Pablo Soto, the 30 year-old brain behind the file-sharing applications Blubster, Piolet and Manolito is being sued by the Spanish RIAA, but that hasn’t stopped him from launching another P2P venture. This week his company launched the media search engine FooFind, allowing users to search the web for torrents, Ed2k links and more.
The plague of mass litigation “pay up or else” letters has now hit the shores of the United States. 20,000 BitTorrent users are to be targeted soon, with 30,000 in the months to follow. According to new information, 300 movies are set for enforcement action, with their rightsholders receiving just 30% of the spoils.
A United States court wants isoHunt to stop inducing copyright infringement via torrents that can be found through the popular BitTorrent search engine. The proposed injunction would require isoHunt to censor its site based on a list of keywords. A similar measure led to the quasi-shutdown of Mininova last year.
During October 2007, the popular BitTorrent tracker OiNK was shut down in a joint effort by Dutch and British law enforcement. Three months ago the site’s administrator was cleared of all charges. The remaining uploader had his case dropped today and also walks free.
After losing its High Court case against several Hollywood movie studios yesterday, Usenet indexing site Newzbin has responded angrily. They say that their defeat was the result of flawed evidence and the unfair legal might of the MPA, and have slammed the studios’ broken business model and monopolistic commercial practices.
Newzbin, the Internet’s premier Usenet indexer, has lost its High Court case against several Hollywood movie studios. Justice Kitchin found the company, which turned over more than £1 million in 2009, liable for copyright infringement and will issue an injunction restricting its activities later this week.
Warner Bros Entertainment UK is recruiting tech-savvy students to help the company with their anti-piracy efforts. During the 12 month internship the students will have to maintain accounts at private BitTorrent sites, develop link-scanning bots, make trap purchases and perform various other anti-piracy tasks.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Shutter Island’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘Alice In Wonderland’. ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’ completes the top three.
Veterans of World War II who sang war songs at a free concert last year have now been told that they must pay fees to copyright holders. A collections society says they are owed money since the veterans sang the songs in public. The controversy has prompted an announcement in Russia’s parliament.
In an advisory report two economy professors are urging a government to rethink new anti-piracy legislation currently being drafted. The professors argue that harsher anti-piracy measures will only benefit the large media companies and prominent artists, at the expense of users and upcoming artists.
A court in Spain has ordered that a total of 16 torrent and other file-sharing sites must be blocked and the bank accounts and email addresses of their alleged administrator frozen. A web-host says that one of their staff is accused of both hosting and running the sites.
The file-hosting service Rapidshare is seeking major entertainment industry partners for an online store where links to infringing material will redirect to. The plan is an attempt to bridge the gap between copyright holders and users of the site who distribute infringing material.
Colombo-BT, once the largest torrent site in Italy, was shut down in the summer of 2008. At the time no arrests were made, but following an extensive investigation Italian authorities have announced today that two admins and four associates have been reported for breaking copyright law.
Following the domain seizure of Russia’s biggest torrent site, Torrents.ru, Moscow’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has announced it will not only start shutting down BitTorrent sites and pursuing their operators, but also hold users responsible. One proposal suggests that file-sharers should be treated the same as criminal counterfeiters.
In a desperate cry for media attention, the filmmakers behind the flopped Danish movie Winnie & Karina have accused Piratgruppen of stealing their film. In two libelous press releases they fabricated a piracy threat from the local group of copyright critics, hoping to draw attention to the upcoming DVD-release.
Following the February 2010 Supreme Court decision to force The Pirate Bay to be censored in Italy, the music industry is celebrating after police and prosecutors seized a site which circumvented the ban by offering proxy access to the Swedish torrent site.
For many years Rapidshare was considered to be a safe way for people to download copyrighted content without having to face repercussions. Recently, however, the company has been actively going after users that upload copyrighted files through the service by terminating accounts.
Over the years would-be game pirates have been targeted in a number of ways such as through draconian DRM schemes and even viruses. Now it appears that file-sharers who thought they were going to download a high-profile interactive erotic novel have been instead treated to a security and privacy breach of epic proportions.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Shutter Island’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘Alice In Wonderland’. ‘The Twilight Saga: New Moon’ completes the top three.
Two members of the Scene release group “Rabid Neurosis” (RNS) have been found not guilty on charges of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement. The case, which emphasized the group’s role in making albums available before the official release date, was the result of a major music piracy investigation in the US.
ACS:Law have been making news headlines damaging to their reputation ever since they started sending out thousands of threatening letters to alleged file-sharers in the UK. Now they are threatening to sue Slyck.com, one of the Internet’s oldest file-sharing forums, because they don’t like what members have written about them.
BitTorrent is undoubtedly the most efficient way to share large files on the Internet. The key to BitTorrent’s widespread adoption can nevertheless not be exclusively attributed to its technical superiority. Much of BitTorrent’s success lies in the fact that it is web-based, easy to monetize and indexed by Google.
A group of prominent public figures have published an open letter protesting the undemocratic methods likely to be used to push through the Digital Economy Bill. They argue that by passing controversial elements such as disconnections and site blocking without proper scrutiny, faith in politicians wall fall even further.
In the early 2000s ShareConnector was once of the largest P2P index sites, until it was raided in 2004. Since then the operator of the site has been going through various legal battles in the hope of getting his site back up. This week that dream came to an end when a court decided that the site has to stay closed for good.
As Feargal Sharkey, head of UK Music, speaks of his confidence that the massively controversial Digital Economy Bill will be passed before the general election, the Open Rights Group has revealed that in the last 3 days more than 10,000 outraged citizens have written to MPs demanding a debate on the issue.
Russian police have raided a datacenter hosting iFolder.ru, a huge Rapidshare-like site. Their paperwork allowed them to search and gather evidence against a user who uploaded illegal material to the site. Although staff offered 100% co-operation, the police cut the power and sealed the servers in the datacenter, putting iFolder completely out of operation.
A new report commissioned by the creative industries claims that piracy could result in €240 billion in lost revenues and 1.2 million job losses by 2015. By selective use of sources and shoddy research techniques, lobbyists hope the report will open the doors to tougher anti-piracy laws.
In 2008 a Danish court ruled in favor of the IFPI and ordered the ISP Tele2 to block all customer access to The Pirate Bay. The ISP appealed the decision and now the case will head over to Denmark’s Supreme Court in 2 months’ time. Will the recent Norwegian victory for the ISP Telenor be replicated over the water?
Geremi Adam, a member of the movie release group ‘maVen’ has been sentenced to two and a half months in prison. The 27 year-old Montreal resident, who was referred to the Canadian police by the FBI, pleaded guilty to distributing two major motion pictures.
A brand new streaming TV site which hit the news a little over a month ago has been neutered by legal threats. TVGorge offered more than 120 streaming TV shows such as Heroes, Lost, CSI and Grey’s Anatomy with no geo-restrictions. Many reviewers praised the site but were concerned about its legality. They weren’t the only ones.
Following a crackdown on dozens of local file-sharing sites last year, it now appears that China has added the Canada-based BitTorrent site isoHunt to their Great Firewall. IsoHunt reports that the site has only seen a few hundred Chinese visitors in recent days, a 99% decrease in traffic in compared to a week ago.
The Lithuanian anti-piracy outfit LANVA has lost its case against a user of the prominent BitTorrent tracker LinkoManija.net. After being accused of sharing Windows 7 Ultimate, the defendant walked free when the court decided that uTorrent is not a certified evidence gathering tool.
After early calls to shut down a Spanish file-sharing site were dismissed, music group SGAE pinned its hopes on success at the full trial. But, the outcome for them was nothing short of a disaster. The judge declared that both non-commercial file-sharing link sites and non-profit use of P2P networks are legal in Spain.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘The Hurt Locker’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘Percy Jackson & the Olympians’. ‘The Twilight Saga: New Moon’ completes the top three.
The uTorrent team released the long-awaited version 2.0 of their popular application last month. The overall reception has been very positive, but critics have labeled the new release as unfair, which has resulted in the client being banned from several private BitTorrent trackers.
Following two unsuccessful attempts at forcing ISP Telenor to block The Pirate Bay in Norway, the IFPI and performing rights outfit TONO have abandoned their legal action. The case will not now head to the Supreme Court but instead the entertainment groups will pin their hopes on new legislation.
The Hurt Locker was the big winner at Sunday’s Academy Award show. The film took home six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Kathryn Bigelow. As a result, the film has been the most sought-after and downloaded movie on BitTorrent in the days since.
During a keynote speech, Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire producer David Puttnam announced a number of measures he’d like to see taken against piracy. In addition to educating children at an early age that’s it wrong to download copyrighted material, he wants movie camcording outlawed and ISPs held responsible for the activities of their users.
Hollywood lobbyists are trying to launch an assault on Internet providers and fast track tougher anti-piracy legislation in the United States. Ari Emanuel, the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, says the industry has been discussing these plans with President Obama outside of the public’s eye.
The four individuals convicted in The Pirate Bay trial have a preliminary date for their appeals. Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundstrom will head to the Court of Appeal on 28 September. This date is already being claimed as politically motivated, falling as it does just after Sweden’s parliamentary elections.
Following raids against a large file-sharing site in December 2009, police in Greece are engaged in an ongoing operation to close down the country’s largest BitTorrent site and arrest its operators. Thus far there have been six arrests, with Interpol chasing two further admins believed to be located in The Netherlands.
Together with Cox and Warner Cable, Comcast has aided in the development of a new piracy tracking tool. Named BitStalker, researchers claim it can effectively collect evidence on millions of file-sharers with relative ease. Operators of large BitTorrent trackers have their doubts.
Performing rights group GEMA has won an injunction against newsgroup outfit, UseNeXT. A court has forbidden the Usenet company from offering around 100 musical works from the GEMA repertoire and says that in the future, Usenet operators will have to take a greater responsibility for the environments and services they offer.
In the first few months following the adoption of the three-strikes anti-piracy legislation in France, online piracy has increased significantly. Instead of stopping, file-sharers are seeking alternatives to bypass the new law. Perhaps even more striking is that new research reveals that disconnecting file-sharers will actually hurt the revenues of the music industry.
Following in the footsteps of the Swedes and Germans, the Dutch Pirate Party has decided to join the national elections being held this spring. The Pirate Party booked a surprising victory by scooping two seats in the European Parliament last year, but has yet to score its first elected seat in a national Parliament.
A new study commissioned on behalf of Universal Music reports that if ISPs got involved in the digital music market, they could make millions in the years to come. But one can’t help wondering that this is less about the music biz helping ISPs to make more profit, but more about giving them an incentive to do something about piracy.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘The Twilight Saga: New Moon’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘From Paris With Love’. ‘Ninja Assassin’ completes the top three.
In just a few hours the Oscar winners will be announced, including the award for the best movie of 2009. We take a look at the nominees in the Best Picture category to see which film would win if every download on BitTorrent counted as a vote.
Faced with difficulties in dealing with those who share movies and music using BitTorrent, in recent months Swedish police have targeted those using more exposed file-sharing systems. As stats are revealed showing just how problematic these prosecutions have become, an anti-piracy group is calling for a change in the law.
The South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival is one of the largest and most popular in the United States. For the sixth year in a row, SXSW has released a DRM-free, RIAA-safe collection of hundreds of songs which can all be downloaded for free in a couple of clicks, thanks to BitTorrent.
The RIAA has published a blog post where they accuse music pirates of stealing from Haitians. In a brilliant piece of propaganda they say that those illegally downloading “We Are The World” are undermining fund raising. However, they leave out the fact that the music industry itself profits big from such charity singles.
In mid-February an Italian court ruled that the country’s ISPs must censor their networks and prevent subscribers from accessing The Pirate Bay. While millions of Italians are now barred from accessing the site, it seems that BiTorrent users in another country nearby have become collateral damage, since they can’t access the site either.
Last month the gaming giant Ubisoft announced their new über-DRM which requires customers to be continuously online in order to play purchased games. Of course, this DRM was circumvented in a few hours and while downplaying this blunder, Ubisoft fails to see that they’ve only increased piracy.
After a fairly bumpy ride, the High Court trial between Newzbin and the MPA has reached its conclusion. While the site’s owners are claiming that the site will remain open no matter what, a negative result could result in hefty damages and an obligation to make changes to the site, including the implementation of a Mininova-style filter.
After failing to bring ISP iiNet into line with some extremely lengthy and expensive legal action, Hollywood has been left short on options in Australia. Of course, AFACT won’t give in. It is appealing the case and has resorted to sending out messages to scare Internet file-sharers. But does another organization have a different approach up its sleeve?
Global Gaming Factory’s planned acquisition of The Pirate Bay last summer surprised BitTorrent’s friends and foes alike. But The Pirate Bay was not the only site the company was after. It also put in a massive 20 million euro offer for fellow BitTorrent site Mininova.
After mountains of controversy built up in the wake of the ‘pay up or else’ letters sent to thousands of alleged file-sharers, one would think other lawyers might be put off following the same track, but not so. Tilly Bailey & Irvine are the new kids on the block and have just been labeled by a Lord as an “embarrassment to the rest of the creative rights industry.”
Following a DMCA takedown request from Fox regarding an Avatar torrent, Google has removed the BTJunkie homepage from its search results. A few months ago Google erroneously banned The Pirate Bay homepage for which it later apologized. Whether or not the BTJunkie ban is also a mistake is unclear.
Last October the Amsterdam Court ruled that three former Pirate Bay operators had to remove a list of ‘infringing’ torrents from the website and block access to Dutch users. The Pirate Bay trio had to comply with the Court’s demands before today, but nothing has changed and it’s unlikely that the Dutch will be shut out of the site in the near future.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘From Paris With Love’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘Ninja Assassin’. ‘Legion’ completes the top three.
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