UK regulators say ISPs must be piracy watchdogs

Add watchdog to the list of duties now on required of U.K. Internet service providers. The nation’s communications regulator, Ofcom, today rolled out a draft code demanding ISPs watch out for piracy, record how many warnings are given suspected offenders, and after three notices, remove violators. The new draft rule is the start of the UK’s Digital Economy Act and a three-strike response.

Forget Hollywood — U.S. startups are in dire need of copyright protection

The recent debate over SOPA, PIPA, and OPEN has left a bitter taste among those who think the tech industry is in desperate need of intellectual property reform. Add to it the recent shutdown of Megaupload and big-time patent disputes, and it’s easy to see how IP enforcement has become a weapon that threatens technological innovation in a way like never before. Despite the mess, a recent trend has left many startups crying out for greater copyright/IP protection: the rise of copycat kings like Rocket Internet in Germany, Fast Lane Ventures in Russia, and others in China, who are quick to “clone” successful U.S. businesses like Pinterest, Fab.com, Airbnb, Groupon, and Zappos in overseas markets. And I’m not just talking about taking an idea and tweaking it; this is about copying a site’s entire design, layout, and logo almost pixel for pixel and coming up with some uninspired derivative name (e.g., “Pinspire” instead of Pinterest, “Zolando” instead of Zappos) that reeks of being a cheap knock-off.

As legal battle with TV networks escalates, Aereo launches in NYC — We tested it, and it rocks

I’m sitting in my office (by which I mean my kitchen) watching Rachel Ray on my iPad and Kathy Lee on my laptop. These aren’t clips or day or old episodes. It’s live programming that’s streaming to me via Aereo, the web TV service locked in a legal battle with the big TV networks, which launches to the public in New York City this morning.