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Found 12 results

  1. The Pirate Bay has dropped the www prefix for all of its domains. The changes occurred earlier this week and were made without a redirect, which is causing some visitors to believe that the site is currently offline. The Pirate Bay has had its fair share of legal problems and technical difficulties over the years. Just last month a Swedish court ordered the seizure of site’s main .se domain name. This case is currently on appeal but in the meantime TPB is rotating several new domains. A few days ago, however, reports started rolling in that the notorious torrent site is no longer accessible to some, across all domains. Instead of the usual homepage visitors see an error message in their browser, suggesting that the DNS lookup failed. Luckily enough, the problems are only affecting URLs with a www prefix. For some reason, the corresponding DNS entries have been removed rendering all www links inaccessible. While it’s quite common for websites not to use the www prefix (we don’t), there’s usually a redirect setup so visitors are directed to the correct URL. Since TPB doesn’t have a redirect set up, many people are inaccurately assuming that the site is suffering downtime. For now it remains a mystery why the DNS entries were updated. TF spoke with a moderator of the site, who told us that he and his team were not informed about the changes. The dropped www prefix is not the only issue The Pirate Bay has been facing recently. Over the past weeks several parts of the site broke temporarily, including user registrations and torrent uploads. To inform users about these and other technical difficulties, the TPB crew has a status page showing which services are up and running. This page is maintained by the moderators and separately hosted at the Suprbay forum. As shown below, all crucial features are fully operational at the time of writing. That is, if users have dropped the www prefix from their bookmarks. TPB status https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-domains-no-longer-accessible-through-www-150618/
  2. After the seized Megaupload and Megavideo domains ran malicious ads last month, there is more Mega domain strangeness to report. Various domain names which previously belonged to Kim Dotcom and his companies have expired and are now listed for sale, or were sold already. When Kim Dotcom’s mansion was raided early 2012, the U.S. Government targeted various domain names that were linked to the “Mega conspiracy.†While Megaupload and Megavideo were the most prominent targets, the indictment also listed megapix.com, megacar.com, megabackup.com and various other “Mega†domains. All the above sites were pulled offline as a result of the raids, and Megaupload.com and Megavideo.com displayed a banner informing visitors that the sites were under investigation. As reported previously, the banners vanished after the U.S. Department of Justice made a mistake, which also caused the seized Megaupload and Megavideo domains to run malicious ads. After uncovering these problems with the Megaupload and Megavideo domains, we noticed something else strange. The domain name Megabackup.com was no longer listed as seized. In fact, the domain is now in use by another company that offers backup solutions, similar to what Megaupload planned. Baffled by this finding, we contacted the company behind the new backup service. They informed us that they are in no way affiliated with Kim Dotcom, Megaupload or its former employees. “We are an independent software startup with no affiliation to MegaUpload whatsoever,†a company spokesperson said. Instead, the new Megabackup simply bought the domain name through a broker after it had expired. “We have acquired this domain name through a reseller platform called ‘Sedo’ about a year ago, simply because this name looked interesting and suitable for the backup software we make.†Megabackup is not the only domain that expired. The same happened to megacar.com, megagogo.com and megapix.com. The latter is currently on sale for a cool $35,000. HugeDomains, the company currently selling Megagogo.com, informed us that they scooped up the domain after it had expired. “When the domain was not renewed by the owner after expiration, HugeDomains acquired the domain when it became publicly available on January 22, 2015,†the company informed us. So has the U.S. Department of Justice made another mistake by letting these domains slip out of their hands? Well, not so fast. While the domain names are all linked to Megaupload and mentioned in the indictment, those on sale were not officially seized unlike many others. This means that anyone could have picked them up, which has also happened to Kim Dotcom’s kimpire.com domain. Commenting on the situation Dotcom informs us that the domains were not supposed to expire. “This should not have happened,†he says, adding that someone else in his team handled the registrations. https://torrentfreak.com/kim-dotcoms-seized-mega-domains-are-now-for-sale-150613/
  3. The Department of Justice has made a grave error as several seized Megaupload domains are now being exploited for nefarious purposes. A few days ago both Megaupload.com and Megavideo.com began directing visitors to scams and malware, presumably because the FBI's cybercrime unit lost control of the main nameserver. Well over three years have passed since Megaupload was shutdown, but there is still little progress in the criminal proceedings against the operation. The United States hopes that New Zealand will extradite Kim Dotcom and his colleagues, but the hearings have been delayed several times already. Meanwhile, several domain names including the popular Megaupload.com and Megavideo.com remain under the control of the U.S. Government. At least, that should be the case. In reality, however, they’re now being exploited by ‘cyber criminals.’ Instead of a banner announcing that the domains names have been seized as part of a criminal investigation they now direct people to a Zero-Click adverting feed. This feed often links to malware installers and other malicious ads. One of the many malicious “ads†the Megaupload and Megavideo domain names are serving links to a fake BBC article, suggesting people can get an iPhone 6 for only £1. And here is another example of a malicious ad prompting visitors to update their browser. The question that immediately comes to mind is this: How can it be that the Department of Justice is allowing the domains to be used for such nefarious purposes? Looking at the Whois records everything seems to be in order. The domain name still lists Megaupload Limited as registrant, which is as it was before. Nothing out of the ordinary. The nameserver PLEASEDROPTHISHOST15525.CIRFU.BIZ, on the other hand, triggers several alarm bells. CIRFU refers to the FBI’s Cyber Initiative and Resource Fusion Unit, a specialized tech team tasked with handling online crime and scams. The unit used the CIRFU.NET domain name as nameserver for various seized domains, including the Mega ones. Interestingly, the CIRFU.NET domain now lists “Syndk8 Media Limited†as registrant, which doesn’t appear to have any connections with the FBI. Similarly, CIRFU.BIZ is not an official CIRFU domain either and points to a server in the Netherlands hosted by LeaseWeb. It appears that the domain which the Department of Justice (DoJ) used as nameserver is no longer in control of the Government. Perhaps it expired, or was taken over via other means. As a result, Megaupload and Megavideo are now serving malicious ads, run by the third party that controls the nameserver. This is quite a mistake for one of the country’s top cybercrime units, to say the least. It’s also one that affects tends of thousands of people, as the Megaupload.com domain remains frequently visited. Commenting on the rogue domains, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom notes that the people who are responsible should have known better. “With U.S. Assistant Attorney Jay Prabhu the DOJ in Virginia employs a guy who doesn’t know the difference between civil & criminal law. And after this recent abuse of our seized Mega domains I wonder how this guy was appointed Chief of the Cybercrime Unit when he can’t even do the basics like safeguard the domains he has seized,†he tells TF. “Jay Prabhu keeps embarrassing the U.S. government. I would send him back to law school and give him a crash course in ‘how the Internet works’,†Dotcom adds. Making matters worse for the Government, Megaupload.com and Megavideo.com are not the only domain names affected. Various poker domains that were previously seized, including absolutepoker.com and ultimatebet.com, also link to malicious content now. While the Government appears to have lost control of the old nameservers, it can still correct the problem through a nameserver update at their end. However, that doesn’t save those people who had their systems compromised during recent days, and it certainly won’t repair the PR damage. https://torrentfreak.com/seized-megaupload-domains-link-to-scam-ads-and-malware-150528/
  4. In a decision handed down minutes ago the Stockholm District Court has ordered two key domains owned by The Pirate Bay to be seized. While the ruling means that the site will lose its famous ThePirateBay.se domain, don't expect the site to simply disappear. TPB informs TorrentFreak that they have plenty more domains left in store. In keeping with a global strategy to disrupt the operations of unauthorized file-sharing sites by attacking their infrastructure, Swedish authorities have been eying two domains operated by the notorious Pirate Bay. In 2013, Prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad, the man behind the operation that took the site down in December, filed a motion targeting ThePirateBay.se (the site’s main domain) and PirateBay.se (a lesser used alternative). Filed against Punkt SE, the organization responsible for Sweden’s top level .SE domain, the case reasoned that since The Pirate Bay is an illegal operation, its domains are tools used by the site to infringe copyright. Noting that Punkt SE supplies and controls the domains and is therefore liable for their (mis)use, the domains should be dealt with in the same way that other criminal tools would be, Ingblad argued. Punkt SE, on the other hand, took the position that holding a registry responsible for infringement has no basis in law. Furthermore, disabling domains is an ineffective way to deal with infringement. After two years preparation the case was heard at the end of April 2015 and just a few minutes ago the decision was handed down. After a week-long delay the Stockholm District Court ruled that The Pirate Bay will forfeit its Sweden-based domains – ThePirateBay.se and PirateBay.se – after finding that they belong to Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij. “The District Court’s conclusion is that the domain names are property that can be forfeited,†the ruling reads. “Fredrik Neij has participated in the [copyright infringement] crimes that have been identified and he is the actual holder of the domain names. It is therefore no obstacle to confiscate domain names from him. The prosecutor’s primary claim with respect to Fredrik Neij should be upheld and domain names should be confiscated from him in accordance with the Copyright Act.†While copyright holders will be pleased that two of Pirate Bay’s domains will be put out of action (they will be seized by the Swedish state), the District Court dismissed the prosecution’s case against Punkt.se and awarded the registry close to $40,000 (SEK 332,000) in costs. “We have received the verdict and are of course glad that the court chose to decide according to our view,†.SE public relations manager Elisabeth Nilsson informs TorrentFreak. “We think it is good that this issue has been examined. Now we need some time to read through the verdict and do a thorough analysis before we can make any further comments.†At least for now The Pirate Bay will continue business as usual. An insider informs TF that the site has plenty of other domains in reserve and will make a switch when required. We have also requested comment from prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad and this article will be updated as soon as further details become available. Should the parties wish to appeal they must do so no later than June 9, 2015. Update: Sara Lindbäck of anti-piracy group Rights Alliance informs TF that the decision was expected and will make it harder for pirate sites to operate from Swedish domains. “Pirate Bay has on a commercial scale committed massive infringements against rights holders. The forfeiture is a clear and positive sign that society does not accept these types of activities,†Lindbäck says. “[in future] it will become more difficult for illegal players to run their activities under the SE-domain.†https://torrentfreak.com/key-pirate-bay-domains-must-be-seized-court-rules-150519/
  5. A few days after music streaming service Grooveshark shut down and settled with the major record labels, the site was 'resurrected' by unknown people. While the reincarnation bears more resemblance to a traditional MP3 search engine than Grooveshark, the labels are determined to bring it down. Earlier this month the long running lawsuit between the RIAA and Grooveshark came to an end. Facing hundreds of millions in damages, the music streaming service settled the dispute for $50 million while offering an apology for the mistakes that had been made in the past. The record labels celebrated the outcome as a victory, but after a few days they had a new Grooveshark problem on their hands. A person naming himself “Shark†had launched a new music service using the familiar Grooveshark brand. Contrary to most press reports proclaiming a near-complete return of Grooveshark, the site itself appeared to be mostly an MP3Juices clone. However, the use of the Grooveshark name was enough to have the record labels worried. In a complaint filed under seal at the Southern District of New York, the labels are now suing the people behind Grooveshark’s reincarnation. The labels accuse the site’s operators of counterfeiting, trademark infringement, cybersquatting and copyright infringement and immediately applied for countermeasures to shut the site down. Earlier this week District Court Judge Deborah Batts sided with the labels, issuing the requested temporary restraining order as well as a seizure order directed at the site’s operators, hosting providers and domain registrar NameCheap. “There is good cause to believe that, unless the Defendants are restrained and enjoined by Order of this Court, immediate and irreparable harm will result from the Defendants’ ongoing violations,†the Judge writes. Under the temporary restraining order the site’s operators are barred from using Grooveshark trademarks and logos and it also prohibits hosting providers from working with the site. In addition, NameCheap was ordered to seize the domain until further notice. Letter to Namecheap Namecheap swiftly complied with the order and as a result the site’s domain names including Grooveshark.io are now inaccessible. The operator of the ‘new’ Grooveshark, however, is not impressed by the legal fireworks and will continue to run the site from the new Grooveshark.vc domain name that was just launched. “I have one message for those responsible for this hostile take over: You will not stop us. We won’t give in to this type of bullying,†Shark informs us. “On the contrary! The harder you come at us the stronger we’ll fight, and now after this hit we’re more determined than ever to keep Grooveshark alive and kicking,†he adds. In addition to relocating to a new domain name Shark says he’s added several developers to his team. A few days ago the team released the much requested playlist feature and in the near future he hopes to make the entire project Open Source. And so a new game of Whac-A-Mole has started. https://torrentfreak.com/record-labels-sue-new-grooveshark-seize-domains-150515/
  6. Following their SOPA defeat three years ago, the MPAA, RIAA and ESA are again arguing that registrars need to take action against domains being used for infringing purposes. The groups told the House Judiciary Committee’s Internet subcommittee that dealing with anonymous domain registrations is also an urgent matter. One of the key aims of the now infamous SOPA legislation that failed to pass several years ago was the takedown of domains being used for infringing purposes. The general consensus outside of the major copyright groups was that this kind of provision should be rejected. However, within the movie and music industries the spirit of SOPA is still alive, it’s just a question of how its aims can be achieved without giving alternative mechanisms the same name. Yesterday, during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee’s Internet subcommittee, domains were firmly on the agenda. One group in attendance was the Coalition for Online Accountability. COA’s aim is to improve online transparency and to encourage “effective enforcement against online infringement of copyrights and trademarks.†No surprise then that its members consist of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA). COA counsel Steve Metalitz’s testimony called for domain name registrars to deal with complaints effectively. Domains “In recent months, there have been increasing calls from many quarters for domain name registrars to recognize that, like other intermediaries in the e-commerce environment, they must play their part to help address the plague of online copyright theft that continues to blight the digital marketplace,†Metalitz said. “Under the 2013 revision of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), domain name registrars took on important new obligations to respond to complaints that domain names they sponsor are being used for copyright or trademark infringement, or other illegal activities.†However, according to Metalitz, registrars are not responding. The COA counsel said that the RAA requires registrars to “investigate and respond appropriately†to abuse reports and make “commercially reasonable efforts†to ensure that registrants don’t use their domain names “directly or indirectly†to infringe third party rights. But there has been little action. “Well-documented reports of abuse that are submitted to registrars by right-holders, clearly demonstrating pervasive infringement, are summarily rejected, in contravention of the 2013 RAA, which requires that they be investigated,†he said. As an example, Metalitz highlighted a Romanian-hosted ‘pirate’ music site using the domain Itemvn.com. “By August of last year, RIAA had notified the site of over 220,000 infringements of its members’ works (and had sent similar notices regarding 26,000 infringements to the site’s hosting providers). At that time, RIAA complained to the domain name registrar (a signatory of the 2013 RAA), which took no action, ostensibly because it does not host the site,†he explained. A complaint to ICANN was also dismissed, twice. It’s clear from Metalitz’s testimony that the MPAA, RIAA and ESA are seeking an environment in which domains will be suspended or blocked if they can be shown to be engaged in infringement. But the groups’ demands don’t end there. WHOIS WHOIS databases carry the details of individuals or companies that have registered domains and registrars are required to ensure that this information is both accurate and up to date. However, since WHOIS searches often reveal information that registrants would rather keep private, so-called proxy registrations (such as Whoisguard) have become increasingly popular. While acknowledging there is a legitimate need for such registrations (albeit in “limited circumstancesâ€), the entertainment industry groups are not happy that pirate site operators are playing the system to ensure they cannot be traced. As a result they are aiming for a situation where registrars only deal with proxy services that meet certain standards on issues including accuracy of customer data, relaying of complaints to proxy registrants, plus “ground rules for when the contact points of a proxy registrant will be revealed to a complainant in order to help address a copyright or trademark infringement.†In other words, anonymity should only be available up to a point. In a letter to the Committee, the EFF warned against the COA’s proposals. “As advocates for free speech, privacy, and liberty on the global Internet, we ask the Committee to resist calls to impose new copyright and trademark enforcement responsibilities on ICANN. In particular, the Committee should reject proposals to have ICANN require the suspension of Internet domain names based on accusations of copyright or trademark infringement by a website,†the EFF said. “This is effectively the same proposal that formed the centerpiece of the Stop Online Piracy Act of 2011 (SOPA), which this Committee set aside after millions of Americans voiced their opposition. Using the global Domain Name System to enforce copyright law remains as problematic in 2015 as it was in 2011.†https://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-riaa-demand-dns-action-against-pirate-domains-150514/
  7. Should The Pirate Bay be allowed to carry on business as usual while using domain names under Swedish control? That's the argument the Stockholm District Court will consider next week following a demand from the prosecutor that the two .SE domains be disabled or placed under government control. Some of the key strategies employed by anti-piracy groups around the world involve attacking the infrastructures of so-called pirate sites. Pressuring hosting companies to cut off sites is one of the oldest and perhaps easiest method of disrupting activities, but finding a new host – even for the most blatant of infringers – is usually countered in a few hours. It’s a nuisance, but one that can be handled relatively easily. Blocking domains at the ISP level presents more of a problem for sites but actually seizing a domain or rendering it entirely useless really takes things to the next level. It’s a strategy being actively pursued in a number of cases, most recently by the RIAA in an important case against MP3Skull reported here yesterday. Next week in a separate action, a Swedish court will be required to decide whether The Pirate Bay will be allowed to keep control of two of its most important domains. ThePirateBay.se (the site’s main domain) and PirateBay.se (a lesser used alternative) are being targeted by Prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad, the man behind the now-famous operation that took the site down in December. Filed back in 2013 at the District Court of Stockholm, the motion targets Punkt SE, the organization responsible for Sweden’s top level .SE domain. Ingblad’s position is that since The Pirate Bay has been deemed an illegal site, its domain names are assisting in those crimes and should be subject to action, just like a tool used in any other crime In a case against both the .SE registry and former Pirate Bay operator Fredrik Neij, Ingblad wants the Court to order the domains to be forfeited. “That is, in practice, that the state should take them over, or at least that .SE should not rent them out again, Ingblad says. In parallel The Pirate Bay is also facing its first web blocking action in Sweden. Last November, Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Nordisk Film and the Swedish Film Industry filed a lawsuit against Swedish service provider Bredbandsbolaget. The ISP intends to fight the demand. In the meantime the blocking case is certainly one to watch, with Punkt SE CEO Danny Aerts framing the action as unique in Europe. “There are no previous cases of states suing a registry for abetting criminal activity or breaching copyright law,†Aerts notes. https://torrentfreak.com/fate-of-pirate-bay-domains-hang-in-the-balance-150421/
  8. The registry behind the Somalian .SO TLD has banned more "Kickass" related domain names, citing illegal activities. The actions target Kickas.so, Kickasstorrents.so, Kickassmovie.so and several others domains, even a parked one. The owners, who are not affiliated with the popular torrent site, lost their domain names without prior notice. With millions of unique visitors per day KickassTorrents has become a prime target for copyright holders, many of whom would like to see the site taken offline. Among other tactics, copyright holders ask domain name registries to suspend pirate site domain names. For a long time the Somalian .so TLD appeared to be a relatively safe haven, but this changed last month when the Kickass.so domain was “banned.†Initially the action appeared to be an isolated incident, but the .SO registry wasn’t done with the Kickass brand yet. A few days ago the .SO registry targeted a new round of “Kickass†related domains. Kikass.so, Kickas.so, Kickasstorrent.so, Kickasstorrents.so, Kickasstorrent.so, Kickassmovies.so and Kickassmovie.so were all added to the ban list. Interestingly, none of the domains were affiliated with the notorious torrent site. Kickassmovies.so, for example, was a relatively low traffic streaming site that simply used the Kickass brand to gain traffic. A similar domain name, Kickassmovie.so, wasn’t even operational. The owner had parked the domain which wasn’t linking to any infringing material. Still, this domain was banned as well for an alleged violation of .SO’s policies. “The central registry has deleted the domain ‘kickassmovie.so’. The domain was in violation of their usage policy,†Dynadot informed the owner. The .SO registry isn’t commenting on its actions, but it’s very likely that complaints from copyright holders are the main reason. By taking away the domain names of popular sites rightsholders hope to frustrate and confuse the public. To a certain degree this strategy seems to be working. KickassTorrents is currently hard to find on search engines such as Google. Instead, many users are redirected to scam sites where they have to leave their credit card details to register a “free†account. Findability issues aside, the real KickassTorrents is still alive and kicking. The site continues to operate on its old Kickass.to domain name, which regained its spot among the 100 most visited sites on the Internet. http://torrentfreak.com/so-registry-bans-more-kickasstorrents-domains-150304/
  9. The MPAA is one of the ICANN partners shaping future policy for the domain name system. With Hollywood being the driving force behind the group the MPAA is particularly interested in making it harder for pirate sites to register and keep their domains, as recent efforts show. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the main oversight body for the Internet’s global domain name system. Among other things, ICANN develops policies for accredited registrars to prevent abuse and illegal use of domain names. What not many people know, however, is that the MPAA is actively involved in shaping these policies. As a member of several ICANN stakeholder groups the lobby outfit is keeping a close eye on the movie industry’s interests. Most of these efforts are directed against pirate sites. For example, in ICANN’s most recent registrar agreements it’s clearly stated that domain names should not be used for copyright infringement. As the MPAA’s Alex Deacon explains, these agreements “contain new obligations for ICANN’s contract partners to promptly investigate and respond to use of domain names for illegal and abusive activities, including those related to IP infringement.†The MPAA hopes that “the community†will take these new obligations seriously and make sure that they are enforced. “As with any new contractual obligations, it is essential that the community as a whole be on the same page on how these obligations are interpreted and ultimately enforced,†Deacon writes. The MPAA’s involvement with ICANN’s policy making is a sensitive subject and Deacon’s comments in public are carefully worded. However, the MPAA is getting involved with ICANN for a reason. Thanks to internal documents that were made public in the Sony leak, we know that the MPAA ideally wants to adopt “procedures for broad-based termination of pirate sites.†While admitting that such a major change is “unlikely,†the MPAA notes that “seeking to make policy changes through ICANN meetings†remains an important strategy. Besides influencing future policy, the MPAA also sees an option to use the existing agreements to convince registrars to take action against domain names that are used by “pirate†sites. “The recent ICANN changes to the registrar agreement for new gTLDs apparently provide non-judicial ‘notice’ opportunities that may suggest new strategies requiring fewer resources. We need to explore these further,†the internal MPAA document reveals. Whether registrars are likely to comply with voluntary takedown requests has yet to be seen though. Previously, City of London Police didn’t have much luck with a similar strategy. http://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-pushes-icann-policy-changes-target-pirate-domains-150227/
  10. A pair of domains operated by The Pirate Bay are at risk of seizure following legal action by Swedish authorities. The man behind December's raid, prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad, says that the domains should be canceled or placed under state control. The domain registry involved has criticized the move. While it is technically possible to operate without one, domain names are considered vital for any mainstream website. Domains give a web service an identity and make them easy to find. This is exactly what authorities in Sweden are now trying to deny The Pirate Bay. Prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad, the man behind the now-famous operation to take the site down in December, is now spearheading the drive to shut down The Pirate Bay’s access to a pair of key domains. ThePirateBay.se and PirateBay.se are Ingblad’s targets, the former being the only domain currently being used by the site. Originally filed at the District Court of Stockholm back in 2013, the motion targets Punkt SE, the organization responsible for Sweden’s top level .SE domain. Ingblad’s assertion is that since The Pirate Bay is acting illegally, domain names are necessarily part of that site’s ‘crimes’ and should be tackled like any other part of its infrastructure. “A domain name is an aid for a site. When a site is used for criminal activities a domain is aiding crime,†Ingblad said. While actions against domain names aren’t unprecedented in Sweden, this case is unique. Punkt SE (also referred to as the Internet Infrastructure Foundation) informs TorrentFreak that while two earlier actions targeted the owners of Swedish domain names, this is the first time that the prosecutor has targeted the .SE / IIS registrar directly. “There have been two legal cases regarding forfeiture of domain names from the domain name holder (ikonm.se and [torrent site] xnt.nu). In the Pirate bay case the prosecutor wants to forfeit the domain names directly from .SE,†Punkt SE’s Maria Ekelund told TF. Also of interest is Inglblad’s demands for the domains should he prevail. The prosecutor says that Punkt SE should at the least be forbidden from allowing anyone to register the domains in future or, preferably, they should be placed under control of the Swedish government. “It is not our intention to impose any monitoring responsibility on Punkt SE. The best outcome is that the state takes over the domain,†Ingblad told DN.se. At this point it’s worth noting how far removed Punkt SE are from any online infringement. In the original Pirate Bay criminal trial the site’s former operators were found guilty of assisting in copyright infringements carried out by the site’s users. In the current case Punkt SE are being accused of assisting people who were previously found guilty of assisting other people to commit copyright infringement. Punkt SE CEO Danny Aerts previously noted that the case is unique. “In the eyes of the prosecutor, .SE’s catalogue function has become some form of accomplice to criminal activity, a perspective that is unique in Europe as far as I know,†Aerts said. “There are no previous cases of states suing a registry for abetting criminal activity or breaching copyright law.†Frederick Ingblad agrees that the case is complicated. “It is about fundamental rights versus the need to prevent crime online. It’s a balancing act, and ultimately it’s for the legislature to decide.†A few moments ago Punkt SE told us that the case will be heard at the end of April, two years since its original filing in 2013. “The serving of all the counterparties has taken a long time,†Maria Ekelund concludes. http://torrentfreak.com/the-pirate-bay-domains-targeted-in-legal-action-150210/
  11. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry says it is preparing to have several "infringing sites" blocked at the ISP level in Singapore. The move, which will target The Pirate Bay should it come back online, follows new legislation introduced last year aimed at smoothing the way for High Court injunctions. Domain blocking is now firmly established as one of the entertainment industries’ go-to methods for reducing online copyright infringement. Its use is widespread around Europe by both the music and movie sector. In Europe the most important legal decision was announced in March last year when the Court of Justice of the European Union confirmed that EU ISPs can be required to block access to sites engaged in copyright infringement. Elsewhere, individual countries are making their own decisions on how to move forward. Last July, Singapore legislators approved the Copyright Amendment Bill which allows copyright holders to obtain High Court orders forcing local service providers to block “flagrantly infringing†websites. Now, six months on, entertainment companies are ready to launch their first tests. IFPI regional director Ang Kwee Tiang confirmed that the music group will initially target three to five “infringing sites†over the next two months. “We are now actively looking into exercising this in the future,†he said. The sites to be targeted have not yet been revealed but it’s always been the understanding that The Pirate Bay would be tackled first. The site’s reputation as the “worst-of-the-worst†allows entertainment companies to present a relatively straightforward case to the courts. The rising number of blocking orders already granted elsewhere only add to the mix. “Now, The Pirate Bay has more than 6 million links. We take the screenshots and we show that these are not licensed. We’re going to show that The Pirate Bay has been blocked in nine or 10 different countries. I think that will be very convincing for our cause,†Ang said. However, with The Pirate Bay currently down, it’s possible that other targets will have to be selected in the first batch. Ang confirms that evidence is still being collated but he’s confident that a successful blockade will help to reduce piracy. “I divide (consumers) 80 to 20 – 80 per cent are average consumers, if they cannot get it easily and if a legal site offers it, they may go for the legal site,†he said. “The committed pirate is like a committed criminal. They will search for ways to circumvent. But once we have the website blocking, then we are free to tackle the 20 per cent.†The driving force behind the site blocking phenomenon can be found in the entertainment companies of the United States but following the SOPA debacle public discussion to progress site blocking has been fairly muted. That doesn’t mean nothing has been happening, however. In December it was revealed that behind closed doors the MPAA has been working hard to bring site blocking to the United States. Whether those aims will still be progressed following the somewhat embarrassing leaks will remain to be seen, but it’s likely the movie group won’t be steered off course for long. Overall, Hollywood definitely sees blocking as an important anti-piracy tool. The practice is endorsed by none other than MPAA chief Chris Dodd and internal MPAA research has found it to be effective. http://torrentfreak.com/ifpi-targets-pirate-domains-with-new-site-blocking-law-150113/
  12. Police Arrest Streaming Site Admin, Several Domains Suspended City of London Police's anti-piracy campaign Operation Creative is pushing ahead with the disruption of copyright-infringing sites. On Monday, detectives arrested a man in his mid-20s on suspicion of operating several streaming links sites. The unit also suspended several domains, which now show a familiar warning banner. Speaking with TorrentFreak late last week, the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) clarified the stages behind Operation Creative, an ongoing campaign aimed at disrupting the activities of unauthorized content sites. “At the first instance of a website being identified, evidenced and confirmed as providing copyright infringing content, the site owner is contacted by officers at the PIPCU and offered the opportunity to engage with the police, to correct their behavior and to begin to operate legitimately,†a spokesperson explained. “In the contact sent to the website owners PIPCU clearly states that if a website fails to comply and engage with the police, then a variety of other tactical options may be used including; contacting the domain registrar to seek suspension of the site, disrupting advertising revenue and advert replacement.†But while disruption is clearly on the agenda, the police can also rely on the traditional investigation and arrest process. Earlier this week, that’s exactly what they did. Sometime on Monday morning, detectives from PIPCU carried out an arrest of a 26-year-old man in the UK. He was detained in York, England, a city located around four hours drive from PIPCU’s base in the City of London. The man was arrested on suspicion of operating a number of streaming-related domains. At the time of writing PIPCU has not responded to our requests for comment [update: PIPCU comment below], but TF has discovered that earlier this week sports streaming domains BoxingGuru.co.uk, boxingguru.eu, boxingguru.tv and nutjob.eu were all suspended. The sites currently redirect to a page carrying a statement indicating they are under investigation for online copyright infringement. Police have not yet publicly linked their closure with the arrest on Monday. The logos of four key Operation Creative partners – BPI, FACT, IFPI and The Publishers Association – are displayed on the page although it seems highly likely that FACT were behind the recommendation to investigate the sites closed down this week. All domains with ‘boxing’ in their titles linked to the world’s biggest boxing events. This would have put the sites on a collision course with FACT members including British Sky Broadcasting, BT Sport and cable provider Virgin Media, all of which generate revenue from that market. Nutjob.eu linked to streams of a variety of sporting events including soccer, putting the site firmly in the cross-hairs of the powerful Premier League. Other links would certainly have proven unpopular with the NHL, NBA and ESPN. While the sites certainly embedded videos and provided links to unauthorized content hosted elsewhere, their operator has always maintained he has nothing to do with placing the content online. Whether that holds true – or even if the police care at this stage – will be revealed as the investigation unfolds. FACT did not immediately respond to our request for comment. Update: “A 26 year old man was arrested on Monday 7 April by detectives from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) in York, on suspicion of hosting a number of websites allowing people to illegally stream TV and films,†a PIPCU spokesperson told TF. “A number of websites have been suspended and the suspect was taken to a local police station for questioning. The investigation is ongoing.â€