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  1. #1001
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    1XBET: The Bizarre ‘CAM’ Brand That Movie Pirates Love to Hate

    If people want to watch the latest blockbusters on the small screen, the easiest option is to download a 'cammed' copy from the Internet. While these have never been perfect replicas, the latest trend is to release 'cams' daubed with promo codes and advertising for online gambling outlet 1XBET. It's safe to say that pirates love the movies but despise the ads.

    For several decades, movie pirates have visited cinemas with cameras to record the latest movies.

    In the early 80s, for example, pirate copies of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial made their way all over the planet, mainly for consumption via VHS and Betamax tapes. The quality was always dire but back then, beggars certainly couldn’t be choosers.

    Since the early 2000s, things have changed dramatically. With the advent of high-quality cameras, sometimes operated by near-professional volunteers, the act of ‘camming’ turned into an artform.

    Now-defunct groups including
    Centropy and maVen graced the web with outstandingly good copies of the latest titles, driven in part by a desire to create the best possible products and with them a lasting legacy. If these groups had a voice in 2019, they’d be horrified at the ‘camming’ state of play.

    For reasons that appear to be entirely motivated by money, large numbers of cam copies hitting the web today are doing so in a defaced fashion. While studios have been watermarking their content for close to 20 years to defeat piracy, pirates are now disfiguring videos themselves in order to promote big business.

    1XBET in-movie advertising watermark

    While they are not the only culprit (some streaming sites also carry out the practice), online betting site 1XBET has its brand stamped all over dozens of pirate releases.

    Indeed, it seems that most of the big ‘cammed’ movies these days can’t avoid the clutches of 1XBET advertising. From Avengers: Endgame and John Wick 3, to Hellboy and Pokémon Detective Pikachu, 1XBET ‘sponsored’ releases are an incredibly invasive species.

    A small sample from The Pirate Bay

    In addition to the kind of watermarks shown above, downloaders of 1XBET-labeled releases are now being ‘treated’ to full-blown ads for the gambling platform in the middle of movies. And there’s no escaping them.

    For example, the recent release of ‘Shazam’ doesn’t even get six minutes into the movie before a glaring 30-second advert for the platform kicks in, complete with promo codes in several different languages. If pirates thought that downloading movies from pirate sites was a convenient way to avoid intrusive advertising, 1XBET releases are not a good option.

    Less than six minutes into Shazam? Have an ad break

    Dmitry Tyunkin, Deputy Director of Anti-Piracy and Brand Protection at cyber-security firm
    Group-IB, says that cam watermarking is a cost-effective way to promote the gambling platform.

    “1XBET is a gambling company originating from Russia that uses cam copies to advertise itself internationally. The strategy became popular and widespread because it is a relatively cheap way to promote their services – a raw cam copy would cost 300-400 USD, 600-700 USD after editing,” Tyunkin informs TF.

    “According to our data, usually those who film cam copies sell them to camcording piracy groups, who offer to integrate the ads to gambling companies, such as 1XBET. [They then upload] the pirated copies to torrent websites, which spread [them] very fast across the Internet with watermarks and ads included in the pirated film.”

    Many surprising things have happened in the piracy world over the past couple of decades but this recent phenomenon ranks up there with the most outlandish.

    These are pirate releases, of some of Hollywood’s biggest titles, carrying advertising for a multi-million dollar gambling company. Group-IB says 1XBET has been involved in the practice since 2018, primarily targeting developing English-speaking countries, such as India.

    But at least as far as we can see, little is being done about it.

    Hollywood itself hasn’t made any public statement. The USTR, which ordinarily attempts to protect the interests of US companies, hasn’t complained about the advertising in its piracy reports calling out other nations.

    That is puzzling, to say the least. But it’s nothing short of bewildering when one considers that 1XBET is the ‘International Presenting Partner’ of Italy’s ‘Serie A’, a soccer league that has been
    very vocal about the threats presented by online piracy.

    “As part of the agreement, 1xBet will be featured in all match graphics, idents and virtual goal mat advertising across every live Serie A game, on all platforms that are broadcast in the regions covered in the terms of the deal,” a
    report on the partnership reads.

    It’s important to note that there’s no overwhelming evidence available to the general public that 1XBET itself is driving camming ‘sponsorship’ directly. Some have suggested that overenthusiastic affiliates may have taken this upon themselves but it’s so unorthodox that few explanations would come as a surprise.

    Either way, it doesn’t just look bad for 1XBET.

    The horrible watermarks and intrusive advertising are making many of the big releases look bad when viewed by pirates too. Never in the history of camming have cammed copies of movies been made to look deliberately worse before being uploaded online.

    Pirate sites are littered with negative comments in respect of 1XBET ‘releases’. Pirates love getting the movies early but absolutely hate the ads. For now, however, there doesn’t appear to be much of an opportunity to get away from them.

    When everything is considered it’s one of the most puzzling developments to come out of the piracy world, not just recently, but ever. The big question is how long it will continue. Until it stops paying off, perhaps.

  2. #1002
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    Epic Games Wants Mother to Represent Persistent Fortnite Cheater ‘Sky Orbit’

    Epic Games is not giving up on its copyright infringement lawsuit against "Sky Orbit," a YouTuber who the company accuses of persistently cheating in Fortnite. The court previously denied a default judgment, as the teenager was not represented by an adult. Epic Games now requests to have his mother assigned as guardian, as she reportedly "knows it all".

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

    Most of these lawsuits have now been settled, but there is one alleged cheater who is proving rather hard to catch.

    The person in question, known in Fortnite and on YouTube as “Sky Orbit,” turned out to be a minor when Epic Games filed the complaint. This was made very clear by his mother, who sent a letter to the Court defending her son.

    “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 should only be referred to by his initials C.R. The case itself continued, however, albeit slowly.

    Without any follow-up responses from either the defendant or his mother, Epic Games requested a default judgment. However, the Court denied this a few weeks ago, arguing that the underage defendant
    was never properly represented by a guardian. The mother’s letter was not sufficient to establish this.

    This was a major setback to Epic Games but the company had no plans to drop the case. Especially not when it heard “Sky Orbit” had teamed up with another alleged cheater, CBV, and found other evidence that he wasn’t done cheating yet.

    This week Epic asked the Court to officially appoint C.R.’s mother, Lauren Rogers, as a legal guardian, so she can officially represent her son. If that’s not possible, another adult should take this role, the game company argues.

    “Defendant has ignored the appropriate orders of this Court. It is now appropriate for his mother or another adult to be appointed to officially represent him so that his interests can be protected and this matter can move forward,” Epic writes.

    In an associated memorandum and declaration, the company explains that C.R. allegedly continued cheating over the past several months. Part of the evidence comes from a video titled “
    Fortnite Streamer Caught Aimbotting LIVE!” uploaded to YouTube by ShelbyRenae.

    This video includes a captured video by another player, who’s allegedly cheating. Based on the voice of this person and several comments from people who watched the stream, this is C.R., aka “Sky Orbit.”

    “The audio, including cheating player’s voice is available. On information and belief, the voice of the cheating player is Defendant’s,” Epic’s attorney Christopher Thomas writes.

    “Although ShelbyRenae does not identify Defendant as the cheating player, at least 15 of the commenters separately identify ‘Sky Orbit’ – the name used by Defendant on his YouTube channel – as the player cheating in the Captured Video.”

    From the declaration

    The same voice also appears in another high profile video on YouTube. Epic argues that C.R. also appeared
    in the video where another teenager, CBV, responded to a separate lawsuit that Epic Games filed against him.

    “You guys can eat my ass once again!” C.R. allegedly says in the video.

    Based on this and other evidence, Epic believes that it’s important for the case to move forward so it can properly protect its rights. As such, the defendant should be represented by a guardian, which can be his mother.

    another video discussing the legal trouble, C.R. said that his mother “knew it all” and didn’t have to pay any lawyer fees, so appointing her as guardian would be appropriate, Epic states.

    “Defendant’s statement that he and his mother got a lawyer but didn’t have to spend even ‘a little bit of money’ because his ‘mom knew it all,’ shows Defendant’s faith in Ms. Rogers. His comments also suggest that their decision not to answer in spite of the Court’s order was deliberate.

    “His continued cheating, the foregoing and other public statements, and his open taunting of Epic all demonstrate that he thinks he is beyond the reach of this Court and is free to continue his unlawful conduct without consequence. This should not be permitted to continue.”

    It’s clear that Epic Games is not letting this one go easily. The Court now has to decide whether it will appoint Sky Orbit’s mother or another adult as the guardian in this case.

  3. #1003
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    ACE Also Wants Millions in Piracy Damages from SET TV Operator and Manager

    Under the ACE banner, several Hollywood studios, Amazon, and Netflix, are requesting millions of dollars in damages from the owner and an employee of SET TV, a now defunct IPTV service. In a default judgment the company was already ordered to pay millions in copyright infringement damages and ACE now requests the same against the former employees.

    Last year the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), the anti-piracy alliance featuring several Hollywood studios, Amazon, Netflix, and other entertainment outfits,
    sued Florida-based SET Broadcast, LLC.

    At the time, the company offered a popular software-based IPTV service and also sold pre-loaded set-top boxes. These were portrayed as legitimate, but ACE and its members disagreed.

    “Defendants market and sell subscriptions to ‘Setvnow,’ a software application that Defendants urge their customers to use as a tool for the mass infringement of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted motion pictures and television shows,” their complaint read.

    Soon after the lawsuit was filed the IPTV service went offline, leaving its 180,000 subscribers behind. But that didn’t mean the case against SET TV, its owner Jason Labossiere, and its employee Nelson Johnson was over. ACE pressed on, hoping to get a judgment in its favor.

    Without any of the defendants putting up a defense, ACE booked its first victory a few months ago. The media companies submitted a motion for a default judgment against the company SET Broadcast, LLC, which the court granted.

    In a ruling handed down
    last July, the court ordered SET TV to pay $7,650,000. This reflects the maximum statutory damages of $150,000 for each of the 51 works that were infringed by the defunct IPTV provider.

    While ACE was pleased with the outcome, it wasn’t done yet. The default judgment only applied to the corporate entity, not the owner and its employee. With a new request, the anti-piracy alliance hopes to hold Labossiere and Johnson liable as well.

    While the other two defendants initially responded to the court, they didn’t answer any recent requests. As such, ACE is now requesting a similar default judgment against Labossiere and Johnson, holding them jointly and severally for the payment of the $7,650,000 in damages

    “Defendants Labossiere and Johnson are the individual Defendants who operated, managed, and ultimately profited from the willful, unlawful business of Set Broadcast. Settled law permits entry of default against willful infringers likeLabossiere and Johnson who refuse to participate in their own defense,” ACE writes.

    “Plaintiffs therefore respectfully request that the Court enter default judgment against Labossiere and Johnson and hold them jointly and severally liable for the harm they inflicted upon Plaintiffs,” the Alliance adds.

    In addition to the damages, ACE also requests a permanent injunction to prevent any future copyright infringement. Among other things, the defendants should be prohibited from operating the SetTV now service, as well as any website, system, software, or service that is substantially similar.

    Without a response from the defendants, it’s likely that the court will grant the order.

  4. #1004
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    Trump’s Sons, Attorney, & Social Media Chief Got DMCA Notices Over ‘Photograph’ Meme

    Twitter and indeed much of the media erupted last week when President Trump used a Nickelback meme and found himself on the end of a copyright complaint from Warner. However, the president wasn't the only one to receive DMCA notices, they were also filed against his sons, his attorney, and the White House's director of social media.

    Last week, US President Donald Trump made headlines when he tweeted a short video meme aimed at discrediting political rival Joe Biden.

    It contained a clip of Nickelback’s video ‘Photograph’ which resulted in the tweet being taken down for copyright infringement.

    Soon after, a copy of the DMCA notice that caused the takedown was published on the Lumen Database, which
    revealed that the sender was Warner Music Group. However, TF has learned that wasn’t the only takedown notice to target Trump and his supporters over the now-controversial clip.

    Trawling through the latest notices sent to Lumen by Twitter we can see that not only were some of Trump’s closest allies also sent takedowns for copyright infringement, but also that other music companies got in on the act too.

    The original complaint against Trump’s account (
    here) was quickly followed by another against the account of his attorney, Rudy Giuliani. The notice was sent by Nickelback’s management at Union Entertainment Group on behalf of Roadrunner Records, which in turn is owned by Warner.

    As the DMCA notice below shows, the cited copyrighted material is “The Master Recording of ‘Photograph’ by Nickelback and the accompanying music video.”

    Two other DMCA complaints were also filed at Twitter detailing a pair of allegedly-infringing tweets posted Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr. and Dan Scavino, the White House Director of Social Media and Assistant to the President.

    These were sent on October 3, 2019 by anti-piracy company GrayZone on behalf of Warner Music. In common with the complaint filed against their father’s account, YouTube was cited as the source of the material.

    Finally, the second son of Donald Trump, Eric, also received an
    additional notice from Union Entertainment Group, again on behalf of RoadRunner Records.

    While plenty of other people tweeted and retweeted the allegedly-infringing video, a flood of additional takedown notices doesn’t appear to be in the archives at Lumen. That doesn’t mean to say they don’t exist, however, since it’s certainly possible Twitter doesn’t pass everything on.

    Interestingly, there is an ongoing debate as to whether the use of the video in the clip was actually fair use, with many Trump supporters claiming that as a parody, it should be protected from takedowns. Countering firmly, former RIAA executive vice president of communications Jonathan Lamy believes otherwise.

    “This one was a clear cut no-brainer,” he said on Twitter. “On copyright grounds and also perhaps falsely implied endorsement.”

    Since Giuliani also got a notice and presumably a strike against his Twitter account, it would be very interesting if – as an attorney – he decided to send a counter-notification. As fair use battles go it might get a little messy but things are pretty messy already.

  5. #1005
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    International Day Against DRM 2019 Focuses on Education

    Today is International Day Against DRM, an annual protest against technology that restricts what we can do with purchased digital products and tools. The focus this year is on the right to read, with pressure placed on publishers to stop restricting access to education. It's a noble cause that deserves support but sadly, as every year passes, the hill is becoming increasingly steep.

    The Free Software Foundation’s Defective by Design campaign
    International Day Against Digital Restrictions Management is here again.

    It’s been 12 months since the
    campaign celebrated the 12th anniversary of its quest to prompt, pressure and prevent companies from restricting what we can do with legitimately bought content and products.

    This year the main focus is perhaps the noblest to date – the right to an education.

    “Defective by Design is calling on you to stand up against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) on the International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on October 12th, 2019,” the
    campaign site reads.

    “This year we will be focusing specifically on everyone’s right to read, particularly by urging publishers to free students and educators from the unnecessary and cumbersome restrictions that make their access to necessary course materials far more difficult.”

    The campaign homes-in on publishers including Pearson, which individually stands accused of placing “digital handcuffs” on students with a “Netflix-like” textbook model that requires constant Internet connections to validate purchases, limits how many pages of a title that can be read at a time, and monitors reading habits.

    Defective By Design wants publishers to remove every piece of DRM from their educational materials, a lofty but particularly noble aim. There can be few students or educators out there who still believe that locking up papers, studies and similar material is the best way to impart knowledge and as a result, improve society.

    Only time will tell whether that particular quest will bear fruit but reading the campaign’s notes one can’t help but feel there’s a mountain to climb in respect of the broader picture. While those with plenty of energy are invited to join in the chorus or even
    stage their own events, the section detailing how people can offer basic support is unintentionally depressing.

    “The easiest way to participate is to join us in going a Day Without DRM, and resolve to spend an entire day (or longer!) without Netflix, Hulu, and other restricted services to show your support of the movement,” it reads.

    “Document your experiences on social media using the tags ‘#idad’ or ‘#dbd,’ and let us know at
    [email protected] if you have a special story you’d like us to share.”

    While a day without Netflix should be achievable, the site lists plenty of other companies that should be avoided, if one wants to seriously protest the spread of DRM. Doing without all of them will be a herculean task for any digital native.

    For example, the black hole left by Netflix abstinence cannot be filled by listening to Spotify or Amazon Music, which are labeled by the campaign as “worst offenders” when it comes to DRM. Even with the benefit of music-free silence, people are encouraged not to use Amazon’s Kindle either.

    It’s at this point you begin to realize how deeply entrenched DRM is and how difficult it will be to extract ourselves from it. The situation is further compounded when the list reveals that we should avoid using an iPad or indeed any Apple or Microsoft products.

    Considering most desktop users are running Windows and millions of mobile users are Apple-based, spreading the hashtags ‘#idad’ or ‘#dbd’ on social media while strictly following the “boycott if possible” rules could rule out millions of participants. That is not what is needed today but so compromises will have to be made.

    The moderately good news is that Android isn’t on the list as a “worst offender” but unfortunately it still incorporates DRM. And its developer, Google, has a
    page all of its own on the Defective By Design site, called out for being a promoter of DRM and for lobbying in favor of restrictive web standards.

    We wish the International Day Against Digital Restrictions Management every success because very few people are still fighting this battle and the education element, in particular, is hard to understate. But in a world where profit trumps moral ideals at every turn, this war becomes more difficult to win with every passing year.

    And in many cases, it’s arguably our own fault.

  6. #1006
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    Ebook Piracy Grows, Contrary to The Trend

    Research from the Netherlands shows that the percentage of pirates has declined across all popular entertainment in recent years, except for Ebooks. The data, which also reveals some intriguing piracy demographics, suggest that book pirates are missing something in the current legal offerings.

    Piracy statistics can be tricky. Trends often go in different directions, depending on the region, the type of media, as well as the research timeframe.

    One of the most elaborate datasets collected in recent years comes from the University of Amsterdam.

    Among other things, it suggested that
    legal options are a better way to beat piracy than enforcement.

    The underlying data forms the basis of a new research article where two nearly identical piracy surveys from 2012 and 2017 were compared. This allowed the researchers to look at changes in media consumption and piracy habits among the Dutch public over the years.

    The respondents were asked about both legal and unauthorized consumption of music, movies and TV, games, and books. One of the overall findings was that between 2012 and 2017 the interest in physical goods plummeted.

    For example, the number of people who bought physical music carriers was slashed in half to 20% and for movies/TV the decline was even more pronounced, falling from 45% to 20%. Physical books saw the smallest drop, with 60% still buying real books, down from 69%.

    This trend coincides with a massive boost in digital sales. The number of people who bought digital entertainment increased across all categories, nearly tripling for movies and TV, which is likely due to Netflix. That’s a positive sign for the entertainment industries, which is also reflected in the piracy frequencies.

    Results, in Dutch

    The survey found that the percentage of people who still download or stream content from unauthorized sources decreased for nearly every category. This effect is most significant for music and games, while movie and TV piracy remained relatively stable.

    The only category for which the piracy rate went up was Ebooks. Between 2012 and 2017 the number of Ebook pirates increased from 6.3% to 7.7%, which is marginally significant.

    According to the researchers, this shows that these book pirates are missing something in the current legal offering. A good subscription service for example, where people can access an unlimited number of books for a fixed price.

    “Looking at the other markets, access-based subscriptions appear to be the most promising, where a large increase in the number of transactions compensates a lower average return per transaction,” the researchers write.

    While not mentioned in the article, the massive increase in Ebook consumers may also play a role in the increased piracy rate. The number of people who bought Ebooks, and thus have e-readers, increased by 80% between 2012 and 2017.

    Part of this new e-reader userbase apparently showed an interest in pirated books as well, which likely impacted the piracy rate. With that in mind, the piracy increase is relatively modest.

    The research also looked at various pirate demographics and how these changed over time. This shows that between 2012 and 2017, women started to pirate more books and fewer games and music. These changes are more pronounced than for men.

    In addition, the data reveal that, overall, less educated people pirate less. This is the case across all categories but the biggest difference can be found in the books category.

    If anything, the findings show that generic statements about piracy rates and the average pirate are relatively meaningless. It is the finer detail that helps us to understand what’s really happening.

    The present survey data shows that physical media is quickly losing popularity as more people consume legal content digitally. At the same time, piracy rates are dropping significantly for music and games, at least in the Netherlands, while Ebook piracy slowly increases.

  7. #1007
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    Disney+, Netflix streaming wars will usher in new age of online piracy, warn experts

    The boom of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video is widely credited as playing a role in the decline of illegal file-sharing. But that period of calm is over.

    As goliath brands such as Apple and Disney rush to get a piece of the action, releasing services where exclusive content is increasingly siloed from consumers who have become accustomed to freedom of choice and convenience, experts are warning about the rise in "casual piracy."

    What will you be doing on November 12, when Disney+ is finally unleashed on the world? For anyone in the U.S. who signed up, the launch day could be spent watching the hotly-anticipated Star Wars show The Mandalorian.

    For users in the U.K. and other parts of the world, that is not an option because the show reportedly won't air in additional regions until 2020. Some Star Wars fans may choose to wait. Many will not.

    The argument fits for any content with mass appeal. Apple's rival service, launching November 1, boasts films from veterans like Steven Spielberg and M. Night Shyamalan. Apple is using its deep pockets, marketing shows featuring A-listers such as Jennifer Aniston, Jason Momoa and Oprah. These shows will all be vulnerable.

    "As new original content has become more exclusive to other streaming services, consumers are turning to file-sharing to get access to those exclusives since they can't or won't pay money just for a few shows," market intelligence company Sandvine said in a report published last month, adding: "BitTorrent is growing again as the exclusives begin to flood the market."

    Analysis suggests content that is driving file-sharing includes Jack Ryan on Prime, The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu, Stranger Things on Netflix and, of course, Game of Thrones on HBO. The report said Marvel and Star Wars exclusives will only help to fuel that growth.

    For now, Netflix remains the dominant platform, with more than 151 million paid memberships in over 190 countries. But myriad competitors are now trying to lure subscribers away, often with the promise of big-name actors and lower costs. The biggest new competitors to Netflix's $12.99 offering is Disney+ at $6.99 per month and Apple TV+ at $4.99 per month.

    But the creation of walled gardens, where a single TV show is firmly kept behind a paywall, will lead to many internet users searching for alternative means to watch, experts say. The crowded space is only going to lose oxygen as Starz, CBS All Access and Showtime enter the room.

    "There will always be a group of people who have no interest in paying for content regardless of cost, but many of the people who engage in piracy are actually casual pirates who have the choice of whether to steal or purchase the content they're watching," Elliott Ingram, founder and chief strategy officer of the anti-piracy organization Entura, explained to Newsweek this week.

    "They may pirate one particular show or a movie they missed in the cinema that hasn't yet made its way onto their streaming service of choice. Arguably this is the group of consumers where siloing content could have the biggest effect," Ingram added.

    Of course, piracy has always existed online, and peer-to-peer file sharing websites have made it easier than ever before to host and exchange large files. Websites such as The Pirate Bay index these large files of video or audio, known as torrents, which anyone can access and download.

    Peter Sunde, 41, who helped run The Pirate Bay in 2003 alongside Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij before being hunted by police and jailed on copyright infringement charges, told Newsweek there is now a "huge annoyance level" with deciding which subscription service to pay for.

    "Since these operators are not willing to open up for content sharing across platforms but trying to do the cable TV-esque approach of locking people into their own platform it's making it impossible for most people to bear the costs of media," Sunde said.

    "The average consumer's media spending is already way higher than ever before. P2P is not just democratizing access to these services, but also making it possible for people that are not 'lucky enough' to be in a country considered to be market-worthy to actually access these shows at all."

    By mirroring itself across the internet, The Pirate Bay remains online to this day, although it now claims to be managed by an organization that is registered in the Seychelles. For digital pirates, it remains a key destination. Sunde confirmed he is no longer involved with the website.

    According to London-headquartered anti-piracy watchdog MUSO, digital theft is thriving.

    It says that in June this year, torrent networks were used to download Detective Pikachu roughly four million times. A month later, How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World was snagged more than 1.2 million times and the second series of Big Little Lies was downloaded by over 1.6 million people. What stood out to the firm's analysts was that some of the stolen content was aimed at children.

    "It would seem that a lot of modern day pirates are merely frazzled parents who wouldn't dream of stealing their Friday night bottle of chilled Riesling from the grocery store but don't want to pay the same amount to watch the latest TV phenomenon," MUSO CEO Andy Chatterley wrote in a blog post, also published on Forbes. "Online piracy is like taking candy from a baby," he said.

    The consensus appears to be the same across industry experts: those who are willing to pay are not suddenly going to transform into full-on content thieves, but it's likely customers with one service will be more inclined to illegally download a show that is not available to them.

    "While casual piracy may seem innocent enough, it happens at a scale that takes millions out of the public purse—and its enabled and driven by sites that flagrantly encourage file sharing," Ingram noted. "I believe that educating the public... is critical to beating piracy."

    Until some time has passed, it remains unknown if any service will be able to hijack Netflix's crown. Speculation spiked earlier this year that cracks had begun to show in the company after it confirmed the loss of 130,000 U.S. customers during Q2, the LA Times reported.

    But speaking to the newspaper this month, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos brushed off any suggestion it was in trouble, even as key shows like Friends and The Office had been stolen by rivals, saying: "The new set of competitors is actually just the old set of competitors."

    According to Sunde, the brief lull in peer-to-peer downloading was not only due to convenience, but also from the intense lobbying efforts and "scare tactics" by large media companies that have threatened to take legal action against "everyone and their dead grandmother."

    "It's not that people want to be their customers, it's that they have no choice or are too scared to use alternatives," the Swedish entrepreneur told Newsweek. "We're still trying to shoehorn in old financial systems into a radically shifted technological platform. It's like still wanting to charge a different price for calling different cities on your phone, when in reality it's now basically the same price to call anywhere. If the media industry could decide, we'd still be off renting VHS."

    It's not yet clear where customers will flock, but Simon Trudelle, director of anti-piracy services at content security firm NAGRA, told Newsweek every platform will face the same new reality. "All valuable content is at risk," he warned. "Consumers want to have access to content, and if they can't, they just pick up their phones and search for it. Competing with free is just not sustainable."

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    Battle Against IPTV Continues As MPA & ACE Take Over Four More Domains

    When it comes to tackling 'pirate' IPTV services, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment has already claimed the scalps of many in 2019. After quietly taking over the domains of several providers and sellers earlier this year, we can now report that another four have fallen to the global anti-piracy alliance, adding to the growing tally.

    If the figures that were cited following the recent international
    police operation against Xtream Codes are any yardstick, providers and sellers of ‘pirate’ IPTV providers currently number in their thousands.

    While there are relatively few sources at the very top of the pyramid, there could be in excess of 5,000 players selling IPTV subscriptions to the public, which by recent estimates could dwarf even the five million accounts cited by the authorities.

    In common with the task of removing every torrent, streaming and similar site from the Internet, the possibility of handing a death blow to the entire IPTV industry seems a distant dream for content providers. But that doesn’t mean incremental efforts aren’t underway.

    As previously documented, the massive Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, which comprises dozens of the world’s largest content companies, is quietly taking down sellers and providers of IPTV. Today we can reveal that another four have had their domains commandeered by MPA America, the organization
    previously known as the MPAA. first appeared to gain traction back in 2015, selling an inconspicuous set-top box to the public. Promising no contract and no monthly fees, the $349 device boasted 100,000 movies and TV shows, plus 1,000 channels of live entertainment.

    Also say ‘Yes’ to an ACE takeover, apparently….

    By 2019, the site was offering its latest ‘VS4+’ device, promising unlimited entertainment to customers looking to permanently cut the cord. Then, a few weeks ago, it all came to an end. The site shut down without notice after its domain was taken over by the MPA. Like many before it, it now directs to the anti-piracy portal operated by ACE.

    According to web records, only appeared on the scene in 2018. Among other things, the site seems to have offered a custom Android APK to be installed on users’ own devices. For the price of $25 per month, Max TV users could enjoy live TV and other content on a single device, with extra devices costing an extra $5 per month.

    However in common with VStreamTV, a few weeks ago the party came to an abrupt end. It seems likely that ACE came knocking with demands to shut down the business as the service’s website is now owned by the MPA and redirects to the ACE portal.

    What ultimately happened with isn’t in question – it was taken over by the MPA and now redirects to the ACE portal. We weren’t able to recover a copy of the operation’s website but if it was in any way connected to the IXQtv service (
    note subtle difference in spelling), it’s no surprise it appeared on the MPA/ACE radar.

    IXQtv shut down August 1st and was no ordinary operation. While many IPTV providers operate via resellers, IXQtv operated a ridiculously
    full-blown multi-level-marketing (MLM) scheme which paid affiliates not only on sales of streaming packages but also commissions for recruiting yet more affiliates. Think Amway for IPTV.

    Finally, the obviously-named takes last place on today’s update of recent domain takeovers. Information on precisely what packages, services or tools the site offered isn’t clear but like the others, it clearly attracted the negative attention of the world’s biggest entertainment companies.

    Details of earlier domain takeovers carried out by ACE and the MPA against IPTV-related operations can be found here (

  9. #1009
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    MPA Adds 1XBET and Baidu to Latest Piracy Threat Report

    The Motion Picture Association has sent its latest overview of notorious piracy markets to the US Government. Aside from the traditional list of pirate sites, apps, and hosting providers, the movie industry group now also lists the Chinese hosting service Baidu Pan. Gambling outfit 1XBET, which advertises on pirate sites and releases, is included as well.

    Alongside other entertainment industry groups, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) sends a yearly overview of notorious foreign piracy markets to the US Trade Representative.

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

    We previously covered the submissions from the
    RIAA and ESA, which both listed a wide variety of pirate sites including torrent, streaming, MP3-downloaders, and ROM archives.

    The MPA’s submission was published later than the others but is worth highlighting nonetheless. In recent years it has solely focused on online threats with familiar names such as The Pirate Bay, Openload, and Fmovies reappearing time and again.

    This year is no different. Many of the threats the MPA highlights are identical to last year. Aside from traditional pirate sites, this includes mobile apps, unauthorized IPTV services, and hosting companies. While not a foreign company, CDN provider Cloudflare is repeatedly mentioned as well, as it has many piracy sites as customers.

    “The Pirate Bay, and other notorious pirate sites, remain Cloudflare customers despite repeated notices of infringement to Cloudflare,” the MPA notes.

    A complete list of all the identified notorious markets is listed below, but we will zoom in on two entities added as new entries this year.

    The first one is 1XBET, a gambling company known for its
    advertising appearing in ‘cam’ copies of movies. The casino, whose ads appear on more than a thousand pirate sites, is well known among people who frequent these platforms. Now, it’s on the MPA’s radar as well.

    “1XBET is a Russian gambling site that has started to support some of the
    earliest releases of infringing theatrical camcords and infringing streams of live television broadcasts. It has become the third most active online advertiser in Russia,” the MPA informs the USTR.

    The MPA’s report cites research from Mediascope which found that
    only Google and PepsiCo ads are more prevalent online in Russia. While that covers all publications, the movie industry group draws specific attention to the embedded ads that appear in popular pirate movie releases as well as their titles.

    “Reportedly, the online casino pays to insert visual and audio advertisements into new piracy content sources incentivizing camcord and livestreaming piracy. 1XBET’s watermark with promotion codes is ‘burned’ into the video files of infringing camcord recordings. Thus, piracy is used as a vehicle to support this online gambling giant,” the MPA notes.

    What’s not mentioned by the MPA is that 1XBET also sponsored several major UK football clubs and Italian football league
    Serie A. Responding to some earlier controversy, a 1XBET spokesperson said that it takes the piracy advertising allegations very seriously.

    Another newcomer in the MPA’s list of notorious markets is Baidu Pan, the file-hosting service operated by the largest search engine in China. According to the movie industry group, it’s often used to share copyright-infringing material.

    “Large quantities of infringing content are stored on Baidu Pan with
    links disseminated through popular Chinese social media platforms and piracy linking sites,” the MPA writes in its submission.

    The MPA points out that Baidu has a market share of over 75 percent in China, which makes it the second-largest search engine in the world. As such, it is vitally important that the company has rigorous content protection standards and that it cooperates with rightsholders, the group notes.

    Baidu has made some progress in recent years when it comes to its takedown tools, but takedown rates and timeframes remain inconsistent or too long, the MPA says.

    “Baidu should be encouraged to do more, including improve implementation of its takedown tools, apply rigorous filtering technology to identify infringing content, and take more effective action to suspend or terminate repeat infringers to ensure all rights holders are treated equally and infringing content and links are removed expeditiously,” the submission reads.

    The MPA hopes that its recommendations will be helpful to the US Government, but whether adding 1XBET and Baidu Pan will have any effect has yet to be seen.

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

    List of all the sites and services the MPAA identified as notorious markets.

    Linking / Streaming

    • CB01
    • &
    • and
    • (formerly .se)
    • “Indo 21” (Indoxxi) and many related domains
    • and .xyz

    Cyberlockers / video hosting

    • Baidu Pan

    Illegal IPTV

    • GenIPTV


    • RenRen Shi Pin
    • ShowBox
    • Unblock Tech (

    P2P sites


    Hosting services

    • Fishnet Communications LLC
    • M247
    • Network Dedicated SAS
    • Private Layer


    • 1XBET

  10. #1010
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    MPAA and RIAA’s Megaupload Lawsuits Remain on Hold, Perhaps For Years

    A federal court in Virginia has granted Megaupload's request to keep the civil lawsuits filed by music and movie companies on hold until April next year. With the criminal case still pending, this standstill could last for years. Meanwhile, Kim Dotcom is plugging the upcoming token sale of the new content publishing and monetization platform

    In 2012, Microsoft first released its operating system Windows 8, Apple came out with the iPhone 5, and Google’s Sergey Brin showed off a Google Glass prototype in the wild.

    It was also the year when armed police officers swarmed Kim Dotcom’s mansion in a
    military-style-raid while his hosting service Megaupload was being taken down.

    It was the beginning of the largest copyright infringement case the U.S. Government had ever launched and one that was far from straightforward.

    While the earlier mentioned technology continued to progress, the Megaupload case has barely moved. In New Zealand, lawyers have been very busy with the extradition proceedings against Dotcom, but it could be years before that battle ends. This means that the criminal case against Megaupload and several former employees is in limbo.

    The same is true for the civil cases the RIAA and MPAA filed back in 2014. Since the civil cases may influence the criminal proceedings, Megaupload’s legal team previously managed to put these cases on hold, and last week they requested another extension.

    In line with other recent requests, the RIAA and MPAA didn’t object to the request. As a result, the court swiftly agreed to issue yet another extension, putting the cases on hold until the spring of next year. However, it would be no surprise if more delays followed in the future.

    Earlier this year Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom predicted that he will lose his extradition battle at the Supreme Court. That’s not going to be the end of the line though. Using all legal options available, it might take more than five years before the extradition saga ends.

    Meanwhile, copies of Megaupload’s servers, containing vast amounts of data from millions of users, remain locked up as evidence. Initially, there were some attempts to reunite former users with their personal files, but these appeared to have died off.

    Interestingly, the most recent mention of any Megaupload ‘data’ came
    from Kim Dotcom himself. “Still waiting to get access to your Megaupload files?” he wrote, adding that he will email 30 million former US Megaupload users a video link in 2020 explaining how Joe Biden destroyed the site.

    Apparently, Dotcom still has access to email and IP-addresses of Megaupload users, which he might put to use.

    In recent weeks, the New Zealand entrepreneur shifted his focus to a service that was
    once billed as Megaupload 2. This project, now known as, will, in fact, be quite different from its predecessor. While Dotcom is the founder, he no longer has an official position, but acts as its evangelist, helping to raise money through a token sale.

    When we last covered the project its expected release date was
    around 2018, but there have been some delays here as well. The latest roadmap indicates that the platform will launch in the third quarter of 2020. By then, we expect that the RIAA and MPAA lawsuits will still be pending.

  11. #1011
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    DISH Threatens to Sue IPTV Subscribers Because Suppliers Are Snitching

    DISH and Nagrastar are reportedly sending out a new wave of pay-up-or-else letters to 'pirate' IPTV users in the United States. The company has previously demanded around $3,500 in compensation per person, apparently after obtaining customer details from 'pirate' suppliers. Recent court documents show that does indeed happen.

    When they don’t use protection such as VPNs, pirates who use BitTorrent-like peer-to-peer systems are relatively easy to track down. Their IPaddresses are publicly viewable meaning that one subpoena later, content companies can obtain their names and addresses from ISPs.

    The situation is quite different when it comes to users of regular ‘pirate’ IPTV services. Their IP addresses and personal details are usually only known to their provider, so proving infringement is more difficult. Of course, if the IPTV provider itself is targeted by a company like DISH, it may decide to squeal to lessen the pain of its own demise.

    In the summer it was revealed that NagraStar had been sending out settlement letters to people it accused of pirating DISH and Bell content using pirate IPTV services. The company
    reportedly asked for around $3,500 in compensation to make a potential lawsuit disappear.

    Now, according to sources cited by
    CordCutters News, NagraStar and DISH are upping the tempo by threatening yet more IPTV users with lawsuits.

    The publication says that it has received multiple reports of people who have been tracked down and provided with copies of their PayPal transactions which showed they purchased a subscription from illicit IPTV services.

    Which IPTV services are involved this time around isn’t currently public knowledge but a user of RocketIPTV was previously forced to apologize on NagraStar’s website as part of a settlement.


    None of this should come as a surprise. There are plenty of stories from users around the web indicating that NagraStar has obtained their records from a ‘pirate’ supplier, whether that was an IPTV provider or, more commonly, someone dealing in Internet Key Sharing (IKS) servers or codes.

    In fact, when examining some of DISH’s ongoing lawsuits last week, TF noticed a statement from the broadcaster clearly indicating that it had obtained business records from a company called Digital TV that was helping it to sue. An excerpt from the case
    (pdf), filed on October 1, 2019, provides the details.

    Achievement unlocked: Business Records

    While this is a new case, other cases involving DISH, NagraStar, NFusion Private Server, and its resellers have been ongoing for a very long time.

    One case, which dates back six years, shows that handing over information to NagraStar is part of the plan and that the company is very thorough in chasing people right down the chain.

    More records obtained…

    While obtaining satellite programming using IKS was once rampant and is still an issue for broadcasters, IPTV is arguably a bigger problem today. With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that DISH and its partners are branching out to target customers of IPTV services in the same manner.

    And with IPTV resellers being asked to pay around $7,500 in settlements, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when they hand over subscribers’ personal details either. After all, the skin-saving game is hardly new when people are faced with damages claims in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    TorrentFreak was previously informed that most providers rarely care whether people supply their correct information when signing up for a service. But when PayPal addresses are involved, in most cases DISH is already too close to home.

  12. #1012
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    Twitter Suspends Trump Meme Creator…But Not For the ‘Kingsman’ Bloodbath Video

    Over the weekend a violent video meme depicting Donald Trump killing his critics was aired at a conference for his supporters in Miami. Yesterday, a person connected to the video's creation was suspended by Twitter. But while some have connected the two events, an unconnected copyright complaint from Universal Music was ultimately to blame.

    There was uproar in the media this past weekend after a violent video meme was reportedly shown at a pro-Trump conference.

    The video, a doctored version of the famous church scene from the movie Kingsman, depicts Trump killing his critics, from both the media and politics.

    The video was made by TheGeekzTeam, an entity that creates content for a website run by Carpe Donktum, a prolific pro-Trump supporter and meme-maker. During the fallout on Monday, Carpe Donktum’s
    Twitter account was suspended, an event which led various media outlets to connect the events of the weekend with the suspension.

    A Twitter spokesperson effectively confirmed that the suspension was DMCA related, noting that it responds to “valid copyright complaints sent us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives.”

    Twitter made no mention of which content had caused the suspension but the actual DMCA notice obtained by TorrentFreak confirms it had nothing to do with the ‘Kingsman’ meme published over the weekend.

    The DMCA notice, served not only against Carpe Donktum’s Twitter account but also around two dozen others, was actually filed by Universal Music Group. The offending Twitter URL is highlighted below.

    The Tweet in question dates back to February 5, 2018, and remains online, along with the text “In case you missed the T-Mobile Superbowl Commercial. Here it is!” However, the embedded video has been removed, indicating that this was the source of the DMCA complaint.

    Comparing uploads on Carpe Donktum’s YouTube account on the very same day we find a video entitled “
    T-Mobile Superbowl Commercial Fixed“, which is a doctored version of T-Mobile’s official Superbowl commercial.

    It’s pretty clear why Carpe Donktum’s video was taken down. While it contains other copyrighted music throughout not contained in the original video (a lullaby rendition of Nirvana’s ‘All Apologies’ according to Shazam), it’s the last 14 seconds of the 80-second video causing the problems.

    With Trump wearing a ‘Thug Life’ hat, obligatory sunglasses and sporting a huge joint in his mouth, the track ‘Ultimate’ by Denzel Curry booms from the video. This isn’t what Universal Music wanted and judging by comments made by Curry in 2017, it probably isn’t what he wanted either.

    “I felt like I was part of the problem honestly. Being disillusioned and thinking, ‘nah, that’s not gonna happen, this nigga ain’t gonna be president.’ Then this nigga became president. So what the fuck just happened? I don’t get all the choices I want, but I definitely didn’t want this nigga to be my president,” Curry

    One copyright complaint isn’t usually enough for Twitter to suspend an account but Carpe Donktum now has at least three against his. In addition to the notice sent Monday, two others are on record,
    one sent in April and another in June. Only the one sent by Universal Music has a listed sender, the other two have their details redacted.

    Carpe Donktum’s Twitter account has now been restored but for how long remains open to question and probably dictated by future conduct.

  13. #1013
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    Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 10/14/19

    The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'The Lion King' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw'. 'Toy Story 4' completes the top three.

    This week we have three newcomers in our chart.

    The Lion King is the most downloaded movie.

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

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

    This week’s most downloaded movies are:

    Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer
    Most downloaded movies via torrents
    1 (…) The Lion King 7.1 / trailer
    2 (1) Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw 6.7 / trailer
    3 (3) Toy Story 4 8.1 / trailer
    4 (7) Dark Phoenix 6.0 / trailer
    5 (4) Spider-Man: Far from Home 7.8 / trailer
    6 (2) It: Chapter Two 6.9 / trailer
    7 (…) Joker (HDCam) 8.1 / trailer
    8 (7) Crawl 6.4 / trailer
    9 (…) El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie 7.7 / trailer
    10 (9) John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum 7.8 / trailer

  14. #1014
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    Key Internet Players Call For Clarification of ‘Notorious Piracy Market’ Term

    The Internet Infrastructure Coalition is asking the U.S. Trade Representative to clarify what a 'notorious piracy market' is. The group, which represents tech firms including Cloudflare, Google, Amazon and Verisign, warns that calling out key Internet infrastructure companies as rogue actors, as some rightsholders have done, puts the Internet in danger.

    Earlier this month, several copyright holder groups sent their annual “notorious markets” submissions to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

    The U.S. Government uses this input for its annual review of notorious piracy markets, an overview of threats to various copyright industries.

    The recommendations, including those from the RIAA, MPA, and ESA, traditionally include well-known piracy sites such as The Pirate Bay, but increasingly third-party technology providers are also being added to the mix.

    For example, domain registrars and hosting services are regularly listed, and the same is true for advertising companies. Cloudflare has been frequently mentioned as well, although it’s not officially listed since the overview focuses on foreign entities.

    The copyright holder groups who send these recommendations hope that the U.S. will include these companies in its final overview. That would put pressure on the sites and services as well at the countries from where they operate.

    However, not everyone is pleased with this development. According to the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (
    I2Coalition), which counts Amazon, Cloudflare, Google, OVH, Steadfast and Tucows among its members, third-party intermediaries don’t belong in this list.

    “Notorious markets should not be confused with neutral intermediaries such as Internet Infrastructure providers,” the I2Coalition writes in a letter to the USTR.

    The coalition notes that some submissions, including those from the International Intellectual Property Alliance, have gone too far by suggesting copyright protection measures that would harm Internet infrastructure and therefore the Internet as a whole.

    The group notes that Internet infrastructure providers, such as DNS providers, route users of the web to the right online locations. These services simply refer requests and don’t control the information at the locations where people are directed.

    “The nature of these kinds of businesses is that they have limited access to content information. There are intermediaries between various segments of the Internet as a whole. They are not markets. Yet, these kinds of companies may be erroneously listed in the USTR notorious markets report,” the I2Coalition writes.

    The Internet companies add that recent updates to the law have highlighted new enforcement options. However, it is not clear what must be enforced. This can become problematic when various stakeholders have different views on what the term ‘notorious market’ means.

    “It is in this lack of clarity where many who submit to the notorious markets either by mistake or intentionally mischaracterize the concept of notorious markets for the purposes of identifying intellectual property infringement.”

    The coalition calls on the USTR to deliver clarity as some of the current submissions vilify specific technologies, it says. Instead, the process should be limited to the ‘notorious’ sites and marketplaces themselves, not third-party intermediaries.

    “We believe that the spirit and letter of the relevant IP laws are better upheld by going after true notorious markets, not throwing the baby out with the bathwater by going after Internet infrastructure providers,” the I2Coalition stresses.

    The letter doesn’t mention specific companies or services the coalition believes were mistakenly called out. However, the coalition makes it clear that an effort to clear up what a ‘notorious market’ is should include a variety of stakeholders, not only those who represent the copyright industry.

  15. #1015
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    YouTube Settles Lawsuit With Alleged DMCA Extortion Scammer for $25,000

    YouTube has settled its DMCA abuse dispute with Nebraska-resident Christopher Brady. The man allegedly extorted several users of the streaming platform by requesting payments in exchange for retracting bogus copyright claims. Brady agreed to pay $25,000 and offered a public apology to those who were impacted by his actions.

    YouTube’s copyright takedown policy poses one of the biggest threats to the streaming platform’s content creators.

    YouTubers who receive three copyright infringement strikes can easily lose their channel, which for some equates to their livelihood.

    This looming threat also provides an opportunity for scammers. As we reported a few months ago, YouTube’s copyright takedown process was being
    abused to extort YouTubers, including ‘ObbyRaidz’ and ‘Kenzo.’ Both repeatedly received ‘strikes’ against their channels.

    The scammer in question pretended that he was the legitimate owner of the videos uploaded by the users and requested money to retract the false claims.

    “We striked you. Our request is $150 PayPal, or $75 btc. You may send the money via goods/ services if you do not think we will cancel or hold up our end of the deal,” the scammer wrote.

    This abuse didn’t go unnoticed by YouTube, which tracked down the alleged offender and took action.

    Last month the video streaming service
    sued Nebraska-resident Christopher Brady, accusing him of violating the DMCA by falsely claiming the content of other YouTubers as his own.

    According to YouTube, Brady repeatedly attempted to harass and extort money from content creators through his bogus copyright infringement claims.

    The company believes Brady went as far as using the address of YouTube user Cxlvxn, which is shared with a rightsholder for the purpose of filing a lawsuit, in an attempt to dispatch a large number of police officers to his home.

    In the complaint, YouTube demanded a jury trial but it didn’t get that far. A few hours ago they submitted an agreed judgment and permanent injunction to the Nebraska federal court, which settles the matter without any further bloodshed.

    Under the
    proposed injunction (pdf), Brady is prevented from filing any bogus copyright claims going forward. In addition, he separately agreed to pay $25,000 for his misconduct, offering a public apology to all the people who were hurt by his actions.

    “I, Christopher L. Brady, admit that I sent dozens of notices to YouTube falsely claiming that material uploaded by YouTube users infringed my copyrights,” reads the apology, which YouTube shared with
    The Verge.

    “I apologize to the YouTube users that I directly impacted by my actions, to the YouTube community, and to YouTube itself,” Brady adds.

    The proposed judgment and injunction have yet to be signed off by the court, but this is expected to happen later this week. It’s not clear whether any of the affected users will receive compensation, but YouTube says that it’s happy with this outcome.

    “This settlement highlights the very real consequences for those that misuse our copyright system. We’ll continue our work to prevent abuse of our systems,” a YouTube spokesperson said.

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