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  1. Tracker's Name: TorrentLeechGR Genre: MOVIES / TV / GENERAL Sign-up: http://torrentleechgr.com/signup.php Additional information: TorrentLeechGR is a GREEK Private Torrent Tracker for MOVIES / TV / GENERAL
  2. Tracker's Name: TorrentMaster Genre: MOVIES / GENERAL Sign-up: https://torrentmasters.net/regisztracio.php Additional information: TorrentMaster is a HUNGARIAN Private Torrent Tracker for MOVIES / GENERAL
  3. With a new public service announcement, a group of State Attorneys General warns the public that pirate sites are a severe threat to online safety. Hackers use pirate websites to steal IDs and financial information, or even take over people's webcams without their knowledge, they say. In recent years copyright holders have tried many things to dissuade the public from visiting pirate websites. They often claim that piracy costs the entertainment industry thousands of jobs, for example. Another strategy to is to scare the public at large directly, by pointing out all the ills people may encounter on pirate sites. The Digital Citizens Alliance (DCA), which has deep ties to the content industries, is a proponent of the latter strategy. The group has released a variety of reports pointing out that pirate sites are a hotbed for malware, identity theft, hacking and other evils. To add some political weight to this message, the DCA recently helped to launch a new series of public service announcements where a group of 15 State Attorneys General warn the public about these threats. The participating Attorneys General include Arizona’s Mark Brnovich, Kentucky’s Andy Bashear, Washington DC’s Karl Racine, and Wisconsin’s Brad Schimel, who all repeat the exact same words in their PSAs. “Nowadays we all have to worry about cybersecurity. Hackers are always looking for new ways to break into our computers. Something as simple as visiting pirate websites can put your computer at risk.” “Hackers use pirate websites to infect your computer and steal your ID and financial information, or even take over your computer’s camera without you knowing it,” the Attorneys General add. Organized by the Digital Citizens Alliance, the campaign in question runs on TV and radio in several states and also appears on social media during the summer. The warnings, while over dramatized, do raise a real concern. There are a lot of pirate sites that have lower-tier advertising, where malware regularly slips through. And some ads lead users to fake websites where people should probably not leave their credit card information. Variety points out that the Attorneys General are tasked with the goal to keep their citizens safe, so the PSA’s message is certainly fitting. Still, one has to wonder whether the main driver of these ads is online safety. Could perhaps the interests of the entertainment industry play a role too? It certainly won’t be the first time that State Attorneys General have helped out Hollywood. Just a few years ago the MPAA secretly pushed Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood to revive SOPA-like anti-piracy efforts in the United States. That was part of the MPAA’s “Project Goliath,” which was aimed at “convincing state prosecutors to take up the fight” against Google, under an anti-piracy umbrella. https://torrentfreak.com/hackers-use-pirate-sites-to-ruin-your-life-state-attorneys-general-warn-170727/
  4. Net neutrality activists have no problem using aggressive tactics to vilify companies and government officials who aren’t all in on a government takeover of the internet. Their corporate allies and financial backers have historically looked the other way. But now, factions of Silicon Valley heavyweights are taking notice of what’s really going on, and they seem less than pleased. Fight for the Future, and other groups warn that net neutrality is in danger because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeks to rollback Obama-era regulation of the internet. What they want to preserve is not a framework that breeds a free and open internet. But rather, it’s the reclassification of internet services as public utilities. Think about problems typically associated with public utility services; crumbling roads, rusted pipes – services in disrepair that are unreliable, take forever to fix, and are less likely to keep pace with the speed of innovation. Do you really want those qualities to hamstring the internet? The obvious answer should be, no. With nothing less than freedom of speech supposedly at stake, Fight for the Future spearheaded a “Day of Action” on July 12, that was hyped to be thought of in the same vein as a well-organized online demonstration by Facebook, Reddit, Netflix, Wikipedia, and other tech companies five years ago. Many popular sites went “dark” on January 18, 2012, helping to thwart the passage of anti-piracy legislation, the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Internet IP Act (PIPA). Google’s doodle that day featured a black censor bar across its iconic logo. In contrast, on July 12, 2017, the doodle celebrated the work of the late artist and designer Eiko Ishioka. There was no morphing of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai or a tech company logo into an Orwellian Big Brother figure. All due respect to Ishioka, Google’s decision to use that prime spot to note what would have been her 79th birthday was a statement in and of itself. Google simply posted a blog and sent an email directing recipients to a take action page. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was similarly low key with a Facebook post in support of net neutrality. These two companies can reach literally billions of people with flare, but they settled for the equivalent of carefully worded memos – ones that were apparently easy to miss – and by Fight for the Future’s own admission, they weren’t even official members of the Day of Action like Amazon and Twitter. Early on the Day of Action, Techdirt’s Karl Bode even tweeted looking for “any example” of Facebook or Google’s participation. One reason this would-be red-letter day turned into a red herring is that the grownups who own and run the big internet companies know this is a complex policy matter that must ultimately be dealt with in a prudent manner. They have hundreds of billions of dollars at stake. They need more certainty and less drama. There is a deepening awareness that this issue needs to be addressed by carefully crafted, bipartisan legislation, not regulatory fiat. As Zuckerberg’s Facebook post noted, “We’re also open to working with members of Congress and anyone else on laws to protect net neutrality.” He’s not alone in his thinking. Ironically, some of the big telecommunications companies vilified by net neutrality activists seem to agree. AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast don’t want the FCC to classify Internet service as a public utility, but they do support an open internet, and they want legislation to codify basic net neutrality principles. Like the tech companies, they want more regulatory certainty because without it, investment is in jeopardy of going down. Another reason the Day of Action fell short could be that Silicon Valley is growing wary of activists’ tactics, which feed into the cultural divide that has helped bring policymaking to a halt. Fight for the Future, for example, is erecting billboards that lambast members of Congress. The Internet Association, the trade group that represents companies like Google and Facebook, distanced itself from the campaign, stressing the need to work with Congress and commenting: “In contrast, the tactics being used by Fight for the Future are not constructive. It is disingenuous for Fight for the Future to oppose working with Congress on legislation, while at the same time attacking members of Congress on this issue.” Net neutrality activists, with the help of late night comic John Oliver, stirred millions of activists to flood the FCC with comments in May. It turns out many comments were computer generated, duplicates, or bogus. Worse than that, many more were profane, racist, and even threatened violence. Voters don’t see themselves in these kinds of crusades. They see elites on the other side of the digital divide telling them they know best what average Americans want and need from their online experience. Even Silicon Valley elites, who proudly embrace immigrants, were likely taken aback when some of the activists they fund called for the deportation of the FCC chairman, an U.S.-born citizen of Indian heritage. Net neutrality activists are ready to soldier on passionately, flooding the FCC with bogus and insulting comments, and berating those who hold different views. That’s what they do. But they do it to make money – lots of it. And now that tech billionaires are ready to get serious and engage with all stakeholders on a permanent, legislative solution – one that could actually be good for business and good for consumers – will we see a change in direction? Stay tuned.
  5. The English Premier League has won a new High Court Order in London this week that will require broadband ISPs in the United Kingdom to block servers that are hosting “illegal streams” of its football matches, specifically those involving the entire 2017/18 Premier League season. An existing blocking order for this already exists, although it only applied for the final two months of the 2016/17 season and the new order is effectively an extension of that approach for the new season. The EPL claims that the original order was “highly effective” and succeeded in limiting access to 5,000 servers (IP addresses), which disrupted live streams on various copyright infringing websites and modified Kodi boxes etc. Kevin Plumb, Premier League Director of Legal Services, said: “This blocking Order is a game-changer in our efforts to tackle the supply and use of illicit streams of our content,” said Premier League Director of Legal Services, Kevin Plumb. “It will allow us to quickly and effectively block and disrupt the illegal broadcast of Premier League football via any means, including so called ‘pre-loaded Kodi boxes’. The protection of our copyright, and the investment made by our broadcast partners, is hugely important to the Premier League and the future health of English football. The ability that clubs have to develop and acquire talented players, to build and improve stadiums, and to support communities and schools is all predicated on being able to market, sell and protect commercial rights. We are pleased the Courts have recognised this with the granting of this significant blocking Order.” However the blocks imposed by broadband ISPs (e.g. BT, Virgin Media, Sky Broadband, Plusnet, TalkTalk and EE) are only effective when the end-user doesn’t know how to circumvent them by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), Proxy Server or other method. Similarly the blocked servers usually re-emerge in new locations, although the court order allows for additional blocks to be imposed as that happens and on goes the game of whack-a-mole.
  6. Cheaper data and a proliferation of streaming platforms have helped shoot up international music consumption in the country New Delhi: Released in January this year, English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You has emerged as the fourth most widely watched video on YouTube in India this year. The dancehall-infused pop song notched up 60% playouts as compared to the biggest Bollywood hit of March on Gaana, an online music streaming service operated by Times Internet Ltd. Averaged out from July 2016-July 2017, the Sheeran number was also the most streamed song on music streaming platform Hungama, which reports an 8% increase on its international spread in the same period. Meanwhile, Prashan Agarwal, chief operating officer at Gaana, calls international music the fastest growing category over the past one year, the number of streams having gone up from 22 million to nearly 110 million a month. About 1.7 million unique English songs were heard on Gaana over the past year and big hits besides Shape of You include French electronic music producer DJ Snake’s Let Me Love You at 15 million playouts, Australian singer Sia’s Cheap Thrills (13 million) and American DJ duo The Chainsmokers’ Closer (12 million) playouts. Rival online music service, the New York-based Saavn LLC, remained unavailable for comment for this story. The most obvious reasons for the breakout of international music in India would be the popularity of international artistes reflected in the sold-out Coldplay and Justin Beiber concerts. But inching close to it is the contribution of wide and cheap Internet data available in the country. “Our belief is that this entire advent of data services in the latter part of 2016 has actually resulted in a very large amount of international content being consumed, we’ve seen very high percentage growth starting July and August last year on the back of more and more data consumption and that was reflective across all media-video, audio, everything,” said Siddhartha Roy, chief executive at Hungama.com, an entertainment portal owned by Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. For example, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, the mobile offering of the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) launched in September last year, had put out audacious plans for data usage like its 4GB 4G pack for Rs499 a month. The newly launched 4G-capable JioPhone, with unlimited data and optional TV streaming is only one of the few examples of the revolution taking place on the Indian Internet data landscape. Further, according to the FICCI-KPMG Indian Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2017, average data usage per subscriber shot up by 76% in the nine months from December 2015 to September 2016, rising from 137 MB/month, to 240 MB/month. “Now there are legitimate means of entertainment available so the consumer is not resorting to piracy. You’ve basically worked on creating value based on experience which is a big draw,” Roy said. Linked to cheaper and easily available data and benefiting from it are the multiple music streaming platforms that currently make up 80-90% of all music consumption in India, experts say. “Like all other languages and genres of music, all the consumption of international music is pretty much happening on streaming platforms like Apple Music, Wynk, Saavn, Gaana and YouTube. Physical sales are obviously done with and we’ve moved to an access model vis-à-vis an ownership one,” said Arjun Sankalia, head, international repertoire and special projects, Sony Music India. The socio-economic progress that people in India have made is yet another factor. “English would be the second or the third-most widely spoken language in the country. Overall, more people are speaking in or consuming English vis-à-vis 10 years ago,” Sankalia said. “There is simultaneous awareness and access. Earlier you needed someone from say, America to come and tell you what was happening, that would be your source of information but you wouldn’t necessarily have access to it. Now because of the Internet and popular talk shows like the Jimmy Kimmel Live, it’s all possible.” International music genres popular in India follow the same trajectory as they do globally—pop music tops the list while hip-hop, dance and R&B (rhythm and blues) are other favourites. And even as Indian music’s own pie grows, international numbers give tough competition. “Till about 2009-10, when we were looking at caller tunes and ringtones only, it was a 1:20 kind of demand in favour of Indian music. Now with the streaming platforms, we’re looking at 1:3,” Sankalia said.
  7. New Zealand Police have confirmed that Kim Dotcom was unlawfully surveilled for two months longer than previously admitted. The revelation is an embarrassment for local law enforcement and increases pressure on those responsible. Dotcom, meanwhile, is smelling blood: "What's next? What are the consequences?" he says. Kim Dotcom has made headlines in the press again over the past week, but not for his own alleged misconduct. Instead, there is a renewed focus on the unlawful surveillance practices of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB). During the months leading up to the raid, the GCSB carried out surveillance on Dotcom but failed to check his residency status. The outfit was not allowed to spy on its own residents and clearly crossed a line with its unlawful information gathering. To find out what was collected, Dotcom asked the High Court for access to the surveilled information, but last week this request was denied. While this came as a disappointment, the court did reveal something else of interest. As it turns out, the illegal spying on Dotcom didn’t stop on January 20, 2012, when Dotcom was arrested. Instead, it carried on for another two months, ending March 22, 2012. Initially, some people thought that the High Court may have made a mistake in the timeline, but with pressure mounting, New Zealand police have now confirmed that this is not the case. The illegal spying did indeed continue for two more months. “We’ve checked the file and can confirm that the dates you’ve highlighted were known to the Operation Grey team. They were considered as part of the investigation and decision-making about the outcome,” a police spokesman told NZ Herald. While this is all news to the public, the police and others were well-aware of the additional spying. This raises a series of questions, which Megaupload’s founder would like to see answered. “Does this mean that New Zealand Police knew that the GCSB affidavits were false? GCSB told the Courts under oath that the illegal spying ended two months earlier. Not in March but in January,” Dotcom says, commenting on the news. The issue is more than a matter of oversight, Dotcom says, and he calls for a proper investigation where the people responsible will be held accountable. “New Zealand Police investigated GCSB because of the illegal spying but nobody was ever charged with any crime. How is that possible if the Police knew that the GCSB lied to the New Zealand Courts? What else would we discover if we had a fair and open hearing instead of secret submissions in closed Court? “The New Zealand Courts have been fooled by the GCSB and the Police. What’s next? What are the consequences?” Dotcom adds. In recent years the Megaupload case has been a stumbling block for several politicians and the latest revelations have put Prime Minister Bill English under pressure. It’s clear that several high ranked officials would rather see Dotcom leave, but thus far the fiasco is more likely to help him stay. https://torrentfreak.com/police-confirms-extra-illegal-spying-on-kim-dotcom-170727/
  8. The Purge will commence shortly… Hi users of MTV! It has been a while since our last announcement. Things have been busy managing the added userbase, overseeing auto-up bot updates, and general development work (we will share an official dev update with the userbase soon™). As many of you are aware: The general problem with a truly ratiofree site will be the freeloaders. This has and always will be an issue. As such, we’ve reached a critical mass and will actively begin manually purging accounts we deem as abusive to our gentleman’s agreement we have here at MTV. Right now there are over 600 users that we have flagged as leech only accounts that do nothing to help our community. Please see here for the Wiki regarding seeding requirements. We will not be disabling users that put forth a concerted effort to improve their stats or change their ways. Staff understands that shit happens. As such, we will be allowing a 1 month+ grace period before any actions are taken. THE PURGE WILL COMMENCE ON SEPTEMBER 1ST 2017. If you feel you are borderline in this regard, you may hop into #Help on our IRC, or make a post in the forum asking for our insight. If you know you are down at the bottom of the barrel, we urge you to right that ship or your account will be forfeit soon. Best Regards, - MTV Staff
  9. After hitting 1000 torrents, we will run a site-wide freeleech until we get to 2500 torrents. The freeleech will include all existing torrents and all new uploads. But first, we need to get there. We're sitting at 934 torrents now, help us build our archive and upload your favorite films to get us to the three zero club. Because getting to that sweet thousandaire status is where it's at! We'll also throw in some additional goodies - all users (be it VIP or regular) will receive extra invites to bring on board your friends. Cheers, Staff
  10. A report from online brand and content protection specialist INCOPRO indicates that Portugal’s regulatory site blocking orders have successfully reduced use of large-scale piracy websites by 69.7 per cent. Site blocking has become a recognised practice in countries across Europe over the past few years. In 2015, a memorandum of understanding was reached in Portugal between local rightsholders, internet service providers (ISPs) and the government according to which access to copyright infringing sites can be blocked by ISPs following an order of governmental body IGAC (Inspeção Geral das Atividades Culturais). The new report was commissioned by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) jointly with Associação Portuguesa de Defesa de Obras Audiovisuais (FEVIP) – the Portuguese Defence Association of Audiovisual Works. The findings show that, following the implementation of site blocking orders between November 2015 and June 2016, there was a significant reduction in users accessing infringing websites. The study was completed with a global control group as a point of comparison to what may have happened had the sites not been blocked. Additional key highlights of the report show: Out of the top 250 unauthorised sites in Portugal, 65 were blocked and decreased in usage by a total of 56.6 per cent in the time frame, but increased by 3.9 per cent globally. Usage of the top 250 unauthorised sites in Portugal has decreased overall by 9.3 per cent; however, the global control group showed a 30.8 per cent increase globally. The usage of the 30 blocked Portuguese language sites that are listed in the top 250 unauthorised sites in Portugal has decreased by 41.8 per cent, while they increased by 39.2 per cent in Brazil. The findings of this study are in line with similar reports undertaken in the United Kingdom demonstrating that site blocking is effective and decreases the use of infringing sites. “We were incredibly excited to continue our work with the MPA, and that we are seeing such positive results,” commented Helen Saunders, Head of Intelligence and Operations at INCOPRO. “It’s important to highlight that the impact of these blocks can be felt not just in Portugal, but globally. It’s fantastic to see that more countries are starting to take action against piracy, and are getting great results. We hope that this report will inspire even more geographies to take similar action in a concerted effort to safeguard the global entertainment industry.” “Piracy continues to be a serious threat to the health of a European core copyright-intensive sector that employs 11 million people and generates €914 billion in economic activity,” advised Stan McCoy, President and Managing Director of the MPA EMEA. “Yet research shows that this problem can be curbed. At the MPA, we take a three-pronged approach: make legal content easy to access, engage consumers about the negative impact of piracy, and deter piracy through the appropriate legal avenues. All stakeholders must work together as joint stewards of the creative ecosystem. “All forms of piracy generate huge losses for every player in the value chain, including authors, artists, editors, producers, moviegoers, distributors, providers of pay TV and audiovisual services on demand, and the government,” added Paulo Santos, Managing Director of FEVIP. “This is why it is important to work with all these players as they are directly interested in this issue and have a common and collaborative interest in taking actions against large scale commercial operators that make money off the back of the creators. The MOU signed in 2015 between IGAC, collective management entities, FEVIP, ISPs and other entities, within the applicable legal framework, implemented this joint vision through a simple, feasible mechanism of action, being therefore of the greatest relevance in the fight against piracy, and in the interests of all.”
  11. The Music Industry. Capital I, and don’t you forget it. The same people that brought you the soundtrack to your childhood. The mix of suits, ties and trendsetters that has helped define cool since your parents were listening to vinyl LPs. The same people that killed Napster. Since its inception, the music industry has undergone a series of tumultuous changes as its business model got turned upside-down thanks to the rise of the internet and the subsequent flood of sites that allowed easy access to music. From Kazaa and LimeWire to Soulseek, RapidShare and countless others, fans were granted the ability to own their favorite tracks free of charge, upsetting artists and labels alike, and ultimately leading to plummeting album sales. In short, your stash of illegally downloaded discographies changed the game. As things start to level out, with streaming giants striking deals with labels, yet another fan favorite site appears primed to bite the dust: SoundCloud — home to millions of bedroom DJs and struggle rappers and off-key singers, as well as a hoard of overlooked talented musicians from every genre imaginable. SoundCloud — often called “the YouTube of music” — has had its fair share of legal trouble, fighting off labels and lawsuits. Ultimately, it experimented with a premium service to counteract its quarterly losses with revenue. On the verge of bankruptcy — reportedly having just a few weeks worth of cash reserves — many are holding their breath as others frantically Google alternatives. With SoundCloud seemingly back on track — thanks to a Hail Mary from Chance The Rapper — the DX Staff compiled their fond memories of times spent mistakenly ripping Soulja Boy tracks* as they searched for the latest songs on any number of highly suspect sites. Remember kids, support the music! Note: All photos were illegally downloaded off the internet. mIRC Launched: 1994 While Mardam-Bey’s Internet Relay Chat, or mIRC, may have launched from a dorm room at the University of Westminster in London a year after the MP3 was formally introduced, its reputation for housing file-sharers and the world’s most notorious hackers wouldn’t come until the late ’90s. For our less computer savvy friends, mIRC represents the epicenter of the worldwide file-sharing community. It’s where terms like n00b and l33t, and replacing vowels with numbers, in general, became popular. Where Napster made it easy for the common person to share MP3s, mIRC is the digital home of where all of your free music, movies, flicks, and “warez” came from. Torrents were, and still are, for n00bs and people begging to be caught by the RIAA and FBI. I discovered mIRC shortly after Napster became too congested and while Audiogalaxy was on the decline. It was almost like a secret cult. I was invited to private groups on major mIRC channels where I was shown the ropes. I still talk to people I made friends with during that time more than 20 years ago. On mIRC, I met people from the infamous RNS ripping crews and was given access to what was called a 0Day FTP, normally reserved for the most elite members of a ripping crew. If I’m losing you it’s because mIRC was not for the novice PC user. A ripping crew was a collection of people around the world with access to unreleased media; a 0Day FTP is a dedicated server powered by a very expensive T1 or T3 internet connection where things were immediately uploaded as soon as they leaked. A lot of times the music being leaked came directly from studio engineers who were members of a ripping crew. Other times, it was the kid smuggling CDs out of a Best Buy or an actual record label manufacturing plant. That HQ movie you got from the bootleg man was uploaded by the kid working at the AMC or the distributor. Those free software programs you enjoy? They most likely originate from a mIRC ripping crew of hackers who pick apart and rewrite the app code so that it can be installed free of charge. I amassed 2TB of music from mIRC in my day. Though mIRC is still open for business for those who know how to use it, it’s a far cry from the glory days. — Marcel Williams WinMX Launched: 2000 When I got to Bentley University in 2001, each student was required to have a laptop for the curriculum. I arrived with my IBM ThinkPad, along with my book of CDs and some cassette tapes for my stereo, only to be told by my dorm roommate that these archaic tools were no longer needed. Once he showed me the music download program WinMX, it was like I had rubbed the bottle and been granted every musical wish by the genie. Why would a broke college kid pass up the chance to get free music instead of paying $16 for a CD? Not to mention I could get all the underground rap battles and songs you couldn’t find on Napster, Kazaa, or anywhere else. File-sharing was second nature to kids back then, and we could trade files even through AOL’s Instant Messenger. It was a free-for-all. Within a few months, I had downloaded over 7,000 songs, but as the RIAA began to sue people for $2,000 per download — with that benchmark of 3,500 or more in 2002 — I was the shook one who dumped more than half of what I had. Of course, I burned many of those deleted songs onto blank CDs before they were gone forever. —Dana Scott LimeWire Launched: 2000 “No, Mom, I have no idea how we got this virus. The computer just won’t turn on!” Funny story: I did know how the computer got that virus, and it had something to do with a LimeWire download for a Led Zeppelin discography. (Oops!) Whether it was being tricked into downloading Soulja Boy songs or simply ripping tracks because you could, LimeWire was a go-to in the early 2000s, with a NDP Group survey stating that 58% of those that downloaded music from a peer-to-peer network in 2009 used the service. Awash in legal trouble by 2010, the site performed its own version of fade to black (as users ripped titles like JAY-Z’s farewell concert DVD till the last day), but the memories of unwanted “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” listening sessions will last forever. —Andrew Gretchko Kazaa Launched: 2001 When I was 13 years old, I thought that my lifelong Hip Hop consumption would be facilitated through either copping physical CDs or watching BET Now on endless repeat. That is, until, rumors spread of Kazaa: the magical desktop program that allowed you to download as many individual songs as you wanted. Gone were the days of skipping all the way through Snoop Dogg’s Rhythm & Gangsta album to hear “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” The single-song game had taken the music listening throne. That poisonous lime green lettering in the software’s logo glowed like a beacon of hope for all my Lil Wayne freestyle snippet needs, even if downloading them caused my family computer to be flooded with pop-ups, malware and a plethora of “Walk it Out” remixes. Once my dad couldn’t access MapQuest without having LiveJasmine ads clutter the browser, I decided it was time for Kazaa Lite – the more computer-friendly version of the plagued peer-to-peer service. Still, that also crippled the desktop computer to the point where my family deleted everything Kazaa-related in one fell swoop. — Scott Glaysher Rapidshare Launched: 2002 Unlike many sites on this list that conducted an overseas quarterback scramble when the heat hit a boiling point, Rapidshare actually started in Europe — Germany to be exact — thus solidifying their anonymity well before they built their empire. Their unassuming browser and free (and limited) download speeds didn’t make them the flashiest out of the bunch but they allegedly boasted 3 million users and 10 petabytes worth of files (1 petabyte = 1,000,000 gigabytes) when they were in full stride. When the feds started to crack down on illegal file-sharing, Rapidshare moonlighted as a cloud storage company before shutting down shop completely in 2015. Consider their legacy effectively slept-on. – Trent Clark Demonoid Launched: 2003 My P2P saga started with simple download sites but peaked with the discovery of torrents. (Relatively) safe and reliable, these sites offered fast downloads and a constantly upgraded catalog that made finding the latest hits and movies even easier. I didn’t pretend to understand the technology (and didn’t want to think about the legal issues), but Demonoid quickly became my favorite of all the torrent indexes. I wasn’t alone, as the site racked up millions of users until being overtaken by sites like BitTorrent and facing — you guessed it — a slew of legal troubles. —Andrew Gretchko The Pirate Bay Launched: 2003 Man, this one brings me back. Another name in a long list of torrent sites, The Pirate Bay had just about everything. Not only that, but it got tons of media for its flight across the web, from .com to .so to .org, not to mention the legal trouble (and jail time) of its founder. Much like many of the other torrent sites, it’s still around in some capacity (shoutout to Kickass Torrents), but don’t forget to thank Gottfrid Svartholm, Peter Sunde and Fredrik Neij for helping you stay up to speed on the latest Dipset offerings. —Andrew Gretchko OiNK’s Pink Palace Launched: 2004 The name was an odd choice, but OiNK was like some kind of nerd paradise (as was its eventual replacement, What.CD). As my knowledge of computers grew, so too did the torrent landscape, and OiNK was at the cutting edge. Did I mention it was invite only? Yeah, this was only for the real OGs of the P2P game and had blazing fast download speeds to boot. If more for the prestige than anything else, OiNK was fun while it lasted. In 2007, a joint raid by British and Dutch police took down the site and its then-24-year-old founder. — Andrew Gretchko Megaupload Launched: 2005 So you liked to download albums/games in tightly packed zip files? That’s cute. Midway last decade, Megaupload burst onto the scene making it easier (and faster) to slam your desktop with full artist discographies and segmented parts of leaked movie screeners. (So I’ve heard people tell me ;-). And during the height of their popularity, they applied a Stringer Bell “going straight” approach to their operation, adding a full video player and even recruiting Swizz Beatz in some sort of executive capacity. The gravy train came to a complete stop in 2012 when notorious founder Kim Dotcom was arrested for a litany of white-collar crimes and the big orange beast (responsible for 4% of the internet’s traffic at the height of its dominance) was sentenced to world wide web purgatory. When asked about his involvement in the file-sharing site, Swizz told the masses, “I’m a fan of music, I’m a fan of people who work hard and I would never be a part of anything that’s taking from artists when I fight so hard to give so much to the artist” before adding, “You know what I was doing – I was giving artists 90% of the shit.” – Trent Clark zShare Launched: 2006 To the naked eye, the pop-up prone zShare appeared to be like any old file-sharing hub during its heyday. But it packed one feature that would go on to become the music industry norm a decade later. A streaming audio player. The buffer-free addition allowed zShare to stand out from the competition, as it let you preview whatever leaked loosie it possessed, as opposed to having to download the file outright. That said, as the music industry internet expanded, zShare fell out because of the nature of its existence and lack of technological advances. – Trent Clark YouTube to MP3 Launched: 2009 Despite having a job that could easily support a subscription to at least one streaming service, there is something about having the ability to easily add a free MP3 to my iTunes that just feels right. People forget how much YouTube serves as a viable “streaming service” and database for rap music. The fact that it’s so user-friendly is what makes the “YouTube to MP3” model so appealing. A two-second search will find the desired song and then a simple copy-paste will fly it right into your iTunes library. Sure, the quality might be almost unlistenable and the time you spend editing out the music video dialogue at the beginning of the song is barely worth it, but hey, at least now you’ve got that sacred MP3 file. Here’s a fun way to see if your friends are also pirates: if they play “Hotline Bling” off their iTunes and it starts with the female operators talking about playing with feet then you’ve got yourself another YouTube piracy pal. — Scott Glaysher Long live SoundCloud!
  12. Headache for the Premier League, as ComRes survey shows the full extent of sport’s piracy problems Update: The Premier League has won a High Court order to prevent the illegal streaming of games. Under the terms of the oder, UK ISPs will be required to block users from accessing streams. It's essentially an extension of the order obtained towards the end of last season which saw over 5,000 IP addresses being blocked for streaming live matches. Kevin Plumb, the Premier League's director of legal services told the BBC that the blocking order is a "game-changer". "It will allow us to quickly and effectively block and disrupt the illegal broadcast of Premier League football via any means, including so called 'pre-loaded Kodi boxes'," he said. The original piece outlining the extent of the Premier League's headache continues below My interest in football ebbs and flows with Derby County’s fortunes, which typically means my enthusiasm has dried up by February and I consider finding out what cricket is. But for some, football is a year-round passion – and it’s a big money one too. Three seasons’ worth of TV rights for the Premier League sold to BT Sport and Sky for over £5 billion – up £2 billion on the last time they were negotiated. But unusually, this increased fee comes at a time when Premier League TV viewing figures are falling. Sky’s viewing figures dropped 6% last season, while BT dropped by 2% – and although some of that can be correlated against the relegation of well supported teams like Aston Villa and Newcastle United, it doesn’t tell the full story, as a new survey from ComRes reveals. The survey of 1,000 people for 5 Live Daily found that 47% of those surveyed had watched a match through an illegal provider at least once in the past, while 36% claimed to stream matches at least once per month. That figure dropped to 22% who were doing so on a weekly basis. This raises the question of whether people are aware of the legality of streaming Premier League matches away from legitimate sources such as Now TV. For the avoidance of doubt, it’s not a grey area: it is illegal, albeit one that’s hard to prosecute in any meaningful way. Ignorance of the law does seem to be part of the rise in online streams – though it doesn’t tell the whole story. Just 12% think it’s legal to stream matches through an unofficial provider, while 34% know it’s illegal. That leaves 32% who don’t know, 10% who think it’s legal to watch but not upload and 7% who think it’s sometimes illegal. A baffling 4% believe it’s completely legal, but that Sky or BT could still fine you for watching, which just raises so many questions. Worryingly for Sky and BT – but wholly unsurprisingly – the charge towards illegal streaming was led by the young. 65% of those aged 18-34 confessed to streaming a match at least once per month, against 33% of 35-54 year olds. The figure dropped to just 13% of those aged over the age of 55. That’s not an encouraging trend for the rights holders, but pleasing for me that I (just) fit into the “young” group. And why are people drawn towards illegal streams? 29% of viewers say they do it purely because a friend or family member does, and they passively join in, while 25% said they did so for the quality. Surprisingly, just 24% made the fairly obvious point that sports packages are not good value for money. As someone who has occasionally paid for £7.99 Now TV day passes to watch Derby County get tonked, I have some sympathy for this argument, but there we are. It’s hard to imagine the Premier League and rights holders turning a blind eye to the problem – especially as it keeps growing. So far the industry’s response has been to go after individuals knowingly selling equipment rather than people who watch the streams, but that strategy can only go so far, given it’s pretty trivial to install the associated applications yourself, cutting out the middleman. A Premier League spokesperson told the BBC: “The Premier League will continue to protect its copyright, and the legitimate investment made by its broadcasting partners. Their contribution allows our clubs to develop and acquire players, invest in facilities and support the wider football pyramid and communities - all things that fans enjoy and society benefits from.” The Premier League will be hoping that this relatively softly-softly strategy pays off – otherwise they may find the likes of Sky and BT are extremely reluctant to keep paying for the beautiful game when it comes up for renewal again in 2019.
  13. The Internet could not wait for Kell Kay new music release date to hear what he has been cooking for them, they decided to leak it. The Lilongwe RnB artist is the latest victim of music piracy as his song ‘Yesu’ has leaked online. The song which features Gwamba was set for release on July 31 along his debut EP ‘All For You’. ‘Yesu’ made its way onto social networking site Whatsapp where people are sharing on groups appreciating the marvelous sound and message. A legitimate inside source in the artists’ camp says they have not traced the source of the leak yet and denied internet allegations it could be a publicity stunt. The source close to Kay says they do not know who has leaked the song but are confident it is friends of producers, either Gwamba or Kay himself whom they sent to sample it before release. He downplayed any effect of the leak on the song saying it has only disturbed the plan they had to release it. “We can not say the leak has any effect since it was going to be out as free music anyway” adding “the song was going to be premiered on Joy Nathu’s Made On Monday show on MBC2”. Kay’s camp has apparently decided to fast track the release process by officially putting the song up for downloads on Malawi Music dot com, the country’s leading music hosting, streaming and purchasing site. “He now (Kell Kay) officially drops the song Wednesday (July 26) and will release the rest of the 5 songs on Monday” he said. Yesu is the song which summaries the whole ‘All For You’ EP. It is basically about talking to God appreciating everything he does. Click official link: http://m.malawi-music.com/song.php?id=7115
  14. Fans attempting to stream live football matches illegally through services like Kodi will be banned by their internet providers. The move - which comes amid an ongoing battle by the Premier League to eradicate piracy from the sport - comes after a landmark ruling on Wednesday, the Liverpool Echo reports. Internet service providers (ISP) have been ordered by the High Court to prevent people from watching Premier League games for the 2017-18 season. The news is a devastating blow to thousands of football fans who obtain the footage via the illicit sale and use of pre-loaded IPTV and Kodi boxes, reports the BBC. It now means your ISP will likely ban thousands of server IP addresses that have been caught streaming Premier League content. Kodi has been the subject of a mass of legal pressure over the last few months even though the neutral software has nothing to do with piracy. It is a free way of distributing content that has become the preferred choice for third-party apps illegally streaming copyrighted material. Rights holders have begun to work with internet service providers to try and stamp out the spread of pirate streams by threatening legal action against those who supply them. As a result, several well-known Kodi add-ons have been taken offline. More than a third of Premier League football fans watch live matches on illegal internet streams once a month, according to a survey. The poll by BBC Radio 5 live found that nearly half of the 1,000 fans questioned online had streamed matches illegally at least once through a service other than Sky or BT Sport, which hold the rights to broadcast games live in the UK. Kieron Sharp, director general of the Federation against Copyright Theft (Fact), said a ruling in April by the European Court of Justice made the law on streaming paid-for content clear. He told the broadcaster: "People need to be aware that this is no longer a grey area, in fact it is very black and white. "If you are accessing content for free such as sport, TV and films for which you'd normally need a subscription, or go to the cinema, or buy a DVD, this is illegal. "As the old saying goes, if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is." A Premier League spokesman told the BBC: "Fans should know that these pre-loaded boxes enable pirate broadcasts of Premier League football, and other popular content, and are illegal. "People who supply them have been jailed or ordered to pay significant financial penalties. "We are increasingly seeing prominent apps and add-ons being closed down as the law catches up with them leading to consumers being out of pocket. "The Premier League will continue to protect its copyright, and the legitimate investment made by its broadcasting partners."
  15. Anti-piracy programmes that allow ISPs to automatically block piracy sites could reduce their traffic by nearly 70 percent, brand protection specialist Incopro has found. Incopro, following a commission from the the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and Portuguese audiovisual association the FEVIP, looked at Portugal, where government-organised piracy blocks are in effect. Between November 2015 and June 2016, Portugal’s site blocking orders resulted in a reduction in large-scale piracy websites of 69.7 percent, according to Incopro. This practice is becoming more recognised in countries across Europe and, in 2015, a memorandum of understanding was reached in Portugal between local rights holders, ISPs and the government. Out of the top 250 unauthorised sites accessible in Portugal, 65 were blocked and suffered usage drops of 56.6 percent domestically, although their usage increased by 3.9 percent globally. Helen Saunders, head of intelligence and operations at Incopro, said: “We were incredibly excited to continue our work with the MPA, and that we are seeing such positive results. “It’s fantastic to see that more countries are starting to take action against piracy, and are getting great results. We hope that this report will inspire even more geographies to take similar action in a concerted effort to safeguard the global entertainment industry.” Stan McCoy, president and managing director of the MPA in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, added: “Piracy continues to be a serious threat to the health of a European core copyright-intensive sector that employs 11 million people and generates €914 billion in economic activity. Yet research shows that this problem can be curbed.” He said: “At the MPA, we take a three pronged approach: make legal content easy to access, engage consumers about the negative impact of piracy, and deter piracy through the appropriate legal avenues. All stakeholders must work together as joint stewards of the creative ecosystem.”