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First off today, The Pirate Bay has announced its plans to shut down its tracker for good. However, it isn’t for copyright reasons, but rather, to encourage file sharers and other bittorrent sites to switch a decentralized method of distributing content, one that doesn’t require torrent trackers.
According to The Pirate Bay, advances in bittorrent technology have made centralized trackers obsolete and they are looking to force downloaders to use newer solutions, including DHT and PEX. Most bittorrent clients already support “magnet links”, which enable trackerless and torrentless bittorrent downloads, though the alternatives have not caught on with the bittorrent community.
As a side effect of this switch, many hypothesize that it will be more difficult for copyright holders, including the MPAA and the RIAA to track downloads though there is some evidence that it may increase the liability of torrent search engines, who have traditionally avoided hosting torrent files. In these cases, pointing to the link could be very similar to hosting the torrent file legally, at least in theory.
It remains to be seen how the bittorrent community will respond to this move and how copyright holders will address it.
Next up today, the tiny town of Forks, Washington (population 3,000) has seen a windfall of tourism and business since the start of the “Twilight” book series. The stories take place in the town, positioned on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula, prompting fans to flock to it.
Though not the setting for the movies, the next in the series opens this week, many locations in the town are identifiable in the books and the town has capitalized on its fame, opening up shops and restaurants with a Twilight theme and selling merchandise related to the series.
Summit, the publishers of the books, have remained quiet on the issue. Though residents claim they sent a lawyer to investigate the town, Summit denies this and, either way, no lawsuits or complaints have been filed. This is in stark contrast to efforts by other authors, including JK Rowling and George Lucas, to prevent all for-profit use of their material.
The town admits that they are walking a line with what they do, trying to avoid being an infringer while profit from their attention, but it seems that, at least in the world of Twilight, these issues are less of a problem.
Finally today, was The Pirate Bay logo pirated? That’s the accusation one Swedish company, Sandryds Handel AB, which registered the famous trademark as their own after finding that The Pirate Bay had not registered it.
To be clear, The Pirate Bay allows use of its logo for almost any purpose, but is against this particular registration as it restricts others ability to use it.
The company, which has no affiliation with The Pirate Bay, says it plans to sell USB drives with the logo on it and the Swedish patent and trademark office said that, since they were unable to find any evidence The Pirate Bay owned the rights, they were able to award it to Sandryds.
The Pirate Bay has said it is going to attempt to get the decision annulled, calling it a “mistake” on the part of the patent and trademark office.
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.