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Found 102 results

  1. Last week Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm lost his appeal against his hacking conviction in Denmark. With an August release potentially on the horizon but an unexpected situation still to be resolved in Sweden, Gottfrid is longing to get in front of a computer and back into the world of IT. But before then he wants to set the record straight. Last week and after a technically complex hearing, a jury at the Appeal Court in Denmark again found Gottfrid Svartholm guilty of hacking IT company CSC. The Pirate Bay founder now has no further opportunity to officially protest his innocence. Nevertheless, if all goes to plan and considering time served and his good behavior, Gottfrid could be up for parole middle to late August. But in cases involving the now-famous Swede, it will come as no surprise that there are complications. Gottfrid’s mother, Kristina Svartholm, informs TorrentFreak that the Swedish Prison and Probation service has requested a Nordic warrant for her son. The reason for this is that Swedish authorities sent Gottfrid to Denmark a month before his previous sentence was due to expire in 2013. This means that when he is released from Denmark later this year, he could be sent straight back to prison in Sweden to serve a few more weeks. But despite the setbacks, Gottfrid remains upbeat. “What Gottfrid wants to do now, more than anything else, is to get back to his developmental work within IT (graphics etc),†Kristina told TF. “And, of course, first of all: to sit by a keyboard again after nearly three years away from one.†With those days potentially just a few months away (even when taking the Swedish situation into account) some might sit back and accept their fate. However, Gottfrid is still intent on shining light on what he believes was a sub-standard investigation in Denmark and a poor decision from the court when it denied his appeal. According to Kristina, Gottfrid seriously questions the reports presented by the Danish police and is disappointed by their content, quality and lack of professionalism. “Clumsy amateurs†according to the Pirate Bay founder. In respect of the verdict itself, Gottfrid insists that it contains many “errors, mistakes and misunderstandingsâ€. There is even a suspicion that the judges decided on his guilt before the date of the verdict. “The final speeches from the defense/the prosecutor respectively were made Monday June 15, 2015. The judges and jury met Tuesday for voting. The verdict was presented Wednesday morning. WHEN was this verdict written?†Gottfrid questions. While the answer to that question may never be forthcoming, Gottfrid and Kristina remain determined to shine a light on the Danish investigation and what they both believe to be an extremely flawed legal process. To that end and in conjunction with Gottfrid, Kristina has penned a 2200+ word document detailing what they believe to be the key points behind an unfair investigation, criminal trial, and subsequent appeal. It covers plenty of topics, from the encrypted container found on Gottfrid’s computer to a chat log that became central to linking him to the case, despite it being highly edited by the authorities. Also of interest are the details of discussions secretly recorded by the police that potentially place Gottfrid in the clear, but were still ignored by the Appeal Court. The report can be downloaded here (RTF) https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-founder-still-wants-to-clear-his-name-150628/
  2. The Pirate Bay has dropped the www prefix for all of its domains. The changes occurred earlier this week and were made without a redirect, which is causing some visitors to believe that the site is currently offline. The Pirate Bay has had its fair share of legal problems and technical difficulties over the years. Just last month a Swedish court ordered the seizure of site’s main .se domain name. This case is currently on appeal but in the meantime TPB is rotating several new domains. A few days ago, however, reports started rolling in that the notorious torrent site is no longer accessible to some, across all domains. Instead of the usual homepage visitors see an error message in their browser, suggesting that the DNS lookup failed. Luckily enough, the problems are only affecting URLs with a www prefix. For some reason, the corresponding DNS entries have been removed rendering all www links inaccessible. While it’s quite common for websites not to use the www prefix (we don’t), there’s usually a redirect setup so visitors are directed to the correct URL. Since TPB doesn’t have a redirect set up, many people are inaccurately assuming that the site is suffering downtime. For now it remains a mystery why the DNS entries were updated. TF spoke with a moderator of the site, who told us that he and his team were not informed about the changes. The dropped www prefix is not the only issue The Pirate Bay has been facing recently. Over the past weeks several parts of the site broke temporarily, including user registrations and torrent uploads. To inform users about these and other technical difficulties, the TPB crew has a status page showing which services are up and running. This page is maintained by the moderators and separately hosted at the Suprbay forum. As shown below, all crucial features are fully operational at the time of writing. That is, if users have dropped the www prefix from their bookmarks. TPB status https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-domains-no-longer-accessible-through-www-150618/
  3. New research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that the UK Pirate Bay blockade had no affect on legal consumption. Instead, visitors switched to alternative sites, Pirate Bay mirrors, or started using VPNs. However, the same research also reveals that blocking several major pirate sites at once does boost the use of paid legal services such as Netflix. The Pirate Bay is the most censored website on the Internet. Countries all around the world have ordered Internet providers to block subscriber access to the torrent site, with Russia being the latest addition. The idea behind these blockades is that they will help to decrease online piracy. However, a new study published by Carnegie Mellon University and Wellesley College researchers, suggests that blocking one site isn’t very effective. The researchers used data collected by an anonymous Internet consumer panel tracking company to compare the browsing habits of UK citizens, both before and after The Pirate Bay was blocked by major ISPs in 2012. After comparing the results to a control group and ruling out various other variables, the researchers conclude that there is no significant effect on legal consumption. Instead, Pirate Bay users chose to circumvent the measures by using VPNs, proxies, or switching to other pirate sites. “Our results show that blocking The Pirate Bay had little impact on consumption through legal channels — instead, consumers seemed to turn to other piracy sites, Pirate Bay ‘mirror’ sites, or Virtual Private Networks that allowed them to circumvent the block.†While the above findings support the many opponents of website blocking, it’s only part of the story. The researchers also analysed data after a subsequent blockade that covered more than a dozen large pirate sites at once. The results here were quite different, with a significant uptick in the number of visits (of ‘pirates’) to legal movie services such as Netflix. “…blocking 19 different major piracy sites caused users of those sites to increase their usage of paid legal streaming sites such as Netflix by 12% on average,†the researchers write. This effect was most pronounced for people who used the pirate sites most frequently. According to the researchers this makes sense as they were most affected by the blockade. “The lightest users of the blocked sites increased their clicks on paid streaming sites by 3.5% while the heaviest users of the blocked sites increased their paid streaming clicks by 23.6%, strengthening the causal interpretation of the results.†Overall the results show that blocking The Pirate Bay in isolation is futile. For website blockades to have a serious impact they should be directed at a broad selection of pirate sites, making it harder for people to find illegal alternatives. “Our results suggest that website blocking requires persistent blocking of a number of piracy sites in order to effectively migrate pirates to legal channels,†the researchers note. Perhaps just as importantly, the researchers add that copyright holders should also make legal content more attractive in order to convert pirates into paying customers. It has to be noted that the research was carried out as part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics (IDEA), which received a generous donation from the MPAA. However, the researchers suggest that their work is carried out independently. The results may not help efforts to demand isolated Pirate Bay blockades, which is common in most countries. However, they can be used as ammunition to demand wider website blockades, which is arguably even better from a copyright holder perspective. Effective? https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-block-doesnt-boost-sales-research-shows-150604/
  4. Following a European trend, the Russian telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor has ordered local ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay. Without a separate court order, two domain names of the popular torrent site have been added to the national blocklist. As the arch-rival of many copyright groups, The Pirate Bay has become one of the most censored websites on the Internet in recent years. Courts all around the world have ordered Internet providers to block subscriber access to the torrent site and the list continues to expand. This week Russia’s telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor issued an update to the country’s blocklist adding two Pirate Bay domain names. Following a complaint from Mosfilm, one of the largest European movie studios, Russian ISPs are now required to block access to thepiratebay.se and thepiratebay.mn. Interestingly, there is no separate court order against The Pirate Bay. Instead, the domains were added to an existing injunction targeting tushkan.net, which was offering a pirated copy of Mosfilm’s movie “The Road to Berlin.†Under Russian law, copyright holders can add domain names to an injunction if their content appears on other sites as well. In addition to The Pirate Bay domains, a dozen other sites were added in the same update. Technically, The Pirate Bay can request a removal from the blocklist after they remove all links to the film in question. But considering the site’s stance on taking down content, this is not going to happen. Pirate Bay Blocked While the order aims to deprive millions of Russians from visiting the popular torrent site, it will be rather ineffective for now. Two weeks ago The Pirate Bay added several new domain names and four of those remain readily accessible. It is clear, however, that Russia is not averse to taking measures against websites that are accused of facilitating copyright infringement. Hundreds of websites have been blocked in recent years and there are calls to ban various circumvention tools including VPNs and TOR as well. The first step in this direction was set last week when an anti-censorship website from a local human rights group was blocked, and similar crackdowns may follow in the near future. https://torrentfreak.com/russia-orders-isps-to-block-the-pirate-bay-150603/
  5. Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij has been released from prison today. Neij was the last person to serve a custodial sentence handed down after the Pirate Bay trial, marking the end of a controversial chapter in the site's turbulent history. Fredrik Neij, one of The Pirate Bay’s co-founders, was a key operator of the torrent site during its early years. In 2012 Fredrik received a 10-month prison sentencefor his involvement with the notorious site, which he initially avoided. Last November he was eventually arrested by Thai immigration authorities and later transferred to a prison in Skänninge, Sweden. Today, Fredrik’s jail term ended and a few hours ago he was released from prison. After serving two-thirds of his ten month prison sentence the 37-year-old was reunited with family and friends. TF spoke with a family member who was kind enough to share some pictures of Fredrik enjoying his newly gained freedom. Based on the pictures below, he is doing quite well. Fredrik is out, enjoying a beer For a while it was uncertain whether Fredrik would be released today. The Swedish authorities questioned whether the time he spent in Thai custody should count towards his sentence, but this dispute was eventually resolved. While Fredrik has been doing relatively well in prison, he clashed with the administration a few times. First, because he wasn’t allowed to print and again after a request to play games on an old Nintendo 8-bit console was denied. In recent months the Pirate Bay co-founder was also accused of hacking and his continued involvement with The Pirate Bay, but these allegations haven’t been made official. With his release Fredrik can put prison life behind him and focus on the future again. It is expected that he will return to his new home country of Laos, where he lives with his wife and kids. Today’s release marks the end of a controversial chapter in The Pirate Bay’s history, as Carl Lundström, Gottfrid Svartholm, Peter Sunde and Fredrik have all served their sentences. Fredrik enjoying his freedom https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-co-founder-fredrik-neij-released-from-prison-150601/
  6. In a landmark lawsuit over the legality of the Dutch Pirate Bay blockade, Attorney General Van Peursem has advised that the case should be sent to EU Court of Justice. Among other things, the Attorney General wants the EU Court to rule whether The Pirate Bay communicates illegal content to the public. Early last year The Court of The Hague handed down its decision in a long running case which had previously forced two Dutch ISPs, Ziggo and XS4ALL, to block The Pirate Bay. The Court ruled against local anti-piracy outfit BREIN, concluding that the blockade was ineffective and restricted the ISPs’ entrepreneurial freedoms. Responding to the verdict the two ISPs quickly unblocked the site and various other Dutch ISPs followed suit. Meanwhile, the Hollywood-backed group took its case all the way to the Supreme Court and today Advocate General Van Peursem published his conclusion after a careful review. The Advocate General advises the Supreme Court to stay the proceedings between BREIN and the Internet providers in order to seek clarification from the EU Court of Justice on several matters. The first question that requires a European review is whether The Pirate Bay is actually communicating illegal content to the public. If this isn’t the case then the EU Court should rule whether ISPs can be ordered to block the site on other grounds. A decision at the European level will be important, as it may also affect court orders in other countries, such as the UK, Italy and Belgium. When the questions are resolved at the EU Court, the Advocate General advises to redo the entire trial noting that The Court of The Hague was too strict when it concluded that the blockade was ineffective and disproportional. The Advocate General’s advice is not binding so it’s not yet certain whether the case will be referred to the EU Court of Justice. However, in most cases the recommendations are followed by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is expected to release its verdict on October 9th. https://torrentfreak.com/attorney-general-doubts-legality-of-pirate-bay-blockade-150529/
  7. The Pirate Bay is down at the moment, causing a mild panic among many BitTorrent users. While some fear the worst, the site probably won't be offline for very long. The Pirate Bay has become unreachable since a few hours. It’s currently not clear what’s causing the problems. There might be a hardware issue, hosting problem or a software glitch, issues that have occurred many times in the site’s history. What we do know is that the site’s domain names are not the culprit. The Pirate Bay currently displays a CloudFlare error message across all domain names, suggesting that TPB’s servers are unresponsive. With the raid of a few months ago still fresh in memory some fear the worst, but these concerns are unwarranted for now. In fact, the site is still accessible via the Tor network, including the popular Pirate Browser. The Tor traffic goes through a separate server, and it appears that this part of the site’s infrastructure is not going through CloudFlare. TorrentFreak reached out to The Pirate Bay team for a comment on the situation and we will update this article if we hear back. https://torrentfreak.com/the-pirate-bay-suffers-downtime-150526/
  8. The court order to transfer ownership of two Pirate Bay-related domains to the Swedish state will not be a straightforward process. Site co-founder Fredrik Neij, a party in the two-year long case, has just announced he will appeal the ruling. Neij isn't interested in the domains though, he has much more serious things to consider. Last week a two year old case launched by the Swedish state concerning a pair of key Pirate Bay domains came to an end. While the prosecution failed in its quest to hold the Swedish .SE registry responsible for infringements carried out by The Pirate Bay and its users, it did convince the Stockholm District Court to put ThePirateBay.se and PirateBay.se out of action. Even though the domains were held in a third-party’s name, the Court found that Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij owned and operated them. On that basis they were ordered to be placed under the future control of the Swedish state, never to be used again. “Fredrik Neij has participated in the [copyright infringement] crimes that have been identified and he is the actual holder of the domain names. It is therefore no obstacle to confiscate domain names from him,†the Court said. The parties were given until June 9, 2015, to appeal but less than a week later we now know that The Pirate Bay’s most recognizable domains will remain operational for at least a little while longer. Through his lawyer Jonas Nilsson, this morning Fredrik Neij confirmed that he will appeal the confiscation order handed down May 19 by the District Court. But while some might presume that getting the domains handed back is a key aim of Neij, that is not the case. He is actually more interested in challenging the Court’s reasoning. “The district court makes an erroneous assessment of how to look at a domain name. We believe it is an address assignment, not an estate,†Nilsson says. “The prosecution has alleged two things. One is that crimes have been committed via The Pirate Bay. Fredrik Neij really has no views on this. The second is that he is involved in The Pirate Bay operation.†It was the assertion that the domains were controlled by Neij and used to infringe copyright that appeared to make it a straightforward decision for the Court to order their forfeiture. But for Neij, however, that has the potential to develop into a more serious matter. In 2009 the Stockholm District Court banned Fredrik Neij and co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm from having anything to do with the site, even though both were living outside Sweden (even the EU) by that time. Nevertheless, the court attached a 500,000 kronor ($59,500) penalty to any breach. With Neij set to be released from prison next week after serving his Pirate Bay sentence, one has to wonder if the District Court’s determination will negatively affect that in some way. As reported here in December 2014, a leaked MPAA email predicted continued trouble. “Neij is facing a 10 month prison sentence in Sweden for his conviction in the Pirate Bay case. Neij may also face new charges for his continuing role in the operation of TPB and two additional charges for computer hacking,†the email read. Either way, Neij has unfinished business in Sweden and with his history of moving to far-off lands to avoid justice, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the prosecution argued for his continued detention. https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-founder-appeals-domain-seizure-decision-150525/
  9. The Pirate Bay has lost one of its new domain names after an intervention from South Georgia's .GS registry. While the domain suspension wasn't unexpected and the proverbial Hydra has now lost one head, TPB says that it can easily grow some more. Earlier this week the Stockholm District Court ordered the Pirate Bay’s .SE domains to be handed over to the Swedish state, arguing that they were linked to copyright crimes. The Pirate Bay was fully prepared for the negative outcome and quickly redirected its visitors to six new domain names. Since then the site has been accessible through the GS, LA, VG, AM, MN and GD domain names, without even a second of downtime. Marking the change The Pirate Bay updated its logo to the familiar Hydra logo, linking a TLD to each of the heads. However, we can now reveal that one head has already been chopped off. The site’s .GS domain name has been suspended by the registry, and ThePirateBay.gs is now listed as “ServerHold†and “Inactive.†The Pirate Bay informs us that the .GS domain has indeed been lost, which didn’t come as a complete shock. In fact, one of the reasons to move to six domains was to see which ones would hold up. “We have more domain names behind, if needed. We are stronger than ever and will defend the site to the end,†the TPB team tells us. At this point it’s unclear for how long the other domain names will remain available. Hoping to find out more, we reached out to the respective registries to discover their policies on domains being operated by The Pirate Bay. The Mongolian .MN registry informs TF that they will process potential complaints through ICANN’s Dispute Resolution Policy, suggesting that they will not take any voluntary action. The VG Registry referred us to their terms and conditions, specifically sections 3.4 and 7.2, which allow for an immediate termination or suspension if a domain infringes on the rights of third parties. However, it could not comment on this specific case. “We will review any complaint and act accordingly. Please understand that we cannot make any predictions based on theoretical options,†a VG Registry spokesperson says. It won’t be a big surprise if several more Pirate Bay domain names are suspended during the days and weeks to come. That’s a Whac-A-Mole game the site’s operators are all too familiar with now, but one that won’t bring the site to its knees. https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-loses-new-domain-name-hydra-lives-on-150522/
  10. In a decision handed down minutes ago the Stockholm District Court has ordered two key domains owned by The Pirate Bay to be seized. While the ruling means that the site will lose its famous ThePirateBay.se domain, don't expect the site to simply disappear. TPB informs TorrentFreak that they have plenty more domains left in store. In keeping with a global strategy to disrupt the operations of unauthorized file-sharing sites by attacking their infrastructure, Swedish authorities have been eying two domains operated by the notorious Pirate Bay. In 2013, Prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad, the man behind the operation that took the site down in December, filed a motion targeting ThePirateBay.se (the site’s main domain) and PirateBay.se (a lesser used alternative). Filed against Punkt SE, the organization responsible for Sweden’s top level .SE domain, the case reasoned that since The Pirate Bay is an illegal operation, its domains are tools used by the site to infringe copyright. Noting that Punkt SE supplies and controls the domains and is therefore liable for their (mis)use, the domains should be dealt with in the same way that other criminal tools would be, Ingblad argued. Punkt SE, on the other hand, took the position that holding a registry responsible for infringement has no basis in law. Furthermore, disabling domains is an ineffective way to deal with infringement. After two years preparation the case was heard at the end of April 2015 and just a few minutes ago the decision was handed down. After a week-long delay the Stockholm District Court ruled that The Pirate Bay will forfeit its Sweden-based domains – ThePirateBay.se and PirateBay.se – after finding that they belong to Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij. “The District Court’s conclusion is that the domain names are property that can be forfeited,†the ruling reads. “Fredrik Neij has participated in the [copyright infringement] crimes that have been identified and he is the actual holder of the domain names. It is therefore no obstacle to confiscate domain names from him. The prosecutor’s primary claim with respect to Fredrik Neij should be upheld and domain names should be confiscated from him in accordance with the Copyright Act.†While copyright holders will be pleased that two of Pirate Bay’s domains will be put out of action (they will be seized by the Swedish state), the District Court dismissed the prosecution’s case against Punkt.se and awarded the registry close to $40,000 (SEK 332,000) in costs. “We have received the verdict and are of course glad that the court chose to decide according to our view,†.SE public relations manager Elisabeth Nilsson informs TorrentFreak. “We think it is good that this issue has been examined. Now we need some time to read through the verdict and do a thorough analysis before we can make any further comments.†At least for now The Pirate Bay will continue business as usual. An insider informs TF that the site has plenty of other domains in reserve and will make a switch when required. We have also requested comment from prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad and this article will be updated as soon as further details become available. Should the parties wish to appeal they must do so no later than June 9, 2015. Update: Sara Lindbäck of anti-piracy group Rights Alliance informs TF that the decision was expected and will make it harder for pirate sites to operate from Swedish domains. “Pirate Bay has on a commercial scale committed massive infringements against rights holders. The forfeiture is a clear and positive sign that society does not accept these types of activities,†Lindbäck says. “[in future] it will become more difficult for illegal players to run their activities under the SE-domain.†https://torrentfreak.com/key-pirate-bay-domains-must-be-seized-court-rules-150519/
  11. The makers of the Indian movie "Piku" have obtained a blocking order against several popular websites including Vimeo, The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents. The order issued by the Indian High Court prohibits the sites and various ISPs from linking to pirated versions of the movie, but may not be as effective as it sounds. Today sees the theatrical premiere of the highly anticipated Bollywood blockbuster “Piku.†As is the case with most movies, unauthorized copies the film will eventually end up being made available from various websites. However, the makers of Piku hope that a recent High Court order will limit the fallout. Multi Screen Media, one of the companies behind the movie, has obtained a restraining order against 13 websites and a blocking order against some of the country’s largest Internet providers (pdf). Similar orders have been granted in the past, but this one stands out because of the sites it targets. The order lists the following domain names: Vimeo.com, Thepiratebay.org, Torrentz.eu, Thiruttuvcd.biz, Merotv.net, Novamov.com, Videotanker.co, Cloudy.ec, Vidto.me, Zuzvideo.com, Video.tt, Kickasstoreents.com and Torrentfunk.com. The owners of the domains are restrained from “making available†or otherwise distributing Piku without a proper license. In addition, India’s largest Internet providers are ordered to block access to the sites. The most surprising target is the popular video sharing platform Vimeo, a site mostly used by independent filmmakers to share their work. While Piku’s makers describe the site as a piracy hub, the site rarely hosts infringing material. However, there even more worrying issues with the order that will severely limit its effectiveness. For example, it lists Pirate Bay’s .org domain even though the site is currently operating from thepiratebay.se. Similarly, the domain name of KickassTorrents is both outdated and misspelled as kickasstoreents.com. As a result, the blocking order may not be as successful as the filmmakers would have hoped. According to the order ISPs must block the mentioned domains within 24 hours. A new hearing is scheduled for July 31 where it will be decided if the measures can be lifted, or if they must stay in place. At the time of writing no pirated copies of Piku have leaked online yet, but if one surfaces this current order will do very little to stop it from spreading. https://torrentfreak.com/india-orders-piracy-blackout-of-vimeo-pirate-bay-and-more-150508/
  12. The Pirate Bay is down at the moment, causing a mild panic among many BitTorrent users. With the raid of last December fresh in mind some fear the worst, but the current issues appear to be caused by an SSL problem. After weeks without any significant outages, the Pirate Bay has become unreachable since a few hours. With the raid of a few months ago still fresh in memory some fear that the problems may be of a more serious nature. It’s currently not clear what’s causing the problems. What we do know is that the site’s domain name is currently working properly. The Pirate Bay currently displays a CloudFlare error message suggesting that TPB has an invalid SSL certificate. This may be the result of a misconfigured or expired SSL certificate, which causes problems for sites that use CloudFlare’s full (strict) SSL feature. Interestingly, some users report that they can still access the site via the Tor network, including the popular Pirate Browser. The Tor traffic goes through a separate server, and it appears that this part of the site’s infrastructure is not going through CloudFlare. TorrentFreak reached out to The Pirate Bay team for a comment on the situation and we will update this article if we hear back. https://torrentfreak.com/the-pirate-bay-is-down-150505/
  13. After hearing argument from both the prosecutor and the organization in control of Sweden's .SE domain names this week, the Stockholm District Court will now consider the fate of two key Pirate Bay domains. With a verdict due in less than two weeks, will the Court order a historic confiscation or will the notorious site maintain its Swedish links? A small Scandinavian country in Northern Europe, Sweden has become a key battleground for international copyright holders looking to stamp their authority on millions of BitTorrent users. Attacking the sites they populate is a key strategy and above all others the destruction of The Pirate Bay is paramount. Born and developed in Sweden, the now notorious site is no longer the most popular in the world (that crown is currently worn by KickassTorrents) but its profile ensures it remains a target with massive propaganda value. When The Pirate Bay is crushed a corner will have been turned, Hollywood and the record labels believe. Over the years the site has been squeezed out of Sweden, and Sweden has been squeezed out of the site. Numerous court orders and raids have ended its physical presence in the country and its Swedish management have long since gone. Indeed, as far as its operations at this moment are concerned, the only big connection the site has with Sweden is its domain name – ThePirateBay.se – and authorities are now doing whatever they can to break that most visible link. ThePirateBay.se (the site’s main domain) and PirateBay.se (a lesser used alternative) are being targeted by Prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad, the man behind the operation thattook the site down in December. Filed back in 2013 at the District Court of Stockholm, the motion targets Punkt SE, the organization responsible for Sweden’s top level .SE domain. This week the parties met in the Stockholm District Court, each putting forward their side of the argument. Ingblad didn’t respond to TorrentFreak’s offer to contribute to this article, but we know that he believes that Pirate Bay domains are criminal tools that enable copyright infringement, tools that should be confiscated by the state. Punkt SE, on the other hand, maintains that holding a registry responsible for infringement has no basis in law. Furthermore, disabling domains is an ineffective way to deal with infringement. “We believe it is wrong to pursue legal action against a top-level administrator like .SE to take away a service from the internet,†Punkt SE’s Maria Ekelund informs TF. “To confiscate a domain name is ineffective and disproportionate to achieve the impact of the earlier judgment, that is, to suspend access to the service itself.†In 2009, Swedish ISP Black Internet was ordered to stop providing Internet access to The Pirate Bay. The ISP initially declined to appeal the ruling but appeared to change its mind after its infrastructure was subjected to a huge cyber-attack. While the appeal was granted, the ISP failed to have the original decision overturned and subsequently blocked all traffic into and out of the IP addresses used by The Pirate Bay. For The Pirate Bay, the dream of trouble-free hosting in Sweden was largely over. But still, the site has found a way to stay online, no matter where in the world it has thrown anchor. Punkt SE believes that taking away Pirate Bay’s domain will do little to change that. “To remove a domain name can be likened to taking away a sign that shows the address to a store operating illegally. Just because the sign disappears, does not mean the business disappears,†Ekelund adds. “However, we think it is good that the issue should be examined because the legal situation is unclear. This case differs from previous cases because it is not only directed against the holder, but also directly against .SE.†So now the waiting begins. In less than two weeks the Stockholm District Court will hand down its decision. Victory for Punkt will underpin the registry’s stance on limited liability and will buy The Pirate Bay more time. A win for the prosecutor will deliver a fairly serious blow to the site and draw a line in the sand for others looking to embark on similar adventures. But, perhaps more importantly, in the event the Court sides with the prosecution, Sweden will at last rid itself of the site that put the country in the crosshairs of the United States. No longer serviced from Swedish soil, with hardware or domain names, The Pirate Bay will be cut adrift to float at sea. Where will it dock next? That will remain a secret, at least for now. https://torrentfreak.com/historic-pirate-bay-domain-decision-will-arrive-early-may-150430/
  14. The blockade of the Pirate Bay by UK ISPs is causing trouble for CloudFlare customers. Several websites have been inadvertently blocked by Sky because a Pirate Bay proxy is hosted behind the same IP-addresses. In a response, CloudFlare threatened to disconnect the proxy site from its network. Like any form of censorship web blockades can sometime lead to overblocking, targeting perfectly legitimate websites by mistake. This is also happening in the UK where Sky’s blocking technology is inadvertently blocking sites that have nothing to do with piracy. In addition to blocking domain names, Sky also blocks IP-addresses. This allows the site to stop https connections to The Pirate Bay and its proxies, but when IP-addresses are shared with random other sites they’re blocked too. This is happening to various customers of the CDN service CloudFlare, which is used by many sites on the UK blocklist. Every now and then this causes legitimate sites to be blocked, such as CloudFlare customers who shared an IP-address with Pirate Bay proxy ilikerainbows.co.uk. Although the domain is merely a redirect to ilikerainbows.co, it’s listed in Sky’s blocking system along with several CloudFlare IP-addresses. Recently, the CDN service received complaints from users about the issue and alerted the proxy owner. “It has come to our attention that your website — ilikerainbows.co.uk — is causing CloudFlare IPs to be blocked by SkyB, an ISP located in the UK. This is impacting other CloudFlare customers,†CloudFlare wrote. The CDN service asked the proxy site to resolve the matter with Sky, or else it would remove the site from the network after 24 hours. “If this issue does not get resolved with SkyB though we will need to route your domain off CloudFlare’s network as it is currently impacting other CloudFlare customers due to these blocked IP addresses.†The operator of the “Rainbows†TPB proxy was surprised by Sky’s overbroad blocking techniques, but also by CloudFlare’s response. Would CloudFlare also kick out sites that are blocked in other countries where censorship is common? “What do they do when Russia starts blocking sites under their system? Are they going to kick users off CloudFlare because there’s a Putin meme that the Russians don’t like?†Rainbows’ operator tells TF. Instead of waiting for the domain to be switched off by CloudFlare he reverted it back to the domain registrar’s forwarding services. The main .co domain still uses CloudFlare’s services though, as does the official Pirate Bay site. This is not the first time that CloudFlare customers have been blocked by mistake. Earlier this year the same thing happened to sites that shared an IP-address with The Pirate Bay. At the time we contacted Sky, who informed us that they do all they can to limit collateral damage. “We have a process in place to monitor requested site blocks to limit the chances of inadvertently blocking sites, and in addition to this if we are advised by a site owner or Sky customer that a site is being inadvertently blocked we take the necessary steps to remove any unintended blocks,†a Sky spokeswoman said. In addition to Sky we also contacted CloudFlare about the issue multiple times this year, but the company has yet to reply to our inquiries. It’s clear though that despite cheers from copyright holders, website blocking is not all rainbows and unicorns. Without any significant change to Sky’s blocking setup, more of these inadvertent blocks are bound to happen in the future. https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-blockade-censors-cloudflare-customers-150424/
  15. Should The Pirate Bay be allowed to carry on business as usual while using domain names under Swedish control? That's the argument the Stockholm District Court will consider next week following a demand from the prosecutor that the two .SE domains be disabled or placed under government control. Some of the key strategies employed by anti-piracy groups around the world involve attacking the infrastructures of so-called pirate sites. Pressuring hosting companies to cut off sites is one of the oldest and perhaps easiest method of disrupting activities, but finding a new host – even for the most blatant of infringers – is usually countered in a few hours. It’s a nuisance, but one that can be handled relatively easily. Blocking domains at the ISP level presents more of a problem for sites but actually seizing a domain or rendering it entirely useless really takes things to the next level. It’s a strategy being actively pursued in a number of cases, most recently by the RIAA in an important case against MP3Skull reported here yesterday. Next week in a separate action, a Swedish court will be required to decide whether The Pirate Bay will be allowed to keep control of two of its most important domains. ThePirateBay.se (the site’s main domain) and PirateBay.se (a lesser used alternative) are being targeted by Prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad, the man behind the now-famous operation that took the site down in December. Filed back in 2013 at the District Court of Stockholm, the motion targets Punkt SE, the organization responsible for Sweden’s top level .SE domain. Ingblad’s position is that since The Pirate Bay has been deemed an illegal site, its domain names are assisting in those crimes and should be subject to action, just like a tool used in any other crime In a case against both the .SE registry and former Pirate Bay operator Fredrik Neij, Ingblad wants the Court to order the domains to be forfeited. “That is, in practice, that the state should take them over, or at least that .SE should not rent them out again, Ingblad says. In parallel The Pirate Bay is also facing its first web blocking action in Sweden. Last November, Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Nordisk Film and the Swedish Film Industry filed a lawsuit against Swedish service provider Bredbandsbolaget. The ISP intends to fight the demand. In the meantime the blocking case is certainly one to watch, with Punkt SE CEO Danny Aerts framing the action as unique in Europe. “There are no previous cases of states suing a registry for abetting criminal activity or breaching copyright law,†Aerts notes. https://torrentfreak.com/fate-of-pirate-bay-domains-hang-in-the-balance-150421/
  16. For the first time since the raid late last year, The Pirate Bay is allowing users to open new accounts again. Registrations have been closed for months due to security issues and to avoid the site from being flooded with fakes and spam. Slowly but surely things are returning back to normal at the beleaguered Pirate Bay. After weeks of downtime the site came back online late January, recovering from a raid that hit the site hard. The notorious torrent site has burned through several hosting companies since its return but the site is now relatively stable. With many of the old moderators back on board the spam problems are under control as well. All this time, however, there was still one major feature missing from the site. Users were not able to register an account so they can publish content. This last barrier was removed a few hours ago when TPB formally reopened user registrations. “The registrations remained closed as a security precaution. But now that the mods are back and stable, new accounts won’t flood the site with fakes,†Pirate Bay’s Winston tells TF Registrations are open Over the past couple of months the moderator team undertook a thorough cleanup of all suspicious user accounts. Pretty much all fakers and scammers were removed, a number that ran into the thousands. “A lot of the dormant accounts have been used up now,†long time TPB moderator Agricola tells TF, noting that fakers and scammers are more prevalent than most people believe. “In my time on The Pirate Bay I have 30,000+ kills on my name, which is how we refer to deleted accounts. You are talking hundreds of accounts a day.†So while the reopened registration feature is good news for users who want to join the six million strong army of Pirate Bay users, it means all hands on deck for the moderator team. According to Agricola this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, that’s what they have been doing all along. “We’re pretty much going back to the way it was before the raid,†Agricola says. Looking back at the past few months we can conclude that things have pretty much returned to normal at TPB. The site took a hit in terms of traffic and is no longer themost used torrent site, but the ship is still afloat. https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-reopens-registrations-months-after-raid-150418/
  17. The Pirate Bay is down at the moment, causing a mild panic among many BitTorrent users. With the raid of last December fresh in mind some fear the worst, but as of yet there is no indication that the site has been hit again. After weeks of relative smooth sailing, the Pirate Bay has become unreachable since a few hours. It’s currently not clear what’s causing the problems. There might be a hardware issue, routing problem or a software glitch, issues that have occurred many times in the site’s history. Or perhaps there’s a surge in traffic from Game of Thrones fans? Finally, with the raid of a few months ago still fresh in memory some fear that the problems may be of a more serious nature. The above is all speculation, but what we do know is that the site’s domain name is currently working properly. The nameservers appear to be setup correctly too, so those variables can be ruled out. The Pirate Bay currently displays a CloudFlare error message suggesting that TPB’s servers are (partially) unresponsive. Interestingly, some users report that they can still access the site via the Tor network, including the popular Pirate Browser. TorrentFreak reached out to The Pirate Bay’s admin for a comment on the situation and we will update this article if we hear back. https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-suffers-downtime-150412/
  18. A new report from Malwarebytes reveals that various badly maintained WordPress blogs are being injected with an iframe that points to thepiratebay.in.ua. The Pirate Bay clone, which uses the popular Open Bay script, was found to offload an exploit kit to unsuspecting visitors. After the Pirate Bay was raided last December hundreds of clones appeared online. Many of these sites used the open source “Open Bay†project, which allows people to set up their own clone in just a few clicks. Now, several months later one of the clones has gone rogue. As reported by Malwarebytes, several compromised WordPress blogs are being injected with an iframe that loads thepiratebay.in.ua. At first sight this seems odd, since the site looks just like any other Open Bay clone. However, this one is being used to offload a rather dangerous exploit kit. “We found the real reason behind this pretty quickly. The Pirate Bay clone is actively pushing the Nuclear exploit kit with an iframe and will infect vulnerable visitors via drive-by download attacks,†Malwarebytes senior security researcher Jérôme Segura writes. The malicious content is passed on to users’ computers via a known Flash exploit. The payload being pushed by the Pirate Bay clone is linked to a banking trojan. Interestingly, most other sites relying on the Open Bay project are experiencing issues as well. The main oldpiratebay.org site is currently down, and other clones don’t have any content. TF asked the people behind the Open Bay project for a comment and we will update this article if we hear back. For now, we haven’t heard any reports indicating that more Pirate Bay clones are pushing exploit kits. At the time of writing it’s still unclear how the iframe is being injected into the WordPress sites. A likely explanation appears to be outdated WordPress code or an old plugin. People are advised to avoid the compromised Pirate Bay clone directly and WordPress users should make sure that they’re running the latest version of the blogging platform. “To avoid getting their sites hacked, WordPress users need to check that they are running the latest WP install and that all their plugins are up to date,†Jérôme Segura notes. “Other proper hygiene tips such as strong passwords and avoiding public wifi when logging into your site should also be applied,†he adds. More technical details and analyses can be found at the Malwarebytes blog. https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-clone-offloads-banking-trojan-via-wordpress-blogs-150401/
  19. After a Spanish court ordered local ISPs to implement a nationwide ban against The Pirate Bay last Friday, several local media outlets published articles listing alternatives to the infamous site. As a result they're now under fire from entertainment industry companies including Paramount Pictures, with some even suggesting an advertising boycott. After being blocked by ISPs in more than a dozen European territories, The Pirate Bay has now been rendered inaccessible in Spain following orders from a local court. On Friday, Madrid’s Central Administrative Litigation Court No. 5 gave local service providers just 72 hours to stop providing access to the infamous site, with several responding much more quickly. It soon became evident that the ‘ban’ was easily circumvented by Internet users savvy enough to change their DNS settings, but access to ‘pirate’ content isn’t only available through The Pirate Bay. As a result ‘Pirate Bay Alternatives’ articles began appearing in local media, much as they have done in other countries subjected to ISP blocks. But while these popular lists are usually met with industry silence, in Spain they appear to have touched a nerve. Founded in 1903, daily newspaper ABC published an online article titled “Other Options After Closing The Pirate Bayâ€. It drew an immediate response from Jaume Ripoll Vaquer, co-founder of legal video streaming site Filmin.com “I see @ abc_es also continues the fashion of publicizing [sites that send traffic] to unauthorized content. Congratulations guys,†he wrote on Twitter. While that criticism seems to have done the trick (ABC withdrew the article, Google cache here), others weren’t so easily deterred. Published by El Confidencial, “Alternatives to The Pirate Bay: Where You Can Download Torrents in Spanish†provoked direct criticism from Paramount Pictures. In comments to ElDiario, Paramount Pictures’ promotions manager Laura Ruiz Andrino said that financially supporting publications that direct their readers to places where illegal content can be obtained is not something that should be entertained. And in a message to media managers at Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures, Andrino suggested that if sites like El Confidencial and ABC choose to support “illegal downloadingâ€, perhaps companies opposed to that stance should consider an advertising boycott. Another Filmin co-founder agreed. “When buying advertising one should also look at ethics, not only the audience,†he wrote. Fighting back, Alfredo Pascual, chief editor of the technology section of El Confidencial told HojaDeRouter that the withdrawal of advertising could be viewed as an attack on the media’s right to inform. “They end up attacking freedom of expression,†Pascual said. “My intention with this article is simply to show that the closure of sites is not a way to solve the problem. For every website that is closed there will be other ten, and this will be the never ending story until there is [a legal] offer that can meet the demand.†Noting that threats had been made to withdraw press passes from his publication’s culture section, Pascual remains defiant. “With each closing [of a website] I intend to publish another list [of alternative sites],†the editor concludes. https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-alternatives-articles-anger-movie-companies-150401/
  20. While rightsholders are lobbying hard for strict anti-piracy policies for the domain name industry, The Pirate Bay has hit back with an unprecedented move. The notorious torrent site has applied for its own gTLD, so it can start a .PIRATE domain name registry. The Pirate Bay’s parent company Reservella Ltd. has started the registration process for a new gTLD with a .PIRATE extension. Responding to increased pressure from the MPAA and RIAA on the domain name industry, the torrent site hopes to break away from the rules and regulations which forced it to move to several new domains in recent years. “We can no longer trust third party services and registries, who are under immense pressure from the copyright lobby. So we decided to apply for our very own gTLD and be a true Pirate registry,†TPB’s Winston informs TF. The new registration is currently being processed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the main oversight body for the Internet’s global domain name system which accepts new gTLD proposals. .PIRATE application If the new TLD is finalized the Pirate Bay team plans to open registrations to the public. While it has to agree to some oversight formalities and ICANN agreements, the .PIRATE domains are expected to be less prone to censorship. “The ultimate goal is to create a true PIRATE hydra. This means that we will allow other sites to register .PIRATE domain names too. Staying true to our pirate roots the domains can be registered anonymously without charge,†Winston tells us. The Pirate Bay crew has prepared the application in secret, setting the wheels in motion nearly a year ago. Ideally, the process would have been finished by late January but a police raid and persistent hosting problems caused some delay. “Things are looking good so far, but we’re not there yet. Fingers crossed. Let’s hope nothing foolish happens,†Winston concludes. For the time being, however, The Pirate Bay will continue operating from the Swedish based .SE domain name. A transition to the .PIRATE domain is expected to take place this summer, at the earliest. The MPAA and RIAA couldn’t be reached for a comment on today’s news, but it’s expected that they will do everything within their power to block Pirate Bay’s deviant plans. https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-to-open-its-own-pirate-domain-name-registry-150401/
  21. The world's newest blockade of The Pirate Bay has been thwarted in a matter of minutes. After a court in Spain ordered the country's ISPs to block the notorious site on Friday, users who tweaked their connections to use Google's DNS instead of the one provided by their service provider were back on the site in seconds. One of the major strategies of the world’s leading entertainment companies is to have sites like The Pirate Bay blocked at the ISP level. The idea is that when subscribers can’t access ‘pirates’ sites they will flock to legal alternatives. While there can be little doubt that some will take the opportunity to test out Netflix or Spotify (should they be available in their region), other users will be less ready to take the plunge. In Spain, where online piracy is reportedly more widespread than most other European countries, users faced a Pirate Bay problem on Friday when a judge ordered the country’s service providers to block the site within 72 hours. Some ISPs blocked the site immediately, provoking questions of where to get free content now that The Pirate Bay is off-limits. Of course, there are plenty of alternatives but for those a little more determined, access to TPB was just a click or two away. The problem is that for whatever reasons, thus far Spanish ISPs are only implementing a Pirate Bay ban on the most basic of levels. In the UK, for example, quite sophisticated systems block domain names and IP addresses, and can even automatically monitor sites so that any blocking counter-measures can be handled straight away. But in Spain users are finding that blocks are evaded with the smallest of tweaks. By changing a computer or router’s DNS settings, Spaniards are regaining access to The Pirate Bay in an instant. Both Google’s DNS and OpenDNS are reported as working on several Spanish discussion forums. “I’ve [followed the instructions] and in two minutes you can enter Pirate Bay. And I am a computer illiterate and have no idea what a DNS is,†a user of a gaming forum writes. Another user, who moved away from his ISP’s DNS a while ago, wasn’t even aware that any block had been put in place. “If the block is using DNS, I would not call that blocking, really. I’ve been using the DNS of Google for years and I have not even noticed anything,†he notes. While Spaniards will be pleased that the blockade is easily circumvented, it’s the reaction to the news that’s perhaps the most interesting aspect. News that the site is being blocked is hardly being welcomed, but there is a definite absence of panic among those who are supposed to be some of Europe’s most hardcore pirates. Whether that’s chiefly down to the weak blocking method being employed by some ISPs is up for debate, but having seen blocks do little to stop file-sharers across Europe – particularly in the UK where the practice is widespread – the Spanish probably see no real reason to break into a cold sweat just yet. https://torrentfreak.com/new-pirate-bay-blockade-foiled-by-simple-dns-trick-159030/
  22. Infamous torrent site The Pirate Bay has a new European block to contend with after a judge in Spain handed down a ruling against the site today. Local ISPs now have 72 hours in which to block the site, the first instruction of its type under the country's so-called Sinde Law. When it comes be being blocked on copyright grounds, no site in the world can come close to the ‘achievements’ of The Pirate Bay. The infamous ‘pirate’ domain is blocked in more than a dozen countries including the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Italy, Finland, Belgium and Portugal, to name just a few. After a ruling today from Madrid’s Central Administrative Litigation Court No. 5, the torrent site can now add Spain to its ever-growing collection. Due to the site’s failure to respond to rightsholder requests to remove links to copyrighted material in a timely manner as required by Spain’s copyright law, ISPs are now required to block their subscribers from accessing the site. According to a statement issued by Promusicae, the trade association that represents more than 90 percent of the Spanish recorded music industry, the decision comes two and a half years after the Association of Intellectual Rights Management (AGEDI) submitted a complaint against Neij LMT Holdings, the company behind several Pirate Bay-related domains. “It is the first blocking of a website dedicated to pirating music and other content that takes place in Spain under the so-called Sinde Law,†the group said in a statement. According to Elmundo the injunction requires ISPs to block thepiratebay.org, thepiratebay.net, thepiratebay.se and thepiratebay.com within 72 hours. Early this year ISP Vodafone blocked The Pirate Bay in Spain believing that it was required to do so. Amid confusion, Vodafone lifted the block and said it would wait for a warrant before blocking the site again. From early next week the site should be inaccessible to most Internet users in Spain, a situation likely to spark traffic to other key sites and the take up of VPN services. Like all countries in the world, Spain had a taste of a Pirate Bay free world after the site was shutdown in December 2014. Almost two months passed before it reappeared at the end of January. https://torrentfreak.com/block-pirate-bay-in-72-hours-spanish-court-tells-isps-150327/
  23. After The Pirate Bay switched to CloudFlare's SSL service it is no longer being blocked by most UK Internet providers. Subscribers of BT, EE, Virgin and TalkTalk can reach the site without problems via the default https address. The "bug" also affects secure versions of other blocked sites, but not all. Following a series of blocking orders issued by the High Court, several UK ISPs are required to restrict access to many of the world’s largest torrent sites and streaming portals. The most prominent target of these blocks is without doubt The Pirate Bay. As one of the most visited sites on the Internet it has been a thorn in the side of the entertainment industries for years. The Pirate Bay was one of the first sites on the UK blocklist and access has been barred since 2012. Or rather should have been barred. For a few weeks most UK Internet subscribers have been able to access TPB just fine. Ever since the site switched to CloudFlare and made the securehttps://thepiratebay.se version default, it has become widely accessible again. TorrentFreak did a quick round among subscribers of various ISPs and found that The Pirate Bay is no longer blocked by Virgin Media, TalkTalk, BT and EE. At the time of writing only Sky appears to block the site consistently. As a result, The Pirate Bay’s direct UK traffic is steadily increasing. The Pirate Bay is not the only site that’s widely accessible again. The same applies to the https versions of Torrentz.eu, Rarbg.com, Isohunt.to and various other ‘blocked’ sites. For some sites, including Kickass.to and Extratorrent, the results vary per ISP. The operator of the Pirate Bay proxy ilikerainbows.co, which had its own domain name added to the blocklist last week, believes that the unblocking relates to the use of https strict. “I believe it’s because of how CloudFlare works, Simply put when you enable HTTPS Strict on CloudFlare they remove the HTTP Header from the request during HTTPS Connections, thus when they try to inspect the header to a list of ‘banned’ websites it won’t register,†Rainbows’ operator tells TF. “So any site that uses CloudFlare, has a properly configured and signed SSL Certificate and enables HTTPS-Strict under CloudFlare should be able to evade the ban that’s imposed by Virgin and perhaps other providers,†he adds. What further complicates the matter is the fact that it’s harder to block The Pirate Bay by its IP-address, as the true location is hidden by CloudFlare’s network of addresses now. While it may be harder to block sites, it’s not impossible. Sky appears to have no trouble keeping sites blocked, although that probably requires some rather advanced and invasive monitoring tools. TF asked several ISPs for a comment on the issue and Virgin Media informed us that they still comply with the court order. “Virgin Media is required to block certain sites by the UK High Court. As a responsible ISP, we comply with court orders addressed to us,†a spokesperson informed TF this morning. Virgin’s comment suggests that the https version of TPB is not covered by the order at all, and that it was previously blocked by IP-address. However, Virgin couldn’t comment on this suggestion. We’ll update this article as more information comes in. Torrentfreak
  24. The UK website blocking bonanza has started to move in a dubious direction. Several Internet providers are now blocking access to websites that provide a list of Pirate Bay proxies. The sites in question do not host or link to any infringing material themselves and are purely informational. Following a series of High Court orders, six UK ISPs are required to block access to many of the world’s largest torrent sites and streaming portals. The blocks are somewhat effective, at least in preventing subscribers from accessing the domains directly. However, there are also plenty of workarounds. For many sites that are blocked one or more proxy sites emerge. These proxies allow people to access the blocked sites and effectively bypass the restrictions put in place by the court. The copyright holders are not happy with these loopholes and have asked ISPs to add the proxies to their filters, which they have done on several occasions. However, restricting access to proxies did not provide a silver bullet either as new ones continue to appear. This week the blocking efforts were stepped up a notch and are now targeting sites that merely provide an overview of various Pirate Bay proxies. In other words, UK ISPs now restrict access to sites for linking to Pirate Bay proxies. Among the blocked sites are piratebayproxy.co.uk, piratebayproxylist.com andukbay.org. Both sites are currently inaccessible on Virgin Media and TalkTalk, and other providers are expected to follow suit. TF spoke with Dan, the operator of UKBay.org, who’s baffled by the newly implemented blockade. He moved his site to a new domain to make the site accessible again, for the time being at least. “The new blocks are unbelievable and totally unreasonable. To block a site that simply links to another site just shows the level of censorship we are allowing ISP’s to get away with,†Dan says. “UKBay is not even a PirateBay proxy. It simply provides links to proxies. If they continue blocking sites, that link to sites, that link to sites.. there’l be nothing left,†he adds. One of the other blocked sites, piratebayproxy.co.uk, doesn’t have any direct links to infringing material. Instead, it provides an overview of short Pirate Bay news articles while listing the URLs of various proxies on the side. Apparently, providing information about Pirate Bay proxies already warrants a spot on the UK blocklist. It is not a secret that the High Court orders give copyright holders the option to continually update the list of infringing domains. However, it’s questionable whether this should also include sites that do not link to any infringing material. To our knowledge, it is the first time that this has happened. The new additions were made as part of an existing High Court order that allowed copyright holders to block The Pirate Bay, a Virgin Media spokesperson informs us. “Under the conditions of the original court order, the rightsholders have the authority to change the specific URLs or IP addresses that must be blocked by all major ISPs – not just Virgin Media. Such changes happen on a regular basis. There is no ‎extension or amendment to the original court order,†Virgin says. As with earlier updates, the most recent changes are being made without a public announcement, which means that we don’t know precisely how many sites were added. We will update this article if more details arise. Torrentfreak
  25. The Pirate Bay is still having difficulty keeping the ship afloat. After a curious login problem redirected users to the wrong accounts this weekend, the upload functionality now appears to be broken. As a result, no new files have been added to the site for half a day. More than a month has passed since The Pirate Bay returned online, but the notorious torrent site continues to face problems. Aside from a persistent hosting whac-a-mole the site is also dealing with failing features. For example, a few days ago several users were surprised to see that they were being redirected to other user’s accounts after logging in. Several users panicked fearing that their accounts had been hijacked or breached, but luckily the users were only redirected. They didn’t actually gain access to the accounts of others. Today another issue popped up, one that’s blocking new content from being added to the site. Starting roughly 12 hours ago the The Pirate Bay’s upload functionality broke, displaying a “500 Internal Server Error†instead. The upload problem appears to be global as no new files have been added to the site since. The most recent upload listed on The Pirate Bay is from 5:15 CET. It’s not clear what’s causing the upload issue. It appears to be a misconfiguration or related technical error, possibly the result of a recent move to a new hosting company. TorrentFreak reached out to The Pirate Bay’s admin and we will update this article if we hear back. For the time being Pirate Bay users will have to do without fresh uploads. Torrentfreak