3 Count: Pirate NFTs

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1: British Man Pleads Guilty in New York Over Global Movie Piracy Scheme

First off today, Jonathan Stempel at Reuters reports that UK citizen George Bridi has pleaded guilty in a New York courtroom to his involvement in a global piracy ring dubbed the Sparks Group.

According to his confession, Bridi, as well as other members of the group, would get pre-release copies of movies from wholesalers, defeat the copyright protection schemes on the discs and then leak them online before their scheduled release date.

Bridi was extradited to the United States last month and now faces between 27 months and 33 months in prison. A fellow group member, Jonatan Correa was sentenced to 27 months of supervised release. Another alleged member of the group, Umar Ahmad of Norway, remains at large.

2: Google Reaches Content Deals With German Publishers

Next up today, The Associated Press reports that Google has reached a deal with several large German news publishers that will enable the search giant to display their content as part of Google News search results.

The move comes after the European Union passed a new law that required search engines, like Google, to obtain licenses for the use of thumbnails, headlines and other content from news publishers. The company has already reached deals with French publishers and other news publications.

In Germany, the organizations they’ve signed with include Der Spiegel, Die Zeit as well as several technology portals and business publications. Google also added that deals with other publishers are “at an advanced stage.”

3: ‘Piracy’ Website Offers NFT Art as Free Downloads

Finally today, the BBC is reporting that an Australian artist has created a new website that lets users download “every NFT” on the Ethereum blockchain for free.

The site, dubbed “The NFT Bay”, is modelled after The Pirate Bay and gives users access to a 17 terabyte file that includes all the images that have been sold as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. However, proponents of NFTs say that this is simply allowing people to download the image and is not the same as owning the NFT, which is a unique digital token that cannot be duplicated.

The artist, Geoffrey Huntley, says that he created the site to show people what they are buying and so that “future generators can study this generation’s tulip mania.”

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