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  1. Rufus is a utility that helps format and create bootable USB flash drives, such as USB keys/pendrives, memory sticks, etc. It can be especially useful for cases where: you need to create USB installation media from bootable ISOs (Windows, Linux, UEFI, etc.) you need to work on a system that doesn't have an OS installed you need to flash a BIOS or other firmware from DOS you want to run a low-level utility Despite its small size, Rufus provides everything you need! Oh, and Rufus is fast. For instance it's about twice as fast as UNetbootin, Universal USB Installer or Windows 7 USB download tool, on the creation of a Windows 7 USB installation drive from an ISO. It is also marginally faster on the creation of Linux bootable USB from ISOs. (1) A non exhaustive list of Rufus supported ISOs is also provided at the bottom of this page. (2) System Requirements: Windows XP or later, 32 or 64 bit doesn't matter. Once downloaded, the application is ready to use. Usage: Download the executable and run it – no installation is necessary. Personal experience : Saved my day many times, when others failed ... just best in class!
  2. The company has filed a lawsuit at a federal court accusing unknown AT&T subscriber(s) of activating pirated copies of its operating system and other software products. The AT&T account was tracked by the tech giant’s own cyberforensics team due to “suspicious activation patternsâ€. Although Microsoft is known worldwide as one of the most pirated software vendors, the company doesn’t have a long track record of dealing with individual infringers. Actually, a couple months ago, the company even noted that piracy could sometimes even act as a conversion tool. Apparently, this didn’t mean that all pirates could have their way. The tech giant’s cybercrime center seems to be keeping a close eye on the unauthorized use of Microsoft’s software products. A few days ago, the company has filed a copyright infringement complaint against an individual (or a group) who activated pirated copies of Windows 7 and Office 10 from an IP address assigned to the AT&T subscription account. You may think that pirated copies are hard for the company to detect, but Microsoft explained that it uses modern technology to track software piracy. The software developer described its investigative approach as cyberforensics: its team looks for activation patterns and characteristics that make it likely that certain IP-addresses are engaged in illegal copying. For example, the company analyzes product key activation data received from users when they activate the software. This data includes the IP address from which the key has been activated. By the way, such reports are sent by users voluntarily. The lawsuit claims that the defendants have activated numerous copies of Microsoft software products, including Windows 7 and Office 2010, with suspicious registration keys. The company believes that those were stolen from its supply chain, then used without permission from the refurbisher channel, and more often than the Microsoft license permitted. Now the company wants the court to allow it to identify the individual or a group of them responsible for the copyright violations in order to compensate the damage it has suffered. According to Microsoft’s complaint, it looks like the defendant is not an average user, but perhaps a person selling PCs with pirated software. Well, let’s see what the court has to tell the company.
  3. Tracker Name : Pro Audio Torrents (PAT) Tracker URL : Signup LINK / Application : Invite Only Tracker Type : Music Application/VST's/Samples/Plugins and many many more IRC Details : 6666, 6667, 6668, 6669, and for SSL, 6697, 7000 IPv4 and IPv6. Tracker Birthday : 2005/03/01 Tracker Speed : 10/10 Tracker Pretimes : 10/10 Tracker Content : 10/10 Tracker State : Tracker Categories : Daily Uploads List: Request list: Forum: Logs: Donations: Rules: FAQ: Music Engineering
  4. A federal court in New York has issued a paralyzing verdict against the Chinese-based DVD ripping company DVDFab. Ruling in favor of AACS, the licensing outfit founded by Warner Bros, Disney, Microsoft, Intel and others, the court has issued an updated injunction granting the seizure of several domain names belonging to the software vendor. Last year the decryption licensing outfit AACS launched a crackdown on DRM-circumvention software. The company sued the makers of popular DVD ripping software DVDFab. It won a preliminary injunction based on the argument that the “DVDFab Group†violates the DMCA’s anti-circumvention clause, since their software can bypass DVD encryption. Initially DVDFab did not respond to the court, so the order was entered by default. However, after the injunction was issued the company responded in the name of Feng Tao, with a request for the court to revise its earlier judgment. One of the counterarguments DVDFab raised was that the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions don’t apply worldwide, and DVDFab was promising to no longer do business with U.S. customers. “It is well-established that the Copyright Act doesn’t apply extra-territorially,†the company argued, asking the court to quash the injunction or limit it to the United States. AACS contested the good intentions of DVDFab and showed the court that the software was still readily available to the U.S. public. According to AACS the circumvention software was still being offered and promoted though new domains and services. For example, new circumvention tools and services were offered from,,,, and, among others. To stop DVDFab from bypassing the court order, AACS asked for an updated injunction to cover these new products and domains. This week District Court Judge Vernon Broderick ruled on the motions from both sides with AACS the clear winner The Judge argues that DVDFab’s explanations for the continued offering of software in the U.S. are not credible so has ordered the seizure of several new domain names. “Tao’s explanations for his continued trafficking of infringing products into the United States—the product is not his, the product was not created ‘primarily’ for AACS circumvention, or the product was not intended for U.S. users — is simply not credible. The record overwhelmingly demonstrates these statements are not true,†Judge Broderick writes. The injunction (pdf) bars DVDFab from distributing its software in public and allows AACS to seize seizure a wide range domain names. In addition, the company’s social media accounts are to be blocked and other services including online banks cut off as well. While the Judge understands that the DMCA doesn’t apply in other countries he argues that, considering DVDFab’s conduct after the initial injunction, it will only be effective if it applies worldwide. “It was not my intention to sweep within the Preliminary Injunction lawful conduct, i.e. entirely extraterritorial conduct. However, Defendant’s recalcitrant persistence in accessing the United States market makes clear to me that no more narrowly-tailored relief would be effective,†the Judge writes. As a result DVDFab will lose control over,,,,,,,, and which were found to be in violation of the DMCA. Two other domains, and, were not added as there’s not enough evidence that they are operated by the software vendor. There is no doubt that the broad injunction will severely impact the Chinese company. Aside from its domain names, the court also ordered payment processors to stop working with DVDFab, which will make it very hard for the company to sell its products anywhere in the world.
  5. Most of the top DJs are multi-millionaires, but that doesn't mean that they don't use pirated software to create their music. Video footage reveals that paying €139 for a legal copy of the popular synthesizer plugin Sylenth1 proved to be too much for Avicii and other popular DJs such as Martin Garrix. Tim Bergling, aka Avicii, has become one of the world’s best known DJs, scoring hit after hit in recent years. With a net worth estimated at $60 million the Swede has plenty of cash to splash. Enough to buy an expensive Hollywood Hills mansion. Interestingly, however, some of the tracks he made his millions with were produced with the help of pirated software. In an interview with Future Music Magazine Avicii proudly shows his setup and the associated video reveals that he’s using a cracked version of Lennar Digital’s popular Sylenth1 plugin, which normally costs €139. The plugin, which appears 42 minutes into the video, is registered to “Team VTX 2011,†referencing the name of a well-known cracking group. Avicii’s “Team VTX 2011″ plugin The interview with Avicii was shot a while ago so there’s a chance that the DJ bought a legal copy in the meantime. However, the use of pirated Sylenth1 plugins among top DJs is not an isolated incident. Just a few months ago DJ Deadmau5 called out Martin Garrix on Twitter for making the same mistake. Garrix, who’s also a multi-millionaire, was using a version cracked by “Team AIR.†Garrix’ “Team Air†plugin And then there’s Steve Aoki, good for an estimated $45 million, who was also previously accused of using a pirated copy of Sylenth1. Responding to the revelation, Aoki came up with proof showing that he did own a proper license, but that his road team forgot to use it. “I had asked my road team to help me load in my production software and apparently they didn’t ask Jacob for the authorization code for Sylenth and installed a pirated version,†Aoki said. The pirating DJ trend isn’t limited to Sylenth1 either. In yet another interview with Future Music Magazine, Norwegian DJ Aleksander Vinter, aka Savant, uses a pirated copy of Ohmicide. On its website Ohmicide says it understands that “not everybody can afford to spend several hundred dollars for a piece of software while you have other bills to pay in times of crisis.†But while Savant’s income is nowhere near the millions of the others, he isn’t starving just yet. Savant’s “Team Air†plugin Based on the above it’s clear that using pirated software is pretty common among DJs. Not just aspiring teens with no money to spend, but also those who are making millions of dollars per year. Avicii in particular should know better. After all, he was “discovered†by Universal Music’s Per Sundin, who was one of the main witnesses against the Pirate Bay four during the 2009 trial. Whether Lennar Digital will follow this piracy lead up has yet to be seen – the company has yet to respond to our request for comment.
  6. This week’s expanded Japanese software sales are as follows: 01./01. [3DS] Yo-kai Watch 2: Shin Uchi (Level 5) {2014.12.13} (¥4.968) – 532.724 / 1.776.895 (-57%) 02./02. [3DS] Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire (Pokemon Co.) {2014.11.21} (¥4.937) – 167.534 / 2.118.015 (+10%) 03./00. [3DS] Final Fantasy Explorers (Square Enix) {2014.12.18} (¥6.264) – 161.197 / NEW 04./04. [WIU] Super Smash Bros. for Wii U # (Nintendo) {2014.12.06} (¥7.776) – 78.927 / 385.460 (+0%) 05./06. [3DS] Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (Nintendo) {2014.09.13} (¥5.616) – 74.226 / 1.910.078 (+57%) 06./00. [PS3] Gundam Breaker 2 (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.12.18} (¥8.208) – 66.532 / NEW 07./00. [PSV] Gundam Breaker 2 (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.12.18} (¥7.171) – 57.188 / NEW 08./07. [3DS] Yo-kai Watch 2: Ganso / Honke (Level 5) {2014.07.10} (¥4.937) – 39.223 / 2.997.335 (+22%) 09./08. [3DS] Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate # (Capcom) {2014.10.11} (¥6.264) – 38.681 / 2.293.954 (+31%) 10./09. [WIU] Mario Kart 8 # (Nintendo) {2014.05.29} (¥6.156) – 34.331 / 813.139 (+38%) 11./00. [PSV] Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Century # (Compile Heart) {2014.12.18} (¥6.264) – 26.313 / NEW 12./00. [3DS] 12-Sai. Honto no Kimochi (Happinet) {2014.12.18} (¥5.480) – 23.026 / NEW 13./13. [WIU] Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Nintendo) {2014.11.13} (¥3.996) – 20.376 / 100.886 (+39%) 14./03. [PS4] Grand Theft Auto V # (Take-Two Interactive Japan) {2014.12.11} (¥7.992) – 20.130 / 101.789 (-75%) 15./16. [3DS] Sumikko Gurashi: Koko ga Ochitsukundesu (Nippon Columbia) {2014.11.20} (¥5.184) – 19.848 / 55.901 (+62%) 16./00. [PS3] Godzilla (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.12.18} (¥8.208) – 19.777 / NEW 17./12. [3DS] Aikatsu! 365-Hi no Idol Days (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.12.04} (¥5.627) – 19.064 / 68.238 (+19%) 18./19. [3DS] Animal Crossing: New Leaf # (Nintendo) {2012.11.08} (¥4.800) – 17.190 / 3.847.566 (+73%) 19./05. [PS3] Shining Resonance # (Sega) {2014.12.11} (¥8.880) – 16.384 / 83.667 (-76%) 20./15. [3DS] Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind – Chain (Spike Chunsoft) {2014.12.04} (¥5.378) – 12.377 / 44.100 (-2%) 21./23. [3DS] Mario Kart 7 (Nintendo) {2011.12.01} (¥4.800) 22./25. [3DS] Gotouchi Tetsudou: Gotouchi Chara to Nihon Zenkoku no Tabi (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.11.27} (¥5.626) 23./30. [3DS] Kirby Triple Deluxe (Nintendo) {2014.01.11} (¥4.800) 24./27. [3DS] Yoshi’s New Island (Nintendo) {2014.07.24} (¥4.936) 25./33. [3DS] Tomodachi Life # (Nintendo) {2013.04.18} (¥4.800) 26./11. [3DS] Derby Stallion Gold (Kadokawa Games) {2014.12.04} (¥6.264) 27./35. [WIU] Taiko no Tatsujin: Tokumori! # (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.11.20} (¥5.627) 28./38. [3DS] Mario Party: Island Tour (Nintendo) {2014.03.20} (¥4.800) 29./44. [3DS] New Super Mario Bros. 2 # (Nintendo) {2012.07.28} (¥4.800) 30./36. [3DS] One Piece: Super Grand Battle! X (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.11.13} (¥6.145) 31./42. [3DS] Taiko no Tatsujin: Don to Katsu no Jikuu Daibouken (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.06.26} (¥5.119) 32./43. [WIU] Super Mario 3D World (Nintendo) {2013.11.21} (¥5.985) 33./18. [PSV] Phantasy Star Nova (Sega) {2014.11.27} (¥6.458) 34./24. [PS3] World Soccer Winning Eleven 2015 (Konami) {2014.11.13} (¥8.208) 35./20. [PS3] Resident Evil HD Remaster # (Capcom) {2014.11.27} (¥4.309) 36./45. [3DS] Hoppechan: Minna de Odekake! Waku Waku Hoppe Land!! (Nippon Columbia) {2014.07.17} (¥5.184) 37./00. [3DS] Super Mario 3D Land # (Nintendo) {2011.11.03} (¥4.800) 38./00. [3DS] Sega 3D Reprint Archives: Space Harrier/Fantasy Zone/OutRun/Streets of Rage/Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master/Ecco the Dolphin (Sega) {2014.12.18} (¥4.298) 39./48. [3DS] Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission 2 (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.08.07} (¥6.145) 40./00. [PS3] Gundam Breaker 2: Best Takeout Pack (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.12.18} (¥12.744) 41./49. [3DS] Pokemon Art Academy (Nintendo) {2014.06.19} (¥3.908) 42./21. [PS3] Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Dubbed Edition (Square Enix) {2014.12.04} (¥8.424) 43./29. [3DS] Samurai Warriors: Chronicles 3 # (Koei Tecmo) {2014.12.04} (¥6.264) 44./00. [3DS] Style Savvy: Trendsetters – Tokimeki Up! (Nintendo) {2014.04.17} (¥4.936) 45./10. [PS3] Assassin’s Creed: Rogue (Ubisoft) {2014.12.11} (¥7.992) 46./46. [3DS] Yo-kai Watch (Level 5) {2013.07.11} (¥4.800) 47./14. [PS3] Nobunaga’s Ambition: Creation with Power-Up Kit # (Koei Tecmo) {2014.12.11} (¥10.584) 48./00. [3DS] Dolly Kanon Doki Doki Tokimeki Himitsu no Ongaku Katsudou Start Desu!! (Happinet) {2014.11.20} (¥5.480) 49./00. [PS3] Grand Theft Auto V [bargain Edition] (Rockstar Games) {2014.06.26} (¥5.389) 50./00. [3DS] Cooking Mama: Watashi no Sweets Shop (Office Create) {2014.11.06} (¥4.968)
  7. Microsoft has filed a complaint at a federal court in Washington accusing person(s) behind an AT&T subscription of activating various pirated copies of Windows 7 and Office 10. The account was identified by Microsoft's in-house cyberforensics team based on suspicious "activation patterns." microsoft-pirateDespite being one of the most pirated software vendors in the world, Microsoft doesn’t have a long track record of cracking down on individual pirates. In fact, two months ago Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella noted that in some cases piracy can act as a conversion tool. “We’ve always had freemium. Sometimes our freemium was called piracy,†Nadella said, adding that the usage first approach has its advantages. This doesn’t mean that all pirates can have their way though. Microsoft does keep a close eye on the unauthorized use of its products with help from its in house cybercrime center. Late last week Microsoft filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against a person (or persons) who activated pirated copies of Windows 7 and Office 10 from an AT&T Internet connection. “Microsoft’s cyberforensics have identified a number of product key activations originating from IP address, which is presently assigned to ISP AT&T Internet Services..,†the complaints (pdf) reads. “These activations have characteristics that on information and belief, establish that Defendants are using the IP address to activate pirated software.†While many people believe that unauthorized copies are hard for Microsoft to detect, the company explains that its cybercrime team leverages state-of-the-art technology to detect software piracy. The company describes its investigative approach as cyberforensics. Among other things, they look for activation patterns and characteristics which make it likely that certain IP-addresses are engaged in unauthorized copying. “As part of its cyberforensic methods, Microsoft analyzes product key activation data voluntarily provided by users when they activate Microsoft software, including the IP address from which a given product key is activated,†the company writes. According to the complaint, the defendant(s) in this case have activated numerous copies of Windows 7 and Office 2010 with suspicious keys. These keys were likely stolen from Microsoft’s supply chain, used without permission from the refurbisher channel, and used more often than the license permits. Microsoft is now looking to identify the person or persons responsible for the copyright and trademark infringements, to recoup the damage they’ve suffered. From the descriptions used in the complaint it seems likely that the target is not an average user, but someone who sells computers containing pirated software. Time will tell whether that’s indeed the case. torrentfreak
  8. The Federation Against Copyright Theft has taken action a popular piece of software by having it removed from Github. The open source SportsDevil tool enabled the free steaming of live sports events from around the world. FACT informs TF that despite it not providing any of its own content, SportsDevil was "likely" committing an offense. There are dozens, perhaps hundreds of sites offering either illegal sports streams viewable via embedded players or indexes of links to the same. It is these resources that were leveraged by SportsDevil, a piece of open source software popular in the various XBMC/Kodi and TVMC communities. Under development at Github, SportsDevil’s aim is to present its tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of users with links to external video sources via a convenient interface, covering everything from live NFL, Basketball, Baseball, Hockey and motorsports, combat sports such as UFC and boxing, plus football and soccer from both sides of the Atlantic. This week, however, SportsDevil’s reign on Github was brought to an end following action from UK-based anti-piracy group Federation Against Copyright Theft. While FACT is closely affiliated with Hollywood studios, it also represents the rights of major sports broadcasters and rightsholders including The Premier League, British Sky Broadcasting Ltd and BT Sport. In its takedown notice, FACT explains what SportsDevil does and why it should be taken down. “The files found at the following locations facilitate linking to sites known to provide access to streams of infringing content. The sites are subsequently scraped for links to various broadcasts including those whose copyrights belong to FACT members,†the group explains. In addition to the ZIP files for the project, FACT targeted 47 configuration files enabling SportsDevil to pull links to content from sites such as FirstRowSports, and Cricfree, a site that was targeted by PIPCU earlier this year. TorrentFreak contacted FACT about the takedown and asked if this was the first piece of software to be taken down by the group. “This is not the first time and with development of technology, we don’t anticipate it will be the last,†FACT told TF. We also put it to FACT that although it’s pretty clear what SportDevil is designed to do, the tool itself is often far removed from actual infringing content and could be several steps down the linking chain. Does that present issues? “That’s the point of what we’re doing. The tool is creating alternative ways of accessing content, and we view that as a likely offense,†FACT said. Also of interest is the formatting of FACT’s takedown notice, which references neither UK law where its members are based nor US law where Github is located. “Our takedown notices are modeled on DMCA notices. In this particular case, they were adapted to comply with Github DMCA policy,†FACT confirmed. It’s worth noting that Github recently updated its takedown processes to give projects more time to ‘fix’ any issues following a DMCA complaint but it appears SportsDevil’s creators didn’t take up that opportunity. TF spoke with an expert on this type of software who told us that while its removal from Github will be a setback, it won’t mean the end of the tool. “If an addon’s repository is removed from GitHub, the addon author loses the ability to push further updates to the addon, so unless users install the author’s new repository (which they would have to do manually) further automated updates won’t take place,†he explained. Finally, we asked FACT if it intends to target more software tools in future. “Where we see a threat to our members’ content, we’ll continue to seek appropriate ways of dealing with it,†FACT conclude. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  9. Google's Chrome browser has started to block downloads of the popular BitTorrent client uTorrent. Those who attempt to download the software are told that it's malicious and harmful, hinting that the website might have been hacked. With millions of new downloads per month uTorrent is without a doubt the most used BitTorrent client around. However, since this weekend the number of installs must have dropped quite a bit after Google Chrome began warning users away from the software. According to Chrome the BitTorrent client poses a serious risk. “uTorrent.exe is malicious and Chrome has blocked it,†the browser informs those who attempt to download the latest stable release. Chrome does give users the option to restore the file but not without another warning. The browser is convinced that the file is harmful and suggests that the uTorrent website may have been hacked. “This file will harm your computer. Even if you have downloaded files from this website before, the website may have been hacked. Instead of recovering this file you can retry the download later.†Blocked The first reports of Chrome’s block came in three days ago and at the time of writing the problems persist. The warnings appear for the latest stable release ( and no other releases appear to be affected. Currently there is no indication why the software has been flagged, but a scan by more than 50 of the most popular anti-virus services reveals no active threats. Google’s safe browsing diagnostic page claims that the uTorrent website was involved in malware distribution in recent months, but no further details on the nature of the supposed malware are provided. “This site has hosted malicious software over the past 90 days. It infected 4 domain(s), including,,,†the diagnostics page reads. This isn’t the first time that uTorrent has reported problems with Chrome. The same happened late last year when the malware blocking feature was still in beta. At the time uTorrent parent company BitTorrent Inc. managed to resolve the issues after several days. Thus far, none of the developers have responded to user complaints in the uTorrent forums.
  10. The paid informants program of the Business Software Alliance, a trade group representing Adobe, Apple and Microsoft, is a great success. The group recruits informants through Facebook and other venues, offering them hard cash in return for a successful tip. According to a BSA executive, this approach has put a dent in software piracy rates. Earlier this year we reported on a controversial anti-piracy campaign operated by the Business Software Alliance (BSA). Representing major software companies, the BSA uses Facebook ads which encourage people to report businesses that use unlicensed software. If one of these reports results in a successful court case, the pirate snitch can look forward to a cash reward. Below is one of the promoted Facebook posts that has appeared in the timelines of thousands of people, encouraging them to expose software piracy in return for hard cash. BSA’s Facebook ad While most responses on Facebook are negative, it appears that the campaign is not without results. In an interview with Radio Prague, the spokesman for the Czech branch of the BSA notes that the informant program has been a great success thus far. “[The campaign is] very successful. We did it because we wanted to catch big fish. In the past, many informants did not want to disclose who they were, and it was difficult to set up serious communication with them.†the BSA’s Jan HlavÃ¡Ä says. “The only way out of this was to offer them something that would motivate them to fully cooperate. That’s why we decided to launch this programme, to reward information that leads not only to identifying illegal software but to bringing the whole case to the end,†he adds. The cash reward has increased the number of serious tips and in the Czech Republic alone the BSA receives about 30 leads per month. Similar campaigns also run in the United States, Canada, the UK and Australia, where hundreds of tips come in every week. Some of these tips lead to a follow up investigation where BSA offers the alleged infringer a settlement offer. In the Czech Republic alone there are currently several cases pending, worth roughly $500,000. If a settlement is reached, the informant will get a share, ranging from $5,000 to $200,000. Another BSA Facebook ad Earlier this week the BSA released new data (pdf) on piracy levels worldwide, with the rate of unlicensed software decreasing in most western countries. Between 2011 and 2013 the percentage of unlicensed software installed on computers dropped from 19% to 18% in the United States, and similar downward trends were observed in the UK and elsewhere. In the Czech Republic piracy rates decreased from 37% to 34%, and according to the BSA this is in part due to the snitch campaign. “Definitely. The programme has helped a great deal convince companies that the legal risks are not worth it,†HlavÃ¡Ä says. Despite this success there is still plenty of work to be done. Globally the percentage of pirate software increased slightly, representing a total value of $62.7 billion, so there’s plenty of bounty left.
  11. Tracker Name...: CGPeers Genre..........: Graphics Softwares / Tutorials / Misc Sign Up Link...: Closing Time...: N/A Review:
  12. The head of copyright issues in the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Culture and Information says that U.S. authorities expelled 34 Saudi students from the United States after they were found using pirated software. Forty other citizens were denied entry into the U.S. on the same grounds, the source claims. winpirateWhen compared to most countries around the world, the United States has some of the toughest copyright laws around. While many countries view infringement as a relatively petty issue, in the U.S. custodial sentences are in place for many offenses. Viewing local laws and attitudes as some of the best around, each year the USTR produces its Special 301 Report in which it criticizes trading partners for letting standards drop. This year there were just two Middle Eastern countries on the list – Lebanon and Kuwait – but according to a report in a Saudi Arabian newspaper, the U.S. isn’t afraid to flex its muscles against citizens of other allies in the region. In an article published in the Makkah Daily Newspaper (Arabic), it’s being claimed that after illegal software was found on their laptops, 34 Saudi students studying in the United States were disallowed from completing their studies. Citing Rafiq bin Ibrahim Aqeeli, Director General of the General Administration of Copyright at the Ministry of Culture and Information, the newspaper says those same students were subsequently expelled from the United States, forcing them to complete their studies in another country. And the claims don’t stop there. Citing the same government source, Makkah Daily reports that the U.S. also intercepted 40 Saudi tourists at the border with illegal software on their laptops, denied them entry, and sent them home. Australia had also deported three Saudi university students for the same reasons, Aqeeli said. But despite the clear claims from the Saudi government, ejecting students from the country on copyright grounds seems like a hugely draconian response, even by U.S. standards. However, looking into Saudi Arabia’s recent responses to copyright infringement one can see a country sometimes taking harsher measures than those usually seen in the United States. Three weeks ago the Saudi government reported on its anti-piracy activities for 2013. Rafiq bin Ibrahim Aqeeli said his inspectors had carried out 2,500 inspections at stores, service providers, plus businesses and corporate headquarters More than 7,590 “violations†were identified, 667 of which were related to copyright. As a result several businesses were penalized with enforced temporary shutdowns ranging from 14 to 60 days, to a total of 3,562 days overall. “Last year the offences varied between copies of books and intellectual works, audio-visual materials and computer programs, while other infringements included the use by corporate facilities of computer software without permits, receiving satellite feed via individual subscriptions, and violations by newspapers using images without the consent of the copyright owners,†Aqeeli said. The Ministry of Culture and Information says it will collaborate with the Business Software Alliance (BSA) to crack down on software piracy in line with its stance on reducing the effect software piracy has on the local economy. Violators can look forward to imprisonment, heavy fines and being “defamed†by having their names published in local newspapers. In April, the Saudi government confirmed it had blocked 22 domains, including The Pirate Bay, on copyright grounds. Source
  13. Google Blocks Demonoid for Spreading Malicious Software In one of the harshest moves a search engine can take against a site, during the past few hours Google flagged torrent site Demonoid as likely to harm users' computers. After arriving at the conclusion that malicious third-party ads had caused the problem, Demonoid responded by disabling every single advert on its site until further notice. In recent months, entertainment industry bodies have been working hard to ensure that companies become more aware of where their ads are being placed, with the aim of strangling site finances and eliminating any idea that brands are in partnership with pirates. Just recently the tactic branched out into describing most leading pirate sites as malware havens, a claim that some described as exaggerated. However, during the past few hours a pretty big and related drama hit semi-private torrent site Demonoid. After being off-air for 20 months after hosting trouble in Ukraine, the site relaunched this March. Former members of the site were pleased to find that their old logins worked and ever since the site has been trying to get back to its former glory. Yesterday, however, problems with third party adds provoked a harsh response from Google, one that continues today. Those searching for Demonoid are currently warned in search listings that “This site may harm your computer†and even those who choose to ignore the warnings aren’t allowed to access the site via Google. Instead they are diverted to the following page: Google’s advisory reports that after checking 59 pages on the site during the past 90 days, 7 pages resulted in “malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consentâ€, something likely to worry most users. Google goes on to report that the malicious software in question was hosted on another domain – – and further investigation reveals that the site is the source of a huge number of problems. According to malware analysis the Romanian-hosted domain carries 177 exploits and 2 trojans, which together have led to the infection of not only Demonoid, but more than 2,000 other sites. Aware that Demonoid along with thousands of other sites had been blacklisted by most search engines and web browsers, Demonoid’s operators announced that all advertisements would be removed from the site until the problem could be identified. “We run content from a lot of ad networks in our ad banners, and a lot of banners from each,†the management team said in an announcement. “One of those banners started serving malware, so we disabled all ads until we are 100% sure of the culprit and get it removed. We are also taking the proper steps to get us out of all the blacklists.†This latest advertising controversy comes just a week after the publication of a report which claimed that 90% of the Internet’s top 30 “pirate†sites contain malware, “potentially unwanted programsâ€, or items designed to deceive. While seemingly not Demonoid’s fault in this instance, one has to question if these kinds of malware events will become more prevalent in the months to come. With entertainment industry companies scaring away advertisers, options for torrent and streaming site operators to do business with ‘up-front’ ad networks are likely to narrow, forcing them further into the arms of those who carry the kind of junk experienced in the past 24 hours.
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