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Corporate culture, personal experiences, and unique observations about Giganews, Usenet, Newsgroups, and Usenet related technologies.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Giganews wins landmark victory in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal against Perfect 10



Today we at Giganews are celebrating our victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a landmark copyright law decision against Perfect 10, Inc.

"This has been a long and hard-fought battle," said Ron Yokubaitis, Co-CEO of Giganews.  "We decided that it would be important to stand up to Perfect 10 and not be bullied by its abusive litigation tactics.  We were not going to settle this case just to avoid the risk of potentially catastrophic statutory damages in today's crazy copyright world, a threat that unscrupulous plaintiffs like Perfect 10 use to extract unjust settlements from more timid companies.  We took a stand for Usenet, for technology and online platforms, for the public, and for ultimate benefit of rational copyright law.  We were not just battling Perfect 10:  standing behind Perfect 10 – and even sharing in its oral argument at the court of appeals – was the Recording Industry Association of America(RIAA), which tried to argue that it was voicing the interests of small copyright holders."

In the case, the notorious repeat copyright plaintiff Perfect 10, Inc. – which before suing Giganews had sued Google, Amazon.com, Microsoft, Tumblr, and many other Internet services – sued Giganews for billions of dollars over alleged copyright infringements on its Usenet service.  At its core, the case was a fundamental challenge to the Usenet industry.

Giganews has a long standing history of working with copyright holders, large and small, to remove claimed infringing messages from its Usenet servers.  Giganews processes millions of notifications of claimed infringement each year by relying upon copyright holders to provide machine readable message-IDs. Message-IDs are the only reliable means for Giganews to accurately identify the material to be removed from its service.

Perfect 10 refused to send Giganews Message-IDs for Usenet messages.   Instead, Perfect 10 sent demands that Giganews search for messages by using various search terms that Perfect 10 specified, seeking to impose heavy processing burdens upon Giganews and to introduce risks of errors in the process.  Giganews insisted on receiving proper notifications from Perfect 10 with machine readable message-IDs.  Rather than working with Giganews to take effective action to reduce the incidence of infringements of Perfect 10's copyrights, Perfect 10 chose to sue for billions of dollars of windfall "statutory" damages under copyright law.

In earlier stages of the litigation, three separate federal judges in the trial court in Los Angeles made key rulings for Giganews, culminating in a complete victory for Giganews in late 2014.  The trial court also awarded Giganews over $5.6 million in attorney's fees and costs against Perfect 10 in 2015.

Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, by a 3-0 decision, affirmed Giganews' victory.  The court's opinion consolidated important principles of copyright law which will positively impact online service providers for years to come.  Here are some of the key technical points:
  • The court reaffirmed a requirement of proximate causation in claims of direct copyright infringement and ruled that the mere operation of a service and systems like those of Giganews was not a proximate cause of copyright infringements.
  • The court affirmed the trial court's finding that there was no evidence that Giganews personnel had uploaded allegedly infringing material to Usenet.
  • The court reaffirmed the principle that provision of services like those of Giganews do not constitute a "material contribution" to infringement, an element of contributory infringement.
  • The court ruled that Giganews did not fail to take any simple measures available to curb infringement, an element of contributory infringement.
  • The court ruled that Giganews did not do anything to induce copyright infringement, an element of contributory infringement.
  • The court ruled that a plaintiff must show that a defendant has obtained a direct financial benefit from infringement of the plaintiff's copyrights, not from other infringements, in claims for vicarious liability, and that Perfect 10 had not shown any direct financial benefit to Giganews from infringement of Perfect 10's copyrights.
  • The court ruled that an award of attorney's fees to Giganews was appropriate in recognition that a successful defense of a copyright claim can advance the purposes and policies of the Copyright Act.
Looking specifically at Giganews's conduct, the court also noted the following:
  • Other than setting basic parameters, Giganews does not select any of the content available on its servers. Indeed, Giganews itself did not post any of the articles at issue in this action to any Usenet server, and all such articles were posted by Usenet users. Nor does Giganews tell any third parties what to upload to Usenet, including Giganews'[s] Usenet servers.
  • When Perfect 10 sent Giganews machine-readable Message-IDs, Giganews quickly removed those messages from its servers. When Perfect 10 faxed Giganews notices containing illegible Message-IDs, Giganews responded with a letter asking Perfect 10 to provide the Message-IDs in a legible, machine readable format. Perfect 10 repeatedly declined to do so.
  • An analysis of Perfect 10's evidence showed only that users uploaded infringing content onto Giganews servers, not that Giganews played any sort of active role in causing any distribution.
  • The evidence Perfect 10 cited did not demonstrate copying by Giganews.  Operating a system used to make copies at the user's command does not mean that the system operator, rather than the user, caused copies to made. Perfect 10 provided no evidence showing Giganews exercised control (other than by general operation of a Usenet service); selected any material for upload, download, transmission, or storage; or instigated any copying, storage, or distribution.
  • The court concluded the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that Perfect 10 had an improper motivation, that the "objective unreasonableness" factor weighed slightly in Giganews' favor, that considerations of compensation and deterrence weighed in favor of a fee award, and that it would not be inequitable to award attorney's fees to Giganews.
Because the rulings of both the trial court and the court of appeals decisively rejected the core elements of Perfect 10's copyright infringement claims, the courts had no need to reach the question whether Giganews also qualified for the safe harbor that online services enjoy under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  The safe harbor protects those who are otherwise liable for infringement by limiting the remedies that would flow from a finding of infringement. The courts found no evidence of infringement by Giganews in the first place.

Giganews is grateful to those who have supported it in its long and expensive fight.  They include Internet Infrastructure Coalition (I2C), Internet Association, Computer & Communications Industry Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries, who supported it with amicus briefs.   

With this decision, Perfect 10's days as a copyright troll masquerading as an adult content provider are now finished. The case now moves to its final stage to collect attorney's fees from Perfect 10.  Giganews is seeking the appointment of a receiver to take charge of all of Perfect 10's copyrights, trademarks, and domain names and to liquidate them in partial satisfaction of Giganews' judgment against Perfect 10.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Golden Frog Adds 15 New VyprVPN Server Locations



Golden Frog added 15 new VyprVPN server locations in Algeria, Bulgaria, Egypt, El Salvador, Greece, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Pakistan, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Uruguay. These additional server locations will offer our Diamond and Platinum members security and freedom when accessing the Internet in these regions. We are excited to see the expansion of VPN server locations in Golden Frog's fight to defeat online censorship and to keep the internet open and accessible. At Giganews, we feel it is important to protect your Usenet connections with SSL and protect all of your internet connections with VyprVPN.

How to Access the New VyprVPN Server Location:

  • VyprVPN Desktop - If you use VyprVPN Desktop, the new server locations will automatically be available when you choose your server location.
  • VyprVPN Mobile - To enable the new server locations as an option using VyprVPN Mobile, simply log out of the app and log back in.
Giganews members with VyprVPN have unlimited access to 70+ server locations. They offer unlimited switching between server locations and have over 200,000 IP addresses, so server connections are always available.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A New VyprVPN Server Available in Israel



Golden Frog added a new VyprVPN server location in Tel Aviv, Israel. This additional server will offer our Diamond and Platinum members security and freedom when accessing the Internet in these regions. We are excited to see the expansion of VPN server locations in Golden Frog's fight to defeat online censorship and to keep the internet open and accessible. At Giganews, we feel it is important to protect your Usenet connections with SSL and protect all of your internet connections with VyprVPN.

How to Access the New VyprVPN Server Location:

  • VyprVPN Desktop - If you use VyprVPN Desktop, the new server location will automatically be available when you choose your server location.
  • VyprVPN Mobile - To enable Israel as an option using VyprVPN Mobile, simply log out of the app and log back in.
Giganews members with VyprVPN have unlimited access to 50+ server locations.


If you don't have VyprVPN, upgrade to a Giganews Diamond or Platinum account today and get VyprVPN free. If you're not already a Giganews member, we invite you to sign up for a 14-day free trial.

To stay up to date on VyprVPN, please subscribe to our blog and follow us on Giganews Facebook, Giganews Twitter, Giganews YouTube Channel, and Giganews Google+.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Join Giganews at SXSW 2016

Join Giganews at the Take Back Your Internet Party During SXSW interactive on March 12th.

This year, the Take Back Your Internet is all about backdoor encryption. Encryption has been a hot topic around the world, with a fierce debate taking place between the governments wanting backdoors into encrypted communications and the tech companies building this technology into products. Our panel will be addressing backdoor encryption, exploring why encryption is an essential tool, the need for safeguarding security and how this issue is affecting people and the right to privacy around the world. The panel will include leaders from the policy, grassroots and business side, all providing unique perspectives on the issue. Come and enjoy a great panel, Texas BBQ, Drinks and networking.

DETAILS

Panel Topic: " Do You Have the Right to Privacy? The Backdoor Encryption Debate"

Panelists:
  • Congressman Will Hurd – 23rd District of Texas
  • Nuala O'Connor – President & CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Daniel Schuman – Policy Director of Demand Progress
  • Philip Molter – Co-CTO of Golden Frog
  • Jim Cardle – Publisher & CEO of TexasInsider.org
  • Alan Fairless – Co-Founder & CEO of SpiderOak
Event Information:

WHAT: Take Back Your Internet Party & Panel – 2016
WHEN: Saturday, March 12 from 6-10pm
WHERE: Cooper's Old Time Pit BBQ, 217 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Texas BBQ and Drinks will be served

RSVP:

You can learn more on the event page, and you can RSVP here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dump Truck to be discontinued for all Usenet accounts


As of December 19, 2015, Golden Frog's secure online storage product, Dump Truck, will be discontinued. This means we will be removing Dump Truck from all of our Usenet accounts since the service is going away. Please visit the Golden Frog Blog to learn more on why Golden Frog is discontinuing their Dump Truck product.

What do I do with files currently stored on Dump Truck?

If you're currently using Dump Truck, you'll need to transfer your files out of the program prior to December 19. You can transfer your files off Dump Truck quickly and easily by using the Dump Truck apps, or by using a third-party WebDAV app.

Still have questions?

If you have additional questions or need any help transferring your files, please contact support.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

New VyprVPN Servers Available in the Middle East and India


Golden Frog added new VyprVPN server locations in Bahrain (Manama), Qatar (Doha), Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) and India (Mumbai). These additional servers will offer our Diamond and Platinum members security and freedom when accessing the Internet in these regions. We are excited to see the expansion of VPN server locations in Golden Frog's fight to defeat online censorship and to keep the internet open and accessible. At Giganews, we feel it is important to protect your Usenet connections with SSL and protect all of your internet connections with VyprVPN.

How to Access the New VyprVPN Server Location:

  • VyprVPN Desktop - If you use VyprVPN Desktop, the new server location will automatically be available when you choose your server location.
  • VyprVPN Mobile - To enable these servers as an option using VyprVPN Mobile, simply log out of the app and log back in.
Giganews members with VyprVPN have unlimited access to 50+ server locations.

If you don't have VyprVPN, upgrade to a Giganews Diamond or Platinum account today and get VyprVPN free. If you're not already a Giganews member, we invite you to sign up for a 14-day free trial.

To stay up to date on VyprVPN, please subscribe to our blog and follow us on Giganews Facebook, Giganews Twitter, Giganews YouTube Channel, and Giganews Google+.

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Newsgroup Spotlight: rec.food.cooking



Welcome to our Newsgroup Spotlight where we highlight one newsgroup on Usenet by sharing some of the stories going on in that community. For the month of June, we present to you: "recs.food.cooking" (Over 1.7 million posts).

Recs.food.cooking is one of the most active newsgroups on Usenet. Posts are in the double digits on a daily basis. After all, who can say enough with headers like "Curry soup", "Rabbit Bolognese" or "Corn and Green Chiles"?

But there's more where that came from. "Pork tocino", "Grilled beer Bratties", and "Herbalicious chicken" fill the headers like a menu, as well as conversations about technique. For example, "Think about your knife use", "Smoking on a gas grill", "Fermenting Jalapenos", and "White Lily flour substitute". It's an excellent way to join a group of people from all over trying to improve their skills.

Users poll the community for advice, "How many knives are too many?", "Perfect dish in a wedding reception, anyone?", and "Is it OK to eat moldy food?".

Much like some of our other active newsgroups, the rec.food.cooking community branches out from its explicit topic. It's not simply a recipe and advice sharing forum, but a place for news and lively discussion about "Sushi chef at Santa Monica restaurant sentenced in whale meat case" and "Trans fat ban".

And ever the philosophical bunch, the conversation can turn to "How do you slice a slice?", "Who's Killing the Great Chefs of Food TV?", and "Food Shame: The Morality of Eating".

Feel no shame. For access to these stories, this newsgroup, and many, many more (over 110,000 newsgroups to match your interests), sign up for a Giganews account today. All accounts come with a 14 day free trial. And without further ado, here is a recipe from Usenet and a story to consider.

And how about a 5 minute black bean sauce rib recipe? (May 6, 2015)

Since black bean sauce has been in play lately, let's rib it up.

Anything from steamykitchen is good eating - no exception here:

http://steamykitchen.com/203-chinese-steamed-spareribs-with-black-bean-sauce.html
  • 1-1/2 lbs pork spare rib (rib tips)
  • 2 tablespoons black bean sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger (on microplane grater)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
DIRECTIONS:

Cut the spareribs crosswise into 1" - 2" sections. Combine the rest of the ingredients. Transfer spareribs and sauce into a shallow, heatproof pan that will fit inside your wok (a pie plate or 9” cake pan works great.) Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Set steaming rack inside of wok and fill with water almost up to height of rack. Turn heat to high and when water is boiling, turn heat to medium-high. Set pan with spareribs on top of a steaming rack in wok. Steam on med-high heat for 18-20 minutes until ribs are no longer pink. Make sure that when you are steaming that you don't run out of water in the wok. Replenish with additional water, if needed.
Sage and ??? (March 20, 2015)

What other herbs or spices go well with sage? I know about the song, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. What would you season with fresh sage? Talk to me . . .

Janet US

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With pork, goose and duck I love sage and onion stuffing.

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Have you ever done fried sage leaves? Wonderful . Use them as a condiment on many different things.

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Fried-Sage-Leaves

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Fried sage leaves with lambs liver, mmmmmmmm

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Sage leaves in a brown butter sauce is divine. Love it over pasta or anice steak

koko

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Saltimboca.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saltimbocca

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Scrapple is sage, black pepper, and marjoram. I also insist in my lamb rub - with rosemary, pepper, and garlic. Sage is also the main component of "poultry seasoning" - along with thyme and marjoram.

-sw
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