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Found 83 results

  1. Tracker Name: newzNZB Genre: General Review (If Any ): N/A Sign Up Link: https://a1f9e93e0ceb6d3f056625fb77a8cca0.x4b.pw/ Closing Time: N/A Additional Information: Just copy and paste dat green url into browser, then click to Register.Remember url is changing every 1 hour. | Better said you need to visit dat first url to get session, then you can visit dat green url
  2. Copyright holder and government efforts to stop people from accessing websites simply won't succeed according to the boss of a leading VPN provider. Speaking in the wake of the latest developments in Australia, CyberGhost chief Robert Knapp says those doing the blocking should consider the technical abilities of who they are taking on. After years of pressure but mere months of deliberations, yesterday the Australian government imposed a new copyright law on its citizens. As soon as it receives the formality of royal assent, the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 will enter into force and soon after it’s expected that rightsholders will make their first moves to have a site blocked. After the passing of the law yesterday a lot of furious people took to the web, many decrying the censorship and filtering efforts of the Australian government. But despite the outcry there are others who are not only relaxed about the upcoming efforts but also stand to profit handsomely from them. They are of course VPN providers, services setup to cut through web-blockades and similar efforts like a hot knife through butter. They’re already extremely popular in Australia due to their geo-unblocking abilities and will now do even more business as a result of the country’s new law. However, there are still those that remain concerned over the future of VPNs and their status as site-blocking kryptonite. Might the government eventually run out of patience and do a U-turn on assurances they won’t tackle the technology by blocking? Would it matter, practically, if they did? Robert Knapp, chief executive at CyberGhost, one of the more popular VPN providers, doesn’t think so. He is calm, taking developments completely in his stride, and foresees no threat to his business. “We see in general the same that you see in nature if somebody tries to block a river floating – the water finds his way,†Knapp says. Despite attempts by the Australian Greens to have VPNs exempted from the new law, it is unlikely that services who play by the rules (i.e do not promote their products for infringing purposes) will be blocked. However, if the authorities want to test the waters, companies like CyberGhost will be up for the challenge. “They should also then realize with whom they play in the same league,†Knapp says. “Maybe they do it [blocking], maybe they don’t do it, it’s kind of a technical race. So it’s our daily business. They might do it, we will find a way to keep our servers running.†While most people understand that blocking a determined service provider could descend into an endless arms-race, rightsholders are also keenly aware of the political fallout from attacking legitimate technologies. “We didn’t intend this law to be used specifically against VPN because there are many legitimate uses of VPN and the intention of the law is not to stop people using the internet for legitimate purposes,†a Foxtel spokesperson told Mumbrella this morning. And herein lies the problem. By driving traffic underground, into the encrypted tunnels of VPNs, rightsholders now have even less of an idea of who is pirating what and from where. VPNs are a legitimate but “dual use†technology, one that can be used for privacy or indeed piracy purposes. It’s a giant loophole that will be difficult to close. Nevertheless, companies like Foxtel say they will keep an developments. “We would obviously be concerned if it meant there was a hole in the law,†the spokesman said. “We will be monitoring how things go and see if there is a serious issue in the future.†So what next for Australia’s blocking regime? If history from the UK repeats itself (and there’s every reason to believe that it will), rightsholders will first take on a site that is guaranteed to tick every ‘pirate’ box. That forerunner is almost certain to be The Pirate Bay, a site that is not only located overseas as the legislation requires, but one that also has no respect for copyright. The fact that it has been blocked in plenty of other regions already will be the icing on the cake. Once the case against The Pirate Bay is complete then other “structurally similar†sites will be tackled with relative ease and since none of their operators will be appearing in court to defend themselves, expect the process to be streamlined in favor of copyright holders. https://torrentfreak.com/surprise-vpn-provider-expects-victory-in-site-block-arms-race-150623/
  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. Google has failed in its efforts to overturn a worldwide site-blocking order handed down by a Canadian court in 2014. The British Columbia Court of Appeal found that despite not being a party to the case, Google must block a range of websites from its worldwide search results due to its business presence in the country. The prominence of Google in endless Internet-related matters often sees the company get tangled up in the disputes of others. A case from 2014 provides a particularly interesting example. Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack saw two Canadian entities embroiled in legal action over stolen intellectual property used to manufacture competing products. Google has no direct links to the case whatsoever, yet it became sucked in when Equustek Solutions claimed that Google’s search results were helping to send visitors to websites operated by the defendants (former Equustek employees) that were selling unlawful products. Google previously removed links to the sites from its Google.ca results on a voluntary basis, but Equustek wanted a broader response. In a subsequent court ruling handed in British Columbia, Google was ordered to remove the infringing websites’ listings from its central database in the United States, meaning that the ruling had worldwide implications. Google was given a little under two weeks to comply with the decision but quickly appealed in the hope of achieving a better outcome. Now, a year later, the British Columbia Court of Appeal has handed down its decision and it’s more bad news for Google. According to an analysis by Canadian law professor Michael Geist, the decision addresses two key questions, both involving jurisdiction. i) Whether the court has jurisdiction over Google ii) Whether the injunction handed down in Canada has power outside its borders On the first issue, Google argued that it does not operate servers in British Columbia, nor does it have any local offices. However, the Court decided that the company does carry out business in the region. “Google does not have resident employees, business offices, or servers in the Province, but its activities in gathering data through web crawling software, in distributing targeted advertising to users in British Columbia, and in selling advertising to British Columbia businesses are sufficient to uphold the chambers judge’s finding that it does business in the Province,†the ruling (pdf) reads. On the second issue – whether a court order handed down in British Columbia could have jurisdiction beyond its borders – the Court of Appeal again ruled against Google. “British Columbia courts are called upon to adjudicate disputes involving foreign residents on a daily basis, and the fact that their decisions may affect the activities of those people outside the borders of British Columbia is not determinative of whether an order may be granted,†the ruling reads. Noting Google’s concerns that it could potentially be “subjected to restrictive orders from courts in all parts of the world, each concerned with its own domestic law,†the court underlined the importance of exercising caution when handing down orders that have the potential to limit expression in another country. However, it found no problem with the ruling of the lower Court. “In the case before us, there is no realistic assertion that the judge’s order will offend the sensibilities of any other nation. It has not been suggested that the order prohibiting the defendants from advertising wares that violate the intellectual property rights of the plaintiffs offends the core values of any nation,†the ruling reads. However, should any nation have an issue with the decision, they are free to appeal, the ruling adds. “In the unlikely event that any jurisdiction finds the order offensive to its core values, an application could be made to the court to modify the order so as to avoid the problem.†Dismissing Google’s appeal, Justice Groberman signs off on the blocking injunction in Equustek Solutions’ favor. “The plaintiffs have established, in my view, that an order limited to the google.ca search site would not be effective. I am satisfied that there was a basis, here, for giving the injunction worldwide effect,†the Judge concludes. Google is reportedly considering its options, with an escalation to the Supreme Court a potential (but as yet unconfirmed) outcome. https://torrentfreak.com/google-fails-to-overturn-worldwide-site-blocking-order-150612/
  5. 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/
  6. In the wake of a UN report urging the protection of encryption and anonymity, a website run by a human rights organization that monitors web-censorship and pirate site blockades in Russia has been ordered to be blocked. The portal, which offers advice on how to use tools such as VPNs, TOR and Pirate Browser, has been declared illegal by a court. While there is still much resistance to the practice in the United States, having websites blocked at the ISP level is becoming easier in many other countries around the world. One country where the process is becoming ever more streamlined is Russia. The country blocks hundreds of websites on many grounds, from copyright infringement to the publication of extremist propaganda, suicide discussion and the promotion of drugs. Keeping a close eye on Russia’s constantly expanding website blocklist is RosComSvoboda. The project advocates human rights and freedoms on the Internet, monitors and publishes data on blockades, and provides assistance to Internet users and website operators who are wrongfully subjected to restrictions. Now, however, RosKomSvoboda will have to fight for its own freedoms after a local court ordered ISPs to block an advice portal operated by the group. The site, RUBlacklist, is an information resource aimed at users who wish to learn about tools that can be used to circumvent censorship. It doesn’t host any tools itself but offers advice on VPNs, proxies, TOR and The Pirate Bay’s Pirate Browser. Also detailed are various anonymizer services (which are presented via a linked Google search), Opera browser’s ‘turbo mode’ (which is often used in the UK to unblock torrent sites) and open source anonymous network I2P (soon to feature in a Popcorn Time fork). Unfortunately, Russian authorities view this education as problematic. During an investigation carried out by the Anapa district’s prosecutor’s office it was determined that RosKomSvoboda’s advice undermines government blocks. “Due to anonymizer sites, in particular http://rublacklist.net/bypass, users can have full access to all the banned sites anonymously and via spoofing. That is, with the help of this site, citizens can get unlimited anonymous access to banned content, including extremist material,†a ruling from the Anapa Court reads. Describing the portal as an anonymization service, the Court ordered RosKomSvoboda’s advice center to be blocked at the ISP level. Needless to say the operators of RosKomSvoboda are outraged that their anti-censorship efforts will now be censored. Group chief Artyom Kozlyuk slammed the decision, describing both the prosecutor’s lawsuit and the Court ruling as “absurdâ€. “Law enforcement has demonstrated its complete incompetence in the basic knowledge of all the common technical aspects of the Internet, though even youngsters can understand it,†Kozlyuk says. “Anonymizers, proxies and browsers are multitask instruments, helping to search for information on the Internet. If we follow the reasoning of the prosecutor and the court, then the following stuff should be prohibited as well: knives, as they can become a tool for murder; hammers, as they can be used as a tool of torture; planes, because if they fall they can lead to many deaths. “To conclude, I would love to ask the prosecutor of Anapa to consider the possibility of prohibiting paper and ink, because with these tools one can draw a very melancholic picture of this ruling’s complete ignorance.†RosKomSvoboda’s legal team say they intend to appeal the ruling which was the result of a legal procedure that took place without their knowledge. “We can only guess why the project is considered to be an anonymizer. It’s likely that no one in Anapa city court understands what they are dealing with,†says RosKomSvoboda lawyer Sarkis Darbinian. “We see that these kinds of rulings are being stamped on a legal conveyor belt. Moreover, we see the obvious violation of the fundamental principles of civil procedure – an adversarial system.†The court ruling against RUBlacklist arrives at the same time as a report from the United Nations which urges member states to do everything they can to encourage encryption and anonymity online. https://torrentfreak.com/court-orders-vpn-tor-proxy-advice-site-to-be-blocked-150530/
  7. Popular torrent site BT-Chat.com has decided to throw in the towel after receiving a hand delivered letter from the MPAA. The Hollywood studios argue that the torrent index is in violation of U.S. law, and accuse its operators of contributory copyright infringement. Over several years the Canada-based torrent index BT-Chat has grown to become one of the most popular among TV and movie fans. The site was founded over a decade ago and has been running without any significant problems since. Starting a few days ago, however, the site’s fortunes turned. Without prior warning or an official explanation the site went offline. Instead of listing the latest torrents, an ominous message appeared with a broken TV signal in the background. “Error 791-the internet is shutdown due to copyright restrictions,†the mysterious message read. Initially is was unclear whether the message hinted at hosting problems or if something more serious was going on. Many of the site’s users hoped for the former but a BT-Chat insider informs TF that the site isn’t coming back anytime soon. The site’s operators have decided to pull the plug after receiving a hand delivered letter from the Canadian MPA, which acts on behalf of its American parent organization the MPAA. In the letter, shown below, Hollywood’s major movie studios demand that the site removes all infringing torrents. “We are writing to demand that you take immediate steps to address the extensive copyright infringement of television programs and motion pictures that is occurring by virtue of the operation of the Internet website www.BT-Chat.com.†The MPAA makes its case by citing U.S. copyright law, and states that linking to unauthorized movies and TV-shows constitutes contributory copyright infringement. Referencing the isoHunt case the movie studios explicitly note that it’s irrelevant whether or not a website actually hosts infringing material. “It makes no difference that your website might not have infringing content on it, or only links to infringing content,†the letter says. The threats from Hollywood have not been taken lightheartedly by the BT-Chat team. While giving up a site that they worked on for more than a decade is not easy, the alternative is even less appealing. In the end thry decided that it would be for the best to shut the site down, instead of facing potential legal action. And so another popular site bites the dust… https://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-threats-shut-down-popular-torrent-site-bt-chat-150529/
  8. A long-running criminal case against a private torrent site and its hosting provider has come to an end. After more than three and a half years, the site admin was found guilty of copyright infringement but allowed to keep site donations. The site's webhost, who refused to take down the site without a court order, was completely acquitted. Following a complaint from Swedish anti-piracy group Antipiratbyrån, in November 2011 police carried out raids in two locations against private torrent site TTi, aka The Internationals. In one location police targeted site owner Joel Larsson. In another, Patrik Lagerman, boss of web-hosting firm PatrikWeb, the company providing hosting for the torrent site. The case against Larsson centered around the unlawful distribution of copyrighted video content by his site’s users. Lagerman was accused of aiding that infringement after he refused to take the site down following a request (not backed by a court order) from Antipiratbyrån. The case dragged on for more than three and a half years but concluded earlier this month. The judgment was handed down yesterday and its one of mixed fortunes. Larsson previously admitted to being the operator of TTi and also the person who accepted donations from site members, an amount equivalent to around US$12,000. He also insisted that he never controlled the content shared by his site’s users. In its judgment, however, the court noted that files found on a confiscated PC revealed details of meetings with site staff indicating that Larsson fully understood that the site was involved in the exchange of infringing content. The Court found Larsson guilty of copyright infringement and sentenced him to 90 hours community service. If prison had been suggested by the prosecutor he would have served three months. The Court also seized several servers connected with the site but rejected a prosecution claim for the forfeiture of $12,000 in site donations after it was determined Larsson spent the same amount keeping the site running. For Patrik Lagerman, the site’s host, things went much better. Despite finding that Lagerman had indeed been involved in the site’s operations by providing hosting and infrastructure, he was deemed not negligent for his refusal to take down the site without a court order. He was acquitted on all charges. Commenting on the judgment, Sara Lindbäck at Rights Alliance told TorrentFreak that getting a conviction was the important thing in this case. “The person responsible for the illegal service was found guilty. That is the important part in the ruling. The illegal services are causing tremendous damages to the rights holders,†Lindbäck said. “In this case the person had also received substantial amounts in donations, in other words receiving money for content that somebody else has created.†Speaking on Lagerman’s acquittal, Lindbäck acknowledged that the situation had been less straightforward. “Regarding the hosting provider, the court did not find him responsible for copyright infringement. The legal aspects to the responsibility for hosting providers is of course interesting legally. We will now analyze the ruling further and see what consequences it can have in the future.†Rights Alliance did not reveal whether it intends to appeal, but considering the amount of time already passed since the arrests in 2011, that seems unlikely. https://torrentfreak.com/webhost-owner-cleared-of-aiding-torrent-site-piracy-150523/
  9. An intriguing case dating back more than 3.5 years ended this week when two men went on criminal trial in Sweden. One was the former sysop of a 26,000 member private BitTorrent tracker. The other provided the site with web hosting and allegedly refused to take the site down when copyright holders asked. In 2009 during the wake of the original Pirate Bay trial and the jail sentences for its operators, Swedish anti-piracy group Antipiratbyrån sent out a batch of warnings to other sites hosted in Sweden. One of the sites that initially decided to shut down was known as The Internationals, or TTi for short. In the event the closure was short-lived and just a month later the 26,000 member site was back online and operating largely as usual. The return lasted for more than two years, but then it all fell apart. A police investigation led to November 2011 raids against TTi in two locations in Sweden, Borås and Växjö. In addition to the seizure of servers housing the site’s tracker and community data, two men were also arrested. The man detained in Borås was the alleged operator of TTi but interestingly the second individual, Patrik Lagerman from Växjö, was the person providing TTi’s webhosting. The owner of local web-hosting outfit Patrikweb, Lagerman previously gained worldwide attention for being involved in bandwidth supply to The Pirate Bay. In the TTi case, Lagerman was handed a demand by Antipiratbyrån to disconnect the tracker. He requested a court order but none was forthcoming. The reaction almost a year later was an 06:30am alarm call carried out by five police officers followed by several hours of questioning. “Trying to prosecute the hosting provider for assisting [in infringement] shows just how stupid they are,†Lagerman said at the time. But this week that’s exactly what happened when Lagerman and the as-yet unnamed TTi sysop went on trial for their alleged crimes. The hearing lasted for two days. “Two men were prosecuted,†prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad informs TorrentFreak. “The alleged main administrator of the TTi site and the second one – Lagerman – was prosecuted for aiding and abetting the infringement, by renting out server space, Internet services etc, and helping the administrators in some other ways (as an intermediary). “The rights holders contacted [Lagerman] and informed him of the site and the infringement, but he still continued with his services to the site owner,†the prosecutor notes. Although the site tracked many more titles including plenty of Hollywood blockbusters, the case itself now involves just 28 Swedish films. TorrentFreak spoke with Lagerman who said he’d hold back on a comment until the verdict is handed down in two weeks time. Fortunately for both defendants he should be able to do that as a relatively free man since the prosecution are not pressing for custodial sentences. “Due to the long time that has passed since the crimes (the investigation unfortunately took a bit too long), I didn´t request for an unconditional imprisonment,†Ingblad says. “I requested for a conditional sentence and community services for the alleged main administrator, and a conditional sentence plus fines for Mr. Lagerman.†The case is an intriguing one and the eventual decision will be of great interest to other local ISPs in similar positions. https://torrentfreak.com/trial-of-torrent-site-admin-and-hosting-provider-concludes-150509/
  10. In a submission to the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network has addressed site blocking and potential threats to VPN use. While the former could descend into an expensive consumer-funded game of whac-a-mole, clarification is required to remove potential threats to VPNs. After Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked the Australian Cabinet to approve the development of a new legal mechanism allowing rightsholders to obtain site-blocking injunctions, legislation was introduced to parliament last month. What followed is a still-current six-week consultation period for additional submissions, with various groups invited to voice their opinions and concerns. While the site-blocking elements of the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 are likely to please rightsholders, concerns remain that not only will the legislation fail to achieve its aims, but may also have unintended consequences that could stifle consumer choice. In its submission the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), the body that represents the interests of consumers on communications issues including broadband and emerging Internet services, three key issues are raised – VPN use, efficacy and cost of blocking, plus consumer interests. The VPN problem ACCAN is concerned over some of the wording employed in the amendments. Instead of referencing “website blockingâ€, the legislation speaks about “online locationsâ€. While this appears to be an effort to future-proof the Bill, it also has the potential for additional consequences should rightsholders decide to exploit the ambiguity. “Our first concern relates to the scope of activities that may be picked up by an interpretation of an ‘online location’ which ‘facilitates an infringement’ of copyright,†ACCAN writes. “Without clear legal precedent, there is ambiguity under the Copyright Act about what constitutes infringement in relation to the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to gain access to geo-blocked products and services. If this ambiguity is not cleared up, this amendment may have the unintended consequence of blocking these services and in turn harm competition and consumer choice.†And confusion does exist. On his website Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull says that the Copyright Act does not make it illegal to use a VPN to access overseas content. On the other hand, the Australian Copyright Council believes that using a VPN to download content licensed overseas is “likely to be an infringement of copyright in Australia.†While it was previously reported that the Bill had been delayed due to modifications aimed at protecting VPN-like services, ACCAN says that it would prefer clarity on the matter. “While this ambiguity exists there is a risk that rights holders will attempt to use this injunctive power to block VPN websites and limit consumer access to paid content overseas,†the group writes. And the threat is real. As reported last week, New Zealand based media companies report that they are on the verge of suing local ISPs who provide VPN services designed to unlock overseas content. Avoiding the same thing Down Under is a priority for ACCAN. Protecting the public interest In most countries where rightsholders have demanded site blocking on copyright grounds, ISPs have refused to block voluntarily and have insisted on a court order. This has resulted in processes where movie and recording industry companies become the plaintiffs and ISPs the defendants. The sites themselves aren’t involved in the process, and neither are their users. “[We] remain concerned that a judge in an ex parte hearing will not have the requisite evidence at hand to weigh the public interest against those of rights holders,†ACCAN writes. “The amendment creates no right for legitimate users of a site to present evidence on any adverse consequences of an injunction. There should be a presumption in the Bill in favor of allowing parties to become interveners or amicus curiae in the context of these injunction applications.†Efficacy and costs of blocking Like many other similarly focused groups, ACCAN is concerned that not only will site / online location blocking prove ineffective when it comes to stopping infringement, but the bill for the exercise will ultimately fall at the feet of the consumer. Citing Dutch studies which found that blocking The Pirate Bay enjoyed only short-lived success, ACCAN voices concerns that once one site is blocked, users will simply migrate elsewhere. “This research confirmed the findings in other studies which found that legal action against file sharing often has an immediate effect, but this typically fades out after a period of six months as new sources for pirated content emerge. ACCAN’s concern is that this website blocking bill may devolve into an expensive game of ‘whack-a-mole’, which consumers will end up paying for through higher internet bills,†the group writes. Similar fears over consumers picking up costs for online infringement enforcement have been voiced across Europe and in the United States, but in no cases has that caused a court to deny rightsholders the opportunity to protect their copyrights. It is guaranteed that one way or another – via their Internet bill or through the cost of media – Aussies will eventually pay for the proposed enforcement measures The Bill is currently under review by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, with a report due in a little under a month. https://torrentfreak.com/vpn-and-site-blocking-attacked-by-consumer-group-150420/
  11. Music industry group IFPI released its latest Digital Music Report today. Documenting the latest developments in the ongoing piracy battle, the report suggests that pirate site blockades are hugely effective. According to the music group it's now time for blocking orders to have a cross border effect. In recent years blockades of “pirate†websites have spread across Europe and elsewhere. In the UK, for example, more than 100 websites are currently blocked by the major ISPs. In recent weeks alone several new countries adopted similar measures, Australia, Spain and Portugal included. Opponents of this censorship route often argue that the measures are ineffective, and that people simply move to other sites. However, in its latest Digital Music Report music industry group IFPI disagrees, pointing at research conducted in the UK. “Website blocking has proved effective where applied,†IFPI writes, noting that the number of UK visits to “all BitTorrent†sites dropped from 20 million in April 2012 to 11 million two years later. The key to an effective blocking strategy is to target not just one, but all leading pirate sites. “While blocking an individual site does not have a significant impact on overall traffic to unlicensed services, once a number of leading sites are blocked then there is a major impact,†IFPI argues. For now, however, courts have shown to be among the biggest hurdles. It can sometimes take years before these cases reach a conclusion, and the same requests have to be made in all countries. To streamline the process, copyright holders now want blocking injunctions to apply across borders, starting in the European Union. “The recording industry continues to call for website blocking legislation where it does not already exist. In countries where there is already a legal basis for blocking, procedures can be slow and burdensome,†IFPI writes. “For example, within the EU, blocking The Pirate Bay has meant taking multiple legal actions in different member states and rights holders are calling for injunctions to have cross-border effect.†In addition to website blockades the music industry also stresses that other stakeholders should do more to help fight piracy. Search engines should prioritize legal services, for example, and advertisers and payment processors should cut their ties with pirate sites. While IFPI’s numbers suggests that BitTorrent piracy has decreased globally, it still remains a significant problem. The group estimates that there are still four billion pirated music downloads per year on BitTorrent alone. In other words, there’s plenty of blocking to be done before it’s no longer an issue, if that point will ever be reached. https://torrentfreak.com/music-industry-wants-cross-border-pirate-site-blocks-150414/
  12. Spain's National Court has ordered ISPs to block Goear.com, a comprehensive unlicensed music streaming site popular with locals. The order, the first of its type against a dedicated music site, follows the instruction to block The Pirate Bay last month on copyright grounds. After long maintaining a reputation for being one of the softest countries in Europe on piracy, in recent years Spain has really toughened up its approach to online infringement. Last month the strength of new legislation became evident when a Madrid court gave local Internet service providers just 72 hours to block notorious torrent site The Pirate Bay (TPB). The legal action against TPB was launched by the Association of Intellectual Rights Management (AGEDI) last year, but that wasn’t the only domain in the anti-piracy group’s sights. AGEDI and music group Promusicae had also been targeting Goear, an unlicensed music streaming service providing access to an estimated four million tracks. Early efforts to bring down the site didn’t go to plan when a Madrid court refused to issue an order to block the site’s IP address back in March 2014. Undeterred, AGEDI responded with an appeal and complaint to the country’s Intellectual Property Commission. Complaining that Goear provides access to copyrighted music without any permission from artists or rightsholders, AGEDI built a case highlighting commercial aspects of the site, particularly its advertising efforts which offered to put products in front of three million registered users via “millions of quality impressions.†Goear had previously actioned some copyright takedowns, AGEDI said, but it was never enough to keep up with the rate that infringing content reappeared on the site. After reviewing the case the National Court has now sided with AGEDI. Handing down an order similar to that issued last month in respect of The Pirate Bay, local ISPs have been given just 72 hours to block the site at the subscriber level. Currently the Goear website is hosted in the Netherlands. “This new resolution adds to the one recently handed down in Spain against The Pirate Bay and confirms web blockades as the only effective measure to eliminate the websites that violate intellectual property rights,†said Promusicae and AGEDI president, Antonio Guisasola. “The block against Goear means that the site will no longer be able to profit from the works of others. I always insist on the absolute need to act decisively to stop these kinds of sites that represent true unfair competition to other [authorized sites] that offer all the guarantees for consumers and producers of music.†Whether local users will rush to unblock the site will remain to be seen. There are many dozens of similar portals offering access to the same level of content, none of which appear to be shutting down anytime soon. https://torrentfreak.com/spanish-court-orders-first-pirate-music-site-block-150407/
  13. Rights Alliance chief Willy Johansen says that his anti-piracy group has shut down its first Norway-based movie piracy site. Police raided the operator of the Norskfilm portal and the man subsequently confessed, but with music piracy all but eliminated in the country, isn't this just a return to force over finesse? Due to the borderless nature of the Internet, online piracy is very much an international affair. The world’s most popular torrent and streaming sites attract audiences from all around the globe. Nevertheless, there are hundreds of smaller sites that have a much more geographically restricted aims in mind as they cater to mainly local audiences. Norway’s Norskfilm.net was one such site. The site appeared on the radar of anti-piracy group Rights Alliance (Rettighetsalliansen) during the past year although at one point appears to be have been hosted in the United States. Offering international movies and TV shows on top of local content and subtitles, Norskfilm soon became the subject of a criminal investigation. Following hundreds of tweets announcing the latest movies, last month the site’s Twitter account fell silent and soon after the site itself disappeared. Rights Alliance chief Willy Johansen now says that was due to his organization closing down its very first ‘pirate’ website. “This is the first time we have succeeded in halting a page operated from Norway,†Johansen told local media Friday. Lawyer Torje Arneson confirmed that Vestfold Police had raided the home of a 20-year-old man and seized computer and telecommunications equipment. After questioning the man confessed and was subsequently charged with copyright infringement offenses. While Norwegian police have previously investigated ‘scene’ groups and anti-piracy companies have chased down key individuals in special file-sharing cases, in recent years raids against websites have been pretty much non-existent. Instead, groups like Rights Alliance have focused on pushing for fresh legislation enabling them to monitor file-sharing networks and have ISPs block sites at the subscriber level. But according to Johansen it’s still not enough. As it stands today the flow of pirate movies simply cannot be stopped and with the advent of services such as Popcorn Time and their increasing popularity in Scandinavia, there can only be one solution. “I think we need a change of legislation,†Johansen says. But is that really needed? According to figures from the music industry, almost certainly not. During December 2014 music industry group IFPI conducted a nationwide survey among under 30-year-olds and discovered that just 4% of respondents were using illegal file-sharing platforms to obtain music. A similar 2009 IFPI survey returned a figure of 70%. The reason for the drop? Improved legal music platforms. “We are now offering services that are both better and more user-friendly than illegal platforms. In [the past] five years, we have virtually eliminated illegal file sharing in the music industry,†said IFPI Norway chief Marte Thorsby. But as highlighted again last month, the movie industry is still painting itself into a corner. Instead of making content freely available from the start, its windowing business model ensures that the public is kept waiting for months to be granted access to content. This only fuels piracy. Fix that and there will not only be no need for new laws in Norway, but also less need for Rights Alliance to shut down its second pirate movie site. https://torrentfreak.com/after-eliminating-music-piracy-norway-hits-first-movie-site-150328/
  14. Following a complaint from Rights Alliance, a Danish court has ordered ISPs to block 12 pirate sites including KickassTorrents, RARBG and TubePlus. With these blockades rightsholders hope to steer people towards legal content. One of the affected site owners, however, believe it serves as free advertising. For nearly a decade Denmark has been a testbed for pirate site blockades. The first blocks were ordered back in 2006 after music industry group IFPI filed a complaint targeting the Russian MP3 sites AllofMP3 and MP3sparks. Not much later Denmark became the first European country to force an ISP to block access to The Pirate Bay. After some small additions during the years that followed, a Danish Court has now ordered another round of pirate site blocks, the largest one thus far. Following a complaint from the local Rights Alliance (RettighedsAlliancen) group the blocklist was updated with 12 popular torrent, streaming and MP3 download sites. The new domains are free-tv-video-online.me, watchseries.lt ,solarmovie.is, tubeplus.me, mp3vip.org, rarbg.com, extratorrent.cc, isohunt.to, eztv.ch, kickass.to, torrentz.eu and music-bazaar.com. Due to a recent agreement the sites will be blocked by all ISPs, even those not mentioned in the lawsuit. Late last year Rights Alliance and the telecommunications industry signed a Code of Conduct which ensures that blockades are put in place country-wide. Speaking with TF, Rights Alliance head Maria Fredenslund says that their primary goal is to limit piracy through education. For this reason, the blocking page includes links to legal stores and services. “Right Alliance doesn’t merely take an enforcement approach. We want to understand user behavior offer people legal alternatives,†Fredenslund says. “We are quite happy that there are so many people who are looking for online entertainment. Our goal is to steer them in the right direction, instead of simply blocking access,†she adds. For the affected sites there will be a drop in Danish visitors. Interestingly, however, not all site owners are disappointed. TF spoke with the operator of one of the torrent sites on condition of anonymity. He says that these blocking efforts are free advertising and that users can still access the blocked domains through proxies or anonymizing services. “Blocking is the greatest thing that can happen to a site. It is free advertising for your site. People want the things they can’t have,†the operator says. “Whoever is blocking the sites is actually doing us a favor by telling the users that they can’t open the site, thus making the users want to open the site even more.†Rights Alliance sees things differently and points to the results of a test on the effectiveness of blocking efforts. “There are clear signs that our approach works. A recent test revealed that if people were warned that they had attempted to visit an unauthorized site, 84% chose not to continue,†Fredenslund tells us. The test in question was conducted at various Danish schools. Instead of completely blocking access the schools inserted a notification which allowed users to visit legal alternatives or continue to the illegal sites. The majority of the people who saw this notice decided not to visit the page. Whether the result will also translate to people’s non-monitored home connections is not clear. In any case, the new blockades in Denmark are throwing up an extra hurdle. https://torrentfreak.com/popular-torrent-and-streaming-sites-blocked-in-denmark-150327/
  15. A draft of new legislation aimed at stopping Aussie consumers accessing 'pirate' sites has been made available this morning. The amendments, which contain criteria that could see hundreds of sites blocked by ISPs, is believed to have been reworded to ensure that VPN services don't become caught in the dragnet. During December 2014, Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked the Australian Cabinet to approve the development of a new legal mechanism which would allow rightsholders to obtain site-blocking injunctions against ISPs. Today that legislation was introduced to parliament. Kept under wraps until this morning, the site-blocking elements of the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 are likely to please rightsholders with their significant reach. Injunctions against providers In order to apply for an injunction against an ISP, rightsholders need to show that the provider in question provides access to “an online location†outside Australia and that the “location†infringes or facilitates infringement of copyright. The location’s primary purpose must be to infringe copyright, “whether or not in Australiaâ€. Aside from the rightsholder and ISP, operators of “locations†(the word ‘site’ is not used, presumably to add breadth) will be given the option to apply to become party to any proceedings. Once an injunction is handed down against an ISP it will be required to take “reasonable steps†to disable access to the infringing site. What amounts to reasonable will almost certainly be the subject of further discussion as any over-broad moves could result in collateral damage and bad PR. Issues determining whether sites/locations become blocked Currently there are 11 areas that the Court will examine when deciding whether to hand down an injunction. The key issues involve intent, in particular whether a location/site’s primary purpose is to infringe and the flagrancy of any infringement. In a nod to BitTorrent and similar indexes around today (Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents and Usenet sites, for example), the Court will consider whether the location “makes available or contains†any “directories, indexes or categories of the means to infringe, or facilitate an infringement of, copyright.†The Court will also consider whether the operator of the “location†demonstrates “disregard†for copyright. In the case of The Pirate Bay, for example, that should be easy to show but for others such as KickassTorrents – which removes masses of content following rightsholder request – the line becomes more wavy. That being said, removing content alone won’t be enough to save a site from the blocklist. The Court will also take into consideration whether a site has already been blocked on copyright infringement or related grounds anywhere else on the planet. That immediately puts at least 110 UK-blocked sites in the spotlight. Other issues to be considered are more focused on the needs of the public, such as whether blocking a resource would be “proportionateâ€, in the public interest, or likely to have a “an impact†on third parties. Who will be allowed to have an input into these matters is not detailed but participating in court proceedings could prove prohibitively expensive for smaller groups. Additional matters The draft caters for injunctions to have a limited duration, and be rescinded or varied upon application. While ISPs will be expected to spend money on implementing injunctions, they won’t be liable for any costs in relation to injunction proceedings, unless they wish to take part. Unless rightsholders go overboard or there is public outcry, it seems unlikely that Aussie ISPs will choose to do so. VPN friendly While the draft is now up for debate and amendment, changes are reported to have been introduced as late as last week, delaying its introduction. According to SMH the legislation was worded in such a way that VPN providers could have been eligible for blocking if the Court decided they were facilitating infringement. “In an area such as this if you are not really specific you end up catching a lot more stuff than you are potentially targeting,†a source explained. Of course, the current draft could still scoop up a VPN provider if it marketed itself as a service designed for piracy, but there are few if any that are that naive today. Overall As it currently stands the draft appears to have ‘teeth’ and the scope to take down any significant ‘pirate’ site or service on the planet, at least as far as regular Aussie Internet subscribers are concerned and provided their ISPs have the technical ability. Another rightsholder-pleasing aspect of the Bill is the lack of limits being placed on the number of sites that can be blocked in a single injunction. While it may make sense to have the facts heard against a few well-known sites in an initial order, subsequent orders could potentially list hundreds of additional sites alongside comment that they are “structurally similar†to those already presented. Also of interest is the continued use of the words “online location†instead of “siteâ€. This is likely in preparation for new technologies, or perhaps even some of the decentralized technologies already available today. There will now be a six week consultation period for additional submissions and tweaks. Torrentfreak
  16. The Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill was today cleared for introduction into the Australian parliament. In a whirlwind of activity it's expected to be passed this week and will herald the ISP-level blocking of "overseas pirate sites". The body representing the country's ISPs has expressed disappointment at the complete lack of consultation. For many years Australia has struggled with a reputation for being a country of file-sharing pirates. Following a period of heated debate, during the summer of 2014 two key piracy-tackling strategies boiled to the surface. First, in some way, shape or form, copyright holders would get access, indirectly if necessary, to communicate with errant Internet users found to be downloading and sharing copyrighted material without permission. Pressure built, with the government warning ISPs that they must come up with a voluntary solution to the problem or have one forced upon them. Last month in collaboration with rightsholders, proposals were placed on the table. It now seems almost certain that Aussie file-sharers will be subjected to a three-strikes style regime. The second element involved the ‘pirate’ sites themselves. Australian law allows local authorities to easily close down sites in their own territory should the need arise. While that’s not unheard of – a 400,000 member torrent tracker was shut down in 2008 – Australia isn’t best known for hosting popular torrent sites. The problem, according to the government, comes from overseas. Early December 2014, Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked the Cabinet to approve the development of a new legal mechanism which would allow rightsholders to obtain site blocking injunctions against ISPs. And now, just three months later, it is all systems go. This week the government will deliver new legislation to tackle the problem. Led by Brandis, the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill was today cleared for introduction into parliament. And things are moving extremely quickly. According to ITNews, the legislation is planned to be introduced into parliament Wednesday or Thursday with a view to having it passed by the end of the week. Despite many countries now making extensive use of the process, site blocking itself is highly controversial. In the UK, for example, rightsholders initially have to go court but are then free to add news sites to existing injunctions, even ones that don’t directly infringe any copyrights. So what mechanism does the Aussie model envision? Somewhat disappointingly those details are being kept a secret. The text of the bill hasn’t yet been made public and even the country’s ISPs are being kept in the dark. John Stanton, CEO of the Communications Alliance, the body that proposed the recent “three strikes†system on behalf of ISPs, said he is “disappointed†that his group hadn’t been consulted. Some consultation would have of course been preferable, since it is the ISPs who will be expected to put the site blocks into place. Whether copyright holders have a greater insight isn’t clear, but the head of the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association confirmed that he hadn’t seen a copy of the draft legislation either. In any event, introducing site blocking to Australian Internet users should be an interesting thing to behold, especially when compared to other site-block regions with different consumption pattern backgrounds. After years of being treated as second-class content consumers who have to wait longer and pay more for their content, Aussies have become extremely adept at using VPN and proxy services to access legal services such as Netflix. Those same tools can be used to easily evade site bans and recent concerns over the introduction of a strikes mechanism has only boosted interest in them. Torrentfreak
  17. The City of London's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit and copyright and royalty group PRS for Music have teamed up for what appears to be a first-of-its-kind action. Arresting a 46-year-old man, this week police shutdown one of the Internet's few karaoke-focused BitTorrent trackers. While at some stages wildly popular in the East, to most in the West a night at a karaoke bar is probably more closely associated with too many beers and individuals belting out classics wearing the aural equivalent of beer goggles. The pastime is considered by some as a bit of a joke but karaoke is big business. According to the people behind the web-based Playstation software SingOn, the global karaoke market could be worth as much as $10 billion. Since most karaoke content is now digital, it’s also prime for pirating. Mainstream movies, music, applications and video games are the most pirated media items on the Internet today, no doubt, but the karaoke sub-genre has a niche but somewhat fanatical following. Today, however, there is one less place online for KJ’s (karaoke jockeys) to get their fix. On Wednesday the users of Karaoke-World, one of the few dedicated karaoke torrent trackers online, were informed that a disaster had befallen the site after around five years online. “Just to let you all know the owner of kW was taken to the police station and had to close the site down by the Internet police so sorry we are no longer,†the site announced. It now transpires that kW was being monitored not by the BPI or IFPI as is usually the case with music-based sites, but UK-based licensing and royalty group PRS for Music. PRS make available so-called ‘KAR’ licenses which grants holders permission to manufacture and distribute karaoke on discs and in other formats. The license also covers the reproduction of lyrics for display on screen at the same time as the karaoke music is being played. It seems very unlikely that Karaoke-World possessed such a license. As a result PRS for Music teamed up with PIPCU, the UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, to close down the site. On Wednesday a 46-year-old man was arrested in Dewsbury in the north of England and taken to a police station in Halifax. Although no names have been released, the kW domain was registered in the name of ‘DJ Mikey L’. Although the name is clearly a pseudonym, there are dozens of karaoke-focused torrents bearing the same name. “The unlicensed BitTorrent site directed users to a catalogue of tens of thousands of copyrighted music files, in particular the latest chart music and karaoke hits,†PIPCU said in a statement. “Like most BitTorrent trackers, the site had rules for its members to abide by. One of the rules required users to immediately ‘seed’ files, which means to upload any file they have downloaded so that others can download it too. If a file is not seeded for more than 24 hours, the user was deemed as a ‘Hit and Run’ and their account was disabled.†PIPCU’s statement also introduces a commercial element to the site, although the site is unlikely to have been a huge money spinner. “The music service also offered VIP memberships for users of the website, which ranged from £5.00 to £90.00,†police said. “The public needs to be aware that by accessing sites like this, they are putting money directly in the hands of criminals, which often then funds other serious organized crime, as well as putting their own financial and personal details at risk of being compromised and used for other fraudulent scams,†PIPCU chief Detective Chief Inspector Danny Medlycott said in a statement. “These websites are stealing from the creative industries that employ thousands of people and PIPCU will continue to work closely with our partners to tackle the criminals behind these sites and bring them to justice.†Simon Bourn, Head of Litigation, Enforcement and Anti-Piracy for PRS for Music said that songwriters and creators deserve protection from unlicensed operations. “PRS for Music’s Anti-Piracy Unit is committed to actively pursuing those who use our songwriters’ and composers’ repertoire without permission, particularly the operation of online music services without the necessary licensing. The unit’s dedication in this case, involving careful investigative support which it provided to the police, ensured that an unlicensed UK-based BitTorrent music service for karaoke was located and closed down,†Bourn said. Karaoke-World sister site TheNutBox.info is also currently offline. TorrentFreak contacted ‘DJ Mikey L’ for comment and we’ll update as soon as a response is received. https://torrentfreak.com/uk-police-and-prs-shutdown-karaoke-torrent-site-150313/
  18. Hi Everyone, For the next week we will be carrying out important site maintenance so dont worry if there are short interruptions in our service. We also have had to stop using PayPal as they have said we are breaking their Fair Use Policy.....I didnt know we were in the wrong with this. I will message you either by pm or email to let you know the progress as to what we are doing in the back ground. Thankyou for your patience and cooperation. Kind Regards ironside
  19. A site to rival the beauty of any pirate movie service on the planet has been shutdown almost before anyone had even heard of it. Named after the infamous Popcorn Time, NachoTime flourished for about a week, with glorious presentation, instant in-browser streaming plus mobile device support. Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN has confessed to the killing. While sites like The Pirate Bay are stuck in a presentational time-warp, in recent times other file-sharing related domains have been revamping their appearances. KickassTorrents is probably one of the best looking public torrent sites but there are plenty of private trackers whose presentations are something to behold. Streaming sites have also made big strides in their graphical layouts, something which has spooked entertainment industry outfits such as the MPAA. That being said, one of the biggest problems for them at the moment is Popcorn Time. Its Netflix-style interface not only looks good but behind the scenes it works almost flawlessly. Add to the mix complete simplicity of use and the software is definitely a force to be reckoned with. However, Popcorn Time – in whatever format chosen by the user – needs to be installed on a PC, cellphone, tablet or other device in order to work. A small obstacle for many users perhaps, but for the real novice that still has the potential to cause problems – unless people have nachos as well as popcorn, that is. Sometime last week a brand new service hit the Internet. Titled NachoTime, the best way of explaining the product is PopcornTime in a browser. It looked absolutely beautiful, with full color graphics for all the content it presented – mainly mainstream movies of course. Every single one played almost instantly in a YouTube-style interface with no noticeable buffering and it even worked flawlessly on mobile devices with no extra software required. In addition to instant streaming, NachoTime provided links to torrents for the same content in various qualities supported by the appropriate subtitles if needed. No other public site has ever looked this good. However, all of this is now relegated to history as Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN acted against the service before it even got off the ground. The site now displays a notice explaining that it has been permanently shutdown. This site has been removed by BREIN because it supplies illicit entertainment content. This website made use of an illegal online supply of films and television series. Uploading and downloading of illegal content is prohibited by law and will therefore result in liability for the damages caused. SUPPORT CREATIVITY Go to Thecontentmap.nl and see where you can legally download and stream BREIN says it contacted the site’s host who in turn contacted the site’s owner, who took NachoTime down immediately. TorrentFreak contacted BREIN chief Tim Kuik and put it to him that his group has just taken down the best looking site around. “I agree, very well presented,†Kuik said. “A pity it was illegal.†The reaction to NachoTime’s arrival by BREIN was particularly quick. That, Kuik says, is due to the nature of these new waves of PopcornTime-like services. The anti-piracy group says it views them as a greater threat than torrent sites. “Their ease of use makes them very popular so they are hurting the growth of legal online platforms,†Kuik explains. What will happen to the individual running the site isn’t clear, but Kuik told us that he’s a 22-year-old from the Dutch city of Utrecht who signed a declaration to keep the site offline. His quick response appears to have been well received by BREIN but others thinking of embarking on the same kind of project are already on a warning. “They will be offered a settlement or they will be sued,†Kuik explains. “Settlement is a cease and desist undertaking with a penalty sum, a BREIN text on the site referring to Thecontentmap.nl that lists legal online platforms and payment of compensation depending on circumstances. A court case would include an injunction and full costs (likely between € 8,000 – 15,000) and a procedure on the merits regarding damages and again full costs.†While Popcorn and Nachos are definitely tasty snacks for pirates, at least one is currently off the menu. Time will tell when the next one will come along and how long it will last. http://torrentfreak.com/worlds-most-beautiful-pirate-movie-site-killed-in-infancy-150305/
  20. After being chased down by a coalition of mainstream entertainment companies, a French court has just handed a former torrent site operator a six month suspended sentence. 'Boris P' must also pay two million euros in damages, an amount he predicts could be cleared in approximately 227 years. After opening its doors in 2010, in 2014 a private tracker known as GKS announced it would be closing for good. As is so often the case, the site was suffering legal problems. An investigation, carried out on behalf of U.S.-based mainstream entertainment companies via local outfits SACEM, SCPP and others, showed that between January 2012 and April 2014, three million unauthorized downloads were made from the site. They included 242,000 movies, 240 concerts and 2,240 music albums. The case concluded in the Criminal Court of La Rochelle last week. The 28-year-old former admin of the site was handed a six month suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay two million euros in damages. Major Hollywood studios were awarded the lion’s share, as follows: Warner Bros. (470K euros), Disney (242.7K euros), 20th Century Fox (228.7K euros), Paramount Pictures (221.5K euros), Universal Pictures (172.5K euros) Columbia Pictures (158K euros) and Tristar Pictures (11k euros). Music groups through the Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers (SACEM) were awarded 564,762 euros in damages, with two smaller awards of 5,000 euros each going to a pair of film distribution groups. Interestingly the case was heard in the absence of site operator ‘Boris P’. The site was hosted in Hungary and the Czech Republic but Boris P left France for Budapest in 2013 and never returned. In an interview with French publication NextImpact, Boris P denies that he fled to Hungary. “The city of Budapest is so good, I ended up staying. Also with my [low] income, I better live here where a pint usually costs 1 or 2 euros,†he explains. There were early signs, however, that all was not well with the site. Boris P said he hoped to be considered a host and enjoy the legal protections that provides (he never hid his identity) but there were issues on the financial front. While users were donating enough to keep the site running every month, PayPal blocked his accounts several times. He denies making much money from the site, however. “Maybe 100 to 200 euros a month, sometimes I also paid out of my pocket,†he notes. Then, in the summer of 2014 he got word that French police were looking for him. “They wanted me to return to France to go into police custody,†he reveals. “I did not particularly have the means to return to see my family, let alone go to the police! I offered them a Skype call but [the police] laughed at that. Then, I received no more news – not a single call, nothing?†Boris P says the case has taken a toll on his health. “I have not been able to sleep for a month, I’ve lost 10 kg. I have to live on 300 euros per month, which in Hungary is fine. In fact, I absolutely do not know what to do now and for the future,†he says. “[The fine] is so huge that whether it’s 1 or 2 million [euros] it makes no difference to me. My gross income in 2014 was 8,800 euros and in 2013, 11,546 euros,†Boris notes. “I did a little calculation: by giving them all the gross income of my business, I would need 227 years to pay off the fine.†http://torrentfreak.com/torrent-site-admin-can-pay-piracy-fine-in-227-years-150223/
  21. UK police have arrested three men in London following a raid on what is being described as a popular movie and TV show piracy site. Following a FACT investigation the men, all in their 20s, were detained on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and copyright offenses. After scaling considerable heights during much of 2013 and 2014, overt operations to reduce online copyright infringement tapered off in the UK at the end of last year. The first six weeks of 2015 also remained quiet, with the now-famous Police Intellectual Property Unit (PIPCU) holding a lower profile. Today, however, there is news of fresh action by local authorities. Following an investigation by the Hollywood-affiliated anti-piracy group Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), this morning detectives raided individuals said to be involved in the operations of a movie and TV show download site. The men, aged 24, 25 and 26, all from the Southwark area of London, were arrested at 06:45 on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and copyright infringement offenses. Equipment and financial documents were also seized. Speaking with TorrentFreak a few moments ago, FACT said that they weren’t able to name the site “for operational reasons.†Nevertheless, police say it was popular among users. “The site was extremely popular. It was viewed about 70,000 times a day and, internationally, it ranked thousands of places higher than a well-known and legitimate film download site,†said investigating officer Detective Sergeant Neil Reynolds. Similar raids in recent times have been carried out by PIPCU but today’s operation is being accredited to the London Regional Asset Recovery Team. LRART is a Home Office-funded team comprised of officers and financial investigators from City of London Police and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, among others. The unit carries out financial investigations aimed at seizing criminal assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. “It can be difficult for people to care about copyright laws being broken but the money made from such sites is often spent on funding other crime,†said DS Reynolds. “We are looking at how much money was made from advertising on this website and where that money went to.†FACT say that the site was registered to one of the suspects in the UK but was then re-registered to a second suspect at an address in Romania. Advertising revenue was paid into a London-based bank account. Director General Kieron Sharp said that unauthorized sites undermine legitimate businesses and warned that people running such ventures face stiff penalties. “Websites which set out to direct users to illegal copies of films and TV shows are engaged in criminal activity which not only reaps huge financial benefits for the individuals involved but also undermines the fundamental business model which allows for future investment in the creative industries,†Sharp said. “As these latest arrests show, this type of criminal enterprise will not go without action, and those involved face severe penalties.†If anyone has any further information please contact us in confidence http://torrentfreak.com/uk-police-raid-movie-tv-show-site-three-arrested-150217/
  22. Tumblr users say they are witnessing a tougher response to music piracy by the blogging platform. A wave of complaints suggest that increased anti-piracy activity by the music industry is resulting in Tumblr more readily banning users as part of a "three strikes" policy. Founded February 2007, Tumblr now processes huge amounts of traffic. According to latest figures from the site it currently hosts more than 223 million blogs containing almost 104 billion posts. In common with all sites of a similar size, keeping on top of what every user posts is a formidable and near impossible task, even with the 300+ employees Tumblr has at its disposal. Nevertheless, effort does have to be made and when it comes to copyright issues the law demands it. The DMCA requires Tumblr to respond to copyright holder complaints by removing infringing content in a timely manner. According to the site’s users, however, a more aggressive response is now being pursued. A large number of recent complaints suggest that music group IFPI is making a renewed effort to target Tumblr in order to weed out users who post copyright music to the site. Since several users have posted Tumblr copyright notices citing IFPI complaints, it seems like a reasonable assumption. But what is really spooking users is Tumblr’s policy of terminating those who have three complaints lodged against their account. It’s been in place for some time but with enforcement against the site seemingly being ramped up, more people are falling into the trap. “As outlined in previous emails, we implement a strict three-strike policy against repeat copyright infringement. Your blog has received three strikes in an 18 month period. Consequently, your account has been terminated. In addition, any new accounts you create will also be terminated,†Tumblr told one user. Of course, anti-piracy bots don’t discriminate between content posted today or 18 months ago so any tracks they find can result in a notice to Tumblr and a subsequent “strike†against a user’s account. As a result, many users are now desperately trying to clear up their post history (using sites like trntbl.me) to avoid getting three strikes all at once. To find out what changes may have contributed to the panic TorrentFreak contacted Tumblr for further details. We’re yet to hear back (we’ll update this article when we do) but in the meantime its worth noting that the company updated its copyright notice policy last month. “After removing material pursuant to a valid DMCA notice, Tumblr will immediately notify the Subscriber responsible for the allegedly infringing material that it has removed or disabled access to the material,†it reads. “Tumblr will terminate, under appropriate circumstances, the Accounts of Subscribers who are repeat copyright infringers, and reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate any Subscriber for actual or apparent copyright infringement.†In order for users to be able to contest copyright complaints, Tumblr operates a counter-notification system. However, users including Stewardessme complain that on the third strike she was simply locked out. Her story also highlights the importance of contesting invalid claims early on. “Since the IFPI sent takedowns for two songs, that was two strikes, and I had a previous strike months earlier due to being erroneously accused of a copyright violation by Harper-Collins (the photo in question was not theirs),†she writes. “In my case, the time period between getting the two strikes for music and my account being terminated was zero time; I found out something was wrong when I tried to log into my account.†Since Tumblr is yet to publicly respond to the concerns of its userbase, TorrentFreak asked the company to comment on any changes that could have triggered what is now being perceived as a piracy crackdown. We’ll update here in due course. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7L5O9zeKEk http://torrentfreak.com/tumblr-panics-as-site-gets-tough-on-music-piracy-150216/
  23. Empornium, one of the leading private torrent trackers for adult content, says it believes a copyright troll gained access to a staff moderation account and is now using obtained data to threaten its users. The revelations may shine light on why some Empornium users have received settlement threats with no lawsuit filed and no notice from their ISPs. During the past several years it’s become extremely common for copyright holders in the adult industry to target users of file-sharing networks in order to threaten them with litigation. The way these users are contacted has remained constant in the vast majority of cases. Armed with a court order, copyright holders force ISPs to hand over the personal details of subscribers so they can be contacted directly for a cash settlement. However, it doesn’t always work that way. Since mid 2013, mounting anecdotal evidence and reports have suggested that people uploading and sharing certain niche content may have had their true identities exposed via information they posted on the Internet rather than through John Doe lawsuits filed by a copyright holder. In particular, users have reported receiving cash demands over niche adult material offered by a company called TaylorMadeClips (NSFW). As noted by DieTrollDie in a 2013 article, settlement demands like this (pdf) from TaylorMade lawfirm Borghese Legal have no official case associated with them. Now, it could be that TaylorMade watermarks its clips and some of these letters are being sent to those who registered their personal details with the official site and later uploaded content elsewhere. However, private torrent site Empornium, one of the largest adult trackers around, believes it has an alternative explanation. In a frank email exchange with TorrentFreak and subsequent announcement to its users, the operators of the site reveal that a staff account on its site has been compromised. The site was not hacked in any way but it appears a moderator account login details were obtained and subsequently used to cull private member data from the site. “It was discovered that the user account of a regular (Mod) rank staff member has been accessed by someone other than the staff member in question. Once this was discovered, immediate steps were taken to prevent further access to sensitive information by this account,†the site said. “By what we discovered of their activity and reports from users we believe that the unauthorized third party may have been affiliated with TaylorMadeClips and Borghese Legal, LTD. Their intentions appear to be to use information obtained to intimidate users into financial settlements through legal scare tactics. Specifically, users who have downloaded or seeded TaylorMadeClips torrents and are within US jurisdiction appear to be targeted.†Empornium discovered the breach on Monday and immediately locked down the threat. However, sensitive information had already been obtained. “The compromised account appears to have been primarily used to obtain the registered e-mail address for these users, and matched to the grabbed / snatched / peers lists of TaylorMadeClips torrents, to determine targets for threatening letters,†they add. TorrentFreak asked Empornium how they came to the conclusions detailed above, this is what they said. “We came to the conclusion on who was involved the simple way. We went back through what logs we still had (we keep very limited ones where possible for the simple reason if we are ever compromised we want as little hurtful info around as possible) and what accounts and torrents they pulled up info on,†Empornium told TF. “Every one was [TaylorMadeClips] content and some of them we already have reports from users that they have received letters to their Empornium registration email address from Borghese Legal specifying those torrents. Many have also received a letter via snail mail. Those reports started around [now 48hrs to 72hrs] ago and alerted us that we may have a problem.†How the third party (whoever that may turn out to be) obtained the login isn’t clear, but at this stage hacking is being ruled out. “We know it wasn’t brute forced or similar as failed logins on staff accounts ring all sorts of very loud bells for us. We have had people attempt that attack vector more than once,†the site told TorrentFreak. At this stage the most likely scenario is that the same user/pass combination could have been used on other sites but a computer compromise might also be possible. In any event, the site has identified the instances of unauthorized access and tracked them down to as-yet undisclosed locations in the United States. While users of Empornium may be shocked and even disappointed that their information has been accessed in this way, it’s not only unusual but also a credit to the site that they have decided to be so open about the breach. It’s fair to say that many if not most sites would brush this kind of thing under the carpet. TaylorMadeClips provides no contact information on its site and obscures its WHOIS information so could not immediately be reached for comment. TorrentFreak contacted Borghese Legal but at the time of publication we had not received a response. http://torrentfreak.com/torrent-site-copyright-troll-had-staff-access-to-member-data-150211/
  24. A complaint filed by 21st Century Fox's Sky TV has ended in Italy's most aggressive site-blocking action yet. Coordinated by the Public Prosecutor of Rome, the operation has resulted in more than 120 international 'pirate' streaming websites being blacked out by local ISPs Alongside the United Kingdom, Italy is the most aggressive country in the world when it comes to blocking websites on copyright infringement grounds. Over the past several years dozens of domains have been censored locally and a new operation has upped that tally significantly following a complaint from a major broadcaster. Sky Italia is a digital satellite television platform owned by Sky Plc, the TV company founded by Rupert Murdoch. 21st Century Fox owns a controlling 39% of the shares in Sky Plc and with a turnover of more than £7.6 billion ($11.41 billion) it’s one of the largest media companies in the world. To protect its bottom line, in 2014 Sky Italia filed a complaint with authorities against more than 120 websites said to broadcast sporting events, concerts, music, plus film and television works without rightsholders’ permission. A subsequent investigation was coordinated by the Public Prosecutor of Rome and entrusted to deputy prosecutors Nello Rossi and Eugenio Albamontes. Assistance was provided by the Special Unit for Broadcasting and Publishing (Nucleo Speciale Radiodiffusione Editoria). Authorities say that pirate content was offered by the sites in a number of ways but streaming in particular, both of live events and via on-demand. Many provided helpful schedules to assist users with planning. With all sites operating outside Italian territory, local authorities decided to take action to render them inaccessible in the country. A sweep was ordered by magistrate Gaspare Sturzo and this morning 124 websites are reported blocked via local Internet service providers. The names of most sites hit in ‘Operation Match Off’ have not been released but authorities have pointed out that ‘sportlemon.tv’ was registered in the name of Gottfrid Svartholm. It seems unlikely that the Pirate Bay founder had any operational connections to the site but the domain was registered by PRQ, his former company in Sweden. In common with previous cases, advertising is being blamed for the revenue generated by these unauthorized sites. The Guardia di Finanza (GdF), the law enforcement agency responsible for dealing with financial crime and whose Special Command Unit carried out the operation, said site users were met with aggressive ads and click-fraud techniques. Italy has been working hard to counter the rise of advertising on pirate sites. Last summer a Memorandum of Understanding between the online advertising industry (including Google) and the music and movie industries signaled the creation of a central body to tackle the piracy issue. But despite the agreement it was found that “known brands†were still advertising on the now-blocked sites. As a result authorities are now conducting an investigation into the agencies that placed the ads for companies in the financial, real estate, betting, retail and communications sector. Enzo Mazza, chief of FIMI, Italy’s answer to the RIAA, said the action against the domains was welcome. “The Fiscal Police from Rome carried out a very sophisticated operation including the economic angle of the case. This is the largest criminal action involving site blocking ever carried out,†Mazza told TorrentFreak. “Some sites were also offering music concerts in addition to soccer and sport. We congratulate the special unit of the Fiscal Police and the public prosecutor from Rome for the operation.†http://torrentfreak.com/italy-launches-largest-ever-pirate-site-blockade-150126/
  25. We are truely Sorry for the downtime you have experienced. Our Site server started to perform very slowly and after some editing on the server it was confirmed it wasn't fixable. So we went and got us a new server. We had to transfer everything over to the new server and do a little modifications to make the Site run as fast as we possibly can. As you can see depending on your ISP, Bitleechers is faster then ever before. If anyone is experiencing and issues at all come to Live Help and let us know right away so we can look into the matter. Staff would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! We would also like to welcome all the new members that have joined our community in the past month. As recommended, PLEASE read the Site Rules & FAQ's. If any of you have any questions or concerns you may join Live Help or Live Chat. You can also submit a Help Desk Query at any time you wish. Bitleechers is a RATIO FREE Site! So, this means no one has to ever worry about a Ratio. It doesn't matter how much you download as long as you seed per Site Rules. Pay special ATTENTION to our Hit & Run system. If you dont understand how it works then come seek help for advice by joining Live Help. Rules are as follows... 1) Seed each torrent you download 1:1 2) Seed each torrent 48 hours "IF" you haven't reached a 1:1 Ratio. Bitleechers at this point in time is working off of a "Bonus" system. Why ? Because of the lack of leechers. So with this said you can use the Bonus system to ZAP your torrents or use your Uploaded total to use the data in mb or gb to ZAP them. This is if you have enough Bonus points to do so and don't wish to seed. But, like any torrent Site, Seeding is what makes the torrent world go round and round . Collecting BONUS points are VERY easy to earn. Below are many ways to earn them... 1) Talking in the Shoutbox 2) Making a Forum Post OR Starting a new Topic 3) Commenting on a torrent page 4) Seeding your torrents 5) Rating a torrent that you have downloaded 6) Idling in IRC We are looking for members who would like the opportunity to become a Moderator on Bitleechers. We require you to idle in IRC for as long as possible and spend a minimum of one hour per day on Bitleechers to Edit torrents when needed and monitor IRC, Shoutbox and Forums. You MUST be a member for 30 days and idle in IRC so you can get to know some of the other Members and especially the Staff. So if you are interested then come to Live Chat. If you meet the requirements as stated above you can Apply to become a Moderator. DONATIONS!!! Like any other Site, Bitleechers also needs Donations to pay for our Servers and the Coder. We run Promotions once a month so members can take advantage to become a VIP for a longer stay. Please DONATE if you can afford to and knowing you are keeping Bitleechers online. Keep the Site you keep coming back to moving forward. P.S. VIP's DO NOT have to seed! But, in order to earn Seed Bonus we recommend that you do plus you help others get the torrent(s) faster. Thank YOU.