bsaambl

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bsaambl last won the day on June 11

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  1. An adult film studio has reportedly warned a "prominent public figure" that he faces exposure over his sexual preferences unless he pays a $97,000 'fine'. The unnamed individual was accused by the CEO of a gay porn company of pirating content and told that the 'fine' would increase to $525,000 if not settled quickly. The man has now gone on the offensive with his own lawsuit. Flava Works is an Illinois-based company specializing in adult material featuring black and Latino men. It operates an aggressive anti-piracy strategy which has resulted in some large damages claims in the past. Now, however, the company has found itself targeted by a lawsuit filed by one of its alleged victims. Filed in a California district court by an unnamed individual, it accuses Flava Works of shocking behavior relating to a claim of alleged piracy. According to the lawsuit, ‘John Doe’ received a letter in early June from Flava Works CEO Phillip Bleicher, accusing him of Internet piracy. Titled “Settlement Demand and Cease and Desist”, the letter got straight to the point. “Flava Works is aware that you have been ‘pirating’ the content from its website(s) for your own personal financial benefit,” the letter read. [Update: ‘John Doe’ has now been identified as Marc Juris, President & General Manager WE tv. All references to John Doe below refer to Juris] As is often the case with such claims, Flava Works offered to settle with John Doe for a cash fee. However, instead of the few hundred or thousand dollars usually seen in such cases, the initial settlement amount was an astronomical $97,000. But that wasn’t all. According to John Doe, Bleicher warned that unless the money was paid in ten days, Flava Works “would initiate litigation against [John Doe], publically accusing him of being a consumer and pirate of copyrighted gay adult entertainment.” Amping up the pressure, Bleicher then warned that after the ten-day deadline had passed, the settlement amount of $97,000 would be withdrawn and replaced with a new amount – $525,000. The lawsuit alleges that Bleicher followed up with more emails in which he indicated that there was still time to settle the matter “one on one” since the case hadn’t been assigned to an attorney. However, he warned John Doe that time was running out and that public exposure via a lawsuit would be the next step. While these kinds of tactics are nothing new in copyright infringement cases, the amounts of money involved are huge, indicating something special at play. Indeed, it transpires that John Doe is a public figure in the entertainment industry and the suggestion is that Flava Works’ assessment of his “wealth and profile” means he can pay these large sums. According to the suit, on July 6, 2017, Bleicher sent another email to John Doe which “alluded to [his] high-profile status and to the potential publicity that a lawsuit would bring.” The email went as far as threatening an imminent Flava Works press release, announcing that a public figure, who would be named, was being sued for pirating gay adult content. Flava Works alleges that John Doe uploaded its videos to various BitTorrent sites and forums, but John Doe vigorously denies the accusations, noting that the ‘evidence’ presented by Flava Works fails to back up its claims. “The materials do not reveal or expose infringement of any sort. [Flava Works’] real purpose in sending this ‘proof’ was to demonstrate just how humiliating it would be to defend against Flava Works’ scurrilous charges,” John Doe’s lawsuit notes. “[Flava Works’] materials consist largely of screen shots of extremely graphic images of pornography, which [Flava Works] implies that [John Doe] has viewed — but which are completely irrelevant given that they are not Flava Works content. Nevertheless, Bleicher assured [John Doe] that these materials would all be included in a publicly filed lawsuit if he refused to accede to [Flava Works’] payment demands.” From his lawsuit (pdf) it’s clear that John Doe is in no mood to pay Flava Works large sums of cash and he’s aggressively on the attack, describing the company’s demands as “criminal extortion.” He concludes with a request for a declaration that he has not infringed Flava Works’ copyrights, while demanding attorneys’ fees and further relief to be determined by the court. The big question now is whether Flava Works will follow through with its threats to exposure the entertainer, or whether it will drift back into the shadows to fight another day. Definitely one to watch.
  2. The super-fight between boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor won't take place until August 26 but Showtime Networks is already suing to prevent piracy. In a lawsuit filed in California, the TV network demands that 40 sites are subjected to a pre-emptive injunction, forbidding them from streaming the event. It’s the fight that few believed would become reality but on August 26, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Floyd Mayweather Jr. will duke it out with UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. Despite being labeled a freak show by boxing purists, it is set to become the biggest combat sports event of all time. Mayweather, undefeated in his professional career, will face brash Irishman McGregor, who has gained a reputation for accepting fights with anyone – as long as there’s a lot of money involved. Big money is definitely the theme of the Mayweather bout. Dubbed “The Money Fight”, some predict it could pull in a billion dollars, with McGregor pocketing $100m and Mayweather almost certainly more. Many of those lucky enough to gain entrance on the night will have spent thousands on their tickets but for the millions watching around the world….iiiiiiiit’s Showtimmme….with hefty PPV prices attached. Of course, not everyone will be handing over $89.95 to $99.99 to watch the event officially on Showtime. Large numbers will turn to the many hundreds of websites set to stream the fight for free online, which has the potential to reduce revenues for all involved. With that in mind, Showtime Networks has filed a lawsuit in California which attempts to preemptively tackle this piracy threat. The suit targets a number of John Does said to be behind a network of dozens of sites planning to stream the fight online for free. Defendant 1, using the alias “Kopa Mayweather”, is allegedly the operator of LiveStreamHDQ, a site that Showtime has grappled with previously. “Plaintiff has had extensive experience trying to prevent live streaming websites from engaging in the unauthorized reproduction and distribution of Plaintiff’s copyrighted works in the past,” the lawsuit reads. “In addition to bringing litigation, this experience includes sending cease and desist demands to LiveStreamHDQ in response to its unauthorized live streaming of the record-breaking fight between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.” Showtime says that LiveStreamHDQ is involved in the operations of at least 41 other sites that have been set up to specifically target people seeking to watch the fight without paying. Each site uses a .US ccTLD domain name. Sample of the sites targeted by the lawsuit Showtime informs the court that the registrant email and IP addresses of the domains overlap, which provides further proof that they’re all part of the same operation. The TV network also highlights various statements on the sites in question which demonstrate intent to show the fight without permission, including the highly dubious “Watch From Here Mayweather vs Mcgregor Live with 4k Display.” In addition, the lawsuit is highly critical of efforts by the sites’ operator(s) to stuff the pages with fight-related keywords in order to draw in as much search engine traffic as they can. “Plaintiff alleges that Defendants have engaged in such keyword stuffing as a form of search engine optimization in an effort to attract as much web traffic as possible in the form of Internet users searching for a way to access a live stream of the Fight,” it reads. While site operators are expected to engage in such behavior, Showtime says that these SEO efforts have been particularly successful, obtaining high-ranking positions in major search engines for the would-be pirate sites. For instance, Showtime says that a Google search for “Mayweather McGregor Live” results in four of the target websites appearing in the first 100 results, i.e the first 10 pages. Interestingly, however, to get that result searchers would need to put the search in quotes as shown above, since a plain search fails to turn anything up in hundreds of results. At this stage, the important thing to note is that none of the sites are currently carrying links to the fight, because the fight is yet to happen. Nevertheless, Showtime is convinced that come fight night, all of the target websites will be populated with pirate links, accessible for free or after paying a fee. This needs to be stopped, it argues. “Defendants’ anticipated unlawful distribution will impair the marketability and profitability of the Coverage, and interfere with Plaintiff’s own authorized distribution of the Coverage, because Defendants will provide consumers with an opportunity to view the Coverage in its entirety for free, rather than paying for the Coverage provided through Plaintiff’s authorized channels. “This is especially true where, as here, the work at issue is live coverage of a one-time live sporting event whose outcome is unknown,” the network writes. Showtime informs the court that it made efforts to contact the sites in question but had just a single response from an individual who claimed to be sports blogger who doesn’t offer streaming services. The undertone is one of disbelief. In closing, Showtime demands a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction, prohibiting the defendants from making the fight available in any way, and/or “forming new entities” in order to circumvent any subsequent court order. Compensation for suspected damages is also requested. Showtime previously applied for and obtained a similar injunction to cover the (hugely disappointing) Mayweather v Pacquiao fight in 2015. In that case, websites were ordered to be taken down on the day before the fight.
  3. The upcoming sixth episode of the current Game of Thrones season has leaked online days ahead of the official premiere. There are several high-quality copies of the episode floating around at the moment, which are being widely shared on various streaming and download portals. Trouble continues for HBO as another episode of the popular Game of Thrones series has just leaked online, days ahead of the official premiere. Copies of the sixth episode of the current season, titled ‘Death is the Enemy,’ are currently circulating on various streaming portals, direct download, and torrent sites. The first copy only just appeared on the Pirate Bay, but others were shared elsewhere earlier. One of the leaked videos is 64 minutes long and of high quality, and there are also versions that consist of two separate parts. Early on, the two parts were circulating on the video streaming site Dailymotion, but these were swiftly removed. At the moment it’s still unclear how the leak came about but some suggest that it was leaked by HBO itself in Spain. TorrentFreak has not been able to confirm this, but there are no visible watermarks that point elsewhere. This isn’t the first time that a Game of Thrones episode has leaked online early. Two years ago the same happened with the first four episodes of season 5. Nonetheless, that season still broke previous viewership records. Two weeks ago the fourth episode of the current season was also pirated before its official release. This leak, which carried a prominent “Star India Pvt Ltd” watermark, triggered a lot of interest from impatient Game of Thrones fans as well. Earlier this week, news broke that four men had been arrested in connection with the breach, which is still being investigated. The arrested men all worked for the local media processing company Prime Focus Technologies, where the leak reportedly originated. The current leak is not in any way related to the hack on HBO’s system, which occurred earlier and revealed several preliminary Game of Thrones scripts. This hack has also resulted in leaks of various high profile shows, including the upcoming ninth season of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm.’ Initially, these were hard to findonline, but they are now widely available on the usual pirate sites.