3 Count: Proxy War

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1: Shadowy VPN Firm Says They’ve Got Industry’s First Transparency Report

First off today, Cyrus Farivar at Ars Technica reports that VPN service Proxy.sh has launched what it says is the industry’s first “transparency report”, where it highlights DMCA and other legal notices that it receives.

VPN services such as Proxy.sh are used by individuals eager to hide their identity online, including those infringing copyright. According to their report, Proxy.sh has received just 9 DMCA notices since October 31st and has responded to all of them by blocking ports, at least temporarily.

However, many still criticize Proxy.sh because it is based in the Seychelles, a small island nation known as a haven for offshore banking and corporations. A representative from the Electronic Frontier Foundation also criticized the service, saying that it will comply with many of the worst government requests, calling its policy the worst he has seen.

2: Movie Studios Prepare Police Report Against ‘Netflix Proxy’ ISP

Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that Icelandic anti-piracy group Film Rights-Holders of Iceland (SMÁÍS) says that it is preparing to report a local ISP, Tal, to the place over allegations a proxy service it will soon provide is an infringement of copyright law.

Tal recently began offing a service named Lúxusnet, which functions much like a proxy service and allows Icelandic customers access to U.S.-based services, such as Netflix and Hulu. Many of these services are not currently available in Iceland due to international restrictions but the service allows Icelandic users to appear to be in the U.S. by making their connection appear to becoming form a U.S.-based computer.

According to SMÁÍS, the service is an infringement of copyright as it enables users to circumvent digital locks meant to prevent copyright infringement. They plan on taking action against both Tal and a similar service provided by Flix.is.

3: Warner Bros. Orders Cease and Desist for ‘Potter’ Class

Finally today, Corinne Holroyd at The New Hampshire reports that Warner Brothers sent a cease and desist letter to the University of New Hampshire over a Harry Potter class that the school taught to younger students over the summer.

However, according to Warner Brothers, the issue is not the use of copyrighted works in the classroom, which they openly acknowledge can be used, but instead was the advertising and marketing of the class, which Warner says used trademarked logos and images without permission.

Warner is not asking the school to stop the class, despite some reports, but rather, is asking the school to change its marketing so that it does not appear to be approved by Warner. The school has said that they plan to hold the class next summer as well.


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.

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