Piracy stories

 
Kim Dotcom is an attention-grabbing machine. His new ploy is to fund free broadband Internet access for his native New Zealand. He aims to win the money in a suit against the U.S. government for the takedown of his site, Megaupload, and then use it for the common good like a digital-age Robin Hood.
 
Software piracy is inevitable, and it's going to be around for a long as people keep on coming up with fun new games and charging money for 'em. Developers can either try to implement idiotic DRM in response, or they can embrace the pirates wholeheartedly and ask them to update their torrents with the latest version of the game.
 
The Copyright Alert System (CAS) aims to identify pirates, notify their ISPs and then use a six-step process to "educate" users about copyright law and legal alternatives to piracy. That doesn't sound so bad on paper; a closer look reveals an intrusive, if polite, new partner in the relationship between consumer and ISP.
 
I know all you darn kids today are getting your gaming fix on consoles, smartphones and Facebook, but for those of us who prefer to play with a mouse and keyboard, usually on a hand-built rig, the PC will always be where we go to game. If you do play on the PC, there's one publisher name that is universally reviled: Ubisoft. And why? It's not that the publisher's games suck. Far from it. Ubisoft is at the helm of a commanding library, from its own Assassin's Creed series to the titles offered by German studios Blue Byte Software and Related Designs, which include much-loved franchises such as The Settlers and Anno, respectively. Those last two are both revered, long-standing series. They're great games, and there's one reason no one's playing them on the PC. That's Ubisoft.
 
Want to know what a desperate last-ditch effort from a movie studio to hang on to an outdated business model looks like? Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group is about to try to convince you that instead of ripping or pirating your DVDs, you should go to a store and pay them to make you a DRM-encumbered copy that lives in Warner's cloud.
 
Ubisoft is responsible for some damn fine games. Unfortunately, the company is also responsible for just about the worst DRM solution imaginable to protect said great games on the PC, and because of the system in place, the only people who will be able to play the majority of Ubisoft's games on the platform next week will be the pirates. Good job, Ubi!
 
The Internet, as we know it, could be coming to an end. And today is a good example of what could be. You may have noticed several of your favorite websites are not operating today, including powerhouses Wikipedia and Reddit (where the grassroots campaign for the blackout began), along with 7,000 to 10,000 smaller websites, according to the International Business Times. In addition, you might have noticed a special note on Google's homepage pledging solidarity to the blacked-out sites (Google even considered joining). All of this is in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act, and this is what the Internet is going to look like if it passes.

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