A recent study on moral standards and whether some law breaking is socially acceptable has revealed an interesting stance on file-sharing among the public. Of those questioned in the study, 70% said that downloading illicit material from the Internet is acceptable. Three out four, however, felt it was completely unacceptable to then sell that product for profit.
After a brief leave of absence, the famous Denis.Stalker BitTorrent tracker has returned under a new name. Worries about the recent US domain seizures has resulted in the move from a .com domain to that of the well respected hacker group Chaos Computer Club. Meanwhile, The Pirate Bay is offering to reboot the new tracker by adding it to all their newly uploaded torrents.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘The Next Three Days’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘S.W.A.T.: Firefight’. ‘The Mechanic’ completes the top three.
In a case involving the administrator of a BitTorrent tracker this week, a judge felt that punishments should reduce if low quality movies were being shared. On the other hand the plaintiffs argued that since their product was being devalued with poor quality reproduction, compensation should actually increase. In a separate case in Argentina, seven pirates just walked because their copies were poor, and the public knew it.
After seizing back equipment wrongfully seized by Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, the owner of the servers which previously housed a huge warez topsite has spoken out. With claims that BREIN ruined his business, the man from Costa Rica says that the anti-piracy group stole $138,000 of his equipment and hijacked his email accounts. He will now pursue the matter with the police.
When BitTorrent magnets were hyped to become the successor to the plain old .torrent file, the entire BitTorrent community made sure that is was magnet friendly. Despite these efforts, the rest of the web didn’t take note and were left behind. Sharing magnet links with others has thus far been a dreadful experience, but Mgnet.me solves this issue.
TPB-AFK is an upcoming documentary about The Pirate Bay and its founders, expected to be released later this year. To complete the project, Swedish filmmaker Simon Klose has now received over $30,000 in funding from the Swedish Government. This money will be added to the $50,000 that was already donated by peers through a successful Kickstarter project.
Despite an anti-piracy group blundering through an investigation and breaking the law in the process, the administrator of a BitTorrent site has been ordered to pay compensation to rights holders. Jonas Laeborg, the operator of the EliteBits private tracker, was found liable for contributory infringement and ordered to settle to the tune of $18,500.
Two administrators of FileSoup – the longest standing BitTorrent community – had their case dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today. The prosecution relied solely on one-sided evidence provided by the anti-piracy group FACT and was not able to build a case. Following the trial of OiNK BitTorrent tracker operator Alan Ellis, the FileSoup case marks the second where UK-based BitTorrent site operators have walked free.
The movie industry certainly had something to celebrate when it announced 2010′s box office revenues. For the first time in history box office grosses worldwide have surpassed the magic $30 billion mark and revenues are up 8 percent compared to 2009. But it’s not all positive news. Despite their achievements, in a surreal plot twist the MPAA is still calling for tougher legislation and strict enforcement to deal with the ever-looming piracy ghost.
The Federal Court of Australia has dismissed the movie industry’s appeal against a 2010 ruling which found that Internet service provider iiNet is not responsible for copyright infringements carried out by its file-sharing customers. iiNet boss Michael Malone described the decision as a relief while AFACT boss Neil Gane said “it cannot be right” that the ISP takes no responsibility.
The Internet is filled with thousands of BitTorrent sites which all search through databases containing millions of torrent files. Today these sites are joined by a new one – BTDigg. However, unlike more traditional torrent search engines, BTDigg searches through files that are found on BitTorrent’s DHT network, which is rather unique. According to the site’s founders this is a much needed step to further decentralize BitTorrent.
Tomorrow the Federal Court of Australia will hand down a landmark ruling in the trial between Hollywood-backed anti-piracy group AFACT and ISP iiNet. An earlier ruling by Justice Cowdroy went in iiNet’s favor when he decided that Internet service providers could not be held liable for the activities of their customers. Copyright holders, ISPs and subscribers around the world all have their eyes on this one.
uTorrent parent company BitTorrent Inc. has revealed that it’s working on putting together an overview of ISP performances worldwide. Data collected from millions of users will be used to rank Internet providers based on the speed of their network, and will possibly expose those that throttle. Valuable data that’s for sure, but also a situation that triggers worries among paranoid BitTorrent users.
Last month, Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN targeted one of the Internet’s largest warez piracy topsites. The site, known as Swan, was taken down by hosting provider WorldStream and without judicial process BREIN seized its servers. Now the owners of the servers have retaliated by seizing them back and, in a delicious twist, may sue BREIN for breach of privacy and property rights.
In a few days the Oscar winners of 2011 will be announced, including the award for the best movie of last year. Before Hollywood starts to celebrate, 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.
Following their recent legal victory over Usenet portal FTD, anti-piracy group BREIN have been using this momentum to scare even more file-sharing related sites into submission. The Hollywood-linked outfit has just announced that it has forced the closure of a further 11 Usenet-related sites servicing 900,000 members although reports suggest the damage could be even deeper. The question is, however, were they even illegal?
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘S.W.A.T.: Firefight’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Tangled’. ‘Unstoppable’ completes the top three.
Over the past several years many BitTorrent search engines have claimed in court that they’re “just like Google”, another search engine that allows users to find information scattered around the web. All this time Google itself remained silent on the issue, until now. The search giant has involved itself in the MPAA vs. isoHunt case recently, but not completely to the delight of isoHunt’s owner.
In a case that is likely to set guidelines for the punishment of file-sharers in the future, a 26 year-old man from Sweden has escaped his court hearing with little more than a tap on the wrist. After being tracked by the IFPI and accused of making available 44 music tracks on the Internet, the man was taken to court last week. His punishment was a 2000 kronor fine – just $311.
Hotfile, one of the rising stars on the file-hosting scene, appears to be taking a tougher stance on copyright infringement. Perhaps with an eye on the litigation recently instigated by the MPAA, this week Hotfile has been deleting premium accounts – along with all their files – en masse. Furthermore, Hotfile are reportedly not paying out the money these accounts have earned in the site’s rewards program.
For more than 7 years BitComet has been one of the most used BitTorrent clients, but also a piece of software with a doubtful reputation among users of competing clients. Many wild claims have been made against BitComet, with nearly no official response in English from the Chinese development team. Today we play catch up and find out how BitComet came about, what went wrong, and where the client is heading in the future.
The copyright industry has tried the same tricks and rhetoric for well over 500 years, and they are also keen on trying to rewrite history. But the tale of the history books differs sharply from what the copyright industry is trying to paint.
Together with their partners at the International Intellectual Property Alliance, the RIAA has submitted their ‘piracy watchlist’ recommendations to the Office of the US Trade Representative. Canada and Spain are listed as two piracy havens that require urgent attention from the US Government, even though the latter just adopted a US inspired anti-piracy law.
Ten individuals have freely and bizarrely handed over $1,000 each to movie studio Liberty Media in piracy settlements, despite the company having absolutely no idea who they are or if they did anything wrong. Now Liberty have a new amnesty and are offering BitTorrent users the chance to hand themselves in or risk being involved in 36,000 upcoming lawsuits.
Last year, Larry Flynt Publications filed lawsuits against several thousand “John Does” the company accused of illegally sharing its movie “This Ain’t Avatar XXX”. Now, following on from problems it had gaining identities of Does from ISP Time Warner, thousands of cases have been dismissed by a senior judge. The road to gaining settlements from allegedly infringing individuals has just become massively more costly, and the profitable future for these type of projects in general now appears to be in serious doubt.
The US Government has yet again shuttered several domain names this week. The Department of Justice and Homeland Security’s ICE office proudly announced that they had seized domains related to counterfeit goods and child pornography. What they failed to mention, however, is that one of the targeted domains belongs to a free DNS provider, and that 84,000 websites were wrongfully accused of links to child pornography crimes.
Record labels are generally not too fond of BitTorrent. Just a few months ago the RIAA reported several BitTorrent sites as “rogue sites” to the US Government. It therefore comes as quite a surprise that the independent record label Adamant Records is featuring a BitTorrent tutorial on its homepage, right next to the ‘download on iTunes’ links. Why would they do that? Have they gone mad?
Following the publication of a paper which investigates how using the same username across multiple web sites may expose Internet users to scammers, TorrentFreak decided to apply the same research idea to a random sampling of file-sharers, with some eye-opening results.
A group of 26 major record labels have sued the owner of Canadian BitTorrent site isoHunt for allegedly facilitating copyright infringement on a massive scale. Through this lawsuit the labels hope to shut down the isoHunt website while receiving over 4 million dollars in punitive damages to compensate for their claimed losses.
The Goya Awards, Spain’s equivalent to the Academy Awards, have been tainted by controversy stemming from the country’s so-called Sinde anti-piracy law. Alongside egg-throwing and public boos for the eventual Best Actor winner for his support of the legislation, as a protest today, Spanish Film Academy president Alex de la Iglesia will step down.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Tangled’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. ‘Unstoppable’ completes the top three.
Next month the long-awaited Crysis 2 is due for release but perhaps inevitably it’s already been leaked onto the Internet. Although it’s a PC beta version which requires some coaxing to perform, publisher EA has already decried this unofficial release and some gaming blogs have gone into overdrive condemning ‘evil pirates’. But hey, let’s all cool down for a second. Just because people can pirate, doesn’t mean they always do.
Twitter is an excellent medium for world leaders to keep the people informed on their thoughts and actions, but it can also lead to awkward situations. Yesterday evening the Turkish President Abdullah Gül tweeted that he enjoyed watching the Oscar nominated movie ‘The King’s Speech’ at home with his wife. An interesting status update, since the film has not premiered in Turkish theaters yet, nor is it available on DVD anywhere else.
So, this week saw the VIP premiere of Justin Bieber’s new 3D movie, Never Say Never. Unfortunately the glittering event appears to have been overshadowed by countless teenagers who have the nerve to describe themselves as hardcore fans, but are in fact little more than federal criminals who deserve at least 3 years in jail. I blame the parents, and I’m not the only one.
To the mainstream public BitTorrent is best known for its efficient distribution of entertainment, but BitTorrent Inc. and the Khan Academy are showing that it’s an excellent tool to spread education too. The pair have launched an App for the millions of uTorrent and BitTorrent Mainline users that gives them instant access to free educational content.
TorrentReactor.net, listed among the ten most popular torrent sites on the Internet, has won a WIPO domain dispute against the owner of TorrentReactor.com. The latter domain was owned by Craig Pratka, a New York resident who used the domain to drive up revenues at a ‘dubious’ affiliate program. The decision ends a long domain name battle that started back in 2008.
Usenet indexer Newzbin has endured its fair share of ups and downs over the last few years, mainly as a result of its intense legal battle with the major Hollywood studios. Remarkably the site morphed and fought back and now finds itself in the unusual situation of never being asked to remove links to infringing content. Calm before the storm? If so, Newzbin are prepared.
The South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival is one of the largest and most popular in the United States. For the seventh year in a row, SXSW is sharing DRM-free, RIAA-safe songs of performing artists, totalling 4,49 GB so far. All the tracks can now be downloaded for free in one go, thanks to BitTorrent.
A decision to cut BBC Online’s budget by a quarter over the next 2 years with the loss of 360 staff is set to completely wipe out more than 170 websites this year. In an attempt to show just how cheaply this valuable history could be kept alive, a BitTorrent user armed with a sub $4 seedbox has made all of them available in a single torrent.
FTD, one of the largest Usenet communities on the Internet, has lost the legal proceedings it started against Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN. The case, through which FTD hoped to have its operations declared legal, today resulted in a verdict which prohibits community members from talking about ‘locations’ where copyright infringing material can be downloaded.
It isn’t often that a new torrent site comes along and actually manages to impress, but Torrent Butler is certainly one worthy of note. The site offers a wide range of movies, presented in a way that’s quite refreshing and unique. Born out of frustration with “authorized” movie download sites, Torrent Butler may both frighten and inspire the MPAA’s major movie studios.
Yesterday, Judge Birss QC at the Patents County Court delivered his judgment in the copyright infringement hearing which featured ACS:Law, copyright troll client MediaCAT and 27 alleged file-sharers. While Birss was damning of the process from start to finish, some of key issues he raised could have serious implications for the UK’s Digital Economy Act.
With worldwide box-office grosses totalling $274 million since its premiere in August of last year, The Expendables can be classified as a modest blockbuster. The film also did well on file-sharing networks such as BitTorrent, but thus far without any direct revenues. In an attempt to cash in on these unauthorized downloads, the makers of the film stood by an earlier warning and sued 6,500 BitTorrent users in the United States.
Today, despite the apparent closure of both anti-piracy law firm ACS:Law and its copyright troll partner MediaCAT, the Patents Country Court began yet another hearing to announce how more than two dozen previously filed cases should be handled. Judge Birss QC slammed the scheme operated by the pair and denied them the opportunity to drop the cases.
Music royalty outfits are experts at not only gathering funds from anyone who dares to play music in public, but also at generating adverse publicity. Known for pressurizing anyone from charities to the police, their activities are often viewed with disbelief. Now a Belgian TV show has had a closer look at one of them, and ended up paying royalties for a whole host of artists that don’t exist, bathroom equipment and chinese food.
A new study that surfaced last week came to the incomprehensible conclusion that two thirds of all BitTorrent traffic is likely to be related to copyright infringement. Even more shocking, it seemed to suggest that music piracy on public BitTorrent trackers is a thing of the past. But is this really the case? We’re afraid we have to disappoint the music industry once more.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Saw VII’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Tangled’. ‘Unstoppable’ completes the top three.
According to a report from Greek police, one of the country’s most popular Internet forums with hundreds of thousands of members has been closed down following accusations of copyright infringement. In an operation which involved INTERPOL, five individuals were arrested with claims they had made 230,000 euros from advertising and membership fees.
In recent months Google has received dozens of copyright infringement warnings from MPAA-affiliated movies studios. While most of these notices are directed at users of Google’s public Wi-Fi service, a few also appear to be directed at employees at Google’s headquarters. The movie studios are not happy and are warning the search giant that it might get disconnected from the Internet.
As the United States authorities continue with their domain name seizure policy, file-sharing, streaming and link site operators around the world are looking for ways to mitigate this aggressive action. To this end, an Internet engineer and website operator has put together a guide that might just help site owners avoid a whole heap of inconvenience in the future.
The current events in Egypt leave me very uncomfortable. Not the pro-democracy demonstrations — I support that in soul, mind and action — but the fact that the repressive regime is using surveillance technology developed by Western companies, mandated by Western authorities.
Hot on the heels of the recent announcement in court that ACS:Law will stop chasing alleged file-sharers, comes an even more dramatic development. According to a document seen by TorrentFreak, both ACS:Law and their copyright troll client MediaCAT have just completely shut down their businesses. The news comes just days before a senior judge is due to hand down a ruling on the pair’s activities.
Following on from news of the third phase of ‘piracy’ and counterfeit related domain seizures in 7 months, US Senator Ron Wyden has asked the director of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to clarify some of the most pressing questions. If the domain seizures are to continue, the Obama administration has to be more open about the need for them and the process involved, he argues.
A prestigious economics think-tank of the Japanese Government has published a study which concludes that online piracy of anime shows actually increases sales of DVDs. The conclusion stands in sharp contrast with the entertainment industry’s claims that ‘illicit’ downloading is leading to billions of dollars in losses worldwide. It also puts the increased anti-piracy efforts of the anime industry in doubt.
During the past 24 hours the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have seized several domains belonging to major sports streaming sites. While the authorities have not yet officially commented on the actions, there is little doubt that we’re dealing with a “Super Bowl Crackdown”. Whether the actions will have much effect has to be doubted, as the affected sites are continuing on other domains.
Adult media company Perfect 10 has come out all guns blazing in yet another lawsuit adventure. This time it has targeted cyberlocker Megaupload, with claims that the file-hosting giant infringed its copyrights, infringed and damaged its trademarks, and engaged in unfair competition. Perfect 10 demands a jury trial and damages and costs running to millions of dollars.
US authorities have seized the domain of the hugely popular sports streaming and P2P download site Rojadirecta. The site, which is one of the most visited sites on the Internet, lost its .org domain which now redirects to a notice from DOJ/ICE. Rojadirecta is an unusual target because two courts in Spain have ruled that the site operates legally, and other than the .org domain the site has no links to the US.
Last year, an adult movie producer filed suit against 670 individuals who it claimed had infringed copyright on an obscure title. Now the entire case, which was presented by lawyer Evan Stone, has been dismissed. The plaintiffs were scathing about the court-appointed EFF attorneys, describing them as defenders of piracy. The case was dismissed with prejudice, which means that each of the John Doe defendants are completely off the hook.
- December 2013 (19)
- November 2013 (76)
- October 2013 (80)
- September 2013 (86)
- August 2013 (86)
- July 2013 (90)
- June 2013 (87)
- May 2013 (100)
- April 2013 (92)
- March 2013 (78)
- February 2013 (69)
- January 2013 (78)
- December 2012 (77)
- November 2012 (73)
- October 2012 (75)
- September 2012 (66)
- August 2012 (86)
- July 2012 (81)
- June 2012 (89)
- May 2012 (101)
- April 2012 (104)
- March 2012 (88)
- February 2012 (87)
- January 2012 (122)
- December 2011 (82)
- November 2011 (89)
- October 2011 (85)
- September 2011 (94)
- August 2011 (96)
- July 2011 (90)
- June 2011 (100)
- May 2011 (113)
- April 2011 (118)
- March 2011 (95)
- February 2011 (97)
- January 2011 (119)
- December 2010 (66)
- November 2010 (62)
- October 2010 (63)
- September 2010 (64)
- August 2010 (65)
- July 2010 (62)
- June 2010 (60)
- May 2010 (66)
- April 2010 (62)
- March 2010 (60)
- February 2010 (61)
- January 2010 (61)
- December 2009 (71)
- November 2009 (68)
- October 2009 (72)
- September 2009 (67)
- August 2009 (74)
- July 2009 (71)
- June 2009 (73)
- May 2009 (78)
- April 2009 (73)
- March 2009 (73)
- February 2009 (65)
- January 2009 (66)
- December 2008 (66)
- November 2008 (59)
- October 2008 (62)
- September 2008 (63)
- August 2008 (57)
- July 2008 (60)
- June 2008 (50)
- May 2008 (47)
- April 2008 (53)
- March 2008 (60)
- February 2008 (50)
- January 2008 (60)
- December 2007 (55)
- November 2007 (58)
- October 2007 (54)
- September 2007 (41)
- August 2007 (47)
- July 2007 (55)
- June 2007 (40)
- May 2007 (43)
- April 2007 (44)
- March 2007 (50)
- February 2007 (43)
- January 2007 (48)
- December 2006 (55)
- November 2006 (50)
- October 2006 (59)
- September 2006 (56)
- August 2006 (70)
- July 2006 (38)
- June 2006 (53)
- May 2006 (39)
- April 2006 (36)
- March 2006 (44)
- February 2006 (27)
- January 2006 (31)
- December 2005 (39)
- November 2005 (25)