Torrent Stream Magic Player is a brand new add-on that allows users to stream video and music torrents directly in their browser. The Magic Player works with Chrome, Firefox, Opera and supports dozens of popular torrent sites including The Pirate Bay, isoHunt, BTjunkie and EZTV. It’s one of the first solutions to create a true video-on-demand experience directly in the browser.
This week the MPA’s lawyers were in the High Court claiming that Usenet indexing site Newzbin2 costs them millions of pounds due to illegal movie downloads. To this end they want BT to block the site but the ISP is refusing. BT says that by complying it would open the floodgates for hundreds of other site-blocking requests. Now, for the first time this week, Newzbin2′s owners speak out.
Entertainment industry lobby groups often describe file-sharers as thieves who refuse to pay for any type of digital content. But not everyone agrees with this view. Swedish telecom giant Ericsson sees copyright abuse as the underlying cause of the piracy problem. In a brilliant article, Rene Summer, Director of Government and Industry Relations at Ericsson, explains how copyright holders themselves actually breed pirates by clinging to outdated business methods.
A group of music labels currently taking action against The Pirate Bay in Finland have pulled off something anti-piracy groups in other countries have been dreaming of. Following file-sharing complaints filed earlier this year, a court has now issued orders for the ISPs of three subscribers to disconnect them from the Internet.
Movie studio Paramount are adept at sending out cease and desist notices, having engaged in the activity for many years. However, while the vast majority are related to solely digital activities such as the unauthorized distribution of movies and TV shows, a recent takedown notice has a very interesting ‘real-world’ twist – the recreation of a physical object from digital data.
Disconnecting alleged copyright infringers after three warnings is the ideal anti-piracy strategy if we believe the assertions of the entertainment industries. But how effective are such graduated response policies in the eyes of the public? Not very, according to a survey from the UK Internet provider BE Broadband. The survey reveals that only 6 percent of file-sharers will reduce or stop swapping files online.
After LimeWire was shut down last year FrostWire took over as the leading file-sharing application on the Gnutella network. But this didn’t last long. Today FrostWire announces that it will leave Gnutella entirely and focus on BitTorrent instead. This decision may very well signal the end of the once-mighty Gnutella network, while existing BitTorrent networks will only grow stronger.
Last year Hollywood’s Motion Picture Association (MPA) went to court seeking an injunction against UK ISP BT in order to force them to block Newzbin2, the resurrected version of the original Newzbin Usenet indexer. This week the MPA are back at the High Court again as they attempt to force BT to use their child abuse filter to block Newzbin2.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Sucker Punch’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Green Lantern’. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ completes the top three.
Google has pulled one of the most popular torrent download managers from the Android Market because of policy violations. Before Google booted the application, Transdroid had been available for two years and amassed 400,000 users during that time. Thus far Google hasn’t specified what the exact nature of Transdoid’s violations are, but it’s not unlikely that they relate to copyright infringement.
There is nothing new under the sun. When incumbent industries are threatened by a new and disruptive technology, they will use any justification imaginable to kill it in its infancy, trying to convince legislators that their particular special interest is a public interest. It always ends badly.
Earlier this year, member companies of the MPAA filed a lawsuit against the Hotfile file-hosting service and ever since the parties have been back and forth submitting and responding to court papers. Now it seems that the MPAA want Hotfile to hand over just about every piece of data the company holds, from the IP addresses of uploaders and downloaders to the company’s source code.
The administrator of a file-sharing related site has seen his sentence upheld by the Court of Appeal. The man, who was arrested back in 2007, operated a site which didn’t offer links but provided users with hints on keywords which would help them find movies and TV shows. He has received a one year suspended sentence, fined 3,000 euros and ordered to pay 130,000 euros ($185,000) in damages.
MediaGet, an all-in-one BitTorrent client developed in Russia, has become increasingly popular recently. Despite being just one year young the BitTorrent client has already been downloaded more than 18 million times. At the moment the majority of its users come from Ukraine and Russia, but the MediaGet developers have translated the client and are ready to conquer the West.
The uTorrent development team officially released version 3.0 of their popular application today. The milestone release adds many new features including torrent ratings, comments, streaming, and drag-and-drop sharing. One of the main goals is to appeal more to novice BitTorrent users, who often drop out after using uTorrent only once or twice.
A partnership between the RIAA, MPAA and the major ISPs, which would see the latter taking action against infringing customers, has been confirmed. If final agreement is reached – a point believed to be as close as next month – ISPs including AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon will begin taking increasingly severe measures against pirating customers.
Two weeks ago raids and arrests in several European countries took out several prominent websites. Aside from the main target, movie streaming links portal Kino.to, the raids also affected several file-hosting sites including Duckload.com. Despite taking a big hit Duckload is not giving up. Instead, the site has respawned with a full-blown movie streaming site that’s already generating millions of page views a day.
According to a disclosure report, the MPAA spent $400,000 lobbying a wide range of US government departments in the first quarter of 2011 including the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, ICE and the Vice President’s Office. Issues on the table include so-called “rogue sites” including RapidShare, streaming, graduated response (3 strikes) and domain seizures.
Defending the right to run an open wireless network, an accused BitTorrent user has written to a court explaining that his actions do not constitute a crime. The Doe further highlighted how mass-BitTorrent lawsuits are used to harass Internet users based on shoddy evidence. The anti-piracy lawyers in question suspect foul play, and claim the letter was not sent by one of the Does, but by a pro-piracy organization.
Following last year’s failed High Court bid to force an ISP to adopt a 3 strikes-style regime to deal with pirates, the Big Four record labels are set to get their way through a change in the law. If adopted, proposals published yesterday by the Irish government would allow copyright holders to hold ISPs liable for infringements and take out injunctions against them.
The copyright infringement lawsuit filed by FilmOn founder Alki David against CNET’s Download.com has brought to light an interesting fact. In their complaint, plaintiffs allege that CNET profited from copyright infringement as the site was the main distributer of LimeWire. Although CNET’s liability is far from proven, it is certainly worth noting that Warner Music director Shelby Bonnie was also CNET’s CEO at the time LimeWire got sued.
A popular indie zombie-style RPG game has been taken offline due to an unofficial feature made available in a cracked copy. The developers of the game say that they usually turn a blind eye to piracy since it could have benefits for their project, but when pirates keep using their servers to get updates instead of using BitTorrent, they had to make a stand.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Sucker Punch’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘X-Men: First Class’. ’5 Days of War’ completes the top three.
BitTorrent Inc., the makers of uTorrent and the BitTorrent Mainline client, have been sued for infringement of a file-sharing related patent. According to the complaint, the BitTorrent clients infringe on the rights of San Francisco-based company Tranz-Send Broadcasting Network. The company demands compensation and if the court agrees, this case could have a disastrous impact on the BitTorrent landscape.
A hacker working on a jailbreak for Apple’s upcoming iOS 5 says he is considering introducing a very controversial feature. Stefan Esser, known online as i0n1c, says the idea of installing his own DRM in order to block pirate apps is going “ping pong” in his head. The team behind Installous, the world’s largest cracked app repository, informs TorrentFreak this is a very bad idea.
According to a report which has flown almost completely under the radar, last year an ISP sent out around 300 “first strike” warning letters wrongfully accusing innocent subscribers of Internet piracy. ISP Eircom implemented the scheme in partnership with the recording industry and is now being investigated by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner.
For years the music industry has seen P2P technology as the single biggest threat, claiming that file-sharers are responsible for billions of dollars in losses. However, P2P technology is also part of the music industry’s future. One of the major revelations in the music business, the streaming service Spotify, is actually one of the largest file-sharing networks on the Internet.
Have you always wanted to be a BitTorrent tracker admin, but never got the chance because you lack the technical expertise? Then this is your lucky day. With Bitstorm everyone can set up a BitTorrent tracker in just a few seconds since the only requirement is a PHP-enabled hosting account. Just upload a single file to the web server and your very own BitTorrent tracker is fully operational.
Piratetorrents.nu, formerly one of Sweden’s largest private BitTorrent communities, has shut down fearing the authorities may come after them. The abrupt decision comes a few weeks after police in Sweden and Germany raided the XNT.nu BitTorrent tracker and arrested two of the alleged operators of the site.
A new dimension was just added to the ongoing stream of BitTorrent lawsuits in the U.S. A Canadian BitTorrent user has been ordered to pay $60,000 by a U.S. District Court judge. The Calgary resident, who did not defend himself, was ordered to pay the damages for sharing two films on an adult-oriented BitTorrent tracker.
Three weeks ago the 23-year-old UK-based administrator of a TV show and movie links site was arrested by police. The site, referred to only as TVShack, could be one of three domains of which two are already controlled by the US government after their seizure as part of Operation in Our Sites. Following his detention in the UK’s largest prison, the admin is now fighting his extradition to the U.S. with the help of Gary McKinnon’s lawyer.
In the last year thousands of alleged copyright infringers have fallen prey to the dubious litigation practices of a handful of lawyers. Many of the accused are not guilty, but the cleverly constructed scheme leads them to believe that they have no other option than to pay up. One desperate defendant is now threatened with a $150,00 fine for allegedly downloading an adult film concealed as classical music.
Prominent sports streaming site Rojadirecta has asked a U.S. judge to return its domain names. The company behind the site, Puerto 80, said that its property was wrongfully taken during the third phase of ICE and Homeland Security’s ‘Operation in Our Sites’, an action which has severely damaged its legitimate business.
Earlier this year Google launched a piracy blacklist and began filtering keywords from its Instant and Autocomplete services. A necessary measure to counter online copyright infringement according to the search giant, but not everyone agrees. To partially undo Google’s censorship efforts, the “MAFIAA Fire” team has now released the “Gee! No evil!” Firefox add-on.
Last Monday, Sydney Morning Herald published an article in which they quoted Australian anti-piracy group MIPI saying that although they support “mitigation measures” for dealing with alleged file-sharers, “such measures would not include termination of internet accounts.” In a new press release, MIPI have accused Sydney Morning Herald of publishing misleading information. Not so, say SMH.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘X-Men: First Class’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Unknown’. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ completes the top three.
While the rest of the world enjoys the latest theatrical releases, for the foreseeable future the Hungarian public will be subjected to a Hollywood-enforced time delay and a ban on midnight screenings. The action is in response to the discovery that a string of cammed blockbusters turning up on the Internet originated from cinemas in Hungary.
The past few years has seen a development that may look like the tables have turned completely with respect for the law. The people who are upholding the law and guaranteeing our fundamental rights are hunted activists. They are defending our law-written rights against none other than law enforcement. Who’s the police these days, anyway, and who’s the crook?
This week’s raids against Kino.to led to many arrests and the rapid disappearance of many cyberlocker services, including Duckload.com. As an uploader to Kino.to reveals how he worked with the site, Anonymous have added more chaos to the mix by DDoSing the Hollywood-backed anti-piracy group responsible for the raid.
GroupM, one of the world’s leading advertising companies, has compiled a blacklist of more than 2,000 URLs in an attempt to prevent its clients’ ads from appearing on pirate websites. The blacklist includes many of the usual suspects such as The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents, but it also features many perfectly legitimate websites including Archive.org and BitTorrent Inc’s site.
A pair of lawyers who were responsible for the introduction of so-called Speculative Invoicing into the UK, have both been found guilty of professional misconduct by a tribunal. Among other charges, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found that the pair from law firm Davenport Lyons knowingly targeted innocent people. They now face a range of sanctions from monetary penalties through to being disbarred.
As copyright cases pile up at various U.S. courts, anti-piracy lawyers are getting more bold with their demands for money and information. In one case at the District Court of Northern California, copyright holders are demanding the personal details of all members of a video streaming site. In their defense, the website’s owners referenced a recent TorrentFreak article, which the copyright holder’s lawyer incorrectly characterized as a “myriad of lies.”
In what appears to be a memo sent to ISPs by the regulator of Internet industries in Malaysia, all service providers have been ordered to completely block various file-sharing sites including The Pirate Bay, MegaVideo and other hosting services. The move follows an April statement by the country’s Prime Minister in which he promised his administration would never censor the Internet.
Europe just witnessed one of the largest piracy-related busts in history with the raid of the popular movie streaming portal Kino.to. More than a dozen people connected to the site were arrested after police officers in Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands raided several residential addresses and data centers. Kino.to hosted no illicit content itself, but indexed material stored on file-hosters and other streaming services.
During the last 24 hours Homeland Security seized another domain and put up the copyright infringement notice but now a quite unusual picture is forming. Allegedly an anti-vaccine blogger and claimed “batshit” conspiracy theorist with plenty of enemies had his server hacked and filled with illegal material. This appears to have resulted in his domain being seized for copyright infringement.
Earlier this year Google started censoring various ‘piracy-related’ keywords from its Instant and Autocomplete services, and this list of forbidden words was updated recently. Although Google understand that there is no silver bullet that can stop online copyright infringement, the search giant told TorrentFreak that the steps they’ve taken could help to decrease piracy.
Over the last year a handful of lawyers have sued close to two hundred thousand alleged BitTorrent users in the United States. Many of these cases were launched by so-called “copyright trolls” who have re-engineered piracy into a healthy revenue stream. Today, we reveal a critical part of this legal bullying by taking a closer look at a settlement proposal sent out by John Steele, one of the most active anti-piracy lawyers around.
In the wake of the UN report which described disconnecting citizens from the Internet as a breach of human rights, an anti-piracy group has made a somewhat surprising statement. Music Industry Piracy Investigations, which acts for dozens of labels including the Big Four, today said that while they support measures for dealing with infringement, that does not include “termination of Internet accounts.”
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘The Hangover II’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Unknown’. ‘Hall Pass’ completes the top three.
For years the top record label executives have been claiming that it’s impossible to compete with free, but YouTube is proving them wrong. With billions of views every month the major record labels are making millions by sharing their music for free. For many people YouTube takes away the incentive to ‘pirate,’ but at the same time it may also cannibalise legal music sales.
With the annihilation of Grokster in the middle of the last decade and the recent destruction and humiliation of LimeWire, one might have thought that all prospective file-sharing developers would be proceeding with caution. Not so. In fact, some are painting big targets on their chests with “Sue Me!” right in the middle. Coding geniuses, it’s time to get smart.
Forecasts from Cisco’s Visual Networking Index reveal that global file-sharing traffic is predicted to grow to nearly 14 exabytes per month by 2015. According to the predictions most growth will occur in Latin America, and both Central and Eastern Europe. Least growth is expected in Western Europe.
According to a report set to be adopted today by the UN’s Human Rights Council, anti-filesharing provisions such as those outlined in the UK’s Digital Economy Act are disproportionate and should be repealed. The provisions, which include disconnecting Internet users for violating the rights of the music and movie industries, breach human rights, the report concludes.
In a time where BitTorrent users are increasingly concerned about their privacy, BitComet has added a long-awaited feature to its BitTorrent client. Originally intended to speed up downloads of users with limited upload capacity, BitComet’s VIP service now adds support for fully anonymous downloads to prevent outsiders from monitoring users’ transfers.
A French Court of Appeal has just upheld the sentencing of an administrator of two BitTorrent-related sites. Despite no evidence being presented that money was made from the sites through advertising as claimed – or even that any infringements had occurred – the admin now faces a $29,000 payout. Bizarrely, the Court decided that having the word ‘torrent’ in his sites’ URLs showed that he knew about infringements.
Starting last year U.S. courts have been bombarded with lawsuits against tens of thousands of file-sharers. Among the copyright holders claiming damages are a few well-known names, but the vast majority of the cases concern more obscure content. As time passes by more and more copyright trolls join in, and in some cases copyright holders are now suing people for files that were deliberately mislabeled, lulling unsuspecting individuals in.
As the United States recoils in horror at the rapid acceleration of so-called ‘speculative invoicing’ schemes designed to force cash from alleged file-sharers, over in Europe the Germans are showing how it’s really done. According to information published by Germany’s Internet industry association, rightsholders there are targeting 300,000 alleged file-sharers every month – a staggering 3.6 million a year.
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