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  1. As Kim Dotcom gets ready for his wedding today, the entrepreneur's lawyers are apparently serving "a multi-billion dollar damages claim" against the New Zealand Government. On the sixth anniversary of the raid on the Coatesville mansion where he lived, Dotcom took to Twitter to castigate the Government. "Today, 6 years ago, the NZ Govt enabled the unlawful destruction of Megaupload and seizure of my global assets. I was arrested for the alleged online piracy of my users. Not even a crime in NZ. My lawyers have served a multi-billion dollar damages claim against the Govt today," he tweeted. Dotcom, however, says by getting married on the anniversary of the raid, he is turning January 20 into a "day of joy". Dotcom's and fiancee Elizabeth Donnelly's wedding was originally planned for November but he has marked most anniversaries of the raid with a special event. On its first anniversary, he launched the Mega business, for instance. In the 2012 raid Dotcom and three others were arrested in New Zealand on behalf of the FBI, which was carrying out a worldwide operation targeting his file-sharing business Megaupload, at the time consuming 4 per cent of the globe's internet traffic. Even though Dotcom was facing claims of criminal copyright violation - later found to not be a crime here - the police used the anti-terrorist Special Tactics Group in a helicopter assault on the Coatesville mansion. He and others arrested face decades in jail if successfully extradited to the United States and convicted on copyright, money laundering and other charges. Dotcom has always denied any illegality.
  2. Google Translation: Hello all, Our host informs us of a scheduled maintenance from January 26, 2018 21h to 27 January 05h, downtime being possible during this period of time. The Staff.
  3. PiratHub: News

    Google Translation: Hello, are you all goa members! We invite you to freeleech this weekend, as we have been a little bit shy about it.
  4. Open: Speed.CD | GENERAL

    Thank you!
  5. The popular blog Boing Boing has asked a federal court in California to drop the copyright infringement lawsuit filed against it by Playboy. With help from the EFF, Boing Boing argues that its article linking to an archive of hundreds of centerfold playmates is clearly fair use. Or else it will be "the end of the web as we know it," the blog warns. Late last year Playboy sued the popular blog Boing Boing for publishing an article that linked to an archive of every playmate centerfold till then. “Kind of amazing to see how our standards of hotness, and the art of commercial erotic photography, have changed over time,” Boing Boing’s Xena Jardin commented. Playboy, instead, was amazed that infringing copies of their work were being shared in public. While Boing Boing didn’t upload or store the images in question, the publisher took the case to court. The blog’s parent company Happy Mutants was accused of various counts of copyright infringement, with Playboy claiming that it exploited their playmates’ images for commercial purposes. Boing Boing sees things differently. With help from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, it has filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that hyperlinking is not copyright infringement. “This lawsuit is frankly mystifying. Playboy’s theory of liability seems to be that it is illegal to link to material posted by others on the web — an act performed daily by hundreds of millions of users of Facebook and Twitter, and by journalists like the ones in Playboy’s crosshairs here,” they write. The article in question The defense points out that Playboy’s complaint fails to state a claim for direct or contributory copyright infringement. In addition, it argues that this type of reporting should be seen as fair use. “Boing Boing’s reporting and commenting on the Playboy photos is protected by copyright’s fair use doctrine,” EFF Senior Staff Attorney Daniel Nazer says, commenting on the case. “We’re asking the court to dismiss this deeply flawed lawsuit. Journalists, scientists, researchers, and everyday people on the web have the right to link to material, even copyrighted material, without having to worry about getting sued.” The lawsuit shares a lot of similarities with the case between Dutch blog GeenStijl and local Playboy publisher Sanoma. That high-profile case went all the way to the European Court of Justice. The highest European court eventually decided that hyperlinks to infringing works are to be considered a ‘communication to the public,’ and that a commercial publication can indeed be held liable for copyright infringement. Boing Boing hopes that US Courts will see things differently, or it might be “the end of the web as we know it.” “The world can’t afford a judgment against us in this case — it would end the web as we know it, threatening everyone who publishes online, from us five weirdos in our basements to multimillion-dollar, globe-spanning publishing empires like Playboy,” Boing Boing writes. — A copy of Boing Boing’s memorandum in support of the motion to dismiss is available here (pdf). The original Playboy complaint can be found here (pdf). https://torrentfreak.com/linking-is-not-copyright-infringement-boing-boing-tells-court-180119/
  6. Open: TopTBDev | OTHER

    Tracker's Name: TopTBDev Genre: OTHER Sign-up: http://toptbdev.net/freesignup.php
  7. Stan McCoy, president of the Motion Picture Association’s EMEA division, has penned an open letter to the UK's new culture secretary Matt Hancock. McCoy implies that more can be done to tackle online piracy, including dealing with pirate sites and illicit streaming devices. Considering the UK already has a considerable track record tackling all of these things, an eyebrow or two might be raised. Following Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle earlier this month, Matt Hancock replaced Karen Bradley as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Hancock, the 39-year-old MP for West Suffolk, was promoted from his role as Minister for Digital and Culture, a position he’d held since July 2016. “Thrilled to become DCMS Secretary. Such an exciting agenda, so much to do, and great people. Can’t wait to get stuck in,” he tweeted. Of course, the influence held by the Culture Secretary means that the entertainment industries will soon come calling, seeking help and support in a number of vital areas. No surprise then that Stan McCoy, president and managing director at the ‎Motion Picture Association’s EMEA division, has just jumped in with some advice for Hancock. In an open letter published on Screen Daily, McCoy begins by reminding Hancock that the movie industry contributes considerable sums to the UK economy. “We are one of the country’s most valuable economic and cultural assets – worth almost £92bn, growing at twice the rate of the economy, and making a positive contribution to the UK’s balance of payments,” McCoy writes. “Britain’s status as a center of excellence for the audiovisual sector in particular is no accident: It results from the hard work and genius of our creative workforce, complemented by the support of governments that have guided their policies toward enabling continued excellence and growth.” McCoy goes on to put anti-piracy initiatives at the very top of his wishlist – and Hancock’s to-do list. “A joined-up strategy to curb proliferation of illegal, often age-inappropriate and malware-laden content online must include addressing the websites, environments and apps that host and facilitate piracy,” McCoy says. “In addition to hurting one of Britain’s most important industries, they are overwhelmingly likely to harm children and adult consumers through nasty ads, links to adult content with no age verification, scams, fraud and other unpleasantness.” That McCoy begins with the “piracy is dangerous” approach is definitely not a surprise. This Hollywood and wider video industry strategy is now an open secret. However, it feels a little off that the UK is being asked to further tackle pirate sites. Through earlier actions, facilitated by the UK legal system and largely sympathetic judges, many thousands of URLs and domains linking to pirate sites, mirrors and proxies, are impossible to access directly through the UK’s major ISPs. Although a few slip through the net, directly accessing the majority of pirate sites in the UK is now impossible. That’s already a considerable overseas anti-piracy position for the MPA who, as the “international voice” of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), represents American corporations including Disney, Paramount, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros. There’s no comparable blocking system for these companies to use in the United States and rightsholders in the UK can even have extra sites blocked without going back to court for permission. In summary, these US companies arguably get a better anti-piracy deal in the UK than they do at home in the United States. In his next point, McCoy references last year’s deal – which was reached following considerable pressure from the UK government – between rightsholders and search engines including Google and Bing to demote ‘pirate’ results. “Building on last year’s voluntary deal with search engines, the Government should stay at the cutting edge of ensuring that everyone in the ecosystem – including search engines, platforms and social media companies – takes a fair share of responsibility,” McCoy says. While this progress is clearly appreciated by the MPA/MPAA, it’s difficult to ignore that the voluntary arrangement to demote infringing content is somewhat special if not entirely unique. There is definitely nothing comparable in the United States so keeping up the pressure on the UK Government feels a little like getting the good kid in class to behave, while his rowdy peers nearer the chalkboard get ignored. The same is true for McCoy’s call for the UK to “banish dodgy streaming devices”. “Illegal streaming devices loaded with piracy apps and malware – not to mention the occasional electrical failure – are proliferating across the UK, to the detriment of consumers and industry,” he writes. “The sector is still waiting for the Intellectual Property Office to publish the report on its Call for Views on this subject. This will be one of several opportunities, along with the promised Digital Charter, to make clear that these devices and the apps and content they supply are unacceptable, dangerous to consumers, and harmful to the creative industry.” Again, prompting the UK to stay on top of this game doesn’t feel entirely warranted. With dozens of actions over the past few years, the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (which Hollywood ironically dumped in 2016) have done more to tackle the pirate set-top box problem than any group on the other side of the Atlantic. Admittedly the MPAA is now trying to catch up, with recent prosecutions of two ‘pirate’ box vendors (1,2), but largely the work by the studios on their home turf has been outpaced by that of their counterparts in the UK. Maybe Hancock will mention that to Hollywood at some point in the future. https://torrentfreak.com/hollywood-asks-new-uk-culture-secretary-to-fight-online-piracy-180119/
  8. Several years ago, a music industry transplant into Parliament, Mike Weatherley, made a glorious push to get the government to invade primary schools in the country to teach them that piracy is the worst thing in the world and intellectual property laws are super cool. Children as young as seven years old would be subjected to "educational information" provided by the government on the "proper" use of the internet. This was not the first attempt at pushing copyright propaganda on kids. In fact, we've reported on many of these, going all the way back to 2003 -- and many of the programs have been mockable, including the infamous Captain Copyright. You would think that maybe those producing this propaganda would realize that it basically always is a flop as kids are smart enough to see through it -- and that their attempts to be cool and hip tend to come off as insane. But... the UK has pushed forward with this plan, and you have no fucking idea how insane it actually is. Part of the education features a fictitious cartoon band called Nancy and the Meerkats. With help from their manager, they learn key copyright insights and this week several new videos were published, BBC points out. The videos try to explain concepts including copyright, trademarks, and how people can protect the things they’ve created. Interestingly, the videos themselves use names of existing musicians, with puns such as Ed Shealing, Justin Beaver, and the evil Kitty Perry. Even Nancy and the Meerkats appears to be a play on the classic 1970s cartoon series Josie and the Pussycats, featuring a pop band of the same name. As TorrentFreak points out, the inclusion of a parody of Ed Sheeran is more than a bit eyebrow-raising, considering just how open to and grateful for piracy and filesharing Sheeran has been. For the government to hijack his likeness for a parody that takes the opposite view is, at the very least, uncouth. If it seems odd that a series of videos extolling the virtues of intellectual property rights makes such liberal use of parody to play on well-known entertainment stars, well, just take a look at the government's video trying to explain parody and fair use and picture a bunch of first-through-fifth graders taking this all in. Beyond how vomit-inducing the video is generally, one wonders just how closely the message in the video overlaps with actual UK law. While UK law is more stringent on free speech when it comes to so-called "insulting" speech, it seems far too simple an explanation to state that any parody that is found insulting would be illegal. Let's say, for instance, that Ed Sheeran considers this parody depiction of him, complete with an anti-piracy message that comes off as the opposite of his own, is insulting. Is the UK's IPO really saying that its own video suddenly becomes illegal? Now, while the videos generally tread upon long-debunked ground... After the Meerkats found out that people were downloading their tracks from pirate sites and became outraged, their manager Big Joe explained that file-sharing is just the same as stealing a CD from a physical store. “In a way, all those people who downloaded free copies are doing the same thing as walking out of the shop with a CD and forgetting to go the till,” he says. “What these sites are doing is sometimes called piracy. It not only affects music but also videos, books, and movies.If someone owns the copyright to something, well, it is stealing. Simple as that,” Big Joe adds. ...there is also some almost hilarious over-statements on the importance of this messaging and intellectual property as a whole. For instance, were you aware that the reason it's so important to teach 7 year olds about copyright and trademark is because navigating intellectual property is a full-blown "life skill?" According to Catherine Davies of IPO’s education outreach department, knowledge about key intellectual property issues is a “life skill” nowadays. “In today’s digital environment, even very young people are IP consumers, accessing online digital content independently and regularly,” she tells the BBC. “A basic understanding of IP and a respect for others’ IP rights is therefore a key life skill.” It's enough to make you wonder if this is all just another example of a parody of those that push intellectual property rights education on school-aged children -- so ham-fisted is the execution and so wildly overstated is its importance. Ultimately, we can likely rest easy, because children even as young as seven are far too smart and resourceful, not to mention critical in terms of entertainment, as to consider these videos to be anything other than the obvious propaganda that they are. One nearly hopes that some of these children will create their own parodies and put them up on that dangerous internet thing they've been warned about, with hopefully as much mean-spirit as their little psyches can conjure.
  9. I once asked Top Cow’s big cheese Matt Hawkins what his thoughts were on rampant comic book piracy. It was a great discussion, but he summed up why people shouldn’t pirate in a simple single line of thought: Support the things you love. After all, pirates have no one but themselves to blame if their illegal actions result in a shut down of the project that they just so happen to love. That’s a train of thought which easily extends to video games. The current generation of consoles may just be the most pirate-proof cycle yet, as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have yet to successfully cracked. Whereas piracy was rampant on the Xbox 360 thanks to a swap of the DVD-ROM drive and the PlayStation 3 had its own convoluted system, Sony and Microsoft’s attention towards instantly rectifying any possible exploits through constant updates have largely nipped that problem in the bud. A problem that Nintendo had HUGE issues with, when it came to their mobile devices. The Nintendo DS was notorious for being a pirate’s haven. People could easily purchase a special cartridge for the device, slot in a micro-SD card and download a few illegal hacked ROMs off the net. It’s a problem that the Nintendo 3DS also had to a certain degree, and it’s a problem that the Nintendo Switch might have in the future. That’s according to the hacker team Fail0verflow , who claim to have found an exploit that is impossible to patch without entirely rewriting the Switch hardware. That hack was uncovered on January 07 via Kotaku, while earlier in 2017 another hacker group by the name of Team-Xecuter revealed a custom mod chip that would run their own custom firmware. Adding even more fuel to that fire, was hacker Hexkyz and his claim of an exploit that was capable of functioning across all firmware released so far. At the Schedule 34th Chaos Communication Congress, hackers Derrek, Plutoo, and Naehrwert claimed that the Nintendo Switch had “a custom OS that is one of the most secure we’ve ever seen” (hat tip to Kotaku again). While the goals of numerous groups looking for the ultimate Switch hack are largely focused on custom homebrew software (Hexkyz’s hack will be reserved for hobbyist programmers as an example), one can’t help but shudder at the thought of the Switch being a pirate haven. It’s something that will happen eventually, especially with the console having an SD card slot that could easily be filled with a program that hacks through the security of Nintendo’s blockbuster device and allows for rampant copying of games. Hopefully, the Big N has a plan in place to combat that potential future.
  10. Stream-ripping is apparently on the rise. The Notorious Markets List from the Office of the United States Trade Representative, an office that tracks the trade in counterfeit and stolen goods, says that this is a growing problem. Though circumstances exist where stream ripping could be lawful, such as if the content were licensed for that purpose and the conversion were permitted under the legitimate service’s terms of use, the operations of many unauthorized stream ripping sites reportedly continue to contribute overwhelmingly to copyright infringement. The report makes for some interesting reading. Dopefile.pk is a Bulgarian- and Pakistani-operated site that acts as a cyberlocker for stolen copyrighted material, including music. If you’ve ever ripped the audio from a YouTube video, you may have used Convert2MP3.net. MP3va.com is based in either Russia or Ukraine and traffics in song, many of which were stream-ripped. Canada doesn’t get off scot-free. As the report points out “One advertising network based in Canada, WWWPromoter, is reportedly the fastest growing ad network among infringing sites and provides services to notorious markets listed below, including primewire.ag and 123movies.to.”
  11. A New York federal court has issued a default judgment against pirate streaming site Pubfilm in favor of the MPAA. The movie studios were granted nearly $20 million in statutory damages and an order to have the site's domain names permanently seized. Taking the site down completely might be easier said than done, however. In recent years the MPAA has pursued legal action against several pirate sites and the streaming service Pubfilm is one of their latest targets. Hollywood’s industry group initially kept the lawsuit secret. This was done to prevent Pubfilm’s operator from moving to a new domain preemptively. While this strategy worked, Pubfilm didn’t throw in the towel. Soon after the pubfilm.com domain name was suspended, the site moved to pubfilm.ac. And that wasn’t all. Pubfilm also started to actively advertise its new domain through Google Adsense to regain its lost traffic. Today, close to a year has passed and Pubfilm is still around. The site moved from domain to domain and currently resides at Pubfilm.is and a few other domains that are advertised on the site. All this time the company failed to responded in court, so the case saw little movement. This week, however, the MPAA made its demands clear and soon after the court issued a default against the site and its unknown operators. “Defendants are Internet pirates who own, operate, and promote a ring of interconnected websites under the name “PubFilm” and variants thereof whose purpose is to profit from the infringement of copyrighted works,” the group wrote in its request. Because of this continued infringement, the MPAA demanded the maximum amount of statutory copyright infringement damages. With 132 titles listed in the complaint, this totals nearly $20 million. “Given the egregious circumstances of this case, Plaintiffs should be awarded the full amount of statutory damages of $150,000 for each of the 132 Works identified in the Complaint, for a total of $19,800,000,” the MPAA writes in its memorandum. In addition, the Hollywood studios requested a permanent injunction that will require domain registries to put associated domain names on hold and sign them over to the MPAA. Both requests were granted by the court on Thursday. Pubfilm domain hopping Previously, several domain names were aready seized through a preliminary injunction that resulted in Pubfilm moving from domain to domain in recent months. While these seizures can be effective, not all domain registries will comply with a US court order. One of Pubfilm’s main domain names at the moment uses the Icelandic .is cTLD. In the past, Iceland’s domain registry ISNIC told TorrentFreak that it would only take action when an Icelandic Court tells it to. This means that the MPAA’s win might be one without teeth. Getting millions of dollars from an anonymous site operator, presumably outside the United States, is not easy. And since the site still has several hard-to-shutdown domains, taking it offline isn’t that straightforward either. The streaming site operators didn’t appear to be impressed by the legal battle either. For the time being, they seem more concerned with fighting fake versions, judging from their most recent Facebook update. Pubfilm’s latest Facebook post — A copy of the MPAA’s Memorandum in support of the default judgment and permanent injunction is available here (pdf). A copy of court’s order can be found here (pdf). https://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-wins-19-8-million-from-pirate-site-pubfilm-180119/
  12. RedActed: News

    Lincoln Logs (Staff Updates) The Staff Team continues to grow and evolve at a rapid rate. Without the hard work and collaboration between staff members, our small place on the Internet would not be nearly as unique and special. Recent changes: Lincoln has been promoted to Moderator. bowtie has returned as a Developer. Please give a warm welcome to Lincoln and welcome back bowtie! We will leave it to you to determine if Lincoln is a big fan of Lincoln Logs®, or EAC and XLD Logs. Profile Albums As a token of our appreciation for the effort that Elites+ have put into the site, they (and maybe you!) are now able to add a profile album to their user profile page. In order to do so, please visit your profile edit page and provide a torrent group link. The profile album will be displayed below your statistics on your profile for all to see. You may also write a short review which will be displayed when users hover over the album art. Development --- A special highlight to Dazzle for all of the wonderful Development work they have completed since joining the Staff Team! A quick changelog of recent Development changes (the full post can be found here): Collages may now be sorted in descending sort order, toggle-able per-collage. The most recently added torrents will show up at the beginning of the collage. staff.php now links to questions.php. We like questions. Buffer is displayed under Statistics in User Profiles. Forum threads (started) are now displayed under Community in User Profiles. Last Edited may be styled with CSS. Album scores are now displayed on Artist Pages. Recent Snatches and Recent Uploads in a User's Profile link to respective locations. Implemented new standards for IRC keys. Automatically subscribe to new requests upon creation option under Notification account settings. Random Artist, Collage, or Torrent. Added a subscribe ([+]) button to the collage list/search page. Avatars may be shown in Personal Messages.
  13. U2.dmhy: News

    UCoin Formula Update | UCoin formula update Increased B-factor from 12 to 13 E Added TTL cap (1096 days for seeds over 1096 days) with coefficient raised from 0.003 to 0.004 Coefficient b incrased from 12 to 13 Added a 1096 day cap for variable L , and coefficient e incrased from 0.003 to 0.004 ==== Something in their Bonus/Coins calculations xD!
  14. Tracker's Name: Share - Friends -Projekt Genre: GENERAL Sign-up: http://s-f-p.dyndns.dk/index.php
  15. Tracker's Name: RoyalTorrent Genre: MOVIES / TV / GENERAL Sign-up: http://royaltorrent.com/signup.php Additional information: RoyalTorrent is a ROMANIAN Private Torrent Tracker for MOVIES / TV / GENERAL