A large number of The Pirate Bay users have received an email, allegedly from the site’s operators, inviting them to join the private BitTorrent tracker DemUnoid. The Pirate Bay team has distanced itself from the senders, but it remains a mystery how the spammers gained access to the site’s user database.
Today, ICTorrent, the private tracker which was recently revealed to be a DDoS target of anti-piracy company AiPlex Software, celebrates its birthday. On this occasion the site gives thanks to 4chan activists for helping to bring the attacks to an end while showing TorrentFreak that pirate movies the site watermarked with its own logo have been turning up on national TV.
For nearly a week the two largest BitTorrent trackers on the Internet have been mostly offline. With the recent DDoS attacks at BitTorrent sites in mind, some feared that both OpenBitTorrent and PublicBitTorrent were victims of a similar assault. Although both trackers are indeed overloaded, the origin is friendly fire this time.
A film set to be released for free via BitTorrent has been denied a listing in the Internet Movie Database. The Tunnel is currently in production and despite pleas from the makers, IMDb won’t allow it on their site. The creators of this horror movie believe that because they have shunned an official distributor and chosen a BitTorrent model instead, this has put them at a disadvantage with the Amazon-owned site.
The Pirate Bay appeal is moving forward faster than expected. On the second day representatives for the music and movie industries talked about lost sales and revenues they claim can be attributed to The Pirate Bay. In addition, the prosecution uncovered ad sales and money trails to portray The Pirate Bay as a commercial organization.
Streaming capabilities have been added to BitTorrent via the Tribler client, and more recently uTorrent. Thus far the implementation of these technologies into major websites has been lacking. That position changed this week as the Wikimedia Foundation partnered with P2P Next to use BitTorrent-powered streaming for their video content.
Last week an impressive new music downloading application hit the mainstream. Mulve became hugely popular and demand was so great that the site’s servers couldn’t handle the pressure and fell over. Today the site is down again, not through excessive demand, but thanks to the lawyers at the RIAA.
This morning the appeal of The Pirate Bay Four started, but one of the most important cases in the history of file-sharing began with just three defendants. Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm is in a hospital in Cambodia and is unable to travel to Sweden. The trial continued without him and began with a discussion on the history and some technicalities of The Pirate Bay.
Following on from other DDoS attacks in recent days, yesterday another wave took down the website of AFACT, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft. This latest assault, carried out in the name of Operation Payback, also had some very serious unintended side-effects. According to AFACT host Negregistry, other sites it hosts were affected too. AFACT said those sites, some belonging to the government, numbered nearly 8,000.
Today BitTorrent Inc. announced two new Apps for uTorrent, one in collaboration with the organization that hosts the TED conferences and another that allows users to discover free music. The latter App is the winner of the uTorrent App developer challenge. It’s coded by Steven Viola who happened to have just released a TV-app through which users can download and subscribe to shows published on EZTV.
Last year The Pirate Bay Four were sentenced to a year in prison, and each ordered to pay $905,000 in damages. Tomorrow the appeal of the trial will start, but unlike last time there is is an awkward silence in the media, blogs and even on The Pirate Bay. Is this the proverbial calm before the storm, or perhaps a change of course?
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Get Him To The Greek’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Knight and Day’. ‘Machete’ completes the top three.
In 2008, lawyers Davenport Lyons courted the mainstream media with the news that a court had found a woman guilty of sharing the game Dream Pinball 3D, an action which cost her around £16,000. Anyone with an understanding of these cases knew that something was wrong and now, thanks to yet more information from the leaked ACS:Law emails, we learn that this ‘conviction’ was built on foundations of sand.
Friday night the anti-piracy law firm ACS:Law accidentally published its entire email archive online, effectively revealing how the company managed to extract over a million dollars (£636,758.22) from alleged file-sharers since its operation started. On average, 30% of the victims who were targeted paid up, and this money was divided between the law firm, the copyright holder and the monitoring company.
Last night, the private emails of anti-piracy law firm ACS:Law were spilled onto the Internet. Today, as we continue to dig through the mountain of information, we take a look at some of the human victims of this scheme. From poor people pleading for clemency, to bewildered old age pensioners accused of sharing adult movies, to married men who have been confronted with allegations of sharing gay porn, the cost is significant.
Earlier this week, anti-piracy lawyers ACS:Law had their website taken down by a 4chan DDoS attack. Adding insult to injury, owner Andrew Crossley was harassed at home in the middle of the night by prank phone calls. Now, through a fault with his website, hundreds of megabytes of private emails have been exposed to the public and uploaded to The Pirate Bay. To those hoping that this is a MediaDefender-type fiasco all over again, trust us – it is.
The United States Internet Service provider Suddenlink has effectively implemented a three-strikes policy for repeated copyright infringers. After three DMCA notices, alleged copyright infringers are disconnected from the Internet for six months, without a refund. According to a company representative, the DMCA requires them to take such drastic measures.
The avalanche of lawsuits against BitTorrent users in the United States continues. Several adult producers joined in on the profitable pay-up-or-else scheme recently, but one of them made a costly mistake. Adult producer Mick Haig filed suits against 670 BitTorrent users this week. However, he forgot to register the copyright for his film.
Yesterday the European Parliament adopted a report that paves the way for the introduction of draconian anti-piracy measures. A final push for accepting the report came from entertainment industry lobbyists who presented petitions signed by hundreds of artists. Among other suspicious circumstances, the signatories of the petitions include a 7-year old singer from Romania and a movie producer who died three years ago.
As pressure on file-sharing continues to mount, many people are searching for ‘safer’ methods to acquire music. Today we bring news of an application that seems to be almost too good to be true. With a huge database of songs, Mulve delivers music to users’ desktops at amazing speeds at the touch of a button with zero uploading, meaning that “getting caught” is no longer a concern. Question is, how long will it last?
A senior judge has given the clearest indications so far that patience could be running out with “pay up or else” letters currently being sent out in their thousands to alleged file-sharers. At a hearing to authorize yet more, the judge called the schemes “a huge sledgehammer to crack a nut” adding that once the Digital Economy Act is in force, further applications may not be successful.
After all-out assaults on the web presences of the MPAA, RIAA and later the BPI, last night a new company was targeted in a new 4chan DDoS attack. Anti-piracy lawyers ACS:Law, one of the most despised and complained about law firms in Britain, had their website taken offline last night and it remains down “Account Suspended” this morning. TorrentFreak has spoken to one of the key figures in Operation Payback for the lowdown.
This week the controversial French three-strikes anti-piracy law Hadopi went live. Copyright holders are currently in the process of sending out tens of thousands of IP-addresses of alleged infringers to Internet service providers, and this will increase to over a million in a few weeks. The ISPs have to hand over the identities of the associated accounts to the authorities within a week, or face a fine of 1500 euros per unidentified IP-address.
Tomorrow, the European Parliament will vote on the Gallo report that deals with the enforcement of intellectual property. Drafted by a partner of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the report paves the way for draconian anti-piracy measures to be introduced across Europe, potentially affecting the lives of millions of Internet users.
The latest episode of TorrentFreak TV covers the return of the legendary Suprnova.org, a film director helping out an accused file-sharer, artists cashing in despite piracy and more. Enjoy.
United States lawmakers have proposed new legislation today that would allow the Department of Justice to take over domain names of websites that promote copyright infringement. The proposed bill would allow for court orders against domestic as well as foreign sites, which could potentially shutter many torrent sites including The Pirate Bay.
Patent trolls sit on patents and do little with them. These trolls only come out of their caves to enter a court room with the aim of cashing in when they consider someone has infringed on their ‘property’. This attitude has now spread to copyright, with artists being sued for infringements on songs that are 20, even 30 years old.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Iron Man 2′ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Knight and Day’. ‘The Expendables’ completes the top three.
The Swedish Pirate Party has failed to replicate last year’s massive victory in the European elections. The Party, which promised it would host Wikileaks and The Pirate Bay inside the Swedish Parliament if it was voted in, lost the majority of last year’s support and won’t reach the threshold that would allow it to enter Parliament.
Over the last 36 hours or so, the ‘Anonymous’ masses and many unaffiliated sympathizers joined forces to attack the MPAA’s website. Continuing with ‘Operation Payback’, today an attack will be launched on the RIAA. The ultimate in decentralized protests will go ahead and there’s not a lawyer or police force in the world who can do anything about it. Is this the protest of the future?
Professor Richard Dawkins is one of the best known evolutionary biologists today. Affiliated with the University of Oxford and Berkeley, he is famous for his fierce and outspoken critique on religious institutions through his publications and documentaries. In common with many scientists, he wants his work to be read and seen by the public, even if that means ignoring copyright by going to The Pirate Bay.
Following a call to arms yesterday, the masses inhabiting the anonymous 4chan boards have carried out a huge assault on a pair of anti-piracy enemies. The website of Aiplex Software, the anti-piracy outfit which has been DDoSing torrent sites recently, is currently down having been DDoS’d. They are joined in the Internet wasteland by the MPAA’s website, also currently under huge and sustained attack.
While most filmmakers shy away from anything remotely related to BitTorrent, Swedish director Stina Bergman has partnered with The Pirate Bay for the release of her latest movie. Today the film, titled “Die Beauty”, debuts in Swedish theaters as well as on The Pirate Bay.
At the behest of Belgian authorities, two weeks ago police around Europe conduced coordinated raids on so-called Warez Scene topsites. Hailed as some of the most important raids of their type in recent memory, the action generated hundreds of headlines. But just how significant were the raids? To find out that, first we should look at how the Scene is organized.
After court cases in Denmark, The Netherlands and Italy, The Pirate Bay is now involved in a legal procedure in Portugal. ACAPOR, a Portuguese organization which represents the interests of local movie rental companies, has filed a complaint with the Portuguese Ministry of Culture to demand Internet providers block customer access to The Pirate Bay.
Boston student Joel Tenenbaum is the poster child of an entire generation of downloaders, and one of the few people to stand up against the RIAA instead of signing off on a settlement. This decision proved to be a costly one for Tenenbaum, who now has to pay $67,500 in damages to the record labels for sharing 7 songs. In an interview he now looks back at recent years.
An indie game developer is doing rather well from approaching things just a little bit differently, and even winning over pirates in the process. Notch, the driving force behind the still-in-alpha game Minecraft, says there’s absolutely no point in fighting the Internet and “the biggest revolution in information flow since the printing press”. Results so far? 155,000 people have purchased a game that isn’t even finished yet.
Two weeks ago we published an article calling for more transparency from gaming companies that use P2P technology to let their users distribute content. In the days after we published the article, one of the major players in P2P game distribution responded to our concerns. According to Akamai, gamers aren’t P2P bandwidth slaves, they just need to read the EULA.
A film director and outspoken opponent of copyright abuses and incoming “3 strikes” legislation has come to the rescue of a file-sharer. Jean-Luc Godard, who is due to receive an honorary Oscar in November, has donated money to a photographer’s legal fund after he was caught with more than 13,000 music tracks and subsequently ordered to pay more than $25,000 damages.
An extensive study into the effect of digitalization on the music industry in Norway has shed an interesting light on the position of artists today, compared to 1999. While the music industry often talks about artists being on the brink of bankruptcy due to illicit file-sharing, the study found that the number of artists as well as their average income has seen a major increase in the last decade.
Burnbit is a new service that allows users to generate a torrent for any file hosted online. It is especially useful for those who want to share large files with multiple people, at great speeds and without consuming too much bandwidth. Because the torrents are linked to a file hosted somewhere online, it will always be accessible and never die out.
The advertising server of The Pirate Bay has been hacked and exploited to spread viruses and trojans among users of the site. The hackers targeted a vulnerability in the site’s software to offload the malicious files, causing sections of The Pirate Bay to be blocked by Google, Firefox and several virus scanners.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Iron Man 2′ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Robin Hood’. ‘The Expendables’ completes the top three.
Anti-piracy outfit AiPlex Software made the news last week when its boss was quoted in the press admitting that his company launched DoS attacks against uncooperative torrent sites. Although the reports and quotes were quite specific, the company is now trying to distance itself from the claims. However, correspondence obtained by TorrentFreak shows another side to these unorthodox Bollywood anti-piracy enforcers.
This week a ruling from Switzerland’s Federal Court said that an anti-piracy company broke privacy laws when they monitored file-sharers and then used the collected data to extract payments from alleged infringers. While some may think this gives a green light to file-sharers, those sharing large amounts of media should think again – the police might just start showing an interest.
At a time where content producers are increasingly using peer-to-peer technology to distribute data, there are still Internet providers that wont allow such traffic on their networks. This type of discrimination is not limited to mobile or cellular networks either. In Ireland, Vodafone users are not permitted to use peer-to-peer services on their broadband connection.
In June 2010, several well known websites that linked to movies and TV shows lost their domain names as the U.S. Government’s ‘Operation in Our Sites’ bared its teeth. But the war against linking sites has been going on for some time, much of it off the mainstream radar, with site owners being hit by negative decisions and damages awards running to millions of dollars.
Today, BitTorrent Inc. officially debuts the BitTorrent Apps platform in a non-Beta client. The company chose the smaller BitTorrent Mainline client over their leading brand uTorrent for the release, giving 14 million users access to their App platform. The question is, however, how big the demand for Apps among BitTorrent users will be.
A notorious Switzerland-based anti-piracy tracking company has to stop harvesting the IP addresses of citizens using P2P networks. The Swiss High Court ruled that IP addresses constitute personal information and when Logistep collected them without the owner’s knowledge, that amounted to a breach of privacy laws. From its eDonkey Razorback beginnings, via France through to yesterday’s conclusion, here is the full story.
Earlier this week Europe’s warez scene was shaken up by multiple raids in Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Germany, Great Britain and several other countries. In the reports that came out, dozens of news sources also linked some leading Bittorrent sites including The Pirate Bay and BTJunkie to the busts. Just to be absolutely clear, these sites were completely unaffected.
The Winnipeg-based law firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP has put in offers to acquire several of the largest BitTorrent sites on behalf of an unnamed client, TorrentFreak has learned. Although the true source behind the offers has not been officially confirmed, all leads point to a familiar name.
Yesterday, police in 14 countries around Europe coordinated in raids against so-called Warez Scene topsites. Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Germany, Great Britain, Czech Republic and Hungary all saw action. With the help of Scene insiders and other sources, today we try to piece together what happened, including which sites were hit and which ones got away.
Police in up to 14 countries around Europe have coordinated to carry out raids against suspected file-sharing servers this morning. Locations in The Netherlands, Czech Republic and Hungary were targeted but Sweden appears to have borne the brunt of the action. Seven locations including PRQ, which hosts WikiLeaks, have been raided.
Last month, outspoken manager of U2 Paul McGuinness penned a piece titled “How to Save The Music Industry”. Among other things, McGuinness suggested that ISPs were unlikely to help the music industry in their battle against illegal file-sharing since they are the ones benefiting from the “multi-billion dollar bonanza” it has generated. UK ISP Entanet are not happy.
According to yet another leaked draft of the highly controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), participating countries will no longer be obliged to impose secondary liability on Internet Service Providers for copyright infringements carried out by their customers. Other harsh measures to counter copyright infringement are still in place.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Robin Hood’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Iron Man 2′. ‘The Expendables’ completes the top three.
In recent years, technical anti-piracy enforcement has taken a less aggressive approach to that previously demonstrated by the infamous MediaDefender. But now, according to a company being hired to protect Bollywood blockbusters, if BitTorrent sites don’t cooperate by taking down torrents when asked, they will have denial of service attacks launched against them and material taken down by force.
Inspired by their flagship site The Pirate Bay, file-sharers across Sweden continue to share files using the BitTorrent protocol largely unhindered and unconcerned by possible legal action. Those that choose to use certain other methods are not quite so safe, as police arrest yet another man for sharing large quantities of files.
The RIAA may have given up on lawsuits targeting P2P users, but other companies have stepped into their shoes. There are many ways to detect P2P users and collect evidence of their behaviors for use in lawsuits. The simplest way needs nothing more than a BitTorrent client.
With over 10 million customers, Netflix is a huge player in the online DVD rental business in the United States. Aside from sending out DVDs by mail, customers can also stream movies directly to a wide variety of devices. Despite these services, there are still plenty of people who cancel their accounts. Just for the record, Netflix wants to know through a survey if they are perhaps ‘pirates’.
Earlier this year BitTorrent Inc. promised they would release a Linux client this summer, and today they are one step closer to achieving that goal. The company just released uTorrent Server for Linux, a daemonizable 32-bit binary of the uTorrent core, suited to those familiar with running programs from the command line. A full Linux client is expected to follow in the coming weeks.
A large scale cyber attack which took down cable, telephone, cellular and satellite networks in Washington for around 15 minutes has been blamed on a female Russian hacker. According to the show Covert Affairs, she is a member of Piratbyrån, the founding group behind The Pirate Bay. The group are somewhat unsuccessfully trying to play down any real-life link to the supposedly fictional claims.
Increasingly, game companies are using peer-to-peer powered solutions to deliver games and updates to their customers. While the use of P2P technology could be beneficial for publishers, consumers, and the image of file-sharing in general, the use of P2P by game companies still lacks transparency, privacy and control. A newly published best practices outline aims to change this.
For those keen to avoid raping and pillaging music from the nearest torrent site, a one-stop shop where unlimited DRM-free music can be bought for next to nothing must be a great attraction. Zaptunes, a new site advertising just that, has been making headlines this week. Trouble is, everything about it is a scam.
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