Atari and Codemasters join video game piracy legal fight – £300 fines on the way to 25,000 game-sharers


It would appear that yesterday’s shaming of poor Isabella Barwinska was no one-off – some of the largest players in gaming are joining up to (try to) eliminate online piracy.

Atari and Codemasters, who make half the stuff you’ve played during your lifetime, have joined Topware and another couple of companies in targeting P2P-using game pirates, and will, according to The Times, start sending out automatic £300 fines…

Woman made example of – fined £16,000 for illegally downloading a game


Poor old Isabella Barwinska just wanted to have a bit of fun playing pinball on her PC with her friends, but she’s ended up with a £16k fine after being tracked down via the P2P network she used.

Isabella unwisely chose to nick a copy of Pinball Dreams 3D off the internet, no doubt attracted by its wide variety of tables and realistic arcade gameplay! But she was rumbled, and recently ordered to pay damages of £6,086.56 and costs…

OPINION: No lawsuits for German P2P sharers is a good thing


Lucky Germans – a bunch of law enforcement officials in Germany have declared today that they won’t be prosecuting the vast majority of file-sharing lawsuits.

Basically, they’ve (very sensibly) decided that home users aren’t worth bothering with and will only go after P2P users that share on a “substantial, commercial” level. What level is that? I’m glad you asked. Being a German, the state prosecutor of Nort-Rhine Westphalia has defined it in very prescise terms…

UK ISPs and the music industry agree to act on piracy – strongly-worded letters on the way


The extermination plans have been finalised – six of the UK’s largest ISPs have agreed to crack down on music piracy by, er, sending out some letters.

The deal, partially negotiated by the government, will see “hundreds of thousands of letters” sent by ISPs to their users who are currently sharing a massive folder of music with who ever else happens to be using the internet at the same time.

BT, Virgin, Orange, Tiscali, BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse have signed up to the stern-letter-sending programme, something that Virgin’s already…

BBC iPlayer and YouTube popularity soars in past year


Since the BBC’s iPlayer was launched last year, the popularity of web streaming has increased by 168%, according to web usage statistics from PlusNet’s 300,000 customers.

On Monday 30th June, between 9-10pm, 287GB of video content was watched, setting a new record for the company. Factors contributing to this may have included people catching up on other programmes following the Euro 2008 final…

Qtrax redeems itself with a June 18th relaunch date for Universal and EMI downloads


After the initial controversy surrounding Qtrax, they’ve managed to improve upon their image and actually become a fairly legitimate download service. Having signed up their second major record label, they’ve now announced that June 18th will be the relaunch date for the beta version of the service.

Currently you’d be hard pressed to actually find a song that’s worth downloading on Qtrax – if you can find any that actually will download – however in just five days songs from Universal Music Group and EMI will be available to download, although it’s still unclear whether EMI songs…

Legit internet TV network hit by denial of service attack from anti-piracy company


Online media company Revision3 suffered a severe Denial of Service (DoS) attack over the weekend, which brought down the main site, the RSS server, and even its internal corporate email. Although DoS attacks far from uncommon in the modern internet era, the real mystery was who would actually want to close down Revision3. The answer proved pretty disturbing.

After a wobbly start, Qtrax announces licensing deals with EMI, Sony and TVT Records


The ‘world’s first free, legal P2P service’ Qtrax has redeemed itself since it ‘launched’ at the end of January, when they failed to deliver music from Universal Music Group, Warner Music, Sony BMG and EMI as promised.

Wired’s Listening Post scored an exclusive scoop on the Service That Embarrassed Itself, and reported that Qtrax has succeeded in signing up EMI, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and TVT Records. Not quite the big four as first claimed, but it’s a good start for what’s essentially a legal BitTorrent.

The files contain DRM, however…