When Mininova announced last week that they would comply with a tough court order, many BitTorrent users feared that this signaled the end of big public torrent sites. In fact, in common with the earlier Grokster decision, the verdict actually lays out clearer ground rules for those running file-sharing services.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘The Twilight Saga: New Moon’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘Funny People’. ’2012′ completes the top three.
Most other sites would have thrown in the towel by now, but despite unprecedented pressure, somehow The Pirate Bay remains alive and in pretty good health today. As one door closes, the site morphs and adapts to find ways to stay open and possibly even stay legal. Is the site becoming more and more difficult to shut down?
Hundreds and thousands of infringement warnings are sent out every year by copyright holders. In some cases the copyright holders also include a settlement request of a few hundred bucks. Very worrisome, especially since the outfits that collect the evidence often lack proof that the accused actually transferred the file in question.
In a week where BitTorrent already lost its largest torrent indexer Mininova, a well-known private tracker has also announced that it will cease its operations. Rumors that the shutdown is related to the bust of the topsite LOOP earlier this week remain unconfirmed.
For more than a year, BitTorrent search engine isoHunt has chased the Canadian music industry in court. In an act of self-defense, the founder of the site has sued the Canadian branch of the RIAA, asking the court to legalize its operations. After an initial setback, isoHunt submitted a full claim to the court this week.
Back in September, thousands of Internet users tapped their feet to the brilliant open letter on piracy, sent to Lily Allen by musician Dan Bull. As November draws to a close, Dan is back again, this time taking a swipe at everyone’s favorite twice-fired, unelected politician Lord Mandelson and his controversial Digital Economy Bill.
After nearly five years of loyal service, Mininova disabled access to over a million torrent files when it partly shut down its website. Starting today, only approved publishers are able to upload files to the site, but luckily there are plenty of alternatives and potential replacements BitTorrent users can flock to.
Mininova, the largest torrent site on the Internet, has removed all torrents except those that were uploaded through its content distribution service. Mininova’s founders took the drastic decision after they lost a civil dispute against Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN, and were ordered to remove all infringing torrents from the site.
The copyright case between AFACT, representing the movie industry, and Aussie ISP iiNet is set to conclude today. The Internet Industry Association was disallowed from becoming a friend of the court, and the chief movie industry barrister said that ISPs who refuse to forward infringement notices should get out of the business.
As many as 25,000 BT and 5,000 customers of other ISPs will be receiving shock letters demanding big payments during the coming weeks. Lawyers in the UK have been granted more court orders which force ISPs to hand over the details of individuals who they say have been monitored sharing hardcore pornography.
Preliminary injunctions against two file-sharing portals have been overturned, paving the way for a re-opening. The sites’ lawyers have proven that hard drive evidence collected during a controversial raid against the sites’ admin is worthless, and the anti-piracy group involved has been fined by the court for acting in bad faith.
Already making a name for itself by offering new and innovative features, KickassTorrents is a relatively new BitTorrent site that launched just a few months ago. Recently the site quadrupled its traffic, largely thanks to its inclusion in the integrated search engine of the BitTorrent client, Vuze.
The European Commission has issued a warning to the Spanish government that any plan to disconnect file-sharers from the Internet without involving a judge would create conflict with the EU. This statement could also throw the three-strikes plans of the UK government and the Irish ISP Eircom into serious doubt.
A few days ago we reported that Lady Gaga earned a measly $167 for more than a million plays on the music streaming service, Spotify. According to new information received from music industry insiders, it turns out that Spotify isn’t ripping off the artists, the labels are.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘2012′ tops the chart this week followed by ‘Gamer’. ‘Funny People’ completes the top three.
Last week the Digital Economy Bill was released and included tough measures to deal with illicit file-sharing. It was preceded by a consultation period where individuals, consumer groups and ISPs voiced serious concerns over the proposals. The government seems to have completely ignored them – not so the rights holders.
The Pirate Bay’s tracker closure has spurred several discussions about DHT, BitTorrent’s fallback technology for when central trackers are unavailable. According to some, DHT has some problems of its own. Novell, for example, decided to ship openSUSE with the BitTorrent client Transmission, but not before stripping DHT support.
Piracy is without a doubt, truly evil. It doesn’t help the artists, it robs them of their rightful revenue and is such a poor basis for a business model, it’s unworthy of consideration. Of course, new streaming sites are miles better, offering a legal way to listen to free music. Hmm – Lady Gaga got a million plays on Spotify and earned $167.
This week The Pirate Bay confirmed it would shut down its tracker for good, instead encouraging the use of DHT, PEX and magnet links. This move confounded many BitTorrent enthusiasts, who although wishing to adapt, were confronted with hard to grasp terminology and technology. Time for some explaining.
Details of Lord Mandelson’s draconian pro-copyright plans contained in the Digital Economy Bill leaked out yesterday, provoking a wave of dissent. The Liberal Democrats have now made a statement, voicing dismay at this “utterly shameless” attempt to introduce major rules without proper Commons assessment.
Tomorrow morning Lord Mandelson will present the Digital Economy Bill to the public, which among other things is aimed at reducing illicit file-sharing. According to parts of the bill that leaked today, the legislation could lead to jail terms for file-sharers and unprecedented power for the entertainment industries.
iiNet’s chief barrister argued today that there is insufficient evidence to show that when customers shared movies using BitTorrent, they shared “substantial parts” of said material, an essential requirement for proving infringement. Furthermore, in order to verify AFACT claims, iiNet itself would have to infringe copyright.
Despite negative court verdicts against the two leading torrent sites, the BitTorrent popularity surge is still underway judging from ever increasing download figures. Mininova, the most visited BitTorrent indexer, broke an impressive record today. Since its inception, the site has served a dazzling 10 billion torrent downloads.
The Swedish hosting provider Portlane is being sued by several Hollywood movie studios for hosting the standalone BitTorrent tracker, OpenBitTorrent. The movie studios are claiming that OpenBitTorrent is a re-branded copy of The Pirate Bay tracker that shut down yesterday.
After discovering the Pirate Bay logo hadn’t been registered with the patent office, a Swedish company took the opportunity to claim it as their own in order to commercially exploit it. After bloodless negotiations, the company now seems prepared to play nice and let their application slide. But they don’t go away empty-handed.
If you have ever used a public or open tracker, you know that reliability often comes with a half-hearted smile – trackers can go offline and return again, often without explanation or warning. To help keep track of the status of public trackers, there’s now Trackon, the BitTorrent Tracker Tracker.
Today marks the end of an era, as The Pirate Bay team announces that the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker is shutting down for good. Although the site will remain operational for now, millions of BitTorrent users will lose the use of its tracker and will instead have to rely on DHT and alternative trackers to continue downloading.
MC Hammer, rap phenomenon and self-confessed geek, has kicked the major music labels in their over-sized pants with regard to their anti-piracy strategy. Hammer said that the labels’ decision to go after individual filesharers and ISPs has failed, because it only alienated paying customers.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Funny People’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘The Hangover’. ’2012′ completes the top three.
Seen by millions of people worldwide, the ship design used by The Pirate Bay is one of the most recognizable logos on the Internet today. But after discovering that the iconic emblem had not been officially registered, a Swedish company has hijacked the trademark as their own, with an eye on commercial exploitation.
A source inside lawyers Davenport Lyons and their partner DigiProtect has leaked sensitive documents detailing how the companies generated profit from porn. They show how the pair extracted money from alleged file-sharers, how the revenue was split and how individuals were ranked to decide who to chase and who to leave alone.
Launched in early 2009, KickassTorrents is one of the fastest growing torrent sites on the Internet. The site has already conquered the hearts of many BitTorrent fans thanks to its user-friendliness, and just recently it partnered with httpTorrents to offer the option to download files over http.
When Sweden’s IPRED legislation came into force on April 1st this year, the country saw a massive 30% drop in Internet traffic. Many attributed this to Internet user fears associated with increased powers of anti-piracy groups. Now, 8 months later, traffic is completely back to normal and on track to exceed pre-IPRED levels.
At a recent roundtable discussion, Warner Bros. technology director Ethan Applen commented on BitTorrent and P2P’s bad reputation in the entertainment industry. Applen said that P2P is not the bad guy some Hollywood insiders claim it to be, but actually a great way to transfer TV-episodes and entire seasons.
iiNet’s chief barrister told the court today that the only proven ‘infringer’ in the case was AFACT’s own investigator, which secured iiNet’s protection under Safe Harbor provisions. He added that the number of claimed infringements were inflated and iiNet had complied fully with privacy aspects of the Telecoms Act.
It’s been more than two months since the popular semi-private BitTorrent tracker Demonoid went offline due to hardware problems, but the site’s full return is now imminent. Demonoid’s tracker is already up and running again and according to an update from the site’s staff, the site will follow soon.
During the summer, TorrentFreak learned that major online music piracy group DV8 suffered a serious setback after a music industry investigation led to arrests. In September our sources leaked information that a label executive had also been arrested. Now fresh details have emerged concerning his fate and news of yet more arrests.
PeerBlock is a tool which can control who can connect to your computer on the Internet. In addition to hindering monitoring by anti-P2P companies, it’s also capable of blocking malicious software. As the team is currently celebrating more than 100,000 downloads, TorrentFreak caught up with the creators for the lowdown.
Zombieland co-writer Rhett Reese was shocked when he discovered more than a million people had downloaded his movie illegally on BitTorrent. The Hollywood writer has now penned yet another horror scenario, claiming that this achievement could very well prevent a sequel to the successful movie from being made.
Continuing with his closing submissions, AFACT’s chief barrister claimed there were contradictions in statements given to the court by iiNet witnesses regarding anti-piracy tracking data. On this basis he asked the judge to disregard their evidence, going on to attack claims that the ISP took “reasonable steps” to deal with piracy.
Hollywood often complains about the billions of dollars allegedly lost due to piracy. Indie film makers, on the other hand, tend to welcome the free buzz generated when their film is pirated. The makers of Ink belong to this latter group, and are thanking the hundreds and thousands of people who downloaded their movie on BitTorrent.
The case continues between anti-piracy group AFACT and Aussie ISP iiNet. As AFACT makes its closing submissions, their chief barrister Tony Bannon has torn into the evidence and credibility of iiNet’s key witnesses, CEO Michael Malone and chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby.
Torrentz.com is the largest BitTorrent search engine that doesn’t actually host any torrent files. This means that its millions of users still depend on third party sites in order to download .torrent files. That said, all that changes if they have the Firefox web browser installed along with the new Magnetiser add-on.
Black Internet, the ISP that was previously a supplier of bandwidth to The Pirate Bay, was threatened with large fines earlier this year if it did not disconnect the world’s largest tracker from the Internet. Now the ISP has been given leave to take the case to the Court of Appeal.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Zombieland’ tops the chart this week followed by ’500 Days of Summer’. ‘Surrogates’ completes the top three.
Lithuanian anti-piracy outfit LANVA has reported the IP-addresses of 106 users of the country’s largest BitTorrent site to the police, on allegations of sharing a copy of Windows 7. The site’s owner has said he will do everything he can to help the users if legal action is taken, and in turn has reported the anti-piracy outfit to the police.
Microsoft’s much sought-after COFEE law-enforcement forensic tool has leaked onto the Internet. One user uploaded it to private tracker What.cd to collect a huge 1.6tb bounty. However, in a sensible move, the admins of the site took action to remove the link and ban further sharing of the tool via the site.
This week a man reported himself to an anti-piracy group, confessing to breaking the DRM on more than one hundred movies and TV shows, in an attempt to draw attention to unhelpful copyright laws. Now the anti-piracy group has taken the time to respond, not yet to the man in question, but to the press.
Following several legal setbacks, a Danish anti-piracy group which represents the music and movie industry, has announced that it will stop going after illegal file-sharers. The outfit came to this decision after it lost several court cases against alleged copyright infringers.
Game developer RedLynx has been exploring a novel marketing technique for its products. Instead of trying to get all its titles removed from torrent sites, the company itself is distributing ‘hacked’ copies of the games, hoping to convert torrent site users into paying customers.
Earlier this year, the IFPI gave Norwegian ISP Telenor an ultimatum – block access to The Pirate Bay within days or get taken to court. Telenor refused, IFPI followed through with its threat and the case was heard earlier this month. The decision was announced today. IFPI lost the case and Telenor will not have to block The Pirate Bay.
Day thirteen of the trial between anti-piracy group AFACT and Aussie ISP iiNet. The ISP’s chief regulatory officer recalled difficulty with terms used by AFACT in their infringement notices and reiterated that the ISP would not forward them without a court order. AFACT submitted a draft ISP code of conduct in respect of dealing with malware.
With support from the three largest BitTorrent sites and many other well known file-sharing partners, the VODO project offers a novel distribution platform for indie filmmakers. Today VODO presents its second release, the world premiere of In Guantanamo, a critical film about the U.S. detainment facility in Cuba.
It has been many weeks since the popular semi-private BitTorrent tracker Demonoid went offline. The site’s owner claimed the downtime was due to hardware issues and warned of the loss of both torrents and user data. Today, however, there is hope on the horizon, as Demonoid’s tracker is now up and running again.
European Internet users accused of illicit file-sharing will not be disconnected on the whims of the entertainment industries. After an all night session European Union lawmakers agreed on a compromise text. Those accused will be entitled to a “fair and impartial” procedure, which will include the right to be heard.
Day twelve of the trial between anti-piracy group AFACT and Aussie ISP iiNet. iiNet CEO Michael Malone was questioned by AFACT barrister Tony Bannon for the fourth consecutive day, this time about the world’s largest tracker, The Pirate Bay, and any actions the ISP had taken to block customer access to it.
With the Lisbon Treaty being signed by all European Union member states, the Pirate Party has gained another seat in the European Parliament. The second Pirate Party seat will be occupied by the 22 year old Amelia Andersdotter, who will become the youngest Member of the European Parliament.
Day eleven of the trial between anti-piracy group AFACT and Aussie ISP iiNet. The ISP’s CEO Michael Malone took the stand for the third day running and faced allegations that iiNet encouraged users to download music and TV shows, and actively pursued high bandwidth customers in order to boost company profits.
A leaked draft of the Internet chapter of the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) reveals that ISPs will be held liable for the infringements of their customers, unless they disconnect those accused. The draft aims to strengthen the power of the entertainment industries and other copyright holders, at the cost of the public.
Millions of file-sharers have responded to the entertainment industry lobby by taking measures to hide their identities. A recent survey found that in Sweden alone, half a million Internet subscribers use anonymizing services. The findings further suggest that tougher anti-piracy legislation will boost these numbers significantly.
A citizen is so tired of his country’s copyright laws he has reported himself to an anti-piracy group. In his written confession, the ‘pirate’ admits to copying more than one hundred purchased movies and TV shows for his own use – legal in Denmark – but breaking DRM on the same is an act forbidden under Danish law.
Day ten of the trial between anti-piracy group AFACT and Aussie ISP iiNet. AFACT barrister Tony Bannon seems to have difficulty in taking on board something that iiNet CEO Michael Malone has said dozens of times already. Yes, iiNet will happily disconnect copyright infringers, but not solely on the basis of an AFACT allegation.
The MPAA scored a victory last night when millions of people tuned in to CBS’s 60 Minutes. The ‘investigative’ news magazine ran a propaganda piece on movie piracy yesterday, allowing the MPAA to insinuate once again that organized crime and BitTorrent go hand in hand.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Paranormal Activity’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘Terminator Salvation’. ‘Surrogates’ completes the top three.
Day nine of the trial between anti-piracy group AFACT and Aussie ISP iiNet. Today iiNet CEO Michael Malone was extensively cross-examined by AFACT’s senior counsel over his company’s piracy policy and moves he took to change that of Westnet, the ISP iiNet acquired in 2008.
When Demonoid went dark two months ago, many of its users hoped the site would return quickly. Unfortunately this did not happen, and the regulars at one of the largest BitTorrent trackers on the Internet had to find a new hideout. But where should they go? Can anything compare to Demonoid?
In 2005, the MPAA initiated a crackdown on BitTorrent sites linking to TV shows. Among those was UK-Torrents, a site that was later reborn as secretive private tracker UK-T. Four years later and UK-T is gone for good, but with no official announcements the exact circumstances are still unclear.
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