Welcome back to V.i. Labs’ weekly update on software piracy and copyright infringement. Last week Kim Dotcom launched his new service called Mega, the Balkans and Thailand decide to get serious about software piracy. Read on and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Google+ and our RSS feed to get the latest news.
This past Sunday Mega, Kim Dotcom’s successor to the now defunct Megaupload, opened to the public. After just 14 hours the new service had over 500,000 members with high traffic spikes occasionally overloading the site’s servers.
Unlike his previous website, Megaupload, Dotcom planned Mega to be legally untouchable. The new Mega service encrypts every file stored on its servers, allowing Dotcom to skirt liability for illegal content by claiming he has no knowledge of what’s being stored.
Dotcom still faces extradition to the United States for criminal copyright infringement and other charges related to the operation of Megaupload. His hearing is currently scheduled for August.
After dealing with years of high piracy rates, the Balkan nations of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia, are ready to get serious about tackling the problem of piracy. The nations met recently to discuss the problem at the 10th Conference on Intellectual Property Rights, an event organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Belgrade.
“Potential investors are not much interest in to invest in a country where intellectual property rights are not protected”, says Milos Blagojevic, intellectual property rights committee chairman for the American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia. She continued, “If the piracy rate would be dropped by 10 percent, the state budget revenues [of Serbia] could increase $20 million and some 10,000 jobs could be opened.”
According to the SETimes key topics of discussion at the conference were judiciary specialization in intellectual property, the networking of data on offenders and improved regional cooperation.
The Thai government has announced that it plans to cut its software piracy rate to 68%, a four point reduction from their current piracy rate of 72%. To achieve this, the government plans to aggressively pursue intellectual property violators using money laundering laws that allow the state to seize the assets of offenders.
While software piracy has been on the decline in Thailand, the country still remains on the US Priority Watch List for intellectual property violations. The Priority Watch List, part of the Special 301 Report, is prepared annually by the US Trade Representative and lists countries with “serious intellectual property rights deficiencies”.
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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