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Found 8 results

  1. 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/
  2. Thanks to its slick and easy-to-use interface, Popcorn Time has gained an impressive user base since it launched early last year. However, fresh data now shows that the application still has some ground to cover if it wants to rival uTorrent, which remains the king of BitTorrent traffic. Branded a “Netflix for Pirates,†the Popcorn Timeapp 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. Popcorn Time is also a rival for traditional torrent clients such as uTorrent, albeit of a different kind. However, until now how these different types of BitTorrent traffic compare in volume terms has remained unknown. New data from network management company Procera sheds some light on how the two stack up against each other. Procera gathered data from a European fixed line network in March and April and shared their findings with TF. On this particular network, which has a capacity of dozens of Gigabits per second, Popcorn Time accounted for roughly 18 Gigabit per second at its peak. The traffic was lowest at night, dropping to nearly zero. All the traffic in question was generated by ‘traditional’ video torrents which were then streamed through the Popcorn Time app. Popcorn Time traffic The data above comes from one network, so the numbers are not very meaningful without a good comparison standard. For this reason, Procera also monitored the traffic generated by uTorrent. The graph below shows that uTorrent accounts for at least double the traffic compared to Popcorn Time, with a approximately 44 Gigabit per second at the peak in April. uTorrent traffic While the vast majority of uTorrent traffic is generated by video, it’s worth noting that the data above also includes transfers of software, music and other content. Non-uTorrent BitTorrent transfers were insignificant according to Procera, well below the traffic Popcorn Time generates. The traffic patterns observed on this European network may be different in other parts of the world. However, with Popcorn Time having a massive user base in Europe, it’s safe to conclude that the app is not rivaling traditional torrent yet, traffic-wise. It will be interesting to see if Popcorn Time will continue to grow during the coming year. The application is now available on all major operating systems and it’s not unthinkable that it will eventually catch up with uTorrent. https://torrentfreak.com/popcorn-time-traffic-doesnt-rival-traditional-torrents-just-yet-150511/
  3. The filmmakers behind the action movie "Manny" have filed hundreds of lawsuits against BitTorrent pirates this year, but not have been successful. In a prominent ruling Florida District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro refused to issue a subpoena, arguing that IP-address evidence is not enough to show who has downloaded a pirated movie. While relatively underreported, many U.S. district courts are still swamped with lawsuits against alleged film pirates. One of the newcomers this year are the makers of the action movie Manny. Over the past few months “Manny Film†has filed 215 lawsuits across several districts. Like all copyright holders, the makers of the film rely on IP-addresses as evidence. They then ask the courts to grant a subpoena, forcing Internet providers to hand over the personal details of the associated account holders. In most cases the courts sign off on these requests, but in Florida this isn’t as straightforward. When District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro was assigned a Manny Film case she asked the company to explain how an IP-address can pinpoint the actual person who downloaded a pirated film. In addition, she asked them to show that geolocation tools are good enough to prove that the alleged pirate resides in the Court’s district. In a detailed reply the filmmakers argued that IP-addresses can identify the defendant and that a refusal to grant a subpoena would set a “dangerous precedent.†Manny Film further stated that “all other courts†disagreed with the notion that an IP-address is not a person. This last remark didn’t go down well with Judge Ungaro. In an order handed down this week she cites various cases where courts ruled that IP-addresses don’t always identify the alleged offenders. “Due to the risk of ‘false positives,’ an allegation that an IP address is registered to an individual is not sufficient in and of itself to support a claim that the individual is guilty of infringement,†wrote the Judge citing a 2012 case, one of many examples. https://www.scribd.com/doc/261439695/Torrentfreak-Manny-Ruling-Ip-Address The referenced cases clearly refute Manny Film’s claim that all other courts disagreed with the Judge Ungaro’s concerns, and the Judge is not convinced by any of the other arguments either. “As in those cases, Plaintiff here fails to show how geolocation software can establish the identity of the Defendant. Specifically, there is nothing linking the IP address location to the identity of the person actually downloading and viewing the copy righted material and nothing establishing that the person actually lives in this district,†Judge Ungaro writes. “Even if this IP address is located within a residence, geolocation software cannot identify who have access to that residence’s computer and who would actually be using it to infringe Plaintiff’s copyright,†she adds. As a result, the Court refused to issue a subpoena and dismissed the case against IP-address 66.229.140.101 for improper venue. While not all judges may come to the same conclusion, the order makes it harder for rightholders to play their “copyright troll†scheme in the Southern District of Florida. At the same time, it provides future defendants with a good overview to fight similar claims elsewhere. https://torrentfreak.com/judge-ip-address-doesnt-identify-a-movie-pirate-150410/
  4. Top-down, twin-stick shooter set during the events of Halo 2 launching this December for Windows devices and Steam. Microsoft today announced Halo: Spartan Strike, a spiritual successor to 2013's Halo: Spartan Assault. Like the original, Spartan Strike is a top-down, twin-stick shooter. The $6 game launches December 14 for Windows platforms (desktop, Surface, and Windows Phone) and one purchase gets you access to the game across all Windows systems. The game is also coming to Steam. What's more, unlike Spartan Assault, the new game does not feature any microtransactions. Everything in-game can be purchase via credits you unlock through gameplay. Concerning story, Spartan Strike is set during the events of Halo 2, though that's the extent of the information provided in the game's announcement today on IGN. Spartan Strike will feature achievements, rewards for Xbox One game Halo: The Master Chief Collection, weekly challenges, and leaderboards. Spartan Assault eventually came to Xbox 360 and Xbox One, but it is unclear if Spartan Strike will do the same. Halo series developer 343 Industries is currently working on Spartan Strike. The studio is also behind upcoming games such as Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Halo 5: Guardians. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  5. Ubisoft says "One Life" rule will emphasize teamwork, tactics, and tension. During multiplayer matches in 2015's Rainbow Six Siege, you will have one life. If you die, you won't get to play again until the next round. Now, developer Ubisoft Montreal has explained through an in-depth blog post why it decided on this approach for the game. "When designing the game, we found that above all else, the No Respawn rule touched the three main pillars of what we want in this game: teamwork, tactics, and tension," the developer said. "Not only are these three pillars at the heart of Tom Clancy's video game series, but they’re arguably absent from the FPS market today. Even when playing on a team, run and gun titles emphasize twitch reflexes while neglecting other skill sets, and you may feel disconnected from the action and all alone in your plight. With Siege, that's not the case." Ubisoft did experiment with allowing players to respawn in an earlier build of the game, but the developer moved away from this concept because it allowed very strong solo players to carry their teams. When the No Respawn rule was implemented, this changed, and the game became more balanced as a result, Ubisoft said. "When you're not allowed to respawn during a match, twitch reflexes aren't the only skills that keep you alive," the developer added. "Teamwork, map awareness, planning, adaptability, communication, and leadership become just as important to win. To be completely straightforward, the game became a lot more stressful… It went from everyone leaning back in their chairs trash-talking, to being on the edge of their seats carefully coordinating tactics." Game designer Chris Lee said that Ubisoft did not think at first that the No Respawn rule would work, adding that he thought it would only appeal to "the most hardcore players." However, the opposite turned out to be true. "It turned out that it really opened up the game to many different types of players," he said. "The developers who were longtime FPS players initially found it difficult because they were only good at reaction time. They weren't communicating, playing tactically, or thinking about the consequences. Their K/D ratio was high before, but after introducing One Life, they stopped thinking about K/D ratios and more about how each player could work together for the win." On the other side of the coin, Lee said: "Developers who weren't as good before played slower, thought carefully about the situation, and ended up doing better on the leaderboard. Because One Life rewards this kind of behavior, it puts well-rounded players at an advantage over pure run and gunners, which is what the Tom Clancy's franchise is all about. They utilize a complete skill set and the rest of the development team really liked that, since going back to its roots is what we wanted to do and the rule stuck. It wasn't something we predicted, and we were really happy with how it turned out." When you die in Siege, you'll enter what Ubisoft calls Support mode. From here, you can use visibility tools such as drones and security cameras, or even a helicopter, to help keep your team informed about where the enemies are. And you don't need to worry about being away from the boots-on-the-ground action for too long, as Ubisoft says Siege matches are "short." So even if you die right at the beginning of a match, you'll be back into the mix in around three mnutes. For more on Siege--which will run at 60fps across Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC--check out GameSpot's previous coverage. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  6. Driveclub enters at fifth amid launch woes; Skylanders' impact on the wane. Sega's survival horror title Alien: Isolation has debuted at second spot in the UK all format chart, with FIFA 15 holding first. Electronic Arts' money-spinning soccer series is now in its third week at the top of the chart, having already held the spot from Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, which entered at second last week. Shadow of Mordor now drops to third to make way for Alien: Isolation, which was developed by UK studio The Creative Assembly and generated mixed reviews upon release. Some outlets praised the game for capturing the horror of Ridley Scott's iconic film while other critics, including GameSpot's, suggested there were unavoidable problems holding it back. By contrast, the 2013 game Aliens: Colonial Marines was widely panned by critics yet jumped in at first. Xbox One's racer Forza Horizon 2 drops down a notch to forth, ahead of the PlayStation 4 racer Driveclub, which at the time of writing is burdened by numerous server issues. Another new release is Skylanders Trap Team, which enters at seventh. Though individual sales figures are unavailable, the series appears to be having less impact at retail, with last year's edition (Skylanders Swap Force) debuting at third, while in 2012 the Skylanders Giants game jumped in at second. New release NBA 2K15 enters at ninth, while Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition hits thirteenth. The top ten is as follows: FIFA 15 Alien: Isolation Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Forza Horizon 2 DriveClub Destiny Skylanders Trap Team NBA 2K15 Smash Bros. for 3DS Minecraft: PlayStation Edition
  7. Running two graphics and sound engines at the same time has forced a compromise. Unlike the rest of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, the campaign mode in Halo 2 Anniversary doesn't reach the vaunted 1080p resolution, though it does run at 60 frames per second. IGN reports that the game runs at a resolution of 1328x1080, rather than the 1920x1080 resolution that is better known as 1080p. This is because, like Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary on Xbox 360, the campaign offers two graphics and sound modes that you can switch between on the fly: original and enhanced. Running two graphics and sound engines at the same time "put a hit on resolution," according to 343 executive producer Day Ayoub. And although he claims Halo 2 Anniversary "looked fantastic" at even 720p, work has been done to bump that up--just not quite to 1080p. "So in the last weeks of development, our teams were able to meet a stretch goal and the campaign of Halo 2 Anniversary now runs 60 fps at a crisp resolution of 1328x1080," Ayoub said, "which is a significant and meaningful boost in image quality we think fans are really going to appreciate." Ayoub reiterated every other aspect of The Master Chief Collection runs at 60 fps and 1080p. Previously, the indication was that every game included in The Master Chief Collection--Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4--would hit those marks. Whatever its resolution might be, what we've seen of Halo 2 Anniversary has made it look very good. It's a marked improvement over the 2004 original in terms of visuals, and it also features new content that tiesinto Halo 5: Guardians. The Master Chief Collection launches for Xbox One on November 11. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  8. The defunct News-Service.com, once one of the leading Usenet providers with many prominent resellers, has scored a court victory against Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN. The appeals court overturned a previous verdict and ruled that the Usenet provider doesn't have to monitor and filter pirated content. In 2009, Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, representing the movie and music industries, took Europe’s largest Usenet provider News-Service Europe (NSE) to court. Through the court BREIN demanded that NSE delete all infringing content from its servers, and in 2011 the Court of Amsterdam sided with the copyright holders. The Court argued that NSE willingly facilitated copyright infringement through its services. In its verdict the Court ruled that NSE had to remove all copyrighted content, and filter future posts for possible copyright infringements. Responding to the verdict the Usenet provider said that it was economically unfeasible to filter all messages. The company therefore saw no other option than to shut down its services while the appeal was pending. This week the Appeals Court ruled on the case overturning the previous verdict, setting a more positive precedent for Usenet providers and similar services. The Court concluded that NSE does not facilitate copyright infringement as long as it maintains a procedure through which copyright holders can send unlimited takedown notices. In addition, the Court decided that proactive filtering of copyrighted content is not required, as that conflicts with existing jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice. “We are very pleased with this ruling,†NSE CEO Patrick Schreurs says. “The Court correctly states that a Usenet provider such as News-Service Europe can not be expected to proactively monitor the messages others place.†The ruling this week is an interlocutory verdict. The Court still has to rule on how NSE’s notice and takedown procedure should operate. Afterwards, both BREIN and NSE still have the option to take the case to the Supreme Court.