Welcome back to V.i. Labs’ weekly update on software licensing and copyright protection. This week we cover Massachusetts fining a Thai company for using pirated software, AT&T's anti-piracy document leak, the results of an early Third Strike lawsuit in New Zealand and The Pirate Bay move to the cloud. Read on and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Google+ and our RSS feed to get the latest news.
Last week our home state fined a company for software piracy, claiming that they received an unfair advantage. We wanted to take the opportunity to say that we have long stated that software vendors’ anti-piracy efforts are in the best interest of their customers. When an ISV’s customer’s competitor does not pay for software it indeed gains an unfair advantage. Software vendors level the playing field for their customers when they enforce their anti-piracy programs.
If you'd like to learn more, we'll be discussing the impact of the Unfair Competition Act at our event in San Jose on November 14th.
Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley ordered the Narong Seafood Company to pay a $10,000 fine for using pirated software to sell and deliver products into the Bay State.
The Thai based seafood company was charged under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 93A, which states that businesses using unlicensed software should not be allowed an unfair advantage over their competition.
Narong Seafood has agreed to pay the fine and not to use pirated software to produce or manufacture goods that enter the state.
TorrentFreak alleges it has obtained leaked documents that outline anti-piracy training for AT&T employees. According to the documents, AT&T will start sending out anti-piracy warnings to its internet service subscribers beginning November 28th.
In July of 2011, AT&T, along with other major ISPs throughout the US, agreed to implement the “Copyright Alert System.” Essentially the system is a six stage warning program where ISPs would impose progressively tougher warnings and penalties on copyright infringers. In the agreement, each ISP was left to decide for themselves exactly how to implement the policy and what penalties they choose to apply.
According to the leaked document on the pivotal fourth warning, AT&T plans to block access to restricted websites and require customers to watch an informational video in order to be eligible to access them again. On the sixth alert AT&T may provide content owners seeking legal action against a customer with personal information to aid in that litigation.
Other major ISPs are also expected to implement the alert system later this year. Alternative penalties that they may apply include bandwidth throttling and service disconnection.
The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RAINZ) has recently withdrawn a case against a student it charged with piracy. The case is significant in that it was one of the first to be brought after New Zealand passed its Three Strike Anti-Piracy policy that was implemented in August of 2011.
Similar to the Copyright Alert System soon to go into effect in the US, the New Zealand three strike law requires ISPs to send warnings to customers found to be sharing files illegally. On the third warning, copyright owners can take account holders to a Copyright Tribunal, where they would face up to $15,000 in fines.
According to Tech Liberty, a New Zealand tech civil rights group, RAINZ’s case fell apart when it became clear that while the account was owned by one person, there were multiple people living in the apartment and it wasn’t possible to discern exactly who was guilty.
Last week The Pirate Bay ditched its physical servers and moved to the cloud. Long playing the white whale to the MPAA and RIAA’s Captain Ahab, the move is just the latest in a series of attempts to escape the fate of Megaupload, which had its servers seized in a raid earlier this year.
In an interview, The Pirate Bay boasted, “If the police decide to raid us again there are no servers to take, just a transit router. If they follow the trail to the next country and find the load balancer, there is just a disk-less server there. In case they find out where the cloud provider is, all they can get are encrypted disk-images.”
Comments? Questions? Got a question for Vic, our software piracy expert? Leave a message in the comments box below.
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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