Little over a month ago, Global Gaming Factory (GGF) announced that its shareholders had agreed to buy The Pirate Bay – the only thing that stood in their path was the actual money transfer. Today the deadline to transfer the money passed silently, putting an end to the deal and three turbulent months.
With just days to go before the BitTorrent piracy case involving Aussie ISP iiNet goes to court, anti-piracy group AFACT has made a second significant legal retreat. The group, which represents Hollywood movie studios, has now dropped its claims that iiNet engaged in primary acts of copyright infringement.
Last week TorrentFreak reported that the Canadian Pirate Party had established its own BitTorrent tracker. The Pirates hope to show that BitTorrent is not a threat, but a great tool for artists to promote their work. Record label Thorny Bleeder agrees and is now offering free music via the tracker.
The Pirate Bay appeal is coming up in November and just as with the initial trial there is a lot of controversy surrounding the background of the various judges. Today the Appeal Court has decided to disqualify one of its lay judges because of his involvement with the music industry.
The German Federal elections took place this Sunday and the Pirate Party, hoping to gain a seat or two, ramped up the pressure. Despite strong showings in the local council elections a week or two earlier, they failed to win a seat in the Parliament, getting only 2% of the vote, falling short of the required 5% minimum.
An ISP in the UK is set to introduce a voluntary customer Internet censorship scheme. Charles Dunstone, chief executive of Carphone Warehouse/TalkTalk said the company would introduce parental controls for subscribers which would include a feature to ban BitTorrent sites.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Star Trek’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘The Proposal’. ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ completes the top three.
A UK music industry group claims that it has given an ISP evidence that thousands of its customers are pirating music but it has done nothing to stop them. Since February the BPI has harvested the IP addresses of 100,000 BT Broadband customers but is now labeling the ISP’s lack of action against them as “shameful.”
Earlier this month we warned that there could be extended downtime at Demonoid, one of the Internet’s most popular BitTorrent trackers. Worried users are keen to see the site return soon, but staff at the site are warning that not only will it take time but months of data could be lost in the process.
This week Lily Allen’s views on file-sharing have been the hot topic. While some agree with her calls to ‘save’ the industry from a fate worse than death, others did not subscribe to the doomsday scenario. One of those is UK musician Dan Bull who has written a brilliant song-come-open letter to Miss Allen. We hope you enjoy it.
Canada has had its very own Pirate Party for a few months now. The party is currently trying to get federal approval, a goal that should be achieved in the coming week. In the meantime the party’s members haven’t been sitting still and today sees the launch of their very own BitTorrent tracker.
After Lily Allen sparked friction between not only thousands of people on the Internet, but also her colleagues in the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), yesterday they met up to try and forge a united front. Now Allen has done a U-turn, stating that disconnecting pirates is too draconian and instead supports FAC calls to slow connections to a crawl.
Earlier this week TorrentFreak reported that there had been objections over one of the proposed lay judges set for the Pirate Bay appeal. Now there are yet more claims of possible bias, this time with two of the main judges who have both been members of pro-copyright groups.
Controversial blogger Tucker Max has been telling the Internet about his drunken sexual encounters for many years. His antics will hit the big screen tomorrow in the movie release of his book I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. If you’ve never heard of Tucker, now’s your chance. He says he doesn’t care if non-US citizens pirate the movie.
Yesterday it was revealed that, despite her calls for tougher anti-piracy legislation, Lily Allen herself created illicit mixtapes full of copyrighted music and made them available to the public. Today, after having rationalized why it is okay for her to pirate music, she killed her pro-copyright blog because “the abuse was getting too much.”
File-sharing heroine Lily Allen has joined the anti-piracy lobby in its war against illegal downloading, claiming that it bankrupts the music industry. While trying to prove her point, however, she infringed on the rights of several webblogs and newspapers. On top of this, it turns out that she offers some illegal mixtapes on one of her websites.
New Pirate Parties are popping up all around the world, putting copyright, censorship and privacy issues on the political agenda. The Canadian Pirate Party is eager to join in. They are currently seeking federal approval and need just a few more members to become registered as an official political party.
After its initial adoption in May and subsequent striking down by France’s highest legal authority, the Hadopi “3 strikes” law was accepted in July by the Senate, and last week it was passed in the National Assembly. The legislation was finally approved in parliament yesterday, but the opposition immediately announced a fresh court challenge.
Over the past months the UK government has tried to tackle the issue of online piracy. This has resulted in a proposal from Lord Mandelson, who plans to disconnect alleged file sharers without any judicial process. His plans are backed by several musicians, Sir Elton John being the latest to join the lobby.
As the UK file-sharing debate reaches fever pitch, with opinionated artists being shipped in by the bus load to condemn it, inevitably attention is turning to the costs associated with trying to end it. According to a boss at ISP BT, not only are the government’s plans doomed to fail, but could end up costing ISPs a staggering £1m a day.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘District 9′ tops the chart again this week followed by ‘Year One’’. ‘State of Play’ completes the top three.
Despite seemingly insurmountable problems experienced with its proposed purchase of The Pirate Bay, Global Gaming Factory continues to surprise. Today it has announced that it will call a meeting for the election of new board members. Those suggested are music industry veterans and include a BPI council member.
The war against file-sharing has found a new figure-head. After she wrote an interesting post on MySpace, singer Lilly Allen’s words have been relayed around the world – she has even started a new blog where many artists are supporting her. But what if the new face of anti-piracy was just as bad as those she criticizes?
After The Pirate Bay Four were found guilty earlier this year they appealed, and the date for the new trial was set for November. Now it seems that one of the planned lay judges could be disqualified from participation, since he is an employee of Swedish music outfit Spotify – a company partly owned by the plaintiffs.
An increasing number of British musicians are making their opinions known on the issue of illicit file-sharing. Despite Peter Mandelson’s proposals which ostensibly support the music industry, musicians are divided. Today it’s the turn of James Blunt, who feels the proposed “disconnection” legislation is critical to the industry’s survival.
Next week the German Pirate Party will compete in the elections for the German Parliament, but this week the country’s youth already cast their votes. In the youth polls nearly 9% of all votes went to the Pirate Party, a result that the party hopes to match in the upcoming election.
Last month TorrentFreak reported on DigiProtect, the anti-piracy company with the tagline “Turn Piracy Into Profit”. A manager from DigiProtect revealed some of the inner workings on how the company operates but according to a lawyer who defends alleged file-sharers, he may have revealed just a little too much.
Every single day millions of ‘pirates’ all around the world gather on BitTorrent, but one day in September is extra special. Avast mateys, today is Talk Like a Pirate Day so wear your eye patches and Arrr like you’ve never Arrred before.
After an earlier decision failed to reach its objective, this week a Brazilian court made an unprecedented ruling against file-sharing clients. Following legal action by anti-piracy groups against a website offering a file-sharing client for download, the court decided that software which allows users to share music via P2P is illegal.
Just as the payment deadline for the Pirate Bay deal is set to expire, its intended buyer Global Gaming Factory (GGF) faces yet another setback. Former director and board member Johan Sellstrom is owed hundreds of thousands of dollars by the company and has now requested bankruptcy for his former employer.
Dan Brown’s latest novel The Lost Symbol sold a million copies in the first day, and this success has carried over to various file-sharing sites. Both the unabridged audiobook and the ebook versions have already been downloaded tens of thousands of times through BitTorrent.
After Australia’s Senator Stephen Conroy’s plans to filter the Internet earned him the title of Internet Villain of the Year, today there is more chin-scratching over the plans. Speaking yesterday, the Senator Conroy said there has never been any suggestion that the government could or would block P2P traffic.
Bram Cohen, the inventor of the BitTorrent protocol that revolutionized file-sharing, is working on BitTorrent-based live streaming. With his efforts he aims to develop a piece of code that is superior to all the other P2P-based streaming solutions on the market today.
Last month, the bandwidth supplier to The Pirate Bay was ordered by a court to disconnect it from the Internet. Within hours the site had relocated and was back online with a new host – who immediately received similar entertainment industry threats. Maybe Open Internet, a new fighting fund, can help?
China’s Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal Publications Office has booked a huge victory by preventing the country’s youth from accessing more than 4 million copies of pirated teaching materials. According to the vice director of the office, such materials “harm the healthy development of the country’s youth.”
After its initial adoption in May, the original version of the “3 strikes” Hadopi anti-piracy legislation was struck down by France’s highest legal authority after declaring the proposals unconstitutional. A modified version of the bill was accepted in July by the Senate and today it was passed in the National Assembly.
The ISP that until recently was the bandwidth supplier to The Pirate Bay, is set to appeal the court ruling which forced it to take the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker offline. Supported by various politicians, Black Internet says the issue reaches far beyond The Pirate Bay and that fighting the ruling is important for all ISPs.
In the past weeks the Pirate Bay has been ripped, copied and rebuilt by avid file-sharers, guaranteeing that the site’s legacy will be preserved no matter what. The people behind the Kiosk of Piracy take this trend to a whole new level as they have created an offline copy of the site which is open to the public.
In 2005 there was a huge scandal when it was revealed that Sony’s attempts to crack down on music piracy had got out of control. The company included a rootkit (XCP) on many of its music CDs which was installed on the user’s PC without permission. Now a court has ordered compensation to be paid to an XCP victim.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Year One’ tops the chart again this week followed by ‘District 9′. ‘Antichrist’ completes the top three.
In just a few weeks time The Pirate Bay as we know it will be no more. There is no doubt that its demise will signal the end of an era, however, it will also mark the start of a new one. Or to use the words of Pirate Bay insider Rasmus Fleischer, “It’s time to sink the ship and move on!”
ALIS, Israel’s answer to the MPAA, has moved aggressively against a site which provides translated subtitles for movies and TV shows. Three individuals who work to provide free subtitles on Qsubs, one of Israel’s most prominent subtitle providers, have been ordered by ALIS to pay $264,000 each in damages and issue a public apology.
Trackers are the Achilles’ heel of BitTorrent. Tens of thousands of downloads will slow down or stop working entirely when some of the bigger trackers go offline. Trackhub is a new service that addresses this problem by distributing downloaders to a working tracker in case the main tracker fails.
In July many adult movie studios filed a copyright complaint against 10,000 alleged porn uploaders. The producers wanted a large number of convictions but were disappointed when prosecutors went after just 10 individuals. The studios have responded by reporting another 65,000 file-sharers and demanding action.
The file-sharing application LimeWire recently introduced a new feature that allows users to share files with friends on Facebook. Many LimeWire users were enthusiastic about the Facebook integration, but Facebook itself wasn’t too happy and asked LimeWire to either disable it, or have it done for them.
Back in June, TorrentFreak reported that major online music release group DV8 had been severely disrupted after a police and music industry investigation led to arrests. Aside from an IFPI press release a few days later confirming our reports, little news has surfaced. Today we can report that there have been further arrests.
With both the Pirate Bay and OpenBitTorrent trackers down at the moment, many people are unable to download torrents unless they enable DHT. Luckily there are a few backup trackers that people can use, and thanks to Google’s free App Engine, everyone can setup a tracker of their own in a few minutes.
Global Gaming Factory (GGF), the company that says it is set to buy The Pirate Bay, has been kicked off the Swedish stock market following several serious violations. Since half of the payment for The Pirate Bay acquisition would be in GGF shares, it is uncertain whether the deal will now go through.
In order to combat piracy the UK Internet provider Virgin Media has has teamed up with Universal to offer their customers unlimited DRM-free music at a fixed monthly rate. However, as with every innovative music service, some major labels fear that Virgin’s all you can eat plan will cannibalize their existing digital sales.
As the legal machinery continues to grind in the case of anti-piracy group AFACT versus ISP iiNet, Australia’s Internet Industry Association (IIA) feels it has something to offer the proceedings. IIA has applied to be amicus curiae, a ‘friend of the court’, but AFACT has objected, insisting the group would not be impartial and would favor iiNet.
The CEO of Global Gaming Factory, the company aiming to buy the Pirate Bay, has suffered yet another embarrassment. After losing a luxury car and a motorcycle to the tax authorities over an unpaid debt, the bailiffs – acting on an anonymous tip – have sailed off in Hans Pandeya’s luxury boat.
The Canadian government is conducting ongoing public consultations on copyright reform. In a guest post for TorrentFreak Prof. Michael Geist of the University of Ottawa explains why Canadian Internet users should speak out on copyright today.
A new law designed to make it easier for copyright holders to go after file-sharers came into force in Sweden on April 1st. The feared IPRED legislation resulted in a major drop in Internet traffic but 6 months after its introduction, not a single complaint has been issued against music sharers. But IFPI says this is the calm before the storm.
A Sony Music office in Mexico has been raided after the label refused to hand over the recordings of one of Latin America’s biggest artists, Alejandro Fernández. Police took over 6,000 CDs that Sony refused to return, even though Fernández’ contract with the label had ended.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘District 9’ tops the chart again this week followed by ‘Bruno’. ‘Monsters vs Aliens’ completes the top three.
Since 2007, the UK has seen thousands of postal threats to take alleged file-sharers to court. But aside from getting default judgments against a handful easy targets who didn’t try to defend themselves, the majority of threats have come to nothing. Lawyers ACS:Law are now promising to step up to the mark and bring their first court cases in Britain.
The release date of Jay-Z’s ‘Blueprint 3′ has been brought forward after it surfaced on various BitTorrent sites earlier this week. The album was originally intended to be released on September 11, exactly eight years after the first Blueprint release, but will now be rushed through sooner.
With over a million downloads in less than 24 hours, Peter Jackson’s Sci-Fi thriller District 9 is well on its way to becoming the most pirated movie of 2009. The huge download spike is caused by a DVD quality version of the movie that leaked onto various BitTorrent sites yesterday.
Musicians have spoken out strongly against UK government plans to disconnect the Internet connections of repeated copyright infringers. They argue that the plans, much applauded by the big music labels, will further alienate fans from artists.
Tim Kuik, managing director of Dutch anti-piracy gang BREIN, has publicly admitted that he’s currently using a Sony VAIO laptop previously confiscated from a ‘hacker’. Although he doesn’t elaborate on how he obtained the machine, it is hard not to conclude that it has been misappropriated.
In April The Pirate Bay Four were sentenced to a year in prison, and on top of that each of them was ordered to pay the entertainment industry $905,000 in damages. The defendants soon announced that they would appeal, and the date for the new trial has been set for November by the Appeal Court.
Last week a Swedish court ordered Black Internet, the bandwidth supplier to The Pirate Bay, to disconnect the site from the Internet under threat of large fines. The site was quickly back up with a new ISP but now several Swedish political parties are being openly critical of the law used to take the site down.
In a time where torrent sites are being chased by the entertainment industries and despite its dealings with the MPAA and CRIA in court, isoHunt has launched a brand new torrent site. With Hexagon.cc the Hexagon team aims to revolutionize people’s sharing experience.
It is with sadness that we report that Pimpie, the administrator of long-standing private BitTorrent tracker PiSEXY, has passed away suddenly after suffering an aneurysm. Despite the pain felt by his spouse, friends, family and the community, everyone is pulling together. The site will go on in his memory.
Demonoid remains one the most popular BitTorrent sites on the Internet, despite a fairly colorful and turbulent past. Sadly its thousands of users could soon find themselves without their favorite site, as technical difficulties are set to cause possibly extended downtime.
After buyers of the X-Plane flight simulator complained about its DRM, the makers came up with a convenient alternative. Instead of having to insert the DVD each time they want to play, they can now buy a $29 USB drive instead. When confronted with this pricey ‘improved’ DRM, the developer fails to understand that he’s only screwing legitimate customers.
Customers of Ireland’s biggest ISP can no longer access The Pirate Bay. Earlier this year, Eircom settled out of court with Ireland’s music industry and agreed to block the world’s largest tracker and today, September 1st, the ban took effect. The site’s domain names and IP addresses have all been blocked.
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