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  1. #1181
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    Experts warn about the risks of The Mandalorian Torrents and Streams

    DISNEY PLUS is only available in a small number of regions worldwide, leading to huge numbers of fans streaming or downloading the shows exclusive to the streaming service – like Star Wars spin-off, The Mandalorian – storming up the charts on torrent sites. But security experts have cautioned against watching these shows using streaming sites, third-party add-ons to the Kodi media player, so-called Kodi Boxes, as well as torrents

    Disney launched its feverishly-anticipated streaming service, Disney Plus – stylised as Disney+ in the marketing, this month in the United States, Canada and Netherlands.

    The Netflix rival ships with a truck load of content from the House of Mouse, including its animated classics like The Lion King, 101 Dalmatians, and Lilo & Stitch, as well as television shows like That’s So Raven, Even Stevens, Lizzie McGuire, and Hannah Montana.

    Not only that, but it also has movies and series inherited from the recent acquisitions from Disney, including every entry in the Star Wars series, the animated X-Men series from 2002, as well as all 665 episodes of The Simpsons. Documentaries from National Geographic like Free Solo also make the cut on the service, which costs $6.99 a month.

    However, it’s the original content created specifically for the Disney+ service that seems to be causing the biggest stir amongst fans. There is a documentary-style comedy-drama series based around the High School Musical films that launched the careers of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens called High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

    Disney has also created a live-action remake of The Lady and the Tramp, and the Star Wars live-action spinoff series The Mandalorian, which is directed by Jon Favreau‎ who also helmed the box office-busting The Lion King earlier this year.

    And its the original series that seems to be pushing Disney fans in countries where the Netflix-esque streaming service has yet to launch who are turning to illegal methods to make sure they’re up-to-date with the latest episodes, which are being rolled-out weekly to the $6.99 a month service.

    Torrent-focused blog TorrentFreak reports that “hundreds of thousands” of downloads and streams of Disney+ shows – in particular, The Mandalorian – have been recorded on torrent repositories and nefarious streaming sites. While The Mandalorian is not quite yet on the scale of Game Of Thrones, it notes that “the potential is certainly there.”

    HBO’s hugely-popular Game Of Thrones made history as the most pirated show in history. During its earlier seasons, the vast scale of the piracy was likely due to the fact that audiences outside of the United States had to wait weeks or months for broadcasters to put the latest season on the air. For the final few seasons, Sky TV broadcast the latest episode at the same time as it aired on HBO in the States.

    The fact that Disney+ isn’t launching in the UK until March 2020 serves as an incentive to break the law for some fans, TorrentFreak notes. That said, there are perfectly legal way to get access to the North America-only streaming service for the time being.

    After all, torrents and streams can put you at risk.

    Head of UK Cyber and Privacy at multinational accounting firm KPMG, Martin Tyley, talked about the risks thousands of Star Wars and Disney fans are taking when they rush to watch

    the latest shows using streaming sites, third-party add-ons to the Kodi media player, so-called Kodi Boxes, as well as torrents.

    Tyley told, “Those who have illegally downloaded material in the past will continue to do so, as a release date alone is rarely their motivating factor. However, for example, parents may feel pressured by their children to provide them with the latest shows, and this is where cyber-criminals look to exploit them.

    “The use of illegal streaming services, potentially offering access to all of these channels for a small monthly fee, opens people up to significant vulnerabilities. Hackers may be able to harvest credit card information or install malware on the device.

    “Once a hacker has access to an individual’s personal data, it is then processed, listened to, and may compromise any or all activity on that device as well as any other connected devices. Unfortunately, the user often has no real knowledge of how unsecure their device can be and can subsequently also expose their immediate friends, family or contacts with whom the owner is exchanging data with.”

    It’s worth noting this threat isn’t merely academic either. Hackers and cyber-criminals have used the popularity of shows to target a vast number of users looking for a particular show, or movie.

    For example, ahead of the start of Game Of Thrones season 7 on July 16, 2017, ransomware was introduced on The Pirate Bay designed to capitalise on the influx of users looking to download Game Of Thrones episodes for free. When users clicked on the page to download the torrent file, a malicious pop-under advertisement quietly redirected users behind their back and infected the machine with Cerber ransomware.

    Security firm Malwarebytes discovered the threat, which leveraged a number of vulnerable browser plugins to silently download the malicious payload to a system.

    Malwarebytes security researcher Jerome Segura said: "Popular torrent site The Pirate Bay was serving ransomware via a malvertising attack this weekend.

    "The ad network changes but the modus operandi remains the same.”

    And it’s not only downloads that run the risk of infecting your computer. Streaming sites are ideal locations for so-called watering hole attacks, where an incentive – like the ability to watch an episode of The Mandalorian for free, for example – lures unsuspecting visitors, Siege CEO Syversen has cautioned.

    Hackers use the increased volume of traffic to attack a high number of users and gain access to personal information on their computers.

    “They use that as bait,” he told Consumer Reports “It’s the internet equivalent of going to the bad part of town and buying a movie that fell off the back of a truck.”

    Aside from the dangers to your own internet-connected device, there are also wider implications for the industry. Those who enjoy The Mandalorian and want to see more from the hit fantasy drama series should not stream or download episodes for free, since this will hardly push Disney to commission more episodes.

  2. #1182
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    Due to Disney’s Dumb Business Model, Everyone Is Pirating The Mandalorian

    On November 12, Disney+ launched in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands. Audiences stayed up late to be the first to access this new streaming platform and watch Jon Favreau’s new Star Wars series, The Mandalorian.

    Social media lit up as Disney+’s users raved about the new show and its jaw-dropping first episode. The rest of the world, though, is expected to hang tight until the House of Mouse decides to graciously take our money and launch in our region.

    Yeah, right.

    As expected, The Mandalorian soared up the charts to become one of the most pirated shows of the year. Despite Disney’s best efforts to curb stomp the seeds, the torrents have avoided the mousetraps and unleashed the show to the globe.

    It’s unsurprising, really. Until the day when giant corporates realise the audience doesn’t give two s***s about international territories, licensing, blah, blah, piracy will continue to prevail. To quote Jeff Goldblum’s Jurassic Park character, Dr Ian Malcolm: “Life, uh, finds a way.”

    Much like the cause of every problem in a corporate structure, bureaucracy is the enemy that prevents evolution. The people at the top set up meetings to discuss other meetings and believe globalisation is a myth like climate change. It’s 2019. The Star Wars fan in Ghana is just as passionate as the one in the U.S. Fans will find a way to watch content, so it’s up to studios and networks to provide a portal that encourages them to pay for it.

    Even Netflix and Hulu were smarter than Disney+ with their in-demand content back in the day. The platforms launched in their respective territories and took a cautious worldwide approach. Rather than go gung-ho, they licensed their shows to networks and providers in other regions. That’s why you’d see the likes of Orange is the New Black and House of Cards on DStv, and The Runaways on Showmax.

    The challenge is when the platform finally launches in the territory, because who owns the content rights? This is where good lawyers and contracts are necessary from the get-go. It’s possible to sign deals for a specific timeframe or a show’s season, so it isn’t a permanent situation where another network holds the rights of a show forever.

    Naturally, Disney wants nothing more than to hold the rights to all of its content for long-term global domination, but it’s also losing out on money at the moment. The company has stated that it has no plans to bring Disney+ to South Africa or the rest of Africa for the next two years, so why hasn’t it licensed shows like The Mandalorian to Netflix, Showmax or DStv?

    Disney sure loves those box office receipts from the rest of the world when it releases Star Wars and Marvel movies in theatres, but it’s showing a middle finger to us right now. Well, fans are having the last laugh as they’re watching the shows anyway (and without paying). The thing is, will they want to pay for Disney+ when it inevitably launches in our region?

  3. #1183
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    How Spotify and Apple Music will kill each other off and push all back to piracy

    A number of acts have accused Spotify of purposefully excluding their new songs from editorial playlists after they debuted the music elsewhere.

    Nicki Minaj has made similar claims after she premiered music from her 2018 album Queen on her own Apple Music Beats 1 radio show.

    While it makes a certain type of business sense for Spotify to hold back on promotion if an artist strikes a deal with their direct competitor, this latest round of complaints suggests that Spotify has extended this lack of promo to music that appears “anywhere in advance of Spotify” – in one case, a premiere on a music blog.

    Digital Music News viewed written correspondence from Spotify, explaining their “release parity” policy: they won’t promote any new music that appears “anywhere” in advance of it landing on their platform. This includes banning the music from their editorial playlists, inclusion on which drives huge first-week streaming numbers, which many artists rely upon for a strong chart debut.

    As Nicki Minaj pointed out last August when she copped similar treatment, this policy isn’t an across the board thing.

    “Spotify put Drake’s face on every playlist but told me they’d have to teach me a lesson for playing my music 10 minutes early on #QueenRadio,” Minaj wrote. “Even though they’ve been giving away my music for free for years and I am one of the top Spotify artists of all time.”

    This refers to an embarrassingly over-the-top promotional campaign for Drake’s Scorpion, which saw his face flood the cover of every Spotify playlist, including ‘Best Of British’ and ‘Rock’. The backlash from subscribers was so fierce that many demanded refunds for their ‘non-advertising’ tier – as this was clearly one big Drake promotion.

    “Spotify had to teach me a lesson but rewarded the man who has had an Apple radio show the longest; inadvertently helping the Apple platform the most,” Minaj tweeted.

    “They took away my promotion they had promised for the first couple of days because of this.”

    Spotify denied the claims, pointing out how they supported her with a Times Square billboard and included her music on their New Music Friday playlist, which all resulted in her single ‘Bed’ seeing an increase in Spotify plays. It’s a strong argument.

    When @ beyonce gives you Lemonade…

    — Spotify (@Spotify) April 23, 2019

    Spotify and Apple Music also heavily promoted Beyonce’s 2016 album Lemonade when it finally came to their streaming services in April, three long years after it was first released exclusively on Tidal.

    This is despite her husband owning a competing streaming service (Tidal) and her mocking verse on the song ‘Nice’ from The Carters’ album: “If I gave two fucks about streaming numbers woulda put Lemonade up on Spotify. Fuck you.”

    Chance The Rapper also struck a deal with Apple Music to exclusively host his Coloring Book album for two weeks, seemingly without any punishment from Spotify.

    So, even if we assume that Minaj was merely acting like a sore loser – a Times Square billboard is hardly Spotify burying her new record, plus she also accused Travis Scott, who beat her to the number one spot, of massaging the charts with merch bundle deals – these latest claims are still quite serious.

    As I said, Apple Music is a direct competitor. All’s fair, and all that jazz. But the music that Spotify refused recently to playlist had only appeared on a blog. Premieres on blogs are a huge part of the rollout campaign for most records, and in no way competition for future Spotify listens.

    These ‘exclusives’, where a song will sit on a blog for 24 hours or so before being widely disseminated, are good for both the music publications and the artists. Most labels coordinate such exclusives as part of an overall advertising campaign with a publication.

    Only the likes of Beyonce and Frank Ocean can drop music on an unsuspecting world and expect it to be shared by the press. If labels and artists begin to believe that previewing music on any other platform – be it Pitchfork, a local radio show, or a competing streaming service – will result in punishment from Apple Music or Spotify, they will get cold feet when it comes to any such pre-promotion.

    This will cut into the advertising revenue that blogs rely upon to exist, it will destroy the pre-release campaigns that artists and labels rely upon to properly promote an album – and it will kill off any of the ‘exclusive’ deals that the likes of Chance and co. strike with streaming services in order to make money from their music

    This latter scenario isn’t such a bad situation. As it stands, only the top tier artists such as Jay-Z, Chance, Kanye, Taylor, Rihanna, Frank, Drake, et al. can afford to purposefully limit their new records to one streaming service without cutting into their first week streaming numbers. These deals are good for the artists – Chance was paid half a million for a fortnight of exclusively – but terrible for fans, who found themselves having to subscribe to three different streaming services just to keep up. (Ever the Dad, Garth Brooks signed an Amazon Music exclusive for his record.)

    Disney+ launches in Australia next week, and its appeal is the exclusive catalogue of content it offers: Marvel, Star Wars, The Simpsons, The Great Muppet Caper. Likewise, Netflix and Stan compete based solely on exclusive deals.

    Viewers are trained to expect television companies to compete with each other – from free-to-air to streaming, this has always been the way. But music seems different, somehow. It’s in the waterstream. It’s carried through the air. It belongs to everyone. It’s older than language. And nobody is going to put up with streaming services that offer up every third new release, bouncing angrily between apps as they try to work out where they can listen to the new Childish Gambino record.

    They will just give up, and the foothold that Spotify, Apple Music have gained over the past five years will be lost – to piracy, to YouTube, to any easier option that presents itself. And if Spotify and Apple Music continue their game of mutually assured destruction, blacklisting artists, scrapping for exclusives, and trying to wipe out blogs and radio while they are at all, a better option will jump in and fill the gap. It always does.

    Music is valuable, but time is a non-renewable resource. If we can’t find something quickly and easily, we will start to look elsewhere.

  4. #1184
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    Federal Court Approves First ‘Pirate’ Site Blockade in Canada

    A group of major broadcasters and telco giants, including Rogers and Bell, have obtained the first Canadian pirate site blocking order. The Federal Court approved a request that requires several major ISPs to block access to domains and IP-addresses of the pirate IPTV service GoldTV. The order paves the way for a broader site blocking push, that may target traditional pirate sites as well.

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

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

    The driving forces behind the request, Bell, Rogers, and Groupe TVA, were not prepared to let the blocking idea slip away, however. A few months ago the companies
    filed a lawsuit against the operators of a ‘pirate’ IPTV service The companies argued that the service provides access to their TV content without licenses or authorization.

    Among other things, the rightsholders requested an interim injunction to stop the operators, who remain unidentified, from continuing to offer the allegedly-infringing IPTV service. This was granted, but despite the order, some of the infrastructures remained available.

    This resulted in a follow-up request from the media giants, which became the setup for the first-ever pirate site blocking order in Canada. Specifically, the companies requested an interlocutory injunction order that would require several Canadian ISPs to block GoldTV domain names and IP-addresses.

    Late last week this request was granted by a Federal Court in Ontario. An order, issued by Judge Patrick Gleeson, requires most of Canada’s largest ISPs, including Cogeco, Rogers, Bell, Eastlink and, TekSavvy, to start blocking their customers’ access to GoldTV within 15 days.

    The order is unique in North America and relies heavily on UK jurisprudence, can be extended with new IP-addresses and domain names, if those provide access to the same IPTV service. The court doesn’t prescribe a specific
    blocking method but mentions DNS and IP-address blocking as options.

    Since Rogers and Bell are also ISPs, these companies didn’t object to their own demands. Several other Internet providers didn’t protest either. However,
    TekSavvy did, listing a broad range of objections.

    TekSavvy, for example, argued that blocking websites isn’t very effective, as subscribers have plenty of workarounds they can try, including VPNs. In addition, the company pointed out that many smaller ISPs are not affected by the order, which means that they don’t have to block the service.

    Judge Gleeson recognized that blocking measures are not foolproof. However, based on the evidence provided, he concluded that it’s effective enough to make a difference.

    “It’s clear from the evidence that site-blocking will not eliminate user access to infringing services. However, the evidence does establish that in those jurisdictions where site-blocking measures have been implemented there has been a significant reduction in visits to infringing websites.

    “I am satisfied that a site-blocking order is an effective means of limiting access to GoldTV Services,” Judge Gleeson added.

    TekSavvy further argued that it could become very costly to implement a site-blocking system, which would put a significant financial strain on the company. In addition, the order would set a precedent that could lead to hundreds or even thousands of site-blocking orders

    Judge Gleeson didn’t agree with this assessment. TekSaffy can rely on DNS and IP-address blocking, which it’s already technically capable of. That wouldn’t require any new hardware investments. In addition, ISPs don’t have to pay the costs of the implementation, as that will be covered by the rightsholders.

    TekSavvy also pointed out that site-blocking measures violate net neutrality and freedom of expression. But again, the Court was not convinced that this weighs stronger than the interests of the rightsholders.

    “I am satisfied, in the face of a strong prima facie case of ongoing infringement and a draft order that seeks to limit blocking to unlawful sites and incorporates processes to address inadvertent over-blocking, that neither net neutrality nor freedom of expression concerns tip the balance against granting the relief sought,” Judge Gleeson writes.

    All in all, the Federal Court sided with the copyright holders. This means that the first-ever pirate site blockade in Canada will soon be in effect. Whether TekSavvy or any of the other ISPs plan to appeal the decision is not known at this point.

    The site-blocking question has been a point of debate in Canada over the past several months. While local authorities and lawmakers have
    spoken out against a non-judicial site-blocking regime, Judge Gleeson’s ruling shows that site-blocking injunctions certainly are an option.

    Interestingly, this approach was previously raised by opponents of Fairplay Coalition’s site blocking push. At the time, the rightsholders countered that the legal process could take
    up to 765 days, but in this case, it went a lot quicker.

  5. #1185
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    Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 11/18/19

    The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'Angel Has Fallen' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Joker'. 'Gemini Man' completes the top three.

    This week we have four newcomers in our chart.

    Angel Has Fallen 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 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 (…) Angel Has Fallen 6.5 / trailer
    2 (2) Joker (Subbed HDRip) 8.8 / trailer
    3 (…) Gemini Man 5.7 / trailer
    4 (1) Dora and the Lost City of Gold 6.0 / trailer
    5 (5) The Lion King 7.1 / trailer
    6 (…) Klaus 8.5 / trailer
    7 (3) Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw 6.7 / trailer
    8 (7) Toy Story 4 8.1 / trailer
    9 (…) Lady and the Tramp 6.5 / trailer
    10 (8) Spider-Man: Far from Home 7.8 / trailer

  6. #1186
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    Default Judgment Against Hosting Platform in a Piracy Case Denied

    • Hawaii court judge suggests the denial of a default judgment against the APKMirrorDownload website, accused of facilitating piracy-enabling software.
    • The plaintiffs have failed to convince the court on the elements of jurisdiction and purposeful direction.
    • The particular plaintiff is trying to make money out of a long-gone service, which is no longer an active threat.

    Magistrate Judge Kenneth J. Mansfield, of the Hawaii District Court, has recommended the denial of the default judgment of $150,000 against defendant Nghi Phan Nhat. The Vietnamese man allegedly operates the APK hosting platform “,” which used to distribute Showbox and Popcorn Time Android packages. The plaintiff who asked for the default judgment was Hunter Killer Productions Inc., complaining about how the APK platform shared piracy-enabling software that made it easy for many thousands to consume content illegally. The plaintiff is the owner of the rights for the movies The Hitman’s Bodyguard, London Has Fallen, and Hunter Killer, and has been involved in hunting pirates on the courts of law for quite a while now.

    The filmmaker is represented by Kerry S. Culpepper, an expert in the field with many recent successes. However, it looks like the move against won’t yield the desired results after all. As the judge points out, the plaintiffs argue that the defendant’s conduct constitutes purposeful direction, but they fail to prove it, relying solely on conclusory arguments. The court finds that the website’s electronic activity wasn’t aimed at the United States and that presenting the use of the English language as a proof is not enough to establish personal jurisdiction.

    The case was submitted on the court back in September, and the defendant never appeared to answer any questions. Usually, these cases end up with a favorable result for the plaintiffs, and maybe this is why the Culpepper team didn’t bother to prepare a compelling folder to support their case. What this means is that not only the plaintiff won’t get their $150,000 default judgment, but the APK platform will also remain online and accessible from the United States. The infringing APKs have already been removed, but the court’s decision may create a dangerous judiciary precedent for the film studios.

    This amount is the exact same that the owner of the “” website agreed to pay to Hunter Killer Productions Inc. back in August. Back then, the owner told the Hawaii Federal Court that he wasn’t aware of the illegal nature of the Showbox app and that he hadn’t realized that he was facilitating piracy. How much of this has been paid, and whether or not this latest development will affect the previous case remains to be seen. The Show Box content distribution platform has been shut down since last year anyway, so we’re merely dealing with the aftermath here.

  7. #1187
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    Spain: 12 arrested for pirate TV network

    A network of TV piracy has been dismantled in Spain with the arrest of 12 people who illegally distributed pay-TV signals at a much lower price than the market to some 20,000 customers across the country.

    The pirates would have reportedly earned around €1 million. The police have closed down seven websites and several social media profiles where the arrested party were promoting their illegal services.

    The police have seized 86 STBs, 15 hard disks, 10 computers, 17 mobile phones, two NAS servers, and €22,000 in cash.

  8. #1188
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    The streaming wars have begun and users are in for a bad time

    At the weekend I had an urge to watch House and that meant searching for a platform that was streaming the show locally.

    This was my first stumbling block as neither Netflix nor Showmax offers the show for streaming.

    Thankfully Amazon Prime Video has the series available for streaming and as I had not yet made use of my free seven day trial, I lucked out.

    Despite my odd strike of good luck this entire event presented me with an interesting problem: which streaming services do I really need? The answer I arrived at was unsettling to say the least because I came to the conclusion that I need all of them.

    Last year this choice was easier thanks to limited availability but as more choice has been introduced I find myself having to decide between what I need and what I don’t.

    This problem, however, has no real easy solution and it’s only going to get worse.

    The Mandalorian Pirate

    Last week Disney launched Disney+ which, while introducing a new platform to watch originally produced Disney content and legacy content, is not easily accessible to South Africans or indeed a number of other citizens around the world.

    This produces an interesting problem as folks who are not lucky enough to live in a Disney+ launch country are unable to watch new shows such as The Mandalorian. As such, folks around the world have responded through the only means they know how – piracy.

    It’s not just The Mandalorian being pirated en masse. A quick glance at the top 100 torrents on The Pirate Bay over 48 hours reveals that the majority of titles come from the Disney stable. Is Disney to blame for this problem? No, but it is the first notable victim of a problem we’ve seen coming for a long time already.

    The price to (push) play

    For all the streaming services I currently use I pay R385.21 per month plus my internet connectivity which costs R700 per month bringing my monthly spend on video streaming to R1 085.21.

    As it stands I spend more on video entertainment than a DStv Premium subscription (which includes Showmax and DStv Now) costs.

    True, my internet connectivity serves multiple purposes including work and gaming but generally speaking I am making use of streaming services on said connection for the vast majority of the time and as such I feel that warrants including it in my monthly spend.

    While something could (and should) be said for the cost of connectivity in South Africa, that fee is not the one that is going to go up because despite having access to Netflix, Showmax, YouTube Premium and now Amazon Prime Video, I don’t think I am done signing up for streaming services.

    Just two weeks ago I signed up for Apple TV+. Why? I honestly cannot answer that aside from saying The Morning Show looked interesting but after discovering it wasn’t as great as I’d hoped, I promptly cancelled the service.

    Despite cancelling after over a week of use, it still cost me R84.99 to find out for myself that The Morning Show was nothing but celebrity window dressing. I have no interest in the other content available on Apple TV+ but that’s hardly an issue unique to Apple.

    My Netflix “Continue watching” selection is basically just a collection of shows, movies and documentaries that never really captured my attention. While Netflix has some truly remarkable shows and movies, there is also a lot of crap as well.

    Showmax suffers from the same problem because, while my mom might enjoy the nostalgia of Egoli’s back catalogue, I do not.

    However, I enjoy Mr Robot and Westworld, and Showmax has that. I enjoy Netflix Originals for the most part so I have to subscribe to watch that content.

    Everything and nothing

    Unlike Spotify or a music streaming service, streaming platforms aren’t able to offer the same content due to licensing deals.

    This means that because of these licensing deals content may not be available on your platform of choice or even in your region despite that content belonging to a certain streaming platform. Compounding the issue is firms like HBO, Disney and even NBC eyeing the Netflix pie and striking up their own streaming services.

    Ultimately we are moving toward a sector where no streaming service has everything you want and every streaming service has a show or movie you want to watch.

    Right now this might not seem like that big of an issue but what happens if the next big blockbuster starring Keanu Reeves is only available on Disney+ and only in select regions?

    I know what I’d do and I am sure I’m not the only one with this point of view.

    Which leads me to my final point – the internet is a different beast compared to before streaming services captured the world’s attention.

    Back then a VPN was tricky to understand but these days they are increasingly common. And folks know that browsing the internet with a VPN is a good way of hiding what they’re doing.

    Add piracy back into this mix and you’ll have a hard time putting the lid back on that Pandora’s box. Should these streaming purveyors fix their eyes on the VPN providers – many of which already advertise allowing torrent traffic on its service – hell, I would not be surprised if we start seeing a rise in private VPNs being set up.

    By giving us an abundance of choice, streaming services have given us no choice but to subscribe to every new service just in case something new comes out and we miss it.

    This is not just some aspect of fear of missing out but also the fact that in 2019, spoilers are rampant forcing folks to watch a movie or series in a certain amount of time or risk having it ruined by Johnny on the internet.

    Of course, we have to state that piracy is wrong and illegal and you really shouldn’t do it.

    However, something is going to break soon and I have a feeling it won’t be my wallet.

  9. #1189
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    Slow Roll-Out Drives TV Shows To Top Piracy Charts

    Launching Disney+ in just three countries was a decision that has taken a toll on The Mandalorian, the hotly-anticipated Star Wars television show.

    The first episode was already plastered on every pirating platform available three hours into release. According to a report by Comparitech last week, some regions saw unauthorised copies of The Mandalorian being illegally shared online hours before Disney even rolled out its exclusive streaming platform.

    Disney+ is currently available in only the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands. Other regions such as Europe will have to wait until next year to get access to the subscription-based service. Hence, why the regions that pirated the most out of The Mandalorian were also the United Kingdom and Spain.

    “Pirating Disney’s newly-available content is likely to be extremely widespread, especially given the company’s slow international roll-out,” noted the report. “Many young Star Wars fans who have never torrented before may be among the newest converts to file sharing as they search for copyright-infringing versions of content inaccessible in their own regions.”

    You have to only cast a quick glance at any pirating website to see The Mandalorian available in various formats and the hundreds of thousands of downloads against each file. Due to the present circumstances, The Mandalorian has already become the most pirated television show of the year. In fact, based on the ongoing trend, there’s potential to even cross Game of Thrones to wear the crown for the most pirated television show of all time.

    Disney, though, hasn’t been sitting idle. Thousands of takedown requests have already been sent to Google against hosts or links tied to unauthorized copies of the television show. However, in the age of the internet, those anti-piracy efforts will hardly prove effective.

    Disney+ is scheduled to release in Australia and New Zealand later this week on November 19. The United Kingdom and other European countries will get their turn on March 31. For any Star Wars fan residing in those regions, waiting five or so months will be nearly impossible, specially when spoilers are already being posted all of the internet. In addition, knowing that certain regions in the world are already watching a highly anticipated television show makes the wait even harder. Suffice to say, the ridiculously slow roll-out is forcing even the most supporting of fans to embrace the dark side.

    The Mandalorian will have eight episodes in the first season, two of which are already out. The storyline takes place five years after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order, following a lone bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.

  10. #1190
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    Royalty-Free’ Music Supplied By YouTube Results in Mass Video Demonetization

    A YouTuber who used a royalty-free track supplied by YouTube itself has had all of his videos copyright claimed by companies including SonyATV and Warner Chappell. According to the music outfits, Matt Lownes' use the use of the track 'Dreams' by Joakim Karud means that they are now entitled to all of his revenue.

    Matt Lowne is a very popular YouTuber with a passion for the simulation game Kerbal Space Program. Since 2013 he’s amassed close to 56 million views but late last week, his video world was turned upside down.

    In common with many YouTubers, Matt didn’t want any copyright issues on his channel. So, to play things safely, he obtained the track ‘
    Dreams‘ by Joakim Karud from YouTube’s very own audio library for use in his intro. Unfortunately, this strategy of obtaining supposedly risk-free music from a legitimate source still managed to backfire.

    Very early last Friday, Matt says he received a “massive barrage” of emails from YouTube, targeting “pretty much all” of his KSP videos. The emails said that Matt’s videos “may have content owned or licensed by SonyATV, PeerMusic, Warner Chappell, Audiam and LatinAutor.”

    Some of the YouTube demonetization emails

    A clearly exasperated Matt took to YouTube, noting that any ads that now show up on his videos “split up the revenue between all the companies listed” in the emails, with Matt himself “allowed to keep what’s left of that.” He doesn’t know what that amount might be, because he says there’s just no way of knowing.

    After highlighting the vague use of the word “may” in YouTube’s emails to him, Matt then went on to describe the real “kick in the gut”, which revolves around the track itself.

    ‘Dreams’ composer Joakim Karud
    allows anyone to use his music on YouTube, even commercially, for free. And the fact that Matt downloaded the track from YouTube’s own library was the icing on this particularly bitter cake.

    “So I guess this library can’t be trusted at all,” says Matt. “YouTube might just remove songs from it after the fact and then shrug off any consequences for videos that use that music as you know, shit happens.”

    Matt said he had to time out to manually protest the automated claims against his account but he says his overtures were immediately rejected, “almost like it’s an automated bot or something.” But things get worse from there.

    After contesting each claim and having all of those rejected, Matt says the only option left is to appeal every single one. However, if an appeal is lost, the video in question will be removed completely and a strike will be placed against his account.

    It’s three strikes and you’re out on YouTube, so this is not an attractive option for Matt if the music companies somehow win the fight. So, instead, Matt is appealing against just one of the complaints in the hope that he can make some progress without putting his entire account at risk.

    Matt says he won’t be able to risk putting any music in his videos in future, because even with the best intentions, a “billion-dollar corporation” can simply decide that they “would like to start benefiting off your blood, sweat and tears.”

    Worryingly, searches online show that not only are other people affected by similar mass complaints, but there may –
    may – be an explanation for what is going on here.

    “SonyATV & Warner Chappell have claimed 24 of my videos because the royalty free song Dreams by Joakim Karud (from the OFFICIAL YOUTUBE AUDIO LIBRARY BTW) uses a sample from Kenny Burrell Quartet’s ‘Weaver of Dream’,” a Twitter user
    wrote on Saturday.

    Sure enough, if one turns to the WhoSampled archive,
    Dreams is listed as having sampled Weaver of Dreams, a track from 1956 to which Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC and Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. own the copyrights.

    If the trend of claims against ‘Dreams’ continues, there is potential for huge upheaval on YouTube and elsewhere. Countless thousands of videos use the track and as a result it has become very well-known. Sadly, people trying to claim it as their own is
    nothing new but fingers crossed, common sense will sort out the present issues.

  11. #1191
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    Post Thanks / Like operators have been arrested in Germany

    As the Attorney General of Dresden announced today, two alleged operators of the streaming portal in Rhineland-Palatinate and Bavaria were arrested last Thursday and searched their private premises. In addition, it hit a real estate marketer from Berlin, which is accused of laundering on a large scale.

    Raid in Rhineland-Palatinate and Bavaria

    The two suspects are said to have spread more than 880,000 black copies of cinematographic films and TV series together with other participants. They used their own streaming host called among others. A man from the Rhineland-Palatinate Rhine-Lahn district and a suspect from Bavaria got a visit from the police. The police confiscated the computers, smartphones, written documents, cash and the precious metal coins on Thursday. With online advertising and Abofallen the men are said to have generated profits in the amount of several million euros. was after the shutdown of its predecessor one of the most visited illegal streaming portals in the German-speaking area.

    Berlin real estate agent arrested for money laundering

    As the SWR reports , there was another arrest of a Berlin real estate entrepreneur in Berlin, which is to be accused of commercial and gang money laundering. On behalf of the operators, the Berliner is said to have specifically bought real estate in Saxony, Brandenburg and Berlin from autumn 2013 in order to hide profits from the tax office. The Berliner was also the administrator of the purchased real estate. For his services, the marketer should have received more than 5.1 million euros through a Dutch letterbox company alone by mid-2016.

    On the trail of the alleged portal operators came the Attorney General Dresden through investigations with the state criminal police Saxony and the tax investigation Leipzig. The Attorney General was also in charge of the investigation against, which was operated by a Leipzig. Between and there were apparently connections. The successors and are both currently online. Whether there are also connections, is not clarified except for some rumors so far . The Prosecutor General's Office would probably have shut down the two other portals long ago.

    Operator was confident in the interview

    In an interview with in 2011, one of the operators told me that they only had links to their site for a short time with drop-offs . In addition, it was " silly " that streaming sites would destroy many jobs in the film, music, porn industry, etc. The streaming portals are merely a repeal of the decades-long monopoly position of the content industry. This would rather bring back the "industry to the bottom of the facts ". These are merely " an economic change that we regard as legitimate in an economic form that requires progress a priori. "

    The suspect also indicated that the condemnation of the former operators of The Pirate Bay did not make him think. You could not directly or indirectly download any movies on They offered only the links to the streaming hosters. In addition, TPB was actively involved with its own tracker in the file exchange of users, which in his view has had a negative impact on the verdict. At the end of his procedure, one will see if the admin with his view will be right in the end.

  12. #1192
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    Revenues Are Booming. And That's Proof Why We Need Even More Draconian Copyright Laws

    Music Collection Org: Revenues Are Booming... And That's Proof Why We Need Even More Draconian Copyright Laws

    As we showed earlier this year in our latest Sky Is Rising report, revenue in the entertainment industry continues to shoot upwards -- and not because of draconian new anti-piracy laws, but almost entirely because of successful innovations from internet companies that have opened up massive new markets for content creators. You'd think that maybe this would make some copyright system supporters think twice about continuing to push for expansionary copyright policies that are likely to hamstring the very internet services that have provided them this windfall, but that would be expecting self-reflection from an industry famous for blaming everyone else for everything that has ever gone wrong.

    Case in point, CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (a sort of mega group of most of the various performance rights collections societies around the globe) recently released its annual report on revenue, showing that things were looking up, up, up for songwriters and composers in getting paid. This report fits well with the annual IFPI report, which covers similar data for recording artists (generally speaking, IFPI covers revenue for recorded music, while CISAC covers revenue stemming from performance rights and songwriting royalties). In all cases, these show pretty massive increases, nearly all of it stemming from growth in internet services:

    Royalties from digital sources jumped 29% to €1.64 billion, thanks to rapid global expansion of music and subscription video on-demand (SVOD) services. In the last 5 years, creators’ digital income has nearly tripled, now accounting for 17% of collections compared to 7.5% in 2014.

    The increase in major markets’ digital collections - notably the United States, France and Japan - are the biggest drivers of global growth. This growth is helped by new and extended licensing deals between societies and digital platforms, from dedicated content services like Spotify to social media platforms such as Facebook and video on demand platforms such as Netflix and Amazon.

    That all sounds pretty great, right? Except... that CISAC execs then made the rounds using this report to... call for more draconian copyright laws that would hamstring the internet and limit future growth.

    I only wish I was kidding. CISAC's own press release states:

    Jean-Michel Jarre, CISAC President, said: “Digital is our future and revenues to creators are rising fast, but there is a dark side to digital, and it is caused by a fundamental flaw in the legal environment that continues to devalue creators and their works. That is why the European Copyright Directive is so momentous for creators everywhere. The Directive has sent an amazing, positive signal around the world, building a fairer balance between creators and the tech platforms”.

    Meanwhile, CISAC's Director General Gadi Oron told press outlets like Music Ally that the report only reinforces why the EU Copyright Directive is so important:

    On the first of those, the report includes a section on the European Copyright Directive, which was adopted in April and is now being implemented by the EU’s member states.

    “It’s very encouraging to see that the digital income is going up at such a pace, including those territories like Mexico, Sweden and South Korea where digital is now the biggest source of income,” said Oron. “I think that will spread to other markets, and digital will gradually become more important. That’s why it’s so important for us to get the legislation in place to make the most of that.”

    But the whole point of the EU Copyright Directive is to make it that much more difficult for services to make use of digital music in any form without negotiating impossible licenses, that are designed to strip the platforms from any ability to innovate or offer unique new services. In other words, as is nearly always the case, these laws are designed to strangle the golden goose. For years we've pointed out that every single time the tech industry comes up with a new service that helps make musicians more money, the industry comes along and whines about how it's not getting 100% of the value creation, and then pushes for laws to demand as such, even as it kills these new services.

    It's almost pathological. The industry seems simply unwilling to recognize that getting a slice of a larger pie is a better deal. It wants the entire damn pie, even if it means torching the pie to a crisp and making it inedible. The industry is thriving. And yet it keeps pushing for new laws that it insists it needs because the industry is at risk of being destroyed -- and it doesn't care if this effort actually destroys the industry that is helping them. It's insane that politicians keep rubber stamping these moves.

  13. #1193
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    Karl Pilkington Shares a Pirated Copy of His Own TV-Show

    The second season of the sitcom "Sick of It" will soon air on the British TV-channel Sky One. This prompted co-writer and actor Karl Pilkington to share an episode of the first season with over a million Facebook fans. A kind gesture, but since the video was indirectly sourced from a pirate group, perhaps not one that everyone will appreciate.

    UK entertainment giant Sky is widely known for taking a hard line on everything piracy related.

    In recent years the company has chased vendors of pirate subscriptions and hardware, both in and outside of court.

    These efforts are meant to signal to the public that piracy, streaming piracy in particular, will not be tolerated. However, this message has apparently not hit home with one of the company’s own stars,
    Karl Pilkington.

    Pilkington is an actor, comedian, and presenter who is widely known for “An Idiot Abroad,” the Sky 1 travel series with a comedic twist. He also worked with Sky on the documentary “The Moaning of Life” and more recently he ventured into the sitcom arena with the series “Sick of It”, again at Sky.

    Sick of It is about to premiere its second season and to give his 1.5+ million fans on Facebook something to get in the mood, Pilkington recently decided to share an episode of the show from last year.

    That usually isn’t a problem. However, Sky doesn’t share the show for free and only offers it on-demand but that didn’t prove to be too much of a hurdle for the show’s co-writer, who found a freely accessible streaming copy on Vimeo.

    “For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. Here’s an episode. Series 2 soon,” Pilkington

    This clearly isn’t an official release. The tags on the video reveal that this copy was sourced from a ‘scene’ group, PLUTONiUM in this case, and reuploaded to Vimeo by someone named Gary. The same person also shared a copy of the first episode through the same account.

    This means that Pilkington is effectively sharing a pirated copy of his own show with over a million people. And since Sky holds at least some of the rights, that’s not supposed to happen.

    The ‘mistake’ didn’t go unnoticed. Commenters on Facebook highlighted that it was a pirate release and the same was pointed out on
    Reddit, where many appreciated the unusual move.

    The question is, of course, whether this is indeed a mistake or some kind of PR stunt. Giving over a million people a free teaser may draw in some extra eyeballs and if that’s picked up by the news, it means even more exposure.

    However, when we look closer at Pilkington’s previous engagement on Facebook we started to notice a trend. Apparently, he’s keeping a close eye on the comments. When someone said that she wasn’t familiar with Sick of It, but would like to watch it, Pilkington kindly shared a link.

    And that wasn’t the first time either. The show’s co-writer has been doing this for weeks, sharing the same link to everyone who shows interest. In particular, those who don’t have access to it.

    To us, it appears that Pilkington means no harm and simply wants to get people to see his show. That makes sense. As a creator, you want people to enjoy what you’ve made. The fact that he’s sharing a pirated copy may not have even entered his mind.

    Whether Sky will like this is another question of course. At the time of writing all links are still online, but it wouldn’t be a massive surprise if they are soon taken down. Technically, Pilkington is now a repeat infringer so he could even lose his Facebook account.

    Unless he takes action before Sky does, of course.

  14. #1194
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    Days left until Netflix stops for thousands of people due to anti-piracy DRM upgrade

    Due to ‘technical limitations’, Netflix will no longer be streamed on some consumer electronics devices from December 1 this year.

    If you own one of the affected electronic devices used for streaming Netflix already, you may have already seen this error message pop up on your device: “Due to technical limitations, Netflix will no longer be available on this device after December 1st, 2019. Please visit for a list of available devices.”

    To continue streaming, users are advised they’ll need to switch to a compatible device prior to the date.

    The Verge revealed the changes will occur because Netflix upgraded its digital rights management (DRM) service, which allows it to bring its streaming service to users and ensure the content doesn’t get pirated, and older smart devices already equipped with that DRM have been left behind.

    The devices affected include: the Roku SD (N1050), Roku HD-XR (N1101), Roku HD (N1100, 2000C) and Roku XD (2050X, 2050N, 2100X, 2100N), as well as some Samsung Smart TV models from 2010 and 2011 and some Vizio Smart TVs with VIZIO Internet Apps.

    Users can visit the Netflix site to see the most current list of compatible devices.

    But if you don’t want to upgrade your TV, Netflix will still work on laptops - and you can use a HDMI cord or a bluetooth device like a Chrome Caster to stream through your TV.

  15. #1195
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    Infamous Hacker Broke Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order's DRM Protection in Just 4 Days

    Infamous Hacker Cracked Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Just a Few Days After Its Launch

    Just released last November 16th, a reputable group of hackers known as CODEX has successfully cracked Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on PC.

    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the newest action-adventure game developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. It is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam and Origin.

    Knowing that Star Wars is such a huge title in the entertainment industry, hackers got their attention and decides to crack the game. According to CrackWatch, the scene group who managed to crack the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is CODEX.

    CODEX is one of the most popular groups of hackers that have been constantly cracking big video games. Some of the popular games that they cracked are NBA 2K20, Jump Force, and Resident Evil 2 Remake.

    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is using Denuvo and Origin as its DRM protection, however, it seems that these hackers are still able to exploit the game.

    Video game piracy is one of the problems that many developers and publishers are facing since then. While the security of the video games that these companies are evolving, it looks like video game pirates are still one step ahead of them.

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