November 12, 2013 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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.
October 24, 2013 |
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 |
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.