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  1. #301
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    Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 01/07/19

    The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'The Vanishing' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘The Favourite'. 'Ralph Breaks The Internet' completes the top three.

    This week we have three newcomers in our chart.

    The Vanishing 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 Vanishing 6.0 / trailer
    2 (…) The Favourite (DVDScr) 8.1 / trailer
    3 (7) Ralph Breaks The Internet (Dvdscr) 5.5 / trailer
    4 (1) Johnny English Strikes Again 6.4 / trailer
    5 (2) Bird Box 7.7 / trailer
    6 (3) Aquaman (HDTC) 7.7 / trailer
    7 (4) Venom 7.0 / trailer
    8 (…) Vice (DVDScr) 7.2 / trailer
    9 (9) Green Book (Dvdscr) 5.5 / trailer
    10 (5) Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald 6.9 / trailer

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  2. #302
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    Pirate Streaming Site Flixtor Rises From The Ashes

    The popular pirate streaming site Flixtor has risen from the ashes. More than a month after it was taken out by a catastrophic failure, the site is now back in action. According to the Flixtor team, all backend code had to be rewritten, and while the site is functional, more work has to be done yet.

    By offering access to high quality movies and TV-shows, streaming site Flixtor.to has become the go-to site for many pirates.

    Everything went relatively smoothly until Last November, when the popular site
    suddenly disappeared from the web.

    Initially, it was unknown what caused the downtime but after a week the Flixtor team announced that the site had been taken out by an unexplained catastrophe.

    This was a major disappointment to the platform’s users, especially those who just paid for VIP access. However, it was not the end. According to a temporary message posted on the site, everything would be
    rebuilt from scratch.

    After more than a month had passed, the promised comeback arrived last weekend. Flixtor.to resurfaced and, at first glance, it looks pretty much the same as before. However, all the backend code had to be rewritten.

    “Sorry it took so long but it was a lot of work to recover. The outside looks the same but everything under the hood had to be rewritten,” the Flixtor team writes in a public announcement.

    There’s still a lot of work yet to be done but a Beta version of the site is functional.

    “We’re in BETA for the next few days. This means that we’re in the middle of updating and fixing things so expect some downtime every now and then,” the Flixtor team notes.

    During the coming days and weeks, the site will be optimized. This includes adding to the content library, which isn’t complete just yet. According to Flixtor, the prime focus will be on rebuilding the TV-show library first.

    VIP users are also reassured by the Flixtor team. They will all receive new login credentials which give them access to the same perks as before, including all videos in 1080p quality.

    It’s still unclear what happened to the site last November. Flixtor is certainly one of the prime targets of the Hollywood studios, but there are no signs that the outage was caused by a coordinated enforcement effort.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  3. #303
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    UK Govt. Says Police Anti-Piracy Unit Will Be Funded Beyond June 2019

    A report from a UK tabloid, which suggests that funding for the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit might be in question, has been refuted by the Intellectual Property Office. The paper claims that the unit might be funded by industry players but commitments had "fallen through". The IPO says that there are no such plans and it intends to continue funding the unit.

    First announced in the summer of 2013, the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) quickly declared its mission to tackle IP crime both at home and overseas.

    In the more than five years since, PIPCU has tackled all kinds of infringement, closely aligning itself with the needs of the music, movie, and publishing industries. As a result, the unit has often been in the headlines tackling torrent and streaming piracy, as well as dealing with organized criminals who flood the market with counterfeit consumer electronics and clothing.

    PIPCU’s 2013 launch was facilitated with £2.56 million in funding from the UK government’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO), funding that has continued since. During August 2017, for example, PIPCU
    said it had received an additional £3.32 million, to safeguard the unit until June 30, 2019.

    However, in a
    report from UK tabloid The Sun yesterday, the publication suggested that PIPCU’s funding could be in question.

    “[P]lans for industry stakeholders to fund the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit have fallen through and government funding runs out in June,” the paper claimed.

    This was enough for Shadow policing minister Louise Haigh to weigh-in on the issue, openly criticizing the government for not doing enough to protect the public on the Internet.

    “It’s about time ministers stopped short-changing the police and gave them the resources they need to keep people safe online,” she said.

    To the best of our knowledge, PIPCU has always been funded by the government, so the suggestion that there were recent discussions for the creative industries to contribute financially comes as news to us. Speaking with
    WTR, PIPCU itself poured cold water on the industry-funding claim.

    “PIPCU has always received two year rolling funding from the IPO,” PIPCU Detective Chief Inspector Teresa Russell told the publication.

    “While PIPCU’s funding does expire in June, the funding will be extended by the IPO. There have been no recent plans for PIPCU to be funded directly by industry.”

    The intention for the government to continue funding PIPCU was confirmed by Dr Ros Lynch at the Intellectual Property Office.

    “We are committed to funding the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit beyond June 2019 when the current funding runs out,” Lynch said.

    “The unit provides a positive impact on this type of crime and discussions with the City of London Police on future funding is already very advanced.”

    The news that PIPCU will be funded beyond June 2019 comes on the heels of the unit receiving praise during the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center’s (GIPC) 6th annual IP Champions event in Washington
    last year.

    Two key players from PIPCU were handed the IP Champion for Excellence in Enforcement award. Detective Chief Superintendent Pete O’Doherty was recognized for his leadership at PIPCU while Nick Court, PIPCU’s former Acting Detective Chief Inspector, was credited for combating illegal online streaming and other digital piracy.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  4. #304
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    ARIN Wants Mantadory IP-address Whois Registry to Police Piracy

    The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) asked Canada's Government to require ISPs and other large companies to maintain a Whois database of IP-addresses and numbers. The database, which is already in place, covers recipients of large blocks of IP-numbers, not individuals. This helps to track down copyright infringers but, according to ARIN, its future is at risk.

    ARIN may not be well known to the wider public, but it provides a crucial service which affects the Internet at large.

    One of the main tasks of the non-profit organization is to distribute crucial Internet number resources, including IPv4 addresses, IPv6 addresses, and AS numbers.

    These numbers are not directly allocated to individual end-users. They typically go to large companies including Google and Amazon, Internet registrars, as well as ISPs such as AT&T, Comcast, Bell, and Rogers.

    For several decades these companies have maintained a voluntary Whois database, keeping track of customers assigned a large block of IP-numbers. Not the average Joe’s Internet connection, but a large university, or a hosting provider, for example.

    In a letter sent to the Canadian Government as part of the Statutory Review of the Copyright Act, ARIN stresses that the Whois database is an important copyright enforcement tool.

    “When copyright infringing material or other illicit content is found online, Whois is often the first point of investigation of the source,” ARIN writes.

    “Law enforcement agencies and private parties with a legal interest can access the Whois database either in accordance with the registrar’s policies, or under judicial order.”

    Until recently, this Whois database was kept in place by ARIN through a “carrot” and “stick” approach. Companies would regularly come back to request new IP-addresses (carrot), and ARIN would only allocate this if the Whois database was properly maintained (stick).

    This has worked fine for over thirty years, but the American non-profit fears that their “stick” may no longer be as effective now things are moving to IPv6.

    Since the IPv4 address pool is exhausted, companies are moving to IPv6 addresses, which are widely available. This means that these companies may not have to return to ARIN for years.

    Without this pressure, these companies may neglect the Whois database, the organization fears.

    “ISPs and others will be able to request large blocks IPv6 numbers and may not need to return to ARIN for replenishment for several years. As a result, ARIN will no longer have a mechanism to require compliance with maintaining up to date records of IP dispersals,” the organization writes.

    “As no other regulatory or other mechanisms exist that would require this information be updated and preserved, it is likely that many organizations will rarely or never do so.”

    ARIN fears that without a proper Whois database, rogue players could “wreak havoc.” That will make it harder to investigate and stop copyright infringement, as well as other illegal activity.

    As such, the organization is asking the Canadian Government to “require” companies and ISPs that receive large blocks of numbers to “maintain an up-to-date registry of the assignment of internet numbers.”

    In addition, the Government shoulds take legislative or regulatory action to ensure that companies which can assign internet numbers to third parties have a legal duty to keep the Whois database up to date.

    This is the first time we’ve seen ARIN getting involved in copyright enforcement discussions at this level. It will be interesting to see how their request will be received.

    Whether all 5,896 ARIN members stand behind the request is doubtful. Milton Mueller, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Public Policy and a former ARIN advisory committee member, believes that it’s a bad idea to fragment these kinds of policies on a country-to-country basis.

    Mueller also questions whether most ARIN members stand behind the submission, which was apparently sent in without consulting the organization’s broader base.

    “I think ARIN’s community would be shocked to see its staff inviting national governments to regulate them without any discussion or vetting of this idea within the community,” he informed
    The Wire Report.

    Copyright holders in the United States and abroad will likely welcome the proposal though. For them, Whois data has been a hot topic over the past several months.

    In addition to the IP-address allocation data, rightsholders are
    also concerned about the domain name Whois data, which many companies obscured following the implementation of the GDPR, the EU’s new privacy regulation.


    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  5. #305
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    Australian music industry wants ISPs to block ‘stream ripping’ sites

    Music labels launch new legal action

    Major music labels are backing court action that, if successful, will force major Australian Internet service providers to block their customers from accessing so-called ‘stream ripping’ services.

    The Federal Court action is being coordinated by Music Rights Australia, with the support of the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) as well as Sony Music Entertainment Australia Pty Ltd, Universal Music Australia Pty Limited and Warner Music Australia Pty Limited.

    Stream-ripping sites allow users to record and save the audio streamed from a service such as Spotify or YouTube. The services have not previously been the subject of legal action in Australia. (In November, Sony Music emerged victorious from a fight against stream-ripping service MusicMonster.fm in a German court, with the service being declared illegal.)

    Last year Australia’s anti-piracy scheme was significantly strengthened. The range of sites that can be targeted was expanded to include services that have the “primary effect” of facilitating or engaging in copyright infringement. Previously to be blocked a site needed to have as its “primary purpose” facilitating or engaging in online piracy.

    The government said the intention of the changes was to capture a range of additional categories of service linked to online copyright infringement, such as ‘cyber lockers’.

    The music industry application for injunction has been brought under Section 115a of the Copyright Act. Entertainment companies have previously used Section 115a to tackle a range of online services, including sites offering video streaming, file downloads, indexes of pirated material, support for illicit set-top box streaming, and unauthorised subtitle downloads.

    Music Rights Australia in 2016 spearheaded an effort by labels and industry organisations to have telcos block access to BitTorrent site Kickass Torrents. A site-blocking injunction was granted by the court in 2017. That application was one of the first to take advantage of the anti-piracy law.

    If granted, the new injunction will affect customers of Optus, Telstra, TPG (including AAPT, iiNet and Internode) and Vodafone. Foxtel is also listed as a respondent — the pay TV provider, which has a broadband arm, was also targeted by the Kickass Torrents action.

    (A notable absence from the list of respondents is Vocus, which owns Dodo and iPrimus — it has previously been one of the telcos listed in site-blocking actions brought by the movie industry.)

    “These no fault injunctions are used to block the worst of the illegal sites which undermine the local and international music industry,” a Music Rights Australia spokesperson told Computerworld.

    “We use this effective and efficient no fault remedy to block the illegal sites which undermine the many licensed online services which give music fans the music they love where, when and how they want to hear it,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

    The music industry action is not the only site-blocking application currently before the courts: A group of companies led by Village Roadshow and including major film studios as well as Australian distributor Madman is seeking to have ISPs block 79 online locations (spread across 99 domains) that allegedly offer illicit streaming or downloads of copyright material, or link to other locations that provide streaming or download services.

  6. #306
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    India Proposes Prison Sentences for ‘Cam’ Piracy

    The Indian Government has proposed an update to the Cinematograph Act to target camcording piracy. Under the new proposal, pirates will face up to three years in prison. The new plans follow repeated calls from the local movie industry, Hollywood, as well as the US Government.

    Tens years ago India only had about five million broadband subscribers. Today, there are close to half a billion.

    This massive increase has left its mark on society, and as we
    envisioned at the time, it proved to be a growth market for pirates as well.

    The high online piracy rates are a problem, but offline there are issues too. As it turns out, many of the camcorded movie leaks that appear on pirate sites originate from Indian movie theaters.

    This presents a problem for both Bollywood and Hollywood, both of which have repeatedly argued that current copyright legislation is not properly equipped to deal with the problem.

    “The Indian Government should swiftly enact legislative amendments to outlaw unauthorized recording of all or part of an audiovisual work in a cinema,” MPAA noted just recently.

    The US Trade Representative also
    highlighted this issue in its most recent Special 301 Report, noting that proposed amendments to the Cinematograph Act have stalled for several years.

    Whether this outside pressure had an effect or not, the Indian Government is now proposing a new amendment to the Cinematograph Act to target unauthorized copying in theaters. As a result, camcording pirates may soon face jail time and hefty fines.

    The proposal suggests putting a maximum prison sentence of three years on unauthorized recording audio or video footage at a movie theater. In addition, there’s a maximum fine of Rs.10 Lakhs, which is roughly $14,000.

    The amendment in question reads as follows:

    “Notwithstanding any law for the time being in force including any provision of the Copyright Act, 1957, any person who, during the exhibition of an audiovisual work, cinematographic in an exhibition facility used to exhibit cinematograph films or audiovisual recordings and without the written authorization of the copyright owner, uses any audiovisual recording device to knowingly make or transmit or attempt to make or transmit or abet the making or transmission of a copy or visual recording or sound recording embodying a cinematograph film or audiovisual recording or any part thereof or a copy of sound recording accompanying such cinematograph film or audiovisual recording or any part thereof during subsistence of copyright in such cinematograph film or sound recording, shall be punishable with imprisonment not exceeding three years and shall also be liable to fine not exceeding Rs.10 Lakhs, or to a term of imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.”

    The draft legislation has yet to pass but major players in the movie industry are happy with the announcement.

    Uday Singh, managing director of the MPA’s Motion Picture Distributors Association (
    MPAA-India), says that the camcording amendment will put India on par with other countries that already have similar measures.

    “Most countries in the world either have a law or some kind of a provision that covers camcording. It is a welcome move. We used to see a lot of leaks in the supply chain in this area. I think that this is one more step towards plugging that leak,” Singh notes,
    quoted by Television Post.

    While there is not yet a fully-fledged anti-camcording law, there hasn’t been a shortage of arrests. Indian law enforcement has taken steps against unauthorized recording in theaters on several occasions.

    This even led to the arrests of several, presumably innocent, theater owners. The Indian Film Exhibitors Association recently
    called on the Madras High Court to put a halt to these overbroad crackdowns.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  7. #307
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    Sony Says it Will ‘Fix’ Kodi Problem in Next Update

    Following reports that Sony has 'banned' Kodi from its newer TVs, the company has advised TorrentFreak that a technical problem is to blame. The electronics giant says it will fix the issue in its next software update. The Kodi team, however, remain skeptical over Sony's explanation.

    Millions of Internet video consumers favor the open source media player Kodi for its long history and unparalleled flexibility.

    While perfectly at home playing legitimate content, the tool can also be configured, via third-party addons, to act as a powerful piracy tool.

    This has led to Kodi being dragged into all kinds of controversies, none of which the official development team encourage or relish. Nevertheless, when a headline features the word ‘Kodi’ these days, trouble is rarely far behind.

    The latest installment raised its head during the past few days, when the official Kodi team took to Twitter to berate electronics giant Sony. Owners of some of Sony’s latest Android-based TVs had complained of installation issues when attempting to deploy Kodi on their hardware and the feeling was that
    Sony wasn’t playing fair.

    After various tests, the Kodi team felt that Android Oreo wasn’t playing a part, since the NVIDIA SHIELD runs on the same Android variant. Only adding to the suspicions were tests carried out by Kodi enthusiasts that suggested that Sony might be blocking Kodi’s Package ID.

    Indeed, more
    detailed testing this week seemed to back up that claim, after members of the Kodi team ‘faked’ their Package ID and found that overcame the problem on Sony’s hardware.

    TorrentFreak originally contacted Sony for an explanation but the company would only tell us that they do not curate apps and does not have the ability to block them. Since the statement was fairly vague we followed up with more questions and although they still weren’t directly addressed, the company has now provided an explanation.

    “Thank you for bringing this to our attention,” Sony Electronics told TF.

    “After looking into the issue further, we’ve discovered a software issue on our end that is incorrectly classifying Kodi as a
    kernel object(‘ko’). We are working on a fix for this issue to include in our next software update,” the company added.

    TorrentFreak shared the comments with the Kodi development team who appear skeptical of Sony’s explanation and have asked for additional details on the company’s “classification” algorithm.

    “The real fun thing is: Just changing the PACKAGE_ID is proven to be enough [to solve the issue], so that this ‘classification’ won’t happen anymore,” says
    Peter Frühberger.

    “Furthermore, the Fun-Fact: As we have shown, creating a different APK, not Kodi-related, but with the very same PACKAGE_ID Kodi had, causes the same issue.

    “To be honest – as someone that did PHD studies with pattern classifications and data mining, this sounds really, really odd. I doubt this explanation, but if it’s true – their classificator most likely sucks,” Frühberger added.

    While there will probably be much additional debate over Sony’s explanation, it does appear that Kodi won’t be blocked forever on the company’s smart TVs, which is probably the end result both the Kodi team and its users had hoped for.

    TorrentFreak’s additional questions, concerning
    Sony’s promotion of Kodi on its website last year (which was later removed), remain unanswered.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  8. #308
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    New Aussie Blocking Apps Targets 79 ‘Pirate’ Sites Plus 4 Stream-Ripping Platforms

    Two applications being processed by Australia's Federal Court aim to significantly expand the list of sites blocked in the country. The first, filed by several film companies, targets the domains of 79 torrent and streaming sites. A second, filed by music companies, targets four so-called "stream-ripping" platforms.

    Section 115a of Australia’s Copyright Act allows copyright holders to apply for injunctions to force ISPs to prevent subscribers from accessing ‘pirate’ sites.

    The legislation has been used on many occasions, mainly by movie industry players, to have “overseas locations” (aka ‘pirate’ sites) blocked by local Internet service providers.

    Last year it was
    significantly upgraded to tackle mirrors and proxies more effectively, restrict the appearance of blocked sites in Google search, and introduce the possibility of blocking ‘dual-use’ cyberlocker-type sites.

    The idea is that making such sites more difficult to access will cause pirates to spend more on legitimate content. While clear evidence of that rarely figures in industry statements in favor of blocking, it is abundantly clear that such restriction is viewed as a valuable anti-piracy tool.

    In December, Australia’s Federal Court
    issued an injunction in favor of Village Roadshow, Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount, Columbia, Universal, and Warner, requiring local ISPs to block 181 pirate domains linked to 78 ‘sites’, including several dedicated to subtitles.

    Soon after, it now transpires, the same companies (plus Australian distributor Madman) were back again with a new application to block 79 “online locations” associated with 99 domains. A full list, as obtained by
    ComputerWorld, which first reported the news, is detailed at the end of this article.

    Should the injunction be granted (and there’s no indication there will be any objections based on the sites and their modus operandi) Telstra, Optus, Vocus, TPG, Vodafone, plus their subsidiaries, will be required to prevent their subscribers from accessing the platforms.

    targeting KickassTorrents and various mirrors and proxies for blocking back in 2016, Australian music companies have also filed a new injunction application with the Federal Court.

    Music Rights Australia, backed by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music, are requesting a block of several stream-ripping services. The list of sites is not yet publicly available.
    (Update: CW has obtained the list, it’s detailed at the bottom of this article)

    These platforms, which are often web-based affairs, allow users to ‘rip’ (download) music from streaming sites such as YouTube, in order to store tracks on their own machines. This practice is considered copyright infringement by the labels and one of the main threats to their business models.

    “These no fault injunctions are used to block the worst of the illegal sites which undermine the local and international music industry,” a spokesperson from Music Rights Australia told

    “We use this effective and efficient no fault remedy to block the illegal sites which undermine the many licensed online services which give music fans the music they love where, when and how they want to hear it.”

    This first-of-its-kind action in Australia against overseas-based stream-ripping services is perhaps inevitable given the attention these platforms are attracting in other regions.

    In July 2018, following legal action carried out by Rights Alliance on behalf of music industry group IFPI, Convert2MP3 was
    declared unlawfulby a Danish court, with local ISPs ordered to block the platform.

    While this was the first time anywhere in the world that a so-called stream-ripping site had been declared illegal, the music industry has successfully targeted similar platforms in the past.

    Back in 2016, YouTube-MP3, at the time the world’s largest YouTube-ripping site, was
    sued in the United States by IFPI, RIAA, and BPI. However, that ended in a settlement agreement rather than a full trial, so the case was never decided on the merits.

    More recently, a case filed in Germany by Sony Music against MusicMonster.fm
    ended with a declaration that the service cannot rely on the private copying exception so is both unlicensed and illegal. Nevertheless, the site is still available today.

    Meanwhile, major labels including Universal, Warner Bros, and Sony, are embroiled in
    legal action in the US against Russia-based stream-ripping sites FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com. The operator of those sites has already indicated a desire to fight back.

    The list of domains in the Australian movie studio application, via CW, is as follows:


    The list of domains in the Australian music companies’ application, via CW, is detailed below. It dovetails perfectly with platforms already subject to legal action or blocking in other regions, as detailed in the above article.


    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  9. #309
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    Music labels seek to block unauthorised downloads of YouTube audio

    Four stream-ripping sites could be blocked because of Bieber, Swift and Sheeran

    Major music labels are seeking to have Australian telecommunications providers block four online services that allow users to download copies in MP3 format of the audio of YouTube-hosted videos.

    Music Rights Australia has coordinated the application for a Federal Court injunction. The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) is the lead applicant, with Sony Music Entertainment Australia, Universal Music Australia and Warner Music also participating in the action.

    The group wants Foxtel, Optus, Telstra, TPG and Vodafone to block their fixed-line broadband subscribers from accessing four services: 2conv, Flv2Mp3, Convert2mp3, and Flvto. The application for injunction, lodged with the Federal Court, lists seven domain names associated with the services.

    A pleading lodged with the court states that YouTube “does not provide a technical facility to users... to download in Australia a copy of the digital content that is available to be streamed online... other than temporarily and incidentally to making the digital content available to be streamed, unless a ‘download’ or similar link is displayed on the Streaming Website for that content.”

    However, the four stream-ripping services, which the application says are based outside of Australia, allow their users to “create downloadable copies of digital content that is available to be streamed online” at YouTube (and subsequently allows users to download those copies).

    The four stream-ripping services support downloads in a variety of file formats, including video formats. All of the services support downloading copies of YouTube audio and video, and Convert2mp3 says it also supports other sites such as Dailymotion and Clipfish.

    2conv, Flv2Mp3, and Flvto all list the same Russian Federation address for claims made under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Convert2mp3 says its service is subject to German law.

    In July last year, online news site TorrentFreak reported that a Danish court had ruled Convert2mp3 illegal and ordered ISPs to block it. The Russia-based operator of Flvto and 2conv (and presumably Flv2Mp3) has faced legal action in the US.

    The applicants seek to have Australian telcos implement DNS blocking (or any other technical means that the applicants agree to).

    The copyright works listed in the application include songs by international pop stars Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, as well as recordings by Australian artists including Sia, Illy, Dami Im and Jessica Mauboy.

    The application argues that the stream-ripping services “have the primary purpose or the primary effect of facilitating an infringement, of copyright”.

    Until parliament last year passed legislation expanding the website-blocking scheme, a copyright owner or licensee had to prove that an online location’s “primary purpose” was engaging in or facilitating copyright infringement before obtaining an injunction.

    The 2018 legislation changed the threshold to a target online location having the “primary effect” of engaging in or facilitating copyright infringement, which the government said would allow businesses to obtain orders blocking a wider range of sites, such as ‘cyber lockers’.

    The current action by music labels is the first application for an injunction to include “primary effect” language. (Other changes made by the 2018 legislation include facilitating injunctions to force search engine operators to remove links to target sites and to reduce the burden of proving a target site is hosted overseas.)

    Music Rights Australia previously helped coordinate successful legal action that led to major ISPs blocking Kickass Torrents.

    Currently before the Federal Court is a separate application by film studios that is seeking to have Australian ISPs block 79 online locations (spread across 99 domains). Those locations offer streaming or download services, or provide links to such services, according to the studios.

  10. #310
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    uTorrent 3.5.5 Build 44994 is out

    µTorrent is an efficient and feature rich BitTorrent client for Windows sporting a very small footprint. It was designed to use as little CPU, memory and space as possible while offering all the functionality expected from advanced clients. µTorrent was written with efficiency in mind. Unlike many torrent clients, it does not hog valuable system resources - typically using less than 6MB of memory, allowing you to use the computer as if it weren't there at all. Additionally, the program itself is contained within a single executable less than 3.0 MB in size.


    uTorrent 3.5.5 Build 44994 changelog:

    • Update torrent listview banner to add link for BitTorrent Token information

    Note: µTorrent setup includes 3rd party (optional) Software.

    uTorrent 3.5.5 Build 44994 | 2.8 MB (Freeware)
    uTorrent Website | uTorrent Pro | Release Notes

  11. #311
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    Retired Police Officer Fires Back at ‘Copyright Troll’

    A retired police officer in his 70s is firing back at a movie company, after being accused of sharing several adult films via BitTorrent. The man denies the allegations and accuses the copyright holder of "extortion through sham litigation." While the adult content producer wanted to drop the case, the ex-cop isn't letting it go without a victory.

    As mentioned
    a few days ago, every year thousands of people are sued in the United States for online file-sharing, mostly through BitTorrent.

    The bulk of these cases are filed by two adult content producers, which are often referred to as “copyright trolls” or “porno trolls,” specifying the nature of their works.

    These companies target people whose connections were allegedly used to download and share infringing videos, in the hope of obtaining a significant financial settlement.

    While many of the defendants may have done the deed, quite a few of the accused Internet subscribers have done nothing wrong. This is also what a John Doe, known by the IP-address, argued in a recent court filing in a federal court in Seattle, Washington.

    The defendant in question was sued over a year ago by Strike 3 Holdings, but he isn’t planning on settling. Instead, as the case progressed, the still unnamed man went on the offensive, helped by major law firm
    Fox Rothschild.

    As it turns out, the adult company picked a fight with a 70+-year-old retired police officer. Following some initial pushback in court, Strike 3 Holdings was ready to let the case go. The company filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss all claims in August, but the “ex-cop” wasn’t willing to let them.

    There were still several counterclaims pending and the defendant has built up a significant legal bill, which he doesn’t plan on paying himself. Instead, he wants to be found innocent and accuses the copyright holder of abuse of process. These counterclaims could go all the way up to trial.

    With the tables turned, the retired policeman submitted amended counterclaims to the court last week, accusing the rightsholder of being engaged in a “perverse litigation campaign” against hundreds of defendants.

    Strike 3 accused him of sharing dozens of copyrighted videos, but the man argues that he has never even heard of them.

    “John Doe is a retired police officer in his 70’s. He has been married for over 40 years. Until he was sued by S3H, John Doe had never heard of the pornographic websites: ‘Blacked’, ‘Vixen’, or ‘Tushy’. John Doe does not know who downloaded these movies,” the document reads.

    The man seeks a declaration of non-infringement, but also accuses the adult content producer of copyright misuse and abuse of process.

    “John Doe, an ex-cop, seeks affirmative relief that he did not infringe the works at issue, that the works are unenforceable under the doctrine of copyright misuse, and that litigation model itself is actionable under the common law of abuse of process,“ the filing reads.

    “What is clear is that the S3H litigation model is not what it claims, to protect itself from copyright infringement, rather S3H has a business model to use the court system to extract income using ‘sue and settle’ without resorting to the far less costly provisions provided under the DMCA.”

    The copyright misuse claims were dismissed previously, but Judge Thomas Zilly kept the counterclaims for a declaration of non-infringement and abuse of process alive.

    According to the attorneys of the former policeman, there is no real legal dispute with Strike 3’s lawsuits, but “only a scheme to extort.”

    The accused file-sharer argues that Strike 3 has filed hundreds of lawsuits, but if it was really interested in enforcing its rights, it would also use DMCA notices to alert ISPs and their customers of any infringing activity.

    “S3H’s intentional failure to send DMCA notices to the ISP addresses of alleged John Doe defendants evidences an ulterior purpose to accomplish an object not within the proper scope of the process: extortion through sham litigation,” the filing reads.

    “Filing a lawsuit with no intention of litigating evidences an ulterior purpose to accomplish an object not within the proper scope of process: extortion through sham litigation,” it adds.

    Based on these and other arguments, the former policeman wants the adult production company to be held accountable for abuse of process. In addition, it also requests the declaration of non-infringement, with all fees and legal costs being compensated.

    The court has yet to rule on the requests but it appears that the retired policeman has the upper hand, as Strike 3 previously indicated that they are willing to let the case go.

    Whether the court will grant summary judgment, or if the case will be resolved through an alternative route, possibly a trial, has yet to be seen.

    This case is not the only setback for the adult content producer either. In several recent cases the company was requested to provide “something more” than an IP-address as evidence of alleged infringement.

    In addition, the IP-address geo-location tools which are crucial in these cases remain controversial as well. Just last month, a California federal court dismissed a request for an ISP subpoena, as there
    wasn’t sufficient evidence that an IP-address was tied to the court’s jurisdiction.

    __________________________________________________ _____________________________

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

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    Globe Telecom puts support behind Philippine anti-piracy bill

    Globe Telecom said it supports the recently filed bill against online piracy. The Philippines operator said Philippine president Vicente Sotto III recently filed the Philippine Online Infringement Act, which aims to cancel the licenses of ISPs that allow illicit websites to infringe or facilitate infringement of copyright. Powers would lie with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), through the National Telecommunications Commission.

    Globe said its support falls under its #PlayItRight campaign launched in 2017. The campaign is aimed at helping the entertainment industry curb piracy and protect intellectual property rights. Globe said its campaign has the support of the international Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), FDCP, and the Optical Media Board.

    Globe CEO Ernest Cu, who recently joined the board of directors of the Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA), said the legislation will help put a stop to growing online piracy at the Philippine entertainment industry. A new study commissioned by the AVIA showed that 15 percent of Singaporean consumers use a TV box or ISD for the free streaming of pirated TV channels and video-on-demand content. Over a quarter of those who own a TV box have canceled their subscription to an online video service. The study estimates that in Thailand, over 45 percent of consumers use illegal TV boxes.

    Globe recently joined the AVIA to strengthen its mandate in fighting piracy across Asia.

  13. #313
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    Sky Complaint Shuts Down KodiTips’ Facebook Page

    KodiTips, a popular website dedicated to tips and information for the popular Kodi platform, has had its Facebook page shut down following a copyright infringement complaint by Sky. The operator of the site informs TF he has no idea how he infringed their rights.

    With tens of millions of active Kodi media player users around the globe, there is a thirst for information on how to utilize the open source software.

    As a result, dozens of websites and blogs have appeared to fill this niche, many of them dedicated to tips, tutorials, and news on the latest add-ons and developments.

    Founded in 2015, KodiTips.com is one of the most popular, with more than a million visitors every month. The site was created to fill a gap in the market, its operator informs TorrentFreak.

    “At the time, there wasn’t a lot of tutorials and how-to guides for Kodi add-ons and hardware. The site’s original and continuing message is to offer guides on how to understand and setup Kodi, and to clarify what Kodi is vs what it isn’t (doesn’t host content, addons only scrape content hosted by others, etc), ” he explains.

    KodiTips is certainly comprehensive, regularly publishing details on all the major add-ons while posting changelogs to keep visitors informed. On Thursday, however, the site lost access to its Facebook page following a copyright infringement complaint.

    “We removed or disabled access to the following content you posted on Facebook because we received a notice from a third party that the content infringes their copyright(s),” a message from Facebook declared.

    What is a little surprising about Facebook’s notice is that it does not detail any specific infringing content, listing only “Page: Kodi Tips – Android TV, Amazon Fire Help” and “Copyrighted Work: Other” as the allegedly infringing content.

    Predicatably, the platform doesn’t seem keen to get involved in the argument either.

    “Facebook isn’t in a position to adjudicate disputes between third parties. If you believe this content shouldn’t have been removed from Facebook, you can contact the complaining party directly to resolve your issue,” the notice reads.

    The takedown notice, reviewed by TF, lists the “rights owner” as Sky while offering an email address often used by the company to deal with infringement disputes. We aren’t publishing it in full but the address has been in use for years, often in complaints filed against allegedly-infringing users of eBay.

    This isn’t the first time that KodiTips has had its Facebook page taken down following an infringement complaint. Back in July 2018, the site lost its original page following a similar complaint, losing 80,000 subscribers in the process. Luckily, it still has more than
    70,000 followers on Twitter.

    The operator of KodiTips informs TF that he doesn’t intend to contest the takedown, branding it a waste of “time and energy”. He also confirms that Sky has never contacted him before, with the same being true for other anti-piracy groups such as the
    Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment.

    Given the controversial nature of some third-party Kodi add-ons, copyright complaints in connection with them certainly don’t come as a surprise. However, to the best of KodiTips’ operator’s knowledge, he has never infringed Sky’s copyrights via his tutorials and know-how.

    Thanks to the super-vague notice from Facebook, he remains in the dark.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  14. #314
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    CBS Targets ‘Copyright Infringing’ Kodi Addons

    CBS has requested TVAddons to remove three addons which can display their programming in the popular Kodi media player. TVAddons swiftly complied, but the site refuses to flag the developer under its repeat infringer policy, because it doesn't see the addons as infringing.

    The major entertainment industry companies are waging a war against illicit streaming devices, with Kodi add-ons at the center of attention.

    Kodi software itself is perfectly legal, but many third-party add-ons complement it to offer access to pirated movies, TV-shows, and live-streaming.

    The addons in question can be found of a variety of sites and repositories. Some are blatantly offering pirated content, but it’s not always clear what’s permitted and what’s not.

    TVAddons, a popular repository of third-party Kodi addons, used to offer many problematic add-ons. This lead to lawsuits in both the US and Canada, after which the company cleaned up its site and tightened its policies.

    However, that doesn’t mean that rightsholders are happy with all content on the site. This week
    CBS sent a takedown notice to TVAddons through Incorporate Now, requesting the site to remove three allegedly infringing addons.

    The addons in question, developed by
    mhancoc7, offered access to live streams of CBS programming such as CBS News, CBS Sports, and Entertainment Tonight, without permission.

    TVAddons never saw these Kodi addons as copyright infringements. However, CBS clearly disagrees.

    “We have a good faith belief that this material is not authorized by CBS, its agents or the law. Such copying and use of this material constitutes clear infringement of the CBS’s copyrights under the Copyright Act and its counterpart laws around the world,” the takedown notice reads.

    In addition, CBS also requested to count the infringements as strikes under TVAddons’ repeat infringer policy, and disable the developer’s account if appropriate.

    While TVAddons says that it doesn’t see the addons in question as infringing, it doesn’t want to pick a fight with CBS, so it complied with the removal request within an hour. Striking the developer goes a step too far though, TVAddons informed CBS.

    “However, do not feel that this merits any strikes on our repeat-infringer policy, as it was not copyright infringement. The script was simply scraping content from your own public web site,” a TVAddons representative replied.

    TorrentFreak spoke to a TVAddons representative who notes that the add-ons accessed content that was made freely available by CBS through its official website. Therefore they don’t see it as infringing.

    “The only difference is that the user wouldn’t be exposed to 50 nonconsensual privacy violating trackers while using Kodi,” the TVAddons representative says.

    Whether these kinds of addons are copyright infringing is up to a court to decide. We expect that CBS wants to control where their content appears. Ideally, that’s through their official website, where they can monetize it.

    TVAddons has enough
    legal worries already, so it chose to comply despite its objections. The developer also removed the addons from GitHub.

    “We can’t afford to fight more lawsuits right now, so we had no choice but to comply even though we don’t necessarily agree with their assessment that it’s copyright infringement. It’s at most a trademark violation for using the CBS name in the add-on title,” TVAddons’ representative notes.

    This is the second takedown notice which resulted in add-ons being removed after the site relaunched two years ago. The first complaint came from Plex, which requested the removal of MK Plex, an unofficial Plex interface.

    TVAddons further banned more than a dozen addons and developers

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

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    ISPs Call For Piracy Notice Standard to Deal With Millions of Warnings

    A broad coalition including Canada's major ISPs is requesting several changes to the country's copyright law. They want a standard for copyright infringement notices, so the millions of requests can be handled more easily. In addition, they call for a useful deterrent to stop rightsholders from sending piracy settlements requests.

    The Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright (BCBC) is a
    lobbying group which includes Canada’s largest ISPs Bell, Rogers, and Shaw, as well as Google.

    The coalition doesn’t have a web presence but, behind the scenes, it’s making sure that the interests of its members are shared when major legislative changes are on the agenda.

    This is currently the case. Canada is working on a Statutory Review of the Copyright Act, and together with more than a hundred other stakeholders, BCBC submitted several recommendations.

    One of the items high on the agenda are the copyright notices which rightsholders send to ISPs. Millions of these are processed by ISPs every month, and they are obliged to forward them to their customers.

    This notice-and-notice system caused quite a controversy, as some companies abused the system to send threatening settlement demands. This practice was outlawed with the recent passing of C-86 but BCBC believes that additional changes are required.

    Under BCBC’s umbrella, the ISPs state that they are happy with the update, but they note that there’s no deterrent to stop rightsholders from sending settlement requests. Instead, the burden of excluding settlement demands rests with them, they argue.

    “Bill C-86 makes it clear that ISPs will not be required to forward settlement demands to subscribers. However, the amendments contain no useful deterrent to dissuade rights holders or claimants from including settlement demands in their copyright notices.

    “The onus for excluding settlement demands from copyright notices must rest solely with rights owners,” BCBC’s submission adds.

    The group doesn’t give any concrete pointers on how to address the situation, but a fine or other punishment for those who continue to send settlement requests seems most logical.

    The ISPs also highlight another problem. They are currently receiving millions of piracy notices per month, in many different formats. To process these requests more easily, they call for a notice standard so they can be processed automatically.

    “ISPs are currently receiving millions of notices per month and
    there is no way for these notices to be manually processed. Large ISPs have to adopt automated systems to process and forward the volume of notices they are receiving,” the submission reads.

    The idea for a standardized notice template is not new. ISPs and members of the movie industry previously agreed on a standard computer readable format, ACNS,
    which is publicly available.

    BCBC hopes that the Canadian Government will embrace this standard, not only to lower the costs for ISPs, but also to shield Internet users from receiving non-compliant piracy warnings.

    “The Government should use its existing authority to enact regulations requiring that notices be submitted electronically in a form that is based on the ACNS 2.0. Mandating the use of these standards will eliminate the risk of ISPs forwarding non-compliant notices,” BCBC recommends.

    Aside from piracy notices, BCBC also touches on pirate site blocking. It is no surprise that the major ISPs are not against such measures, as last year’s
    site-blocking push revealed.

    In their current recommendation, they don’t call for site blocking without a court order. However, they do stress that, if a court issues a blocking order, the CRTC should not be able to stop it from being implemented.

    “The BCBC finds it unacceptable that an ISP could be ordered by a Court to block access to an infringing internet service and prohibited by the CRTC from complying with that Court Order.

    “A telecommunications services provider should never have to choose between complying with a lawful Court Order and complying with theTelecommunications Act. This conflict must be resolved in favor of the Court Order,” the group adds.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ________


    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  16. #316
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    Controversial Streaming Site Kinox Offered For Sale on eBay

    A pirate streaming site that was attracting tens of millions of visitors during the summer of 2018 was put up for sale on eBay this week. KinoX is an extremely controversial platform but whether the attempted sale was genuine or not will remain to be seen.

    Pirate sites come in all shapes and sizes but streaming site KinoX is perhaps one of the most controversial.

    Born as a replacement to Kino.to, a site that was targeted as part of a
    massive EU-wide raid in 2011, KinoX quickly grew to become a streaming giant in its own right. As recently as July 2018, the site was pulling in around 13 million visits per month, according to SimilarWeb stats.

    Since then, traffic has tanked, to the point in December where the site’s main domain had less than three million visits per month, up from ‘just’ a million a month earlier. That being said, the site does have a huge number of alternative domains, so it’s certainly possible much more traffic is being diverted through those.

    This week, in a surprise turn of events, KinoX was put up for sale on eBay. The sale, spotted by
    Tarnkappe on the auction platform’s German-facing page, indicated that the seller was trying to offload the project due to time constraints.

    “I am selling my project (Kinox.to) + website, server & other domains. Since I have no time left for the project,” the auction listing read.

    “The project will be sent by e-mail with all access data to the web space, login panel, server, domains etc.”

    The attempted sale raises a number of important questions, not least whether the seller is actually the owner of KinoX and does indeed have access to the ‘goods’ he claimed to be selling.

    The listing indicated that potential buyers can complete the transaction “anonymously via Bitcoins” but interestingly the seller also said he would accept PayPal.

    While the crypto option might sound attractive, buyers wouldn’t get the same protections offered by PayPal. Whether the US-based payment processor would be keen to mediate a dispute over an incorrectly described/supplied ‘pirate’ site is seriously open to debate, however.

    While the listing now appears to have been removed from eBay, possibly following an industry complaint, it wouldn’t be a stretch to state that KinoX has one of the most controversial histories of any ‘pirate’ site.

    In October 2014, police in Germany announced they had
    launched a manhunt for two brothers said to be responsible for founding the site, accusing them of being potentially armed and dangerous.

    In 2015, a former operator of the platform was
    sentenced to 40 months in prison but more recently, the site – which is still functioning – has been targeted in other ways.

    Following a complaint from a German movie distribution company, in 2018 Internet provider Vodafone
    was ordered to block its subscribers from accessing Kinox.to. This was the first pirate site blocking order of its kind in Germany and will have affected direct traffic to the streaming portal.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  17. #317
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    Major ISP Backs Plan to Strip ISP of Licenses For Piracy Failures

    A controversial anti-piracy bill that would see Philippines-based ISPs stripped of their licenses for providing access to 'pirate' sites, has received backing from one of the country's largest ISPs. Globe Telecom described the proposed legislation as "an important first step" in the fight against piracy.

    Late 2018, authorities in the Philippines
    announced a new bill that, if passed, will attempt to tackle the ongoing piracy problem in the region.

    In common with many other countries around the world, the Philippines is considering the introduction of site-blocking measures which would compel local Internet service providers to prevent access to named ‘pirate’ sites.

    In most jurisdictions, where site-blocking is already underway, ISPs are compelled by court order/injunction to block sites following a legal process. However, the Philippines has a more aggressive mechanism in mind.

    The bill, introduced by
    Senator Vicente “Tito” Castelo Sotto III, would “empower” the country’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to force local ISPs to take “reasonable steps to disable access to sites whenever these sites are reported to be infringing copyright or facilitating copyright infringement.”

    However, should they not comply, they could be put out of business.

    “If the recommendation of the IPO to cancel the license of the ISP is proper and meritorious, the Commission shall facilitate the prompt cancellation of the license of the ISP,” the bill reads.

    While this kind of threat wouldn’t normally be welcomed by providers, Globe Telecom, one of the Philippines’ largest operators of mobile, fixed line, and broadband Internet, is giving the bill its full backing.

    “The economic and social impact of online piracy is profound,” Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu said in a statement.

    “Revenue loss are in millions and thousands of jobs are affected due to a myriad of illegal streaming websites and illicit streaming devices or ISDs [llicit Streaming Devices].

    “More importantly, these illegal sites and devices put customers at risk not only because of its content but specifically, malware. Globe will continue to support efforts that will help stop online piracy,” he added.

    While ISPs coming out against piracy is a growing trend (take Canada,
    for example), baking harsh punishments against them into law is new. However, since Cu recently joined the Board of Directors of the Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA), which is a hub for anti-piracy enforcement, the move shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.

    Neil Gane, General Manager of AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy, is also a supporter of the proposed legislation, which centers on the blocking of pirate sites through an administrative process and tackling the growing problem of piracy-configured set-top devices.

    “There is no silver bullet to deterring online piracy,” Gane said in a statement.

    “What is required is a holistic solution to include consumer outreach, cooperation with technology platforms and other intermediaries, enforcement, and critically, capability to disable access to egregious piracy websites through effective site blocking.

    “AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy welcomes the Philippine Online Infringement Bill, which, if passed, will provide an important building block for the Philippine content industry to tackle online piracy,” he added.

    Back in 2013, the Philippines found itself at the center of a high-profile copyright dispute when it
    ordered the seizure of a .ph registered domain belonging to the now-defunct torrent giant KickassTorrents.

    In response, however, the site simply changed to another domain, a tactic that is clearly still remembered by the architects of this new site-blocking bill.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  18. #318
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    Paul Schrader Used Torrents to Share His Own “Dying Of The Light” Cut

    When Director Paul Schrader lost control over the movie “Dying of the Light,” he decided to make his own cut from the raw material. The 'unauthorized' movie was never shown in theaters, but it's currently playing at The Pirate Bay. "It is for historical record," Schrader notes.

    Paul Schrader is a big name in Hollywood, known for classics such as “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” and “American Gigolo.”

    The writer-director’s more recent movies haven’t been all a success and Schrader suffered setbacks on other fronts as well.

    In 2014 he lost control over the movie “Dying Of The Light.” The film was taken over by others after the first cut and was re-edited and released without his input.

    This caused quite a stir at the time. When Lionsgate subsidiary Grindstone released the poster and trailer the director and others were not happy. However, because of a “non-disparagement” clause, they had to stay silent.

    “Here we are, Nick Cage, Anton Yelchin, Nic Refn and myself, wearing our ‘non-disparagement’ T shirts,” Schrader wrote at the time.

    Although it was not an option to burn the film to the ground, verbally, the director didn’t let the project go completely. Instead, he decided to go rogue and create his own cut, on his own terms.

    With help from Benjamin Rodriguez Jr., who also edited the movie “Dog Eat Dog,” he pulled original footage from workprint DVDs. Eventually, this resulted in a brand new cut titled “Dark.”

    Early last year the director gave a ‘making off’ masterclass at the Rotterdam Film Festival, which is available on YouTube, and a detailed writeup on Indiewire shows how much of a challenge the project was.

    The latter article also has an interesting comment section where someone suggested putting a copy of “Dark” on torrent sites.

    “If it can’t be released in a commercial way, why don’t they use a torrent site to distribute ‘Dark’ worldwide? You’ll reach a much bigger audience & it would be a perfect fit for this subversive enterprise,” Carter wrote.

    Whether Schrader saw this comment or not, he did indeed release a ‘torrent’ of the movie. This was revealed in an interview with Vulture this week.

    “I made ‘Dog Eat Dog’ to redeem myself from the humiliation of ‘Dying of the Light,’ which was taken away from me. Nic [Cage] and I disowned it, I subsequently did my own edit, put it on torrent,…” he said.

    The article itself doesn’t go into more detail, but we were rather intrigued and started digging. This search eventually led us to a torrent that was uploaded to The Pirate Bay a few months ago.

    The torrent in question is titled 2018-Paul.Schrader.Dark-Dir.Cut.Dying.of.the.Light and comes with a personal message from the director. Most of the message is taken from Schader’s website with the following addition:

    “Dark was not created for exhibition or personal gain. It is for historical record.- Paul Schrader”

    TorrentFreak reached out to Schrader to confirm that this is indeed the copy he uploaded, but we haven’t heard back yet. This is, however, the earliest upload of “Dark” we could find.

    What we also know is that the user in question tried to upload the torrent to The Pirate Bay several times, up to the point where the account was banned. A month later, another version was uploaded to the site which is still well-seeded.

    Schrader doesn’t go into detail why he chose to share the film on The Pirate Bay, but we assume that it’s a defiant move to make it available worldwide, as was suggested.

    Since he doesn’t own the exclusive rights to the footage, this may lead to potential copyright troubles, but we doubt that the rightsholders want to rattle this case.

    For those who prefer to see the movie without venturing into the tricky waters of The Pirate Bay, Schrader also has some offline options.

    “A digital file of the film can be seen by prior request at the UCLA Film Archives in Los Angeles, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin and the Museum of Modern Art film department in New York City,” he writes.

    The Pirate Bay team, meanwhile, informs TorrentFreak that Schrader can have his account reinstated if he wishes.

  19. #319
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    South Korea Promises New Crackdown on Pirate Sites

    The government in South Korea says that it shuttered 25 pirate sites in 2018 and arrested the operators of more than half of them. It also announced the launch of a new response center to more quickly deal with pirate sites via blocking. Thousands of platforms are already blocked in the country.

    South Korea has long been associated with some of the fastest average Internet connection speeds available anywhere in the world. The country topped the list in 2017 and is still a key player today.

    While fast Internet speeds are great for average users, Internet pirates are always particularly grateful for speedy transfers and those in South Korea are no different. As a result, authorities in the country have been under pressure to do something about piracy rates.

    In an announcement this week, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism revealed that specialist Intellectual Property Rights police shut down 25 pirate sites in 2018, adding that the operators of 13 had been arrested. Some will face criminal proceedings alongside claims for civil damages, reports suggest.

    One of the largest targets appears to have been Marumaru, a local site that specialized in Japanese manga content. After being founded in 2013, Marumaru grew at an impressive rate, allegedly earning around a million dollars in advertising revenue while offering an estimated 42,000 copyrighted manga works.

    Last November, however, the show came to an end after the platform was
    shut down. A month later, two alleged operators of the site were charged with copyright infringement offenses.

    South Korea’s commitment to tackling piracy appears to be hardening. This week the
    Korea Communications Standards Commission said it had launched a special unit (Copyright Infringement Response Team) to tackle pirate sites in order to protect local industries.

    In common with similar initiatives in other regions, the aim is to target platforms based overseas that are claimed to be out of local authorities’ reach. It’s no surprise that web-blocking is considered part of the solution.

    The KCSC said that it blocked around 50 websites to 2014 but last year that total had risen to 2,338. A 2018 report from the MPA
    (pdf), that studied South Korea’s blocking regime, declared that the practice meant that “total visits to piracy sites declined following each wave of site blocking.”

    It now appears that even more stringent steps will be taken to prevent direct visits to pirate sites. The ‘Response Team’ has been tasked with monitoring pirate sites “round the clock” in order to provide a “rapid and strong response” to infringement and evasive action by site operators.

    Sites that spring up to facilitate access to previously-blocked sites, such as mirrors and proxies, will be dealt with within four days, with complaints from rightsholders actioned within the same time-frame.

    The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is promising to continue the crackdown for years to come and indicates it will work also with foreign authorities to tackle all types of pirate sites.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

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    ISP Wants Trial to Decide if it Failed to Terminate Repeat Infringers

    The piracy liability lawsuit between a group of RIAA labels and the Texan ISP Grande Communications is heating up. The ISP is in a tough spot after Magistrate Judge Austin recommended to drop its right to a safe harbor defense. The company disagrees, and asks the court to leave the safe harbor decision for trial, pointing out that Rightscorp's piracy notices can't be trusted.

    The “repeat infringer” issue remains a hot topic in US Courts, leading to much uncertainty among various Internet services.

    Under the DMCA, companies are required to implement a reasonable policy to deal with frequent offenders. This requirement applies to hosting services as well as commercial Internet providers.

    Previously, Internet provider Cox
    lost a legal battle over this very issue, and major record labels are currently going after the Texan ISPGrande.

    In order to enjoy safe harbor protection, the DMCA requires ISPs to adopt and reasonably implement a policy for terminating the accounts of repeat copyright infringers. According to the labels, it is clear that Grande failed to do so. As such, the company should be held directly liable.

    Last month, US Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin sided with the labels. In his
    report and recommendation, he concluded that Grande had a policy that allowed it to terminate repeat infringers. However, the ISP failed to act on this for years. As such, the policy was not ‘adopted’ and ‘reasonably implemented’.

    If the court adopts this recommendation, the ISP won’t have a have harbor defense at trial, which would be an enormous setback. However, in an objection filed this week, Grande hopes to convince the court to have the matter decided during trial.

    According to the ISP, there is more than enough evidence that would lead a jury to conclude that Grande qualifies for a safe harbor defense. While Grande doesn’t deny that it initially didn’t disconnect any repeat infringers based on Rightscorp’s notices, it doesn’t believe this was wrong.

    First of all, Grande points out that the DMCA’s text is rather vague on what a repeat infringer is and when disconnections are appropriate. This issue has also been
    brought up in the past in other cases, including Cox’s lawsuit.

    In addition, the ISP has serious concerns about the reliability of Rightscorp’s piracy notices, which also contain settlement demands.

    Grande notes that there are critical flaws in the Rightscorp system. These create factual disputes as to whether Grande should have terminated the Internet access of any subscriber, which it would like to present during trial.

    “For instance, Rightscorp’s notices do not identify the name of a copyrighted work or a U.S. copyright registration, and they contain no explanation or evidence of the factual basis of the allegation,” Grande writes.

    “Rightscorp also does not attempt to download any portion of an allegedly infringing file before sending a notice of copyright infringement, and does not obtain true copies of copyrighted songs to compare against allegedly infringing copies.”

    The ISP believes that during trial, a jury could come to the decision that Grande didn’t have to act on Rightscorp’s notices to keep its safe harbor.

    “Given this evidence, a fair-minded jury could conclude that Grande reasonably implemented its termination policies by choosing not to terminate subscribers in response to Rightscorp’s facially-deficient and otherwise unreliable notices.”

    The argument boils down to what ISPs are required to do when they receive notices of alleged infringement. Are third-party accusations good enough to classify someone as a repeat infringer?

    Judge Austin concluded in his report and recommendations that Rightscorp’s notices should be acted on, adding that Grande initially didn’t terminate any subscribers based on other notices either.

    However, in the past, many ISPs had a similar policy to Grande’s, with some even arguing that only a court can declare someone an infringer, not a simply piracy notice.

    While Cox failed to convince the court with similar arguments in the past, Grande stresses that its case is different. It, therefore, calls on the court to reject Judge Austin’s recommendation and jet a jury decide what’s appropriate.

    “In sum, it is axiomatic that determining whether Grande failed to implement a policy for terminating repeat infringers ‘in appropriate circumstances’ requires considering the evidence of the actual circumstances.

    “That evidence includes the extensive evidence that Rightscorp’s system is simply incapable of reliably identifying and giving notice of actual copyright infringement. At a minimum, this evidence gives rise to a genuine issue of material fact for trial,” Grande concludes.

    A copy of Grande’s objections to the report and recommendation regarding the DMCA Safe Harbor defense is available here (pdf).

    In a separate
    filing (pdf), Grande objects to Judge Austin’s recommendation to deny summary judgment in the ISPs’ favor on a variety of liability issues, including direct infringement, willfulness, damages, and ownership of copyright. These are all under recommendation to be denied, except for two limited issues regarding the alleged violation of reproduction or public performance rights.

    The record labels, for their part, also object to the recommendation but ask the court to deny summary judgment for reproduction
    as well (pdf).

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

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