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  1. #1
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    General News Thread

    Miscellaneous News about Internet and BitTorrent

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    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai calls California’s net neutrality rules 'illegal'

    California is trying to enact its own set of strict net neutrality rules, and if successful, other states could (and probably would) use it as a blueprint for passing similar bills. The only problem is that it's "illegal" to do so, according to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

    Pai's stance on issue does not come as a surprise to anyone who's been following the situation. For those who haven't, here's a quick recap: In a 3-2 vote earlier this year, the FCC effectively reversed net neutrality rules that were implemented during the previous administration, paving the way for internet service providers (ISPs) and wireless carriers to largely regulate themselves. The only real caveat is they have to be upfront about things like throttling.

    In the wake of net neutrality rules being rolled back, California and other states are attempting to restore the rules on a state level. The FCC foresaw this happening, and so it claimed the power to preempt state net neutrality rules in its Open Internet Order.

    Whether the FCC has the power to preempt state net neutrality rules is something the courts will ultimately decide. In the meantime, California has forged ahead with a bill that implements even tougher restrictions than the original net neutrality rules, and all that is required at this point is a signature by the state governor.

    "If this law is signed by the Governor, what would it do? Among other things, it would prevent Californian consumers from buying many free-data plans. These plans allow consumers to stream video, music, and the like exempt from any data limits. They have proven enormously popular in the marketplace, especially among lower-income Americans. But nanny-state California legislators apparently want to ban their constituents from having this choice. They have met the enemy, and it is free data," Pai said in a speech (PDF) at the Maine Heritage Police Center on Friday.

    He also said that "efforts like California's are illegal," leaving little doubt that the FCC would challenge the state's bill. His comments didn't end there, however, as he further lashed out at California's lawmakers.

    "Those who demand greater government control of the Internet haven’t given up. Their latest tactic is pushing state governments to regulate the Internet. The most egregious example of this comes from California. Last month, the California state legislature passed a radical, anti-consumer Internet regulation bill that would impose restrictions even more burdensome than those adopted by the FCC in 2015. In a way, I can understand how they succumbed to the temptation to regulate. After all, I suppose a broadband pipe might look to some like a plastic straw," Pai said.

    California's bill prohibits ISPs from blocking or slowing down websites or "whole classes of applications," like video. It also specifically prohibits ISPs from charging online services access fees to reach customers, a practice known as paid prioritization.

    Those same consumer protections were part of the federal net neutrality rules that the FCC scrapped. However, California's rules takes things a step further by also disallowing ISPs from not counting certain content and websites they own against subscribers' data caps, a practice known as "zero-rating."

    Pai's comments can be viewed as him wanting to get ahead of the situation, and perhaps put pressure on Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, to not sign the bill.

    "Let me be clear: The Internet should be run by engineers, entrepreneurs, and technologists, not lawyers, bureaucrats, and politicians. That’s what we decided in 2017, and we’re going to fight to make sure it stays that way," Pai added.

    Last edited by Amias; 19-09-2018 at 09:44 AM.

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    International Day Against DRM Celebrates its 12th Anniversary

    The Free Software Foundation's Defective by Design campaign today celebrates its 12th annual International Day Against Digital Rights Management. DRM is the controversial practice of restricting what consumers can do with legitimately acquired digital media. Given its pervasive nature, is it possible for you to completely avoid DRM for the day?

    For creators of intellectual property, from movies, TV shows and software, through to the devices that allow them to be played, Digital Rights Management (DRM) is essential to control access to those products.

    Proponents argue that without the digital locks of DRM, rampant copying of their content and designs would ensue,
    reducing revenues and threatening the very business models that bring these products to market.

    On the flip side, DRM is seen as a huge hindrance by many consumers, particularly when its existence restricts, as it always does, what legitimate buyers of content and devices are able to do with
    their purchases.

    From copying a DVD or game disc for backup purposes through to a myriad of legitimate fair-use scenarios, DRM is an ever-present mesh of digital barbed wire laid down for the sole purpose of restricting freedom.

    While DRM aims to be its own protection (
    which can also backfire), it is also supported by legislation. Circumvention is criminalized under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the EU Copyright Directive, meaning those that choose to undermine it can face the wrath of the legal system.

    For these reasons and many others, the Free Software Foundation’s (FSF) Defective by Design (DbD) campaign has sought to draw attention to the anti-consumer effects of DRM. From its roots back in 2006, today the FSF celebrates its 12th annual International Day Against DRM, inviting supporters to protest against digital locks while envisioning a world without DRM.

    “DRM is a major problem for computer user freedom, artistic expression, free speech, and media,” says John Sullivan, executive director of the FSF.

    “International Day Against DRM has allowed us to, year after year, empower people to rise up together and in one voice declare that DRM is harmful to everyone.”

    The FSF and those who share their concerns over DRM believe that the addition of digital locks actually causes damage to a product. While offering no benefits to the consumer, DRM can fail catastrophically when those behind such systems are no longer able to maintain them, resulting in “massive digital book-burnings” when content is
    rendered inaccessible.

    DRM also gives companies a reason and a route to spy on consumers and the use of their products. ‘Phoning home’ is commonplace, allowing media companies to conduct “
    large-scale surveillance” over people’s viewing habits.

    For these reasons and many others, FSF has been fighting against DRM for more than a decade and today they’re calling on like-minded groups and individuals to support their mission to rid the world of DRM and return freedom to consumers. With that in mind, they have set a challenge for the day.

    “This year’s theme is
    A Day Without DRM – the FSF invites people around the world to avoid DRM for the day,” FSF writes.

    “DRM is lurking in many electronic devices we use, both online and offline, and you’ll find it everywhere from media files to vehicles. Its impact is echoed in the fight for the Right to Repair and the fight for the right to investigate the software in medical devices.”

    Key Day Against DRM supporters

    For online dwellers, going even a few hours without DRM today is likely to prove problematic, if not impossible. Users of Windows or any Apple device, for example, will find DRM baked into the system, meaning that the only option is to use
    DRM-free alternatives.

    And if you’re thinking of enjoying your Kindle,
    Netflix or Spotify, DRM is part of the deal too. Even the now-infamous Kodi has joined the party, albeit in a limited way.

    The main aim of the FSF however, is to raise awareness of DRM and how it negatively affects consumers.

    Content with DRM is restricted by default yet by its very nature only affects legitimate purchases. Those who pirate their software, for example, are unaffected since piracy groups remove the DRM from content before release. Bizarrely, however, some pirates have even protected
    their work with DRM, signalling that no one is immune. There are great alternatives, however.


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    Japan Government Presents Pirate Website Blocking Proposals

    Unlike countries in Europe where legislation has already been tested, there is no legal basis in Japan to block 'pirate' websites and the country's constitution forbids censorship. Now, however, the Japanese government has presented a draft report which indicates that blocking websites on copyright grounds should be considered as a policy option.

    Back in March, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that the government was considering measures to prevent access to pirate sites.

    Manga and anime are considered national treasures and the government should consider “all measures” to prevent illegal downloading, Suga added.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, the main option put forward was that of website blocking. In Japan, however, that’s not a straightforward option given the constitution’s support for freedom of speech and prevention of censorship.

    Despite the hurdles, a month later the government decided to introduce emergency measures to prevent access to websites hosting pirated manga, anime and other content. ISPs would not be forced to comply but would be asked to assist instead.

    NTT Communications Corp., NTT Docomo Inc. and NTT Plala Inc.
    responded by blocking access to three sites identified by the government – Mangamura, AniTube! and MioMio – adding that more sites could be blocked upon request.

    This interim measure proved controversial but it appears the government isn’t planning to step back from its plans to protect copyright. The Cabinet Office has now presented a draft report indicating that blocking websites to protect copyright could become a policy option for the government.

    According to
    Mainichi, the proposal was presented at a meeting attended by experts, who criticized the draft as a move that would undermine citizens’ constitutional right to secrecy of communications.

    Intercepting users’ Internet requests have the potential to cause significant problems under Japanese law. The Telecommunications Business Act guarantees privacy of communications and prevents censorship, as does Article 21 of the Constitution.

    Cited by the publication, lawyer Ryoji Mori said that denying users’ access to blocked sites would enable Internet service providers to “collect information about users unrelated to the piracy issue.” Visitors to blocked websites should have warnings automatically displayed in their browser, the proposal adds.

    The draft also envisions pirate sites being removed from search engine results while preventing their operators from generating revenue from advertising. These are options being tested in a number of other countries to varying degrees but it appears that Japan faces more obstacles than most due to its constitution.

    Nevertheless, it appears the government could ask copyright holders to take the initiative instead. By applying for lawsuits that would force Internet service providers to take preventative action, constitutional difficulties could be avoided, the proposal notes.

    Whether that will satisfy hardline anti-censorship supporters is unclear, but in most other countries where blocking takes place, validation from the courts is seen as vital to ensuring that all parties are covered in the event of a challenge.

    Indeed, the voluntary blocking measures put in place earlier this year by NTT were immediately seen as problematic. Just days after the bans were implemented, local lawyer Yuichi Nakazawa
    launched legal action against the ISP, demanding that the corporation should end its site-blocking operations.

    A further session to discuss the proposals in greater depth is planned for later this week.


  5. #5
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    qBittorrent v4.1.3 has been released

    qBittorrent v4.1.3 was released.

    • FEATURE: Preselect name without extension when renaming files (thalieht)
    • FEATURE: Allow setting seq & first/last from context menu without metadata (thalieht)
    • BUGFIX: Show "N/A" if there is no scrape (thalieht)
    • BUGFIX: Save option about tracker favicons under correct key (sledgehammer999)
    • BUGFIX: When file data are unreachable pause torrent and show "Missing Files" status (temporary fix) (sledgehammer999)
    • BUGFIX: Don't disable DHT when using force proxy (Thomas Piccirello)
    • BUGFIX: Correctly save torrent queue position/state/priority changes in fastresume (glassez, thalieht, sledgehammer999)
    • BUGFIX: Fix icon height/width ratio (Chocobo1)
    • BUGFIX: Fix values sorted wrong in "Last Activity" column (Chocobo1)
    • BUGFIX: Replace png icons with svg (Chocobo1)
    • WEBUI: Allow WebUI sidebar filters to be hidden (Thomas Piccirello)
    • WEBUI: Increase WebUI Options initial height (Thomas Piccirello)
    • WEBUI: Adjust WebUI Options form alignment (Thomas Piccirello)
    • WEBUI: Fix WebUI unreachable issue (Chocobo1)
    • WEBUI: Require torrent category creation to be explicit (Thomas Piccirello)
    • WEBUI: Include category save path in web api sync data (Thomas Piccirello)
    • WEBUI: Add save path and editing to WebUI new category dialog (Thomas Piccirello)
    • WEBUI: Bump Web API version
    • SEARCH: Refactor in searchjob to always color visited entries (thalieht)
    • SEARCH: Set "enter" as shortcut to download the selected torrents in search job (thalieht)
    • SEARCH: Add regex option in the search filter's context menu (thalieht)
    • LINUX: Fix GUI scaling issue on Linux (Chocobo1)
    • LINUX: Fix regression that broke installing desktop file (Eli Schwartz)
    • OPENBSD: Better filesystem support for filewatcher (Elias M. Mariani)

    Last edited by Amias; 19-09-2018 at 10:25 AM.

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    PIPCU Wins Piracy Enforcement Award From US Chamber of Commerce

    The City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has been presented with the Intellectual Property Champions Award for Excellence in Enforcement from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center. The award, handed for the first time this year to an international player, is in recognition for the unit's work in anti-piracy enforcement.

    First announced in the summer of 2013, the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) said it had a mission to tackle IPcrime wherever it may take place.

    With a special focus on online infringement, PIPCU has always been closely in step with the music, movie, and publishing industries and it didn’t take long for its presence to be felt. Even before its official launch in December 2013, PIPCU began writing letters to torrent and streaming sites, advising them to shut down – or else. But that was just the beginning.

    Over the past five years the unit has publicised various actions against alleged infringers including
    streaming arrests, attempted domain seizures, torrent site closures and advertising disruptions. PIPCU also shut down several sports streaming and ebook sites plus a large number of proxies.

    Now, however, with its fifth official birthday looming, PIPCU has received prestigious recognition from overseas.

    During the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center’s (GIPC) 6th annual IP Champions event in Washington, PIPCU was among 11 “innovators and creators” to be honored for their contribution to the intellectual property arena. Two key players from PIPCU were handed the IP Champion for Excellence in Enforcement award.

    Detective Chief Superintendent Pete O’Doherty, the head of the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate, was recognized for his leadership at PIPCU which has “successfully swept millions of pounds’ worth of counterfeit goods off the streets.”

    Nick Court, PIPCU’s Acting Detective Chief Inspector, was credited for combating illegal online streaming and other digital piracy, while suspended 30,000 websites linked to the sale of counterfeit goods.

    The GIPC award is notable in itself but PIPCU will be particularly pleased that this is the first year that the award has been handed to an international law enforcement body outside the United States.

    “This is a significant achievement for the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) which has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2013,” said Detective Chief Superintendent Pete O’Doherty.

    “The dedication of the officers in this unit is a credit to the force and it is an honor to have that recognized as the first recipient of this award within the international law enforcement community.”

    Dr. Ros Lynch, Director of Copyright and Enforcement at the Intellectual Property Office, congratulated PIPCU on their achievement.

    “I’m delighted to hear that PIPCU has won the Excellence in Enforcement award. To be the first international law enforcement body to win this award is a huge achievement,” Lynch said.

    “I’d like to congratulate and thank PIPCU’s officers for helping to protect UK industries and the public from counterfeit goods.”

    While PIPCU was initially very aggressive against torrent and streaming platforms, it later became involved in a number of cases against people selling streaming devices containing modified Kodi setups, free illegal streaming apps, and premium illicit IPTV subscriptions. It has been quieter on this front lately but the unit certainly hasn’t gone away.

    Last August, the Intellectual Property Office confirmed that PIPCU had received £3.32m in additional government funding, safeguarding the unit until June 30, 2019.


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    Cloudflare Ordered to Expose YTS, Showbox, and Popcorn Time Site ‘Operators’

    A recent DMCA subpoena has ordered Cloudflare to expose the people linked to various popular pirate sites and tools. The request, quietly submitted out of public sight, comes from a group of movie studios attempting to hold site owners responsible for piracy damages.

    As one of the leading CDN and DDoS protection services, Cloudflare is used by millions of websites across the globe, some of which are notorious pirate sites.

    The company has taken a lot of heat from copyright holders over the past few years, who want it to expose the operators of these platforms.

    However, instead of taking a proactive stance, Cloudflare maintains its position as a neutral service provider. If copyright holders want it to take action, they have to follow the legal process.

    This usually means obtaining a subpoena, ordering the company to share the personal details of its customers.

    This is exactly what a group of movies companies, including Bodyguard Productions, Cobbler Nevada, Criminal Productions, Dallas Buyers Club, and Venice PI, recently did through a federal court in Hawaii.

    These companies are involved in a series of piracy lawsuits. Best known are the so-called “copyright trolling” cases against alleged BitTorrent pirates, but more recently they began expanding their horizons to the people behind piracy services, such as the popular streaming app Showbox.

    The subpoena was issued in the latter case after being
    filed last May.

    The documents were not posted publicly but TorrentFreak managed to obtain a copy, which shows that the movie companies want details of the operators behind,,,,,, and

    From the DMCA subpoena

    Some additional digging revealed that no motion to quash was filed by Cloudflare, so it is likely that the requested information will be handed over.

    The subpoena itself doesn’t reveal anything about the intentions of the movie companies, however.

    The targeted sites are not listed in the original lawsuit, but it’s possible the owners are suspected of being linked to the defendants. In any case, it is clear that the movie outfits see the information as potentially valuable evidence in their legal battle.

    The question remains, of course, whether the information Cloudflare has on record will be of use. Many operators of pirate sites and services do their best to shield the true operators from being exposed.


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    EU Publishes Research into Malware & PUPs on Pirate Sites

    The EU Intellectual Property Office has published a new study into malware and 'potentially unwanted programs' being made available on pirate sites. While many samples of malware and PUPs were found, the EUIPO concludes that copyright-infringing websites and streaming services are not normally considered to be dominant sources of malware.

    As part of their strategy to deter the public from using pirate sites, entertainment industry groups have often painted these portals as havens for malware. A new study carried out by the EU Intellectual Property Office investigates the phenomenon.

    In the first phase of the research, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) collaborated with the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights to form an expert support group established to provide advice on methodology and to select the websites to be analyzed.

    The group was comprised of representatives from Observatory stakeholders, rights holder organizations, academia, law enforcement, and EU agencies. As research spanning all EU Member States wasn’t possible, 10 sample countries were randomly selected from the 28 in the block.

    Five movies, TV shows, music, and video games were selected (20 titles in all) for their popularity in one or more of the ten countries at the start of the collection period in June 2017. The titles were subsequently used in online searches to find infringing websites and applications.

    Websites suspected of offering infringing content (including streaming, linking, hosting, cyberlockers, and torrent platforms) were selected on the basis that they were popular in the ten sample countries or worldwide and were accessible by the “average user.” These were later studied for the presence of malware and “potentially unwanted programs”, such as those that provide advertisements.

    A concurrent analysis of malware and PUPs specific to Android devices focused on streaming, torrent, and hosting applications, providing they facilitated access to a broad range of “suspected” copyright-infringing content.

    “The data acquisition phase included two rounds of malware collection and analysis performed during the summer of 2017,” the report reads.

    “The first round of malware collection resulted in 1,054 unique domain names and the second round gave 1,057 unique domain names across 10 selected EU Member States. Malware was collected in both a manual and automated manner in order to simulate an average user’s experience.”

    The researchers used the Tor browser and a sandbox to collect the malware and PUPs and carried out searches “in a manner consistent with low security-awareness internet browsing.” No ad-blockers were used and all suspicious links and buttons were pressed.

    During the two rounds of analysis, the researchers checked their chosen infringing sites (none are named in the study) against VirusTotal’s database, to see whether they were already suspected of “performing malicious activities” or distributing malicious or otherwise unwanted software targeting the end-user. The table below reveals that around 8% had been previously flagged.

    “In addition, during the two rounds of malware collection from the identified copyright-infringing websites, several malicious and suspected-of-being-malicious files were collected,” the paper reads.

    “These were files directly downloaded from the websites. In addition, several files were acquired upon installation of the directly downloaded files. Those included any kind of side packages, software libraries, and other files that can pose threats to end-users wanting to use them.”

    The researchers found 4,000 files in their search, broken down into about 100 different types. (
    Note: The files for the second round contain only new unique files that were not discovered during the first round of malware collection)

    The report details a number of the techniques used by sites to deploy malware and PUPs, or to persuade users to part with personal details such as names, addresses, and email addresses. Some were contained in “useful” tools that may claim to block ads, provide installation or license key files, or facilitate access to infringing content.

    After obtaining 60 anti-virus reports from VirusTotal on the files acquired during the collection stage, the researchers decided on the following categories:

    • Benign — software that does not cause any harm to users, designed for specific good purposes, such as content-distribution platforms or office programs.
    • Potentially unwanted program (PUP) — software that provides advertisements, etc.
    • Malware — harmful software that tampers and steals personal data and accesses files on the computer without proper authorization.
    • Malware/PUP — a piece of software that can be included equally in both categories.

    All pieces of software collected by the researchers were further categorized.

    • Fake installers — software that lures users into disclosing personal information or providing payment card details by simulating game installation processes.

    • Streaming — software that provides free access to pirated video or audio content.

    • ‘Useful’ software — programs that may or may not improve something, yet promote a functionality that may be perceived as useful by some users.

    “Most of the programs are known as ‘useful’ software, which advertises various benefits to end-users, such as installing missing drivers and cleaning old files from PCs. Fake game installers and streaming services follow with a smaller share, yet one that is still considerable in comparison with the rest of the analyzed programs,” the study reads.

    “Four general categories [of malware] can be distinguished: Trojan, adware, backdoor, and agent. Additionally, ‘-’, in the figure below, means that there was no information available on community accepted malware type even though multiple anti-virus vendors marked files as malicious,” the report adds.

    “In this case, the labeling includes following general keywords such as ‘not trusted’, ‘unsafe’, ‘unwanted’, etc., which does not provide any additional semantic information about specific functionality or characteristics of malware. Therefore, in this study, such files were considered as generally malicious without a specific type.”

    The researchers say they found “no profoundly harmful” malware samples, such as ransomware, botnets or others. However, most of the collected malware samples were identified as trojans, with some potentially containing additional adware and/or backdoors. Additional analysis also revealed some malware with multiple payloads, including keyloggers, network tampering efforts, and rootkits.

    While the existence of malware on any site or service is a cause for concern, the report offers this relatively calming summary, with cautionary advice moving forward.

    “At present, suspected copyright-infringing websites and streaming services are not normally considered to be dominant sources of malware or otherwise unwanted software distribution.

    “However, considering the increasing popularity of streaming services, increased bandwidth of broadband networks, and the deployment of 4G networks, it cannot be ruled out that they may pose a growing risk moving forward,” the report notes.

    The EUIPO notes that the study isn’t designed to provide an assessment of the likelihood of malware or PUP infection from using infringing sites, nor does it seek to offer advice to consumers. That being said, common sense deployed alongside a good anti-virus program and adblocker can nullify many of the threats on sites where the user is especially concerned about security.

    It’s also worth noting that the practices of the EUIPO researchers during the study – deliberately clicking all suspect links and buttons while deliberately installing suspect programs – should be avoided at all costs. Equally, users of Android software not distributed by Google Play or Amazon should carefully consider the permissions requested by each application and deny any and all that require access to personal information.

    Last edited by Amias; 21-09-2018 at 02:30 PM.

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    FAB IPTV Says it Has Shut Down Following Europol-led Raid

    FAB IPTV, one of the major providers of unlicensed streaming content in the UK, says it has shut down completely following a Europol-led raid. The statement follows raids and arrests in both England and Southern Ireland last week. Europol previously indicated that a warrant had been executed in Scotland, where FAB IPTV is reportedly based, but is yet to confirm the news.

    Last week it became evident that a new crackdown against IPTV providers based in the UK and Southern Ireland was underway.

    In the first
    wave of action, a 41-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman were arrested in Bursledon, Hampshire, and detained under suspicion of offenses under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and money laundering. The pair were accused of illegally offering content from companies including Sky and BT Sport.

    Soon after,
    four more arrests were announced in Southern Ireland. Two men, aged 42 and 45, and two women, aged 37 and 40, were detained following house searches in Crumlin, Dublin and Ashbourne, Co Dublin. All were arrested and questioned under the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 and the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010.

    Shortly after, a Europol statement said the arrests had taken place after a complex year-long investigation involving the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Police Scotland, Trading Standards, the UK Intellectual Property Office, the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA) and Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).

    The law enforcement agency also noted that a warrant had been executed in Scotland but provided no additional detail. A statement just published on the official website of
    FAB IPTV, an IPTV provider known to operate from addresses in Scotland, appears to fill in the blanks.

    “On the morning of Tuesday September 11th a co-operation raid took place on one of the administrators homes whilst on holiday led by EUROPOL/Police Scotland and members from SKY/BT/Virgin/Possibly HBO and other Film/TV organizations. A number of devices were seized,” the statement reads.

    “It is on that note we will no longer be operational and will come to a COMPLETE close. Unfortunately nothing else is known right now as no information will be given on the case and that this will take many months.”

    FAB IPTV was incorporated in Scotland under the name FAB Hosting Ltd on February 22, 2017. A notice for compulsory strike-off was published on May 15, 2018. On July 30, 2018, the company was dissolved after filing no accounts.

    The service continued to operate but during August its operators advised customers that it would eventually shut down.

    “Unfortunately we are no longer accepting new subscriptions or renewals of current subscriptions due to closure. Any active subs will be honored until expiry,” the announcement noted.

    “We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused and we wish you luck with your future viewing.”

    The statement

    With some of FAB’s customers having purchased subscriptions that are yet to expire, many are going to be out of pocket following the closure announcement. Equally, resellers of FAB’s service, who will have invested much greater sums, will also find themselves in the red. However, FAB indicates that funds could be reclaimed.

    “I/We would advise that anyone whom would like a refund and are within 180 days as per PayPal limitations you should raise a dispute as we have zero access to any financial accounts associated with FAB,” the statement reads.

    Whether former subscribers and resellers will choose to elevate their heads above the parapet will remain to be seen, but given what FAB has to say next, the option to cut their losses might be easiest for most.

    “Please note this is an active investigation and doing so [asking for a refund] may bring action towards you so proceed with caution,” FAB warns.

    “I/We highly suggest taking precautions if you have used your REAL information with us or any IPTV service as this is only the beginning of what is a huge fight against illicit services. More information will come in due course no doubt on EUROPOL’s website and other IPTV related media sites. Thank you for being loyal to FAB and stay safe,” the announcement concludes.

    While it’s simplicity itself to fill in fake details when signing up to a service like FAB, many people use their real identities. However, the operator of a similar service previously told TF that they never check if names and addresses are real, meaning that people can fill anything in with no consequences.

    Finally, it’s worth noting that at least as far as TF’s previous investigations revealed, FAB IPTV and its administrators were extremely easy to track down and identify. Quite why such services operate with such a low level of security and privacy isn’t immediately clear but now the perhaps inevitable costs will have to be counted.


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    Canada’s Supreme Court Offers Hope to Falsely Accused File-Sharers

    In recent years hundreds of thousands of IP-addresses have been implicated in piracy lawsuits. But does that mean that the account holder is always liable? According to a recent comment by Canada's Supreme Court, merely being associated with a 'pirating' IP address "is not conclusive of guilt."

    Last week the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that ISPs are
    entitled to compensation for looking up the details of alleged copyright infringers.

    This verdict, a result of a dispute between Rogers and movie company Voltage Pictures, can have far-reaching consequences as it makes so-called “copyright trolling” more expensive.

    However, there is another nugget in the Supreme Court’s unanimous opinion that may be helpful to people who are wrongfully accused. In his comments, Justice Russell Brown notes that the owner of an IP-address isn’t automatically guilty.

    “It must be borne in mind that being associated with an IP address that is the subject of a notice under s. 41.26(1)(a) is not conclusive of guilt,” he writes.

    While this comment doesn’t change the outcome of this case, it certainly carries some weight. And Justice Brown is even more specific, explaining why the person connected to the IP-address isn’t automatically guilty.

    “As I have explained, the person to whom an IP address belonged at the time of an alleged infringement may not be the same person who has shared copyrighted content online.

    “It is also possible that an error on the part of a copyright owner would result in the incorrect identification of an IP address as having been the source of online copyright infringement,” Justice Brown notes.

    From the Court’s ruling

    The comments were
    highlighted by Law Professor Michael Geist earlier this week, who notes that this is good news for accused file-sharers. The Supreme Court comments clearly suggest that an IP-address alone may not be good enough to build a case.

    In other words, future defendants have a powerful reference to highlight in their defense.

    “While some may feel that they have little alternative but to settle, the Supreme Court’s language sends a reminder that IP address alone may be insufficient evidence to support a claim of copyright infringement,” Geist says.

    “Those that fight back against overly aggressive notices may find the claims dropped. Alternatively, contesting a claim would require copyright owners to tender more evidence than just an allegation supported by an identifiable IP address.”

    For an on-the-ground analysis, TorrentFreak reached out to
    James Plotkin of law firm CazaSaikaley, who represented two defendants in file-sharing cases recently.

    He also sees Justice Brown’s statement as favorable to defendants who have not shared any infringing works themselves.

    “When one reads the first two sentences of paragraph 41 together, it appears Brown J. is intimating, though not outright saying, that only the person who shares the work might be liable for infringement,” Plotkin tells us.

    While it’s good news for defendants, the attorney also notes that the Court’s comment is made “obiter dictum.” This means that it’s part of the non-precedential part of the opinion, which is open to debate.

    “That said, it still holds persuasive value, especially since it was stated on behalf of eight members of the Supreme Court,” Plotkin adds.

    For now, file-sharing cases in Canada
    will continue, but perhaps the Court’s comments will inspire defendants and their attorneys to push back a bit more, when appropriate.


  11. #11
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    Illegal Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin Boxing Streams Will Be Blocked

    Sports promoter Matchroom Sport has obtained a High Court injunction in the UK enabling it to block illegal streams of fights, including the Anthony Joshua versus Alexander Povetkin bout at Wembley this Saturday. The order is similar to the one granted to the Premier League earlier this year and will last for two years.

    In March 2017, the Premier League
    obtained a blocking injunction from the High Court which compelled ISPs including BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media to block unauthorized soccer streams under Section 97a of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

    A second order was
    handed down by the High Court in July 2017, running from August 12, 2017 to May 13, 2018. An extension was grantedby the Court in July 2018.

    Given the claimed success of the blockades and the problem of live sports piracy generally, other sports organizations showed interest in the scheme. One of those was
    Matchroom, the owner, manager, and promoter of various sporting events.

    Although the company has interests in darts, snooker, and poker, it is best known for its involvement in boxing. World champion Anthony Joshua and former champions Kell Brook and Tony Bellew have all featured in Matchroom bouts, and all of these events have been heavily pirated online.

    Now, however, Matchroom is hoping to put an end to that practice in the UK following a successful application to the High Court.

    Following in the footsteps of the Premier League, Matchroom applied for an injunction against ISPs BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media. None of the ISPs appeared to represent themselves and either supported or did not oppose the application. As a result, the application was considered “on paper”.

    Sky has an exclusive agreement with Matchroom to broadcast the company’s events. Matchroom owns the copyrights when Anthony Joshua fights and Sky owns them when other fighters appear. However, Joshua is fighting this Saturday night against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley so for the sake of these proceedings, Sky assigned the rights to Matchroom.

    Anthony Joshua is a huge draw and according to the High Court order, his previous fights have been heavily pirated, depriving both Matchroom and Sky of substantial pay-per-view revenue. Since Sky is losing money from piracy, the company supports Matchroom’s application as it did with the Premier League’s.

    While the blocking order sought was similar to those previously granted to the Premier League
    and later UEFA, there are two key differences.

    “First, because of the irregular timing of the Events, and in particular PPV Events, it is not possible for the Target Servers to be identified in quite the same way,” Justice Arnold writes.

    “Although the criteria are very similar, they are to be applied by a particular form of monitoring carried out in a seven-day period prior to each Event. The details of this are confidential, in order to prevent circumvention. While it creates a theoretically greater risk of over-blocking, Matchroom’s evidence is that in practice there should be no real difference.”

    Secondly, the Premier League and UEFA orders cover part or all of a season, dates that are already planned. In the boxing world, however, dates of bouts are fluid, so Matchroom has been granted the ability to notify the ISPs of upcoming events at least four weeks in advance.

    “[T]he order is proportionate. It does not impair the rights of the Defendants to carry on business,” Justice Arnold writes.

    “To the limited extent that it interferes with the rights of internet users to impart or receive information, the interference is justified by a legitimate aim, namely preventing infringement of Matchroom’s and Sky’s rights on a large scale, and it is proportionate to that aim.

    “It will be effective and dissuasive, no equally effective but less onerous measures are available to Matchroom, it avoids creating barriers to legitimate trade, it is not unduly complicated or costly and it contains safeguards against misuse.”

    The order handed down by the High Court in Matchroom’s favor will run for two years and will be in place to tackle piracy during this Saturday’s much-anticipated fight.


  12. #12
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    Dragon Box’ Changes Business Model Following Hollywood Lawsuit

    Facing serious legal pressure from Hollywood, the company behind the streaming device 'Dragon Box' is changing its business model. The company will officially introduce a subscription service called "Blend TV" next week, offering access to 65+ US Channels, including live sports streaming.

    Earlier this year, several major Hollywood studios, Amazon, and Netflix
    filed a lawsuit against Dragon Media Inc, branding it a supplier of pirate streaming devices.

    Under the flag of the newly formed anti-piracy group ACE, the companies accused Dragon of using the Kodi media player in combination with pirate addons. As such, the company facilitates mass copyright infringement, it was argued.

    While the lawsuit remains ongoing, the legal pressure prompted
    Dragon Box to take a good look at its business. With ACE filing lawsuits against several ‘streaming boxes,’ the problem was not going away anytime soon.

    “It’s been a tough 9 months for the company and the industry,” the company writes in a Facebook message picked up by
    Cord Cutters News.

    However, Dragon Box is not throwing in the towel. The company will change its business model and promises to continue serving the latest entertainment, albeit at a cost.

    “Instead of closing our doors and shutting down all boxes and riding off into the sunset we decided that it was in the best interest of you the customers and the company to change our business model..,” Dragon Box writes.

    The company adds that it will continue to try and bring customers “the best legal content we can and add in as many services we can to make Dragon Box the box that beats any competitors out there.”

    While the announcement isn’t very concrete, a company representative informs TorrentFreak that they plan to officially announce their “
    Blend TV” subscription service next week.

    This service, which has a similar website design as the box seller, is operated by uMedialink LLC and works on various platforms and devices. However, it does come with a subscription, starting at $39.95 per month for access to 65+ US Channels, including live sports streaming.

    Blend TV’s channels

    While Blend TV is not exactly a household name, its FAQ section notes that it is perfectly legal.

    “Absolutely! BlendTV has the required rights and permission’s for the distribution of all our channels and movies on demand,” Blend TV’s website reads.

    Dragon Box has also put up their boxes
    up for sale again. However, these are completely different to the ones that were offered last year. They are configured for easy access to Blend TV, and no longer come with Kodi and infringing add-ons pre-installed.

    TorrentFreak spoke to someone familiar with the situation, who explained that this move was inevitable. The company believes that this change is in their own best interests and the interests of their customers.

    Dragon Box still believes that online streaming is the future. And they hope that, by partnering with Blend TV, they can continue doing business without legal trouble.


  13. #13
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    Broadcaster Wins Streaming Piracy Blocking Case in Australia

    Hong Kong broadcaster Television Broadcasts has won its site-blocking case in Australia. As a result, ISPs including Telstra, Optus, Vocus, and TPG plus their subsidiaries must block access to 25 "online locations" connected to seven unauthorized Android-based streaming services. The blocks must be in place within 15 days.

    Last year, Hong Kong-based broadcaster Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) applied for a blocking injunction in Australia against several unauthorized IPTV services.

    Under the Copyright Act, the broadcaster asked the Federal Court to order ISPs including Telstra, Optus, Vocus, and TPG plus their subsidiaries to block access to seven Android-based services named as A1, BlueTV, EVPAD, FunTV, MoonBox, Unblock, and hTV5.

    TVB’s application was unusual in that it not only required ISPs to block URLs, domains and IP addresses related to the technical operation of the services, but also hosting platforms akin to Google Play and Apple’s App Store that host the app.

    Back in May, due to the relative complexity of the application, Justice Nicholas
    reserved his decision, telling TVB that his ruling could take a couple of months after receiving his “close attention.”

    In a ruling handed down by the Federal Court yesterday, TVB discovered it had been worth the wait.

    Justice Nicholas notes in his judgment that the primary purpose of the illicit streaming set-top boxes is to facilitate the infringement of copyright by making such material available in Australia without permission from copyright owners. He also notes, however, that many people using these devices did not know they are infringing copyright.

    “Be that as it may, I regard as flagrant the copyright infringements of the persons who have made the TVB broadcasts available online, including those persons responsible for the establishment and maintenance of the target online locations that make it possible for users of the streaming devices to view the TVB broadcasts either in close to real time or at some later time using the VOD service,” the Judge writes.

    In an earlier hearing, TVB was confronted with the fact that some of the content it broadcasts has uncertain copyright status in Australia. While Hong Kong is a member of the World Trade Organization, it is not a party to the 1961 Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations.

    The Judge says that considering the low volume of that content, blocking would not be an issue.

    “I accept that access to some of content that was originally broadcast (ie. which was not pre-recorded) in which copyright does not subsist may also be blocked, but my strong impression from the evidence is that this is likely to constitute a relatively small proportion of the total content the subject of TVB’s television broadcasts in Hong Kong,” he

    “This is not a case, in my view, where blocking orders, if made, will significantly curtail non-infringing use of the streaming devices.”

    The Judge adds that other than blocking, TVB has no other practical remedies available to curtail infringement of its rights. This is due to the likelihood that the operators of the service are “almost certainly” based overseas and “impossible” to track down.

    “Obtaining any form of effective injunctive relief against them in Australia is not a realistic option,” Justice Nicholas adds.

    ISPs including Telstra, Optus, Vocus and TPG now have 15 days to block the “online locations” supplying content and services to the infringing set-top boxes in Australia. Meanwhile, TVB continues its battle against pirates.

    “Actions are being taken by TVB in Singapore and other overseas markets to block piracy websites. We will keep in contact with the Hong Kong government to push similar site-blocking in Hong Kong,” a TVB spokesman said.


  14. #14
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    Reddit Gets Tough With Multiple Bans of Piracy Sub-Reddits

    Faced with communities that continually flaunt Reddit's rules on deliberately linking to copyright-infringing content, the site's admins have banned yet more piracy-focused sub-Reddits. The latest casualties are communities that have systematically posted links to movies, TV shows and software.

    While the DMCA contains a ‘repeat infringer’ clause, copyright cases filed in the United States are now helping to more accurately define what the term means.

    Multiple cases involving ISPs
    Cox, Grande Communications, and their subscribers, appear to be having a knock-on effect on platforms that rely on user-submitted content. No longer as vague as it was, the repeat infringer clause now means that platforms are quicker to take action against persistent pirates.

    With its tens of millions of users, Reddit is one such site. All content is submitted by users and while copyright infringements are dealt with following complaints from rightsholders, the site now appears to deal more swiftly with those who continually flout the rules.

    previously reported, Reddit has issued stern warnings to several communities after they were subjected to multiple complaints from rightsholders. It now appears the ban-hammer is being swung with increasing force.

    Several sub-Reddits connected to copyright infringing content have recently been banned from Reddit. One of those is
    FullMoviesOnAnything, a previously 23,000-strong community that posted links to full movies hosted on external sites.

    How FullMoviesOnAnything used to look

    Following complaints, users are no longer greeted with a large index of links to infringing content. Instead, the sub-Reddit displays the familiar ‘banned’ screen indicating that the community has been shuttered for good.

    Permanently banned from Reddit

    Another sub-Reddit with a similar name and purpose has also been banned. FullMoviesOnAnything_ (note the underscore) was also nuked, apparently for spam. Like its namesake, however, the community also posted links to copyright-infringing content.

    How FullMoviesOnAnything_ used to look

    These aren’t the only ‘infringing’ sub-Reddits to be closed in recent times.

    TvShowsOnAnything, a nod to its namesake in the movie sector, has also been permanently removed from the site. The same thing happened to /r/fullmoviesonline earlier this year.

    While Reddit doesn’t always display precise reasons for a sub-Reddit being banned on each individual landing page, one doesn’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that copyright infringement was an issue in the above cases. In other instances, however, the site is more clear.

    The ‘banned’ notices on sub-Reddits including
    /r/fullmovies and /r/crackedsoftware are crystal clear, with a specific note that the sub-Reddit violated the site’s repeat infringer policy and were shut down.

    Repeat infringer policy in effect

    As highlighted last month, sub-Reddits dealing with piracy-related topics need to be increasingly careful not to break Reddit’s rules. Tight moderation is the key, along with common sense from users.


  15. #15
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    TTV Feeds EZTV ‘Fake’ Torrents… ‘Stop Taking Our Releases!’

    Popular TV-torrent distribution group ETTV is calling out one of its main 'competitors.' The group accuses EZTV of taking 'its' releases and branding them as their own, publishing fake torrents to prove their point. "If you want to be a distribution group you should be getting your source files privately," ETTV says.

    Online pirates are generally not known to be the most law-abiding citizens. However, they certainly have their own set of standards.

    Scene groups, for example, have to follow a
    strict set of rules which define how they are supposed to share their booty.

    Further down the piracy pyramid, we find P2P distribution groups. These operate out in public, making sure that scene releases find their way to the masses on a regular schedule.

    ETTV is one of these groups. Specializing in the latest TV content, it uploads dozens of scene releases to public sites, including their own. The group prides itself on its selection and speed, something appreciated by millions of pirates.

    While ETTV is running steady, the site’s operators have one major nuisance. EZTV, one of their main ‘competitors’, is releasing ‘their’ content without permission.

    While the original EZTV shut down following a hostile takeover, the people who took over are still serving torrents to millions of people every month. And according to ETTV, many of these torrents are sourced from ETTV.

    To show their discontent, ETTV recently added a fake torrent to their feed. Specifically, they uploaded a rather explicit adult film, disguising it as the latest “Taskmaster” episode.

    As can be seen below, the title comes with an additional message: “EZTV and TGX stop ridding our releases,” which made its way onto the EZTV site.

    The fake release has since been removed from EZTV’s website but ETTV didn’t stop there. Another fake release appeared on Thursday, disguised as a Mr. Mercedes episode.

    However, as
    several commenters noted, this was something entirely different.

    Looking at the various release feeds, it indeed appears that EZTV, in particular, is a near copy of that of ETTV. The main difference is that the torrents appear a few minutes later.

    TorrentFreak reached out to ETTV, who told us that they decided to take a stand because they are tired of EZTV’s antics.

    “They are always using our content and we are getting tired of it. If you want to be a distribution group you should be getting your source files privately,” ETTV says.

    While ETTV is a bot that operates
    mostly automated, this process is certainly not free. The group pays various sites which offer scene content, so they can access these files.

    Of course, ETTV itself also uses the ‘work’ of others, including scene groups (and movie studios), but it stresses that it’s not okay for one public distribution group to blatantly copy from another.

    “We owe them nothing and don’t want anything from them either,” ETTV says.

    “They can play the ‘sharing is caring card’ all they want, but only amateurs and freeloading scum think its ok to run their sites by [taking content from] other public sites.”

    The other group that was called out in the fake release is TGX. However, as far as we’ve seen these fake releases were not republished with their tag. TGX did use torrents from ETTV’s feed earlier.

    Whether EZTV will be bothered by the accusations is doubtful. The group doesn’t have the best reputation after the hostile takeover of the original EZTV, and copying YIFY and ExtraTorrent, but most of their visitors don’t seem to care.

    This isn’t the first time a ‘fake’ torrent has made its way onto EZTV’s website. A few weeks ago we already reported on a
    similar incident, which ETTV had nothing to do with.


  16. #16
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    Judge Sees No Evidence that Pirates Were Drawn by ISP’s Lack of ‘Policing’

    A group of RIAA labels has suffered a setback in their case against ISP Grande Communications. US Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin recommends denying their motion for an amended complaint, as there is no new evidence suggesting that pirates signed up with the provider due to its lacking repeat infringer policy.

    Last year several major record labels, represented by the RIAA,
    filed a lawsuit against ISP Grande Communications accusing it of turning a blind eye to pirating subscribers.

    According to the labels, the Internet provider knew that some of its subscribers were frequently distributing copyrighted material, but failed to take any meaningful action in response.

    Grande refuted the accusations and filed a motion to dismiss the case. The ISP
    partially succeeded as the claims against its management company Patriot were dropped.

    The same was true for the vicarious infringement allegations. The court saw no evidence that potential customers would specifically sign up with Grande because it did not police infringing conduct by its subscribers.

    The labels disagreed, however, and were not ready to let any claims go. In May they submitted a motion for leave to file an amended complaint including new evidence obtained during discovery. Among other things, they argued that Grande willingly kept pirating subscribers aboard, to generate more revenue.

    This week, US Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin issued his “report and recommendation” on the matter, which delivers a significant setback for the RIAA labels.

    Judge Austin sees no new evidence which shows that ‘pirate’ subscribers were specifically drawn to Grande. The new evidence may indicate that Grande failed to terminate pirating subscribers for years, but that’s not enough.

    “First, the original Complaint alleged essentially the same or similar facts,” the recommendation reads.

    “Second, the new allegations still fail to say anything about the motivations of Grande’s subscribers when they sign up with Grande. That is, Plaintiffs still fail to plead facts showing Grande gained or lost customers because of its failure to terminate infringers.”

    The alleged pirates used BitTorrent to share infringing works, which is something they could have done through any ISP, the Magistrate Judge adds.

    The RIAA labels also argued that Grande’s management company Patriot Media Consulting, which is also listed as a defendant, should be held liable too.

    However, the court previously ruled that, while Patriot employees were involved in policy making, they didn’t take any decisions or actions that led to the alleged infringements.

    According to the order, the labels’ new evidence doesn’t change this.

    “Though there is more detail in the proposed amendment, these allegations are “more of the same” when compared to the original complaint,” Magistrate Judge Austin writes.

    In conclusion, Judge Austin recommends denying the RIAA labels’ motion to file an amended complaint. If this recommendation is adopted by the District Court Judge, the case against Grande will continue based on the contributory infringement claim alone.

    Judge Austin’s full report and recommendations filing is available here (pdf).


  17. #17
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    Piracy is Booming in Russia, With Help From Online Casinos’

    The number of illegally recorded films in Russian cinemas is skyrocketing, cybersecurity company Group-IB reports. Nearly all films that were released this year have leaked. According to Group-IB, one particularly active group of pirates is financed by online-casinos, who advertise their logos in the videos.

    Piracy is very much a worldwide phenomenon, but there are some noteworthy differences between various regions.

    Earlier this year
    we reported that there’s a notable decrease in camcording piracy globally. However, in Russia, this trend is going in the opposite direction.

    This finding was corroborated this week by the international cybersecurity outfit
    Group-IB. The company’s Anti-Piracy department reported that there has been a clear increase in locally camcorded movies.

    In 2016 there were ‘only’ 33 Russian cinema leaks. This increased more than 500% to 211 a year later and, during the first eight months of 2018, the counter has already reached 280 leaked recordings.

    “Almost every film released in 2018 has been pirated and leaked to the web. In 2017, the country’s cinemas showed 477 movies, and 211 of them were pirated, which is 6 times more than a year earlier,” Group-IB notes.

    TorrentFreak reached out to Andrey Busargin, Director of Brand Protection at Group-IB, who informed us that there is an organized group of “camcording” pirates which has been very active.

    “This group is financed by online-casinos, which support online-pirates as well. Online-casinos integrate their ads in the pirated copies and TV-shows in the form of logos, captioning or even as audio tracks,” Busargin says.

    These pirated copies than spread across the web. As an example, Group-IB provided screenshots of ads for “Azino 777” before and
    duringpirated movies, as well as a branded watermark, seen below.

    “This scheme allows online casinos to generate leads, wherever a user watches a pirated copy and whatever ads are displayed on a website with pirated copies,” Busargin adds.

    According to Group-IB, pirate sites are also profiting handsomely from the availability of infringing content.

    “On average pirates earn $3 per 1000 views. Therefore, an average monthly income of pirated websites owners can reach $10,000. It would cost roughly $240 to create a pirated website, which allows owners to quickly recoup their ‘business’.”

    That sounds profitable indeed. However, an operator of a large torrent site told us, on the condition of anonymity, that it’s a rather optimistic estimate. While popups in countries such as Japan can indeed earn up to $3 per 1000 impressions, in Russia this figure is closer to $0.3-0.5, he said.

    Also, these popups are often restricted to one impression per unique visitor per day, not all website views. And then there are the ad-blockers, which take out roughly 40% of all traffic.

    This means that one million Russian pageviews, from 100,000 unique users, would bring in ‘only’ $20 per popup ad. This is, effectively, $0.02 per 1000 pageviews.

    Sites can run multiple ads at once, of course, but Group-IB’s figure appears to be optimistic. Even BitTorrent Inc, which is a legitimate company, doesn’t charge more than
    a few cents per 1000 views for its banners.

    The cybersecurity company further estimates that there were a massive 10 billion search queries for “free” movies and TV-shows in Russia in a year. The company directly translates this to 110 pirate movies views for all 90 million Internet users, but that may be a bit much as well.

    When we asked the company about this estimate, they told us that 110 movies per year shouldn’t be taken too literally and that it’s meant as a “snapshot” of the number of films people “intended” to watch.

    All in all Group-IB’s data is quite intriguing, especially the rapid increase in cammed movies and the allegation that casinos facilitate this activity.

    On that note, it’s worth mentioning that the aforementioned “Azino 777” casino was mentioned earlier this year as one of the top online advertisers in Russia. Despite a site blocking ban by Roskomnadzor, it
    beats the likes of Yandex, Coca-Cola, and Tele2.

    Group-IB infographic


  18. #18
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    Tamil Rockers new domains and other 60 more linked to torrent site Blocked

    The Tamil Film Producers’ Council anti Piracy cell (TFPC ANTI PIRACY CELL) doing their great work against to piracy and also achieving some things daily. According to the report, there were more than 60 websites which all involved in releasing new movies online for free has blocked.

    Actor Vishal and Producer SR Prabhu team receiving wishes for their actions against piracy. Thier anti-piracy team has already filed more cases to enhance the growth of the film industry.

    The official twitter handle of TFPC Anti-piracy cell tweeted “Mammoth achievement by @TFPC_Antipiracy blocking 60 plus major websites . First Indian film segment to file 69 cases against websites and 93 cable piracy cases. 18 cases against theatres involved in piracy. 19 arrests. Much more efforts to #killpiracy @
    prabhu_sr @vishalKOfficial. [sic]”

    Also, the list of websites which all blocked by the anti-piracy cell has out.

    •,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and more.

    The Maharashtra government’s Cyber Digital Crime Unit (MCDCU) also blocked 29 websites which all involved in piracy.

    The treasurer of TFPC SR Prabhu tweeted, “Already IPREC ( earlier Video Piracy ) is formed & through TFPC 40+ cases have been filed & many sites are blocked. TN govt. police dept. is supporting to their fullest power within the boundaries of the law#MoviePiracy @TFPC_Antipiracy. [sic]”

    TFPC antipiracy cell has also suspended two other new Tamil rockers domains recently, and . And the team ready to take actions on the upcoming new domain of the website, which is the main and popular piracy site, affected all the movies in the South Indian and mainly Kollywood.

    Early on July 2018, the Central government has invited TFPC Antipiracy team to discuss technical drawbacks and assured maximum support to kill piracy. TFPC identified as the best antipiracy team in India.

  19. #19
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    Why Kodi Addons & Pirate Apps Are Disappearing…Quietly

    Since 2017, many Kodi addon and 'pirate' app developers have chosen to discontinue their projects and disappear into the shadows. Yet, unlike historical shutdowns of torrent and streaming platforms, most of these moves haven't made the headlines. The informational black hole is notable but can be explained. Those targeted are compelled not to say a word.

    It’s impossible to say how many lawyers have been deployed to shut down piracy-related projects over the years. Dozens would be a conservative estimate but just one beating down the door can be an intimidating experience.

    In the early 2000s and for at least the next decade and beyond, many efforts to shut down pirate sites and services were accompanied by triumphant press releases. Arrests, court appearances, and usually negative verdicts against pirates became a rallying point for the content industries, with the head-on-a-pike deterrent proving a valuable tool in the propaganda wars.

    Last year, however, a new tactic appeared to gain momentum. In addition to strategic publicized cases against larger-scale infringers, a steady undercurrent of threats became evident in the Kodi addon and pirate application community. Rather than breaking down doors, content owners approached developers quietly, warning that shutting down is the only real way to avoid punishing legal action.

    Most of the approaches were made by the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), the global anti-piracy coalition made up of 30 of the world’s most powerful entertainment companies. This fact has been made public by a number of developers, with some
    publishing correspondence on the web.

    Many others, however, simply announced their retirement and disappeared, often around the same time that other developers took the same course of action. When approached for comment most refused to offer details but it’s clear that decisions weren’t being made freely. It won’t come as a surprise to learn that many, in exchange for not having their lives ruined, agreed to take a vow of silence.

    After collating information from a number of sources, we can now reveal some of the tactics being used against developers involved in ‘pirate’ projects.

    While the details vary from case to case, most approaches begin with a detailed overview of the project the developer is involved in and various laws that ACE believe are being broken. This is followed up with details of a multi-point settlement deal which can potentially see the developer exit with a minimum of costs.

    previously reported, some of the terms are fairly unpalatable, including an agreement to report on associates and colleagues involved in the project and associated projects. We have no idea whether anyone targeted has done so but we know the settlement agreement contains such clauses. However, aside from ending all infringing activities, the number one insistence is that recipients keep their mouths firmly shut.

    In order to protect those who have disclosed information to TF, we aren’t publishing direct quotes from the settlement agreements. However, we can disclose that those entering settlements are forbidden from speaking to anyone (apart from their legal advisors) about the contents of the agreement, but it goes further than that.

    Those targeted are expressly forbidden from telling anyone that they have even been contacted or that discussions are taking place, something that really isolates people seeking to receive external help and advice.

    Furthermore, if the recipient’s case is discussed with ACE at all, no information – whether spoken or in written form – can be revealed to any third-party (outside legal counsel). As far as we can see from the documents available, this means they aren’t even allowed to discuss the terms with a close friend or family member.

    However, in return for their full cooperation, it appears that ACE will keep their identities a secret. If announcements to the press are made (which thus far hasn’t been the coalition’s modus operandi), ACE has told those who sign agreements that they won’t be named or identified in other ways.

    With this background, it’s not difficult to see why developers are choosing to shut down their projects and disappear quietly. While some will find the terms of ACE’s settlement agreement difficult, it’s undoubtedly better than the alternative. With billions of dollars up their collective sleeves, ACE members have unlimited access to legal weaponry and could drain the average person’s finances in a matter of months in legal fees alone.

    Quite why ACE has chosen to act against developers so quietly isn’t clear but given that most of their targets thus far have been bedroom-based Joe Publics, it’s possible that the “30 Goliaths versus David” imagery is something some its members would prefer not to be associated with.

    Finally, users worried by a potential hand over of information to authorities as highlighted by the
    Terrarium TV case this week (note: we have no confirmation that ACE was involved) shouldn’t be surprised when developers act to save their own skin. Privacy and security is the user’s own responsibility and in the Wild West of piracy, anything can happen.


  20. #20
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    Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 09/24/18

    The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'The First Purge' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story'. 'Sicario: Day of the Soldado' completes the top three.

    This week we have two newcomers in our chart.

    The First Purge is the most downloaded movie.

    The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are Web-DL/Webrip/HDRip/BDrip/DVDrip unless stated otherwise.

    RSS feed for the articles of the recent weekly movie download charts.

    This week’s most downloaded movies are:

    Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer
    Most downloaded movies via torrents
    1 (…) The First Purge 5.2 / trailer
    2 (2) Solo: A Star Wars Story 7.1 / trailer
    3 (3) Sicario: Day of the Soldado 7.3 / trailer
    4 (1) Skyscraper 6.1 / trailer
    5 (4) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 6.5 / trailer
    6 (5) Ocean’s Eight 6.3 / trailer
    7 (…) The Meg (Subbed HDRip) 6.0 / trailer
    8 (6) Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Subbed HDRip) 8.1 / trailer
    9 (7) Deadpool 2 8.0 / trailer
    10 (8) Avengers: Infinity War 8.7 / trailer


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