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Found 28 results

  1. Several music industry organizations in the UK have won a judicial review which renders the Government's decision to allow copying for personal use unlawful. According to the High Court, there's insufficient evidence to prove that the legislation doesn't hurt musicians and the industry at large. Late last year the UK Government legalized copying for private use, a practice which many citizens already believed to be legal. However, until last October, anyone who transferred music from a purchased CD to an MP3 player was committing an offense. The change was “in the best interest†of consumers, the Government reasoned, but several music industry organizations disagreed. In November the Musicians’ Union (MU), the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and UK Music applied for a judicial review of the new legislation. While the groups are not against private copying exceptions, they disagreed with the Government’s conclusion that the change would cause no financial harm to the music industry. Instead of keeping copies free, they suggested that a tax should be applied to blank media including blank CDs, hard drives, memory sticks and other blank media. This money would then be shared among rightsholders, a mechanism already operating in other European countries. Today the High Court largely agreed with the music industry groups. The Government’s conclusion that copyright holders will not suffer any significant harm was based on inadequate evidence, Mr Justice Green ruled. “In conclusion, the decision to introduce section 28B [private copying] in the absence of a compensation mechanism is unlawful,†the Judge writes. The Judge didn’t agree with all claims from the music groups. For example, he rejected the allegation that the Government had unlawfully predetermined the outcome of the private copying consultation. Nonetheless, the application for a judicial review succeeded meaning that the private copying exceptions are now deemed unlawful. As a result, the Government will likely have to amend the legislation, which took roughly half a decade to implement. The UK music groups are happy with the outcome and are eager to discuss possible changes with lawmakers. “The High Court agreed with us that Government acted unlawfully. It is vitally important that fairness for songwriters, composers and performers is written into the law,†UK Music CEO Jo Dipple commented on the ruling. “Changes to copyright law that affect such a vital part of the creative economy, which supports one in twelve jobs, must only be introduced if there is a robust evidential basis for doing so,†Dipple added. The High Court scheduled a new hearing next month to decide what action should be taken in response to the judgment, including whether the private copying exceptions should be scrapped from law.
  2. 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 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 (the site’s main domain) and (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 – and – 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 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.†
  3. Dear users, We want to inform you that we've added new rules and updated some of the old ones. They concern the uploaders and the numerous dupes we've seen in past years. We suggest to read them (even though you're not an uploader/encoder) Regarding uploaders: Only HQ MOVIE audio allowed with minimum 5.1 sound, 1.0 and 2.0 for older movies only. ISO is allowed for untouched 3D movies One web-dl version per movie will be allowed (720p or 1080p). If the first web-dl version is re-encoded or has 2.0 channels (instead of 5.1) you will be free to upload a better version (ask here if you need help or you have doubts) Only one scene release! (TV/Movie). Feel free to post here if you think you have a better/different solution. One quality encode allowed! It can be uploaded before/after a quality internal, but remember to include comparission screens! For Internal releases: We won't accept more than one internal per resolution anymore. Make sure you have staff's aproval, so: One internal encode per resolution! Proof is needed if you got a better encode Only one REMUX is allowed! Internal will be kept while others will get deleted. Only one BluRay disc will be allowed. BRRip a.k.a. encodes from re-encodes will be strictly forbidden!
  4. Hi dear user, Sorry for spamming PM to you all, just a reminder. Please download more then 5GB before end of this months. Cause we going to update our system for new user, this might impact your account also. If the system disable your account you have to e-mail us and wait our reply, to avoid you waiting. Please help yourself to have download stats more then 5GB before end of this month. For new rules, we going to adjust 5GB minimum for new registered user. So they will have 14 days (2 weeks) to complete this task or their account will be disable. We will complete ignore account that been disable on this matters! Like in rules said, "USE YOUR ACCOUNT OR LOSE IT". Hope you guys can comply to this notice. Have a great days! and happy downloading. Regards, LandLord / LTTi Staff
  5. We have updated our Description Writing Rules with what is required in the torrent descriptions, any torrents not following said rules after March 27th 2015 shall be deleted forthwith. Please be sure to read the Description Rules and follow them so that all may enjoy your torrents. Thank you. Description Writing Rules
  6. First of all, if you know anyone register with us on our open registration time, BUT now they cannot login to our site, just say "BYE-BYE" to them. I saw a lot off account been remove. We not save anything, we delete it all by auto. So we have some update to you guys about user class and rules. 1. User class update. - Peasant class User would be demoted to this class under any of the following circumstances: 1.Downloaded more than 10 GB and with ratio below 0.4 2.Downloaded more than 50 GB and with ratio below 0.5 3.Downloaded more than 100 GB and with ratio below 0.6 4.Downloaded more than 200 GB and with ratio below 0.7 5.Downloaded more than 500 GB and with ratio below 0.8 Power user until Veteran user will get 1 invite if been promoted. see FAQ for more information. 2. Rules update. Account will be disable if not login 30 days in a row. Park Account will be disable if not login 152 days in a row. New registered but haven't start download/upload in 5 days. (automatic disable by system) - user must have at least 1GB (+-) download stats and 1GB (+-) upload stats after complete registrations and have 5 days to completes this task or your account will be disable by system. Email us with a solid reason, to enable back your account. for reference please visit our forum :
  7. All records that are part of the now-closed case between Hotfile and the MPAA will be unsealed in the interests of the public. In a decision that will be a disappointment to the industry group, U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Williams declined a request from the MPAA who wanted to keep sensitive court filings sealed indefinitely claiming they may benefit pirates. More than a year has passed since the MPAA defeated Hotfile, but the case has still been stirring in the background. Hoping to find out more about Hollywood’s anti-piracy policies the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) previously asked the court to make several sealed documents available to the public. These documents are part of the counterclaim Hotfile filed, where it accused Warner of repeatedly abusing the DMCA takedown process. In particular, the EFF wants the public to know how Hollywood’s anti-piracy policies and tools work. District Court Judge Kathleen Williams sided with the EFF and ruled that it’s in the public interest to unseal the information. The MPAA, however, argued that this may hurt some of its members. Information regarding Columbia Pictures’ anti-piracy policies, in particular, would still be beneficial to pirates for decades to come, the Hollywood group argued. “Defendants have cited two specific pieces of information regarding Columbia’s enforcement policies that, if revealed to the public, could compromise Columbia’s ability to protect its copyrighted works,†the MPAA’s lawyers wrote. In addition, anti-piracy vendor Vobile feared that having its pricing information revealed could severely hurt the company. Judge Williams has now reviewed these and other arguments but ruled that sealing records indefinitely is not an option. In this case, the public interest in the records outweighs the concerns of the MPAA. “In reaching this conclusion, the Court has weighed the parties’ interests in maintaining the confidentiality of the sealed entries, including Plaintiffs’ assertions that disclosure of the sealed information would undermine the effectiveness of their antipiracy systems and copyright enforcement abilities, as well as third-party Voible’s argument that disclosure of the sealed data would unfairly put it at economic risk, against the presumption in favor of public access to court records,†Williams writes (pdf). As a result of this decision all sealed documents will be made public ten years after the case was filed, which is on February 8, 2021. Previously, Warner Bros. already released some of the confidential documents. Among other things the unsealed records showed that Warner Bros. uses “sophisticated robots†to track down infringing content. How damaging the other documents are to Hollywood’s anti-piracy efforts will become clear in five years. However, it’s unlikely to top the Sony-leak of last December, through which many sensitive anti-piracy strategies were already unveiled.
  8. Rules have been updated. We have added to Uploading rules and added Torrent Comment + Requests rules. Please take the time to review them.
  9. A federal court in Georgia has quashed a broad DMCA subpoena which required local Internet provider CBeyond to reveal the identities of alleged BitTorrent pirates. The magistrate judge ruled that ISPs don't have to hand over personal information as they are not storing any infringing material themselves. Hired by prominent clients such as Warner Bros. and BMG, Rightscorp began sending DMCA subpoenas to dozens of smaller local ISPs in the United States last year. Unlike regular subpoenas these are not reviewed by a judge and only require a signature from the court clerk. This practice is questionable because these type of subpoenas are generally not applicable to file-sharing cases. Despite these concerns dozens of ISPs have complied with the requests, identifying their customers, who would then have received settlement demands for their alleged wrongdoing. CBeyond, owned by Birch Communication, is one of the few ISPs that decided not to hand over customer data without a fight. The ISP filed a motion to quash the subpoena arguing that Rightscorp is on a piracy fishing expedition, while misleading the court. One of the main arguments was that the DMCA doesn’t allow copyright holders to identify file-sharers. These type of subpoenas would only apply to services that actually host infringing material. The Court agreed with this assessment and has quashed the subpoena (pdf). As a result, the subscribers don’t have to be identified. “CBeyond contends that the section does not apply to service providers that act only as a conduit for data transferred between other parties and that do not store data. The court agrees,†Magistrate Judge Janet King writes. The Judge noted that the applicable subpoena power of the DMCA indeed only applies to services that store content. This excludes ISPs who only transmit customer data. Rightscorp had argued that the subpoenas are necessary because otherwise copyright holders will not be able to stop and deter infringers. However, Judge King held that Congress should rewrite the law if this is the case, citing an earlier District Court ruling. “It is the province of Congress, not the courts, to decide whether to rewrite the DMCA in order to make it fit a new and unforeseen internet architecture and accommodate fully the varied permutations of competing interests that are inevitably implicated by such new technology.†In addition to quashing the subpoena CBeyond also asked the court to sanction Rightscorp, but this request was denied. While the order is good news for the affected subscribers, the case isn’t over yet. Rightscorp has filed objections to the order of the Magistrate Judge and wants it overturned. For now, however, Rightscorp’s efforts to target smaller ISPs with DMCA subpoenas has been stopped in its tracks. The company filed its latest subpoena several months ago and is unlikely to file more before the pending cases are resolved.
  10. Small update to the rules - 2015-01-22 11:17:46 Our rules have been updated to add: - Asking for invites to any site is not allowed anywhere on KG. Invites may be offered on this forum thread and nowhere else. (For all users.)
  11. Rules were updated. We strongly suggest you read them again
  12. We've updated our Rules and FAQ. Please read them carefully.
  13. Dear Users, Kindly Follow These Rules From Now - Users With Low Ratio Will Be Face Severe Consequences, May Include Account Banned In Few Cases. Users With a Ratio Below 0.50 Will Receive 2 Weeks Warning To Fix Their Ratio. They'll Only Allowed To Leech Torrent For 24 Hours. Failure To Fix Ratio In 2 Weeks Will Get Account Banned Permanently. Anything You Downloaded From Here Must Be Seeded For 72 Hours Minimum Or You Have To Seed 1:1 Means If You Downloaded a 700Mb Torrent Than You Either Seed It For Next 72 Hours Or Upload 700Mb. Users With a Ratio Below 0.80 Will Moved To "Leechers" Rank And You'll Have Access To Limited Torrent Section. Effective Immediately These Rules Applies Now. Follow Or Loose Your Account. In Regards Sophie Administrator
  14. A high-profile police raid carried out on Kim Dotcom's New Zealand mansion has been declared legal by the country's Supreme Court. The Court acknowledged that the search warrants used against Dotcom were 'deficient' in detail, but this did not result in a miscarriage of justice. Almost three years ago, New Zealand police carried out a spectacular and aggressive armed raid against individuals accused only of copyright infringement. Acting on allegations from the United States government and its Hollywood partners, officers of STG, New Zealand’s elite counter-terrorist force, raided Kim Dotcom’s mansion. The German-born businessman was detained along with his wife Mona and their children. Mid 2012, a High Court judge found that the warrants used in the raid were overbroad and therefore illegal, but a February 2014 Court of Appeal reached a different conclusion. While acknowledging that the warrants contained flaws, a panel of three judges at the Court of Appeal found that overall the warrants were legal. Dissatisfied with the ruling, Dotcom took the case all the way to the Supreme Court complaining that the warrants were overbroad and lacked detail. The verdict was handed down today. In another disappointing ruling for the Megaupload founder, this morning the Supreme Court found that the 2012 raids on Dotcom’s home were carried out legally. Four Justices – John McGrath, William Young, Susan Glazebrook and Terence Arnold – dismissed Dotcom’s appeal while agreeing that the 2012 warrants were not unreasonably vague and general. Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias dissented, but her determination that there had been a miscarriage of justice was overruled. One judge aside, the Court acknowledged that while the original search warrants were indeed deficient when detailing the alleged offenses, those shortcomings did not result in damage for Dotcom and his associates. “The majority of the Court has decided that, although the search warrants were deficient in their description of the offenses to which they related, these defects did not result in any miscarriage of justice to the appellants,†the Court wrote in its summary. “While the search warrants did not specify that the offenses were against United States law, or that the offenses were punishable by two or more years’ imprisonment, this did not cause any significant prejudice to the appellants.†When taking all circumstances into account, including the explanations given to Dotcom by police carrying out the raid, the Court found that Dotcom (and fellow claimants Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram Van Der Kolk) were given enough detail about the alleged offenses to which the search warrants related. Dotcom, who along with his co-appellants will have to pay court costs of $35,000, aired his disappointment on Twitter. “New Zealand Chief Justice Dame Elias got it right in both Supreme Court decisions in my case. She must be as frustrated as I am,â€
  15. The Court of Justice of the European Union handed down a landmark verdict this week. The Court ruled that embedding copyrighted videos is not copyright infringement, even if the source video was uploaded without permission. One of the key roles of the EU’s Court of Justice is to interpret European law to ensure that it’s applied in the same manner across all member states. The Court is also called upon by national courts to clarify finer points of EU law to progress local cases with Europe-wide implications. This week the Court of Justice issued a landmark ruling on one such case that deals with a crucial and integral part of today’s Internet. Is it legal to embed copyrighted content without permission from the rightsholder? The case in question was referred to EU’s Court of Justice by a German court. It deals with a dispute between the water filtering company BestWater International and two men who work as independent commercial agents for a competitor. Bestwater accused the men of embedding one of their promotional videos, which was available on YouTube without the company’s permission. The video was embedded on the personal website of the two through a frame, as is usual with YouTube videos. While EU law is clear on most piracy issues, the copyright directive says very little about embedding copyrighted works. The Court of Justice, however, now argues that embedding is not copyright infringement. The full decision has yet to be published officially by the Court’s website but TorrentFreak has received a copy (in German) from the defendants’ lawyer Dr. Bernhard Knies, who describes it as a landmark victory. The Court argues that embedding a file or video is not a breach of creator’s copyrights under European law, as long as it’s not altered or communicated to a new public. In the current case, the video was already available on YouTube so embedding it is not seen as a new communication. “The embedding in a website of a protected work which is publicly accessible on another website by means of a link using the framing technology … does not by itself constitute communication to the public within the meaning of [the EU Copyright directive] to the extent that the relevant work is neither communicated to a new public nor by using a specific technical means different from that used for the original communication,†the Court’s verdict reads. The Court based its verdict on an earlier decision in the Svensson case, where it found that hyperlinking to a previously published work is not copyright infringement. Together, both cases will have a major impact on future copyright cases in the EU. For Internet users it means that they are protected from liability if they embed copyrighted videos or images from other websites, for example. In addition, it may also protect streaming sites who use third-party services to embed videos, even if the source is an infringing copy. During the days to come the Court of Justice is expected to issue official translations of the ruling as well as a press release. Many legal experts have been waiting for the decision and further analysis of the verdict’s implications is expected to follow soon after. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  16. TTG: HnR Rules H&R Rules(ï¼NEWï¼ï¼‰ Instructions H&R appers as seeding institutionPlease note the flag:Hit and Run Any uploader can set a H&R. But it's only recommended to those who have large bandwidth and stable seeding time. Uploader is immune to H&R on his/her seeding torrent(s). If you have downloaded less than 5% of the torrent size, you are immune to H&R. Leecher is restricted by H&R as the following three indicators: Ratio per torrent: once the ratio of the torrent you have downloaded is larger than 2, you are immune to the H&R. Weekly necessary time: you have to seed 72 hours in total during 10 days after beginning download. Monthly necessary time: you have to seed 120 hours in total during 40 days after finishing download. Note: weekly necessary time is included in monthly necessary time. H&R rules apply to all rank of users. Penalty System Once a torrent is marked as "violator", you will lose 1 HP. You can use your bonus points to regenerate HP. Once your HP is 0, your account will be disabled.
  17. Official Giveaway Rules & Guidelines Please read the following rules thoroughly and ensure you follow them before posting anything in the Giveaways section. Please title your giveaway threads according to trackers. For example, instead of "Member's Random Giveaway", make your title, "2 x BTN, 1 x FTN, 3 x IPT, 2 x TL and more", highlighting the rarest trackers your offering first in the title.Please announce the winner within 2 weeks time period. Don't attempt to post false giveaways. This is a serious matter and all reputation points will be removed from the corresponding thread, you risk being warned or even worse banned. False giveaways are not only an abuse of the reputation system but a waste of time for all applicants involved.Please post the winners of your giveaway in the thread. If you don't want to post the winners directly in the thread for safety reasons the winners of the giveaway has to be sent via PM to the Invite Scene crew.Don't make any attempt to abuse the feedback system. We can and do monitor all feedback that members receive.Members are entitled to make a choice on whether or not they leave thanks or reputation in a giveaway thread, your giveaway rules can not specifically state they have too.Unless granted permission from a Invite Scene crew, giveaway threads can only be open for a 3 weeks period (twentyone days). Please don't spam giveaways threads. It is unnecessary. In most cases leaving thanks and a rep point is enough to show appreciate towards a members giveaway thread. If you do feel the need to leave a personal note, such as "thanks" or "very generous giveaway" , do so in moderation. You can alternately use the private messaging system to leave any personal notes.For any high level trackers that are offered, moderators are entitled to privately ask for unedited proof.Proofs can not be publicly posted on the forum, if your rules request proofs you have to also accept PMs.Don't post giveaway threads across multiple invite based forums.If you have any questions or if you're hesitant about posting something somewhere, feel free to PM one of our crew, We typically reply within a day.
  18. A Dutch marketplace for second hand eBooks is being allowed to continue operating after the Amsterdam Court dismissed complaints from book publishers. The Court ruled that "Tom Kabinet" operates in a legal gray area which requires further investigation. Meanwhile the used eBook business is booming. People who buy an MP3, digital movie or an eBook assume that they have the right to do whatever they want with it, but copyright holders see things differently. Platforms that allow people to resell digital goods are meeting fierce resistance from the entertainment industries, who view them as a threat to their online business models. For example, the major record labels previously pointed out that MP3s are simplytoo good to resell, as they don’t deteriorate in quality. Similarly, movie studioscomplained that the ability to sell “used†videos would kill innovation. The book industry is also concerned and in an attempt to counter this threat several publishers launched a lawsuit against Tom Kabinet, an online marketplace for used eBooks based in the Netherlands. The publishers fear that the site will negatively impact their business, and that it can’t prevent people from reselling pirated copies. The companies asked the Amsterdam Court for a preliminary injunction against Tom Kabinet, but the request was deniedthis week. The Amsterdam Court concluded that selling used eBooks is a legal grey area and not by definition illegal in Europe. Previously the EU Court of Justice previously ruled that consumers are free to resell games and software, even when there’s no physical copy. That case applied to licensed content, which is different from the Tom Kabinet case, so further investigation is needed to arrive at a final verdict. The court therefore dismissed the publishers’ claims and ordered them to pay €23.469,56 in legal fees. Tom Kabinet, meanwhile, is still allowed to facilitate the sale of used eBooks. It’s clear that the publishers didn’t get the result they hoped for. In fact, things have gotten worse, as Tom Kabinet’s visitor numbers have exploded. Shortly after the verdict was announced the site went offline because it couldn’t handle the surge in traffic. These connectivity issues have been fixed now, and the site’s owner is happy with the outcome thus far. “There is still a long way to go before legislation is clear on eBooks, but we’ve made a pretty good start,†Tom Kabinet informed TorrentFreak. The publishers on the other hand are considering further steps, and it’s likely that the case will head to a full trial in the future.
  19. In 2012, New Zealand police seized computer drives belonging to Kim Dotcom, copies of which were unlawfully given to the FBI. Dotcom wants access to the seized content but the drives are encrypted. A judge has now ruled that even if the Megaupload founder supplies the passwords, they cannot subsequently be forwarded to the FBI. During the raid more than two years ago on his now-famous mansion, police in New Zealand seized 135 computers and drives belonging to Kim Dotcom. In May 2012 during a hearing at Auckland’s High Court, lawyer Paul Davison QC demanded access to the data stored on the confiscated equipment, arguing that without it Dotcom could not mount a proper defense. The FBI objected to the request due to some of the data being encrypted. However, Dotcom refused to hand over the decryption passwords unless the court guaranteed him access to the data. At this point it was revealed that despite assurances from the court to the contrary, New Zealand police had already sent copies of the data to U.S. authorities. In May 2014, Davison was back in court arguing that New Zealand police should release copies of the data from the seized computers and drives, reiterating the claim that without the information Dotcom could not get a fair trial. The High Court previously ruled that the Megaupload founder could have copies, on the condition he handed over the encryption keys. But while Dotcom subsequently agreed to hand over the passwords, that was on the condition that New Zealand police would not hand them over to U.S. authorities. Dotcom also said he couldn’t remember the passwords after all but may be able to do so if he gained access to prompt files contained on the drives. The police agreed to give Dotcom access to the prompts but with the quid pro quo that the revealed passwords could be passed onto the United States, contrary to Dotcom’s wishes. Today Justice Winkelmann ruled that if the police do indeed obtain the codes, they must not hand them over to the FBI. Reason being, the copies of the computers and drives should never have been sent to the United States in the first place. While the ruling is a plus for Dotcom, the entrepreneur today expressed suspicion over whether the FBI even need the encryption codes. “NZ Police is not allowed to provide my encryption password to the FBI,†he wroteon Twitter, adding, “As if they don’t have it already.†
  20. Piracy ‘Whistleblower’ to Remain Anonymous, Court Rules A person who claimed that the operators of Grooveshark were engaged in systematic copyright infringement will keep his anonymity, a court has ruled. The allegations, which were made in the comments section of an online news article, prompted Grooveshark's parent company to unmask their author. They have now failed in that mission. In 2010, Universal Music Group (UMG) sued Grooveshark owners Escape Media in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, claiming that the company infringed their copyrights by storing and subsequently distributing tracks to which UMG holds the copyrights. In 2011, news site Digital Music News (DMN) published an article which contained claims from a member of a rock band that Grooveshark had illegally hosted the band’s music and refused to take it down when notified. The article attracted around 100 comments from DMN readers, one of whom claimed to be an employee of Escape Media. The commenter, who posted under the name “Visitorâ€, claimed that he had regularly received “direct orders from the top†at Escape to upload music to Grooveshark’s servers. Worse still, “Visitor†claimed that the company would not fully remove infringing content, even if artists or music labels complained. These allegations were viewed as problematic by Escape since in order for a service provider to gain immunity under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), it must remove copyrighted material once it becomes aware that an infringement has taken place. So, in an effort to unmask this supposed employee of theirs, in January 2012 Escape served a subpoena on Digital Music News in order to obtain “Visitor’s†identity. After DMN refused to comply, in March 2012 Escape petitioned the Los Angeles Superior Court for enforcement. DMN was subsequently ordered to comply but promptly filed an appeal. DMN argued that unmasking “Visitor†would not lead to the discovery of evidence admissible in UMG’s New York lawsuit against Escape (identifying information about “Visitor†had all been deleted) and that enforcement of the subpoena would infringe on the First Amendment rights of both DMN and “Visitorâ€. Ultimately the court decided that since Escape had presented a prima facie case that “Visitor’s†comments were libelous, no First Amendment protection was available. DMN was ordered to comply with the subpoena and provide a copy of its server to Escape. DMN copied the servers but lodged an appeal in attempt to avoid handing them over. This week the Court of Appeal of the State of California handed down its decision and it’s bad news for Escape. Escape had argued that proving “Visitor’s†comments to be false would help them show that the company did not supervise direct infringement of UMG’s copyrights. The Court rejected Escape’s basis for needing access to “Visitor’s†identity stating that this “out-of-court quarrel is of no consequence to the determination of UMG’s lawsuit.†Escape enjoyed no success on the privacy front either. “Even if Visitor’s identifying information was reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence, his or her right to privacy under the California Constitution would outweigh Escape’s need for the information,†the Court said. “That interest begins with Visitor’s need for a venue from which to be heard without fear of interference or suppression. Visitor’s anonymity also frees him or her from fear of retaliation, an even more compelling interest if Visitor truly is an Escape employee, as represented, because exposure could endanger not only his or her privacy but also livelihood.†The Court concluded with a summary of its opinion as to the value of “Visitor’s†comments. “Visitor has done nothing more than provide commentary about an ongoing public dispute in a forum that could hardly be more obscure — the busy online comments section of a digital trade newspaper,†the Court wrote. “Such commentary has become ubiquitous on the Internet and is widely perceived to carry no indicium of reliability and little weight. We will not lightly lend the subpoena power of the courts to prove, in essence, that Someone Is Wrong On The Internet.†With that the Court of Appeal ordered the trial court to vacate its order enforcing the subpoena and thereby protecting “Visitor’s†privacy.
  21. European ISPs Can Stop Logging User Data, Court Rules The European Court of Justice has overturned Europe's data retention directive, arguing that it's disproportionate and a violation of people's privacy. The decision has far-reaching consequences for the collection of data from European internet users, including their IP-addresses. In a landmark ruling, the European Court of Justice has declared Europe’s Data Retention directive to be a violation of Internet users’ privacy. Under the Directive Internet providers and other telecom companies were required to log and store vast amounts of information, including who their subscribers communicate with, and what IP-addresses they use. The local authorities could then use this information to fight serious crimes, but it was also been frequently used by third parties, in online piracy cases for example. Today the Court ruled that the data collection requirements are disproportionate. In a case started by Digital Rights Ireland the Court effectively annulled the directive, and it’s now up to the individual member states to change local laws accordingly. “The Court is of the opinion that, by adopting the Data Retention Directive, the EU legislature has exceeded the limits imposed by compliance with the principle of proportionality,†the Court states. “By requiring the retention of those data and by allowing the competent national authorities to access those data, the directive interferes in a particularly serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data,†it adds. The judgement has far-reaching implications for large telecom companies, but also for smaller businesses including many VPN providers. With the new ruling these companies are no longer required to log extensive amount of user data as was required under the EU Directive. While many ISPs are waiting to see what local Governments decide, the Swedish provider Bahnhof immediately announced that it would wipe all subscriber data it stored. “Bahnhof stops all data storage with immediate effect. In addition, we will delete the information that was already saved,†Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung says. There’s also resistance against the Court decision. The Dutch Minister of Justice Fred Teeven, for example, wants local ISPs to continue storing user data for law enforcement purposes. The European Court of Justice judgement is a clear victory for privacy activists, but mostly for the public who will regain some of their online privacy. While the ruling specified that some data retention may be needed, broad and mandatory retention laws and NSA-style data dragnets are no longer the standard.
  22. The Netherlands Must Outlaw Downloading, EU Court Rules (Update) The European Court of Justice has ruled that the Netherlands can no longer permit its citizens to freely download copyrighted movies and music without paying for them. In its judgment the Court rules that the current system of a "piracy levy" to compensate rightsholders is unlawful. In common with many other countries around the world, downloading music and movies is hugely popular in the Netherlands. Surveys estimate that a third of the population downloads copyrighted content without paying for it. Contrary to most other countries, however, downloading and copying movies and music for personal use is not punishable by law. In return, the Dutch compensate rightsholders through a “piracy levy†on writable media, hard drives and electronic devices with storage capacity, including smartphones. In a landmark ruling, the European Court of Justice has declared this system unlawful. The case was brought by several electronics stores and manufacturers, whose products were made more expensive because of the levy. In its judgment the Court held that the levy system is a threat to the internal market and that it puts copyright holders at an unfair disadvantage. “If Member States were free to adopt legislation permitting, inter alia, reproductions for private use to be made from an unlawful source, the result of that would clearly be detrimental to the proper functioning of the internal market,†the Court noted in a briefing on the verdict today. “Similarly, the objective of proper support for the dissemination of culture may not be achieved by sacrificing strict protection of copyright or by tolerating illegal forms of distribution of counterfeited or pirated works.†As a result the Court ruled that the Dutch system, in which people are permitted to copy files from pirated sources, can not be tolerated. The Court believes that “legalizing†file-sharing encourages the distribution of counterfeit and pirated works. In addition, it explains that the system poses “an unfair disadvantage to the copyright holders.†The Court further notes that the Dutch system also punishes those who buy their digital movies and music from authorized sources, as they also pay the piracy levy on the devices and media they record them to. “All users are indirectly penalized since they necessarily contribute towards the compensation payable for the harm caused by private reproductions made from an unlawful source. Users consequently find themselves required to bear an additional, non-negligible cost in order to be able to make private copies,†the Court notes. Today’s judgment is also likely to affect other European countries with similar systems, such as Switzerland where downloading pirated works for personal use is also permitted. Ironically, copyright holders may be worse off if the Netherlands does indeed outlaw downloading pirated material. This would result in millions of euros in lost revenue through the piracy levy, which may be hard to match by an increase in legal sales, if there’s any increase at all. Update: The Dutch Government confirmed to Tweakers that downloading copyrighted material for personal use is no longer allowed, effective immediately. The Government also clarified that in general offenses will be prosecuted through civil cases, not criminal ones. We have updated this article accordingly.