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  1. #1101
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    NCC expresses commitment to stamp out piracy in Nigeria

    The Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), says it is committed to stamping out piracy and stealing of intellectual properties in the country.

    The Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr Vincent Oyefeso, said this on Wednesday in Ilorin while speaking at the 30th anniversary of the establishment of NCC.

    Oyesfeso declared that NCC had zero tolerance for piracy; saying that was the reason the commission decided to fight the scourge to finish.

    According to him, piracy not only destroys the owner of the artistic and intellectual property, but also kill the economy of the country.

    “NCC is not just a compliance agency, it has the power to arrest and prosecute anybody caught pirating other people’s intellectual properties,” Oyefeso said.

    Oyesfeso said that NCC was established on August 18, 1989 via Copyright Act 28, LFN 2004.

    He said copyright owners could institute civil suit against copyright offenders, apart from the criminal suit the commission normally institute against such offenders.

    NCC Coordinator in Kwara, Mrs Justina Akinwumi, said the anniversary was to celebrate creativity.

    “We are here to champion the cause of economic diversification in Nigeria through creativity.

    “The commission operates through surveillances, inspections, raids, investigations and diligent prosecution of suspected copyright offenders,”she said.

    According to Akinwumi, NCC has achieved a lot over the years, adding that the management of the commission, led by the Director-General, Mr John Asein has vowed to consolidate on previous achievements and rebrand for better performance.

    The co-ordinator, however, identified poor legal framework, piracy, porous border, poor education system as major threats to the actualisation of NCC’s dream.

    “For us to defeat these monsters that have been preventing the creative sector from contributing its quota to economic development in Nigeria, all hands must be on deck.

    “We must all be ready to take the cause of creativity in Nigeria to the next level.

    “As we gather here today, let us come together and fight the monster called piracy so as to have a clean and decent society.

    “Let us all partner together, be on guard and guide against piracy,” the state coordinator said.

    A guest lecturer at the event, Dr Kayode Adam, speaking on the theme: “Changing the Copyright narrative for wealth creation”, said the copyright policy in operation in the country was bequeath to it by the colonial masters.

    Dr Adam, of the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin called on the Federal government to internalise copyright for the creation of wealth.

    According to the expert in Intellectual Property, the present copyright law in the country is not original, adding that Nigeria should evolve its own copyright law to protect creativity and intellectual property.

    Adam also called for the promotion of national value and public awareness to fight piracy in the country.






  2. #1102
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    Netflix to stop working on some smart TVs next month due to DRM anti-piracy protocol

    If you were an early adopter of smart TVs, you could be in for a shock.

    Netflix has announced some older televisions from the start of the decade will no longer work with its app due to "technical limitations".

    The affected models are mainly from the start of the 2010s, with smart TVs from Samsung and Panasonic so far confirmed to be affected by the issue, which could also hit models from other vendors.

    A Netflix spokesperson has confirmed to the Herald that customers would soon lose access on some devices.

    "On December 2nd, Netflix will no longer be supported on a small number of older devices due to technical limitations.

    "We've notified all impacted members with more information about alternative devices we support so they can keep enjoying Netflix uninterrupted."

    Alternative devices include games consoles, such as PlayStation or Xbox, streaming sticks, boxes such as Google Chromecast and Apple TV, and some Blu-ray players.

    It's understood these technical limitations revolve around the digital rights management (DRM) protocol used by earlier televisions that has since been superseded and can't be upgraded.

    DRM is designed to combat piracy by restricting what copyright works can be viewed in which places and on what devices.

    At the start of the decade, many smart televisions were supported by Windows Media DRM (WMDRM), but that has now been replaced by Microsoft PlayReady.

    DRM can be a thorny issue, with proponents arguing it is vital to protect intellectual property and prevent piracy, while critics say is an added inconvenience and, given multiple workarounds, doesn't have a meaningful impact on preventing piracy.

    One other criticism of DRM is content people have bought can become inaccessible years later as protocols are updated or abandoned.

    Netflix subscribers, however, pay for access to the streaming giant's library and don't buy the content themselves.

    A post on a Samsung support page said its older televisions from "2010 and 2011 with a C or D after the screen size in the model code" will stop working with the Netflix app next month.

    A number of Panasonic Viera smart TVs from 2013 and earlier are believed to be affected as well, but it's best to check your own individual model before you rush out and buy another device.

    An easy way to check if your television will be affected is by checking against your user manual.

    If you've thrown it away, most manufacturers offer them online. Search your model number on your manufacturer's website, and then search the digital user manual by hitting Ctrl + F (cmd + F on Mac) and looking for "WMDRM".

  3. #1103
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    Author accuses South African government of copyright infringement

    The author of the novel Nwelezelanga: The Star Child has accused the government of copyright infringement after he found people reading from photocopies of his book at an official event.

    Unathi Magubeni learnt about the copies when he attended a provincial Book Week event in Xhorha, in the Eastern Cape - hosted by the department of sport, recreation, arts and culture - and found readers using photocopies of his work.

    "There were two schools participating in the book review on that particular day. It was a surprise to learn that there were printed copies made of the book to prepare learners for the occasion," said Magubeni in a letter to his publisher, Jacana Media.

    "When I spoke to the teacher from one of the schools, she confirmed that they had received a PDF version of the book for their preparation. She and the learners were ecstatic when I showed them the actual book. They couldn't get over how beautiful the cover was. I donated that copy to the school.

    "I was hurt when I learnt about this violation of copyright, but I initially shrugged it off."

    During the same event, Magubeni said a woman from the National Library told him how they loved the book.

    “I asked her if she has the book and to my surprise, once again, she had never touched the actual book. It was the same for the book reviewers at Mbashe Correctional Services - they were also reading from printed copies.”

    Magubeni is under the impression that the various government departments participating in the English book review competition for the national Funda Mzantsi Championships endorsed the circulation of his book in PDF format.

    "One would assume that these book clubs from across the country would have copies of the book to read and review. By the time the national championships were held, there were 300 or so copies of the book sold, as per the publisher's sales records," he said.

    "The National Library of South Africa claims it bought 200 copies of the book … It quickly becomes obvious that something is amiss: the publisher's sales records do not align with the magnitude of this national competition."

    On correctional services' website, an article written by the department cites the incident where the author expressed his disappointment at finding photocopies of his book at the book clubs.

    "He described this act as heartbreaking, asking himself why would state institutions use photocopies of his book, which is an unlawful act as it withholds revenue due to him. He said some of the members within the state institutions have never seen nor touched the original copy of his book," said the Department.

    Jacana Media's Thabiso Mahlape described the departments' behaviour as criminal.

    "This is piracy and copyright infringement. You can't just make copies of someone's book like its OK. There's a lot of money and effort that was put into producing that book. It's criminal," said Mahlape.

    Andile Nduna, spokesperson for the Eastern Cape department of sport, recreation, arts and culture, said they are aware of the incident.

    "Upon hearing from the author, we apologised and informed the author that we as the department never sanctioned anyone to make copies of the book, as alleged.

    "The National Library in partnership with the department bought ... more than 40 copies for purposes of book discussion for all learners who attended the Book Week and for distribution to the interested libraries.

    "We have since apologised to the author and publisher, even though we never sanctioned such an infringement," said Nduna.


  4. #1104
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    Thailand: Top pirated movies website shut down

    Officials have arrested the administrator of a website that streamed 3,000 pirated movies online and earned about 5 million baht a month from advertisements.

    The Department of Special Investigation director-general said on Thursday that investigators found that website movie2free.com, which streamed pirated movies, was run by a Thai man living abroad. The website operator, aged around 30, had hired a 22-year-old man living in the North as administrator.

    The administrator was arrested at his house early this month and the website was shut down.

    The site had used sophisticated equipment that made it hard for authorities to track it down, and had set up a server abroad.

    Movie2free.com earned about 5 million baht a month from online gambling advertisements, the DSI chief said.

    The action followed a request by the Motion Picture Association in the US and Hollywood copyright agents, who asked the DSI to investigate the website, saying it streamed more than 3,000 pirated films.

    Investigators found out the website, which opened in 2014, drew about 10 million views a day. It was Thailand’s most-visited pirated movie website and also was on the global top-list of pirated movie sites.

  5. #1105
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    USPTO Questions if Artificial Intelligence Can Create or Infringe Copyrighted Works

    There is no question that artificial intelligence is destined to replace some human work in the future. But can something that's created by AI technology be copyrighted? And can AI creations infringe copyrights of others? These are questions the US Patent and Trademark Office would like to have answered by asking the public for input.


    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a buzzword that’s frequently used by startups and established businesses in the tech industry.

    In some cases, it refers to little more than advanced algorithms, but complex self-learning computer systems with human-like traits are actively being developed as well.

    As these AI technologies become increasingly advanced, they raise more ethical and legal questions. This was recognized by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently, which launched a public consultation on the matter.

    “Artificial Intelligence technologies are increasingly becoming important across a diverse spectrum of technologies and businesses. AI poses unique challenges in the sphere of intellectual property law,” USPTO writes.

    The USPTO is part of the US Department of Commerce and deals with various intellectual property rights issues. It previously raised questions on how AI technology impacts patent law and is now expanding this to copyright matters.

    The consultation starts off by asking whether anything created by an AI, without human involvement, can be copyrighted. This can refer to any type of content, including music, images, and texts.

    “Should a work produced by an AI algorithm or process, without the involvement of a natural person contributing expression to the resulting work, qualify as a work of authorship protectable under U.S. copyright law? Why or why not?” the Office asks.

    The technology and code that makes any AI work obviously relies on human interaction, but USPTO’s question is destined to raise a lively debate. Since it’s expected that more and more creations will rely heavily on AI in the future, the US Government requests guidance on these issues.


    In a follow-up question, the Office zooms in further still by asking what kind of human involvement is required to make something copyrightable. Yet another question deals with possible copyright infringements by an AI. Or in other words, can an AI pirate?

    This is a relevant question since these technologies can rely on input from other copyrighted works. A simple example would be where an AI ‘decides’ to use hundreds of music tracks to create a new one.

    If that’s the case, should this simply be allowed under fair use, or should the original authors have the right to be compensated?

    “To the extent an AI algorithm or process learns its function(s) by ingesting large volumes of copyrighted material, does the existing statutory language (e.g., the fair use doctrine) and related case law adequately address the legality of making such use? Should authors be recognized for this type of use of their works? If so, how?” USPTO questions.

    The Office notes that further guidance is needed on these and other topics so it’s asking the public for input. USPTO says that it’s not predisposed to any particular views and also welcomes additional AI feedback, beyond the questions it asked.

    The full set of questions is available in the Federal Register notice, which includes additional background information. For those who want to chime in, the comment period closes December 16.



    Update: IPKAT published an article today showing that similar issues are being discussed in Europe as well.







  6. #1106
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    USPTO Questions if Artificial Intelligence Can Create or Infringe Copyrighted Works

    There is no question that artificial intelligence is destined to replace some human work in the future. But can something that's created by AI technology be copyrighted? And can AI creations infringe copyrights of others? These are questions the US Patent and Trademark Office would like to have answered by asking the public for input.


    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a buzzword that’s frequently used by startups and established businesses in the tech industry.

    In some cases, it refers to little more than advanced algorithms, but complex self-learning computer systems with human-like traits are actively being developed as well.

    As these AI technologies become increasingly advanced, they raise more ethical and legal questions. This was recognized by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently, which launched a public consultation on the matter.

    “Artificial Intelligence technologies are increasingly becoming important across a diverse spectrum of technologies and businesses. AI poses unique challenges in the sphere of intellectual property law,” USPTO writes.

    The USPTO is part of the US Department of Commerce and deals with various intellectual property rights issues. It previously raised questions on how AI technology impacts patent law and is now expanding this to copyright matters.

    The consultation starts off by asking whether anything created by an AI, without human involvement, can be copyrighted. This can refer to any type of content, including music, images, and texts.

    “Should a work produced by an AI algorithm or process, without the involvement of a natural person contributing expression to the resulting work, qualify as a work of authorship protectable under U.S. copyright law? Why or why not?” the Office asks.

    The technology and code that makes any AI work obviously relies on human interaction, but USPTO’s question is destined to raise a lively debate. Since it’s expected that more and more creations will rely heavily on AI in the future, the US Government requests guidance on these issues.


    In a follow-up question, the Office zooms in further still by asking what kind of human involvement is required to make something copyrightable. Yet another question deals with possible copyright infringements by an AI. Or in other words, can an AI pirate?

    This is a relevant question since these technologies can rely on input from other copyrighted works. A simple example would be where an AI ‘decides’ to use hundreds of music tracks to create a new one.

    If that’s the case, should this simply be allowed under fair use, or should the original authors have the right to be compensated?

    “To the extent an AI algorithm or process learns its function(s) by ingesting large volumes of copyrighted material, does the existing statutory language (e.g., the fair use doctrine) and related case law adequately address the legality of making such use? Should authors be recognized for this type of use of their works? If so, how?” USPTO questions.

    The Office notes that further guidance is needed on these and other topics so it’s asking the public for input. USPTO says that it’s not predisposed to any particular views and also welcomes additional AI feedback, beyond the questions it asked.

    The full set of questions is available in the Federal Register notice, which includes additional background information. For those who want to chime in, the comment period closes December 16.



    Update: IPKAT published an article today showing that similar issues are being discussed in Europe as well.






  7. #1107
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    Datei.to: Filehoster's Time Has Ended

    The Filehoster Datei.to is not available. It is no longer possible to connect to the appropriate web server. The Webwarez-Portal Goldesel.to loses another Sharehoster besides OpenLoad.

    End of terrain at Datei.to. The online storage provider, formerly called Sharebase, has apparently canceled the sails. The main customer was the popular Webwarez portal Goldesel.to. The uploaders recently had to forego the revenue of OpenLoad because this scene host was taken off the ACE network. Now obviously the next provider is tuned.

    Datei.to - specializing in the German-speaking scene

    Dateiwas far smaller and had specialized only in the German-speaking audience. There was up to five GB of online storage space for free. According to the analysis tool Similarweb, the Sharehoster generated just over one million pageviews this September. But the information is known to be quite inaccurate. Also because the Asian region is not included in the estimate. The only referring sites were the link anonymizer dref.pw and Goldesel himself.

    The fear is about ...

    The reasons for the end are unknown. Probably after the bust of Share-Online.biz and the takedown of OpenLoad, Steamango & Streamcherry and the task of Rapidvideo, they pulled the plugs out of the wall. In the persistently critical situation, some providers are worried. Nobody wants to be the next one who has to pay damages to film companies. Of course no one wants to volunteer to visit the police. So far, the hoster sector has been quite sure that this has changed in recent weeks.

    The operator of Goldesel.to, who calls himself Pablo, has no problems with the failure. He still has enough Filehoster for small and large archives on offer. In addition, streaming hosters are also available for films. In addition, some eDonkey2000 and magnetic links are offered for P2P-based transfer. For some uploaders, however, the end of Datei.to should be quite annoying.







  8. #1108
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    Rip-off with porn lands in front of EU court

    A letterbox company from Cyprus wants to force providers to divulge their users. The decision is now to be taken by the European Court of Justice. His verdict could spoil the business's warning business.

    The Pornoabzocker drive in half Europe mischief. A dubious letterbox company in tax haven Cyprus covers internet providers with suits. The providers are to give names and addresses of users who suck on Bittorrent illegal porn.

    Not everyone likes the business model. The Belgian provider BVBA Telenet, however, defends itself in court. Now the case lands with the highest instance, the European Court of Justice.

    It is a fundamental trade-off between copyright and data protection, writes the journal Global Data Review, which first reported on the case.

    The verdict could have drastic consequences - especially in Germany. For years, lawyers send warnings to German users, in which they demand money for allegedly illegal file sharing.

    Privacy could be copyrighted

    The EU court could put an end to the hated warning industry, lawyers believe. "The decision could indeed have a significant impact in Germany," says Ulf Buermeyer of the Society for Freedom.

    The protection of privacy could surpass copyright, says the lawyer. So far, there is a legal basis in German copyright law (UrhG § 101) to require the personal details of followers by court order.

    But is that compatible with EU data protection law? If the EU court draws the borders closer, German courts would have to react, says Buermeyer.

    Judgment on copyright trolls

    The Belgian case, however, is about more than just privacy. The EU court should also decide whether so-called copyright trolling is allowed. By this one understands companies or persons, who earn their living with reminder letters.

    The applicant in Belgium is M.I.C.M. Mircom, based in Nicosia in Cyprus. She secures rights to porn from the US and Canada, but she only buys the rights to distribute through peer-to-peer networks.

    Who is actually behind Mircom, is so far unclear. There is no website or telephone number on the internet. A glance at the company register provides only a postal address in Nicosia, as a company boss another letterbox company is registered at the same address.

    Mircom is hunting for porn fans in half of Europe with the acquired rights. According to lawyers in Sweden and Germany, the company also sent warnings there. The issues were "My Moms Best Friend" and "Girls Kissing Girls 15".

    In the UK Mircom flashed in July before the supreme court. There, the company had also complained providers to get contact information from Downloadern.

    "Rather piracy than fighting it"

    The Belgian court says that Mircom's business model "depends more on the existence of piracy than on the fight against it". It asks the EU Court whether copyright trolls have the same rights as authors and classic licensees.

    "It's a political case," says Belgian lawyer Benoit Van Asbroeck. He represents the Belgian provider in court. The case gives the court the opportunity to differentiate between real rightholders and trolls, he says on netzpolitik.org.

    Our attempts to reach the backers of Mircom went nowhere. No one responded to e-mails to law firms representing Mircom. A letter sent by netzpolitik.org by telegram to the address in Cyprus has so far remained unanswered.

    But the silence has an end. The Mircom case has been in the EU court in Luxembourg since August. A first hearing is expected after the summer of 2020. The judges may then devote themselves to the business model of the Abmahnfirma - and movies such as "My Moms Best Friend".







  9. #1109
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    How were the Comlync.cc, Faking.to & Fato.me busted?

    In February 2016, the BKA shut down several underground forums at once. Across Europe, 69 raids were carried out and the operator Asmir M. was arrested. Our insider explains how that succeeded. He takes us on a little journey through time. It's back to spring 2016, the "good old days" of the underground economy of Comlync.cc, Faking.to and Fato.me.

    The following article explains how it came at the time to the bust of the two largest illegal forums and Asmir_Cracker.

    Comlync.cc was in its time the second largest forum after the crime network, in the rest of the article called CNW. The Forum Comlync.cc had a loyal member base and a slightly higher level than the CNW.

    Relevant persons:

    the admins: Asmir_Cracker, Armageddon (deposit bottle) and ProGear
    the S-Mod or Mod: Kppd
    other important people: Mr.Montanna aka Moldova

    The sale of Faking.to was the beginning of the end

    Comlync.cc was established as the public board of Asmir_Cracker and Armageddon. It should serve at the beginning to collect new members for the forum Faking.to. Those who proved themselves on Comlync should be included in the "exclusive circle" of Faking.to. Comlync.cc quickly became much more active than Faking.to. Since Asmir M. had money problems, he decided "with a heavy heart" to sell the forum Faking.to.

    Asmir started a thread on Faking.to and announced that he wanted to sell Faking.to. He launched a public auction, which should end on day X in 2015. On the said day Asmir told his users that he had found a buyer for the forum and he would leave this for him for 10,000 EUR. But at the request of the new owner, Asmir would forward the forum.

    Asmir let himself say 5,000 € in Bitcoin. The remaining 5000 euros, the seller wanted to receive via Western Union via a runner in Bosnia. This approach should later prove to be a grave mistake.

    After selling Faking.to: an admin without access

    For the first two weeks after handing over the board, the forums routine went off quite normally. You did not notice the transfer. Then Asmir suddenly published a statment. The user who had bought the forum has, despite the agreement just changed the server. Asmir consequently no longer had access to the new web host. Asmir could no longer ensure the safety of users, it said in his post. He and his entire team distanced themselves from Faking.to. One can advise the users only to continue to use this forum, he warned.

    A short time later Faking.to was history. No one wanted to be active there without the well-known team under the leadership of Asmir. Asmir did not found his successor Portal Fato.me two weeks later. However, this could not tie in with the success of Faking.to.

    Meanwhile, the forums on Comlync.cc continued to run normally, the underground forum has seen a steady increase in new members. There were some very good vendors (dealers) there. The climate was very good there too. Everything went on normally, until Comlync.cc was picked up at the end of February 2016 by the BKA. Of course, once great confusion prevailed. Nobody knew exactly what had happened. To date, very few users have learned how it could come to the raid and arrest. Almost the entire team was convicted of their actions. But what happened?

    The bust of Asmir_Cracker:

    We remember the sale of Faking.to to an unknown user. It later turned out that the forum was acquired by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). This was to determine the identity of the seller and convict his accomplices. After the purchase, the BKA had full access to all contents of Faking.to including private messages. That was worth the men 5,000 EUR in BTC.

    The "runner" who had received the money via Western Union from BKA was unfortunately someone whom Asmir personally knew. It was his cousin. The BKA was on the day of Busts with a team on the ground in Bosnia. The employees initially assumed that the recipient of the half purchase price was Asmir_Cracker himself. A Bosnian special police unit and staff from the BKA carried out the access. Asmir's cousin was arrested. It quickly became clear that it was not Asmir. They needed the real identity of the detainee in a timely manner. So the cousin was interrogated.

    Cousin was quick to confess

    Wie man sich vor geistigem Auge vorstellen kann, verlaufen derartige Verhöre in Bosnien nicht ganz so „nett“, wie in Deutschland. Sie haben ihm gedroht und ihn geschlagen. Schon nach kurzer Zeit gab er den echten Namen und Wohnort von Asmir preis. Asmir M. (Asmir_Crackers) wohnte im gleichen Dorf wie sein Cousin. Also beschloss das BKA und die bosnischen Einheiten, direkt zuzugreifen, bevor jemand Verdacht schöpfen oder fliehen konnte. Es klopfte an Asmirs Tür, der schon auf sein Geld gewartet hatte. Weil er seinen Cousin erwartete, schaltete er seinen ansonsten verschlüsselten PC nicht aus und öffnete stattdessen die Tür.

    In dem Moment als er die Tür öffnete, wurde er sofort von Beamten der bosnischen Speizaleinheit überwältigt und auf dem Boden fixiert. Beamte des BKA sicherten umgehend alle Daten auf Asmirs PC. Die Verschlüsselung half ihm nichts, weil das Gerät angeschaltet war. Somit hatte das BKA auch den kompletten Zugriff auf alle Daten von Comlync.cc und Fato.me.

    Die Busts von Armageddon, kppd & Moldova

    Die Busts dieser drei User stehen in einem sehr engen Zusammenhang zur Festnahme. Sie wurden warscheinlich durch Asmirs stümperhaftes Verhalten ermöglicht. Moldova spielt dabei aber den wichtigsten Part. Moldova war früher in mehreren Untergrund-Foren auch als Mr. Montanna bekannt. Er verdiente sein Geld durch den Verkauf von geklauten Kreditkarten und Accounts wie z.B von Paypal, Amazon oder Zalando. Da er weder phishen, Spam-Mails verschicken oder hacken konnte, musste er die Ware auf einem anderen Weg bekommen.

    Die Amazon-, Kreditkarten- und PayPal-Accounts verkaufte er weiter, nachdem er sie vom User Armageddon gekauft hatte. Dieser gab ihm die Accounts im Voraus und erhielt nach erfolgtem Verkauf des Accounts 80% des Geldes. Den gleichen Deal hatte er mit Kppd für Zalando-Accounts etc.

    Persönliche Freundschaften sind gefährlich

    In dieser Zeit baute er mit den beiden Händlern eine Freundschaft auf. Bald schon unterhielten sie sich über Threema und Co. auch über private Dinge. Nachdem Mr.Montanna aufgrund seiner Tätigkeiten Probleme mit dem Staat bekam, zog er sich erstmal eine Zeitlang zurück. Kurze Zeit später tauchte er aber wieder als der User Moldova auf. Anstatt Kreditkarten oder geklaute Accounts zu verkaufen, bot er seinen Kunden diesmal Drogen an.

    Über das Forum lernte Mr.Montanna, jetzt als Moldova aktiv, einen anderen Nutzer kennen. Sie verstanden sich auf Anhieb gut. Schon nach nicht allzulanger Zeit trafen sich die beiden im echten Leben. Dies passierte rund um den

    BKA wollte den Lieferanten kriegen

    Bei dem User mit dem sich Moldova traf, handelte es sich jedoch um einen V-Mann des LKA. Nachdem dieser das Vertrauen von Moldova erlangt hatte, tätigte der V-Mann im Auftrag des LKA Drogenkäufe bei Moldova. Erst waren es kleine Mengen. Der Plan des LKA war aber, über ihn an seinen Lieferanten zu kommen. Deswegen fragte sein „Freund“ nach einer großen Menge Drogen ( insgesamt 20 KG Amphetamin und 500 Gramm Kokain). Moldova organisiere also ein Treffen mit seinem Händler, wo der Kauf der Drogen stattfinden sollte. Als die Übergabe stattfinden sollte, fand dann der Zugriff des LKA/BKA statt. Moldova wurde mit auf das Revier genommen und machte ein „Lebensgeständnis„. Er sagte gegen seinen Lieferanten aus und auch gegen Armageddon und kppd.

    Mit den Informationen von Moldova und den gesammelten Daten des Servers von Faking.to und Comlync.cc hatte das BKA genügend Beweise gesammelt, um auch Armageddon und Kppd zu verhaften. Auch Kppd hat später eine vollumfängliche Aussage gemacht und zur Strafmilderung seine Mitstreiter verraten.

    ProGear

    Progear hatte neben der Administration von Faking.to, Fato.me und Comlync.cc auch noch sein eigenes Projekt. Er betrieb das Pay-TV Portal iStreams.to, welches zur gleichen Zeit wie Comlync.cc und Fato.me abgeschaltet wurde. Sein Bust wurde durch die Ermittlungen gegen iStreams.to einfacher. Am 05.02.2019 wurden die vier Betreiber des Pay-TV-Anbieters iStreams.to wegen bandenmäßigem Computerbetrug verurteilt. Zu den strafrechtlichen Konsequenzen mussten sie an Sky Deutschland eine Schadensersatzsumme in Höhe von 150.000 Euro leisten. Rund 7.400 Kunden des illegalen Anbieters hatten dort über 20.000 einzelne Streaming-Pakete gebucht, um sich die hohen Gebühren der legalen Pay-TV-Anbieter zu sparen.

    Fazit

    Eines sollte den Beteiligten derart illegaler Machenschaften klar sein. Man hat dort keine Freunde! Jeder ist sich selbst der nächste. Außerdem sollte man niemals aus Gier irgendwelche Vorsichtsmaßnahmen vernachlässigen. Wer weiß schon was passiert wäre, hätte Asmir_Cracker Faking.to nicht verkauft. Das gleiche gilt für Moldova. Hätte es kein Treffen mit dem V-Mann gegeben, wäre auch er und andere Beteiligte bis heute möglicherweise unbehelligt geblieben.

    The consequences have hit her hard. The perpetrators had to expect imprisonment of one to five years. However, the sentence may exceed that if, for example, the perpetrator has fulfilled several offenses or a particularly serious case exists. The exact penalty always depends on the individual case. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be summoned to a youth chamber due to their age, as do the creators of iStreams.to. The sentence for adult offenders looks quite different again.






  10. #1110
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    USDOJ Highlights Threat of Increasingly Sophisticated Pirate Services

    The Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice has issued a warning in respect of the way pirate material is being distributed online. A decade ago, individual downloads were the norm, Brian Benczkowski says. Today, however, technologically advanced multi-national streaming services are taking over while generating millions of dollars in profits.

    From its relatively basic and humble roots back in the 1990s, Internet-based distribution of copyright-infringing content underwent a renaissance at the turn of the century.

    Peer-to-peer technologies, including the now omnipresent BitTorrent protocol, brought file-sharing to the masses and with it a huge problem for the content industries.

    Twenty years on – a lifetime in technology – BitTorrent still attracts hundreds of millions of users but the immediacy of streaming, including movies, TV series, live TV and sports, is now considered one of the greatest threats facing copyright holders and distribution platforms.

    This week, in remarks made at the Thirteenth Law Enforcement and Industry Meeting on Intellectual Property Enforcement in Washington, DC, the Department of Justice weighed in on these dramatic changes in the piracy landscape over the past decade.

    “Copyright pirates have moved from peddling individual copies of movies, music, and software on street corners or offering individual downloads online, to operating technologically advanced, multi-national streaming services that generate millions of dollars in illicit profits,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski.

    While online streaming of pirated content is nothing new, in more recent years there has been a noticeable shift in the professionalism of those providing and distributing content, with highly organized unlicensed IPTV providers and
    ‘pirate’ CDN operations presenting new challenges to entertainment companies and law enforcement alike.

    Piracy-enabled set-top boxes, which in many cases draw their content from the type of services referenced by Benczkowski, remain high on the agenda. The Assistant Attorney General also referenced the
    recent charges against eight Las Vegas residents who allegedly ran two of the largest platforms in the country.

    “One of the services – known as Jetflicks – allegedly obtained infringing television programs by using sophisticated computer scripts to scour pirate websites around the world and collect the television shows,” Benczkowski said.

    “It then made the programming available for paying Jetflicks subscribers to stream and download, often just one day after the original episodes aired. The scheme, as charged, resulted in the loss of millions of dollars by television program and motion picture copyright owners.”

    This leveraging of technology to provide content quickly and at scale is a concern for the USDOJ, which indicates it will continue to pursue “high-impact cases” to deter IP crime. However, Benczkowski noted that changes to the law or creative legal strategies may be required to reel in the more elusive offenders.

    “Existing laws do not always address the conduct that IP criminals are engaging in today. Or, put differently, smart criminals may seek to avoid serious repercussions by developing new technologies or security measures to skirt legal authorities,” he said.

    “We need to be creative and cooperative in thinking about possible solutions, whether through looking at additional charging strategies, or considering legislative amendments.”

    What those strategies might be is open to question but Benczkowski believes law enforcement will “never” be in a position to solve the IP crime problem through prosecution alone.

    Nevertheless, through cooperation and the enhancement of relationships with overseas law enforcement entities to target the “worst actors”, he believes that it’s possible to significantly reduce the profits available to those engaged in criminal copyright infringement.

    Torrentfreak.com

  11. #1111
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    The Case for Piracy in the Age of Streaming Domination

    When was the last time you pirated a movie? Be honest. Do you remember when you last cracked open a torrent site or did some deep digging on some malware-friendly sites for a decent quality video of a film you had an inkling to watch at that moment in time but couldn’t find on Netflix or in your DVD collection? I can’t claim to be innocent on this issue myself. I’ve spent many a night on dodgy sites watching anime I couldn’t locate elsewhere and hoping my parents didn’t notice how many shots of pornography advertising seemed to be bordering any random episode of Revolutionary Girl Utena. On many a visit to the Barrowlands in Glasgow, I remember my dad buying pirated movies shot on a shaky camera with the silhouettes of audience members’ heads bobbing up and down in front of the action. As a kid, I keenly remember the warnings put on videos and DVDs reminding viewers that piracy was theft, a crime that we should not accept. You wouldn’t steal a car or a handbag, after all, so why steal a movie?

    We all knew it was bad. Indeed, it seemed to be the most heinous offense one could commit against art as a whole, be it via Pirate Bay or Napster or alluc. Yet everyone I knew did it in some form or another. That didn’t justify it, necessarily, but the reasons for doing so always seemed so rational. Some films were impossible to get in certain countries or hadn’t received a release in years. It’s easy to get lazy and complacent as a film fan these days, beholden to the ease of instant accessibility that streaming platforms seem to promise. I’m now in the habit of checking if a film is on Netflix even if I own it on DVD. The system won.

    However, it’s clear that those claims of a new future of entertainment are simply reaffirming a status quo nobody was asking for. Multi-tiered cable packages have made way for a plethora of streaming services that each offers their own exclusives across various platforms. Media monopolies grow ever more powerful and fewer and fewer companies own greater shares of film, TV, and other pop culture of historical importance. The dream we were sold was of a utopian ideal of entertainment with endless worlds at our fingertips. What we got was ever more gatekeeping for higher prices and a streak of broken promises. As a result, piracy is threatening to make a comeback.

    In a piece for Vulture, Matt Zoller Seitz detailed how Disney was quietly removing classic Fox movies from their theatrical rotation and placing them in their sizeable and near-mythic vault. The reason given was that ‘Disney considers any screen that’s taken up by an older movie, even one that’s owned by Disney, to be a screen that could be showing the new Marvel or Star Wars title instead. Or showing Orangutans 4 to an audience of three.’ Essentially, if you’re the owner of a small independent theater that does annual screenings of classic titles like The Omen or The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the chances are you won’t be able to get copies of those films for future use. Given the legendary back-catalog of Fox, one of Hollywood’s true institutions, and the popularity of said properties for local cinemas, this is a spectacular loss. It’s also indicative of yet another reason I’ve seen so much chat of piracy return to my feed.

    Disney acquired Fox and an immense amount of their assets — including FX, National Geographic, and every episode of The Simpsons — for an eye-watering $71 billion. To look at the list of films they now own is to gain an insight into the very fabric of American cinema. Those titles will now be treated as Disney treats its own older titles; as exclusive items with limited access that will, as Zoller Seitz notes, be ‘mostly unavailable to for-profit theaters.’ A lot of those real hidden gems in Fox’s archive are tough enough to get a hold of in physical or streaming form as it is, and it seems hard to imagine Disney will prioritize them with their own long-term content plans. The Fox titles listed as future Disney+ exclusives is dishearteningly short and I highly doubt Bob Iger and company are excited to list old John Ford movies or All About Eve.

    We have already lost so much of film history to the ravages of time, lack of archival care, freak accidents, and any number of unsolvable mysteries. A fire in a Fox film storage facility in 1937 wiped out over 75% of the studio’s pre-1930 feature films. The 2008 fire at Universal Studios Hollywood was said to have destroyed between 180 - 175,000 master tapes of some of the best-selling musicians in the world, something Universal Music Group denies. Some of the greatest films ever made, crucial parts of what made the medium so crucial in its infancy, are gone forever. The false promise of the digital age was that such risks would be near impossible. Just upload it to the internet and it is secure for endless future generations. That idea seems more laughable than ever as the sheer brute force of the media monopoly gains greater power than ever. To put it bluntly, the major studios who own the vast majority of these treasured titles don’t seem to care very much about preserving them, much less making them accessible to eager audiences.

    Is it any wonder piracy suddenly seems not only incredibly enticing now but utterly necessary? Capitalism has never prioritized preservation for its own sake and there isn’t much monetary compensation to be found in archival work or the care of classic cinema. Just look at how Filmstruck was quickly disposed of for being a ‘niche service.’ If all the money can’t be made then making some of the money just isn’t good enough for venture capitalists, CEOs, or the people who refer to art as ‘content.’ When art is treated in exclusively for-profit terms by the same handful of conglomerates, the motivation to conserve and treasure what is and isn’t available to the public becomes an ever-mightier force. If Disney and company don’t care to look after these historic properties then they can’t really complain when others do and have to bypass the traditional means to do so.

    The problem isn’t just that these titles aren’t readily accessible: It’s that they threaten to disappear altogether. Disney and many other studios are moving away from more traditional home releases on DVD and Blu-Ray, preferring to save such titles for streaming services, so what are the chances they’ll put their money into wide releases of older movies and series? If they don’t go on the streaming platform and don’t get printed to DVD or sent out to repertory theaters then where do they go? Do they just gather dust in some vault?

    The problem is wider than my mere fears of historical preservation. The current model of theatrical exhibition is horrifically broken, beneficial only to those who possess the power. As Zoller Seitz notes, ‘even at the upper echelons of theatrical exhibition, the business is being worn down by a confluence of forces, including the relative cheapness of streaming services; shorter windows between when a movie plays theaters and when it goes to home video; more aggressive rental terms by major distributors; shoddier service (at chains, mainly) due to cost-cutting; and ticket prices, which have steadily risen with inflation over the past 40 years even though wages have remained roughly the same.’ A whole generation of viewers sees the cinema as a location only for Event movies, which are typically blockbusters of the Marvel/Star Wars/Disney variety, while smaller titles are simply something they’ll wait to see on Netflix in a few months. Add to that the shockingly high percentage of ticket grosses Disney demands from theaters and this model leaves an impossible to survive atmosphere in place for even the sturdiest of multiplexes. Small films get pushed out in favor of whatever Disney owns and they’re the only ones who win in this set-up, but those benefits are seldom reaped for anything other than the $200 million blockbuster titles derived from major IPs. Disney now has the new Terence Malick film on their slate but I doubt you’ll see them prioritize that in any truly valuable way.

    I know this piece will be controversial and taken in ways I do not intend it to be so let me clear up a few things: I do not advocate a no-holds-barred approach to piracy. I have no time for your mealy-mouthed excuse for what you just had to download that new book that was $4 on Amazon or available at your local library. Spare me your claims that you’re a true film fan and that’s why you couldn’t wait a few months for The Lighthouse to get a release in your country. It is hard enough to make money as an artist in this world without having to contend with the bad faith crowd who think they’re entitled to free stuff. When I discuss piracy in a sympathetic vein in this particular context, I am talking about its growing necessity as an archival tool in the face of a smothering media monopoly whose own restrictive policies are crushing the socio-historical importance of art. Who loses when someone decides to look online for that 1940s noir title that’s not available on DVD anymore because the copyright owner has no future plans for it (this is a matter that becomes all the more tangled when you remember which company played an intrinsic role in screwing with the public domain for decades.)

    There are no easy answers to this conundrum. To talk about piracy is to take on the unimaginable weight of so many other issues we seldom discuss, from the wider criminal networks tied to such sites to the decreasing value we place on artists and their work to the intersections between government and business. I don’t have any answers to the endless questions I’ve pondered since this issue came to the forefront of my mind. All I know is this: Companies like Disney who hoard their content for no reason other than because they can shouldn’t be too surprised when enterprising fans decide to crack open the vaults through whatever means necessary.


  12. #1112
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    The streaming wars could only mean the resurgence of piracy

    In theory, the streaming era is an embarrassment of riches for connoisseurs of prestige TV. There’s Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime Video, Russian Doll and Ozark and Stranger Things on Netflix, The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu… the list goes on and on.

    But as services crowd the space, the audience experience is suffering. The streaming age was supposed to empower consumers by letting them pick and choose what they paid to watch — and to be fair, a handful of subscriptions are a marked improvement over the expensive, inflexible cable packages of yore. But media corporations are scrambling for their piece of the streaming pie, seemingly without a lot of thought about how frustrating the shifting landscape can be for consumers, and that’s a problem.

    Every major broadcaster is slated to launch a streaming video service of their own by 2022, and each is leading with tentpole series intended to hook subscribers. Apple and Disney have already gotten into the game with the launch of their platforms this month. Apple TV+ is home to The Morning Show starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Anniston and Steve Carrell, as well as Dickenson starring Hailee Steinfeld, Jane Krakowski and Wiz Khalifa. Disney+ will have The Mandalorian, a Star Wars series starring Pedro Pascal, and The World According to Jeff Goldblum, among other buzzy originals. It’ll also be the only place to stream classic Disney and Fox films.

    After AT&T bought TimeWarner (which owns HBO and Warner Bros.) last year, the corporation made plans to launch a rebranded HBO streaming service, HBO Max, in 2020. It’ll include all the HBO programming available on the network and existing platform HBO Now — plus it’ll be the exclusive home of beloved TV shows like Friends and Rick and Morty as well as Warner Bros. movies and Studio Ghibli films.

    To infuse their respective platforms with value to consumers, media conglomerates are collecting and hoarding intellectual property. This is a notable departure from the early days of Hulu and Netflix, which originally filled the video rental void left by the downfall of brick-and-mortar movie stores like Blockbuster. As streamers moved away from content distribution and towards production, it prompted an IP landgrab. The competition has produced a lot of thrilling, experimental art that just wouldn’t be possible under the old 30- or 60-minute programming constraints. But it’s also why there’s such a glut of mediocre original content these days and why there was such a stink over Friends leaving Netflix (for HBO Max, evidently).

    It’s become really hard for the average person to know which entertainment options are worth their time and money. Subscription fatigue is taking hold, which could mean a resurgence of piracy. “If people have to spend more money to satisfy their movie and TV consumption needs, a large group will either consume less or look for alternatives. A likely result is that more people will pirate on the side,” Ernesto van der Sar, who runs the website TorrentFreak, told Motherboard.

    The crux of the problem seems to be the subscription model’s reliance on controlling the production, distribution and consumption of content. Right now, streaming services make money off their ability to monopolize our attention. As Netflix CEO Reed Hastings semi-joked in 2017, “We actually compete with sleep. And we’re winning.” But there must be a way to monetize content quality, or at least the popularity of a show or film, over quantity.

    There’s currently no incentive for Netflix, Amazon, Disney, HBO, Hulu, Apple, et al to collaborate on streamlining content distribution or bundling subscriptions — except for the risk they run of pissing off consumers. A recent study by data analytics firm UTA IQ found that 67 percent of consumers find toggling between services frustrating; 58 percent think managing numerous logins is annoying; and 45 percent say it’s already too hard to find what they’re looking for. “Now that availability is no longer a problem in many markets, affordability and convenience are most important,” van der Sar told Motherboard.

    It’s clear consumers want their couch potato time to be simpler. But with more and more streamers slated to flood the space in the coming months, watching TV seems bound to get a lot more complicated before corporations care enough to do much about it.



  13. #1113
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    Chinese police arrest operators of 200,000-strong DDoS botnet

    One of China's largest crackdown against botnet operators.

    Chinese police have cracked down and arrested a criminal group that operated a botnet of more than 200,000 infected websites that were being used to launch DDoS attacks.

    This is the first major crackdown on the part of Chinese authorities against a thriving local DDoS-for-hire scene, and the largest DDoS botnet authorities have ever shut down.

    Ever since the release of the Mirai IoT botnet source code online in late 2016, Chinese hackers have gotten a taste for building monster botnets, which they rent to other users via special services called DDoS booters (or DDoS stressors).

    A Cisco Talos report published in 2017 showed a sudden spike in the availability of Chinese-based DDoS-for-hire services. The report blamed a lack of intervention from Chinese authorities for the rise in Chinese-based DDoS booters, a number which has only grown larger and larger in recent months.

    In the meantime, Chinese DDoS botnet operators have also broadened their horizons. They no longer rely solely on Mirai and IoT devices for their DDoS cannon power. Local botnets have also started using vulnerabilities in web servers and coding frameworks in order to take over vulnerable systems.

    However, as the number of botnets has grown tremendously over the past years, DDoS attacks can no longer be ignored, even by the usually lax Chinese police.

    The downfall of the largest Chinese DDoS botnet known to date began in August 2018. Local media reports that police officers from the Jiangsu region were alerted about a large collection of hacked servers on the network of Xuzhou Telecom.

    The servers were infected with backdoors that allowed hackers to control the servers. The subsequent investigation revealed an operation that used vulnerabilities to plant malicious code on more than 200,000 websites, including many local Chinese portals and government sites.

    Earlier this week, following more than a year of investigations, Chinese police cracked down and arrested 41 suspects across 20 cities, including the two botnet operators.

    According to local media, the botnet was primarily used for launching DDoS attacks, with some attacks peaking at 200 Gbps.

    Authorities also confiscated 10 million yuan ($1.4 million) from the suspects.

    Besides DDoS attacks, the same botnet was also being used to deploy spam on the hacked websites, display malicious adverts, and perform cryptocurrency mining.

  14. #1114
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    BBC iPlayer: copy protection cracked, first release surfaced

    The copy protection of the British streaming provider BBC iPlayer was bypassed by the P2P group BLUTONiUM. They released the first episode of the exclusive documentary series "Seven Worlds, One Planet" in English: "Seven Continents - One Planet". This is the first movie that was taken directly from the BBC iPlayer.

    None of the existing streaming providers is more secure from accessing the scene. Now BLUTONiUM has released the first episode of the documentary series of the BBC Natural History Unit. The documentary is considered extremely complex with 1,500 employees, almost 1,800 shooting days and locations in 41 different nations of the world. The state broadcaster BBC has spared no expense and effort in the production. The film music was contributed by the popular German musician Hans Zimmer.

    BBC iPlayer: ripped nature documentary covers 8 GB

    The problem: Naturalist and speaker Sir David Attenborough presents the first episode no longer exclusively on BBC iPlayer, but virtually everywhere on the Internet. The P2P Group has recently released the series as a web DL in the finest quality with almost 8 GB in size. This means that the material was taken directly from the stream without any loss of quality. Until the work ends up in the Usenet, at the P2P indexers or on the hard drives of the Filehoster, usually not much time passes.

    Previously, other release groups such as FaiLED, LiNKLE and QPEL have released their own webrips, just not in this extremely high quality and not from this source. The next illegal releases will not be long in coming ...

    If you want to take a look at it with a lower resolution, we recommend a look at this thread at Reddit . The streaming provider BBC iPlayer is incidentally in good company. Even Apple TV + , Netflix and Hulu all have the same problem. They do not manage to protect the offered films from access by third parties. Disney + will also be no exception, because you want to use an already known and cracked copy Protection.






  15. #1115
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    Japan Pirate Site Traffic Collapsed 50% in Four Months, With a Little Help From Cloud

    A report published by the Motion Picture Association reveals that traffic to pirate sites focused on Japan halved between March and June 2018. A significant part of the collapse is attributed to the closure of giant manga site Mangamura and two similar platforms. Interestingly, especially considering criticism elsewhere on the piracy front, information provided by Cloudflare reportedly uncovered the identity of Mangamura's operator.

    During April 2018, the government in Japan introduced emergency websites blocking measures, seeking assistance from ISPs to block three pirate sites – Mangamura, AniTube! and MioMio.

    Just four days later, one of the sites – giant manga platform Mangamura – suddenly called it quits, shutting itself down and creating a massive gap in the piracy market.

    It transpired that a
    criminal investigation was underway into the activities of Mangamura, which eventually led to the arrest of the site’s alleged operator in Manilla, his deportation to Japan, and subsequent arrest by authorities there.

    The gigantic scale of Mangamura has never been in question. However, a report published by the Motion Picture Association now reveals its importance not only on the pirate manga market, but also on the pirate market overall in Japan.

    Starting with a list of 2,600 sites, the report – covering the period July 2017 to July 2019 – homes in on the most frequently accessed piracy sites/apps targeting Japan that offer movies, TV shows, anime, and manga content. Sites focusing exclusively on music, games, and porn were ruled out, leaving a balance of 1,447 ‘pirate’ sites.

    The top 10 most highly-visited sites accounted for around 50% of visits to the 1,447, with the top 100 accounting for more than 90%. All sites with more than 100,000 visits per month (624 in total) were the main focus of the report.

    In respect of Mangamura, the report classifies that now-defunct platform as an ‘online reading’ site, meaning that people viewed its content using a browser. The chart below shows the dramatic rise and fall of the niche the platform operated in, plotted against other forms of ‘pirate’ consumption.

    The rise and fall of Mangamura

    https://torrentfreak.com/images/image-151.png

    As the image shows, in addition to ‘online reading’ sites, all other types of ‘pirate’ consumption took a big hit around the same time that Mangamura shut down.

    The report notes that the government’s urging of ISP blockades against Mangamura, Anitube, and MioMio “greatly affected the number of visits to other piracy sites”, resulting in an overall decrease in traffic. However, it appears that all three shut down before they could be blocked.

    Nevertheless, the overall effect on the pirate markets detailed in the study appears to be significant, due to the shutdown of those major manga platforms and the government’s anti-piracy stance.

    According to the report, in March 2018 the total number of monthly visits to the sample 624 sites was measured at 640 million. A month later, monthly visits had collapsed to just over 400 million. By June 2018, traffic had reduced further still, to a low of 320 million visits per month.

    https://torrentfreak.com/images/image-152.png

    Since June 2018, there has only been a modest increase in traffic to the sample sites. Noting that overall levels of infringement are “still large”, the report states that current visits have increased by just 20 million, to an estimated 340 million per month.

    Finally, no piracy report seems complete these days without Cloudflare getting a mention, and this one is no different.

    While those who carried out the study were able to identify the ultimate hosting locations of 39% of the 624 pirate sites (top three hosting countries were the United States 9%, Japan 6%, and Netherlands 5%), 61% couldn’t be geolocated. Of these, 86% were ‘hidden’ behind Cloudflare’s services.

    The interesting twist, however, is that in response to a request from Japanese publishers, it was Cloudflare that handed over information which allowed investigators to identify the operator of Mangamura, which ultimately led to his arrest and previously, the shutdown of the site.

    Torrentfreak.com

  16. #1116
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    US Justice Department sees threat from piracy services

    Brian Benczkowski, deputy attorney general of the United States Department of Justice, issued a warning. The way in which pirated copies are disseminated online is considered by the deputy attorney general to be appalling. Just under ten years ago, individual downloads were the rule, says Brian Benczkowski. Today, however, technologically advanced multinational streaming services take the lead. They also generate millions of dollars in profits.

    Through P2P filesharing boomed

    Based on their relatively simple and modest roots in the 90s, filesharing at the turn of the century experienced a renaissance. Peer-to-peertechnologies, including the now ubiquitous BitTorrent protocol, brought a big problem for the film industry. Twenty years later, BitTorrent still attracts hundreds of millions of users worldwide. But the immediate availability of streams, including movies, TV series, live TV and sports, is now considered one of the biggest threats to copyright owners and distribution platforms.

    Brian Benczkowski: Online piracy has changed

    This week, the thirteenth law enforcement and industrial law enforcement meeting took place in Washington, DC. Brian Benczkowski has presented his remarks to the US Department of Justice on the dramatic changes in online piracy over the last decade.


    "Robberies have evolved from marketing individual copies of movies, music and software on street corners or offering individual downloads online to technologically advanced, multinational streaming services that generate millions of dollars in illegal profits." Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski.


    While online streaming of pirated content is nothing new, the professionalism of content providers and distributors has changed noticeably in recent years. For example, the many illegal IPTV providers pose a new challenge. The investigation is also made more difficult because one can no longer see the server locations due to the content delivery networks such as Cloudflare & Co. If you want to know where the streams go, you must first contact the CDN service provider through a court of law. The lawyers of the MPA can sing a song of it.

    Piracy-enabled streaming boxes, which in many cases derive their content from the nature of Benczkowski's services, remain at the top of the agenda. The deputy attorney general also referred to recent charges against eight Las Vegas residents allegedly operating two of the largest platforms in the country.

    Robberies bypass judicial authorities

    This use of content delivery techniques is a concern of the Department of Defense. This suggests that they will continue to pursue high-impact cases. However, Brian Benczkowski noted that changes to the law or creative legal strategies may be needed to capture the perpetrators.


    The existing laws do not always deal with the behavior that criminals show today. In other words, smart criminals can try to avoid consequences by developing new techniques or security measures to bypass the judiciary. "


    Benczkowski believes that prosecution will never be able to solve the problem of cybercrime by law enforcement alone. However, he believes that progress will be made through cooperation and development of relations with foreign law enforcement agencies.






  17. #1117
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    beIN slams persistent beoutQ piracy menace

    Middle East pay TV operator beIN Media has warned that pirate broadcaster beoutQ is still distributing premium channels illegally via its IPTV platform, despite ceasing satellite transmissions in mid-August.

    beIN Media, which holds the regional rights for UEFA Champions League, English Premier League and NBA among other assets, claims beoutQ is not only illegally carrying beIN channels on its globally available IPTV service, but also channels from Sky, BBC, Canal+, Fox and ESPN.

    beoutQ’s social media ‘customer care’ channels have also indicated that the satellite function will be fully operational again once various upgrades have been made, said beIN Media Group’s director of programming, Duncan Walkinshaw.

    “There is little optimism for this being the end of the service,” Walkinshaw said of the sophisticated pirate operation it claims hails from Saudi Arabia, which has blighted beIN’s legitimate pay-TV business for more than two years.

    “There have also been indications of a possible rebranding of ‘beoutQ’ to ‘bouzTV’ or another brand, which would allow fanfare to be made around beoutQ being turned off, when in fact it’s just been renamed,” Walkinshaw told Digital TV Europe.

    “From a technical point of view, we would not be surprised if the Saudis switch satellites away from Arabsat – or switch away from satellite completely – when they relaunch at some point in the near future, so as to try to create confusion and try to absolve state responsibility,” he said.

    Although anti-piracy experts Cisco, Nagra and Overon, along with the world’s biggest football authorities, believe beoutQ is headquartered in Saudi Arabia, both the state authorities and Riyadh-based regional satellite operator Arabsat have always denied any involvement.

    Whatever strategy is next adopted by the copyright thieves, the problem remains the same, said Walkinshaw. “Nothing fundamentally changes: young consumers are being educated on paying nothing for everything, while media rights in MENA and worldwide are being rendered worthless due to there being zero exclusivity.”

    beIN’s decision in February 2019 not to renew its MENA rights deal for Formula 1 racing was attributed directly to such media asset devaluation.

    This summer beIN also reduced the size of its business and let go of 20% of its staff.

    “beoutQ is not a victimless crime: people’s jobs and livelihoods are taken away by piracy,” said Walkinshaw.






  18. #1118
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    Police Shut Down Thailand’s Most Popular Pirate Site Following Hollywood Request

    Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation has confirmed the shutdown of the country's most popular pirate site, Movie2free.com. The streaming portal was shut down following a request from the Motion Picture Association. The site's operator, a 22-year-old man, was arrested earlier in the week and has yet to be charged.

    With millions of views per day, Movie2Free.com was one of the largest pirate sites on the Internet, particularly popular in south-east Asia.

    In the west, the site doesn’t ring a bell with most people. In Thailand, however, it was listed among the top 15
    most visited websites in the country, only beaten by Google, YouTube, and a few others.

    The site’s popularity didn’t go unnoticed by Hollywood. Earlier this year the MPA listed the site in its yearly overview of notorious pirate sites, which it submitted to the US Trade Representative.

    “The site provides access to an array of movie and TV content and comes replete with high-risk ads with malware,” the group wrote.

    The MPA also informed local authorities about the site’s activities. This triggered a high-profile investigation by the
    Department of Special Investigation (DSI) which led to the site’s shutdown this week, the Bangkok Post reports.

    Movie2Free.com, which was founded in 2014, is reportedly owned by a 30-year-old Thai man who lives abroad. He hired an operator, a 22-year-old man from the north of Thailand, who was arrested at his house a few days ago.

    “The DSI has found that the Thai man who was running the pirated movie website… was living abroad,” DSI director-general Paisit Wongmuang
    said, commenting on the news.

    https://torrentfreak.com/images/4free.jpg

    According to the DSI director “the site had used sophisticated equipment that made it hard for authorities to track it down, and had set up a server abroad.”

    Interestingly, the site’s domain name is
    still active, now linking to what appears to a page promoting local charities.

    A few days ago, however, the site was still offering access to thousands of movies. The owner generated revenue from various advertisements and reportedly earned more than $160,000 (5 million baht) per month. Whether that’s an estimate or a confirmed figure is unknown.

    While no charges have been announced yet, authorities plan to hold the operator liable for copyright infringement. Potential tax violations are being investigated too, as well as a violation of the local gambling ban since the site had several gambling-related ads.

    The Thai examiner further
    notes that Movie2fFree.com was used extensively by retailers who sell pirated DVDs. Whether the shutdown will have any effect on these sales has yet to be seen, as there are plenty of alternatives still online.

    Torrentfreak.com

  19. #1119
    Amias's Avatar

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    oo Many Streaming Exclusives Is Already Starting To Piss Users Off

    So we've noted a few times now that the rise of streaming video competitors is indisputably a good thing. Numerous new streaming alternatives have driven competition to an antiquated cable TV sector that has long been plagued by apathy, high rates, and comically-bad customer service. That's long overdue and a positive thing overall, as streaming customer satisfaction scores suggest.

    But as the sector matures and players rush to the trough, there's a looming problem it seems oblivious to: too many services, and too many exclusives, and too high a price point could drive users back to piracy. An ironic outcome for a sector that took years to learn the lesson that the best way to compete with piracy is to offer better, cheaper, simpler services.

    It's the simplicity that's starting to unwind as every company on Earth rushes to capitalize on the streaming evolution and lock down their own content exclusives, fracturing availability. A
    new survey of more than 6,000 users around the world found that 70 percent of streaming customers say there’s now too many streaming options, and 87 percent worry it will become too expensive to keep up with all of them.

    Granted, while the "streaming is getting too expensive" line is a
    media hot take that shows up a few times a week now, it's often over-stated; users don't have to subscribe to all of the services at once, and unlike traditional cable can subscribe and unsubscribe at their leisure to save money. That said, there's still a problem with fracturing content availability to the point where users have to manage a dozen account logins, or hunt and peck through a dozen services to find content that's endlessly appearing and disappearing due to ever shifting and exclusive licensing arrangements:

    "...the study found that 67 percent of consumers already find toggling between multiple services frustrating. 58 percent of consumers found managing numerous logins annoying. And 45 percent say it’s already too difficult to find what they’re looking for.

    Those findings were recently mirrored by a Deloitte study that found 47 percent of US consumers already suffer from what the firm called “subscription fatigue,” and 56 percent were frustrated by quickly changing licensing deals that make finding their favorite film or TV shows a chore.

    Again, the rise of streaming competition is an indisputably good thing. And a lot of this will certainly be mitigated as also-ran services fail and fall by the wayside. But the industry as a whole still needs to be conscious of the fact that forcing consumers to hunt and peck through too many costly services to find the exclusive content they're looking for is going to make piracy more attractive. There's some
    preliminary datasuggesting this may already be happening, with some studies suggesting piracy rates could easily double if users face too many exclusives and too high a price point.

    Granted much of this will be dismissed by industry as just mindless whining by consumers, especially by the folks who still, after decades of clear data on this front, don't want to acknowledge that you need to compete with piracy.






  20. #1120
    Amias's Avatar

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    Tech Companies Warn U.S. Against Harmful Copyright Laws Worldwide

    Major tech companies including Google, Facebook and Twitter are concerned about harmful copyright legislation being created around the world. Industry groups warn that these developments, including the EU Copyright Directive, harm the interests of US companies, while conflicting with various free trade agreements.

    In recent years many countries around the world have tightened their copyright laws to curb the threat of online piracy.

    These new regulations aim to help copyright holders, often by creating new obligations and restrictions for Internet service providers that host, link to, or just pass on infringing material.

    Rightsholders are happy with these developments, but many Silicon Valley giants and other tech companies see the new laws as threats. This was made clear again this week by the Computer & Communications Industry Association (
    CCIA) and the Internet Association.

    The two groups both submitted stark warnings to the US Trade Representative (
    USTR). The submissions were sent in response to a request for comments in preparation for the Government’s yearly report on foreign trade barriers.

    The CCIA, which includes prominent members such as Amazon, Cloudflare, Facebook, and Google, lists a wide variety of threats, several of which are copyright-related.

    One of the main problems is the increased copyright liability for online intermediaries. In the US, online services have strong safe harbor protections that prevent them from being held liable for users’ infringements, but in other countries, this is no longer the case, CCIA warns.

    “Countries are increasingly using outdated Internet service liability laws that impose substantial penalties on intermediaries that have had no role in the development of objectionable content. These practices deter investment and market entry, impeding legitimate online services,” CCIA writes.

    These countries include France, Germany, India, Italy, and Vietnam. In Australia, for example, several US platforms are excluded from liability protections, which goes against the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement, CCIA notes.

    Another major point of concern is the new EU Copyright Directive, which passed earlier this year. While individual member states have yet to implement it, it’s seen as a looming threat for US companies and users alike.

    “[T]he recent EU Copyright Directive poses an immediate threat to Internet services and the obligations set out in the final text depart significantly from global norms. Laws made pursuant to the Directive will deter Internet service exports into the EU market due to significant costs of compliance,” CCIA writes.

    “Despite claims from EU officials, lawful user activities will be severely restricted. EU officials are claiming that the new requirements would not affect lawful user activity such as sharing memes, alluding to the exceptions and limitations on quotation, criticism, review, and parody outlined in the text.”

    The Internet Association also warns against the EU Copyright Directive in its submission. According to the group, which represents tech companies including Google, Reddit, Twitter, as well as Microsoft and Spotify, Europe’s plans are out of sync with US copyright law.

    “The EU’s Copyright Directive directly conflicts with U.S. law and requires a broad range of U.S. consumer and enterprise firms to install filtering technologies, pay European organizations for activities that are entirely lawful under the U.S. copyright framework, and face direct liability for third-party content,” the Internet Association writes.

    Aside from the EU plans, other countries such as Australia, Brazil, Colombia, India, and Ukraine are also proposing new “onerous” copyright liability proposals for Internet services. In many cases, these plans conflict with promises that were made under U.S. free trade agreements, the Internet Association writes.

    “If the U.S. does not stand up for the U.S. copyright framework abroad, then U.S. innovators and exporters will suffer, and other countries will increasingly misuse copyright to limit market entry,” the group warns.

    Both the CCIA and the Internet Archive urge the US Government to push back against these developments. They advise promoting strong and balanced copyright legislation, which doesn’t put US companies at risk when following US law.

    While it makes sense that the US would back its owns laws and policies abroad, the comments made by both groups come at a time where changes to intermediary liability are on the agenda of local lawmakers as well.

    Copyright holders see these foreign developments as inspiration, as they want increased liability for intermediaries. As such,
    MPAA recently asked lawmakers not to include current safe harbor language in future trade agreements.

    This is also the advice of the
    House Judiciary Committee. While the committee isn’t taking a position on a future direction just yet, it wants to await current developments before porting current US liability exceptions into international deals.



    Torrentfreak.com

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