Hollywood studios target ‘rogue’ Android apps in war on pirated content

“Hollywood studios, which for years have waged a war against online piracy, are now going after so-called “rogue” mobile apps that use images from movies and television shows without their permission,” Sue Zeidler reports for Reuters.

“Time Warner Inc Warner Bros Studio sent Google Inc a ‘take down’ notice late last week demanding that the Internet company remove from its app store ‘Hobbit 3D Wallpaper HD,’ a mobile app that uses images of the Oscar-nominated film, according to a spokesman for the studio,” Zeidler reports. “Google responded to Warner’s notice and removed the app within days, in the latest example of how Hollywood is stepping up its efforts to protect its intellectual property in the quickly expanding app market, which is pegged at $20 billion in 2013.”

Zeidler reports, “Walt Disney Co’s Marvel unit, Sony Corp, Viacom Inc’s Paramount, and News Corp’s Twentieth Century Fox and Warner have all submitted infringement notifications to Google, according to information made available by Google and posted on ChillingEffects.org… Tom Neumayr, a spokesman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, declined to comment on the specifics of any infringing apps, but said the company vets all apps before making them available.”

Read more in the full article here.

6 Comments

  1. I can buy a CD of music and listen to it essentially on any device that will play music CDs in the world anytime.

    When I moved to the southern hemisphere, the collection of DVD movies that I had legally purchased and brought with me were not viewable on local DVD players that had regional codes. I had to buy cheap players without the codes that kept on breaking down within 6 months or less.

    The regional codes were to supposedly stop piracy. Well Horrorwood it backfired where I am concerned. Oh I am not a pirate, I’ve never bought nor downloaded a movie from say a warez site, but I will support anyone who does.

    I’ve taken it one step further, I boycott your movies Horrorwood, except in very special circumstances. Instead I’ve returned to reading. You know you can buy a book, and pretty well reading it anywhere you want to in the world.

    1. Regions have nothing to do with copy protection and fight against piracy. DVD encryption (CSS) is supposed to protect content against piracy.

      Region codes were the most misguided, idiotic concept that Hollywood studios have ever come up with. There are only two significant reasons for the region coding. One is to prevent cross-border purchases, where a consumer from, say EU, can travel to Russia and purchase a DVD that costs less than half of what it costs back in the EU. With online ordering and cheap shipping, travel is no longer necessary, so you could presumably undermine studios’ revenues/profits by buying your movies in a country with a lower cost-of-living than yours. Region coding also allows studios to extend their practice of “windowing” — staggering release of their film not just between media (first theatres, then pay-per-view, then DVD, then premium cable, then basic cable, then network TV), but also within the DVD medium (first US; then EU, then other regions). When you combine DVD regioning and NTSC / PAL incompatibility, the market space for DVDs was so segmented that the likelihood of DVD not working in a neighbouring country was extremely high.

      When Blu-ray was adopted, somehow (and I don’t quite know why Hollywood caved), this region coding was reduced to somewhat more manageable 3 regions (America – Southeast Asia, EU – Africa – AUS/NZ, Russia – Asia). Also, the NTSC / PAL thing is gone from HD, so now there are only three possible variants of any movie out there.

      Luckily, when Apple introduced online downloads, regions as a concept were gone, so now any movie bought in iTunes anywhere in the world can be played back on any Apple device (or Apple software), anywhere in the world.

      1. Well put Predrag, thank you. I do like the iTunes approach. I don’t think Hollywood will change, they aren’t in dire straits like the music industry was.

  2. So, about 40% of the applications on the google’s application store are malware, and the rest are illegal, no wonder why they have so many activations per day.

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