Last week, Torrents.ru, a massive Russian BitTorrent site had its domain name suspended by order of the authorities. It quickly returned with a new URL but with accusatory fingers being pointed at Autodesk, questions raised over the .RU domain, DDoS attacks and a petition to the Russian President, the drama isn’t over yet.
For the first time in five years Mininova is about to disappear from the top 10 of most visited torrent sites. This exit is due to a traffic drop that resulted from the removal of most of the site’s torrents following a lost court battle. Newcomer KickassTorrents is still gaining momentum and has already surpassed Mininova in terms of traffic.
Another brand new episode of TorrentFreak TV. This week’s episode covers the latest Pirate Bay news, Olympic pirates, Twitter’s BitTorrent crush, Flattr, LG’s pirate manual and much more.
After an ISP refused to hand over the identity of a customer to anti-piracy lawyers who claim him to be the first uploader of a pre-release movie, they took the case to court. Shrouded in secrecy the case is heading for the Supreme Court but even if the anti-piracy group wins, they’re going to get the ID of the wrong guy.
Jim Keyzer, a police IT forensics specialist who was leading the Pirate Bay investigation while he was also working for Warner Bros. is back in action. Despite all the controversy he is now leading the IT Crime Unit which is tasked with various anti-piracy efforts.
When the operators of The Pirate Bay were sentenced to prison last year Google quickly distanced itself from the site. Nearly a year later, three of Google’s employees have just received suspended jail sentences in Italy for failing to prevent a video from being uploaded to Google Video, placing them in a similar position as most torrent site admins.
In early February, AFACT, representing several Hollywood movie studios, lost its case against Aussie ISP iiNet after a judge ruled the ISP was not responsible for the infringements of its subscribers. Now the anti-piracy group is claiming that Justice Cowdroy was wrong on almost all points and will appeal his decision.
The PRO-IP Act is a United States law that aims to combat copyright infringement by increasing civil and criminal penalties for offenders. Copyright czar Victoria Espinel is now seeking comments from the public on piracy’s apparent disastrous effect on the economy and health and safety, as well as proposed punishments and enforcement.
Six book publishers have gained an injunction against file-hosting company, RapidShare. The Swiss-based ‘cyberlocker’ service must monitor user uploads to ensure that around 148 titles, many of them textbooks, are never made available to its users. Failure to do so could result in $339,000 fines, or even jail time for company bosses.
Following widespread objections, New Zealand’s Section92A ‘guilty upon accusation’ anti-piracy law was scrapped last year. Today, The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill will be introduced, which repeals Section 92A and replaces it with a “three-notice” regime, backed up by $15,000 fines and 6 month Internet suspensions.
Last year the BitTorrent search engine isoHunt lost in court against the MPAA. A Californian court ruled that isoHunt was guilty of inducing copyright infringement and granted summary judgment. IsoHunt, however, does not intend to crack so easily as it sets course towards an appeal and launches a ‘Lite’ version of the site.
One of the key clauses in the UK’s Digital Economy Bill is the suggestion that alleged persistent copyright infringers could be disconnected from the Internet. In a response to an online petition opposing the measure, the UK government has stated it will not terminate the accounts of infringers. But it has a wording trick up its sleeve.
At the box-office the major movie studios are raking in record profits, but their continuing refusal to widely adopt online business opportunities are hindering progress. According to the head of the Blockbuster video chain, the movie industry’s greed is to blame for holding back innovation.
At the beginning of February, AFACT, representing several Hollywood movie studios, lost its case against iiNet after the court decided that the ISP was not responsible for the infringements of its subscribers. Despite being ordered to pay all costs, AFACT says it will now go back to court in an attempt to avoid paying them.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Legion’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘Edge of Darkness’. ‘Old Dogs’ completes the top three.
The Web-Sheriff has made quite a name for himself, targeting dozens of torrent sites in recent years for clients such as Prince, Michael Jackson and The Village People. This week, however, a painful mistake was made when the anti-pirate tried to take down a torrent from Legit Torrents.
A man who was caught by MPAA investigators camcording the hit movie The Dark Knight in a US theater during July 2008 has been sentenced. The 42 year-old from Grandview, Missouri, was ordered to serve 24 months in federal prison and pay $24,738 in fines.
Seeding fake files on BitTorrent is nothing new and the practice has been carried out by anti-piracy groups and malware spreaders for a long time. While many of them choose to use various open and public BitTorrent trackers, others are setting up their own trackers. We take a look at an easy way to find out more about them.
According to the on-site WiFi operators at Microsoft’s Tech.Ed Australia 2009 conference, abnormal levels of network consumption by some users led them to take action against BitTorrent by ‘Rickrolling’ users who tried to access the most popular torrent sites. Interestingly, bandwidth usage wasn’t the problem.
Last year, the District Court asked the police to investigate their own people after the verdict in The Pirate Bay case leaked to the public hours before it was officially delivered. Today the police announced that they have given up on finding the source of the leak and have closed down the investigation.
A massive Russian BitTorrent site has seen its domain name suspended by order of the authorities. Torrents.ru, the largest torrent site in the country indexing just about every type of media one can think of, has set up a temporary domain in order to keep serving its 4 million users.
The owners of several high traffic adult “tube” sites have developed an application that enables porn studios to prevent copyright infringement at no cost. The new system initially got some press coverage on an industry news outlet, but the coverage was pulled after complaints from some of the major porn studios.
Millions of people use BitTorrent to share files every day, but only a small percentage actually understand how BitTorrent works and appreciate why it is such an efficient way to share large files. A simplified but insightful visualization helps to shed some light on the inner workings of the BitTorrent client.
A new report by a consultancy firm specializing in analyzing consumer consumption of digital media reveals that during the last quarter of 2009, increasing numbers of Swedes accessed unauthorized movies and TV shows online. The research indicates that the downward trend provoked by the introduction of the IPRED legislation is over.
Last week an Italian court ruled that ISPs should block access to The Pirate Bay. A few days later this block was enforced, but it is doubtful that the blockade will affect the piracy rate at all since other torrent sites are experiencing a massive increase in Italian visitors.
An Internet forum which provided links to movies and TV shows hosted on sites such as Rapidshare has been raided by police. Following an anti-piracy group investigation, three alleged operators of the 30,000 member site were arrested, two of which were teenagers. Searches were carried out on members in three other locations.
The up and coming torrent indexer KickassTorrents has launched a new search trends feature. Users can use it to browse through the most popular search phrases for any given day or month to find out what’s wanted by other BitTorrent users. Some interesting trends and old habits are revealed by the new feature.
A Pirate Bay user in his 20′s who uploaded a screener copy of a movie has been tracked down and raided by the same anti-piracy group that recently shut down the EliteBits BitTorrent tracker. Although the man seems to have uploaded only four movies, the group is labeling him “a big fish”.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Sherlock Holmes’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘Daybreakers’. ‘Avatar’ completes the top three.
The operators of MooZar, a new service set to launch at the end of February, believe they have the solution to the file-sharing piracy ‘problem’. Illicit downloaders can apparently go to their site, pay some money and feel happy in the knowledge that they’ve supported the artist. Controversially, there are suggestions they won’t get sued either.
In order to step up the pressure on illicit file-sharers and others that violate intellectual property laws, Swedish police and prosecutors are heading up a new specialist team of investigators to deal with infringements. Team members will be designated their own areas but will also be able to operate nationally.
Despite efforts to prevent coverage of the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony from leaking online, the broadcast is widely available on BitTorrent, downloaded by thousands of people. Most of the downloaders are from the host country Canada, closely followed by the United States.
After resigning as The Pirate Bay’s spokesperson, Peter Sunde was left with some extra time to spend on his side projects. One of these ventures is Flattr, a social micropayment system for people who share content on the Internet, which just launched in Beta.
In 2007, while attention was focused on the OiNK bust, TV-Links, a site which embedded videos from YouTube-like sites, was targeted by the police and the MPAA-funded FACT anti-piracy group. Not only was OiNK admin Alan Ellis recently acquitted, but in a landmark ruling both TV-Links defendants have also won their case.
More than two years have passed since a coalition of anti-piracy organizations forced Torrent.is, the largest BitTorrent site in Iceland, to go offline. In the years that followed, the BitTorrent tracker won in court more than once, but at the end of the road there was a negative verdict for the site’s owner.
Since early February there have been nine raids against file-sharers across Sweden. Those in the spotlight were targeted because they shared relatively large amounts of music on small file-sharing networks. But were these people really a major threat to the music industry or are the millions sharing on BitTorrent proving too hard a target?
Receiving a warning letter from the RIAA for alleged copyright infringement can be a frightening experience for students, considering the damage they might bring along. A 37 year-old employee of the University of Georgia abused this fear to extort a student, demanding money in return for covering up the accusation.
After the IFPI and several movie studios lost their case to force ISP Telenor to block The Pirate Bay, they appealed the decision on the basis the lower court had ruled incorrectly. In yet another blow to the entertainment industry in their battle to force ISPs to take responsibility for their users, the Court of Appeal has rejected the request.
Twitter is calling in the help of BitTorrent to deploy files across its many servers in a more efficient way. The project dubbed ‘Murder’ is based on the Open Source BitTornado BitTorrent client. Aside from assisting Twitter it is available to other developers at no cost.
In a landmark case the music copyright group SABAM has been chasing a local Internet provider in court, trying to force the company to filter P2P traffic, thus far without result. The Brussels Court of Appeal has now referred the case to the European Court Of Justice where it will be thoroughly examined once again.
A man who uploaded Super Mario Bros. for the Wii before its commercial release has agreed to settle with Nintendo. The 24 year-old, who uploaded the game to the Internet in November 2009, has agreed to pay the games giant $1.3m in damages.
In 2008 Olympic torrents were hugely popular. The opening ceremony was downloaded more than 2 million times in the first week, outraging the International Olympic Committee. With Vancouver 2010 starting later this week, several broadcasters have declared war on Olympic pirates.
Should copyright holders be allowed to get the identities of Internet users behind an IP-address for private prosecutions, or should that ability be left solely with the police? That’s the key question behind a pivotal hit movie camcorder case which is set to move amid an unusual amount of secrecy to Norway’s Supreme Court.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Avatar’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘Sherlock Holmes’. ‘Daybreakers’ completes the top three.
Following a lengthy legal procedure the Court of Bergamo has once again ruled that Italian ISPs have to censor their networks and prevent customer access to The Pirate Bay. Millions of Italian Internet users will be denied access to the popular torrent site in an attempt to prevent copyright infringement.
DigiProtect has shot itself and its business model in the foot during a recent court hearing. The notorious anti-piracy outfit refused to open its books for scrutiny during a case where it claimed compensation against a file-sharer. The judge consequently ruled that the defendant didn’t have to pay the majority of the claim against him.
Last week the gaming giant Ubisoft announced their latest DRM invention. In order to play purchased games customers have to be connected to the Internet at all times. Game developers are skeptical of this new anti-piracy solution, but could it actually be a step in the right direction?
Some of the newer LG TVs have USB support, allowing consumers to hook up an external drive to their screen in order to view photos, listen to music, or enjoy a movie. In the manual that comes with these devices, LG doesn’t try to hide the most popular use for this feature as they show customers how to play a pirated movie.
In November 2009, an indie movie received unprecedented worldwide attention after becoming a massive hit on BitTorrent networks. ‘Ink’, which was downloaded well in excess of 400,000 times, shot into the top 20 movies on iMDb. In a new interview, the creators talk about their experience and the future of movie distribution.
The 2010 Oscar nominees were announced yesterday, inspiring many people to fire up their BitTorrent clients. Each year we take a look at the availability of the nominated films online. This year there is a downward trend as only 79% of the films have leaked online in DVD quality.
A few hours after Avatar received nine nominations for the upcoming 2010 Oscars race, a DVD screener of the film leaked online. The leak, which presumably originates from a screener copy sent out to one of the Academy members, is expected to be downloaded by millions of people before the Oscars winners are announced.
Australian Internet service provider iiNet has won its court battle against several Hollywood studios. Justice Dennis Cowdroy today announced that iiNet was not responsible for the infringements of its subscribers when they shared copyright material using BitTorrent. The Australian Pirate Party has welcomed the decision.
The uTorrent development team officially released the long awaited version 2.0 of their popular application today. The release hopes to optimize the download experience for uTorrent users while eliminating the need for ISPs to manage, block or limit BitTorrent traffic.
Twitter has published an announcement on its blog where it attributes a recent phishing attack to an unnamed torrent site script. Twitter is blaming a torrent site developer for intentionally installing backdoors into the code he sells to people who want to run a torrent site of their own. The big question is, who is behind this attack?
Following investigations carried out by the IFPI, police carried out several raids across Sweden yesterday, targeting individuals sharing thousands of music tracks via Direct Connect. The alleged operator of the hub was arrested while others admitted to copyright infringement offenses.
After coming under legal threats from the MPAA in 2008, the Newzbin.com Usenet indexing site began its defence in London’s High Court yesterday. Newzbin are reporting that the judge appears remarkably switched and they are looking forward to a fair trial.
The sixth and final season of the hit series Lost will have its TV-premiere in the US tonight, but it’s already available online. In what must be a world first, the first episode of Lost’s new season was camcorded during a beach screening this weekend and is now widely available on BitTorrent.
After being voted favorite male artist at the People’s Choice Awards last month, during his acceptance speech Keith Urban showed why the people love him. Speaking of his music the star said: “I don’t even care if you download it illegally, give it to your friends, I really don’t care.” Just a month later he says he didn’t mean that at all.
An anti-piracy group which acts in the interests of the movie industry has asked a court to force an ISP to take measures to reduce online piracy. Federazione Anti-Pirateria Audiovisiva wants Telecom Italia to report file-sharers to the authorities, block some well known torrent sites and work with them in the future to fight piracy. Telecom Italia has refused.
Techno Diva Billie Ray Martin has uploaded two exclusive free remixes to Mininova, hoping to revitalize interest in her work. The tracks are part of an upcoming remix album set to be released later this year, but are already available on BitTorrent today.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Sherlock Holmes’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘Daybreakers’. ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats’ completes the top three.
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