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    [h=2]Apple TV+ cracked: first illegal copies emerged[/h]

    The copy protection of the brand new streaming service Apple TV + was recently undone. The P2P Group CasStudio released the first three episodes of the TV series "Sea - Realm of the Blind". But there are other streaming providers affected by security holes. In addition to Hulu with different resolutions, it will soon also meet Disney +.


    Copy protection Apple TV + holey


    In short: so short online and already outsmarted. The group BLUTONiUM gets their material through the gap in the multimedia management software iTunes or the store. Almost every day they throw new black copies into the net. Since Apple TV + uses the same protection, the gap probably goes there too. Now the P2P Group CasStudio has sourced the material of several episodes of two recent series via Apple TV +.


    Hulu 1080p & Hulu 4k cracked, who's next?


    Until Disney + is cracked, it will not be long either. Finally, the same DRM is used there as in Hulu. Hulu has illegal releases in 1080p and 4k, such as the releases of NiXON. So in early November, numerous episodes of the series Four Weddings and a death and Into the Dark appeared. The resolution of the web-rip is 3840 x 2160 pixels. The series and feature films exclusively offered by Netflix have been picked up by various release groups for a long time in order to circulate them illegally.


    Until the releases of the FTP servers on various torrent trackers, filehosters or Usenet land, rarely passes long. For the content industry is thus a great loss, if someone once again tricked a copy protection. Apple would probably have waited a bit longer to release its own streaming service, Apple TV +, to develop security measures against online pirates that are less vulnerable. Although the use of Apple TV + requires the latest version of iOS, the security measures were probably not sufficient.


    New streaming service in the review


    Criticism came from several directions. The company from Cupertino relies exclusively on self-produced content. Works by other film studios will be searched in vain there. Therefore, the current offer is extremely clear, to put it nicely. The implementation is rated in the press compared to the competition as very "backward". In addition, an Apple TV + shows its own content mixed with other loan and purchase offers. Since you quickly lose track and puts on subscription even more money on it. This effect may not happen by accident, who knows! ???

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    [h=2]‘Demonoid’ Moves Away From .to Domain to Distance Itself From Scam Site[/h]

    The new Demonoid website, launched by staffers of the original community earlier this year, has moved to a new domain name. The site moved away from the .to domain name to avoid confusion with an obvious scam site. In addition, the operators believe that the Tonic registry isn't as private as some think.


    For many old-school torrent users, Demonoid is a familiar name. The site was founded sixteen years ago, which made it one of the oldest BitTorrent sites around.


    However, last year things changed when Deimos, the site’s founder, went missing. After months of uncertainty and downtime, it became clear that the site wasn’t coming back this time. Deimos is believed to have passed away in a tragic accident, marking the
    end of an era


    As time went on it became obvious that Demonoid would not return in its original state. However, many of the site’s staffers and users were eager to build a new home. Not so much to replace the old Demonoid, but more as a tribute, and to keep the name alive.


    This vision came to fruition a
    few months
    ago when Dnoid.to, a Demonoid successor, was launched. The new site has the same look and feel as the old site, but started over with a completely new user database.


    The new site doesn’t operate a tracker either. Instead, the most important goal of the site was to bring the old community back together.


    “Demonoid always had a special spot in people’s hearts. Keeping a memento of it without letting others ruin it by making copycats and phishing sites from it is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to him and keeping his legacy alive,” Demonoid staffer ‘phaze1G’ told us at the time.


    In the weeks that followed the site’s new userbase slowly started to grow but it also became apparent that the domain name choice was far from ideal.


    The .to domain is also used by another site, Demonoid.to, which is a well-known scam site. Instead of offering torrents, Demonoid.to urges people to download a binary client. The client download URL redirects to an affiliate link for a paid Usenet service.


    Demonoid scam



    Because of the dnoid.to / demonoid.to confusion, many users ended up at the wrong site. According to phaze1G, more than 800 emails with complaints about this issue were received in recent weeks.


    This volume wasn’t something the staff could ignore. As such, the team registered a new domain name,
    , which is the new home from now on. For the time being, visitors to the old domain will be automatically redirected.


    “The Tonic registry is not as reliable as it used to be with their redacted whois. They are handing over owner details, even following DMCA complaints, as we were told by some people from other sites,” phaze1G says.


    Indeed, as we have covered previously, the
    Tonic registry does comply
    with DMCA subpoenas from US Courts, but that’s something it has always done. The change here may be that DMCA subpoenas are more often used as an enforcement tool nowadays.


    With the fresh domain name, the ‘new’ Demonoid hopes to avoid any confusion and other domain troubles. Meanwhile, it will continue to keep the site going, something that went relatively well over the past weeks.


    “The site itself is doing fine. It’s not oversaturated, which is our goal. Many former users returned and lots of newcomers are stopping by too,” phaze1G notes.


    “We are trying to keep a moderated size of visitors, so the infrastructure doesn’t include more cost as the revenue from ads is not enough to cover the costs itself,” he adds.


    While Demonoid remains a big name that for many is surrounded by nostalgia, it’s a small player in the larger ecosystem today. With roughly half a million monthly visits, according to SimilarWeb, it pales in comparison to the larger torrent sites.



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    [h=2]Premier League weary of Illegal Streaming of Football Matches[/h]

    In a recent study conducted by Online Betting Guide (OLBG), a sports betting website, it was found that a large number of UK football fans access unofficial internet streams to watch football matches. This is despite the fact that there is widespread awareness among football fans regarding illegal streaming, yet there are around 5 million fans throughout UK, who continue to access such websites on a regular basis.


    “The research highlights that football fans in London are the worst culprits, as 58% of men in the capital admit to using illegal streams. A staggering 40% of football fans residing in London have also skipped work to watch football. A whopping 68% admit to using somebody else’s login on a device to watch a match, with almost one in 10 (8.8%) doing so on a regular basis.” A spokesperson for the EPL, addressed the fans of the League and stated that, illegal streaming of matches threatens the integrity of the game. Further, the success of the EPL competition depends on the audio-visual rights of the investment that ensure a high standard for the League and the fans.


    Such illegal streaming can have a negative impact on the English Premier League (EPL) and can subsequently threaten to infringe upon their intellectual property. The only way to curb this is to increase awareness among the football fans and to implement strict regulations for any kind of illegal streaming.

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    [h=2]Demise of the Movie Portal Streamworld and view4u - Openload, Streamango have to Pay[/h]

    Streamworld is no longer available on any known domain. The site went off the net several days ago. Solely Streamworld.co reached about 18 million page views from the German-speaking area last month. Preferred streaming hosters were Openload, Streamango and RapidVideo. They are all away from the window. That should explain the failure.


    Streamworld no longer available


    If you visit Streamworld.cc, Streamworld.co or Streamworld.to, you only get the error message from Cloudflare. The servers have either not been available for several days due to technical issues. Or you have turned it off. With the exception of Vivo.sx and Google Drive, all premium partners are offline. As a result, most links to TV series and feature film recordings are no longer valid. This obviously unlawful portal was quite popular due to the many new works with relatively little advertising and no links to rip-off providers. The creators had also made the website very clear. Whether the site comes back, you have to wait.


    Goodbye view4u.co!


    Also away from windows is the portal view4u.co, where only one strange note is displayed. Previously, several German-speaking cinema portals had expressly warned against visiting this site. It is amazing how the "serious" colleagues have been trying for months to generate clicks with pure scare tactics. There have been no warnings because of the use of obviously illegal cinema portals. The reason for this is simple: The IPaddresses of the visitors are known only to the operators of the portals and the streaming hoster. And they have no reason to pass them on to any rightholders, pirate hunters or law firms. On the contrary, they would destroy their own business model.


    Openload and Streamango pay high damages


    According to the press, the operators of Openload and Streamango had to pay a sum of unknown amounts to the antipiracy organization ACE (Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment). The operator of Openload had not seen any messenger service after more than two weeks had filed with him the application for the injunction. The lawyers commissioned in Germany of a well-known South German media law firm had evidently succeeded in finding out the names of the backers of several streaming hosters. After receipt of the letter, several providers stopped their support.


    The English-speaking forum WJunction has closed the support threads of the affected streaming hosters in protest. The operators had simply not let themselves be seen there either. This took the uploaders every room for their complaints. They still hoped to be paid for their work. Openload has generated more trafic than Hulu until closure. The file and streaming host was in the top 10 most visited websites worldwide. According to ACE, Openload had rented web servers from several providers in Romania, France and Germany. Almost three quarters of all major movie theaters have cooperated with Openload. Of course the whole links are now a thing of the past.



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    [h=2]RIAA Targets Music Hosting Service Wi.to, But Leaves Pirated Files Untouched[/h]

    The RIAA recently obtained a DMCA subpoena to uncover the owner of music hosting service Wi.to. The music group accuses the site of facilitating copyright infringement and points out several pirated tracks on the platform. Wi.to's operator is quite surprised by the RIAA's actions, not least because the group never asked for these files to be removed.


    This year the RIAA has discovered DMCA subpoenas as a useful enforcement tool against alleged pirate sites.


    The music industry group has repeatedly obtained these subpoenas against Cloudflare, ordering the CDN provider to hand over the personal details of its customers.


    The latest target is
    , a file-hosting site that specializes in music. In fact, that’s the only content that can be shared on the platform. However, like any user-generated content platform, people abuse it by sharing pirated files as well.


    This didn’t sit well with the RIAA which, armed with three URLs of infringing music as evidence, sent a subpoena to Cloudflare. The music group specifically asked for the physical address, IP address, e-mail address, payment information, account updates, and other info of the customer connected to Wi.to.




    This is the same boilerplate language we’ve seen in similar requests that were made in the past, which Cloudflare generally complies with. While the RIAA doesn’t specify what it intends to do with the information, it will generally be used to enforce the copyrights of its members.


    To hear the other side of the story we reached out to the operator of Wi.to, Sergey, who resides in Estonia. He was informed about the RIAA’s subpoena last week but doesn’t feel directly threatened.


    “We are not criminals,” Sergey says.


    “Wi.to is a service that makes it easy to publish music files DJs have created themselves. It’s true that the service is sometimes abused. But that’s something the users do. Also, services like Soundcloud or Dropbox are abused as well.”


    Sergey says that, as an Estonian, the DMCA doesn’t apply to him, however, the site does process
    abuse complaints
    . In response to these notices, infringing files are regularly removed.


    This is where things get interesting. The RIAA subpoena identifies three of these infringing music tracks. However, when we checked these URLs we found out that all three files are still online, including this Harleys in Hawaii track by Katy Perry.




    According to Sergey, the RIAA never asked for these files to be removed.


    “The RIAA hasn’t even contacted me and it looks to me like they’re acting arbitrarily. They deliberately want to get everything out of the way they can’t make money from,” Sergey tells us.


    Wi.to’s operator believes that the RIAA is overreacting. If they see any infringing files they should file an abuse complaint instead of going to court to request personal details through a third party company, while keeping the infringing files unaddressed.


    To Cloudflare, the RIAA wrote that any disclosed information will only be used to protect the copyrights of its members. However, sending an abuse complaint seems to be a more direct and effective way to do so.


    Intriguingly, the RIAA has asked Google to remove these three URLs from its search engine. However, these requests were pointless, for now, as the tracks were not indexed by the search engine.


    TorrentFreak reached out to the RIAA to find out what the purpose of the DMCA subpoenas is, but the organization prefers not to comment. Thus far, these efforts have had
    mixed results
    , but Wi.to isn’t planning to change its course.


    As outsiders, we can’t judge how Wi.to processes its abuse complaints. We did notice, however, that the site has a “pendejo” link in the footer, pointing to the Narcos theme song by Rodrigo Amarante, without permission.


    According to Sergey, this was a birthday present for one of his colleagues, which will be removed in due course or sooner, if an abuse notice comes in.



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    [h=2]Illicit streaming devices bring piracy to the mass market[/h]

    Federal investigators shut down an El Cajon storefront that sold piracy streaming devices to viewers looking to bypass Netflix and Hulu




    No longer tucked away in the dark reaches of the internet, the streaming of pirated television shows and films has gone mainstream.


    Just look at Heroes IPTV.


    Not satisfied with online sales alone, business partners Hisham Alshaikhli and Laith Alqaraghuli opened a storefront in El Cajon to sell the latest craze in pirated media: set-top boxes similar to a Roku, but preloaded with illicit streaming apps. For a one-time price — $150 to $350 — viewers could gain access to thousands of pirated films and shows, no subscription necessary.


    The brick-and-mortar shop gave customers a rare in-person shopping experience and lent the business the luster of legitimacy. But despite the openness with which the company operated, it was illegal.


    The black-market entrepreneurs are the first in the nation to be successfully criminally prosecuted for selling such illicit streaming devices, according to Homeland Security Investigations.


    Many more cases are in the pipeline. Criminal investigations into streaming piracy devices at the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center — a clearinghouse partnering U.S. law enforcement agencies with foreign allies — have more than doubled over the past two years, according to an estimate by the FBI.


    Pirated movies and shows in the digital age have long been available on massive online servers, called cyberlockers, as well as shared on peer-to-peer networks. But the online portals haven’t always been that simple for novices to access or navigate.


    It wasn’t until the advent of illicit streaming devices, paired with user-friendly interfaces, that the trend truly opened up to the mass market.


    The set-top boxes, which can be plugged into a TV, come preloaded with legitimate-looking streaming apps that open the door to massive unauthorized media collections.


    The growing popularity has content creators terrified.


    “We have been devalued because piracy has become rampant,” said Ruth Vitale, a veteran Hollywood producer and CEO of CreativeFuture, a nonprofit coalition of more than 550 companies and organizations working to protect creative rights. “Audiences don’t understand that over 85 percent of the businesses in film and television are small businesses employing under 10 people,” she added, noting the 2.2 million people who work in the U.S. film and TV industry.


    “Red carpets telegraph that we are all wealthy; we are working people.”


    The Global Innovation Policy Center, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, estimates that global online piracy costs the U.S. economy at least $29.2 billion in lost revenue each year, according to a study released in June.


    But the law protecting copyrighted works hasn’t evolved as fast as the technology.


    Downloading and distributing unauthorized content is a felony, a crime that carries a prison sentence of up to five years. Streaming that same content without permission, on the other hand, is considered infringing on a public performance and treated as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison.


    In other words, the law is more Napster era than Netflix.


    The criminal copyright code hasn’t been revised since 2008 — when streaming wasn’t considered a viable option.


    “Now 80 percent of all piracy happens through streaming,” Vitale said. “Things are going to have to change.”


    The so-called “streaming loophole” has been briefed in front of the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property earlier this year, and the U.S. Copyright Office has put its support behind felony-level penalties in illicit streaming cases, noting in a letter to the subcommittee “the failure of the current law to effectively address unauthorized streaming.”


    Much of the battle against digital piracy, especially when it comes to streaming, has been waged in civil litigation, with major studios going after illicit services after cease-and-desist letters go ignored.


    Criminal prosecutions involving streaming devices have been particularly rare.


    The Motion Pictures Association, a trade group that represents major studios from Disney to Sony to Netflix, has been one of the loudest voices calling on the federal government to go after violators criminally. In recent testimony to Congress, the association has also urged U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement to aggressively interdict illicit streaming devices coming into the U.S. from other countries.


    “The industry has a role to play to fight for their rights, but we need the support of law enforcement badly to get the message out that this is illegal and this should not happen,” said Jan van Voorn, chief of global content protection for the Motion Pictures Association.


    But investigating such cases can be challenging, according to the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations.


    The identities of streaming service operators or illicit device sellers are often cloaked in sham business and fake addresses, with many based overseas.


    The U.S. works closely with law enforcement on intellectual property issues in Europe, Canada and Mexico, but many other countries that shelter violators don’t have similar copyright laws, making diplomatic cooperation difficult at times, said Anthony Frazier, an FBI special agent at the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center.


    Often, an illicit streaming device is just one part of a global ecosystem, said Nathan Loehr, an intelligence analyst at the coordination center.


    “Hypothetically, you could have a California reseller obtaining a device built and shipped from China using software from India that’s allowing the streaming of content from Southeast Asia that’s being hosted on servers from the Netherlands,” said Loehr.


    And similar to other forms of organized crime, the players structure the operation in a way that limits interaction with each other.


    “That becomes really, really difficult to work our way up to develop that chain, but not impossible,” Loehr said.


    The El Cajon case was different, though.


    The operators of Heroes IPTV — a California corporation launched in 2015 — actually sold face-to-face out of its store, located in an office complex on Main Street at Jamacha Road. Undercover agents visited multiple times in 2017 and heard the sales pitch that blatantly described the product’s illegal purpose, according to Homeland Security Investigations, which handled the case.


    The set-top boxes were sourced from China and, once in the U.S., loaded with the illicit apps, including Show Box, according to HSI.


    Alshaikhli and Alqaraghuli pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting in the infringement of a public performance of a copyrighted work. While they faced up to a year in custody, a San Diego federal judge last month sentenced both to a year of unsupervised probation and $1,000 restitution each.


    The two are the first in the nation to plead guilty to selling such devices, according to HSI.


    While the El Cajon case has been quietly wrapping up in the courts, the streaming industry has been closely watching a new major prosecution unfold.


    In August, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia charged eight people linked to Jetflicks, a Las Vegas-based subscription streaming service designed to work on many different types of devices, from computers to set-top boxes to smartphones, according to the FBI.


    Jetflicks allegedly used sophisticated computer code to scour pirate websites around the world to pull in new content, according to the indictment.


    At one point, Jetflicks claimed to have more than 183,200 different television episodes, and the company distributed them to tens of thousands of paid subscribers around the U.S., the FBI said.


    One of the defendants left Jetflicks to launch his own service, iStreamItAll, the indictment alleges.


    The two lead defendants are facing felony charges, including reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material and money laundering.


    Law enforcement efforts to stamp out streaming piracy have focused on the supply chain, not individual viewers. Still, authorities and industry officials continue to search for ways to grab the attention of consumers.


    If the ethical argument isn’t enough to dissuade consumers, there’s something else they should consider: the possibility that these illicit streaming device are also preloaded with malware.


    By plugging a set-top device into a home’s internet network to stream, users have willingly bypassed router firewall protection and have invited potential intruders inside, making any other device on the network also vulnerable, experts say.


    Research by Digital Citizens Alliance and cybersecurity company Dark Wolfe Consulting found malware on piracy apps that stole user names and passwords, uploaded data without consent and probed user networks for weak spots, according to the findings released in April.


    “You’re supporting illegal activity by stealing creative content,” Voorn of the Motion Pictures Association said. “You don’t know who you’re doing business with.”


    And with the recent crackdowns against such streaming services and devices, there is also the real possibility of suddenly losing access. “You see a blank screen and nothing works anymore,” Voorn said. “Obviously that’s not a great consumer experience.


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    [h=2]Have Pirate IPTV Sellers on YouTube Lost Their Minds?[/h]

    For those involved in the online piracy supply chain, keeping your head down has almost always been part of the strategy. So why are there suddenly dozens of IPTV suppliers promoting their businesses on YouTube, holding personal question and answer sessions, bragging about the money they're making, while turning the camera on themselves?


    Anyone who has followed piracy and copyright infringement issues for years or even decades, few developments fall into the ‘WOW’ category anymore.


    That torrent and streaming services are still getting sued or raided is frankly daily fodder and after the military-style raid on Kim Dotcom hit the headlines, pretty much anything is possible.


    Over the past couple of years, however, something so bizarre – so ridiculous – has been developing on sites like YouTube to make even the most outspoken of pirates raise an eyebrow or two. We’re talking about the rise of the IPTV seller and reseller ‘celebrities’ who are openly promoting their businesses like a regular company might.


    reported this week
    , IPTV reseller company Boom Media LLC is getting sued by DISH Networks and NagraStar in the United States. That another one of these outfits is being targeted isn’t a shock. However, when promotional YouTube videos are produced in court evidence, with the alleged owner of the company personally appearing in them stating that “it’s pirated f**cking streams. It’s no different than buying f**king knockoff shoes. It’s black market shit,” one has to wonder what the hell is going on.


    So, just one person has allegedly done something reckless or ill-considered, right? Wrong. This type of behavior is neither isolated or rare.


    Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been sitting through hours of YouTube videos produced by people selling or reselling ‘pirate’ IPTV packages. In a worrying number, particularly given the popularity of their services, owners, founders, or ’employees’ of these outfits appear in person.


    Their names are publicly known and in some cases, even their addresses. These are not small players, not by any stretch. In some cases, we’re talking huge numbers of followers and many hundreds of thousands of views, selling well-recognized services.


    While in some cases hyperbole is clearly part of the pitch, it’s child’s play to find operators of these companies bragging about how much money they’ve made or are making, and how many customers they have. They speak to their subscribers, in person via live-streams, conduct detailed Q&A sessions, while ‘confirming’ the supposed legality of what they’re doing.


    In a surprising number of cases, negative comments by users concerning legality are passed off as ridiculous, with sellers describing the sale of pirate IPTV subscriptions as residing in a gray area with the law powerless to do anything about it. While we could have a detailed argument here about the intricacies of any number of laws, both criminal and civil, and any potential defenses to them, these people appear to be missing the point.


    Just this week, Openload – a true Internet giant with considerable resources – was pummeled into submission by dozens of the world’s largest content companies after agreeing to pay substantial damages. This was a file-hosting goliath being beaten up dozens of bigger goliaths. No face on YouTube required.


    Another example can be found in Kim Dotcom, who says he has spent upwards of $40m in legal fees, even though, on the surface, many argue he has a solid legal basis for mounting a successful defense in the United States. But that’s $40,000,0000 already,
    before trial, an amount that will no doubt skyrocket in the event he ever gets sent there.


    But here’s the thing. The majority of these IPTV ‘celebrities’, for want of a better term, are actually living in the United States already. It’s not necessary to name any of them, they do enough of that themselves. But in addition to their self-declared IPTV empires, some have significant and legitimate additional business interests too, which could all be put in jeopardy, one way or another, should the proverbial hit the fan.


    In a piracy world where many are discussing anonymity, encryption, proxies, cryptocurrency payments, to name just a few, these people are deliberately making their identities known. They are not hiding away and as a result, they are known by anti-piracy groups who probably can’t believe their luck.


    They not only have their real names and their own faces splashed across their own IPTV-based YouTube channels, but also channels that cover other aspects of their sometimes flamboyant lives. Anti-piracy groups don’t need investigators to find out who they are anymore, it’s common knowledge. An alias? Not parading yourself on the modern equivalent of TV? That’s soooo 1999, apparently.


    The big question is whether these people really have lost their minds, or do they actually know something that most other people don’t? When did putting your own face in multiple videos, selling access to an admittedly pirated product via a company in your own name, become part of a solid business plan? It’s truly bizarre and cannot end well.


    Welcome to 2019, it’s a truly strange place to be.



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    Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 11/04/19

    The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘The Lion King'. 'The King' completes the top three.
    This week we have three newcomers in our chart.
    Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is the most downloaded movie.
    The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are Web-DL/Webrip/HDRip/BDrip/DVDrip unless stated otherwise.


    RSS feed
    for the articles of the recent weekly movie download charts.
    This week’s most downloaded movies are:





    Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer
    Most downloaded movies via torrents
    1 (2) Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw 6.7 /
    2 (1) The Lion King 7.1 /
    3 (…) The King 7.4 /
    4 (3) Spider-Man: Far from Home 7.8 /
    5 (5) Toy Story 4 8.1 /
    6 (…) Good Boys 6.8 /
    7 (4) The Angry Birds Movie 2 6.4 /
    8 (…) The Peanut Butter Falcon 7.9 /
    9 (6) Dark Phoenix 6.0 /
    10 (back) Joker (Cam) 8.8 /


    Edited by dontpanicRendition
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    [h=2]More illegal content downloaded in Luxembourg compared to other countries?[/h]

    A recent study by EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) showed that 51% of young Europeans had never pirated any content online.


    These figures demonstrate a shift in mentality taking place in Europe, despite the fact that films, series and music are still downloaded or streamed illegally on a regular basis. Young Europeans seem to shifting towards more legal methods of consuming content.


    The internet habits of young people from the 28 member states, aged between 15 and 24, were examined and compared as part of the EUIPO study. The same study was carried out in 2016. More than half of the respondents had not used illegal methods to obtain digital content in 2019, compared to 40% in 2016.




    The study differentiated between those who downloaded illegally with intention, and those who did not realise the practise was illegal. In Luxembourg, the intentional illegal downloads accounted for 29%, compared to 35% in 2016. The European average is 21%. Lithuanians are the worst offenders with an average of 45%, while Germany lead by example at 13%.




    It would appear that the young population are taking more notice of internet dangers. They also subscribe to services which allow unlimited access to online content and streaming services, which is a likely indicator for the reduction in illegal streaming.



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    [h=2]Huge Anti-Piracy Operation in Brazil Targets Hundreds of Websites & Apps[/h]

    A massive operation in Brazil has seen police across the country take action against hundreds of 'pirate' websites and apps. The Ministry of Justice initially said that 'suspensions' had hit 136 sites and 100 apps but that number has continued to grow. Authorities state that they received assistance from US authorities including ICE and the Department of Justice.


    Authorities in Brazil have periodically attempted to disrupt piracy in the region, including actions such as ‘
    Operation Copyright
    ‘ that targeted a large private torrent site in January


    Last Friday, however, it became clear that a much more ambitious operation had begun. Codenamed ‘Operation 404’ after the HTTP error of the same name, the action was announced by Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security.


    During an early press conference detailing progress thus far, the Secretariat of Integrated Operations (Seopi) revealed that “136 websites and 100 applications” had already been suspended alongside the execution of 30 search and seizure warrants.


    “After four months of investigation, it can be said that the action is a milestone for piracy in the country, which causes various damages to society,” said Alesandro Barreto, coordinator of Seopi’s Cyber ​​Operations Laboratory.


    “I don’t know of another operation that has blocked so many apps and websites in one day. This is a very clear message and that the judicial police, through the integrated operation with Seopi, will act against this crime that cannot be tolerated.”


    Operation 404




    The authorities did not release the names of any websites or applications targeted nor specifically detail what “suspension” means in the context of any specific case. Suspensions can take many forms, from serious ones (raids and equipment confiscations, for example) through to ones that have a more limited long-term impact, such as blocking or domain seizures.


    Details are fairly scarce but TF learned that a site known locally as Megacine
    that it had decided to close down following the operation. A notice now displayed on the football-focused site
    indicates that it is being blocked but is still online.


    Blocked in Brazil



    The Ministry of Justice states that at least in some instances it had worked with authorities in France, the United States and Canada to suspend domains, arrange “de-indexing from search engines” while suspending profile pages on social networks.


    The operation is said to be receiving support from local anti-piracy groups including ANCINE (National Film Agency) and the National Council for the Fight Against Piracy (CNCP). Additionally, the US Embassy in Brazil, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the US Department of Justice have reportedly played roles.


    While the early figures presented (136 websites and 100 applications suspended) were already significant, local media reports suggest that the number is increasing fairly rapidly.


    that 210 sites involved in the unlawful distribution of movies, TV shows and live TV have been targeted, in addition to the initial 100 apps that provide access to “illegal content streaming”.


    Raids have been carried out in 12 states in Brazil and in six states, at least
    eight people
    have been arrested. Details


    • Warrant executed against a 33-year-old for the unlicensed distribution of TV signals (no arrest)

    • Warrant executed against an individual suspected of “stealing” a TV operator’s signals. Computer seized but no arrest

    • A 63-year-old man was arrested in São Paulo under suspicion of operating a website that broadcast TV channels in return for a US$7.50 per month subscription fee

    Penalties for operating piracy sites or services in Brazil can reach four years in prison, more if other criminal aspects such as money laundering are involved.


    According to the Ministry of Justice, up to 20 million households in Brazil access pirated content via the Internet but many citizens are said to have a poor understanding of which services are legitimate and which ones are not.



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    [h=2]Disney Plus, Netflix and other big streaming sites could soon crack down on password-sharing[/h]

    The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), an anti-piracy alliance that counts major streaming companies, Hollywood studios, broadcasters and ISPs amongst its members, is turning its attention to clamping down on password sharing.


    It’s a practice that’s common amongst family members and friends groups. By sharing one set of login details, several people can piggyback on a single account for a subscription service.


    Unfortunately, it might not be a possibility for much longer.


    ACE launched in 2017, and to date it has focused on piracy and illegal streaming services and devices. Last week, however, it launched a “new working group focused on reducing unauthorized access to content” (via TorrentFreak).


    It’s a deliberately vaguely worded announcement, but in this case it’s likely that “unauthorized” refers to the streaming platforms rather than the creators of shared accounts.


    Some of the major streaming companies that are members of ACE include Netflix, Disney, Amazon, Sky and HBO.


    “We are very pleased that ACE and its coalition of members have committed through this initiative to take on unauthorized password sharing and other content security practices, and we look forward to working together on this important issue,” said Tom Rutledge, the chairman and CEO of Charter Communications, a US telco that has just joined ACE.


    “Consumer, creators, and distributors alike will benefit from collaborative solutions that make content more secure and curtail unauthorized copyright use and distribution, while preserving the customer’s ability to enjoy the content rights they’ve purchased on the network, platform, device, and locations to which they subscribe.”


    Netflix last month revealed that it is looking at ways to clamp down on password-sharing, but wanted to find a solution that won’t alienate its customers.


    The company said it has “no big plans” to announce yet, but will continue to monitor the situation.


    Meanwhile, back in August, Disney announced that it will work with Charter to “implement business rules and techniques to address such issues as unauthorized access and password sharing” for Disney Plus.



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    [h=2]Securing The Streaming Of Live Sports And Combating Piracy[/h]

    As more OTT options for sports emerge, broadcasters must be on guard to protect them.


    Sports has been famously referred to as the “battering ram” for global expansion of pay-TV subscriptions. With recent advances in live streaming technology and the introduction of new OTT sports viewing options such as subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) packages, sports fans are moving from traditional broadcast to online streaming services.


    However, not all live OTT sports services are from legitimate sources. Piracy of live OTT sports broadcasts has proliferated with rising global demand for streaming and the ease of access to this content on consumer devices. Estimates from research firm Parks Associates peg the cost of video piracy this year for pay-TV and OTT providers at $9.1 billion in lost revenue. Consider that NBC agreed back in 2011 to pay $4.38 billion for the rights to broadcast the Olympics through the 2020 games—the most expensive broadcasting rights deal in Olympic history. It all adds up to an unparalleled need for comprehensive content protection and anti-piracy solutions.


    But protecting the revenue of a premium live sports broadcast or streaming service with legacy conditional access systems (CAS), or even modern digital rights management (DRM) technology, may not be sufficient to block piracy services and redistribution of live sporting events. Pirates effectively restream live sporting content, after it has been decrypted, using various circumventions such as screen-recording software, external camera recording or HDMI-capture devices with a high-bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) “stripper.”




    As the competition heats up and improvements in technology bring the live OTT viewing experience closer to broadcast TV, live OTT sports service providers are starting to innovate in other areas as they look to attract and retain new viewers. Consequently, as with other streaming media technologies, there are certain well-accepted platform considerations that guide delivery.


    For example, consumer interest is growing worldwide in lockstep with pervasive use of IP networks and global cloud-based platforms such as AWS, Alibaba, Azure and Google Cloud. At the same time, local CDNs allow content to be served from the edge, putting resources closer to users and providing a superior user experience. DRM technology is an essential enabler for OTT video as content delivered at the edge must be encrypted at rest and played on trusted clients.


    Scaling for peak viewing is also a factor. Live sports are appointment-driven viewing, creating peaks in traffic during major events. Scalability for millions of simultaneous viewers is daunting, and DRM is not trivial to master. A poor implementation results in a frustrating viewer experience, and ultimately may lead to costly subscriber churn. With live events, this challenge is compounded by the need to quickly deliver a large number of DRM licenses to a global audience on a broad range of devices. A managed multi-DRM service is one alternative to in-house development.


    Advancements in delivering live OTT sports, streaming services continue to experience latency, potentially leading to spoilers and ultimately subscriber attrition. Recent industry innovations, such as low latency Common Media Application Format (CMAF) and Low-Latency HLS (LHLS), provide an “equivalent to broadcast” transmission delay of 3-5 seconds versus 10 times or more in typical adaptive bitrate encoding and delivery scenarios.


    Traditional broadcast services, using managed networks, have honed their high-availability performance. In order to retain subscribers, OTT live streaming must match and exceed that performance and OTT services look to achieve this by utilizing a scalable and redundant architecture that is deployed across multiple data centers and CDNs for performant access to content, and a reliable and scalable solution for DRM license delivery.




    Pirates typically use screen recording software or an external camera to record and restream the content. Acting as a crucial complement to CAS or DRM, user-specific forensic watermarking technology embeds a unique identifier for each session, enabling identification of the device that is “leaking” or restreaming the content. This allows for real-time shutdown of the illegal redistribution or the ability to take other actions subject to the service provider’s policy.


    Forensic watermarking can be applied either at the head-end during content processing and delivery (server-side) or within the client device and video player (client-side). For live sports OTT services, avoiding latency when adding a forensic watermark is crucial. Server-side technology requires heavy integration with the live encoders and CDNs, and can add additional latency to live events.


    On the other hand, the major requirement for addressing the piracy of sports content is the capability of the fast, real-time extraction for the embedded watermark. Therefore most vendors are focusing on client-side watermarking technologies as the best approach for live sports. This does not require significant watermarking integration nor add to system overhead, which is currently required for server-side solutions.


    It is important to note that the first step in combating live sports piracy is to detect the pirated service. It is essential to also take advantage of monitoring services and web crawling tools, in conjunction with session-based watermarking. Combining digital fingerprinting technology, which is required for automatic content recognition (ACR) applications, with session-based forensic watermarking will achieve the most effective end-to-end anti-piracy service. This combined approach enables monitoring of known piracy sites for pirated streams and ultimately the detection forensics required to prosecute pirates and take action to disrupt the entire value chain from illicit source to consumer.




    OTT technology offers a unique opportunity to deliver live sports without regard for geographical borders, allowing global audiences to access content on a broad range of devices, platforms and networks. By way of example, with the ubiquitous ExpressPlay DRM platform, the service provider can employ any monetization method, including pay-per-view, subscription or freemium. As an integral element of content protection, it allows for forensic watermarking of live, linear and on-demand OTT services to prevent piracy.


    It is also possible to build on DRM to reduce copyright infringement and minimize losses. While traditional and streaming broadcasters have long used both conditional access and DRM to protect content, particularly live sports, technology cannot be the only line of defense. Tackling piracy also requires pursuing offenders through legal remedies, such as in the courts, sending a message to others. In addition, collaborative efforts to monitor the web, as well as closed pirate networks for content leakage, must be front-and-center in the response.


    As the business of delivering live action to sports fans around the world changes rapidly, new challenges take the field for media and broadcasters. Ensuring that OTT content is received by the intended user in a secure, high-quality manner and based on subscription service, device and location can be complex. Content publishers, network operators, and broadcasters must be supported by technological means to receive their full media monetization, so they can continue delivering live OTT sports content to eager fans.


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    [h=2]Epic Games Wants Mother to Represent Persistent Fortnite Cheater ‘Sky Orbit’[/h]

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


    In an associated memorandum and declaration, the company explains that C.R. allegedly continued cheating over the past several months. Part of the evidence comes from a video titled “

    ” uploaded to YouTube by ShelbyRenae.


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


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


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


    From the declaration




    The same voice also appears in another high profile video on YouTube. Epic argues that C.R. also appeared

    where another teenager, CBV, responded to a
    separate lawsuit
    that Epic Games filed against him.


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


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



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


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


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


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



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    [h=2]MPA Wants Pirated Content Removed Proactively, Just Like Hate Speech[/h]

    Major Internet platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are taking proactive measures to keep offensive content off their services. According to the Motion Picture Association, online services can use similar systems to proactively remove pirated content too. That would be even easier since it doesn't raise the same speech concerns, the group's senior vice president notes.


    The entertainment industries are becoming increasingly frustrated by major Internet platforms that are, in their view, not doing enough to tackle online piracy.


    While legitimate user-generated content platforms respond to takedown requests, which they are legally required to, most don’t go any further. This, despite repeated calls from industry groups for help.


    Over the past several years, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) has made some progress, partnering with several intermediaries, including payment providers and advertising companies. However, it has struggled to persuade major user-generated platforms and social media sites to be more proactive.


    This frustration is fueled by more recent developments which have seen these same platforms take voluntary action against hate speech, fake news, violence, and other offensive content that populates social media timelines.


    Twitter, for example, took action against more than
    half a million accounts
    over “hateful content” during the first half of the year, helped by ‘artificial intelligence’. YouTube and Facebook also report that they are doing more to proactively detect hate speech, while other online services are taking voluntary action as well.


    The MPA has followed this trend. The group recently brought the topic up during a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on “Fostering a Healthier Internet to Protect Consumers.” The hearing dealt with an ongoing examination of Section 230 of the Communications Act.


    Section 230 shields online services from liability. However, Congress also intended it to encourage these platforms to take reasonable steps to deter undesirable behavior. While Section 230 doesn’t apply to copyright, the MPA’s SVP and Senior Counsel, Neil Fried, chimed in with a written testimony for the record.


    Fried notes that the liability protections are similar to those of the DMCA, where copyright is at the center. Also, the complaint that Internet services are not doing enough to prevent harmful content from spreading, is similar to the MPA’s complaint that they do too little to prevent copyright infringement.


    The MPA’s General Senior Vice President highlights these hate-speech enforcement efforts and acknowledges there are complex issues to address – especially with subjects that are not by definition illegal in law, since free speech is a great good.


    “A few companies have recently developed systems to proactively identify posts promoting hate and violence, and have invoked their terms of service to terminate accounts of those engaged in such activity, although not before wrestling with concerns over the impact on expression,” Fried writes.


    However, that’s not much of a problem when it comes to copyright, the MPA believes.


    “If online intermediaries and user-generated content platforms can proactively identify such content and terminate service in these cases, surely they can terminate service and take other effective action in cases of clearly illegal conduct, which present brighter lines and don’t raise the same speech concerns,” Fried adds.


    Fried suggests that online services should use the same tools they employ to detect hate speech and other harmful content to proactively remove pirated content too. Copyright infringement is prohibited in the terms of services of these companies, so they would have room to do so.


    While Fried is right that copyright infringement is more clearly defined than harmful content, dealing with it proactively is not without challenges. Unlike harmful content, some people may have the right to post some copyrighted content, while others do not. And fair use is hard to capture by an algorithm as well.


    The MPA nonetheless hopes that online platforms will cooperate. In addition, it wants to see if current liability exemptions can be overhauled, using legislation to motivate Internet companies to do more.


    This was also made clear to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. And while possible legal fixes are being considered, the US should not include such liability provisions into new trade agreements, the MPA’s SVP notes.


    “In the meantime, as Congress reexamines online liability limitations, the United States should refrain from including such limitations in future trade agreements, which runs the risk of freezing the current framework in place,” Fried writes.


    This follows an earlier recommendation from the House Judiciary Committee. Last month the Committee urged lawmakers
    not to include DMCA-style safe harbors
    in trade agreements while alternatives are being discussed.




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    [h=2]There’s Too Many Damn Streaming Services, Study Finds[/h]

    The entertainment industry risks annoying consumers with too many exclusives at too high a price point, another study has found.


    There’s really no doubt that the streaming TV revolution has been a good thing for American consumers. Instead of paying a company like Comcast a small fortune for hundreds of unwatched channels and comically-terrible customer service, streaming providers are offering lower costs and greater flexibility without pissing customers off on a daily basis.


    But there’s some early hints of trouble in paradise.


    A new study by data analytics firm UTA IQ indicates that the overabundance of choice may actually come with a few downsides. Specifically, as a growing roster of companies rush into the space and attempt to lock down subscribers via paywalled exclusives, forcing users to dig through a long list of services to find the content they want is starting to get annoying.


    The study, which surveyed 6,634 consumers across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and The Netherlands, found that 70 percent of streaming customers say there’s now too many streaming options. 87 percent worry it will become too expensive to keep up with all of them.


    Some of these well hyped worries are overblown. Unlike traditional cable TV, users can subscribe and unsubscribe to different services without penalty. So yes, while subscribing to Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, HBO Max, and a laundry list of other services can quickly get expensive, there’s nothing requiring you subscribe to all of them—all of the time.


    Still, with nearly every broadcaster expected to launch a streaming service by 2022—and most of them looking to make their content exclusive to their own platform—there remains a risk that a gluttony of paywalled exclusive could start to piss consumers off.


    For example, 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.


    Having too many services to choose from in some ways is a nice problem to have. But annoy customers with too many passwords, paywalls, and exclusives, and the industry risks driving these users back to something it has been battling for decades: piracy.


    There’s some early anecdotal evidence that may already be happening. After years of decline data indicates BitTorrent traffic has started to rebound over the last few years. A recent survey out of the UK found that existing piracy rates could double should users be inundated with too many streaming exclusives at too high a price point.


    “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,” Ernesto van der Sar, owner of piracy trend website TorrentFreak recently told Motherboard. “A likely result is that more people will pirate on the side.”


    That said, this latest study indicated that many consumers aren’t fed up by the glut of offerings just yet. According to the study, 42 percent of consumers say they intend to add one streaming service sometime in the immediate future; most likely a nod to Disney and Apple’s new streaming services, Disney+ and Apple TV+, both of which arrive later this month.


    As the streaming market grows, many of these offerings will fail and fall by the wayside, easing some aspects of subscription fatigue. Still, data makes it pretty clear that the streaming sector needs to tread carefully when it comes to inundating users with too many costly exclusives.


    Ignore that lesson and users will likely pirate, an ironic outcome for a sector that took years to realize that the best way to compete with piracy is to offer better, simpler, and cheaper options.



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    [h=2]Dutch ISP Does Not Have to Identify Alleged Pirates, Appeals Court Rules[/h]

    Internet provider Ziggo is not required to hand over the personal details of 377 alleged pirates, a Dutch Court of Appeal has ruled. The information was requested by movie distributor Dutch Filmworks, which hoped to claim damages from the account holders. The Court pointed out, however, that the company's plans lack transparency, so it can't properly decide whether the privacy rights of alleged pirates weigh stronger than the copyrights of the movie company.


    Piracy settlement letters have become a serious threat in several countries.


    Dutch Internet users have been spared from this practice, but local movie distributor Dutch Filmworks (DFW), planned to change that.


    Two years ago the movie company
    received permission
    from the Dutch Data Protection Authority to track the IP-addresses of BitTorrent users who shared pirated movies.


    However, that was only the first hurdle, as Dutch Internet provider Ziggo refused to share any customer data without a court order.


    The case went to court, where the movie company requested the personal details of 377 account holders whose addresses were allegedly used to share a copy of the movie “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”.


    Dutch Filmworks lost this case but swiftly announced an appeal. This ruling was initially expected during this summer, but the Court of Appeal
    it due to the complexity of the case. After additional deliberation, the Court announced its
    verdict today


    The Court of Appeal in Arnhem sided with the lower court, rejecting the request for subscriber details. In its ruling, the Court explains that it must find a balance between the privacy rights of subscribers and Dutch Filmworks’ intellectual property rights.


    In this specific case, copyright doesn’t outweigh the privacy rights of Internet subscribers. This is, in part, because it remains uncertain what the movie company plans to do with the personal data it obtains. Dutch Filmworks explained that it could either warn subscribers or request damages, but that it would decide this on a case-by-case basis.


    “By not being transparent about the criteria it applies when carrying out its intended actions, the interests of the involved Ziggo customer are harmed,” the Court notes.


    “In the opinion of the Court of Appeal, this leads to a disturbance of the [rights] balance, in particular in the situation that it is uncertain whether the Ziggo customer involved is actually the infringer,” the Court adds, noting that the subscriber in question may be a third-party.


    In addition, it remains unclear how large the proposed settlements will be. An initial figure of €150 per infringement has been mentioned in the past, but this number could also be significantly higher. Transparency is lacking here as well, which means more uncertainty for the potential targets.


    After weighing all evidence, the Court of Appeal concludes that the lower court
    made the right decision
    . Based on the presented information, the Court can’t grant the request to hand over the personal details of alleged infringers.


    “There are no clear and comprehensible criteria based on which an estimate can be made of the consequences for the relevant Ziggo customers, if their personal data is disclosed. It cannot be checked whether the intended measures are in reasonable proportion to the importance that it serves DFW and the privacy interest of the Ziggo customer whose privacy is violated.”


    In addition, the Court ordered the movie company to pay €4,000 in costs. Whether Dutch Filmworks will continue to appeal the case is unknown at the time of publication. For now, however, Ziggo customers don’t have to worry about a settlement letter from Dutch Filmworks.



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    [h=2]Anti-Piracy 2.0: Social Networks Should Treat Copyright Violations Like Hate Comments[/h]

    One knows that piracy is a constantly growing problem for the film, software and games industry. All you have to do is enter the term "Game XY Crack for free" on the search engine of your choice. This pleases the one, annoys third parties and of course costs the industry a lot of time, nerves and a lot of money. Now you have come up with something new when it comes to piracy ...


    Links to illegal content are hard to find on social networks


    The reason for this is simple Because even with social media, the spread of piracy content is becoming increasingly popular. Such links remain, unless someone reports them. Nevertheless, such content is difficult to find in the data chaos of social media. Facebook is not so easy to scour, such as certain areas of a forum.


    But let us take for example another big and prominent problem. The widely hated hate comments, which are also on Twitter, Facebook and Co. piling, are relatively quickly found and removed. However, no one can say with 100% certainty that a comment is now vicious or not. While piracy content is in some ways hurtful to industry, it is not treated like hate content, much to the delight of pirates, of course.


    Since many social networks are headquartered in the United States, they are subject to American jurisdiction. There, according to Section 230 of the American Telemedia Act, they are released from liability for piracy content.


    Social network operators should treat copyright infringements such as hate comments


    As Torrentfreak reports, the Association of Film Studios MPA has quite new plans. The Motion Picture Association demands that the "social giants" do more to stop piracy than just react to "DMCA takedown notices." For example, Twitter is said to have suspended more than half a million accounts for hate comments and hate content using artificial intelligence. So why not use the same technology to fight illegal content?


    As the MPA is currently criticizing that operators are not doing enough about piracy, this could possibly change soon. However, it is questionable whether they could currently force them under US law at all.


    Possible consequences of Anti-Piracy 2.0


    But what does that mean for me as a user? That still remains to be seen. We will see if and when social network giants are compliant and expand their content recognition systems. Does such a piracy fight come at all? It would certainly be very alarming if an algorithm of each of our postings will be analyzed soon. Everything we write, you would then automatically evaluate in terms of copyright. Either the illegal contents are then deleted directly. Or in the consequence even our account locked by the social network. Either way, that would not have much in common with a free internet.

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    [h=2]Popcorn Time Domain Registrar Orders DNS Deactivation[/h]

    PopcornTime.sh, considered by many to be the 'official' successor to the original Popcorn Time application, has serious domain issues. According to public records, its domain registrar has issued an order to its registry to deactivate its DNS access. Separately, an as-yet unconfirmed report suggests that an arrest in Tunisia may be connected to the current downtime.


    In 2014, the application known as Popcorn Time burst onto the scene to transform the BitTorrent landscape.


    Instead of accessing torrent files from indexing platforms such as The Pirate Bay to download them in a comparatively boring regular client, users were given a beautiful, Netflix-style, all-in-one solution.


    Very quickly, Popcorn Time became a smash-hit sensation but it also attracted movie and TV show companies determined to shut it down. While some success was booked on this front, Popcorn Time’s open-source nature meant that it could be replicated by enthusiasts, such as those who ultimately ended up operating from PopcornTime.sh.


    While there are other variants, Reddit’s
    considers the .sh domain as offering the ‘official’ version of PopcornTime and the site was
    previously linked
    from the official Github repository. As the image below shows, the website and associated services attached to the app via the .sh domain were working just fine on November 3, 2019.


    All systems were functioning Nov 3, 2019




    The situation today, however, is very much different. PopcornTime.sh and all the sub-domains which allow its app to work as intended have been rendered inaccessible.


    According to WHOIS data, late on Monday the domain was updated. It isn’t due to expire for another year but its domain status is currently listed as “clientHold”, which can signal bad news.


    PopcornTime.sh – clientHold




    ‘ClientHold’ status is set by the domain registrar, 101domain.com in this case, and informs the registry not to activate the DNS for PopcornTime.sh. As a result, the website in question has been rendered inaccessible.


    “This status code tells your domain’s registry to not activate your domain in the DNS and as a consequence, it will not resolve,” ICANN’s official advice
    . “It is an uncommon status that is usually enacted during legal disputes, non-payment, or when your domain is subject to deletion.”


    We have been unable to officially confirm why PopcornTime.sh has been given this treatment but in the past, clientHold status has proven problematic for domains and has sometimes signaled legal issues. Information received earlier today adds at least some weight to that theory.


    This afternoon we received an email from the folks at
    who, citing anonymous police sources, claim that the site’s operator
    may (and that’s a pretty big ‘may’) have been arrested in Tunisia.


    The publication also posted an image that supposedly shows items confiscated as evidence as part of a “raid” carried out in “cooperation with some international copyright organization.”


    Unable to confirm the allegations from any other source and given its worldwide position on anti-piracy enforcement, TorrentFreak contacted the Alliance For Creativity and Entertainment seeking confirmation or indeed denial that it was involved in this alleged and as-yet unconfirmed action.


    We were told by their spokesperson that at this point in time, he wasn’t able to provide us with any information.


    Although the moderators of the official PopcornTime sub on Reddit claim to have no direct connection with the software distributed and maintained from the .sh domain, TorrentFreak requested comments from all of them. At the time of publication, however, we were yet to hear back.


    Whether the domain issue will be solved in time is unclear but that seems largely reliant on whether the information about a supposed arrest in North Africa holds up as credible.


    Similar action in that region is extremely rare, perhaps unheard of as far as popular applications go, so there will be a waiting game for the full picture to emerge, if it ever does. Last year, PopcornTime.sh was targeted by
    movie companies
    seeking the identity of its operator but what ultimately became of that remains unclear.



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    [h=2]Academic Piracy – Where are we now?[/h]

    In 2018, e-book piracy websites received over 800 million visits; a number expected to rise by at least a third in 2019. The scale of piracy in academic publishing is staggering, yet one would be excused for assuming it a mere annoyance to publishers. Inevitability haunts any discussion of piracy in the industry and pervades even the most pragmatic. With one in four students admitting that they regularly pirate academic content, the issue cannot be ignored.


    Publishers have begun to feel the financial squeeze. Academic publishers, on average, lose over 28% of their potential revenue to piracy. Despite the well-publicised inflation of textbook prices (847% in the past 30 years – Economist, 2014), NACS recently reported a 31% decrease in total spending on course materials since 2007. Most often, decline in textbook revenue is blamed on enrolment stagnation, yet, in reality, students are increasingly being squeezed towards piracy as well as the second hand book market, which accounts for 25% of the total market in book sales (McKinsey 2014).


    The concept of e-book ownership is flawed within academic publishing. Publishers rely upon outdated DRM technology to safeguard a product that is completely relinquished at point-of-sale. DRM is now so laughably simple to crack that it undeniably exacerbates the issue, with cracked titles being widely distributed online.


    Pirate search engines like LibGen and SciHub have thrived for years; SciHub facilitated over 1 billion illegal downloads of academic content last year alone. Even Scribd, a legitimate partner of most major publishers, retains it’s document sharing feature that – at best – turns a blind eye to textbook copyright infringement.


    Yet, for such an existential threat, academic piracy has surprisingly been met with seemingly quiet resignation.


    LibGen finally provoked (well-publicised) legal action from a publisher in 2015. Predictably enough, this action has proven singularly ineffective. But then, this reactive ‘whack-a-mole’ approach to anti-piracy always will be. When industry innovation extends only so far as automated cease-and-desist letters and designed QR codes as ‘certification tags’, a simple domain change will allow the pirates to continue with relative impunity. These reactive approaches fail to account for content consumers that view this as a victimless crime, if even a crime at all.


    Rather than concede to doom and gloom, we must more fully understand and eradicate the root cause of piracy. There are two fundamental and alienating issues: students feel they are neither offered affordable solutions, nor the desired accessibility and convenience they have come to expect. 7 in 10 students now forego textbook purchases; perceiving them to be overpriced (US PIRG). The model of ownership is so clearly broken, that 73% of students would far prefer an access model instead. Students crave affordability and accessibility that have simply been unavailable.


    There is a chasm between the value placed upon academic content by the publishers and the students. No statistic is perhaps more damning than Science Magazine’s 2016 survey which showed that 88% of students do not equate the piracy of academic content with criminality. It requires only a cursory glance at social media to see that student’s opinions of publishers are at best ambivalent, and at worst vitriolic.


    How can publishers possibly repair this disconnect? There is a pressing need to re-acquaint students with the value of this content and the work of publishers. This can’t happen by inflating prices – counter to some beliefs in the industry. Equally, albeit admirable, publishers that are now reducing textbook prices won’t succeed. Price action alone, without changing the method of delivery won’t result in sustainable change. Whilst students are forced into a flawed ownership model, accessibility won’t improve. Increasingly, the solution points towards access models, specifically ones that allow third parties to act as mediators between publishers and consumers.


    Disconnects between the publishers and consumers of content have been dealt with well in other industries, namely the music industry. The infamy of Limewire and BitTorrent will be familiar to many – as will the laborious task of finding the right content and eventually uploading to an iPod. With an affordable, and far more convenient option, streaming services like Spotify managed to better serve this this market need. An NDP study showed that in 2012 as Spotify grew, illegally downloaded music files from P2P services fell by 26%. Consumers flocked to the streaming service offering instantly accessible, aggregated content at a fixed affordable price.


    Notably though, there is a cautionary tale. After Netflix’s pivot to aggregated digital subscription, they experienced a meteoric rise. The streaming service penetrated the global market so successfully that piracy in the film industry fell by over 50% between 2011 and 2016. In 2018, however, with the segmentation of the entertainment industry, and the rapid growth of Amazon Prime, Hulu and now Disney, for the first time in years, piracy actually increased. This shines a light on the universal truth in the provision of content: the convenience and affordability of aggregation are key. In the pursuit of coverage, the consumer must subscribe to ever more platforms, their convenience is ultimately hindered and they are lead inevitably to increased piracy.


    Publishers can learn key lessons here. Whilst single-publisher subscription services like Cengage Unlimited are laudable and monetise market segments lost to piracy and second hand sales, they aren’t sustainable. As other publishers emulate, consumers will be forced towards subscription saturation, where once again piracy becomes the affordable and convenient choice. Publishers must think longer-term, shedding any sense of hubris. With the added issues of academic freedom, no single publisher can possibly win a subscription arms race.


    A third-party aggregated subscription service is far from novel in academic publishing, yet it has also never truly been tested. Despite this being the logical, proactive solution to piracy, it is too often met with unfounded fears and reluctance to change. To successfully provide the convenience and affordability required, this service has to have buy-in from the leading publishers, for all of their content. Data already exists to show that cannibalisation of other sales revenue is a totally unfounded fear. Any marginal impact on other sales channels is recouped (and more besides) from previously untapped market segments.


    Academic publishing now finds itself at a juncture. Subscription has arrived, the ownership model is irreparably broken – publishers must now embrace aggregated subscription platforms for a sustainable long-term return to growth.




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    [h=2]Lithuanians and Estonians on top list of illegal online content users[/h]

    Young adults in Lithuania and Estonia have the worst ethics in deliberate accessing of illegal download sources in the European Union, showed the results of a poll conducted by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).


    Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT reported on Monday, November 4, that the EUIPO study surveyed people between 15 and 24 from 28 EU countries about their internet use habits, including accessing films, TV series and music from illegal download or streaming sites.


    In total, over a half of young Europeans, 51 percent, say they have never pirated any content online. To compare, a similar survey in 2016 gave the share of 40 percent.


    In 2019, Lithuanians are the worst offenders, with 45 percent admitting they have intentionally used illegal sources on the internet (40 percent in 2016) and 29 percent noting they have never accessed pirated content.


    Lithuanians were followed by young Estonians (39 percent intentional users), Greeks and Portuguese (34 percent).


    On the other end of the spectrum, there are young adults in Germany, where only 13 percent of young people have intentionally downloaded content illegally, the UK (14 percent), Malta (15 percent) and Romania (18 percent).



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    [h=2]Piracy Crackdown May Be Next Front in Streaming Wars[/h]

    How will consumers afford Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock and on and on? To many industry analysts, the answer is simple: They won’t. Consumers will be selective in deciding which digital services are worthy of their money. Hence, the so-called streaming wars.


    But there’s another way to look at the issue. Thanks to rampant free-riding, one account doesn’t mean one viewer. Passwords will be shared, and platforms will be hacked. Under this framework, the streamers aren’t battling with one another. They’ll be teaming up against the grifters to fight Piracy 2.0.


    On Oct. 30, just a day after WarnerMedia’s John Stankey previewed HBO Max at a glitzy event, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment announced a working group to reduce unauthorized access to content, specifically mentioning “improper password sharing” as a top concern. ACE is basically an antipiracy spinoff of the MPAA. Like the industry lobbying group, it includes big studios (Warner Bros., Disney, Netflix, Sony, Paramount), and smaller ones (AMC, Lionsgate, MGM) along with Amazon. Perhaps most notably, as of October, ACE now includes ISPs Comcast and Charter in yet a further sign of realignment and shifting priorities in the piracy wars.


    “We are very pleased that ACE and its coalition of members have committed through this initiative to take on unauthorized password sharing and other content security practices,” says Charter CEO Tom Rutledge.


    For much of this century, the content industry’s antipiracy focus has been on file-sharing. First it was Napster and its progeny, then ISPs willfully blinding themselves to copyright infringement. Shorthanded as Hollywood versus Silicon Valley, the digital disrupters wanted to hook users and pushed for compelling new services — old content business models be damned. Then came mergers like Comcast-NBCUniversal and AT&T-Time Warner, plus organic hybrids like Netflix. Vertical integration of production and distribution may be contributing to a need to reassess threats to the business.


    Now, streaming hubs are growing while fears of illegal downloads fade. This evolution is sparking a shift in thinking.


    Take password sharing. Five years ago, HBO’s then-CEO Richard Plepler said it had “no impact on the business” and is, in many ways, a “terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers.” Three years ago, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings commented, “Password sharing is something you have to learn to live with.”


    Upon its launch in 2017, ACE brought a wave of lawsuits against services like TickBox and Dragon Media, which sold devices preloaded with customized open-source software that enabled viewing of pirated content. (“Get rid of your Premium Channels,” is how Dragon advertised its product. “Stop paying for Netflix and Hulu.”) Now it appears the industry is set to go even further by addressing free riders. The economics of streaming nearly demand it. Platforms are spending billions of dollars annually on both original content and rights to old shows. To become profitable, media companies will need to grow paid subscribers rapidly. AT&T boldly predicted 50 million subs for HBO Max by 2024. As part of that push, it may prove irresistible to target the more than one-fifth of young adults who, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, say they borrow passwords from people who do not live with them.


    For now, insiders caution that there are no plans to make moves against individuals who share passwords with family and friends. Instead, ACE will work on “best practices,” like, say, technological measures limiting the number of devices that can simultaneously stream via a single account.


    That said, there are sure to be uncomfortable discussions ahead. If sharing a password with a friend is not actionable, what about a college dorm sharing a Disney+ account to watch Star Wars? And as pirates become more sophisticated in evading limitations on what any singular streaming account can provide, what will be the legal response?


    The industry may press claims in court like violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which was enacted in 1986 partly in response to some paranoia following the release of the Matthew Broderick thriller WarGames. The statute, which punishes those who knowingly access a computer without authorization or those who exceed authorized access, hasn't directly been tested with respect to illicit access of streaming platforms. In fact, as seen by what judges wrote in United States of America v. David Nosal — a 2016 decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — there's some sensitivity around making federal criminals of the millions of people who engage in password-sharing, even theoretically.


    Then, there's the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provision. The entertainment industry is more accustomed to this 1998 statute as it once was an important legal weapon against those breaking encryption on DVDs. Still, like the CFAA, it's applicability to streaming platforms remains fairly untested. But some Hollywood legal insiders are clearly expecting its significance to grow. For example, on Oct. 31 in a court case that challenges the DMCA’s anti-hacking rules on First Amendment grounds (Green v. U.S. Department of Justice), industry groups filed a brief stressing how there “would not be a viable business model” for subscription-based movie and TV digital hubs “without legal protection for access controls.”


    The streamers are aware that even the scent of the criminalization of password-sharing has in the past caused a freak-out among consumers. For that reason, most are being extra careful about what they say publicly on this topic. When asked by The Hollywood Reporter, neither Netflix nor HBO would comment on whether their positions on password sharing have evolved. But it looks like ACE and the beginning of court activity on the Piracy 2.0 front might be doing the talking for them.

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    [h=2]Court Orders ‘Ethical’ Torrent Giant TNTVillage to Stop Piracy Activity[/h]

    Following a lawsuit filed by the Italian Publishers Association and anti-piracy group FAPAV, a court in Milan has ordered famous torrent site TNTVillage to stop all of its file-sharing activities. While the order is being hailed as a victory for copyright holders, the site actually shut itself down in September.


    By their very nature, it is rare for torrent sites to stay online for more than a few years.


    While there are a few notable exceptions that have bucked the trend, most come and go, having wilted under significant legal or financial pressures.


    After being founded in 2005, TNTVillage, which for years was Italy’s most popular torrent site, was one of the unusual ones. Hated by local anti-piracy groups but loved by fans, the site aimed to draw attention to restrictive copyright law but also attempted to act ethically by not releasing new content quickly after release.


    In September 2018, the site was
    targeted by a lawsuit
    with site owner Luigi Di Liberto revealing that his home had been searched by authorities. Now, according to the Italian Publishers Association and anti-piracy group FAPAV, the Court of Milan has “ordered the cessation of TNT Village’s file sharing activities, fully endorsing the rights holders’ requests.”


    According to the groups, TNTVillage made available more than 134,000 titles available to the public, including movies, TV shows, anime, software, and books.


    “It is a great result,” says Ricardo Franco Levi, President of the Italian Publishers Association (AIE)


    “The court fully accepts our position. One million users, through the activity and structure of TNT Village, have illegally and massively shared contents of publishers protected by Copyright: there is nothing ethical about behavior contrary to the law and damaging the rights as these.


    “Was this the most famous pirate house on the Italian web? We will do everything to counter not only this but all alternative forms of piracy.”


    While the ruling is a considerable win for the groups after all these years campaigning against TNTVillage, there will be no simultaneous shutdown of Italy’s largest torrent site. In fact, the site itself stole the groups’ thunder in September, when an announcement revealed it would shut itself down.


    “Unfortunately due to [owner] Di Liberto’s decision,
    not attributable to our will and with extreme regret, we inform you that the site and the forum are closed,” the announcement read.


    However, given the anti-copyright stance of the site’s now-former operator, the site’s parting shot is of particular interest. Instead of deleting everything and disappearing into the shadows, the
    added a file for download, noting that “if you are a geek, you may be interested in downloading THIS.”


    The file bears the hallmarks of a site dump, which interested parties may be able to use to resurrect the infamous but now-defunct torrent platform. This hasn’t gone unnoticed to FAPAV, which is promising action if problems arise.


    While celebrating the legal victory and noting the importance of continuing the fight against piracy, FAPAV General Secretary Federico Bagnoli Rossi warns that anti-piracy groups will be on the lookout for anyone seeking to clone the platform.


    “In the meantime, our Federation together with AIE is continuing to verify that the portal database is not repurposed on other sites. Otherwise we will evaluate whether to proceed by legal means also against new possible platforms,” Rossi says.


    “We are pleased with how this activity is progressing and we will certainly not lower our guard.”



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    [h=2]Piracy will be Disney Plus's worst enemy at launch[/h]

    The way we consume TV has changed so much in the last few years that we almost can't imagine a world without simulcasting. Imagine waiting a week, or a month, to find out who died last week in Game of Thrones, while having to navigate the nightmarish realm of Twitter spoilers and opinion pieces.


    It's a better age for TV viewers as a result: shows like Star Trek spin-off Picard launch on multiple platforms at once globally by companies that would otherwise compete domestically in the US, because some studios don't have a streaming presence in certain territories and rightly want people to see their shows on legal platforms.


    Disney Plus is a more complicated beast. It has no release date in most of Europe, but the first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, is locked to that platform. Outside of the US, Canada, and the Netherlands (Australia and New Zealand get the service a week later on November 19) there's no legal way to watch this ten-episode weekly show until Disney decides to release it.


    That is its prerogative, of course, and we'd speculate there are probably logistical and content-based reasons behind Disney Plus's delays in some territories, rather than this being a deliberate move to annoy hungry Star Wars fans.


    But it does make The Mandalorian a prime target for piracy, as well as the other Disney Plus big hitters arriving on November 12, like the live-action Lady and the Tramp movie. The fear of missing out is almost certainly going to be a huge motivator for people to steal this content, since they're being given no legal option to buy it. This is the sort of behavior that streaming services are designed to combat, rather than cause. Yet the regional restrictions won't stop everyone from talking about it next week - the demand will be too strong, and people will find a way.


    What else could Disney have actually done?


    There were other potential ways that Disney could've got The Mandalorian and its other exclusive content to people who have to wait for the service to launch. In the UK, at least, Disney already has a streaming service - DisneyLife, which hosts an array of Disney movies and Star Wars-related content for a reasonable £5 a month. It feels like a half-measure, without the breadth, promise and Simpsons episodes of Disney Plus, but it is somewhere that could've hosted The Mandalorian while the other service is being prepared (responses to customer queries have ruled that out).


    Likewise, Disney could've sold the show to local broadcasters, but then it would've lost the appeal of having a major exclusive when the service actually reached a point where it's ready to launch. It also could have soft-launched Disney Plus in Europe without the full breadth of things to come - but then it could've risked making a bad first impression with a potentially anemic library, when this is a fundamental piece of Disney's future that needs to succeed.


    It's a tricky scenario with no straightforward solution, then, but from the outside looking in, it's just kind of annoying. This is the age of the global launch, of midnight screenings, of digital pre-loading. Something as major as new Star Wars content having no release date in loads of countries is a weird anomaly in 2019. And the way this is going to play out isn't ideal for anyone, really: customers who want to spend money and watch The Mandalorian cannot do so, and Disney for its part can't take their money and satisfy demand. Does anyone actually win out of how this launch has been staggered? This feels like a situation that'll inevitably attract piracy.

    Excessive paid choices are likely to encourage piracy


    Staggered regional releases are one thing, but the longer term issue Disney faces is one that all streaming service providers will have to confront in the next few years. We've reported before on how a fragmented streaming market may lead to more illegal downloads, and now it's coming into focus how much US consumers will potentially need to pay to get the shows they want.


    HBO Max will cost $15 a month, the same as the existing HBO Now service. And even though Disney Plus is a very reasonable $7 a month, when you start totalling it with Netflix, Amazon, CBS All Access, Hulu, and more specialist streamers, the price escalates. Being able to see everything will be out of some users' price range.


    That's the reality we're entering. The market is unlikely to support all of those competitors, and eventually it'll likely even out to a more sensible number for US consumers to think about. Even the slightly disappointing launch of Apple TV Plus suggests you need more than a war chest of cash, big stars and a massive hardware user base to make a splash in this competitive era of TV.


    Disney Plus is a great bet to succeed in all of that - it's just a shame it couldn't make the maximum possible impact by launching everywhere in the world at once. But then again, The Mandalorian is just day one of Disney Plus. Loads of curious people will bite at launch, just to browse the library and see if this prized Star Wars series is worth the wait, or to watch a documentary series about Jeff Goldblum – check out the trailer above for that gem. By the time Disney Plus launches everywhere, though, we'll have a better idea of where it fits into the existing streaming landscape, and its original content will really be put to the test.


    It's just a shame that some of us have to wait, and that piracy is the inevitable result of that.



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    [h=2]Court Denies Entry of Default Motion Against Torrent Site YTS, Cautions Attorney[/h]

    A Hawaiian federal court has denied a motion for entry of default against torrent site YTS. The request, which came from the makers of the movie Hellboy, was denied because the underlying copyright infringement complaint failed to name a defendant other than "John Doe". Soon after, the attorney handling the case was cautioned for summoning a person and company, who were not named defendants.


    Popular torrent site YTS has become the target of three different copyright infringement
    in the U.S. this year.


    The most recent one was filed by
    HB Productions
    , the makers of the movie Hellboy, owned by parent company Millennium Funding.


    The complaint in question lists a “John Doe” as the defendant who supposedly operates YTS. However, HB Productions believes that a person named Senthil Vijay Segaran and the company Techmodo Limited are involved.


    The latter two were recently ‘summoned’ to respond to the complaint but neither did. This prompted the Hellboy makers to request an ‘
    entry of default
    ‘ against YTS.


    If granted, this would open the door to default judgment where the movie company can request damages, without any defense from the opposing party. In this case, however, it didn’t get that far.


    In a recently issued order, Magistrate Judge Kenneth J. Mansfield denied the motion. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require the defendants to be officially named, which didn’t happen in this case, the Judge points out.


    “As a practical matter, it is impossible to serve a summons and complaint on an anonymous defendant. The Ninth Circuit therefore disfavors the use of doe defendants, and Plaintiff’s tactics highlight the problems in proceeding with doe defendants,” Judge Mansfield writes.


    This means that the movie company can’t submit a motion for default judgment yet. As such, it can’t demand damages or request a permanent injunction to target the site’s domain registrar. And that wasn’t all.


    A few days after the denial, Judge Mansfield cautioned HB Production’s attorney, Kerry Culpepper, noting that the court doesn’t permit him to summon persons or entities who are not named defendants.


    “It is improper for Plaintiff to attempt to effect service on a person or entity Plaintiff believes to be a doe defendant without properly amending its complaint to identify the doe defendant by name. It is equally improper for Mr. Culpepper to direct summonses to persons and/or entities who are not named defendants in an action,” the Judge notes.


    As a result, the proofs of service for these summonses were stricken from the record. The same is true in two other related cases, which center around YTS as well.


    In one of these cases, filed by Millennium Funding and several related movie outfits, Culpepper filed an amended complaint last week, naming three defendants, including Senthil Vijay Segaran and the company Techmodo Limited. In the two other cases, no amended complaint has been filed thus far.


    With three separate and similar cases, the movie companies will likely push for some kind of compensation. Whether that’s through a default judgment, a trial, or a private settlement has yet to be seen. In any case, YTS is under pressure.


    Anticipating possible domain issues, YTS previously
    moved from YTS.am to YTS.lt
    , where it is still operating from today. For now, it will likely continue to do so.



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    [h=2]Pay-TV platform bobbles.tv folds, blaming piracy[/h]

    Pay-TV platform bobbles.tv, which provided expats throughout Europe with TV channels from their home country, has ceased operations, as CEO Arnold C. Kulbatzki confirmed to
    Broadband TV News.


    “The pan-European TV platform bobbles.tv targeted around 15 million expats in Europe with programme packages from China, Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan, Vietnam and India,” Kulbatzki said. “Piracy in this market segment has increased rapidly again in the last two years. Despite a positive response, this race could unfortunately not be won in the long run.”


    However, Kulbatzki does not see this as a final withdrawal: “As soon as the market conditions, especially the legal framework, change, we will be back in business. It remains an attractive market.”


    The platform launched on Astra (19.2° East) in August 2016, combining DTH satellite broadcasting with internet TV streaming (OTT).


    In an interview with
    Broadband TV News in March 2017, Kulbatzki conceded that piracy poses a threat in this market, as many people use illegal streaming services to receive TV channels from their home countries. But he was confident at the time that bobbles.tv’s “aggressive pricing” and the fact that “people enjoy the convenience of a legal, quality service” would make the venture a success.



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