Feds Seize 16 Sites That Stream Live Sports

By | Thursday February 2, 2012 @ 1:55pm PST

Federal officials took down 16 websites today that they say illegally stream live sports and pay-per-view events — three days before the U.S.’ biggest live-TV event the Super Bowl. The government said he sites offered links to pirated telecasts of NFL, … Read More »

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Viacom CEO Blames “Misinformation” For Shelving Of Anti-Piracy Bills

By | Tuesday January 31, 2012 @ 1:51pm PST

Freelancer Cari Lynn is contributing to Deadline’s coverage.

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman acknowledges that it will take time before Congress revisits the anti-piracy bills that Hollywood supported: the Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). But the one-time lawyer says that studios and their representatives at the MPAA didn’t lose the recent lobby push on the merits of their case. There was “a lot of misinformation” from Silicon Valley, he said today at a conference sponsored by All Things D. Opponents including the tech industry said that the bills giving the government the power to block overseas sites that traffic in pirated content could be misused to stifle innovation and free speech. “It became almost religious dogma,” Dauman says. He still considers the proposals to be ”very reasonable”, adding that piracy “makes the standards more difficult in greenlighting a film.” Read More »

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Congress Puts Anti-Piracy Bills On Hold

By | Friday January 20, 2012 @ 7:28am PST

Looks like Wednesday’s massive Internet protest against the Hollywood-supported anti-piracy legislation worked. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this morning that “in light of recent events” he’s calling off the planned Tuesday vote for the Protect IP Act — which would give government officials the power to block overseas sites that traffic in pirated content. Shortly afterward, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith said he will  ”postpone consideration” of a similar bill — the Stop Online Piracy Act –  “until there is wider agreement on a solution.” Both lawmakers claim the issue isn’t dead: Reid says that he’s “optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.” New York Sen. Chuck Schumer tweets: “You’ve been heard. [The Protect IP Act] has been pulled so we can find a better solution.” But the general feeling is that supporters of the legislation will have a hard time getting the bills back on track — and certainly not with the enforcement muscle that Hollywood wants. Here’s Reid’s statement:

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Feds Shut File-Sharing Site Megaupload

By | Thursday January 19, 2012 @ 1:16pm PST

MegaUpload ShutdownThe Obama administration may not like the Hollywood-supported anti-piracy bills pending in Congress — but it showed today that it’s prepared to crack down on the pirates themselves. The Justice Department calls its attack on Megaupload — said to be the world’s largest file-sharing site — “among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States.” Megaupload allegedly made $175M in criminal proceeds and cost content owners, including music and movie companies, $500M in lost revenue. Officials say that seven people and two corporations were involved in “racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement.” New Zealand officials today arrested four Megaupload execs: founder Kim Dotcom (also known as Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor), marketing chief Finn Batato, CTO Mathias Ortmann, and programmer Bram van der Kolk.

It will be interesting to see the ripple effect: Hong Kong-based Megaupload had been endorsed by celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Alicia Keys and Kanye West. The ad-supported site served as a locker for files considered too big to be emailed; the MPAA says that most of the content there was pirated. But prior to today Megaupload denied the charge: “The fact is that the vast majority of Mega’s Internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay,” it said in a statement that had been posted on the site. “If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue. We have some good ideas. Please get in touch.” Here’s the Justice Department’s release: Read More »

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Final NinjaVideo Co-Founder Pleads Guilty; Warrant Issued For Co-Conspirator

By | Thursday November 3, 2011 @ 5:55pm PDT

The last remaining co-founder of NinjaVideo.net pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Virginia. The site facilitated illegal downloads of movies and TV shows and took in $505,000 in revenue from ads and donations from users. Justin A. Dedemko, 28, of Brooklyn, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga in the Alexandria Division of the Eastern District of Virginia. Dedemko’s fellow co-founders Matthew David Howard Smith and Hana Amal Beshara pleaded guilty separately to conspiracy and criminal copyright infringement in September. Dedemko was responsible for locating infringing content on the Internet and uploading it to servers used by the NinjaVideo.net website, some of which were located in the Eastern District of Virginia. Dedemko subsequently focused on marketing and advertising, which resulted in the $505,000 in income. Dedemko admitted he personally received $58,004 and agreed to pay restitution. Sentencing is set for February 24, 2012. He faces a maximum of five years. Read More »

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NinjaVideo Co-Founder Pleads Guilty In Illegal Download Case

By | Friday September 23, 2011 @ 4:34pm PDT

A 23-year-old North Carolina man who co-founded a website offering illegal downloads pleaded guilty to conspiracy and criminal copyright infringement today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Matthew David Howard Smith admitted that he designed many of … Read More »

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Christopher Dodd & Rupert Murdoch Have Different Ideas About How To Talk To China

By | Monday June 13, 2011 @ 3:25pm PDT

MPAA chairman and CEO Chris Dodd and News Corp. boss Rupert Murdoch both made appearances at the Shanghai International Film Festival, which kicked off over the weekend. And both took different approaches to a mostly contentious relationship between the host … Read More »

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U.S. Senate Panel Crack Down On Piracy

By | Thursday November 18, 2010 @ 8:10am PST
Mike Fleming

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today unanimously approved legislation to provide the Justice Department with new tools to crack down on the theft and distribution of illegal digital movies, television shows and other counterfeit material by rogue websites on the Internet. The following is a statement by Bob Pisano, President and Interim CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA):

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Canada, China, Mexico, Russia And Spain Top MPAA Watch List For Content Theft

By | Wednesday May 19, 2010 @ 7:54am PDT
Mike Fleming


WASHINGTON—MPAA President and Interim CEO Bob Pisano joined lawmakers today in unveiling the five countries on the 2010 priority watch list of the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus (IAPC), calling on governments around the world to

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DOJ Ups Intellectual Property Enforcement

By | Monday April 26, 2010 @ 6:30pm PDT

handcuffs2Today 15 new Assistant U.S. Attorneys and 20 FBI Special Agents were added to the U.S. Department of Justice’s intellectual property protection task force to expand its ability to respond to these crimes.Needless to say, the MPAA jumped for joy. Said … Read More »

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Claims: Murdoch Caused ‘Wolverine’ Piracy? Friedman Fired Due To Scientology Pressure?

By | Sunday June 14, 2009 @ 11:31am PDT

Fired Fox News freelance gossip columnist Roger Friedman’s lawyer, Martin Garbus, is making an explosive claim to journalists that Wolverine‘s Internet leak can be blamed on boss Rupert Murdoch. I’m shocked that Garbus, a respected NYC attorney who often defends media, is saying this. Is he merely repeating the rumor that has been making … Read More »

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New Fed Piracy Report Accuses Canada

By | Thursday April 30, 2009 @ 1:22pm PDT

Turns out the South Park guys were right to blame Canada. Because a new federal government report released today on Copyright Piracy Abroad that shows several countries, including America’s Northern pal, are failing to enforce legal protections for copyrighted works and thus harming U.S. creative industries and the economy as a whole. According … Read More »

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EXCLUSIVE: Fox News Fires Showbiz Columnist For “Promoting” Piracy

By | Saturday April 4, 2009 @ 5:57pm PDT

Updates FBI Joins Fox In Hunt For Stolen ‘Wolverine’ Pirated On Web

SUNDAY UPDATE: News Corp issued the following statement from Los Angeles today confirming my reporting from Saturday … Read More »

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UPDATED PIRACY SCANDAL: FBI Joins Fox In Hunt For “Stolen, Incomplete & Early Version’ ‘Wolverine’ Print On Web

By | Thursday April 2, 2009 @ 10:45am PDT

THURSDAY AM UPDATE: Estimates now are that the Hugh Jackman film, the 4th in the X-Men franchise for 20th Century Fox, was downloaded hundreds of thousands of times from file sharing websites on Tuesday. This is a huge blow to the studio’s major … Read More »

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Trio Accused Of Best Picture Oscar Piracy

By | Saturday February 21, 2009 @ 11:42am PST

News reports say three Southern California men were charged with illegally posting on the Internet pirated copies of Hollywood movies, including Oscar nominees Fox Searchlight’s Slumdog Millionaire and Paramount’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The trio were charged in separate cases and face a maximum 3 years in prison … Read More »

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MPAA Sues To Shut Down 3 Film Websites

By | Wednesday December 17, 2008 @ 10:47pm PST

Los Angeles – The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) on behalf of the major Hollywood movie studios filed lawsuits in federal court in Los Angeles today against campusist.com, movies-on-demand.tv, and sswarez.com – websites that facilitate copyright infringement on the Internet. These sites contribute to and profit from massive

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Studios Always Find Money For Lawyers: Majors Sue To Stop RealDVD Software

By | Tuesday September 30, 2008 @ 12:08pm PDT

The Motion Picture Association Of America just released this press statement:

Los Angeles – The nation’s top movie companies filed a lawsuit today asking a federal court to stop RealNetworks Inc. from distributing the company’s RealDVD software which allows movies to be copied illegally.  In their complaint and motion for

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Uni Employee Screening Program Pirated: But Is That Why It’s Shut Down Now…?

By | Tuesday August 5, 2008 @ 9:16am PDT

UPDATED: A Universal hotline confirms that the studio has cancelled all non-executive employee screenings, saying the popular program’s shutdown continues through July and August until further notice. But there’s some contention about why this occurred. ”Because some dumb fuck pirated Wanted at … Read More »

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Uni’s Internal Update On Backlot Fire

By | Thursday June 19, 2008 @ 7:24pm PDT

From: Ron Meyer (NBC Universal)
Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2008 2:57 PM
To: NBC Universal Employee Communications (NBC Universal)
Subject: Universal Studios Backlot Fire UpdateDear Co-Worker,
It has already been a few weeks since our June 1 fire that turned into an

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