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Found 15 results

  1. Should you keep your last name after getting married or change it? The question is more complicated than you think especially when considering all the possibilities keeping your maiden name, taking your spouse's last name, using your maiden name as a middle name, taking two last names, hyphenating the two names to create a joint surname and others. Please Share your thoughts
  2. Last week Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm lost his appeal against his hacking conviction in Denmark. With an August release potentially on the horizon but an unexpected situation still to be resolved in Sweden, Gottfrid is longing to get in front of a computer and back into the world of IT. But before then he wants to set the record straight. Last week and after a technically complex hearing, a jury at the Appeal Court in Denmark again found Gottfrid Svartholm guilty of hacking IT company CSC. The Pirate Bay founder now has no further opportunity to officially protest his innocence. Nevertheless, if all goes to plan and considering time served and his good behavior, Gottfrid could be up for parole middle to late August. But in cases involving the now-famous Swede, it will come as no surprise that there are complications. Gottfrid’s mother, Kristina Svartholm, informs TorrentFreak that the Swedish Prison and Probation service has requested a Nordic warrant for her son. The reason for this is that Swedish authorities sent Gottfrid to Denmark a month before his previous sentence was due to expire in 2013. This means that when he is released from Denmark later this year, he could be sent straight back to prison in Sweden to serve a few more weeks. But despite the setbacks, Gottfrid remains upbeat. “What Gottfrid wants to do now, more than anything else, is to get back to his developmental work within IT (graphics etc),†Kristina told TF. “And, of course, first of all: to sit by a keyboard again after nearly three years away from one.†With those days potentially just a few months away (even when taking the Swedish situation into account) some might sit back and accept their fate. However, Gottfrid is still intent on shining light on what he believes was a sub-standard investigation in Denmark and a poor decision from the court when it denied his appeal. According to Kristina, Gottfrid seriously questions the reports presented by the Danish police and is disappointed by their content, quality and lack of professionalism. “Clumsy amateurs†according to the Pirate Bay founder. In respect of the verdict itself, Gottfrid insists that it contains many “errors, mistakes and misunderstandingsâ€. There is even a suspicion that the judges decided on his guilt before the date of the verdict. “The final speeches from the defense/the prosecutor respectively were made Monday June 15, 2015. The judges and jury met Tuesday for voting. The verdict was presented Wednesday morning. WHEN was this verdict written?†Gottfrid questions. While the answer to that question may never be forthcoming, Gottfrid and Kristina remain determined to shine a light on the Danish investigation and what they both believe to be an extremely flawed legal process. To that end and in conjunction with Gottfrid, Kristina has penned a 2200+ word document detailing what they believe to be the key points behind an unfair investigation, criminal trial, and subsequent appeal. It covers plenty of topics, from the encrypted container found on Gottfrid’s computer to a chat log that became central to linking him to the case, despite it being highly edited by the authorities. Also of interest are the details of discussions secretly recorded by the police that potentially place Gottfrid in the clear, but were still ignored by the Appeal Court. The report can be downloaded here (RTF) https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-founder-still-wants-to-clear-his-name-150628/
  3. Several organizations including domain name registrar Namecheap are asking the public to protest a new ICANN proposal that will ban private domain name registrations. The proposal was heavily lobbied for by various copyright holder groups, who want to make it easier to expose pirate site operators. In recent months copyright holders have been increasingly pushing for changes in the domain name industry. Groups such as the MPAA and RIAA, for example, want registrars to suspend domain names of clearly infringing websites. While this is unlikely to happen on a broad scale in the near future, a new ICANN proposal may put an end to private domain name registrations for some websites. A new proposal (pdf) will no longer allow ‘commercial’ sites, which could include all domain names that run advertisements, to hide their personal details through so-called WHOIS protections services. This change is backed by copyright holder groups including the MPAA, who previously argued that it will help them to hold the operators of illegal sites responsible. “Without accurate WHOIS data, there can be no accountability, and without accountability it can be difficult to investigate and remedy issues when individuals or organizations use the Internet in illegal or inappropriate ways,†MPAA’s Alex Deacon said recently. “Ensuring this data is accurate is important not only to the MPAA and our members, but also to everyone who uses the Internet every day.†On the other side of the spectrum, the proposal has ignited protests from privacy advocates and key players in the domain name industry. Digital rights group EFF points out that copyright holders can already expose the operators of alleged infringers quite easily by obtaining a DMCA subpoena. This is something the RIAA has done already on a few occasions. EFF further warns that the new rules will expose the personal details of many people who have done nothing wrong, but may have good reasons not to have their address listed publicly. “The limited value of this change is manifestly outweighed by the risks to website owners who will suffer a higher risk of harassment, intimidation and identity theft,†EFF’s Mitch Stoltz writes. Namecheap, one of the largest domain registrars, also jumped in and sent a mass-mailing to all their customers urging them to tell ICANN not to adopt the new proposal. “No WHOIS privacy provider wants their service to be used to conceal illegal activity, and the vast majority of domain owners are not criminals. Using a WHOIS privacy service is no more suspicious than having an unlisted phone number,†Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall notes “These new proposed rules would wreak havoc on our right to privacy online. ICANN is moving quickly, so we should too – contact them today and tell them to respect our privacy,†he adds. ICANN is currently accepting comments from the public and Namecheap is encouraging its customers to use the Respect Our Privacy campaign site to protest the proposed changes. Of course, Namecheap has more to worry about than the privacy of its users alone. The company itself operates the Whoisguard service and earns a lot of revenue through these private registrations. Thus far most of the responses received by ICANN have come in through the special campaign site, arguing against the proposal. The commenting period closes in two weeks followed by an official report. After that, the ICANN board will still have to vote on whether or not the changes will be implemented. https://torrentfreak.com/piracy-concerns-may-soon-kill-domain-name-privacy-150625/
  4. The Pirate Bay has lost one of its new domain names after an intervention from South Georgia's .GS registry. While the domain suspension wasn't unexpected and the proverbial Hydra has now lost one head, TPB says that it can easily grow some more. Earlier this week the Stockholm District Court ordered the Pirate Bay’s .SE domains to be handed over to the Swedish state, arguing that they were linked to copyright crimes. The Pirate Bay was fully prepared for the negative outcome and quickly redirected its visitors to six new domain names. Since then the site has been accessible through the GS, LA, VG, AM, MN and GD domain names, without even a second of downtime. Marking the change The Pirate Bay updated its logo to the familiar Hydra logo, linking a TLD to each of the heads. However, we can now reveal that one head has already been chopped off. The site’s .GS domain name has been suspended by the registry, and ThePirateBay.gs is now listed as “ServerHold†and “Inactive.†The Pirate Bay informs us that the .GS domain has indeed been lost, which didn’t come as a complete shock. In fact, one of the reasons to move to six domains was to see which ones would hold up. “We have more domain names behind, if needed. We are stronger than ever and will defend the site to the end,†the TPB team tells us. At this point it’s unclear for how long the other domain names will remain available. Hoping to find out more, we reached out to the respective registries to discover their policies on domains being operated by The Pirate Bay. The Mongolian .MN registry informs TF that they will process potential complaints through ICANN’s Dispute Resolution Policy, suggesting that they will not take any voluntary action. The VG Registry referred us to their terms and conditions, specifically sections 3.4 and 7.2, which allow for an immediate termination or suspension if a domain infringes on the rights of third parties. However, it could not comment on this specific case. “We will review any complaint and act accordingly. Please understand that we cannot make any predictions based on theoretical options,†a VG Registry spokesperson says. It won’t be a big surprise if several more Pirate Bay domain names are suspended during the days and weeks to come. That’s a Whac-A-Mole game the site’s operators are all too familiar with now, but one that won’t bring the site to its knees. https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-loses-new-domain-name-hydra-lives-on-150522/
  5. Popular TV-torrent distribution group EZTV is in trouble again. The site's new eztv.ch domain name has fallen into the hands of 'scammers' who are trying to cash in through various ads. EZTV, the go-to place for many torrenting TV fans, has suffered its fair share of troubles in recent months. In January the group lost its .it domain name, which was then taken over by impostors in March. The torrent distribution group meanwhile continued to operate from the new EZTV.ch domain name, but during the past few hours this new home also became compromised. Instead of hosting official EZTV torrents the .CH domain now links to the same content as the ‘hijacked’ EZTV.it site. While there are plenty of TV-torrents available, these are sourced externally from RARBG. And there are more signs pointing to a hostile takeover. Users are not able to login for example, and the scam warning that was previously listed on the .ch domain in gone as well. In addition the site now serves various ads including popunders. TF reached out to ETZV’s Novaking to find out more about the apparent takeover, but we have yet to receive a reply. Upon close inspection it appears that the domain name was taken over at the registrar level. The WHOIS information was updated and now lists the UK-based “EZCLOUD LIMITED†as owner, which is the same company that registered the .it domain. The scammers who’ve taken over EZTV are looking to cash in from the site. EZCLOUD director Hernandez Dominguez Emmanuel previously said that he offered to partner with EZTV or sell the domain for a profit. “The business proposal to Novaking was straightforward: he pays us a slightly bigger amount than we have paid at the auction or we somehow partnership by uniting both entities: eztv.it and eztv.ch and we will earn in the course of the next months by percentage of the ads revenues,†Emmanuel told TF. Novaking rejected this proposal and blocked the .it domain from using official EZTV torrents. EZCLOUD did not give up, however, and now appears to have taken complete control of ETZV’s new domain as well. — Breaking news, more updates may follow https://torrentfreak.com/scammers-take-over-new-eztv-domain-name-150425/
  6. KickassTorrents, the largest torrent site on the Internet, has switched to a new domain name. Starting today the site will serve its torrents from KickassTorrents.im, an Isle of Man TLD. The site's operators haven't provided a specific reason for the change, but if the domain remains online it may improve the site's accessibility. With millions of unique visitors per day KickassTorrents (KAT) has become the most-used torrent site on the Internet, even beating the almighty Pirate Bay. Over the years KAT has moved from domain to domain on a few occasions. First to evade law enforcement and pressure from the entertainment industries, and later as a yearly ‘tradition.’ Continuing this domain shuffle the site moved to the Somalian .so TLD earlier this year, but this domain name was soon suspended forcing the site to switch back to Kickass.to. Starting today, KAT is redirecting to yet another domain name. The site is now serving its pages from the Isle of Man TLD KickassTorrents.im. Wondering whether the site may have run into issues with the .to registry we contacted the KAT team for further details. We were told that the change was “planned†and not a response to any registry problems. “The domain name change is a planned move which KickassTorrents does every six months. Nothing special,†the KAT team tells TF. The.to domain name is currently redirecting and remains available, so the site can switch back if needed. The site’s operators gave no particular reason why they chose the .im domain name, or if it’s considered a safe haven. Commenting on the prominent move, the IM Registry informs us that they can’t respond to individual cases. The registry doesn’t suspend or terminate domain names proactively. Instead, possible disputes are reviewed by a representative of the local Government. However, the organization stresses that it has a “zero tolerance†policy regarding copyright infringement. “… each case is reviewed separately by the Designated Official within the Isle of Man Government. It should be noted though that we have a zero tolerance policy on copyright infringement,†a IM Registry spokesperson says. Potential registry troubles aside, in the short-term the domain change will also have positive consequences in terms of accessibility. For example, the site will become accessible again in most countries where it has been blocked previously. In addition all the URLs that were blocked by Google through DMCA notices, nearly 2 million, will become accessible again under the new domain. This also means that Google’s new downranking algorithm will be bypassed, at least for a while. In recent months many “pirate†sites have lost a significant amount of traffic due to Google’s new anti-piracy algorithm. So it’s not unlikely that we will see more regular domain name rotations in the future. https://torrentfreak.com/kickasstorrents-moves-to-isle-of-man-domain-name-150423/
  7. While rightsholders are lobbying hard for strict anti-piracy policies for the domain name industry, The Pirate Bay has hit back with an unprecedented move. The notorious torrent site has applied for its own gTLD, so it can start a .PIRATE domain name registry. The Pirate Bay’s parent company Reservella Ltd. has started the registration process for a new gTLD with a .PIRATE extension. Responding to increased pressure from the MPAA and RIAA on the domain name industry, the torrent site hopes to break away from the rules and regulations which forced it to move to several new domains in recent years. “We can no longer trust third party services and registries, who are under immense pressure from the copyright lobby. So we decided to apply for our very own gTLD and be a true Pirate registry,†TPB’s Winston informs TF. The new registration is currently being processed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the main oversight body for the Internet’s global domain name system which accepts new gTLD proposals. .PIRATE application If the new TLD is finalized the Pirate Bay team plans to open registrations to the public. While it has to agree to some oversight formalities and ICANN agreements, the .PIRATE domains are expected to be less prone to censorship. “The ultimate goal is to create a true PIRATE hydra. This means that we will allow other sites to register .PIRATE domain names too. Staying true to our pirate roots the domains can be registered anonymously without charge,†Winston tells us. The Pirate Bay crew has prepared the application in secret, setting the wheels in motion nearly a year ago. Ideally, the process would have been finished by late January but a police raid and persistent hosting problems caused some delay. “Things are looking good so far, but we’re not there yet. Fingers crossed. Let’s hope nothing foolish happens,†Winston concludes. For the time being, however, The Pirate Bay will continue operating from the Swedish based .SE domain name. A transition to the .PIRATE domain is expected to take place this summer, at the earliest. The MPAA and RIAA couldn’t be reached for a comment on today’s news, but it’s expected that they will do everything within their power to block Pirate Bay’s deviant plans. https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-to-open-its-own-pirate-domain-name-registry-150401/
  8. The popular private BitTorrent tracker TorrentShack has lost its .eu domain. The EURid registry suspended the domain following a complaint from a third-party over invalid WHOIS details. The complainnt most likely came from an entertainment industry group, but this hasn't yet been officially confirmed. Targeting the domain names of “pirate†sites and services has become one of the main priorities for copyright holders. Previously, City of London Police managed to convinceseveral registrars to suspend sites that allegedly infringe copyright and earlier this week Swedish authoritiescommented on their efforts to seize two of Pirate Bay’s domains. Since it’s not always easy to convince registrars or registries that these sites are acting against the law, rightsholders are also exploring another route, pointing out administrative issues for example. This is how EZTV lost its .IT domain. Private BitTorrent tracker TorrentShack also ran into administrative problems this week, and on Monday the site’s .EU domain became unreachable. “As you can see there is a problem with the Whois/Domain at the moment, the problem is not with our setup and is being reported by the domain hosts as fully live (not suspended),†TorrentShack staff said. “If necessary we have backup solutions in place and we are not going anywhere while the problem is being tracked down,†they added. While the site’s registrar may not report a suspension, the EURid registry certainly does, as shown below. This issue is reminiscent of the trouble a popular Popcorn Time fork faced a few months ago. They also lost control of their .EU domain, which is now listed as withdrawn. To find out more about the reason for these suspensions TorrentFreak contacted the EURid registry. We were informed that a “third-party†alerted them to the fact that both domain names were registered with inaccurate details. “We have initiated our verification procedure based upon complaints from third parties and we have suspended/withdrawn the respective domain names based on inaccurate holder’s address details,†an EURid spokesperson told us. “As you know, the .eu terms and conditions, as well as the registration policy, require the domain holder to keep his/her contact information as shown in WHOIS complete and accurate at all times. Based on our verification, we can confirm that for both .eu domain names that was not the case.†The above means that TorrentShack probably won’t return on their .eu domain name and they have switched to theshack.us.to for now. This switch is not without problems, as many torrents still use the old .eu domain as an announce URL. There seems to be an easy fix for this issue, as several users report that the torrents will become active again by manually pointing the .eu domain name to the tracker IP-addresses in the hosts file. The identity of the mysterious “third-party†behind the complaints is likely to remain a mystery. However, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that they’re most likely from a copyright holder group. http://torrentfreak.com/eurid-suspends-torrentshack-domain-name-after-complaint-150213/
  9. KickassTorrents has lost access to its Kickass.so domain name and is currently offline. The Somalian domain of the most-visited torrent site on the Internet is now listed as "banned" by the .SO registry, forcing the site's operators to find a new home. With millions of unique visitors per day KickassTorrents (KAT) is one the most used torrent sites on the Internet. The site’s popularity has made it a prime target for copyright holders, many of whom would like to see the site taken offline. To evade law enforcement and ease pressure from the entertainment industries, KAT has moved domain on a few occasions over the past several years. Most recently the site has been operating from the Kickass.so domain. The Somalian .so TLD appeared to be a relatively safe haven, but today it’s apparent that this isn’t the case. About an hour ago the Kickass.so domain status listing was updated to “banned.†As a result of the domain seizure, users can no longer access the site. The Kickass.so domain name is not resolving and at the time of writing neither are older alternatives such as kickass.to. Kickass.so was seized by the .SO registry who also blacklisted the scam site kickasstorrents.so, which is not affiliated with the KAT team. It is likely that the registry acted following a complaint from copyright holders although this hasn’t been officially confirmed yet. Previously The Pirate Bay lost several of its domain names, including thepiratebay.ac and and thepiratebay.sx, after similar complaints. TF asked the .So registry for a comment on the situation but we have yet to receive a reply. While KickassTorrents is down for the moment, it is expected that the site will move its operation to a new domain name later today, or revert back to Kickass.to. Update: The KAT team informed TF that they are reverting back to Kickass.to. — Breaking story, we’ll update the article if more information comes in. http://torrentfreak.com/kickasstorrents-taken-domain-name-seizure-150209/
  10. Threatened by Hollywood's MPAA, the Minneapolis beer brewery 612 Brew has decided not sell its popular "Rated R" beer anymore. The Hollywood group demanded a name change as it owns the "Rated R" trademark, so the brewery chose to brand its beer "Unrated" instead. ratedrThe MPAA is best known for its efforts to protect the rights of the major movie studios. However, the group also has some intellectual property of its own to defend. A few weeks ago the MPAA sent a cease and desist letter to Minneapolis beer brewery 612 Brew, who’re known for their tasty beers including the popular “Rated R†brand. The movie industry group pointed out that the company was using the “Rated R†trademark without permission and urged the beer maker to drop the name to avoid confusion. The MPAA registered “Rated R†at the trademark office in the eighties as a certification mark, indicating that a movie is rated unsuitable for children under 17, unless they’re accompanied by an adult. While movie ratings have nothing to do with beer, the MPAA took offense at the name after the brewery filed their own trademark application. According to 612 Brew co-founder Kasak, the MPAA didn’t want the beer makers to use any of the “Rated†variants. “[Our beer] could have been PG, PG-13 or R. It didn’t matter. As long as it contained the word ‘rated’ it would still get flagged,†Kasak told Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal. An MPAA spokesperson confirmed that the group sent a cease and desist letter but further details are not available. The brewery first responded to the demands by arguing that the Rated R name can be used as they clearly operate in a different industry. The MPAA wasn’t convinced though, so 612 decided that it was easiest to change the name. The trademark specifically notes that the MPAA doesn’t have an exclusive right to the word “rated,†but 612 Brew decided to go for a different variant. Starting this year the name of “Rated R†beer was changed to “Unrated,†which isn’t trademarked by the MPAA. While the change is a setback for the brewery it’s co-founder doesn’t believe it will harm business in the long run. “It’s going to take some time for people to get used to it, but it will be OK. It’s a great beer and they’ll drink it regardless of the name,†Kasak notes. The brewery now has to hope that the “unrated†name won’t cause any headaches in the future. A quick search reveals that there’s an “unrated†trademark application in progress by a “yoga pants†outfit, so fingers crossed. http://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-trademark-forces-rated-r-beer-to-drop-its-name-150129/
  11. The overall Sony brand has reportedly taken a major hit in terms of consumer perception in the wake of the hacks against Sony Pictures and the ensuing fallout. The controversy has pushed media and technology giant to its worst levels in six years, according to new research service YouGov, discovered by Variety. YouGov's BrandIndex is calculated by asking people:"If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" This is then calculated into a score that can range from 100 to -100, with a zero being a neutral position. Sony's score this year began at 13, dropping to 11 on November 24 when the Sony hack was first made public. It only fell further from there as the hackers posted troves of internal Sony documents, including executive salaries, personal emails, and even movie scripts. Things got even worse for Sony following week's cancellation of The Interview, the controversial James Franco/Seth Rogen movie apparently at the heart of the cyberattack, which the FBI says came from North Korea. As of Friday, December 19, Sony's score was 3, a six-year low. YouGov points out that this could fall further, as The Interview's cancellation has drawn much displeasure from some, while United States president Barack Obama has even said Sony "made a mistake" in scuttling the movie's release. This isn't the first time Sony's brand image has taken a hit in recent years. The company's BrandIndex score dropped off in April 2011 when the PlayStation Network was breached. Millions of accounts were compromised, and the service itself didn't return to full functionality for weeks. For more on the fallout from the Sony Pictures hack, be sure to read GameSpot sister sites CNET and CBS News. The YouGov BrandIndex is measured by interviews with 4,300 people every weekday from a representative US population sample.
  12. One of the oldest torrent trackers, Demonoid, has been fighting for its place in the sun over many years. Now the semi-private BitTorrenttracker has changed its .ph domain name for the Palau-based .pw. The operators of the service have yet to officially announce the change, which will help to improve the Demonoid’s availability on the Internet. Earlier this year, Demonoid returned after almost 2 years of downtime, which began after a DDoS attack and legal troubles in its home country, Ukraine. Since then the tracker has been rebuilding its community and now accounts for millions of monthly visitors, which makes it one of the largest BitTorrent trackers on the Internet once again. Copyright holders are still trying to obstruct the Demonoid’s growth, and the site is currently plagued by blocking requests from them. Back in November, Italian Internet service providers blocked Demonoid. In addition, a few days ago major broadband providers in the United Kingdom were requested to do the same. Moreover, the ranking of the site in Google search results has significantly diminished: if you search for “demonoidâ€, you will see a Wikipedia entry as the top result, because the Demonoid.ph was removed from the Google search results following a takedown notice. In respond, Demonoid switched domain names. Now it is redirecting.ph domain to demonoid.pw. The .pw domain was registered just a few days ago, following the reports of the UK court orders to block the tracker. However, it should be noted that the effects of such move will be limited: while it is easy to circumvent bans in Italy with a new domain, UK providers are usually quick to update their blacklists.
  13. The semi-private BitTorrent tracker Demonoid has traded its demonoid.ph domain name for the Palau-based demonoid.pw. The site's operators have yet to officially announce the change, which helps to improve the site's availability online. As one of the oldest torrent communities online the Demonoid tracker has had its fair share of troubles over the years. Earlier in 2014 the site returned after nearly two years of downtime, which began following a DDoS attack and legal troubles in Ukraine. Since then Demonoid has been rebuilding its community up to a point where it now has millions of visitors per month, making it one of the largest torrent sites online once again. In an effort to obstruct the site’s growth Demonoid is now plagued by blocking requests from copyright holders. Last month the site was blocked by Italian ISPs and a few days ago major ISPs in the UK were told to do the same. In addition, the site’s visibility on Google has significantly diminished. Those who Google for “demonoid†will see a Wikipedia entry as the top result because the Demonoid.ph domain was removed following a takedown notice. In what appears to be a response to these censorship efforts, Demonoid switched domain names today. Out of the blue the site began redirecting its .ph domain to demonoid.pw which uses Palau ‘s TLD .pw. The new domain was registered this weekend just days after reports of a fresh UK High Court injunction ordering ISPs to block the site. The true motives for the recent domain changes remain unconfirmed at this point. TorrentFreak reached out to the Demonoid team for more details but we have yet to hear back. If it’s indeed an effort to beat the various censorship attempts, the effects will be limited. While Italian ISP blockades are relatively easy to circumvent with a new domain, UK ISPs are generally quick to update their blocklists. For now Demonoid.pw is still accessible in the UK via most ISPs, although it has to be noted that some still have to implement the most recent block. ISP blockades aside, the torrent site will definitely start with a clean sheet on Google. This means that it’s only a matter of days before Demonoid will have its own domain as the top result again, for as long as it lasts. ------------------------------ Source: Torrentfreak ------------------------------
  14. City of London Police have increased the pressure on domain name registrars who do business with file-sharing sites. With a "notice of criminality" the police hopes to pressure the companies into taking action, or else. easydnsOver the past year City of London Police have been working together with the music and movie industries to tackle sites that provide unauthorized access to copyrighted content. “Operation Creative†began with the sending of warning letters to site owners, asking them to go legit or shut down. Late last year this was followed by a campaign targeted at domain registrars, asking them to suspend the domain names of several “illegal†sites. Most registrars ignored these letters and only five out of the 75 requests were granted. The police aren’t giving up on their efforts though, as they have now contacted the registrars again, this time with a warning. EasyDNS was one of the companies who refused to suspend domains without a court order. This week CEO Mark Jeftovic informed TorrentFreak that his company received a new letter from City of London PIPCU titled “notice of criminality.†Unlike the previous one, the latest letter doesn’t have any concrete demands, but simply puts the registrars on notice. — Receipt of this email serves as notice that the aforementioned domain, managed by EASYDNS TECHNOLOGIES, INC. 28/03/2014 is being used to facilitate criminal activity, including offences under: Fraud Act 2006 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 Serious Crime Act 2007 We respectfully request that EASYDNS TECHNOLOGIES, INC. give consideration to your ongoing business relationship with the owners/purchasers of the domain to avoid any future accusations of knowingly facilitating the movement of criminal funds. — According to easyDNS the warning appears to suggest that registrars themselves could face legal trouble if they fail to take action. A rather worrying development considering that no court has deemed the sites to be violating local law. “We think this time the intent is not to actually get the domain name taken down, but rather to build some sort of ‘case’ that we, easyDNS, by mere ‘Receipt of this email’ are now knowingly allowing domains under management to be ‘used to facilitate criminal activity’,†Jeftovic notes. “Thus, if we don’t takedown the domains PIPCU want us to, when they want us to, then we may face accusations in the future (in their own words) ‘of knowingly facilitating the movement of criminal funds’,†he adds. Despite the repeated threats, easyDNS doesn’t plan to take any action without a proper court order. In a blog post Jeftovic explains this stance, noting that his company will fiercely defend due process. The file-sharing domains PIPCU wants to take offline are guilty until proven innocent and there is no basis to act without a court order, he believes. Instead, he characterizes the warning letter as potentially libelous and a abuse of power. “Hinting that failure to cooperate could result in adverse consequences such as being stripped of one’s trade accreditation or possibly being accused of a crime in the future, strikes me as coercive or an abuse of position on the part of PIPCU,†Jeftovic concludes.
  15. Putlocker.bz, one of the largest unauthorized movie streaming services on the Internet, has lost control over its domain name. The site's operator explains that they have issues with the .BZ registry, which may very well be the result of an inquiry from City of London Police. putlocker.bzIn recent weeks several piracy-related websites lost control over their domain names. Most of these issues could be tracked back to the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) in the UK. In recent weeks PIPCU sent letters to various domain name registrars of alleged pirate sites, requesting a suspension of domain names that had been classified as “infringing†by copyright holder groups. This resulted in a temporary suspension for the popular torrent search engine Torrentz.eu, while FileCrop, Cricfree, Delishows and others lost permanent control over their domains. This week another popular site ran into domain trouble. Putlocker.BZ, a popular movie streaming site with millions of active users per week, had its domain name suspended yesterday. “We are having an issue with .BZ Registry, so we had to move from putlocker.bz to http://putlocker.is/. IS is the domain name of Iceland – a safe haven for freedom of speech,†the site’s operator announced. At this point it’s unclear whether Putlocker’s issues are related to the actions of UK Police. TorrentFreak contacted the site for more details but we have yet to hear back. For now the site continues to operate via the new .IS TLD. Iceland is indeed a relatively safe haven. The domain registry ISNIC previously informed us that it would not proactively suspend a domain, and that it would only take action when an Icelandic Court asks them to. “Such an action would require a formal order from an Icelandic court. ISNIC is not responsible for a registrant’s usage of their domains,†ISNIC’s Marius Olafsson told TorrentFreak. The above means that a letter from PIPCU would not be enough to suspend the new Putlocker.is domain name. While PIPCU’s efforts under the “Operation Creative†flag may not eradicate piracy altogether, they may make some domain names and registrars a no-go area for these types of websites. Whether that will have any effect has yet to be seen, but copyright holders must be pleased with the close collaboration. Source : Torrentfreak.com