Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: Piracy Wars and Internet Censorship

Looking back at the past 12 months it’s fair to conclude that 2011 was the year that the entertainment industries focused on piracy-fueled Internet censorship. Domain seizures, DNS blockades, raids and arrests dominated the news, and the threat of the SOPA and PIPA bills in the US left millions of Internet users worried. Let’s see how events unfolded.
At the end of the year when new developments draw to a close, it’s time to take a look back and take stock. Below is our overview of some of the most interesting events we reported during the first half of 2011.
Take a deep breath…

January

After pressure from the entertainment industries, Google started to censor piracy-related keywords from its instant and autocomplete services. Keywords such as ‘torrent,’ ‘BitTorrent’ and ‘RapidShare’ were excluded from the start, and later in the year Google added a wide range of new terms including ‘The Pirate Bay.’
Google pirate bayDespite these efforts the RIAA remained dissatisfied, patronizing the search engine with a could-do-much-better “Report Card” in December.
The mass-BitTorrent lawsuits that entered the US during 2010 reached a new milestone in 2011 with the 100,000th person being sued for alleged copyright infringement. In January alone several prominent lawsuits were added. Anime distributor Funimation announced a lawsuit against 1337 alleged BitTorrent downloaders, and the rights holders of “The Expendables” and Paris Hilton sex tape did the same.
One alleged BitTorrent user paid a mysterious settlement of $250,000.
Read more here