Today, exactly four years have passed since The Pirate Bay was raided by the Swedish police. While the entertainment industries hoped that this would be the end of their troubles, in hindsight they’ve created a a multi-headed hydra that is impossible to kill. The events that unfolded could easily be turned into a Hollywood blockbuster.
Due to several verdicts against them, The Pirate Bay team were ordered to pay the entertainment industries $6 million in fines. As predicted, actually getting hold of the money is not going to be an easy job for them. Thus far, the debt collecting agency has only seized $30,000 of the total sum.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘The Wolfman’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘The Book of Eli’. ‘Kick-Ass’ completes the top three.
Hollywood often complains that unauthorized downloads are causing the industry to lose huge sums of money. The makers of The Hurt Locker discovered that this doesn’t always have to be the case. Through an extortion-like scheme, The Hurt Locker is set to make more money from settlements with BitTorrent users than it ever made at the box office.
Earlier this year, malware which purported to be an erotic PC game punished file-sharers who believed they were downloading the real thing. Instead of endless hours of digital titillation, unlucky pirates had their personal details published on the Internet and had to pay a fee to have them removed. Now police have arrested two men in connection with this unusual fraud.
As the Newzbin resurrection saga continues, the boss of Team R Dogs has been answering a whole range of questions about the site’s return. More than $40,000 has been invested in the project so far, a coder hired and they aren’t scared of the MPA either. “We’ll just do a Pirate Bay on them,” they say. “We can run faster than them and shapeshift.”
A few weeks ago the makers of the Oscar-winning movie Hurt Locker indicated that they would sue tens of thousands of U.S. BitTorrent users. In a classic ‘pay up or else’ scheme, the first 5,000 victims have now been officially reported to court. If ISPs cooperate these downloaders can expect a settlement request in their mailboxes soon.
The KDE BitTorrent client KTorrent has become the first to implement the ‘improved’ BitTorrent protocol that was open sourced by BitTorrent Inc. a few days ago. With uTP, KTorrent users should cause less network congestion and interference with other applications. They are also the first to benefit from faster connections to uTorrent users.
After confirming last week it was going ahead with partner Eircom to start disconnecting alleged file-sharers from the Internet, music industry group IRMA has begun to spread its net even wider. It is now in advanced negotiations with two mobile ISPs to implement the same scheme and and will take legal action against two more.
Over the last year Vuze’s BitTorrent client has evolved into an all-in-one download solution. With built in search, device integration and DVD-burning capabilities the Vuze team has set itself aside from other BitTorrent clients. With more than 100 million videos transferred to iTunes, game consoles and TiVo, device integration has proven to be a popular feature among Vuze users.
More than 2 years ago the IFPI and other copyright groups brought action against Danish ISP Telenor demanding that it should block its subscribers from accessing The Pirate Bay. Following a hearing which began a week ago, the Supreme Court in Denmark has just ruled that The Pirate Bay must continue to be blocked, upholding previous rulings by lower courts.
Late last week, ex-members of the now defunct Newzbin indexing site started receiving emails from a group claiming to have obtained the site’s source code and databases. Now it’s being claimed by an ex-director that the Newzbin domain name was sold to a Seychelles-based company to help clear company debts.
Lawyers ACS:Law in the UK are now into their second year of threatening alleged pirates with legal action. Since they don’t have a good case when people deny their allegations, for some time now the firm has been sending out questionnaires which allow people to build a case against themselves. As a UK consumer magazine is pointing out, people don’t have to play this game.
According to staff at a large Russian BitTorrent site, earlier this month their admin was lured to another country under false pretenses, held hostage by a criminal gang and beaten at gunpoint until he handed over the site’s domain name. The plan was thwarted, but not before a ransom was paid by his family.
The finale of Lost has shattered all previous download records on BitTorrent. In less than a day, close to a million people have downloaded the last two episodes, with more than 100,000 people sharing a single torrent at the same time. As expected, most downloads come from outside the US where the finale aired later or has yet to air on television.
BitTorrent Inc. has open sourced uTP, the BitTorrent protocol powering the latest release of uTorrent, in the hope that other BitTorrent clients will soon adopt it. UTP promises less congestion for ISPs and end users without degrading overall download speeds. Thus far, however, many BitTorrent developers outside the BitTorrent Inc. team are skeptical about the new protocol.
After more than a year of wrangling both in and out of court, EMI, Sony, Universal, Warner and ISP Eircom finally have a deal ready to fly. Shortly the labels will start supplying the IP addresses of alleged file-sharers to Eircom so that it may punish them. The most stubborn subscribers will be disconnected from the Internet for a year.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘The Wolfman’ tops the chart this week followed by ‘The Book of Eli’. ‘Kick-Ass’ completes the top three.
After Newzbin closed following a debilitating legal battle with several Hollywood studios, rumors began to surface that during a time when the site was still up, it had been hacked and the source code and databases ‘stolen’. Now a group called Team R Dogs/Newzbin2 has contacted ex-Newzbin members with news that the site will soon be reborn.
BitTorrent Inc. has opened up the ‘web’ feature of uTorrent Falcon to the public today after having tested it for several months in invite only mode. The Falcon release is one of uTorrent’s new projects that allow users to stream torrents and access their downloads from anywhere through a simple web interface.
With the assistance of the Svea Court of Appeals, the main Hollywood movie studios have landed a triple blow on OpenBitTorrent, The Pirate Bay and site founders Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij. The Court handed out three injunctions yesterday, one of which took the OpenBitTorrent tracker offline.
The US District Court of California has issued a permanent injunction against the BitTorrent search engine isoHunt, forcing it to shut down in the United States. IsoHunt is expected to block all access to US visitors in response to the decision, but no action has been taken thus far.
Earlier this year software giant Microsoft launched a lawsuit against Lithuania’s largest BitTorrent tracker for its role in the unauthorized distribution of Office 2003 and 2007. Microsoft successfully obtained an injunction against the site and the operator’s assets were seized, but these requests have now been overturned by the appeal court.
Earlier this week a Swedish appeals court upheld the ruling of a district court and ordered an ISP to hand over the details of a torrent site operator. Faced with a potential $96,500 fine for non-compliance, TeliaSonera has announced it will take an appeal to the Supreme Court in an attempt to balance pre-existing privacy obligations with those under IPRED.
The popular file-hosting service RapidShare is not guilty of copyright infringement, the United States District Court of California has ruled. The ruling is an important victory for RapidShare, which has been increasingly targeted by the entertainment industries.
An unreleased movie about the life of infamous hacker Adrian Lamo has leaked to BitTorrent. The movie, titled Hackers Wanted, failed to get a conventional release following alleged conflicts between its producer and others on the team. Lamo has been telling TorrentFreak how he feels about this unofficial release.
As the once minority activity of downloading from newsgroups enters the mainstream, ever-more aggressive copyright-related lawsuits are doing likewise. In this environment Usenet-related companies are becoming increasingly careful to keep their behaviors entirely legal. Leading Usenet provider Giganews has taken the concept to a whole new level.
An ISP must hand over the identity of the operator behind a major BitTorrent tracker, a court in Sweden ruled today. OpenBitTorrent, probably the world’s largest public tracker, is currently hosted by Portlane. The ISP must now reveal the identity of its customer to Hollywood movie companies or face a hefty fine.
Adobe is getting serious about their implementation of peer-to-peer technology to assist Flash-based video streaming and applications. The upcoming release of Adobe’s Flash Player 10.1 will enable publishers to dramatically reduce bandwidth costs by outsourcing media distribution to users.
Newzbin, the Internet’s premier Usenet indexer, has pulled the plug today marking the end of an era. The operators of the site cite the lost legal battle against the MPA as the main reason for the shutdown. Apparently, the court case drained the site’s financial resources.
After its previous bandwidth provider had to take the site offline due to concerns over an aggressive Hollywood injunction, today The Pirate Bay is fully back in operation with a surprising new supplier. From a few hours ago, in a move intended to “stand up for freedom of expression”, the Swedish Pirate Party became the site’s new host.
A Swedish appeals court has upheld an earlier ruling by a district court which ordered an ISP to hand over the personal details of a torrent site operator. ISP TeliaSonera faces a 750,000 kronor ($96,500) fine if it does not reveal who is behind the SweTorrents BitTorrent tracker. The ISP may appeal the decision.
The head of Sweden’s National IT Crime Unit says that following the introduction of IPRED anti-piracy legislation it has become more difficult to track down serious criminals. This unfortunate eventuality is a side-effect of ISPs throwing away logging data to protect the privacy of their customers. While this protects casual file-sharers, it unfortunately protects serious criminals too.
The Pirate Bay is suffering some temporary downtime as their bandwidth provider has stopped passing through traffic. A week ago, Hollywood got an injunction to effectively shut down the Pirate Bay by threatening its provider with huge fines. The Pirate Bay team is currently working on a solution.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Kick-Ass’ tops the chart this week again followed by ‘Alice In Wonderland’. ‘Iron Man 2′ completes the top three.
Earlier this week it became apparent that the main Hollywood studios had made good on their threat to take legal action against Pirate Bay bandwidth provider CB3ROB/CyberBunker. At the time, CB3ROB owner Sven Kamphuis told us that he had yet to see the injunction. TorrentFreak has obtained a copy along with an English translation.
While U.S. men and women put their lives at risk in Iraq, the MPAA has queried the military about the pirating habits of the soldiers stationed there. A declassified document from United States Central Command confirms that the MPAA is fighting a war of its own in the Middle East, one against copyright infringing soldiers.
Earlier this year Hollywood lost its case against iiNet when a court ruled that the ISP could not be held responsible for the actions of its subscribers when they committed copyright infringements using BitTorrent. The studios appealed and now the date has been set for the Federal Court re-run. iiNet boss Michael Malone is confident of a second victory.
The uTorrent team has released a new version of the BitTorrent client that supports extensions, or apps as they call them. The new version, codenamed Griffin, is part of the new uTorrent labs where users will get early access to new projects, including live streaming (Pheon) and remote access (Falcon).
In common with many websites, several torrent sites have their own Facebook fan pages that are used to interact with users. These pages usually update fans on site news and do not link to torrent files. Despite this, Facebook does not seem tolerant of all torrent site fan pages, and has just removed one of the popular ones.
A court in The Netherlands has banned a Usenet community from publishing the names of files which allegedly infringe copyright. According to the judges who handled the case, Dutch site FTD – who weren’t even present at the hearing – must stop publishing the names and Usenet locations of files connected to a particular movie or face penalties of 10,000 euros per day.
Last month it became apparent that several Hollywood movie studios had threatened to take legal action against the owner of ISP CyberBunker, the current bandwidth provider for The Pirate Bay. Now, according to fresh information from a reliable source, the studios have come good on their threats.
Today Sweden’s Supreme Court has ruled that two of the judges set to hear the appeal of the four convicted Pirate Bay operators are unbiased. It had been feared that their membership in pro-copyright organizations would affect their judgment, but that eventuality was ruled out today by the Court.
According to an eagle-eyed game buyer, Rockstar could have caused themselves quite a bit of embarrassment when they made Max Payne 2 available on Steam. A close examination of the game’s executable reveals that it contains the ASCII text logo of game piracy group Myth.
The makers of the Oscar-winning movie Hurt Locker have joined a very lucrative ‘pay up or else’ scheme that will target tens of thousands of U.S. BitTorrent users. The massive lawsuit is expected to be filed in the coming days and if ISPs cooperate, suspected downloaders will receive a settlement letter in the weeks to come.
IsoHunt has been one of the leading BitTorrent search engines since 2004. Despite facing legal battles with the MPAA and CRIA, isoHunt keeps on expanding and adding more torrents to its index. It now lists nearly 5 million unique torrents, tripling in size compared to last year.
A sex shop company owned by one of Britain’s richest men has been revealed as a client of controversial anti-piracy lawyers ACS:Law. Following an objection against a license renewal for one of its premises, the owning company complained that it was the target of a national campaign, and later withdrew its application and closed down the shop.
The hugely popular sports streaming and download site Rojadirecta has been declared legal by a Spanish court. The appeal of sports rights holder Audiovisual Sport has been dismissed, putting an end to a legal battle that started three years ago. The site continues to operate without having to face the threat of being shut down.
The MPAA, RIAA and other entertainment industry groups want people to believe that piracy is the result of people’s greed and refusal to pay. A recent experiment by Wolfire Games sheds another light on this argument, as they found out that even a penny can be too much.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Kick-Ass’ tops the chart this week again followed by ‘Iron Man 2′. ‘Clash Of The Titans’ completes the top three.
There are many thousands of videos on the Internet and while it’s possible to just go blindly to any one of dozens of torrent sites and search for movies or TV shows, there is no guarantee that the quality will be good. For the last decade that information has been available from VCDQuality.com and shortly the site will be relaunching with a new owner, a full makeover and fresh support for BitTorrent users.
BakaBT, a torrent tracker which specializes in serving anime fans, is currently down after suffering a huge DDoS attack. Although these type of attacks against torrent sites are nothing new, the operators say the person responsible has identified himself. Instead of caving in to his demands, the site has chosen to fight back.
The uTorrent team has added an idea bank to their website where users can vote for and suggest features that should be implemented in the BitTorrent client. A Linux version of uTorrent and the option to receive an email when a file has finished downloading are currently the most voted for ideas.
Following pressure from the US Government, Canada is preparing to ram through a revamped copyright bill that will have disastrous consequences for consumers. The Government is hereby ignoring the public consultation held last year, where many Canadians spoke out against harsher copyright legislation.
The UK Pirate Party is just over one year old, but already it’s participating in the General Election with candidates in nine constituencies. Pirate Party voters who go to the polling booth today can be assured that, contrary to recent rumors, it is okay to wear a pirate costume.
Commenting on the results of a new survey which found that most people who download movies, music and TV shows would do so legally if they were available via a reasonably-priced and convenient platform, the boss of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft says that the industry won’t compete until rampant online piracy is seriously reduced. And so the deadlock continues.
Following an inspection by Sweden’s Data Inspection board late last year, it has been announced that both the IFPI and Antipiratbyrån comply with all necessary regulations in their hunt for illicit file-sharers. Although they will continue with their activities, data will no longer be used to send warning letters to suspected file-sharers.
The new release of MechWarrior 4 has crashed the game maker’s distribution servers. The central distribution server collapsed last weekend when tens of thousands of people attempted to download the free game. To distribute the game to the public effectively and without issues, the game’s makers will now switch to BitTorrent exclusively.
Last month we reported on the media announcement by Bulgarian police that they would shut down the country’s two largest BitTorrent trackers, Zamunda.net and ArenaBG. As with any story, there always two sides. TorrentFreak caught up with someone with inside knowledge of the trackers and the scene in general, for their take on the situation.
RapidShare is not liable for acts of copyright infringement committed by its users, a German court ruled yesterday. The Dusseldorf Court of Appeals overturned the earlier decision of a local district court in a case brought by the movie outfit Capelight Pictures.
Last week we reported on a website which claimed to breach BitTorrent users’ security by showing what media they were sharing along with their IP addresses. The article provoked hundreds of responses, some scared at the site’s abilities and others proclaiming it as an elaborate fake. So what exactly was it for and who was behind it?
Fox News, a prominent media outlet owned by copyright evangelist Rupert Murdoch, is blatantly infringing on the rights of an individual photographer. The irony, or hypocrisy, is that Murdoch himself is going after Google, the BBC and many other companies that he believes are infringing on the rights of his news empire.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Clash Of The Titans’ tops the chart this week again followed by ‘Shutter Island’. ‘Avatar’ completes the top three.
After more than two months of downtime caused by a webhost screwup and a lack of backups, the BitTorrent site BitSnoop has returned with many added features. Among other things the BitSnoop team has implemented “FakeSkan”, a feature that warns users about suspicious torrent files.
Twitter has suspended the accounts of at least two torrent sites and removed all of their followers. No reason for the suspension has been given other than that the sites in question “abused” Twitter’s service. Both sites were updating their accounts with newly published torrents daily.
In recent months there have been several attempts by anti-piracy groups to force file-sharing sites to filter links from their systems. But now in a bold move by Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, there are demands that a Usenet provider should proactively filter infringing content from the worldwide newsgroup system.
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