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  1. A presumed pirate with an unusually large appetite for activating Windows 7 has incurred the wrath of Microsoft. In a lawsuit filed at a Washington court, the Seattle-based company said that it logged hundreds of suspicious product activations from a Verizon IP address and is now seeking damages. Due to the fact that one needs to be present on most computers in order for them to work at all, operating systems are among the most pirated types of software around. There can be little doubt that across its range in its 29 year history, Microsoft’s Windows operating systems have been pirated countless millions of times. It’s a practice that on some levels Microsoft has come to accept, with regular consumers largely avoiding the company’s aggression. However, as one or perhaps more pirates are about to find out, the same cannot be said of those pirating the company’s products on a commercial scale. In a lawsuit filed this week at a district court in Seattle, Microsoft targets individuals behind a single Verizon IP address – 74.111.202.30. Who he, she or they are is unknown at this point, but according to Microsoft they’re responsible for some serious Windows pirating. “As part of its cyberforensic methods, Microsoft analyzes product key activation data voluntarily provided by users when they activate Microsoft software, including the IP address from which a given product key is activated,†the lawsuit reads. Microsoft says that its forensic tools allow the company to analyze billions of activations of Microsoft software and identify patterns “that make it more likely than not†that an IP address associated with activations is one through which pirated software is being activated. “Microsoft’s cyberforensics have identified hundreds of product key activations originating from IP address 74.111.202.30…which is presently assigned to Verizon Online LLC. These activations have characteristics that on information and belief, establish that Defendants are using the IP address to activate pirated software.†Microsoft says that the defendant(s) have activated hundreds of copies of Windows 7 using product keys that have been “stolen†from the company’s supply chain or have never been issued with a valid license, or keys used more times than their license allows. In addition to immediate injunctive relief and the impounding of all infringing materials, the company demands profits attributable to the infringements, treble damages and attorney fees or, alternatively, statutory damages. This week’s lawsuit (pdf) follows similar action in December 2014 in which Microsoft targeted the user behind an AT&T account. https://torrentfreak.com/microsoft-logs-ip-addresses-to-catch-windows-7-pirates-150504/
  2. 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/
  3. The UK's top IP advisor has published recommendations on how Internet service providers should deal with online piracy. Among other things, it's suggested that Internet services should search for and filter infringing content proactively. According to the report ISPs have a moral obligation to do more against online piracy. Mike Weatherley, a Conservative MP and Intellectual Property Adviser to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, has pushed various copyright related topics onto the political agenda since early last year. Previously Weatherley suggested that search engines should blacklist pirate sites, kids should be educated on copyright ethics, and that persistent file-sharers should be thrown in jail. In his latest proposal the UK MP targets information society service providers (ISSPs) including ISPs, who he believes could do more to fight piracy. The just-released 18-page report stresses that these companies have a moral obligation to tackle copyright infringement and can’t stand idly by. The report (pdf) draws on input from various pro-copyright groups including the MPAA, BPI, and the Music Publishers Association. It offers various recommendations for the UK Government and the EU Commission to strengthen their anti-piracy policies. One of the key points is to motivate Internet services and providers to filter content proactively. According to the report it’s feasible to “filter out infringing content†and to detect online piracy before it spreads. The UK Government should review these systems and see what it can do to facilitate cooperation between copyright holders and Internet service providers. “There should be an urgent review, by the UK Government, of the various applications and processes that could deliver a robust automated checking process regarding illegal activity being transmitted,†Weatherley advises. In a related effort, Weatherley notes that Internet services should not just remove the content they’re asked to, but also police their systems to ensure that similar files are removed, permanently. “ISSPs to be more proactive in taking down multiple copies of infringing works, not just the specific case they are notified of,†he recommends. “This would mean ISSPs actively taking down multiple copies of the same work which are hosted on its services, not just the individual copy which is subject to the complaint. The MPA believe this principle could be extended further still to ensure that all copies of the infringing work are not just taken down…,†Weatherley explains. This type of filtering is already used by YouTube, which takes down content based on fingerprint matches. However, the report suggests that regular broadband providers could also filter infringing content. Concluding, Weatherley admits that it’s all too easy to simply demand that ISPs take the role of policemen, but at the same time he stresses that they have a “moral responsibility†to do more. The UK MP presents an analogy of a landlord whose property is used for illegal activities. The landlord cannot be held liable for these activities, but he may have to take action if a third-party reports it. “If the landlord is told that the garage is being used for illegal activity, and that this information is from a totally reliable source, then does the landlord have a moral obligation to report it?†“I would argue that it is the duty of every citizen or company to do what they can to stop illegal activity and therefore the answer is, yes, the landlord should report the activity,†Weatherley notes. Weatherley also believes that protecting the rights of copyright holders has priority over a “no monitoring†principle that would ensure users’ privacy. That is, if the monitoring is done right. “There is also the question as to whether society will want to have their private activities monitored (even if automatically and entirely confidentially) and whether the trade off to a safer, fairer internet is a price worth paying to clamp down on internet illegal activity. My ‘vote’ would be “yes†if via an independent body …†Overall, the recommendations will be welcomed by the industry groups who provided input. The report is not expected to translate directly into legislation, but they will be carefully weighed by the UK Government and the EU Commission when taking future decisions. https://torrentfreak.com/uk-ip-chief-wants-isps-to-police-piracy-proactively-150331/
  4. Voltage Pictures, the company behind the Oscar-winning Hurt Locker movie, must pay $21,557 to expose 2,000 alleged pirates. Canada's Federal Court ruled on the long running dispute between the movie studio and Internet provider Teksavvy this week, a decision that's crucial for future 'copyright trolling' efforts. More than two years ago movie studio Voltage Pictures took its legal crusade against pirating BitTorrent users to Canada. After targeting tens of thousands of people in the US, the company hoped to expose 2,000 Internet subscribers of Canadian ISP TekSavvy. The studio behind “The Hurt Locker†argued that they have a solid case under the Copyright Act. The efforts led to objections from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) who demanded safeguards so Voltage wouldn’t demand hefty fines from subscribers without oversight. The court agreed on this, but allowed the customers to be exposed. The only matter that remained were the costs associated with identifying the alleged pirates. According to Voltage these would only be a few hundred Canadian dollars, but Teksavvy claimed more that $350,000. This week the Federal Court ruled on the matter (pdf), settling the costs at $21,557. This includes $17,057 in technical administrative costs and $4,500 in legal fees associated with the IP-address lookups. The total sum translates to roughly $11 per IP-address, which is a tiny fraction of the thousands of dollars in settlements Voltage usually requests. The Court decided not to award any assessment costs, noting that both parties are intent on disparaging each other’s business practices. Taking claims from both sides into account it concluded that neither party should be rewarded for its conduct. “TekSavvy, without justification, has greatly exaggerated its claim, while Voltage has unreasonably sought to trivialize it based on unreliable and largely irrelevant evidence,†Judge Aronovitch writes. In the future it would be wise to agree on a fixed rate for linking IP-addresses to the personal details of subscribers before taking the matter to court, the Judge further notes. “The best practice, in my view, would be for the rights holder to ascertain, in advance, with clarity and precision, the method of correlation used by the ISP, as well as the time and costs attendant on the execution of the work based, to begin, on a hypothetical number of IP addresses.†The verdict opens the door for more of these cases in Canada. The question is, however, whether the costs and the restrictions still make it worthwhile. University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist, who followed the case closely, believes this troll-type activity may not be as financially viable as Voltage has hoped. “With the cap on liability for non-commercial infringement, the further costs of litigating against individuals, the actual value of the works, and the need to obtain court approval on demand letters, it is hard to see how this is a business model that works,†Geist notes. Voltage, however, appears to be determined to continue its actions against the subscribers. The studio’s lawyer is happy with the verdict and says the decision “confirms the court’s commitment to facilitate anti-piracy and allow companies like Voltage to pursue pirates.†https://torrentfreak.com/exposing-canadian-pirates-costs-11-per-ip-address-150319/
  5. VPN users are facing a massive security flaw as websites can easily see their home IP-addresses through WebRTC. The vulnerability is limited to supporting browsers such as Firefox and Chrome, and appears to affect Windows users only. Luckily the security hole is relatively easy to fix. The Snowden revelations have made it clear that online privacy is certainly not a given. Just a few days ago we learned that the Canadian Government tracked visitors of dozens of popular file-sharing sites. As these stories make headlines around the world interest in anonymity services such as VPNs has increased, as even regular Internet users don’t like the idea of being spied on. Unfortunately, even the best VPN services can’t guarantee to be 100% secure. This week a very concerning security flaw revealed that it’s easy to see the real IP-addresses of many VPN users through a WebRTC feature. With a few lines of code websites can make requests to STUN servers and log users’ VPN IP-address and the “hidden†home IP-address, as well as local network addresses. The vulnerability affects WebRTC-supporting browsers including Firefox and Chrome and appears to be limited to Windows machines. A demo published on GitHub by developer Daniel Roesler allows people to check if they are affected by the security flaw. IP-address leak The demo claims that browser plugins can’t block the vulnerability, but luckily this isn’t entirely true. There are several easy fixes available to patch the security hole. Chrome users can install the WebRTC block extension or ScriptSafe, which both reportedly block the vulnerability. Firefox users should be able to block the request with the NoScript addon. Alternatively, they can type “about:config†in the address bar and set the “media.peerconnection.enabled†setting to false. TF asked various VPN providers to share their thoughts and tips on the vulnerability. Private Internet Access told us that the are currently investigating the issue to see what they can do on their end to address it. TorGuard informed us that they issued a warning in a blog post along with instructions on how to stop the browser leak. Ben Van Der Pelt, TorGuard’s CEO, further informed us that tunneling the VPN through a router is another fix. “Perhaps the best way to be protected from WebRTC and similar vulnerabilities is to run the VPN tunnel directly on the router. This allows the user to be connected to a VPN directly via Wi-Fi, leaving no possibility of a rogue script bypassing a software VPN tunnel and finding one’s real IP,†Van der Pelt says. “During our testing Windows users who were connected by way of a VPN router were not vulnerable to WebRTC IP leaks even without any browser fixes,†he adds. While the fixes above are all reported to work, the leak is a reminder that anonymity should never be taken for granted. As is often the case with these type of vulnerabilities, VPN and proxy users should regularly check if their connection is secure. This also includes testing against DNS leaks and proxy vulnerabilities. http://torrentfreak.com/huge-security-flaw-leaks-vpn-users-real-ip-addresses-150130/
  6. I have two, looking to trade
  7. If the movie's owners have their way, alleged downloaders of Dallas Buyers Club in Australia could soon face allegations of piracy and demands for hard cash. However, it's worth reminding potential targets that not even Dallas Buyers Club's chosen lawfirm believe that the evidence relied on in the case is up to much. There are many explanations for the existence of online piracy, from content not being made available quickly enough to it being sold at ripoff prices. Unfortunately for Australians, over the years most of these complaints have had some basis in fact. The country is currently grappling with its piracy issues and while there’s hardly a consensus of opinion right now, most of the region’s rightsholders feel that suing the general public isn’t the way to go. It’s painful for everyone involved and doesn’t solve the problem. That said, US-based Dallas Buyers Club LLC are not of the same opinion. They care about money and to that end they’re now attempting to obtain the identities of iiNet users for the purpose of extracting cash settlements from them. Yesterday additional information on the case became available. An Optus spokeswoman told SMH that it had been contacted by Dallas Buyers Club about handing over subscriber data but its legal representatives had backed off when it was denied. The movie outfit didn’t even try with Telstra – but why? So-called copyright trolls like the easiest possible fight and through iiNet they know their adversaries just that little bit better. According to Anny Slater of Slaters Intellectual Property Lawyers, documents revealed in the ISP’s earlier fight with Village Roadshow show that Telstra could well be a more difficult target for discovery. The business model employed by plaintiffs such as Dallas Buyer’s Club LLC (DBCLLC) requires a minimum of ‘difficult’ since difficulties increase costs and decrease profits. To that end, part of the job of keeping things straightforward will fall to DBCLLC’s lawfirm, Sydney-based Marque Lawyers. Unfortunately for DBCLLC, Marque Lawyers have already shot themselves in the foot when it comes to convincing DBCLLC’s “pirate†targets to “pay up or else.†In 2012, Marque published a paper titled “It wasn’t me, it was my flatmate! – a defense to copyright infringement?†which detailed the company’s stance on file-sharing accusations. The publication provided a short summary of cases in the US where porn companies were aiming to find out the identities of people who had downloaded their films, just as Dallas Buyers Club – Marque’s clients – are doing now. “To find out the actual identities of the users, the [porn companies] asked the Court to force the ISPs to reveal the names and addresses of each of the subscribers to which the IP addresses related. The users went on the attack and won,†Marque explained. And here’s the line all potential targets of Dallas Buyers Club and Marque Lawyers should be aware of – from the lawfirm’s own collective mouth. “The judge, rightly in our view, agreed with the users that just because an IP address is in one person’s name, it does not mean that that person was the one who illegally downloaded the porn. As the judge said, an IP address does not necessarily identify a person and so you can’t be sure that the person who pays for a service has necessarily infringed copyright. This decision makes a lot of sense to us. If it holds up, copyright owners will need to be a whole lot more savvy about how they identify and pursue copyright infringers and, perhaps, we’ve seen the end of the mass ‘John Doe’ litigation.†So there you have it. Marque Lawyers do not have faith in the IP address-based evidence used in mass file-sharing litigation. In fact, they predict that weaknesses in IP address evidence might even signal the end of mass lawsuits. Sadly they weren’t right in their latter prediction, as their partnership with Dallas Buyers Club reveals. Still, their stance that the evidence is weak remains and will probably come back to bite them. The document is available for download from Marque’s own server. Any bill payers wrongly accused of piracy by the company in the future may like to refer the lawfirm to its own literature as part of their response. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  8. Announcement Ip filter is being used to defense attack. Please DO NOT refresh pages many times during short period, which may leads your IP blocked. The site is under revision. Please be patient if you find it unavailable to our site, though we hope that it will not happen anyway. HDWinG Staff
  9. The newly launched torrent search engine BTindex crawls BitTorrent's DHT network for new files. It's a handy service, but one that comes with a controversial twist. In addition to listing hundreds of thousands of magnet links, it also exposes the IP-addresses of BitTorrent users to the rest of the world. Unless BitTorrent users are taking steps to hide their identities through the use of a VPN, proxy, or seedbox, their downloading habits are available for almost anyone to snoop on. By design the BitTorrent protocol shares the location of any user in the swarm. After all, without knowing where to send the data nothing can be shared to begin with. Despite this fairly common knowledge, even some experienced BitTorrent users can be shocked to learn that someone has been monitoring their activities, let alone that their sharing activity is being made public for the rest of the world to see. Like it or not, this is exactly what the newly launched torrent search engine BTindex is doing. Unlike most popular torrent sites BTindex adds new content by crawling BitTorrent’s DHT network. This is already quite unique as most other sites get their content from user uploads or other sites. However, the most controversial part without doubt is that the IP-addresses of BitTorrent users are being shared as well. People who download a file from The Pirate Bay or any other torrent site expose their IP-addresses via the DHT network. BTindex records this information alongside the torrent metadata. The number of peers are displayed in the search results and for each file a selection of IP-addresses is made available to the public. http://torrentfreak.com/btindex-expo...-users-140807/
  10. The UK Prime Minister's Intellectual Property Advisor is to step down at the next general election. Mike Weatherley has been front and center in promoting entertainment industry action against online piracy but will not stand for re-election in 2015. The former movie industry worker is already being touted for a return to the creative sector. In September 2013, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced the appointment of Mike Weatherley MP as his brand new advisor on intellectual property matters. As the founder of Parliament’s Rock the House competition and member of the All-Party Parliamentary Intellectual Property Group launched in 2003 to raise awareness and rally against copyright and related infringement, Weatherley seemed like the ideal candidate. The then 56-year-old quickly offered his support to the recently formed Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit and promised to assist the government to focus on anti-piracy enforcement issues aimed at protecting the creative industries. By December of 2013, Weatherley was making it clear that ISPs should be held responsible for their customers’ infringing downloads and just weeks later suggested jail sentences for persistent file-sharers. Greater accountability for companies such as Google became a recurring theme in the MP’s work. But while Weatherley has made quite an impact in his unpaid position, his role as a Conservative Member of Parliament will come to an end in the first quarter of 2015. In an announcement today Weatherley confirmed that he will not be standing at next year’s General Election. Noting the enjoyment he’s had serving the people of his constituency in the south of England, Weatherley also touched on his role as Cameron’s IP advisor. “Over the past year, I have taken immense pride in serving as your Intellectual Property Adviser. I am sure that you will agree that we have made huge steps towards really getting politicians and industry talking – which is key to making the most of our country’s wealth of creative talent,†the MP told the Prime Minister. If Weatherley keeps to his own predictions then he will step down as an MP before May 2015 but he also hints that he would like to remain involved in government IP matters. “It would be a privilege to continue offering my assistance in this regard,†he told David Cameron. Interestingly, local media is reporting that Weatherley is believed to be returning to the creative industries. The 57-year-old was formerly the European vice-president of the Motion Picture Licensing Company and also worked as the finance director of record producer Pete Waterman’s empire. A revolving door situation, where Weatherley heads out of government into a position with a large entertainment group, hardly seems out of the question given his history, but for solid information the world will have to wait. In the meantime his work in government will continue, with some of his time devoted to the industry he’ll soon be re-joining. http://torrentfreak.com/uk-pms-ip-advisor-wont-stand-for-re-election-140703/
  11. The UK's top IP advisor has published recommendations on how search engines should deal with online piracy. The document envisions demoting sites based on numbers of copyright notices received, removal of others entirely after acknowledging ISP blocking orders, and warning consumers away from sites without industry certification. Mike Weatherley, a Conservative MP and Intellectual Property Adviser to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, has become increasingly involved in the online piracy debate in recent months. Weatherley’s current focus is on the role search engines can play in reducing infringement. In contrast to the approach taken by the entertainment industries, the MP has taken a much more positive stance when speaking of Google’s efforts thus far. In a new report, however, Weatherley lays out often far-reaching recommendations that puts him almost completely in sync with industry demands. The report, which Weatherley says is intended to stimulate debate, begins with praise for Google for “engaging positively†during its creation. Its recommendations are directed at all search engines, but as the market leader Google is called on to show leadership. Where Google goes, others will follow, Weatherley believes. Search results – demoting illegal sites The music and movie industries have long complained that illegal content is too easy to find and for a long time they’ve been putting Google under pressure to do something about that. Weatherley believes that by working with two existing sources of information – Google’s Transparency Report and the recently formed Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit’s infringing site “blacklist†– Google has a ready formula at hand. The BPI’s input suggests that when a search engine has received 10,000 infringement notices for a site, that site should no longer appear on the first page of search results. Any that receive 100,000 notices should no longer appear in the first 10 pages. However, it’s envisioned that “certificates†could be handed out to some sites to help them avoid being relegated – more on that later. Voluntarily complying with site-blocking court orders In the UK around 30 ‘pirate’ sites are now blocked via the UK’s major ISPs after both the BPI and MPA went to court to obtain injunctions. While these injunctions only legally apply to their formal targets (the ISPs), in future Weatherley would like Google to acknowledge the existence of injunctions by immediately removing the affected sites from all search results. The MP acknowledges that this may require a change in the law. Accepting takedown notices for AutoComplete terms For some time Google has been accepting applications from rightsholders to remove “infringing†terms from its AutoComplete service. Weatherley now wants to see this process formalized. “Given that Google has accepted that Autocomplete for pirate sites should not occur, it seems uncontroversial to recommend that steps are taken to continue to ensure this does not happen,†he writes. AutoComplete takedown notices should be included in Google’s Transparency Report, the MP says. Incorporating “Trust Marks†and “Warnings†to inform consumers The idea here is that somehow Google will consider the reputation of a site when formulating its algorithms and when it presents its search results. “Trust Marks†would be used to denote a legal and licensed resource while “Warnings†would be used to highlight an illegal site. The exact process through which a site could become trusted is unclear, but suggestions from the BPI indicate that a “certificate†could be obtained from its own Music Matters project to indicate that a resource is “cleanâ€. Similar certificates could be obtained by sites that receive a lot of takedown notices but operate legally (YouTube for example) so that they are whitelisted by Google and not downgraded in search results. In terms of warning against unlicensed sites, rightsholders suggest that Google takes note of PIPCU’s “pirate†site blacklist by either negatively marking affected sites in search results or removing them completely. Referencing a TorrentFreak article published last month reporting how Google had signaled that Demonoid was a potentially dangerous site, Weatherley said Google can do more to protect consumers. “Google has not only proven in relation to malware on certain torrent sites that it has the technical capability within its systems to deliver consumer messaging in search listings, but that such messages can be an effective deterrent to consumers,†the MP explains. Licensed services should do more to help themselves in search results While the music and movie industries complain endlessly about “pirate†results appearing above their own licensed content, not much time is given to explaining why that’s the case. Weatherley reveals that Google has made a request for movie and music streaming services behind a paywall to allow Google to crawl their sites in order for consumers to be able to see them in results. For some services, apparently that’s nThe UK's top IP advisor has published recommendations on how search engines should deal with online piracy. The document envisions demoting sites based on numbers of copyright notices received, removal of others entirely after acknowledging ISP blocking orders, and warning consumers away from sites without industry certification. Mike Weatherley, a Conservative MP and Intellectual Property Adviser to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, has become increasingly involved in the online piracy debate in recent months. Weatherley’s current focus is on the role search engines can play in reducing infringement. In contrast to the approach taken by the entertainment industries, the MP has taken a much more positive stance when speaking of Google’s efforts thus far. In a new report, however, Weatherley lays out often far-reaching recommendations that puts him almost completely in sync with industry demands. The report, which Weatherley says is intended to stimulate debate, begins with praise for Google for “engaging positively†during its creation. Its recommendations are directed at all search engines, but as the market leader Google is called on to show leadership. Where Google goes, others will follow, Weatherley believes. Search results – demoting illegal sites The music and movie industries have long complained that illegal content is too easy to find and for a long time they’ve been putting Google under pressure to do something about that. Weatherley believes that by working with two existing sources of information – Google’s Transparency Report and the recently formed Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit’s infringing site “blacklist†– Google has a ready formula at hand. The BPI’s input suggests that when a search engine has received 10,000 infringement notices for a site, that site should no longer appear on the first page of search results. Any that receive 100,000 notices should no longer appear in the first 10 pages. However, it’s envisioned that “certificates†could be handed out to some sites to help them avoid being relegated – more on that later. Voluntarily complying with site-blocking court orders In the UK around 30 ‘pirate’ sites are now blocked via the UK’s major ISPs after both the BPI and MPA went to court to obtain injunctions. While these injunctions only legally apply to their formal targets (the ISPs), in future Weatherley would like Google to acknowledge the existence of injunctions by immediately removing the affected sites from all search results. The MP acknowledges that this may require a change in the law. Accepting takedown notices for AutoComplete terms For some time Google has been accepting applications from rightsholders to remove “infringing†terms from its AutoComplete service. Weatherley now wants to see this process formalized. “Given that Google has accepted that Autocomplete for pirate sites should not occur, it seems uncontroversial to recommend that steps are taken to continue to ensure this does not happen,†he writes. AutoComplete takedown notices should be included in Google’s Transparency Report, the MP says. Incorporating “Trust Marks†and “Warnings†to inform consumers The idea here is that somehow Google will consider the reputation of a site when formulating its algorithms and when it presents its search results. “Trust Marks†would be used to denote a legal and licensed resource while “Warnings†would be used to highlight an illegal site. The exact process through which a site could become trusted is unclear, but suggestions from the BPI indicate that a “certificate†could be obtained from its own Music Matters project to indicate that a resource is “cleanâ€. Similar certificates could be obtained by sites that receive a lot of takedown notices but operate legally (YouTube for example) so that they are whitelisted by Google and not downgraded in search results. In terms of warning against unlicensed sites, rightsholders suggest that Google takes note of PIPCU’s “pirate†site blacklist by either negatively marking affected sites in search results or removing them completely. Referencing a TorrentFreak article published last month reporting how Google had signaled that Demonoid was a potentially dangerous site, Weatherley said Google can do more to protect consumers. “Google has not only proven in relation to malware on certain torrent sites that it has the technical capability within its systems to deliver consumer messaging in search listings, but that such messages can be an effective deterrent to consumers,†the MP explains. Licensed services should do more to help themselves in search results While the music and movie industries complain endlessly about “pirate†results appearing above their own licensed content, not much time is given to explaining why that’s the case. Weatherley reveals that Google has made a request for movie and music streaming services behind a paywall to allow Google to crawl their sites in order for consumers to be able to see them in results. For some services, apparently that’s not currently allowed. “Google maintains that it is perfectly possible to create crawlable pages for each movie or album title in a security-friendly way. I am told by rights holders that there are potential security issues around making licensed services crawlable and they have concerns with this proposal,†Weatherley notes. Conclusion While Weatherley is currently praising Google in order to keep the tone positive and the discussion flowing, the IP advisor clearly believes that the search engine is capable of assisting rightsholders much more but is failing to do so. The MP’s report has no official standing in respect of government policy but it addresses most if not all of the movie and music industries’ main problems with Google. Expect this document to become a point of reference in the months to come.ot currently allowed. “Google maintains that it is perfectly possible to create crawlable pages for each movie or album title in a security-friendly way. I am told by rights holders that there are potential security issues around making licensed services crawlable and they have concerns with this proposal,†Weatherley notes. Conclusion While Weatherley is currently praising Google in order to keep the tone positive and the discussion flowing, the IP advisor clearly believes that the search engine is capable of assisting rightsholders much more but is failing to do so. The MP’s report has no official standing in respect of government policy but it addresses most if not all of the movie and music industries’ main problems with Google. Expect this document to become a point of reference in the months to come.
  12. Some users when visiting the site are getting a notice that their IP was banned. This is a bug and we are currently looking into it. In the meantime, there is a temporary fix: If you do not require IPv6 you can try disabling it in your OS. It might take 10/15 minutes until you can access the site but it should allow you back in afterwards. If you are using Windows 7: https://www.informationweek.com/how-to-disable-ipv6-on-windows-7-/d/d-id/1099490