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Found 187 results

  1. My small "Freelance Team" is working 24/7 with customer around the globe to ensure their safety against hackers, and other harmful stuff in website relation. We have a great way of working 24/7, since our (my) team is located around the globe with different time-zones: Thailand, Brazil, Gran Canaria, Denmark, Sweeden, Deutch (Germany), India, USA:LA, Africa, China and at last russia. We see us self as "Artists", which also means we take pride in each individual customer and think about their needs! We keep them orientated about the website as we code it day by day over phone,email,skype, even WhatsApp if needed. We see us self as "All Doing People" since we have alot of years behind our back! We work the same way all of us because we have a special designed & coded website (framework / CMS) ready to go with ALL customers! Which gives us a good advantage in almost any way since our system is coded so tight so even the last error on a page, and this will be reported to the administrator (website owner) as a hacking attempt! We have many sources and many different ways of coding a website to each individual! We can setup servers, hardwares, softwares etc if needed, even install pre-made CMS systems for customers like webshops, forum CMS Systems out there and other stuff if it's needed. If you think we are an interesting team to maybe get to know better and about our work, don't hesitate to ask for more information & prices! We consult for free and decide prices online for each individual users! We (i) hope this have waken your interest! Thanks for reading! Mr H
  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. A few minutes ago Australia passed controversial new legislation which allows for overseas 'pirate' sites to be blocked at the ISP level. Despite opposition from the Greens, ISPs and consumer groups, the Senate passed the bill into law with a vote of 37 in favor and 13 against. Expect The Pirate Bay to be an early target. Following intense pressure from entertainment industry groups, late 2014 Australia’s Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked the Cabinet to develop legislation which would allow ‘pirate’ sites to be blocked at the ISP level. In March 2015 the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 (pdf) was introduced to parliament and earlier this month it received the green light following a parliamentary committee investigation. A few moments ago and following just three months of consideration by parliament, the Australian Senate passed the legislation into law. The net result is that in the months and years to come, sites like The Pirate Bay will become inaccessible by regular direct means to most local Internet users. While there will be celebrations in Hollywood, not everyone in the process is happy with the outcome. The Australian Greens outright rejected the legislation, a position shared by several independents. ISPs and technology companies also complained about elements of the legislation, alongside consumer groups such as Choice who expressed concern that the scope of the law could be expanded in future. In the final count, 37 voted in favor and 13 against, with the Coalition and Labor in favor and the Greens and three other senators voting against. Labor joined the government to vote down several amendments tabled by the Greens aimed at narrowing the scope of the legislation. Despite an effort by the government to calm nerves last week by ensuring consumers that VPNs won’t be targeted by the legislation, a specific exemption for VPN providers was rejected. The legislation does not detail who will pay the ISPs’ costs associated with blocking websites. Earlier this month it was noted by a parliamentary committee that costs should “primarily be borne by those parties who are seeking the remedy†but nothing firm has been agreed thus far. The passing of the law was welcomed by Foxtel Chief Executive, Richard Freudenstein. “We are pleased that the Government and Opposition have taken strong action to combat online piracy. They recognize that, not only is piracy theft and therefore morally wrong, it is harmful to Australia’s creative communities and to businesses that employ hundreds of thousands of Australians,†Freudenstein said. “These offshore sites are not operated by noble spirits fighting for the freedom of the internet, they are run by criminals who profit from stealing other people’s creative endeavors.†The Bill will now be sent to the Governor-General for royal assent at which point it will become effective immediately. https://torrentfreak.com/australia-passes-pirate-site-blocking-law-150622/
  4. The Pirate Bay has dropped the www prefix for all of its domains. The changes occurred earlier this week and were made without a redirect, which is causing some visitors to believe that the site is currently offline. The Pirate Bay has had its fair share of legal problems and technical difficulties over the years. Just last month a Swedish court ordered the seizure of site’s main .se domain name. This case is currently on appeal but in the meantime TPB is rotating several new domains. A few days ago, however, reports started rolling in that the notorious torrent site is no longer accessible to some, across all domains. Instead of the usual homepage visitors see an error message in their browser, suggesting that the DNS lookup failed. Luckily enough, the problems are only affecting URLs with a www prefix. For some reason, the corresponding DNS entries have been removed rendering all www links inaccessible. While it’s quite common for websites not to use the www prefix (we don’t), there’s usually a redirect setup so visitors are directed to the correct URL. Since TPB doesn’t have a redirect set up, many people are inaccurately assuming that the site is suffering downtime. For now it remains a mystery why the DNS entries were updated. TF spoke with a moderator of the site, who told us that he and his team were not informed about the changes. The dropped www prefix is not the only issue The Pirate Bay has been facing recently. Over the past weeks several parts of the site broke temporarily, including user registrations and torrent uploads. To inform users about these and other technical difficulties, the TPB crew has a status page showing which services are up and running. This page is maintained by the moderators and separately hosted at the Suprbay forum. As shown below, all crucial features are fully operational at the time of writing. That is, if users have dropped the www prefix from their bookmarks. TPB status https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-domains-no-longer-accessible-through-www-150618/
  5. Following the largest case of its type in Denmark, in October 2014 Gottfrid Svartholm was found guilty of hacking IT company CSC. The Pirate Bay founder immediately appealed but after a technically complex hearing a jury at the High Court today unanimously upheld the decision of the lower court. Two years after being arrested in his Cambodian apartment in September 2012, Gottfrid Svartholm went on trial in Denmark. The Pirate Bay founder and a 21-year-old co-defendant stood accused of hacking computer mainframes operated by US IT giant CSC. It was billed as the largest case of its kind ever seen in the Scandinavian country. Right from the outset Gottfrid’s position was that his computer, from where the hacking had taken place, had been compromised by outside attackers. Respected security expert Jacob Appelbaum gave evidence for the defense in support of this theory. However, the court was not convinced. Dismissing the “remote control†defense, Judge Ulla Otken described the hacking of CSC as both “systematic and comprehensive.†Three judges and four of six jurors returned guilty verdicts in 2014 and Gottfrid was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison. Never one to give up, Gottfrid immediately filed an appeal and this month his case came before the Eastern High Court. According to local media, whose coverage has been much less intense than when the Swede went on trial last year, the evidence presented by both sides was of a highly technical nature. Writing earlier this week for Version2.dk, Elías Lundström reported that even as an IT journalist he had difficulty in following the evidence, a sentiment shared by Gottfrid’s mother. “I also have trouble understanding it – how should any of the jurors be able to follow the evidence?†Kristina Svartholm said. Gottfrid’s lawyer Luise Høj also underlined the difficulty in dealing fairly with such a complex case. “I think overall that progress continues to be characterized by the fact that we all lack the technical knowledge to deal with this matter, and it characterizes the whole process,†she said. Whether the complexity of the case affected the jury will be a matter for future debate, but a few moments ago all three judges and all nine jurors upheld the District Court’s decision handed down last October. Addressing the “remote access†defense, the High Court ruling notes that it would be unlikely that Gottfrid’s computer could be accessed without him noticing it. Furthermore, the Court found it unusual that the Swede refused to assist police in getting to the bottom of the crime. While the guilty verdict will undoubtedly come as a disappointment to Gottfrid himself, his mother Kristina – who has endured two court cases and numerous trips to Denmark in support of her son – has been openly critical of the entire process. In a series of tweets this week she complained of how the case has been handled, from its roots in Cambodia, via Sweden and ultimately to Denmark. Breaking news story, updates to follow https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bays-gottfrid-svartholm-loses-hacking-appeal-150617/
  6. Sellers of Android boxes loaded with software enabling the free viewing of movies, TV shows and live sports have been raided this week by UK authorities. Trading Standards officers, police and representatives from Sky TV carried out raids in several locations, causing other sellers to quickly reconsider the tone of their marketing efforts. While paying subscriptions to services such as Netflix, premium satellite and cable channels, sports broadcasters and PPV outlets are legitimate ways to obtain content on a TV, there are others that require very little outlay. Apple TV boxes, Android set-top boxes and even the lowly Raspberry PI can run software such as Kodi (previously XBMC) alongside third-party addons to provide all of the above at virtually zero cost. Unsurprisingly, this annoys content providers no end. While selling any of the above devices alone is entirely legal, over the past couple of years online markets such as eBay and Amazon have been flooded with “fully loaded†boxes (Android-based in particular) that enable free viewing of anything from first run movies to live sports. Surprisingly, many vendors have been happy to publicly advertise that fact, with many apparently under the impression that if they don’t provide the illegal content themselves then they aren’t liable. In the UK that argument is unlikely to fly and during the past week patience appears to have run out. Earlier this week Trading Standards officers and police carried out raids on sellers of Android boxes setup to receive unauthorized content. One seller, operating from GeekyKit.com, told customers that his physical shops would not be trading as normal. “As you may be aware we were visited yesterday by Sky [television] in conjunction with Trading Standards. Whilst we continue to investigate our position the stores will remain closed and support will remain suspended. Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused,†he explained. “We do not control the content that is accessible on the internet via the product that we sell. We are currently working with Trading Standards to ensure that we can sell our products whilst adhering to UK copyright laws.†Although no details on changes were provided by GeekyKit, the signs on the front of one of their shops will be the first thing to go after leaving little to the imagination. A source who asked to remain anonymous told TorrentFreak that raids were also carried out at home addresses. In those cases officers reportedly seized computer equipment and mobile phones. A 38-year-old man was arrested under the Copyright Designs and Patent Act. The raids have certainly provided food for thought for other companies involved in the supply of similar devices. DroidSticks, one of the most prominent UK suppliers, is now limiting discussion on its Twitter account to matters relating only to the device. Whether or not the company intends to continue packaging third-party addons with its boxes will remain to be seen, but for now ‘pirate’ talk is strictly off-limits. DroidSticks did not respond to our request for comment. Finally, complying with UK legislation should be a fairly straightforward process if sellers want to play it safe, but that will probably mean never mentioning the “special features†of these boxes in a sales pitch ever again. It could also mean relying on users to install their own third-party addons from scratch. It’s a simple enough process for those with patience but something unlikely to appeal to Joe Public who increasingly wants a simple plug-and-play device. https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-android-tv-box-sellers-raided-by-police-150612/
  7. The Australian parliamentary committee investigating the government's 'pirate' site-blocking Bill has given the legislation the green light. In a report published this morning the committee recommends that following several amendments the Bill should be passed. As a result, sites such as The Pirate Bay will soon by off-limits to Aussie subscribers. Late 2014, Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked the Australian Cabinet to approve the development of a new system which would allow rightsholders to obtain site-blocking injunctions against ISPs. In March a draft of that legislation was introduced to parliament. Since then the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 has been under investigation by the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee. After examining the framework which allows rightsholders to apply for blocks against ‘pirate’ sites located overseas, this morning the Committee published a report that notes four recommendations but otherwise gives the legislation a green light. Recommendations When an application is made by a rightsholder for a blocking injunction, the Bill in its current form requires the Court to consider at least eight factors when determining whether an application should be granted. These include whether a site shows a general disregard for copyright, whether it has been blocked already in another jurisdiction, and the ‘flagrancy’ of any infringement. Responding to rightsholder complaints that the bar had been set too high, alongside a belief that the thresholds for proving infringement had been narrowly established elsewhere in the Bill, the Committee advised an amendment from “is to take the following matters into account†to the watered down “may take the following matters into accountâ€. The recommendations also address VPNs, noting that “the Bill does not explicitly contemplate the introduction of injunctions against VPNsâ€, adding that “VPNs are unlikely to meet the ‘primary purpose test’ [designed for infringing uses].†The Committee noted, however, that it would be “reassured†if the government clarified the status of such tools. In respect of the “reasonable steps†ISPs will be expected to take in order to “disable access to an online locationâ€, the Committee advised that these may include the posting of a landing page, similar to those currently used in the UK, which advise visitors that the site in question has been blocked alongside details of the order. In another recommendation the Committee calls upon the government to provide greater clarity and guidance on the issue of costs and liability for ISPs after they comply with a court order to block a site. “The committee urges the government to clarify its position regarding the attribution of costs of compliance with orders where injunctive relief is granted,†the report reads. “The committee notes the persuasive evidence of service providers to the effect that as [an ISP] bears no fault or liability for the infringement of copyright by its subscribers, [the ISP] should not be required to contribute to the cost of the remedy. The committee is of the view that more clarity is required to reassure [iSPs] that the costs associated with site-blocking will primarily be borne by those parties who are seeking the remedy.†In other words, if rightsholders want to benefit from a site block, they should be the ones to pay for its implementation. Finally, the Committee advises that the new legislation should be given an initial 24 months to do its work. At this point it should be re-examined to assess its performance. “The committee recommends that the government conduct a formal review of the effectiveness of the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill2015, to be completed two years after its enactment,†the Committee concludes. Dissenting Report – Australian Greens In a second report published alongside the Committee’s this morning, Senator Scott Ludlam of the Australian Greens slams the Bill as the “latest in a long line of misguided attempts by the government to monitor, control and censor the Internet.†Noting that the Bill hands “significant†new censorship powers to the court, Ludlam says that the evidence shows that it will be relatively easy to bypass the Bill’s provisions. Furthermore, the Bill lacks safeguards to ensure that legitimate online sources aren’t subjected to overblocking. “Most importantly, there is also a significant weight of evidence showing that the Bill will not meet its aims, as it does not address the underlying cause of online copyright infringement: The continual refusal of offshore rights holders to make their content available in a timely, convenient and affordable manner to Australians,†Ludlam concludes. https://torrentfreak.com/aussie-pirate-site-blocking-bill-given-the-green-light-150611/
  8. Coppersurfer, one of the largest torrent trackers on the Internet, has been targeted by copyright holders throughout Europe. Most recently, a German court ordered a local hosting provider to hand over the personal details of its operator. In response the Greek Pirate Party has decided to adopt the tracker, providing political support in defense of people's freedom to share information. In recent years Coppersurfer.tk has quickly become one of the most used BitTorrent trackers. Running on the beerware-licensed Opentracker software, the standalone tracker offers a non-commercial service which doesn’t host or link to torrent files itself. Despite the content neutral setup, the tracker and its hosting providers have become the targets of various copyright holder groups in recent months. In April, Coppersurfer was forced to leave its Dutch hosting provider following a complaint from Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN. The tracker then moved its service to a German hosting provider, but that didn’t end the trouble. The tracker’s operator recently informed TF that a German court ordered the tracker’s hosting provider to disclose the personal details of the associated account holder. The request came from the German lawfirm Rasch, who act on behalf of several major music labels. The order (pdf) came as a surprise to Coppersurfer’s operator as he complied with previous takedown requests from the same lawyers, and even offered them a hash blocking tool. The copyright holder, however, appeared determined to shut the site down. Facing this mounting pressure the operator decided to look for help, which he found in the Pirate Party of Greece (PPGR). The Greek Pirates inform TF that they have decided to officially adopt the tracker to protect it from further threats, by any means necessary. “The owner of the tracker has faced the absurd requests of the copyright lobby many times in the past, even though he was being wholly lawful. After these attacks we decided to adopt the tracker,†the PPGR board tells us. “Our decision gives political support to the tracker, which is very important in this context,†they add. The party also informed the German Pirate Party and MEP Julia Reda about the recent court order, and will see if there are any options to get it overturned. Meanwhile, the tracker is hosted in another European country, operating in accordance with local laws. The Greek Pirates aren’t under the illusion that the tracker will be shielded from legal pressure under their wings. However, they are prepared to fight the “copyright lobby†in order to protect the free flow of information. “Unfortunately, our experience, but also our knowledge of similar cases so far predisposes us to believe that we will see this kind of incident again. But they can’t scare us. On the contrary, it gives us courage to work harder in order to achieve a free society,†the PPGR board says. “A society where the exchange of ideas, files and information will be treated as what they really are: a basic human need,†they add. https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-party-adopts-torrent-tracker-to-fight-legal-pressure-150610/
  9. Online content pirates are regularly labeled 'thieves' by entertainment industry companies. However, we're now seeing genuine customers being branded as "criminals", simply because they access Netflix from another country using a VPN. Talking to customers like this is not only offensive, but arrogant in the extreme. For many in the Internet community the occasional download is not only a petty matter, but in some cases entirely justifiable. File-sharers are often people who turned to unofficial sources thanks to a content vacuum created by Big Media and following abusive pricing practices that took advantage of the supply monopoly. While not excusable, their actions should hardly come as a surprise. But despite the fact that most downloading is a civil issue that the majority of courts have little to no time for, efforts to characterize the act as ‘criminal’ and to label participants as ‘thieves’ persist. However, since Joe Public accepts that file-sharing of copyright content must be “wrong†on some level, he understands why people might be upset and grudgingly accepts the label. Recently, however, (and perhaps in response to piracy) prices have been falling. Content is more readily available online too, brilliantly so in the case of music, less so in the case of movies. But things are getting there, there’s little doubt about that. The reasons to become a “criminal†are happily becoming fewer. Of course, people still pirate. Some exclusively so, others to augment their legitimate supply of Spotify music and Netflix video. The first group might never pay, but the latter is getting the idea. They’re enjoying having access to tens of millions of streaming tracks and the ability to conveniently binge-watch TV. They’re signed up paying customers, a fitting “Hollywood-ending†to a pirate career. And then they get shit on again. Users of Netflix outside the U.S. are beginning to realize (if they haven’t known forever) that by using a VPN they can get access to more content than they can normally. They’re paying for the service, what’s wrong with that? Well, apparently something called ‘licensing’ forbids them from doing so – as if any Netflix customer anywhere gives a damn about that? In most other environments, when one legitimately buys something from overseas – Internet services in particular – there are no issues. You pay hard cash, the supplier gets paid and everyone is happy. But with Netflix (through no fault of theirs) the proverbial hits the fan. Paying customers who use a VPN to access the service are now regularly accused of a myriad of offenses, from breaching Netflix’s license to being morally corrupt. Worst still, and like their Pirate Bay-using counterparts, they too are being labeled as criminals by elements of the entertainment industry. Just this week Bell Media chief Mary Ann Turcke described her own 15-year-old daughter as a “thief†after learning she’d accessed U.S. Netflix from Canada. Her own daughter. A thief. A criminal. A menace to society. No better than someone who downloads movies for free and doesn’t pay the industry even a single dime. Come on! Is this really the route we want to go down? What can possibly be achieved by using the same aggressive terms to describe a shoplifter, a Pirate Bay user and someone who actually pays to use a legitimate service? Earlier this week, Andy Archibald, deputy director of the UK’s National Crime Agency’s Cyber Crime Unit, described the downloading of films, music and games as a gateway to more serious crime. “That’s criminality. It’s almost become acceptable,†Archibald told the Infosecurity Europe conference in London. “That’s the first stages, I believe, of a gateway into the dark side.†Ok, stop right there. If file-sharers are thieves on their way to the dark side, then are Netflix VPN “thieves†on their way to the dark side too? Of course not, they’re paying customers who, if people like Mary Ann Turcke is lucky, will turn a blind eye to being insulted by the very people whose pockets they are lining with money. It has to stop now. Shoplifting = theft. Piracy = copyright infringement. Netflix+VPN = cross-border shopping in a free market – get used to it or adapt. https://torrentfreak.com/criminals-when-you-pirate-criminals-when-you-pay-150407/
  10. A new study has revealed the current appetite for 'pirate' content in Sweden. With 29% of adults viewing an estimated 280 million movies and TV shows illegally each year, people are now more likely to stream than download. However, legal services are doing even better, with 71% using Netflix and similar services. As the spiritual home of The Pirate Bay and the birthplace of some of the world’s most hardcore file-sharers, Sweden has definitely earned its place in the history books. If Swedes can be converted to legal offerings, just about anyone can, one might argue. A new study just published by the Film and TV Industry Cooperation Committee (FTVS) in collaboration with research company Novus reveals some interesting trends on local media consumption habits. Covering both legal and illegal services, the survey is based on 1,003 interviews carried out between Feb 27 and March 9 2015 among citizens aged 16 to 79-years-old. Legal and illegal consumption On the legal TV and movie consumption front, Sweden appears to be doing well. A decent 71% of respondents said they buy services such as Netflix and HBO, with a quarter using such services every day and 35% watching several times each week. In comparison, 29% of all respondents admitted to using illegal services to watch film and television. Perhaps unsurprisingly the activity is most prevalent among the young, with 60% of 16 to 29-year-olds confessing to using pirate sites. The survey found that around 280 million movies and TV shows are watched illegally in Sweden each year, with respondents indicating they would have paid for around a third of those if illegal services weren’t available. With torrents extremely popular around Europe, it’s interesting to note that downloading of content is now taking second place to online streaming. The survey found that 19% of respondents stream content illegally, while 17% download. When users engage in both streaming and downloading, streaming is the more popular activity. The study notes that dual users (those that use both legal and illegal services) watch every third movie or TV show illegally, an average of four films and seven TV shows every month. Attitudes The survey also polled respondents on their attitudes to piracy. Six out of ten respondents said they think that using ‘pirate’ sites to watch movies and TV shows is “wrongâ€. Four out of ten agreed, but previously used these services anyway. On the thorny question of what to do about piracy, respondents were asked what they thought would be the best solution. Somewhat conveniently for an anti-piracy focused report, 43% of respondents indicated that ISPs should play a part in reducing the numbers of user visiting illegal services, with 24% opting for site blocking measures and 19% suggesting a warning notice scheme. However, when it comes to the heavy hand of the law, a minority of respondents show an interest. Just 10% believe that boosting law enforcement and judicial resources will solve the problem while a tiny 4% think that harsher punishments will bring results. Commenting on the report, Per Strömbäck of FTVS says that the situation in Sweden is far from satisfactory. “There is a common misconception that piracy is less of a problem today because we have a wide range of legal options. On the contrary, the problem of illegal services is greater than ever,†Strömbäck says. “The situation is not sustainable. For us to be able to continue to produce, distribute and show films and TV audiences want to see and pay for, we need a functioning digital market and measures to stop the illegal competition.†With site blocking firmly on the agenda in Sweden, entertainment industry groups will be pinning their hopes on success in the courts since there is clearly no appetite for punishing the public. https://torrentfreak.com/study-swedes-view-280m-pirate-movies-tv-shows-annually-150606/
  11. New research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that the UK Pirate Bay blockade had no affect on legal consumption. Instead, visitors switched to alternative sites, Pirate Bay mirrors, or started using VPNs. However, the same research also reveals that blocking several major pirate sites at once does boost the use of paid legal services such as Netflix. The Pirate Bay is the most censored website on the Internet. Countries all around the world have ordered Internet providers to block subscriber access to the torrent site, with Russia being the latest addition. The idea behind these blockades is that they will help to decrease online piracy. However, a new study published by Carnegie Mellon University and Wellesley College researchers, suggests that blocking one site isn’t very effective. The researchers used data collected by an anonymous Internet consumer panel tracking company to compare the browsing habits of UK citizens, both before and after The Pirate Bay was blocked by major ISPs in 2012. After comparing the results to a control group and ruling out various other variables, the researchers conclude that there is no significant effect on legal consumption. Instead, Pirate Bay users chose to circumvent the measures by using VPNs, proxies, or switching to other pirate sites. “Our results show that blocking The Pirate Bay had little impact on consumption through legal channels — instead, consumers seemed to turn to other piracy sites, Pirate Bay ‘mirror’ sites, or Virtual Private Networks that allowed them to circumvent the block.†While the above findings support the many opponents of website blocking, it’s only part of the story. The researchers also analysed data after a subsequent blockade that covered more than a dozen large pirate sites at once. The results here were quite different, with a significant uptick in the number of visits (of ‘pirates’) to legal movie services such as Netflix. “…blocking 19 different major piracy sites caused users of those sites to increase their usage of paid legal streaming sites such as Netflix by 12% on average,†the researchers write. This effect was most pronounced for people who used the pirate sites most frequently. According to the researchers this makes sense as they were most affected by the blockade. “The lightest users of the blocked sites increased their clicks on paid streaming sites by 3.5% while the heaviest users of the blocked sites increased their paid streaming clicks by 23.6%, strengthening the causal interpretation of the results.†Overall the results show that blocking The Pirate Bay in isolation is futile. For website blockades to have a serious impact they should be directed at a broad selection of pirate sites, making it harder for people to find illegal alternatives. “Our results suggest that website blocking requires persistent blocking of a number of piracy sites in order to effectively migrate pirates to legal channels,†the researchers note. Perhaps just as importantly, the researchers add that copyright holders should also make legal content more attractive in order to convert pirates into paying customers. It has to be noted that the research was carried out as part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics (IDEA), which received a generous donation from the MPAA. However, the researchers suggest that their work is carried out independently. The results may not help efforts to demand isolated Pirate Bay blockades, which is common in most countries. However, they can be used as ammunition to demand wider website blockades, which is arguably even better from a copyright holder perspective. Effective? https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-block-doesnt-boost-sales-research-shows-150604/
  12. Following a European trend, the Russian telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor has ordered local ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay. Without a separate court order, two domain names of the popular torrent site have been added to the national blocklist. As the arch-rival of many copyright groups, The Pirate Bay has become one of the most censored websites on the Internet in recent years. Courts all around the world have ordered Internet providers to block subscriber access to the torrent site and the list continues to expand. This week Russia’s telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor issued an update to the country’s blocklist adding two Pirate Bay domain names. Following a complaint from Mosfilm, one of the largest European movie studios, Russian ISPs are now required to block access to thepiratebay.se and thepiratebay.mn. Interestingly, there is no separate court order against The Pirate Bay. Instead, the domains were added to an existing injunction targeting tushkan.net, which was offering a pirated copy of Mosfilm’s movie “The Road to Berlin.†Under Russian law, copyright holders can add domain names to an injunction if their content appears on other sites as well. In addition to The Pirate Bay domains, a dozen other sites were added in the same update. Technically, The Pirate Bay can request a removal from the blocklist after they remove all links to the film in question. But considering the site’s stance on taking down content, this is not going to happen. Pirate Bay Blocked While the order aims to deprive millions of Russians from visiting the popular torrent site, it will be rather ineffective for now. Two weeks ago The Pirate Bay added several new domain names and four of those remain readily accessible. It is clear, however, that Russia is not averse to taking measures against websites that are accused of facilitating copyright infringement. Hundreds of websites have been blocked in recent years and there are calls to ban various circumvention tools including VPNs and TOR as well. The first step in this direction was set last week when an anti-censorship website from a local human rights group was blocked, and similar crackdowns may follow in the near future. https://torrentfreak.com/russia-orders-isps-to-block-the-pirate-bay-150603/
  13. Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij has been released from prison today. Neij was the last person to serve a custodial sentence handed down after the Pirate Bay trial, marking the end of a controversial chapter in the site's turbulent history. Fredrik Neij, one of The Pirate Bay’s co-founders, was a key operator of the torrent site during its early years. In 2012 Fredrik received a 10-month prison sentencefor his involvement with the notorious site, which he initially avoided. Last November he was eventually arrested by Thai immigration authorities and later transferred to a prison in Skänninge, Sweden. Today, Fredrik’s jail term ended and a few hours ago he was released from prison. After serving two-thirds of his ten month prison sentence the 37-year-old was reunited with family and friends. TF spoke with a family member who was kind enough to share some pictures of Fredrik enjoying his newly gained freedom. Based on the pictures below, he is doing quite well. Fredrik is out, enjoying a beer For a while it was uncertain whether Fredrik would be released today. The Swedish authorities questioned whether the time he spent in Thai custody should count towards his sentence, but this dispute was eventually resolved. While Fredrik has been doing relatively well in prison, he clashed with the administration a few times. First, because he wasn’t allowed to print and again after a request to play games on an old Nintendo 8-bit console was denied. In recent months the Pirate Bay co-founder was also accused of hacking and his continued involvement with The Pirate Bay, but these allegations haven’t been made official. With his release Fredrik can put prison life behind him and focus on the future again. It is expected that he will return to his new home country of Laos, where he lives with his wife and kids. Today’s release marks the end of a controversial chapter in The Pirate Bay’s history, as Carl Lundström, Gottfrid Svartholm, Peter Sunde and Fredrik have all served their sentences. Fredrik enjoying his freedom https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-co-founder-fredrik-neij-released-from-prison-150601/
  14. Police say they have smashed "a criminal group" involved with the unauthorized distribution of video online. Three men in their twenties and thirties have been arrested by Polish police and up to three sites are reported down. The action follows the shutdown of several 'pirate' sites in Poland last month and the arrest of a millionaire businessman. With web-blockades, domain seizures and payment processor interventions making headlines, campaigns to shut down individual sites have been less prominent than usual in the first half of 2015. But that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped. Just last week the popular BT-Chat was shut down in Canada following pressure from the MPAA and news from Europe suggests that at least two more sites have fallen in recent days following industry action. After a long investigation, police in Poland report that authorities swooped last week on individuals said to be part of a “criminal group†involved with the unauthorized distribution of video online, movies in particular. In an operation carried out by municipal police and officers from a regional cybercrime unit, several locations were searched including homes, offices and cars. Three men aged between 24 and 33 years-old were arrested in Wroclaw, the largest city in western Poland. According to police, 14 computers, 13 external drives, 40 prepaid cards, several mobile phones and sundry other items were seized during the raids. In addition to the images below, police have put together a video (mp4) of one of the targeted locations complete with a horror movie-style audio track for added impact. While police have not published the names of the domains allegedly operated by the men, two leading sites have disappeared in recent days without explanation. TNTTorrent.info and Seansik.tv were the country’s 160th and 130th most popular sites overall but neither is currently operational. The men are being blamed for industry losses of at least $1.3m and together stand accused of breaching copyright law which can carry a jail sentence of up to five years in criminal cases. For reasons that are not entirely clear, however, police are currently advising a potential three year sentence. The latest shutdowns, which also encompass torrent site Torrent.pl, follow police action in May which closed down eKino.tv and the lesser known Litv.info, Scs.pl and Zalukaj.to. With around 324,000 likes on its Facebook page eKino.tv was by far the most popular site but it seems unlikely that it will return anytime soon. Currently displaying “THE END†on its front page, its owner was arrested last month. Credit:Olsztyn.wm.pl Local media is connecting the closure to the arrest of a 49-year-old businessman who had been running a company offering “Internet services†and also Poland’s largest pirate site. According to authorities he made millions of dollars from the operation and laundered money by investing in the stock exchange. Those funds have reportedly been frozen. Also arrested were three accomplices, including a 36-year-old allegedly responsible for creating the database of movies and setting up a US company to assist with the site’s finances. They all stand accused of copyright infringement and money laundering offenses and face ten years in prison. https://torrentfreak.com/police-shut-down-yet-more-pirate-sites-in-ongoing-sweep-150601/
  15. In a landmark lawsuit over the legality of the Dutch Pirate Bay blockade, Attorney General Van Peursem has advised that the case should be sent to EU Court of Justice. Among other things, the Attorney General wants the EU Court to rule whether The Pirate Bay communicates illegal content to the public. Early last year The Court of The Hague handed down its decision in a long running case which had previously forced two Dutch ISPs, Ziggo and XS4ALL, to block The Pirate Bay. The Court ruled against local anti-piracy outfit BREIN, concluding that the blockade was ineffective and restricted the ISPs’ entrepreneurial freedoms. Responding to the verdict the two ISPs quickly unblocked the site and various other Dutch ISPs followed suit. Meanwhile, the Hollywood-backed group took its case all the way to the Supreme Court and today Advocate General Van Peursem published his conclusion after a careful review. The Advocate General advises the Supreme Court to stay the proceedings between BREIN and the Internet providers in order to seek clarification from the EU Court of Justice on several matters. The first question that requires a European review is whether The Pirate Bay is actually communicating illegal content to the public. If this isn’t the case then the EU Court should rule whether ISPs can be ordered to block the site on other grounds. A decision at the European level will be important, as it may also affect court orders in other countries, such as the UK, Italy and Belgium. When the questions are resolved at the EU Court, the Advocate General advises to redo the entire trial noting that The Court of The Hague was too strict when it concluded that the blockade was ineffective and disproportional. The Advocate General’s advice is not binding so it’s not yet certain whether the case will be referred to the EU Court of Justice. However, in most cases the recommendations are followed by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is expected to release its verdict on October 9th. https://torrentfreak.com/attorney-general-doubts-legality-of-pirate-bay-blockade-150529/
  16. The Pirate Bay is down at the moment, causing a mild panic among many BitTorrent users. While some fear the worst, the site probably won't be offline for very long. The Pirate Bay has become unreachable since a few hours. It’s currently not clear what’s causing the problems. There might be a hardware issue, hosting problem or a software glitch, issues that have occurred many times in the site’s history. What we do know is that the site’s domain names are not the culprit. The Pirate Bay currently displays a CloudFlare error message across all domain names, suggesting that TPB’s servers are unresponsive. With the raid of a few months ago still fresh in memory some fear the worst, but these concerns are unwarranted for now. In fact, the site is still accessible 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. https://torrentfreak.com/the-pirate-bay-suffers-downtime-150526/
  17. A federal court in Oregon has signed off on a highly peculiar judgment against a Dallas Buyers Club pirate. Citing "financial hardship," the woman doesn't have to pay the $7,500 in costs and fees as long as she promises not to download any infringing material in the future, and removes any and all BitTorrent clients. The makers of Dallas Buyers Club have sued thousands of BitTorrent users over the past year. Many of these cases end up being settled for an undisclosed amount. This is usually a figure around $3,500, which is what the company offers in their settlement proposals. However, there are exceptions to this rule with damages and costs in some cases hitting $14,000. This week we stumbled upon a new consent judgment between Oregon resident Krystal Krause and the movie studio. In this case the Magistrate Judge signed off on an order that requires the defendant to pay $7,500. Interestingly, however, the woman doesn’t have to pay anything as long as she promises not to pirate any movies in the future. According to the judgment the filmmakers offer this leniency due to the “financial hardship†and “extenuating circumstances.†“In recognition of the financial hardship and extenuating circumstances in this case, plaintiff agrees that though the below Money Judgment shall be entered and enforceable, plaintiff will not execute or enforce the Money Judgment so long as the defendant complies with the below Permanent Injunction…,†the consent order reads. The court documents do not explain what the extenuating circumstances are, but it suggests that money isn’t the only issue. Looking more closely at the permanent injunction it appears that there are more reasons why the order is unusual. In addition to barring any future infringements, Krause can’t use BitTorrent for legal purposes either. In fact, she has to remove all BitTorrent and P2P software she has installed. “Krystal Krause is hereby directed to immediately delete […] any and all BitTorrent clients on any computer(s) she owns or controls together with all other software used to obtain media through the Internet by BitTorrent peer-to-peer transfer or exchange,†it reads (pdf). For Krause it may be a small sacrifice to make, especially when it saves $7,500 in costs. That said, it’s still highly unusual to order someone to remove software that by itself isn’t infringing at all. https://torrentfreak.com/court-order-forbids-poor-pirate-to-use-bittorrent-150526/
  18. The court order to transfer ownership of two Pirate Bay-related domains to the Swedish state will not be a straightforward process. Site co-founder Fredrik Neij, a party in the two-year long case, has just announced he will appeal the ruling. Neij isn't interested in the domains though, he has much more serious things to consider. Last week a two year old case launched by the Swedish state concerning a pair of key Pirate Bay domains came to an end. While the prosecution failed in its quest to hold the Swedish .SE registry responsible for infringements carried out by The Pirate Bay and its users, it did convince the Stockholm District Court to put ThePirateBay.se and PirateBay.se out of action. Even though the domains were held in a third-party’s name, the Court found that Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij owned and operated them. On that basis they were ordered to be placed under the future control of the Swedish state, never to be used again. “Fredrik Neij has participated in the [copyright infringement] crimes that have been identified and he is the actual holder of the domain names. It is therefore no obstacle to confiscate domain names from him,†the Court said. The parties were given until June 9, 2015, to appeal but less than a week later we now know that The Pirate Bay’s most recognizable domains will remain operational for at least a little while longer. Through his lawyer Jonas Nilsson, this morning Fredrik Neij confirmed that he will appeal the confiscation order handed down May 19 by the District Court. But while some might presume that getting the domains handed back is a key aim of Neij, that is not the case. He is actually more interested in challenging the Court’s reasoning. “The district court makes an erroneous assessment of how to look at a domain name. We believe it is an address assignment, not an estate,†Nilsson says. “The prosecution has alleged two things. One is that crimes have been committed via The Pirate Bay. Fredrik Neij really has no views on this. The second is that he is involved in The Pirate Bay operation.†It was the assertion that the domains were controlled by Neij and used to infringe copyright that appeared to make it a straightforward decision for the Court to order their forfeiture. But for Neij, however, that has the potential to develop into a more serious matter. In 2009 the Stockholm District Court banned Fredrik Neij and co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm from having anything to do with the site, even though both were living outside Sweden (even the EU) by that time. Nevertheless, the court attached a 500,000 kronor ($59,500) penalty to any breach. With Neij set to be released from prison next week after serving his Pirate Bay sentence, one has to wonder if the District Court’s determination will negatively affect that in some way. As reported here in December 2014, a leaked MPAA email predicted continued trouble. “Neij is facing a 10 month prison sentence in Sweden for his conviction in the Pirate Bay case. Neij may also face new charges for his continuing role in the operation of TPB and two additional charges for computer hacking,†the email read. Either way, Neij has unfinished business in Sweden and with his history of moving to far-off lands to avoid justice, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the prosecution argued for his continued detention. https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-founder-appeals-domain-seizure-decision-150525/
  19. 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/
  20. It's taken more than two years for Swedish authorities to seize two key Pirate Bay domains but over in the United States the process is dramatically quicker. A TV company has just achieved similar aims against 11 'pirate' streaming domains after being granted a comprehensive ex parte restraining order by a Florida court. One the biggest piracy-related stories of the year broke this week after Swedish authorities succeeded in their quest to take over two key Pirate Bay domains. The court order, handed down Tuesday, will see ThePirateBay.se and PirateBay.se fall under the control of the Swedish government, provided no appeal is filed in the coming weeks. It’s been a long and drawn out process but given the site’s history, one with an almost inevitable outcome. Over in the United States and spurred on by ‘rogue’ sites such as TPB, much attention has been focused on depriving ‘pirate’ sites of their essential infrastructure, domains included. Just last week the MPAA and RIAA appeared before the House Judiciary Committee’s Internet subcommittee complaining that ICANN isn’t doing enough to deal with infringing domains. Of course, having ICANN quickly suspend domains would be convenient, but entertainment industry groups aren’t completely helpless. In fact, yet another complaint filed in the United States by TV company ABS-CBN shows how easily it is to take control of allegedly infringing domains. The architect of several recent copyright infringement complaints, in its latest action ABS-CBN requested assistance from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The TV company complained that eleven sites (listed below) have been infringing its rights by offering content without permission. To protect its business moving forward ABS-CBN requested an immediate restraining order and after an ex parte hearing, District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas was happy to oblige. In an order (pdf) handed down May 15 (one day after the complaint was filed) Judge Dimitrouleas acknowledges that the sites unlawfully “advertised, promoted, offered for distribution, distributed or performed†copyrighted works while infringing on ABS-CBN trademarks. He further accepted that the sites were likely to continue their infringement and cause “irreparable injury†to the TV company in the absence of protection by the Court. Granting a temporary order (which will become preliminary and then permanent in the absence of any defense by the sites in question) the Judge restrained the site operators from further infringing on ABS-CBN copyrights and trademarks. However, it is the domain element that provokes the most interest. In addition to ordering the sites’ operators not to transfer any domains until the Court advises, Judge Dimitrouleas ordered the registrars of the domains to transfer their certificates to ABS-CBN’s counsel. Registrars must then lock the domains and inform their registrants what has taken place. Furthermore, the Whois privacy protection services active on the domains and used to conceal registrant identities are ordered to hand over the site operators’ personal details to ABS-CBN so that the TV company is able to send a copy of the restraining order. If no active email address is present in Whois records, ABS-CBN is allowed to contact the defendants via their websites. Once this stage is complete the domain registrars are ordered to transfer the domains to a new registrar of ABS-CBN’s choosing. However, if the registrars fail to act within 24 hours, the TLD registries (.COM etc) must take overriding action within five days. The Court also ordered ABS-CBN’s registrar to redirect any visitors to the domains to a specific URL (http://servingnotice.com/BL4G47/index.html) which is supposed to contain a copy of the order. At the time of writing, however, that URL is non-functional. Also of interest is how the Court locks down attempts to get the sites running again. In addition to expanding the restraining order to any new domains the site operators may choose to move to, the Court grants ABS-CBN access to Google Webmaster Tools so that the company may “cancel any redirection of the domains that have been entered there by Defendants which redirect traffic to the counterfeit operations to a new domain name or website.†The domains affected are: freepinoychannel.com, lambingan.to, pinoymovie.to, pinoynetwork.to, pinoytambayan-replay.com, pinoytambayantv.com, tambaytayo.com, tvnijuan.net, phstream.com, streampinoy.info and tambayanatin.com. Despite the order having been issued last Thursday, at the time of writing all but one of the domains remains operational. Furthermore, and in an interesting twist, pinoymovie.to and pinoynetwork.to have already skipped to fresh domains operated by none other than the Swedish administered .SE registry. https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-domain-seizures-are-easy-in-the-united-states-150521/
  21. In a decision handed down minutes ago the Stockholm District Court has ordered two key domains owned by The Pirate Bay to be seized. While the ruling means that the site will lose its famous ThePirateBay.se domain, don't expect the site to simply disappear. TPB informs TorrentFreak that they have plenty more domains left in store. In keeping with a global strategy to disrupt the operations of unauthorized file-sharing sites by attacking their infrastructure, Swedish authorities have been eying two domains operated by the notorious Pirate Bay. In 2013, Prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad, the man behind the operation that took the site down in December, filed a motion targeting ThePirateBay.se (the site’s main domain) and PirateBay.se (a lesser used alternative). Filed against Punkt SE, the organization responsible for Sweden’s top level .SE domain, the case reasoned that since The Pirate Bay is an illegal operation, its domains are tools used by the site to infringe copyright. Noting that Punkt SE supplies and controls the domains and is therefore liable for their (mis)use, the domains should be dealt with in the same way that other criminal tools would be, Ingblad argued. Punkt SE, on the other hand, took the position that holding a registry responsible for infringement has no basis in law. Furthermore, disabling domains is an ineffective way to deal with infringement. After two years preparation the case was heard at the end of April 2015 and just a few minutes ago the decision was handed down. After a week-long delay the Stockholm District Court ruled that The Pirate Bay will forfeit its Sweden-based domains – ThePirateBay.se and PirateBay.se – after finding that they belong to Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij. “The District Court’s conclusion is that the domain names are property that can be forfeited,†the ruling reads. “Fredrik Neij has participated in the [copyright infringement] crimes that have been identified and he is the actual holder of the domain names. It is therefore no obstacle to confiscate domain names from him. The prosecutor’s primary claim with respect to Fredrik Neij should be upheld and domain names should be confiscated from him in accordance with the Copyright Act.†While copyright holders will be pleased that two of Pirate Bay’s domains will be put out of action (they will be seized by the Swedish state), the District Court dismissed the prosecution’s case against Punkt.se and awarded the registry close to $40,000 (SEK 332,000) in costs. “We have received the verdict and are of course glad that the court chose to decide according to our view,†.SE public relations manager Elisabeth Nilsson informs TorrentFreak. “We think it is good that this issue has been examined. Now we need some time to read through the verdict and do a thorough analysis before we can make any further comments.†At least for now The Pirate Bay will continue business as usual. An insider informs TF that the site has plenty of other domains in reserve and will make a switch when required. We have also requested comment from prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad and this article will be updated as soon as further details become available. Should the parties wish to appeal they must do so no later than June 9, 2015. Update: Sara Lindbäck of anti-piracy group Rights Alliance informs TF that the decision was expected and will make it harder for pirate sites to operate from Swedish domains. “Pirate Bay has on a commercial scale committed massive infringements against rights holders. The forfeiture is a clear and positive sign that society does not accept these types of activities,†Lindbäck says. “[in future] it will become more difficult for illegal players to run their activities under the SE-domain.†https://torrentfreak.com/key-pirate-bay-domains-must-be-seized-court-rules-150519/
  22. 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 Kino.to. 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 kino.to 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 kino.to 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 kino.to has not had a positive effect on overall welfare,†the researchers write. Perhaps more worrying is the fact that Kino.to 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 Movie2k.to and KinoX.to quickly filled the gap, and that the scattered piracy landscape would make future shutdowns more costly. “Our analysis shows that the shutdown of kino.to 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. https://torrentfreak.com/shutting-down-pirate-sites-is-ineffective-european-commission-finds-150514/
  23. Following their SOPA defeat three years ago, the MPAA, RIAA and ESA are again arguing that registrars need to take action against domains being used for infringing purposes. The groups told the House Judiciary Committee’s Internet subcommittee that dealing with anonymous domain registrations is also an urgent matter. One of the key aims of the now infamous SOPA legislation that failed to pass several years ago was the takedown of domains being used for infringing purposes. The general consensus outside of the major copyright groups was that this kind of provision should be rejected. However, within the movie and music industries the spirit of SOPA is still alive, it’s just a question of how its aims can be achieved without giving alternative mechanisms the same name. Yesterday, during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee’s Internet subcommittee, domains were firmly on the agenda. One group in attendance was the Coalition for Online Accountability. COA’s aim is to improve online transparency and to encourage “effective enforcement against online infringement of copyrights and trademarks.†No surprise then that its members consist of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA). COA counsel Steve Metalitz’s testimony called for domain name registrars to deal with complaints effectively. Domains “In recent months, there have been increasing calls from many quarters for domain name registrars to recognize that, like other intermediaries in the e-commerce environment, they must play their part to help address the plague of online copyright theft that continues to blight the digital marketplace,†Metalitz said. “Under the 2013 revision of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), domain name registrars took on important new obligations to respond to complaints that domain names they sponsor are being used for copyright or trademark infringement, or other illegal activities.†However, according to Metalitz, registrars are not responding. The COA counsel said that the RAA requires registrars to “investigate and respond appropriately†to abuse reports and make “commercially reasonable efforts†to ensure that registrants don’t use their domain names “directly or indirectly†to infringe third party rights. But there has been little action. “Well-documented reports of abuse that are submitted to registrars by right-holders, clearly demonstrating pervasive infringement, are summarily rejected, in contravention of the 2013 RAA, which requires that they be investigated,†he said. As an example, Metalitz highlighted a Romanian-hosted ‘pirate’ music site using the domain Itemvn.com. “By August of last year, RIAA had notified the site of over 220,000 infringements of its members’ works (and had sent similar notices regarding 26,000 infringements to the site’s hosting providers). At that time, RIAA complained to the domain name registrar (a signatory of the 2013 RAA), which took no action, ostensibly because it does not host the site,†he explained. A complaint to ICANN was also dismissed, twice. It’s clear from Metalitz’s testimony that the MPAA, RIAA and ESA are seeking an environment in which domains will be suspended or blocked if they can be shown to be engaged in infringement. But the groups’ demands don’t end there. WHOIS WHOIS databases carry the details of individuals or companies that have registered domains and registrars are required to ensure that this information is both accurate and up to date. However, since WHOIS searches often reveal information that registrants would rather keep private, so-called proxy registrations (such as Whoisguard) have become increasingly popular. While acknowledging there is a legitimate need for such registrations (albeit in “limited circumstancesâ€), the entertainment industry groups are not happy that pirate site operators are playing the system to ensure they cannot be traced. As a result they are aiming for a situation where registrars only deal with proxy services that meet certain standards on issues including accuracy of customer data, relaying of complaints to proxy registrants, plus “ground rules for when the contact points of a proxy registrant will be revealed to a complainant in order to help address a copyright or trademark infringement.†In other words, anonymity should only be available up to a point. In a letter to the Committee, the EFF warned against the COA’s proposals. “As advocates for free speech, privacy, and liberty on the global Internet, we ask the Committee to resist calls to impose new copyright and trademark enforcement responsibilities on ICANN. In particular, the Committee should reject proposals to have ICANN require the suspension of Internet domain names based on accusations of copyright or trademark infringement by a website,†the EFF said. “This is effectively the same proposal that formed the centerpiece of the Stop Online Piracy Act of 2011 (SOPA), which this Committee set aside after millions of Americans voiced their opposition. Using the global Domain Name System to enforce copyright law remains as problematic in 2015 as it was in 2011.†https://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-riaa-demand-dns-action-against-pirate-domains-150514/
  24. The makers of the Indian movie "Piku" have obtained a blocking order against several popular websites including Vimeo, The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents. The order issued by the Indian High Court prohibits the sites and various ISPs from linking to pirated versions of the movie, but may not be as effective as it sounds. Today sees the theatrical premiere of the highly anticipated Bollywood blockbuster “Piku.†As is the case with most movies, unauthorized copies the film will eventually end up being made available from various websites. However, the makers of Piku hope that a recent High Court order will limit the fallout. Multi Screen Media, one of the companies behind the movie, has obtained a restraining order against 13 websites and a blocking order against some of the country’s largest Internet providers (pdf). Similar orders have been granted in the past, but this one stands out because of the sites it targets. The order lists the following domain names: Vimeo.com, Thepiratebay.org, Torrentz.eu, Thiruttuvcd.biz, Merotv.net, Novamov.com, Videotanker.co, Cloudy.ec, Vidto.me, Zuzvideo.com, Video.tt, Kickasstoreents.com and Torrentfunk.com. The owners of the domains are restrained from “making available†or otherwise distributing Piku without a proper license. In addition, India’s largest Internet providers are ordered to block access to the sites. The most surprising target is the popular video sharing platform Vimeo, a site mostly used by independent filmmakers to share their work. While Piku’s makers describe the site as a piracy hub, the site rarely hosts infringing material. However, there even more worrying issues with the order that will severely limit its effectiveness. For example, it lists Pirate Bay’s .org domain even though the site is currently operating from thepiratebay.se. Similarly, the domain name of KickassTorrents is both outdated and misspelled as kickasstoreents.com. As a result, the blocking order may not be as successful as the filmmakers would have hoped. According to the order ISPs must block the mentioned domains within 24 hours. A new hearing is scheduled for July 31 where it will be decided if the measures can be lifted, or if they must stay in place. At the time of writing no pirated copies of Piku have leaked online yet, but if one surfaces this current order will do very little to stop it from spreading. https://torrentfreak.com/india-orders-piracy-blackout-of-vimeo-pirate-bay-and-more-150508/
  25. The RIAA and BPI have reached a new milestone in their ongoing efforts to have pirated content removed from the Internet. This week the music industry groups reported the 200 millionth URL to Google. Looking ahead, the BPI is urging Google to introduce more piracy prevention measures, or else Governments will have to intervene. Despite the growing availability of legal music services in many countries, record labels keep battling ever popular pirate sites. In an attempt to prevent these sites from expanding their audiences, music industry groups BPI and RIAA send millions of takedown notices to Internet services every month. Most of these requests are directed at Google. This week the two most prolific industry groups reached a new milestone after they notified Google of the 200 millionth allegedly infringing URL. This is up from 100 million little over a year ago. According to the most recent statistics the BPI has reported over 138 million links in 295,730 notices with the RIAA adding more than 63 million in 19,569 requests. While the record industry groups have little to complain about when it comes to Google’s response rate, they believe that removing links alone is not enough. “The fact that BPI and RIAA have together removed 200 million illegal results from Google demonstrates just how much more needs to be done to clean up search,†a BPI spokesperson tells TF. As highlighted in the past, the BPI and RIAA would like Google to go above and beyond processing takedown requests. According to them, the millions of reported links show that removing infringing links alone isn’t working. “If the digital single market is to unlock growth, consumers need be directed to legal sources for entertainment ahead of the online black market. BPI alone has had to remove 7.5 million links from Google in the last month, protecting UK artists and musicians from sites that steal their work,†the BPI notes. In recent years Google has slowly implemented several changes to appease the record labels. October last year the company implemented the most significant change to its search algorithm to date, aimed at downranking sites that often link to copyright-infringing material. This significantly reduced the visibility of pirate links in search results and had a major impact on the traffic levels of some sites. However, the BPI believes that more must be done to properly address the piracy issue. “The changes to Google’s algorithm last year represented a positive step,†the BPI says. “But if further progress is not made swiftly to ensure that searches for entertainment content yield overwhelmingly legal results – for instance by boosting the ranking of known licensed sites for appropriate types of search – then the new UK Government and the EU Commission should intervene to make that happen.†Both the UK Government and the European Commission are currently reviewing whether online intermediaries such as search engines should have a legal obligation to protect copyright holders. Google, however, believes that it has done enough and repeatedly argues that the entertainment industries can themselves do more. “Piracy often arises when consumer demand goes unmet by legitimate supply,†the company noted earlier. “The right combination of price, convenience, and inventory will do far more to reduce piracy than enforcement can.†Based of the current standoff and the increasing rate at which pirate links are being reported to Google, the music industry groups will double the 200 million milestone by the end of next year. https://torrentfreak.com/music-industry-reports-200-millionth-pirate-link-to-google-150507/