Welcome back to V.i. Labs’ weekly update on software piracy and copyright infringement. Last week Mega decided to accept Bitcoin, BitTorrent launched a new file sharing service and Adobe got into trouble over Australian pricing. Read on and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Google+ and our RSS feed to get the latest news.
In a move not likely to please the US DOJ, Mega has recently announced it will begin accepting bitcoins as payment for its file sharing services.
Bitcoin is a virtual currency that was created in 2009. A “crypto-currency”, bitcoin transactions occur through P2P networks and are designed to be untraceable. As a result of its inherent anonymity, bitcoin has become the de facto currency of the underground internet or “Deep Web,” a seedy internet underworld where illegal transactions often take place.
Mega already encrypts every uploaded file to its website - by accepting bitcoin Mega is extending its offer of anonymity beyond user’s files and to the users themselves. If this enticement begins to attract the more disturbing elements of the web, copyright infringed material might become the least troublesome content to be found on Mega servers.
Last week BitTorrent launched a file delivery service called SoShare. Still in beta, SoShare is marketed to digital professionals as a quick, easy way to send large files to clients. The service competes with other existing cloud services such as Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive and Mega.
Unlike rival hosting services that rely on HTTP or FTP, SoShare runs off the P2P distributed networking of bittorrent. The flexibility of the bittorrent protocol allows SoShare to offer a whopping 1 Terabyte of free data in addition to the other benefits of the bittorrent, such as the ability to easily pause and resume a download.
SoShare should give pause to anyone pursuing the “whac-a-mole” strategy of DMCA takedowns. While it's important to address internet distribution channels, it’s also important to have a strategy to track where your IP ends up and who is using it.
Australians were outraged after a YouTube video was posted showing Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayenlast awkwardly dodging questions about the $1,400 premium Australians pay for Creative Suite compared to the price in the United States. The difference is so great, according to news.com.au, it’s actually cheaper for Aussies to fly to the US to buy Creative Suite than to purchase it at home.
In protest to what many see as price gouging, Australians have taken to the internet to condemn Adobe and openly advocate pirating its products. Despite this recent outburst, price gouging in tech has long been an issue in Australia. Earlier this year the Australian Government requested executives from Apple, Adobe and Microsoft to appear in public hearings to explain higher Australian prices. The hearing currently is scheduled for March.
In response to Australian complaints, Adobe has lowered the price of its Creative Cloud subscription to match the price in the US. However, a standalone copy of Creative Suite continues to retail for a large premium in Australia.
Questions, comments? Is there a story or topic you’d like to see covered in depth? Please leave a comment below or visit us at our Software Piracy Initiatives Forum and discuss the topics with experts in the field!
Vice President, Products & Strategy at Revulytics
Victor DeMarines brings extensive security product management and marketing experience to Revulytics, where he is responsible for product strategy and direction. He is a frequent speaker and author on topics including piracy, reverse engineering and the protection of intellectual property.
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