Just as quickly as one file-sharing solution bites the dust, another steps in to take its place. In the wake of LimeWire’s demise we take a look at Groovejaar, a downloading software client which takes the only real weakness of streaming music service Grooveshark and turns it into its strength – fully downloadable high-quality MP3s in an instant.
A 70-year-old retired widow from San Francisco who was accused of sharing a porn movie on BitTorrent has seen the case against her dropped. The woman, who went to the press after being threatened by a notorious anti-piracy law firm, was told that they targeted her by mistake. In what appears to be an attempt at diverting attention away from the damaging and embarrassing truth, the law firm claims it has now found the ‘real’ infringer.
A schoolboy sent to trial for sharing movies on two BitTorrent sites has been acquitted by a court. The 15-year-old, who said he only ever intended to download and not distribute, was cleared of all charges following a hearing. However, as is so often the case in copyright issues, the story won’t end here.
In their ongoing battle with the MPAA, the Florida-based file-hosting service Hotfile has suffered a major loss. A federal court has ordered Hotfile to disclose user data, the identities and revenues of their top affiliates, and financial information on the company itself. District Court Judge Adalberto Jordan argued that the MPAA needs this info to prove that Hotfile is promoting and profiting from copyright infringement.
The Pirate Bay founders have launched a new file-sharing platform today. After leaving the world famous torrent site, two of the original founders are now back with a one-click file-hosting service called Bayfiles. Although Hollywood wont be cheering them on, unlike The Pirate Bay the new service is dedicated to respecting copyrights while offering its users a great platform to store and share files.
A film studio is taking extreme steps to try and stop its latest movie from being pirated online. Reliance Entertainment has obtained a court order which restrains thousands of ISPs and websites from making available their film Bodyguard, a move which the company believes will reduce piracy by 60%. A similar but less broad effort last month is reported to have cut file-sharing by 40%.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Fast Five’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’. ‘Thor’ completes the top three.
Over the last two weeks, two interesting copyright-related stories have appeared in online news reports. Both involve big media companies and small users, but not in the way we usually expect. In both instances, the large media companies “pirated” content instead of the users, and they seem to get away with it. This begs the question; is copyright only for the Big Guys?
BitTorrent is no longer the dominant player when it comes to file-sharing on the Internet. The five largest English language websites dedicated to swapping files are all related to centralized file-hosting services, also known as cyberlockers. The Pirate Bay and Torrentz are the only BitTorrent sites that managed to secure a spot in the top 10.
A common recurring theme in the comments here on TorrentFreak is that P2P file-sharing is ‘stealing’. While such sentiments are often expressed by the industry lobby groups, it’s completely at odds with the law. It could also be the very LAST thing those bodies want.
When tens of thousands of people are sued for alleged copyright infringement all at once, there are bound to be some unfortunate targets and plenty of collateral damage. Earlier this year an adult movie studio sued a blind man and now the makers of The Hurt Locker have taken it one step further – by sending their lawyers after a dead person.
The world’s largest recording labels have joined forces in Japan to sue a site which enables users to download material from YouTube. Universal, EMI, Sony, Warner and more than 25 other labels are seeking almost $3 million in damages and the closure of TubeFire, a site which converts the streaming-only experience of YouTube into music and videos to be enjoyed on any device, anytime.
The ever-growing avalanche of lawsuits against BitTorrent users in the United States may have reached a turning point. The makers of The Expendables have voluntarily dismissed their case against 23,322 alleged BitTorrent users who they accused of illegally downloading and sharing their film. This means that the once-largest BitTorrent lawsuit ever is finally over, and it could signal the beginning of the end for the entire scheme.
A man has been arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations agents in connection with streaming live sporting events over the Internet. The 19-year-old allegedly ran HQ-Streams.com and HQ-Streams.net, domains that were previously seized by ICE as part of Operation in Our Sites.
The U.S. Copyright Group has sued more than 100,000 alleged BitTorrent users since last year. But, a recent filing in a U.S. class action lawsuit filed against the group shows that these cases may be built on shoddy evidence. It cites a German court ruling where the company responsible for providing the evidence could not prove that defendants actually shared any files. In addition there was evidence of a pirate honeypot.
A 15 year-old schoolboy with a taste for BitTorrent went to trial yesterday after downloading and sharing 24 Hollywood movies. The case, however, has a worrying twist. Rather than being hunted down online by an anti-piracy company, the teenager was turned over to the police by the head teacher at his school. The prosecutor says he had no choice but to take action.
The music storage locker service MP3tunes has scored a big win in its lengthy battle against EMI. U.S. District Judge William Pauley ruled that MP3tunes did not promote copyright infringement and that the service qualifies for “safe harbor” protection under the DMCA. The landmark verdict is good news for other cloud storage services offered by Dropbox, Grooveshark and Amazon.
In July a federal court slashed the verdict in the infamous RIAA v Jamie Thomas file-sharing case from $1.5 million to ‘just’ $54,000. The RIAA were said to be unhappy with the verdict and now just a month later they have confirmed their appeal. The music industry group are appealing on three grounds. If successful the case could go to a third trial.
While most BitTorrent users are happy to carry out their hobby with just a client and their favorite torrent site, there are ways to enhance that basic experience. Today we take a look at some online resources and lesser-known addons and extensions that make using BitTorrent Magnet links that little bit more easy and accessible.
It’s been a week since Fox stopped offering free access to its TV-shows the day after they air on television. The TV-studio took this drastic step in the hope of getting more people to watch their shows live and thus make more revenue. TV-viewers, however, are outraged by the decision and have massively turned to pirated sources to watch their favorite shows.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Fast Five’. ‘Bad Teacher’ completes the top three.
I live in Stockholm, Sweden. A hundred years ago, one of the largest employers in the city was a company named Stockholm Ice. Their business was as straightforward as it was necessary: help keep perishable food edible for longer by distributing cold in a portable format.
Despite many crackdowns over the years, camcorder piracy is still alive and bringing the latest blockbusters to the masses. What is perhaps less well-known is that this is not a new phenomenon. There are documented instances of camming dating back to just after World War I. Cammers in 1920 were as cunning as their modern-day counterparts and had to contend with surprisingly sophisticated anti-piracy measures.
With the elections for the Berlin state parliament just four weeks away, the German Pirate Party is on course to an impressive election win. A recent poll shows that support for the Pirate Party is growing, and with 4.5 percent of the votes the pirates are getting close to the minimum 5 percent needed to enter parliament with several seats.
PROTECT IP, the U.S. government’s legislation to target individuals and domains connected with allegations of copyright infringement, is set to cost millions of dollars to enforce. According to a Congressional Budget Office estimate, PROTECT IP – which is designed to benefit US-based entertainment companies – will cost the taxpayer a cool $47m between 2012 and 2016.
As part of an investigation the RIAA has filed a declaration at a federal court in California to obtain the personal details of one of YouTube’s users. Through the legal action against YouTube, the RIAA hopes to find out more about the person who uploaded a recording of Britney Spears’ concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.
A computer worm originally targeted at members of social networks has been updated to spread using BitTorrent. Known as Koobface, the malware uses compromised computers to build a peer-to-peer botnet and was originally spread via Facebook messages that linked to its code. Now its developers have given it the ability to obtain and distribute its payload using BitTorrent. But don’t panic…..
A new report published by Northwestern University and Telefónica Research discovered some BitTorrent trends worth sharing. During a 2-year period the researchers monitored an unprecedented sample of 500,000 people in 169 countries. Aside from showing that BitTorrent users download more and more data, the report also finds that large ISPs including Comcast are actually making money off BitTorrent traffic.
BitTorrent Inc. just confirmed to TorrentFreak that their popular uTorrent client has just broken the magical milestone of 100 million active monthly users. This makes uTorrent the most used BitTorrent client around, and it also shows that BitTorrent as a means to download has become more mainstream than ever before.
Last weekend, in response to a discussion surrounding a GigaOm article mentioning piracy, TorrentFreak published an opinion piece in which we argued that giving dissenting voices a say enriches debate. Today, Alex Swartsel of the MPAA responded to us and Techdirt (who had a different angle on the same GigaOm story) in a new article posted on the movie industry’s blog. Reality, it seems, can be a confusing concept.
“This video has been removed” or “this video is not available in your country” are common annoyances for millions of web users. Often driven by claims from copyright holders, tens of thousands of videos and other content are pulled from websites every day. But as MAFIAAFire shows with their latest project, there are nearly always alternatives to be found.
With a new college year just around the corner, students will be expected to dig deep to pay for all the latest textbooks to accompany their chosen course. These books are not only crucial but also very expensive, a situation that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the administrator of a textbook-focused torrent site. His plan is to break up a publishing monopoly and educate the masses, regardless of how deep their pockets are.
It is no secret that the MPAA and RIAA spend millions in Washington to guarantee that their anti-piracy interests are secured. However, it turns out that not all the lobbying dollars go to secure the well-being of workers in the entertainment industry. The MPAA has also spent significant funds on the implementation of a Wall Street reform law, one that was proposed by the new MPAA CEO Chris Dodd when he was senator.
As New Zealand braces itself following the introduction of a 3 strikes-style scheme for dealing with online copyright infringement, the CEO of one of the country’s largest ISPs has slammed the legislation. TelstraClear chief Allan Freeth says that punishing consumers isn’t the answer and that business models requiring new legislation in order to function are flawed and need to be changed.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Super 8′. ‘Bad Teacher’ completes the top three.
This week GigaOm’s NewTeeVee published a piece pointing out that in harsh economic climates people may decide to download movies for free instead of going to the theater or viewing them via VOD. The MPAA weren’t happy with the article, to the point where they managed to get GigaOm’s permission to publish a retaliatory guest post. Some didn’t like that, but I say: “Well done GigaOm!”
A few months ago 21-year old Travis McCrea participated in the Canadian federal elections as candidate for the Pirate Party in Vancouver Centre. Aside from his political ambitions, McCrea also described himself as an entrepreneur. As with his political views, his business ventures are also focused on file-sharing related ideas, and most recently he started a torrent site to promote the distribution of movies.
Apple’s iTunes is being sued by Korvel Sutton, a member of the former rap group Pretty Boy Gangsters. The lawsuit filed at the U.S. District Court in California lists ten compilation albums being sold through iTunes that include copyrighted tracks from Pretty Boy Gangsters. All tracks are being sold without Sutton’s permission and to date he has received no compensation or royalties.
Mitch Bainwol held the position of chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America for eight years but will now take up a new role in the automotive business. His successor will be current RIAA president Cary Sherman, who sounds remarkably upbeat on the issue of defeating online piracy, something that has eluded the recording industry group for more than a decade.
Last month the MPAA and RIAA made a deal with all the major Internet providers in the United States to systematically hunt down file-sharers. The new “Copyright Alerts” system will directly affect millions of Internet users, but thus far the participating parties have refused to disclose which monitoring company will act as anti-piracy detectives. It’s time for the big reveal.
Today marks the start of P2P network monitoring for New Zealand’s “3 strikes” anti-filesharing legislation. As the government is criticized for not launching their official information resource until next week, a Reddit user claims to be using a government network to share Miley Cyrus movies. As an ISP account holder itself, will the government get hit with the 3 strikes ban-hammer?
Following the example of OpenBitTorrent, another major BitTorrent tracker has now abandoned the resource-intensive TCP protocol. 1337x switched to a UDP-only tracker a few days ago after several hosting providers kicked the tracker out for the “broadcast storm” that resulted from the millions of connections BitTorrent users were making.
As the mass-lawsuits against BitTorrent users in the United States drag on, detail on the collateral damage this extortion-like scheme is costing becomes clear. It is likely that thousands of people have been wrongfully accused of sharing copyrighted material, yet they see no other option than to pay up. One of the cases that stands out is that of a Californian man who’s incapable of watching the adult film he is accused of sharing because he is legally blind.
As the phenomena of blocking file-sharing sites continues to spread around the world, the government of Indonesia is tackling the issue from two directions. Alongside an announcement confirming that ISP blocks will be put in place against some of the most popular file-hosting services, record labels are also being told they need to reduce prices in order to deter piracy.
Last week, UK communications regulator OFCOM published a report which came to the conclusion that blocking ‘pirate’ websites would not be effective. The report contained a number of sensitive government redactions which were easily removed, effectively providing a comprehensive guide to bypass web blocking measures. Since the US government wants to adopt the same technical measures via the PROTECT IP Act, they too will be rendered ineffective using the same methods.
The avalanche of mass-lawsuits in the United States that target BitTorrent users has reached a new milestone. Since last year, more than 200,000 people have been sued for allegedly sharing copyrighted material online, and this number continues to expand at a rapid pace. Added up, the potential profit from the so-called pay-up-or-else scheme runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Blitz’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Your Highness’. ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ completes the top three.
This week has seen some disturbing news. British Telecom has been sued into censoring Newzbin2, and domain seizures in the United States were motivated and justified by the flabbergasting “they can have free speech in another country if they like”. In the United Kingdom, it appears that legislation to deny people basic communication and fundamental rights still move ahead. In France, the first innocent victims of such schemes are just appearing.
A high-quality copy of the Steven Spielberg movie ‘Super 8′ has turned up online and is spreading like wildfire. While it is hardly unusual for preview copy DVD screeners to become available in this way, it is unusual for them to carry watermarks which appear to identify the source of the leak. Come Monday morning, Howard Stern might have some questions to answer.
Every month thousands of people are sued for allegedly sharing copyrighted material on BitTorrent. Many of the accused claim to be innocent, and point their finger at someone else who may have used their Internet connection to share the file. But does this mean they’re off the hook? Lawyer Nicholas Ranallo believes so.
Every month thousands of people are sued for allegedly sharing copyrighted material on BitTorrent. Many of the accused claim to be innocent, and point their finger at someone else who may have used their Internet connection to share the file. But does this mean they’re off the hook? Lawyer Marc Randazza believes not.
Early July the BitTorrent-powered VODO distribution network delivered one of its most important releases to date. Just one month later and A Lonely Place For Dying hasn’t disappointed. Not only has it just broken the one million download barrier but the title has been the best-seeded movie on BitTorrent worldwide for several weeks.
A U.S. federal court has ruled that the domain seizure of sports streaming site Rojadirecta does not violate the First Amendment, and has refused to hand the domain back to its Spanish owner. The order stands in conflict with previous Supreme Court rulings and doesn’t deliver much hope to other website owners who operate under U.S. controlled domain names.
Best-selling book author Joe Quirk is suing Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures because they allegedly ripped off the story from one of his books for their upcoming action movie Premium Rush. The author claims that the entire plot and several scenes were purposely copied from his book The Ultimate Rush, and he demands damages as well as a boycott of the film’s premiere.
Yesterday the UK government announced that following a report from regulator OFCOM, plans to block alleged copyright-infringing websites would be dropped. However, there was a second report where OFCOM detailed ways of keeping the costs of Digital Economy Act infringement appeals down. The document carried the usual redactions but TorrentFreak has put on its X-ray vision for your viewing pleasure.
A new study by researchers from Copenhagen Business School and the University of Waterloo explores the magnitude of game piracy on public BitTorrent trackers. The researchers tracked 173 new game releases over a three-month period and found that these were downloaded by 12.7 million unique peers. They further show that the number of downloads on BitTorrent can be predicted by the scores of game reviewers.
Plans to block websites alleged to facilitate copyright infringement are to be dropped by the UK government. The announcement was made by Business secretary Vince Cable following a review by communications regulator OFCOM which found that blocking provisions in the Digital Economy Act would not be effective. Nevertheless, website blocking will be attempted, just by other means.
A pair of lawyers who were responsible for the introduction of so-called Speculative Invoicing into the UK have been fined and banned from practising for 3 months. Davenport Lyons partner David Gore and former partner Brian Miller will each have to pay a £20,000 fine and interim costs of £150,000.
What was once touted as the biggest file-sharing lawsuit in history has now been decimated following a decision from the U.S. District Court of Columbia. Judge Robert Wilkins ruled that well over 99 percent of the original 23,322 alleged infringers can not be chased down by the makers of The Expendables because they fall outside of the court’s jurisdiction.
Previously confidential documents detailing Universal Music’s meetings with the former UK government over the Digital Economy Act are revealing a whole lot more than the pair intended. Blacked-out sections now uncovered show that Universal believed that ISPs could spy on their users and hand over information to rightsholders in order for them to sue.
Was the Digital Economy Act always going to be implemented? The latest revelations in the Act’s complex two year history shows that it was always going to happen, and that public consultation on the matter was just a sham.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Your Highness’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’. ‘Source Code’ completes the top three.
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