Invite Scene - #1 to Buy, Sell, Trade or Find Free Torrent Invites!

#1 TorrentInvites Community. Buy, Sell, Trade or Find Free Torrent Invites for Every Private Torrent Trackers. HDB, BTN, AOM, DB9, PTP, RED, MTV, EXIGO, FL, IPT, TVBZ, AB, BIB, TIK, EMP, FSC, GGN, KG, MTTP, TL, TTG, 32P, AHD, CHD, CG, OPS, TT, WIHD, BHD, U2 etc.

LOOKING FOR HIGH QUALITY SEEDBOX? LOOK NO MORE! EVOSEEDBOX.COM PROVIDES YOU BLAZING FAST & HIGH END SEEDBOXES | INSTANT SETUP & TONS OF FREE APPS | STARTING AT $5.00/MONTH!



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Invite Scene Official Information
    • Announcements
    • Suggestions and Ideas
    • Member Introductions
    • Competitions
  • Invite Scene Premium Membership
    • Make a Donation: Grab Your Premium Membership Now
  • Invite Scene VIP Giveaways & Requests
    • VIP Giveaways
    • VIP Requests
  • Invite Scene Official Store
    • Invite Scene Store: The Official Store for Private Torrent Invites
  • Invite Scene Marketplace
    • Premium Sellers Section
    • Buyer's Section
    • Trader's Section
    • Webmaster Marketplace
    • Service Offerings
    • Other Stuffs
  • Invite Scene Giveaways & Requests Section
    • Giveaways
    • Requests
  • Invite Scene Bittorrent World
    • Private Tracker News
    • BitTorrent World Discussion
    • Private Tracker Help
    • Tracker Reviews
    • Open Trackers
  • Invite Scene SeedBox Forum
    • Exclusive SeedBox Sellers Section
    • SeedBox Sellers Section
    • SeedBox Reviews
    • SeedBox Discussions
  • Making Money
    • Monetizing Techniques
    • Crypto Currency
    • Free Money Making Ebooks
  • Webmasters
    • Website Construction
  • Invite Scene General Topics
    • The Lounge
    • Movies, TV, and Videos
    • Melody, Harmony, Rhythm, and MP3
    • General PC Chat and Help
    • Security Hive
    • Guides and Tutorials
    • Gamers Hangout
    • The Graphic Design
  • Invite Scene Deal Disputes & Limitations
    • Deal Disputes
    • Archives

Categories

  • Bug Tracker
  • Suggestions Tracker

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Website URL


Google+ Hangouts


Yahoo Messenger


Skype


Discord


AIM


ICQ


Interests

Found 47 results

  1. In a lawsuit filed by Elsevier, one of the largest academic publishers, Sci-Hub.org is facing millions of dollars in damages. However, the site has no intentions of backing down and will continue its fight to keep access to scientific knowledge free and open. "I think Elsevier's business model is itself illegal," Sci-Hub founder Alexandra Elbakyan says. With a net income of more than $1 billion Elsevier is one of the largest academic publishers in the world. The company has the rights to many academic publications where scientists publish their latest breakthroughs. Most of these journals are locked behind paywalls, which makes it impossible for less fortunate researchers to access them. Sci-Hub.org is one of the main sites that circumvents this artificial barrier. Founded by Alexandra Elbakyan, a researcher born and graduated in Kazakhstan, its main goal is to provide the less privileged with access to science and knowledge. The service is nothing like the average pirate site. It wasn’t started to share the latest Hollywood blockbusters, but to gain access to critical knowledge that researchers require to do their work. “When I was working on my research project, I found out that all research papers I needed for work were paywalled. I was a student in Kazakhstan at the time and our university was not subscribed to anything,†Alexandra tells TF. After Googling for a while Alexandra stumbled upon various tools and services to bypass the paywalls. With her newly gained knowledge, she then started participating in online forums where other researchers requested papers. When she noticed how grateful others were for the papers she shared, Alexandra decided to automate the process by developing software that could allow anyone to search for and access papers. That’s when Sci-Hub was born, back in 2011. “The software immediately became popular among Russian researchers. There was no big idea behind the project, like ‘make all information free’ or something like that. We just needed to read all these papers to do our research,†Alexandra. “Now, the goal is to collect all research papers ever published, and make them free,†she adds. Of course Alexandra knew that the website could lead to legal trouble. In that regard, the lawsuit filed by Elsevier doesn’t come as a surprise. However, she is more than willing to fight for the right to access knowledge, as others did before her. “Thanks to Elsevier’s lawsuit, I got past the point of no return. At this time I either have to prove we have the full right to do this or risk being executed like other ‘pirates’,†she says, naming Aaron Swartz as an example. “If Elsevier manages to shut down our projects or force them into the darknet, that will demonstrate an important idea: that the public does not have the right to knowledge. We have to win over Elsevier and other publishers and show that what these commercial companies are doing is fundamentally wrong.†The idea that a commercial outfit can exploit the work of researchers, who themselves are often not paid for their contributions, and hide it from large parts of the academic world, is something she does not accept. “Everyone should have access to knowledge regardless of their income or affiliation. And that’s absolutely legal. Also the idea that knowledge can be a private property of some commercial company sounds absolutely weird to me.†Most research institutions in Russia, in developing countries and even in the U.S. and Europe can’t afford expensive subscriptions. This means that they can’t access crucial research, including biomedical research such as cancer studies. Elsevier’s ScienceDirect paywall So aside from the public at large, Sci-Hub is also an essential tool for academics. In fact, some researchers use the site to access their own publications, because these are also locked behind a paywall. “The funniest thing I was told multiple times by researchers is that they have to download their own published articles from Sci-Hub. Even authors do not have access to their own work,†Alexandra says. Instead of seeing herself as the offender, Alexandra believes that the major academic publishers are the ones who are wrong. “I think Elsevier’s business model is itself illegal,†she says, pointing to article 27 of the UN declaration on human rights which reads that “everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.†The paywalls of Elsevier and other publishers violate this right, she believes. The same article 27 also allows authors to protect their works, but the publishers are not the ‘authors,’ they merely exploit the copyrights. Alexandra insists that her website is legal and hopes that future changes in copyright law will reflect this. As for the Elsevier lawsuit, she’s not afraid to fight for her rights and already offers a public confession right here. “I developed the Sci-Hub.org website where anyone can download paywalled research papers by request. Also I uploaded at least half of more than 41 million paywalled papers to the LibGen database and worked actively to create mirrors of it. “I am not afraid to say this, because when you do the right thing, why should you hide it?†she concludes. — Note: Sci-Hub is temporarily using the sci-hub.club domain name. The .org will be operational again next week. https://torrentfreak.com/sci-hub-tears-down-academias-illegal-copyright-paywalls-150627/
  2. The copyright monopoly is based on the idea of an exchange. In exchange for exclusive rights, the copyright industry supplies culture and knowledge to the public. It turns out that the entire premise is a lie, as untethered creators are racing to provide culture and knowledge anyway. The copyright monopoly was reinstated in Great Britain in 1710, after having lapsed in England in 1695. It was enacted because printers (not writers) insisted, that if they didn’t have exclusive rights to boost profitability, nothing would get printed. (Do note the difference between books getting written on one hand, and getting printed and distributed on the other. It was printers, not writers and authors, that drove the reinstatement of the copyright monopoly through the so-called Statute of Anne.) The Parliament of Great Britain accepted this premise, and thus, the social contract of the copyright monopoly was formed: “In return for providing the only service that can make culture come into being for the benefit of the public, the publishers and distributors are awarded with time-limited exclusive rights.†Note the very important assumption here: if the exclusive rights – the copyright monopoly – don’t exist, there will not be any culture. This is the contract which governments have been acting on ever since: in exchange for providing a magic service that calls culture into being in the first place, the publishers have enjoyed exclusive rights that allow them to punish and withhold. The social contract between the public and the copyright industry is, that in exchange for exclusive rights, the publishers will make culture available, being the only ones who can supply such availability of culture. It turns out the entire premise is bullshit. With the advent of the Internet, we see that people are creating despite these exclusive rights, this monopoly, instead of because of it. Millions of creators – millions! – have publicly renounced their already-awarded exclusive rights by publishing under a Creative Commons license. YouTube alone receives 300 hours of new video every minute. This means YouTube alone provides 18,000 24/7 TV channels, most of which are not worth watching – in other words, just like the legacy TV channels. The notion that the copyright industry alone is capable of providing culture has been exposed as an enormous, audacious, bold-faced utter lie. So if you were the government, the buyer in this scenario, what would you do? The buyer who gives very valuable exclusive rights to the copyright industry who claimed that the existence of such a contract was the only way to have any culture available at all – what would you do now that it’s clear that you’ve been paying much much much too high a price? You would terminate the contract with this lying seller of public culture who demanded harmful exclusive rights in exchange for culture to be created. You would find another supplier who provided better terms to the public. And most importantly, you would not care about what the old seller – the copyright industry – had to say about your new negotiations. That’s now any other procurement works, after all: if you’re unhappy with a supplier, you find a new supplier, and obviously, the old supplier doesn’t get to have a say about the next deal with another supplier. There is no reason at all why culture and knowledge should work differently. In other words, there is no reason at all why the copyright industry should enjoy any exclusive rights at all, and in particular, there is no reason why they should have any say about having them revoked. They haven’t delivered on the social contract, so the contract gets revoked. End of story. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rick Falkvinge is a regular columnist on TorrentFreak, sharing his thoughts every other week. He is the founder of the Swedish and first Pirate Party, a whisky aficionado, and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. His blog at falkvinge.net focuses on information policy. https://torrentfreak.com/the-entire-copyright-monopoly-idea-is-based-on-a-colossal-lie-150621/
  3. Speaking at Midem yesterday, Andrus Ansip of the European Commission shared his vision for the Digital Single Market. Noting that geo-blocking is bad for business, Ansip said that opening up content across borders and providing good legal options is the best way to tackle piracy. "Our legislation is pushing people to steal," he said. Last month the European Commission adopted a new Digital Single Market strategy with the aim of improving consumer access to digital goods and services. Among other things the Commission says it plans to end the “discriminatory practice†of “unjustified†geo-blocking. “I want to see every consumer getting the best deals and every business accessing the widest market – wherever they are in Europe,†Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said. Another part of the strategy is to modernize European copyright law to enable consumers to more easily enjoy online content, such as accessing content they purchased at home in other countries across the EU. Speaking at music industry event Midem in Cannes yesterday, former Estonian prime minister Andrus Ansip who serves as Vice President for the Digital Single Market shared his vision for the strategy. “Our people have to get the possibility to buy content [across Europe] like they do at home and our businesses must get the possibility to sell across the European Union like they do at home,†Ansip said. “Today, we don’t have a Digital Single Market in the European Union. We have 28 relatively small markets and for small European companies it’s practically impossible to understand those 28 different [sets of] regulations.†Ansip underlined that what is possible in the offline world must be possible in the online world and key issues must be addressed if parity is to be achieved. “Today, the four basic freedoms in the EU – free movement of people, goods, services, capital – it’s a reality in a physical [world] but it’s not reality in the online world,†Ansip said. Describing the music industry as a “pioneer†that has grown out of disruption to largely abandon geo-blocking by enabling cross-border access, Ansip addressed concerns that the EU’s plans for modernization of copyright law are something to be feared by content creators. “I don’t think people here in this room or elsewhere have to be worried. Today, I would like to enjoy [film] masterpieces created by creators. I am ready to pay but because of copyright restrictions, because of geo-blocking, they are not accepting my money,†Ansip said. “Our aim is to create a win-win situation. I would like to enjoy, I will pay, creators will get more money. This is our way. We don’t want to destroy the whole copyright system based on a principle of territoriality. We have to allow cross-border access to digital content to all people, we have to allow portability.†Ansip said there are 100 million Europeans who would like to access content in other members states but they can’t because of geo-blocking. Around 271 million cross-border trips with at least one overnight stay are carried out by Europeans each year yet those people cannot always get access to the content they bought legally back home while doing so. This is just one indication that the law needs to change, but piracy itself will be challenged. “According to public opinion polls, 68% of film viewers say they are using [illegal] downloads. 20% of Internet users in the European Union are using VPNs to get access to digital content. That’s a huge amount of money that our creators are losing today, so of course we will pay more attention to ‘Follow the Money’ [anti-piracy strategy],†Ansip said. Assuring content holders that the EU Commission is not hostile towards copyright and rightsholders, Ansip asked the Midem audience to consider the 30% of Canadian Netflix users who use a VPN to access the U.S. version of the service. “In the European Union our creators are losing huge amounts of money because of piracy but honestly, somehow our legislation is pushing people to steal,†he said. “Take Spotify, for example. We can say that if somebody is able to provide services with better quality with higher speed, then people prefer to act as honest people. They are ready to pay. They don’t want to steal.†Highlighting the success of Norway in slashing piracy rates, Ansip says that was achieved by first offering access to quality legal services. “The European Commission wants to protect the rights of creators but first we have to provide legal access to digital content to all people. Then it will be more fruitful to tackle piracy,†Ansip said. When confronted with the reality that licensed services such as Spotify and Deezer exist while piracy persists, coupled with the perception that the EU Commission isn’t exactly “pro copyrightâ€, Ansip responded enthusiastically. “I can’t agree with you! I’m talking about 68% of [film viewers who pirate] who couldn’t care about this copyright because we are not providing legal access to digital content,†he said. “Some people say that if [the EU] cares about copyright then let’s deal only with law enforcement. To put 68% of people in jail is not really a good idea. I think that reforms are really needed.†It’s clear that the debate on the Digital Single Market is far from over and while it should end up as a positive for consumers, only time will tell how cooperative rightsholders will be throughout the process. https://torrentfreak.com/eu-copyright-legislation-is-pushing-people-to-piracy-150609/
  4. On June 16th 2015, Parliament will vote on how EU copyright reform will develop. On the table are all the sensible proposals: legalize file-sharing, promote peer-to-peer, enable technologies to be transparent and understandable. But all the non-sensible proposals are there as well: stricter laws, punish the people! If the people wont be punished – punish their service providers until their service providers cages them in prohibitive technical standards and digital locks! The pro-copyright lobbies are the best organised in the world. Second only to the tobacco lobby. They gather up employees and contractors and tell them real people and real internet users are bad people who want to harm them. When I was in the Parliament, I was at one time visited by a young mother of two who wondered why I was trying to put her children without food or education on the streets. She was a script-writer for tax-payer-financed French-German TV station ARTE. Even if I understand that her wages don’t come from copyright licenses, even indirectly, and even if she appeared not to have thought of that, it was uncomfortable to be accused of harming someone else’s children. Had I not been 10 years younger than her, and convinced that there are ways for her to make money that don’t include destroying the internet or putting file-sharers out of their homes, I may have opted to change my political opinion because of her heartfelt accusation. Many individuals like her are currently visiting our legislators. Many politicians are presently being accused of harming children should they consider progressive copyright proposals. What these politicians aren’t hearing, are the stories of those people who get cease-and-desist letters, get sued, or put through criminal trials or get handed damages so large they can’t reasonably be paid off in a life-time by a single individual. They’re not hearing the stories of those who’ve built networks for millions of Europeans where, for want of better words, cultural affinity arises. File-sharing and peer-to-peer culture, like no other culture in modern times, has created a common cultural base in Europe. Although I hope that even without my idealistic formulation of these matters, you’re all convinced copyright at least somehow needs to change. Politics too often gets stuck in the realm of the possible. It is possible that a 35-year-old mother could have her income impacted by a legislative reform that in no way influences her employer. It is not possible, but real, that many individuals in the European Union every year are caused heavy, even impossible, costs due to file-sharing trials and cease-and-desist letters. It is not possible, but real, that copyright laws are increasingly forcing technology companies to innovate to the disadvantage of the freedom of the users. The European Parliament needs to be taken back down to reality, and away from the realm of possible dangers before June 16th. If you are presently in the European Union, or if you can reach out people in the European Union, in any way at all: this is the time to ask them to contact their representatives in the European Parliament. Tell the Members about yourselves, your lives, your children and the world in which you want to live. Give them a taste of the reality which exists away from the speculative possibilities of professional lobbies. Whenever we’re too tired or too scared to tell our politicians what is important, whoever has the resources will weave them stories of realms of possibilities instead. The future of copyright, and of all of the Internet, is too important to leave in the hands of such story-tellers. Go to copywrongs.eu and figure out the specific demands you want to place to your MEP, but remember – your biggest asset is that you’re real, and the lobby stories mostly aren’t. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Amelia Andersdotter represented the Swedish Pirate Party in the European Parliament between December 2011 and July 2014. She’s an expert on topics related to the Internet, intellectual property and IT-policy. https://torrentfreak.com/how-you-can-help-to-fix-eu-copyright-law-150606/
  5. Without any prior warning, Facebook has removed the official page of popular torrent site RARBG after a complaint from a copyright holder. The operator of the site scolds Facebook for the takedown, noting that they never posted any copyright infringing content on the social network. With millions of regular visitors RARBG is one of the most popular torrent sites on the Internet. Like most sites of its size, RARBG also has a Facebook presence where it keeps its users informed about the latest developments, including new features and the occasional outage. However, a few hours ago RARBG’s official Facebook page suddenly disappeared. Initially, the operator assumed that there was some kind of error, but after logging into Facebook he was presented with the following message. “We have disabled or removed access to the following content you posted on Facebook because we received a report from a third party that the content infringes their copyright(s).†TF spoke with the operator of the torrent site who informed us that they were careful not to link to any infringing material. In fact, until now they have never received any copyright complaints from Facebook. According to RARBG, Facebook simply took a copyright holder complaint for granted without any further investigation. “Once again Facebook proved that they are not fighting for freedom of speech and they will bend over to any company that makes any copyright complaint without even taking the time to send a warning or properly investigate the issue,†RARBG’s admin says. This isn’t the first time that Facebook has shut down a torrent site fanpage. Previously, the same happened to The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents and ExtraTorrent. For RARBG the removal was the last straw. The torrent site doesn’t plan to make a new Facebook page just to risk starting all over again a few months from now, so will simply be a little less social instead. https://torrentfreak.com/facebook-removes-rarbg-page-after-copyright-complaint-150605/
  6. Voltage Pictures, a movie company with a reputation for chasing down alleged Internet pirates, is being sued for "blatant" breaches of copyright. After promoting its own version of a Godzilla movie without first obtaining permission from its Japanese owner, Voltage is now being called out as "outrageous in the extreme." There are dozens of companies engaged in so-called “copyright trolling†worldwide, the majority connected with adult movie companies. While most are generally dismissed as second-rate companies out to make a quick buck, U.S. producer Voltage Pictures has developed a reputation for making fairly decent movies and being one of the most aggressive ‘trolls’ around. The company has targeted thousands of individuals in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and most recently Australia. The company has largely prevailed in these actions but a new case filed this week in the U.S. sees the company on the receiving end of procedures. The spat concerns Voltage’s plans for a new movie. Starring Anne Hathaway and titled ‘Collosal‘, the flick sees a giant lizard-like creature stomping its way over Tokyo. It sounds an awful lot like Godzilla, recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest-running movie franchise ever. Toho, the Japanese movie studio behind the Godzilla brand, noticed the similarities too. In a lawsuit filed yesterday in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Toho highlights the hypocrisy of Voltage’s actions. Describing the company as a “staunch advocate for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights†after filing hundreds of copyright suits involving its movies The Hurt Locker and Dallas Buyers Club, Toya says that Voltage began promoting its new movie via email at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this month. As can be seen from the screenshot below, the email features three large photos of Godzilla, actress Anne Hathaway, and a giant robot. “Gloria is an ordinary woman who finds herself in an extraordinary circumstance. Tokyo is under attack by Godzilla and a giant robot and, for some strange reason, Gloria is the only person who can stop it,†the email reads. Predictably Toho is upset at Voltage’s use of the Godzilla character and associated breaches of the company’s copyrights and trademarks. Only making matters worse is the fact that the image of Godzilla used by Voltage is actually taken from promotional material published by Toho to accompany the release of its 2014 movie, Godzilla. “Godzilla is one of the most iconic fictional characters in the history of motion pictures. Toho Co., Ltd., the copyright owner of the Godzilla character and franchise of films, brings this lawsuit because defendants are brazenly producing, advertising, and selling an unauthorized Godzilla film of their own,†Toho begin. “There is nothing subtle about defendants’ conduct. They are expressly informing the entertainment community that they are making a Godzilla film and are using the Godzilla trademark and images of Toho’s protected character to generate interest in and to obtain financing for their project,†the company continues. “That anyone would engage in such blatant infringement of another’s intellectual property is wrong enough. That defendants, who are known for zealously protecting their own copyrights, would do so is outrageous in the extreme.†Noting that at no stage has Voltage ever sought permission to exploit the Godzilla character, Toho says it asked Voltage to cease and desist but the company refused. “Upon learning of Defendants’ infringing activities, Toho demanded that Defendants cease their exploitation of the Godzilla Character, but Defendants refused to do so,†Toho writes. In response Toho filed suit and is now demanding that all profits generated by Voltage as a result of its “infringing activities†should be handed over to the Japanese company. That, or payment of $150,000 in statutory damages for each infringement of Toho’s copyrights. Trademark issues are at stake too, with Toho demanding preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against Voltage’s use of the Godzilla marks. Being on the wrong end of a copyright infringement lawsuit will be a novel experience for Voltage Pictures. After recently winning a case to reveal the identities of thousands of alleged pirates in Australia, the company is currently engaged in negotiations with a Federal court over how its first letters to the accused should be worded. With a hearing scheduled for tomorrow, the studio is still experiencing resistance against what is perceived as a so-called “speculative invoicing†business model. Local ISP iiNet is providing comprehensive advice to its customers affected by Voltage’s action and is even working with a law firm prepared to provide pro-bono services. https://torrentfreak.com/voltage-pictures-sued-for-copyright-infringement-150520/
  7. BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music want Cox to reveal the identities of hundreds of subscribers whose accounts were frequently used to pirate music. The request is part of an ongoing lawsuit where the ISP is accused of failing to disconnect repeat copyright infringers. In the United States most large Internet providers forward DMCA notices to subscribers who’re accused of downloading copyrighted material. Cox Communications is one of the ISPs that does this. In addition, the ISP also implemented a strict set of rules of its own accord to ensure that its customers understand the severity of the allegations. According to some copyright holders, however, Cox’s efforts are falling short. Last year BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music sued the ISP because it fails to terminate the accounts of repeat infringers. The companies, which control the publishing rights to songs by Katy Perry, The Beatles and David Bowie among others, claimed that Cox has given up its DMCA safe harbor protections due to this inaction. The case revolves around the “repeat infringer†clause of the DMCA, which prescribes that Internet providers must terminate the accounts of persistent pirates. Both parties are currently conducting discovery. In order to make their case the copyright holders have sent a long list of demands to Cox, but court records show the ISP is reserved in the information it’s willing to hand over. The company refused, for example, to reveal the identities of roughly 150,000 subscribers who allegedly downloaded infringing works from BMG and Round Hill Music. According to the ISP, the Cable Privacy Act prevents the company from disclosing this information. The music groups, however, aren’t taking no for an answer and are now asking the court to compel Cox to hand over their personal details. According to them, this information is crucial to proof the direct infringement claims. The copyright holders are willing to accept a more limited number of accounts to begin with. In a motion to compel, they ask for the personal details of 500 account holders whose accounts were repeatedly used to share pirated material. “In an effort to narrow the dispute, Copyright Holders only request the identity of and contact information associated with 500 of what appear to be the most egregious infringers,†they write. “Specifically, Copyright Holders seek the identity of subscribers associated with 250 IP addresses that have infringed the copyrights at issue since the complaint was filed in this case, and the identity of subscribers associated with 250 IP addresses that have infringed in the six months prior to the Complaint being filed,†the companies add. While the current request is limited to 500 IP-addresses, the music groups reserve the right to request more at a later stage and ask the court to grant permission to do so. “Copyright Holders also request that the Court issue an open Order requiring Cox to produce the contact information for additional direct infringers of the copyrights at issue in this case, if the need arises,†they write. There is a hearing scheduled for later this week when the copyright holders will further detail their request, if needed. Cox has yet to respond but it’s unlikely that the company will hand to hand over the requested information without putting up a fight. https://torrentfreak.com/copyright-holders-want-cox-to-expose-most-egregious-pirates-150512/
  8. The European Commission adopted a new Digital Single Market Strategy today, which aims to improve consumer access to digital services and goods. Among other things, Europe vows to end geo-blocking and lift other unwarranted copyright restrictions. Due to complicated licensing agreements Netflix is only available in a few dozen countries, all of which have a different content library. The same is true for many other media services such as BBC iPlayer, Amazon Instant Video, and even YouTube. These geo-blocking practices have been a thorn in the side of the European Commission, who now plan to abolish these restrictions altogether. Today the EU’s governing body adopted the new Digital Single Market Strategy. One of the main pillars of the new strategy is to provide consumers and businesses with better access to digital goods and services. Among other things the Commission plans “to end unjustified geo-blocking,†which it describes as “a discriminatory practice used for commercial reasons.†“I want to see every consumer getting the best deals and every business accessing the widest market – wherever they are in Europe,†Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says. Another key element on the new strategy is a modern and more European copyright law. The Commission notes that the legislative proposals to achieve this will follow before the end of the year. Under the revamped copyright law it should be easier for consumers to access and enjoy content online. This means that consumers will have the right to access content they purchased at home in other European countries. According to the Commission various industries need to adapt to the new realities of the digital age, indirectly hinting at the restrictive and conservative movie industry. “Europe has strengths to build on, but also homework to do, in particular to make sure its industries adapt, and its citizens make full use of the potential of new digital services and goods, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Günther Oettinger says. “We have to prepare for a modern society and will table proposals balancing the interests of consumers and industry,†he adds. The new Digital Single Market Strategy doesn’t come as a surprise. Previously, several insiders called for the lifting of many unnecessary copyright restrictions. With the plans now being official it will be interesting to see what concrete proposals will follow and how the copyright industries respond. https://torrentfreak.com/europe-will-abolish-geo-blocking-and-other-copyright-restrictions-150506/
  9. This week the MPAA opened applications for a new round of research grants, hoping the result will be "pro-copyright" academic papers. In an email leaked in the Sony hack the movie industry group further says it's looking for pro-copyright scholars who they can cultivate for further public advocacy. Last year the MPAA started a new grants program inviting academics to pitch their research proposals. Researchers are being offered a $20,000 grant for projects that address various piracy related topics, including the impact of copyright law and the effectiveness of notice and takedown regimes. Last month marked the silent start of a new round of grant applications for the fall of 2015. There’s no public announcement but MPAA boss Chris Dodd previously said there’s a need for better and unbiased copyright related research to find out how recent developments are affecting the film industry. “We need more and better research regarding the evolving role of copyright in society. The academic community can provide unbiased observations, data analysis, historical context and important revelations about how these changes are impacting the film industry…,†Dodd noted. While Dodd’s comments about unbiased research are admirable, there also appears to be a hidden agenda which until now hasn’t seen the light of day. In an email leaked in the Sony hack MPAA General Counsel Steven Fabrizio explains to the member studios that they’re soliciting pro-copyright papers. The April 2014 email further reveals that the MPAA hopes to identify pro-copyright scholars who can be used to influence future copyright policies. “As you know, as one component of our Academic Outreach program, the MPAA is launching a global research grant program both to solicit pro-copyright academic research papers and to identify pro-copyright scholars who we can cultivate for further public advocacy,†Fabrizio writes. Needless to say, soliciting pro-copyright papers and spotting pro-copyright scholars for public advocacy doesn’t sound very unbiased. Perhaps for this reason the MPAA has decided not to publicize the initiative too much. There was no press release on the official site regarding the grants and it’s also unknown which scholars received last year’s grants. While $20,000 is relatively modest, the MPAA is also funding scholars outside of the grant program with much more. Last November we revealed that the MPAA had donated over a million dollars to Carnegie Mellon University in support of its piracy research program. Thus far the Carnegie Mellon team has published a few papers. Among other things the researchers found that the Megaupload shutdown worked, that piracy mostly hurts revenues, and that censoring search engine results can diminish piracy. As expected, these results are now used by the MPAA as a lobbying tool to sway politicians and influence public policy. https://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-funds-pro-copyright-scholars-to-influence-politics-150425/
  10. As Grooveshark parent company Escape Media prepares to face off against the world's largest record labels in New York later today, the company is bracing for the worst. In a pre-hearing ruling a judge described Grooveshark's copyright violations on 4,907 tracks as "willful", potentially putting the company on the hook for $736 million in damages. Streaming music service Grooveshark has been through some turbulent times in its relatively short history, but events this week could determine the company’s future. The dispute with the world’s largest recording labels in UMG Recording Inc et al v. Escape Media Group Inc et al is without doubt Grooveshark parent company Escape Media’s biggest challenge yet. At its heart is a copyright infringement claim that could run into hundreds of millions of dollars. While the suit itself is complex, at its core is the complaint that Grooveshark co-founders and employees historically uploaded more than 150,000 infringing tracks to Grooveshark in order to increase its popularity. “Please share as much music as possible from outside the office, and leave your computers on whenever you can,†wrote co-founder Josh Greenberg in an email to staff. “This initial content is what will help to get our network started—it’s very important that we all help out!†As a result, last September U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa ruled that the company’s two co-founders were directly and secondarily liable for infringing the copyrights of nine large recording labels. Ahead of the trial which is due to begin today in the Federal Courthouse, New York, Judge Thomas P. Griesa delivered yet another blow to Grooveshark parent company Escape Media. Noting that the case now involves ‘just’ 4,907 recordings (2,963 tracks plus 1,944 “employee uploadsâ€) Judge Griesa said that the label plaintiffs have chosen to pursue statutory damages, meaning that if infringements are found to be “willfulâ€, Grooveshark could be on the hook for $150,000 per track. In the event the ruling notes that the court has already determined that Grooveshark acted both “willfully†and “in bad faith†although some defense will be allowed. “Defendants may present proof as to the degree and extent of their willfulness or bad faith,†the Judge writes. Among other things, Escape will argue that between 2007 and 2009 it showed good faith by approaching a number of the record company plaintiffs in an attempt to negotiate licensing deals. “[The] court will permit defendants to present evidence at trial concerning the general factual background – but not the substantive financial terms – of the parties’ negotiations for future licensing. Such evidence or argument must be tethered to defendants’ state of mind or conduct in infringing the Works in Suit,†Judge Griesa adds. If the jury doesn’t buy the arguments of Escape / Grooveshark and decides it appropriate to award the top rate, Escape Media could be forced to pay in excess of $736 million in damages. The jury could also award much less, but it’s difficult to envision an affordable outcome to the case for the streaming music service. https://torrentfreak.com/grooveshark-faces-736-million-in-copyright-damages-150427/
  11. Halo Online is an upcoming free-to-play version of Halo that will launch exclusively for players in Russia. However, following the leak of the game files a modding team developed its own ideas about who can access the game and when. Fighting back, Microsoft has just hit their Github project with a copyright complaint. Last week Microsoft announced the existence of Halo Online. The all-new game will provide a free-to-play online multiplayer experience on PC. “Halo Online is powered by a highly modified version of the Halo 3 engine and optimized for smooth performance on lower-end PCs,†the company said. While the announcement was welcomed by PC gamers everywhere, not all had reason to celebrate. Due to launch later in the spring, Halo Online is destined to be restricted to players in Russia only, at least for the foreseeable future. “Right now our focus is on learning as much as we can from the closed beta period in Russia. Theoretically, any expansion outside of Russia would have to go through region-specific changes to address player expectations,†the company said. Of course, ‘player expectations’ can take many forms but predictably not having to wait patiently in line while geo-restrictions are lifted is one of them. The first signs of cracks appearing came when a YouTuber called ‘Noble‘ uploaded footage after modders Gamecheat13 and Lord Zedd reportedly obtained a build of the title. Since then other modders have been dissecting Halo Online to unlock features, with one team creating a game launcher titled ‘ElDorito’ (a play on the ‘Eldorado’ main executable for Halo:Online) to ease the process. “We’re really working on building a framework for the game to be playable, as well as a custom console with a plethora of features we believe are necessary to the game,†team member Pyong told Se7ensins. With the launcher undergoing development via Github, things were progressing smoothly. Until yesterday that is, when Microsoft rolled out the big guns and stopped the project in its tracks. “We have received information that the domain listed above, which appears to be on servers under your control, is offering unlicensed copies of, or is engaged in other unauthorized activities relating to, copyrighted works published by Microsoft,†the company wrote in a DMCA notice to Github. While that statement is almost certainly accurate, the notice from Microsoft is somewhat confusing in that it refers to ElDorito being the company’s property. “The above copyright work(s) [ElDorito] is being made available for copying, through downloading, at the above location without authorization from the copyright owner or exclusive licensee,†the company adds. But whatever the ins-and-outs, Microsoft still feels it has a valid complaint and has ordered Github to disable access to ElDorito to “prevent the illegal reproduction and distribution of this copyrighted work(s) via your company’s services.†As can be seen from the image below, Github has already complied. While Microsoft were quick to hit the ElDorito project on Github, strangely there appears to have been less effort to take down the actual game files. The project’s wiki doesn’t host the leaked content, but it does offer a valuable pointer. “Since we can’t actually post the link to the Halo Online download, you’ll have to look for it elsewhere,†the wiki explains. The word ‘elsewhere’ helpfully links to a Pastebin page which in turn displays a link to Mega.co.nz where someone has uploaded the 2.1GB zip file. It probably won’t be there for long. But for those hoping that the ElDorito project will continue, that seems unlikely, at least in the short-term. The team is reportedly a bit spooked by Microsoft’s intervention and are waiting for things to cool down before making any decisions. https://torrentfreak.com/microsoft-hits-halo-online-modders-with-copyright-complaint-150402/
  12. The MPAA and RIAA are backing a new copyright curriculum showing kids how to become "Ethical Digital Citizens." After public pressure the curriculum was edited to include fair use principles, but a leaked MPAA email shows that there's more fair use in the lesson plans than Hollywood wanted. During the summer of 2013 we voiced our doubts about an initiative from the Center for Copyright Information (CCI). The group, which has the MPAA and RIAA as key members, had just started piloting a kindergarten through sixth grade curriculum on copyright in California schools. The curriculum was drafted in collaboration with iKeepSafe and aims to teach kids the basics of copyright. Unfortunately, the lesson materials were rather one-sided and mostly ignored fair use and the more flexible copyright licences Creative Commons provides. These concerns were picked up by the mainstream press, creating a massive backlash. The CCI and other partners emphasized that the pilot was tested with an early draft and promised that the final curriculum would be more balanced. In the months that followed the lesson plans indeed got a major overhaul and last summer the “Copyright and Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens†curriculum was finalized. As reported previously, the new and improved version was indeed expanded to discuss fair use principles and Creative Commons licenses. However, as far as Hollywood is concerned it now includes too much discussion on fair use. TorrentFreak received a copy of a leaked email the MPAA’s Howard Gantman sent to various insiders last summer, explaining what happened. It starts off by mentioning the negative response to the leak and states that the MPAA and RIAA will try to keep a low profile in future, probably to prevent another wave of critique. “After there was serious negative commentary on twitter, blogs and by news columnists who are not strong supporters of copyright last fall when a draft version of the curriculum was leaked accidentally by iKeepSafe – a determination was made to try to release this in a way that would keep a low profile for any MPAA or RIAA involvement,†Gantman writes. The copyright holder groups and CCI decided to let iKeepSafe and its PR firm handle the media, something which eventually came to pass. Continuing the conversation Gantman explains that the lesson materials were heavily edited to include a broader and more diverse perspective on copyright. “The curriculum that has been produced also went through numerous rounds of edits and debate involving a wide range of organizations with differing views on copyright,†Gantman writes. According to the MPAA, the end result is a compromise that includes more fair use than they had wanted, but still good enough to teach kids how to behave ethically on the Internet. “So the end result contains sections on fair use that are more extensive than we would use if we drafted the curriculum ourselves. But overall, the effort will hopefully lead to an active program within our schools to help get kids to understand what it means to behave ethically on the Internet,†Gantman adds. By comparing the first pilot materials with the final curriculum it becomes clear that nearly all additions are about fair use. Grade 4 lesson handout For example, where children were initially warned against using copyrighted images and music from the Internet in Powerpoint presentations, they are now told that this is totally fine, as long as the material is only shown in class. Similar changes have been made throughout the entire curriculum, as we documented in our earlier coverage. The question that remains is whether these extensive changes would have been made if the pilot materials hadn’t leaked in advance. That will probably remain a secret, but at least it’s clear that Hollywood got more fair use than they hoped for. https://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-wanted-less-fair-use-in-copyright-curriculum-150329/
  13. History repeats itself. Unlicensed home manufacturing of copies was never the cause of the copyright industry's business problems; they created those all on their own. It's not the first time they've appointed a scapegoat for their own failures to get public funding, either. The year was 1929. Ruined stock brokers were throwing themselves out of windows on Wall Street in desperation from the horrible stock market crash. The economy was in a shambles. People were literally starving, something that had been inconceivable just a few years back. That same year, record sales in the USA plummeted along with Wall Street brokers – from $75 million to a mere $5 million. The copyright industry was certain: it was all the fault of the broadcast radio. Certainly so. It couldn’t possibly be their own business failure or the fact that the entire economy had gone belly-up. No, it was definitely the fault of broadcast radio. They went to politicians and policymakers and demanded (and got!) fees from broadcast radio to compensate for the damage done to the copyright industry by the new medium, as evidenced by the fact that sales were down from $75 million in the mid-1920s to $5 million in 1929. And so, politicians thought it was a good idea to hamper the promising new medium of broadcast radio in order to benefit the old record industry and their sales. Fast forward to the 1940s, when television arrived. The copyright industry was furious: who would possibly pay to go to the movies, if you could watch a movie for free at home? The decade had barely started when the U.S. FCC adopted the television standard NTSC, and at the same time, people almost stopped buying movie tickets. The copyright industry was certain: in 1941 through 1944, it was definitely television’s fault that they didn’t sell as many movie tickets as they used to. They complained to politicians and policymakers as they always do, but these particular years, politicians were busy doing something else, something that might just have affected the overall economy. Nevertheless, it was the perfect scapegoat – again – for the copyright industry’s own business failures: who would possibly pay to see a movie at the cinema when they could see it for free at home? Then, a decade later, in the 1950s, cable television arrived. By now, the copyright industry had learned to profit off of broadcast TV, and they were absolutely furious at the new cable TV medium. They were required to broadcast for free, after all. How could they possibly be expected to compete with a paid service? This was grossly unfair and they went to politicians and demanded the new cable TV medium to be hindered, hampered, and regulated. Skipping some twenty episodes of the same pattern, we arrive at the Internet. Unlicensed home manufacturing of copies had started with the cassette tape, but took off with the net. The copyright industry, once their business failed for completely unrelated reasons, had the perfect scapegoat: young people who didn’t respect their distribution monopoly. Damned be civil liberties, damned be the internet, damned be jobs, entrepreneurship, innovation, and progress: by blaming unlicensed manufacture, they didn’t have to face the music of a business failure toward their board and shareholders, but – again – had a convenient external scapegoat for their own damn utter incompetence. (We can easily observe, that now that unlicensed home manufacturing of music has practically ceased, copyright industry sales of music still hasn’t changed a bit. Unlicensed manufacturing was never the business problem or a cause. But it was a very convenient scapegoat.) The copyright industry has managed to kill civil liberties for their own children, ushering in a dystopian surveillance machine, merely to avoid taking responsibility for their own business failures. I lack words to quantify my contempt for these utter parasites. Torrentfreak
  14. After years of debating U.S. Internet subscribers now have Government regulated Net Neutrality. A huge step forward according to some, but the full order released a few days ago reveals some worrying caveats. While the rules prevent paid prioritization, they do very little to prevent BitTorrent blocking, the very issue that got the net neutrality debate started. In 2007 we uncovered that Comcast was systematically slowing down BitTorrent traffic to ease the load on its network. The Comcast case was the first to ignite a broad discussion about Net Neutrality. It became the setup for the FCC’s Open Internet Order which wasreleased three years later. This Open Internet Order was the foundation of the Net Neutrality rules the FCC adopted two weeks ago. The big change compared to the earlier attempt is that ISPs can now be regulated as carriers under Title II. Interestingly, the exact language of the new rules remained secret until three days ago. The broader concepts, including a ban on paid prioritization and blocking were known, but the fine print was kept secret until everything was signed off on. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the full text has quite a few caveats. When we read the new rules it’s clear that the “copyright loophole†many activists protested against in the past is still there. In short, ISPs can still throttle or block certain types of traffic as long as it’s related to copyright infringement. In its most recent order the FCC has listed the following rule: “Nothing in this part prohibits reasonable efforts by a provider of broadband Internet access service to address copyright infringement or other unlawful activity.†The FCC argues that copyright infringement hurts the economy, so ISPs are free to take appropriate measures against this type of traffic. This includes the voluntary censoring of pirate sites, something the MPAA and RIAA are currently lobbying for. “For example, the no-blocking rule should not be invoked to protect copyright infringement, which has adverse consequences for the economy, nor should it protect child pornography. We reiterate that our rules do not alter the copyright laws and are not intended to prohibit or discourage voluntary practices undertaken to address or mitigate the occurrence of copyright infringement,†the FCC explains. Interestingly, this issue has been pretty much absent from the discussion in recent months. This is curious as many activist groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), protested heavily against the copyright loophole in the past, issuing warnings over massive collateral damage. “Carving a copyright loophole in net neutrality would leave your lawful activities at the mercy of overbroad copyright filtering schemes, and we already have plenty of experience with copyright enforcers targeting legitimate users by mistake, carelessness, or design,†the EFF wrote at the time. So why was there little outrage about the copyright loophole this time around? TF contacted EFF staff attorney Kit Walsh who admits that the issue didn’t get much attention, but that it’s certainly problematic. “The language about ‘lawful’ content and applications creates a serious loophole that seems to leave it up to ISPs to make judgments about what content is lawful or infringes a copyright, subject to challenges after the fact about whether their conduct was ‘reasonable’,†Walsh says. “It’s one thing to say that ISPs can block subject to a valid court order, quite another to let ISPs make decisions about the lawfulness of content for themselves,†he adds. According to Walsh the issue is particularly concerning because many ISPs also have their own media properties. This means that their incentive to block copyright infringement may be greater than the incentive to protect fair use material. For example, although the Net Neutrality rules prescribe no blocking and throttling, ISPs could still block access to The Pirate Bay and other alleged pirate sites as an anti-piracy measure. Throttling BitTorrent traffic in general is also an option, as long as it’s framed as reasonable network management. A related concern is that ISPs can use privacy invasive technologies such as Deep Packet Inspection to monitor users’ traffic for possible copyright violations. The FCC didn’t include any protections against these practices. Instead, it simply noted that people can use SSL, VPNs and TOR to circumvent it. “The FCC’s response to concerns about deep packet inspection is that users can just use SSL, VPNs and TOR,†Walsh says. “Of course SSL, VPNs, and TOR are great tools for Internet users to preserve their privacy, but this approach of leaving users to fend for themselves isn’t a great start for the FCC on protecting the privacy of broadband subscribers,†he adds. The above makes it clear that Net Neutrality has its limits. The problem remains, however, that it’s still unclear how far ISPs can go under the “copyright†and “network management†loopholes. Previously, the EFF seriously doubted if it was a good idea at all to give FCC control over the Internet. However, as things stand now they are happy with the new rules, even though they aren’t perfect. Title II regulation with forbearance was the main goal, and that was achieved. In addition, the EFF is also content with the bright line rules against blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization of “lawful†traffic. “We won a large portion of what we argued for, thanks to a broad coalition of advocates and the voices of four million Americans, but we did not get everything we wanted. We’re clearly better off overall with the order than without, but we’re not going to hesitate to criticize the areas where the FCC gets it wrong,†Walsh says. Fingers crossed…. Torrentfreak
  15. It shouldn't even be controversial. If you're lying about holding a copyright monopoly to something, you're infringing on that work's distribution, and should suffer the same penalties as any other infringer does today. Last week there was a story on TorrentFreak about a copyright monopolist who had gone absolutely insane and sent so-called “takedown notices†to everybody and their brother, from EFF to TOR – basically anybody with a download page. It’s a complete mystery why this isn’t a criminal behavior. The fact that it isn’t is why it continues and harms innovation, creativity, free speech, and the Internet. The Swedish Pirate Party had a very clear policy on crimes like this: if you lied about holding an exclusive right to something, the same penalty that would have applied to an infringer of that exclusive right would instead apply to you. This is only fair, after all: you are infringing on the distribution of a creative work by dishonest means. For repeat offenders, or organizations that committed this crime on a commercial basis or commercial gain, like that idiot record label in the TorrentFreak story – they would be declared criminal organizations and have all their assets seized. The individuals doing so for commercial gain would go to jail for a couple of years. The thing is, this should not even be contentious. This is how we deal with this kind of criminal act in every – every – other aspect of society. If you lie as part of commercial operations and hurt somebody else’s rights or business, you are a criminal. If you do so repeatedly or for commercial gain, direct or indirect, you’re having your ill-gotten gains seized. This isn’t rocket science. This is standard bloody operating procedure. The copyright industry goes ballistic at this proposal, of course, and try to portray themselves as rightsless victims – when the reality is that they have been victimizing everybody else after making the entire planet rightsless before their intellectual deforestation. The irony is that at the same time as the copyright industry opposes such penalties vehemently, arguing that they can make “innocent mistakes†in sending out nastygrams, threats, and lawsuits to single mothers, they are also arguing that the situation with distribution monopolies is always crystal clear and unmistakable to everybody else who deserve nothing but the worst. They can’t have it both ways here. It’s a matter of incentives, at the end of the day. If there’s no risk at all in lying and causing pain to other people, along with a very small reward, then sociopaths – like those in the copyright industry – will do so at an industrial scale, accompanied by the most Stalinesque of laughters. This is also the behavior we observe now. There must to be a risk associated with willfully lying and causing injury or damage. Today, there isn’t. And because there isn’t, Google alone receives on the order of thirty millionnastygrams per month. Most or all of them automated at the sender’s end. There’s no cost or risk in sending them, after all, and that has to change. The U.S. DMCA – what a horrible mistake that was – does state that somebody sending a takedown notice does so under penalty of perjury. However, that only applies to the claim of representing the person believing to hold the copyright monopoly to the work; not to the claim of actually holding the exclusive right you claim to hold. A bare legislative minimum would be to extend the penalty of perjury to include the actual – not believed, but actual – holding of the copyright monopoly somebody claims to hold. The very least you can ask is that committing a crime such as fraudulent exclusive rights carries a risk with it. It’s not rocket science. Torrentfreak
  16. A music group's anti-piracy system has just sent Google the most staggeringly ridiculous DMCA notices the planet has EVER seen. If you aren't sitting down, please do so now. Remove tight clothing, open a window and get a glass of water. This one is absolutely epic. At least once a month TorrentFreak reports on the often crazy world of DMCA takedown notices. Google is kind enough to publish thousands of them in its Transparency Report and we’re only too happy to spend hours trawling through them. Every now and again a real gem comes to light, often featuring mistakes that show why making these notices public is not only a great idea but also in the public interest. The ones we found this week not only underline that assertion in bold, but are actually the worst examples of incompetence we’ve ever seen. German-based Total Wipes Music Group have made these pages before after trying to censor entirely legal content published by Walmart, Ikea, Fair Trade USA and Dunkin Donuts. This week, however, their earlier efforts were eclipsed on a massive scale. First, in an effort to ‘protect’ their album “Truth or Dare†on Maze Records, the company tried to censor aTorrentFreak article from 2012 on how to download anonymously. The notice, found here, targets dozens of privacy-focused articles simply because they have the word “hide†in them. But it gets worse – much worse. ‘Protecting’ an album called “Cigarettes†on Mona Records, Total Wipes sent Google a notice containing not a single infringing link. Unbelievably one of the URLs targeted an article on how to use PGP on the Mac. It was published by none other than the EFF. So that was the big punchline, right? Pfft, nowhere near. Going after alleged pirates of the album “In To The Wild – Vol.7″ on Aborigeno Music, Total Wipes offer their pièce de résistance, the veritable jewel in their crown. The notice, which covers 95 URLs, targets no music whatsoever. Instead it tries to ruin the Internet by targeting the download pages of some of the most famous online companies around. SOME OF THE URLS IN THE MOST ABUSIVE NOTICE EVER In no particular order, here is a larger selection of some of the download pages the notice attacks. ICQ, RedHat, SQLite, Vuze, LinuxMint, WineHQ, Foxit, Calibre, Kodi/XBMC, Skype, Java, OpenOffice, Gimp, Ubuntu, Python, TeamViewer, MySQL, VLC, Joomla, Z-Zip, RaspberryPI, Unity3D, Apache, MalwareBytes, Pidgin, LibreOffice, VMWare, uTorrent, WinSCP, WhatsApp, Evernote, AMD, AVG, Origin, TorProject, PHPMyAdmin, Nginx, FFmpeg, phpbb, Plex, GNU, WireShark, Dropbox and Opera. If you can bear to read it the full notice can be found here. Worryingly Total Wipes Music are currently filing notices almost every day. Google rejects many of them but it’s only a matter of time before some sneak through. We’ve said it before but it needs to be said again. Some people can’t be trusted to send takedown notices and must lose their right to do so when they demonstrate this level of abuse. The sooner Google kicks these people out the better. http://torrentfreak.com/the-worlds-most-idiotic-copyright-complaint-150222/
  17. There's no doubt that Game of Thrones is the most pirated TV-show in history, with copyright holders doing all they can to remove infringing copies from the web. However, these efforts can also go too far, something just witnessed by Australian pay TV company Foxtel. Last year Australian pay TV company Foxtel signed a deal with HBO to become the exclusive provider for Game of Thrones. This means that the popular TV-show will not be available online through other channels such as iTunes, a decision that may increase local piracy rates. Foxtel, for their part, sees the move as an important strategy to gain more subscribers. Looking forward to the fifth season of Game of Thrones, which starts this April, the company put up a teaser last Friday. “We hope you’re hanging onto the edge of your iron throne, because Game of Thrones is back…,†writes Foxtel in an airing schedule announcement. The article on Foxtel’s official site also includes a copy of the trailer for the fifth season. However, those who try to play the embedded YouTube video are in for a disappointment. “This video contains content from Home Box Office (Singapore) Pte Ltd, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds,†YouTube notes. GoT Trailer Blocked The Game of Thrones trailer Foxtel links to is claimed by HBO Singapore, which means that it can only be viewed in the Asian country and not in Australia, America, the UK or elsewhere. The video in question was likely flagged by accident as it makes little sense to put geographical restrictions on global trailers, which have the sole purpose to promote the show. HBO’s actions are not only a problem for Foxtel and the tvpromosdb channel they linked to, but also for the dozens of other YouTube users that had the trailers taken down. While some appreciate the irony of a blocked trailer on Foxtel’s website, it’s mostly sad to see yet another example of the mess that copyright holders make in YouTube’s Content-ID system. http://torrentfreak.com/youtube-blocks-game-of-thrones-trailer-on-copyright-grounds-150218/
  18. YouTube's automated takedown tool is known for its flaws, but this week it crossed a line by attacking a purring cat. According to YouTube's Content-ID system both EMI Publishing and PRS own the rights to a 12 second purring loop. The cat in question, Phantom, has filed a dispute and hopes to reclaim his rights. Week in and week out automated bots detect and report millions of alleged copyright infringements, which are then processed by the receiving site without a human ever looking at them. Unfortunately this process is far from flawless, resulting in many false and inaccurate DMCA claims. For regular Internet users YouTube’s takedown process is particularly problematic. We’ve highlighted this issue before, but an example that reached us this week attacks one of the Internet’s darlings, a cat. Last March, YouTube user Digihaven uploaded one hour of video loops featuring his cat Phantom, purring, as cats do. The video didn’t go viral but appealed to a niche public, and more recently also two major music publishers. Nearly a year after the video was posted Digihaven was informed by YouTube that Phantom is “pirate†purring. Apparently, part of the 12 second loop belongs to EMI Music Publishing and PRS. In the copyright notice YouTube states that the cat purring is flagged by the Content-ID system as an infringing copy of the musical composition “Focus.†Pirate purring The video was not removed by the false claim, but according to Digihaven monetization was disabled. Luckily he’s not going bankrupt due to the loss of income, but it’s baffling how easy it is to hijack legitimate videos. “I’m sure EMI/PRS made Phantom a sad kitty. It seems like companies such as EMI are pirating ads on people’s legit videos, so I’m wondering if they apologize to, or reimburse people for those false claims,†he tells TF. Hoping to clear his cat’s name Digihaven decided to file a dispute. This was partially successful, as EMI lifted its claim shortly before publication of this article. Phantom, meanwhile, is considering a career in the music business and is looking for compensation. “Phantom is currently independent, but looking to sign on with an indie label. Phantom’s lawyer filed a complaint, looking for 10 lbs of catnip in damages,†Digihaven says. http://torrentfreak.com/youtube-flags-cat-purring-as-copyright-infringing-music-150211/
  19. Empornium, one of the leading private torrent trackers for adult content, says it believes a copyright troll gained access to a staff moderation account and is now using obtained data to threaten its users. The revelations may shine light on why some Empornium users have received settlement threats with no lawsuit filed and no notice from their ISPs. During the past several years it’s become extremely common for copyright holders in the adult industry to target users of file-sharing networks in order to threaten them with litigation. The way these users are contacted has remained constant in the vast majority of cases. Armed with a court order, copyright holders force ISPs to hand over the personal details of subscribers so they can be contacted directly for a cash settlement. However, it doesn’t always work that way. Since mid 2013, mounting anecdotal evidence and reports have suggested that people uploading and sharing certain niche content may have had their true identities exposed via information they posted on the Internet rather than through John Doe lawsuits filed by a copyright holder. In particular, users have reported receiving cash demands over niche adult material offered by a company called TaylorMadeClips (NSFW). As noted by DieTrollDie in a 2013 article, settlement demands like this (pdf) from TaylorMade lawfirm Borghese Legal have no official case associated with them. Now, it could be that TaylorMade watermarks its clips and some of these letters are being sent to those who registered their personal details with the official site and later uploaded content elsewhere. However, private torrent site Empornium, one of the largest adult trackers around, believes it has an alternative explanation. In a frank email exchange with TorrentFreak and subsequent announcement to its users, the operators of the site reveal that a staff account on its site has been compromised. The site was not hacked in any way but it appears a moderator account login details were obtained and subsequently used to cull private member data from the site. “It was discovered that the user account of a regular (Mod) rank staff member has been accessed by someone other than the staff member in question. Once this was discovered, immediate steps were taken to prevent further access to sensitive information by this account,†the site said. “By what we discovered of their activity and reports from users we believe that the unauthorized third party may have been affiliated with TaylorMadeClips and Borghese Legal, LTD. Their intentions appear to be to use information obtained to intimidate users into financial settlements through legal scare tactics. Specifically, users who have downloaded or seeded TaylorMadeClips torrents and are within US jurisdiction appear to be targeted.†Empornium discovered the breach on Monday and immediately locked down the threat. However, sensitive information had already been obtained. “The compromised account appears to have been primarily used to obtain the registered e-mail address for these users, and matched to the grabbed / snatched / peers lists of TaylorMadeClips torrents, to determine targets for threatening letters,†they add. TorrentFreak asked Empornium how they came to the conclusions detailed above, this is what they said. “We came to the conclusion on who was involved the simple way. We went back through what logs we still had (we keep very limited ones where possible for the simple reason if we are ever compromised we want as little hurtful info around as possible) and what accounts and torrents they pulled up info on,†Empornium told TF. “Every one was [TaylorMadeClips] content and some of them we already have reports from users that they have received letters to their Empornium registration email address from Borghese Legal specifying those torrents. Many have also received a letter via snail mail. Those reports started around [now 48hrs to 72hrs] ago and alerted us that we may have a problem.†How the third party (whoever that may turn out to be) obtained the login isn’t clear, but at this stage hacking is being ruled out. “We know it wasn’t brute forced or similar as failed logins on staff accounts ring all sorts of very loud bells for us. We have had people attempt that attack vector more than once,†the site told TorrentFreak. At this stage the most likely scenario is that the same user/pass combination could have been used on other sites but a computer compromise might also be possible. In any event, the site has identified the instances of unauthorized access and tracked them down to as-yet undisclosed locations in the United States. While users of Empornium may be shocked and even disappointed that their information has been accessed in this way, it’s not only unusual but also a credit to the site that they have decided to be so open about the breach. It’s fair to say that many if not most sites would brush this kind of thing under the carpet. TaylorMadeClips provides no contact information on its site and obscures its WHOIS information so could not immediately be reached for comment. TorrentFreak contacted Borghese Legal but at the time of publication we had not received a response. http://torrentfreak.com/torrent-site-copyright-troll-had-staff-access-to-member-data-150211/
  20. Giganews has booked another significant victory in its ongoing copyright battle with adult publisher Perfect 10. Detailing "pervasive failures" by the publisher, its attorneys and its witnesses, a court in California says that Perfect 10 violated numerous court orders and failed to comply with discovery. Adult magazine publisher Perfect 10 is one of the most litigious publishers in the online space. The company has made a business out of suing Internet services for alleged copyright infringement and in recent years has targeted Google, Amazon, MasterCard and Visa, RapidShare and Depositfiles, and even hosting providers LeaseWeb and OVH. While Perfect 10 has secured several private settlements, court victories in contested cases have not been forthcoming. The publisher had hoped of success in its current and prolonged legal battle with Usenet provider Giganews but things are not going well. In a November 2014 ruling the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California found that Giganews was not liable for the infringing activities of its users. The provider now has further reason to celebrate thanks to a ruling from the same Court. Rather than simply roll over under pressure from Perfect 10’s legal team, Giganews put up a vigorous and comprehensive defense to the publisher’s claims. During 2014 Giganews sought and obtained several discovery orders requiring the adult publisher to produce potentially huge amounts of data relating to its claim against the provider, including but not limited to: – Information on all allegedly infringing URLs / Usenet Message IDs – Information on all Perfect 10 advertising since Jan 2008 – All IP / email addresses used by Perfect 10 / affiliates – All copyright registrations and ownership documents – Details of every author / photographer of every work in the case – All evidence of direct and indirect infringement – Perfect 10 server logs and website metrics – Documents detailing all previous Perfect 10 litigation plus settlements In a 56-page ruling handed down last Thursday, Magistrate Judge Stephen J. Hillman details a laundry list of non-compliance by Perfect 10, from partial to complete failure to provide the requested documents to “misleading†representations and “intentional†non-compliance. Perfect 10 didn’t even produce evidence related to the infringement at the heart of the case. “Perfect 10 failed to produce any evidence supporting its claim of direct infringement,†the Judge writes, noting that it also “failed to produce any evidence supporting its claim of indirect infringement.†While the Court dedicates many pages of its ruling to the failures of Perfect 10 to comply with its orders, it comes as little surprise that the company did not disclose the private conclusions to its earlier litigation. “Perfect 10 failed to produce its complaints from all its earlier lawsuits..[..]..and also failed to produce its settlement agreements from earlier lawsuits,†the ruling reads. Even complaints Perfect 10 relied upon for its damages opinion were omitted. Perfect 10 witnesses were also singled out for criticism, alongside the company’s counsel who did not do enough to bring them into line. “The fact that the Perfect 10 affiliated witnesses kept making the same mistakes over and over shows that Perfect 10’s counsel was not adequately supervising their efforts to ensure full compliance with the Court’s Orders,†the Judge explains. “In the peculiar circumstances of Perfect 10’s conduct in this case, the Court can properly hold Perfect 10 and its attorneys responsible for the Perfect 10-affiliated witnesses’ conduct.†In conclusion, Giganews won this one big and Perfect 10 are now going to have to pick up the bill. “[Giganews] presented this Court with extensive evidence showing unjustified discovery noncompliance, numerous violations of this Court’s orders, and pervasive failures by Perfect 10, its attorneys, and the Perfect 10-affiliated witnesses. The court will proceed to determine the reasonable amount of monetary sanctions, and whether they should be assessed against Perfect 10 and/or its counsel,†Judge Hillman concludes. In a statement sent to TorrentFreak, Ron Yokubaitis, co-Chief Executive Officer of Giganews, says his company welcomes the ruling. “From the beginning, we rejected the veracity of Perfect 10’s allegations and believed strongly in our position. As a result, we forced Perfect 10 to litigate this case on the merits,†Yokubaitis says. “Perfect 10’s response to our approach was to engage in a pattern of systematic abuse of the discovery process and outright disregard of the court’s orders,†added Yokubaitis. “We are pleased with the magistrate judge’s ruling and we look forward to the Court’s final determination on monetary sanctions to be assessed.†The big question now is whether this legal mauling and promised monetary sanctions will lead Perfect 10 down a different path on potential future litigation. Giganews has certainly shown its teeth, so ‘softer’ targets could be on the horizon. http://torrentfreak.com/giganews-wins-perfect-10-copyright-battle-150209/
  21. Reddit has published its first transparency report, providing an insight into backroom events at the news and social networking giant. On the copyright front the site details the takedown requests that it receives and notes that almost two-thirds are rejected as unlawful or overbroad. Reddit is without doubt one of the most popular sites on the Internet. The community-driven behemoth is the world’s 28th most popular site according to Alexa, rising to 9th most trafficked in the United States. Founded in 2005, the vocal SOPA opponent‘s last set of published stats (Oct 2014) paint an awesome picture: 174 million unique visitors from 186 countries viewed some 6.1 billion pages. Aside from posting the latest breaking news, AMAs, plus a million items in between, it will come as no surprise that in 2014 some of Reddit’s users also infringed copyright. Details of subsequent complaints have previously remained private but thanks to the publication of Reddit’s very first transparency report, we now have more of an insight. While the company has some fascinating thoughts on copyright (which we’ll come to in a moment) it’s notable how few takedown requests Reddit receives. In 2014 the site received just 218 requests to remove content, 81% of which were DMCA-style copyright notices. Interestingly and unlike those who send the notices, Reddit reveals that “real humans†examine each and every request received. It’s clear that in many cases they don’t like what they see. From 176 DMCA complaints received, Reddit removed content in just 76 instances, 38% compliance overall. For a variety of reasons, in 62% of cases Reddit rejected notices completely. Overbroad As previously reported here on TF, on many occasions copyright holders have approached Google in an attempt to have entire Reddit communities removed from its indexes. The search engine mostly rejects those requests and Reddit isn’t impressed by them either. “We received many copyright takedown requests for entire subreddits. We (and the DMCA) require specific identification of allegedly infringing content, not broad demands to delete entire reddit communities,†the company reveals. Links don’t infringe copyright Reddit doesn’t host any content of its own but instead users can post links to material hosted elsewhere, which they do in their millions every day. However, when those links point to infringing content such as movies, music or TV shows, copyright holders tend to see that as facilitation of infringement. Nevertheless, Reddit has its own opinions on what breaches the law. “A significant percentage of the copyright takedown requests we received were for user-submitted URLs that link to content hosted on other websites. Because links do not generally infringe copyright, we exercise extra scrutiny in assessing takedowns for links,†the company says. Of course, Google might argue the same point but instead it removes millions of links to content every single week. Notices fail to meet legal requirements Under the DMCA a copyright holder can request content to be removed from a third-party website via the sending of a properly formatted DMCA notice. Such notices must include: – A physical or electronic signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the copyright holder – Clear identification of the original infringed work – Clear identification of the allegedly infringing content According to Reddit, many notice senders fail to make the grade. “We rejected many copyright takedown requests because they did not include the information required by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA),†the company reports. Conclusion Overall and despite its millions of users, it appears that Reddit does not have a significant copyright infringement problem, despite the fact that several sub-reddits are dedicated to linking to infringing content. For now most copyright holders are ignoring the site, while others prefer to complain to Google instead. Reddit’s 2014 Transparency Report can be downloaded here (pdf). http://torrentfreak.com/reddit-rejects-62-of-all-copyright-complaints-150130/
  22. The political discourse on copyright back in 2006 was uninspired and one-dimensional. Activism was not enough to change things, and the Pirate Party was formed as an alternative to the future visions propagated by content dinosaurs. Direct political representation was seen as a requirement for change, and with two seats in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2014 the beginning of copyright reform had begun. The Pirate Party did not only manage to continue its presence in the European Parliament by having German Pirate Julia Reda elected. It also secured the politically important role of rapporteur on copyright reform. High expectations for a long overdue upheaval of the status quo in the political debates on copyright were warranted. But in Julia Reda’s draft report on copyright reform from Monday January 19, there is little to nothing in it that can be considered as a fulfillment of those expectations. Her proposals for a new European copyright can be summarized as â€more of the sameâ€. She wants the European Union to make a regulation, which means directly applicable at the member state level. This regulation, she suggests, can contain all of the current bits of copyright. This is by itself useful, especially for American technology companies that want to repeat their US successes and are confronted with a European market that is highly fragmented by its wildly disparate copyright laws. Half of her report deals with the consequences of making a regulation. Of course, exceptions and limitations will be harmonized if the European law is directly applicable in all the member states. What people were requesting were broader exceptions and limitations and a re-assessment of the copyright framework and legal certainty for the benefit of individuals. Instead they’re getting benefits for corporations. What Julia proposes is to maintain things in their present state, while making it more difficult for individuals to influence local laws. Part of the report deals with Julia’s admiration for the European Court of Justice rulings in the Svensson (hyperlinking), Best Water International (embedded videos) and Vlaams Belang (parody) cases. Respecting the judiciary is good, but not reform-friendly. The political mission outside of pure constitutional law is setting the framework for the judiciary, not to follow its lead. Another sixth of the report – most of the progressive bits – deals with database rights. Julia does not, however, propose to change database rights. It’s in equal measure tragic and deceptive: she’s tricking people into believing she wants something, but she’s not giving herself the political space to accomplish that thing. Expecting us to cheer for her, no doubt, while she’s gutting the opportunity for realizing the hopes she inspires. Even the European Commission has set a higher standard for themselves than this. It has acknowledged since 2009 that there is a problem with the substance of copyright. Their 2013 copyright consultation, it acknowledges, indicates that citizens, consumers and a large number of other actors experience problems with both the economic justice and the principles of copyright. De facto, Julia Reda is more conservative than the European Commission, and this is a massive problem for representative democracy. While the Commission acknowledges remixing and transformative uses are important to a large number of users, Julia â€notices with interest†that remixing occurs. She praises the level of balancing between rightsholders’ interests that the European copyright laws achieve. The Commission acknowledges instead that neither citizens or authors feel that such a balance exists. Is she making anyone happy? The only proposal which makes even remote sense are two paragraphs on technological protection measures. In the cybersecurity spirit of the European Parliament established in its NSA resolution of 2014, she suggests not to put blackboxes in consumer IT products. So we have a copyright-friendly, cyber-security inspired German trying to impose a Brussels-made statist policy on 507 millions citizens of Europe which leaves stuff more or less the same. Angela Merkel could not have done it better had she tried. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Amelia Andersdotter represented the Swedish Pirate Party in the European Parliament between December 2011 and July 2014. She’s an expert on topics related to the Internet, intellectual property and IT-policy.
  23. Strangely unreported by mainstream media, there is a major revision of the copyright monopoly underway in the European Union. And the person in charge, Julia Reda, is a Pirate Party representative. The tide is turning. For years – nay, for decades – net activists and freedom-of-speech activists have been fighting against the copyright industry’s corrupt initiatives. In country after country, the copyright industry was practically calling out for mail-order legislation, and receiving it every time. The collateral damage to liberties has been immense, and has spilled far outside the net. In the US, people are complaining that copyright monopoly law is now unintentionally preventing them to modify items they legally own, such as cars or games consoles. They’re absolutely wrong: that was the exact intention with the most recent round of revisions to copyright monopoly law – to limit property rights and to lock people out of their own possessions. (The copyright monopoly is, and has always been, a limitation on property rights.) Further, that collateral damage includes making messengers (“intermediariesâ€) liable for any damages caused by a message they carry, unless they immediately take sites offline – which they would of course rather do, rather than risking immense lawsuits. The messenger immunity was gutted around the turn of the century, by the EUCD and the DMCA alike. “Notice-and-takedown†has been abused by everybody and their corporate brother, up to and including the oil company Neste Oil who attacked a Greenpeace protest site by threatening the Internet provider of Greenpeace, thereby killing the protest site. As activists fought – and won! – against software patent monopolies in Europe in 2005, it became clear that we couldn’t fight one bad thing after another, never having the initiative, always being on the defense against onslaught from corporate mail-order legislation. For every exhausting victory, there were nine bad laws being passed in the shadows. We had to go on the offense. We had to aspire to write the law ourselves, keeping corporate lobbyists firmly out of any corrupt influence. On January 1, 2006, I founded the Swedish and first Pirate Party. It’s now on its tenth year, and on its second term in the European Parliament. This term, that European Parliament is revising the copyright monopoly – definitely once, possibly twice. It starts out by evaluating what works and what doesn’t with the current set of laws on the matter. And the rapporteur for that dossier – meaning “the person writing the actual legislative document†– is Julia Reda, representative for the Pirate Party from Germany. Let’s take that again: a Pirate Party representative is writing the European Union’s official evaluation of the copyright monopoly, and listing a set of necessary changes. In 2006, did I imagine that a pirate would be writing the European Parliament’s official evaluation of how well the copyright monopoly has worked – and what needs to be changed – in the European Union, the world’s largest economy? No, I didn’t, to be honest. But neither did I expect that the Pirate Party representatives would manage to get “three strikes†schemes outlawed across all of Europe in 2009, or take a radical reform proposal (allowing file-sharing and more) into the political mainstream in 2012. When you open the floodgates of the unrepresented, things can apparently happen fast. Now, just because it’s a pirate writing the legislative document, that doesn’t mean that document is going to pass a vote in the European Parliament no matter what it contains. It needs to be negotiated to get majority support, as usual and as appropriate in a parliamentary democracy. The first of those votes is in the Legal Affairs committee on April 16, and the vote in the European Parliament as a whole is on May 20. So pirates aren’t “in chargeâ€; democracy is, as it should be. But the initiative has shifted. It is no longer solely initiated by mail-order lobbyists for corrupt incumbents who gladly sacrifice civil liberties and the entire Internet to preserve an unjust and immoral lucrative monopoly. For the first time, legislation on the matter is initiated by net liberty activists. This shift of the initiative was what we set out to accomplish ten years ago. I think it went faster than most people had expected. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rick Falkvinge is a regular columnist on TorrentFreak, sharing his thoughts every other week. He is the founder of the Swedish and first Pirate Party, a whisky aficionado, and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. His blog at falkvinge.net focuses on information policy. http://torrentfreak.com/in-europe-pirates-are-writing-the-copyright-law-150104/
  24. A former copyright chief at music collections society SGAE has been jailed for 30 months. The former anti-piracy boss ran up brothel bills totaling $50K, but failed in his attempt to pass off the VISA card expenditure as legitimate copyright protection costs. Most commonly known as SGAE, the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers (Sociedad General de Autores y Editores) is Spain’s main collecting society for songwriters, composers and music publishers. The group, which also acts as the leading music anti-piracy outfit in the country, has campaigned endlessly for tougher penalties for both file-sharing site operators and the unauthorized downloader at home. SGAE’s position is to protect the rights of artists, but in 2011 a dark cloud fell over the organization. More than 50 police, tax officials and staff from Spain’s Audit Office raided SGAE’s headquarters in Madrid following allegations of fraud and misappropriation of funds. One of those investigated was Pedro Farré, SGAE’s former head of corporate relations and the boss of its anti-piracy office. This week he was sentenced to 30 months in jail and the back story is quite extraordinary. Farré’s problems stemmed from his penchant for spending time in the company of prostitutes. While some might argue that’s a personal matter that should remain private, it became a public interest story when Farré chose to mix his pleasures with the business of protecting copyrights. To carry out his work the anti-piracy chief had been given a credit card by SGAE to cover legitimate business expenses. However, Farré ran up bills on the VISA card in numerous visits to brothels where he used it to withdraw cash from the premises which he spent on champagne and prostitutes. According to Publico.es, evidence at trial revealed that on at least once occasion Farré had taken a booth at a brothel “..at five in the afternoon and left at six o’clock the next day, consuming drinks, champagne, and frequently changing girls.†All told, Farré ran up bills of almost 40,000 euros ($50,000) on the SGAE card, falsifying receipts as he went. He claimed that money had been spent on meals with guests, entertaining the police commissioner, financing meetings with journalists and holding a university seminar. The judge did not buy Farré’s version of events and said it was “pure absurdity†that academics and those involved in protecting copyrights would go to a brothel to discuss the topic. Farré’s claims that he went to the brothels to check their music rights compliance was rejected as “pure nonsenseâ€. Former SGAE CFO Ricardo Azcoaga, who was also arrested in 2011, was jailed for 12 months after concealing Farré’s expenditure. The sentences can be appealed. http://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-boss-spent-50k-in-brothels-to-protect-copyright-141114/
  25. Australia's administration has introduced a Data Retention bill, learning nothing from the court rulings that declare the practice to be in violation of fundamental rights. They plan to log everybody's correspondence and movements - with the idea of using that data to enforce the copyright monopoly. On December 14, 2005, the European Parliament approved legislation that was more Stasiesque than anything previously imagined. Citizens would have every piece of communications logged for a minimum for six months, including from where it was made, so that this could be used against the citizens if need be. Who people talked to, how, from where, and when. In effect, since your mobile phone communicated more or less all the time, every footstep you took through a European city was not only monitored, but recorded for the specific purpose of using it against you. The legislation – the Data Retention Directive – caused an outrage, and rightly so. But the gears of justice turn slowly. On April 8, 2014 – almost ten years later – the European Court of Justice – the highest court in Europe – ruled that the legislation violated a number of fundamental citizen rights, including the presumption of innocence, protection of personal data, and the right to privacy. It didn’t just declare the horrible law invalid from that point on – the European Court of Justice ruled that the law had never even existed. It should come as no surprise that the copyright industry was one of the primary pushers for this legislation. In combination with the typical over-implementation of theIPRED directive, which would give the copyright industry police-like powers to demand logs from Internet Service Providers. They would use this power to find people who had violated their distribution monopolies in sharing knowledge and culture among each other. This two-pronged approach would allow the copyright industry to act as a private police force: force ISPs to save logs of all correspondence, and get the legal right to demand it (a right even the Police didn’t have for crimes at that petty level). The copyright industry has never cared for human rights. Every single debate you go to, they talk about “balancing†fundamental rights against their right to profit. It is not just audacious, it is revolting. First, there is no right to profit for a commercial enterprise, and second, the reason we call the fundamental rights “fundamental†in the first place is that nothing gets to be “balanced†against them. These are rights on the same level as the right to life. Yes, they’re that fundamental. And the copyright industry cares that little. This week, about ten years late, Australia introduced Data Retention of the same model. Or at least that’s what most people think. The bill has been introduced, and yet it hasn’t, because nobody is allowed to read the details of what data is actually required to be retained in the bill yet. (Raise your hand if you’ve heard this kind of story before – an administration playing hide-and-seek with legislative details.) And just as unsurprisingly, the first thing that pops up as purpose for this violatory legislation is copyright monopoly enforcement. Violating fundamental human rights wholesale for entire countries at a time, with the idea of enforcing an entertainment distribution monopoly for a cartoon industry. It’s so disproportionate it wouldn’t even be funny in a cartoon; it’s so out of touch with reality that we’ve even left the Onionesque.