Weekly News Roundup (20 March 2016)

Hello again! I’ll try to keep this one nice and short, despite there being actually quite a bit of news this week. I just had a sneaking suspicion that you’re not in the mood for reading a whole bunch, that and the fact that I’m not in the mood for writing too much either.

Being lazy and not feeling guilty about it has its perks!


Australia's Internet Filter

Australian Internet filtering about to start … only if the legal stuff can be sorted out first

We first step onto the continent of Australia, where the powers that be (ie. Hollywood) have finally decided to do something about the Pirate Bay problem. And by doing something, it of course means site blocking. But before the blocking can happen, the rights-holders have to get a court order, and things are not very straight forward for them due to the laws we have here (laws that were only recently changed to allow site blocking). You can read the whole piece for details as to why site blocking is kind of tricky to get started here. But a difficult process is what’s needed, as censorship is not something that should be taken lightly, even when it relates to something as obvious as The Pirate Bay.

From one lawsuit to another, this time from the other side of the world. When the sister company of Warner and Intel and the company responsible for managing the HDCP copy protection system found in HDMI/DP connections sued Chinese HDMI/DP splitter/conversion maker LegendSky, it might have seemed a rather straight forward case. After all, one of LegendSky’s latest devices may have been responsible for the spate of 4K rips that hit the torrent scene last year, from sources that had been protected using the latest and most secure version of HDCP.

HDMI Connector

When is a HDCP stripper not a HDCP stripper?

But it appears LegendSky’s devices doesn’t actually strip the new version of HDCP at all from sources like Netflix 4K streams and Ultra HD Blu-ray. Instead, it converts the new, hard to crack version to an older version that has already been cracked – and the conversion is legal (and used to maintain legacy compatibility).  This, LegendSky says, means DCP’s original lawsuit is flawed and based on the wrong assertions, and that it should be dismissed by the judge immediately. Bold words. Fighting words, which means this straight forward lawsuit has just become anything but straight forward.

Speaking of Netflix rips, the streaming giant has done the unthinkable – it has joined the Google DMCA filing game, submitting 71,861 links for removal. Netflix, using the services of the anti-piracy outfit Vobile, wants streaming and download links to shows like Sense8, House of Cards taken down. This marks a drastic change of direction for Netflix, who, up until now, had maintained a relaxed attitude towards piracy. In fact, CEO Reed Hastings even admitted that piracy sometimes “creates the demand” for the streaming network’s own original programming.


Microsoft has just dropped the price of the Xbox One again, this time to $299. The price drop is only temporary, but based on history, it might turn into a permanent one if sales respond in the expected manner. It’s the best weapon in Microsoft’s arsenal in their bitter battle with the PS4, and truth be told, it’s probably the most effective weapon anyway. It will be interesting to see if Sony responds, but given their sales lead and momentum, they probably don’t even need to.


So that’s it then for the week. Not too long as promised, but still full of tasty goodness as always, erm, or something. See you next week.


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