In all the years it’s been available, uTorrent hasn’t changed as much as it will with the upcoming release. Codenamed Falcon, the client will have an easier, more secure and more complete web UI as well as support for streaming and remote downloading.
In May 2008, Newzbin – considered by many to be the Internet’s premier indexer and .NZB provider – announced it was under legal threat from the MPA, the MPAA’s worldwide big brother. On Monday next week, the copyright infringement showdown in London’s High Court begins.
Ignited by the Comcast fiasco in the US, the concept of Net Neutrality has been brought into the mainstream resulting in planned government interventions. However, unlike the name suggests, Net Neutrality might not stop BitTorrent blocking and could leave us worse off than when this all started.
This week the condemnation of file-sharing “legal blackmail” lawyers ACS:Law has been widespread, with extremely harsh words coming from the country’s House of Lords. Despite this the law firm are unrepentant and say they will persist with their campaign. It is, however, possible to immunize your family from this growing threat.
“3 Strikes” is a regime being introduced in various countries around the world to try to deal with illicit file-sharing. Already Taiwan, South Korea and France are putting their versions of the plan into action and other countries have similar proposals under discussion. In one form or another, could the same be coming to the United States?
In 2009 South Korea introduced new legislation against online copyright infringement. Penalties were particularly harsh and included disconnection from the Internet. As digital sales skyrocket by more than 50% but logged infringements sharply increase, a report controversially places South Koreans as the world’s number 2 music pirates.
Several UK Lords have criticized the practices of law firms that send out warning letters to alleged copyright infringers demanding big payments. These schemes have been labeled a scam, and the lawyers operating them accused of “harassment, bullying and intrusion” and “legal blackmail” in the House of Lords.
In conjunction with Lithuanian anti-piracy outfit LANVA, software giant Microsoft has sued the alleged operator of the country’s largest BitTorrent site. Microsoft is demanding $43 million from the defendant and his company for assisting in the illegal distribution of Office 2003 and 2007.
Install0us is an application used by iPhone users to browse, download and install millions of pirated applications. After becoming uneasy over its legal status, its creator has taken advice from a lawyer. The conclusion is that the risk is too great and development of the software will stop. Of course, others already have plans to fill the gap.
The French anti-piracy outfit Trident Media Guard has been chosen by the entertainment industry to track and report illegal downloaders in France. The company, known globally for its pollution of BitTorrent and other file-sharing networks with fake data, will assist in the recently passed Hadopi three-strikes law.
In 2008, Baidu was sued for around $9 million by Sony BMG, Universal Music and Warner Music for providing so-called “deep-links” to copyright music tracks. A court has now ruled that providing search results does not breach copyright law, clearing China’s biggest search engine of wrong-doing.
Many sites support RSS feeds nowadays, but these are impossible to tweak or optimize. ReactorFeed makes it very easy to create and manage your personal torrent RSS feed, allowing you to add torrents to your BitTorrent client remotely.
The private tracker EliteBits was raided on Friday. The site admin had a visit at his home by a court official accompanied by staff from a law firm who work for an anti-piracy group. They allegedly traced him via the bank account used to accept donations from members.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Sherlock Holmes’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘The Informant!’. ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats’ completes the top three.
Just a few days short of its official debut at retail stores, BioWare’s Mass Effect 2 has become widely available on file-sharing networks. The leak has resulted in massive piracy as more than 300,000 gamers have either downloaded or are in the process of downloading a copy of the highly anticipated game via BitTorrent.
Last year, Radiohead expressed their growing discomfort with record labels that abuse copyrights for their own benefit, while harassing their fans. In a recent interview, Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien said that he doesn’t believe piracy is killing the music industry, but that the industry will kill itself if it doesn’t adapt to the digital age.
In mid 2009, FileSoup – the oldest surviving BitTorrent site – was raided by police and the owner arrested. Despite this, however,the site remained online. Then, during the first week of 2010, FileSoup disappeared without warning. But there is cause for cautious optimism – FileSoup could be back sooner than you think.
Demonoid is without doubt one of the most famous BitTorrent trackers on the Internet. That said, despite its fame and large userbase, it’s still necessary to obtain an invite code to use the site. Right now, however, be it intentional or a fortunate bug, its torrents are open to all. Has Demonoid transformed from a semi-private to a public tracker?
Once again the music industry has come out with disappointing results for physical music sales, which they blame entirely on file-sharing. What they failed to mention though, is that their findings show that music pirates are buying more digital music than the average music consumer. Since digital music is the future, pirates are the industry’s most valuable customers.
Alan Ellis, the ex-admin of the OiNK BitTorrent tracker, was cleared of Conspiracy to Defraud by jury of his peers last week. But now it seems that as one battle ends, another begins. IFPI says it is considering civil action, and is committed to reclaiming the money donated to the site in order to give it back to the artists.
BitTorrent and adult entertainment go hand in hand, which is one of the reasons why the Vuze BitTorrent client introduced a paid erotica section last year. However, the project turned out to be a quickie and has been canceled due to a lack of traction among Vuze users.
A mother who doesn’t understand computers and forbade her children from downloading and sharing music on the Internet has been held responsible for their actions. A court in Germany ruled that parents simply banning file-sharing is not enough, and this has to be followed up to check compliance.
After months of waiting, the Ipredator anonymity service from the founders of The Pirate Bay has finally opened its doors to the public. For 5 euros a month users can now hide all their Internet traffic, including torrent downloads, from third party outfits who might want to spy on their downloading habits.
After more than six years of loyal service, at the end of this month IFPI Denmark will lose their director and spokesman, Jesper Bay. The anti-piracy veteran says that after many copyright battles, it’s time to move on to other ventures. He insists, however, he hasn’t had a better offer of employment from the pirates.
Being posted overseas in the military without the companionship of friends or family is hard enough, but being separated from entertainment makes things even harder. After letters written to the RIAA, MPAA and media outlets fell on deaf ears, an insider at a US base has revealed that a campaign is underway to download as much as possible.
Oxford University has decided to ban the music streaming application Spotify because it uses P2P technology. Although Spotify is completely legal, the University has banned the application because the underlying P2P technology allegedly turns it into a bandwidth hog.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘Sherlock Holmes’. ‘Avatar’ completes the top three.
The Swedish ISP TeliaSonera is refusing to comply with a court ruling ordering the company to hand over information identifying the owner of SweTorrents. Instead, it has appealed the decision, arguing that the verdict is in violation of the European data retention directive and claiming that SweTorrents doesn’t host any copyrighted files.
IFPI Sweden are celebrating after new statistics reveal that in 2009, music sales were up for the first time in nearly a decade. Digital sales have increased rapidly, with revenues from streaming services such as Spotify increasing impressively. Even physical CD sales showed a modest increase over the previous year.
There has been a lot of talk about magnet links since The Pirate Bay decided to include them on their site recently. Various BitTorrent clients quickly added support for these type of links, and recently the first ‘magnet-only’ torrent index opened to the public.
Lawyers have presented their final arguments in the trial of Alan Ellis. The prosecution slammed the ex-OiNK admin, saying that the site was set up with dishonest and profiteering intentions right from the start. The defense tore into IFPI and countered by calling Ellis an innovator with talents to be nurtured. Today the jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty, and Ellis walked free.
The Pirate Party may have won two seats in last June’s European Parliament elections, but it’s hard to see that in practice. Despite the Lisbon Treaty going into effect just over 6 weeks ago, there is still no news of when Piratpartiet may fill their second seat.
A few weeks ago Comcast decided to settle one of the class action lawsuits brought against the ISP in response to its BitTorrent throttling actions. Affected users can now claim their part of the $16 million fund that was setup, but only if they state under penalty of perjury that BitTorrent was never used to download copyrighted content.
A new wave of cash demands connected with allegations of illicit file-sharing are being received this week. In response, consumer group BeingThreatened has produced the most informative handbook ever created, empowering those wrongfully accused to refute the claims against them and hold onto their hard-earned cash.
As the trial of ex-OiNK admin Alan Ellis continues, more details of yesterday’s proceedings have been made public. Ellis told the court that he always held the belief that the site didn’t break copyright law and that if the site’s users acted illegally, then that wasn’t his responsibility.
A survey conducted by the New Zealand based research firm UMR Research found that nearly half of the respondents think that it’s morally okay to watch porn on the Internet. Downloading music and movies illegally, on the other hand, is frowned upon by an overwhelming majority of the respondents.
After the prosecution had their say last week, OiNK founder Alan Ellis told the Court his side of the story today. Ellis denied conspiring to defraud the music industry and explained that he started the tracker to improve his programming skills.
Hadopi, the French agency charged with handling file-sharers’ copyright digressions, has just made a huge infringement faux pas of its own. Last week the group unveiled the logo which is set to represent this bastion of copyright righteousness, but embarrassingly it was designed with unlicensed fonts.
Universal Music, EMI Music, Sony BMG and Warner Music are demanding one million Swedish kronor from two Pirate Bay founders. A Swedish court banned them from operating the site last year, and the labels argue that they have failed to comply.
As a nationwide gun ban took effect yesterday in the Philippines to reduce political violence as the country’s elections draw near, an anti-piracy group has asked for an exemption. Their director says that having firearms is essential for holding investigations and enforcing intellectual property rights.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Avatar’ tops the chart again this week followed by ‘Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassins’ Ball’. ‘Amored’ completes the top three.
Working on behalf of the MPAA and their Hollywood studio partners, anti-piracy outfit BREIN achieved a notable victory last year when it partially shut down Mininova. This success, however, appears to be just the tip of the iceberg. Did you know BREIN shut down 393 torrent sites in 2009? No? Neither did we.
BitTorrent’s future might look grim to some, as torrent sites increasingly draw the short straw in legal cases brought on by copyright holders. But even if all torrent sites on the net were shut down tomorrow, the sharing wont stop. People could simply switch to P2P-powered torrent search engines.
The Spanish cabinet has today passed legislation that will enable the authorities to shut down file-sharing sites more rapidly. The new legislation gives in to the demands of the US and local copyright lobby, who see Spain’s lenient copyright law as a thorn in their side.
In what is being touted as a first-of-its-kind case, an 18 year-old Swiss woman has been hit with a fine and a two year suspended jail sentence after being caught file-sharing thousands of songs and hundreds of movies by music group, IFPI. Failure to pay her fine will lead to 30 days in jail.
During the last two decades, the Swedish band Rednex have sold more than 10 million records, with number one hits in eight countries including Germany and the UK. Today the band, known by most people for the single “Cotton Eye Joe,” released their first single in 18 months. They chose to share it via The Pirate Bay.
The trial of OiNK administrator Alan Ellis is underway. Yesterday the jury was picked and today it was revealed that Ellis had gathered $300,000 in several Paypal accounts over the years, allegedly gleaned from site donations. The jury of twelve has been warned not to do any independent research on the Internet.
In the first sitting, dozens of proposed amendments to Britain’s Digital Economy Bill started to move through the Lords committee stage yesterday. One interesting amendment put forward requires that when copyright holders inform ISPs of a file-sharing infringement, they must also put a value on it.
Every day copyright holders send thousands of DMCA takedown requests to various torrent site owners. These notices are usually quite formal and polite, and nearly all torrent sites remove the mentioned torrents swiftly. However, some copyright holders can’t hide their anger and turn the takedown request into a hostile rant.
Last month a court rejected calls from Hollywood to order the shutdown of the OpenBitTorrent tracker. Unsatisfied with the decision, the studios are now taking their case to appeal, stating that the ISP who hosts the site is no different to landlords who knowingly allow prostitution on their premises.
Joel Tenenbaum, the Boston student hit with $650,000 in damages back in July 2009, has finally filed the next round in his case. In papers filed with the court, the amount of damages awarded are brought into question, as are the actions of the court. A new trial is requested.
In 2007, the popular BitTorrent tracker OiNK was shut down by Dutch and British police. Four users of the popular BitTorrent tracker have already been sentenced to community service and ordered to pay fines. The trial of site admin Alan Ellis started today.
In December 2009, Ultimate Fighting Championship CEO Lorenzo Fertitta testified at a hearing of the US House Judiciary Committee, claiming that the UFC is losing millions to online piracy. Now, in an RIAA-style escalation, the company says it will not only start suing sites, but also individual downloaders.
The Finnish record label Lion Music has announced that it will not sign any new musicians until politicians have managed to stop piracy. Illegal downloading is killing music, they say, and the label has rallied up its rock stars to spread the word.
While warning that consumers could get ripped off if they don’t shop around when buying music, an expert on saving money says that if it’s serious about winning over pirates, the music industry must wake up and embrace price competition.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘The Lovely Bones’ tops the chart again this week followed by ‘Avatar’. ‘Up In The Air’ completes the top three.
The music industry has made it quite clear that the Internet is a scary place full of pirates. These same fears have spread into the minds of book publishers, who are about to make the same mistakes as the major record labels did. It’s not too late though.
Many writers have been penning top 10 lists of one kind or another recently, either reviewing the last decade or looking forward to the next one. Among them, U2 frontman Bono has published his next-decade wish list, including a desire for the Internet to be policed for copyright infringement.
After extended legal battles, France’s President Sarkozy finally got his way. This year will see some of the most aggressive anti-piracy action against citizens which, if ministers are to be believed, will dramatically reduce online piracy. This might be possible, if the measures weren’t so easily circumvented.
A Californian resident of Irvine has plead guilty to sharing ‘The Love Guru’ through BitTorrent. After getting his hands on a leaked copy of the film, the man decided to share it with a release group, and the copy eventually ended up at Mininova. The 31 year-old man confessed and agreed to a sentence of three years probation.
A whole new and exciting year lies ahead of us, so this is an opportune time for some BitTorrent predictions for 2010. On the upside, video streaming sites will begin experimenting with BitTorrent. One of the negatives is that a major BitTorrent client will be sued by the entertainment industry for assisting copyright infringement.
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