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Mega.co.nz has today published an independent report which refutes claims that the site is a piracy haven. The analysis, carried out by Olswang, an international law firm that previously worked with the UK government on copyright issues, concludes that claims in a 2014 NetNames report have â€œno factual basis whatsoever.â€ In September 2014, NetNames published a report titled Behind The Cyberlocker Door: A Report How Shadowy Cyberlockers Use Credit Card Companies to Make Millions. It accused New Zealand-based cloud-storage site Mega of being a â€œcyberlockerâ€ and profiting from â€œcontent theftâ€. Mega reacted angrily to the report, branding it defamatory and warning of further action. This morning Mega revealed it had commissioned international law firm Olswang to critique the NetNames report, an interesting move considering the firmâ€™s pedigree. In 2014 Olswang worked with the UK governmentâ€™s IP advisor to publish a set of anti-piracy recommendations. They were later endorsed by the MPAA. The report â€œOlswang was asked to analyse the evidence and data used by NetNames in order to establish whether there was any factual basis for the claims. Olswang is renowned for its deep experience in the technology, media and telecoms sector,â€ Mega says. The result is a 42-page teardown of the NetNames report, clarifying Megaâ€™s business and legal practices while leaving the brand company with plenty of questions to answer. â€œThe NetNames report has been extremely damaging to Mega,â€ Oslwang begins. â€œMost notably, it has been relied upon by United States Senator Patrick Leahy to apply pressure to major payment providers and credit card companies to withdraw their services from those identified in the NetNames report.â€ Allegedly infringing content One of NetNamesâ€™ key claims is that the majority of the files stored on Mega are infringing. Olswang attacks both the claim and the companyâ€™s methodology. Describing the analysis file sample as â€œinherently biased towards finding infringing contentâ€, the law firm notes that only publicly available files were examined while the vast majority of files stored on Mega (encrypted and not publicly shared) were ignored. â€œIn September 2014, when the NetNames report was published, Mega had approximately 2.5 billion files stored on its servers. This means that the sample of files analysed represents just 0.00002% of the total number of overall files,â€ Olswang reports. The law firm adds that NetNames took no steps to determine whether content was actually infringing. Instead, filenames were used as the lone indicator of illegality. Business model After holding NetNames to its own definition of an â€œillegal cyberlockerâ€, Olswang found no similarities with Mega, noting that the companyâ€™s business model is â€œentirely at odds with NetNamesâ€™ own description of those used by cyberlockers.â€ Noting that Megaâ€™s basic service is similar to those provided by many other major legitimate cloud-hosting providers, Olswang addresses NetNamesâ€™ claims that rogue cyberlockers limit download speeds in order to encourage users to pay to upgrade to higher speeds. â€œMega operates a bandwidth limit in the same way as other legitimate storage providers and does not limit download speeds,â€ the law firm notes. And then to advertising. â€œThe NetNames report acknowledges that Mega does not host advertising and is therefore an â€˜exceptionâ€™ to the other 29 cyberlocker companies named. However it still categorizes Mega as a cyberlocker despite it being clear that Megaâ€™s primary sources of revenue do not share any of the characteristics ascribed to cyberlockers. We therefore see no possible basis on which such a conclusion can be drawn,â€ the report adds. Aggressive affiliate programs, which are considered by some to be one of the hallmarks of a rogue file-hosting site, are also tackled by Olswang in the clearest possible terms. â€œThe NetNames report estimates that Mega pays out $66,789 per month to affiliates. The source of this figure is unexplained, and it is entirely false. To date, Mega has not finalized any affiliate relationships and therefore has never paid any commission or retainer to any affiliate,â€ the law firm notes. Legal Of primary importance is whether Mega complies with the law, both locally in New Zealand and elsewhere internationally. The Olswang report highlights no deficiencies while noting that Megaâ€™s policies are â€œfully compliant with the New Zealand Copyright Act 1994 and the equivalent intermediary liability regimes provided for in the US DMCA and European ECommerce Directive.â€ The company takes down infringing content on demand and reports deleting 131,377 files in the first quarter of 2015, a figure representing just 0.003% of all files stored on Mega. Site users are subjected to a â€œ5 strikesâ€ regime, meaning that after five reports of infringement accounts are suspended. â€œAt the time of writing 29,290 user accounts had been suspended by Mega for this reason, comprising less than 0.16% of total Mega users,â€ Olswang notes. Conclusion â€œHaving reviewed the NetNames report and undertaken analysis of Megaâ€™s service, Olswang has found no evidence to conclude that Mega can be considered a cyberlocker, or that it knowingly, willingly or even passively assists in or condones wide scale copyright or other infringement,â€ the law firm writes. â€œIn summary, Olswang has concluded that the allegations in the NetNames report are highly defamatory of Mega and appear to have no factual basis whatsoever. The NetNames report contains numerous factual inaccuracies and methodological errors and draws conclusions that are entirely wrong. â€œ[All] of Megaâ€™s characteristics are consistent with those of a legitimate cloud storage provider in the same way as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Apple iCloud, Dropbox and many other similar providers,â€ Olswang concludes. Mega says it is pleased with the findings of the report and is now considering its legal position. â€œIt is quite clear from the comprehensive review conducted by Olswang that the assertions about Mega in the NetNames report are totally without foundation and are defamatory. We are now taking legal advice on this serious attack against Mega,â€ says Mega CEO Graham Gaylard. â€œOlswangâ€™s credentials on anti-piracy issues are impeccable, and their conclusions totally refute the allegations made in the NetNames report.â€ Thus far NetNames has ignored requests for comment on the inclusion of Mega in its report. With pressure building as it now is, the company could soon be left with little choice. The full report can be downloaded here (pdf). https://torrentfreak.com/mega-rolls-out-legal-heavyweights-to-refute-piracy-claims-150515/
Lionel Richie has dismissed claims he's Khloe Kardashian's birth father. The reality TV star has been dogged by claims her late father Robert Kardashian isn't her real dad and most recently Lionel became the focus of paternity rumours. But the All Night Long singer insists the reports have no basis in truth. While noting the Kardashian sisters often visited his home, Lionel, who is father to reality TV star Nicole Richie, insists he's 'not the dad'. "No! Of course not," he told Celebuzz. "But you know what, they are my kids. I mean, they grew up in my house,' he added, clarifying: 'But no I'm not the dad." Rumours about Khloe's birth father first surfaced after she discussed her doubts about her biological parents on her family's show Keeping Up With the Kardashians. While she threatened mother Kris Jenner she would have a paternity test conducted, the star never followed through. Khloe dismissed claims linking her to Lionel earlier this month. "I've had so many dads my head is spinning," she mused to Gossip Cop. She has previously entertained the rumours with humour. In one incident in 2012, she laughed that Tracy Morgan was actually her father after the comedian poked fun at the speculation while on Conan O'Brien's late night talk show in the US. 'Its been really tough keeping it quiet but thank goodness he said something. Tracy Morgan is my father... Maury we no longer need you. LOL (sic),' she tweeted. She's also said she's grown tired of the speculation, particularly from photographers following her every move. 'I learn so much from the paparazzi. LOL Apparently they know who my dad is.... Laughter is the best medicine (sic),' she wrote on the micro-blog. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
Attendees will also get to see "a bunch of stuff that maybe we shouldn't show you yet," Sony says. Sony's upcoming PlayStation Experience event--a two-day community-focused gathering in Las Vegas meant to celebrate all things PlayStation--is going be like nothing you've ever seen. That's according to PlayStation boss Scott Rohde, who labeled the event "unprecedented," and even teased that it will include some special announcements or reveals. "This event that we're gonna hold; this is pretty unprecedented," Rohde said during the latest PlayStation Blogcast. "This is an event for the fans, and I am so incredibly geeked about it. We're gonna show you a bunch of stuff that maybe we shouldn't show you yet." Overall, Rohde said PlayStation Experience aims to be a "celebration of the [PlayStation 4] and all the fans that made it as great as it is today." Sony announced PlayStation Experience earlier this month. Attendees will get to sit in on panels, meet developers, and go hands-on with upcoming PlayStation games. They'll also have a chance to get free swag and buy rare collectibles directly from game studios. The show will also feature an "exclusive first look" at PlayStation's 2015 software slate, which includes games such as Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Bloodborne, among others. The event will be held December 6 and 7 in Las Vegas at a "huge" venue. One-day passes will sell for $50, while two-day tickets will go for $90. More details regarding the show are expected to be announced today, October 20. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
Restoration process now underway; Imminent patch will help activate more online features; No update on PS Plus edition. Driveclub servers are "building a steady increase in performance", according to its developer. The performance increases follow a string of connection problems that affected players after the game shipped last week. Evolution Studios, the developer responsible for Driveclub's buggy netcode, has been persistently communicative during its disastrous week of connection problems and server timeouts. But late on Monday, the studio appeared to have turned a corner, claiming that an increasing number of players are now able to access the title. "Continual upgrades to the Driveclub servers are building a steady increase in performance, meaning that we're getting more and more players connected," the studio wrote. As an immediate response to the online problems last week, Evolution closed some of Driveclub's online features and postponed the free PS Plus edition. While there is still no new release date announced for the PS Plus version, the developer said another server update would arrive by Wednesday that would begin the process of switching on more online features. "We are sorry that we don't have more concrete news to share right now, but please be patient. We will have more information for you tomorrow," the studio added. Throughout the past seven days, Driveclub director Paul Rustchynsky has been actively addressing fans on Twitter, explaining that it was the game's buggy netcode that resulted in the server woes. He added that the team has not ruled out compensating those affected by the connection problems. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
Cloud technology could bring Xbox One and 360 games to web browsers. Microsoft could be close to releasing a consumer version of its internally tested cloud games service, according to one report, which would allow Xbox games to be played in web browsers. According to at least two purported inside sources speaking to Neowin, the unannounced service allows people to play both Xbox One and Xbox 360 games in certain web browsers, including Google's Chrome. One person supposedly familiar with Microsoft's plans claims that the streaming service can remotely display games at 60FPS. The Xbox 360 dashboard can also be streamed, offering access to an additional range of console features. Microsoft said "we do not comment on rumors or speculation" when approached by GameSpot. In July, the software giant's new chief executive, Satya Nadella, emphisised Microsoft's new direction by stating "we live in a mobile-first and cloud-first world". Game streaming technology works by running hardware and software at sophisticated server farms and streaming the data to customers remotely. Companies such as OnLive have bet their business on the viability of the technology, while Sony has invested in the area too by purchasing rival firm Gaikai and using its tech to establish the PlayStation Now service. Microsoft, which insists it still has a PC games strategy despite the general winding down of Games For Windows Live, could use the cloud service to reinvigorate its business in that area. Whether the internally tested Xbox streaming service is given clearance for commercial release is unclear. Neowin's report claimed "the product, as it stands right now, has Xbox branding and works outside the walls of Microsoft". However, it added that licensing issues with games publishers could become a challenge. Last year, Microsoft demonstrated Halo 4 running in the cloud on various devices at the companyâ€™s all-employee meeting. "This project is the on-going work from that demo to bring it to more users," Neowin's repot claimed. "Our understanding is that significant progress has been made from that demo and it is now being rolled out to more users." Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post