Against all odds, retail survivor Trans World Entertainment turns profit

Where do you go to buy music and movies? Chances are, not to a brick-and-mortar shop. Not anymore, anyway. Not when the Internet offers all those discs at better prices, minus that judgmental employee who smirks at your every purchase. But despite the digital entertainment revolution, some people still love hitting the local shops, touching the merchandise and, of course, putting that obnoxious worker in his place. And in 2011, they did. Trans World Entertainment, which continues to operate more than 400 For Your Entertainment (F.Y.E.) and Suncoast locations, posted net income boosts last year.

RIAA chief: SOPA & PIPA were killed by misinformation

Nobody wanted the anti-piracy SOPA and PROTECT IP bills to pass more than the Recording Industry Association of America. Well, beside the MPAA. The music organization’s CEO Cary Sherman on Thursday blamed a purposeful misinformation campaign for lawmakers’ failure to pass both.

iTunes Match replacing explicit songs with clean versions

iTunes Match seems like a fantastic idea. Pay $25 a year, get all of your tracks up in the cloud either by having them recognized or by uploading them, and then you are free to download them to your iPhone at a moments notice. It seems the service isn’t exactly perfect with a frustrating glitch being discovered that converts explicit versions of songs to clean versions.

The Pirate Bay: Swedish domain name change ‘a statement’

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 Pirate Bay bows new promotional service for struggling artists

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.

MPAA calls anti-piracy OPEN Act ineffective, slow & costly

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.

Utah Attorney General backs SOPA legislation

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.

Spanish ‘Popular Party’ passes new fast-acting website closure law

Spain has stepped up and added itself to the growing list of countries that are experimenting with new techniques to clamp down on piracy and counterfeiting. The country’s ruling administration, Partido Popular, has pushed through an anti-piracy measure that will make it quicker and easier for copyright holders to shut down infringing websites.

Web experts: SOPA will not dissuade people who really want to pirate

Chairman of the non-profit Internet Systems Consortium Paul Vixie is far from sold on H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act. On the contrary, the web guru believes the anti-piracy bill and its Senate-based sibling PROTECT IP will do little to prevent consumers from illegally downloading content. If someone is determined to pirate a new movie or album, said Vixie, they’re going to find a way to do it.

MPAA: SOPA will pass with strong bi-partisan support

Following the House Judiciary Committee’s decision last week to postpone a vote on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act until this Wednesday, the MPAA has already predicted a big win for copyright holders. One of SOPA’s chief proponents since it was introduced this fall, the trade group believes the bill will be passed “by a strong bi-partisan margin.”

Sony and Warner Music are going to sue Grooveshark

Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group are priming to file a lawsuit against online music streaming service, Grooveshark. That lawsuit could be filed as early as today (Thursday). The lawsuit will likely claim that employees of Grooveshark have posted pirated songs to the service.