Video of Scooter Braun presenting Justin Bieber with the RIAA Diamond Award for ‘Baby’ tonight at the Believe Tour in Newark, NJ

WTF: Beginning in July, ISP's will start monitoring and policing user activity


The entertainment industry are some sneaky bastards - yeah, I am looking at you RIAA. So, remember the whole SOPA thing where we came together as one Internet to stop the evils of Hollywood bribing lawmakers to track our online activities and shut down sites like Tumblr, Reddit and YouTube?

It seems Hollywood is at is again. But this time they know that they can’t get a law passed like they tried with SOPA because of how the Internet reacted to it. So they went to Plan B - control of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

There is no law that needs to be passed now. Big Hollywood just needed to shake a few corporate hands and now there is a new “policy” in place (not law). The new policy which is being adopted by all major ISP’s will have the ISP’s “voluntarily” track user activity and police offending users in a “gradual” manner.

Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon are some of the providers that are going to voluntarily commit to this program, sponsored by none other than the RIAA. Here is how the program works, says CNET:

The program, commonly referred to as graduated response, requires that ISPs send out one or two educational notices to those customers who are accused of downloading copyrighted content illegally. If the customer doesn’t stop, the ISP is then asked to send out “confirmation notices” asking that they confirm they have received notice.

At that time, the accused customers will also be informed of the risks they incur if they don’t stop pirating material. If the customer is flagged for pirating again, the ISP can then ratchet up the pressure. Participating ISPs can choose from a list of penalties, or what the RIAA calls “mitigation measures,” which include throttling down the customer’s connection speed and suspending Web access until the subscriber agrees to stop pirating.

The ISPs can waive the mitigation measure if they choose and not one of the service providers has agreed to permanently terminate service.

This sounds really infringing on my rights, but I am not a lawyer by any means. This doesn’t sound kosher, so it may be time to rally the virtual troops again. This isn’t good ya’ll.

Starting July 1, the nation’s largest Internet service providers (ISPs) have agreed to adopt a “Graduated Response” program intended to cut down on illegal file sharing. The program, colloquially known as the “six-strikes” system, is the brainchild of the Recording Industry Association of America(RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) — the same industry groups that conjured up SOPA and PIPA. The system will affect millions of Internet users across the country. Whether you download your music and movies from the Internet or not, it is important for everyone to understand what the plan is, and how it could affect your life. Here is everything you need to know about “six-strikes.”

I’m begging everyone to reblog the fuck out of this.

The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), reported that from now they will be including streaming into their Gold and Platinum certifications, using a formula of 100 streams being equivalent to one download. This includes streams from on-demand audio and video services like Spotify, Xbox Music,, VEVO, Yahoo! Music, YouTube and more.

With the launch of this new program, RIAA awarded ‘Baby' with new Platinum certifications. Making 'Baby' the first single by a male artist to go Diamond (with a total 12 Platinum certifications)

Congratulations on this new achievement, Justin!

RIAA Crowns Katy Perry Top Certified Digital Artist Ever

Only Act to Surpass 70 MillionCertifications in G&P’s Digital Program 32 Million New Single Awards Announced Perry Recognized at Event in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON – Katy Perry has made Gold & Platinum (G&P) Program history.  The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has recognized the Capitol Records artist as its most awarded digital act in the history of Gold & Platinum awards, the industry’s premier program for celebrating artistic achievement in the marketplace.  

Eighteen Katy Perry songs, from early favorites like “I Kissed a Girl” and “Hot N Cold” to popular new releases like “Dark Horse” and “Birthday” are included in Perry’s 72 million cumulative Digital Single Certifications counting downloads and on-demand streams.  The new batch of certifications vaults Katy to the top of the RIAA’s list of artists with the most G&P Digital Single Certifications, and makes Perry the first artist to surpass the 70 million digital award threshold – 20 million ahead of any other artist.

More than 32 million new cumulative certifications were awarded today including a 9x multi-Platinum for “Firework,” two 7x multi-Platinums for “California Gurls” and “E.T.,” three 6x multi-Platinums for “Dark Horse,” “Hot N Cold” and “Teenage Dream” and more.  Katy’s career RIAA tally now encompasses 18 Gold, 16 Platinum and 56 multi-Platinum Digital Single Awards, in addition to her 2x multi-Platinum album “Teenage Dream” and Platinum album “One Of The Boys.”

RIAA Chairman & CEO Cary Sherman presented the top award to Perry Wednesday evening at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
“Katy Perry is a force to be reckoned with in music,” said RIAA Chairman & CEO Cary Sherman.  “We are honored to recognize Katy as the most successful digital artist in Gold & Platinum Program history.  She embodies all that makes a true global superstar:  the musical talent, the extraordinary drive and genuine charisma, and an intrinsic connection with her fans.  This award is a reflection of her deep commitment to those qualities and to her music, which has propelled her to this historic milestone.   We congratulate Katy and her team on all her success.”


I feel like no statement shows how out of touch the MPAA/RIAA is with the internet generation more than "you wouldn't download a pizza"

who wouldn’t download a pizza? fuck yes I would download a pizza. Why would you even tease me by suggesting it might be possible.

Take Action: ISPs Selling Out Customers, Pushing Backdoor SOPA


They’re selling us out.  Just weeks after Internet users from across the globe came together to to beat SOPA, the major ISPs are cutting a deal with Big Content to restrict web access for users who are accused of piracy.

It’ll do much of the dirty work we were able to prevent when we took down SOPA, this time by restricting certain Americans’ access to the WHOLE Internet.

The details are fuzzy, but the head of the Recording Industry Association of America’s bragged this week that ISPs will start policing copyright by July of this year.  Here’s RT’s take:

Some of the biggest Internet service providers in America plan to adopt policies that will punish customers for copyright infringement, and one of the top trade groups in the music biz announced this week that it could begin as soon as this summer….

RIAA CEO Cary Sherman was one of the guest speakers among a New York panel this week and he confirmed that, at this rate, some of the most powerful Internet providers in America should have their new policies on the books by July 12, 2012.

The ISPs are poised to start treating their customers like criminals, restricting their access to the Internet.  And they’re cutting us off at the knees just ast we’ve begun to force a new conversation about Internet freedom and copyright law.

Please sign on to our open letter demanding they back down:

OPEN LETTER TO INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS: Just weeks after the Internet banded together to beat back SOPA you’ve apparently chosen to sell out your customers. You’re undermining the emerging new dialogue about Internet freedom in America.  We need you to back down from your “graduated response” plan.

Here’s RT’s article on ISPs’ copyright enforcement plans.

If you’re already on Facebookclick here to share with your friends.

If you’re already on Twitter, click here to tweet about the campaign: Tweet



You thought SOPA was bad?
ACTA is worse.

They want to implement a strict three-strikes policy that would mean if you’re accused of breaking copyright, which could be as innocent as uploading a video of yourself with your favourite song in the background, you can be permanently disconnected from the internet.

Learn more:

Link to the Canadian Petition to stop ACTA:

The Company Helping Movie Studios Sue You for Illegal Downloading Has Been Using Images Without Permission

As you may already know, Voltage Pictures, the company responsible for the movie The Hurt Locker, (as well as a million movies you’ve never heard of) is currently in court, attempting to get an Ontario-based internet service provider to release the names associated with over 1000 IP addresses that they claim belong to people who illegally downloaded their copyrighted material. 

These IP addresses were gathered by an extraordinarily douchey company called Canipre, the only antipiracy enforcement firm currently offering services in Canada. 

Canipre, as a company, offers to track down people who are illegally downloading copyrighted material from record companies and film studios. According to their website, they have issued more than 3,500,000 takedown notices, and their work has led to multimillion dollar damages awards, injunctions, seizure of assets, and even incarceration.

But it’s not like Canipre is doing this just to get rich. In a recent interview, Canipre’s managing director Barry Logan explained that it’s about much more than just money—he’s hoping to teach the Canadian public a moral lesson:

 ”[We want to] change social attitudes toward downloading. Many people know it is illegal but they continue to do it… Our collective goal is not to sue everybody… but to change the sense of entitlement that people have, regarding Internet-based theft of property.”

Here is a screenshot of the front page of the Canipre website as it appeared when I visited it this morning. 

The image you see in the background is this self portrait, by Steve Houk.

I contacted Steve and asked if they had sought permission to use the picture. Steve said, “No. In no way have I authorized or licensed this image to anyone in any way.”

Oh, dear. 

So, just to be clear: Canipre has written “they all know it’s wrong and they’re still doing it.” Referring to copyright theft. On top of an image that they are using without the permission of the copyright holder. On their official website.


The movie and music industry think pirates are criminals and parasites who cost both industries billions of dollars in lost sales. In order to prove this fact a number of studies have been commissioned to help demonstrate the effect a pirate has on sales of entertainment. GfK Group is one of the largest market research companies in the world and is often used by the movie industry to carry out research and studies into piracy. Talking to a source within GfK who wished to remain anonymous, Telepolis found that a recent study looking at pirates and their purchasing activities found them to be almost the complete opposite of the criminal parasites the entertainment industry want them to be. The study states that it is much more typical for a pirate to download an illegal copy of a movie to try it before purchasing. They are also found to purchase more DVDs than the average consumer, and they visit the movie theater more, especially for opening weekend releases which typically cost more to attend.
To Catch A Hypocrite

Yesterday, Jason Kincaid posted damning evidence of VEVO, the online music video entity jointly owned by a few major record labels, committing piracy at their boozy event at Sundance this year.

Watch the video, then read Jason’s full story. It’s worth it.

Today, VEVO’s CEO has responded. Here’s his stance:

A guest of our lounge asked for an NFL game to be aired. We said no. There was a laptop hooked up to that fed into the large TV screens around the bar. Unfortunately, the laptop was easily accessible to the public. That was our mistake for not making sure the laptop was more secure. While VEVO staff was in other areas of the venue, the game was put on – via a website transmitting ESPN’s broadcast of the NFL game – without our permission or knowledge.

Which reads a lot like:

Holy fucking shit. We’re so fucked. Is there anyway on Earth we can spin this so it doesn’t look so bad? … Anyone? … Okay, fuck you all, I’ve got it! We’ll say that we were so grossly negligent at our own event that some some shady, masked criminals — preferably foreigners — illegally took control of our laptops to access the game. It was actually an elaborate terrorist plot, if you must know. We’re investigating — and we’ve hired the same people that O.J. Simpson is using to find the real killers.

As Jason says, it’s probably impossible to prove this dipshit is lying, but come on: common sense and Occam’s razor here. Someone was clearly refreshing the feed over and over again. And it never was taken down the entire time Jason was watching.

Either VEVO employees take extremely long bathroom breaks as a group, or — wait for it — they were the pirates!

These assclowns should be fined out of existence or go to jail for a level of hypocrisy so bad that it makes Newt Gingrich seem like a good husband fully qualified to lecture others on ethics. By the music labels’ own definition, they are now criminals.

This situation perfectly highlights the SOPA/PIPA times we live in. As Jason writes:

Sure, there are some people who will duck the bill when they can — but many of them were never going to buy the content they downloaded in the first place. And a huge swath of ‘pirates’ are driven to their ways because it’s easier to stream or download something via an illegal site, not because they’re averse to paying for content. Stick a bunch of DRM and ads in front of the media they’ve already paid for, and they may opt to go with the path of least resistance next time.

Why would VEVO pirate content? Because it was easier than getting it legally. This is the actual root cause of piracy online. It’s not shady, masked individuals at swanky events commandeering computers to pirate for the hell of it. It’s VEVO employees. It’s everyone.