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  1. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  2. Hello Guys I would like to find out ur favorite horror Movie. Please share your thoughts here so i starts from mine its Evil Dead :shock:
  3. Hello Invite Scene, Well, It's time to find out The Best Hollywood Movies of 2014. Tell us which movies you have watched and why you liked them? Finally, let see which movies win the Big Hit. So, let the game begins! If you think of some other movies that is not in the list you can post it here, A little bit spamming is allowed!
  4. Both Shakira and Pitbull have made winning world cup anthems, but whose song is better, is Shakira’s “La,La,La (Brasil 2014)†or Pitbull’s “We Are One†the superior song?
  5. The copyright monopoly is based on the idea of an exchange. In exchange for exclusive rights, the copyright industry supplies culture and knowledge to the public. It turns out that the entire premise is a lie, as untethered creators are racing to provide culture and knowledge anyway. The copyright monopoly was reinstated in Great Britain in 1710, after having lapsed in England in 1695. It was enacted because printers (not writers) insisted, that if they didn’t have exclusive rights to boost profitability, nothing would get printed. (Do note the difference between books getting written on one hand, and getting printed and distributed on the other. It was printers, not writers and authors, that drove the reinstatement of the copyright monopoly through the so-called Statute of Anne.) The Parliament of Great Britain accepted this premise, and thus, the social contract of the copyright monopoly was formed: “In return for providing the only service that can make culture come into being for the benefit of the public, the publishers and distributors are awarded with time-limited exclusive rights.†Note the very important assumption here: if the exclusive rights – the copyright monopoly – don’t exist, there will not be any culture. This is the contract which governments have been acting on ever since: in exchange for providing a magic service that calls culture into being in the first place, the publishers have enjoyed exclusive rights that allow them to punish and withhold. The social contract between the public and the copyright industry is, that in exchange for exclusive rights, the publishers will make culture available, being the only ones who can supply such availability of culture. It turns out the entire premise is bullshit. With the advent of the Internet, we see that people are creating despite these exclusive rights, this monopoly, instead of because of it. Millions of creators – millions! – have publicly renounced their already-awarded exclusive rights by publishing under a Creative Commons license. YouTube alone receives 300 hours of new video every minute. This means YouTube alone provides 18,000 24/7 TV channels, most of which are not worth watching – in other words, just like the legacy TV channels. The notion that the copyright industry alone is capable of providing culture has been exposed as an enormous, audacious, bold-faced utter lie. So if you were the government, the buyer in this scenario, what would you do? The buyer who gives very valuable exclusive rights to the copyright industry who claimed that the existence of such a contract was the only way to have any culture available at all – what would you do now that it’s clear that you’ve been paying much much much too high a price? You would terminate the contract with this lying seller of public culture who demanded harmful exclusive rights in exchange for culture to be created. You would find another supplier who provided better terms to the public. And most importantly, you would not care about what the old seller – the copyright industry – had to say about your new negotiations. That’s now any other procurement works, after all: if you’re unhappy with a supplier, you find a new supplier, and obviously, the old supplier doesn’t get to have a say about the next deal with another supplier. There is no reason at all why culture and knowledge should work differently. In other words, there is no reason at all why the copyright industry should enjoy any exclusive rights at all, and in particular, there is no reason why they should have any say about having them revoked. They haven’t delivered on the social contract, so the contract gets revoked. End of story. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rick Falkvinge is a regular columnist on TorrentFreak, sharing his thoughts every other week. He is the founder of the Swedish and first Pirate Party, a whisky aficionado, and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. His blog at focuses on information policy.
  6. Several music industry organizations in the UK have won a judicial review which renders the Government's decision to allow copying for personal use unlawful. According to the High Court, there's insufficient evidence to prove that the legislation doesn't hurt musicians and the industry at large. Late last year the UK Government legalized copying for private use, a practice which many citizens already believed to be legal. However, until last October, anyone who transferred music from a purchased CD to an MP3 player was committing an offense. The change was “in the best interest†of consumers, the Government reasoned, but several music industry organizations disagreed. In November the Musicians’ Union (MU), the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and UK Music applied for a judicial review of the new legislation. While the groups are not against private copying exceptions, they disagreed with the Government’s conclusion that the change would cause no financial harm to the music industry. Instead of keeping copies free, they suggested that a tax should be applied to blank media including blank CDs, hard drives, memory sticks and other blank media. This money would then be shared among rightsholders, a mechanism already operating in other European countries. Today the High Court largely agreed with the music industry groups. The Government’s conclusion that copyright holders will not suffer any significant harm was based on inadequate evidence, Mr Justice Green ruled. “In conclusion, the decision to introduce section 28B [private copying] in the absence of a compensation mechanism is unlawful,†the Judge writes. The Judge didn’t agree with all claims from the music groups. For example, he rejected the allegation that the Government had unlawfully predetermined the outcome of the private copying consultation. Nonetheless, the application for a judicial review succeeded meaning that the private copying exceptions are now deemed unlawful. As a result, the Government will likely have to amend the legislation, which took roughly half a decade to implement. The UK music groups are happy with the outcome and are eager to discuss possible changes with lawmakers. “The High Court agreed with us that Government acted unlawfully. It is vitally important that fairness for songwriters, composers and performers is written into the law,†UK Music CEO Jo Dipple commented on the ruling. “Changes to copyright law that affect such a vital part of the creative economy, which supports one in twelve jobs, must only be introduced if there is a robust evidential basis for doing so,†Dipple added. The High Court scheduled a new hearing next month to decide what action should be taken in response to the judgment, including whether the private copying exceptions should be scrapped from law.
  7. Speaking at Midem yesterday, Andrus Ansip of the European Commission shared his vision for the Digital Single Market. Noting that geo-blocking is bad for business, Ansip said that opening up content across borders and providing good legal options is the best way to tackle piracy. "Our legislation is pushing people to steal," he said. Last month the European Commission adopted a new Digital Single Market strategy with the aim of improving consumer access to digital goods and services. Among other things the Commission says it plans to end the “discriminatory practice†of “unjustified†geo-blocking. “I want to see every consumer getting the best deals and every business accessing the widest market – wherever they are in Europe,†Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said. Another part of the strategy is to modernize European copyright law to enable consumers to more easily enjoy online content, such as accessing content they purchased at home in other countries across the EU. Speaking at music industry event Midem in Cannes yesterday, former Estonian prime minister Andrus Ansip who serves as Vice President for the Digital Single Market shared his vision for the strategy. “Our people have to get the possibility to buy content [across Europe] like they do at home and our businesses must get the possibility to sell across the European Union like they do at home,†Ansip said. “Today, we don’t have a Digital Single Market in the European Union. We have 28 relatively small markets and for small European companies it’s practically impossible to understand those 28 different [sets of] regulations.†Ansip underlined that what is possible in the offline world must be possible in the online world and key issues must be addressed if parity is to be achieved. “Today, the four basic freedoms in the EU – free movement of people, goods, services, capital – it’s a reality in a physical [world] but it’s not reality in the online world,†Ansip said. Describing the music industry as a “pioneer†that has grown out of disruption to largely abandon geo-blocking by enabling cross-border access, Ansip addressed concerns that the EU’s plans for modernization of copyright law are something to be feared by content creators. “I don’t think people here in this room or elsewhere have to be worried. Today, I would like to enjoy [film] masterpieces created by creators. I am ready to pay but because of copyright restrictions, because of geo-blocking, they are not accepting my money,†Ansip said. “Our aim is to create a win-win situation. I would like to enjoy, I will pay, creators will get more money. This is our way. We don’t want to destroy the whole copyright system based on a principle of territoriality. We have to allow cross-border access to digital content to all people, we have to allow portability.†Ansip said there are 100 million Europeans who would like to access content in other members states but they can’t because of geo-blocking. Around 271 million cross-border trips with at least one overnight stay are carried out by Europeans each year yet those people cannot always get access to the content they bought legally back home while doing so. This is just one indication that the law needs to change, but piracy itself will be challenged. “According to public opinion polls, 68% of film viewers say they are using [illegal] downloads. 20% of Internet users in the European Union are using VPNs to get access to digital content. That’s a huge amount of money that our creators are losing today, so of course we will pay more attention to ‘Follow the Money’ [anti-piracy strategy],†Ansip said. Assuring content holders that the EU Commission is not hostile towards copyright and rightsholders, Ansip asked the Midem audience to consider the 30% of Canadian Netflix users who use a VPN to access the U.S. version of the service. “In the European Union our creators are losing huge amounts of money because of piracy but honestly, somehow our legislation is pushing people to steal,†he said. “Take Spotify, for example. We can say that if somebody is able to provide services with better quality with higher speed, then people prefer to act as honest people. They are ready to pay. They don’t want to steal.†Highlighting the success of Norway in slashing piracy rates, Ansip says that was achieved by first offering access to quality legal services. “The European Commission wants to protect the rights of creators but first we have to provide legal access to digital content to all people. Then it will be more fruitful to tackle piracy,†Ansip said. When confronted with the reality that licensed services such as Spotify and Deezer exist while piracy persists, coupled with the perception that the EU Commission isn’t exactly “pro copyrightâ€, Ansip responded enthusiastically. “I can’t agree with you! I’m talking about 68% of [film viewers who pirate] who couldn’t care about this copyright because we are not providing legal access to digital content,†he said. “Some people say that if [the EU] cares about copyright then let’s deal only with law enforcement. To put 68% of people in jail is not really a good idea. I think that reforms are really needed.†It’s clear that the debate on the Digital Single Market is far from over and while it should end up as a positive for consumers, only time will tell how cooperative rightsholders will be throughout the process.
  8. Tracker Name: SharingIrish Genre: IRISH TV / MOVIES / GENERAL Sign-up Link: Closing Date: Soon Additional information: BIGGGGG IRISH TV / MOVIES TRACKER !
  9. Tracker Name:XtremeWrestlingTorrents (XWT) Genre: WrestlingTorrents Sign-up Link: Closing Date: Soon Additional information: BIGGGGG WrestlingTorrentsTRACKER !
  10. The new boss of Canadian telecoms giant Bell Media has confessed that her own daughter is a "thief". Speaking at the Canadian Telecom Summit, Mary Ann Turcke says her 15-year-old was using a VPN to access Netflix's superior U.S. service but she quickly put a stop to it. Netflix could've done so earlier, she added, but chose not to. While the video entertainment business needs to do better, Netflix is definitely going some way to filling the online movie and TV show streaming void. Nevertheless, even when consumers put their hands in their pockets for the service, elements of the industry still find cause to complain. The issue is one of geo-location. Essentially, users of Netflix in the United States get a more content-rich service than those accessing it from elsewhere. These restrictions are easily overcome by using a VPN service to tunnel in to the U.S. from outside but that annoys content companies no end. Licensing deals are to be respected, they argue. Just lately critics of the phenomenon have switched from using terms such as “geo-blockingâ€, favoring the emotive “Netflix piracy†and “Netflix theft†instead. Yesterday another heavyweight poured more fuel on the fire and pointed the finger at her own family while doing so. Mary Ann Turcke is the new boss of BCE Inc.’s Bell Media division in Canada. In a keynote speech to the Canadian Telecom Summit yesterday, Turcke raised the issue of Netflix but surprisingly relayed a story from within her own household, triggered by a ‘Life Pro Tip’ from her own daughter. “Mom, did you know that you can hack into U.S. Netflix and get sooo many more shows?†Turcke’s 15-year-old-daughter revealed. But far from mom being impressed at the ingenuity of her child, mom found her actions tantamount to theft. “She is 15 and she was stealing,†Turcke told the Toronto audience. “Suffice to say, there is no more VPNing.†For the teenager and probably most adults, this must be a frustrating concept to grasp. After shunning the lure of The Pirate Bay and its first-run movies on tap – for free, someone in the household has done the ‘right’ thing and bought Netflix. Yet someone, somewhere, has deemed Canadians to be unworthy of the full service and when that injustice gets addressed, mom plays the ‘thief’ card. “It takes behavioral change and it is the people — friend to friend, parent to child, coworker to coworker — that set the cultural framework for acceptable and unacceptable behaviour,†Turcke said. “It has to become socially unacceptable to admit to another human being that you are VPNing into U.S. Netflix. Like throwing garbage out of your car window, you just don’t do it. We have to get engaged and tell people they’re stealing.†Despite Ms. Turcke’s enthusiasm for establishing geo-busting as a crime, Canadian law professor Michael Geist previously rejected the assertion, an opinion also shared by Ottawa intellectual property lawyer Howard Knopf. “This is another manifestation of that good old Canadian phenomenon known as cross-border shopping in a free market,†Knopf said. “‎Some Canadian rights owners and licensees seem to think it’s smart to limit Canadian choice and raise Canadian prices. Maybe they are being shortsighted or greedy but that’s what they try to do.†While Turcke sees her own child as the thief, she also lays blame at the door of Netflix for not doing more to stop so-called ‘VPN pirates’. “Digital-rights management is one of the most sophisticated and heavily negotiated relationship aspects of our deals with Hollywood,†Turcke said. “As an industry, the players up and down the value chain can’t allow Netflix to continue doing what they’re doing, and Netflix has a choice to stop it. This is a business model decision on Netflix’s part. It’s not a technical problem.†But while Turcke criticizes Netflix for allowing people to access what they like, the notion of providing content on customer-friendly terms is certainly not alien to the entertainment industry veteran. “We, Bell Media, we, the industry, need to make our content more accessible. Viewers are demanding simplicity. And they will seek it out,†she said. Noting that consumers are simply not willing to tolerate restrictions surrounding online streaming rights, ‘windowing’ and national borders, Turcke warned the audience: “It is enough to drive anyone to the dreaded Netflix. Legally or illegally.†
  11. Shutting down pirate websites such as The Pirate Bay is high on the agenda of the entertainment industries. However, according to research published by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, these raids are relatively ineffective and potentially counterproductive. A few years ago Europe witnessed the largest piracy-related busts in history withthe raid of the popular movie streaming portal Police officers in Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands raided several residential addresses, data centers and arrested more than a dozen individuals connected to the site. The operation wiped out the largest unauthorized streaming portal in Europe and was praised as a massive success. However, new research from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre shows that the effect on end users was short-lived and relatively limited. In a working paper titled “Online Copyright Enforcement, Consumer Behavior, and Market Structure†researchers examined clickstream data for a set of 5,000 German Internet users to see how their legal and illegal consumption habits changed in response to the shutdown. One of the main conclusions is that the raid led to a short-lived decrease in piracy, after which piracy levels returned to normal. At the same time, the researchers observed only a small increase in the use of legal services. “While users of decreased their levels of piracy consumption by 30% during the four weeks following the intervention, their consumption through licensed movie platforms increased by only 2.5%,†the paper reads. Based on the above the researchers conclude that if the costs of the raids and prosecution are factored in, the shutdown probably had no positive effect. “Taken at face value, these results indicate that the intervention mainly converted consumer surplus into deadweight loss. If we were to take the costs of the intervention into account, our results would suggest that the shutdown of has not had a positive effect on overall welfare,†the researchers write. Perhaps more worrying is the fact that was soon replaced by several new streaming services. This so-called “Hydra†effect means that a landscape which was previously dominated by one site, now consists of several smaller sites that together have roughly the same number of visitors. The researchers note that and quickly filled the gap, and that the scattered piracy landscape would make future shutdowns more costly. “Our analysis shows that the shutdown of resulted in a much more fragmented structure of the market for unlicensed movie streaming,†the paper reads. “This potentially makes future law enforcement interventions either more costly – as there would not be a single dominant platform to shutdown anymore – or less effective if only a single website is targeted by the intervention†One of the policy implications could be to advise against these type of large piracy raids, as they do very little to solve the problem at hand. However, the researchers note that the results should be interpreted with caution. For example, it doesn’t include any data on offline sales. Similarly, back in 2011 there were relatively few legal options available, so the effects may be different now. That said, the current findings shed an interesting light on the limited effectiveness of international law enforcement actions directed at piracy sites. Also, it’s the first research paper we know of that provides strong evidence for the frequently mentioned Hydra effect.
  12. The Internet Security Task Force, an anti-piracy initiative launched by several independent movies studios, is calling for an end to the "six strikes" Copyright Alert System. According to the group the voluntary agreement does nothing to stop piracy. Instead, the group is promoting the Canadian notice-and-notice model as a much more effective alternative. To counter the ever increasing piracy threat a group of smaller movie studios launched a new coalition last month, the Internet Security Task Force (ISTF). ISTF, which includes Voltage Pictures, Millennium, Bloom, Sierra/Affinity and FilmNation Entertainment among its members, is poised to be more aggressive than the MPAA. Today the group unveils its first point of action. According to the group it’s time to end the voluntary “six strikes†Copyright Alert System, the voluntary anti-piracy agreement between the RIAA, MPAA and several large U.S. Internet providers. ISTF presents data which reveals that the six strikes warnings are not getting the desired result, describing the system as a “shamâ€. According to Millennium Films President Mark Gill his studio sent numerous piracy notices directed at ‘Expendables 3′ pirates under the scheme, but only a tiny fraction were forwarded by the participating ISPs. “We’ve always known the Copyright Alert System was ineffective, as it allows people to steal six movies from us before they get an educational leaflet. But now we have the data to prove that it’s a sham,†Gill comments. “On our film ‘Expendables 3,’ which has been illegally viewed more than 60 million times, the CAS only allowed 0.3% of our infringement notices through to their customers. The other 99.7% of the time, the notices went in the trash,†he adds. As part of the Copyright Alert System ISPs and copyright holders have agreed to send a limited number of notices per month, so anything above this threshold is not forwarded. ISTF’s data on the number of ‘Expendables 3′ infringements suggests that the Copyright Alerts are in fact less effective than the traditional forwarding schemes of other providers. Cox and Charter, two ISPs who do not participate in the Copyright Alert System, saw a 25.47% decrease in reported infringements between November 2014 and January 2015. However, the ISPs who sent six strikes notices saw a 4.54% increase over the same period. “These alarming numbers show that the CAS is little more than talking point utilized to suggest these five ISPs are doing something to combat piracy when in actuality, their customers are free to continue pirating content with absolutely no consequences,†Voltage Pictures CEO Nicolas Chartier notes. “As for its laughable six strikes policy, would any American retailer wait for someone to rob them six times before handing them an educational leaflet? Of course not, they call the cops the first time around,†he adds. While it’s clear that ISTF is not happy with the Copyright Alert System, they seem mistaken about how it works. Customers don’t have to be caught six times before they are warned, they get an educational notice the first time they’re caught. The “six strikes†terminology refers to the graduated response scheme, in which customers face stronger punishments after being caught more times. Interestingly, the filmmakers promote the Canadian notice-and-notice system as a better alternative. Since earlier this year, Canadian ISPs are obligated to forward infringement notices to their subscribers, and ISTF notes that it has been instrumental in decreasing piracy. Since the beginning of 2015, Bell Canada has seen a 69.6% decrease in infringements and Telus (54.0%), Shaw (52.1%), TekSavvy (38.3%) and Rogers (14.9%) all noted significant reductions. The data presented is collected by the monitoring outfit CEG TEK. This American company sends infringement notices paired with settlement requests on behalf of copyright holders, sometimes demanding hundreds of dollars from alleged pirates. Needless to say, these threats may in part be the reason for the reported effectiveness. In the United States, ISPs are currently not obliged to forward copyright infringement notices. Some ISPs such as Comcast do so voluntarily, but they also strip out the settlement demands. ISTF hopes this will change in the near future and the group has sent a letter to the MPAA, RIAA and the major ISPs urging them to expire the Copyright Alert System, and switch to the Canadian model instead.
  13. Reports of a resurrected Grooveshark to replace the service that was taken down last week are, to put it diplomatically, the result of 'creative marketing'. hit the scene a couple of days ago claiming to be a clone of the shuttered service but it's little more than a re-badged MP3 search engine. As dozens of headlines relayed, last week was the final chapter in the Grooveshark story. A fly in the major recording labels’ ointment for almost a decade, Grooveshark eventually collapsed under lawsuit that could have seen it liable for more than $736 million in damages. Instead, the company settled with its rivals for a reported $50 million. Part of the deal saw the streaming music upstart hand over just about everything to the labels, including its website, mobile apps and intellectual property such as patents and copyrights. Without offering any warning to its millions of users (including many who paid to use the service), on April 30 Grooveshark closed its doors. And that was that. Well, not quite. Yesterday, in a surprise twist to the tale, someone claiming connections with the now-defunct Grooveshark site sent out a number of emails to news sites (this one included) announcing that the famous streaming service was being brought back online. “Well, I started backing up all the content on the website when I started suspecting that Grooveshark’s demise is close and my suspicion was confirmed a few days later when they closed,†‘Shark’ wrote. “By the time they closed I have already backed up 90% of the content on the site and I’m now working on getting the remaining 10%.†The purpose of this back-up bonanza was to bring Grooveshark back online through a brand new domain. Considering the profile of the original Grooveshark and its recent demise at the hands of an aggressive RIAA, the story is definitely exciting, hence the dozens of reports doing the rounds today in the tech press. That being said, the story would have been even better had it passed the sniff-test. At first glance the site shown above does look a bit like Grooveshark, no doubt about that, but anyone familiar with the original service knows that the similarities end there. All the community features that made Grooveshark so popular are absent and searches for content show that the .IO variant has nowhere near the depth of library. Admittedly the site’s operators say they are working on bringing those back to life, but the issues run deeper than that. Sensing a similarity with other sites already exploiting the unofficial, unlicensed MP3 market, we decided to find out the truth behind this supposed Grooveshark replacement. Armed with Google and few clips of the site’s terms and conditions, it didn’t take long to find a very similar site indeed. In fact, every other text section on (not to be confused with which was previously seized by UK police only to return matches up with the corresponding section on Of course, the people may have cut-and-paste that site’s text to save time, so we wanted some proof of dynamic similarities. They were easy to find. A search for any term, any artist or any song, returns exactly the same results – in exactly the same order – on both sites. On that basis it’s probably safe to presume that they are either (i) the same sites behind the scenes or that (ii) they use the same search engine and/or the same source content, wherever that may be hosted. We concede that to some the idea of a reincarnated Grooveshark will be a somewhat romantic one but as we highlighted at the weekend, the practice of passing one site off as another is now really getting out of hand. Only time will tell if will magically transform into a proper replacement for the now defunct site, complete with playlist and community features for example, but it seems unlikely. As things stand appears to be just a re-badged/re-skinned clone of, a low-traffic clone of the original MP3Juices. In the scheme of things it’s hardly likely to be an important target for the RIAA, except for one small detail. The labels now own all of Grooveshark’s intellectual property – brand names and trademarks included…..
  14. The Pirate Bay is down at the moment, causing a mild panic among many BitTorrent users. With the raid of last December fresh in mind some fear the worst, but the current issues appear to be caused by an SSL problem. After weeks without any significant outages, the Pirate Bay has become unreachable since a few hours. With the raid of a few months ago still fresh in memory some fear that the problems may be of a more serious nature. It’s currently not clear what’s causing the problems. What we do know is that the site’s domain name is currently working properly. The Pirate Bay currently displays a CloudFlare error message suggesting that TPB has an invalid SSL certificate. This may be the result of a misconfigured or expired SSL certificate, which causes problems for sites that use CloudFlare’s full (strict) SSL feature. Interestingly, some users report that they can still access the site via the Tor network, including the popular Pirate Browser. The Tor traffic goes through a separate server, and it appears that this part of the site’s infrastructure is not going through CloudFlare. TorrentFreak reached out to The Pirate Bay team for a comment on the situation and we will update this article if we hear back.
  15. Hello fellow LTTi, Sorry for spamming this message. We would like to announce that, the interview was re-active to invite new users to get into this page. interviews will be handled by our staff. For those who qualify, and answer the questions in a rational and almost meets the requirements of the question, we will invite the user. If the answer like Ahmad Maslan, we will deny the request and ip will be banned forever. Can we talk about this story, send it wherever you like. Facebook, twitter or other social media you use. Address for the interview is:
  16. Ever since someone had the idea of starting a “pirate party," there've been discussions about the necessity for such a party. In the trail of that discussion, there’s always been the one about whether the “pirate movement†is alive or not. Well, I for one don’t give a flying fuck. I don’t care if the “pirate movement†lives, exists or whatever. I only care about the causes. Too much focus is put on the form, liveliness and influence of groups, organizations and nostalgic icons. What’s the point on spending energy and resources (not to talk about lost publicity) to discuss the meta-debate about the form of the causes? It’s just pointless. You’ve all heard it. The “pirate movement†is dead, diminishing and what not. But ignore that. What are the causes that we talk about here? Freedom of information, freedom of speech, surveillance, state corruption, corporate overlords, control of our infrastructure, the right to access education and culture, plenty. Are these discussions dead? No. But are we moving anywhere with them? I’m afraid not. As I’ve said numerous times over and over again, we lost those battles. Now some people are refusing to give them up, in true Monty Python spirit, claiming that their beloved “pirate movement†is not dead. Mixing apples and pears. Give up the idea of pirates being cool. They’re not. My biggest regret in my part in all of this was to use the word pirate. Not even Johnny Depp can make pirates look cool – and he manages to make cocaine-dealers look awesome. Pirates are awful. And today’s pirates – the ones in Somalia – also lost their battles. Good! So let’s get rid of this stupid culture of having a stupid culture. In the essence of what a pirate means today – I’m talking the political pirate – I’m all in. But I’m also so much more and I hope you guys are as well. I hope you care about the bigger picture. The “pirate movement†does not have space for that though. So why would you limit yourself to that? Why would you spend your energy and time on something that has no working big picture? It’s a subset of politics that the “movement†has been dealing with. And that’s fine, but not in the form of a party. A party needs to be able to have that ideological big picture view. Who can say what the “pirate movement’s†view on immigration is? Or the war against drugs and so on? It would be different in each country. There’s no alignment here. So fuck the “pirate movementâ€. Rename it, re-brand it, do whatever you want. Just fucking don’t be a pirate. Be something more awesome. Be a world citizen that cares about the same topics. Join other parties and make them understand the topics at hand. Infiltrate them. Cooperate and have people join all the parties in your nation, make sure they all agree. Be a fucking undercover ninja for all I care. Just don’t sing songs about pirate booty, looting and shit. Anyhow, i’m pretty sure we lost the big fight. But I don’t mind you guys trying to fix it. I’m involved no matter if I want to be or not anymore – but I’m spending my time on new approaches. I’m doing art and I’m traveling to tell you all that you’re stupid. It’s fun to do that. And fun is what’s missing in your beloved “pirate movementâ€. You’re stuck in 2005. 10 years of history on the ‘nets is an insane amount of time for being stuck. For most it’s half of your life. And you’re refusing to evolve. If that’s the message of a “pirate movement†I don’t get why anyone wants to be involved. The “pirate movement†is dead – yeeey! Long live everything else. This is the only essence of what used to be a “movement†that should be there. Ignite, re-ignite, burn and ignite again. Pyromania is creative. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Peter Sunde is the former spokesperson of The Pirate Bay. He’s currently working for the micro-payment service Flattr, the encrypted chat client and several other technology startups.
  17. Jack Antonoff finds it "incredible" to watch Taylor Swift write a song. The fun. musician has worked with the blonde singer several times in the past, with one of their joint efforts being Taylor's track Out of the Woods featured on her latest album 1989. Having got to witness her song-writing skills first hand, Jack can't help but be in awe of the 25-year-old. 'What's incredible to watch about Taylor is she writes the same way I remember writing when I was 15. "Just having an idea and a guitar and working it out. Other times, I'd email her a track I put together that I think she'd like. Twenty minutes later, she'd send me a voice memo of her singing this chorus on top of the track, and 20 minutes after that, she'll send me a verse idea," he explained to British newspaper The Guardian. 'Her songs are about these personal things that everyone goes through and that she goes through as well, whether it's feeling bullied and ashamed, or picking yourself up after you've been knocked down." There's more than music to their friendship though; Jack's girlfriend Lena Dunham is also close pals with Taylor. Lena has plenty of talents to her name, being a comical actress and the woman behind hit TV series Girls as well as publishing her own book. When it comes to seeking inspiration for their work in their personal lives, Jack reveals they have an unspoken rule. 'We both trust each other's creative process in that we would never put each other in a bad position while still being very true to this idea that we have to write what we feel,' he added. 'I would never ask her not to write something, but I also completely trust that she would never put me in a weird position. Whether you write songs or TV shows, there is a mutual understanding.'
  19. high-end GPUs like Nvidia's new GTX 980 are all well and good, but not everyone wants to fork out $549 (£429) just to have the latest piece of graphics tech. Traditionally, the sweet spot for GPUs is somewhere in the middle, where the price/performance ratio is more sensibly balanced. Usually, that means taking a significant (if acceptable for the price) performance hit compared to the high-end cards, but something rather special has happened with the GTX 970. Retailing at around $329 in the US, and £259 in the UK, the GTX 970 features the same GM204 chip as its bigger brother the GTX 980, but comes with less CUDA cores and slightly slower clock speed. However, because The 970 is based on the same power-efficient Maxwell architecture, it's a prime candidate for overclocking. With a stock TDP of just 145W (20W less than the GTX 980), there's a significant amount of headroom available for pushing the GPU--and the results are nothing short of spectacular for the price. Zotac GTX 970 AMP! Omega Edition Specs With such potential for overclocking, many Nvidia partners have taken to producing overclocked cards with significant bumps to power and cooling. Notably, while you can buy a cheaper stock version of the GTX 970 and still get a decent boost in performance out of it, these pre-overclocked GPUs don't command too much of price premium over their stock counterparts. The 970 I'm looking at, Zotac's GTX 970 AMP! Omega Edition, goes for £289 in the UK (US pricing TBC). For that price you get a beefy triple-slot cooler, along with two 8-pin power inputs for extra juice when overclocking, letting you boost it all the way to 171W. GPU GTX 770 (Kepler) Zotac AMP GTX 970 (Maxwell) GTX 980 (Maxwell) CUDA Cores 1536 1664 2048 Base Clock 1046 MHz 1102 MHz 1126 MHz GPU Boost Clock 1085 MHz 1241 MHz 1216 MHz Memory Clock 7000 MHz 7046 MHz 7000 MHz Memory Bandwidth 224 GB/sec 224 GB/sec 224 GB/sec Memory Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit ROPs 32 64 64 TDP 230W 171W (up to) 165W Manufacturing Process 28-nm 28-nm 28-nm The Zotac 970 comes with a base clock of 1102 MHz, and a boost clock of 1241 MHz, a significant increase over the 1050 MHz and 1178 MHz of the stock card. Impressively, that boost clock is also slightly higher than the 1216 MHz of a stock GTX 980. With all that power and cooling on board, there's definitely room to overclock the Zotac 970 even more (with some reporting stable boost clocks of 1469MHz), but the benchmarks below are based on the out-of-the box experience. Elsewhere, there's the same 4GB of GDDR5 memory as the GTX 980, tied to a 256-bit bus. You also get all the other benefits of Nvidia's Maxwell architecture, including support for VXGI, DSR, and MFAA, which you can read more about in the GTX 980 review. Benchmarks But enough of the fluff: just how did the Zotac 970 perform? I tested it out using the same rig I used for the GTX 980, which featured an Intel Core i5-3570K processor overclocked to 4.2Ghz, an Intel Z77 DZ77GA-70K motherboard, 16GB of 1866 MHz Corsair Dominator GT RAM, a 120GB Corsair Force LS SSD, and a Corsair HX 850 PSU. Unigine Heaven GPU Ultra @1080p, 8XAA FPS Ultra @1440p, 8XAA, Extreme Tessellation Ultra @4K, 8XAA, Extreme Tessellation R9 290X 55 34 17 GTX 980 61 37 20 GTX 970 53 31 17 GTX 780 Ti 55 35 21 GTX 780 49 31 18 GTX 680 34 21 4 Tomb Raider GPU Ultra @1080p, TressFX, FXAA FPS Ultra @1440p, TressFX, FXAA FPS Ultra @4K, TressFX, No AA R9 290X 74 52 27 GTX 980 77 53 28 GTX 970 73 49 25 GTX 780 Ti 74 49 27 GTX 780 60 42 22 GTX 680 49 32 - Metro: Last Light GPU Ultra @1080p, Tessellation Normal, 2XSSAA, Advanced PhysX Off FPS Ultra @1440p, Tessellation Normal, 2XSSAA, Advanced PhysX Off FPS Ultra @4K, Tessellation Normal, No AA, Advanced PhysX Off FPS R9 290X 72 44 39 GTX 980 74 47 43 GTX 970 72 43 38 GTX 780 Ti 77 47 41 GTX 780 64 38 35 GTX 680 48 27 - Battlefield 4 GPU Ultra @1080p, 2XMSAA, HBAO FPS Ultra @1440p, 2XMSAA, HBAO FPS Ultra @4K, No AA, HBAO FPS R9 290X 77 54 37 GTX 980 93 64 44 GTX 970 83 58 40 GTX 780 Ti 82 60 38 GTX 780 78 51 32 GTX 680 60 40 - Crysis 3 GPU Very High @1080p, 2XMSAA FPS Very High @1440p, 2XMSAA FPS Very High @4K, No AA FPS R9 290X 46 29 17 GTX 980 52 37 20 GTX 970 52 32 16 GTX 780 Ti 54 33 19 GTX 780 48 30 16 GTX 680 40 21 - Bioshock Infinite GPU Ultra @1080p, AO, AA FPS Ultra @1440p, AO, AA FPS Ultra @4K, AO, AA FPS R9 290X 120 86 46 GTX 980 140 90 52 GTX 970 134 92 48 GTX 780 Ti 134 92 49 GTX 780 110 73 39 GTX 680 92 60 Verdict Ah, the march of progress. The GTX 780 Ti--which commanded a hefty $699 (£559) at launch and used a full 250W of power--is now, less than year later, largely matched by a £289 card that consumes up to just 171W of power. AMD's flagships--the R9 290 and R9 290X--are now essentially irrelevant. They're wildly inefficient, hot GPUs by comparison, and cost around the same price (more in the US), but are easily bested in the benchmarks by the 970. Even AMD's monster dual-gpu R9 295X2, previously the best value choice for 4K gaming, has its work cut out for it. Two 970s would be far cheaper, run cooler, use less power, and--based on the single-gpu benchmarks at least--run faster. Such a setup would only cost slightly more than a single 980 too. That's a very impressive result, and one that makes the substantially more expensive 980 that much less desirable. Of course, the 980 is more powerful, and if you want the absolute best in performance, it's still the GPU to get. It, too, is a similarly capable overclocker, which'll push its performance even further. But there's not as big a difference between the two as you might expect, and for those with a more modest budget, the 970 is, comparatively speaking, an absolute bargain. You get silky smooth 1080p at the highest settings, and excellent performance at 1440p. Zotac's AMP! Omega version of the card is a great piece of kit too; under load, temperatures rarely crept above 70 degrees, giving you plenty of headroom for more overclocking, and at only a small bump in price over the stock 970. The only downside to the Zotac is its triple-slot cooler, which means you need a roomy case to fit one, or a pair of them, in. Regardless of whether you pick a stock card or a pre-overclocked one, though, Nvidia's GTX 970 is cool, quiet, and far more powerful than anything in its price range ought to be. Without a doubt, the GTX 970 is the GPU bargain of the year. 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  20. History repeats itself. Unlicensed home manufacturing of copies was never the cause of the copyright industry's business problems; they created those all on their own. It's not the first time they've appointed a scapegoat for their own failures to get public funding, either. The year was 1929. Ruined stock brokers were throwing themselves out of windows on Wall Street in desperation from the horrible stock market crash. The economy was in a shambles. People were literally starving, something that had been inconceivable just a few years back. That same year, record sales in the USA plummeted along with Wall Street brokers – from $75 million to a mere $5 million. The copyright industry was certain: it was all the fault of the broadcast radio. Certainly so. It couldn’t possibly be their own business failure or the fact that the entire economy had gone belly-up. No, it was definitely the fault of broadcast radio. They went to politicians and policymakers and demanded (and got!) fees from broadcast radio to compensate for the damage done to the copyright industry by the new medium, as evidenced by the fact that sales were down from $75 million in the mid-1920s to $5 million in 1929. And so, politicians thought it was a good idea to hamper the promising new medium of broadcast radio in order to benefit the old record industry and their sales. Fast forward to the 1940s, when television arrived. The copyright industry was furious: who would possibly pay to go to the movies, if you could watch a movie for free at home? The decade had barely started when the U.S. FCC adopted the television standard NTSC, and at the same time, people almost stopped buying movie tickets. The copyright industry was certain: in 1941 through 1944, it was definitely television’s fault that they didn’t sell as many movie tickets as they used to. They complained to politicians and policymakers as they always do, but these particular years, politicians were busy doing something else, something that might just have affected the overall economy. Nevertheless, it was the perfect scapegoat – again – for the copyright industry’s own business failures: who would possibly pay to see a movie at the cinema when they could see it for free at home? Then, a decade later, in the 1950s, cable television arrived. By now, the copyright industry had learned to profit off of broadcast TV, and they were absolutely furious at the new cable TV medium. They were required to broadcast for free, after all. How could they possibly be expected to compete with a paid service? This was grossly unfair and they went to politicians and demanded the new cable TV medium to be hindered, hampered, and regulated. Skipping some twenty episodes of the same pattern, we arrive at the Internet. Unlicensed home manufacturing of copies had started with the cassette tape, but took off with the net. The copyright industry, once their business failed for completely unrelated reasons, had the perfect scapegoat: young people who didn’t respect their distribution monopoly. Damned be civil liberties, damned be the internet, damned be jobs, entrepreneurship, innovation, and progress: by blaming unlicensed manufacture, they didn’t have to face the music of a business failure toward their board and shareholders, but – again – had a convenient external scapegoat for their own damn utter incompetence. (We can easily observe, that now that unlicensed home manufacturing of music has practically ceased, copyright industry sales of music still hasn’t changed a bit. Unlicensed manufacturing was never the business problem or a cause. But it was a very convenient scapegoat.) The copyright industry has managed to kill civil liberties for their own children, ushering in a dystopian surveillance machine, merely to avoid taking responsibility for their own business failures. I lack words to quantify my contempt for these utter parasites. Torrentfreak
  21. In the beginning of The Pirate Bay's history the site was in Swedish. It was made by Swedes for their community. Other countries had their own file sharing sites but they got shut down. I remember when one of the biggest Spanish file-sharing sites was shut down. These file sharers had nowhere to go but The Pirate Bay (TPB). All of a sudden the top list of TPB was flooded with Spanish content except for one peculiar audiobook. It was a Swedish language course. We decided to translate the site. Not just into English but into as many languages as possible. We found people from lots of countries to chime in and help. I remember the Portuguese translation especially interesting as it was carried out by a man from Brazil. We decided that we’d make two different buttons for the translation – one for Portuguese and one for Brazilian-Portuguese. These languages differ a little. The actual gettext translation file was the same though. There were words that had never been translated to Portuguese before (like “seederâ€, “leecher†and “torrent†as technical terms) and for us it was funny to see that Brazil, a former colony of Portugal, had a say in how their former mother state developed their native language. The Swedish translation gave me a similar experience. A Finnish person did most of the translation. Finland, which was part of, and ruled by, Sweden for a very long time, still has Swedish as an official language. A few words in the Swedish translation of TPB were so new that they had to be invented. Some ended up in dictionaries. And the same thing happened for the Norwegian translation. There are two of them, since Norway has two main languages. But the main Norwegian translation was done by a person who speaks the minority language (whom just happens to also be really good at the main language). It has an effect on how the language develops. A few years later another thing made me think quite a lot. During the height of TPB’s struggles I noticed that for the first time ever, more than 50% of the top 100 listing were things from India. Previously when TPB was localized for Sweden it felt natural that it had mostly Scandinavian or English things. But when it had become an international success, and the things being shared were not from where one thought they might be, it said something about the way the world is moving. I just watched the movie India’s Daughter. The movie is about a gang rape (and murder) in India in 2012. The first thing that struck me was that I wanted to put it up on The Pirate Bay’s frontpage to make sure that people all over the world could see it – especially in India. Why? It’s being censored there. It’s a film that everyone needs to see. But not only is there a copyright issue, but there’s also a country-wide ban on the movie. People have tried putting it up on YouTube multiple times, but YouTube always takes the movie down due to their need to follow court orders in India. This all puts things into perspective for me. De-centralized file sharing by virtue of peer-to-peer technology is obviously a way to get important information in and out of countries in a time of need. It’s a way to make sure that global data is not being blocked due to local corruption. It transcends the ideas of national borders. And it is highly political. It has multiple angles. I understand now that one of the key reasons for the US to fight file-sharing might be that they don’t want India to take over their place as the number one culture. If Bollywood passes Hollywood in interest, it will be a huge loss for the US. I am also upset that no one in TPB is doing their part. No one cares about politics anymore. It’s a technical site that is not helping a movement. I’m not talking about the file-sharing movement. But for me it’s strange that TPB is not promoting India’s Daughter to everyone globally. Especially on the international women’s day. Sharing is political. Words are political. Communication is political. And if we don’t use the powers and voices we have, we’re on the wrong side of the struggle. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Peter Sunde is the former spokesperson of The Pirate Bay. He’s currently working for the micro-payment service Flattr, the encrypted chat client and several other technology startups.
  22. There has been a decent amount of movement on the announced sequel to Independence Day, from the sci-fi film landing a release date to director Roland Emmerich confirming various casting moves. We weren’t exactly sure what the movie was going to be about, though even those details now are snapping into place. Insiders close to the production are telling Bloody Disgusting that the Independence Day sequel is going to go by the name of ID Forever, and will be about the following: 20 years after the events of the first film, a new wave of alien "reinforcements" arrive at our planet in response to a distress signal sent up by the "first wave" of extraterrestrial visitors. As expected, insanity ensues. That plot synopsis, while simplified, makes sense. If we had just destroyed a series of ships sent to our planet to explore and possibly take over, then the overlords who commissioned that journey likely would want to find out what happened. Why wasn’t any data sent back from planet Earth? How come none of the ships returned safely from the voyage? Is this Pullman, or Paxton? Setting the sequel 20 years after the initial events of the 1996 blockbuster also helps explain why certain cast members like Will Smith have chosen not to return for further alien adventures. Maybe arrogant but talented Captain Steven Hiller went down in flames on a previous mission. Or maybe he’s still so torched by the failure of After Earth that the idea of trying more science-fiction is terrifying. There’s another bit of interesting information in the Bloody Disgusting report. The site claims that its sources are telling them that ID Forever (such a terrible name) is going into production as "Part 1 of a new series," meaning that 20th Century Fox might be trying to do what Sony, Warner Bros. and Disney are doing with Ghostbusters, DC Comics and Marvel superheroes, in general. Create a new world. Build a franchise. Milk multiple sequels for millions of dollars. So far, we know that original Independence Day stars Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum are returning, and that they will be joined by Liam Hemsworth and Jessie Usher, who reportedly will be playing Hiller’s step-son in the film. Things are happening, and if reports are to be believed, this is the start of a long run of ID4 movies. Now, can we get to work about changing that title?
  23. Physical counterfeiters can receive up to 10 years in jail under UK copyright law but should online pirates receive the same maximum punishment? A new report commissioned by the government reveals that many major rightsholders believe they should, but will that have the desired effect? A new study commissioned by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) examines whether the criminal sanctions for copyright infringement available under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988) are currently proportionate and correct, or whether they should be amended. While the Digital Economy Act 2010 increased financial penalties up to a maximum of £50,000, in broad terms the main ‘offline’ copyright offenses carry sentences of up to 10 years in jail while those carried out online carry a maximum of ‘just’ two. In 2014, Mike Weatherley MP, then IP advisor to the Prime Minister, said that this disparity “sends all the wrong messagesâ€, a position that was supported by many major rightsholders. The current report examines data from 2006 to 2013 alongside stakeholder submissions, both for and against a change in the law. “Many industry bodies argue that higher penalties are necessary and desirable and that there is no justification for treating physical and online crime differently. Other stakeholders suggest that these offenses are in fact different, and raise concerns about a possible ‘chilling effect’ on innovation,†the report reads. One key finding is that court data from 2006-2013 reveals that prosecutions under the CDPA have actually been going down and that online offenses actually constitute “a small, and apparently decreasing, fraction of copyright prosecution activity as a whole.†In fact, the Crown Prosecution Service didn’t bring a single case under the online provisions of the CDPA 1988 during the period examined. “While there have been prosecutions during recent years, these have either used alternative legislation (such as common law conspiracy to defraud) or been directed at clarifying the civil law position in the European Court,†the report notes. “It is not clear that alternative legislation provides a satisfactory solution. By definition it does nothing to improve case law or understanding of the copyright issues.†This lack of case law is seen as problematic by the Federation Against Copyright Theft. In recent years FACT has stepped away from public prosecutions under copyright law in order to pursue private prosecutions under other legislation such as the Fraud Act. “Public prosecutors have been reluctant for years to take online cases, not wishing to be the first to attempt what might end in failure I guess. As a result there is no case law,†says FACT Director-General Kieron Sharp. “We need to still prosecute these cases so we often take them forward as private criminal prosecutions. However, these are serious cases and the two-year maximum sentence available downgrades the case in the eyes of the court who in any event cannot impose a sentence reflective of the crime. “We therefore follow other legislation and thus ourselves do not establish case law, which leads the prosecutor in the next case to again dismiss the chances of success.†For its part the Open Rights Group’s submission cautions against overly aggressive punishments that not only have the potential to affect those operating on the boundaries, but also those seeking to innovate. “The proposals could have a larger effect on specific groups that operate at the limits of current copyright legislation, but are not mass infringers and would not be prosecuted under fraud,†ORG explains. “Many internet innovators, prosumers, online creative communities that create non-profit derivative works, fandom producers, etc. All these people – many of whom technically breach copyright in their activities – could find themselves facing prison sentences if making available carried a maximum sentence of ten years.†So should the law be changed? As usual, the answer is far from straightforward. “The argument put forward by the Open Rights Group and others, that physical and online offenses are not the same, is persuasive. However, the fact remains that these two offenses end up having a very similar detrimental effect on the rights holders, and the question remains whether the maximum penalties are set at an appropriate level,†the report notes. “Whilst it is true to say that a consumer (or ‘prosumer’) can rapidly distribute content internationally without any criminal intent, it is also true that the logistical barriers to criminal activity are much lower online; the amount of investment a criminally-minded person needs to make in order to generate a serious level of disruption and harm is far lower. “The absence of a suitable penalty for serious cases of online infringement (which are likely to be very much in the minority) is currently creating a distortion because it results in alternative legislation being used. Alternatives may be justifiable under the circumstances, but appear less well suited to the crime.†Another question addressed by the report is whether a 10 year sentence would act as a deterrent. Awkwardly for the government it points out that following the increase to a maximum 10 year sentence for physical piracy in 2002, prosecutions actually rose before falling away in 2008. “[The] data available on recent online offending is at such a low level that there is no deterrent case that can be made from it,†the report adds. But while a change in the law is certainly preferred by some, there are alternatives. The report points to the takedown initiatives currently being employed by major rightsholders, including website blockades via local ISPs. Also upcoming is the Creative Content UK program which will see the public warned and educated when they’re spotted infringing copyright online. Only time will tell whether a 10 year sentence will be seen as appropriate, but safeguards that only the most serious of crimes are viewed as worthy of a maximum sentence will have to be put in place, and that will certainly be more easily said than done. Penalty Fair? Study of criminal sanctions for copyright infringement available under the CDPA 1988 – is available here (pdf). It’s a long read but definitely worth the effort.
  24. Clean and simple, Popcorn Time has made illegal downloads easier than ever For more than a decade, pirating a movie or TV show using BitTorrent, the Internet’s notorious file-sharing protocol, required a modicum of work and technical ability. You had to use a clunky program specially designed to seek out and decode pirated files, then learn to refine its search tools to find the videos you wanted. Annoying banner ads within the search program were part of the deal, as was occasional malware. Pirating wasn’t just a pain for the Hollywood studios whose products were being passed freely around the Web; it was a pain for unscrupulous seekers of free video, too. In the past year, a program called Popcorn Time has become the kinder, gentler face of piracy online, taming BitTorrent to make it far more user-friendly and less obviously sketchy. Free incarnations for PCs, phones, and tablets look pretty much like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Instant Video, except with vastly deeper catalogs that include theatrical releases such as Oscar winner Birdman and with little to no advertising. Those benefits have raised fresh concern in Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Although it’s difficult to estimate total viewership of a pirate service, in Netflix’s latest annual report to shareholders Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings and Chief Financial Officer David Wells named Popcorn Time a major worry. The sharp rise of Google searches for Popcorn Time, Hastings and Wells wrote, is “sobering.†Netflix’s Jan. 20 report included a chart showing that about as many people in the Netherlands search Google for Popcorn Time, which made its debut in March 2014, as for Netflix or HBO. As of Feb. 25, Google data show similar results for Italy, Portugal, and Spain. In the U.S., Popcorn Time grew by 336 percent from July to January and now accounts for one-ninth of the country’s torrent traffic, estimates Ceg Tek International, a company that movie studios contract to find and stop copyright infringement. Netflix declined to comment for this story. Popcorn Time’s crisp grids of TV shows and movies, including the most recent episodes and blockbusters, use art straight from marketing posters. The service looks so professional that many viewers think it’s legal, says Kyle Reed, chief operating officer of Ceg Tek. “Some people don’t even seem to know that it’s BitTorrent,†he says. “We send out copyright infringement notices, and they question why they received them. It just looks like Netflix to some people.†“Some people don’t even seem to know that it’s BitTorrent. We send out copyright infringement notices, and they question why they received them.†—Kyle Reed Creating a less cumbersome wrapper for BitTorrent was the primary objective of Popcorn Time’s anonymous developers, a group of friends in Argentina, says a Dutch blogger who goes by Ernesto van der Sar and runs TorrentFreak, a news site that covers file sharing. The creators abandoned Popcorn Time just a few weeks after its launch, writing on their website that they needed to “move on with our lives.†In an e-mail later revealed by the hack of Sony’s computer systems, the Motion Picture Association of America bragged at the time to Sony and other movie studios that it had “scored a major victory in shutting down the key developers of Popcorn Time†by coordinating with law enforcement on three continents. The MPAA declined to comment. Nonetheless, Popcorn Time survived. Its code is open-source, so several other groups of coders quickly released versions after the site shut down. (Would-be viewers need to choose carefully; some of the knockoffs contain malware.) “We were users of the original and were sad to watch it go,†wrote a developer of one of the spinoff versions, who answered an e-mail sent through his group’s website and insisted on communicating through anonymous Internet chat software to protect his identity. “The amount of attention this project has been receiving is HUGE, ground breaking and way above anything we expected when we first picked it up.†The developers don’t call themselves pirates. Asked about the consequences of making illicit file sharing easier, the anonymous developer claims Popcorn Time doesn’t break any laws because it’s just an index of other BitTorrent sites and doesn’t host any pirated material. “The torrent world was here with millions of users way before us and will be here with BILLIONS of users way after us,†he wrote. Robert Red English, a developer of a separate Popcorn Time spinoff who communicated over Skype Instant Messenger from Ontario, also said the responsibility for obeying copyright laws should fall to users. “I’m not going to justify it,†he wrote. “If it’s stealing or not varies by country and each user is given the choice to use the program, and warned we use torrents. It’s up to them to choose if they wish to continue.†That’s a common defense among people who collect links to pirated videos, but judicial precedent doesn’t back it up. The founders of Pirate Bay, a popular BitTorrent hub, made similar arguments in a Swedish court and received prison sentences. Older file-sharing networks such as Napster and Grokster shut down, because U.S. courts ruled that they were emboldening users to break laws. “If you are seen as encouraging people to infringe, then you have a copyright problem,†says Corynne McSherry, the acting legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for consumer rights online. Users are also vulnerable to suits, she says, though most studios and other major rights holders no longer target individual viewers for redress. Instead, the MPAA has for the past few months demanded that organizations such as EURid, the nonprofit that distributes .eu domain names, withdraw URLs from popular versions of Popcorn Time and that hosting company LeaseWeb withdraw the servers running them. The lobbying group has also sent takedown requests to sites such as GitHub, where programmers store the open-source code they’re working on. GitHub declined to comment. The anonymous Popcorn Time developer says the added pressure is motivating him and his colleagues to finish a version of the software that operates entirely by connecting viewers’ computers and doesn’t rely at all on central servers. “When we release this, there will be nothing to be taken down again,†he says. Even if Popcorn Time’s coders succeed in that effort, studios and legitimate streaming services will have at least one other way to answer its growing popularity: making sure legal alternatives are widely available, affordable, and desirable. In the U.S. and U.K., where Netflix and other legal streaming services are well established, Popcorn Time’s Google search numbers are still way behind. The bottom line: In a year, Popcorn Time has become the Internet’s pirate service of choice, despite the MPAA’s best efforts.
  25. Defending its decision to target Australians for piracy of its movie Dallas Buyers Club, Voltage Pictures has told a court it has limits on who it will sue. Autistic kids, the disabled, the poor and those with mental issues won't be 'fined' by the studio. "That kind of press would ruin us," Voltage say. Movie company Voltage Pictures has built quite a reputation in the past couple of years for its approach to those said to have downloaded and shared The Hurt Locker and Dallas Buyers Club without permission. Rather than take the soft approach, the company has sued thousands of individuals across the United States and has also tested the waters in Canada, Europe and Australia. Litigation in the latter region is reaching a critical point, with Voltage affiliate Dallas Buyers Club LLC (DBCLLC) attempting to force several local ISPs (iiNet, Wideband Networks, Internode, Dodo Services, Amnet Broadband and Adam Internet) to hand over the identities of individuals said to have downloaded the movie of the same name. The ISPs have been putting up a fight in Sydney’s Federal Court this week in order to protect their customers and thus far DBCLLC and their piracy tracking partners have been given a rocky ride. Flown in from Germany especially for the hearing, Daniel Macek of BitTorrent monitoring outfit Maverick Eye was given a particularly hard time. On Monday under cross-examination by iiNet barrister Richard Lancaster, SC, the 30-year-old admitted that he did not prepare his own affidavit. “It was provided [by Dallas Buyers Club],†Mr Macek said. Since Macek was appearing as an expert witness, the revelation was pounced upon by Lancaster. “You provide affidavits and statements in lots of litigations all around the world,†Mr Lancaster said. “Is it your practice just to sign what is put in front of you?†“No,†Macek replied. During yesterday’s hearing things only appeared to get worse for Macek, as both his expertise and Maverick Eye’s evidence was called into question. The company provided “.pcap†files to the Court which contained timestamps of alleged infringements but when questioned about their contents, Macek fell short. “Are you familiar with the information in the .pcap files themselves?†Lancaster asked Macek. “Not in detail,†Macek admitted. Lancaster’s questioning was aimed at casting doubt on the timings of alleged infringements logged in the Maverick Eye system. Were the times logged in the .pcap files representative of when a file was uploaded by an infringer’s computer to Maverick Eye’s system, or of a later point when further processing had occurred? “I don’t understand this .pcap [file] in this detail,†Macek said. “I know how the Maverick software works in general but I’m not aware of the .pcap [files],†he added. The Judge agreed with Lancaster on the importance of his questioning. “If the IP [address] switched midway through one of these transmissions it just occurs to me that change would have some impact on your cross-examination,†Justice Perram said. Also appearing this week was Vice-president of royalties for Voltage Pictures, Michael Wickstrom. The Voltage executive said that piracy was eating away at his company’s profits and had become far too easy. Lawsuits helped raise awareness of the problem, he said. Under cross-examination Wednesday, Wickstrom denied that the letters sent out to customers in the United States were “threateningâ€, noting instead that they are a statement of facts. “There are facts stated [in the letter] that [the customer’s] IP address was identified [as having downloaded the film illicitly],†he said. “Any settlement amount that is disclosed [in the letter]; that was the attorney’s decision and is done on a case by case basis.†However, while the company has no real idea of the nature of the people they’re targeting, Wickstrom said his company had limits on who would be pursued for cash demands. According to SMH, the executive said that his company “would not pursue an autistic child, people who were handicapped, welfare cases, or people that have mental issues.†Some compassion from Voltage perhaps? Not exactly – the company seems more interested in how that would look on the PR front. “That kind of press would ruin us,†Wickstrom said, adding that “the majority†of piracy was in fact occurring at the hands of vulnerable groups. If that’s truly the case and any “vulnerable†people inform the company of their circumstances, Voltage stands to make very little money from their Australian venture, despite all the expense incurred in legal action thus far. Strangely, they don’t seem to mind. “This is truly not about the money here, it’s about stopping illegal piracy,†Wickstrom said. The case continues next week.