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Found 25 results

  1. Copyright holder and government efforts to stop people from accessing websites simply won't succeed according to the boss of a leading VPN provider. Speaking in the wake of the latest developments in Australia, CyberGhost chief Robert Knapp says those doing the blocking should consider the technical abilities of who they are taking on. After years of pressure but mere months of deliberations, yesterday the Australian government imposed a new copyright law on its citizens. As soon as it receives the formality of royal assent, the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 will enter into force and soon after it’s expected that rightsholders will make their first moves to have a site blocked. After the passing of the law yesterday a lot of furious people took to the web, many decrying the censorship and filtering efforts of the Australian government. But despite the outcry there are others who are not only relaxed about the upcoming efforts but also stand to profit handsomely from them. They are of course VPN providers, services setup to cut through web-blockades and similar efforts like a hot knife through butter. They’re already extremely popular in Australia due to their geo-unblocking abilities and will now do even more business as a result of the country’s new law. However, there are still those that remain concerned over the future of VPNs and their status as site-blocking kryptonite. Might the government eventually run out of patience and do a U-turn on assurances they won’t tackle the technology by blocking? Would it matter, practically, if they did? Robert Knapp, chief executive at CyberGhost, one of the more popular VPN providers, doesn’t think so. He is calm, taking developments completely in his stride, and foresees no threat to his business. “We see in general the same that you see in nature if somebody tries to block a river floating – the water finds his way,†Knapp says. Despite attempts by the Australian Greens to have VPNs exempted from the new law, it is unlikely that services who play by the rules (i.e do not promote their products for infringing purposes) will be blocked. However, if the authorities want to test the waters, companies like CyberGhost will be up for the challenge. “They should also then realize with whom they play in the same league,†Knapp says. “Maybe they do it [blocking], maybe they don’t do it, it’s kind of a technical race. So it’s our daily business. They might do it, we will find a way to keep our servers running.†While most people understand that blocking a determined service provider could descend into an endless arms-race, rightsholders are also keenly aware of the political fallout from attacking legitimate technologies. “We didn’t intend this law to be used specifically against VPN because there are many legitimate uses of VPN and the intention of the law is not to stop people using the internet for legitimate purposes,†a Foxtel spokesperson told Mumbrella this morning. And herein lies the problem. By driving traffic underground, into the encrypted tunnels of VPNs, rightsholders now have even less of an idea of who is pirating what and from where. VPNs are a legitimate but “dual use†technology, one that can be used for privacy or indeed piracy purposes. It’s a giant loophole that will be difficult to close. Nevertheless, companies like Foxtel say they will keep an developments. “We would obviously be concerned if it meant there was a hole in the law,†the spokesman said. “We will be monitoring how things go and see if there is a serious issue in the future.†So what next for Australia’s blocking regime? If history from the UK repeats itself (and there’s every reason to believe that it will), rightsholders will first take on a site that is guaranteed to tick every ‘pirate’ box. That forerunner is almost certain to be The Pirate Bay, a site that is not only located overseas as the legislation requires, but one that also has no respect for copyright. The fact that it has been blocked in plenty of other regions already will be the icing on the cake. Once the case against The Pirate Bay is complete then other “structurally similar†sites will be tackled with relative ease and since none of their operators will be appearing in court to defend themselves, expect the process to be streamlined in favor of copyright holders. https://torrentfreak.com/surprise-vpn-provider-expects-victory-in-site-block-arms-race-150623/
  2. 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/
  3. 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/
  4. The High Court has granted an application by The Publishers Association to have several major 'pirate' eBook sites blocked at the ISP level. The action, a first for book publishers, requires BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk and EE to block sites including Ebookee, LibGen and Freshwap within 10 days. Rather than tackling unauthorized sites with direct legal action, major entertainment industry companies are increasingly attempting to disrupt ‘pirate’ operations with broader strokes. One of the favored tools is site blocking, a technique that has gathered considerable momentum in Europe and the UK in particular. More than 120 domains are currently blocked by the country’s major ISPs, largely thanks to action taken by the movie and music industries plus soccer body The Premier League. This week the pool of organizations to succeed in site-blocking legal action deepened with the addition of The Publishers Association (PA). The group, which has more than 100 members with combined revenues of £4.7 billion, went to the High Court to demand the blocking of several eBook focused download sites. They are: Ebookee, LibGen, Freshwap, AvaxHome, Bookfi, Bookre and Freebookspot. According to the PA its investigations found that over 80% of the material made available by the sites infringes copyright. In total the sites are said to offer in excess of 10 million titles. In response the PA and its members claim to have sent close to one million takedown notices directly to the sites and requested that Google remove 1.75 million related URLs from its search results. In common with all previous similar actions initiated by the MPAA and BPI, The Publishers Association (with support from the Association of American Publishers) sued the UK’s leading ISPs – BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk and EE – under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Presenting a case which demonstrated mass infringement on the eBook sites in question alongside evidence that the major ISPs have “actual knowledge†that their subscribers are infringing copyright, the PA argued that the sites should be blocked without further delay. After consideration, yesterday the High Court handed down its ruling in favor of the publishers. The outcome was never really in question – UK ISPs have long since given up defending these cases. “We are very pleased that the High Court has granted this order and, in doing so, recognizes the damage being inflicted on UK publishers and authors by these infringing websites,†says Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of The PA. “A third of publisher revenues now come from digital sales but unfortunately this rise in the digital market has brought with it a growth in online infringement. Our members need to be able to protect their authors’ works from such illegal activity; writers need to be paid and publishers need to be able to continue to innovate and invest in new talent and material.†The ISPs listed in the injunction now have 10 days in which to implement a blockade. High Court injunctions represent a new anti-piracy tool for The Publishers Association. In addition to its regular takedown work with search engines such as Google, The PA is also involved in City of London Police’s Operation Creative, run out of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). Last year PIPCU acted on The PA’s behalf by taking down a domain operated by eBook site OnRead. The full list of sites to be blocked in the UK is now as follows: — New: Ebookee, LibGen, Freshwap, AvaxHome, Bookfi, Bookre and Freebookspot. Previous blocked: popcorntime.io, flixtor.me, popcorn-time.se, isoplex.isohunt.to, watchonlineseries.eu, axxomovies.org, afdah.com and g2g.fm, Bursalagu, Fullsongs, Mega-Search, Mp3 Monkey, Mp3.li, Mp3Bear, MP3Boo, Mp3Clan, Mp3Olimp, MP3s.pl, Mp3soup, Mp3Truck, Musicaddict, My Free MP3, Plixid, RnBXclusive, STAFA Band, watchseries.lt, Stream TV, Watchseries-online, Cucirca, Movie25, watchseries.to, Iwannawatch, Warez BB, Ice Films, Tehparadox, Heroturko, Scene Source,, Rapid Moviez, Iwatchonline, Los Movies, Isohunt, Torrentz.pro, Torrentbutler, IP Torrents, Sumotorrent, Torrent Day, Torrenting, BitSoup, TorrentBytes, Seventorrents, Torrents.fm, Yourbittorrent, Tor Movies , Demonoid, torrent.cd, Vertor, Rar BG, bittorrent.am, btdigg.org, btloft.com, bts.to, limetorrents.com, nowtorrents.com, picktorrent.com, seedpeer.me, torlock.com, torrentbit.net, torrentdb.li, torrentdownload.ws, torrentexpress.net, torrentfunk.com, torrentproject.com, torrentroom.com, torrents.net, torrentus.eu, torrentz.cd, torrentzap.com, vitorrent.org.Megashare, Viooz, Watch32, Zmovie, Solarmovie, Tubeplus, Primewire, Vodly, Watchfreemovies, Project-Free TV, Yify-Torrents, 1337x, Bitsnoop, Extratorrent, Monova, Torrentcrazy, Torrentdownloads, Torrentreactor, Torrentz, Ambp3, Beemp3, Bomb-mp3, Eemp3world, Filecrop, Filestube, Mp3juices, Mp3lemon, Mp3raid, Mp3skull, Newalbumreleases, Rapidlibrary, EZTV, FirstRowSports, Download4all, Movie2K, KickAssTorrents, Fenopy, H33T and The Pirate Bay.ly https://torrentfreak.com/high-court-orders-uk-isps-to-block-ebook-sites-150527/
  5. Copyright holders around the world are doing everything in their power to stop Popcorn Time. Following the UK example, Israeli media companies have now obtained a court order requiring major ISPs to block Popcorn Time websites. In addition, the rightsholders are pondering whether to have the application's ports blocked as well, which may get messy. Branded a “Netflix for Pirates,†the Popcorn Time app quickly gathered a user base of millions of people over the past year. The application has some of the major media giants worried, including Netflix which sees the pirate app as a serious competitor to its business. Since Popcorn Time is powered by BitTorrent it is hard to stop the downloads directly, but copyright holders can go after the websites that offer the application. In Israel the local anti-piracy outfit ZIRA went down this route. The group, which represents several media companies, applied for an ex parte injunction ordering local Internet providers to block access to the websites of several Popcorn Time forks. This week the Tel Aviv court granted the application, arguing that the application does indeed violate the rights of copyright holders. The copyright holders are pleased with the outcome, which shows that services such as Popcorn Time are infringing even though they don’t host any files themselves. “The Popcorn Time software provides users with a service to stream and download content on the Internet, including Israeli movies and foreign movies and TV series with English subtitles, without having any permission from copyright holders to do so,†attorney Presenti told local media. The ISP blockades will prevent people from downloading Popcorn Time in the future. However, applications that have been downloaded already will continue to work for now. To address this, ZIRA’s lawyers say the are considering additional steps including the option to block the ports Popcorn Time uses. While that may be effective, it may also block other traffic, especially if the app switches to more common ports such as port 80. Israel is the second country to block access to Popcorn Time websites. Last month the UK High Court issued a similar order, which also targeted the domain names of various APIs the applications use. https://torrentfreak.com/court-orders-israeli-isps-to-block-popcorn-time-websites-150521/
  6. The Motion Picture Association has obtained a High Court order requiring UK ISPs to block access to five sites that offer the popular Popcorn Time software. In addition, the Internet providers must block several more torrent and streaming sites. Following a series of blocking orders issued by the High Court, UK Internet providers Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin, BT and EE are currently required to restrict access to many of the world’s largest torrent sites and streaming portals. More than 100 websites have been blocked in recent years and today the court issued the first injunction against domains that offer no direct links, but only software. The order, obtained today by Hollywood’s Motion Picture Association, targets five popular Popcorn Time forks: popcorntime.io, flixtor.me, popcorn-time.se, and isoplex.isohunt.to. In his order Judge Birss notes that the Popcorm Time software has little to no legal use. Instead, he mentions that it’s mostly used to download and stream pirated movies and TV-shows. “It is manifest that the Popcorn Time application is used in order to watch pirated content on the internet and indeed it is also manifest that that is its purpose. No-one really uses Popcorn Time in order to watch lawfully available content,†Judge Birss writes. “The point of Popcorn Time is to infringe copyright. The Popcorn Time application has no legitimate purpose,†he adds. Over the past year Popcorn Time has become a major threat to Hollywood so it doesn’t come as a complete surprise that the applications are now being targeted. Previously the movie studios took down code repositories on Github, for example. In addition to the five Popcorn Time domains the order also lists the torrent and streaming sites watchonlineseries.eu, axxomovies.org, afdah.com and g2g.fm. All sites will be blocked under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. After the ISPs gave up on defending their position in court, it is now a mere formality for copyright holders to have a pirate site banned. However, the blocking efforts are not without cost. Leaked information previously revealed that even an unopposed application for a blocking order costs copyright holders around £14,000 per website. This brings the total costs of the blocking efforts to well over a million pounds. All of the sites listed in today’s order are still accessible at the time of writing. It’s expected that the Internet providers will add them to their respective blocklists during the coming weeks. — The full list of sites to be blocked in the UK is now as follows: — New: popcorntime.io, flixtor.me, popcorn-time.se, and isoplex.isohunt.to, watchonlineseries.eu, axxomovies.org, afdah.com and g2g.fm. Previously blocked: Bursalagu, Fullsongs, Mega-Search, Mp3 Monkey, Mp3.li, Mp3Bear, MP3Boo, Mp3Clan, Mp3Olimp, MP3s.pl, Mp3soup, Mp3Truck, Musicaddict, My Free MP3, Plixid, RnBXclusive, STAFA Band, watchseries.lt, Stream TV, Watchseries-online, Cucirca, Movie25, watchseries.to, Iwannawatch, Warez BB, Ice Films, Tehparadox, Heroturko, Scene Source,, Rapid Moviez, Iwatchonline, Los Movies, Isohunt, Torrentz.pro, Torrentbutler, IP Torrents, Sumotorrent, Torrent Day, Torrenting, BitSoup, TorrentBytes, Seventorrents, Torrents.fm, Yourbittorrent, Tor Movies , Demonoid, torrent.cd, Vertor, Rar BG, bittorrent.am, btdigg.org, btloft.com, bts.to, limetorrents.com, nowtorrents.com, picktorrent.com, seedpeer.me, torlock.com, torrentbit.net, torrentdb.li, torrentdownload.ws, torrentexpress.net, torrentfunk.com, torrentproject.com, torrentroom.com, torrents.net, torrentus.eu, torrentz.cd, torrentzap.com, vitorrent.org.Megashare, Viooz, Watch32, Zmovie, Solarmovie, Tubeplus, Primewire, Vodly, Watchfreemovies, Project-Free TV, Yify-Torrents, 1337x, Bitsnoop, Extratorrent, Monova, Torrentcrazy, Torrentdownloads, Torrentreactor, Torrentz, Ambp3, Beemp3, Bomb-mp3, Eemp3world, Filecrop, Filestube, Mp3juices, Mp3lemon, Mp3raid, Mp3skull, Newalbumreleases, Rapidlibrary, EZTV, FirstRowSports, Download4all, Movie2K, KickAssTorrents, Fenopy, H33T and The Pirate Bay. https://torrentfreak.com/court-orders-uk-isps-to-block-popcorn-time-150428/
  7. People who run 'pirate' sites out of Russia have been given a final warning by the government. Amendments to local copyright law that come into force May 1 not only protect more content than ever before, but also contain provisions to permanently block sites that continually make unauthorized content available. Following massive pressure from both local and international rightsholders, 21 months ago Russia took steps to improve its reputation of going soft on piracy. On August 1, 2013, the country introduced a brand new intellectual property law which provided a mechanism through which sites could be blocked by intermediaries should they not comply with rightsholder takedown requests within 72 hours. A year later telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor revealed that during the law’s first year of operation the Moscow City Court imposed preliminary interim injunctions against 175 sites following copyright complaints. It went on to block just 12 file-sharing domains for being unresponsive to takedowns, many of them BitTorrent trackers. With complaints from copyright holders continuing to mount, Russia decided to make further amendments to the legislation. Initially only video content was covered by the law but with an expansion scheduled for May 1, 2015, all multimedia content (photographs excluded) will receive protection. Furthermore, the law also amends the provisions on preliminary injunctions. Although it remains unclear how the new system will work in practice, the theory is that intermediaries (ISPs and webhosts) can be ordered by the Court to permanently block websites that continually host or provide access to infringing content. At least at this early stage it appears to be the kind of system U.S. copyright holders are pushing for elsewhere, one in which content that is taken down, stays down. With the new law just over a week away, State Duma Deputy Speaker Sergei Zheleznyak has been underlining the legislation’s reach. “The anti-piracy legislation that created the ability to block access to sites that distribute copyright-infringing films and TV shows entered into force on 1 August 2013. On May 1, 2015 amendments to the Act will come into force that apply to music, books and software,†Zheleznyak says. “This development will mean that the systematic violation of intellectual property rights will result in sites providing access to stolen content being blocked forever.†Putting operators of torrent and similar sites on notice, Zheleznyak issued a stern warning. “I would like to warn those who are still abusing piracy: you have until May 1 to try to and enter into constructive dialogue with rightsholders. They are open to cooperation,†he said. “Our common goal is to ensure that all work is adequately rewarded and that the benefit from successful books, music and wonderful computer programs is enjoyed by those who created them, and not those who stole them. If [site owners] are not interested in legal business, the response of the state will become quite obvious.†Russia’s first attempt at site blocking legislation failed to produce the apocalyptic conclusion many predicted. Only time will tell what the results of these latest tweaks will mean for local sites. https://torrentfreak.com/new-russian-anti-piracy-law-could-block-sites-forever-150425/
  8. The Motion Picture Association has written to Brazil's Justice Minister seeking exceptions to the country's fledgling “Internet Constitution". In a submission to the government the MPA says that the Marco Civil's current wording on net neutrality deprives courts of the opportunity to order the blocking of 'pirate' sites. The Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet (Marco Civil da Internet) is legislation that governs the use of the Internet in Brazil. Under development since 2009, among other key issues the Marco Civil is aimed at protecting online privacy rights and net neutrality principles. The law, which passed last April, was fast-tracked in the wake of revelations from Edward Snowden indicating that the U.S. had been spying on President Dilma Rousseff’s emails and phone calls, those of Brazil’s biggest oil company, and the communications of millions of citizens. After being in place for a year, Brazil is now rolling out the Marco Civil’s secondary legislation, with the Ministry of Justice announcing a public consultation process allowing stakeholders to contribute to the development of the law. One of the organizations getting involved is the Motion Picture Association, the international big brother to the United States’ MPAA. According to the MPA, which counts all the big movie studios among its members, the Marco Civil’s net neutrality provisions present an obstacle to rightsholders seeking to protect their content online. In a submission to Justice Minister José Eduardo Cardozo, the Motion Picture Association expresses concern that the legislation’s current wording is too tight and that exceptions need to be introduced in order to deal with online piracy. “[Our] position is that the regulation should contain cases of exception to the general rule of net neutrality, enabling the judiciary to determine that traffic to a given illegal repository can be blocked,†the MPA writes. “The aforementioned suggestion is based on the premise that an adequate service must be in harmony with the possibility of allowing the judiciary to block access to content that, based on judicial scrutiny, is illegal for any reason, from a case of child pornography and trafficking of illegal substances, to the case of systematic disregard for the consumer and violation of intellectual property rights.†The MPA notes that due to the borderless nature of the Internet anyone can access content from any location. This presents challenges on a national level when undesirable content is made available from other parts of the world, the group says. “For content hosted within a national territory a judge may issue a removal order, or in the case of breaches in the copyright field, the rightsholder can send a takedown notice to the ISP, requesting that the content is rendered unavailable,†the MPA states. “However, when the content is hosted in a foreign nation, the Brazilian court order may [not have jurisdiction] or produce the expected results for months, perhaps years, after the court order has been issued.†According to the MPA there is only one way to remedy this kind of impotence but the way the law is currently worded, the solution remains elusive. “In these cases the Brazilian courts only have only one option: to order service providers to implement technical measures to block Internet traffic when it has been established that services are illegal,†the MPA notes. “Without a clear provision for these techniques, in the midst of regulations, the current wording of the Marco Civil deprives courts of this possibility, leaving them unable to address such threats.†The net neutrality debate is a sensitive one and one that has the potential to seriously affect Hollywood’s interests. With that in mind the MPA and MPAA will be keen to ensure that any new legislation, whether overseas or on home turf, won’t hinder the pursuit and monitoring of online pirates. https://torrentfreak.com/hollywood-seeks-net-neutrality-exceptions-to-block-pirates-150413/
  9. Spain's National Court has ordered ISPs to block Goear.com, a comprehensive unlicensed music streaming site popular with locals. The order, the first of its type against a dedicated music site, follows the instruction to block The Pirate Bay last month on copyright grounds. After long maintaining a reputation for being one of the softest countries in Europe on piracy, in recent years Spain has really toughened up its approach to online infringement. Last month the strength of new legislation became evident when a Madrid court gave local Internet service providers just 72 hours to block notorious torrent site The Pirate Bay (TPB). The legal action against TPB was launched by the Association of Intellectual Rights Management (AGEDI) last year, but that wasn’t the only domain in the anti-piracy group’s sights. AGEDI and music group Promusicae had also been targeting Goear, an unlicensed music streaming service providing access to an estimated four million tracks. Early efforts to bring down the site didn’t go to plan when a Madrid court refused to issue an order to block the site’s IP address back in March 2014. Undeterred, AGEDI responded with an appeal and complaint to the country’s Intellectual Property Commission. Complaining that Goear provides access to copyrighted music without any permission from artists or rightsholders, AGEDI built a case highlighting commercial aspects of the site, particularly its advertising efforts which offered to put products in front of three million registered users via “millions of quality impressions.†Goear had previously actioned some copyright takedowns, AGEDI said, but it was never enough to keep up with the rate that infringing content reappeared on the site. After reviewing the case the National Court has now sided with AGEDI. Handing down an order similar to that issued last month in respect of The Pirate Bay, local ISPs have been given just 72 hours to block the site at the subscriber level. Currently the Goear website is hosted in the Netherlands. “This new resolution adds to the one recently handed down in Spain against The Pirate Bay and confirms web blockades as the only effective measure to eliminate the websites that violate intellectual property rights,†said Promusicae and AGEDI president, Antonio Guisasola. “The block against Goear means that the site will no longer be able to profit from the works of others. I always insist on the absolute need to act decisively to stop these kinds of sites that represent true unfair competition to other [authorized sites] that offer all the guarantees for consumers and producers of music.†Whether local users will rush to unblock the site will remain to be seen. There are many dozens of similar portals offering access to the same level of content, none of which appear to be shutting down anytime soon. https://torrentfreak.com/spanish-court-orders-first-pirate-music-site-block-150407/
  10. 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/
  11. 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
  12. China is known as the nation of 'global internet censorship', and the country proved it many times, in fact when recently it blocked the access to Gmail from the country. Now, it seems that its northern neighbouring country, India doesn't want to get left behind. On Wednesday, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team issued the ban, asking internet service providers and mobile operators to block access to dozens of popular websites in the name of its censorship laws, according to a government advisory made public by Pranesh Prakash, director of the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore. As many as 32 websites including GitHub, PasteBin, Vimeo, Imgur, DailyMotion, Internet Archive have reportedly been banned in India under an order from the Department of Telecom (DoT). Vodafone, the second largest mobile network operator in India (after Airtel) with an estimated 173 million customers and BSNL, Indian state-owned telecom operator with 117 million customers, have already blocked access to the above mentioned websites. However, other telecom operators and ISPs are still providing access to those websites. The Indian government has accused the websites for hosting anti-India material content posted by the members of a terrorist organization called Islamic State group, also known as ISIS. " The websites that have been blocked were based on an advisory by Anti Terrorism Squad, and were carrying Anti India content from ISIS. The sites that have removed objectionable content and/or cooperated with the ongoing investigations, are being unblocked," Arvind Gupta, the National Head of BJP India IT Cell, said on Twitter. Now this is really insane. On one side, where the Indian government talk about Internet freedom in the country and on the other side, the government is blocking access to sites like Github, which has over 8 million registered users worldwide. I have no idea that how could github website spread inflammatory content among Indians, which actually used to store source code from over 8 Million users. OK, let us agree that it actually hosting something unusual against the nation’s interest. But, even if a single page was found guilty, the blockage of the entire website seems a totally nonsensical decision. The notice sent to all Internet Service Licensees mentions the Section 69A of the IT Act, 2000, which states "Power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource." Based on which the DoT have decided to immediately block the access to 32 websites. Prakash posted a copy of the notice listing the 32 blocked URLs. The URLs listed include: justpaste.it hastebin.com codepad.org freehosting.com vimeo.com dailymotion.com pastebin.com gist.github.com archive.org ipaste.eu github.com (gist-it) pastie.org pastee.org paste2.org thesnippetapp.com snipt.net tny.cz (Tinypaste) slexy.org paste4btc.com 0bin.net heypasteit.com sourceforge.net/projects/phorkie atnsoft.com/textpaster hpage.com ipage.com webs.com weebly.com 000webhost.com snipplr.com termbin.com snippetsource.net cryptbin.com One of the blocked sites, Pastebin.com tweeted that its url was blocked in India. " We are getting many reports about this. The Indian government has blocked us, and right now there is little we can do about it. It has happened in the past, and we got unblocked after some time. For now we recommend using a free proxy service if you are based in India," it said in a Facebook post. However, the contents of the list is particularly embarrassing for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well, who recently unveiled a "Make In India" campaign earlier this year in an attempt to encourage international businesses to invest in India, which also includes information technology sector. And blocking websites like GitHub is the most definitely not in sync with that vision.
  13. In its response to a lawsuit filed by rightsholders last month a Swedish ISP has refused to block The Pirate Bay and streaming portal Swefilmer. Several major music and movie companies initiated legal action against Bredbandsbolaget in November, but the ISP says there is no legal basis for a web blockade. pirate bayIn many countries around the world The Pirate Bay has become a focal point for rightsholders seeking website blocking injunctions. Portrayed as the worst-of-the-worst, the site has been named in many ISP liability lawsuits. But while the site disappeared last week, pending legal action concerning it has not. The most recent lawsuit was filed in November by Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Nordisk Film and the Swedish Film Industry against Swedish service provider Bredbandsbolaget. In papers filed at the Stockholm District Court, the plaintiffs attempt to hold Bredbandsbolaget liable for the copyright-infringing actions of its pirating subscribers. The entertainment companies say that in order to put itself in the clear the ISP should block its customers from accessing The Pirate Bay and popular streaming portal Swefilmer. Just over a month later and Bredbandsbolaget (Broadband Company) has now submitted its response to the Court. The ISP completely opposes the entertainment companies’ demand to block content and services. “Bredbandsbolaget’s role is to provide its subscribers with access to the Internet, thereby contributing to the free flow of information and the ability for people to reach each other and communicate,†the company said in a statement. Bredbandsbolaget says that its job is to deliver a broadband service to its customers, not control or block specified content or services. Noting that the company will not monitor the communications of its subscribers, the ISP says that it’s a fundamental principle of the “Open Internet†that carriers can not be held responsible for the traffic carried on their networks. “Bredbandsbolaget does not block content or services based on individual organizations’ requests. There is no legal obligation for operators to block either The Pirate Bay or Swefilmer,†the company explains. “There are other legal means to stop infringement of rights, but there is no provision in Swedish law that forces an Internet provider to block its subscribers’ access to services and content.†While the motivation behind the lawsuit is to obtain a ruling that will ease blocking of additional sites in future, stopping Swedish users from accessing sharing services could prove more difficult than in other territories. The country has a long history of sharing files and services such as The Pirate Bay have become embedded in its Internet culture. It’s also worth noting that at least for now The Pirate Bay doesn’t even exist so blocking it would be futile. Whether the entertainment companies will proceed with their case as planned if TPB stays down remains to be seen, but it’s certainly possible they might seek to include the many copycat sites that have appeared following the site’s demise.
  14. The Paris Court has ordered French ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay. The legal action, brought by anti-piracy group SCPP, resulted in an injunction ordering local service providers to "implement all necessary measures" to render not only the site inaccessible, but also its proxies. Hounded by copyright holders all around the world for a decade, somehow The Pirate Bay manages to stay afloat. Today the site is doing as well as ever, despite the jailing of the now-famous individuals behind the project. Faced with an adversary that to date has proven impossible to kill, entertainment companies have chosen what they believe to be the next best course of action. If the site itself can’t be stopped, then users must be stopped from reaching the site. This has been achieved by court-ordered ISP blockades in various regions of the world, notably Europe. Today comes news of yet another blocking injunction, this time in France. The legal process was initiated earlier this year by collection society and anti-piracy group La Société Civile des Producteurs Phonographiques, or SCPP as it’s more commonly known. Late Thursday the organization, which represents in excess of 2,000 labels including Warner, Universal and Sony, announced victory in a short statement. Welcoming a decision handed down by the Paris Court, SCPP said that French service providers will soon be required to “implement all necessary measures†to prevent consumer access not only to The Pirate Bay, but also “its proxy and mirror sitesâ€. “This decision is another step in the fight against music piracy and one that strengthens existing similar decisions in the EU and worldwide,†SCPP said. Although the details of the injunction are still to be published, the introduction of a clause which orders the blocking of proxy and mirror sites could be a significant achievement for the labels. Guillaume Champeau of French news outlet Numerama informs TorrentFreak that SCPP previously pushed for automatic proxy-accommodating court orders, but without success. While no announcements have yet been made, it’s likely that this action against The Pirate Bay and its mirrors won’t be the last for the French labels and their counterparts in the movie and TV industries. If earlier predictions hold out, more sites will quickly move onto the radars of outfits such as SCPP. For an indication of what can happen one only needs to look a couple of dozen miles north to the UK. After several years of court action, all major ISPs are required to block most major torrent sites and even some private trackers. ------------------------------ Source: Torrentfreak ------------------------------
  15. Several record labels in the UK have today obtained a High Court order to have local ISPs block yet more torrent sites. Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin, BT and EE are now instructed to block a total of 21 sites including LimeTorrents, Seedpeer and Torlock. Justice Arnold rejected the sites' attempts at copyright compliance by describing their efforts as "lipservice." Having ISPs block file-sharing sites is a key anti-piracy strategy employed by major rightsholders in the UK. Both Hollywood-affiliated groups and the recording labels have obtained High Court orders alongside claims that the process is an effective way to hinder piracy. Last week these rightsholders were joined by luxury brand owner Richemont, which successfully obtained orders to block sites selling counterfeit products. The outcome of that particular case had delayed decisions in other blocking applications, including one put forward by the record labels. Today the High Court ended its hiatus by processing a new injunction. The application was made by record labels 1967, Dramatico Entertainment, Infectious Music, Liberation Music, Simco Limited, Sony Music and Universal Music. The labels represented themselves plus the BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) and PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd) which together account for around 99% of all music legally available in the UK today. Through their legal action the labels hoped to disrupt the activities of sites and services they believe to be enabling and facilitating the unlawful distribution of their copyright works. In this case the key targets were the 21 torrent sites listed below: (1) bittorrent.am, (2) btdigg.org, (3) btloft.com, (4) bts.to, (5) limetorrents.com, (6) nowtorrents.com, (7) picktorrent.com, (8) seedpeer.me, (9) torlock.com, (10) torrentbit.net, (11) torrentdb.li, (12) torrentdownload.ws, (13) torrentexpress.net, (14) torrentfunk.com, (15) torrentproject.com, (16) torrentroom.com, (17) torrents.net, (18) torrentus.eu, (19) torrentz.cd, (20) torrentzap.com and (21) vitorrent.org. As usual the UK’s leading Internet service providers – Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk, BT and EE – were named as defendants in the case. The ISPs neither consented to nor opposed the application but participated in order to negotiate the wording of any order granted. In his ruling Justice Arnold noted that the sites listed in the application function in a broadly similar way to The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents, sites that are already subjected to blocking orders. Perhaps surprisingly, efforts by some of the sites to cooperate with rightsholders meant little to the Court. “All of [the sites] go to considerable lengths to facilitate and promote the downloading of torrent files, and hence infringing content, by their users,†Justice Arnold wrote. “Although a few of the Target Websites pay lipservice to copyright protection, in reality they all flout it. Although a few of the Target Websites claim not to, they all have control over which torrent files they index.†Also of interest is that Court didn’t differentiate between sites that allow users to upload torrents, those that store them, or those that simply harvest links to torrents hosted elsewhere. “Thirteen of the Target Websites (bittorrent.am, btdigg.org, btloft.com, nowtorrents.com, picktorrent.com, torrentdb.li, torrentdownload.ws, torrentexpress.net, torrentproject.com, torrentroom.com, torrentus.eu, torrentz.cd and vitorrent.org) do not permit uploads of torrent files by users, but gather all their links to torrent files using ‘crawling’ technology. No torrent files are stored on these websites’ own servers,†Justice Arnold explained. “Nevertheless, the way in which the torrent files (or rather the links thereto) are presented, and the underlying technology, is essentially the same as in the cases of the other Target Websites.†The Judge also touched on the efficacy of website blockades, citing comScore data which suggests that, on average, the number of UK visitors to already blocked BitTorrent sites has declined by 87%. “No doubt some of these users are using circumvention measures which are not reflected in the comScore data, but for the reasons given elsewhere it seems clear that not all users do this,†Justice Arnold wrote. Speaking with TF the BPI said that the 21 sites had been selected for blocking on the basis that they are amongst the most infringing sites available in the UK today. BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said that having them rendered inaccessible would help both the music industry and consumers. “Illegal sites dupe consumers and deny artists a fair reward for their work. The online black market stifles investment in new British music, holds back the growth of innovative legal services like Spotify and destroys jobs across Britain’s vital creative sector,†Taylor said. “Sites such as these also commonly distribute viruses, malware and other unsafe or inappropriate content. These blocks will not only make the internet a safer place for music fans, they will help make sure there is more great British music in years to come.†Finally, and mirroring a decision made in the Richemont case, Justice Arnold said that Internet subscribers affected by the block will be given the ability to apply to the High Court to discharge or vary the orders. Furthermore, when blocked site information pages are viewed by ISP subscribers in future, additional information will have to be displayed including details of the parties who obtained the block. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  16. In a landmark ruling handed down this morning the High Court has ordered several of the UK's leading ISPs to block websites dealing in counterfeit products. The decision follows legal action by Richemont, the owner of several luxury brands including Cartier and Montblanc. Following successful action by the world’s leading entertainment companies to have file-sharing sites blocked at the ISP level, it was perhaps inevitable that other companies with similar issues would tread the same path. Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A. owns several well-known luxury brands including Cartier and Mont Blanc and for some time has tried to force sites selling counterfeit products to close down. Faced with poor results, in 2014 the company wrote to the UK’s leading ISPs – Sky, TalkTalk, BT, Virgin Media, EE and Telefonica/O2 – complaining that third party sites were infringing on Richemont trademarks. Concerned that Richemont hadn’t done enough to close the sites down on its own and that blocking could affect legitimate trade, the ISPs resisted and the matter found itself before the High Court. This morning a decision was handed down and it’s good news for Richemont. The ISPs named in the legal action must now restrict access to websites selling physical counterfeits in the same way they already restrict file-sharing sites. The websites mentioned in the current order are cartierloveonline.com, hotcartierwatch.com, iwcwatchtop.com, replicawatchesiwc.com, 1iwc.com, montblancpensonlineuk.com, ukmontblancoutlet.co.uk . In addition, Richemont identified tens of thousands of additional domains that could be added in the future. A Richemont spokesperson told TorrentFreak that the ruling represents a positive step in the fight to protect brands and customers from the sale of counterfeit goods online. “We are pleased by this judgment and welcome the Court’s recognition that there is a public interest in preventing trade mark infringement, particularly where counterfeit goods are involved. The Courts had already granted orders requiring ISPs to block sites for infringement of copyright in relation to pirated content. This decision is a logical extension of that principle to trade marks,†the company said. Wiggin LLP, the lawfirm at the heart of website blocking action for the entertainment industry, acted for Richemont in the case. The company says that today’s judgment holds benefits for both rightsholders and consumers. “In a comprehensive judgment, the court has considered the enforcement methods that are presently available to trade mark owners when tackling infringement online. The court has concluded that Internet Service Providers play ‘an essential role’ and that the court can and should apply Article 11 of the Enforcement Directive to require the application of technical measures to impede infringement of trade marks,†Wiggin said. According to a comment sent to TF by Arty Rajendra, Partner at IP law firm Rouse Legal, the decision is likely to be appealed. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  17. The site, which was pushed by Xbox UK across social media channels, features an opening page with the slogan 'The new fragrance by Xbox'. Click through to the next page and a short message reveals the site's true agenda: "Okay so here's the lowdown. Destiny is actually an epic new first-person shooter, available on Xbox. Thing is, we didn't have permission to run adverts for the game. "So we didn't. Thanks for smelling that something was up. Now get the game and become a legend." The site then links through to various retailers bundling Destiny along with Xbox One consoles. Update: The site's contents have since been altered, and the above picture replaced with text advising visitors to ask retailers about "some great Xbox One offers available at the moment". Xbox rival PlayStation has had a longstanding association with Destiny, which is being published by Activision and developed by former Microsoft-owned studio Bungie. Sony's key E3 and Gamescom press conferences have been used to promote the shooter, and PlayStation versions of the game will boast exclusive missions and items. However, Microsoft launched a spoiler campaign in the US this week with the news that new Xbox One console purchases will receive a free full price game of the customer's choice. The promotion makes Xbox One the cheapest new-gen console to purchase alongside Destiny in the region, despite Sony offering a limited edition white PS4 system bundled with the game. Destiny is due to go on sale from September 9 for PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. Add Rep and Leave a feedback
  18. VAP, the anti-piracy association of the Austrian film and video industry, has sued four local ISPs after they failed to act on a request to block streaming portals Movie4k.to and Kinox.to. The IFPI says it is preparing legal action against the ISPs for their failure to block The Pirate Bay. Favorable rulings in both the European Court of Justice and the local Supreme Court earlier this year gave Austrian anti-piracy groups the power they needed to move forward on site-blocking. What transpired was an attack from two directions. The first involved VAP, the anti-piracy association of the Austrian film and video industry. The second was launched by the local branch of IFPI, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. In late July, VAP wrote to UPC, Drei, Tele2 and A1 with a request for the ISPs to block ThePirateBay.se plus streaming sites Movie4K.to and Kinox.to. Days later in a letter dated August 4, the IFPI asked five local ISPs to block access to four torrent sites – ThePirateBay,se, isoHunt.to, 1337x.to and H33t.to. Unfortunately for VAP and the IFPI, the ISPs were going to need more than just a letter to begin censoring the Internet. By mid August, with their deadlines expired, none had initiated blockades. That led to threats of lawsuits from both anti-piracy groups. With August now drawing to a close, VAP has made good on its word. CEO Werner Müller confirmed to German media that his organization has now sued four Austrian ISPs. Müller would not be drawn on their names, but DerStandard spoke with UPC and A1 who both confirmed receiving letters. “[The decision on blocking] should be left to the judgment of a judge, since in a specific case the rights of Internet users and the movie / music industry can be weighed more,†said A1 spokeswoman Livia Dandrea-Böhm. “We will now take a position in the time allowed by the court. Thereafter, the judge has to decide.†Of further interest is VAP’s decision to exclude The Pirate Bay from their legal action and only sue for blockades against kinox.to and movie4k.to. There are suggestions that this could prove an easier legal route for VAP as the local Supreme Court is already familiar with the operations of Kinox and Movie4K, sites similar in structure to the now defunct Kino.to, the site which originally prompted calls for blocks in Austria. However, The Pirate Bay will not escape so easily. The IFPI will tackle the infamous torrent site alongside others including isoHunt.to, 1337x.to and H33t.to. The music group is expected to sue several ISPs to force a blockade, although papers are still being drawn up.
  19. Austria’s major Internet service providers were expected to block the largest BitTorrent tracker in the world and other infringing websites a few days ago. However, the deadlines passed without action from the ISPs, and now the entertainment groups are going to sue the largest broadband providers in the country in order to force them to cooperate. In response, ISPs claim they are ready for the legal fight. Let’s see what is going on in Europe. After both the European Court of Justice and the local Supreme Court had delivered favorable rulings on Internet filtering, a number of Austrian film companies were eager to see infringing sites blocked at the ISP level. So, the local anti-piracy association of the entertainment industry sent requests to a number of local broadband providers – UPC, Drei, Tele2 and A1 to block three domains – ThePirateBay, Movie4K and Kinox. The requests, sent to 5 local broadband providers, set a deadline of less than two weeks for the ISPs to block subscriber access to a number of “pirate†portals. The anti-piracy group and the ISPs negotiated the details, but the deadline expired with no moves from the providers. The courts confirmed that sometimes service providers can be required to block errant websites, but it looks like the ISPs didn’t want to take action following the requests from copyright owners. The broadband providers claimed that the decision to block websites should lie with the courts. Although the ISPs claimed they fully support the creative industries, they didn’t have any obligation or right to choose which content is accessed by their subscribers. This is why almost all ISPs have required a court order to restrict access to any portals, and Austria was no exception. Industry experts admit that it was always unlikely that the broadband providers would act without being legally required to do so. The ISPs are ready for legal action. In response, movie industry promised to launch a lawsuit concerning blocking against kinox.to and movie4k.to against 4 largest Austrian ISPs. It was said that the lawsuits are prepared and are waiting almost only on their delivery. On the other hand, the music industry claimed it won’t be far behind. Since the deadline was missed without any response from the broadband providers, the music groups had their attorneys begin the preparations for legal action. Industry observers point out that those web-blocking cases being brought against Austrian Internet service providers are of particular importance for the industry, because they represent the first to take place following the March 27 ruling of the European Court of Justice. In the meantime, the copyright owners across the continent will closely watch how that ruling is interpreted.
  20. Following requests from a movie-focused anti-piracy outfit and the IFPI, Austria's largest ISPs were expected to block The Pirate Bay and other 'pirate' sites last week. But after deadlines passed without action, the entertainment groups are now preparing lawsuits to force the ISPs to cooperate. Following favorable rulings on website-blocking from both the European Court of Justice and the local Supreme Court, at the end of July several Austrian movie companies renewed their mission to have ‘pirate’ sites blocked at the ISP level. VAP, the anti-piracy association of the Austrian film and video industry, wrote to several local ISPs – UPC, Drei, Tele2 and A1 – demanding a blockade of three domains – ThePirateBay.se, Movie4K.to and Kinox.to. Just days later the IFPI signaled its intention to join the fray. In a letter dated August 4 and sent to five local ISPs, the music group set a deadline of less than two weeks for the service providers to block subscriber access to ThePirateBay,se, isoHunt.to, 1337x.to and H33t.to. After the VAP letter came talks between the anti-piracy outfit and the ISPs, but a deadline of August 14 expired last week with no blocking having taken place. While the courts have confirmed that in certain circumstances service providers can be required to block errant sites, it appears that the ISPs don’t want to take action based on mere requests from rightsholders. “We continue to believe that the decision to block websites or other Internet content should lie with the courts and legislators,†UPC told Austrian news outlet Future Zone. “We have sympathy for rightsholders and we are in full support of the creative industries. However, we offer our customers access to the Internet and have no obligation or right to choose which content is accessed.†Faced with blocking requests around Europe, most if not all ISPs have required a court order in order to restrict access to ‘pirate’ sites. Given this history, UPC’s reluctance comes as no surprise to VAP. Managing Director Werner Müller admitted last week that it was always unlikely that the ISPs would act without being legally required to do so. That means legal action, and VAP are ready for it. “There will soon be a lawsuit concerning blocking against two websites – kinox.to and movie4k.to – against four major domestic Internet providers,†Müller says. “The lawsuits are prepared and are waiting almost only on their delivery.†And, according to comments made by IFPI CEO Franz Medwenitsch, the music industry won’t be far behind. “As of today there has been no response from the service providers so we had our attorney begin the preparations for legal action,†Medwenitsch confirms. These web-blocking cases being brought against Austrian ISPs are of particular importance as they represent the first to take place following the March 27 ruling of the European Court of Justice. How that ruling is interpreted will be closely watched by rightsholders across the continent. http://torrentfreak.com/isps-face-lawsuits-failing-block-pirate-bay-140818/
  21. Austrian ISPs have been told they have just days to block not only The Pirate Bay but also Movie4K, one of the world's most famous streaming sites. The blockades, which were demanded by Hollywood-backed anti-piracy outfit VAP, are supported by recent decisions from both the Supreme Court in Austria and the European Court of Justice. pirate bayKino.to, one of Germany’s largest illegal streaming portals, was shut down during 2011 following the largest law enforcement action against of its type in Europe. But even with the site long gone the disruption it caused is about to affect The Pirate Bay and two other major sites. Just a month before Kino.to was dismantled in June 2011, Austrian ISP ‘UPC’ was served with a preliminary injunction ordering it to block subscriber access to the site. Verein für Anti-Piraterie der österreichischen Film und Videobranche (VAP) – the anti-piracy association of the Austrian film and video industry – had been on the warpath since 2010 and had finally got their way after UPC refused to comply voluntarily. But would blocking the site be legal? UPC insisted that it couldn’t be held responsible for a site it had nothing to do with. The ISP also maintained that there had been no court ruling determining that UPC customers who accessed Kino.to were breaking the law. To settle the matter once and for all the Austrian Supreme Court asked the European Court of Justice to clarify whether a company that provides Internet access to people using an illegal website could be required to block that site. On March 27, 2014, the ECJ handed down its decision. On UPC’s first point the Court said that EU law does not require a specific relationship between the person infringing copyright and the intermediary against whom any injunction had been issued. On the second point the Court said that proof of illegality was not necessary as the law exists not only to bring an end to infringement, but also to prevent it. The key point of the ruling was that ISPs can indeed be required to block access to infringing sites provided that injunctions are both balanced and proportional. As a result, earlier this month Austria’s Supreme Court found that the blockade against Kino.to, even though the site is long dead, was correctly applied. On the back of this ruling, this week VAP wrote to several local ISPs, UPC included, demanding a new blockade of three sites – The Pirate Bay, Movie4K and Kinox, a site that took over from Kino.to. “Letters dated yesterday have been sent to four large ISPs containing a request to block a small number of websites,†VAP Managing Director Werner Müller told Future Zone. On behalf of three local movie companies (Allegro Film, Wega Film and Epo Film) VAP has requested IP address and DNS blocks of the three sites but has given the ISPs very little time in which to carry them out, by this Friday August 1, to be exact. The Association of Internet Service Providers Austria (ISPA) feels the deadline is far too restrictive. “The period given to the providers to act is ludicrously short. We see this as very problematic. Extreme pressure is being exerted,†Secretary General Maximilian Schubert said. “Two working days during the holiday season is just too little. To implement this by Friday we deem too difficult.†Interestingly, Schubert also sees differences between The Pirate Bay and the pair of streaming portals listed in VAP’s blocking request. “There is also legal content on The Pirate Bay,†Schubert said. Discussions between VAP and the ISPs are scheduled for later in the week, so whether the anti-piracy group will get its way immediately will remain to be seen. They’ve waited years already, another few days shouldn’t make much difference.
  22. A draft bill for the modernization of Swiss copyright law will be presented for public consultation in the coming months. While downloading for personal use will remain legal, uploading infringing content via BitTorrent will not. In addition to infringement warnings for Internet subscribers, the blocking of "obviously illegal" sites is also on the table. The MPAA, RIAA and associated groups such as the International Intellectual Property Alliance, rarely have positive things to say about Switzerland. “The country has become an attractive haven for services heavily engaged in infringing activity,†the IIPA said in its 2013 USTR submission, while referring to the land-locked nation as “a major exporter of pirated content.†In addition to legislation tipped in favor of service providers, the Swiss also present a fairly unique problem. Thanks to the so-called ‘Logistep Decision’, which wasbemoaned in a recent International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus report, the monitoring of file-sharers is effectively outlawed. As a result it’s estimated that more than a third of Swiss Internet users access unlicensed services each month. With international pressure building the Swiss promised to address the situation and have been doing so via AGUR12, a working group responsible for identifying opportunities to adapt copyright law. In parallel, another working group has been looking at service provider liability. This month the Federal Council took the groups’ recommendations and mandated the Federal Department of Justice and Police to prepare a draft bill for public consultation by the end of 2015. What’s on the table The Federal Council says its aim is to improve the situation for creators without impairing the position of consumers, so there is an element of give-and-take in the proposals for file-sharing, with a focus on balance and “careful consideration†given to data protection issues. Personal file-sharing Current download-and-share-with-impunity will be replaced with an acceptance of downloading for personal use, but with uploading specifically outlawed. This means that while downloading a pirated album from a cyberlocker would be legal, doing so using BitTorrent would be illegal due to inherent uploading. Warnings and notifications While commercial level infringers can already be dealt with under Swiss law, the proposals seek to lower the bar so that those who flout an upload ban on a smaller but persistent scale can be dealt with. AGUR12 has recommended that this should be achieved by sending warning notices to infringers via their ISPs. Only when a user fails to get the message should his or her details be handed over to rightsholders for use in civil proceedings. The Federal Council says it likes the idea, but first wants to investigate how the notification process will work, where the thresholds on persistent infringement lie, and under what process identities can be revealed to rightsholders. Provider liability Under AGUR12′s recommendations, Internet providers will not only be required to remove infringing content from their platforms, but also prevent that same content from reappearing, a standard that U.S. rightsholders are currently pressuring Google to adopt. Additionally, in serious cases authorities should be able to order the blocking of “obviously illegal content or sourcesâ€. Any new obligations on service providers would be balanced by granting them with exemption from liability. Conclusion While Switzerland does not wish to render mere downloading illegal, its effective outlawing of BitTorrent for unlicensed content transfers will put it on a par with most Western countries. Furthermore, if service providers are forced to take copyrighted content down and keep it down, Switzerland could become the model that the United States has to live up to. http://torrentfreak.com/swiss-wont-ban-downloading-but-will-block-sites-140630/
  23. Several UK Internet providers have quietly added a list of new domains to their secretive anti-piracy blocklists. TorrentFreak was able to confirm that several popular torrent site proxies were added over the past weekend. However, the blocked domains have been quickly replaced by new ones, continuing the cat-and-mouse game that never seems to end. Following a series of High Court orders, six UK ISPs are required to block subscriber access to several of the world’s largest torrent sites. The blocks are somewhat effective, at least in preventing subscribers from accessing the domains directly. However, that doesn’t mean that the sites are completely inaccessible. With every site that is added to the blocklist several reverse proxies are launched. These proxy sites give people access to the blocked sites and effectively bypass the restrictions put in place by the court. The copyright holders who demanded the blockades are well aware of these workarounds and continue to ask ISPs to expand their blocking efforts. This weekend the ISPs quietly added several torrent site proxies to their blocklists. TorrentFreak was able to confirm that Virgin Media and Sky are now blocking access to YTS proxy ytsre.come.in as well as the EZTV equivalent on come.in. Interestingly, the other torrent site proxies, including ones for the Pirate Bay and Kickass, are still accessible. YTS proxy blocked Whether these measures will be effective has yet to be seen. The Come.inhomepage is still accessible and the team behind the site has already replaced the blocked domains with new ones. “We just set up new proxies and will be watching for any upcoming measures from ISPs,†Come.in’s Nick tells TorrentFreak. “We monitor such issues on a regular basis. Most of the time we can create new proxies only after current ones are blocked. Come.in visitors should know that we always publish fresh proxy addresses on our homepage,†he adds. And so the whack-a-mole continues, with copyright holders adding new domains to the blocklists, and site owners hopping from domain to domain. As with previous additions the newly blocked domains are covered by the High Court order, which provides the movie studios with the option to continually update the list of infringing domains. A Virgin Media spokesperson clarified that no additions are made by the ISP itself. “We are only blocking those sites we are required to block by the court order,†we were told. “As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media supports the clear, legal framework put in place to protect against copyright infringement and we continue to comply with court orders specifically addressed to the company.†While the recent additions are permitted under the High Court order, these changes are being made in secret without any form of public oversight, which means that we don’t know precisely how many proxies were added. The full list of blocked domains also remains unknown. TorrentFreak reached out to both copyright holders and ISPs, but thus far they have refused to make the full scope of their blocking efforts public. It’s unlikely that this will change in the near future. — The full list of domains (that we know of) currently blocked in the UK is as follows: Main sites: Megashare, Viooz, Watch32, Zmovie, Solarmovie, Tubeplus, Primewire, Vodly, Watchfreemovies, Project-Free TV, Yify-Torrents, 1337x, Bitsnoop, Extratorrent, Monova, Torrentcrazy, Torrentdownloads, Torrentreactor, Torrentz, Ambp3, Beemp3, Bomb-mp3, Eemp3world, Filecrop, Filestube, Mp3juices, Mp3lemon, Mp3raid, Mp3skull, Newalbumreleases, Rapidlibrary, EZTV, FirstRowSports, Download4all, Movie2K, KickAssTorrents, Fenopy, H33T and The Pirate Bay. Proxies: Ytsre.come.in, Eztv.come.in, Fp.kleisauke.nl, Fenopy.5gg.biz, H33tunblock.info, H33t.uk.to, H33tproxy.co, H33tmirror.co, Katunblock.com, Katproxy.com, Kat.dashitz.com, Kat.kleisauke.nl, Katmirror.com, Kat.5gg.biz, Kickassunblock.info, Kickassproxy.info, Pirateproxy.net, Proxybay.net, Malaysiabay.org, Piratereverse.info, Pirateproxy.net, Campeche.zapto.org, Tpb.rubenstadman.com, Piratebay.interflective.com, Dashitz.com, Tpb.evrl.com
  24. For all of you Usenet people. Here is a 60% off coupon code for a block account at NewsDemon Coupon Code block60spl
  25. Saudi Arabia Government Blocks The Pirate Bay (and More) The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Culture and Information has blocked access to The Pirate Bay, for reasons yet unknown. In addition to the notorious torrent site, Torrentz.eu, Rarbg and possibly several others are blocked too. As always, local users are already discussing ways to work around the restrictions. Blocking The Pirate Bay has become quite common around Europe in recent years, and today this practice spread to Saudi Arabia. Without prior warning or official announcement, the country’s Ministry for Culture and Information ordered local ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay. In addition, several other torrent sites were also censored, including Torrentz.eu and Rarbg.com. The reason for the blockade remains unknown, but piracy concerns seem plausible as the measures are coming from the Ministry of Culture, and not the Communications Commission which administers the country’s regular filters. As can be seen below, the blocking notification for The Pirate Bay is also different from the green notice that appears for sites that are blocked in violation of the Islamic religion. Saudi Arabia’s Pirate Bay blockade Interestingly, the measures come two months after several copyright holder groups urged the U.S. Government to place Saudi Arabia on its priority watchlist. MPAA, RIAA and others suggested that the country isn’t doing enough to stop online piracy. The blockade is currently active on nearly all ISPs, but TF has learned that Zain customers can still access the site. Zain does block Pirate Bay’s porn category, but that’s nothing new. The Pirate Bay is among the 50 most visited websites in Saudi Arabia, and the blockade has caused quite a bit of uproar on social media. The topic is currently trending on Twitter where many people are voicing their frustration.