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  1. #941
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    Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 09/16/19

    The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'Dark Phoenix' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum'. 'Aladdin' completes the top three.

    This week we have three newcomers in our chart.

    Dark Phoenix 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:


    Torrentfreak.com

  2. #942
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    Platform Exclusives Could Boost Piracy, UK Govt Report Notes

    One of the prerequisites of beating piracy is that content is available legally for a fair price. In recent years, however, movies and music are increasingly becoming fragmented over a variety of paid subscription services. According to a UK Government report, this may be the reason why piracy is making a comeback.

    Last week the UK Government’s Intellectual Property Office published its annual
    IP Crime and Enforcement Report.

    The report provides an overview of the latest anti-piracy achievements of copyright holders and also signals some emerging threats. It seems to be written mostly based on input from large rightsholders, which can make it a bit one-sided.

    The overall theme is that piracy and counterfeiting remain a major problem and that, as a “world class IP enforcement regime,” the UK takes a leading role in the world to tackle it going forward.

    A few days ago we reported on an exemplary section from the report where the
    Premier League highlighted its key successes. The full documentis filled with similar examples and is worth a read, but there is one issue that stood out which we would like to highlight separately.

    In the section where the results of
    PRS for Music, the UK’s leading collection society, are summarized there is a hint of self-reflection. As reported in the past, there were signs that BitTorrent piracy is increasing again, and according to the UK Government’s report, the industry may be to blame.

    Apparently, piracy traffic may be rising again because the content that’s being offered on legal platforms is becoming more and more fragmented.

    In other words, as more legal services have exclusive releases, it’s harder for people to get everything they want in one place. Instead of signing up for paid subscriptions at a handful of services, these people could then turn back to piracy.

    Or as the Annual IP crime and enforcement report puts it:

    “There also appears to be a resurgence in torrent traffic, notwithstanding the apparent demise of peer-to-peer file sharing a few years ago. A likely reason for this is the fact that more legitimate platforms are hosting exclusive content and subscribers may not necessarily have access to all the content they want to consume.”

    The paragraph above is listed in the PRS section of the report which leads us to believe that it comes directly from the music group. We reached out to PRS to find out more but the organization said that it couldn’t comment on it. A subsequent request to clarify whether this is PRS’s position returned a “no comment” as well.

    Again, we should stress that the fragmentation comment is just a tiny quote from a 132-page report. It doesn’t reflect the general theme that piracy needs to be addressed through comprehensive and multi-faceted enforcement strategies. However, at least there appears to be some room for self-reflection.

    This isn’t the first time that increased fragmentation has been mentioned as
    a potential problem, but these type of comments generally don’t originate from governments or rightsholders.

    Exclusive releases are particularly prevalent in the video industry today, where there’s a myriad of exclusive streaming services. How this will affect overall piracy rates in the years to come remains to be seen, but it’s certainly not something that can be easily ignored.

    Torrentfreak.com

  3. #943
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    Swiss Copyright Law: Downloading Stays Legal, No Site Blocking

    Switzerland's National Council has passed amendments aimed at modernizing the country's copyright law to make it more fit for the digital age. While services that host pirate sites or distribute content can expect a tougher ride moving forward, users will still be able to download pirate content for personal use. Furthermore, Swiss Internet service providers will not be required to prevent their customers accessing pirate sites.

    Sitting in the heart of Europe geographically but outside the European Union politically, Switzerland is largely free to make its own legislation.

    On the copyright front, this has brought the country out of line with standards adopted by its neighbors, something that has drawn criticism from entertainment industry companies, particularly those in the United States.

    In 2017,
    proposals to amend the country’s copyright laws were drafted but they failed to fully address key complaints from the United States Trade Representative (USTR) made on behalf of rightsholders.

    A major complaint is that the country’s private copying exception shouldn’t apply to content obtained from illegal sources, i.e pirate copies of movies circulating on peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent. The USTR also had issues with the current liability framework for sites and hosting services that facilitate and profit from piracy.

    After a long trip through the corridors of power, Switzerland’s National Council
    adopted amendments to copyright law Monday but at first view, there seems little to please the United States.

    First up, regular citizens who download copyrighted content from illegal sources will not be criminalized. This means that those who obtain copies of the latest movies from the Internet, for example, will be able to continue doing so without fear of reprisals. Uploading has always been outlawed and that aspect has not changed.

    Second, the drive to have pirate site-blocking introduced into Swiss law has been rejected. Unlike elsewhere in Europe, where the practice is widespread and supported by EU law, ISPs will not be required to block ‘pirate’ platforms as some copyright holders had demanded.

    On the hosting and liability front, there will be changes, but at this early stage, it’s unclear how that will play out on the ground.

    SwissInfo
    reports that the reforms will force local hosting providers to remove illegal content from their servers but adds that parliament rejected rules that would compel online platforms to check whether uploaded content is copyrighted.

    A “take-down-stay-down” system had been championed (which would presumably require content to be checked against previous takedowns) but elsewhere it’s
    claimed that the new legal framework “favors self-regulation” to fight piracy at the hosting level.

    While an extension from 50 to 70 years copyright protection for musical and photographic works will be welcomed by copyright holders, the failure to outlaw downloading of pirated content for personal use will be absolutely unacceptable to the United States and the MPAA in particular.

    Torrentfreak.com

  4. #944
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    EasyDNS Threatened With Criminal Complaint over ‘Pirating’ Customer

    A German law firm has threatened to file a criminal complaint against domain name registrar easyDNS. The Canadian registrar refuses to hand over personal details of an allegedly copyright infringing customer without a valid court order, nor is it planning to pay the proposed €1,481 in damages and fees demanded by the law firm.

    Over the past several years, the Canadian company
    easyDNS has come up in several piracy-related news articles.

    The company’s domain registrar activities, in particular, have been a topic of discussion. Not least because it serves high-profile customers, including The Pirate Bay.

    EasyDNS CEO Mark Jeftovic has always made it very clear that he doesn’t want his company to be a refuge for pirate sites. However, at the same time he is committed to protecting due process.

    This became clear a few years ago when the company refused to suspend domain names based on allegations
    from the City of London Police. This stance was repeated later when the RIAA asked easyDNS to suspend The Pirate Bay’s domain, which it refused to do without a court order.

    These examples show that easyDNS is no stranger to legal pressure, but a recent request from a German law firm was a bit over the top, even by easyDNS’ standards.

    The company recently received a copyright notice from the German law firm
    Fechner Legal, ordering easyDNS to take down a URL of one of its clients who allegedly posted a copyright-infringing image. In addition, the notice came with a settlement offer, urging the registrar to pay €1,481 in damages and fees.

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

    The letter, which was initially sent to the wrong email address years ago, came through the postal mail. EasyDNS has no plans to pay up or expose its customer, as the law firm requested. However, it did send a reply asking for a digital copy so it could be forwarded to its customer, as is standard practice.

    Instead of sending over the requested digital copy, the law firm replied with a threat. Citing German jurisprudence, attorney Robert Fechner urged easyDNS to hand over the name and email address of the allegedly-infringing customer, or else.

    The” or else,” in this case, would come in the form of a criminal complaint.

    “If you fail to comply with the law, further proceedings will be to file a criminal complaint against you in order to acquire this information on the basis of § 14 II TMG. In this case, additional damages due to your uncooperative and unlawful behavior will be claimed.” Fechner wrote.

    Despite the threat of a criminal complaint, easyDNS still doesn’t plan to hand over the name and email address of its customer. The company’s CEO stresses that it only complies with the law of the country where it’s incorporated, which is Canada.

    Simply handing over personal information might violate Canadian privacy law, easyDNS stresses. This means that, if Fechner Legal wants the personal information of the customer in question, it has to obtain a valid court order, subpoena or warrant in the Province of Ontario.

    “It’s almost as if Herr Fechner doesn’t understand that Canada is a completely different country than Germany, and thus businesses operating here are subject to
    Canadian, not German law,” Jeftovic notes.

    “We have further advised Herr Fechner that both easyDNS and our lawyers take a dim view of being threatened with a criminal complaint over something like this and we wonder out loud if the German bar association would have anything to say about one of their own abusing their position and misrepresenting the law in this manner,” he adds.

    In any case, it’s clear that as a third-party registrar, easyDNS isn’t going to take any action without a proper court order. This means that the allegedly infringing URL remains online for now, just like The Pirate Bay.

    Torrentfreak.com

  5. #945
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    Xtream Codes IPTV System Targeted in Massive Police Operation

    Police in Italy have announced a huge anti-piracy operation against the company operating popular IPTV service management system Xtream Codes. Searches are reportedly underway in several countries including Italy, the Netherlands, France and Bulgaria, in a claimed effort to dismantle the company's entire infrastructure.

    Reports of legal action and law enforcement activities against IPTV services and providers are a regular occurrence but news coming out of Italy this morning is particularly interesting.

    According to the Guardia di Finanza (GdF), a law enforcement agency under the authority of the Minister of Economy and Finance, a huge operation is underway to target and dismantle the software service known as Xtream Codes.

    What makes the case unusual is that Xtream Codes isn’t an IPTV provider as such. Usually operating from
    Xtream-codes.com, the company behind the software/system offers a comprehensive package that allows people to manage their own IPTV reselling service and its customers.

    The system is subscription-based, starting at around 15 euros per month and running to 59 euros per month for the powerful “all-in-one” solution.

    https://torrentfreak.com/images/image-118.png

    The Guardia di Finanza say that 100 officers from its Special Unit for the Protection of Privacy and Technological Fraud (NSPFT) are taking part in the operation to take Xtream Codes down.

    Early reports suggest that the system has been “seized”, allegedly preventing 700,000 users from accessing the platform. Xtream Codes itself recently reported having more than 5,000 clients servicing in excess of 50,000,000 end clients.

    The Italian police unit is describing Xtream Codes as an international criminal group that’s being targeted not only in Italy but with simultaneous searches in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Greece and Bulgaria.

    Xtream Codes is registered as a company in Bulgaria, has a local VAT number, and lists an address in Petrich for its offices. According to its now-disappeared website, it was founded by two students. Police say that 25 “managers” have been identified but there’s no specific mention of any arrests.

    Disruption is already being reported by some IPTV sellers utilizing the Xtream Codes system. Authorities in Italy are set to provide more information on the operation this morning so we’ll update this article as more news comes in.

    Torrentfreak.com

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