Joel Tenenbaum has lost his trial against the RIAA and was ordered to pay $22,500 for each of the 30 songs he shared via Kazaa. Tenenbaum, who pleaded guilty to downloading and sharing files earlier this week, will be left paying off the $675,000 to the music labels for the rest of his life.
Global Gaming Factory (GGF), the company planning to acquire The Pirate Bay, has received a bid of $10 million from John Fanning, the former Napster CEO and uncle of its founder, Shawn. Other interested parties have contacted GGF in recent weeks, but thus far, they have all had their multi-million dollar offers rejected.
Lawyers from FIMI (Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana) and FPM (Federation against Musical Piracy) say they will sue Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm in Italy, seeking damages in excess of 1 million euros. Their lawyer told TorrentFreak that so far, the prospective defendants have had no official notification.
The Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN has won its court case against The Pirate Bay. The Amsterdam court today ruled that the site must cease all operations in The Netherlands within 10 days, or else pay penalties of 30,000 euros ($42,300) a person, per day.
Today, the verdict in the court case between the Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN and The Pirate Bay is due. Being one of the defendants, Pirate Bay spokesman Peter Sunde is interested in the outcome of the case, and asked the court for a copy. However, the court refused to do so and told Sunde that he should ask BREIN instead.
Despite the departure of ex-Grokster CEO Wayne Rosso and mounting doubts that Global Gaming Factory can raise funding to purchase and then legalize The Pirate Bay, the company is adamant. GGF CEO Hans Pandeya says everything is on schedule, the investors are in place and the purchase will go ahead on August 27th.
In our ‘behind the scenes’ series TorrentFreak tries to peel away some of the mystery surrounding BitTorrent sites and the people who run them. This time we feature the workspace of isoHunt founder Gary Fung, who also shares some details and photographs of the site’s server rack.
TNT Village, Italy’s most prominent torrent site has been compromised by hackers. Intimate details of the site’s operations including 50,000 usernames, passwords and email addresses have been leaked out onto the Internet. The site has taken precautionary measures but concerned users should change their passwords immediately.
In a few days time Global Gaming Factory is supposed to have gathered millions of dollars in funding so they can acquire The Pirate Bay. But according to Wayne Rosso, the former CEO of Grokster who was involved with GGF recently, this is unlikely to happen. Meanwhile, The Pirate Bay is giving GGF a week before they cancel the deal.
Today more than ten major movie companies issued a subpoena to the Stockholm District Court demanding it put an end to the activities of The Pirate Bay. The companies, including Disney, Universal, Warner, Columbia, Sony, NBC and Paramount also want the court to force the site’s ISP to shut down the site.
If the major record labels are to believed, they lose millions of dollars due to YouTube pirates. But is this really the case? While anti-piracy outfits try to have all infringing music taken offline or have the audio on pirated YouTube clips disabled, the band Barcelona responded with a video thanking a video uploader for using their song.
The Pirate Bay tracks half the world’s torrents and it’s getting sold, which might be viewed as a bit of a disaster for the BitTorrent world. But The Pirate Bay isn’t really needed anymore, GGF can have it in August as planned and not much will change. All of the torrents will survive and carry on working. It’s time to pirate The Pirate Bay.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘I Love You Man’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘The Hangover’. ‘Watchmen’ completes the top three just like last week.
With anti-piracy outfits warning those who share copyrighted content and ISPs threatening to pull the plug on alleged offenders, many file-sharers have decided to protect themselves by going anonymous. To accommodate this growing demand, ItsHidden is now offering a free VPN targeted at those who want to protect their privacy online.
In apparent despair at the levels of music piracy in Nigeria, a collection of music industry groups are hoping to attract the attention of the country’s president by taking drastic measures. They hope that broadcasters will soon run a “no music day” and if that wasn’t dramatic enough, they are also calling for a “mass hunger strike”.
It’s been less than a month since many feared the BitTorrent world would collapse due to a $7.8m investment in The Pirate Bay. Since then OpenBitTorrent has come along to largely take its place, backed up by PublicBT to spread the load. Now comes Hidden Tracker, a brand new public tracker which hides itself using Tor.
Millions of people use torrent sites every day, but little is known about the people who operate these traffic moguls. This summer TorrentFreak will feature the workstations and offices belonging to some of the leading figures in the BitTorrent community, starting with the founder of BTjunkie.
Next month Ireland’s largest ISP will begin an anti-piracy campaign against its own customers. After caving in entirely to the orders of the music industry, Eircom will first warn alleged copyright infringers, then slow their connection “to a snail’s pace”, all followed up by disconnection from the Internet.
A report just published by the market research firm Interpret has tapped into the downloading habits of a massive 64 million respondents. From this group, well over a third admitted to downloading music illegally through file-sharing networks and BitTorrent, but that doesn’t mean they don’t buy any music.
After having negotiated a deal with the entertainment industries, ISPs in the UK have agreed to send out warning letters to customers who are suspect of downloading copyrighted movies and music. However, one ISP has decided to take it one step further, by acutally disconnecting alleged copyright infringers.
A site which carries links to both live streaming sporting events and BitTorrent downloads has had the case against it kicked out by a judge. Rojadirecta.com was initially reported for copyright infringement by sports rights holder AudioVisual Sports back in 2007, but it’s been decided they have no case to answer.
Netizens of South Korea could find themselves at the mercy of a copyright infringement firestorm today, as a tough new copyright law takes effect. A prominent social networking site is sending warnings to its customers about their behavior, noting that far reaching penalties include 6 month Internet disconnections.
This Tuesday Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN took The Pirate Bay’s co-founders and spokesman to court in The Netherlands, aiming to close the site down to Dutch visitors. Now, three days later the three are striking back, suing the head of BREIN for defamation in Sweden and asking the Dutch court to impose damages against the outfit.
The attorney general in Brussels has concluded a three year investigation into the money trails at the the local music royalty collecting agency SABAM. The attorney general concluded that the copyright group is not paying the artists the money owed to them, and will prosecute five managers for forgery of documents and abuse of trust.
An Italian anti-piracy group is claiming a “major offensive” against nternet links to infringing music. Created by IFPI, the Federation Against Music Piracy (FPM) says that 20K torrents were removed from Mininova and another 10K links on other sites, along with 12 eD2K and Direct Connect servers.
Just last week, multi-talented entertainer and general all round good guy Stephen Fry confirmed what everyone had secretly hoped he would, that he pirates TV shows with BitTorrent. Now, to immortalize those momentous occasions, a new game featuring Fry himself has been released entitled ‘Stephen Fry and The Quantum of Torrents.’
Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN has presented its demands to the former Pirate Bay operators and its prospective buyer. Today, in a court case against the three co-founders of the site, BREIN demanded that they block access to all Dutch visitors.
In order to purchase Old Pirate Bay, Global Gaming Factory needs to raise millions of dollars – quickly. According to reports the company is undergoing some changes in ownership structure but their lawyer in a Dutch court today didn’t sound entirely confident, after anti-piracy group BREIN named GGF in a lawsuit against Old Pirate Bay.
The now infamous 3 strikes model championed by France’s Nicholas Sarkozy was recently rejected by the country’s highest legal authority. With amendments the plan is back and the latest news is that a subsidiary of the post office will administer the scheme. Lawmakers will today start debating the modified bill.
Asus, one of the leading computer product manufacturers, has recently started to offer BitTorrent powered downloads to its customers. With BitTorrent the company says it can speed up downloads and get software to its customers in less time.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘The Hangover’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘Terminator Salvation’. ‘Watchmen’ completes the top three.
For years the RIAA has defended the use of DRM, much to the dislike of millions of honest customers who actually paid for their music. Now, in a shocking turnaround, the outfit seems to have come to the realization that DRM does more harm than good and has officially declared its death.
Just days after the BPI’s Geoff Taylor said that the industry screwed up in its handling of Napster, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich indicates he has no such regrets, declaring his pride for his hand in the destruction of the file-sharing pioneer but giving credit to the Napster management for painting the band as greedy luddites.
Last.fm is a great service to discover new music and share listening habits with the rest of the Internet, but since its launch the site has lacked proper BitTorrent support. This shortcoming has now be fixed by PWN Last.fm, a well integrated Greasemonkey script that adds the latest torrents to artist pages on Last.fm.
In an odd ruling, a Michigan state agency that deals with professional licensing has closed an investigation into RIAA’s unlicensed pirate investigators MediaSentry, saying that without evidence of payment from the RIAA, there is no case. The investigation was prompted by Randy Kruger, father of one of the RIAA’s targets.
Two brothers have been charged by police after allegedly camming the new Bruno movie. The pair aged 21 and 23 were approached by detectives acting on a tipoff. The older brother managed to temporarily escape but the chase ended when his leg was broken after he “collided with a police vehicle”.
After Global Gaming Factory (GGF) announced its intention to buy The Pirate Bay, the public was left wondering what the site’s future would look like. Today it was confirmed that sharing on the new site will come with a cost, as the new owners plan to charge the users of the site a monthly fee.
Wayne Rosso, ex-CEO of Grokster and creator of Mashboxx, the ‘revolutionary’ world-first licensed P2P service that was due to hit the web by storm in 2005/2006 but never actually launched, is now working with Pirate Bay buyers GGF to “facilitate the model” and legalize the site. Major music industry players are “excited” at the prospect.
After receiving massive support from its customers through an online survey, the Swedish ISP Ephone has decided to appeal an earlier court decision ordering it to hand over subscribers’ details to a group of copyright holders. Ephone has labeled the evidence provided as ‘weak’ and has opted to protect the privacy of its customers.
Senator Stephen Conroy is a man on a mission. Undeterred that his absurd plans to filter the Internet have earned him the dubious title of Internet Villain of the Year, he is now promising to find a solution to the file-sharing ‘problem’ by bringing parties together who are already at war, or have little respect for him and his plans.
Hid.im is a new web-based service that allows users to hide .torrent files inside PNG images. This means that users can easily upload hidden torrent files to their favorite image hosting service and forums, or use it as an avatar on social networking sites without being censored.
After the previous Labour government failed in its attempts to set up an ISP code of practice to deal with copyright infringements via section 92a of the Copyright Act, today sees new proposals revealed. ISPs won’t be expected to police their networks, but instead decisions – including 3 strikes – will be made by the Copyright Tribunal.
After a win against TorrentSpy the MPAA is determined to silence isoHunt and bankrupt its founder Gary Fung. MAFIAA lawyer Steven Fabrizio guarantees that if they win the case, the movie industry will relentlessly hunt down any damages owed to them for the rest of Fung’s life.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Duplicity’ tops the chart this week for the second week in a row followed by ‘Watchmen’. ‘Land of the Lost’ completes the top three.
Stephen Fry, a highly respected actor, comedian, writer, presenter and author yesterday admitted to downloading TV shows for free using BitTorrent. Speaking at the iTunes Festival in London last night, Fry told the audience that he’s grabbed episodes of 24 and the series finale of House, starring his former comedy partner Hugh Laurie.
Along with the lingering uncertainty surrounding the future of The Pirate Bay comes an increasingly urgent demand for alternative public BitTorrent trackers. PublicBitTorrent, operated by the people behind some of today’s most prominent torrent sites, is one of these much needed alternatives.
After Global Gaming Factory (GGF) announced that it intends to buy The Pirate Bay for $7.8 million, shares in the company quickly doubled. The financial faith in the company’s plans for the world’s most prominent tracker were short lived though, as the share price is back to square one two weeks later.
The MPAA has previously been critical of the negative effect it says BitTorrent has on the movie industry, but a recent experiment in a Norwegian movie theater shows that it might actually be of use to them. Researchers from The Far North Living Lab managed to stream a full 2K resolution film at 19mbit/s – with BitTorrent of course.
Norway’s largest Internet provider ‘Telenor’ was dragged to court by the movie and music industries last month, after it refused an earlier request to disable customer access to The Pirate Bay. Today, Telenor explains why it didn’t cave in to the legal pressure and says it wants the courts to rule on the issue instead.
EU Commissioner for Telecoms and Media Viviane Reding has joined the debate over Internet piracy. Yesterday she stated that both sides of the conflict are right but their inability to see things from the other’s perspective is holding back progress. In the meantime, she says, piracy is seen by many as increasingly “sexy”.
Recently a committee of the Dutch Parliament published a report on copyright legislation in which it made several false accusations against the Dutch-based BitTorrent site Mininova. The Mininova team were insulted by the report and demanded a public rectification, which the parliament has now refused. Mininova is now considering legal action.
Yesterday we reported that a provision in the revamped French “3 strikes” bill will allow for the punishment of ISP account holders for the copyright infringing actions of others. Now a group of hackers has set out to compromise WiFi routers en masse, in order to create an environment of plausible deniability.
After the malware infested P2P client KaZaa sold its legacy, the new owners converted it into a legitimate business selling their music subscription service to the public. However, in a recent press release they quote a hacker who committed suicide, warning Kazaa users that the RIAA might come after them nonetheless.
France’s highest constitutional authority ruled in June that Internet access is a fundamental human right, killing the three-strikes provision in the so-called Hadopi anti-piracy legislation. Today the infamous anti-piracy bill is back and in its revamped form has just been adopted by the Senate. “3 Strikes” is back on the table. Again.
The TorrentBoy book series centers around a seemingly regular school boy named Wesley, who has a secret superpower. The adventures of TorrentBoy are inspired by BitTorrent and in the latest (free) book TorrentBoy gets caught in a fight between the infamous Sweesh Pirates and the noble Protectorate Guard.
It’s time for TorrentFreak to get a 2009 makeover so we can hang out with the fashionably cool guys and gals again. So we need your help. Are you a designer with experience coding stunningly beautiful, elegant and functional Wordpress themes? Does hard cash and an opportunity to promote yourself through the site sound attractive?
After Spain virtually ruled out imposing a “3-strikes” regime for illicit file-sharers, the entertainment industries said they would target 200 BitTorrent sites instead. Now a judge has decided that sharing between users for no profit via P2P doesn’t breach copyright laws and sites should be presumed innocent until proved otherwise.
If you follow some basic rules BitTorrent is without a doubt the best way to share large files online. Interestingly, BitTorrent’s inventor Bram Cohen recently noted that torrents with more peers are not always faster. We give some pointers on what torrents will guarantee the best download speeds.
Released on June 30th, Wait for Me is Moby’s ninth studio album. On April 15th fans got an early taster when Moby gave away “Shot in the Back of the Head” – a track from the album – for free. Now, according to Moby himself, that track is his best selling single on iTunes – even though anyone can still download it for nothing.
Streets of Blood, an action thriller featuring 50 Cent, Val Kilmer and Sharon Stone saw its worldwide DVD premiere last week on BitTorrent. In just a few days the film was downloaded by half a million people, good for a third place in this week’s list of most downloaded movies.
For more than five years the largest BitTorrent tracker on the Internet has been been operated informally by a small group of friends. This will soon change as Global Gaming Factory takes over the ship to explore seas unknown. TorrentFreak caught up with Pirate Bay’s Peter Sunde to review the past week’s events and to look ahead to the future.
On Friday Jamie King, director of the Steal This Film documentaries, speculated here on TorrentFreak that the brand new OpenBitTorrent tracker could prove to be a replacement for The Pirate Bay if certain conditions were met. Now, just 48 hours later – has that dream already become reality?
A man who downloaded 12,591 music tracks, 426 movies and 16 full TV-series has been sentenced in France. The police searched the 55 year-old’s house in connection with an unrelated matter and stumbled across his collection. The man was sentenced to 33,000 euros ($46,200) in damages and a 2 month suspended jail sentence.
Despite BitTorrent being the leading file-sharing protocol for several years already, Limewire is still the most installed P2P application on the market. Even though most of Limewire’s users only use the Gnutella network, the application has completely overhauled its BitTorrent implementation.
Responses have been overwhelmingly negative to the news that The Pirate Bay will soon be sold to Global Gaming Factory. But what if there is a method to the apparent Pirate Bay madness — one that, as Peter Sunde has hinted, could actually be good for the P2P community?
Earlier this year, anti-piracy outfit BREIN demanded the closure of Usenet community FTD. After negotiations between the pair came to nothing, BREIN declared FTD a criminal operation prompting FTD to take legal action against BREIN to clear their name. Now BREIN is counter-claiming against FTD, demanding $70,000 a day in penalties.
With millions of pageviews every day TorrentReactor.net is ranked in the top 5 of all torrent sites in terms of traffic which makes it a lucrative target for malicious attacks. The site is currently suffering from a serious security breach resulting in a rootkit being installed on the computers of some of its visitors.
Last month a working group of the Dutch Parliament published a report in which they made various suggestions on how to deal with online piracy. In their analysis they made several false accusations against the Dutch based BitTorrent site Mininova, who today announce that they will take legal steps if they don’t get a public rectification.
After Global Gaming Factory X announced that it intends to buy The Pirate Bay for $7.8 million, the CEO of the company bombarded the press with his revolutionary plans for the site. By paying both the copyright holders and file-sharers the company aims to reshape the digital media landscape. We have our doubts.
Shares in GGF rose dramatically yesterday on the news that the company is set to acquire The Pirate Bay. However, about a week ago equity marketplace Aktietorget shut down trading of GGF’s stock after unusually large trading volumes led to a rapidly increasing stock price, prompting suspicions of illegal trading.
Numerous BitTorrent-enabled TV devices are jostling for position next to your TV these days, but a new entrant to the market attracts the eye not because of what it has, but for what it doesn’t. CinemaCube is a BitTorrent-enabled set-top box that goes for the less-is-more angle, at a price most people can afford.
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