites" and that the CRTC would ensure that all the rules are followed. "The CRTC, in my opinion, is an extremely responsible body. They would definitely do their necessary due diligence." He also said anyone who opposes a blocked site would be able to make their case to the Federal Court of Appeal. "There is judicial oversight." But Open Media's Tribe argues the opportunity to contest a blocked site comes only after the decision has been made. "What they are calling judicial oversight is actually an appeal mechanism well after the fact," she said. "We don't think that's fair." Tribe also questions the plan's effectiveness because, in the past, when piracy sites have been shut down, new ones pop up in their place. "It's not hard for people to build a new website," she said. Give them what they want? The Public Interest Advocacy Centre will also be making a submission to the CRTC opposing FairPlay's plan. Executive director John Lawford suggested a better solution would be to offer what Canadians want: inexpensive, accessible streaming services as opposed to pricey, multi-channel cable packages. "If that's the new business model that keeps people from pirating, then why not change your business model into that?" he said. But Chandrasekar argues there's no model that could win over the pirates who are offering content for free or for a minimal cost. "You cannot compete with the pirates because they have no expenditure," he said. "They are not paying licence fees, they are not paying Canadian wages." The debate and submissions to the CRTC will likely continue as Canadians have until March 29 to comment.
  18. Electonic Arts, Nintendo, Ubisoft and other major game publishers have asked the US Copyright Office not to make an exemption to preserve abandoned online games for future generations. The companies argue that libraries, museums, and their affiliates might exploit such a right for commercial purposes, competing with other games. There are a lot of things people are not allowed to do under US copyright law, but perhaps just as importantly there are exemptions. The U.S. Copyright Office is currently considering whether or not to loosen the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions, which prevent the public from ‘tinkering’ with DRM-protected content and devices. These provisions are renewed every three years after the Office hears various arguments from the public. One of the major topics on the agenda this year is the preservation of abandoned games. The Copyright Office previously included game preservation exemptions to keep these games accessible. This means that libraries, archives, and museums can use emulators and other circumvention tools to make old classics playable. Late last year several gaming fans including the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (the MADE), a nonprofit organization operating in California, argued for an expansion of this exemption to also cover online games. This includes games in the widely popular multiplayer genre, which require a connection to an online server. “Although the Current Exemption does not cover it, preservation of online video games is now critical,” MADE wrote in its comment to the Copyright Office. “Online games have become ubiquitous and are only growing in popularity. For example, an estimated fifty-three percent of gamers play multiplayer games at least once a week, and spend, on average, six hours a week playing with others online.” This week, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which acts on behalf of prominent members including Electonic Arts, Nintendo and Ubisoft, opposed the request. While they are fine with the current game-preservation exemption, expanding it to online games goes too far, they say. This would allow outsiders to recreate online game environments using server code that was never published in public. It would also allow a broad category of “affiliates” to help with this which, according to the ESA, could include members of the public “The proponents characterize these as ‘slight modifications’ to the existing exemption. However they are nothing of the sort. The proponents request permission to engage in forms of circumvention that will enable the complete recreation of a hosted video game-service environment and make the video game available for play by a public audience.” “Worse yet, proponents seek permission to deputize a legion of ‘affiliates’ to assist in their activities,” ESA adds. The proposed changes would enable and facilitate infringing use, the game companies warn. They fear that outsiders such as MADE will replicate the game servers and allow the public to play these abandoned games, something games companies would generally charge for. This could be seen as direct competition. MADE, for example, already charges the public to access its museum so they can play games. This can be seen as commercial use under the DMCA, ESA points out. “Public performance and display of online games within a museum likewise is a commercial use within the meaning of Section 107. MADE charges an admission fee – ‘$10 to play games all day’. “Under the authority summarized above, public performance and display of copyrighted works to generate entrance fee revenue is a commercial use, even if undertaken by a nonprofit museum,” the ESA adds. The ESA also stresses that their members already make efforts to revive older games themselves. There is a vibrant and growing market for “retro” games, which games companies are motivated to serve, they say. The games companies, therefore, urge the Copyright Office to keep the status quo and reject any exemptions for online games. “In sum, expansion of the video game preservation exemption as contemplated by Class 8 is not a ‘modest’ proposal. Eliminating the important limitations that the Register provided when adopting the current exemption risks the possibility of wide-scale infringement and substantial market harm,” they write. The Copyright Office will take all arguments into consideration before it makes a final decision. It’s clear that the wishes of game preservation advocates, such as MADE, are hard to unite with the interests of the game companies, so one side will clearly be disappointed with the outcome. — A copy of ESA’s submissionavailablelble here (pdf). https://torrentfreak.com/game-companies-oppose-dmca-exemption-for-abandoned-online-games-180217/
  19. The company "Yandex" released financial results for the last quarter and 2017 as a whole: the key performance indicators of the Russian IT giant have grown significantly. Consolidated quarterly revenue increased by an annualized rate of 26% - to 27.9 billion rubles ($ 483.7 million). At the same time, net profit jumped almost threefold - from 1.2 billion rubles to 3.5 billion rubles ($ 60.8 million). The annual income of Yandex increased by a quarter, reaching 94.1 billion rubles. Net profit amounted to 8.7 billion rubles, which is 28% more than in 2016. The company's share in the Russian search market (including search on mobile devices) in the fourth quarter of 2017 averaged 56.5%, reaching 56.7% in December, while in the third quarter of 2017 it was 54.9% (according to data analytical service "Yandeks.Radar"). In Russia, the share of search queries for "Yandex" on Android-based devices was 45.0% last quarter, while a year ago this figure was 37.0%. It is also noted that the number of search requests increased by 9% compared to the same indicator for the fourth quarter of 2016. Revenues from the sale of Internet advertising grew by 19% compared to the same indicator for the fourth quarter of 2016. In the structure of the total revenue of Yandex, it is 90% and remains the company's main source of revenue.
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