Alleged illegal downloads
Nearly 50,000 users of BitTorrent’s peer-to-peer downloading software have been targeted in a sting over the past few months, accused of illegally downloading one of two movies.
Voltage Pictures, the studio behind 2009′s The Hurt Locker, is suing almost 25,000 BitTorrent users who allegedly illegally downloaded the flick. That came just weeks after 23,000 were sued for downloading The Expendables, produced by Nu Image.
Both of the lawsuits were filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., by the U.S. Copyright Group, an outfit formed by Washington-based law firm Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver. The group filed its Expendables lawsuit in February, then followed with its Hurt Locker lawsuit in April.
“They’re copyright trolls,” says Corynne McSherry, intellectual property director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights organization. “They take a dragnet approach to litigation.”
In October 2010, following a lawsuit filed by the music industry, US Judge Kimba Wood ruled that record companies “have suffered – and will continue to suffer – irreparable harm from LimeWire’s inducement of widespread infringement of their works”, noting that the potential damages were “staggering”.
Users of LimeWire are greeted by this notice at the program’s site
After a four-year legal battle between LimeWire and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a hearing to determine damages faced by LimeWire’s New York-based parent company, Lime Group, will be decided in January 2011.
“As a result of our current legal situation, we have no choice but to wind down LimeWire Store operations,” LimeWire said in a statement on Friday.
Brian Krebs reported on his blog that an Argentinian hacker named Ch Russo used security weaknesses in The Pirate Bay’s Web site to infiltrate and snatch the user names, e-mail and Internet addresses of more than 4 million users.
Russo maintains that at no time did he or his associates alter or delete information in The Pirate Bay database. But he acknowledges that they did briefly consider how much this access and information would be worth to anti-piracy companies employed by entertainment industry lobbying groups like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), each of which has assiduously sought to sink The Pirate Bay on grounds that the network facilitates copyright infringement.
Widespread Data Breaches Uncovered by FTC Probe
The Federal Trade Commission has notified almost 100 organizations that personal information, including sensitive data about customers and/or employees, has been shared from the organizationsâ€™ computer networks and is available on peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks to any users of those networks, who could use it to commit identity theft or fraud. The agency also has opened non-public investigations of other companies whose customer or employee information has been exposed on P2P networks. To help businesses manage the security risks presented by file-sharing software, the FTC is releasing new education materials that present the risks and recommend ways to manage them.