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    [h=2]Mediapro scores major anti-piracy victory[/h]

    The Spanish multimedia group Mediapro has announced a “historic sentence” in the fight against audiovisual piracy in the country.


    It saw the Criminal Court No 4 in Malaga impose fines and compensation of almost €500,000 on members of a network dedicated to the sale of decoders with pirated content, including football.


    A sentence of six months imprisonment and €1,800 fine was placed on the administrators of a company that illegally distributed content, as well as a €40,000 fine for a legal person.


    In addition, Mediapro and LaLiga were each awarded €200,000 in compensation, and EGEDA €2,000. They will each also receive €10,000 each for procedural costs.


    The company in question has also agreed to regularise the situation and become a client of the legitimate licences of the content.


    Mediapro notes that this is one of the largest such actions against audiovisual piracy and the first sentence obtained by Mediapro and LaLiga that affects such a large regional operator.


    It had around 5,000 customers paying approximately €47 a month each and provided services in Benalmadena, Estepona, Fuengirola, Guadacorte, Guadiaro, Marbella, Mijas, Malaga and Torremolinos.



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    [h=2]Share-Links.biz: one of the most popular link crypter since yesterday offline[/h]

    Share-Links.biz, one of the most well-known link crypter of the German-speaking scene, was apparently shut down yesterday. The service included a jdownload support and belonged to the operating company of the filehoster Share-Online.biz. The raid on the operators should also explain the lack of accessibility.


    Share-Links.biz is off the window!


    As we have already reported , the link crypter Share-Links.biz was officially operated by the xlice corporation, which, of course, never existed in Belize. This form of society is completely unknown there.


    More than a month ago, on October 16, 2019, a house search was conducted on several suspects involved in operating the filehoster. At the same time, access to Share-Online.biz was switched off. This was followed by the big and long-lasting outcry of many downloaders and fewer uploaders who are not yet sure whether or what will soon blossom.


    Since yesterday, more than 30 days later, the link crypter Share-Links.biz is also no longer available. Not only because of xlice and the proximity to Share-Online.biz this was one of the most popular link encryption services in the German-speaking area. The support of the download tool jdownloader also played a major role. The implemented Captcha should complicate the work of the anti-piracy companies, so that no automatic Abuses (DMCA take-down deletion requests) were possible by script.

    Sleeping pills and other curios


    Also down recently is the German-language online ad marketplace called Korou.de, operated by Manuel C. and his Aachen-based company. The Aachener C. with Greek roots is considered the mastermind of Share-Online.biz and Share-Links.biz. At Korou.de, on the other hand, private individuals offered substances such as pentobarbital online for sale. Pentobarbital is a sleep aid, which is sometimes used in excessively high doses in euthanasia. Because of the risk of cardiac arrest, the drug is sold only to veterinarians. The link to the ad was eg


    The dubious listing was probably no exception, the ads for pentobarbital belonged at Korou.de, according to Google cache temporarily the so-called "top advertisements" . Also offline is currently the website of the Aachen operating company online-media24.de.


    The sister company, Ltd. with a mailbox in the UK, By the way, in 2015 we received a warning because of an alleged reputational damage , which we did not have to pay. The reputational damage consisted only in having published without giving a company name their former account number at the Sparkasse Aachen.



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    [h=2]Cox Knew About Pirating Subscribers, Court Concludes[/h]

    Internet provider Cox Communications can't argue that it had "no knowledge" of the hundreds of thousands of piracy notices it received, a Virginia federal court ruled. The ruling is important for the upcoming trial between the Internet provider and dozens of music companies, as "knowledge" is a critical element of the rightsholders' liability claim.


    Last year Cox
    its piracy liability lawsuit with music rights company BMG.


    While the company hoped that this would be the end of its copyright woes, the next legal battle was already being prepared.


    This time, the ISP was up against
    53 music companies
    , including Capitol Records, Warner Bros, and Sony Music.


    The rightsholders complained that Cox categorically failed to terminate repeat copyright infringers and that it substantially profited from this ongoing ‘piracy’ activity. All at the expense of the music companies and other rightsholders.


    A year later the case is heading
    to trial
    where Cox will have to defend itself once again. However, not before some final issues are resolved.


    In August, both Cox and the music Companies
    requested summary judgments
    on several crucial issues. Among other things, the ISP requested a ruling that it’s not vicariously liable for copyright infringement.


    This week US District Court Judge Liam O’Grady ruled on the requests. He decided to deny most, stating that these issues will be resolved at trial. The Judge did, however, issue a ruling on whether Cox had “knowledge” of the allegedly pirating customers.


    The music companies asked to have this issue resolved before trial. It is a crucial question, as it determines whether the ISP can be held contributorily liable for pirating subscribers or not.


    Cox first argued that the notices failed to identify many copyrighted works. For example, in some cases, the music companies only identified one song from a torrent that contained more works. In addition, the notices only highlighted infringements of sound recordings, not the compositions.


    The court, however, waved away this defense and concluded that the notices are certainly specific enough when it comes to specific sound recordings. They include a title, timestamp, date, notice id, IP-address, and hash, among other things.


    “Based on the level of detail included in the notices directed at Cox and its subscribers, there is no doubt that Defendants had more than just ‘generalized knowledge’ of infringement,” Judge O’Grady writes.


    “Thus, the Court finds as a matter of law that there is no genuine issue of fact regarding the sufficiency of the RIAA notices in this case, and that they can support the knowledge element of a contributory infringement claim,” he adds.


    The second question is whether these notices, which the RIAA sent, can lead to the conclusion that Cox had knowledge of the infringements in a legal sense. The ISP denied this, but according to the court, it’s clear that the notices are sufficient.


    “It would be farcical to argue that Cox had no knowledge of the hundreds of thousands of notices it received indicating infringement for the works in suit,” Judge O’Grady writes.


    “The notices were sent to an email address Cox created for the very purpose of receiving this information, and were processed by a corporate department dedicated to abuse and security for Cox.”


    Finally, Cox also argued that it can’t be liable for alleged infringements that occurred through business subscribers, as it can’t identify individual users of these businesses. However, the court ruled that there is no ground to exclude business subscribers at this point.


    All in all, it is clear that Cox had specific enough knowledge of pirating subscribers to hold it contributorily liable. However, to do so, a jury must also conclude that the ISP contributed to or induced the infringements. That will be decided at trial.


    In addition to the “knowledge” question, Judge O’Grady also ruled that the music companies own or control the exclusive rights to all works that are part of the case, something Cox contested.


    With these issues ‘resolved’ the case is yet another step close to trial, which is currently scheduled to take place next month.




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    [h=2]Chinese Anime Piracy Groups Boycott Hong Kong Supporters; Creators Retaliate[/h]

    Anime often finds itself entering the real world in strange and idiosyncratic ways. Such is the case with several Chinese piracy groups boycotting Hong Kong supporters. In retaliation to these boycotts, a number of creators in Japan are retweeting some "lifehacks" that spread the word on their cause, with a hashtag that reads "HongKongHumanRightsAndDemocracyAct". In a world where anime has entered nearly all the crevices of pop culture, it is quite a sight to see how it influences the embroiled politics of several countries.


    Twitter User OnTakahashi shared the story that saw Japanese "mangakas", aka those that that create manga in Japan, taking a swing at the numerous piracy groups by creating and sharing a hashtag that shows their solidarity behind those in Hong Kong and their cause:




    Chinese piracy scanlation/subbing groups are "boycotting" Japanese creators who are supporting Hong Kong.


    So now this "lifehack" is being used by some Japanese mangakas who are tweeting and RTing about the "HK Protestors". #HongKongHumanRightsandDemocracyAct


    — On Takahashi (高橋温) (@OnTakahashi) November 20, 2019


    Anime piracy and "scanlations" have long been a part of the world of both anime and manga, with independent groups often translating language to release stories that would either be unable to be read in certain countries, or perhaps just because folks weren't looking to pay for said material.


    Recently, the top four manga producers in Japan, including Shougakuken, Kodansha, Shueisha, and Kadokawa have stated their intentions of combating piracy, filing several lawsuits against a number of "scanlation" sites that print their material for free online. While unrelated to the current Hong Kong protests, its clear that the war between piracy groups and Japanese creators and producers is being fought on multiple fronts.



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    [h=2]Pirate offers tech entrepreneur his own product[/h]

    For the owner of a software company, the unsavoury business of software piracy hit a little too close to home when he received a text message from a pirate offering to sell him a "cracked" version of his own software for a lower price.


    Vinod Bellamkonda, the CEO of the Banashankari-based software company Bell-Tpo, said he was surprised to receive a forwarded text message from a client, revealing that an unknown individual was trying to sell pirated versions of the company's market analysis software to him.


    "Going by the text message, it was apparent that the individual was passing himself off as the owner of the software," Bellamkonda said, adding that he immediately called the number behind the SMS.


    "A person answered and I told him that what he was doing was wrong and illegal, and that he should immediately stop," he remembered. "The person was abrupt. He said: 'Prove that I am selling the software and then we will see what the consequences are'."


    Those consequences came to a head when police tracked down the individual behind the text messages, Pavitra Simha M, 38, of Chennai, and booked him under the Information Technology Act in October. The arrest was announced on Wednesday.


    Although Bellamkonda was unwilling to reveal the extent of the damage caused by the piracy, he said that the incident had caused a notable decline to Bel-tpo's sales.


    A study published by the Business Software Alliance last year found that while the installation rates of pirated software in India had declined from 63% in 2011 to 56% in 2017, the commercial value of unlicensed software still amounted to $2,474 million per annum — only slightly reduced from $2,930 in 2011.


    K S Vishwanathan, vice-president (industry initiatives) Nasscom, said that piracy in Bengaluru was probably the lowest in the country, owing to high rates of compliance and ethical users of software affiliated with Nasscom.


    Bel-tpo's affected software are the Bell Market Profile Pro, which carries a price tag of Rs 16,750, and the Bell Order Flow Pro which sells for Rs 54,000. Both software are geared towards the active trading community "to help traders visualise happenings in the market," according to the company website.



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    [h=2]Rick and Morty fans are watching pirated videos of season 4 on PornHub[/h]

    The most perverted way of watching your favourite show? Or a funky way around regional deals? Here’s why fans are watching Rick & Morty on Pornhub.


    See you for Season 4 in, like, a really long time”, said a character at the end of Rick and Morty’s third season. Two years, three months and two weeks.


    But Wubba lubba dub dub! Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith are finally back for a painfully short — five episodes now and another handful of episodes next year — round of new adventures on Adult Swim US.


    And because “
    impatience can cause wise people to do foolish things”, some insatiable fans — but also people who don’t have a cable subscription or happen to live anywhere else than the US — found the first episodes on Pornhub a few hours before they landed on our screens.


    The entire season was stuck between videos you don’t want to see such as Rick and Morty cosplays and Dick and Morty parodies.


    Started my morning watching rick and morty on pornhub, Disney + better watch out


    — ChrisRaider6669 (@ChrisRaider6669) November 19, 2019


    But fans have been bragging a bit too loudly on Reddit and Twitter about their success watching the episodes via PornHub. After about nine hours on the porn site, the pirated videos have been removed at the request of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


    Pray for europe from r/rickandmorty


    There’s plenty of non-pornographic stuff living on Pornhub. The porn site became an alternative after YouTube’s crackdown on hate speech, bullying and conspiracy-theory videos, and is now a popular destinations for musicians looking to evade censorship.



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    [h=2]Kodansha Wins 160-Million-Yen Lawsuit Against 3 Pirate Site Admins[/h]

    The Osaka District Court awarded Kodansha its claim for 160 million yen (about US$1.47 million) against three site administrators of the “Haruka Yume no Ato” manga “leech site” on Tuesday. The three administrators of the site already received guilty sentences for copyright infringement in January, and the Court denied their appeal on November 1.


    In the January sentencing, the three men received three different prison sentence lengths: three years and six months, three years, and two years and four months, all without suspended sentences.


    In October 2017, nine prefectural police departments in Japan worked together and arrested nine suspects for violating the Copyright Act with the website Haruka Yume no Ato (pictured above right), one of the largest leech sites (sites that aggregate and provide hyperlinks to pirated media) in Japan. While the site itself was not illegal under the current law, the operators were arrested for distributing the pirated media for which the site provided links. Publishers Kadokawa, Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan, Square Enix, and Hakusensha worked together on the case.


    The Association of Copyright for Computer Software estimated that at the time of the arrest the website had caused 73.1 billion yen (about US$640 million) in damage through lost sales.


    The Mainichi Shimbun reported in October 2018 that Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs intends to ban leech sites through revisions of the Copyright Act this year.


    The Mainichi Shimbun reported in April 2018 that the Japanese government was planning to submit a bill to the Diet to restrict leech sites. In the same month, the government asked internet service providers to voluntarily block websites that host pirated content.

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    [h=2]LibreTorrent developer responds after Google ejects app from Play Store[/h]

    LibreTorrent developer responds after Google ejects app from Play Store, offers alternative download sources


    You can almost certainly find any file you need on the vast number of torrent websites today. More often than not, torrent websites are portrayed as the home of pirated content, but truth be told, there are also many legit torrent websites to download files from.


    The fact that torrent websites have for the longest time been associated with pirated content means they are always under the radar of law enforcers. To date, quite a good number of major torrent websites have been taken down, but still, there is a huge list of active torrent sites out there.


    With Internet service providers across the globe continuing to offer higher download speeds every other time, torrent file downloads continue to flourish. But to access torrent files, you need to install a torrent client on your device.


    Most people are already familiar with desktop torrent clients such as uTorrent and BitTorrent, however, it’s also possible to download your favorite torrents on your Android smartphone as well. One of the best apps in the business is LibreTorrent.


    Having first popped up in beta back in 2016, LibreTorrent got its first stable version in late 2018 and finally a spot in the Google Play Store earlier this year. However, the latter didn’t last long as the search giant went on to kick out the app from the popular app Market.


    This happened on October 8 and according to the developer, Google ejected the app from the Play Store on suspicion of spam or rather non-original content. Even after numerous attempts to resolve the issue, the developer claims Google doesn’t seem to be interested in doing so.


    Apparently, the only way to bring LibreTorrent back to the Google Play Store is by renaming and laying it out again.


    October 8, 2019 LibreTorrent was removed from Google Play. The reason is Spam (non-original content). As I can think, this was due to the fact that there were many LibreTorrent clones on Google Play and Google just uninstalled all the apps without understanding the essence of what was happening. I filed an appeal, but in response I was told that they can not help in any way and the only option is to rename the application and lay it out again. I sent several more appeals confirming me as the developer of the original LibreTorrent, but they were all ignored by Google. Therefore, LibreTorrent will no longer be hosted on Google Play.


    The fact that LibreTorrent is an open source app with no ads and lets you do stuff like configure notifications, adjust download speeds, and automatically stop all downloads at low battery levels of below 15%, among others, has been able to win over many fans.


    If you are one of these fans, worry not because the developer says the app will still live on, but through platforms like F-Droid and 4PDA, with more alternative sources to be added later on.



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    Gears Reloaded: FBI Just Took Everything, Says Pirate IPTV Boss OMI IN A HELLCAT


    YouTube sensation and founder of 'pirate' IPTV Gears Reloaded 'OMI IN A HELLCAT' says that he's been raided by the FBI who "took everything", including his huge car collection. With a rumored net worth of around $50m, OMI was recently seen on YouTube apparently buying $300K of diamonds. According to him, the FBI are investigating IPTV and tax issues


    OMI with custom ‘Reloaded’ bling



    It is not uncommon for anti-piracy groups to state that some ‘pirates’ make a lot of money.


    However, whenever that is the case, there’s a tendency for most in the piracy world to maintain a low profile.


    Take that position, multiply it by a million. You’re now just halfway to the crazy world of YouTube sensation


    Regularly seen on his channel adding yet another supercar to his huge collection (a recent addition was a

    ), OMI – real name Omar Carrasquillo – is the founder and owner of ‘pirate’ IPTV service Gears Reloaded.


    There’s no suggestion that all of OMI’s
    rumored $50m fortune came from piracy (he reportedly owns real estate, a restaurant, and several other businesses) but it seems highly likely that the Gears Reloaded gig is well and truly over.


    Starting early yesterday, users of the Gears Reloaded IPTV service reported rare downtime. The website connected to the service displays a message indicating ‘down for maintenance’ but according to OMI himself, that’s only part of the story.


    “This ain’t clickbait. This ain’t fake, this is not fake. This is 100% real,” OMI said in a noticeably subdued live Q&A with his fans a couple of hours ago, streamed from a friend’s house in Philadelphia.


    “I’m gonna let you guys know exactly…and by the way, the FBI is in here [the channel] watching right now as we speak. What i’m gonna need you guys to do for me, i’m gonna need you to buy that merch when it drops,” the persistent entrepreneur began.


    “Pretty much they seized all my cars. One thing they didn’t seize was the things I was able to sell a few weeks ago, even a few days ago before this shit happened. A few cars and shit.


    “When I tell you they took ‘everything’, they took every SD card, every camera, every television in my house – HOUSES. They took every car. They took ALL my Hellcats. They only thing they didn’t take was my dick because it’s attached to my balls.”


    Car collection, now seized

    Describing himself for the benefit of newcomers, OMI insisted that his wealth isn’t the result of selling drugs. He began as an app developer for Kodi, one that “got hacked early on.” He then answered the million-dollar question – what happened with the FBI?


    “It was pretty much IPTV and taxes and shit and hiring the wrong CPA [accountant]. This is really important for you guys, make sure your taxes are paid for,” he said.


    That “taxes and shit” is apparently a reference to pending tax evasion and money laundering charges following a two-year IRS investigation. This is particularly interesting when one considers that OMI has regularly and persistently described pirate IPTV as legal.


    “I hit a great area and exploited it and they just didn’t like it. I made a ton of money but at the same time a lot of the money I made super-legit,” he told the Q&A.


    “I felt that what I was doing wasn’t illegal. Streaming is totally legal, it’s just the way they’re trying to word it, it’s a little different. But streaming isn’t illegal. It was never live television, it was always delayed television and there’s no laws against it. There’s no laws against it.


    “This is Napster 2.0. This wasn’t killing anybody. If anything I saved hundreds of thousands of people [with] cheaper cable. IPTV is not illegal in the US. It isn’t. It isn’t. It’s illegal in other countries but it’s not illegal in the US.


    “The [Copyright Act] has nothing to do with streaming and when they seize those servers and they realize there’s nothing being stored on these servers, you have nothing on me. Streaming is not illegal. I saw a window, I saw an opportunity, I exploited the fuck out of it. That’s all it is.”


    In earlier videos, OMI said that he previously made lots of money from hosting services, including Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto servers. He also talked about selling huge numbers of Firesticks. Generally, it’s difficult to find a video where the amount of money he’s made isn’t either the sole topic of conversation or at least heavily featured.


    But according to OMI, that might be more difficult in the future.


    “[My friend] had to lend me a phone because I don’t have a phone. They seized millions of dollars out of all my accounts. They took all the cash I had laying around,” he says. “They took all my jewelry [

    has OMI apparently buying $300K’s worth], kids’ things, they took Xboxes, they took computers, laptops, cellphones. They didn’t even leave drones.”


    Having previously watched a good number of OMI’s videos, his optimism and positivity have always shone through. That wasn’t the case during this Q&A. By his own estimation, he’s going to prison “for a few years” although he says he’ll also take the rap for those who worked with him.


    Another particular point of interest is that OMI insists that entertainment companies never sued him.


    “I could’ve dealt with the MPA or the NFL suing me, that never happened. They never gave me fair warning, which by law they have to. Especially when it comes down to a crime like this, when it comes down to ‘copyright infringement’. They were supposed to hit me with a seize operation, or a cease and desist.


    “They never hit me with that. I would’ve took it right down,” he adds.


    However, OMI also admits that he had been receiving takedown notices issued from the UK on behalf of “the European leagues”, which seems like a reference to either Premier League or UEFA blocking efforts. He also acknowledges receiving notices from Sky, HBO, and similar “fucking stupid channels.”


    If there is a point where a defendant in a serious criminal case should stop talking and consult a lawyer, OMI doesn’t seem to know where that point is. He told viewers that the FBI is accusing him of “stealing channels” but he insists he always paid for his – before capturing them and distributing them to his customers.


    “I paid for my channels. I did things the old school way. I used capture cards. I take full responsibility so anybody on my team and shit, I pretty much hope you guys don’t ever go to jail now,” he explained.


    According to OMI, he knew an investigation was underway since an associate he names as ‘Hector Fuentes’ was a CI (an informant).


    “So he used to come around and shit, with a little wire on and could see the wire through his fucking shirt and would say dumb shit to see how far it would get him. The mother-fucker was a confidential informant. The whole time, he was putting people in jail for a long time,” OMI claimed.


    Considering this was a Q&A streamed live on YouTube, things then got dark, very dark indeed. OMI says that after being detained by the FBI and being run to the station, all he could think of was killing himself, live on YouTube.


    “I’m gonna go on live….and i’m going to kill myself. I’m gonna go on live, express how I feel and then shoot myself on live.”


    Thankfully, for everyone’s sake, that didn’t happen.


    OMI laying everything out there a few months ago



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    [h=2]OLBG research reveals the extent of people illegally watching Premier League football[/h]

    Not long ago, OLBG (Online Betting Group) analysed how people in the United Kingdom watch the Premier League. The campaign was called ‘Fans of the EPL‘. Many fans unknowingly watch games illegally, while a sizeable portion of individuals rely on social media for news.


    Watching games by all means possible


    OLBG’s research analysed the behaviours of 1,000 Premier League supporters in Britain. Football is clearly something that means a lot to many individuals, especially in London. Within the capital, 40% of surveyed fans living here admitted to skipping work so they could watch a game. Across the whole country, this figure stood at 9%.


    Social media, especially Twitter, is proving to be important too. Just over 31% of women rely on this platform for breaking news and updates, according to the research. Meanwhile, 27.5% of men said that they use the website for keeping updated on Premier League ongoings.


    People are also willing to access matches via illegal streams. Throughout the UK, 22% of fans admitted to watching games via the above – even if they know what they’re doing isn’t allowed. In total, five million fans in Britain use these on a regular basis to access matches.


    In addition to the above, 8.8% of supporters have admittedly used someone else’s login details to view an event. 68% have done it at least once.


    A lack of knowledge


    OLBG’s findings have suggested that many people illegally access events because there is a lack of awareness. Four in 10 survey participants, for example, claimed to be unaware that unofficial internet streams aren’t legal.

    Bill Bush, Executive Director for the Premier League, said:


    “The Premier League has every right to be worried about breaches of their intellectual property. Almost 40% of respondents were unaware that using an unofficial online internet stream to watch a live game of football is illegal, while more than half (55) were unaware that it’s illegal to watch live matches online without a TV licence.


    “This shadowy world of data piracy drains money away from the sport and threatens the integrity of the game.”


    “The Premier League is a successful competition, which depends on audio-visual rights for the investment that keeps standards high and fans happy. We will always protect our rights to defend ourselves from piracy in any form, whether in broadcast or data rights.



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    [h=2]Eurojust, Europol and AAPA join forces to combat piracy[/h]

    Eurojust, Europol and the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA), representing the industry of protected audiovisual content, have joined forces to improve the sharing of expertise to tackle audio-visual piracy via IPTV networks.


    More than 70 judicial and law enforcement authorities from EU Member States and representatives from the two EU agencies discussed, during a two-day seminar at Eurojust in The Hague, how to close the technical knowledge gap between national authorities and organised crime groups (OCGs).


    The dedicated seminar focused on the information needed to identify, investigate and prosecute two forms of audiovisual piracy: card-sharing and illegal streaming. The main points of discussion were how to identify a pirate service, investigative tools and the challenges faced by the private sector in investigating piracy, as well as the scale and impact of audiovisual piracy and its links to organised crime. Further sessions included knowledge sharing on how to achieve successful prosecutions and how the judiciary could work with the private sector.


    In September of this year, during a coordination centre at Eurojust, a large-scale piracy network, through which a criminal group had illegally sold pay television subscriptions to more than 800 000 customers, was brought down by the blocking of more than 200 computer servers.


    In June 2019, police officers from the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior, under the supervision of the Bulgarian Supreme Prosecutor’s Office of Cassation, with the collaboration of Europol and the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA), carried out a joint action against five cable operators in Bulgaria. They were illegally intercepting and distributing premium TV channels (both foreign and Bulgarian). The entire illegal hardware infrastructure used for the criminal activity was seized during the house searches.



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    [h=2]Video Game Hacker Cracked Shenmue 3's DRM Protection Just a Day After Its Release[/h]

    Deep Silver’s latest action-adventure game Shenmue 3 has been cracked by infamous video game hacker CODEX just a day after its launch


    Shenmue 3 is not the first video game that has been cracked on a short period of time. Just a day ago, the newest Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order by EA has also been cracked by the same group.


    The game officially releases yesterday, November 19th, but Team CODEX has announced and released the cracked version of Shenmue 3 on November 20th, according to the website CrackWatch.


    Shenmue 3 is using Epic Games’ own DRM protection and taking a look at some of the available games in the Epic Games Store, CODEX and other popular groups of hackers have been able to bypass and exploit the game.


    Video game piracy is one of the biggest problems that video game companies have been facing when releasing a game on PC. And because of this, some developers have decided not to release a PC version of their games. Well, no one can blame these developers and publishers for their actions since they are trying to protect their property.




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    [h=2]UK Man Admits to Selling £400,000 in Pirate Streaming Subscriptions[/h]

    A UK man who sold access to pirate streaming services admitted to copyright and fraud charges in court today. According to a police investigation, instigated by anti-piracy group FACT, the man sold roughly £400,000 worth of unauthorized streaming subscriptions.


    Pirate streaming services remain widely appealing to a broad audience. At a fraction of the cost of regular subscriptions, they open the door to all sorts of entertainment.


    This practice is a thorn in the side of rights holders, who are increasingly cracking down on this business. In the UK, anti-piracy group
    has been leading the charge.


    The group’s referrals have resulted in several successful convictions, which often include prison sentences. This morning, Steven Underwood, another FACT target, faced justice before the Truro Magistrates Court.


    FACT suspected the man of selling pirate subscriptions and in January, the Police Regional Organised Crime Unit entered his home with a search warrant. They seized his phone and laptop, among other things, which later confirmed his involvement.


    A follow-up investigation revealed that Underwood sold roughly £400,000 worth of subscriptions. That’s a substantial amount, but the yearly profits are likely much lower. The service may have been running for years already and the man likely had to pay a supplier as well.


    The subscriptions provided access to a wide variety of content, including that of Sky, BT, and the Premier League.


    While these types of cases can be drawn out, the seller admitted both copyright and fraud charges, FACT informs TorrentFreak. Following this guilty plea, the court’s main decision is to determine the appropriate conviction.


    As is common with these announcements, details are scarce. The name of the streaming service or what it offered exactly is unknown. FACT CEO Kieron Sharp is, however, using the opportunity to warn other vendors.


    “We are constantly working to remove sellers of illegal streaming subscriptions from the market and bring them to justice. The message is clear – if you are tempted to sell access to content that is not licensed or owned by you, you risk facing a criminal conviction,” Sharp says.


    The sentencing of Underwood is scheduled to take place next month. He faces a maximum prison sentence of up to two years for the copyright offense, and ten years for fraud.


    That said, history has shown that actual sentences depend on a variety of factors which can vary quite a bit.


    This summer, FACT boasted that the mastermind behind the Dreambox service was sentenced to
    seven years and four months
    of jail time. A few weeks later, however, a seller of pirate streaming devices was
    handed a sentence
    of 300 hours unpaid community service.


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    [h=2]Disney+ will dramatically increase illegal downloading in Australia[/h]

    This week, Australia’s streaming market welcomed a new competitor with the launch of the much anticipated Disney+. For $8.99 a month, you can access a catalogue that includes the Marvel and Star Wars libraries, classics such as Frozen, The Lion King, Toy Story, and The Simpsons, and original content like The Mandalorian.


    But few households can afford to fork out for Disney+ on top of all the other streaming offerings. And with the hype around series such as The Mandalorian, we’ll most likely see an increase in illegal downloading as wannabe viewers look to get their hands on these shows. That’s right – Disney+ will probably drive up illegal downloading in this country.


    According to AMPD Research, Australians, on average, are already spending $35.30 per month for 1.9 subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services. If you were to join all primary services at the cheapest price possible – Netflix Basic at $9.99, Stan at $10, Foxtel Now at $25, Amazon Prime Video at $6.99, Apple TV+ at $4.99, and now Disney+ at $8.99 – you’d be set back $65.96 per month. And this list doesn’t include additional niche services such as 10 All Access, YouTube Premium, Kayo, Hayu and more.


    As more providers enter the market and content becomes fragmented, Australians will resort to illegal downloads. The past 12 years of data from torrentfreak.com supports this theory. Here’s what crunching the data tells us:

    Bingeable TV is the most consumed content


    Nielsen conducted a study for the Wall Street Journal from 2017-2018, and found that The Office was the most-watched content on Netflix, on 45.8bn minutes. Stranger Things, Netflix’s original cornerstone program, clocked 27.6bn minutes.


    Additionally, Nielsen reported that the top originals are a good reason to sign up, but don’t drive consistent viewership. So bingeable content may be in high demand, but you can just as easily binge it when you download it illegally versus watching on its native platform.


    On-demand and release dates are essential to consumers


    Back in the mid-2000s, every water-cooler conversation was about the latest episode of Lost or Heroes. They were free-to-air programming made available to every Australian with a TV. But, due to the delay in broadcast compared to America, and the inability to watch it when it suited, the two shows averaged 10-12m illegal downloads per year between them.


    You can count on the fact that people want to watch their favourite shows when everyone else is watching them, regardless of whether they are paying for the platform that streams them.

    One cornerstone program won’t necessarily get you a loyal customer


    Game of Thrones set the world into a new era of television. It dominated pop-culture and awakened the inner nerd in many of us. In Australia, GOT was only available on Foxtel. In the US, it was HBO, and for many customers, this was not their preferred SVOD service.


    This combination of market conditions paved the way for unheard-of-levels of illegal downloads, with yearly reported numbers hitting as high as 14.4m in a year, and topping the top 10 illegal downloads list for six years.


    With Disney+ releasing The Mandalorian, Australians are likely to follow a similar path and choose illegal downloads as opposed to signing up to the platform.


    Music doesn’t experience the same issue


    Analysing music-on-demand services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora, we don’t see the same issue. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has reported the total number of stream-rippers has dropped dramatically, from 32% last year to 23% in 2019.


    And a recent UK YouGov survey found Brits are pirating less, with 18% of respondents reporting piracy in 2013, compared to 10% in 2018. A study also showed 18% of respondents often tried to get pirated TV content, with exclusive content likely to cause an increase, with a self-reported jump to 37%.


    Some of us will jump on board the Disney+ train, lured by The Mandalorian and the nostalgia of The Simpsons. But it’s even more likely that the rest of us will stick with our current streaming provider/s and turn to a tech-savvy friend for a USB copy of the newest hit show.


    The only solution, as I see it, is to de-fragment content, allowing users to consume shows regardless of the service which offers it. The implementation of an appropriate financial model would move us into a new era, where we pay for what we watch rather than having to pick one streaming platform over the other. But given the major investment in the SVOD market, that’s an unlikely outcome.



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    [h=2]Nigeria: Minister vows to fight Piracy in Entertainment Industry[/h]

    The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Dr. Festus Keyamo has vowed that the Federal Government will intensify efforts in fighting piracy in the country.


    He lamented that piracy was taking over the entertainment industry and that government would do everything possible to nip it in the bud.


    Keyamo said the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) must come together, to salvage the situation.




    Keyamo expressed concern that the intellectual property of artists were actually going to be lost through piracy and that if nothing was done about this, it might go on to affect Nollywood, which is the film industry in Nigeria.


    He also said that the ministry was going to collaborate with other governmental agencies to tackle piracy.


    “They believe that by doing this, they are going to be able to protect their intellectual property and that they can also grow the industry even more. They even have hopes that this would create even more employment opportunities too, which is always a good thing,” he said.


    The Tech Industry


    According to him, “Nollywood and even the tech industry in Nigeria has grown since its creation. There are now more casinos than ever and when you look at internet gambling in general, you will see that it has also increased. Of course, when you visit an online casino you will soon see that there can be internet issues due to the infrastructure in Nigeria, but if more money is pumped into this industry, then something could certainly be done about that. The AGN and the government are making effort to promote the entertainment industry in general and this could only be a good thing.”

    Growing the Industry


    According to him, “there are other ways to grow the industry; one way for them to do this would be to invest in building film villages and even investing in state of the art equipment. This would be done for post-production studios. This would, in-turn, make them more affordable for any young producers. Ahmed has stated that the industry has contributed a lot to job creation and that it has also made it much easier in terms of acting and film making.


    “There is no age limit in employment, and this is especially the case when you look at youths, adults and even children too. Those who are challenged physically are also employed by the film industry. Nollywood has 6,000 actors alone and if you hinder this industry, then you will soon find out that there are 6,000 people who need jobs.


    “NAN has reported that the film industry here in Nigeria is the second biggest in the world when you look at annual production and that they make a whopping 50 movies a week and that every movie that is created opened up new potential jobs and this is incredible news for all those who are involved.”


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    [h=2]The Copyright Directive Is SOPA Part 2, and It’s Coming for Your Internet[/h]

    Last week, the European Parliament voted 348 to 274 to pass the Copyright Directive. Unless something truly extraordinary happens during the upcoming meeting of the European Council — think of it as the Senate of the EU, where the governments of Member States are represented — draconian and highly disruptive new rules on content licensing and monitoring will become EU law.


    In this blog post, I explain the two key elements of the the Copyright Directive, the link tax and upload filters requirements. I also explain why they are poised to change the internet as we know it, why you should be worried about similar policies coming to the United States, and what you can do to help keep the internet open for all.

    The “Link Tax”


    Article 15 (previously known as article 11) of the Copyright Directive mandates that virtually all internet platforms and websites, regardless of their size, that reproduce more than “individual words or very short extracts of a press publication” must secure a license from the linked media organization. As a baseline, this means that any website that offers snippets next to a link would require a license to do so. It’s unclear what “individual words or very short extracts” means in practice, and setting the definition will require costly, prolonged litigation.


    It’s not even clear that the provision solves the problem it was designed to address. If European legislators intended to ensure that tech companies pay news organizations for providing snippets of their work, it is unclear that the “link tax” is the right remedy. A similar approach was already tried in Spain and Germany; Google News is no longer available in Spain, and in Germany, publishers eventually exempted Google from paying any fee. It may turn out that news organizations might find that tech platforms can live without them: After all, only 4 percent of Facebook’s content is news.


    Upload filters


    Article 17 (previously article 13) establishes that commercial online platforms “perform an act of communication to the public” when they give access to copyright-protected works uploaded by their users. Those sites and apps will have to make “best efforts” to preemptively purchase licenses for all copyrighted content that users might potentially upload. In practice, this could mean they must attempt to license all copyrighted content in the world.


    In addition, almost all sites and apps will need to show that they are doing all they can to prevent users from uploading unauthorized copies. In practice, this means that virtually all companies that allow users to upload content will have to deploy upload filters: Otherwise, they risk being directly liable for their users’ copyright infringement.


    The category of sites and services exempted from this mandate is absurdly narrow: It excludes only those that are both (a) less than three years old, and (b) have annual revenues of less than ten million euros, and © have fewer than 5 million monthly unique visitors. For example, an online web forum for a local community that’s more than three years old will face the same licensing and filtering obligations as Google and Facebook, even if it makes no money and has less than a thousand monthly visitors.


    Here, European policymakers are being enormously and unrealistically techno-optimistic. Content ID — an upload filtering technology that took all the money and know-how of Google to develop, and one that smaller players will most likely have to license — is still incapable of understanding the context in which content is presented. For example, a German professor failed to upload public domain classical music recordings to YouTube because the system doesn’t understand the intricacies of copyright law.


    Upload filters create a chilling effect. Most users will not challenge upload filters when they are blocked from uploading, if the system tells them that the reason for denial is possible copyright infringement. The average person is fortunate enough to not have to know the intricacies of copyright law and their rights to use copyrighted content legally under some circumstances. For good reason, our European allies refer to the upload filter provisions of the Directive as a “censorship machine.”

    A natural experiment that might be coming home


    It will take years before we see and understand the full extent and implications of the Copyright Directive. Unlike the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, Europe’s privacy law), which by virtue of being a Regulation is of binding and uniform application across the EU, the Copyright Directive must be transposed into national law by each EU Member State by 2021. In practice, this means that there are going to be 27 different flavors of the Directive across Europe. In addition to this geographical and cultural complexity, given that the new law is unclear in some key provisions as exposed above, we can almost certainly expect years of litigation before the European Court of Justice settles on the material meaning of the Directive.


    In an ideal world, the U.S. should take the European experience with the Copyright Directive as a massive natural experiment with content licensing and filtering technologies; there’s going to be much to learn from the European experience in what to do, and what not to do. We can’t draw any meaningful conclusions when the experiment has just been announced. That’s why we urge the Copyright Office to delay the Section 512 Study, a public study and report to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the safe harbor provisions contained in section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), until we know more about the implementation and litigation of the Directive.


    However, the same actors that pushed for the Copyright Directive in Europe are advocating for similar policies in the U.S.. In a recent op-ed published in the New York Times that sounds the call for a “link tax,” the president of the trade association of news publishers wonders why “Facebook and Google flatly refuse to pay for news even though they license many other types of content” and asks “[w]hy are the platforms so unwilling to pay news publishers for access to the quality journalism that users need and value?” Regarding upload filters, don’t forget that rightshodlers’ associations such as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have been long asking for “automated detection and removal of infringing content” mechanisms in online platforms.


    With the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the digital rights community demonstrated that it could stop legacy entertainment and media industries power grabs over the open internet. That fight is coming back. In the EU, the legacy entertainment industry has won, and the open internet will suffer. Are you going to allow them to take your internet too? Tell your members of Congress that you care about internet freedom and that you expect them to fight back against all proposals that mimic SOPA or the Copyright Directive.


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    [h=2]MultiChoice sues Safaricom, Jamii over illegal streaming[/h]

    Pay-TV service provider MultiChoice is suing Safaricom and Jamii Telecom over copyright infringement.


    The landmark case will put to the test the effectiveness of the newly enacted Copyright Act 2019 in addressing such disputes.


    In the suit filed earlier this month, MultiChoice wants the court to compel the two firms to block access to websites streaming matches pirated from its SuperSport channels.


    “Section 35B of the Copyright Act obligates an Internet service provider to take down any infringing content within 48 hours of being served with a takedown notice,” says MultiChoice in court papers.


    MultiChoice further accuses Safaricom and Jamii Telecom of ignoring a takedown notice dated October 29.


    “The rebroadcasting, retransmitting or replicating the exclusive content of the applicant without their authorisation is a breach of their rights, is unlawful and causes irreparable economic loss to the applicant, not to mention other losses and evils that piracy perpetrates,” says the firm.


    In September, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2019, introducing new clauses that placed liability for copyright infringement on Internet service providers (ISPs).


    “A person whose rights have been infringed by content to which access is being offered by an Internet service provider may request, by way of a takedown notice, that the ISP removes the infringing content,” says Section 35B of the Act in part.


    The ISP is then expected to provide the person responsible for uploading the copyright-infringing content with a copy of the takedown notice and disable access to the same within 48 hours, unless a counter notice objecting to the takedown is filed.


    The new amendments have given regulators wider legal mandate in administrating legislation on copyright and intellectual property.


    Earlier this month, the Copyright Board of Kenya and Communications Authority of Kenya issued a joint notice, giving broadcasters and ISPs until the end of this month to comply with the new law.


    MultiChoice further accuses Safaricom and the ISP of seeking to challenge the constitutionality of sections 35B, 35C and 35D in a bid to scuttle enforcement of the new law.




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    [h=2]qBittorrent v4.2.0RC_20191121_9c1617b9778 release[/h]

    qBittorrent v4.2.0RC_20191121_9c1617b9778 release was released.

    For Windows only the 64-bit build is available for the RC release. Changes included in the stable series aren't mentioned below.

    The macOS build will follow.

    The final version of 4.2.0 will be released at the end of the month.

    ATTENTION: This RC release uses the libtorrent 1.2.x series. It saves fastresumes a bit differently than the 1.1.x series, which are used so far in the stable versions (and alpha releases). If you run it and then downgrade to a previous qBittorrent version then your torrents will probably start rechecking.

    Changes in v4.2.0RC_20191121_9c1617b9778 after the previous beta:


    • FEATURE: Allow to select multiple entries in "banned IP" dialog (Chocobo1)

    • FEATURE: Reallow to pause checking torrents (thalieht)

    • FEATURE: Reallow to force recheck torrents that aren't fully started (thalieht)

    • FEATURE: Add "Preview file" double-click action (warren)

    • BUGFIX: Fix country name misspelling (horgan)

    • RSS: Add create subfolder option to RSS auto-download rules (Xegor)

    • WINDOWS: Add option to control qBittorrent process memory priority (Chocobo1)


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    [h=2]Filehoster RapidShare: judgment before 2020 unlikely[/h]

    Christian Schmid, the German founder of RapidShare, stood in September 2018 together with his wife and ex-corporate lawyer in the criminal court Zug. The court has to decide whether the world's first filehoster has done enough to prevent the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works.


    RapidShare: Judgment due for one year


    From 12 September 2018, three defendants had to answer before a court in central Switzerland . The Criminal Court Zug now has to decide whether the first Filehoster has ever done enough in the fight against online piracy. In the worst case, the three defendants are convicted of commercial mendacity in countless copyright infringements. The prosecution demands sensitive fines. She accuses RapidShare AG of having directly or indirectly earned the distribution of black copies of premium paid (RapidPro) accounts. In addition, according to the prosecutor, they have not done enough to prevent the illegal distribution of the works.


    Did you do everything humanly possible?


    According to its own statements, RapidShare and its employees have " really done everything reasonable and even unacceptable " in order " not to be an attractive platform for copyright infringement ". One will see if the court will follow this view. In the room with fine and fine a total of over 642,000 euros. At first it was said that the sentence should be served on the defendants within the first six weeks after the end of the proceedings. Now, more than a year later, nothing has changed yet.


    Strafgericht Zug has a lot of room for maneuver


    Christian Schmid has again asked the criminal court Zug because of the still undelivered verdict. Also at his request was again no information, " when there will be a verdict ". This he answered us on a recent press request. In the interview , Swiss lawyer Martin Steiger told us a few months ago that the court could use a large amount of leeway in its decision-making. Steiger believes that Swiss-based filehosters are becoming increasingly responsible for the content uploaded by their users. Therefore, it is questionable when, for example, the competitor Smoozedwill migrate abroad. The revised copyright law in Switzerland also aims to oblige operators to keep reported works permanently offline. If the re-upload (Reupload) should succeed, you want to take the Swiss Filehoster with high claims for damages, etc. in the obligation.

    The Internet is no Wild West more ...


    But the new Swiss legislation is irrelevant to RapidShare. The former world's leading provider of online storage was "only" from the end of May 2002 until the end of March 2015. Almost 13 years on the internet anyway an endlessly long period. In terms of the life cycle of a filehoster, it is an eternity. Of course, this also shows that in the first few years much of the Internet was not covered by the legal situation. And where there were no corresponding laws and judgments, one could not violate any in the wild because unregulated start time. Of these, the Bochum gulli: board or for example Megaupload has benefited from Kim Schmitz for many years . But these times are long gone.



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    [h=2]DISH Sues Multiple ‘Pirate’ TV Streaming Sites[/h]

    DISH Network has filed a new lawsuit against the currently unknown operators of several streaming websites. DISH says that despite numerous demands to cease-and-desist, the sites - which all embed live TV channels from companies around the world - have continued to infringe the broadcaster's copyrights. DISH is demanding an injunction, millions in damages, and domain seizures.


    When it comes to tackling ‘pirate’ sites and services, US broadcaster DISH Network is one of the most active litigants in the United States.


    The company has
    Kodi add-on repository TVAddons, Kodi
    add-on developers
    IPTV suppliers
    , IPTV resellers, and players in the satellite card-sharing space.


    This week the company filed a new lawsuit in a Texas district court targeting the operators of 15 domains that allegedly stream DISH content to the public without appropriate licensing.


    DISH’s complaint says that 15 ‘Doe’ defendants are behind the websites Freetvall.net, Freetvall.xyz, Freetvall.me, Freetvall.live, Livetvcafe.com, Livetvcafe.net, Livetvcafe.me, Time4tv.com, Time4tv.net, Time4tv.me, Cricket-tv.net, Crickettv.me, Tv4embed.com, and A1livetv.com.


    Checks against the domains indicate that the Freetvall domains are connected to the same platform, currently operating at Freetvall.xyz. The site is a goldmine of free embedded TV channels, not only from DISH, but from broadcasters around the world including Sky and ESPN, to name just two.






    The second batch of ‘Livetvcafe’ domains appear to redirect to the same website, Livetvcafe.me. It bears a striking similarity to the site located at Freetvall.xyz albeit with slight variations in content. Cricket-tv.net and Crickettv.me triggered malware warnings in our tests, so were skipped.


    In respect of streaming, A1livetv is currently non-functioning, likewise Cricket-tv.net and Cricket-tv.me. TV4embed.com currently offers no video content but does display a notice stating the following:


    “DMCA: This site only contains links and embeds to TV channels from 3rd party sites which are freely available on all Internet. We are not affiliated in any way with the broadcasted channels nor responsible for their content. All content is copyright of their respective owners.”


    Despite the seemingly hopeful position of this apparent disclaimer, the above statement is precisely what DISH considers to be infringing when it comes to these platforms.


    “Upon information and belief, Defendants search the Internet for unauthorized sources of the Protected Channels and identify links to that content. Defendants then upload these links for the Protected Channels onto the Free TV Websites,” the broadcaster’s complaint reads.


    It appears that DISH has been working since September 2013 to have all of these sites taken down. The company says it directly sent the platforms “at least” 49 notices of infringement demanding that they cease their activities but none were responded to.


    DISH also sent the same number of notices to the sites’ hosts, at least some of which were passed on to the defendants. However, even when the service providers acted to remove content, DISH says it faced “interference”, such as the defendants switching hosts or links to content.


    As a result, DISH says that the defendants have “actual knowledge” that the transmission of its channels infringes the broadcaster’s exclusive rights so are therefore liable for inducing and materially contributing to copyright infringement.


    The company is demanding a permanent injunction against the defendants and anyone working in concert with them from “transmitting, streaming, distributing, publicly performing, linking to, hosting, promoting, advertising or displaying” any of DISH’s protected content in the United States, and/or inducing others in respect of the same.


    DISH is also demanding statutory damages of up to $150,000 for each of 112 or more registered works and profits attributable to the infringement of any unregistered works. In addition to attorneys’ fees, the broadcaster also wants to seize all of the domains listed in the lawsuit.



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    [h=2]Report: Fight Against Piracy in CEE[/h]

    2019 has been another eventful year in the fight against piracy in Central and Eastern Europe.


    Although most coverage in
    roadband TV News has focused on developments in Russia, Ukraine and the Baltics Republics, we have also looked at other markets in region including the Czech Republic.


    In Russia, the authorities stepped up their efforts by closing pirate sites and proposing new legislation designed to combat the illegal distribution of TV channels on the internet. In what was an eye-catching first, they even sentenced an offender to 18 months of forced labour for pirating content from the country’s leading pay-TV operator Tricolor.


    Earlier this month we were able to report that internet piracy in Russia, though still a huge problem, has declined to its lowest level in five years. Aside from more effective legislation, this is due to the collapse of the three leading pirate CDNs, as well as a clampdown on advertising on pirated content.


    Meanwhile, in Ukraine the fight against piracy continued to be led by the Clear Skies Initiative, which brings together the country’s four largest media groups. Great hopes were placed on the upcoming encryption of satellite channels by the groups, which besides providing a boost to the pay-TV market is expected to strike a blow against piracy.


    As part of the fight against piracy, we also saw the DTH platform Xtra TV, which is backed by Media Group Ukraine (MGU), switch to a non-card system employing Verimatrix conditional access.


    In Latvia, 2019 began with the enactment of a new law requiring ISPs to block access to TV broadcasts that violate intellectual property rights, while in Lithuania the regulator LRTK also undertook such actions during the year.


    On the other hands, in the Czech Republic, the DTH and internet TV operator Digi CZ was forced to take strong action against pirates stealing highly lucrative sports content to which it holds the rights.



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    [h=2]Star Wars show The Mandalorian set to break TV piracy records[/h]

    It was kinda inevitable, really. TV series piracy is booming again, thanks to a one TV series that is availabke only in handful of countries.


    You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out. Star Wars universe has always been extrenely popular - and in recent years, even more so. In fact, the final movie in the original movie series is set to hit the movie theaters in December, 2019. Then, you create a first live action, made-for-adults TV series to the Star Wars universe, with massive budget. Series gets extremely good ratings in IMDB (
    pilot has the average of 9.3/10 and two other episodes have also average around 8.5/10).


    Only legal way to watch the series is recently launched Disney+ service.


    And Disney+ service is only available in five countries in the world.


    What happens? You have a massive amount of people who are eager to watch the show, no matter what.


    So, even those people who kinda dropped the whole torrenting business half a decade ago or so - when Netflix et al finally arrived to most countries, providing a legal way to binge-watch movies and TV shows - are back into the piracy game again. Disney+ is currently available only in United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.


    It seems that The Mandalorian is set to break at least this year's piracy records, by far. Other major TV events of the year, such as Game of Thrones' final season were widely available through legal services, too. But with Mandalorian, if you live in, say Europe (excl. Netherlands) or in most of Asia, your only option to see the show it to get it illegally.


    Quite many news sources have reported how widely The Mandalorian has been downloaded from various online services and torrent sites.


    Several European countries are set to get the Disney+ service in spring of 2020, including the UK, Germany and France.



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    [h=2]Action against Uploaded.net goes on Tuesday at the ECJ[/h]

    The procedure against Uploaded.net goes into the next round. The Federal Court of Justice has submitted fundamental questions to the European Union regarding the liability of filehosters for copyright infringing contents. Next week Tuesday will begin after more than a year break, the trial before the ECJ.


    Four lawsuits against the operator company of Uploaded.net, the Swiss Cyando AG, rest, while from Tuesday the fifth similar case presented to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). That gave the Federal Court (BGH) in September last year known .


    Does Uploaded.net have to pay damages?


    Among other things, will be clarified next week, whether the Cyando AG itself as the perpetrator or only the appropriate user must adhere. The BGH saw a close connection with another complaint, which concerns claims of a music producer against YouTube. This case will also be postponed until the decision of the ECJ.


    Is the download from a movie host a public play?


    Uploaded.net has different requirements than YouTube. For example, one can safely assume that more than 90 percent of the content stored there contains a copyright infringement. In addition, Uploaded.net has created incentives, among other Sharehosters, for the acquisition of particularly sought-after works. For example, the uploaders will be paid according to the number of downloads made. In addition, it is clarified whether it will play a role that uploaded.net can upload the files anonymously. The catalog of criteria of the BGH is long and sounds very complicated. In essence, it is also about whether you can speak in a download of a Sharehoster legally speaking, even from a public replay.


    The Berlin public lawyer Ehssan Khazaeli considers this to be questionable because the wording of the regulation would be stretched far too far. Khazaeli, who works for the law firm Von Rueden, also has doubts as to whether operators can invariably prevent, as required, that previously reported works can not be re-uploaded. Anyone who wants to prevent an examination of the content, would have to be provided as an uploader archive only with a password. That's why German competitor Netload wanted to force its uploaders to reveal passwords until it stops .


    The expected verdict is not less exciting. The European Court of Justice was called to bring about a ruling on similar actions. In the future, all other courts will be guided by this.


    Does Uploaded.net close the gates if you lose?


    The question will also be what the management of Cyando AG will do if it loses its case against the publisher. With numerous expected compensation payments a profitable operation at a certain time would simply not be possible. Or will the provider be shut down as a precautionary measure in order to prevent further no less high demands for damages from entering them? If Uploaded.net has to be directly liable for the behavior of its users, this would also affect other Swiss providers such as the multi- host Smoozed and much more. That would be like a warning signal to go offshore or, if possible, to take other precautions.


    Lawyer Ehssan Khazaeli believes that Uploaded.net will likely continue in the event of a lost Supreme Court decision. One thing is certain: Cyando AG could recover the compensation payments by way of a recourse from the actual infringer (uploaders). But then you would have to change the registration process to force the uploader to submit a copy of ID or other scanned official document. The identification would be similar to PayPal.


    In any case, it would be exciting to see if, under the assumptions of the uploaders, someone would stay or would be willing to provide the correct information about their own identity. Then he would have to carry the full risk and not the operating company of the filehosters. It also remains to be seen which of the two procedures will be completed first. That against Cyando or against RapidShare, the mother of all Filehoster ...


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    [h=2]French Court Orders ISPs to Block Torrent Sites and File-Hosters[/h]

    A Paris court has ordered five French Internet providers to block access to thirteen websites that link to pirated content. While pirate site blockades are nothing new, this is the first European court order that targets file-hosting services. The order, which also affects torrent sites, was issued following a complaint from the local anti-piracy group SCPP.


    Pirate site-blocking has become a prime measure for the entertainment industries to target pirate sites on the Internet.


    The practice has been around for over a decade and has gradually expanded to
    more than 30 countries
    around the world.


    This is also true in France, where The Pirate Bay was one of the first targets five years ago, but not the last. Several site-blocking applications followed, mostly on behalf of the local anti-piracy group La Société Civile des Producteurs Phonographiques, or SCPP as it’s more commonly known.


    The organization, which represents over 2,000 music companies, including Warner, Universal, and Sony, is also behind the most recent blocking efforts.


    In three separate orders, a Paris court recently ordered Internet providers Bouygues, Free, Orange, SFR, and SFR Fibre, to prevent customers from accessing piracy-linked websites.


    The first order is targeted at six relatively small file-hosting services: Nippyspace.com, Nippyshare.com, Yolobit.com, Nippybox.com, Nippyfile.com, and Nippydrive.com. The sites in question all share the same simple design.




    The term file-hoster or cyberlocker can have a broad meaning. In this case, the sites also provided a search function, which makes pirated content easier to find. Also, Zippyshare is no stranger to the music industry, as the
    RIAA previously listed it
    as a ‘notorious’ pirate site.


    While SCPP didn’t respond to our request for comment, the Finnish anti-piracy group TTVK notes that the ruling is unique, as it’s the first court order that requires ISPs to block a file-hosting service in Europe.


    “The decision of the French court confirms the view that blocking orders should be available for all pirated content services, regardless of the technology,” TTVK Executive Director Jaana Pihkala says.


    The other two orders, which were released on the same day, target the torrent sites Torlock.com, Toros.co, Bittorrent.am, Seedpeer.me, Yggserver.net and Yggtorrent.ch, as well as the linking site 2DDL.vg.


    notes that the court suggested that the use of the word “BitTorrent” assumes bad intent, as the file-sharing protocol is often associated with piracy. This is rather broad, as there are also many legitimate BitTorrent services.


    The orders (
    , and
    ) are valid for 18 months. The Internet providers will have to pay the blocking costs themselves but did not oppose the orders in court.


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    [h=2]Open Source LibreTorrent Client Kicked Out By Google Play[/h]

    Popular Android torrent client LibreTorrent has been removed from Google Play, who informed its developer that the open-source "Free Software" tool violated the platform's "spam policy". The developer believes this may be due to a flood of abusive cloned copies of LibreTorrent but Google doesn't seem interested in investigating further.


    Broadly speaking, torrent clients come in two flavors; closed source (such as uTorrent or BitTorrent Mainline) or open-source, such as qBittorrent or BiglyBT, for example.


    Many experienced torrent users often favor the latter, since the code of open-source clients is not only open to scrutiny but can give others the ability to learn about or further develop software. So of course, it’s never great when something bad happens to an open-source project.


    Yaroslav Pronin, a student and Russia-based
    of Android torrent client LibreTorrent, is an advocate of
    Free Software
    . He informs TF that he began work on his tool in 2016 because he believed there wasn’t a “complete freedom” torrent client available for the platform.


    Pronin says that he was also motivated by the fact that BitTorrent has been under pressure, with sites blocked both in Russia and overseas due to copyright issues.


    “A Free Software torrent client is an important step in supporting BitTorrent technology for the free (as in Freedom) exchange of information between people,” he explains.


    As a result, Pronin went down the
    open-source route
    (GNU GPLv3) for LibreTorrent and gathered a decent-sized following. But despite all his good intentions, he still found his software deleted from Google Play recently for a somewhat unusual reason.

    LibreTorrent on Google Play before the deletion




    What happened behind the scenes here is something of a mystery. Pronin says that he first became aware of an issue in early October when Google advised him that his software had been marked as ‘spam’, which indicates the client is considered “non-original” content.


    “It was the morning of October 8, 2019, when I read the e-mail from Google that LibreTorrent was deleted. They wrote the reason: ‘Violation of Spam policy’,” Pronin explains.


    “I was shocked, because I didn’t violate anything of the kind. Therefore, I turned to Google with the first appeal, so that they could clarify the situation, and also figure out that I didn’t violate the spam policy.”


    It turned out that Google wasn’t interested in reconsidering its position.

    Status of app LibreTorrent (org.proninyaroslav.libretorrent): Suspended from Google Play due to policy violation.


    I’ve reviewed your appeal request and found that your app still violates Google Play Policy. During review, we found that your app violates the policy for Spam. We don’t allow apps that spam users or Google Play, such as apps that are duplicative and low-quality.


    “As I can think, this was due to the fact that there were many LibreTorrent clones on Google Play and Google just uninstalled all the apps without understanding the essence of what was happening,” he says, commenting on the app’s deletion from Google Play.


    Pronin informs TorrentFreak that thus far, Google has only responded to him once, informing him of the reason for deletion. He says he sent information confirming him as the developer of the original LibreTorrent but that achieved nothing.


    “I filed an appeal, but in response I was told that they can not help in any way and the only option is to rename the application and lay it out again,” he explains.


    Completely renaming an app and losing an established brand seems a draconian measure to force on a developer. Sadly, it may be that other developers who took LibreTorrent’s source and decided to abuse it may be to blame.


    “Since 2016, a lot of LibreTorrent clones have appeared on Google Play. I understand that LibreTorrent is open source, but those who published these clones on Google Play didn’t modify the source code,” he says.


    “They only added ads and changed the name of the application. Yes, there were authoring developments based on LibreTorrent, but there are much fewer of them than clones with advertising. Most of the clones were removed last year at my request, but they appear again and again.


    “Google just decided that LibreTorrent is an application with non-original content, as many LibreTorrent clones are located on Google Play. It’s also possible that the author of one of the clones filed a complaint for the removal of the original LibreTorrent. We can only guess about it.”


    Pronin is understandably upset and disappointed with Google. He says that the company has made no effort to understand the situation yet, meanwhile, leaves up actually malicious software for download until someone complains.


    More importantly for him, however, is that with the removal of LibreTorrent, fewer people overall will learn about Free Software. He acknowledges that Google services are both non-free and have privacy problems but getting the Free Software message out to as many people as possible was one of his key goals.


    It’s also a shame since after a year in development, LibreTorrent 2.0 is almost ready for launch. The source code has been rewritten to increase stability and there are around 20 new features, including an updated UI.



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