Piracy may be a debated topic in some contexts and regions but there’s no escaping the fact that it is illegal in many countries. You may argue all you want against capitalism, fair use, ownership, and other factors but when you’re running a large streaming service for pirated content and earning millions from it, it’s not really a matter of fighting for the little folk anymore. Perhaps knowing that the gig is up, two men from Las Vegas have pleaded guilty to being part of the country’s biggest pirated streaming operation, trying to make a deal for a lesser sentence than they would have been given if convicted.
You may have heard more about PirateBay but iStreamItAll or ISIA and Jetflix have been regarded as the biggest business in the US when it comes to streaming pirated videos. Whereas others try to operate in the dark corners of the web, these two boldly offered content in exchange for subscription fees. They did advertise themselves as better than Netflix because their pirated content spanned different competing services.
It wasn’t a simple case of just serving up content either. The two are being labeled as “computer programmers” for their specific role in the business. Darryl Julius Polo, owner and operator of ISIA, utilized software that looked for pirated content on the net and then stored it on ISIA. Polo then sent emails to prospective customers, promoting the benefits of the service over legit ones. Between 2014 and 2016, the business processed 18,551 credit and debit card transactions for $20 monthly or $180 yearly subscriptions.
Luis Angel Villarino’s role in Jetflix wasn’t a central one in comparison. He admits to being the programmer that optimize and maintain the programs that harvested pirated content, the very same that Polo used in ISIA. Villarino pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement while Polo copped to more charges, including money laundering.
The two may be getting lesser sentences but their time in court isn’t over. There are six other defendants in that same case and part of their plea bargain would be to testify against their former associates.
Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries
Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.
Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver
EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.
Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.
Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.
South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.
Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.
($1 = 1,117.7000 won)
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum
The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.
Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.
Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.
The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.
The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.
Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.
In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.
Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.
Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.
In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.
Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.
The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.
($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)