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Brand Protection / News Briefs

TLD Operators Should Not Police Content, Says EFF

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released a letter today stating "companies and organizations that run the Internet's domain name system shouldn't be in the business of policing the contents of websites, or enforcing laws that can impinge on free speech. more

Google Received 65.9 Million Take Down Requests Last Month, Company Reports

As part of its transparency report, Google says Copyright removal requests continue to be on steady rise and that the company received a new record 65,923,523 requests just last month. more

European Parliament Backs Resolution to Break Up Search Giant

European Union lawmakers overwhelmingly backed a motion on Thursday urging anti-trust regulators to break up Google, the latest setback for the world's most popular Internet search engine. Google has been in the EU's regulatory sights since 2010, and is also grappling with privacy issues, requests to scrub search results to comply with a court ruling, copyright concerns and tax controversies. more

US Should Take More Aggressive Counter-Measures On IP Theft, Including Use of Malware

A bipartisan Commission recently produced a report titled, "The Report of the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property". Karl Bode from dslreports.com writes... more

Domain Seizures for Copyright Infringement Likely to Move Beyond U.S. Based Registries

Efforts to take down websites for copyright infringement are likely to move beyond U.S.-based domain name registries, with ICANN promising to more closely cooperate with global law enforcement agencies and governments. During an open session with the Government Advisory Committee (GAC), the ICANN board confirmed that it will enforce its contracts with registrars more effectively in order to meet expectations from governments and law enforcement authorities. more

Feds Shut Down File-Sharing Website Megaupload.com, Seven People Charged

Federal prosecutors in Virginia have shut down one of the world's largest Internet file-sharing sites, Megaupload.com, charging its founder and others with violating piracy laws, the Associated Press reports today. "The indictment was unsealed Thursday, one day after websites shut down in protest of two congressional proposals [SOPA & PIPA] intended to thwart the online piracy of copyrighted movies and TV programs." more

Protect IP Act to Be Amended in Response to Pressure from Technical Community

The controversial copyright enforcement bill the Protect IP Act, or PIPA, may be amended on the Senate floor later this month in response to ongoing concerns about its provisions affecting ISPs and the domain-name system, the bill's chief sponsor said. Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and chief sponsor of the Protect IP Act said Thursday he plans to offer an amendment that would require a study of the impact of the ISP provisions in the bill before they are implemented. more

Over 80 Internet Inventors and Engineers Send Open Letter to US Congress

A group of 83 Internet inventors and prominent engineers sent an open letter today to the members of the United States Congress, stating their opposition to the SOPA and PIPA Internet blacklist bills that are under consideration in the House and Senate respectively. more

ISOC Joins Opposition to Stop Online Piracy Act

In a letter released on Monday, the Internet Society Board of Trustees has expressed concern with a number of U.S. legislative proposals that would mandate DNS blocking and filtering by ISPs to protect the interests of copyright holders. "Policies mandating DNS filtering undermine the open architecture of the Internet and raise human rights and freedom of expression concerns," says Internet Society (ISOC). more

Major ISPs in Australia Reveal Plans to Crack Down on Online Piracy

During an 18-month trial, rights holders would send copyright infringement notices, including evidence of copyright infringement and the IP address involved, to ISPs who would then send "educational notices" to the internet users concerned. Users who are suspected of further copyright breaches would then receive up to three warning notices before rights holders are able to pursue court action. more

EFF: Court Refuses to Return Seized Domain Name

Corynne McSherry from EFF reports: "In a cursory opinion issued today that left us scratching our heads, a federal judge has ruled that the government does not have to return a domain name seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), because its seizure did not create a substantial hardship. ... Puerto 80, the Spanish company behind popular sports streaming sites Rojadirecta.com and Rojadirecta.org, which were both seized by U.S. ICE earlier this year -- even though a Spanish court found they did not violate copyright law -- had filed a petition to have the sites released pending a trial on the merits of the case." more

Americans Soon Facing Harsh Penalties for Illegal Downloads

After years of negotiations with Hollywood and the music industry, the nation’s top Internet providers have agreed to a systematic approach to identifying customers suspected of digital copyright infringement and then alerting them via e-mail or other means. Under the new process, which was announced Thursday, several warnings would be issued, with progressively harsher consequences if the initial cautions were ignored. more

Fed's Domain Name Crackdown Meets DNS Backlash

Kelly Jackson Higgins reporting in InformationWeek: "In the wake of federal crackdowns, such as the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) mass seizure yesterday of 82 domain names of websites illegally selling and distributing counterfeit and copyrighted items, a group is building out a new point-to-point DNS system as a way for sites to dodge future domain takeovers by the feds. ... Meanwhile, the new Dot-P2P Project says its goal is to combat DNS-level censoring with a decentralized, Bit Torrent-powered system. 'By creating a .p2p TLD that is totally decentralized and that does not rely on ICANN or any ISP's DNS service, and by having this application mimic force-encrypted bittorrent traffic, there will be a way to start combating DNS level based censoring like the new US proposals as well as those systems in use in countries around the world including China and Iran amongst others,' the Dot-P2P Project page says." more

New US Senate Bill Introduced Requiring ISPs to Block Pirate Sites

Mark Hachman reporting in PC Magazine: "A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators were scheduled Monday to introduce an act that would crack down on sites that traffic in pirated intellectual property, whether or not those sites are housed in the United States. ... The bill takes the novel step of not only cracking down on domestic sites that illegally distribute copyrighted material, but also authorizes the Department of Justice to choke off access to foreign sites, including ordering domestic ISPs and payment providers to either block or stop doing business with the infringing sites." more

ACTA Moving Forward in "Secrecy"

Reported in the Financial Times: "Persistent illegal downloaders face having their internet links disconnected under a secret trade deal being negotiated by developed nations this week, according to activists and industry groups. Leaked drafts of the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement [ACTA] say the world's biggest developed nations want internet service providers to be more responsible for the content they distribute -- and even cut off repeat infringers of copyright legislation. more

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