The Pirate Bay took a drastic step this week and switched domains. Rather than its usual .org TLD, the torrent site is now flying its skull and crossbones under Sweden's .se country code. The swap shouldn't be seen as a sign of weakness, said the site's admins, but a message: they aren't going anywhere.
The OPEN Act, introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa and supported by Rep. Ron Wyden, received support from the same Internet businesses that spoke out against previous anti-piracy legislation. MPAA Executive Vice President Michael O' Leary, however, wasn't satisfied. The trade group boss last month called the bill's proposal to place the burden for shutting down foreign rogue sites on the International Trade Commission a big mistake. This week, O'Leary once again slammed the OPEN Act, saying it "falls significantly short" of meaningful anti-piracy legislation.
Most Netflix users haven't heard of tech start-up eyeIO. The privately-held Palo Alto company has worked behind the scenes to improve the quality and delivery of streaming online video without ratcheting up the required bandwidth. Until now, that is. Netflix and eyeIO formally announced a commercial licensing deal to help the streaming video giant fly under bandwidth caps.
Several major movie studios are backing the digital video platform UltraViolet, but according to industry expert Dan Rayburn the new distribution model highlights their ignorance of what consumers actually want and expect from streaming video.
Chalk one up for Netflix's competition. The UK-based movie rental and instant streaming service LoveFilm announced this week that it has inked a new deal with ABC TV Studios, providing members unfettered access to "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy," "Lost" and more.
Ditching the illegal but keeping the free, infamous Swedish torrent depot The Pirate Bay announced on Monday an initiative dubbed "The Promo Bay" to help new and struggling musicians and filmmakers. The ongoing contest will offer the site's own home page to lucky winners.
The Motion Picture Association of America criticized this week the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN), calling it a "distraction" to legitimate anti-piracy legislation. Introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa and backed by Sen. Ron Wyden, the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) was designed as an alternative to PROTECT IP and SOPA, which many fear could lead to online censorship and the unfair targeting of legitimate sites.
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At least five Blockbuster locations in New Jersey will be closed by the end of January, potentially leaving dozens of employees out of work.
Mark L. Shurtleff is no fan of Internet piracy. In an editorial for The Salt Lake Tribune last week, Shurtleff called online counterfeiters and rogue foreign sites a threat to safety, innovation and the local economy. His solution? The Senate should pass PROTECT IP, and the House should pass SOPA.
Surprising no one, Sony announced at its CES press conference that the new PS Vita portable gaming system will feature full access to Netflix's roster of instant streaming movies and TV shows.
Netflix's European expansion is officially underway. The instant streaming giant launched in the UK and Ireland this week, offering region-specific programming to its diverse roster of TV shows and movies. The move, however, finds the company in a position it's not used to: the underdog.
If you commonly rent Warner Brothers DVDs from Netflix, Redbox, or Blockbuster you may soon have to wait longer to have access to those movies. A new deal specifies that rental services will have to wait 56 days to receive new releases after Warner Brothers DVD movies go on sale.
Looming anti-piracy bills haven't stopped peer-to-peer protocol innovation. If anything, they may have spurred it. The popular file-sharing company BitTorrent has released an alpha version of a new app it believes will make the entire process quicker and easier than traditional methods.
Netflix may have ended 2011 with a whimper, shedding an estimated one million subscribers and popular content, but people still watched. Boy, did they watch.
Some folks have criticized Netflix for being anti-innovation. According to Netflix's Adrian Cockcroft, they're only half right. Cockcroft, who works as a cloud architect for the streaming giant, outlined the unique business practices (not forcing innovation just for the sake of it), corporate structure (no bonuses or ITops groups) and even the mistakes (Qwikster) that make Netflix unlike other companies.