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  1. #861
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    Serie A Launches Anti-Piracy Campaign But Shares ‘Sponsor’ With Pirate Movies

    Top Italian football league Serie A has launched a brand new campaign with its CEO claiming that cinema, TV and football will be "destroyed" by piracy. Directly underneath, however, Serie A is carrying adverts for 1XBET, the Russia-based gambling outfit that has its branding plastered over dozens of cam-recorded pirated movies. 1XBET is an official presenting partner of Serie A.

    There can be little doubt that the wide availability of unlicensed streaming portals and IPTV services is causing grave concern among football leagues all over Europe.

    The Premier League has been particularly vocal about this growing form of piracy and has taken matters to the UK High Court, obtaining
    blocking orders which enable it to take action in real-time, with the help of Internet service providers.

    With the new season about to start this month, Italy’s top-tier football league Serie A has launched an
    anti-piracy campaign of its own, declaring that “Piracy Kills Football” alongside the hashtag #STOPIRACY which it hopes fans will spread across social media.

    “The Serie A League is at the forefront of addressing the scourge of piracy, we must defend football against this criminal attack and make it clear to those who use illegal decoders that they are committing a real crime,” says Serie A president Gaetano MiccichŤ.

    “The problem is global and damages football at all levels. We are strengthening the tools to identify and counter acts of piracy in real-time, but it is essential for us to create a system together with the help of the Government and the telecoms operators.”

    Piracy Kills Football (Image credit: Serie A)

    However, it’s the comments of Serie A CEO Luigi De Siervo that serve to raise a wry smile when viewed from a wider angle to encompass all kinds of video piracy and a Serie A sponsorship deal in particular.

    “Piracy is a criminal phenomenon, implemented by people who do not realize the seriousness of what they are doing,” the CEO writes. “Continuing will end up destroying the content creation industry, the cinema, TV, print media, but also and above all football, the quintessential premium product.”

    Citing the potential destruction of the cinema is an interesting choice.

    Readers may recall our
    recent article which detailed the activities of Russia-based gambling company, 1XBET. In a nutshell, the majority of CAM-copies of movies (those filmed in cinemas and released online during their theatrical release), currently contain lots of advertising and promo codes for 1XBET.

    Pirate releases with 1XBET branding

    According to
    SportBusiness Sponsorship, 1XBET is actually an official presenting partner for Serie A and as a result, its ads can be found almost everywhere on Serie A’s site. It even has its own ‘Player Profile’ page where the betting company is the star of the show. But there’s more.

    “The three-year deal will run until 2021, making 1XBet the league’s International Presenting Partner, covering Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North Africa and the Americas,” the publication notes.

    “As part of the deal, 1XBet will be featured in all match graphics, idents and virtual goal mat advertising in all live Serie A broadcasts.”

    GOAL….sponsored by 1XBET

    Bizarrely, given the coverage that 1XBET has received in relation to piracy and CAM copies of movies, its ads are also running on the very same page as Serie A’s anti-piracy campaign, right across the bottom of the screen and under the comments claiming that piracy is destroying cinema.

    We’ve embedded some of the Serie A page below, so the context is clear in respect of the anti-piracy language (particularly that involving the cinema) and the positioning of the 1XBET advertising.

    “1XBET is a gambling company originating from Russia that uses cam copies to advertise itself internationally,” Dmitry Tyunkin, Deputy Director of Anti-Piracy and Brand Protection at cyber-security firm Group-IB, previously told TorrentFreak.

    As noted earlier, there’s no overwhelming evidence available to the general public that 1XBET itself is driving camming ‘sponsorship’ directly, even though the prevalence of the branding and advertising in pirate movie releases tends to suggest otherwise. Maybe pirates have taken it upon themselves to advertise the company in releases just for kicks., who knows.

    Having said all that, Serie A doesn’t appear to consider any of this a problem, even when the same advertising appears on the same page as their very own anti-piracy campaign. Strange times indeed.

    Finally, Serie A team Juventus promoted the campaign on Twitter.
    See for yourself how it went down with fans. Many cited much bigger issues as responsible for the impending death of football, not least (but not limited to) the extortionate prices fans are expected to pay to watch matches.

  2. #862
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    Rightsholders Remove Google Results of Legal Search Engine ‘JustWatch’

    Copyright holders would like Google to be more proactive when it comes to piracy. The company should promote legal services in its search results, is an often heard suggestion. A good idea perhaps but, at the moment, some copyright holders are taking things in the opposite direction.

    The entertainment industries have gone head to head with Google over the past years, demanding tougher anti-piracy measures from the search engine.

    Ideally, several industry groups would like Google to completely remove pirate sites from its search results. In addition, they argue that the search engine should boost the rankings of legal services and sites that allow the public to find legal content.

    JustWatch is one of these legal options. While it doesn’t offer any content itself, it provides a great search tool for people who want to find legal entertainment on dozens of services. As such, it is widely recommended by industry insiders.

    When Fox alerts ISPs and hosting companies of alleged pirates, for example, it specifically
    recommends JustWatch as a good starting point.

    “We encourage you to refer your account holder to the website where they will find an array of legal choices,” Fox notes.

    Given this reputation, it’s rather unfortunate that copyright holders repeatedly ask Google to remove JustWatch URLs from its search engine. While these requests are likely made in error, the result is that these companies make it harder for people to find legal alternatives.

    Take this
    copyright infringement notice from anime producer Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) for example. The takedown request, directed at Google, lists dozens of infringing URLs, as well as two from JustWatch.

    Takedown notice

    While KBS probably identified these URLs by mistake, thinking that JustWatch is a pirate site, Google did in fact take action. As a result, the site’s official page of “The King’s Face” is no longer showing up in the search results.

    “In response to a complaint that we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at,” Google explains.

    JustWatch removed…

    This isn’t an isolated incident either. Since the start of this year, Google has been asked to remove
    more than a hundred JustWatch URLs. These notices are attributed to a variety of rightsholders, including KBS, CJ, AMC Networks, Zee Entertainment, and Toei Animation.

    In the example given earlier, as well as several
    other instances, the links have been removed. However, Google also managed to prevent some takedowns, including this one AMC sent for “Fear The Walking Dead.”

    What’s clear, however, is that many JustWatch links are no longer appearing in Google’s search results. While this is unlikely to be intentional, it is rather unfortunate, especially since rightsholders themselves have asked Google to promote such services.

    Perhaps it’s a good idea to prevent these clear errors, before demanding Google to “do more”?

  3. #863
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    Bell and Rogers to Request ‘Pirate’ Site Blocking Order in Canada

    A lawsuit against the alleged 'pirate' IPTV provider GoldTV is gearing up to be a test case for pirate site blocking in Canada. A group of major broadcasters and telco giants, including Rogers and Bell, has obtained an interim injunction against GoldTV, and reportedly plans to request a site blocking order next month.

    Last year, a coalition of copyright holders and major players in the telco industry asked the Canadian Government to institute a national pirate site blocking scheme.

    The Fairplay coalition argued that such measures would be required to effectively curb online piracy. Canada’s telco regulator CRTC reviewed the request but eventually
    denied the application, noting that it lacks jurisdiction.

    While the denial came as a setback, the main players pushing for site blocking are not letting the matter go easily. Bell and Rogers, two of the main proponents of the mechanism, later tried to get a blocking regime instituted through the planned revision of the Copyright Act.

    Thus far there are no signs that they’re getting what they want, but there is another path to site-blocking that the two companies, together with Groupe TVA, are about to explore.

    Last month we reported on a lawsuit the three companies filed against the operators of ‘pirate’ IPTV service operating from the domain names and The companies argued that the service provides access to their TV content without licenses or authorization.

    “The Service provides unauthorized access to hundreds (if not thousands) of live television channels and video-on-demand content,” the complaint filed at the Federal Court reads.

    Among other things, the companies requested an interim injunction to stop the operator(s), who remain unidentified, from continuing to offer the allegedly-infringing IPTV service. This request was reviewed by the Federal Court in Ontario, which granted it late last week.

    According to Justice Catherine Kane, the telecom companies would suffer “irreparable harm” if the two GoldTV sites were to continue.

    The interim order will remain in place until a final determination of the claims is made. Among other things, the operator(s) are forbidden from operating, maintaining, promoting, or selling any infringing services, including GoldTV.

    While the copyright holders are likely to be happy with this preliminary ruling, the follow-up step may prove to be even more interesting. According to
    The Wire, the copyright holders will move for a website blocking order next month.

    This order, which they plan to formally request in September, will request various ISPs including Bell Media, Eastlink, Cogeco Inc., Rogers’ Fido, Shaw Communications Inc., TekSavvy Solutions Inc., Telus Corp., and Videotron to block the GoldTV sites.

    To our knowledge, this will be the first time that these companies have requested a pirate site blocking order in Canada. Interestingly, several of the ISPs that are targeted are connected to the copyright holders. As such, it is unlikely that there will be any protests from their side.

    However, other ISPs, such as Techsavvy, may object to the requested order, if it’s formally submitted. This could then turn into a test case for court-ordered pirate site blockades in Canada.

    The question remains, however, if the rightsholders will push through with their request. While was still operational yesterday, the site has now become unreachable. The same is true for, which doesn’t load either. That said, both sites could of course reappear.

    It is clear, however, that after requests to get a blocking regime instated through the CRTC, Bell, Rogers, and others are now considering filing a blocking order through the court. And if they are successful, more will likely follow.

    A two-day hearing on the GoldTV case is currently scheduled for September 11/12, and we will likely hear more after that.

  4. #864
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    Kim Dotcom Set to Mobilize Former Megaupload Users Against Joe Biden

    Kim Dotcom suggested this morning that he'll be mobilizing former users of Megaupload against presidential candidate Joe Biden. Dotcom says that everyone who ever uploaded to the site from a US IP address will receive a video link via email detailing how Biden claimed he was behind the destruction of Megaupload. Meanwhile, Dotcom believes the US government won't get its hands on him for years, if ever.

    After being targeted by the US government in 2012, it seems possible that Kim Dotcom may yet slip through the hands of at least two presidents and potentially more.

    It’s now seven years since the raids that dismantled his Megaupload empire yet Kim Dotcom is still in New Zealand and leading what appears to be a very privileged life.

    At the same time as fighting with every legal bone in his body, he is clearly determined to stir up a political storm in the United States too, a country he will remind you again and again that he has never even been to. For Dotcom, you see, there are old scores to be settled.

    Dotcom is convinced that current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was the political driving force behind the fate of Megaupload. The former vice president burnt the file-hosting site to the ground as a “gift” to his friends in Hollywood, Dotcom insists. And soon, it will be payback time.

    In a series of tweets this morning, Dotcom said that next year he will be mirroring his infamous campaign against former candidate Hillary Clinton to ensure that Joe Biden never sets foot in the White House.

    “Like @ hillaryClinton he’s corrupt to the core and can never become US President. Watch me in 2020,” he

    Dotcom usually plays some of his cards close to his chest, while teasing others well in advance of their production. However, he’s now on record that he’ll be using a database of former Megaupload users apparently still in his possession to mobilize against Biden.

    “Still waiting to get access to your Megaupload files?” he

    “I will email 30 million former US Megaupload users a video link in 2020 explaining how
    @JoeBiden destroyed your favorite website. Most of you were teenagers or students then but now you’re voters. Let’s retire Biden together,” the Megaupload founder added.

    Putting the two parts together suggests that Dotcom not only has uploaders’ IP addresses to geo-locate them but their corresponding email addresses too. With the statute of limitations long exceeded in cases of alleged copyright infringement, errant users
    probably shouldn’t be too concerned, even if those can be matched to uploads.

    While it seems extremely unlikely that any will ever get access to their files again, Dotcom says they will be receiving something else from him, something that he hopes will undermine both Biden and his campaign.

    “Everyone who ever uploaded a file to Megaupload from a US IP address will receive this video link about how
    @JoeBiden abused his power to destroy Megaupload, incl. commentary from an insider and Biden bragging to a lawyer we planted at a fundraiser that HE destroyed MU,” Dotcom added.

    Although the content of the forthcoming video is yet to be seen, the allegations against Biden certainly aren’t new. They are
    almost as old as the case against Dotcom himself, which has been moving at a glacial pace since its inception more than three-quarters of a decade ago.

    And according to Dotcom, it might still only be at its halfway point.

    In June, after a tortuous path through the lower courts, New Zealand’s Supreme Court
    heard the extradition case against Dotcom. It is yet to hand down any decision but even at this stage, the Megaupload founder is making his predictions. In tweets over the past several weeks, Dotcom has predicted that he will lose by a slim margin.

    “I can tell you from my experience with the Courts that relationships are more important than laws. Judges are appointed to support the govt of the time and not for guardianship of the law. My upcoming 2-3 Supreme Court judgment will prove my point,” he
    wrote last week.

    But even then the show won’t be over,
    far from it.

    Another seven years? Possibly…

    At the time of writing, Dotcom claims that he’s has already been on bail longer than anyone in New Zealand’s history but he’s vowing to stick it out “until the end” while making as much mud stick as he can – both at home and in the United States.

    “My case is the biggest stain on New Zealand’s rule of law. My gift to the ‘independent’ Judiciary,” he concludes.

  5. #865
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    Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 08/12/19

    The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'Aladdin' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘The Hustle'. 'Avengers: Endgame' completes the top three.

    This week we have four newcomers in our chart.

    Aladdin is the most downloaded movie.

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

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

    This week’s most downloaded movies are:

    Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer
    Most downloaded movies via torrents
    1 (…) Aladdin 7.3 / trailer
    2 (…) The Hustle 5.3 / trailer
    3 (1) Avengers: Endgame 8.7 / trailer
    4 (…) Brightburn 6.2 / trailer
    5 (…) Rocketman 7.6 / trailer
    6 (5) Alita: Battle Angel 7.5 / trailer
    7 (2) The Red Sea Diving Resort 6.4 / trailer
    8 (3) Godzilla: King of the Monsters 6.5 / trailer
    9 (4) Hellboy 5.3 / trailer
    10 (6) Shazam! 7.3 / trailer

  6. #866
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    Music Companies Accuse Cox of Gamesmanship, Asks Court for Sanctions

    In the ongoing piracy liability case between Cox and several music companies, the ISP recently agreed to engage in settlement discussions. However, two days before the hearing was set to take place, the ISP decided to cancel, noting that it didn't think the meeting would be productive. This last-minute cancellation, together with other objectionable actions, deserve to be sanctioned, according to the music outfits.

    Regular Internet providers are being put under increasing pressure for not doing enough to curb copyright infringement.

    Music rights company BMG got the ball rolling a few years ago
    when it won its piracy liability lawsuit against Cox

    Following this defeat, several major record labels including Capitol Records, Warner Bros, and Sony Music followed suit by
    filing a similar lawsuitin a Virginia District Court. With help from the RIAA, they also sued Cox for allegedly turning a blind eye to its pirating subscribers.

    According to the rightsholders, the Internet provider knew that some of its subscribers were frequently distributing copyrighted material, accusing the company of failing to take any meaningful action in response.

    Over the past months, both parties have conducted discovery and the case is currently scheduled to go to trial in December. For a moment it appeared that things wouldn’t get that far. In June, both parties indicated that there were open to a settlement discussion which was scheduled to take place in Court last week.

    While the music companies and the ISP both agreed to the hearing, Cox canceled it two days in advance, with its attorney stating that his client does not believe the settlement discussions would be productive.

    This cancellation didn’t go down well with the music companies. In a status report, they now complain about Cox’s behavior. According to the filing, several of the music company representatives incurred traveling costs and one person was already in the air at the time the hearing was canceled.

    The music companies don’t buy the ISP’s explanation either. They say nothing has changed since Cox agreed to the settlement discussions several weeks ago.

    “Between the final pretrial conference and Cox’s unilateral cancelation yesterday, absolutely nothing had happened between the parties to justify Cox’s about-face,” the plaintiffs inform the court.

    “Had Cox taken this process seriously, it would have known long before yesterday that it thought settlement discussions would not be productive. Instead, Cox misled the Court and Plaintiffs for more than six weeks, forcing both to expend resources and distract from other important matters,” they add.

    According to the music companies, Cox is deliberately delaying and obstructing the case. In the status report, they accuse the Internet provider of gamesmanship.

    “Throughout the case, Cox has demonstrated a consistent pattern of obstruction, delay and gamesmanship. Plaintiffs thus have concern that Cox’s approach to the settlement conference was just a ruse to distract Plaintiffs at a critical time. In discovery, Cox took absurd positions, objecting to basic discovery,” they write.

    Taken together, Cox’s actions deserve a sanction from the court, the music companies argue. While they haven’t submitted a formal motion for sanctions, they point out that this situation warrants one.

    “The Court has broad discretion to enter sanctions pursuant to its inherent authority, including without the formality of a motion. This situation clearly calls for it,” the music companies conclude.

    If the court doesn’t wish to take any actions of its own accord, the music companies are willing to submit a formal request for sanctions. However, they note that this would only be an added distraction to them.

    Whether Cox is sanctioned or not, it is clear that both parties are not on speaking terms at the moment. That will only raise the tension leading up to the forthcoming trial.

  7. #867
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    Warner Bros. Obtains Several Blocking Orders Targeting Major Pirate Sites

    Warner Bros. has obtained several interim injunctions which compel ISPs in India to begin blocking major 'pirate' sites including EZTV, TorrentDownloads, Zooqle, Monova, Tamilrockers, and many more. The original applications are for permanent blocking injunctions that can be varied to counter circumvention. In some cases, domain suspensions have also been ordered.

    India is no stranger to blocking pirate sites. Just last week, a court ordered local Internet service providers to
    block more than 1,200 sites to prevent the spread of a single movie.

    Now, however, it appears that there additional legal moves underway to ensure that sites are not only blocked temporarily but also on a more permanent basis.

    Over the past several weeks the High Court in Delhi has been handling many separate applications for permanent injunction filed by US-based Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

    In all cases, the company states that several of its copyrighted works – movies Aquaman, A Star is Born, Wonder Woman, plus TV show Arrow – were made available via a broad range of torrent, streaming, linking, and proxy-type sites.

    The complaints also cite works by studios including Columbia, Paramount, Universal, and Netflix as further examples of content being infringed on the platforms.

    In just one of the complaints the list of infringing domains runs to 124 and includes some very well known names including local giant Tamilrockers,, and EZTV,,,,, Zooqle, MovieRulz, LimeTorrents, Bolly4u, KatMovie, Monova, and 9xMovies.

    In many cases, multiple domains are listed for the above sites, including alternates, proxies and other variants that are accessible via various unblocking platforms. All are accused of infringing the rights of Warner Bros. by providing access to its movie and TV shows content without authorization.

    “[D]efendant Websites are primarily and substantially engaged in communicating to the public, hosting, streaming and/or making available to the public Plaintiff’s original content without authorization, and/or facilitating the same,” one order reads.

    The order covering the above sites notes that Warner investigated and then served legal notices on the platforms ordering them to cease-and-desist. However, it’s reported that none acted to prevent their infringing activities.

    To boost its case, Warner also informed the Court that some of the sites have already been blocked in other jurisdictions (including the UK, Portugal, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Russia, and Italy) for similar behavior.

    After consideration, the Court found that there is a prima facie case and Warner should be awarded an interim injunction to prevent the sites from continuing their infringing activities. Furthermore, the sites should have their domains blocked by ISPs in India, to prevent further damage and losses.

    The Court also addressed the issue of additional domains or platforms appearing to circumvent any blocking, by granting Warner permission to file additional updates with the Court that will allow for such mechanisms to be disabled by ISPs via an expedited process.

    The example order detailed above is very specific, in that it orders ISPs to block the domain names of the sites plus a list of IP addresses. However, the vast majority appear to be using Cloudflare, so it remains to be seen whether the ISPs will use discretion or blindly block, which could cause considerable disruption to other sites using the same IP locations.

    In some of the orders, it appears that domain registrars are also required to suspend domain names belonging or connected to various sites, including TamilRockers, Hindilinks4u, Otorrents, Filmlinks4u, Mp4Moviez,, uWatchFree, OnlineWatchMovies, MovieRulzFree, and SkyMovies.

    Several additional applications from Warner are on record at the Delhi High Court but are yet to be published as interim orders.

  8. #868
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    TV Distributors Abandon IPTV Blocking Application Down Under

    Back in February, TV distributor International Media Distribution launched legal action in Australia's Federal Court targeting IPTV provider Reelplay. The company and two partners wanted local ISPs to block the platform due to alleged copyright infringement. However, for reasons unknown, the applicants have now terminated their case.

    Changes to the law now make it relatively straightforward to have blatant ‘pirate’ sites blocked by ISPs in Australia.

    Entertainment industry groups have targeted dozens of sites using the streamlined system, including many of the top torrent and streaming platforms. For reasons that remain unclear, however, one application for a blocking order now appears to have hit the stops.

    Back in February, an application for injunction filed in Federal Court saw TV distributor International Media Distribution (IMD)
    targeting Reelplay, an IPTV provider that specializes in Italian, Greek, and Arabic programming.

    The Reelplay offering (from

    Luxembourg-registered IMD describes itself as the single largest provider of ethnic channels to US-based multi-billion dollar TV distributor, Dish Network, and the “leading aggregator and marketer of niche television services to various ethnic communities around the globe.”

    In the
    application for an injunction(pdf), IMD was joined by two other companies – Netherlands-based distributor Overlook Management BV and Lebanon-based pan-Arab TV station Al Jadeed. Together they complained that Reelplay offered 15 TV channels for which they are the exclusive licensee.

    Given that Reelplay indicates on its site that it is “not responsible for the content and do not guarantee nor claim any rights to the content”, this seemed like a fairly straightforward case for the applicants, at least on the surface. However, something appears to have gone wrong.

    ComputerWorld reports that during a case management hearing in March, the Judge indicated he would be looking closely at a couple of points of interest.

    “Justice Burley told the applicants that he would pay ‘particularly close attention’ to proof of service in the matter and said that [the applicants] needed to ensure they fulfilled the requirements of Section 115a of the Copyright Act,” writes Rohan Pearce.

    Since then the Judge issued several orders which required, among other things, for Overlook Management to be joined as an applicant, and the applicants to serve affidavit and schedules of evidence.

    On June 28, 2019, the Judge noted that the matter had been listed for hearing on August 16, 2019. However, a subsequent order, dated August 8, stated that the applicants had been granted leave to file a notice of discontinuance. Yesterday, the court indicated that a final order had been handed down, terminating the case.

    No details to explain the move are on record at the court, so it remains open to question whether some kind of agreement has been reached with Reelplay or if the case hit some kind of technical or legal block. Reelplay doesn’t list the channels it offers to the public on its site but discontinuing the disputed channels would at least have the potential to undermine the action.

    Either way, the Reelplay site appears to be fully functional and capable of taking orders for the Arabic package in question. It features an Android-based box loaded with 450+ channels plus a 24-month subscription, priced at AUS$230. Only time will tell if the companies in question will return for a second bite at the cherry.

  9. #869
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    ‘Get it Right’ Hopes High-Profile Social Influencers Can Deter Piracy

    The UK's Get It Right (From A Genuine Site) campaign is trying a fresh approach as part of its mission to deter people from accessing content illegally. With the help of 'social influencers' including popular YouTube Caspar Lee, the first episode of a new video mini-series aims to offer insight into the efforts expended to create original content and how piracy could undermine that.

    Last month, TorrentFreak
    reported that the Creative Content UK (CCUK) “Get it Right” anti-piracy campaign had ended the practice of sending infringement notices to ‘pirating’ Internet users in the UK.

    “The educational emails sent by ISPs upon detection of infringing file-sharing activity have served their purpose and are ceasing, with the focus instead increasing the broader engagement with fans based around their passion for music, TV, film and all other kinds of creative content,” a CCUK spokesperson told us.

    The wider campaign, which is funded by the UK government and run by music and movie industry groups BPI and MPA, launched a new phase today. It aims to educate consumers on the efforts expended during the creation of original content in the hope that will lead to a natural decline in piracy rates. Hearts and minds, if you will.

    It begins with the first installment of a new mini-series featuring creators (social influencers) talking about their own content and what it takes to produce it, including the work put in by those behind the scenes.

    Quite smartly, CCUK has gone down the “accessible superstar” route in its first episode by featuring popular YouTuber Caspar Lee and ‘influencer’ Snoochie Shy, who together have more than 10 million followers on various platforms.

    The first video in the mini-series

    Given that this writer had to Google for information on both Lee and Shy, it seems clear that the target audience of the campaign is relatively young. We spoke to CCUK who confirmed our suspicions.

    “The principal target audience of the Get it Right campaign overall is 16-34, but the focus of this particular influencer video (and others to come) is more 16-24 – so Millennials and early Gen Z essentially. It may also resonate with some younger, early-teen Caspar and Snoochie followers too,” a CCUK spokesperson explained.

    As the video notes, Caspar Lee starred in a movie (Laid in America) which according to CCUK was heavily pirated to the tune of 500,000 downloads/streams in a single month. This in itself raises an interesting question.

    If Lee’s followers are his biggest fans, presumably they already have some level of respect for him. If that’s the case, why did so many of them pirate his movie, even after having semi-direct ‘personal’ contact with him through his social media channels? That’s something CCUK hopes to address with its campaign.

    “One of the paradoxes of Internet/social media led fandom is arguably that there can be huge love and passion for the artist/influencer, their content and what they do and have to say, but this doesn’t always translate into their content being accessed from the right sources,” CCUK told TF.

    “Some fans may even think – ‘this guy must be making loads of money – he’s not going to miss if I don’t pay for it.’ But the reality is that artists and creators do feel it, particularly new ones trying to break through.

    “Think how many young creators are looking to make a living from the Internet and from creating content, and all the people that work with them, who can all be seriously impacted. Caspar and the people that worked with him didn’t get to make a sequel for example.”

    CCUK add that some of this unofficial consumption may be down to a genuine lack of awareness, with people having difficulty differentiating between official and pirate platforms, for example. But whatever the reasons for piracy, the group’s leaders hope to use their education campaign to encourage a change in both behavior and attitudes.

    “It’s encouraging to see Get It Right quietly but surely having a positive effect, and that its core message is getting through,” says Ian Moss, BPI Director of Public Affairs.

    “Fans have a clear choice – If they value the creative process, and access content legally from licensed sources, creators will be able to invest more of their time and creativity into producing the music, film and other entertainment we love. If they don’t, and creators feel less able to take risks and invest, this rich choice will diminish for us all.”

    Marianne Grant, who co-leads on the campaign for the MPA, believes that people who have been exposed to the Get it Right campaign are now more willing to see how their own actions can make a difference by spending more time considering whether to consume from legitimate sources.

    “Since Get it Right was launched, more people are taking that time, with the almost 30 per cent of the population who have been exposed to Get it Right materials reducing significantly their use of infringing content,” Grant says.

    “Our task now is to reach further into the population with these interesting and important messages – to provide more engaging and informative content to improve people’s understanding about the creative process and all the people who are involved in it – and to encourage further change.”

    A CCUK spokesperson informs TF that this first ‘influencer’ video is “effectively a pilot”, the results of which will shape the direction of future videos in the series. They will target the same age group, so expect to see similar “influencers” playing a key role in future productions.

    Whether the campaign will make a real difference “on the ground” remains to be seen. However, reading between the lines and given the target audience, older pirates may not be considered the biggest problem in the UK right now. And of course, they’ll be more set in their ways, so molding younger minds may be the easier option.

    They’ll also know who Caspar Lee is, which is a big plus and a good start.

  10. #870
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    Google Blocked TorrentFreak From Appearing in Search Feature’

    Documents released by whistleblower Zachary Vorhies suggests that Google actively blocked hundreds of sites, including TorrentFreak, from its Google Now service. The blocklist doesn't provide a specific reason for the blockade, but other sites are flagged for having a high user block rate or for peddling hoax stories. Vorhies has shared the documents with the US Department of Justice.

    At TorrentFreak, we have written hundreds of articles about website blocking and censorship. Today, we’re featured in one ourselves.

    Leaked Google documents reveal that shows up in one of Google’s previously unknown blocklists, which actively hides our domain from the Google Now service.

    Google Now was a Google search feature that presented users with informational cards, to provide users with more details on subjects of interest to them. While the brand no longer exists, the feature is still present in the Google Android app and its feed.

    The controversial blocklist is part of a treasure trove of files that were leaked by whistleblower Zachary Vorhies, who shared them with
    Project Veritas. The entire collection of files uncovers many previously unknown policies and actions from Google.

    “These documents were available to every single employee within the company that was full-time. And so as a fulltime employee at the company, I just searched for some keywords and these documents started to pop up,” Vorhies said.

    The Google Now blocklist, which is
    available here, contains nearly 500 domain names. The file starts with APKMirror, eBay and some Google sites, and then continues with several torrent related sites including The Pirate Bay, RARBG and EZTV, as well as some that no longer exist. is grouped in with the torrent sites. While the list doesn’t give a reason for the block, it appears that it’s related to the subject of piracy.

    Torrent blocks

    The list then continues with sites that are tagged due to having a “high user block rate.” These include quite a few conservative websites. As the description suggests, they may have been filtered because a lot of users block these sites.

    Further down the list, there are also a dozen sites that are supposedly “flagged for peddling hoax stories.”

    High user block rate

    This isn’t the first Google leak story by Project Veritas. The outlet previously published internal Google documents about what it described as “algorithmic unfairness.”

    Google obviously wasn’t happy with the leaks. The company reportedly sent a threatening letter to Vorhies after it uncovered his identity, and the San Fransisco police later visited the Google insider for a “mental health” check.

    The turn of events triggered Vorhies to release the documents in public and step out of the shadows. In addition to sharing the information publicly, he also
    sent the data dump to the US Department of Justice’s antitrust division.

    TorrentFreak is not able to independently verify the authenticity of the blocklist or any of the other materials that were leaked. It’s also not clear whether the list is up-to-date and still actively used.

    We reached out to a Google spokesperson to find out more. including why our site appears on this list, but at the time of writing, we have yet to hear back.

    A full copy of all the leaked files, which also contains other documents about censorship, hiring practices, and psychological research, is accessible via
    Project Veritas. The site also published a detailed video interview with the whistleblower.

  11. #871
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    YouTube Forbids Monetizing Short Music Clips Through Manual Content-ID Claims

    YouTube has announced that it will update its manual Content-ID claiming policy. Starting next month, rightsholders are forbidden from manually claiming videos that use short or unintentional music fragments. Those who repeatedly violate this new policy will have their manual claiming rights revoked. With the new policy, YouTube hopes to improve fairness in the creator ecosystem.

    Millions of people use YouTube to share their creations with the world, as commentary, entertainment, education, or for any other purpose they see fit.

    In most cases, these videos remain online without any issues. However, for some creators, YouTube’s copyright enforcement is causing a mess, one that severely affects their day-to-day activities.

    We’ve repeatedly covered problems with YouTube’s Content-ID system dating as far back as
    eight years ago. Most of these issues are the result of overbroad filters, often when YouTube finds a copyright match where it shouldn’t.

    However, the problems go much deeper than random ‘bot’ mistakes. YouTube allows certain copyright holders to make “manual” Content-ID claims as well. This allows them to flag content that’s not caught by Content-ID. However, despite the fact that these claims are reviewed by a person, some are rather frivolous.

    In some instances, it appears that just mentioning the title of an artist or song c
    an result in a manual copyright claim, even though the audio itself isn’t used in the video.

    After many YouTube creators bitterly complained about these types of abuse, which deprives them of revenue, YouTube is beginning to change its policies.

    “One concerning trend we’ve seen is aggressive manual claiming of very short music clips used in monetized videos. These claims can feel particularly unfair, as they transfer all revenue from the creator to the claimant, regardless of the amount of music claimed,” the YouTube team

    Last month the video service took the first step by requiring copyright holders to provide timestamps for all manual claims, precisely identifying what they see as infringing. This week, the company goes a step further.

    In an effort to create a fairer creator ecosystem, YouTube will soon forbid copyright holders from using the manual claiming process to monetize videos that feature short or unintentional music fragments.

    This means, for example, that a three-second music clip in a longer video can no longer be claimed this way. The same would likely be true for a song that unintentionally plays in the background on a TV or radio.

    The YouTube team notes that these additional changes are intended to improve fairness in the creator ecosystem. The company hopes that it will ultimately lead to fewer unfair and aggressive practices by some rightsholders.

    In addition, the policy update also copes with a stick for rightsholders, which is relatively rare for YouTube. Those rightsholders who repeatedly violate the new policy can lose their manual Content-ID claiming rights.

    “Once we start enforcement, copyright owners who repeatedly fail to adhere to these policies will have their access to Manual Claiming suspended,” YouTube writes.

    While this change is a big step, it only impacts a relatively small number of claims. Automated Content-ID claims, which represent the vast majority, are not affected by the policy update.

    In addition, copyright holders can still manually claim short or unintentional uses of their work. However, instead of taking the monetization option, they can choose to prevent any type of monetization of the video, or block it altogether.

    It remains to be seen how happy video creators will be with this new policy once it goes into effect mid-September. In theory, the result could see more videos get blocked, as YouTube recognizes.

    “We acknowledge that these changes may result in more blocked content in the near-term, but we feel this is an important step toward striking the right balance over the long-term. Our goal is to unlock new value for everyone by powering creative reuse and content mashups, while fairly compensating all rightsholders,” the YouTube team concludes.

    Time will tell whether the changes have the intended effect, or if the current problems will persist.

  12. #872
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    Cloudflare Flags Copyright Lawsuits as Potential Liabilities Ahead of IPO

    Cloudflare, the CDN company currently serving around 20 million Internet domains, sites, applications and APIs, has filed to go public. In its statement, the company warns that the activities of some of its customers, which include pirate sites, could expose it to significant copyright infringement liabilities in the future.

    As a CDN and security company, Cloudflare currently serves around 20 million “Internet properties”, ranging from domains and websites through to application programming interfaces (APIs) and mobile applications.

    At least hundreds of those properties, potentially more, are considered ‘pirate’ platforms by copyright groups, which has resulted in Cloudflare being sucked into
    copyright infringement lawsuits due to the activities of its customers.

    On Thursday, Cloudflare filed to go public by submitting the required S-1 registration statement. It contains numerous warnings that copyright infringement lawsuits, both current and those that may appear in the future, could present significant issues of liability for the company.

    Noting that some of Cloudflare’s customers may use its services in violation of the law, the company states that existing laws relating to the liability of service providers are “highly unsettled and in flux”, both in the United States and further afield.

    “For example, we have been named as a defendant in a number of lawsuits, both in the United States and abroad, alleging copyright infringement based on content that is made available through our customers’ websites,” the filing reads.

    “There can be no assurance that we will not face similar litigation in the future or that we will prevail in any litigation we may face. An adverse decision in one or more of these lawsuits could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.”

    Cloudflare goes on to reference the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA, noting that they may not offer “complete protection” for the company or could even be amended in the future to its detriment.

    “If we are found not to be protected by the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA, CDA [Communications Decency Act] or other similar laws, or if we are deemed subject to laws in other countries that may not have the same protections or that may impose more onerous obligations on us, we may face claims for substantial damages and our brand, reputation, and financial results may be harmed. Such claims may result in liability that exceeds our ability to pay or our insurance coverage,” Cloudflare warns.

    As a global company, it’s not only US law the company has to consider. Cloudflare references the recently-approved Copyright Directive in the EU, noting that also has the potential to expose Cloudflare and other online platforms to liability.

    As recently as last month and in advance of any claims under that particular legislation, Cloudflare experienced an
    adverse ruling in an Italian court. Local broadcaster RTI successfully argued that Cloudflare can be held liable if it willingly fails to act in response to copyright infringement notices. In addition, Cloudflare was ordered to terminate the accounts of several pirate sites.

    Of course, it’s not uncommon for S-1 filings to contain statements that can be interpreted as impending doom, since companies are required to be frank about their business’s prospects. However, with single copyright cases often dealing with millions of dollars worth of alleged infringement, Cloudflare’s appraisal of the risks seems entirely warranted.

  13. #873
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    Disney and Charter Team Up on Piracy Mitigation

    The Walt Disney Company and Charter Communications have signed a new distribution agreement. Aside from providing more Disney content to Charter subscribers, the companies will also join forces to combat piracy. What this collaboration will entail remains unknown for now, but it's an interesting step, especially since Charter is currently involved in a major piracy liability lawsuit.

    With roughly 22 million subscribers, Charter Communications is one of the largest Internet providers in the US.

    The company operates under the Spectrum brand and offers a wide variety of services including TV and Internet access.

    In an effort to provide more engaging content to its customers, this week Charter signed a major new distribution agreement with The Walt Disney Company.

    The new partnership will provide the telco’s customers with access to popular titles in Disney’s services, including Hulu, ESPN+ and the yet-to-be-launched streaming service Disney+.

    The fact that these giant companies have teamed-up is a big deal, business-wise and for consumers. Most Spectrum subscribers will likely be pleased to have more options, but there may also be a subgroup that has concerns.

    Away from the major headline, both companies also state that they have agreed to partner up on piracy mitigation.

    “This agreement will allow Spectrum to continue delivering to its customers popular Disney content […] and will begin an important collaborative effort to address the significant issue of piracy mitigation,” says Tom Montemagno, EVP, Programming Acquisition for Charter.

    The public press releases give no concrete details of what this “piracy mitigation” will entail. It does mention that the two companies will work together to “implement business rules” and address issues such as “unauthorized access and password sharing.”

    TorrentFreak reached out to Charter for further details, but the company said that it’s not elaborating beyond the press release at this time.

    The term “mitigating” suggests that both companies will actively work together to reduce piracy. This is interesting because Charter is currently caught up in a major piracy liability lawsuit in a US federal court in Colorado.

    Earlier this year the Internet provider was sued by several music companies which argued that the company turned a blind eye to piracy by failing to terminate accounts of repeat infringers. In addition, Charter stands accused of willingly profiting from these alleged copyright infringements.

    Charter’s new agreement with Disney suggests that there could be a more proactive anti-piracy stance going forward. One possibility might be a more strict repeat infringer policy but, without further details, it remains unclear what the “piracy mitigation” entails precisely.

    In any case, it will be interesting to see how the two companies plan to put a dent in current piracy levels, and what that means for Charter customers.

  14. #874
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    Man Tried to Burn Down Telecoms Watchdog to Avenge Pirate Site-Blocking

    A man in Russia who admitted to attempting three arson attacks says he took action in response to the authorities blocking pirate sites. The prosecutor demanded two years in prison but the man, who tried to burn down the offices of telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor, has now received 18 months probation.

    While copyright holders and many governments see site-blocking as a reasoned and measured response to copyright infringement, some people view it as overkill.

    People should be able to access whatever content they want without rich corporations deciding what should and should not appear on computer screens, the argument goes.

    For former student Pavel Kopylov, blocking of pirate sites in Russia has gone too far. So, to make his displeasure obvious to Roscomnadzor, the government entity responsible for carrying it out, last year he attempted to burn one of its offices down – three times.

    On April 2, 2018,
    reportedly dissatisfied that his favorite torrent tracker had been blocked, Kopylov went to the local offices of Roscomnadzor,
    smashed a window, and threw a bottle of flammable liquid inside together with a burning match. The attempt was a failure – the fire didn’t ignite and a guard was alerted by the noise.

    Almost two weeks later, Kopylov returned for a second try. This time a fire did ensue but it was put out, without causing catastrophic damage. A third attempt, on May 9, 2018, ended in complete failure, with a guard catching the would-be arsonist before he could carry out his plan.

    Nevertheless, the prosecutor’s office saw the attacks as an attempt to destroy Roscomnadzor’s property by arson, an offense carrying a penalty of up to five years in prison. The prosecution sought two years but in the end, had to settle for considerably less.

    Interfax reports that a court in the Ulyanovsk region has now sentenced the man for repeatedly trying to burn down Roscomnadzor’s regional office. He received 18 months probation but the prosecution intends to appeal, describing the sentence as excessively lenient.

  15. #875
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    Anti-Piracy Efforts Are Unlikely to Beat Sci-Hub

    Elsevier and other academic publishers see 'pirate' site Sci-Hub as a major threat to their billion-dollar industries. Many researchers, however, can't function properly without the notorious site. Since anti-piracy efforts are unlikely to beat the site, perhaps it's time for the publishers to draw a lesson from Sci-Hub instead?

    Sci-Hub has often been referred to as “The Pirate Bay of Science,” but that description really sells the site short.

    While both sites are helping the public to access copyrighted content without permission, Sci-Hub has also become a crucial tool that arguably helps the progress of science.

    The site allows researchers to bypass expensive paywalls so they can read articles written by their fellow colleagues. The information in these ‘pirated’ articles is then used to provide the foundation for future research.

    What the site does is not permitted, according to the law, but in the academic world, Sci-Hub is praised by many. In particular, those who don’t have direct access to expensive journals but aspire to excel in their academic field.

    This leads to a rather intriguing situation where many of the ‘creators,’ the people who write academic articles, are openly supporting the site. By doing so, they go directly against the major publishers, including the billion-dollar company Elsevier, which are the rightsholders.

    Elsevier previously convinced the courts that Sci-Hub is a force of evil. Many scientists, however, see it as an extremely useful tool. This was illustrated once again by a ‘letter to the editor’ Dr. Prasanna R Deshpande sent to the Journal of Health & Allied Sciences recently.

    While Deshpande works at the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at Poona College of Pharmacy, his latest writing is entirely dedicated to copyright and Sci-Hub. In his published letter (no paywall), the researcher explains why a site such as Sci-Hub is important for the scientific community as a whole.

    The Indian researcher points out that Sci-Hub’s main advantage is that it’s free of charge. This is particularly important for academics in developing countries, who otherwise don’t have the means to access crucial articles. Sci-Hub actually allows these people to carry out better research.

    “A researcher generally has to pay some money ($30 or more per article on an average) for accessing the scholarly articles. However, the amount may not be ‘small’ for a researcher/research scholar, especially from a developing country,” Deshpande notes.

    Aside from the cost issue, Sci-hub is often seen as more convenient as well. Many professors use the site and a recent survey found that it’s used to conduct research by 62.5% of all medical students across six countries in Latin America.

    According to Deshpande, these and other arguments lead to the conclusion that Sci-Hub should be supported, at least until there is a good alternative.

    “Reading updated knowledge is one of the essential parts of lifelong learning. Currently, Sci‑Hub is the only answer for this. Therefore, Sci‑Hub has various advantages because of which it should be supported,”
    Deshpande concludes.

    This is of course just the opinion of one researcher, but the web is riddled with similar examples. A simple Twitter search shows that many academics are sharing Sci-Hub links among each other, and some have even created dedicated websites to show some of the latest working Sci-Hub mirrors.

    The major publishers are obviously not happy with this. Aside from lawsuits against Sci-Hub, they regularly send takedown notices to sites that link to infringing articles, including Google.

    Recently Elsevier took it a step further by going after Citationsy, a tool that allows academics and researchers to manage citations and reference lists. The service previously published a blog post summing up some options for people to download free research articles.

    This blog post also linked to Sci-Hub. Elsevier clearly didn’t like this, and sent its lawyer after Citationsy, requesting it to remove the link.

    Citantionsy founder Cenk ÷zbakır initially wasn’t sure how to respond. Linking to a website isn’t necessarily copyright infringement. However, challenging a multi-billion dollar company on an issue like this is a battle that’s hard to win.

    Eventually, ÷zbakır decided to remove it, pointing to a Google search instead. However, not without being rather critical of the move by Elsevier and its law firm Bird & Bird.

    “I have of course taken down any links to Sci-Hub on @ElsevierLabs obviously thinks making money is more important than furthering science. Congratulations, @
    TWObirds! We all now that the only thing this will achieve is less people reading papers,” ÷zbakır wrote on Twitter.

    The ‘linking’ issue was later picked up by BoingBoing which also pointed out that many of Elsevier’s own publications include links to Sci-Hub, as we also highlighted in the past.

    While not all researchers are unanimously backing Sci-Hub, it appears that this type of enforcement may not be the best way forward.

    Pressuring people with cease and desist notices, filing lawsuits, and sending takedown notices certainly isn’t sustainable in the long term, especially if they target people in the academic community.

    Perhaps Elsevier and other publishers should use the massive popularity of Sci-Hub as a signal that something is clearly wrong with what they are offering. Instead of trying to hide piracy by sweeping it under the rug, Elsevier could learn from it and adapt.

  16. #876
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    DISH Files $10m Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Easybox IPTV

    After sending hundreds of fruitless cease-and-desist notices to 'pirate' IPTV provider Easybox IPTV, DISH Networks has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the service in the United States. DISH states that the defendants, which offer both pre-configured devices and separate channel subscriptions, are acting with willful, malicious intent while showing indifference to the rights of the broadcaster.

    As the use of unlicensed IPTV services continues to gain popularity with consumers around the world, content owners and broadcasters are faced with a growing illicit market to disrupt.

    As a result, copyright infringement and similar lawsuits against ‘pirate’ IPTV providers are definitely on the rise, with US-based broadcaster DISH Network at the forefront.

    This week, DISH filed another lawsuit in the United States, this time targeting ‘pirate’ IPTV provider
    Easybox IPTV. This ‘company’ (the term is used loosely, given the unknown structure of the operation) appears not dissimilar to several others previously targeted by the broadcaster.

    The model adopted by Easybox suggests the outfit primarily targets less experienced IPTV users, something that’s supported by the operation offering ready-configured (aka ‘fully-loaded’) devices as well as add-on subscription packages.

    The DISH lawsuit, filed in a Texas federal court, list DOES 1-5 individually and collectively doing business as Easybox IPTV. DISH doesn’t appear to know the identities of the people it’s suing but has concluded they may be from China.

    The broadcaster says that historical WHOIS records for the service’s domain name suggest a China base while delivery time for devices sent to China is much quicker than those sent to the United States.

    At issue are DISH’s ‘protected channels’, i.e those it supplies as a result of licensing agreements obtained from various TV networks. These allow the company to “distribute and publicly perform” in the United States “by means including satellite, OTT, Internet protocol television (‘IPTV’), and Internet.”

    Easybox IPTV’s service, which offers “more than 1,000 channels” to its subscribers, includes the ‘protected channels’, a breach of the broadcaster’s rights, according to DISH.

    “Defendants use their Easybox Service to transmit the Protected Channels over the Internet to Service Users soon after the original authorized transmission,” the complaint reads.

    “Defendants capture live broadcast signals of the Protected Channels, transcode these signals into a format useful for streaming over the Internet, transfer the transcoded content to one or more servers provided, controlled, and maintained by Defendants, and then transmit the Protected Channels to Service Users through OTT delivery.”

    An interesting element to the case are the efforts expended by DISH, in advance of this lawsuit, in order to get Easybox to cease-and-desist its activities. According to the broadcaster, since January 27, 2016, DISH and its partners sent at least 116 infringement notices, all of which were ignored.

    “Instead [of responding], Defendants prevented DISH’s counsel from viewing by blocking their Internet Protocol (‘IP’) addresses,” the complaint adds.

    On top of the direct notices, from February 8, 2016, more than 170 additional complaints were sent to CDNs associated with the Easybox service. DISH believes at least some of these were forwarded to the IPTV provider since it later countered by switching to different CDN providers.

    All that considered, DISH is demanding a permanent injunction against Easybox (and anyone acting in concert with it) preventing it from “transmitting, streaming, distributing, or publicly performing in the United States, with any Easybox set-top box, smart IPTV subscription, subscription renewal, or any other device, application, service, or process, any of the Protected Channels or any of the programming that comprises any of the Protected Channels.”

    DISH also seeks a ban on the distribution, sale, promotion or advertising of Easybox services and/or devices, including any inducement for others to carry out the same.

    In addition, it requests statutory damages for 67 or more registered works at the rate of $150,000 each (more than $10 million) plus any profits generated by Easybox due to the infringement of non-registered works.

  17. #877
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    Netflix’s First Pirate Site Blocking Application Granted in Australia

    The first 'pirate' site blocking application in Australia featuring US streaming giant Netflix was granted by a judge in Federal Court this morning. Netflix successfully teamed up with Roadshow Films, Disney, Columbia and many other studios to have well over 100 domain names associated with torrent, streaming and similar sites blocked by local ISPs.

    The rate at which ‘pirate’ sites are being blocked in various countries raises the question of how many more there are left to block.

    The answer, it seems, is plenty more yet.

    Back in May, yet another application filed in Australia’s Federal Court presented a unique feature – the inclusion of US-based streaming giant Netflix as one of the applicants.

    This was the first time the company had appeared requesting a blocking application in the region, claiming infringement of its works Santa Clarita Diet and Stranger Things.

    Netflix didn’t appear on its own. The application was headed by local movie giant Roadshow Films and supported by other prominent movie companies such as Disney Enterprises, Universal City Studios, Warner Bros., Television Broadcasts Limited, TVBO, and Madman Anime Group.

    Together they demanded the blocking of over 130 domains related to close to 90 torrent, streaming, and similar sites by more than 50 local ISPs.

    The claims were filed under Section 115a of Australia’s Copyright Act, which can grant injunctions to force local ISPs to prevent their subscribers from accessing overseas-based ‘infringing locations. It’s taken three months, but the content companies have now been successful.

    This morning, Justice Thawley in the Federal Court ordered the respondents including Telstra, Optus, TPG, Vocus, and Vodafone, to take “reasonable steps to disable access to the Target Online Locations” within 15 business days. Each ISP will be handed AUS$50 per domain by the applicants to cover compliance costs.

    In common with previous orders, the ISPs were given the option to utilize DNS, IP address, and/or URL blocking techniques (or any other technical means agreed in writing between them and the applications) to prevent access to the sites.

    Of course, sites often decide to take countermeasures when orders such as this are handed down in order to circumvent blocking, so the order allows the studios to provide additional information so that these can be swiftly dealt with by the ISPs moving forward.

    An updated/amended domain and URL list (there can be changes following an original application) is yet to appear in court records. However, the list of sites and domains in the original application can be viewed in our earlier report.

  18. #878
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    Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 08/19/19

    This week we have three newcomers in our chart.

    Aladdin is the most downloaded movie.

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

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


    Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer
    Most downloaded movies via torrents
    1 (1) Aladdin 7.3 / trailer
    2 (8) Godzilla: King of the Monsters 6.5 / trailer
    3 (3) Avengers: Endgame 8.7 / trailer
    4 (2) The Hustle 5.3 / trailer
    5 (…) The Secret Life of Pets 2 6.5 / trailer
    6 (5) Rocketman 7.6 / trailer
    7 (4) Brightburn 6.2 / trailer
    8 (…) Ma 5.8 / trailer
    9 (…) John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum 7.8 / trailer
    10 10) Shazam! 7.3 / trailer

  19. #879
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    Court Denies Default Judgment Against Cheating Fortnite Kid, In Spite of Moms Defense

    Epic Games has failed to obtain a default judgment against "Sky Orbit," a YouTuber who the company accused of cheating in Fortnite. This means that the kid, who was sued when he was just 14 years old, gets off without any repercussions.

    Two years ago, Epic Games decided to take several Fortnite cheaters to court, accusing them of copyright infringement.

    Several of these lawsuits have been settled but there is one that proved to be somewhat of a challenge.

    One of the alleged cheaters turned out to be a minor who’s also accused of demonstrating, advertising and distributing the cheat via his YouTube channel. The game publisher wasn’t aware of this when it filed the lawsuit, but the kid’s mother let the company know in clear terms.

    “This company is in the process of attempting to sue a 14-year-old child,” the mother informed the Court back in 2017.

    The letter was widely publicized in the press but Epic Games didn’t back off. Due to his young age, the Carolina District Court ordered that the kid, who operated the “Sky Orbit” YouTube channel, should only be referred to by his initials C.R. The case itself continued, however, albeit slowly.

    Since C.R. didn’t retain an attorney or otherwise respond in court, Epic filed a motion for default judgment. The court didn’t accept this right away, however, instead deciding that the mother’s letter should be treated as a motion to dismiss the case.

    Among other defenses, the mother highlighted that the EULA, which the game publisher relies heavily upon in the complaint, isn’t legally binding. The EULA states that minors require permission from a parent or legal guardian, which was not the case here.

    The court reviewed these arguments but concluded that they were not sufficient to dismiss the case. After that ruling things went quiet. Neither C.R. nor his mom responded, which prompted Epic Games to file a motion for a default judgment again.

    Epic isn’t looking for any massive damages, but it mainly wants C.R. to refrain from any future infringing activities. This includes cheating as well as posting videos on YouTube where this type of activity is promoted.

    Generally speaking, such motions are easily granted, since there is no opposing party to dispute any claims. However, in this case, the court decided differently, with the age of the alleged cheater playing an important role.

    The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not allow default judgments against minors who haven’t been represented. Epic tried to cover this by arguing that the mother’s letter counted as representation, but the North Carolina Court disagrees.

    In his order denying the motion for default judgment, US District Court Judge Malcolm J. Howard mentions that the court previously emphasized that the letter in question was not seen as an “official appearance by anyone on behalf of the minor defendant.”

    “In light of the circumstances herein, based on the facts currently before the court, and pursuant to Rule 55 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court must deny plaintiff’s motion for default judgment,” Judge Malcolm J. Howard concludes.

    This means that after roughly two years, Epic is back to square one and that the accused cheater will ‘walk’ free.

    Whether C.R. is still involved in any cheating activity is unknown. His original “Sky Orbit” YouTube account is no longer active though, and a backup was deleted as well, due to “multiple third-party claims of copyright infringement.”

  20. #880
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    FACT Confirms Premier League Anti-Piracy Action Against IPTV Suppliers

    The Federation Against Copyright Theft has confirmed that last month it helped to serve cease-and-desist notices to individuals at 16 premises in the UK connected to the supply of illegal sports streaming services. The action was taken in collaboration with the Premier League and law enforcement agencies.

    Last month, the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU) said it had targeted people involved in the supply of ‘pirate’ IPTV subscriptions and the sale of modified set-top boxes.

    Its ‘disruption team’ reported working with GAIN (Government Agency Intelligence Network) and the Federation Against Copyright Theft, targeting people in Wrexham and Blackburn. It now transpires that a broader operation took place.

    This morning, FACT revealed that following a collaboration with the Premier League, aimed at disrupting the availability of illegal sports streams ahead of the new 2019/2020 football season, it had teamed up with law enforcement agencies to serve cease-and-desist notices.

    FACT’s Eddy Leviten, who has just returned to the anti-piracy outfit following a period at the Alliance for Intellectual Property as its Director-General, informs TorrentFreak that actions were “taken across the country”.

    In total, 16 premises were targeted in the operation, with cease-and-desist notices served on individuals suspected of supplying illegal sports streams.

    Leviten declined to be more precise on the exact nature of the targets at this stage, but confirmed that “those involved were all engaged at a level sufficient to attract our interest.”

    However, FACT does note that those targeted were all “promoting unauthorized access to premium television content” which combined with NWROCU’s earlier comments about IPTV could be compatible with lower-level IPTV subscription re-sellers.

    These are individuals who operate no service of their own but buy ‘credits’ from bigger players in order to offer packages to the public. NWROCU previously mentioned “cracked online television boxes” too, which are potentially Android-style devices configured for piracy. Again, no further details are currently available.

    Nevertheless, the involvement of the Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) Disruption Teams may raise alarm bells with those operating in a similar niche. FACT, in conjunction with its Premier League partner, hopes that the cease-and-desist notices will stop the activity in hand while “deterring others from getting involved.”

    Kieron Sharp, FACT Chief Executive says that last month’s activity is just one of the tactics being deployed against people committing offenses that affect both rightsholders and broadcasters.

    “We have a program of continuous activity targeting different elements of the global piracy landscape, with consideration given to the scale of the offending so that the most effective and proportionate response is deployed,” Sharp says.

    “The message is clear. If you are involved in any way in providing illegal streaming services, on any scale, you are not invisible or immune from action from FACT, rights owners and law enforcement.”

    National GAIN Coordinator Lesley Donovan adds that the serving of cease-and-desist notices is intended to send a message to those “trying to make a quick buck” out of illegal streaming.

    “Their actions are feeding a wider illicit industry which not only denies the economy of millions both in copyright theft and undeclared income but poses a direct risk to our communities due to their lack of parental controls and fire safety,” Donovan says.

    “This type of activity is also often a cog in a larger criminal machine, often ultimately funding drugs, weapons and people trafficking.”

    The claims of higher-tier offending such as those detailed by Donovan are often cited in connection with all forms of piracy. However, it is extremely rare (perhaps unheard of) for those claims to be backed up with publicly-available evidence. There have been claims in the media that paramilitary groups are involved in some way in Ireland, but no evidence beyond that.

    Just recently, TorrentFreak spoke with one IPTV provider who contested the notion that most players in the market are high-level criminals involved in anything other than the supply of unlicensed streams. Since the matter has now been raised again, we’ll reestablish contact to see if they are prepared to respond to the allegations.


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