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  1. #621
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    Middle East: Film piracy websites shut down amidst growing IP concerns

    As reported by local dailies, Egy.best reportedly among the most-visited movie piracy sites in the world shut down this week, following a growing number of complaints from original content producers regarding the violation of intellectual property law.

    Owners of Egy.best announced that their website was no longer operational on their site.

    The website which boasted a “Made in Egypt” tagline, offered users access to pirated copies of movies and TV-shows which could be downloaded and streamed for free.

    In a message on the site’s official Facebook account, which has since been removed, the admins mentioned that several Egyptian ISPs had started to block the site. As a result of which the site shut down.

    Local dailies reported that ISP blockades were instituted recently, these didn’t solely target Egy.best but others including Arab Lions, Akoam, Movies land, Arab Seed, Mazzika Today, Shahid4u, and Cima4up.






  2. #622
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    Tron Hoping For Napster-Like Revival Of P2P With BitTorrent Offering

    If you have ever counted down the hours as your (often illegal) music file downloaded, then you probably remember the heady days of Napster and Lime Wire, as peer to peer file sharing was the norm.

    As internet speeds got faster, interest in P2P wained and by the time streaming services such as Netflix arrived, the market was all but forgotten about but for techies.

    Still, like the arcade game of Tekken, there's something that draws this millennial back to the P2P market. Which is why I was fascinated to hear that one of the largest blockchain based operating systems, Tron, has bought out Napster rival BitTorrent.

    I grabbed the opportunity to chat to Tron CEO, Justin Sun, to find out exactly why he thinks P2P will bring blockchain to the masses, currently predicted to add 100 million monthly users to the blockchain sector.

    Millennial market

    With most of the Tron’s users being millennials like me, the 25 to 35-year-old age bracket is set to be the first major market that will be adopting peer to peer sharing on the blockchain. Sun told me that he is hoping the platform will create a file transfer ecosystem where users are incentivized by the idea of sharing their content with others.

    Tron is already an innovator in increasing the use of blockchain and hopes that by easing the learning curve needed to use the technology, it will make the uptake more straightforward. In terms of what will be shared via BitTorrent, the possibilities are varied, but Sun sees music as a particularly promising sector. He said, “Our plan is to have lots of the artists share their work, but also even bring on board some independent directors they can share their films.”

    As it stands, BitTorrent already has over 170 million monthly users, with their protocols moving up to 40% of the world’s Internet traffic every day. Often cited as a conceptual prototype of a decentralized internet, currently, files are not streamed by a central server but by the users themselves. The key part about this type of P2P protocol is that the more users who have a copy of the file, the faster it becomes downloaded as each user streams just part of the file. This means that movies can be downloaded in minutes.

    With the arts set to be one of the main beneficiaries of the technology, Sun sees the future of P2P and decentralized technology combining with blockchain as a way to bring the technology into the mainstream, something that other concepts have yet to succeed in doing. Tron is planning on adding a token system to BitTorrent to incentivise sharing on the platform, until now, users would choose to block the system from seeing when a file had finished downloading.

    But with the introduction of the incentivisation, Sun hopes it will encourage people to leave their computer open continuously in order to upload to the network.

    "Very successful"

    Sun says, "I think BitTorrent technology has lots in common with blockchain, for example, they both use like a P2P structure and also both use the decentralized technology. So that's why I think there will be very successful if we can combine that bit harder with the blockchain together.

    "There is a problem inside of the BitTorrent ecosystem is there is no incentive for ceding and hosting the files. So that's why a lot of the people stop once they finish downloading. First of all, we are introducing the token incentive into the ecosystem so that people can leave their computer open and continuously upload to the network. Ultimately, it will benefit yourself so that's why I think it will work. I mean the whole robustness will see more downloading and the ecosystem will prosper. In quarter 3 we'll be asking artists to come on board, I see it as a platform for all file sharing. From music to art."

    The platform economy has been receiving increasing amounts of attention, at upcoming Marketplace Risk Conference in San Francisco, Eleanor Tucker, a Gang Leader at GangHut will say that people should be paying more attention to the concept’s game-changing potential. She told the CBI “At the ‘business end’ of the platform economy are marketplace platforms: they allow you to exchange goods or services with other people, whether that’s by buying or selling (Etsy or Shpock) or by sharing (anything which could be described as ‘the Airbnb of…’). Exchanging services as opposed to goods is often described as the ‘gig economy’ (think TaskRabbit or Lyft) and exchanging money in the form of investment or loans is known as ‘peer to peer’ or ‘P2P’ finance (Zopa or Funding Circle).” When it comes to the benefits of P2P transactions, Tucker says there are many, including the fact that resources are being re-used, as opposed to extra resources being created, people have easier access to assets, and P2P sharing also allows users to become more empowered by taking greater control of their lifestyle.

    Tron and BitTorrent are set to join a host of other successful P2P businesses that operate in a broad range of sectors. BookAClassic is an Airbnb-style platform that allows users to share their classic cars and for renters to enjoy driving cars that were previously solely driven by their owners. KERB operates a peer-to-peer parking rental system, where landowners can rent out parking spaces to those who are looking for affordable off-street parking.

    It has a broad spectrum of services on offer that allows even large businesses or organizations to benefit from the system by allowing a single user to register multiple parking spaces. Even Boataffair works on a similar principle to BookAClassic, but allows P2P sharing of boats. Whereas Car & Away also offers users the chance to share their vehicles but uses cars that are parked in airport car parks, allowing car owners to make money from their cars when they are on vacation.

    With users interested in 'what's in it for them?' Could this be it? Only time will tell but maybe Tron will crack the blockchain market via P2P– After all, we millennials do love a revival.






  3. #623
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    BitTorrent announces new product to provide ‘faster downloads’ using its crypto token

    Peer-to-peer file sharing website BitTorrent has announced a new product called Speed which will soon “enable faster downloads on the uTorrent classic clients”.

    The firm outlined a simple three-step process that the platform’s 100 million active users will soon be able to try. This includes opening the new BitTorrent Speed menu to check BTT balances or activity, watching the new product “automatically bid BTT to other users for faster speeds”, and finally, when a file finishes downloading, users can seed the file to earn more BTT.

    BitTorrent also mentioned that “the longer you seed, the more tokens you may be able to earn.”

    Run on a Tron sidechain

    To create the incentive structure to entice BitTorrent users, the Tron network will create a payment network sidechain to process thousands of microtransactions that will later be settled on the main Tron blockchain.

    Tron’s layer-two scaling solution for dApps called the Sun Network is set to go live in 2019. This payment network will allow the BTT token (a so-called TRC-10 token on the Tron blockchain) to be used to either reward file sharing or be spent by users looking for faster downloads on the BitTorrent network.
    This, of course, will be handled through the uTorrent client via the new BitTorrent Speed feature.

    Liquidity in BTT?

    BitTorrent is currently listed on 42 exchanges with a total of 93 active markets. The 24-hour volume of BTT is $94 million while the BitTorrent market cap is $61 million.

    Since the $140 million acquisition of BitTorrent was announced by the Tron network in summer last year, many in the industry have been looking forward to seeing how these two peer-to-peer networks can integrate with each other for mutual benefit. If Justin Sun and his team can get the economic incentive structure right, many of the 100 million users of the BitTorrent network today could have a real use case (and economic incentive) to change the way they behave on the platform.






  4. #624
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    BitTorrent Token (BTT) Surges Ahead of uTorrent Integration; How High Can It Go?

    BitTorrent Token (BTT) is on track to become one of the world’s largest cryptocurrencies following a successful test run on the popular uTorrent client, setting the stage for a bigger rally once full integration is achieved. Unlike its peers, BTT has fully reversed the Friday flash crash and is back to trading at record highs.
    BTT Update

    The BTT price catapulted higher on Saturday, gaining nearly 31% to $0.00105, according to CoinMarketCap. It was up 28.5% against bitcoin and 26% versus Tron (TRX).

    More than $230 million worth of BTT traded hands on Saturday, based on the latest reported figures. There are more than 212.1 billion BTT in circulation based on a total supply of 990 billion. Binance processes nearly a third of BTT trades.

    Since launching earlier this year, BTT has a dollar-denominated return on investment of 9x. At current values, BitTorrent Token has a total market capitalization of $223.4 million, placing it 39th among active cryptocurrencies.

    uTorrent Integration

    BitTorrent Token will become a top-30 cryptocurrency by the end of the second quarter following the successful integration of the BTT wallet and token on uTorrent, a popular file-sharing client, according to Tron founder Justin Sun. In an interview with Bitcoin magazine, Sun said the BTT wallet and token have already been tested on the uTorrent platform and will be fully operational before the end of June.

    BitTorrent released a stable version of its uTorrent Web back in September. Just one month later, it achieved more than one million daily active users.

    Sun acquired BitTorrent last summer for something like $140 million. The acquisition fulfilled the Tron prophecy after BitTorrent was referenced eight times in the blockchain startup’s original whitepaper. Although many doubted the integration of BitTorrent within the Tron network, the acquisition boosted Sun’s credibility almost instantly.

    But not everyone believes the Tron network can handle BitTorrent. Back in January, BitTorrent’s former chief strategy officer Simon Morris said BTT would “melt” Tron’s infrastructure. In an interview with BreakerMag, Morris said:

    “It was very clear when I was [at BitTorrent] that there was no way the transaction capacity of Tron would [work]. The transactional capacity we [were] looking at was needing hundreds of transactions a second just to get started. It’s simply not there. You hear all the bullshit out there, oh, this does 10,000 transactions a second. It’s all crap. We were going to melt Tron. Literally destroy it.”

    Sun’s team recently completed its fourth airdrop of BTT. Airdrops have been scheduled each month until February 2025, with the amount distributed increasing on a yearly basis.

    If BitTorrent Token does crack the top-30, its market cap will likely increase to more than $300 million. If the crypto rally continues to heat up, a top-30 ranking could be worth substantially more, which means new highs for the BTT price.






  5. #625
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    Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6: Leaked S8 E6 'dangerous' download alert

    GAME of Thrones season 8 episode 6 is airing soon, and ahead of it GoT fans have been warned about the dangers of leaked finale downloads.

    Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6 will be broadcast soon, with the finale of HBO’s hugely popular fantasy epic about to shown.

    The last ever episode of Game of Thrones is airing soon, with fans left wondering how the Song of Ice and Fire will be wrapped up.

    Fans have already been warned that Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6 will bring with it a “bittersweet ending” to the saga.

    A short trailer for the Game of Thrones finale hasn’t revealed much, simply showing part of it is set in the aftermath of the Battle for King’s Landing.

    Game of Thrones fans have been left divided by season 8, with the last instalment - The Bells - proving especially controversial.

    It remains to be seen if Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6 wraps things up in a way most fans find satisfying, or if it will be divisive once again.

    Either way, the upcoming Game of Thrones finale is the moment the show has been building towards ever since it first hit our screens in 2011.

    Game of Thrones fans will be on tenterhooks wondering what the finale holds for Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow and the whole of Westeros.

    Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6 is undoubtedly the biggest episode of TV to air in 2019, and fans will surely be keeping an eye out for any leaks.

    The first two episodes of Game of Thrones season 8 leaked early while an alleged leaked synopsis for the finale has also been posted online.

    These Game of Thrones season 8 leaks came after two major episodes of Game of Thrones season 7 also leaked early.

    These episodes of Game of Thrones were S7 E4, called The Spoils of War, and S7 E6 Beyond The Wall.

    These Game of Thrones leaked episodes appeared on torrent download sites as well as illegal streaming portals.

    And these Game of Thrones episodes had massively important plot points as well as game-changing moments for the narrative of the HBO fantasy epic.

    Game of Thrones fans will have to wait and see if the season 8 finale leaks early as well.

    At the time of writing Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6 - which is the last ever episode - has not leaked early.

    But if it does get leaked then the Game of Thrones finale is likely to end up on torrent download and illegal streaming websites.

    And if that happens Game of Thrones fans need to be aware of something important.

    Game of Thrones viewers have been warned that cybercriminals regularly try to load malware onto GoT episodes that end up on sites that enable piracy.

    A study by Kaspersky Lab found that Game of Thrones was the number one target for crooks trying to spread malware online.

    And the cybersecurity experts warned that the first and last episode of a Game of Thrones season tends to be the most dangerous episodes to illegally download.

    Kaspersky Lab said: “Game of Thrones led the list of TV shows targeted by cybercriminals to use as a disguise for malware.

    “In 2018, the show accounted for 17 per cent of all infected pirated content, with 20,934 attacked users.

    “This is despite the fact that in 2018, there were no new episodes of Game of Thrones released, while the other top shows in the rankings were promoted with high profile marketing campaigns.”

    They added: “In every case observed, the malware distributors focused on targeting the first and the last episode of each season, with the launch episode the most actively used.

    “For example, the Game of Thrones season 1 episode Winter is Coming was the most commonly targeted episode of the show.”

    So, if you’re trying to watch the Game of Thrones finale through illicit means it could leave your computer with a crippling piece of code.

    If you’re planning on tuning into Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6 as and when it’s first broadcast then you don’t have much longer to wait.

    Game of Thrones season 8 episode 6 will air in the UK on Sky Atlantic at 2am BST on Monday May 20.

    Game of Thrones episodes are simulcast so fans in the UK get to watch it at the exact same time as our counterparts in the US.

    After that the Game of Thrones season 8 finale will be available to watch on demand on NOW TV.

    And then the final ever episode of Game of Thrones will air once again on Sky Atlantic at 9pm UK time on Monday May 20.






  6. #626
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    Can a New Anti-Piracy System Really Defeat Cinema “Camming”?

    On April 24, 2019, within hours of Avengers: Endgame being released in China, at least two copies of the movie appeared online after being recorded in cinemas. The movie industry is determined to counter this 'camming' threat but is there really a technological solution? A China-based partnership claim they have the answer - but do they?

    During February, China’s National Copyright Administration (NCAC)
    announced that it would be upping efforts to deal with copyright infringement.

    On top of a promise to “dig deep” into the sources of piracy and “sternly investigate” online platforms that help to distribute pirated content, the NCAC said it would also target unauthorized “camming”.

    Camming, the act of recording movies in theaters with video cameras, has been a major headache for the entertainment industries for decades. Illegal copies often hit the Internet within hours of a movie’s premiere,
    as was the case last month with Avengers: Endgame.

    While the NCAC clearly couldn’t do anything about that serious event, the question remains whether physical deterrents (such as bag searches and action against complicit theater owners) can also be augmented by technical measures.

    Before Endgame dramatically hit the web, the China-based partnership of
    Ogilvy and Focus Film Media, part of Focus Media Group, announced that they had developed a new system to prevent camming taking in place in cinemas.

    “Originality is the soul of the film industry and the foundation from which it thrives upon; it is our job to protect this originality,” said Jason Jiang, Founder and Chairman of Focus Media Group.

    “We are delighted to have gone beyond a conventional approach and develop the ‘Piracy Blockr,’ which allows us to address the problem in a discrete but effective way, ensuring that the film industry is protected for years to come.”

    Piracy Blockr in action? (Credit: Ogilvy/Focus Film Media)

    https://torrentfreak.com/images/Piracy-Blockr.jpg

    The image above, although clearly mocked up, provides an idea of how the system is supposed to work. A watermark, invisible to the viewer, is captured by camcorders when an attempt is made to record the screen.

    So how does it work? TorrentFreak spoke with Ogilvy to find out.

    “There is a lot more to light than what mere human eyes can detect, but a device in your pocket can help you see beyond your biological limits. Our eyes can only detect colors of light that we see as a rainbow, primarily shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet,” says Silvia Zhang, Ogilvy Marketing & Communications Manager.

    “So while our naked eyes can’t pick up on the wavelength of infrared light, the sensors in your phones and cameras can – essentially making the invisible visible.”

    Image: Supplied by Ogilvy

    https://torrentfreak.com/images/image-33.png

    Anyone with a smartphone can easily see what the system is about. Simply press a button on an infrared remote control and point it at the camera lens and the image on the screen will display the infrared light emitted by the device. The camera can ‘see’ the infrared light, we can’t.

    “We used this to our advantage to combat the multi-billion dollar illegal cam recording industry by embedding panels of infrared light powered watermarks, which we call the ‘Piracy Blockr’, behind cinema screens in China,” Zhang adds.

    The idea of using infrared light to foil pirates isn’t new. A
    report dating back almost 10 years reveals that Japan’s National Institute of Informatics had teamed up with Sharp to pulse infrared light through cinema screens to disturb digital recording devices.

    Since we haven’t heard of any such devices actually being deployed in cinemas, we asked Ogilvy how many screens its system currently ‘protects’ in China. The company didn’t respond to our question, despite repeated attempts.

    We also asked how the Piracy Blockr system is able to defeat determined cammers who attach infrared filters to their devices. The company didn’t respond to that question either. A request for a real-life image or video clip of Piracy Blockr in action received the same response.

    Some research appears to have been carried out in India (
    pdf) which considered the challenges presented by pirates who deploy infrared filtering but the problem clearly isn’t straightforward. If it was, someone would be making millions by now while resigning ‘camming’ to history.

    As for Piracy Blockr, we won’t be holding our breath while waiting for a live demo.

    Torrentfreak.com

  7. #627
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    Italian Version of Article 17 Requires LEGAL Content to Be Filtered Out

    Last Friday the text of the new EU Copyright Directive was published on the Official Journal of the EU. However, due to glaring error, the Italian translation of Article 17 (formerly 13) requires online platforms such as YouTube to prevent the availability of works "that do not infringe copyright", even in cases where such works are "subject to an exception or limitation".

    After years of work,
    on March 26, 2019 the new EU Copyright Directive was adopted, with 348 Members of Parliament in favor, 274 against, and 36 abstentions.

    A little under a month later, the EU Council of Ministers
    waved the legislation through, despite opposition from Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Finland, and Sweden. Belgium, Estonia, and Slovenia abstained.

    EU member states were then granted two years to implement the law, which includes the controversial Article 17 (formerly 13). That requires platforms like YouTube to sign licensing agreements with creators. If that proves impossible, they will have to ensure that infringing content uploaded by users is taken down and not re-uploaded to their services.

    Or, if one takes on face value a recently published official translation of the Directive, something much more outrageous.

    As revealed by Eleonara Rosati over at
    IPKitten, someone has made a small but monumental mistake when transposing the Directive into Italian.

    First, the relevant section
    in English;

    7. The cooperation between online content-sharing service providers and rightholders shall not result in the prevention of the availability of works or other subject matter uploaded by users, which do not infringe copyright and related rights, including where such works or other subject matter are covered by an exception or limitation.

    Now, the same section in the
    Italian version (translated back to English);

    7. Cooperation between online content sharing service providers and rights holders must prevent the availability of works or other materials uploaded by users that do not infringe copyright or related rights, even in cases where such works or other materials are subject to an exception or limitation.

    So, according to this translation, sites like YouTube must work with rightsholders to ensure that
    non-infringing works are never made available on their platforms, even when the use of such works is allowed under relevant exceptions, presumably including…..erm….fair use. Or is that unfair use? Difficult to say.

    Rosati
    suggests on Twitter that people might like to run through the now fully-published Directive on the Official Journal of the EU to see if there are any other errors in other countries’ translations.

    Considering Italy didn’t want this law to pass, it’s lucky this error got spotted early or the much-heralded “meme ban” might’ve been just the tip of the iceberg.

    Torrentfreak.com

  8. #628
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    Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 05/20/19

    The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'Shazam!' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Avengers: Endgame'. 'Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' completes the top three.

    This week we have three newcomers in our chart.

    Shazam! 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:

    Most downloaded movies via torrents
    1 (3) Shazam! (Subbed HDRip) 7.5 /
    trailer
    2 (1) Avengers: Endgame (HDCam) 9.1 /
    trailer
    3 (…) Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 7.3 /
    trailer
    4 (2) Cold Pursuit 6.4 /
    trailer
    5 (…) The Professor 7.0 /
    trailer
    6 (…) John Wick 3 (HDCam) 8.2 /
    trailer
    7 (5) Aquaman 7.7 /
    trailer
    8 (4) Glass 6.9 /
    trailer
    9 (8) Captain Marvel (HDTS) 7.2 /
    trailer
    10 (6) Pet Sematary 6.1 /
    trailer

  9. #629
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    Torrent Site MagnetDL Shuts Down

    The popular magnet torrent search engine MagnetDL has closed its doors after seven years. With its clean and easy-to-use interface, the site was the go-to site for many torrent users. It's unclear why MagnetDL is closing shop, but former users will now have to find an alternative.

    Founded in 2012,
    MagnetDL offered a clean and easy-to-use torrent search portal, which gained a substantial userbase over the years.

    The site relied on magnet links instead of regular torrent files, as the name suggests, and was most popular in the UK where it was one of the few popular torrent sites not blocked by ISPs.

    MagnetDL flew mostly under the radar but hundreds of thousands of people have it marked as their favorite search engine. Many of these were taken by surprise yesterday when the site suddenly announced that it had closed shop.

    “MagnetDL has closed. It has been a great seven years and it’s sad to have it come to an end. Thanks to everyone who has visited over the years especially our regular visitors,” a message on the site reads.

    TorrentFreak reached out to the operator to get more details on the reason for this decision, but at the time of writing, we have yet to hear back. This means that we can only guess about the exact reason for the shutdown.

    We are not aware of any legal issues being faced by the site. It could be that the operator simply lost the motivation to keep the site going. Perhaps in combination with a loss in revenue, which other torrent sites have previously cited as a reason to throw in the towel.

    The torrent site hadn’t changed much since it was first launched seven years ago. The informative ‘help’ section, which was one of
    the most elaborate we’d ever seen at a public torrent site, expanded a bit, but the homepage still looked exactly the same a few days ago.

    The magnet search engine never made it into the top 10 of most popular torrent sites, but it came very close. In some regions, such as the UK, it definitely had a solid spot among the most-visited ‘pirate’ portals.

    MagnetDL didn’t allow users to upload files and grabbed links from other torrent sites, which means that no content has been lost. However, based on comments posts on various social media sites, the site itself will be dearly missed.
    Torrentfreak.com

  10. #630
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    How Game of Thrones Made Piracy History

    The final episode of Game of Thrones marked the end of one of the biggest piracy topics in history. The show made dozens of piracy headlines over the years, ranging from prominent leaks, to a mind boggling record that's unlikely to ever be broken.

    Traditionally, the Game of Thrones season finale is among the most viewed episodes, also on pirate sites.

    When the entire series comes to an end, interest is only heightened.

    This is what happened indeed. While many people have been rather critical about the story-line of the final season, millions of people ‘tuned’ in, both through authorized and unofficial channels.

    The official ratings shot through the roof, with 13.6 million US viewers during the official airing, which is also a new all-time record for an HBO show. On pirate sites, there was plenty of interest as well.

    Millions of people pirated a copy. At the height, yesterday afternoon, more than 200,000 people were actively sharing the three most popular torrents, with the most popular one being good for 130,000 sharers alone.

    While this is a massive number, it’s nowhere near the all-time record. That dates back to 2015, when
    over a quarter million people were simultaneously sharing a single file. This drop is in part because the piracy ecosystem has evolved.

    Torrent sites used to be the main distribution platforms for pirated TV shows, but unauthorized streaming sites are much more popular today. These sites don’t make any viewing numbers public but are good for millions of ‘pirate’ views as well.

    With this in mind, it is likely that the record of the largest BitTorrent swarm in history will never be broken.

    The end of Game of Thrones wraps up one of the biggest continuing stories in file-sharing history. The HBO show was as crowned the “most pirated” TV-series for several years, and is likely to scoop up this title again in 2019, to secure its place in history.

    Aside from the impressive numbers, Game of Thrones was also at the center of other piracy-related news and discussions, much of which we have discussed in detail here.

    One key theme that reappeared year after year were the numerous leaks. The most prominent one dates back to 2015 when the
    first four episodes leaked from a promotional screener.

    In 2017 a Game of Thrones episode
    leaked with a “Star India” watermark. This eventually led to the arrests of four people. Keeping up with this trend, several episodes came out early this year as well, and even before the final, the plot was already out.

    The fact that pirates were often able to see GoT episodes before regular viewers only increased the piracy figures. This was also confirmed by academic research which found that these leaks
    bred pirates while hurting official viewing numbers.

    Other major factors that played a role in the high piracy rates are ‘availability’ and pricing.

    During the early seasons, Game of Thrones wasn’t as widely available as it is today. And even if it was, there were often significant release delays, up to several weeks. That drove many people, especially the bigger fans, to pirate sites.

    Over the years the availability problem was addressed in many countries, but for many a pricing hurdle remained. Watching Game of Thrones legally, could in many cases cost
    hundreds of dollars per season, while the pirate alternative was free.

    Ironically, even those who had eventually signed up for a legal subscription would sometimes continue to pirate, just out of habit. In Australia, for example, 20% of the Foxtel subscribers who had already paid for Game of Thrones still chose to pirate the show instead.

    In Australia, Game of Thrones piracy has been a hot topic for years. Due to early release delays and relatively high pricing, many chose the piracy route. This frustrated rightsholders and even the U.S. Ambassador, with the latter stating that there is no excuse for ‘stealing.’

    Amidst all the controversy, HBO remained fairly calm. Yes, the company issued thousands of takedown notices and even warned some individual file-sharers, but that was about it. Some people did receive settlement demands in 2016, but that was
    the work of scammers.

    Some people connected more directly to Game of Thrones also recognized the upside of piracy. Director David Petrarca, for example, previously admitted that piracy generated
    much-needed “cultural buzz” around the series.

    Similarly, Jeff Bewkes, in 2013 the CEO of HBO’s parent company Time Warner, noted that piracy resulted in more subscriptions for his company and that receiving the title of “most-pirated” TV-show was actually “
    better than an Emmy.

    That’s a worthy statement to end with.

    Torrentfreak.com

  11. #631
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    Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft face lawsuit over alleged music piracy

    The estate of Harold Arlen - who wrote such American songbook classics as Over The Rainbow and Get Happy - is suing some of the world's biggest tech firms.

    Arlen's son, Sam Arlen, says he has found more than 6,000 unauthorised copies of his songs on Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft's services - often at lower prices than the originals.

    His lawyers claim the firms are engaged in "massive piracy operations".

    Arlen is seeking damages that could reach into the millions of dollars.

    According to the legal papers filed in Los Angeles, streaming services and download stores are flooded with "bootleg" copies of Arlen's songs, robbing his estate of royalties.

    The 148-page filing makes provides several examples of alleged piracy.

    It notes that a fan looking for Ethel Ennis' recording of Arlen's song For Every Man, There Is A Woman can find the official recording on the RCA Victor label for $1.29 (£1.01) on iTunes. However, a separate version on the Stardust Records label - featuring the same cover art with the RCA Victor Logo edited out - is available for $0.89 (70p).

    Similarly, Benny Goodman's 1955 album Get Happy, on the Capitol Records label, is $7.99 (£6.29) on Google Play and Amazon, alongside a Pickwick Group copy which sells for $6.99 (£5.50).

    In some cases, the alleged pirate copies contain the tell-tale "skips, pops and crackles" of vinyl - suggesting they've been duplicated from a record, rather than the original master tapes.

    "It is hard to imagine that a person walking into Tower Records, off the street, with arms full of CDs and vinyl records and claiming to be the record label for Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald, could succeed in having that store sell their copies directly next to the same albums released by legendary record labels, Capitol, RCA, and Columbia, and at a lower price," stated Arlen's lawyers.

    "Yet, this exact practice occurs every day in the digital music business where there is... a complete willingness by the digital music stores and services to seek popular and iconic recordings from any source, legitimate or not, provided they participate in sharing the proceeds."

    Part of the dispute appears to stem from the differences in copyright law between the US and Europe.

    In the US, copyright for sound recordings made after 1923 and before 1972 is generally 95 years. In the UK and Europe, copyright expires after 70 years, after which sound recordings enter the public domain.

    Even so, some of the recordings cited in Arlen's court papers are still protected by copyright in Europe; while the compositions themselves are not in the public domain (a writer's copyright continues for 70 years after their death).

    The estate is suing dozens of record labels alongside the online retailers, which it claims have "continued to work with" alleged pirates despite having knowledge of copyright infringement "for several years".

    Arguing that songs like It's Only A Paper Moon, Over The Rainbow, Stormy Weather and I've Got The World On A String were "monumental works of art [that] are, quite literally, national treasures"; they are seeking damages in the region of $4.5m (£3.5m).

    Anything less, lawyers argued, would "amount to a slap on the wrist, and reward multi-billion and -trillion dollar companies that rule the digital music markets for their wilful infringement on a grand scale."

    The companies named in the court papers have yet to comment.

  12. #632
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    Kenyan pirate gets 5 years jail

    Nairobi’s chief magistrate Helen Onkwani sentenced Peter Esiaba for 5 years having been found guilty of pirating DStv signals.

    Esiaba is among three suspects that were arrested in Garissa Township, and charged with distributing illegally sourced DSTV signals.

    The police officers drawn from the National Police Service and Kenya Copyright Board conducted the raid, dismantled their network and carted away decoders and other tools used to distribute illegal signals.

    The officers were acting on a tip off from concerned residents who suspected unusual activities in the house which has several big transmitters. Kenya Copyright Board has warned that they will not relent on their fight against infringement of copyright, piracy and other related crimes.

  13. #633
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    NAGRA: “GoT piracy meant spoiler fest”

    Notoriously known as one of the most pirated shows in history, Game of Thrones is just one example of the impact illicit streaming can have. It begs the questions – what is the real impact of piracy? And, what can be done about it?

    Simon Trudelle, Senior Director Product Marketing at NAGRA, offered the following insights: “As a high-value television series, Game of Thrones enjoys incredible consumer awareness, its popularity also drives up piracy figures to record levels over time. The piracy threat surrounding Game of Thrones clearly indicates that we are now fully operating in a globally-connected consumer market, where the Internet can be massively misused by pirates.”

    “Leaked episodes, especially in the case of the Game of Thrones series finale, increase the likelihood of fans hearing about the final plot line before the episode airs – ruining the fan experience. It also makes it increasingly difficult for the industry to finance and develop new and entertaining content for consumers.”

    “The overall impact of pirated Game of Thrones’ episodes differs in the short-term and long-term. In the short-term, the social dimension of the premium end-of-series experience will bring friends and families together in their living rooms – even if pirated material is available online. However, because the Internet can bring top-value content to consumers on a worldwide scale for years to come, the long-term effect of pirated content is an increasing concern for content owners.”

    “In today’s increasingly complex media environment, it is equally important to preserve both the value of premium content for content owners, and the enjoyment of that content for consumers. In the case of the final episode of Game of Thrones, preventing leaks and if needed, identifying the source of any leak is critical.”

    “To preserve the value of high-value content for both consumers and content owners, sophisticated content protection technologies, such as forensic watermarking, and anti-piracy services can help identify leaks and trace them back to the source. With the right technologies in place, it is possible to identify which legitimate clients the stream is leaking from, and then stop the distribution through that point.”






  14. #634
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    Game of Thrones Piracy in Russia: 180,000 Takedowns, Mirror Wars & Capitulation

    Anti-piracy outfit Group-IB has released data on what it took to protect Game of Thrones from online pirates in Russia. Across the last four seasons alone, the firm executed 180,000 successful takedowns, more than 43,700 since Season 8 began. The response from pirates was interesting, from creating mirror sites to reinstate search traffic to converting their pages to legitimate fan hangouts.

    There have been many stories published about Game of Thrones, mostly due to its massive viewing figures.

    However, the now-concluded show wasn’t always viewed on legitimate platforms, something which made it the
    most-pirated show in TV history.

    While breaking records on all platforms is something that many shows will settle for, behind the scenes there’s a constant battle against piracy. Over in Russia, that task has fallen to anti-piracy company
    Group-IB.

    After working on behalf of streaming service
    Amediateka, which has held the exclusive distribution rights to Game of Thrones in Russia since April 2015, Group-IB has today revealed some of the facts and stats from its four-year campaign.

    The headline figure is that since the launch of Season Five, Group-IB has carried out successful takedowns against 180,000 links to illicit copies of the show on websites, forums, and social media.

    As the infographic below shows, enforcement was something of a crescendo, growing rapidly as the seasons progressed (bars represent takedowns during the seasons’ airings).

    https://torrentfreak.com/images/GOT-groupib.png

    During Season 8, Group-IB’s team took down more than 43,700 links to pirated versions of the show in Russian.

    While that’s a large number of takedowns in itself, those were spread far and wide, spanning 1,098 different websites. More than 90 of those sites were designed specifically to spread pirated copies of the show.

    Like all takedown campaigns, Group-IB also placed an emphasis on removing links to pirated copies of the show from search engines. Yandex is Russia’s most popular portal so it’s no surprise it chose to focus there.

    The company reports that more than 30,000 links were removed from the search engine. Group-IB informs TF that they were all links to streaming websites but also of interest was the pirates’ response to those takedowns.

    According to the anti-piracy company, the operators of the sites were unprepared for their links to be removed from Yandex, so began taking counter-measures by duplicating their platforms to ensure a new search engine listing.

    Amediateka, home of HBO in Russia

    “In response to the blocking, online pirates struck back by creating mirrors on a daily basis – copies of their websites with new but very similar domain names. For instance, one of the pirates created more than 20 mirrors on their subdomains,” Group-IB reports.

    “However, according to the pirates’ forum posts, the owners of pirate websites were not ready for the ‘attack’ on them: ‘Looks like somebody just wiped the links out. Some of the pages disappeared… some of them do not appear in search results’,” Group-IB reports, citing the operators’ comments.

    The anti-piracy campaign also targeted social media and by default VK.com, Russia’s largest social networking site. Interestingly, after filing numerous complaints with VK, some of the groups on the platform reportedly decided to go straight, converting from places to host pirated videos to become Game of Thrones fan pages.

    “Group-IB Anti-Piracy team filed many takedowns through VK moderators who forced the groups’ owners to remove infringing content,” the company informs TF.

    “The groups which kept publishing pirated content despite the warnings from VK were banned. Others, which removed the infringing content, turned into fan pages so as not to lose traffic that can be converted to advertising revenues.”

    Finally, some thoughts from Andrey Busargin, Director of Anti-Piracy and Brand Protection at Group-IB.

    “For us the battle against online pirates, trying to profit off the illegal distribution of the Game of Thrones in Russian, was as fierce as for George R.R. Martin’s characters,” Busargin says.

    “I would also like to highlight Amediateka’s commitment to counter online piracy in Russia: they brought in Group-IB Anti-Piracy team ahead of time and have been making continuous efforts to popularize legal viewership of the Game of Thrones making it available on its website, in movie theaters all over the country and even on the stadium.”

    While there will always be historic GoT links to clean up, Group-IB also protects other titles, including True Detective, Billions, The Good Wife, and Westworld. Game of Thrones may be over, but the takedown work will persist for years to come.

    Torrentfreak.com

  15. #635
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    Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft face lawsuit over alleged music piracy

    The estate of Harold Arlen - who wrote such American songbook classics as Over The Rainbow and Get Happy - is suing some of the world's biggest tech firms.

    Arlen's son, Sam Arlen, says he has found more than 6,000 unauthorised copies of his songs on Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft's services - often at lower prices than the originals.

    His lawyers claim the firms are engaged in "massive piracy operations".

    Arlen is seeking damages that could reach into the millions of dollars.

    According to the legal papers filed in Los Angeles, streaming services and download stores are flooded with "bootleg" copies of Arlen's songs, robbing his estate of royalties.

    The 148-page filing makes provides several examples of alleged piracy.

    It notes that a fan looking for Ethel Ennis' recording of Arlen's song For Every Man, There Is A Woman can find the official recording on the RCA Victor label for $1.29 (£1.01) on iTunes. However, a separate version on the Stardust Records label - featuring the same cover art with the RCA Victor Logo edited out - is available for $0.89 (70p).

    Similarly, Benny Goodman's 1955 album Get Happy, on the Capitol Records label, is $7.99 (£6.29) on Google Play and Amazon, alongside a Pickwick Group copy which sells for $6.99 (£5.50).

    In some cases, the alleged pirate copies contain the tell-tale "skips, pops and crackles" of vinyl - suggesting they've been duplicated from a record, rather than the original master tapes.

    "It is hard to imagine that a person walking into Tower Records, off the street, with arms full of CDs and vinyl records and claiming to be the record label for Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald, could succeed in having that store sell their copies directly next to the same albums released by legendary record labels, Capitol, RCA, and Columbia, and at a lower price," stated Arlen's lawyers.

    "Yet, this exact practice occurs every day in the digital music business where there is... a complete willingness by the digital music stores and services to seek popular and iconic recordings from any source, legitimate or not, provided they participate in sharing the proceeds."

    Part of the dispute appears to stem from the differences in copyright law between the US and Europe.

    In the US, copyright for sound recordings made after 1923 and before 1972 is generally 95 years. In the UK and Europe, copyright expires after 70 years, after which sound recordings enter the public domain.

    Even so, some of the recordings cited in Arlen's court papers are still protected by copyright in Europe; while the compositions themselves are not in the public domain (a writer's copyright continues for 70 years after their death).

    The estate is suing dozens of record labels alongside the online retailers, which it claims have "continued to work with" alleged pirates despite having knowledge of copyright infringement "for several years".

    Arguing that songs like It's Only A Paper Moon, Over The Rainbow, Stormy Weather and I've Got The World On A String were "monumental works of art [that] are, quite literally, national treasures"; they are seeking damages in the region of $4.5m (£3.5m).

    Anything less, lawyers argued, would "amount to a slap on the wrist, and reward multi-billion and -trillion dollar companies that rule the digital music markets for their wilful infringement on a grand scale."

    The companies named in the court papers have yet to comment.

  16. #636
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    Popular Streaming Site Pelispedia Shuts Down, Operators Arrested

    Uruguayan authorities, helped by Interpol and the US movie industry, have arrested the alleged operators of the popular streaming site Pelispedia. The couple stands accused of profiting from copyright infringement. Following a raid on their house, several assets were seized and the site was shut down.

    With over a million visitors per day, Pelispedia.tv was one of the most popular streaming sites in Latin America.

    Just a few weeks ago, it was
    highlighted by the US Trade Representative as a notorious pirate site, following a referral from Hollywood’s MPAA.

    By then, rightsholders and enforcement authorities already had their eyes focused on the site’s alleged operators, a couple from Uruguay. Following collaborative efforts from Interpol, rightsholders, and Uruguayan authorities, this culminated in two arrests last week.

    According to Uruguayan prosecutor Mónica Ferrero, the alleged operators are charged with “a continuing offense of making available a digital broadcast for profit without the written authorization of their respective holders or successors, and a crime of money laundering.”

    The two, who are referred to in
    local media by their initials JAGR and MJHG, will remain in custody for 30 days. Their case is being handled by a court specialized in organized crime, which will take a closer look at the allegations.

    Initially, Pelispedia.tv remained online following the arrests, but since yesterday it is no longer available. The sister site Pelisplus is still accessible but is also expected to shut down.

    Pelispedia

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

    The pair reportedly have no other employment and made roughly $5,000 per month from the business. In addition to the arrests, several assets were seized including hardware, a 2008 Peugeot, a 2014 Volkswagon, $1,257 in cash, and two Payoneer cards.

    The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment collaborated with the authorities and is pleased with the outcome thus far.

    “We thank Interpol, the Uruguayan police, and prosecutors for their leadership in this important action against a major illegal streaming service operator,” ACE spokesperson Richard VanOrnum said, commenting on the news.

    MPAA Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin agrees and sees the shutdown of Pelispedia.tv as another example of ACE’s successful and ongoing global effort to reduce piracy.

    “Each time we collaborate with law enforcement authorities to disrupt major piracy operations like Pelispedia.tv, we support the millions of people around the world working in the film and television industry and the dynamic legal marketplace for creative content,” Rivkin notes.

    Torrentfreak.com

  17. #637
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    SET TV IPTV Reseller A-Box TV Ordered to Pay Dish $2 Million in Damages

    A-Box TV, a company that acted as a reseller of 'pirate' streams provided by the now-defunct IPTV service SET TV, has agreed to pay U.S television provider Dish $2,000,000 in damages. SET TV itself agreed to pay DISH a settlement of $90,000,000 in 2018.

    Last June, popular ‘pirate’ IPTV service
    SET TV went offline after being sued by DISH Network and encryption partner NagraStar.

    In a Florida court, the defendants were accused of creating and selling subscriptions to the SET TV service which, among other things, offered numerous television channels that were unlawfully obtained from DISH’s satellite service and retransmitted to customers.

    The $20-per-month platform had offered its subscribers a package of 500 live channels, including on-demand content and PPV broadcasts, sometimes via pre-configured hardware devices.

    Last November that
    case ended in DISH and NagraStar’s favor, with the former awarded statutory damages of $90,199,000 ($500 for each of the 180,398 subscribers SET TV had) following an agreement with SET TV.

    “The judgment and injunction against the SetTV service marks a significant victory in the ongoing fight against pay-TV piracy, and a win for consumers who subscribe to legitimate pay-TV services,” DISH said in a statement.

    But while the case against SET TV was being wrapped up, another case lay pending. In a second complaint, filed in Florida May 1, 2018, DISH and NagraStar targeted Julie Bishop and her company A-Box TV, which they accused of acting as a reseller for the SET TV service.

    “Defendants sell subscriptions and devices for a pirate streaming television service called ‘SET TV’, which includes numerous television channels that were received without authorization from DISH’s satellite service and subsequently retransmitted without authorization on the SET TV pirate streaming service,” the complaint reads.

    The filing goes on to list several now-defunct A-Box URLs (including a-boxtv.com, shop.a-boxtv.com, and store.a.boxtv.com) from where the service and associated devices were sold to customers.

    A-Box – A SET TV reseller (Website from 2017)

    https://torrentfreak.com/images/image-47.png

    In common with SET TV, A-Box was accused of offering packages costing $20 per month and selling set-top devices pre-loaded with the SET TV service. Among the illegal broadcasts offered to customers was the record-setting Mayweather v. McGregor boxing match, grabbed from the DISH service and unlawfully distributed.

    Screengrab from A-Box’s Facebook page (via complaint)

    https://torrentfreak.com/images/image-48.png

    Following the judgment in the SET TV case last year, it seemed unlikely that the case against A-Box would end well for the defendants. That was confirmed Tuesday with District Judge Mary S. Scriven signing off on an agreed judgment and injunction.

    The order states that Julie Bishop and A-Box TV LLC are, among other things, permanently enjoined from “redistributing or retransmitting any DISH satellite signal or over-the-top (‘OTT’) signal” and/or “distributing, copying, reproducing, performing, hosting, streaming, or displaying any video programming” owned by DISH or its affiliates.

    There are damages too, which are significant.

    The defendants are ordered to pay DISH $2,000,000 which represents $10,000 for each violation cited in the complaint. Whether or not that amount will ever be paid is likely to remain unknown but the parties will cover their own attorney’s fees and costs.


    Torrentfreak.com

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