Catan Under New Ownership

For years, families have been torn apart by the building of cities and conquering of the seas all in the name of Catan. Now it would seem that you could find the isle of Catan under a different name, or rather new ownership.

Asmodee North America has acquired the license to the English language version of the island of Catan from Mayfair games. This doesn’t mean it’s all over for Mayfair, with both Asmodee and Mayfair games looking to work together to promote Catan Day 2016, the tournament schedule and even the 2016 Catan World Championship.

In response to this acquisition, Asmodee formed Catan Studio Inc, a new creative unit designed to further expand on the game.

This isn’t the first expansion for Asmodee, having recently acquired the publisher known as Fantasy Flight Games, the maker of a series of games including an entire host of Star Wars games including the X-Wing miniature game and the latest Star Wars paper based RPG.

With so many games already under its belt and yet another joining, could you soon see a Star Wars Catan with the entire galaxy conquered on your table? We already have Star Trek Catan so why not? Do you play Settlers of Catan and if so what, if any, versions would you like to see considered for release?

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Women Own More Consoles than Men According to New Survey

It’s always interesting when people release studies on video games and even more interestingly their users. While asking people for their opinions and ideas in polls may not be the best way to get accurate figures, it’s always interesting to see what people come back with. This time, the interesting figure is the number of console owners, or rather the number that identified themselves as female.

From the Pew Research Centre, the study looked at device owners, and what demographics they fit into. For example, they calculated that over 80% of 18-49-year-olds had a smartphone, with around 45% of U.S. adults owning a tablet (up from only 10% back in 2011).

Computer owners range at around 74% of U.S. Men, with 71% of Women stating they owned a computer, with 42% of women stating they own a console (described as “e.g. Xbox or Playstation“), a whole 5% above the stereotype of male gamers (who sit at a mere 37%). Dedicated portable gaming devices sit at 14% for each gender, with devices like the PSP and Sega Genesis (yes that was included in the category of portable gaming devices), while MP3 players still have roughly 40% ownership within the U.S. (38% and 42% for Men and Women respectively).

With roughly 3.7% margin of error stated on the gender, and up to 2.6% stated as the error in calculating the percentage of U.S. adults in whole, are there any figures that have surprised you or did you expect something different for any of the figures?

Torrent Site Admin Sentenced to Five Months Prison

The case started two years ago when Rights Alliance filed a complaint against Tankaner, a Swedish torrent site. The alleged owner has now been sentenced to five months of jail in the somewhat bizarre trial.

The 40-year old man was prosecuted for copyright infringement related to the illegal distribution of 32 movies during 2012 and 2013. Since there were ads on the page and the owner tried to make money that way, the prosecutor was pushing for a prison sentence.

The man however claimed that he had “disposed of the site four years ago,” but the court didn’t buy that. There was extensive evidence against the man in form of signed contracts for the piracy server, login information, bookkeeping, e-mails and photos working against the 40-year old site-owner.

“In the case the suspect argued similar standpoints to the ones argued by the suspects in the Pirate Bay case and they were dismissed on the same merits. However a difference from the Pirate Bay case is that the man was convicted as a direct infringer and not for contributory infringement,”  said Rights Alliance lawyer Henrik Pontén to TF.

So while the torrent site was the reason for his arrest, and the site is still is online, it seems that he was prosecuted very lightly and for direct offenses. To me it looks like a small win for the anti-piracy lobby on a minor fish in a sea full of large whales.

Thanks to TorrentFreak for providing us with this information

Australia Wants To Cut Internet Connection for People Downloading from Torrent Websites

There have been some talks about the high number of pirates in Australia, having the government worried about what to do in response to the piracy activity. Earlier this year, Australia is said to have had the highest number of illegal downloads of Game of Thrones: Season Four.

A leaked document entitled “Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper” appears to show some of the government’s future consideration towards piracy. The document is said to point out the main reasons why Australians choose to download content illegally, which are cost and availability. The government however appears to be more keen on enforcing the law instead of addressing the real reason which leads to piracy in the first place.

The document is also said to be discussing the role of the ISPs to place restrictions, such as lowering downloads speeds or blocking internet availability in some cases, on customers who are accessing and downloading content illegally. The ISPs however cannot do anything about it, according to the paper, since if they were to allow their customers access to pirated content without punishing them, it is said that rights holders can then take legal action against the ISPs themselves.

“The Copyright Act would be amended to enable rights holders to apply to a court for an order against ISPs to block access to an internet site operating outside Australia, the dominant purpose of which is to infringe copyright.” the paper states.

Experts say that the options outlined in the paper are too harsh compared to international standards and are not addressing the problem of Australians being unable to access content legally when it is currently available in other markets. They say that the law enforcement underlined in the paper would only give power to copyright owners over consumers, while also having large-ranging impacts on the free and open internet.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information