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Microsoft sues a Comcast subscriber for pirating its software

Microsoft filed a copyright infringement lawsuit at a federal court in Washington against a Comcast account holder or holders who activated illegal copies of its software from a Comcast internet connection. The pirated copies include Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server and Office 10. The account that activated several pirated copies of Windows was identified by its in-house cyberforensics team that logs suspicious “activation patterns”. Read more

First copyright infringement lawsuit in Louisiana

On February 22, Dallas Buyers Club LLC filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Doe-174.64.14.54. The unknown defendant from Louisiana allegedly illegally downloaded and distributed the movie Dallas Buyers Club through peer-to-peer network BitTorrent; and this kind of lawsuit is the first of its kind filed in the Middle District of Louisiana. Read more

Lav Diaz’s 8-hour long film competes for the top Golden Bear prize

Historical drama Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery) is among the 19 contenders for the top Golden Bear award in the 66th Berlin International Film Festival. Lav Diaz already expected that his movie would be a “struggle” for the crowd and it did make even the cinema lovers weary. But when the curtain closed, more than half of the 1,600-seat Berlinale Palace theatre was still occupied and he was rewarded with cries of “bravo” and cheers. Read more

Well-known law firm accused Danes of downloading pirated content

According to a DR report, law firm Opus has sent letters to citizens of Denmark (Danes) for downloading pirated movies using online services. They are ordered to pay up to 2,000 kroner (about $300) of fines or end up facing jail time. Opus is representing clients who own the rights to the materials being downloaded. Read more

“Wedding Song” by a Nobel-Prize-Winning Novelist to be adapted into a TV series

Naguib Mahfouz’s ‘Wedding Song’ tells a story of a young playwright which may have revealed that he killed his wife in his hit play. iProductions has set it for TV adaptation. The company has international ambition for the Arab TV series with Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris who will bankroll the new film and TV outfit. Over the next year and a half, an $8 million investment in production was pledged by the company. With $1 million considered as a big budget for a pic, the amount prepared for the TV series is a substantial sum for the Arab world. Read more

Ethan Hawke’s ’24 Hours to Live’ sold in many territories

‘24 Hours to Live’ starring Ethan Hawke is a hot seller for Sierra/Affinity. The thriller film will start with production in South Africa in June. It will be directed by Brian Smrz who is an emerging filmmaker and produced by Fundamental Films’ Mark Gao and Gregory Ouanhon, and Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk and Kent Kubena.

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Universal picks up UK & Australian rights to “ID2 Shadwell Army”

As the cinematic marathon at Berlinale 2016 continues, Universal has picked up the UK and Australian rights of “ID2: Shadwell Army”. Directed by Joel Novoa, the pic is a sequel to “I.D.”, a soccer hooliganism cult movie in 1995. It follows a police officer who goes undercover and infiltrates Shadwell’s revived hooligan element and gets involved in the political turmoil sparked by plans to build a mosque in the East London district. Novoa said, “Before shooting the film, I spent three months living with different ‘firms’ to understand their world.”

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Janna Ji Wonders Wins from Perspektive Deutsches Kino section

The Berlin International Film Festival launched “Made in Germany – Perspektive Fellowship” in 2012 for Perspektive Deutsches Kino section’s 11th year. Funded by German watchmaker Glashütte Original, this EUR 15,000 fellowship award is given to a talented new filmmaker from Perspektive Deutsches Kino. The fellowship was conceived to support “emerging” German directors in developing a material, film project, and screenplay. All filmmakers who presented their films in this programme from the previous year can apply. Read more