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 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.
It's not uncommon for convicted file-sharers to receive a slap on the wrist for their crime - a minor fine or commuted sentence. Sometimes, rightsholders will even try to elicit a small payment from suspected pirates in exchange for not pursuing their hunch in a legal venue. But if a cyber offense is great enough, the legal system has no qualms with punching perpetrators in the gut. Two Finns found guilty of uploading over 100TBs worth of files via Direct Connect were ordered by a judge to pay a combined $725,000. One of the men also received a four-month prison term.
Not one to let Netflix be the only company to launch its product in Latin American this year, Apple has finally brought its iTunes store to millions of customers in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and 13 other countries. Free access to the service's cloud-based storage and subscription-based iTunes Match are included, said the Cupertino company.
When Michael Robertson talks digital music, it's hard not to take off the headphones and pay attention. The MP3Tunes CEO and ex-MP3.com boss wrote an eye-opening editorial for Gigaom this week, calling out record companies for hard-nosed tactics that make business difficult for online music services such as Spotify and Rdio.
With Roku appealing to Angry Bird-curious couch potatoes and Microsoft taking the first baby steps toward turning its Xbox 360 into a TV set-top box, Netgear has decided to keep expansion plans for its NeoTV streaming player simple. The networking powerhouse announced this week that several new channels are now available for the device, including Best Buy's CinemaNow service.
MAFIAAFire made headlines in April when it skirted the law by redirecting traffic from ICE-seized domains to their replacement sites. "The Pirate Bay Dancing," a new add-on created by the same developers, takes a shot at recent court-ordered attempts to block the titular file-sharing site from customers' computer monitors.
A recent study conducted by the NPD group and NARM found that streaming music services like Spotify and Rdio were discouraging users from purchasing music. In response to that study STHoldings pulled the music of almost all of its artists from all streaming services.
Recording Industry Association of America researchers said on Monday that the stalled PROTECT IP proposal enjoyed more bi-partisan support than the vast majority of bills introduced during the latest Congressional session. According to an analysis funded by the trade organization, members submitted nearly 1,900 bills for consideration since Congress convened on January 3. Of that number, PROTECT IP ranked in the smallest percentile of those backed by nearly three dozen representatives. No mean feat, said RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman.
The Motion Picture Association of America came out swinging against critics who believe the Stop Online Piracy Act would disrupt Internet security and harm businesses. The trade organization's Paul Hortenstine targeted the Electronic Frontier Foundation this week, calling the group's objections "sky is falling rhetoric."
On Wednesday morning, the House Judiciary Committee met to discuss bill H.R. 3261, better known as Rep. Lamar Smith's Stop Online Piracy Act. Introduced late last month, SOPA has garnered praise and criticism from all corners of the Internet. The Motion Picture Association of America and other trade organizations have urged Congress to approve the proposal, while cyber rights activists and companies voiced their concern for the act's other implications. Just one SOPA opponent was invited to speak at the Congressional hearing. Katherine Oyama, Copyright Counsel for Google, warned that the bill is tantamount to censorship.
A new piracy study has revealed that consumers are relatively accepting of minor content theft, though not too fond about the government or telecom companies messing with their Internet if caught. The American Assembly has revealed results from its "Copy Culture: Infringement and Enforcement in the U.S." survey, which asked everyday consumers pointed questions about digital theft, copyright enforcement and the new Stop Online Piracy Act.
With PROTECT IP on hold, the Motion Picture Association of America has thrown its support behind Congressman Lamar Smith's new Stop Online Piracy Act. The organization and its affiliates asked respected intellectual property and First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams to read through the bill and discern if it was constitutionally sound.
Apple’s iTunes Match, the company’s cloud music service, has finally launched for everyone today alongside iTunes 10.5.1. Apple originally promised that iTunes Match would be live by the end of October so this launch is two weeks late and still not quite perfect.
Sony's Music Unlimited service doesn't enjoy the same word-of-mouth enthusiasm that Spotify and Pandora have garnered from music lovers. But if being unpopular stopped the company from trying to improve, it would have closed up shop a long time ago. A new update for users accessing the streaming music platform on their PlayStation 3 consoles has added much-needed features, including greater customization options available to subscribers.
Not a week after a cease-and-desist letter from anti-piracy group FACT shut it down, and usenet index site NZBsRus is more or less back online. The group migrated to a new server over the weekend, retaining all its data and original URL. Access is available but limited, and its user forums are still offline.

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