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  1. #41
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    Kim Dotcom Loses Privacy Battle Following High Court Appeal

    In March, Kim Dotcom was awarded damages after his requests for the government to hand over information held on him were denied. That ruling was immediately appealed by the Crown. The New Zealand High Court has now overturned the earlier decision by the Human Rights Review Tribunal that concluded that Dotcom's privacy rights had been breached.

    Ever since his cloud storage site Megaupload was shut down in a blaze of publicity in 2012, Kim Dotcom has been fighting legal battles on several fronts.

    One of those was aimed at forcing the government to hand over information relating to his case.

    In 2015, Dotcom asked dozens of ministers and multiple government departments to “urgently” disclose information. Most of the entities receiving the requests transferred them to then-Attorney General Chris Finlayson. He denied the requests, describing them as vexatious and baseless.

    Dotcom subsequently filed a complaint with the Human Rights Review Tribunal (HRRT), accusing the New Zealand Government of wrongfully withholding information. In March 2018, the Tribunal ruled in Dotcom’s favor, stating that the Crown was “in clear breach of its obligations under the Privacy Act.”

    Dotcom was awarded NZ$60,000 in damages for “loss of dignity or injury to feelings” plus NZ$30,000 to compensate for the information not being handed over. However, the Crown quickly appealed the decision and in September the matter was heard before the High Court in Wellington.

    In a decision published today, Dotcom was handed defeat after the High Court sided with the Attorney-General’s appeal.

    “We find that there was a proper and lawful purpose for the transfer of the requests and that, because of the insistence that all 52 requests were required to be responded to urgently, on the ground that the information sought was relevant to the eligibility proceedings, they were vexatious,”
    ruling reads.

    “Had we been required to determine the issues of remedies, we would have quashed the remedies ordered against those entities that were not defendants; set the awards of damages aside on the basis they were wholly erroneous and remitted the question of damages to the HRRT for determination in accordance with the principles outlined in this decision.”

    In other words, the High Court ruling states that Dotcom should not have received the damages he was granted back in March.

    “The damages awarded were wholly erroneous as there was no evidential basis for assuming that the information sought would have been relevant to the proceedings and there was no direct evidence relating to Mr Dotcom having suffered loss of dignity or injury to feelings such as to warrant an award..,” the Court notes.

    True to form, Kim Dotcom received the news with defiance. This morning the serial entrepreneur slammed the decision as bad for New Zealanders.

    “The High Court did not just ignore the law and parliaments intention. New law was made from the bench. This new law means Kiwis will have a harder time to access information they are legally entitled to. The Government will use this against Privacy Act requests it doesn’t like,” he
    said.

    Shortly after the decision was published, Kim added to his earlier comments with an outburst on Twitter, suggesting that some judges in New Zealand are corrupt and care little about the law.

    https://twitter.com/KimDotcom/status...06026753613824

    Of course, like most decisions handed down against Dotcom, this one can be appealed. A short time ago the Megaupload founder confirmed that his team will be taking that option.

    “We will obviously appeal today’s judgment from the Wellington High Court. It is ignorant of the law and parliament’s intention to provide citizens with access to information that the Government holds about them. A bad day for human rights in New Zealand. The fight goes on,” he concludes.

  2. #42
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    File-sharing Site Openload Generates More Traffic Than Hulu or HBO Go

    Netflix is the number one bandwidth 'hog' on the Internet, with video streaming sites dominating Internet traffic in general, Sandvine's new Global Internet Phenomena report reveals. Perhaps unexpectedly, file-sharing site Openload makes an appearance among the top ten video sources, which is bound to upset Hollywood.

    Openload, one of the largest file-hosting sites on the Internet, is a thorn in the side of many copyright holders.

    Content hosted on the site has served as a source for many pirate apps and sites. As a result, it recently earned a mention on United States Trade Representative
    list of “notorious” markets.

    Today the site makes it onto another list, one that shows how much bandwidth the site is generating around the world.

    The data come from Canadian broadband management company Sandvine, which
    just published its latest Global Internet Phenomena report. This provides an overview of which sites, applications, and protocols generate the most Internet traffic.

    This list of traffic sources is dominated by video. Netflix is in the lead, with 14.97% of all downstream bandwidth, followed by the more generic HTTP Media Streaming (13.07%), and YouTube (11.35%). Overall, the video category is good for more than half of all bandwidth generated.

    BitTorrent remains relevant too, especially on the upstream side. As we highlighted in a preview last week, torrent traffic is growing in some parts of the world, mostly due to piracy.

    When zooming in on downstream-video bandwidth, Openload comes into the picture. Sandvine’s data shows that the file-hosting site generates 0.8% of all video traffic online.

    That’s a massive amount of bandwidth, more than various legal streaming services such as Hulu or HBO Go use.

    “One interesting appearance in the top 10 is Openload, which is #8 with 0.80% of video traffic worldwide ahead of services like Hulu, HBO Go, and BBC iPlayer with a service that likely will not make movie studios happy,” Sandvine writes.

    https://torrentfreak.com/images/sandvinevideoashare.png

    This comparison is perhaps not entirely fair since, in contrast to the other services, Openload is available globally, but it clearly shows how much traffic a file-sharing site can generate.

    There are significant differences in Openload’s ‘traffic share’ in various regions. Sandvine was kind enough to share some additional details that provide some further insight into this.

    In the Asia Pacific region, 3.66% of all downstream traffic is credited to Openload, which makes it the 7th most used data source. In the EMEA and the Americas, the percentages are 0.79% and 0.39% respectively.

    The massive interest in Openload and BitTorrent’s apparent comeback are signs that consumers still see the need to access entertainment through unofficial channels. According to Sandvine, the increased fragmentation of online video is one of the reasons. People don’t want to pay for a handful of subscription services.

    “With more content choices and channels than ever before, consumers do not have good options to get access to all the content that may interest them and are still resorting to piracy,” Sandvine writes in its report.

    While Openload is generally characterized as a piracy site, the site’s operators have rejected this notion. Instead, they point out that they have a
    DMCA-compatible takedown policy.

    “We are offering several methods of taking down files according to the DMCA law, which is practically a standard in the whole world,” Openload previously said.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  3. #43
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    Telecoms Regulator Denies Canadian Pirate Site Blocking Application

    The CRTC has denied FairPlay Canada's application for a broad pirate site blocking scheme. Following a heated public debate, the telecoms regulator ruled that it lacks jurisdiction under the Telecommunications Act to implement the plan.

    Earlier this year,
    FairPlay Canada proposed to institute a national pirate site blocking scheme.

    The coalition of copyright holders and major players in the telco industry, including Bell and Rogers,
    submitted its plan to the Canadian telecoms regulator CRTC, which subsequently asked the public for input.

    This consultation triggered a wave of responses. Many ISPs and rightsholder groups were in favor, but there was also a big wave of opposition from academics, activists, and members of the public.

    After a careful review, the CRTC today
    decided to deny FairPlay Canada’s pirate site blocking application. In its decision, the regulator explains that it lacks the jurisdiction to implement the proposed measures.

    “The Commission determines that it does not have the jurisdiction under the Telecommunications Act to implement the FairPlay Coalition’s proposed website blocking regime to address copyright piracy and, consequently, it will not consider the merits of implementing the regime,” CRTC writes.

    The FairPlay coalition argued that piracy brings serious harm to the Canadian entertainment industry. While the CRTC doesn’t deny this, it stresses that the Telecommunications Act is not meant to implement such copyright remedies.

    “The Commission acknowledges that there is evidence that copyright piracy results in harm to the Canadian broadcasting system and to the economy in general,” CRTC writes.

    “However, there are other avenues to examine the means of minimizing or addressing the impact of copyright piracy, including the ongoing parliamentary review of the Copyright Act and the expert panel review of the Telecommunications Act and the Broadcasting Act.”

    This means that the controversial site blocking proposal is off the table for now. It’s certainly possible, however, that a revised version will be brought up again in the future.

    Digital rights group
    OpenMedia, a fierce opponent of the plan, is happy with the outcome. Executive Director Laura Tribe describes it as a big win for the open Internet and a true demonstration of democracy in action.

    “Today the CRTC protected the open Internet, in an important victory,” Tribe notes, adding that “all eyes will now turn to the Copyright Act Review, to see the final act of this play.”

    At the time of writing the FairPlay Canada coalition itself
    has yet to comment on the decision through their Official channels.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  4. #44
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    ESA Reports Pirate Bay, ROM Sites and Cheaters to the US Govt.

    The Entertainment Software Association, which counts Activision, EA, Nintendo, and Ubisoft among its members, has filed a response to the United States Trade Representative's call for comment on Notorious 'pirate' Markets. The trade association says it's under attack from several directions, including from torrent sites like The Pirate Bay, DDL platforms, unlicensed ROM archives, and cheat software vendors.



    In response to a request from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), the Entertainment Software Association has submitted a list of so-called ‘Notorious Markets’ that undermine the interactive gaming market in the United States.

    The ESA represents some of the biggest names in video gaming. From Activision, EA, Nintendo, and Ubisoft, to Capcom, Microsoft, Konami, and Square Enix, the group acts as a voice for companies turning out billions of dollars worth of content. All are reportedly under multi-directional threat, from sites that facilitate direct copying to those who undermine business models and the actual gaming experience.

    Linking and Hosting

    According to the ESA, linking websites (those that link to content hosted on third-party cyberlocker-type sites) are a key threat.

    “These sites typically generate revenue from user donations and/or online advertisements,” the ESA writes. “The following links sites are notable due to their heavy traffic, high volume of infringing video game file links that are indexed, and non-responsiveness to rights holder [takedown] notices.”

    First up is a site that most gaming pirates won’t have heard of, which could prove a little counter-productive. P30Download.com is based in Iran, a country that’s rarely linked with a sympathetic attitude towards United States copyright enforcement.

    According to the ESA, in August 2018 the platform made available more than 3,000 links to infringing content belonging to ESA members, of which just 2.64% were taken down. Hosted in Iran and published in Persian (not an obstacle for Google Translate), the site is most popular in its home territory and is Iran’s 25th most popular site.

    Another site that’s off the radars of most casual pirates is DarkSoftware.net. According to the ESA, the platform indexed almost 4,800 new links in August and is enjoying an upsurge in traffic due to its focus on “circumventing the technical protection measures” in games consoles.

    The ESA notes that DarkSoftware uses the “services of a U.S.-based content delivery network” but doesn’t mention CloudFlare by name. It doesn’t mention where the actual site or its owners are based either but publicly available information points to an address in Florida, which may or may not be legitimate.

    Of course, linking sites cannot function if they have nothing to link to so it’s no surprise that file-hosting sites are high on the ESA’s list. Its main candidate is the fairly low profile Rapidu.net, which is popular in Poland and also uses Cloudflare, although the ESA again hesitates to name the platform.

    1Fichier, on the other hand, is a site with a much greater following. Hosted in France, the site has a global rank of 1,093 and reportedly hosts at least 2,700 links to ESA member content. This cyberlocker-type site is reluctant to respond to takedown notices, with just 0.59% of content removed following complaint, the ESA notes.

    ESA Members



    ROMs

    Given the recent furore surrounding classic gaming ROMs (1,2,3,4), it’s perhaps no surprise that ROMUniverse.com appears in the ESA’s submission to the USTR. Claiming a catalog of 60,000 ROMS serving 375,000 members, the ESA says the site has enjoyed “significant traffic increases” recently due to offering downloads for the latest video games consoles.

    Interestingly, given the fact that the USTR’s report focuses on overseas sites, the ESA notes that ROMUniverse is hosted in the United States at Frontier Communications. Similar US-based hosting is provided by GoDaddy for ISOsLand.net, another platform on the ESA’s list.

    Torrent Sites

    Few submissions to the USTR would be complete without a complaint about The Pirate Bay, and this entry from the ESA is no different.

    “Despite some recent downtime, this site continues to be a major source of infringing copies of ESA member company video games,” the ESA notes. “Over 2,200 infringing URLs were found on the site in August 2018. It currently operates with the assistance of the U.S.-based CDN referenced above,” the trade groups adds, without directly naming CloudFlare.

    While The Pirate Bay is certainly the highest-profile torrent site, the ESA appears to have bigger problems with a site called PeerTorrents. In August, the group found 8,100 infringing downloads available via the site, which the ESA notes is similar in appearance to LimeTorrents.cc. The site also uses CloudFlare.

    Private gaming servers

    In this section of its report, the ESA highlights threats to “free-to-play” games that generate revenue from micro-transactions, advertising, and subscriptions. Unauthorized third-party ‘private’ servers allow users to play such games, bypassing the original revenue model and stopping publishers from monetizing their content.

    “Establishing and maintaining unauthorized game servers often involves multiple acts of copyright infringement as well as the circumvention of technological protection measures,” the ESA notes, citing Warmane.com and Firestorm-servers.com (World of Warcraft) as culprits.

    Cheats and other digital goods

    Over the past year, lawsuits against those who maintain and distribute game cheating tools have been frequently reported (1,2,3) so similar complaints in the ESA’s filing are not unexpected.

    Established in 2000, Unknowncheats.me heads the ESA’s list, offering up to 10,000 cheats for around 100 gaming titles while generating advertising revenue from its 2.4 million users. Fellow cheat site MPGH.net is said to offer “several hundred thousand” cheats to more than four million users while Iwantcheats.net and Artificialaiming.net service around 720,000 users between them.

    Several other platforms are listed in the report as locations to purchase in-game items, CD keys, skins, accounts, and even CD keys, with others offering online subscriptions sourced in cheaper regions of the world and sold in the US.

    “We would like to underscore our appreciation to the U.S. officials who drive and administer the out-of-cycle review of notorious markets,” the ESA says in its summing up.

    “The resulting Notorious Markets List provides important insights that allow national and local policymakers, as well as law enforcement officials, to evaluate and fairly demand accountability from those marketplaces and the services that support them,” the trade group concludes.

    Source: Torrent Freak
    Last edited by Srbin; 03-10-2018 at 02:20 PM.

  5. #45
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    MPAA Reports ‘Notorious’ Pirate Sites to The US Government

    The MPAA has submitted a new list of “notorious markets” to the US Government. The list features a wide variety of 'pirate' sites including The Pirate Bay, Openload and the Russian social network VK.com. Hosting companies and ad-networks are also highlighted, while pirate IPTV services are called out as an emerging threat.

    Responding to a request from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), various copyright holder groups have submitted their annual overviews of ‘notorious’ markets.

    These submissions help to guide the U.S. Government’s position toward foreign countries when it comes to copyright enforcement.

    Earlier today we
    covered how ESA reported several game-specific threats, including ROM sites and cheater portals, and on the heels of that comes the MPAA’s submission.

    In its letter, Hollywood’s industry group notes that its list is not meant to be comprehensive, it’s mostly an overview of pirate sources that are prime examples of the rampant copyright infringement problems that exist on the Internet.

    Browsing through the submission, we see many of the usual targets, including torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay, RARBG, 1337x, Rutracker, and Torrentz2. The Chinese P2P client Xunlei also makes a comeback, after it
    failed to reach an agreement with the MPAA.

    What’s new this year is a focus on IPTV services, which are seen as an emerging threat. The MPAA notes that it has identified more than a thousand of these platforms around the world.

    “An emerging global threat is piracy from illegal internet protocol television (IPTV) services that provide stolen telecommunication signals/channels to a global audience via dedicated web portals, third-party applications and piracy devices configured to access the service,” the industry group writes.

    The MPAA specifically highlights BestBuyIPTV.com, GoIPTV.me, and TVMucho.com, adding that most of these services generate their revenue through subscriptions. They provide access to hundreds, if not thousands, of TV-channels as well as video on demand content.

    Another category covers linking and streaming websites. These operate from various countries around the world and include B9good.com, Cda.pl, Dytt8.net, Dy2018.com, Filmeseseriesonline.net, Fmovies.is, Indoxx1.com, Kinogo.cc, and Pelispedia.tv.


    Direct download sites and video hosting services also get a mention. Openload.co, Rapidgator.net, Uploaded.net, Rapidvideo.com, Streamango.com, Uploaded.net, Uptobox.com, and the Russian social network VK.com are all listed.

    Many of these services refuse to properly process takedown notices, the MPAA claims.

    The final category covers piracy devices and apps, including streaming boxes. These allow users to conveniently stream pirated content, and include 3DBoBoVR, TVPlus, TVBrowser, and KuaiKan, which are particularly popular in Asia.

    In addition to sites and services that directly offer access to pirated content, the Hollywood group also points a finger towards third-party intermediaries, including hosting providers and advertising networks.

    The Panama-based host Private Layer is called out specifically and the same is true for the Canadian advertising network WWWPromoter. Both were also highlighted in the MPAA’s submission last year.

    The MPAA’s full report is available
    here (pdf). The USTR will use this input above to make up its own list of notorious markets. This will help to identify current threats and call on foreign governments to take appropriate action.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  6. #46
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    Bulletproof’ Hosting is An Emerging Piracy Threat, RIAA Warns

    [I]The RIAA has noticed that pirate sites are increasingly turning to "bulletproof" hosting providers, which makes them harder to shut down. The music group lists Ecatel, Quasi Networks, and FlokiNET as examples in its yearly notorious markets report to the US Government.

    In tandem with many other copyright industry groups, the RIAA sent its overview of “notorious markets” to the US Trade Representative (USTR) this week.

    The group lists more than two dozen pirate sites, categorized by stream-ripping, MP3 download and search portals, torrent indexers, cyberlockers, and unlicensed pay-for-download sites.

    The RIAA’s overview is in many regards the same as
    last year’s, and the full list of the sites is provided below. What is new, however, is the focus on so-called “bulletproof” hosting providers.

    These hosting companies have very lenient policies and protect the identities of their customers. As such, they are often used by spammers, scammers, and also pirate sites. This isn’t by any means a new phenomenon, but the RIAA has flagged it as an emerging threat.

    nfringing sites are turning more towards offshore hosting ISPs that support the sites’ infringing activities,” the RIAA informs the USTR.

    “These ‘Bulletproof’ ISPs support various types of criminality through considerable leniency in the kinds of materials they permit to be uploaded and distributed via their networks.”

    The problem with these companies is obvious. Ideally, copyright holders want hosting providers to shut down blatantly infringing sites, but these outfits are not responsive to warning letters or infringement notices.

    The RIAA highlights two of these bulletproof hosts. The first is the Ecatel/Quasi Networks pair, which are believed to be closely related. Both companies are known to law enforcement and were targeted
    in a lawsuit filed by anti-piracy group BREIN last year.

    “Quasi Networks is responsible for hosting various sites engaged in the transmission of pre-release works, including dbr.ee, xclusivejams, nippyspace, mp3monkey.net, gosongs, and leakth.is.

    “With little recourse to remove infringements, both Ecatel and Quasi represent a significant danger to our member companies,” the RIAA adds.

    The second bulletproof hosting provider is FlokiNET, which offers servers in Romania, Iceland, and Finland. The RIAA recently uncovered that the host was listed as the registrant for the
    pre-release leak site musicmafia.to, likely to protect a customer. The site itself disappeared soon after.


    On its website, the hosting provider notes that customers don’t have to share any personal details or identification, which is appealing to a certain audience.

    “As a result, many different types of websites hosted on the ISP host bestiality pornography and fraudulent sites, amongst others. Other infringing sites hosted on FlokiNet include avxhome.se, djnotorioussam.com, and x1337.to.

    “The operator of FlokiNET is known to the authorities and resides in Romania but, to date, no action has been taken to close the service,” the RIAA adds.

    Aside from bulletproof hosting services, the RIAA signals another trend. Over the past year, it has observed a sharp rise in the number of pre-release pirate sites hosted by Nigerians. Apparently, this number has grown to more than 400, and most use the Nigerian-operated ISPspeedhost247.com.

    By reporting these sites and companies, the RIAA hopes to have them placed on the USTR’s final list of notorious markets. This can then be used as a political pressure tool against the countries from where they operate.

    The full list of the RIAA’s “notorious” pirate sites can be found below. The full report, as submitted to the USTR, is available
    here (pdf).



    Stream-Ripping Sites

    – Flvto.biz and 2conv.com
    – Mp3juices.cc
    – Convert2mp3.net
    – Ytmp3.cc
    – Onlinevideoconverter.com
    – Peggo.tv
    – H2converter.com
    – Y2mate.com
    – Convertmp3.io

    Search-and-Download Sites

    – Newalbumreleases.net
    – Rnbxclusive1.com
    – Leakth.is

    BitTorrent Indexing and Tracker Sites

    – Thepiratebay.org
    – Torrentz2.eu
    – Rarbg.to
    – 1337x.to

    Cyberlockers

    – Nippyspace.com
    – Hitfile.net
    – Suprafiles.me and cloudyfiles.me
    – Dbr.ee
    – Turbobit.net
    – Zippyshare.com
    – Rapidgator.net
    – Chomikuj.pl

    Unlicensed Pay-for-Download Sites

    – Mp3va.com
    – Mp3fiesta.com

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  7. #47
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    ACS and Elsevier Sue ResearchGate For Copyright Infringement

    Academic publishers American Chemical Society and Elsevier have sued scientist and researcher networking site ResearchGate. The publishers claim that research papers uploaded to the platform infringe their copyrights and for that, they're demanding damages of $150,000 per infringed work.

    Founded in 1876, the American Chemical Society (ACS) is a leading source of chemistry-focused academic publications. Founded in 1880, Elsevier is one of the world’s largest academic publishers.

    Both companies have been very active in recent times, suing various platforms (
    1,2) that facilitate unauthorized access to their papers.

    This week, in a lawsuit filed at a U.S. federal court in Maryland, the pair accuse scientist and researcher networking site
    ResearchGate of committing the same offenses.

    “This action arises from the massive infringement of peer-reviewed, published journal articles (‘PJAs’). Plaintiffs publish the articles in their journals and own the respective copyrights. Defendant deliberately uses infringing copies of those PJAs to drive its business,” the lawsuit reads.

    Based in Germany, ResearchGate promotes itself as a professional network for scientists and researchers. The site claims 15 million members, who use the platform to “share, discover, and discuss research.” It’s mission is to make research “open to all.”

    According to ACS and Elsevier, however, that openness had led to serious infringement of their rights.

    “The lawsuit is not about researchers and scientists collaborating, asking and answering questions; promoting themselves, their projects, or their findings; or sharing research findings, raw data, or pre-prints of articles,” the complaint states.

    “This lawsuit focuses on ResearchGate’s intentional misconduct vis-à-vis its online file-sharing / download service, where the dissemination of unauthorized copies of PJAs constitutes an enormous infringement of the copyrights owned by ACS, Elsevier and other journal publishers.”

    The publishers claim that the alleged infringement taking place on ResearchGate isn’t an accident, since the platform utilizes plaintiffs’ content to grow its traffic, content, and revenues. Indeed, they claim that ResearchGate not only induces others to upload infringing works but also does so itself. As a result, ResearchGate has turned into a “focal point for massive copyright infringement.”

    ACS and Elsevier claim that when users upload a copy of a PJA to ResearchGate, the company stores them on its servers where they are made available for viewing or download as a PDF file. Users are also able to share links to these works on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.

    “ResearchGate consistently and successfully attempts to encourage and trick authors into uploading copies of PJAs that it knows should not be posted on the RG Website. One tactic is the combination of creating author profiles, publication pages, and journal pages, along with the ‘Request full-text’ feature,” the complaint adds.

    However, in addition to user uploads, the companies claim that ResearchGate also adds content itself, using scraping techniques to acquire copyrighted works which are them uploaded to its website for viewing or download. The publishers say that ResearchGate hints at its own involvement in providing content with a statement on its website.

    “Proprietary content generally appears on ResearchGate only when it has been uploaded by an author,” the statement reads. “So, if there’s already a full-text of your publication available on ResearchGate, the most likely explanation is that it has been uploaded by one of your co-authors.” (emphasis as per complaint)

    Furthermore, the plaintiffs note that ResearchGate previously published a job posting in which it attempted to hire someone “with hands-on experience in building and maintaining web crawlers” to “build web crawlers to discover and index university websites.”

    ACS and Elsevier state that before filing this lawsuit, they attempted to negotiate with ResearchGate to have it operate “within the law.”

    Working through a trade group called the International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical Publishers, the publishers say they asked ResearchGate sign up to a voluntary scheme to regulate article sharing but the company refused. The publishers do acknowledge that some infringing works were taken down but ResearchGate has not explained why.

    With large numbers of allegedly-infringing works on the site, the publishers are now suing ResearchGate for direct copyright infringement, inducement of copyright infringement, contributory copyright infringement, and vicarious copyright infringement.

    In conclusion, ACS and Elsevier ask the Court to order ResearchGate to cease-and-desist all infringement of their copyrights, delete all content owned by the plaintiffs, and award statutory damages of $150,000 per infringed work.

    This isn’t the only lawsuit ACS and Elsevier have filed against ResearchGate. In October 2017, the companies took action in Germany, claiming that since ResearchGate knows files are infringing, it has an obligation to remove them, even when they haven’t received a specific takedown notice.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  8. #48
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    uTorrent Web Reaches One Million Daily Users


    uTorrent Web allows users to download, share, and stream torrents directly in their web browser, a convenient option for those previously used to a stand-alone client. Following its full release early September, parent company BitTorrent Inc. has now revealed that a million users are utilizing its latest product on a daily basis.


    Back in February, uTorrent owner BitTorrent Inc. quietly rolled out a brand new product. Leveraging the hugely popular brand identity of its flagship product, uTorrent Web provided new ways to consume torrents online.


    The premise is simple. Rather than rely on a completely stand-alone torrent client, uTorrent Web allows users to download and even stream torrents, directly in their web browser. A piece of software does have to be installed (Windows only currently) but the rest of the action takes place in Chrome, Firefox, or compatible browsers.


    Early September, with rather more fanfare, BitTorrent Inc. announced that uTorrent Web had exited beta. The company said that the product’s focus is on simplicity and quick playability.


    “With a simple download to play experience as the focal point of µTorrent Web, we see more users successfully downloading and playing torrents than with any other product in BitTorrent’s history,” the company said.


    While it will be a long time before uTorrent Web eclipses the 100+ million active users of uTorrent desktop and mobile, BitTorrent Inc. says that uTorrent Web has just reached a significant milestone


    Celebrating its first month out of beta, the browser-based torrent client now has one million daily active users.


    “Our users have already downloaded our licensed content, which features both top-tier and emerging content creators, well over 100 million times,” says Jordy Berson, Chief Product Officer and COO at BitTorrent Inc.


    “While the growth in our daily active users is a great validation of product market fit, we are equally proud to see that µTorrent Web drives dramatically more user engagement and playback than any product in BitTorrent’s history, which is a huge win for our 30,000+ licensed content creators.”


    With uTorrent Web clearly on a roll, the product could be in for some additional upgrades before the year is out. A feature to stream files stored on a home computer to an Android device is the first to be announced.


    uTorrent Web was first teased last year by BitTorrent inventor Bran Cohen, who said that browser-based torrenting is “just a nicer experience.” It’s also more accessible to a generation of content consumers who have grown up with the explosion of web-based streaming.


    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  9. #49
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    Facebook User Who Uploaded Pirated ‘Deadpool’ Copy Sentenced to 3 Weeks Prison

    A California man who uploaded a pirated copy of the movie Deadpool to Facebook has been sentenced to three weeks prison. The film was shared to the social media network, shortly after it premiered, where it was viewed 6,386,456 times. The man was indicted following an FBI investigation last year and previously pleaded guilty.

    With roughly two billion active users per month, Facebook is by far the largest social networking site around.

    While most of the content posted to the site is relatively harmless, some people use it to share things they are not supposed to. A pirated copy of Deadpool, for example.

    This is what the now 22-year-old Trevon Franklin from Fresno, California, did early 2016. Just a week after the first installment of the box-office hit Deadpool premiered in theaters, he shared a pirated copy of the movie on the social network.

    To be clear, Franklin wasn’t the person who originally made the copy available. He simply downloaded it from the file-sharing site Putlocker.is and then proceeded to upload it to his Facebook account, using the screen name “Tre-Von M. King.”

    This post went viral with more than six million viewers ‘tuning in.’ This also caught the attention of Twentieth Century Fox, and to make matters worse, the FBI launched a full-fledged investigation.

    With all Facebook credentials readily available Franklin was an easy catch. Last summer he was
    indictment. Faced with a limited defense, he signed a plea agreement a few months later, admitting that he indeed uploaded the pirated film.

    Yesterday, a federal court in California
    sentenced Franklin to a prison sentence of three weeks.

    The sentence is significantly lower than the high-end sentence of six months’ prison
    recommended by the Government last month. The authorities argued that a higher sentence was warranted given the “brazen and public” manner in which Franklin broke the law and how he “appeared not to care” how this would affect the makers of the movie.

    The Government noted that a six-month prison sentence would send a strong message to Facebook users and the public at large, to show that there are real consequences for such a crime.

    It appears, however, that the Court was receptive to the defense counsel’s argument that Franklin has no prior criminal record and regrets the mistakes that were made.

    It’s unclear why the US Government decided to pursue this case to begin with. Copyright infringement isn’t exactly rare on Facebook. However, it may be that the media attention and the high number of views may have prompted the authorities to set an example.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  10. #50
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    ‘Blocking Pirate Sites is Not Enough, Russia Should Shut Them Down’

    Russia has implemented a wide variety of anti-piracy measures in recent years. Thousands of copyright infringing sites have been blocked and even 'unauthorized' VPNs and proxies are outlawed. However, according to the IIPA, which includes the MPAA, RIAA, and other entertainment industry groups, this is not enough.

    There can be little doubt that Russia has some of the most agressive anti-piracy policies in the world.

    After it became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2012, the country made several promises to protect creators’ rights and take action against infringing websites.

    In the years that followed, processes for website takedown policies were streamlined, and more recently Russia’s telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor issued ISP blockades against thousands of pirate sites.

    To ensure that it wouldn’t be easy to circumvent these blockades, Russia’s Government also implemented a law that
    outlaws all VPNs and anonymizers that bypass site blocking measures. Companies which violate this, risk a $12,000 fine.

    To tighten things up even further, search engines are also prohibited from
    linking to blocked pirate sites and unauthorized VPNs and anonymizers.

    These are rather tough measures, especially compared to the United States where site blocking is still a no-go. Still, a coalition of prominent rightsholder groups, including the RIAA and MPAA, is still not happy.

    The groups are united in the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) which asked to testify during today’s US Trade Representative hearing on the implementation of Russia’s WTO Commitments.

    In its application, IIPA recognizes the progress made thus far, but these recent changes are not enough. The rightsholder groups tell the US Government that they would like Russia’s actions to have an impact on Americans as well.

    “Unfortunately, in recent years, these new procedures and processes have been directed only at online piracy by users within Russia. The result has been a substantial and persistent international copyright piracy problem of illegal sites and services accessed by users outside of Russia,” the IIPA writes.

    “The Russian Government needs to engage in enforcement targeting illegal sites and streaming services that operate in Russia, even if the users are abroad.”

    While Russian interference over the Internet is not always appreciated, in this case, it would be welcomed. And since the Russian Government can’t force US ISPs to start blocking, they will have to go after thousands of sites directly.

    The IIPA would like to see more criminal investigations and prosecutions of pirate site operators, mentioning Rapidgator, Rutracker, vKontakte, and Sci-Hub as persistent offenders.

    “In short, more enforcement is needed, targeting these and the myriad of other infringing websites. Proper enforcement actions would include steps to keep infringing sites down and taking criminal enforcement actions against the owners and operators of these sites that are causing significant economic harm to rights holders,” the IIPA writes.

    There is no denying that there are pirate sites operating from Russia. However, considering Russia’s recent progress, it would be no surprise if Putin pointed the finger right back at the US.

    He only has to use The Pirate Bay as an example. This ‘notorious’ pirate site has been operating freely from a US-controlled .org domain, using the caching services of the US company Cloudflare, while earning most of its revenue from entirely unblocked US visitors.



    A copy of the IIPA’s full letter, sent to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, is
    available here (pdf).

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  11. #51
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    ACS and Elsevier Sue ResearchGate For Copyright Infringement

    Academic publishers American Chemical Society and Elsevier have sued scientist and researcher networking site ResearchGate. The publishers claim that research papers uploaded to the platform infringe their copyrights and for that, they're demanding damages of $150,000 per infringed work.

    Founded in 1876, the American Chemical Society (ACS) is a leading source of chemistry-focused academic publications. Founded in 1880, Elsevier is one of the world’s largest academic publishers.

    Both companies have been very active in recent times, suing various platforms (
    1,2) that facilitate unauthorized access to their papers.

    This week, in a lawsuit filed at a U.S. federal court in Maryland, the pair accuse scientist and researcher networking site
    ResearchGate of committing the same offenses.

    “This action arises from the massive infringement of peer-reviewed, published journal articles (‘PJAs’). Plaintiffs publish the articles in their journals and own the respective copyrights. Defendant deliberately uses infringing copies of those PJAs to drive its business,” the lawsuit reads.

    Based in Germany, ResearchGate promotes itself as a professional network for scientists and researchers. The site claims 15 million members, who use the platform to “share, discover, and discuss research.” It’s mission is to make research “open to all.”

    According to ACS and Elsevier, however, that openness had led to serious infringement of their rights.

    “The lawsuit is not about researchers and scientists collaborating, asking and answering questions; promoting themselves, their projects, or their findings; or sharing research findings, raw data, or pre-prints of articles,” the complaint states.

    “This lawsuit focuses on ResearchGate’s intentional misconduct vis-à-vis its online file-sharing / download service, where the dissemination of unauthorized copies of PJAs constitutes an enormous infringement of the copyrights owned by ACS, Elsevier and other journal publishers.”

    The publishers claim that the alleged infringement taking place on ResearchGate isn’t an accident, since the platform utilizes plaintiffs’ content to grow its traffic, content, and revenues. Indeed, they claim that ResearchGate not only induces others to upload infringing works but also does so itself. As a result, ResearchGate has turned into a “focal point for massive copyright infringement.”

    ACS and Elsevier claim that when users upload a copy of a PJA to ResearchGate, the company stores them on its servers where they are made available for viewing or download as a PDF file. Users are also able to share links to these works on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.

    “ResearchGate consistently and successfully attempts to encourage and trick authors into uploading copies of PJAs that it knows should not be posted on the RG Website. One tactic is the combination of creating author profiles, publication pages, and journal pages, along with the ‘Request full-text’ feature,” the complaint adds.

    However, in addition to user uploads, the companies claim that ResearchGate also adds content itself, using scraping techniques to acquire copyrighted works which are them uploaded to its website for viewing or download. The publishers say that ResearchGate hints at its own involvement in providing content with a statement on its website.

    “Proprietary content generally appears on ResearchGate only when it has been uploaded by an author,” the statement reads. “So, if there’s already a full-text of your publication available on ResearchGate, the most likely explanation is that it has been uploaded by one of your co-authors.” (emphasis as per complaint)

    Furthermore, the plaintiffs note that ResearchGate previously published a job posting in which it attempted to hire someone “with hands-on experience in building and maintaining web crawlers” to “build web crawlers to discover and index university websites.”

    ACS and Elsevier state that before filing this lawsuit, they attempted to negotiate with ResearchGate to have it operate “within the law.”

    Working through a trade group called the International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical Publishers, the publishers say they asked ResearchGate sign up to a voluntary scheme to regulate article sharing but the company refused. The publishers do acknowledge that some infringing works were taken down but ResearchGate has not explained why.

    With large numbers of allegedly-infringing works on the site, the publishers are now suing ResearchGate for direct copyright infringement, inducement of copyright infringement, contributory copyright infringement, and vicarious copyright infringement.

    In conclusion, ACS and Elsevier ask the Court to order ResearchGate to cease-and-desist all infringement of their copyrights, delete all content owned by the plaintiffs, and award statutory damages of $150,000 per infringed work.

    This isn’t the only lawsuit ACS and Elsevier have filed against ResearchGate. In October 2017, the companies took action in Germany, claiming that since ResearchGate knows files are infringing, it has an obligation to remove them, even when they haven’t received a specific takedown notice.


    Source: Torrentfreak.com

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    123movies Was Shut Down Following a Criminal Investigation

    A few months ago 123movies, also known as 123movieshub and GoMovies, announced its surprise shutdown. The disappearance of Hollywood's main nemesis long remained a mystery, but the MPAA now explains that the streaming giant folded after a criminal investigation and significant movie industry engagement.

    At the start of this year pirate streaming site 123movies was one of the largest pirate streaming sites on the web.

    The site received millions of visitors per day which prompted none other than the MPAA
    to label it “the most popular illegal site in the world.”

    For Hollywood, the blatantly infringing activity was a thorn in their side, so behind the scenes the movie studios did all they could to take the site offline, helped by US authorities.

    In 2017, the US Ambassador to Vietnam
    called on the local Government to criminally prosecute the site’s operators on their alleged home turf. In addition, the site was also on the radar of the office of the US Trade Representative, which featured 123movies in its latest Notorious Markets report.

    March this year, the MPAA sent its own people to Vietnam to
    expedite the issue. The movie industry group teamed up with the local Office of the Police Investigation Agency, hoping that this would lead to the downfall of the streaming site.

    A few days later,
    123movies shut down.

    “Now it’s time to say goodbye. Thank you for being our friends and thanks for staying with us that long,” the 123movies team wrote, asking users to “respect” filmmakers by paying for movies and TV-shows instead of pirating them.

    There was never an official explanation for this radical decision but
    it wasn’t hard to figure out that the ground had become too hot for the operators. Movie industry pressure was mounting and Vietnam also appeared to get more strict on copyright enforcement issues.

    While 123movies never elaborated on its reason to shut down, the MPAA has now provided some more insight. In its latest list of “notorious markets” sent to the US Government this week, the group links it to a criminal investigation.

    “An important development in 2018 was the shuttering of a ring of piracy services that had operated under the names 123movies, 123movieshub, gostream, and gomovies following the launch of a criminal investigation in Vietnam and significant industry engagement,” MPAA writes.


    TorrentFreak asked the MPAA whether this investigation resulted in any arrests, charges, or if it’s still ongoing. We are yet to receive a response.

    It’s clear though, that the mounting pressure resulted in 123movies being shut down. This is arguably one of the major anti-piracy successes of the year so far, but the problem isn’t over yet.

    Following the demise of 123movies, several clones and copies stepped up to take its place. However, the MPAA says that it has these on its radar as well.

    “Since its closure, many copycat sites have emerged. This ring of piracy services had been blocked in at least eight countries prior to its shut down and efforts are underway to shut down the copycats as well,” the MPAA notes.

    This is not a veiled threat, it appears. Last month, the biggest clone 123movieshub.sc suddenly went offline as well, as the site’s domain was deactivated by the domain name registry. As expected, other 123movies clones were quick to take over the top spot.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  13. #53
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    MPAA Granted ‘Dynamic’ Pirate Site Blocking Order in Singapore

    The major studios of the MPAA have been granted a 'dynamic injunction' that will allow ISPs to thwart efforts by pirate sites to circumvent blocking orders. The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, Solarmovie, and dozens more sites are affected by the new ruling which was handed down by High Court in Singapore.

    Four years ago, Singapore became the latest in a long line of countries to use copyright law to block access to ‘pirate’ sites. The
    amendments were passed during the summer of 2014 and took effect in December the same year.

    After a break of almost two years, a request by the MPA(A) rendered Solarmovie.ph inaccessible in 2016. Several major ISPs were ordered by the High Court to block the streaming platform, the first such action in the country.

    In April this year the MPA(A) chalked up another victory when its application to have 53 sites operating across 154 domains – including those operated by variants of The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents – was
    granted by the High Court. ISPs including Singtel, StarHub, M1, MyRepublic and ViewQwest blocked the sites shortly after.

    The blocking process in Singapore appears to be thorough. The High Court must be satisfied that sites targeted are “flagrantly infringing”, i.e with a primary purpose of breaching copyright and generally showing a lack of respect for copyright law. Site operators are also able to defend themselves although thus far, none have done so.

    With plenty of experience of sites around the world taking evasive counter-measures to avoid blocking, the injunction in Singapore allowed copyright holders to return to Court to request an amended order to block new domains and/or IP addresses. However, this model has proven cumbersome in the past so it’s no surprise the MPA(A) has now persuaded the Court to adopt a more streamlined approach.

    After highlighting that several of the blocked sites changed their domains to avoid blocking, the High Court has now handed down a “dynamic injunction” which will allow the Hollywood studios to block any new methods deployed by the 53 sites covered by the earlier injunction.

    “Without a continuing obligation to block additional domain names, URLs and/or IP addresses upon being informed of such sites, it is unlikely that there would be effective disabling of access to the 53 (infringing websites),” said Justice Lee Seiu Kin, as quoted by
    TodayOnline.

    Under the terms of the new order, companies including Disney, Paramount Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox, will be able to liaise with ISPs M1, MyRepublic, Singtel, StarHub and ViewQwest to have additional domains and IP addresses blocked, if they facilitate access to the previously blocked sites.

    According to Justice Lee, the new injunction “provides a practical means of ensuring the continued effectiveness of the original injunction since it provides an expedited process for the blocking of additional (piracy websites).”

    The Judge added that ISPs will only have to block the new resources if they are satisfied there is enough evidence to do so but according to TodayOnline, this was highlighted as potentially problematic by local lawyers.

    “It is questionable if this is a good enough safeguard when the most expeditious way for an Internet service provider to respond, upon receipt of a request to block an additional domain name, would simply be to comply with the request, rather than to incur the time and cost of disputing the matter with the copyright owner,” said representatives from the Bird & Bird law firm.

    Nevertheless, the judgment was welcomed by Neil Gane, general manager of the Asia Video Industry Association’s Coalition Against Piracy.

    “There is no one silver bullet to deterring online piracy,” Gane said. “What is required is a holistic solution to include enforcement; disabling access to egregious piracy websites through effective site blocking; cooperation with technology platforms and other intermediaries; and consumer outreach.”

    According to a
    report published by the Motion Picture Association Canada earlier this year, at least 42 countries are now obligated to block infringing sites. In Europe alone, 1,800 sites and 5,300 domains have been rendered inaccessible, with Portugal, Italy, the UK, and Denmark leading the way.

    In Canada this week, site-blocking efforts
    suffered a setback when local telecoms regulator CRTC denied FairPlay Canada’s application for a broad pirate site blocking scheme. CRTC cited a lack of jurisdiction under the Telecommunications Act.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  14. #54
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    Canadian Music Group Proposes ‘Copyright Tax’ on Internet Use

    In Canada, there have been ongoing discussions and proposals about new levies and fees to compensate creators for 'missed revenue.' There have been calls to levy a tax on mobile devices such as iPhones, for example. This week the Screen Composers Guild of Canada took things up a notch, calling for a copyright levy on all broadband data use above 15 gigabytes per month.

    When CD copying was all the rage in the late 1990s, many countries started to
    levy a tax on blank media.

    This meant that consumers had to pay an extra fee on every recordable disc, because these can be used to duplicate copyrighted content.

    In some countries, this model has expanded to other media, such as hard disks, MP3 players and phones. In Canada, however, this didn’t happen. Despite several attempts in the past, there is no private copying levy on smartphones, tablets or hard disks.

    During recent copyright reform discussions, the matter was brought to the forefront once again. But there’s also another copyright compensation issue, one that’s potentially even more controversial.

    A proposal from the Screen Composers Guild of Canada (
    SCGC), put forward during last week’s Government hearings, suggests to simply add a levy on Internet use above 15 gigabytes per month.

    The music composers argue that this is warranted because composers miss out on public performance royalties. One of the reasons for this is that online streaming services are not paying as much as terrestrial broadcasters.

    The composers SCGC represents are not the big music stars. They are the people who write music for TV-shows and other broadcasts. Increasingly these are also shown on streaming services where the compensation is, apparently, much lower.

    “With regard to YouTube, which is owned by the advertising company Alphabet-Google, minuscule revenue distribution is being reported by our members. Royalties from the large streaming services, like Amazon and Netflix, are 50 to 95% lower when compared to those from terrestrial broadcasters,” SCGC
    writes (pdf).

    “Statistics like this indicate that our veteran members will soon have to seek employment elsewhere and young screen-composers will have little hope of sustaining a livelihood,” the guild adds, sounding the alarm bell.

    SCGC’s solution to this problem is to make every Canadian pay an extra fee when they use over 15 gigabytes of data per month. This money would then be used to compensate composers and fix the so-called ‘value gap’.

    As a result, all Internet users who go over the cap will have to pay more. Even those who don’t watch any of the programs where the music is used.

    However, SCGC doesn’t see the problem and believes that 15 gigabytes are enough. People who want to avoid paying can still use email and share photos, they argue. Those who go over the cap are likely streaming not properly compensated videos.

    “An ISP subscription levy that would provide a minimum or provide a basic 15 gigabytes of data per Canadian household a month that would be unlevied. Lots of room for households to be able to do Internet transactions, business, share photos, download a few things, emails, no problem,” SCGC notes.

    “[W]hen you’re downloading and consuming over 15 gigabytes of data a month, you’re likely streaming Spotify. You’re likely streaming YouTube. You’re likely streaming Netflix. So we think because the FANG companies will not give us access to the numbers that they have, we have to apply a broad-based levy. They’re forcing us to.”

    The last comment is telling. The composers guild believes that a levy is the only option because Netflix, YouTube, and others are not paying their fair share.

    That sounds like a licensing or rights issue between these services and the authors. Dragging millions of Canadians into this dispute seems questionable, especially when many people have absolutely nothing to do with it.

    According to Canadian law professor Michael Geist,
    who highlighted the issue, it would also result in an unfair double-payment.

    “[T]he SCGC proposal would represent double-payment by consumers, who would pay to access the content on services such as Spotify and Netflix and pay for the transmission of the same content with the ill-advised copyright tax on broadband data,” Geist writes.

    It’s doubtful that there will be broad support for the proposal among the public. However, proposing to add a levy or tax on Internet use certainly gets people’s attention, which might have been part of the plan.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  15. #55
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    Received a Piracy Warning From Your ISP? Here’s What to Do

    Large numbers of Internet subscribers, mainly in the United States, have been taking to the Internet in recent months worried about piracy warnings sent to them by their ISPs. Despite much discussion of these online, questions continue to be asked. So, what should users do when they receive these scary emails?

    Millions of Internet subscribers use their connections to download and share copyright-infringing content. It’s been going on for almost two decades already and shows no sign of stopping.

    For the vast majority of users, this kind of activity has no consequences. People grab the latest movies or TV shows, for example, and then hear no more. For many, this means they simply carry on, oblivious to the fact that their unauthorized transfers are probably being monitored by someone, somewhere.

    In the majority of cases, this monitoring is simply for research purposes but increasingly, as content companies seek to reduce copyright infringement, further action might be the next step. That usually means that ISPs are contacted, with a request for them to tell their customers to stop pirating content.

    Copyright infringement notices

    The first time an Internet user realizes this has happened is when they receive correspondence from their ISP. This could potentially be a letter but it’s more likely to arrive in the form of an email, delivered to the account registered with the ISP.

    From reports posted online, this is where many users begin to panic. The idea they’ve been caught doing something illegal seems to prevent them from reading the notice slowly and taking in all the details. This is a fundamental mistake and one that should be immediately rectified in order to understand what’s happened and is likely to happen moving forward.

    Read the warning notice – and now read it again

    While notices sent to subscribers differ between ISPs, they are all very clear. They will explain what is alleged to have happened and when, who made the complaint, the content involved (movies, TV shows etc), and what the user should do next. They are designed to be easy to understand and when read calmly, they are.

    Generally, a notice will state that a subscriber’s Internet connection was allegedly used on a certain time and date to download and share copyright-infringing material. The notice will provide the IP address in use at the time and the name of the company that owns the rights to the content in question. It will also order the subscriber to prevent it from being shared again in the future.

    While notices can be sent in error, anecdotal evidence indicates that the majority are accurate. When that is the case, users should
    follow the instructions in the infringement email. They might include ensuring WiFi networks are secure, speaking with other people in the house who may have committed the infringement, and checking computers to ensure they aren’t infected with malware.

    In any event, subscribers who are required to respond to notices should take care not to incriminate themselves or others. For initial offenses, however, ISPs tend not to ask for feedback from the user so when that’s the case, no response needs to be provided.

    Demands in infringement notices

    In basic terms, most infringement notices are like speeding tickets but without the immediate cash fine. They are designed to be a warning and to prevent the same thing from happening again. When this is the case, the infringement notice makes that clear.

    If users are still downloading and sharing the same content in their torrent client (the source of most infringement notices) the notices demand that they remove that content immediately and never share it again. Carrying on sharing in the face of a warning could result in more notices being sent for the same ongoing infringement, with additional consequences we’ll come to later.

    Some ISPs also ask the account holder to fill in a questionnaire, which acknowledges that the subscriber has received the warning, understood it, and – in appropriate circumstances – has taken action to stop the infringement being repeated. Again, recipients should be cautious not to incriminate themselves but they are rarely asked to do so.

    Importantly, there is sometimes an opportunity to contest the infringement claim so if notices are erroneous, the subscriber might choose to file a counter-complaint after assessing the situation.

    Receiving no more notices is relatively simple

    While many users panic when receiving infringement notices from their ISP, in the majority of cases there is no need to worry. Stopping sharing the content in question usually solves the problem and if no additional sharing takes place, no further warnings should be received, for that content at least.

    However, those who disregard warning notices or fail to check the email address registered with their ISP (so they don’t know they’ve been receiving warnings), things can get complicated.

    Repeat infringers are at risk

    Subscribers whose Internet connections are used to infringe copyright on a number of occasions are now labeled ‘repeat infringers’. Under US law, this can turn into a more serious situation.

    As clarified in a
    recent case involving ISP Cox Communications, action must be taken by ISPs against those who keep on infringing, or they risk being held liable themselves. This has probably contributed to the increased volume of infringement notices being passed on to subscribers and the corresponding reports of them online.

    An
    article published by TF back in February reveals how Comcast deals with persistent pirates. Other ISPs will follow different processes but the basic idea is that if users keep on infringing, at some point they’ll be faced with consequences, possibly a suspension or even termination of their Internet connection.

    How can Internet users be sure never to receive a warning?

    The clearest and most foolproof piece of advice is that those who don’t share infringing files with others are the ones that never receive a notice. While some innocents do get sent notices in error, the safest approach is not to share infringing files using BitTorrent and similarpeer-to-peer software. These transfers are public and can be tracked.

    However, as any file-sharing forum reader will know, plenty of pirates carry out their hobby on daily basis without ever receiving an infringement notice.

    The reasons for this are varied, but it usually boils down to people using streaming and/or direct download sites, or by protecting their BitTorrent connections
    with a VPN. Others are simply lucky or have chosen content that for some reason isn’t being monitored for infringements.

    Important: Not all infringement notices are benign

    In a relatively small number of cases, copyright holders aren’t interested in warning alleged pirates – they want to sue them and/or extract a cash settlement. When this is the case, correspondence received from a user’s ISP usually makes it clear that a copyright holder is trying to obtain their identity and personal details with a view to legal action.

    If users receive such a notice, immediate legal advice should be sought since there are no second chances. Under no circumstances should recipients ignore this type of ‘warning’ as doing so could potentially lead to an expensive default judgment.

    Conclusion

    Notices of infringement targeted at regular Internet subscribers in the US are usually issued for the purposes of a) stopping the current infringement and b) encouraging users to stop infringing in future.

    The decision to stop infringing (or carry on behind a VPN or similar) is obviously a personal choice but in 2018 it’s clear that being caught on multiple occasions puts ISPs in a position where they must take action, or face potential consequences themselves. No prizes for guessing who’ll get thrown under the bus when the pressure is on.

    None of the above should be construed as legal advice. If there is any uncertainty concerning the nature of an infringement notice, users should seek professional advice.

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  16. #56
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    Kim Dotcom vows to 'fight for internet freedom' in series of tweets

    Internet mogul Kim Dotcom has again vowed to "fight for internet freedom" in a series of tweets sent out.

    Mr Dotcom has battled a years-long court case over copyright laws, with him being accused of causing the loss of millions of dollars to copyright owners in the US through the file sharing site he founded Megaupload.

    Earlier this year, it was revealed he could be extradited to the US to face trial.

    He was indicted by US Grand Jury in 2012 over the allegations.

    "I will continue to fight no matter what it takes," Mr Dotcom said.

    "No matter where the journey will take me I will defend internet freedom, I will fight for your rights and I will stand up to the injustice brought upon us by the deep state."

    Mr Dotcom also joked that he had been advised by lawyers that "an insanity defense won't work in a copyright case".

    Mr Dotcome has argued extradition is unlawful in this case because a copyright infringement in a civil case rather than a criminal case.






  17. #57
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    MPAA and RIAA’s Megaupload Lawsuits Remain on Hold

    A federal court in Virginia has granted Megaupload's request to keep the civil lawsuits filed by the music and movie companies on hold until April next year. Since all crucial data on Megaupload's servers are safely preserved, the MPAA and RIAA have no objections against the stay, which is caused by slow progress in the criminal case.

    Well over six years have passed since Megaupload was shut down and it’s still unclear how the criminal proceedings will unfold.

    Aside from Andrus Nomm’s
    plea deal, progress in the criminal proceedings has been slow.

    Kim Dotcom and his former colleagues are currently fighting a legal battle in New Zealand to prevent their extradition to the US, for which the final decision has yet to be issued.

    While all parties await the outcome, the criminal case in the United States remains pending. The same goes for the civil cases launched by the
    MPAA and RIAA in 2014, more than four years ago.

    Since the civil cases may influence the criminal proceedings, Megaupload’s legal team previously managed to put these cases on hold, and last week they requested another extension.

    This is not the first time that such a request had been made. There have been several extensions already, which caused some issues.

    There were previously
    concerns that the long delays could result in the destruction of evidence, as some of Megaupload’s hard drives were starting to fail. However, after the parties agreed on a solution to back-up and restore the files, this is no longer an issue.

    “With the preservation order in place, and there being no other objection, Defendant Megaupload hereby moves the Court to enter the attached proposed order, continuing the stay in this case for an additional six months,” Megaupload’s legal team informed the court this week.

    Without any objections from the MPAA and RIAA, U.S. District Court Judge Liam O’Grady swiftly granted Megaupload’s request to stay both lawsuits until April next year.

    And so that wait continues…


    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  18. #58
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    The Rise of Netflix Competitors Has Pushed Consumers Back Toward Piracy

    BitTorrent usage has bounced back because there's too many streaming services, and too much exclusive content.

    A new study shows that after years of declines, BitTorrent usage and piracy is on the rise again. The culprit: an increase in exclusivity deals that force subscribers to hunt and peck among a myriad of streaming services to actually find the content they’re looking for.

    Sandvine’s new
    Global Internet Phenomena report offers some interesting insight into user video habits and the internet, such as the fact that more than 50 percent of internet traffic is now encrypted, video now accounts for 58 percent of all global traffic, and Netflix alone now comprises 15 percent of all internet downstream data consumed.

    But there’s another interesting tidbit buried in the firm’s report: after years of steady decline, BitTorrent usage is once again growing.

    According to Sandvine, file-sharing accounts for 3 percent of global downstream and 22 percent of upstream traffic, with 97% of that traffic in turn being BitTorrent. While BitTorrent is often used to distribute ordinary files, it remains the choice du jour for those looking to distribute and trade copyrighted content online, made easier via media PCs running Kodi and select plugins.


    Back in 2011, Sandvine stated that BitTorrent accounted for 52.01% of upstream traffic on fixed broadband networks in North America. By 2015, BitTorrent’s share of upstream traffic on these networks had dipped to 26.83 percent, largely thanks to the rise in quality, inexpensive streaming alternatives to piracy.

    But Sandvine notes that trend is now reversing slightly, with BitTorrent’s traffic share once again growing worldwide. That’s especially true in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, where BitTorrent now accounts for 32% of all upstream network traffic.

    One major reason for BitTorrent’s rising popularity? Annoying exclusivity streaming deals.

    “More sources than ever are producing "exclusive" content available on a single streaming or broadcast service—think Game of Thrones for HBO, House of Cards for Netflix, The Handmaid's Tale for Hulu, or Jack Ryan for Amazon,” Sandvine’s Cam Cullen said in a
    blog post.

    “To get access to all of these services, it gets very expensive for a consumer, so they subscribe to one or two and pirate the rest.” Cullen said.

    As more and more companies jump into the streaming race, they’re cordoning off “must have” content into a wider and wider array of exclusivity silos.

    Disney, for example, will soon be pulling most of its fare from Netflix as it launches its own streaming service this year. Studies have shown that nearly every major broadcaster will have launched their own streaming service by 2022. And these companies are increasingly choosing to keep their own content as in-house exclusives in order to drive subscriptions.

    On one hand that makes sense. Numerous streaming providers are now winning awards for the original, usually-exclusive content they develop in house in a bid to reduce content licensing costs. The better, more exclusive your content is, the more subscribers you can drive to your service.

    The problem: consumers only have so much disposable income, and the growing laundry-list of services users now need to subscribe to if they want to watch all of their favorite movies and shows can not only become confusing, but prohibitively expensive. That’s especially true overseas, where geographical viewing restrictions hamper access to popular U.S. content.

    As a result, these users are starting to drift back to piracy.

    Keep in mind that BitTorrent usage numbers are likely higher than Sandvine estimates, given the high number of users that hide their BitTorrent traffic behind proxies and VPNs to not only dodge the prying-eyes of their ISPs, but avoid copyright trolls and industry lawsuits.

    The content industry spent years trying to battle piracy via all manner of heavy handed-tactics and lawsuits, only to realize that offering users inexpensive, quality, legitimate services was the best solution. Many users flocked to these services because they provided a less-expensive, more flexible alternative to traditional cable.

    Now, if the industry isn’t careful, it could lose a sizeable chunk of this newfound audience back to piracy by making it overly expensive and cumbersome to access the content subscribers are looking for.

  19. #59
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    Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 10/08/18

    The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation'. 'The First Purge' completes the top three.

    This week we have two newcomers in our chart.

    Ant-Man and the Wasp 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.


    This week’s most downloaded movies are:

    Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer
    Most downloaded movies via torrents
    1 (…) Ant-Man and the Wasp 7.3 / trailer
    2 (3) Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation 6.3 / trailer
    3 (1) The First Purge 5.2 / trailer
    4 (2) Solo: A Star Wars Story 7.1 / trailer
    5 (4) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 6.5 / trailer
    6 (6) Sicario: Day of the Soldado 7.3 / trailer
    7 (…) The Darkest Minds 5.5 / trailer
    8 (5) Skyscraper 6.1 / trailer
    9 (10) The Meg (Subbed HDRip) 6.0 / trailer
    10 (9) Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Subbed HDRip) 8.1 / trailer

    Source: Torrentfreak.com

  20. #60
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    Sony Sues ‘Jailbroken’ PS4 Seller for Copyright Infringement

    Sony Interactive Entertainment (Sony) has filed a lawsuit against a California man for selling jailbroken PS4 console filled with pirated games. The man, who is accused of copyright infringement and circumventing the PS4's technological protection measures, allegedly encouraged people to "Stop Buying Games."

    Since its official launch in 2013, the PlayStation 4 (PS4) remained piracy-free for a long time, but last year things started
    to shift.

    Following the release of a new
    jailbreak version a few months ago, things took a turn for the worse for Sony. This allowed the masses to tinker with their PS4 consoles which only increased the piracy troubles.

    While it will be hard for Sony to put the genie back in the bottle, the Japanese company has decided to take a stand. In a new case filed at a federal court in California, Sony details its complaint against a local resident who allegedly offered for sale jailbroken PS4s filled with pirated games.

    According to Sony, defendant Eric Scales was using the handle “Blackcloak13” to sell the jailbroken PS4s preloaded with over 60 pirated games on eBay.

    “Defendant is an individual who has marketed, sold, and distributed ‘jailbroken’ PS4 consoles that: (a) contain ‘pirated’ (unauthorized) copies of PS4-compatible video games, and (b) were produced and designed for purposes of, and/or were marketed by Defendant for use in, circumventing technological protection measures,” the complaint reads.

    One eBay listing


    https://torrentfreak.com/images/miodebay.jpg

    Sony ordered two devices online and found that they were indeed ‘as advertised.’ The PS4s were modified to run an unnamed exploit which effectively circumvents the technological protection measures that normally prevent people from playing pirated games.

    “The exploit enables the PS4 console sold by Defendant to play the 60+ unauthorized copies of video games that are contained on its hard drive,” Sony writes.

    In addition to the eBay shop, the man is also accused of running a separate
    website (now offline) where he advertised his services and products. The website stated that he’s been jailbreaking and modding consoles since 2006, and encouraged people to “stop buying games.”

    “On Defendant’s website, where he uses the traditional ‘pirate’ symbol of a skull and crossbones shown below, Defendant states that purchasing his services or products will enable the purchaser to ‘be able to Download and copy any game’ and to ‘STOP BUYING GAMES’,” Sony notes.

    With its lawsuit, Sony hopes to obtain an injunction ordering the defendant to stop any infringing activity and to destroy all jailbroken or “modded” PS4 consoles, hard drives, and games.

    In addition, the game company requests damages for copyright infringement and for violating the DMCA by circumventing the PS4’s technological protection measures.

    To our knowledge, this is the first jailbroken PS4 lawsuit, and it’s likely that Sony wants to set a clear example. With several first-party PS4 games being mentioned in the lawsuit, the potential damages run to hundreds of thousands of dollars.


    Source: Torrentfreak.com

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