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TorrentFreak: 2011: Piracy Wars and Internet Censorship

Nice post from TorrentFreak detailing the ratcheting up of censorship in 2011 in the name of copyright:

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…


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.

There was also positive news from the UK, when so-called Speculative Invoicing schemes there came to an end, at least for a few months. ACS:Law, the law firm that had terrorized untold thousands of alleged file-sharers in the UK, quit the anti-piracy business and went into bankruptcy a while later. ACS:Law’s Andrew Crossley was honored with the title of “Internet Villain” of the year and will now face the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in early 2012.

Two lawyers who were responsible for introducing Speculative Invoicing to the UK were fined and banned from practicing for 3 months. David Gore and former partner Brian Miller of the law firm Davenport Lyons were each told to pay a £20,000 fine and interim costs of £150,000 for their professional misconduct.

Meanwhile, RapidShare and Megaupload fought back against entertainment industry propaganda.

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To the extent possible under law, Stephan Kinsella has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to C4SIF. This work is published from: United States. In the event the CC0 license is unenforceable a  Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License is hereby granted.