Cablevision / Optimum Online has revealed how it will respond to serial copyright infringers under the six strikes system. The Internet provider says it will temporarily disconnect customers from the Internet after they have received multiple copyright alerts. The disconnection will last for 24 hours but will be lifted when the customer calls a Cablevision hotline.
The website blocking phenomenon has continued today in the UK, with the High Court adding three major torrent sites to the country’s unofficial ban list. Following complaints from the music industry led by the BPI, the Court ordered the UK’s leading Internet service providers to begin censoring subscriber access to Kickass Torrents, H33T and Fenopy.
Last year Japan introduced one of the toughest laws in the world for dealing with online piracy but with little visible action against file-sharers it was questioned whether the legislation would have teeth. That position has now dramatically switched, with police nationwide carrying out searches on 124 locations and arresting 27 people for online infringement. Those arrested face up to 10 years in jail.
Comcast revealed today how it will deal with customers who receive multiple warnings under the newly launched “six-strikes” anti-piracy system. After four alerts the ISP will “hijack” web-browsers of suspected serial pirates with a persistent pop-up notification, making it impossible to browse the Internet. The pop-up will disappear after the customer “resolves the issue” with a Customer Security Assurance professional.
The former operator of a popular file-hosting site has been heavily fined by a court in Germany. The man, who is the former admin of Uploaded.to, was found guilty of offenses related to the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted content. The court fined him a total of 144,000 euros ($188,000) but due to other key matters in the case the important issue of service provider liability for third party actions wasn’t tested.
With millions of downloads per episode Game of Thrones was by far the most pirated TV-show of last year. However, according to the show’s director, David Petrarca, these unauthorized downloads actually do more good than harm. Petrarca explains that the show needs “cultural buzz” to thrive and survive, and this buzz is being generated in part by pirates.
The Texan operator of Channelsurfing.net has made a deal with the United States Government to avoid prosecution. The man, who was arrested in 2011 after the domain name of his website was seized, stood accused of criminal copyright infringement for linking to sport streams. In the agreement, the U.S. attorney says that it’s in the best interest of all concerned to give McCarthy amnesty.
After pioneering one of the world’s first “three strikes” anti-piracy schemes the French are now turning their attention to other methods of obtaining unauthorized media. A new report just published by the Hadopi agency tackles the issue of streaming and direct download sites, which currently the organization is doing little about. No surprise that filtering, site blocking and domain seizures are being touted as possible solutions to this growing element of online piracy.
Following threats of legal action in its traditional home of Sweden, a few hours ago The Pirate Bay set sail for pastures new. Sweden’s Pirate Party had been providing bandwidth to the site for the last three years but came under intense pressure last week when a local anti-piracy group threatened to sue. The Swedish pirates have now stepped aside and handed the responsibilities to pirate parties in Norway and Spain.
After a long wait, the controversial “six-strikes” anti-piracy system kicks off in the United States. Soon the first BitTorrent users will receive so-called copyright alerts from their Internet provider and after multiple warnings subscribers will be punished. But, what these punishments entail remains a bit of a mystery. None of the participating ISPs have officially announced how they will treat repeat infringers and the CCI doesn’t have this information either.
In a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative Nintendo urges the Government to put pressure on foreign countries to do a better job at tackling online piracy. The game company says it’s suffering “huge losses” due to the unauthorized distribution of their games. Among other things, Nintendo calls for blocking of file-sharing websites and criminal prosecution against those who pirate games or facilitate copyright infringement.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again, ‘Red Dawn’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Rise Of The Guardians’. ‘The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 2′ completes the top three.
Within days the UK music industry will head back to the High Court with demands that the country’s leading Internet service providers should begin blocking three of the world’s largest torrent sites. Today, the owner of one of them describes the action as an attack on file-sharers and questions whether the process will be as straightforward as the one previously carried out against The Pirate Bay.
More than a year after Megaupload was shutdown by the feds the site still has millions of visitors every month. Even without content the defunct file-hosting site is among the top 2,500 most-visited websites on the Internet, and only sightly behind Kim Dotcom’s new Mega. The baffling statistics show once again how enormous the site was.
The much-discussed U.S. six strikes anti-piracy scheme is expected to go live on Monday. The start date hasn’t been announced officially by the CCI but a source close to the scheme confirmed the plans. During the coming months millions of BitTorrent users will be actively monitored by copyright holders. After repeated warnings, Internet subscribers risk a heavy reduction in download speeds and temporary browsing restrictions.
A mysterious company using the name “Internet Copyright Law Enforcement Agency” is sending letters to home addresses of alleged BitTorrent users, asking them to pay a settlement fee of hundreds of dollars or face jail time. The outfit claims to work with law enforcement and says it protects the rights of popular artists such as Skrillex and Cee Lo Green . The sophisticated scam goes beyond what we’ve ever seen before, and suggests that there may be people at the ISP level involved.
This week the Swedish Pirate Party came under attack from a movie and music industry-backed anti-piracy group. Rights Alliance informed the party that if they continue to work with The Pirate Bay, legal action will follow. With a demonstration and protest set to take place in Stockholm tomorrow, Pirate Party leader Anna Troberg is promising her adversaries a fight, whether that be inside or outside court.
Following mounting pressure from international rightsholders, last year Google finally caved in and said it would start making ‘pirate’ sites more difficult for its users to find. But, according to the RIAA, this was a false promise. The music group says that sites for which Google receives thousands of DMCA notices still outrank legitimate services. To correct this problem the RIAA is now urging the search engine to “immediately make the necessary changes so its pledge becomes a reality.”
This week the Swedish Pirate Party and one of its bandwidth suppliers were told that they must stop servicing The Pirate Bay or face legal action. It now appears similar threats were extended to Portlane, another Internet provider even further up the connectivity supply chain. TorrentFreak has learned that in a move designed to protect Portlane, The Pirate Bay is no longer utilizing bandwidth from this provider. This shows that even if Portlane had complied, the site would have remained online.
CBS and CNET do not have to stop distributing BitTorrent clients and other file-sharing software. A California court has denied the request for a preliminary injunction from a group of artists, who accused the companies of facilitating piracy. According to the judge there is no indication that CBS and CNET will purposefully encourage copyright infringement in the future, and a ban would needlessly silence “public discussion of P2P technologies.”
One of the Internet’s largest indexes for streaming movie and TV show content is locked in a dispute over the removal of the site’s homepage from Google’s search engine results. Movie2K, the 240th most-popular site in the world according to Alexa, had its main page delisted following a copyright complaint from Paramount Pictures and efforts to have it reinstated have failed. Google says it will not review the situation, even though the infringing material in question is no longer present.
There are no signs that The Pirate Bay will disappear anytime soon, but pirate preppers anticipating such a doomsday scenario can now download an updated and improved copy of the world’s most resilient BitTorrent site. A backup of all crucial data has been packed into a tiny 75 megabyte archive, small enough to carry with you at all times. The archive of more than 2 million magnet links has received a seal of approval from The Pirate Bay team and is now up for grabs.
For several years the Swedish Pirate Party has provided hosting services to The Pirate Bay. One of the main reasons for the BitTorrent site to team up with the political party was because it wouldn’t easily cave in to pressure from the entertainment industry. This promise will now be put to the test as the Swedish copyright watchdog “Rights Alliance” threatens to sue the Pirate Party next week if they refuse to pull the plug on TPB.
Google is being criticized by copyright holders for the limits it puts on the number of “pirate” links that can be removed per day. The Hollywood -funded anti-piracy organization BREIN wants to increase the daily DMCA cap from 10,000 to 40,000 and eventually remove the restrictions altogether. The RIAA further wants the ability to do more queries to find illegal content and previously said that the current limits are “miniscule.”
The former administrator of one of Italy’s largest file-sharing sites has been handed a record-breaking fine. The individual, known online as Tex Willer, managed the large ItalianShare forum which together with sister sites allegedly serviced around 300,000 members. For his activities on the sites and criminal behavior including fraud and tax evasion the 49-year-old has now been ordered to pay a fine of 6.4 million euros ($8.56m).
The Pirate Bay has asked the Economic Crime unit of the Finnish police to investigate the alleged criminal actions of anti-piracy group CIAPC. Last week the group copied The Pirate Bay’s design, violating the site’s usage policy. In their complaint TPB cite a similar case where the owner of a parody site was prosecuted recently. “We will not stand by and watch copyright enforcing organizations disrespect copyright,” TPB comments.
A panel of prominent scholars and academics have added their voices to an important case that was referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The paper published by the European Copyright Society aims to answer the question of whether publishing a hyperlink to content amounts to a communication to the public and therefore a breach of the creator’s copyright under European law.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again, ‘The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 2′ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Company of Heroes’. ‘Skyfall’ completes the top three.
When working for reform or abolition of the copyright or patent monopolies, things can sometimes feel a bit uphill, even though the eventual abolition of these protectionist monopolies seems inevitable. To get energy for activism each day, it helps to understand the Overton Window.
Hollywood’s war against The Pirate Bay website continues in Europe with yet another legal battle. Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN is taking the operator of the popular proxy site Kuiken.co to court, demanding the shutdown of the service as well as a ban on encouraging others to circumvent court-ordered blockades. Tristan, the operator of the proxy, is prepared to fight in court and is running a crowdfunding project to support his legal battle.
Wikileaks loves to share secret documents and pirates are all for sharing culture, but can these movements share voters in the upcoming Australian elections to ensure at least one of them gets elected?
In an act of either genius or madness an anti-piracy outfit turned the tables on The Pirate Bay this week by pirating parts of their website in order to show that piracy should be avoided. TPB responded by threatening to sue. But rather than back down, the boss of the anti-piracy group now says that being taken to court by the site is something they would encourage and look forward to. Sharpen the cutlasses and bring out the plank, this could get interesting.
BitTorrent Inc., the company behind the popular file-sharing clients uTorrent and BitTorrent, launched a new file-sharing service today. Branded SoShare, the new platform is a hybrid between BitTorrent and cloud based storage, allowing users to send files up to dozens of terabytes. SoShare is free of charge and without limits, making it an appealing competitor to more traditional file-storage sites.
The Department of Justice has responded to Megaupload’s claims that they “planted” evidence and tried to mislead the court. According to United States Attorney Neil MacBride these allegations are “sensationalist rhetoric” and a “conspiracy theory.” The Government says it never asked Kim Dotcom’s file-hosting service to preserve any infringing files, and asks the court to deny Megaupload’s request to be heard on the matter.
Following the unofficial upload of their game to The Pirate Bay last weekend, a pair of indie game devs took a decision to go with the flow and turn the situation to their advantage. Courting BitTorrent users and posters to Reddit with positive vibes and free download codes, Anodyne’s Sean Hogan asked users to return the favor by voting for his game to appear on Steam. After the original torrent was nuked by Pirate Bay in error, the pair are now back with a full-on Promo Bay promotion.
In their ongoing legal battle against CBS and CNET, a coalition of artists has reiterated their request for a distribution ban on file-sharing software. The artists, joined by billionaire and FilmOn founder Alki David, accuse the media conglomerate of promoting piracy through websites like Download.com and state in their latest filing that CBS and CNET can be held liable for all BitTorrent piracy.
Major private BitTorrent trackers including What.cd and IPTorrents have been taken offline by Denial of Service attacks. The disruptions are being coordinated by an individual who had a fight last year with What.cd after the site failed to give him an invitation. That particular dispute was followed up by DDoS attacks against a range of sites including The Pirate Bay but the promised daily follow-ups failed to emerge. The question now is whether these new attacks are a prelude to something bigger.
A Finnish anti-piracy group has copied the design of The Pirate Bay website for their latest anti-piracy campaign. The Pirate Bay is outraged by this move and says it will sue the group for breaking their site policy, which clearly states that organizations are not permitted to steal the site design for nefarious purposes. “People must understand what is right and wrong,” The Pirate Bay says.
Following threats from the same lawfirm that effectively shut down NZBMatrix, one of the Internet’s most famous ‘release blogs’ has taken a significant step to avoid legal action. With immediate effect RLSlog will stop providing direct links to where movies and TV shows can be downloaded. However, with the addition of a pre-filled Google search to RLSlog, the world’s largest search engine will supply the same service instead.
The Unites States Government has submitted a brief to the Supreme Court asking it to uphold the $220,000 verdict in the RIAA vs. Thomas file-sharing case. According to the Obama administration damages of $9,250 per song is not an unconstitutional amount and is in fact needed to deter others from engaging on online piracy.
The demise of Demonoid has been cited as one of the main victories against online piracy in 2012, but the case against those responsible for the site is reportedly stagnating. According to new information an alleged operator of Demonoid has been released from jail and criminal proceedings have been halted. The small amount of information that is available comes from U.S. copyright holders who are keeping a close eye on developments.
Following in the steps of other courts around Europe, Finland’s Court of Appeal has now confirmed that two ISPs previously ordered to block The Pirate Bay must continue doing so. With another ISP’s appeal to the Supreme Court just rejected it now seems likely that anti-piracy company CIAPC has succeeding in its quest to deny 80% of the country direct access to the world’s most infamous torrent site. But still the downloading continues.
With more than a billion downloads since its first release, VLC is one of the most popular media players around. It’s free, open source, and can play virtually every video file available. In the near future it could also become the first mainstream media player with the ability to download and stream torrent files. A group of VLC supporters has put up a $10,000 bounty for the developer who can deliver the right code.
Over the weekend a torrent of a new game was uploaded to The Pirate Bay and to the delight of observers was greeted with a positive attitude from its creators. One of the guys behind 2D game Anodyne cheerfully posted free codes to his creation and as a result received upvotes on Reddit and votes for inclusion on Steam. As the news spreads today, nobody seems to have noticed something very unusual. The torrent has mysteriously disappeared…..
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again, ‘Wreck It Ralph’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Gangster Squad’. ‘Skyfall’ completes the top three.
New data on actual music spending in the UK shows that on average music pirates spend less than regular buyers of digital music. The figures are being touted by the UK music industry to show that file-sharers are cheapskates, but those who take a careful look at the numbers will notice that the labels forget to make an important reservation. Let’s lift the curtain of spin to see what’s really going on.
Over the past few months there has been greater and greater pressure applied to Usenet-related sites and services, with some being forcibly shut down and others closing out of fear. Some have closed their doors to new members in an attempt to improve security but now another phenomenon is raising its head. In order to hinder bulk anti-piracy takedowns, some communities have resorted to techniques that feel a bit like DRM.
BitTorrent is used by millions of people every day, even in places where you wouldn’t really expect. New data suggests that employees at the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division are sharing movies and TV-shows with the rest of the world. Is the FBI gathering information on BitTorrent users, or could it be that the feds harbor in-house pirates?
When professor of multimedia Roger Wallis took the stand during The Pirate Bay trial in 2009, he had to endure several personal attacks. Movie and music industry lawyers did their best to discredit Wallis’ reputation and research. In the Pirate Bay documentary TPB AFK the professor says that these attacks are not unique, and that pro-file-sharing researchers are “hunted down with a whip” by pro-copyright forces.
TPB-AFK, the documentary about The Pirate Bay and its founders, is finally out. The film has been in the making for four years and follows the lives of the three Pirate Bay founders during their trials in Sweden. TPB-AFK is the first film to premiere both online and at a major film festival, and can be downloaded and shared for free.
A briefing has revealed that Hollywood summoned New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to meetings in the United States to discuss his country’s “3 strikes” anti-piracy law. The system is currently operational but after lobbying hard for its implementation the studios have refused to use it, claiming that the costs of sending notices to infringers are too high. They told Key that although they have great respect for the scheme, they now need a discount to make it work.
In a bogus DMCA request Warner Bros. has asked Google to remove several links to Kim Dotcom’s cloud hosting service Mega. Not only did the movie studio send in the wrong URLs, they also failed to note that Mega download links aren’t indexed by Google to begin with. Adding to the controversy, Warner Bros does not appear to have sent Mega a direct takedown request for the infringing content in question.
Earlier this week the Evad3rs dev team pleased the Apple world by releasing their most complex jailbreak yet. Their amazing and super-simple tool allows anyone to run unsigned code on their iOS6 firmware in a matter of minutes, smashing Apple’s control over what can and cannot be installed on their devices. BitTorrent apps are completely outlawed by the Cupertino outfit, but a new version of a torrent client released this week bypasses those restrictions.
The Icelandic Film and Movie organization SMAIS is known for its tough anti-piracy stance. In an attempt to engage a debate and address a recent report which accused SMAIS of not paying for software themselves, the group joined Facebook. However, the discussion on the social networking site quickly turned into a flame war. After just four days the group decided to call it quits and left Facebook, with an unlikelihood it will ever return.
In a surprise move several major record labels in Finland have asked the District Court of Helsinki to unblock Pirate Bay’s Promo Bay. The local anti-piracy group did so after confirming that the website did not facilitate copyright infringement, noting that it is eager “to allow digital consumers access to new legal alternatives to enjoy exciting new music.”
A UK High Court ruling has just handed Hollywood a defeat in a battle against a now-defunct file-sharing site. The MPA argued that when Usenet indexing site Newzbin2 generated profits from piracy, that money should be handed over to the studios. The MPA argued that copyright infringement is theft but the Court said it was more like trespass, noting that any award would have a “chilling effect on innovation and creativity.”
The upcoming Pirate Bay documentary TPB AFK will highlight some under-reported details about the connection between the BitTorrent site and Wikileaks. Among other things, Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm was credited for his involvement in getting the “Collateral Murder” video out to the public. Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the former spokesman of WikiLeaks, further recalls travelling to Sweden with Julian Assange to pay server fees . A meeting he will not forget anytime soon.
Last year saw a major upgrade in Japan’s anti-piracy legislation in an attempt to shift Internet users away from file-sharing sites and networks and towards the country’s legitimate outlets. But while the change in the law was significant, getting the legal-downloading message to users proved problematic. In response the government and rightsholders are now seeding fake files with anti-piracy messages hidden inside.
From humble beginnings in 2011, last year the RIAA amped up its efforts to have allegedly infringing URLs removed from Google’s public indexes. Fast forward to today and the RIAA is about to hit a historic milestone. During the next few hours the music industry group will issue orders to the world’s largest search engine to take down the 10,000,000th URL on its behalf.
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 Finland and Belgium. However, instead of stopping people’s download habits these blockades have resulted in an influx of visitors to Pirate Bay proxies, turning these sites into local heroes.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again, ‘Wreck It Ralph’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Skyfall’. ‘Life of Pi’ completes the top three.
Copyright monopolists insist on the idea of controlling the fruits of other people’s labor, such as when other people copy a particular file. This attitude is offensive, insulting, and antithetical to a free market.
Every week Google is asked to remove more than four million URLs from its search engine. While these automated requests are usually legitimate, mistakes happen more often than one might expect. In a recent DMCA notice HBO asked Google to censor links to HBO.com, as well as several other legitimate sites and blogs.
The popular file-hosting service Mediafire is proactively scanning users’ publicly shared files for possible copyright infringements. When the company spots links that shouldn’t be shared in the open, it replaces the download page with a “buy now” link to Amazon where the content can be bought legally. According to Mediafire this policy is meant to protect both users and Mediafire itself.
It’s been a rough few months for Pirate Bay co-founder Gottrid Svartholm. After being plucked from his home in Cambodia, dragged back to Sweden and held in solitary, he’s now being detained in a regular prison. The good news is that he’s a strong guy and coping well. Today he sends his personal thanks to everyone who has taken the time to support him through his ongoing ordeal.
After a long and drawn out procedure, Golden Eye and associated company Ben Dover productions have finally begun sending out letters to alleged file-sharers in the UK. The letters, which contain claims of BitTorrent-related copyright infringement, ask those targeted to enter into a settlement arrangement with the company within 28 days. Failure to do so, the company says, could result in their case being taken to court. The file-sharing letters are the first sent out in the UK since the collapse of the notorious ACS:Law.
Kim Dotcom has admitted that Mega is behind the shut down of the French-based indexing site Search-Mega.me. Mega’s team decided to take action because the site didn’t have a takedown policy, which offended some copyright holders. Dotcom stresses that Mega search engines will have to play by the rules in future. Filestube, the largest Mega search engine on the Internet, is an example of a well behaved service.
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