Jury Finds ‘Destiny 2’ Cheat Seller Liable For Copyright Infringement in Landmark Lawsuit


A Seattle jury has issued a landmark verdict following the legal battle between 'Destiny 2' creator Bungie and cheat seller AimJunkies. The 'cheat' company and its three owners are liable for copyright infringement and must pay damages to Bungie. The same applies to an independent cheat developer whose counterclaim, alleging that Bungie 'hacked' his computer, was denied.

Three years ago, Bungie filed a complaint at a federal court in Seattle, accusing Destiny 2 cheat seller AimJunkies.com of copyright and trademark infringement, among other things.

The same accusations were also made against Phoenix Digital Group, the operating company behind the website, and third-party developer James May.

AimJunkies denied the claims and argued that cheating isn’t against the law. In addition, it refuted the copyright infringement allegations; these lacked substance because some of the referenced copyrights were registered well after the cheats were ...

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AI Models Reveal Pro-Copyright Bias By Shutting Down Piracy Research


The seemingly endless possibilities of generative AI are not on an unavoidable collision course with copyright law; the collision happened way back and sooner or later, someone will have to pick up the bill. In the meantime, popular LLMs seem to be developing a stubborn, pro-copyright streak, partly due to all the industry propaganda they've been consuming. But don't fight back, it's time to team up.

Good news concerning AI development often finds itself dampened by reports of models hallucinating, providing misleading responses, or simply inventing facts that are anything but.

This week Michael Kearns of Penn Engineering wrote about “model disgorgement,” a potential solution that forces models to purge themselves of “content that leads to copyright infringement or biased responses.”

From our admittedly very narrow perspective, that proposition couldn’t be more ironic.

Living The LLM Dream – Mostly…

Since hosting your own LLMs is n...

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‘UFC Ripper’ Tool Can Download UFC Fight Pass Streams


While streaming dominates today's entertainment landscape, unauthorized downloads of UFC fights are widely available on pirate sites. Interestingly, a download option is now available for UFC fans who legally subscribe to UFC Fight Pass. The feature is available in the software "UFC Ripper" and its developer hopes that Dana White will allow the tool to exist.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has promoted mixed martial arts fights for three decades, turning the sport into a billion-dollar industry.

At the same time, the company has been fighting a battle against online piracy. Pirated livestreams and downloads are frequently used to bypass the monthly subscription fee for UFC Fight Pass, something the company is clearly not happy with.

While UFC fans can legally access fights in most countries, not all paying subscribers are entirely happy with the UFC Fight Pass service. One key issue is the lack of offline viewing suppor...

Read entire story 5/24/2024 at TorrentFreak

Police Piracy Blacklist: No Celebrations For IWL’s 10-Year Anniversary?


Operation Creative is a multi-agency anti-piracy initiative led by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, also known as PIPCU. The primary aim is to shut down pirate sites but if that proves elusive, depriving sites of advertising revenue by placing them on a blacklist is seen as the next best thing. The Infringing Website List (IWL) isn't made public but since there was no celebration of its recent 10-year anniversary, here's what the decade-old list has been getting up to lately.

Launched to considerable fanfare late March 2014, the ‘Infringing Website List’ (IWL) is operated by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).

The IWL is one of the tools available under the banner ‘Operation Creative’, a multi-agency anti-piracy initiative led by police and supported by major rightsholders in the film, TV, music, publishing, and live sports sectors.

As publicly advertised, pirate site domains are nominated for placement on the IWL by rightsholder groups such as the MPA, BPI, IFPI, and the Publishers Association. Once police have car...

Read entire story 5/24/2024 at TorrentFreak

Hollywood Takes Down Animeflix, Vegamovies and Others With Broad Anti-Piracy Order


Netflix, Disney, Universal, and several other major Hollywood studios, have obtained a broad anti-piracy order in India. The High Court of New Delhi issued a dynamic+ blocking order targeting several pirate sites, mostly streaming portals. The order also requires domain registrars to suspend the associated domains and Namecheap appears to have already taken swift action in response.

Pirate sites and services are a major problem for rightsholders and can be challenging to deal with. In India, however, recent court orders have proven to be quite effective.

Indian courts have issued pirate site blocking orders for over a decade. In recent years, these have transformed into a powerful legal tool, allowing rightsholders to protect existing and future works with relative ease.

More recent orders are not limited to ISP blocking, domain name registrars are also required to act. These broad injunctions, partly shaped by Hollywood companies such as Netflix, Disne...

Read entire story 5/23/2024 at TorrentFreak

Anti-Piracy Chief: Google’s Gambling Ad Liability Should Be Adopted For Piracy


A decision by Italy's Council of State, overruling the decision of a lower court that Google couldn't be held liable for displaying locally illegal advertising, is being welcomed by the head of telecoms regulator AGCOM. Massimiliano Capitanio notes that Google's defense failed the moment it became more than a passive host. "The same line should be adopted to eradicate piracy," Capitanio says.

When it comes to digital policy and efforts to regulate online behavior, no topic comes close to the scale of the global content moderation drive.

Tracking carried out by Digital Policy from 2020 currently shows 593 policy changes around the world, with the closely-linked platform intermediary / user-generated content category at 497. Policy changes related to user speech, on the other hand, fade into the distance with less than 50.

Italy’s Gambling Ad Ban

Friction between what citizens believe they have a right to say, do, or see online, and what their governments belie...

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Destiny 2 Creator Bungie & Cheat Maker AimJunkies Go Head-To-Head at Trial


Most people agree that cheating is an unfair way to win at online video games, but do cheating tools actually break the law? This question is at the center of a landmark trial currently underway between cheat maker AimJunkies and Destiny 2 creator Bungie. Among other things, the jury must decide whether the cheat maker infringed the game's copyrights.

Over the past several years, game companies have pursued legal action against both cheaters and cheat makers.

Rightsholders have mostly emerged from these lawsuits as victors, but until now, none have gone all the way to a full trial.

The legal dispute between American video game developer Bungie and AimJunkies.com has been fiercely fought, and the long-awaited jury trial is now underway.

Three years ago, Bungie filed a complaint at a federal court in Seattle, accusing AimJunkies of copyright and trademark infringement, among other things. The same allegations were made...

Read entire story 5/22/2024 at TorrentFreak

Court Rejects Law Firm’s Bid to Directly Obtain BitTorrent Users’ Identities


The Market Court in Finland has just thrown out an attempt by a law firm to obtain the personal details of suspected BitTorrent users, without actually being a rightsholder of the works in question. After years spent representing movie rightsholders, the law firm felt copyright law should be interpreted as granting it rightsholder-like powers to obtain names, addresses, and similar information, without the rightsholders themselves having to be part of the action.

In many countries around the world there are long-established, well-worn legal processes that allow rightsholders to obtain the personal details of suspected pirates.

Requirements vary from region to region but when certain conditions are met, few courts deny genuine copyright holders the ability to enforce their rights under relevant law. One of the most fundamental requirements is that the entity making the claim has the necessary rights to do so, yet over the years there has been no shortage of attempts to the contrary, sometimes with disastrous results.

Law Firm Seeks Rightsh...

Read entire story 5/22/2024 at TorrentFreak

Cox Sues Insurers for Failing to Cover Landmark Piracy Lawsuit


Internet provider Cox Communication has fought several piracy-related claims in court over the past decade. In one of the lawsuits, against music rights group BMG, it chose to settle, presumably for millions of dollars. The company hoped that its insurers would help cover the costs, but after the companies declined, Cox is now back in court after suing them both.

At the end of 2014, a novel type of lawsuit appeared on the docket of a Virginia federal court.

BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music sued Internet provider Cox Communications for failing to terminate the accounts of pirating subscribers.

This was the first in a series of “repeat infringer” lawsuits which continue to this day. Most notable thus far is the $1 billion damages award against Cox in favor of several major record labels, which is still under appeal today.

$25 Million Piracy Damages

The BMG lawsuit is no longer active. After the court initi...

Read entire story 5/21/2024 at TorrentFreak

Pirate IPTV Seller Domain Names Taken Over in Bulk By ACE/MPA


The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment regularly 'seizes' domain names from pirate sites and services that have been persuaded it's in their best interests to shut down. However, the anti-piracy coalition officially reports just a tiny minority. During Monday and over the weekend, a batch of pirate IPTV domains came under ACE/MPA control adding to the flood of domains already commandeered in 2024.

A shrug of the shoulders, accompanied by “a couple of hundred”, used to be considered a reasonable ballpark estimate of the number of meaningful pirate sites operating at any one time. It could’ve been treble that, of course, nobody is omnipresent.

Best estimates today range from “thousands” to “tens of thousands” but that’s to a background of massive site blocking measures with perhaps 60/80,000 domains blocked to date and no end in sight. Whatever the true figure, even those with the resources to monitor at such scale find a shifting,...

Read entire story 5/21/2024 at TorrentFreak