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Found 10 results

  1. 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/
  2. 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/
  3. 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/
  4. After Spanish users increasingly reported being barred from the site, yesterday ISP Vodafone denied it had taken any action against The Pirate Bay. Today, however, the company admits that it is blocking the site after being ordered to do so by the Spanish government. After years of developing a reputation as a piracy safe-haven, in recent times Spain has found itself under intense pressure to clamp down on copyright infringement. After a serious of tweaks and adjustments to local copyright law, January 1st the country introduced tough new legislation backed up by hefty punishments for site operators. Potential €600,000 fines were enough to scare some sites offline. Others, such asPablo Soto’s Torrents.fm, disappeared without comment. While the climate in Spain is clearly a different one in 2015, there are now fresh signs of a new crackdown. Spanish users of local ISP Vodafone have been reporting that their visits to The Pirate Bay are being redirected to a new URL – Castor.vodafone.es. Domain stats reveal that ThePirateBay.se and ThePirateBay.org are indeed two of the top referrers to that URL and that 100% of its traffic comes from Spain. When Vodafone users began accusing their ISP of blocking The Pirate Bay without a court order, local media approached Vodafone for comment. In a statement yesterday the ISP said it had no knowledge of any blockade. This morning, however, Vodafone changed its mind. The company now confirms it has received a blocking order from the Spanish government. Vodafone says that it has an obligation to comply with an order “issued by a competent authorityâ€, in this case, the Ministry of Culture. “In the current Copyright Act, there is a list of authorities who can order the blocking of a website to comply with legislation. That’s what we did,†a source at the companysaid. Speaking with Gizmodo in Spain, Vodafone could not confirm the exact date when it began blocking the site but said it complied with the official request around Christmas. That would certainly fall into line with early problems experienced by some users. It is currently unclear whether other ISPs in Spain have received the same instructions from the Ministry of Culture since ThePirateBay.se remains accessible via all ISPs except Vodafone. Other major ISPs including Movistar and Orange say they cannot currently confirm if they have received similar blocking instructions from the government. Today The Pirate Bay remains non-functional as a torrent site but its landing page, currently adorned with a phoenix, suggests a return to glory this coming weekend. If it does, Vodafone users will need a workaround. http://torrentfreak.com/spanish-government-orders-pirate-bay-blockade-150127/
  5. A complaint filed by 21st Century Fox's Sky TV has ended in Italy's most aggressive site-blocking action yet. Coordinated by the Public Prosecutor of Rome, the operation has resulted in more than 120 international 'pirate' streaming websites being blacked out by local ISPs Alongside the United Kingdom, Italy is the most aggressive country in the world when it comes to blocking websites on copyright infringement grounds. Over the past several years dozens of domains have been censored locally and a new operation has upped that tally significantly following a complaint from a major broadcaster. Sky Italia is a digital satellite television platform owned by Sky Plc, the TV company founded by Rupert Murdoch. 21st Century Fox owns a controlling 39% of the shares in Sky Plc and with a turnover of more than £7.6 billion ($11.41 billion) it’s one of the largest media companies in the world. To protect its bottom line, in 2014 Sky Italia filed a complaint with authorities against more than 120 websites said to broadcast sporting events, concerts, music, plus film and television works without rightsholders’ permission. A subsequent investigation was coordinated by the Public Prosecutor of Rome and entrusted to deputy prosecutors Nello Rossi and Eugenio Albamontes. Assistance was provided by the Special Unit for Broadcasting and Publishing (Nucleo Speciale Radiodiffusione Editoria). Authorities say that pirate content was offered by the sites in a number of ways but streaming in particular, both of live events and via on-demand. Many provided helpful schedules to assist users with planning. With all sites operating outside Italian territory, local authorities decided to take action to render them inaccessible in the country. A sweep was ordered by magistrate Gaspare Sturzo and this morning 124 websites are reported blocked via local Internet service providers. The names of most sites hit in ‘Operation Match Off’ have not been released but authorities have pointed out that ‘sportlemon.tv’ was registered in the name of Gottfrid Svartholm. It seems unlikely that the Pirate Bay founder had any operational connections to the site but the domain was registered by PRQ, his former company in Sweden. In common with previous cases, advertising is being blamed for the revenue generated by these unauthorized sites. The Guardia di Finanza (GdF), the law enforcement agency responsible for dealing with financial crime and whose Special Command Unit carried out the operation, said site users were met with aggressive ads and click-fraud techniques. Italy has been working hard to counter the rise of advertising on pirate sites. Last summer a Memorandum of Understanding between the online advertising industry (including Google) and the music and movie industries signaled the creation of a central body to tackle the piracy issue. But despite the agreement it was found that “known brands†were still advertising on the now-blocked sites. As a result authorities are now conducting an investigation into the agencies that placed the ads for companies in the financial, real estate, betting, retail and communications sector. Enzo Mazza, chief of FIMI, Italy’s answer to the RIAA, said the action against the domains was welcome. “The Fiscal Police from Rome carried out a very sophisticated operation including the economic angle of the case. This is the largest criminal action involving site blocking ever carried out,†Mazza told TorrentFreak. “Some sites were also offering music concerts in addition to soccer and sport. We congratulate the special unit of the Fiscal Police and the public prosecutor from Rome for the operation.†http://torrentfreak.com/italy-launches-largest-ever-pirate-site-blockade-150126/
  6. The fledgling ISP block against The Pirate Bay in freedom-friendly Iceland is already looking like the thin end of the wedge. After securing an injunction against ISP Vodafone, music rightsholders will now press for injunctions against several of Iceland's other top service providers who have refused to voluntary block the site. In common with many countries around Europe, the movie and music industries in Iceland have been working hard to cut down on copyright infringement online. To this end copyright groups including the local equivalents of the RIAA (STEF) and MPAA (SMAIS) have targeted the leader of the usual suspects, the notorious Pirate Bay. After complaints to the police failed, STEF and SMAIS turned to web-blocking in the hope of achieving similar results to those netted by rightsholders in the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark. Following setbacks STEF decided to go it alone and earlier this month achieved the result they’d been looking for. The Reykjavík District Court handed down an injunction to ISPs Vodafone and Hringdu forcing them to block several domains belonging to The Pirate Bay and Deildu, a private torrent site popular with locals. Just two weeks later and it’s now becoming clear that STEF won’t be happy until all of Iceland’s leading ISPs are blocking too. Earlier this week the rights group demanded responses from ISPs including Sím*inn, Tal and 365 Media as to whether the companies will agree to block Pirate Bay and Deildu in the wake of the Vodafone decision. Threatening legal action, STEF gave the ISPs until Wednesday to respond. According to local news outlet MBL, 365 Media informed STEF it was willing to at least consider the idea but both Sím*inn and Tal appear to have rejected voluntary blocking, preferring official action through the courts instead. Sím*inn said that it is not the role of communications companies to decide which sites should be closed and which should remain open so it would need to be presented with a formal injunction in order to block Pirate Bay and Deildu. In broad terms, Tali said the same. As a result, lawyer Tóm*as Jóns*son says that STEF will now press ahead with its efforts to obtain injunctions against the ISPs that have raised objections. Procedural issues aside, which have dogged previous efforts, it’s likely that sooner or later STEF will achieve its aims. Finally, there has been a trend recently for under-pressure sites to look at Icelandic hosting and local .IS domains in the belief they offer improved security over those available elsewhere. While that may indeed be true, Iceland’s domain registry has just canceled an .IS domain that was operated by people with links to Islamic State. “This is in fact a sad day for IS*NIC. We are very sad over this. It was not an easy de*ci*sion to do this. We had a rep*utaion for never hav*ing sus*pended a do*main name. That is not the re*al*ity any*more. These peo*ple have ru*ined that for us,†said ISNIC director Jens Pé*tur Jensen. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  7. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  8. After a legal battle that went all the way to the European Court, Austrian ISPs have been defeated in their battle against pirate site blocking. With immediate effect leading providers must block streaming sites including Movie4K, a move which paves the way for action against The Pirate Bay and dozens of other sites. Kino.to, at the time one of the world’s largest illegal streaming portals, was shut down in 2011 as part of Europe’s largest ever action against piracy sites. However, just a month before Kino.to was dismantled, Austrian ISP ‘UPC’ was served with a preliminary injunction ordering it to block subscriber access to the site. The order had been obtained by the Hollywood-affiliated anti-piracy group VAP but it was called into doubt by the ISP. This led to the Austrian Supreme Court referring the matter to the European Court of Justice. Earlier this year the ECJ handed down its widely publicized decision which stated that yes, in reasonable circumstances, pirate sites can indeed be blocked by European ISPs. On the back of this ruling, VAP subsequently wrote to several local ISPs (UPC, 3, Tele2 and A1) demanding blockades of Movie4K.to and Kinox.to, a site that took over from Kino.to. This would become the test case on which all future blockades would be built. When this formal request for the ISPs to block the sites was rejected, in August VAPsued the providers. And now, after more than three years of wrangling, VAP have finally got their way. In a ruling handed down yesterday by the Commercial Court of Vienna, UPC, 3, Tele2 and A1 were ordered to block Movie4K and Kinox with immediate effect. According to Der Standard, UPC and A1 placed blocks on the sites within hours, with 3 and Tele2 expected to comply with the injunction today. But while another important hurdle has now been overcome, there is some way to go before VAP will have achieved everything they initially set out to do. At issue now is how far the ISPs will have to go in order to comply with the court order. It’s understood that VAP requires DNS and IP address blocking at a minimum, but whether the ISPs intend to comply with that standard remains to be seen. It’s important for VAP, and other anti-piracy groups waiting in the wings, that these technical steps are workable going forward. Both VAP and the IFPI have lists of sites they would like blocked in the same way as Movie4K and Kinox have been, so it’s crucial to them that blockades aren’t easily circumvented. Once this issue has been dealt with, in the next few months it’s likely that attention will turn to legal action being planned by the IFPI. The recording group has taken on the task of having torrent sites blocked in Austria, starting off with The Pirate Bay, isoHunt.to, 1337x.to and H33t.to. IFPI is expected to sue several ISPs in the hope that local courts will treat torrent sites in the same way as they have streaming services. Once that’s been achieved – and at this stage it seems likely – expect long lists of additional domains to be submitted to the courts. http://torrentfreak.com/court-orders-immediate-pirate-site-blockade-141003/
  9. A telecoms administrative body has ordered a fresh torrent site blockade in Italy. Following decisions against four torrent sites last month, the AGCOM regulator says that three more torrent indexes must now be banned by the country's ISPs. After coming under intense criticism, this year Italy was removed from the Watch List in the USTR’s Special 301 Report. Part of the formula for that achievement was to be found in telecoms regulator AGCOM. Instead of legislating against piracy, the Italian government gave the watchdog the power to deal with infringement, up to and including the removal of infringing content and even the blocking of allegedly copyright-infringing domains. In May and following complaints from the entertainment industry, AGCOM ordered the blocking of four torrent sites – LimeTorrents, TorrentDownload.ws, Torrentz.pro and TorrentDownloads.me. Just over a month later and yet more sites have fallen victim to its blocking regime. This time around it’s the turn of Torrent.cd, Torrentvia and TorrentRoom to land on the AGCOM blacklist. None of the sites are large, quite the opposite in fact, but a dig down into their traffic stats reveals why Italy is interested in them. The largest of the trio, Torrent.cd, has the greatest proportion of its visitors arrive from India, closely followed by the United States. Just a fraction of a percent behind are Italian visitors, making Torrent.cd fairly popular with locals. In mid 2012, TorrentRoom.com was among the top 5000 sites in the world, but traffic to the site diminished to a near all time low in mid 2013. A recovery in the early part of 2014 reversed the trend for a while, but traffic is currently the worst it has ever been. However, stats from Alexa show that Italian visitors to the site are only outnumbered by those from the United States, again making the site relatively popular with locals. TorrentVia.com is a very small site indeed with a global Alexa rank of 178,400. Traffic is so low in fact that it’s difficult to obtain stats. That said, Google.it is the site’s second most-popular referrer, something which again reflects local interest. For now it seems that AGCOM are going after sites that are enjoyed more locally, but that could very well change once the regulator runs out of targets.
  10. The major record labels continue their efforts to drive The Pirate Bay underground with France being the next in line. A local music industry group has informed several ISPs that it has requested a court blocking injunction against the popular torrent site. In addition, more than a hundred Pirate Bay proxies are also being targeted. pirate bayThe Pirate Bay is without doubt one of the most censored websites on the Internet. Courts all around the world have ordered Internet providers to block subscriber access to the torrent site, and this list continues to expand. Today, news broke that the French Civil Society of Phonographic Producers has filed for an injunction to prevent ISPs from providing access to The Pirate Bay website and more than hundred of its dedicated proxy sites. NextINpact reports that the music association, backed by the major movie studios, filed a request in February. The French Internet providers Bouygues, Free, Orange and SFR have since been informed about the court proceedings. The complaint is based on a provision of the Hadopi law which allows copyright holders to request measures from third-party services to prevent or stop copyright infringements. Previously, a similar request resulted in a court order requiring Google to censor the search terms ‘Torrent’, ‘RapidShare’ and ‘Megaupload’ from its Instant and Autocomplete services. The court argued that Google indirectly facilitates copyright infringement by failing to filter these terms. Late last year another court order required Google, Bing and Yahoo to remove 16 video streaming sites from their search results on similar grounds. For now, it is still unclear whether the current legal action to block The Pirate Bay is only targeted at Internet providers, or if search engines are covered as well. The music labels have clearly learned from the blocking efforts in other countries, where proxy sites quickly picked up the slack. The record labels hope to prevent this from happening in France by listing all the Pirate Bay proxies they could find. Of course, it only takes one uncensored proxy to bypass the measures. Whether the French blockade, if granted, will be successful remains to be seen. There are still plenty of alternatives and circumvention tools available. This includes TPB’s own PirateBrowser which has been downloaded millions of times since its release last summer. Source: TorrentFreak