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Found 7 results

  1. I just completed season 2 of Bloodline. It was a shocking ending.
  2. Thanks to its slick and easy-to-use interface, Popcorn Time has gained an impressive user base since it launched early last year. However, fresh data now shows that the application still has some ground to cover if it wants to rival uTorrent, which remains the king of BitTorrent traffic. Branded a “Netflix for Pirates,†the Popcorn Timeapp quickly gathered a user base of millions of people over the past year. The application has some of the major media giants worried, including Netflix which sees the pirate app as a serious competitor to its business. Popcorn Time is also a rival for traditional torrent clients such as uTorrent, albeit of a different kind. However, until now how these different types of BitTorrent traffic compare in volume terms has remained unknown. New data from network management company Procera sheds some light on how the two stack up against each other. Procera gathered data from a European fixed line network in March and April and shared their findings with TF. On this particular network, which has a capacity of dozens of Gigabits per second, Popcorn Time accounted for roughly 18 Gigabit per second at its peak. The traffic was lowest at night, dropping to nearly zero. All the traffic in question was generated by ‘traditional’ video torrents which were then streamed through the Popcorn Time app. Popcorn Time traffic The data above comes from one network, so the numbers are not very meaningful without a good comparison standard. For this reason, Procera also monitored the traffic generated by uTorrent. The graph below shows that uTorrent accounts for at least double the traffic compared to Popcorn Time, with a approximately 44 Gigabit per second at the peak in April. uTorrent traffic While the vast majority of uTorrent traffic is generated by video, it’s worth noting that the data above also includes transfers of software, music and other content. Non-uTorrent BitTorrent transfers were insignificant according to Procera, well below the traffic Popcorn Time generates. The traffic patterns observed on this European network may be different in other parts of the world. However, with Popcorn Time having a massive user base in Europe, it’s safe to conclude that the app is not rivaling traditional torrent yet, traffic-wise. It will be interesting to see if Popcorn Time will continue to grow during the coming year. The application is now available on all major operating systems and it’s not unthinkable that it will eventually catch up with uTorrent. https://torrentfreak.com/popcorn-time-traffic-doesnt-rival-traditional-torrents-just-yet-150511/
  3. 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
  4. A new study into IP litigation over the past 20 years has revealed that file-sharing has transformed copyright litigation in the United States. In particular, attacks against anonymous file-sharers dominated the landscape of the past decade, with just three companies now responsible for 93% of all John Doe lawsuits. Thanks to the development of advanced file-sharing systems and fast Internet connections, lawsuits aimed at alleged Internet pirates have become commonplace over the past decade and are showing no signs of disappearing anytime soon. The statistics behind the threats have been documented periodically but now a detailed study of IP litigation as a whole has painted a clearer picture of trends during the past 10 years. Published by Matthew Sag, Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, IP Litigation in United States District Courts: 1994 to 2014 provides a review of all IP litigation in U.S. district courts over the past two decades to include copyright, patent and trademark lawsuits over 190,000 case filings. Perhaps unsurprisingly one of the paper’s key findings is that Internet file-sharing has transformed copyright litigation in the United States, in one area in particular. “To the extent that the rate of copyright litigation has increased over the last two decades, that increase appears to be entirely attributable to lawsuits against anonymous Internet file sharers,†the paper reads. In broad terms the paper places lawsuits against alleged pirates into two categories – those with an aim of discouraging illegal file-sharing and those that exist to monetize online infringement. Category one is dominated by lawsuits filed by the RIAA against users of software such as Kazaa and LimeWire who downloaded and shared tracks without permission. Announced in 2003, the wave seriously got underway during 2004 and persisted until 2008, straggling cases aside. Category two is dominated by the so-called copyright trolls that have plagued file-sharing networks since 2010. These companies, largely from the adult movie sector, track down alleged file-sharers with the aim of extracting cash settlements. As illustrated by the chart below, so-called ‘John Doe’ lawsuits witnessed their first big boost during 2004, the year the RIAA began its high-profile anti-P2P scare campaign. The second big wave can be seen from 2011 onwards. “John Doe litigation in the second wave appears to be aimed primarily, if not exclusively, at monetizing infringement—i.e., creating an independent litigation revenue stream that is unrelated to compensation for the harms of infringement and unconcerned with deterrence,†the paper reads. “The availability of statutory damages is essential to the infringement monetization strategy. United States copyright law allows a plaintiff to elect statutory damages ranging from $750 to $150,000 for willful copyright infringement, regardless of the extent of the copyright owner’s actual damage.†Needless to say, this situation has encouraged some companies to file more and more lawsuits over the past several years in pursuit of profit. However, they have been required to adapt along the way. Between 2010 and 2012 lawsuits were typically filed against hundreds or even thousands of John Doe defendants at once, but due to increased scrutiny from District Court judges the average number of Does per suit has declined dramatically. “[in] 2010 the average number of John Doe defendants per suit was over 560; by 2014 it was just over 3,†the paper notes. “2014 still witnessed the occasional mass-joinder suit, but by this time the model had almost entirely shifted to suits against individual unnamed defendants.†Also under the spotlight are the types of content being targeted by trolls. Pornographic titles were behind the lion’s share of lawsuits since 2010 and in 2014 accounted for 88% of all ‘John Doe’ actions. What is also startling about this second category is how it has become increasingly dominated by a tiny number of plaintiffs. Back in 2010 the top three plaintiffs accounted for less than 25% of John Doe lawsuits but it wouldn’t stay that way for long. “In 2011 and 2012, the top three plaintiffs accounted for just under 50% of John Doe cases. In 2013, Malibu Media, alone accounted for 64% of John Doe cases and the top three in that year accounted for more than 75% of such cases. The top three plaintiffs in 2014 account for more than 93% of John Doe litigation filings in copyright,†the paper adds. Conclusion Despite the large number of lawsuits being filed against John Doe defendants, the paper dismisses the notion that litigation since 2010 is a broad-based phenomenon. In fact, it draws quite the opposite conclusion, noting that a tiny number of plaintiffs are effectively making a huge noise. “The trend from 2012 to 2014 is one of increasing concentration of plaintiff activity. In fact, the pornography producer Malibu Media is such a prolific litigant that in 2014 it was the plaintiff in over 41.5% of all copyright suits nationwide,†the paper notes. Finally, in respect of the activities of the plaintiffs listed above, Matthew Sag’s studyarrives at an opinion long held by many ‘troll’ critics. “John Doe litigation is not a general response to Internet piracy; it is a niche entrepreneurial activity in and of itself,†Sag concludes. Torrentfreak
  5. Fans seeking to raise $150,000 to launch advertising blitz to encourage Valve to release the long-awaited game. A group of Half-Life fans have launched a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo with the hope of raising money to create a "We Want Half-Life 3" advertising campaign so large that Valve can't ignore it. The group, which says it is backed by advertising agency McKee Wallwork & Company (we've contacted them for comment), is looking to raise $150,000 "to get Valve to finish the game we've dreamed about for all these years." The Half-Life 3 advertising blitz is aiming to be so massive that it will reach "every single employee at Valve." How will the group do this? If the campaign hits $3,000, they will create a Google AdWord campaign that specifically targets Valve's employees. This ad would simply state: "WE WANT HALF-LIFE 3." If funding reaches $9,000, they will also rent a truck with a giant billboard on it to drive around Bellevue, Washington--where Valve is headquartered. "We'll plaster it with our propaganda and besiege Valve HQ in Bellevue, Washington until their white flag is raised. Or, at least until the end of the day when our driver's shift is over," the group says. Beyond that, should funding reach $45,000, the group will hire a squad of Gabe Newell doppelgangers to approach Valve's HQ wearing "We Want HL3" t-shirts. "Who knows, maybe they will sneak into a strategic meeting and release Half-Life 3 themselves," they write. If this stretch goal is reached, the group promises to film the event for all to see later on. Finally, should funding reach $150,000, the group will hold a huge concert in Seattle and invite all Valve employees to attend. The purpose of this is so Half-Life fans can speak directly to Valve employees about their request for Half-Life 3. The Half-Life 3 campaign organizers, Chris Salem and Kyle Mazzei, say all proceeds will go towards encouraging Valve to release Half-Life 3; they won't make any money on this, they say. Backing the project at $5 gets you a personalized "thank you" card, while a contribution of $15 or more gets you a "We Want Half-Life 3" pin. Giving $75 to the campaign will net you a "We Want Half-Life 3" t-shirt, as well as all previous perks. You can read more about the campaign at its Indiegogo page. While Kickstarter has an all-or-nothing policy regarding funding, Indiegogo does not, meaning the "We Want Half-Life 3" campaign could still become a reality even if the full $150,000 is not reached. The most recent Half-Life game was 2007's Half-Life 2: Episode Two. That game advances the story of previous entries Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode One. A third episode was planned, but has not seen the light of day. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  6. A Rogue's Legacy Let's state the obvious: Assassin's Creed Rogue is a continuation of Assassin's Creed IV, and as such, the two have a lot in common. Sailing and ship-to-ship battles in Rogue function much as they did in ACIV. In fact, some of the new toys at your disposal on the Morrigan are simply more elaborate variations on the Jackdaw's arsenal, so while the battles might be cosmetically different, the strategy for success on the seas remains largely unchanged. Similarly, playing on-foot as Assassin-turned Templar Shay Cormac isn't all that different mechanically from playing as ACIV's Edward Kenway--aside from a few new weapons. But it's the addition of firecrackers in particular that tie into what is possibly one of the most brilliant additions to the Asssassin's Creed single-player experience, both mechanically and how it so perfectly fits with Rogue's overarching narrative. Shay hears whispers that alert him to the presence of nearby assassins. Switching to eagle vision reveals a circle-radar that points you in the general direction of the assassin, but it gives no indication of height in relation to your position. That assassin might be above you. He or she might be below you. Either way, if you don't spot them quickly enough, they will pounce and do what assassins do. If you spot them first and they're in the open, you can stealth your way over and either kill them outright, or if they're hiding, flush them out with the firecrackers and let Shay's hidden blades do the rest. For reasons that were teased in our brief time with an early portion of the game, Shay leaves the Assassin order and joins the Templars, the Assassins' bitter rivals. So, it stands to reason that the Assassins would want to take him out before he volunteers any sensitive information to his new cohorts, so these conflicts sit nicely with Rogue's story. This aspect of the game, the feeling of being hunted, brings a different vibe to Assassin's Creed single-player experience that invigorates normally mundane missions. Granted, these AI-controlled assassins in Rogue aren't necessarily as clever as human-controlled assassin's found in the series' multiplayer modes, but it's a similar experience and the added threat of instant death is enough to keep you on your toes. Plus, the whispers that play during these moments are super creepy and only add tension to an already intense moment, but in the grand scheme of things, it all logically fits in with what Rogue tries to accomplish. The rest of my brief playthrough with Assassin's Creed Rogue reminded me of why Assassin's Creed IV was such an engaging experience. Much like its predecessor, the world in Rogue is expansive and the desire to explore every single island and every shipwreck feels just as strong due to the new locations4. And like ACIV, Rogue looks gorgeous. Sure, it won't have the eye-catching visuals of Unity, but it makes up for it other ways. Seeing the French armada bearing down on my fleet against the backdrop of a setting sun, and traversing through white-out conditions in frigid North Atlantic terrain, are just some of the visually stunning moments I encountered. And I can't wait to see more, but it will be interesting to see if those visual touches, some new gameplay mechanics, and (presumable) closure on the Assassin's Creed Americas trilogy are enough for players to experience Rogue from beginning to end. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  7. All it took yesterday was a single article to trigger off a tidal wave of copycat reports across dozens of sites including the mainstream RT.com. Just to be absolutely clear - Britain HAS NOT decriminalized file-sharing and to suggest otherwise only puts people at unnecessary risk. File-sharing remains ILLEGAL in the UK, guaranteed. From next year people in the UK can download and share whatever they like. Movies, music and video games. You name it – it’s a free-for-all download bonanza with zero consequences other than four friendly letters asking people to try Netflix and Spotify. In fact, the UK government has even gone as far as decriminalizing online copyright infringement entirely, despite risking the wrath of every intellectual property owner in the land. That was the message doing the rounds yesterday in the media, starting on VG247and going on to overload Reddit and dozens of other sites. Even Russia’s RT.com got in on the fun. Except it’s not fun at all. It’s completely untrue on countless levels and to suggest otherwise puts people at risk. Let’s be absolutely clear here. Copyright infringement, whether that’s on file-sharing networks or elsewhere, is ILLEGAL in the UK. Nothing, repeat NOTHING, has changed. As detailed in our previous article, VCAP is a voluntary (that’s the ‘V’ part) agreement between some rightsholders and a few ISPs to send some informational letters to people observed infringing copyright. This means that the mainstream music labels and the major Hollywood studios will soon have an extra option to reach out to UK Internet users. However, whenever they want to – today, tomorrow or next year – any of the copyright holders involved in VCAP can still file a lawsuit or seek police action against ANYONE engaged in illegal file-sharing – FACT. What makes the original VG247 report even more inaccurate is its headline: “Britain just decriminalised online game piracy.†If we’re still laboring under the illusion that VCAP is somehow the reason behind the government’s “decriminalization†of piracy, understand this – video game companies are not even part of the VCAP program. Worst still, the biggest financial punishment ever ordered by a UK court was a default judgment in 2008 issued to – wait for it – a person who illegally file-shared a single video game. The case was a farce, but the judgment stands and the law on which is was based has not changed. There is nothing stopping any video game company from doing this again once VCAP starts, properly this time. But why stop at video games? Porn companies/trolls aren’t involved in the VCAP scheme either and any of those could head off to court to obtain the identities of people they want to sue. It’s happening in the UK. There’s a VCAP-style scheme in the United States too, often referred to as “six strikesâ€, and that has done nothing to stop companies like Malibu Media filing lawsuits almost every day. Voluntary agreements avoid the complication of changing the law, that’s their entire point. They provide helpful mechanisms that the law does not already mandate. For example, UK ISPs are not expressly required to forward infringement notices to users under current law, yet VCAP means that some rightsholders, not all, will get that ‘right’. So which other sectors are not involved in VCAP so therefore cannot rely on the assistance it provides? Well, thousands of smaller record labels and film companies for a start. They tend to be outside the walls of the BPI and MPA so do not enjoy the fruits of their lobbying. While these smaller outfits tend to stay away from litigation, they could soon have fresh options. Piracy monetization firm Rightscorp works with many smaller companies and has recently indicated an interest in the UK. “We are getting a great reception from everyone we have spoken to [in the UK],†the company’s Robert Steele said in May. Whether Rightscorp will be able to pull this off is an entirely different matter, but since file-sharing of copyrighted material remains illegal in the UK, the company has a chance. The other issue is how the VCAP warnings will be presented to alleged infringers. While they have a focus on education, it would be incredible if they contained the text “The UK has just decriminalized file-sharing, that’s why we have sent you this letter.†It would be even more amazing if the ISPs agreed to pass them on if file-sharing was no longer an offense. While no laws have been changed, in some instances it’s probably fair to say that VCAP will make it less likely that people will be pursued by the major record labels and movie studios in the UK. It doesn’t eliminate the threat, however. Try this. Head off to your local Odeon, Showcase or UCI this coming weekend, set up a camcorder, and see if you can get a really sweet copy of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Begin uploading this to The Pirate Bay and while it’s seeding send an email to the Federation Against Copyright Theft containing your personal details. VCAP friendly letter incoming or a police raid? Yeah, thought so. http://torrentfreak.com/the-uk-did-not-just-decriminalize-file-sharing-140723/