3 Count: Staying Anonymous

Staying anonymous in a low-privacy world...

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1: Judge Says Person who Criticized Jehovah’s Witnesses Online May Remain Anonymous

First off today, Bob Egelko at the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization has lost a bid to unmask an anonymous Reddit user and critic of the group by using a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) subpoena.

The dispute began in August 2018 when Reddit user Darkspilver posted a critique of the organization that included several pages from the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Watchtower magazine. This prompted the religion’s Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society to file a DMCA subpoena in a bid to determine Darkspilver’s identity. This led to concerns that Darkspilver, if he’s a member of the organization, could be disfellowshipped or face other retribution.

The subpoena was original granted by a clerk of court but Darkspilver, with the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, appealed it to a District Court. There, the court quashed the subpoena saying that the use of the pages was fair use.

2: RomUniverse Maintains Innocence and Demands Damages From Nintendo

Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that RomUniverse has filed yet another defense of their practices and are now not only claiming that Nintendo actually owes them damages rather than the other way around.

RomUniverse is a website that allows users to illegally download pirated copies of video games, including ones on the Nintendo Switch. This prompted Nintendo to file a lawsuit against the site in September 2019 and the site’s administrator, Matthew Storman, his been representing himself without the aid of an attorney. He initially filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit claiming, among other things, that his site was protected under the DMCA safe harbor provisions.

That motion to dismiss was defeated by Nintendo and now, after attending a Federal Pro Se Clinic to get advice on how to argue the case, he has hit back with another answer to the lawsuit. This one not only arguing the DMCA safe harbor exemptions but that his site was protected under the right of first sale. He goes on to claim that Nintendo actually owes him damages of up to $150,000 for each false infringement claim and up to $2 million for each false trademark infringement claim. Nintendo has not responded to this filing.

3: Death Stranding PC Version Will Use Denuvo DRM

Finally today, Pam Ferdinand at GameRant reports that the popular PlayStation game Death Stranding will be making the jump to PC this June. However, when it does, it will carry with it the Denuvo digital rights management (DRM) system, aggravating many gamers.

Denvuo is a DRM system of some notoriety as, for quite some time, attackers struggled to find a way to circumvent it. However, more recent games have been hit or miss for the system with many being broken fairly quickly.

Despite the failings of Denuvo and complaints from gamers that it causes problems with their systems, Death Stranding will use the technology in hopes that it will delay the appearance of pirated copies long enough for the developers to make most of their revenue as games earn the bulk of their money in the days immediately after launch.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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