Code Confidential: The V.i. Labs Blog

More Details Leaked on Verizon's Six Strike Policy, Anti-SOPA Activist Dies at 26 and The Pirate Bay Documentary's New Movie Trailer - Week in Review 1/14/2013

Welcome back to V.i. Labs’ weekly update on software piracy and copyright infringement. Last week an internal Verizon document was leaked outlining its forthcoming six strike policy, sadly, Anti-SOPA activist Andrew Scwartz passed away and the documentary on The Pirate Bay released a movie trailer. Read on and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Google+ and our RSS feed to get the latest news.

Leaked Document Offers Details on Verizon’s Forthcoming Six Strike Policy

Last week an internal document from Verizon outlining the company’s implementation of the Copyright Alert System was leaked to the public. The document goes into detail about a forthcoming six strike policy in which Verizon enacts increasingly harsh penalties on subscribers caught with digital piracy.

Verizon’s implementation of the Copyright Alert System is similar other ISPs such as AT&T which experienced a similar leak in 2012. What makes the Verizon leak unique is the level of detail that has been made available.

According to the document, on the first and second alerts Verizon will notify the user by email and voicemail that a copyright holder has reported possible copyright infringing activity on the account. On the third and fourth alerts, Verizon will redirect the user to a special web page to review and acknowledge the alerts as well as providing a short video about copyright laws and the consequences of breaking them. Finally, on the fifth and sixth alerts the user will be redirected to a web page and be given several options; the user must either agree to an immediate temporary reduction of internet speeds to 256kbps, agree to the same temporary reduction of speeds but delay it for 14 days, or ask for a review of the validity of the alerts by a third party arbitrator for a fee of $35. Subscribers are refunded the fee if they win in arbitration.

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Anti-SOPA Activist and Famous Programmer Dies at 26

Activist and programmer, Andrew Swartz, 26, committed suicide this past Friday. His body was found in his Brooklyn apartment by New York City police.

Swartz played an important role in the development of the web as co-author of the RSS format and co-founder of the popular website Reddit. He was a strong proponent of the freedom of information, starting a nonprofit group called DemandProgress that helped lead the successful campaign to block SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act.

Swartz’s advocacy for the freedom of information resulted in an indictment on charges of computer fraud and hacking when he released academic articles he acquired by breaking into MIT’s computer networks. Swartz pleaded not guilty to all counts but faced 35 years in prison and $1 Million dollars in fines if convicted. In a statement, his family suggested that the pressure of the upcoming trial played a part in his suicide.

His death has renewed calls to revisit the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the law under which he was prosecuted. The law has been criticized as being too broad and for having punishments disproportionate to the crime.

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Documentary about The Pirate Bay Releases Movie Trailer

TPB AFK

A Kickstarter funded documentary about the torrent website The Pirate Bay released its movie trailer last week and within 12 hours received over 100,000 views. The documentary, TPB AFK (The Pirate Bay - Away From Keyboard), will be made available for free - presumably as a torrent on The Pirate Bay.