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  1. A few minutes ago Australia passed controversial new legislation which allows for overseas 'pirate' sites to be blocked at the ISP level. Despite opposition from the Greens, ISPs and consumer groups, the Senate passed the bill into law with a vote of 37 in favor and 13 against. Expect The Pirate Bay to be an early target. Following intense pressure from entertainment industry groups, late 2014 Australia’s Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked the Cabinet to develop legislation which would allow ‘pirate’ sites to be blocked at the ISP level. In March 2015 the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 (pdf) was introduced to parliament and earlier this month it received the green light following a parliamentary committee investigation. A few moments ago and following just three months of consideration by parliament, the Australian Senate passed the legislation into law. The net result is that in the months and years to come, sites like The Pirate Bay will become inaccessible by regular direct means to most local Internet users. While there will be celebrations in Hollywood, not everyone in the process is happy with the outcome. The Australian Greens outright rejected the legislation, a position shared by several independents. ISPs and technology companies also complained about elements of the legislation, alongside consumer groups such as Choice who expressed concern that the scope of the law could be expanded in future. In the final count, 37 voted in favor and 13 against, with the Coalition and Labor in favor and the Greens and three other senators voting against. Labor joined the government to vote down several amendments tabled by the Greens aimed at narrowing the scope of the legislation. Despite an effort by the government to calm nerves last week by ensuring consumers that VPNs won’t be targeted by the legislation, a specific exemption for VPN providers was rejected. The legislation does not detail who will pay the ISPs’ costs associated with blocking websites. Earlier this month it was noted by a parliamentary committee that costs should “primarily be borne by those parties who are seeking the remedy†but nothing firm has been agreed thus far. The passing of the law was welcomed by Foxtel Chief Executive, Richard Freudenstein. “We are pleased that the Government and Opposition have taken strong action to combat online piracy. They recognize that, not only is piracy theft and therefore morally wrong, it is harmful to Australia’s creative communities and to businesses that employ hundreds of thousands of Australians,†Freudenstein said. “These offshore sites are not operated by noble spirits fighting for the freedom of the internet, they are run by criminals who profit from stealing other people’s creative endeavors.†The Bill will now be sent to the Governor-General for royal assent at which point it will become effective immediately. https://torrentfreak.com/australia-passes-pirate-site-blocking-law-150622/
  2. On June 16th 2015, Parliament will vote on how EU copyright reform will develop. On the table are all the sensible proposals: legalize file-sharing, promote peer-to-peer, enable technologies to be transparent and understandable. But all the non-sensible proposals are there as well: stricter laws, punish the people! If the people wont be punished – punish their service providers until their service providers cages them in prohibitive technical standards and digital locks! The pro-copyright lobbies are the best organised in the world. Second only to the tobacco lobby. They gather up employees and contractors and tell them real people and real internet users are bad people who want to harm them. When I was in the Parliament, I was at one time visited by a young mother of two who wondered why I was trying to put her children without food or education on the streets. She was a script-writer for tax-payer-financed French-German TV station ARTE. Even if I understand that her wages don’t come from copyright licenses, even indirectly, and even if she appeared not to have thought of that, it was uncomfortable to be accused of harming someone else’s children. Had I not been 10 years younger than her, and convinced that there are ways for her to make money that don’t include destroying the internet or putting file-sharers out of their homes, I may have opted to change my political opinion because of her heartfelt accusation. Many individuals like her are currently visiting our legislators. Many politicians are presently being accused of harming children should they consider progressive copyright proposals. What these politicians aren’t hearing, are the stories of those people who get cease-and-desist letters, get sued, or put through criminal trials or get handed damages so large they can’t reasonably be paid off in a life-time by a single individual. They’re not hearing the stories of those who’ve built networks for millions of Europeans where, for want of better words, cultural affinity arises. File-sharing and peer-to-peer culture, like no other culture in modern times, has created a common cultural base in Europe. Although I hope that even without my idealistic formulation of these matters, you’re all convinced copyright at least somehow needs to change. Politics too often gets stuck in the realm of the possible. It is possible that a 35-year-old mother could have her income impacted by a legislative reform that in no way influences her employer. It is not possible, but real, that many individuals in the European Union every year are caused heavy, even impossible, costs due to file-sharing trials and cease-and-desist letters. It is not possible, but real, that copyright laws are increasingly forcing technology companies to innovate to the disadvantage of the freedom of the users. The European Parliament needs to be taken back down to reality, and away from the realm of possible dangers before June 16th. If you are presently in the European Union, or if you can reach out people in the European Union, in any way at all: this is the time to ask them to contact their representatives in the European Parliament. Tell the Members about yourselves, your lives, your children and the world in which you want to live. Give them a taste of the reality which exists away from the speculative possibilities of professional lobbies. Whenever we’re too tired or too scared to tell our politicians what is important, whoever has the resources will weave them stories of realms of possibilities instead. The future of copyright, and of all of the Internet, is too important to leave in the hands of such story-tellers. Go to copywrongs.eu and figure out the specific demands you want to place to your MEP, but remember – your biggest asset is that you’re real, and the lobby stories mostly aren’t. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Amelia Andersdotter represented the Swedish Pirate Party in the European Parliament between December 2011 and July 2014. She’s an expert on topics related to the Internet, intellectual property and IT-policy. https://torrentfreak.com/how-you-can-help-to-fix-eu-copyright-law-150606/
  3. People who run 'pirate' sites out of Russia have been given a final warning by the government. Amendments to local copyright law that come into force May 1 not only protect more content than ever before, but also contain provisions to permanently block sites that continually make unauthorized content available. Following massive pressure from both local and international rightsholders, 21 months ago Russia took steps to improve its reputation of going soft on piracy. On August 1, 2013, the country introduced a brand new intellectual property law which provided a mechanism through which sites could be blocked by intermediaries should they not comply with rightsholder takedown requests within 72 hours. A year later telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor revealed that during the law’s first year of operation the Moscow City Court imposed preliminary interim injunctions against 175 sites following copyright complaints. It went on to block just 12 file-sharing domains for being unresponsive to takedowns, many of them BitTorrent trackers. With complaints from copyright holders continuing to mount, Russia decided to make further amendments to the legislation. Initially only video content was covered by the law but with an expansion scheduled for May 1, 2015, all multimedia content (photographs excluded) will receive protection. Furthermore, the law also amends the provisions on preliminary injunctions. Although it remains unclear how the new system will work in practice, the theory is that intermediaries (ISPs and webhosts) can be ordered by the Court to permanently block websites that continually host or provide access to infringing content. At least at this early stage it appears to be the kind of system U.S. copyright holders are pushing for elsewhere, one in which content that is taken down, stays down. With the new law just over a week away, State Duma Deputy Speaker Sergei Zheleznyak has been underlining the legislation’s reach. “The anti-piracy legislation that created the ability to block access to sites that distribute copyright-infringing films and TV shows entered into force on 1 August 2013. On May 1, 2015 amendments to the Act will come into force that apply to music, books and software,†Zheleznyak says. “This development will mean that the systematic violation of intellectual property rights will result in sites providing access to stolen content being blocked forever.†Putting operators of torrent and similar sites on notice, Zheleznyak issued a stern warning. “I would like to warn those who are still abusing piracy: you have until May 1 to try to and enter into constructive dialogue with rightsholders. They are open to cooperation,†he said. “Our common goal is to ensure that all work is adequately rewarded and that the benefit from successful books, music and wonderful computer programs is enjoyed by those who created them, and not those who stole them. If [site owners] are not interested in legal business, the response of the state will become quite obvious.†Russia’s first attempt at site blocking legislation failed to produce the apocalyptic conclusion many predicted. Only time will tell what the results of these latest tweaks will mean for local sites. https://torrentfreak.com/new-russian-anti-piracy-law-could-block-sites-forever-150425/
  4. The Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill was today cleared for introduction into the Australian parliament. In a whirlwind of activity it's expected to be passed this week and will herald the ISP-level blocking of "overseas pirate sites". The body representing the country's ISPs has expressed disappointment at the complete lack of consultation. For many years Australia has struggled with a reputation for being a country of file-sharing pirates. Following a period of heated debate, during the summer of 2014 two key piracy-tackling strategies boiled to the surface. First, in some way, shape or form, copyright holders would get access, indirectly if necessary, to communicate with errant Internet users found to be downloading and sharing copyrighted material without permission. Pressure built, with the government warning ISPs that they must come up with a voluntary solution to the problem or have one forced upon them. Last month in collaboration with rightsholders, proposals were placed on the table. It now seems almost certain that Aussie file-sharers will be subjected to a three-strikes style regime. The second element involved the ‘pirate’ sites themselves. Australian law allows local authorities to easily close down sites in their own territory should the need arise. While that’s not unheard of – a 400,000 member torrent tracker was shut down in 2008 – Australia isn’t best known for hosting popular torrent sites. The problem, according to the government, comes from overseas. Early December 2014, Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked the Cabinet to approve the development of a new legal mechanism which would allow rightsholders to obtain site blocking injunctions against ISPs. And now, just three months later, it is all systems go. This week the government will deliver new legislation to tackle the problem. Led by Brandis, the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill was today cleared for introduction into parliament. And things are moving extremely quickly. According to ITNews, the legislation is planned to be introduced into parliament Wednesday or Thursday with a view to having it passed by the end of the week. Despite many countries now making extensive use of the process, site blocking itself is highly controversial. In the UK, for example, rightsholders initially have to go court but are then free to add news sites to existing injunctions, even ones that don’t directly infringe any copyrights. So what mechanism does the Aussie model envision? Somewhat disappointingly those details are being kept a secret. The text of the bill hasn’t yet been made public and even the country’s ISPs are being kept in the dark. John Stanton, CEO of the Communications Alliance, the body that proposed the recent “three strikes†system on behalf of ISPs, said he is “disappointed†that his group hadn’t been consulted. Some consultation would have of course been preferable, since it is the ISPs who will be expected to put the site blocks into place. Whether copyright holders have a greater insight isn’t clear, but the head of the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association confirmed that he hadn’t seen a copy of the draft legislation either. In any event, introducing site blocking to Australian Internet users should be an interesting thing to behold, especially when compared to other site-block regions with different consumption pattern backgrounds. After years of being treated as second-class content consumers who have to wait longer and pay more for their content, Aussies have become extremely adept at using VPN and proxy services to access legal services such as Netflix. Those same tools can be used to easily evade site bans and recent concerns over the introduction of a strikes mechanism has only boosted interest in them. Torrentfreak
  5. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry says it is preparing to have several "infringing sites" blocked at the ISP level in Singapore. The move, which will target The Pirate Bay should it come back online, follows new legislation introduced last year aimed at smoothing the way for High Court injunctions. Domain blocking is now firmly established as one of the entertainment industries’ go-to methods for reducing online copyright infringement. Its use is widespread around Europe by both the music and movie sector. In Europe the most important legal decision was announced in March last year when the Court of Justice of the European Union confirmed that EU ISPs can be required to block access to sites engaged in copyright infringement. Elsewhere, individual countries are making their own decisions on how to move forward. Last July, Singapore legislators approved the Copyright Amendment Bill which allows copyright holders to obtain High Court orders forcing local service providers to block “flagrantly infringing†websites. Now, six months on, entertainment companies are ready to launch their first tests. IFPI regional director Ang Kwee Tiang confirmed that the music group will initially target three to five “infringing sites†over the next two months. “We are now actively looking into exercising this in the future,†he said. The sites to be targeted have not yet been revealed but it’s always been the understanding that The Pirate Bay would be tackled first. The site’s reputation as the “worst-of-the-worst†allows entertainment companies to present a relatively straightforward case to the courts. The rising number of blocking orders already granted elsewhere only add to the mix. “Now, The Pirate Bay has more than 6 million links. We take the screenshots and we show that these are not licensed. We’re going to show that The Pirate Bay has been blocked in nine or 10 different countries. I think that will be very convincing for our cause,†Ang said. However, with The Pirate Bay currently down, it’s possible that other targets will have to be selected in the first batch. Ang confirms that evidence is still being collated but he’s confident that a successful blockade will help to reduce piracy. “I divide (consumers) 80 to 20 – 80 per cent are average consumers, if they cannot get it easily and if a legal site offers it, they may go for the legal site,†he said. “The committed pirate is like a committed criminal. They will search for ways to circumvent. But once we have the website blocking, then we are free to tackle the 20 per cent.†The driving force behind the site blocking phenomenon can be found in the entertainment companies of the United States but following the SOPA debacle public discussion to progress site blocking has been fairly muted. That doesn’t mean nothing has been happening, however. In December it was revealed that behind closed doors the MPAA has been working hard to bring site blocking to the United States. Whether those aims will still be progressed following the somewhat embarrassing leaks will remain to be seen, but it’s likely the movie group won’t be steered off course for long. Overall, Hollywood definitely sees blocking as an important anti-piracy tool. The practice is endorsed by none other than MPAA chief Chris Dodd and internal MPAA research has found it to be effective. http://torrentfreak.com/ifpi-targets-pirate-domains-with-new-site-blocking-law-150113/
  6. Strangely unreported by mainstream media, there is a major revision of the copyright monopoly underway in the European Union. And the person in charge, Julia Reda, is a Pirate Party representative. The tide is turning. For years – nay, for decades – net activists and freedom-of-speech activists have been fighting against the copyright industry’s corrupt initiatives. In country after country, the copyright industry was practically calling out for mail-order legislation, and receiving it every time. The collateral damage to liberties has been immense, and has spilled far outside the net. In the US, people are complaining that copyright monopoly law is now unintentionally preventing them to modify items they legally own, such as cars or games consoles. They’re absolutely wrong: that was the exact intention with the most recent round of revisions to copyright monopoly law – to limit property rights and to lock people out of their own possessions. (The copyright monopoly is, and has always been, a limitation on property rights.) Further, that collateral damage includes making messengers (“intermediariesâ€) liable for any damages caused by a message they carry, unless they immediately take sites offline – which they would of course rather do, rather than risking immense lawsuits. The messenger immunity was gutted around the turn of the century, by the EUCD and the DMCA alike. “Notice-and-takedown†has been abused by everybody and their corporate brother, up to and including the oil company Neste Oil who attacked a Greenpeace protest site by threatening the Internet provider of Greenpeace, thereby killing the protest site. As activists fought – and won! – against software patent monopolies in Europe in 2005, it became clear that we couldn’t fight one bad thing after another, never having the initiative, always being on the defense against onslaught from corporate mail-order legislation. For every exhausting victory, there were nine bad laws being passed in the shadows. We had to go on the offense. We had to aspire to write the law ourselves, keeping corporate lobbyists firmly out of any corrupt influence. On January 1, 2006, I founded the Swedish and first Pirate Party. It’s now on its tenth year, and on its second term in the European Parliament. This term, that European Parliament is revising the copyright monopoly – definitely once, possibly twice. It starts out by evaluating what works and what doesn’t with the current set of laws on the matter. And the rapporteur for that dossier – meaning “the person writing the actual legislative document†– is Julia Reda, representative for the Pirate Party from Germany. Let’s take that again: a Pirate Party representative is writing the European Union’s official evaluation of the copyright monopoly, and listing a set of necessary changes. In 2006, did I imagine that a pirate would be writing the European Parliament’s official evaluation of how well the copyright monopoly has worked – and what needs to be changed – in the European Union, the world’s largest economy? No, I didn’t, to be honest. But neither did I expect that the Pirate Party representatives would manage to get “three strikes†schemes outlawed across all of Europe in 2009, or take a radical reform proposal (allowing file-sharing and more) into the political mainstream in 2012. When you open the floodgates of the unrepresented, things can apparently happen fast. Now, just because it’s a pirate writing the legislative document, that doesn’t mean that document is going to pass a vote in the European Parliament no matter what it contains. It needs to be negotiated to get majority support, as usual and as appropriate in a parliamentary democracy. The first of those votes is in the Legal Affairs committee on April 16, and the vote in the European Parliament as a whole is on May 20. So pirates aren’t “in chargeâ€; democracy is, as it should be. But the initiative has shifted. It is no longer solely initiated by mail-order lobbyists for corrupt incumbents who gladly sacrifice civil liberties and the entire Internet to preserve an unjust and immoral lucrative monopoly. For the first time, legislation on the matter is initiated by net liberty activists. This shift of the initiative was what we set out to accomplish ten years ago. I think it went faster than most people had expected. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rick Falkvinge is a regular columnist on TorrentFreak, sharing his thoughts every other week. He is the founder of the Swedish and first Pirate Party, a whisky aficionado, and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. His blog at falkvinge.net focuses on information policy. http://torrentfreak.com/in-europe-pirates-are-writing-the-copyright-law-150104/
  7. Jennifer Lawrence has reportedly been "dodging" Nicholas Hoult's phone calls. The 24-year-old star met her ex-boyfriend when they were shooting the X-Men movies and they dated on-and-off for four years, splitting earlier in 2014. Jennifer has seemingly moved on with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, but last week it was revealed that she and Nicholas will need to shoot some steamy scenes for the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse. Apparently, the thought has made Jennifer uneasy. "Jen's been dodging Nick's calls, but she knows she has to talk to him before they start read-throughs," a source told British magazine Heat. "It's comes at a difficult time and she's worried she may get confused if she starts talking to Nick again." Apparently Jennifer and Chris will have been together around six months when she starts filming the new superhero flick. The musician is apparently very aware of what's happening, so has come up with a way to keep his new girlfriend as happy as possible. "Jen's been travelling with Chris to gigs, but as her schedule stars to get busy, he's cleared his calendar to be on location with her. He won't be able to stay away from his kids for long, though, so he's going to be travelling a lot," the insider said. Chris shares two children with his estranged wife Gwyneth Paltrow. The upcoming X-Men film will apparently focus on the relationship between Jennifer's character Raven/Mystique and Nicholas' Hank McCoy/Beast. "It's a huge ensemble franchise but the point of this latest film was to strip that back and focus on Jen and Nick's characters' relationship," an insider previously told British newspaper The Sun. "Earlier this year that seemed like a great idea, but now they've split and it's too late to completely rewrite the script. They are very professional, of course, and will make it work.' Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  8. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  9. A new survey looks at what makes hackers tick -- and for most, it's not money or glory. When most hackers are infiltrating computer systems, the last thing on their mind is getting caught, according to new data. In fact, despite many highly publicized arrests, 86 percent of hackers believe they will never face repercussions. Password protection software firm Thycotic published the results of a survey on Thursday that looks at what makes hackers tick. The firm interviewed 127 self-identified hackers during Black Hat 2014 earlier this month and came up with some surprising details. For one, hackers' impulses don't appear to be financially motivated. More than half of those surveyed said their actions were driven by fun or thrill seeking, while only 18 percent were after money and 1 percent wanted notoriety. Twenty-nine percent of the hackers interviewed identified themselves as hacktivists that were interested in exposing the truth. Just yesterday, a group of these types of hackers breached the St. Louis County Police computers to publish dispatch tapes detailing the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. With 86 percent of hackers thinking they won't get caught and 80 percent of hackers either launching attacks for the thrill of it or a desire to unveil the truth, Thycotic founder and CEO Jonathan Cogley believes many of these hackers don't believe what they're doing is wrong. So, what types of tactics are these hackers using? According to Thycotic, they're continuing with tried and true methods, such as phishing and spoofing. In the survey, 99 percent of respondents said these tactics are still effective."They're probably thinking, 'I didn't do any damage and I didn't profit from it,'" Cogley told CNET. And, even if they do get caught they'd say, "'my intent was curiosity.'" "It comes back to the basics, they're not looking for the next crazy zero-day attack," Cogley said. "So many of them are happy using attacks that were used 10 years ago." Another conclusion from Thycotic's survey is that hackers appear to fear their own kind. According to the survey, 88 percent of respondents believe their own data is vulnerable to breaches or online theft from other hackers. As the world has moved increasingly online over the past couple of decades, there has also been an uptick in hacks and breaches. Not only have hacktivists flooded the web with sensitive information from governments and corporations, but also major websites and retailers -- like Target and Neiman Marcus-- have been the victims of data breaches. http://www.cnet.com/news/vast-majority-of-hackers-believe-theyre-above-the-law/
  10. Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of Russia's controversial anti-piracy law. Figures released by Russia's telecoms agency reveal that in the past year 12 sites, mainly torrent trackers, were blocked under the legislation. Critics say that web-blocking has changed very little, with pirate content just as easy to find as before. Following intense pressure from local and international rightsholders, on August 1, 2013, Russia introduced a brand new anti-piracy law. The key strength of the legislation is that provides a mechanism for sites to be blocked should they not comply with rightsholder takedown requests within 72 hours. This element of the framework caused widespread fear and speculation. Would thousands of sites, some carrying legitimate content, find themselves censored at the hands of over-broad legislation tipped heavily in favor of “corporate interests� Frankly, no. Concern that rightsholders would stampede to court to quickly wipe out as many sites as possible proved unfounded. Out of 19 complaints filed in the first three weeks of the law, just 11 were correctly presented and processed. Torrent site Rutor.org was one of the earliest casualties. After five months in action, rightsholders had filed around 75 official complaints. In 30 cases the targeted sites complied with official removal orders and in 19 others a decision was taken by the authorities to block offending URLs. Then, just six months later, Minister of Communications Nikolai Nikiforov announced that the law was having the required effect. “The law has actually brought us serious results,†he said. “We found that [the law's introduction] resulted in an increase of 30% in the number of people who pay for legal content. This is a major achievement. Our country plans to increase the number of consumers of legal content on the Internet to 30 million people by 2018.†Critics remain doubtful of the dramatic turnaround and throughout the year there has been little downturn in the number of rightsholders complaining about piracy. Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the new law’s introduction and it’s fair to say there were no festivities. According to figures obtained by Izvestia from telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor, during the past year the Moscow City Court imposed preliminary interim measures against 175 sites following copyright complaints. The Court went on to block a total of 12 file-sharing related domains, most of them BitTorrent trackers. This number is far below the numbers predicted one year ago. Perhaps unsurprisingly a far greater number of IP addresses were eventually blocked, 99 in total. “This is due to the fact that the sites tried to avoid blocking by migrating to other IP-addresses that Roscomnadzor also monitors and places on the registry,†a spokesman said. But despite all the complaints and blocking, pirated content is still easy to find, a key issue that doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Nevertheless, the watchdog says that things are improving. “If you want to find illegal content on the web, you still can today. But rightsholders now have the opportunity to make an impact on legal grounds, which is most critical for them in terms of the spread of pirated content. They are also beginning to unite to close pirated resources for longer,†the spokesman said. Furthermore, fears expressed by search engines that the law would negatively impact the web have not come to pass. “As for the dissatisfaction shown by Internet companies following the entry into force of the law, neither Google, Mail.ru, or Yandex has suffered from it. Many areas, where earlier there was illegal content, are now beginning to build into legitimate businesses.†But despite positivity from the watchdog, critics remain. “If you want to download any movie and can spend five minutes and still download it, then the law has brought no benefits,†Wikimedia executive director Stanislav Kozlovsky told Izvestia. “Also remaining are the problems caused by the very principle of blocking IP-addresses. If a pirate site is suddenly blocked, it costs nothing to move to a different address. This problem is solved in just a day.†Only time will tell if Russia’s legislative moves will pay off in the end, but if the first 12 months are anything to go by, they will have to wait considerably longer yet. http://torrentfreak.com/russias-anti-piracy-law-one-year-on-12-sites-blocked-140802/
  11. This morning Singapore became the latest in a line of countries to crack down on copyright infringement via web blocking. Fresh amendments to existing law will allow content owners to obtain injunctions from the High Court to block sites said to be engaged in widespread copyright infringement. Top of the list: The Pirate Bay The battle to stop Internet users from downloading copyrighted material is one that can never be won, but that hasn’t stopped a growing list of countries from having a go. Domain blocking is now one of the preferred methods of reducing copyright infringement around Europe and is endorsed by none other than MPAA chief Chris Dodd. Today, Singapore can be added to the list of site-blocking countries after passing freshing amendments to its Copyright Act. The news, unpopular with many Internet users, caused the term ‘piracy’ to trend on Twitter. The Bill was put before Parliament yesterday but was pushed over to today after time ran out. The newly-passed legislation will allow copyright holders to obtain High Court orders to force local service providers to block access to websites that “flagrantly infringe†copyright. How that will be determined is not yet clear. The new tool will be a useful one for music and movie companies. Previously content was taken down or blocked by ISPs on a case-by-case basis but now wholesale site blocking will become the favored weapon. Local media suggests that the new mechanism could allow sites to be blocked within eight weeks of a successful application. In a statement, Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah said the new amendments will help reduce piracy and boost legal alternatives. “The prevalence of online piracy in Singapore turns customers away from legitimate content and adversely affects Singapore’s creative sector,†Rajah said. “It can also undermine our reputation as a society that respects the protection of intellectual property.†Unsurprisingly The Pirate Bay is first on the list of sites set to be targeted by copyright holders, with KickassTorrents reportedly a close second. The law could come into force by the end of August so it’s possible that both sites – and most probably more – will be blocked before the end of the year. http://torrentfreak.com/singapore-passes-pirate-bay-blocking-anti-piracy-law-140708/
  12. Anti-Piracy Law Boosted Music Sales , Plunged Internet Traffic A new study on the effects of the IPRED anti-piracy law in Sweden shows that the legislation increased music sales by 36 percent. At the same time, Internet traffic in the country dropped significantly. The results suggest that the law initially had the desired effect, but the researchers also note this didn't last long. It’s been five years since Sweden implemented the controversial anti-piracy legislation, IPRED. The law, which gives rights holders the authority to request the personal details of alleged copyright infringers, was met with fierce resistance from ISPs and the public at large. At the same time, however, there were plenty of signs that the law stopped people from pirating. A day after it went into effect, Netnod Internet Exchange reported a significant drop in Swedish Internet traffic. Inspired by the anecdote, the effectiveness of IPRED has become a topic of interest for economists at Uppsala University in Sweden. In a new paper they report their findings on the effect of the anti-piracy law on Internet traffic and music sales. The main goal of the research is to examine whether the anti-piracy law did indeed have an effect, and to what extent. To make sure that the effect is unique to Sweden, both Norway and Finland were chosen as control groups. The results, which will be published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, confirm that Internet traffic decreased quite a bit after IPRED went into effect, beginning abruptly the very same day. IPRED’s apparent effect on Internet traffic Perhaps even more surprisingly, music sales also skyrocketed compared to the other two Scandinavian countries. “We find that the reform decreased Internet traffic by 16% and increased music sales by 36% during the first six months. Pirated music therefore seems to be a strong substitute to legal music,†the researchers write, summarizing the results. IPRED’s apparent effect on digital music sales Interestingly, however, the overall effect on Internet traffic and music sales vanished after half a year. The only effect that remained was the increase in digital sales. Internet traffic and physical music sales returned to normal, in part because the chance of getting caught is quite low. “The deterrent effect decreased quickly, possibly because of the few and slow legal processes. Law enforcement through convictions therefore seems to be a necessary ingredient for the long-run success of a copyright protection law,†the researchers note. The researchers suggest that if more people are convicted, the effects may last longer. During the first few years only a handful of file-sharers were brought to justice, while hundreds of thousands took steps to circumvent the law. “As the first court cases were only settled recently, it is still possible that further convictions would restore an effect that is more long-lasting,†they write in their conclusion. The question remains, however, whether bankrupting people or throwing them in jail is the ideal strategy in the long run…