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July 1, 2010 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
Adding some swashbuckling to its tough talk on fighting piracy, the federal government on Wednesday seized several websites that had offered downloads of pirated movies such as "Toy Story 3" and "Iron Man 2" within hours of their release in theaters. Federal authorities announced that they had seized domain names from nine websites engaged in the "criminal theft of American movies and television." The websites include,, and Ninjavideo.
April 7, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
Hollywood studios are turning the screws on Kim Dotcom, founder of the once infamous piracy website Megaupload. Several major U.S. studios on Monday filed a lawsuit against Kim Dotcom (a.k.a. Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor) and others associated with Megaupload, alleging that they encouraged and profited from massive copyright infringement of movies and television shows before they were indicted on federal criminal charges and Megaupload was shut down. “When was shut down in 2012 by U.S. law enforcement, it was by all estimates the largest and most active infringing website targeting creative content in the world,” said Steven Fabrizio, senior executive vice president and global general counsel of the Motion Picture Assn.
November 20, 2008
Re "Pirates show range and daring," Nov. 18 It is obvious that Adm. Michael G. Mullen's Navy can't handle the pirates in the Indian Ocean. As much as the U.S. is mostly unwelcome as a world policeman, here is an excellent example of where we might do some good. It makes no difference whose ship is pirated. Piracy is an offense against all on the high seas. Maybe with the new administration, we will get a military that doesn't make excuses for why taxpayers carry the burden of fleets capable of destroying life on Earth many times over but are impotent to track and destroy perhaps several hundred criminals, in light boats with small arms, on the open sea. Ron Sydney Anaheim
March 29, 2014
Re "Copyright law for the 21st century," Editorial, March 24 The Times' editorial rightly points out the significant burden placed on content owners to get unauthorized, online copies of creative works removed from illegal pirate sites. The current notice-and-takedown system is often compared to a game of whack-a-mole. The creative and tech communities should work together to come up with a more efficient alternative; it's in everyone's interest. In recent years, the entertainment industry has made dramatic improvements in how it delivers digital content to meet the changing viewing habits of today's audiences.
October 2, 2013 | By Sergei Loiko, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
MOSCOW -- Five Greenpeace activists were charged Wednesday morning with piracy in connection with a protest at a Russian oil platform, an official of the environmental group said. Roman Dolgov of Russia, Sini Saarela of Finland, Anna Paula Maciel of Brazil, Kieron Bryan of Britain and Dima Litvinov, who has U.S. and Swedish citizenship, were charged with organized group piracy in the northern Russian city of Murmansk, according to Vladimir Chuprov, head of Greenpeace Arctic. [Updated, 8:55 a.m. PDT Oct. 2: Later Wednesday, an additional nine protesters were charged with piracy as the preceedings continued into the evening.
January 17, 2012
While much of the nation's capital has been engrossed in the debate over unemployment, taxes and spending, lobbyists representing a huge swath of the U.S. economy have been battling over proposals to combat foreign websites dedicated to piracy. The Senate plans to take up its version soon, despite the lack of consensus about how to rein in pirate sites without censoring legitimate speech or stifling innovation. That would be a mistake. The bills - the PROTECT IP Act (S 968) in the Senate, the Stop Online Piracy Act (HR 3261)
January 2, 2013 | By David Ng
When it comes to doing business in China, Hollywood is well acquainted with the perils of piracy. Now it appears that architects must also be wary of unlicensed copying while in that country. Architect Zaha Hadid is reportedly dealing with a pirated design being built in the inland city of Chongqing. The copied structure may be completed before the original in the Beijing area is finished, according to Germany's Der Spiegel.  Hadid designed the Wangjing Soho, scheduled to be completed in 2014, according to the London architect's official website.
February 16, 2013 | By Jon Healey
The USC Annenberg Innovation Lab offered the entertainment industry some good news and some bad news this week. In the latest in a series of reports on advertising supported online piracy, the lab says that two major distributors of ads online -- Google and OpenX -- have "significantly reduced the number of infringing sites they are placing ads on. " In response, however, smaller ad networks have rushed in to fill the gap, the report says....
August 9, 2013 | By Jon Healey
Here's an assumption underlying many a Big Idea online: If you make it easier for people to act on their impulses in a way that benefits your business, they will. A good example of this is Comcast's reported anti-piracy initiative. And my hunch is that it might explain Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' $250-million purchase of the Washington Post. Variety's Andrew Wallenstein reported this week that Comcast was trying to build support for a different approach to online piracy than the content industry's new "six strikes" Copyright Alert System . That system -- developed by representatives of the film, television, music and communications industries -- sends progressively stronger warnings to broadband customers whose accounts are used to download unauthorized copies of movies, TV shows and songs.
June 14, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris has filed criminal charges against three San Francisco Bay Area brothers for allegedly operating an illegal website that allowed users to watch bootleg versions of copyrighted television shows and movies. Hop Hoang, 26, Tony Hoang, 23, and Huynh Hoang, 20, were arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court on Thursday. They are accused of operating the website, which allowed users to illegally stream more than 1,000 copyrighted television and movie titles on computers and mobile devices.
December 27, 2013 | By Janet Stobart
LONDON -- Five British Greenpeace activists arrived in London on Friday after their release from detention in Russia, saying their goal of fighting Arctic oil development remained unchanged but that their tactics might need some adjustment. “I've gone through a lot for this campaign, I'm not going to stop now,” one of the released activists, Alexandra Harris, told Britain's Sky News. The five were among 30 people arrested in September aboard a Greenpeace ship after some of them attempted to raise a banner on an offshore platform belonging to the Russian energy giant Gazprom . The attempt was thwarted, and the next day, Russian commandos dropped onto their ship from helicopters, seized it and detained all aboard.
November 14, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
The Motion Picture Assn. of America has hired Washington attorney Steven Fabrizio as its senior executive vice president and global general counsel. Fabrizio is considered one of the nation's leading copyright and content protection lawyers and has long ties to the MPAA and its member companies, having served for many years as lead outside counsel.  He succeeds Henry Hoberman, who resigned in September, overseeing all legal, content protection and rights management programs within the MPAA.
November 12, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Joined by a number of top tech companies, the major Hollywood studios and music labels are hoping to enlist a powerful new ally in their fight against online piracy: grade schools. The companies are financing the development of a curriculum for grades K-12 that promotes respect for copyrights. Their interest is understandable, considering how piracy has exploded online and how early in life many kids start looking for free downloads. But it's important that schools not sign on blindly to the agenda of a single industry, that the message be balanced, and that it's just a small part of a broader lesson on how to use the Internet safely and responsibly.
November 11, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
First there was the Boy Scouts' "Respect Copyrights" activity patch, backed by the Motion Picture Assn. of America. Then there was "Crime-Fighting Canines," a weekly anti-piracy comic strip series for children in which two black Labrador retrievers named Lucky and Flo sniffed out bootleg DVDs. The series was part of a school education campaign led by the MPAA. Now that group, along with the Recording Industry Assn. of America and the nation's main Internet service providers, is quietly backing another controversial push to educate schoolchildren about the evils of piracy.
November 6, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali
WASHINGTON - When is a pirate not a pirate? A federal court may provide an answer in a trial that opened in Washington this week of a Somali official who helped win release of a hijacked Danish cargo ship and crew for $1.7 million ransom, but who played no part in seizing the vessel or holding it for 71 days. U.S. courts have convicted dozens of Somali pirates in recent years, part of a vast multinational effort that has helped curtail the rampant hijacking of oil tankers, freighters, sailboats and other ships off the Horn of Africa.
October 28, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
Websites registered in China, Russia, Ukraine and Canada continue to dominate the list of "most notorious" markets for distributing pirated movies and TV shows, an industry report shows. The survey , compiled by the Motion Picture Assn. of America at the request of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, ranked websites and other technologies used to distribute illegal copies of movies and TV show based on how much web traffic they generated, among other indicators. The MPAA list includes peer-to-peer networks, Bit Torrent portals, infringing download and streaming hubs, linking websites and newsgroups, as well as physical markets located in the Ukraine, Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Ireland, Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Mexico and India.
July 15, 2013 | By Jon Healey
After months of talks with rights-holders, operators of some of the largest online advertising networks announced the steps they'll take to try to cut off online piracy hotbeds from the flow of marketing dollars. Their voluntary best practices drew praise from the White House and a mixed reaction from Hollywood studios and music companies, reflecting how incremental the moves seem to be.  Nevertheless, the steps, which eight advertising networks have endorsed, mirror a move by major brand advertisers to ensure that their messages not only reach the intended audience but do so in the right context.
October 24, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali
WASHINGTON - Two Americans were taken hostage by pirates who attacked their ship off the coast of Nigeria, U.S. officials said Thursday. The captain and chief engineer of the C-Retriever, a U.S.-flagged oil supply ship, were kidnapped in the attack early Wednesday in the Gulf of Guinea, according to news reports. The ship is owned by Edison Chouest Offshore, a maritime company based in Cut Off, La. A company spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The identities of the hostages weren't released.
October 23, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW -- Russian officials on Wednesday dropped piracy charges against Greenpeace activists who were jailed last month after protesting oil drilling in the Arctic, charging them instead with hooliganism. An investigation led officials to issue the less severe charges of hooliganism, which carry a maximum penalty of seven years, instead of piracy, which could mean up to 15 years in prison, Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement. “A big volume of work was conducted by the investigators, which established an objective picture of the events that happened,” investigative committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said late Wednesday on the agency's website.
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