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1: ‘Revenge Porn’ Distributors are Finally Seeing Legal Ramifications. This Web Site Owner Will Go to Prison for 18 Years
First off today, Jessica Contrera at The Washington Post reports that Kevin Bollaert, former operator of the revenge porn site UGotPosted, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role with the site.
Bollaert operated the site, which allowed users to upload nude and sexual images of exes, mostly women, along with personal information including names, addresses, phone numbers and social media accounts. He would then force women to pay him money to remove their information and images.
Bollaert was operating out of California, which recently passed strong anti-revenge pornography laws. However, though he was arrested after the law took effect, he was convicted of identity theft and extortion in February. At his sentencing, many of his victims came to testify against him, which helped lead to his lengthy sentence. He will not be eligible for parole for 10 years.
Next up today, Jan Willem Aldershoff at MYCE reports that music streaming site Grooveshark has announced new steps it will be taking to prevent piracy on the service, in hopes of avoiding future judgments against the company over its copyright practices.
Grooveshark and its parent company, Escape Media, were hit with a summary judgment against them after a judge ruled the site did not take enough steps to ensure protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The music streaming site allows users to upload audio tracks for others to listen to and claimed protection under the DMCA, which protects hosts from liability for copyright infringement committed by users.
However, the judge ruled that those protections did not apply, namely because it did not do enough to ban repeat infringers and did not assist copyright holders in reporting infringing links. Now the site, is strengthening its anti-piracy efforts to fill those alleged gaps, though it may not do anything to help it avoid liability for the infringements that have already occurred.
Finally today, Stuart Dredge at The Guardian reports that the BBC has released a 10-episode “box set” of Doctor Who episodes via BitTorrent complete with special videos and behind-the-scenes footage.
Fans of Doctor who can download a free version of the bundle that includes an intro video by Peter Capaldi, the current Doctor, and a 10-minute preview of the episode Rose, which is the first episode of the reboot. Fans can then pay $12 to unlock the entire 10 episode pack (12 considering two episodes are two-parters) and a collection of behind the scenes footage.
The BitTorrent protocol is best known for the widespread piracy that takes place on it. However, the company BitTorrent has recently been pushing to find legitimate uses for the protocol, eventually launching the BitTorrent bundle, which allows content creators to sell their work through the service.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.