A few days after LimeWire shut down nearly all alternative file-sharing applications report a massive increase in downloads, most likely from LimeWire refugees. On the one hand the developers of LimeWire’s competitors are pleased with the additional users, but some of them are also slightly worried about what the RIAA’s next move will be.
The first dedicated EZTV app has arrived in the Android Market this week. EZTV Droid is a free Android app that enables users to check for the latest TV-torrents and send the ones they wish to download to uTorrent. EZTV is excited about EZTV Droid and other similar apps and has announced that it will release an API for 3rd party developers in the near future.
Earlier this week we reported on a developer who transformed his anti-piracy platform into a music download site. After an anti-piracy group took down his service two days ago, the dev is threatening to return with movie and TV show downloads, a micro-payment system and the spreading of his product to other operators – all in the name of stopping Internet piracy. Weird story? You bet.
To many people the movie piracy Scene is something mythical or at least hard to comprehend. Who are these people who are the source for the majority of the pirated movies online? In a rare conversation, TorrentFreak had the chance to pick the brain of a former member of one of the world’s largest movie piracy groups, who speaks out about pride, ego, money and the changes that the Scene has gone through in recent years.
As the Ultimate Fighting Championship continues its aggressive anti-piracy stance, it has now stepped up to take another site offline. Following various takedown requests, UFC applied pressure to the host of Wrestle Zone, a site indexing UFC content. Although the site’s German ISP caved in and took the site offline, its owner is utterly defiant and is taunting the UFC with an immediate comeback and a guarantee that he will never submit.
The Social Network tells the dramatized story of the founders of Facebook, the number one social-networking site that was launched in 2004. The film premiered nearly three weeks ago, and since then many BitTorrent users have been waiting for a decent pirated copy to appear online. Yesterday, the waiting was over and tens of thousands of people immediately fired up their torrent clients to grab a leaked DVD Screener of the movie.
A young man, who as a teenager file-shared two music tracks, has finally discovered his fate. After rightsholders demanded damages of 600 euros ($828) the case dragged through the legal system. After nearly five years a court in Germany has just published its decision. It ruled that the damages demands of the rightsholders were excessive and instead ordered the defendant to pay 30 euros ($41.00) damages.
After more than a decade of loyal service, LimeWire was shut down yesterday by a U.S. Court. As LimeWire was one of the world’s most used P2P-applications, the shutdown affected millions of people, mostly casual downloaders. Luckily for them, there are plenty of alternatives and potential replacements former LimeWire users can choose from.
With the introduction of its three-strikes law, France has positioned itself at the forefront of the ‘war on piracy’. Under the new Hadopi legislation, alleged copyright infringers will be hunted down systematically, but not if it’s up to France’s largest torrent site. In a counter-move the Smartorrent team recently launched a VPN service, and nearly 2500 users of the site have already signed up for an account.
The Gnutella-based download client LimeWire has ceased all its operations after a U.S. federal judge granted a request from the RIAA. Limewire was ordered to disable all functionalities in the current application to prevent users from sharing copyrighted material. The verdict is expected to have an unprecedented impact on the P2P file-sharing landscape.
After failing to do business with some of the leading companies in the entertainment sector, a developer has turned from gamekeeper to poacher. As a protest against what he describes as big business support for online piracy, the dev has transformed his anti-piracy system into a pretty snappy music download site and says he won’t turn it off until his demands are met.
A new Internet traffic trends report released by the Canadian broadband management company Sandvine reveals that global P2P traffic is expanding, with BitTorrent as the key player. In North America, more than half of all upstream traffic (53.3%) on an average day can be attributed to P2P. The report further signals some really interesting regional differences in P2P use, such as the dominance of Ares in Latin America.
As authorities, rightsholders and ISPs in Denmark negotiate behind an agreed press blackout over the possible introduction of a 3 strikes-style file-sharing regime, the government is set to commit tax payers’ money to the overall plan. The Ministry of Culture says it will help fund a public anti-piracy campaign and will match any financial contributions made by the entertainment industries and ISPs.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’. ‘Red’ completes the top three.
While the RIAA and file-sharers have been slugging it out in settlement agreements and high-profile legal actions in recent years, at times the voices of the artists themselves have been drowned out. Some, however, have been so loud it has proven impossible to ignore them. Whether they love file-sharing, hate it, or sit happily on the fence, the opinions of artists matter.
Earlier this year book piracy surged after the introduction of the iPad. Although some publishers and authors fear that this will cause their revenues to dwindle, there are plenty of signs that the opposite will happen. This week, comic book writer Steve Lieber said that his sales went through the roof after pirated scans were shared on 4Chan, and he’s not alone.
After warnings this week that retail copies had been stolen from a pressing plant, a leak of Call of Duty: Black Ops, the follow up to last year’s mind-bogglingly successful Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, seemed inevitable. As Activision sends in investigators directly to people with a copy, thousands of people on The Pirate Bay are waiting for a torrent to complete – but is it the real deal?
Next week France will host a European conference on online freedom of expression. The conference is a French-Dutch initiative to draft a code of conduct against Internet censorship. However, a leaked memo makes clear that French President Sarkozy is urging his Minister of Foreign Affairs to turn it into a promotional campaign for the Hadopi anti-piracy legislation instead.
The Walking Dead, a brand new TV-series based on Robert Kirkman’s comic book, premiered on BitTorrent last night. Officially, the first episode is scheduled to be aired on AMC later this month, but unofficially the 90-minute premiere episode is already widely available on file-sharing sites worldwide.
Riding on the back of the hundreds of thousands of letters sent out by lawyers to alleged file-sharers demanding settlement for copyright infringement, scammers now want their piece of the pie. Using emails which appear to come from a known copyright holder represented by legitimate lawyers, recipients are getting a familiar message. Pay us a relatively small amount now, the emails say, or things could get a whole lot worse.
It is almost four years ago that The Pirate Bay announced they wanted to buy the micronation of Sealand, so they could host their site without having to bother about copyright law – an ambitious plan that turned out to be unaffordable. This week, Pirate Parties worldwide started brainstorming about a similarly ambitious plan. Instead of founding their own nation, they want to shoot a torrent site into orbit.
For the last two years the spectre of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA as it’s better known, has loomed large on the horizon. For many the Treaty stands as a threat and is synonymous with corporate control of the man in the street and his creativity. After becoming popular with filesharers through his open letter songs to Lily Allen and Peter Mandelson, today Dan Bull is back with a TorrentFreak interview and his brand new track D.O.A.C.T.A – Death of ACTA.
Most days the news surrounding torrent sites, the scene and piracy is dominated by lawsuits, busts and other negative stories. But every now and then there is a ray of light that brightens the day. Today we bring you the story of a filmmaker who didn’t complain when he saw that his film was being pirated. Instead he helped a scene release group to improve the ripped copy of his DVD.
Following a complaint from a group representing local music and movie companies, prosecutors ordered the takedown of Moldova’s biggest torrent site last week. As the authorities try to work out if any crime has been committed at the 270,000 member TorrentsMD, the entertainment industry group is setting out its terms for a truce with the tracker.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Red’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’. ‘Jonah Hex’ completes the top three.
This year has seen an explosion of companies all trying to cash in on the ‘turn piracy into profit’ mantra. These companies, many of them involving lawyers, are copying other people’s work like crazy – they’re even copying from each other. Today we bring news that one of these companies has taken a Coat of Arms issued by Elizabeth I in 1600, modified it, and used it for their own commercial purposes.
ACAPOR, a Portuguese organization which represents the interests of local movie rental companies, has been defaced by Anonymous as part of Operation Payback. The ACAPOR website currently shows a message from Anonymous and then redirects to The Pirate Bay. To make the shaming complete, a 640 MB email database of the outfit was leaked and posted to The Pirate Bay.
A massive attack on the hosting provider Reality Check Network took down several major BitTorrent sites today. The attack corrupted many servers on the network and at the time of writing TorrentReactor, Vertor and several other torrent sites remain inaccessible. Due to the prolonged downtime, millions of users are having to seek refuge at other torrent sites.
As part of the ongoing slaughter of any institute or company that defends copyright, Anonymous has now taken down the website of the UK Intellectual Property Office. The website of the Government body has been unresponsive for nearly a day after the ‘Operation Payback” attack started yesterday afternoon.
Some of the top web companies in Russia have published an open letter to the entertainment industries demanding that they stop blaming them for Internet piracy. Google, Vkontakte, Mail.ru and two leading search engines say that the responsibility for infringements lies with their users and are asking that legal action be directed at them. They are also urging lawmakers to update an outdated legal framework.
After nearly three weeks, The Pirate Bay appeal comes to an end today but not before the defendants’ lawyers have their final say. All lawyers called for their clients to be acquitted on various grounds, citing a recent Spanish verdict, the UK based TV-links case and referring to the E-commerce directive.
A site run by the MPAA has become the most recent victim of cyber attacks being carried out by Anonymous. CopyProtected.com, a site used to inform on copy protection and DRM on DVD and Blu-ray movie discs, now displays a missive from the anarchic group . After a few seconds it redirects visitors to the homepage of The Pirate Bay.
DtecNet has been one the world’s leading anti-piracy monitoring companies for some time. Utilized extensively by the international music and movie industries to track users on BitTorrent and other file-sharing networks, the company has its base in Denmark. That now appears set to change with news that DtecNet has been sold to US anti-fraud and brand abuse company, MarkMonitor.
Despite being a private community of music fanatics, What.cd operates one of the largest BitTorrent trackers on the Internet. Recently, the site’s users were silently transferred to a new tracker. Named Ocelot, the new and improved tracker is one of the most efficient around and to commemorate its implementation What.cd staff have been telling the complete story of how it came to be.
In the legal battle between Usenet community FTD and Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, some controversial allegations have been made. There are claims that not only did BREIN have as many as 15 undercover investigators working at FTD masquerading as regular users, but one of them – allegedly a direct BREIN employee – actually uploaded a ‘pirate’ movie to Usenet and posted its whereabouts on the site.
Twitter can be a great tool to keep friends and total strangers updated on your life, to gather support for a cause or to pass on interesting content. However, as became apparent yesterday, the micro-blogging service is also an excellent medium for a fight off between people on different sides of the ‘war on piracy’.
After last week’s shock news that police had arrested an individual connected with the Mulve music software, we can now confirm that the grounds – as with the failed OiNK case – are Conspiracy to Defraud. As we try to understand this decision we speak at length with Mulve’s programmer, but his revelations only support the notion that something has gone badly wrong with this investigation. In the meantime, Mulve alternatives are hitting the web.
The Pirate Bay appeal is nearly coming to an end as we enter the 7th day. Today the prosecution has been giving the court its closing arguments. Håkan Roswall, Peter Danowsky, Henrik Pontén and Monique Wadsted all appeared. The prosecution called for jail time and substantial damages to cover the losses the entertainment industries claim to have suffered due to the operations of the world’s most famous torrent site.
Day 6 of The Pirate Bay appeal mostly dealt with the question of whether piracy is doing any financial damage to the music industry. Ludwig Werner of the IFPI and Universal Music’s Per Sundin both claimed it is, while media professor Roger Wallis informed the court that file-sharing is actually beneficial to the artists.
An Internet service provider has won its “3 strikes” legal battle with the music industry. The Irish Recorded Music Association – Warner, Universal, Sony and EMI – had tried to force UPC to disconnect subscribers who they claim had been caught illegally sharing files. UPC refused and today it was announced that the ISP has won its fight.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Jonah Hex’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Machete’. ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’ completes the top three.
For most people BitTorrent is nothing more than a great protocol that assists in transferring large data files from A to B. However, there is a subset of BitTorrent users that has a hard time controlling their download habits, and consequently they disrupt the networks at thousands of ISPs, offices and schools. Luckily, the IT multinational HP has developed a vaccine to treat these poor people.
Following last month’s chaos as police around Europe moved to take apart the higher levels of the so-called Warez Scene, an interesting individual has become entangled in the investigation. In Sweden, a suspicious IP address was linked to an account operated by a “top politician.” Although he has apparently denied any involvement, yesterday a court ordered his computers to be sent for examination.
Drama struck parts of the BitTorrent community last year when the popular DVD ripper aXXo shared his last torrent with his millions of followers. At the height of his stardom aXXo suddenly went silent. Thousands have meanwhile begged for his return, and this week they’re joined by Norwegian musician Binärpilot, who has dedicated a track to aXXo on his latest album.
Last month, a relatively new music downloading application burst onto the scene. Mulve carried no music of its own, but instead allowed users to make their own searches and download material from servers owned by Russia’s biggest social networking site. This week Mulve disappeared unexpectedly but for good reason. Without any warning, the UK police arrested its operator.
In a rare interview session two of the MPAA’s top executives gave an interesting insight into the movie industry’s view on copyright in the digital age and the anti-piracy hunt that accompanies it. The pair say that their organization will continue to fight against copyright infringements, but admit that piracy will never be completely defeated.
The long-running battle between anti-piracy group BREIN and a Usenet community reached a Dutch court room this week. For their part, the FTD newsgroup portal wants the courts to issue a declaration that they operate legally. On the other hand, BREIN insists that publishing the locations of copyright material is illegal and tantamount to directly publishing it. On that basis BREIN is demanding a permanent injunction against FTD’s operations.
During the last week, French Internet users have been starting to receive letters as part of the graduated warning system built in to the controversial Hadopi anti-piracy legislation. The email warnings are being sent by Hadopi via France’s ISPs. But even at this early stage at least one ISP is refusing to forward them to their customers prompting complaints from rivals that they are seeking to achieve a competitive advantage.
After years of secret negotiations the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is as good as finalized. What was once feared to become a treaty that would give unprecedented powers to the global copyright lobby, has been watered down to a few pages of widely interpretable recommendations. First impressions reveal that not much will change with regard to file-sharing.
Just a few days ago we broke the news that the first BitTorrent app had been allowed into Apple’s App Store. The developer managed to get it approved despite Apple’s hatred towards BitTorrent. Unfortunately, the fun was soon over as Apple has already kicked the App from the store. The developer is not giving up that easily and hopes to convince Apple they’re wrong.
It’s Day 5 of The Pirate Bay appeal and in the morning the Court showed video of the previously recorded interrogations of Carl Lundstrom, one of the four defendants. In addition the prosecution brought in simple screenshots as evidence, which painfully exposed their technical incompetence.
The creators of the BitTorrent-only movie The Tunnel are celebrating today. After being refused an IMDb listing on several occasions, the makers wrote an open letter to the Amazon-owned company which was featured in dozens of news articles. Today, the horror movie, which was funded by people buying individual frames of the production, has been accepted into the IMDb databases.
In the High Court today, UK ISPs BT and Plusnet refused to hand over subscriber data to lawyers acting for independent record label, Ministry of Sound. Their objections followed the catastrophic subscriber data leak from ACS:Law two weeks ago. The hearing was adjourned until January 2011.
In recent times, people on the Internet have used a scene from the World War II movie Downfall to help relive difficult events in a light-hearted way. A new clip has just surfaced on the subject of the ACS:Law email leaks and as usual features a power-hungry individual hell-bent on intimidation. Traditionalists need not be disappointed though, as Adolf Hitler makes an appearance too.
It’s Day 4 of The Pirate Bay appeal and almost the entire morning was devoted to the interrogations of Fredrik Neij, one of the four defendants and the only one being asked to answer additional questions. Fredrik talked about how he got involved in The Pirate Bay and what his motivations were to work on the site.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Get Him To The Greek’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Machete’. ‘Predators’ completes the top three.
Today, lawyers Gallant Macmillan will attend the High Court in London in an attempt to persuade a senior judge to order the handover of hundreds more identities of people accused of file-sharing. To mark this occasion, Operation Payback decided to hit the London law firm but after they tried to nullify the planned DDoS attack, Anonymous hit their client instead. Many hours later, Ministry of Sound is still out of business online.
After disgruntled letter recipients mailed off a barrage of complaints to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority against ACS:Law owner Andrew Crossley, he told his advisor that not only did he “feel defeated” but that in his long-term interests it might be better if he “shut up shop”. Doing so, he explained, would bankrupt him.
Supported by a conglomerate of file-sharing sites and applications, the VODO project offers a novel distribution platform for indie filmmakers. The model has already proven itself as all major releases have been downloaded by hundreds of thousands of users. However, to really tap into the core of peer-to-peer distribution, the focus will now shift to peer-to-peer promotion.
Undeterred by the online destruction of ACS:Law, UK lawyers Gallant Macmillan will head off to the High Court on Monday to demand the identities of hundreds more people they claim have been detected sharing files online. While the ISP that holds the identities says it will resist the demand and ask for the hearing to be adjourned, the judge and jury of Operation Payback will pass down their verdict tomorrow, sentencing Gallant Macmillan to a DDoS attack.
Apple is known for the stringent guidelines it applies when deciding which software to allow into their App Store – BitTorrent is one of the things on their ban list. However, one developer who carefully avoided the dirty word “torrent” in the submission process, eventually managed to get a BitTorrent-related App approved by Apple.
After nearly two weeks of DDoS attacks on various anti-piracy law firms and organizations such as the RIAA and MPAA, Operation Payback is still ongoing. In a possibly connected event, a few hours ago the office of the law firm Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver was evacuated by the police after a bomb threat was received. The firm is responsible for suing thousands of BitTorrent users in the United States in recent months.
The Pirate Bay appeal continued this morning with the defense of Carl Lundström. His lawyer argued that his client is not the major financier behind The Pirate Bay as the prosecution would have the court believe. Lundström – the grandson of the founder of the Wasa knäckebröd company – was never involved with The Pirate Bay, his lawyer claimed.
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