In an attempt to prevent pirates from downloading their latest movie Singham, Reliance Entertainment came up with a rather unconventional anti-piracy strategy. The company managed to obtain a so-called John Doe order from the Indian High Court, which they are now sending to various torrent sites that could potentially link to a pirated version of the movie.
The basis of copyright law is individuality and creativity. Yet ever increasing computing power and storage space could mean that in just a few short years, computing could throw copyright into chaos.
The administrator of a growing private BitTorrent tracker is reporting that he has been raided by the authorities. The admin of XtremeSpeeds says that he was questioned on suspicion of being involved with leading P2P release group IMAGiNE. While the investigation is underway, XtremeSpeeds will remain offline.
Have you ever wanted to share terabytes of data in public, or just a few gigabytes with a select group of friends? With Diglo you can, totally free. The site is a mashup between a social network, a file-hosting site and a media search engine, allowing its users to share, search and download files all in one place.
In a deliberately provocative move the Czech Pirate Party has launched not one but two movie download portals. The sites, which offer links but don’t host any infringing material themselves, are being launched to protest the plight of a high school student facing a 5 million euro damages claim for linking to copyright works.
Starting in two weeks, Fox will no longer offer free access to its TV-shows the day after they air on television. For TV-fans the decision to limit the availability of these show is a step backward, and all the signs indicate that TV-show piracy will once again surge in the United States. But whether Fox will care much about this piracy increase remains to be seen.
Following a hearing in London’s High Court, leading UK ISP BT will be forced to block subscriber access to Usenet indexing site Newzbin2. Under the banner of the MPA, the leading Hollywood studios successfully argued that by letting the site continue unabated their interests would be severely damaged. The decision, the first of its kind in the UK, increases the pressure on other ISPs.
Anti-piracy lawyer John Steele is without doubt one of the most active proponents of the pay-up-or-else settlement scheme in the United States. In less than a year he filed more than 80 mass-lawsuits for his clients, targeting thousands of alleged BitTorrent users. Nevertheless it appears that Steele himself can be awarded the pirate label, since he’s blatantly ripped of the work of a competitor.
A woman has been left shocked by a settlement letter demanding 6,000 euros after her connection was used for 10 minutes of unauthorized file-sharing. She insists that anti-piracy group TTVK (CIAPC), who are currently trying to get The Pirate Bay blocked in Finland, are refusing to listen to her pleas.
The Florida-based file-hosting service Hotfile intends to file a lawsuit against Warner Bros. for abusing its anti-piracy tool. Hotfile claims that Warner Bros. deleted files from the file-hosting service to which it didn’t hold the copyrights. In addition, the movie studio allegedly deleted files from Hotfile without verifying the contents.
Delivering his keynote address at this week’s annual CA Expo in Sydney, former Google CIO Douglas C Merrill added to the growing belief that punishing and demonizing file-sharers is a bad idea. Merrill, who after his Google stint joined EMI records, revealed that his profiling research at the label found that LimeWire pirates were iTunes’ biggest customers.
In their ongoing battle with file-hosting service Hotfile, five MPAA studios have asked the court to disallow Hotfile access to information on their anti-piracy strategies. While drawing an analogy between copyright infringement and drug trafficking, the MPAA studios ask the court to handle their anti-piracy documents as trade secrets to prevent ‘pirates’ from getting even more sophisticated than they already are.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Source Code’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘X-Men First Class’. ‘The Veteran’ completes the top three.
Two reports on the copyright monopoly have caught my attention this week. The first expresses angry disbelief at the fact that people will still pirate to a large extent, even if the price per copy is under one dollar. The other is a deep research report into why people ignore the copyright monopoly. Short answer: because it is human nature to share.
According to an announcement by IFPI, online payment provider PayPal has agreed to help strangle the finances of sites offering unauthorized music. While it appears that the initial targets are Russian and Ukrainian MP3 services, the deal will also be of concern to torrent sites that rely on PayPal to accept site donations.
A federal court has slashed the verdict in an infamous file-sharing case from $1.5 million to ‘just’ $54,000. U.S. District Judge Michael Davis branded an earlier jury decision in favor of the RIAA and against Jammie Thomas-Rasset as “appalling.” Judge Davis has now overruled a jury three times in this case. The RIAA are reportedly unhappy with the verdict and are considering their options.
Since 2010 close to 200,000 people in the U.S. have been sued for sharing movies via BitTorrent. For the copyright holders and lawyers these cases are already highly profitable. However, some are testing a new and potentially more effective tactic to pursue alleged copyright infringers which could signal the beginning of a new avalanche of settlements.
Back in March the Russian Justice Ministry turned down the Pirate Party’s attempt to officially register. The decision was made because the authorities feel that the word ‘pirate’ could be connected with criminal acts. Now a Moscow judge has backed that decision, leading the party to decide on a new name.
With more than 300,000 tracks and 50,000 albums published since its inception, the music publishing website Jamendo holds one the greatest libraries of free music online. A great success story that is in part powered by BitTorrent. From the start the site embraced P2P downloads to save resources and because artists and fans appreciated it.
According to growing reports coming out of India, users of several large Internet service providers can no longer access some of the world’s largest file-hosting sites. On apparent order from the Indian government, RapidShare, MegaUpload, MediaFile, HotFile and many more are all being blocked at the ISP level.
A London-based music label and a German music magazine are having an escalating high-profile row over two leaked albums. Ninja Tunes have publicly accused Backspin magazine of leaking promos sent to them earlier this month, accusations the magazine aggressively denies. So who leaked what and when? TorrentFreak takes a look.
A 15 year-old from Sweden is facing prosecution after sharing copyright files online. The boy was deemed to have shared movies owned by so-far unnamed “international” film companies. While his alleged actions are clearly illegal, this kind of legal action against a teenager makes little sense and is a PR failure ready to happen.
In June, police across several countries raided the operators of streaming video links portal Kino.to. This massive operation was one of the largest of its type and site admins and users alike were branded as enemies of the TV and movie business. However, it now appears that in respect of the latter group, the opposite was found to be true.
Last week the Italian authorities moved against the general purpose proxy site proxyitalia.com because it could be used by Italians to access BTjunkie and The Pirate Bay. Their goal was to prevent Italians from secretly accessing these torrent sites, but this plan backfired. BTjunkie’s owner quickly launched a new proxy, one that will be much harder to crack. This time the Italian authorities have to censor Google’s App Engine to stop it.
The ‘religious’ comedy Salvation Boulevard premiered in movie theaters last Friday, but not everyone appreciates the film’s humor. The Church of God has sued Sony Pictures, IFC Films and Comcast for infringing the copyright of the church’s logo, and is praying to stop the film’s distribution. In addition the church demands financial compensation for the substantial and irreparable harm the infringements have caused.
A High Court judge who handed down an injunction in 2009 ordering an ISP to block The Pirate Bay says he was threatened by “cyber-terrorists” over his decision. Mr Justice Charlton claims that hackers threatened to steal his credit card details, plant child porn on his computer, and send call girls to his home along with mountains of pizza.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Source Code’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘X-Men First Class’. ‘Ironclad’ completes the top three.
An organization which claims to protect the rights of Indie labels across 25 different countries is squeezing what is left of LimeWire for millions of dollars. Merlin BV, which represents more than 12,000 indie labels worldwide, is suing LimeWire and owner Mark Gorton after the company failed to pay compensation following its May 2011 out-of-court settlement with the RIAA.
Previously, representatives from the Finnish music industry filed a lawsuit against Elisa, one of the country’s largest ISPs, demanding that it should block subscriber access to The Pirate Bay. In a reply filed at the district court, Elisa has refused to comply, describing the blocking demands as “unreasonable.”
Italy is taking its crusade against BitTorrent sites to an unprecedented level. The authorities have moved against the general purpose proxy site proxyitalia.com because it could be used by Italians to access BTjunkie and The Pirate Bay. Following this logic they will also have to censor thousands of other proxy sites and ban all VPN services, or shut down the Internet entirely.
The uTorrent team is working on a paid version of the leading BitTorrent client that will enable users to convert videos and transfer files to external devices. Branded uTorrent Plus, the extended uTorrent client will be be released to the public this coming fall. uTorrent’s parent company BitTorrent Inc. hopes the Plus version will bring in some extra revenue, but considering the target audience it is expected to ‘suffer’ from piracy as well.
As the mass-BitTorrent lawsuits continue to pile up in U.S. courts, more stories of what appear to be wrongfully accused persons hit mainstream media. A 70 year-old retired widow from San Francisco falls into this category. The grandma was recently ‘caught’ sharing porn on BitTorrent and was offered a $3,400 settlement, or the option to risk a $150,000 fine in a full court case.
Lawyers defending a file-sharing site say a new legal victory provides final confirmation that sites providing links to copyright works act lawfully in Spain. In a complaint filed during 2009, SGAE claimed that Index-web.com violated its rights but in yet another blow to the music rights group and Spain’s Ley Sinde anti-filesharing law, this week a court disagreed.
Starting October last year French Internet users have been receiving letters as part of the three-strikes system built-in to the controversial Hadopi anti-piracy legislation. This week the agency responsible for the warnings gave out details on the scope of the operation. In the last 9 months 18 Million file-sharers were tracked, but due to limited capacity ‘only’ 470,000 warnings were sent out to first-time offenders.
A criminal investigation has been launched against two prominent Italian Internet providers because they allowed their customers to access the BitTorrent site BTjunkie. The ISPs are suspected of aiding and abetting online copyright infringement, after they ignored a court order to block subscriber access to the popular BitTorrent search engine.
Following an ultimatum set by AFACT, Australian ISPs have until the close of business today to comply with veiled threats from the big Hollywood studios to help them tackle online piracy, or else. As one ISP confirms it won’t respond to threats, another is trying to form a coalition to fend off the movie companies. Pirate Party Australia describes the moves by Hollywood as “extortion”.
January this year Google started censoring various ‘piracy-related’ keywords from two widely-used search services. According to Google, the anti-piracy filter is an attempt to curb online copyright infringement. Although the actual search results are not affected, a look at the search volumes reveals that the number of people searching for the censored keywords has indeed dropped significantly.
As part of Operation in Our Sites, in mid-2010 the US government seized the domain name of TVShack.net. The site was operated by 23-year-old UK-based student Richard O’Dwyer who is now subject to extradition proceedings. Today his mother speaks out, detailing the trauma the family is going through and asking that people help Richard by signing a petition in the hope that he can face justice at home, not thousands of miles away across the Atlantic.
Under the banner of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, the big Hollywood studios are flexing their muscles down-under. If the latest rhetoric is to be believed, the country’s ISPs have less than 48 hours to commit to talks on a graduated response system to tackle illicit downloads. Failure to comply, they warn, will result in yet more legal action of the type being suffered by iiNet.
Today the European Commission published the responses to a public consultation on Europe’s anti-piracy directive IPRED. As expected, there is a huge divide between the copyright holders on the one hand, and Internet providers, academics and citizens on the other. The latter fiercely oppose the draconian measures that IPRED introduces, claiming it threatens basic human rights while stifling innovation.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Source Code’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Sucker Punch’. ‘X-Men First Class’ completes the top three.
Since 2010 a group of self-confessed pirates have attempted to get their newly-founded religion accepted by the authorities. The Church of Kopimism, which currently has close to 1,000 members, hope that official recognition of their values would make them immune from prosecution. However, the Swedish authorities have denied the request for the second time in succession.
“Child pornography is great,” the man said enthusiastically. “Politicians do not understand file sharing, but they understand child pornography, and they want to filter that to score points with the public. Once we get them to filter child pornography, we can get them to extend the block to file sharing.”
Everyone’s favorite anti-piracy outfit is facing a battle for its very identity today. Web Sheriff, the company best known for its softly-softly approach, has discovered that a company thousands of miles away is using the same name as them. But rather than send a cheeky takedown request as usual, Web Sheriff has launched an “intercontinental legal attack.” It’s the Cuban missile crisis all over again, but with sheriffs.
For years BitTorrent sites have remained untouched by the RIAA’s legal battles, but recent court filings indicate that this may change. After settling their dispute with LimeWire earlier this year the RIAA is now targeting several BitTorrent indexers. The record industry group has filed a complaint at the U.S. District Court of Columbia and has obtained subpoenas to reveal the identities of individuals behind three large torrent sites.
A breakthrough coalition of the MPAA, RIAA and other copyright holders have signed an agreement with AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon to curb piracy. Under the agreement the ISPs agree to send “copyright alerts” to subscribers whose Internet connections are used for copyright infringement. Repeated offenders will not be disconnected from the Internet, but could be slowed down instead.
The IFPI in Switzerland are currently battling through a crisis, one which has brought them unwanted scrutiny from tax authorities. Allegations of tax fraud were levelled at the music group when it was revealed that a connected company obtained a tax reduction of more than 316,000 euros after IFPI supplied two employees. In the wake of the claims, the CEO of IFPI Switzerland has resigned.
Researchers from the Tribler project at Delft University of Technology are proposing a new set of rules that should significantly improve the download speeds of many BitTorrent users. The new “Superior Seeding Standard” implemented in the latest release of the Tribler BitTorrent client is inspired by the ratio-enforcement policies at private tracker communities, but doesn’t discriminate against people with low bandwidth connections.
As US authorities continue with Operation in Our Sites, putting pressure on file-sharing services and seizing their domains, for some it is all to easy to champion a heroic fight back against these “forces of evil”. But for the admins of one site targeted by ICE and DHS, the thought of being extradited to the US is a step too far. What started off as fun was turning into something else. Today they announce that “enough is enough.”
In May, FilmOn founder Alki David and a group of artists sued CNET’s Download.com and parent company CBS. The copyright holders accused the CBS-owned websites of several copyright-related offenses for their role in distributing LimeWire and other P2P software. This week the artists dropped their case, threatening to replace it with an even bigger case in the near future.
Under Italian government legislation, telecommunications agency AGCOM will have to take responsibility for dealing with Internet content deemed illicit by entertainment companies. To that end, AGCOM is about to give itself the power to remove content and block websites without the need for any legal process. According to free software guru Richard Stallman, Italians should use “what’s left of their democracy” to oppose such measures.
At the beginning of 2011 two administrators of FileSoup – the longest standing BitTorrent community – had their case dropped by the authorities and were free men once again. But that was not the end of the story for one of the admins. In his quest for justice, Steve Lanning appealed the unsatisfactory police investigation by filing more than 50 complaints, and is claiming that the police are covering up many mistakes.
Last month it was revealed that the UK-based admin of TVShack.net is fighting an extradition request filed by the US government. The site’s domain was seized as part of Operation in Our Sites but according to new comments from ICE, more individuals could now be sought by US authorities. Cutting through jurisdictional issues, ICE say they only need to show one thing to seek extradition of an admin – that his or her ‘pirate’ site has a .COM or .NET domain.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Sucker Punch’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Bridesmaids’. ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ completes the top three.
In a massive operation, Spanish music rights and anti-piracy groups SGAE and SDAE have been raided by more than 50 police officers and tax officials. Operation Saga is the culmination of a two-year investigation into embezzlement, fraud, and misappropriation of funds, the latter connected to SGAE and SDAE collecting money on behalf of artists and spending it with companies they have interests in. The president of SGAE was among 9 people arrested.
When Bram Cohen first revealed BitTorrent on a public message board on July 2nd 2001, he never imagined it would quickly become one of the main generators of Internet traffic. Now, exactly a decade later, BitTorrent is used by hundreds of million of people worldwide. To celebrate BitTorrent’s 10th anniversary, Bram Cohen joins us to look back at the past and ahead to the future.
The BitTorrent-powered VODO network has released what is arguably its highest-quality film to date. ‘A Lonely Place For Dying’, with Hollywood star James Cromwell as Executive Producer, prefers the BitTorrent community over Hollywood’s own funding mechanisms and debuts online before making its way to various movie theaters. A new distribution model is born.
A man from Scotland has become the first in the country to be convicted of an offense related to the unauthorized recording of movies in a cinema. The 25-year-old recorded several films with a mobile phone secured within a Heath Robinson-style cloth enclosure and, crucially, got caught uploading them to the Internet for profit.
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