Due to court imposed blockades hundreds of thousands of Pirate Bay users rely on proxy websites to access their favorite BitTorrent site. However, starting three days ago several of the most popular proxies turned evil, only allowing users to download torrents if they agreed to install crapware. The Pirate Bay team is not happy with this move and has threatened to retaliate.
The U.S. Government has accused Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom of conspiracy to defraud , and now two tech giants appear to be having trouble trusting Dotcom as well. Despite faxing over official government-issued ID, he still can’t get Twitter to believe he’s the real deal. Furthermore, Facebook won’t accept ‘Dotcom’ as a valid surname for a personal account. So, inspired by Reddit, we have something that will hopefully do the trick, at least with Twitter.
FileSonic and Oron, two prominent file-hosting services, have been dragged to court by adult entertainment company Flava Works. In a complaint filed at a federal court in Illinois, the cyberlockers are joined by 26 John Doe defendants who stand accused of sharing copyrighted material. These files were also allegedly shared on several other cyberlockers including FileServe, Hotfile and RapidShare.
Hacker Tavis Ormandy has discovered a serious vulnerability in a well-known PC game DRM system. The Google engineer said that after buying a game from Ubisoft he became aware that its “Uplay” browser plug-in might prove problematic. In the early hours of this morning Ormandy confirmed that the add-on allows remote and “wide access” to machines running the DRM, potentially giving malicious attackers free reign to wreak havoc.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘American Reunion’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. ‘The Raven’ completes the top three.
Two weeks ago OpenBitTorrent and PublicBitTorrent, the two largest BitTorrent trackers on the Internet, went on strike. The trackers protested BitTorrent Inc.’s unresponsiveness to a protocol improvement proposed by Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij. Soon after the news broke the BitTorrent developer team sprung into action to address the issue, and as a result the tracker operators have confirmed to TorrentFreak that they will restart their services within a week.
Following the inadvertent leak of several IFPI and RIAA reports this week and our subsequent articles, today we wind up with perhaps the most ironic of the series. It covers a presentation by the IFPI’s head of anti-piracy operations to industry insiders on how to prevent leaks. It explains how individuals gain access to pre-release music, how to set up honey-traps to ensnare them, and also hints at why the UK’s Serious Organized Crime Agency targeted the RnBXclusive blog earlier this year.
Earlier this year the sentences against the Pirate Bay defendants were made final. Aside from prison sentences, they will have to pay damages to the entertainment industries, including €550,000 to several major music labels. The court awarded the damages to compensate artists and rightsholders for their losses. However, it now turns out that artists won’t see a penny of the money, as the labels have allocated it to IFPI to fund new anti-piracy campaigns.
Contrary to the endless lobbying and subsequent defending of the now-dead SOPA and PIPA frameworks, a leaked report shows that earlier this year the RIAA’s Deputy General Counsel admitted that the legislation was “not likely to have been effective tool” for dealing with music piracy. All efforts are now being put behind the “six strikes” plan – but could disconnections for repeat infringers still be on the agenda?
A severe DDoS attack has brought down one of the most famous BitTorrent trackers. Demonoid has been inaccessible to its millions of users for more than a day and is expected to remain offline for quite some time. The tech admin of the troubled BitTorrent tracker told TorrentFreak that the issues at hand are not easy to fix, and suggests that aside from the DDoS there might have been an attack from another angle.
A leaked presentation from the RIAA shows that online file-sharing isn’t the biggest source of illegal music acquisition in the U.S. The confidential data reveals that 65% of all music files are “unpaid” but the vast majority of these are obtained through offline swapping. The report further shows that cyberlockers such as Megaupload are only a marginal source of pirated music.
Grammy award-winning artist Swizz Beatz has publicly defended his role with Megaupload. The U.S. authorities hinted recently they might involve Beatz more in the case, but the rapper/producer seems unfazed. “I’m a fan of music, i’m a fan of people who work hard and I would never be a part of anything that’s taking from artists when I fight so hard to give so much to the artist,” he said in a new interview. “You know what I was doing, I was giving artists 90% of the shit.”
This coming Friday the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics will be streamed for free in more than one hundred countries, but not in the United States. In the U.S., Olympic live streams will only be available to those who have a paid cable subscription, which excludes millions of people. This restricted access is a hotbed for piracy, but NBC and the IOC are fully prepared to act against Olympic pirates to protect their commercial interests.
A confidential internal report of the music industry outfit IFPI has been inadvertently made available online by the group itself. Penned by their Head of Internet Anti-piracy Operations, the report details the global strategy for the major recording labels of IFPI. Issues covered include everything from torrent sites to cyberlockers, what behavior IFPI expects of Internet service providers, the effectiveness of site blocking, and how pirates are accessing unreleased music from industry sources.
BitTorrent Inc., the parent company of the popular BitTorrent client uTorrent, starts a new series of experiments today in which it will help artists monetize the BitTorrent ecosystem. The company has partnered with the legendary DJ Shadow who agreed to give away exclusive content to BitTorrent users. The free content bundle includes software from advertisers, allowing the artist and BitTorrent to generate revenue from users who opt to install it.
After initially attempting to target around 9,000 individuals, Golden Eye International acting on behalf of pornographic film producer Ben Dover are about to start dumping cash demands on the doorsteps of 2,845 alleged file-sharers in the UK. TorrentFreak has obtained a copy of the letter due to be sent out and it amounts to little more than a demand for cash wrapped up in an ACS:Law-style fishing exercise.
One of the many alleged BitTorrent users to fall victim to copyright trolls in recent years has launched an impressive counterattack against a plaintiff who accused him of downloading an adult movie. Jeff Fantalis of Louisville wants millions of dollars in damages for defamation, emotional distress and invasion of privacy, plus a prominent retraction in a local newspaper. Fantalis further asks the court to rule that porn can’t be copyrighted as it is not a “useful art.”
According to a submission made to the New Zealand government by the major studios, the mere threat of sending out an infringement warning halved movie piracy in less than a month. After years of battling for “3 strikes” the studios haven’t sent out a single warning, but nevertheless insist that to reduce piracy further they’ll have to send out thousands. The recording labels want to do the same at a greatly reduced cost, but the ISPs want to charge four times more than they do now.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Wild Bill’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘American Reunion. ‘The Raven’ completes the top three.
Well, here’s a story we’ve heard before in a flavor we haven’t. The Swedish Young Pirates association had a tent at a local municipal festival, and were handing out free waffles as an attraction. They were targeted with eviction from the festival, not because they weren’t allowed to make food or give things away (they were), but because the traditional festival waffle makers couldn’t get paid anymore.
Last month Google issued warnings to the owners of websites and software which allow users to copy YouTube videos. Now, the developer of RipTunes has discovered that this anti-copying policy has now been carried over to many of the large downloading portals including Download.com and Softpedia. Shockingly, however, Brothersoft is still willing to host the software, but only when the developer pays up.
In probably the most outrageous protest yet against piracy, an author has ripped off her clothes in front of a government palace. Brazilian writer Vanessa de Oliveira shocked the citizens of Lima, Peru, with nearly everything she has. “I’m doing this for my book so it is not pirated anymore anywhere in the world,” the redhead said, adding that her latest publication is based on her experiences bedding nearly 5,000 men.
Several UK Internet providers expanded their blockade of The Pirate Bay this week. Sky Broadband, Virgin Media and TalkTalk are now blocking user access to several IP-addresses the BitTorrent site added in recent weeks. Whether this will have any effect is doubtful. This weekend The Pirate Bay is getting ready to add a new address and meanwhile the hundreds of proxy sites remain accessible.
After months of uncertainty, broken promises and despair, the world’s biggest independent heavy metal label has ended its quest to force settlements from alleged music sharers in the United States. World Digital Rights, the copyright troll outfit hired by the Nuclear Blast label to hunt down and threaten fans of the band All Shall Perish – even without the band’s permission – have now thrown in the towel.
Kim Dotcom has just released his long-awaited new song ‘Mr. President’, directed at United States President Barack Obama. In the song Megaupload’s founder says that Hollywood is taking over politics and that the Government is killing innovation. Dotcom released the song and video on his newly launched website, and both can be shared for free.
People who obtain movies and TV shows from the Internet through unauthorized and often illegal channels would actually prefer not to do if they were given the chance. That’s one of the findings of a new survey into consumer habits which reveals that although lower cost is often cited as a tool for reducing piracy, three other issues are driving people to break the law – convenience, choice and availability.
The battle between Megaupload and the U.S. Government continues unabated. Megaupload’s legal team has submitted a rebuttal to the Government’s claims that Megaupload can be brought to justice in the U.S. They accuse the Department of Justice of making up its own rules to keep the criminal proceedings alive. The entire case should be dismissed instead, Megaupload’s legal team argues.
In their most recent filing the U.S. authorities have mentioned Grammy winning rapper/producer Swizz Beatz as a potential U.S. representative for Megaupload. In response to Megaupload’s motion to dismiss based on lack of jurisdiction, the feds are trying to find a way to serve the company on U.S. soil. Beatz, husband of R&B superstar Alicia Keys, was previously listed as Megaupload’s CEO but the authorities say he is refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
Google has suffered a setback in its case against the music industry group SNEP. Last week the French Supreme Court ruled that Google can be required to censor the search terms ‘Torrent’, ‘RapidShare’ and ‘Megaupload’ from its Instant and Autocomplete services. The court argued that Google indirectly facilitates copyright infringement by failing to filter these terms. The case is now going to the Appeals Court for a final decision.
The New Zealand judge handling the extradition case of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has dramatically stepped down from the role. Speaking at the NetHui conference last week, Judge David Harvey had voiced his feelings on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, describing the United States as “the enemy”. Accepting that the comments could lead people to question his impartiality in the case, Harvey has surrendered his role.
By indexing all copyright takedown requests online, Google is rapidly building the world’s largest database of links to pirated content. Just last week, a record-breaking 719,415 new URLs were added to the takedown database. Copyright holders are responding to this effort with a comical display of meta-censorship, in which Google is asked to remove links to takedown requests, because these link to sites that link to copyrighted material.
Five years ago a composer created music for use in a one-off anti-piracy video. However, without his permission it was used time and again on dozens of commercial DVDs such as Harry Potter. Even in the wake of a huge controversy over “corrupt” and “mafia-like” practices, the local music rights group that got involved in the case failed to pay him the money he was owed. The case went to court and this week the music rights group lost.
Last week, an online petition was started supporting former Pirate Bay spokesman Peter Sunde’s request for a pardon from the Swedish government. However, in an interesting twist, the site is now polling its own users as to whether the petition should be removed on the basis it might be “offensive, inflammatory or otherwise objectionable.” Well, that all depends on who you ask, doesn’t it?
OpenBitTorrent and PublicBitTorrent, the two largest BitTorrent trackers on the Internet, are on strike. Both trackers are going offline to protest the unresponsiveness of the makers of uTorrent who were asked to introduce a simple protocol enhancement that would save the non-profit trackers thousands of dollars. As a result of the protest, many people are having trouble downloading files on BitTorrent.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘American Reunion’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘The Raven. ‘Hijacked’ completes the top three.
Cord cutting will kill Hollywood. Cord cutting doesn’t exist. Cord cutting is the future. Cord cutting is only done by poor kids who will change their ways when they get a real job: These days, it seems like everyone is talking about cord cutting, the trend of people ditching their pay TV subscription for online alternatives.
Earlier this week news broke that rapper Lord Finesse is suing his colleague Mac Miller for “stealing” one of his beats. This prompted UK rapper Dan Bull to respond with a parody track, calling out Lord Finesse on his hypocritical stance. However, Finesse’s lawyers didn’t appreciate the criticism and managed to pull Bull’s clip off YouTube, essentially abusing copyright as a censorship tool. However, by doing so they seem to have made matters worse.
A coalition of artists has scored an important victory in their piracy lawsuit against CNET and CBS Interactive. The artists, joined by billionaire and FilmOn founder Alki David, accuse the media conglomerate of promoting piracy through websites like Download.com. CBS moved to dismiss the complaint, but federal Judge Dale Fischer upheld the artist’s claim that CNET induced piracy by demonstrating how file-sharing programs can be used to infringe copyright.
A German court has ruled that file-hosting services can be held liable for the copyright infringements of their users if certain conditions are met. The ruling was reached in a case involving Swiss-based RapidShare and video games company Atari, after the latter accused the former of providing unlawful access to the game Alone in the Dark.
More than a year after the MPAA and RIAA announced their groundbreaking anti-piracy deal with U.S. Internet providers, the first warning letters are yet to be sent out. Previously, July 2012 was coined as the start date but the responsible parties are still not ready to launch. While TorrentFreak has learned that various ISPs will start the implementation at different times, it remains a mystery which company will be spying on filesharers.
A lawyer who threatened countless individuals in copyright troll-style lawsuits has been slammed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The highly colorful Evan Stone sent subpoenas to ISPs without permission of the court in order to extract payments from alleged BitTorrent users, but will now take a huge hit to his reputation. On top of a fine and paying costs to the EFF and Public Citizen, he will have to inform all clients and judges he currently has cases with about this ruling against him.
A lawsuit against fans of the metal band All Shall Perish has faltered after it was revealed that the copyright troll plaintiff in the case has failed to register the required copyrights. World Digital Rights are pursuing BitTorrent users on behalf of Nuclear Blast, the band’s record label, but the band say they are absolutely against the process. Their manager told TorrentFreak this week that the whole process is “bullshit”.
Italian police have arrested the 49-old operator of a handful of file-sharing sites that were previously shut down. The man, known online under the pseudonym “Tex Willer”, allegedly made over half a million euros profit from the sites. Besides copyright infringement, tax evasion, forgery and fraud, he is also accused of selling the email addresses of 300,000 users.
All around the world the copyright lobby is pushing for increased censorship of ‘pirate’ websites, The Pirate Bay in particular. Thus far this has resulted in court-ordered blockades in several countries including the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium. However, in recent months evidence has started to stack up showing that these blocking efforts are futile. BitTorrent traffic is not decreasing and the blockades may actually be counterproductive.
Two years ago, Universal Music filed a lawsuit claiming that streaming music service Grooveshark carried unauthorized copies of the label’s pre-1972 music catalog on its servers. Universal’s angle was that because of the age of the music and the dating of legislation, DMCA safe harbors are not available to Grooveshark. Yesterday a judge disagreed, and this wasn’t Grooveshark’s only success. The company will now be allowed to push ahead with counterclaims said to be worth tens of millions of dollars.
Just hours after his extradition hearing was delayed until 2013, Kim Dotcom is offering the US Government an unusual deal. Growing tired of the “dirty games” being played, Megaupload’s founder says he will voluntarily go to the US if he and his colleagues are promised a fair trial and money to pay their legal and living expenses.
In recent weeks, PayPal has cut off many of the world’s largest filehosting sites from its service including MediaFire, Putlocker and DepositFiles. Growing concern over copyright infringement has resulted in an extremely strict and in some cases privacy-violating set of requirements being laid down by the payment processing company. Cyberlocker owners are disappointed with the apparent witch-hunt which in some cases is paralyzing their business.
Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearing has been delayed until 2013. The Megaupload founder and his alleged co-conspirators were due to appear in court on August 6 in a hearing scheduled to last 3 weeks, but legal issues including questions over evidence disclosure have put the event back until March next year. Dotcom has slammed the delay as “dirty delay tactics by the US.”
An unprecedented new report has detailed how the destruction of Napster chilled a decade’s worth of innovation in the music industry. Through interviews with 31 CEOs, company founders, and VPs who operated in digital music during the period, we hear how Big Music collapsed startups, turned down ‘blank check’ deals, and personally threatened innovators with ruination for both them and their families.
Hollywood’s battle against The Pirate Bay website continues in Europe with yet another injunction. A Dutch court has ordered the shutdown of a WordPress-based proxy operated by hosting company Greenhost. The company initially refused to take the proxy offline, but faced with a court order and the prospect of a 1,000 euro per day fine, Greenhost sees no other option than to throw in the towel.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘American Reunion’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Wrath of the Titans’. ‘The Three Stooges’ completes the top three.
It was revealed Friday that the Oron cyberlocker service agreed last month to hand over the full details of users alleged to have breached an adult studio’s copyright. Many observers pledged never to use the service again, branding Oron ‘snitches’ and the lowest of the low. But snitching in the anti-piracy world is nothing new, it’s just that we tend not to hear about it. Just how the snitches like it.
After being convicted for his role in operating The Pirate Bay, site co-founder Peter Sunde should soon serve eight month jail sentence in a Swedish prison. Serving this sentence would be a disgrace to the justice system and a personal disaster, says Sunde, who submitted an emotional plea for pardon to the Swedish authorities this week.
BitTorrent Inc., the people behind the popular BitTorrent client uTorrent, have just unveiled a new project that turns web browsers into fully fledged file-sharing hubs. “Torque” uses the new Btapp.js library and enables developers to code a wide variety of browser-based file-sharing apps. To show what it’s capable of, BitTorrent released a torrent client for Chrome and a browser-based file-sharing app.
A cyberlocker being sued for $34.8 million by an adult studio agreed in principle to a remarkable set of demands to settle a copyright infringement lawsuit. TorrentFreak has learned that file-hosting service Oron said it would turn over the IP addresses, banking details and email addresses of users alleged to have infringed copyright. The troubled cyberlocker then offered to assist plaintiff Liberty Media in civil prosecutions against its own customers.
This spring nearly all popular BitTorrent sites were blocked by Indian ISPs following a court order. The blockades were eventually lifted, but the many “Anonymous” groups who revolted are not done yet. The latest target is the anti-piracy group Copyright Labs, whose servers were painfully compromised this week. The hackers didn’t take the site down, but altered the message that is sent to website owners by their automated takedown tool.
By design the porn industry is often to be found at the extremes of the human race’s moral compass. So recently, when one industry man began a campaign with a stated aim of bringing the cyberlocker market to its knees, one might expect things to have gotten a little dirty. Well they have – absolutely filthy – just ask Putlocker, ExtaBit, TurboBit and a growing list of others, all victims of a concerted operation to strangle their finances and put them out of business.
After the Hollywood-funded anti-piracy group BREIN claimed victory against The Pirate Bay, Dutch Internet provider XS4All has spoiled the fun with a surprise announcement. The ISP claims that BitTorrent traffic increased after the Pirate Bay blockade was introduced, and adds that the entertainment industry’s witch hunt is alienating consumers. “Build a legal version of the Pirate Bay,” is their advice.
Following their legal action against The Pirate Bay, which resulted in a High Court order against some of UK’s largest ISPs, the record labels of the BPI are now preparing to target other leading torrent sites. Framing discussions around having The Pirate Bay blocked, the group is polling its members and affiliated groups to find out if they have any connections to a range of torrent sites including Demonoid, ExtraTorrent, H33T and TorrentReactor.
Today at 12:56 CET, the European Parliament decided whether ACTA would be ultimately rejected or whether it would drag on into uncertainty. In a 478 to 39 vote, the Parliament decided to reject ACTA once and for all. This means that the deceptive treaty is now dead globally.
Kim Dotcom says he knows who ordered the shutdown of his company and related sites. The Megaupload founder informs TorrentFreak that he has insider information which reveals that none other than Vice President Joe Biden directed attorney Neil MacBride to target the site. Biden is known to be one of the best friends of former Senator Chris Dodd, who’s now heading the MPAA.
Last month YouTube-MP3, one of the web’s largest YouTube conversion sites, was hit with legal threats from Google. Shut down in seven days, its lawyers ordered, or face legal repercussions. Now, after commissioning the legal opinions of two prominent German lawyers, the site’s owner is fighting back, and not without support. A Change.org petition which asks Google to allow conversion tools has already accumulated more than 220,000 signatures.
A New York federal court has ordered a rare default judgment in favor of John Wiley & Sons, one of the world’s largest book publishers. Robert Carpenter from Poughkeepsie, New York, has been ordered to pay the publisher $7,000 in damages for sharing a copy of “WordPress All-in-One For Dummies” on BitTorrent. According to Judge William Pauley, the man is guilty of both copyright and trademark infringement.
The plaintiffs in a massive copyright infringement lawsuit against a cyberlocker service are warning users of the site to back up their files. Corbin Fisher, the movie studio currently suing Oron for $34.8m, say that the file-hoster could collapse after a judge denied it access to additional funds to pay for their hosting. Is this another Megaupload-style data loss debacle in the making?
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘American Reunion’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Lockout’. ‘Wrath of the Titans’ completes the top three.
This is it. This is the week when ACTA lives or dies, globally. We have seen it coming. Now is the time for the very final push in contacting the European Parliament. On Wednesday, in the session between 12 noon and 14:00, the European Parliament votes on ACTA. If the European Parliament kills it, it dies globally.
Last night thousands of websites, including Reddit, ran into trouble due to the “leap second.” According to some reports The Pirate Bay also crashed due to this unfortunate bug, but this is certainly not the case. The Pirate Bay’s downtime was caused by other technical issues that have since been resolved.
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