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Found 55 results

  1. Trading standards officers and police are carrying out a crackdown across England, Wales and Northern Ireland against those who offer pirate and counterfeit products via Facebook. Interestingly, 'pirate' Android boxes have been targeted again, not only for streaming content illegally, but also for having "dangerous" chargers. Due to their prevalence among citizens of the UK, Facebook accounts have grown out to become much more than just a place to manage social lives. For some they’re providing a great way to distribute infringing content and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by the authorities. Over the past several weeks enforcement officers have raided a dozen separate locations and are still involved in 22 investigations as part of a Facebook crackdown across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Operated by the National Trading Standards eCrime Team alongside the National Markets Group (with members the BPI, Federation against Copyright Theft and the Alliance for Intellectual Property Theft) Operation Jasper is manned by officers from police and government agencies and is reportedly the largest operation of its type. It is targeted at “criminals†who exploit social media to commit “copyright theft†and sell “dangerous and counterfeit†goods. In the past several weeks officers say they have raided 12 addresses although at this stage there are no reports of any arrests. Facebook itself has also been hit, with 4,300 listings and 20 profiles removed. Authorities say they have sent more than 200 warning letters and 24 cease and desist letters to those they accuse of infringement offenses carried out on Facebook. In addition to the usual counterfeit items such as t-shirts, tablets and mobile phones, ‘pirate’ Android ‘streaming’ boxes were targeted yet again. Earlier this month police and trading standards raided addresses in the north of England in search of the movie and TV show streaming devices, making at least one arrest in the process. This time around, however, officers appear to have another string to their enforcement bow. While noting that the Android boxes in question do indeed allow the illegal streaming of movies and sports channels, authorities say they also being targeted because they are supplied with ‘unsafe’ mains chargers. Lord Toby Harris, Chair of National Trading Standards, said that his officers have taken important action, especially against those who believe they can operate anonymously online. “Operation Jasper has struck an important psychological blow against criminals who believe they can operate with impunity on social media platforms without getting caught,†Harris said. “It shows we can track them down, enter their homes, seize their goods and computers and arrest and prosecute them, even if they are operating anonymously online. I commend the National Trading Standards e-Crime team and all other parties involved in this operation.†Nick Boles, Minister at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said that consumers need to be wary of consuming pirate content. “Counterfeiting and piracy of trademarked and copyrighted materials harms legitimate businesses, threatens jobs and pose a real danger to consumers. That’s why we are taking strong action to stop these criminals through the Government’s funding of the National Trading Standards E-Crime Team,†Boles said. According to the government’s latest IP Crime Report, social media has become the “channel of choice†for online ‘pirate’ activity. In the past several months several of the leading torrent sites have had issues with their Facebook accounts. The Pirate Bay’s account was shuttered in December 2014 and in May and June 2015, ExtraTorrent and RARBG had their accounts suspended on copyright infringement grounds. https://torrentfreak.com/uk-authorities-launch-facebook-piracy-crackdown-150625/
  2. Major UK Internet providers must block three additional sports streaming sites as part of a High Court order. The latest blocking round was issued on behalf of the Premier League and FA, targeting Rojadirecta, LiveTV and Drakulastream. The latter site also has its domain name under investigation by the EURid registry. Following a series of High Court orders six UK ISPs are required to block subscriber access to many of the largest pirate sites. The efforts started in 2012 and the list continued to grow in the years that followed. In the latest wave The Football Association and Premier League Limited achieved an extension of the UK blocklist with the addition of popular sports streaming sites Rojadirecta, LiveTV and Drakulastream. This brings the total number of blocked sites to 128 and more domains are expected to follow in the months to come. The new blocks, which haven’t been implemented by all ISPs yet, are believed to be an expansion of a High Court order against the streaming site Firstrow. This order provides the football associations with the option to continually update the list of infringing domains. TF contacted the Premier League for a comment on the latest additions but at the time of publication we hadn’t heard back. Interestingly, one of the targeted sites, Drakulastream, was also facing trouble on another front. This week the EURid registry suspended the site’s .eu domain pending a legal investigation. “The domain name is temporarily inactive pending the outcome of a legal activity. It might be that the status of the domain name changes in the coming days. This is a procedure that is still pending,†an EURid spokesperson informed TF a few days ago. However, Drakulastream later resolved the issue and the domain became active again a few hours ago. The blocked sports streaming sites are not the only ones to be added to the UK blocklist this week. A few days ago The Publishers Association won a court order requiring local ISPs to block various eBook sites. — The full list of sites to be blocked in the UK is now as follows: — New: Rojadirecta, LiveTV and Drakulastream Previously blocked: Ebookee, LibGen, Freshwap, AvaxHome, Bookfi, Bookre, Freebookspot, popcorntime.io, flixtor.me, popcorn-time.se, isoplex.isohunt.to, watchonlineseries.eu, axxomovies.org, afdah.com, g2g.fm, Bursalagu, Fullsongs, Mega-Search, Mp3 Monkey, Mp3.li, Mp3Bear, MP3Boo, Mp3Clan, Mp3Olimp, MP3s.pl, Mp3soup, Mp3Truck, Musicaddict, My Free MP3, Plixid, RnBXclusive, STAFA Band, watchseries.lt, Stream TV, Watchseries-online, Cucirca, Movie25, watchseries.to, Iwannawatch, Warez BB, Ice Films, Tehparadox, Heroturko, Scene Source,, Rapid Moviez, Iwatchonline, Los Movies, Isohunt, Torrentz.pro, Torrentbutler, IP Torrents, Sumotorrent, Torrent Day, Torrenting, BitSoup, TorrentBytes, Seventorrents, Torrents.fm, Yourbittorrent, Tor Movies , Demonoid, torrent.cd, Vertor, Rar BG, bittorrent.am, btdigg.org, btloft.com, bts.to, limetorrents.com, nowtorrents.com, picktorrent.com, seedpeer.me, torlock.com, torrentbit.net, torrentdb.li, torrentdownload.ws, torrentexpress.net, torrentfunk.com, torrentproject.com, torrentroom.com, torrents.net, torrentus.eu, torrentz.cd, torrentzap.com, vitorrent.org.Megashare, Viooz, Watch32, Zmovie, Solarmovie, Tubeplus, Primewire, Vodly, Watchfreemovies, Project-Free TV, Yify-Torrents, 1337x, Bitsnoop, Extratorrent, Monova, Torrentcrazy, Torrentdownloads, Torrentreactor, Torrentz, Ambp3, Beemp3, Bomb-mp3, Eemp3world, Filecrop, Filestube, Mp3juices, Mp3lemon, Mp3raid, Mp3skull, Newalbumreleases, Rapidlibrary, EZTV, FirstRowSports, Download4all, Movie2K, KickAssTorrents, Fenopy, H33T and The Pirate Bay. https://torrentfreak.com/uk-piracy-blocklist-expands-with-sports-streaming-sites-150531/
  3. The High Court has granted an application by The Publishers Association to have several major 'pirate' eBook sites blocked at the ISP level. The action, a first for book publishers, requires BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk and EE to block sites including Ebookee, LibGen and Freshwap within 10 days. Rather than tackling unauthorized sites with direct legal action, major entertainment industry companies are increasingly attempting to disrupt ‘pirate’ operations with broader strokes. One of the favored tools is site blocking, a technique that has gathered considerable momentum in Europe and the UK in particular. More than 120 domains are currently blocked by the country’s major ISPs, largely thanks to action taken by the movie and music industries plus soccer body The Premier League. This week the pool of organizations to succeed in site-blocking legal action deepened with the addition of The Publishers Association (PA). The group, which has more than 100 members with combined revenues of £4.7 billion, went to the High Court to demand the blocking of several eBook focused download sites. They are: Ebookee, LibGen, Freshwap, AvaxHome, Bookfi, Bookre and Freebookspot. According to the PA its investigations found that over 80% of the material made available by the sites infringes copyright. In total the sites are said to offer in excess of 10 million titles. In response the PA and its members claim to have sent close to one million takedown notices directly to the sites and requested that Google remove 1.75 million related URLs from its search results. In common with all previous similar actions initiated by the MPAA and BPI, The Publishers Association (with support from the Association of American Publishers) sued the UK’s leading ISPs – BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk and EE – under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Presenting a case which demonstrated mass infringement on the eBook sites in question alongside evidence that the major ISPs have “actual knowledge†that their subscribers are infringing copyright, the PA argued that the sites should be blocked without further delay. After consideration, yesterday the High Court handed down its ruling in favor of the publishers. The outcome was never really in question – UK ISPs have long since given up defending these cases. “We are very pleased that the High Court has granted this order and, in doing so, recognizes the damage being inflicted on UK publishers and authors by these infringing websites,†says Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of The PA. “A third of publisher revenues now come from digital sales but unfortunately this rise in the digital market has brought with it a growth in online infringement. Our members need to be able to protect their authors’ works from such illegal activity; writers need to be paid and publishers need to be able to continue to innovate and invest in new talent and material.†The ISPs listed in the injunction now have 10 days in which to implement a blockade. High Court injunctions represent a new anti-piracy tool for The Publishers Association. In addition to its regular takedown work with search engines such as Google, The PA is also involved in City of London Police’s Operation Creative, run out of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). Last year PIPCU acted on The PA’s behalf by taking down a domain operated by eBook site OnRead. The full list of sites to be blocked in the UK is now as follows: — New: Ebookee, LibGen, Freshwap, AvaxHome, Bookfi, Bookre and Freebookspot. Previous blocked: popcorntime.io, flixtor.me, popcorn-time.se, isoplex.isohunt.to, watchonlineseries.eu, axxomovies.org, afdah.com and g2g.fm, Bursalagu, Fullsongs, Mega-Search, Mp3 Monkey, Mp3.li, Mp3Bear, MP3Boo, Mp3Clan, Mp3Olimp, MP3s.pl, Mp3soup, Mp3Truck, Musicaddict, My Free MP3, Plixid, RnBXclusive, STAFA Band, watchseries.lt, Stream TV, Watchseries-online, Cucirca, Movie25, watchseries.to, Iwannawatch, Warez BB, Ice Films, Tehparadox, Heroturko, Scene Source,, Rapid Moviez, Iwatchonline, Los Movies, Isohunt, Torrentz.pro, Torrentbutler, IP Torrents, Sumotorrent, Torrent Day, Torrenting, BitSoup, TorrentBytes, Seventorrents, Torrents.fm, Yourbittorrent, Tor Movies , Demonoid, torrent.cd, Vertor, Rar BG, bittorrent.am, btdigg.org, btloft.com, bts.to, limetorrents.com, nowtorrents.com, picktorrent.com, seedpeer.me, torlock.com, torrentbit.net, torrentdb.li, torrentdownload.ws, torrentexpress.net, torrentfunk.com, torrentproject.com, torrentroom.com, torrents.net, torrentus.eu, torrentz.cd, torrentzap.com, vitorrent.org.Megashare, Viooz, Watch32, Zmovie, Solarmovie, Tubeplus, Primewire, Vodly, Watchfreemovies, Project-Free TV, Yify-Torrents, 1337x, Bitsnoop, Extratorrent, Monova, Torrentcrazy, Torrentdownloads, Torrentreactor, Torrentz, Ambp3, Beemp3, Bomb-mp3, Eemp3world, Filecrop, Filestube, Mp3juices, Mp3lemon, Mp3raid, Mp3skull, Newalbumreleases, Rapidlibrary, EZTV, FirstRowSports, Download4all, Movie2K, KickAssTorrents, Fenopy, H33T and The Pirate Bay.ly https://torrentfreak.com/high-court-orders-uk-isps-to-block-ebook-sites-150527/
  4. U.S. TV series 'Empire' premiered in the UK last night but early fans of the show had been watching the show illegally for months. While that is viewed as a problem by 20th Century Fox, Empire star Taraji P Henson says when people downloaded the first series from unofficial sources, that got the show noticed in the UK. "Thank you. Thank you everybody," she says. Following its debut in the United States in January, TV show Empire certainly made its mark on its home audience. Pulling in close to a season average of 13 million viewers, the hip-hop focused drama exceeded expectations. Indeed, by the time the first season finished on Fox mid March, 23 million were tuning in, with the New York Times describing the show as both “sizzling†and “pretty perfect.†Of course, like the vast majority of U.S. productions, home audiences were always going to get the opportunity to enjoy Empire first. However, thanks to the Internet and a network of unofficial online distributors, Empire was soon being exposed to a much wider audience. Within hours of its premiere January 7, 2015, Empire S01E01 was circulating on torrent and streaming sites, an attractive proposition for potential viewers elsewhere who had heard about the show’s popularity in the United States yet had no legitimate way to get in on the action. According to stats gathered by TorrentFreak, on average the show was being downloaded more than 250,000 times per episode via BitTorrent, a number that doesn’t include many thousands of additional views on various streaming sites worldwide. But while distributor 20th Century Fox wasn’t particularly keen on Empire being seen outside the United States (the company sent dozens of complaints to Google for the show to be delisted from search results), Empire star Taraji P Henson sees things quite differently. “The only way that it [Empire] got over to the UK is because people were streaming it [illegally]. They [uK television companies] wouldn’t have known the show was that important, or that people wanted to see it, if they weren’t streaming it,†Henson told the BBC. The actress, who plays the role of ‘Cookie’ in the show, echoes the position of Netflix, which notes the popularity of content with pirates and uses that as an indicator of whether it should invest in shows. “You guys were streaming, and I know it’s a bad thing, but when the material is good people will find it. Thank you. Thank you everybody. People didn’t think it would do well over here,†Henson added. After its success in the U.S., Empire was picked up by UK TV channel E4. Nick Lee, a buyer for the channel, didn’t reveal whether the show’s piracy ‘successes’ were a factor in snapping up the drama but did note that there was plenty of interest. “We just think it fits so well on the channel,†he said. “There was huge competition. I think most channels in the UK wanted it. And after Empire enjoyed its premiere in the UK last night, it became clear why. The show was well received by critics and fans alike. Downloads of Empire are now at much more modest levels than they were in January but that situation should change when the show’s second season premieres in the United States during the fall. A US-UK simultaneous release will almost certainly be too much to ask. https://torrentfreak.com/tv-show-empire-a-uk-hit-thanks-to-pirates-star-says-150429/
  5. The Motion Picture Association has obtained a High Court order requiring UK ISPs to block access to five sites that offer the popular Popcorn Time software. In addition, the Internet providers must block several more torrent and streaming sites. Following a series of blocking orders issued by the High Court, UK Internet providers Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin, BT and EE are currently required to restrict access to many of the world’s largest torrent sites and streaming portals. More than 100 websites have been blocked in recent years and today the court issued the first injunction against domains that offer no direct links, but only software. The order, obtained today by Hollywood’s Motion Picture Association, targets five popular Popcorn Time forks: popcorntime.io, flixtor.me, popcorn-time.se, and isoplex.isohunt.to. In his order Judge Birss notes that the Popcorm Time software has little to no legal use. Instead, he mentions that it’s mostly used to download and stream pirated movies and TV-shows. “It is manifest that the Popcorn Time application is used in order to watch pirated content on the internet and indeed it is also manifest that that is its purpose. No-one really uses Popcorn Time in order to watch lawfully available content,†Judge Birss writes. “The point of Popcorn Time is to infringe copyright. The Popcorn Time application has no legitimate purpose,†he adds. Over the past year Popcorn Time has become a major threat to Hollywood so it doesn’t come as a complete surprise that the applications are now being targeted. Previously the movie studios took down code repositories on Github, for example. In addition to the five Popcorn Time domains the order also lists the torrent and streaming sites watchonlineseries.eu, axxomovies.org, afdah.com and g2g.fm. All sites will be blocked under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. After the ISPs gave up on defending their position in court, it is now a mere formality for copyright holders to have a pirate site banned. However, the blocking efforts are not without cost. Leaked information previously revealed that even an unopposed application for a blocking order costs copyright holders around £14,000 per website. This brings the total costs of the blocking efforts to well over a million pounds. All of the sites listed in today’s order are still accessible at the time of writing. It’s expected that the Internet providers will add them to their respective blocklists during the coming weeks. — The full list of sites to be blocked in the UK is now as follows: — New: popcorntime.io, flixtor.me, popcorn-time.se, and isoplex.isohunt.to, watchonlineseries.eu, axxomovies.org, afdah.com and g2g.fm. Previously blocked: Bursalagu, Fullsongs, Mega-Search, Mp3 Monkey, Mp3.li, Mp3Bear, MP3Boo, Mp3Clan, Mp3Olimp, MP3s.pl, Mp3soup, Mp3Truck, Musicaddict, My Free MP3, Plixid, RnBXclusive, STAFA Band, watchseries.lt, Stream TV, Watchseries-online, Cucirca, Movie25, watchseries.to, Iwannawatch, Warez BB, Ice Films, Tehparadox, Heroturko, Scene Source,, Rapid Moviez, Iwatchonline, Los Movies, Isohunt, Torrentz.pro, Torrentbutler, IP Torrents, Sumotorrent, Torrent Day, Torrenting, BitSoup, TorrentBytes, Seventorrents, Torrents.fm, Yourbittorrent, Tor Movies , Demonoid, torrent.cd, Vertor, Rar BG, bittorrent.am, btdigg.org, btloft.com, bts.to, limetorrents.com, nowtorrents.com, picktorrent.com, seedpeer.me, torlock.com, torrentbit.net, torrentdb.li, torrentdownload.ws, torrentexpress.net, torrentfunk.com, torrentproject.com, torrentroom.com, torrents.net, torrentus.eu, torrentz.cd, torrentzap.com, vitorrent.org.Megashare, Viooz, Watch32, Zmovie, Solarmovie, Tubeplus, Primewire, Vodly, Watchfreemovies, Project-Free TV, Yify-Torrents, 1337x, Bitsnoop, Extratorrent, Monova, Torrentcrazy, Torrentdownloads, Torrentreactor, Torrentz, Ambp3, Beemp3, Bomb-mp3, Eemp3world, Filecrop, Filestube, Mp3juices, Mp3lemon, Mp3raid, Mp3skull, Newalbumreleases, Rapidlibrary, EZTV, FirstRowSports, Download4all, Movie2K, KickAssTorrents, Fenopy, H33T and The Pirate Bay. https://torrentfreak.com/court-orders-uk-isps-to-block-popcorn-time-150428/
  6. The UK's top IP advisor has published recommendations on how Internet service providers should deal with online piracy. Among other things, it's suggested that Internet services should search for and filter infringing content proactively. According to the report ISPs have a moral obligation to do more against online piracy. Mike Weatherley, a Conservative MP and Intellectual Property Adviser to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, has pushed various copyright related topics onto the political agenda since early last year. Previously Weatherley suggested that search engines should blacklist pirate sites, kids should be educated on copyright ethics, and that persistent file-sharers should be thrown in jail. In his latest proposal the UK MP targets information society service providers (ISSPs) including ISPs, who he believes could do more to fight piracy. The just-released 18-page report stresses that these companies have a moral obligation to tackle copyright infringement and can’t stand idly by. The report (pdf) draws on input from various pro-copyright groups including the MPAA, BPI, and the Music Publishers Association. It offers various recommendations for the UK Government and the EU Commission to strengthen their anti-piracy policies. One of the key points is to motivate Internet services and providers to filter content proactively. According to the report it’s feasible to “filter out infringing content†and to detect online piracy before it spreads. The UK Government should review these systems and see what it can do to facilitate cooperation between copyright holders and Internet service providers. “There should be an urgent review, by the UK Government, of the various applications and processes that could deliver a robust automated checking process regarding illegal activity being transmitted,†Weatherley advises. In a related effort, Weatherley notes that Internet services should not just remove the content they’re asked to, but also police their systems to ensure that similar files are removed, permanently. “ISSPs to be more proactive in taking down multiple copies of infringing works, not just the specific case they are notified of,†he recommends. “This would mean ISSPs actively taking down multiple copies of the same work which are hosted on its services, not just the individual copy which is subject to the complaint. The MPA believe this principle could be extended further still to ensure that all copies of the infringing work are not just taken down…,†Weatherley explains. This type of filtering is already used by YouTube, which takes down content based on fingerprint matches. However, the report suggests that regular broadband providers could also filter infringing content. Concluding, Weatherley admits that it’s all too easy to simply demand that ISPs take the role of policemen, but at the same time he stresses that they have a “moral responsibility†to do more. The UK MP presents an analogy of a landlord whose property is used for illegal activities. The landlord cannot be held liable for these activities, but he may have to take action if a third-party reports it. “If the landlord is told that the garage is being used for illegal activity, and that this information is from a totally reliable source, then does the landlord have a moral obligation to report it?†“I would argue that it is the duty of every citizen or company to do what they can to stop illegal activity and therefore the answer is, yes, the landlord should report the activity,†Weatherley notes. Weatherley also believes that protecting the rights of copyright holders has priority over a “no monitoring†principle that would ensure users’ privacy. That is, if the monitoring is done right. “There is also the question as to whether society will want to have their private activities monitored (even if automatically and entirely confidentially) and whether the trade off to a safer, fairer internet is a price worth paying to clamp down on internet illegal activity. My ‘vote’ would be “yes†if via an independent body …†Overall, the recommendations will be welcomed by the industry groups who provided input. The report is not expected to translate directly into legislation, but they will be carefully weighed by the UK Government and the EU Commission when taking future decisions. https://torrentfreak.com/uk-ip-chief-wants-isps-to-police-piracy-proactively-150331/
  7. In recent weeks customers of UK ISPs have received letters from copyright trolls demanding settlement for alleged downloading of movies. Today they can fight back. Southampton-based lawyer Michael Coyle informs TorrentFreak that if the accused make a charitable donation in support of his London Marathon run, he will provide his time for free. Early March, US-based company TCYK LLC began demanding cash from customers of the UK’s second largest ISP, Sky Broadband. In 2014 TCYK monitored BitTorrent swarms for individuals sharing their movies without permission and eventually forced Sky to hand over the alleged file-sharers’ personal details. Virgin Media customers were targeted by an almost identical wave of letters shortly after, this time sent by well-known copyright troll outfit Mircom. Representing several overseas porn companies, Mircom also want cash to make supposed lawsuits go away. This week the latter case provided a sinister twist. After TF revealed that Mircom was trying to hide its identity from its domain WHOIS, a reader reported the company to domain registry Nominet. Soon after Mircom.co.uk revealed its true operator to be GoldenEye International, another copyright troll outfit that had featured in previous UK cases. Emails currently being sent to letter recipients also confirm that GoldenEye are handling their claims. The apparent murkiness of these cases only adds to the anxiety of letter recipients, but today they have some good news. Michael Coyle of Southampton-based Lawdit Solicitors informs TorrentFreak he will give his time for free to defend those accused. Coyle is one of the most experienced UK-based solicitors in the file-sharing arena. Since 2008 he has spoken with or acted for more than 700 individuals who have received so-called Letters of Claim, including those involved in the infamous ACS:Law case that ended with solicitor Andrew Crossley being severely disciplined. Coyle says he expected that affair to signal the end of ‘trolling’ in the UK but recent events have sadly proven him wrong. “I am a Copyright Solicitor and regularly enforce copyright where it has been infringed. People should respect the copyright of third parties. However, are some copyright holders abusing the great British public?†he questions. The general consensus to that proposition is yes, most likely. And according to Coyle there is serious money involved. “The amounts are quite staggering. In the most recent campaign 2500 letters were sent out. Typical sums demanded are in the range of £500 to £1000. If everyone pays say £700.00 this would generate £1,750,000 which is not bad even for the porn industry.†“The tactic is to scare people into paying the sums by threatening to issue court proceedings. If this does not work, proceedings are not normally issued,†says Coyle quoting Justice Arnold who dealt with previous cases. “This is because the economic model for speculative invoicing means that it is more profitable to collect monies from those who pay rather than incur substantial costs in pursuing those who do not pay in court. Where proceedings are issued, they are not pursued if a default judgment cannot be obtained.†By now this strategy is relatively common knowledge to those following these cases, but for those targeted the experience can be a painful one. “The whole process is indiscriminate and causes immense worry and suffering. It’s frustrating and brings the whole concept of protecting your copyright in to disrepute,†Coyle says. So, with this in mind, he’s stepping up to help level the playing field. “I’ve decided to act [by offering time for free] and hopefully my small input along with consumer groups can persuade the Courts to prevent such conduct. However I suspect that it will require parliament to effect any change,†he adds. So, faced with the dilemma of whether to go it alone, pay up, or seek legal advice, those in receipt of a letter can now take the latter option for free, albeit it with a minor string attached. Coyle is a regular runner of the London Marathon and has raised thousands for children’s charities while doing so. If people want his help in these cases they’re going to have to get generous via this year’s donation page, located here. It’s a rare thing to be able to fight trolls and support a charity all at once so anyone with a desire to contribute to the fun is invited to do so, letter recipient or not. Michael Coyle can be contacted on michael.coyle[at]lawdit.co.uk. https://torrentfreak.com/received-a-piracy-letter-uk-solicitor-will-defend-you-for-free-150320/
  8. After The Pirate Bay switched to CloudFlare's SSL service it is no longer being blocked by most UK Internet providers. Subscribers of BT, EE, Virgin and TalkTalk can reach the site without problems via the default https address. The "bug" also affects secure versions of other blocked sites, but not all. Following a series of blocking orders issued by the High Court, several UK ISPs are required to restrict access to many of the world’s largest torrent sites and streaming portals. The most prominent target of these blocks is without doubt The Pirate Bay. As one of the most visited sites on the Internet it has been a thorn in the side of the entertainment industries for years. The Pirate Bay was one of the first sites on the UK blocklist and access has been barred since 2012. Or rather should have been barred. For a few weeks most UK Internet subscribers have been able to access TPB just fine. Ever since the site switched to CloudFlare and made the securehttps://thepiratebay.se version default, it has become widely accessible again. TorrentFreak did a quick round among subscribers of various ISPs and found that The Pirate Bay is no longer blocked by Virgin Media, TalkTalk, BT and EE. At the time of writing only Sky appears to block the site consistently. As a result, The Pirate Bay’s direct UK traffic is steadily increasing. The Pirate Bay is not the only site that’s widely accessible again. The same applies to the https versions of Torrentz.eu, Rarbg.com, Isohunt.to and various other ‘blocked’ sites. For some sites, including Kickass.to and Extratorrent, the results vary per ISP. The operator of the Pirate Bay proxy ilikerainbows.co, which had its own domain name added to the blocklist last week, believes that the unblocking relates to the use of https strict. “I believe it’s because of how CloudFlare works, Simply put when you enable HTTPS Strict on CloudFlare they remove the HTTP Header from the request during HTTPS Connections, thus when they try to inspect the header to a list of ‘banned’ websites it won’t register,†Rainbows’ operator tells TF. “So any site that uses CloudFlare, has a properly configured and signed SSL Certificate and enables HTTPS-Strict under CloudFlare should be able to evade the ban that’s imposed by Virgin and perhaps other providers,†he adds. What further complicates the matter is the fact that it’s harder to block The Pirate Bay by its IP-address, as the true location is hidden by CloudFlare’s network of addresses now. While it may be harder to block sites, it’s not impossible. Sky appears to have no trouble keeping sites blocked, although that probably requires some rather advanced and invasive monitoring tools. TF asked several ISPs for a comment on the issue and Virgin Media informed us that they still comply with the court order. “Virgin Media is required to block certain sites by the UK High Court. As a responsible ISP, we comply with court orders addressed to us,†a spokesperson informed TF this morning. Virgin’s comment suggests that the https version of TPB is not covered by the order at all, and that it was previously blocked by IP-address. However, Virgin couldn’t comment on this suggestion. We’ll update this article as more information comes in. Torrentfreak
  9. 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/
  10. The UK website blocking bonanza has started to move in a dubious direction. Several Internet providers are now blocking access to websites that provide a list of Pirate Bay proxies. The sites in question do not host or link to any infringing material themselves and are purely informational. Following a series of High Court orders, six UK ISPs are required to block access to many of the world’s largest torrent sites and streaming portals. The blocks are somewhat effective, at least in preventing subscribers from accessing the domains directly. However, there are also plenty of workarounds. For many sites that are blocked one or more proxy sites emerge. These proxies allow people to access the blocked sites and effectively bypass the restrictions put in place by the court. The copyright holders are not happy with these loopholes and have asked ISPs to add the proxies to their filters, which they have done on several occasions. However, restricting access to proxies did not provide a silver bullet either as new ones continue to appear. This week the blocking efforts were stepped up a notch and are now targeting sites that merely provide an overview of various Pirate Bay proxies. In other words, UK ISPs now restrict access to sites for linking to Pirate Bay proxies. Among the blocked sites are piratebayproxy.co.uk, piratebayproxylist.com andukbay.org. Both sites are currently inaccessible on Virgin Media and TalkTalk, and other providers are expected to follow suit. TF spoke with Dan, the operator of UKBay.org, who’s baffled by the newly implemented blockade. He moved his site to a new domain to make the site accessible again, for the time being at least. “The new blocks are unbelievable and totally unreasonable. To block a site that simply links to another site just shows the level of censorship we are allowing ISP’s to get away with,†Dan says. “UKBay is not even a PirateBay proxy. It simply provides links to proxies. If they continue blocking sites, that link to sites, that link to sites.. there’l be nothing left,†he adds. One of the other blocked sites, piratebayproxy.co.uk, doesn’t have any direct links to infringing material. Instead, it provides an overview of short Pirate Bay news articles while listing the URLs of various proxies on the side. Apparently, providing information about Pirate Bay proxies already warrants a spot on the UK blocklist. It is not a secret that the High Court orders give copyright holders the option to continually update the list of infringing domains. However, it’s questionable whether this should also include sites that do not link to any infringing material. To our knowledge, it is the first time that this has happened. The new additions were made as part of an existing High Court order that allowed copyright holders to block The Pirate Bay, a Virgin Media spokesperson informs us. “Under the conditions of the original court order, the rightsholders have the authority to change the specific URLs or IP addresses that must be blocked by all major ISPs – not just Virgin Media. Such changes happen on a regular basis. There is no ‎extension or amendment to the original court order,†Virgin says. As with earlier updates, the most recent changes are being made without a public announcement, which means that we don’t know precisely how many sites were added. We will update this article if more details arise. Torrentfreak
  11. New domain added for all UK members: https://tdonline.org This will avoid ISP restrictions/blockings in the UK.
  12. 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/
  13. Tracker Name: Potn-UK (XtremeTV) Genre: General Sign-up link: http://potn-uk.com/signup.php Closing date: N/A Additional information: Private Tracker for Tv / Movies / Music / General Stars: Members: 14,610 Torrents: 8,311 Seeders: 2,086 Leechers: 167 Peers: 2,253 Threads: 214 Posts: 1,412
  14. What happens when movie and TV show companies have sites blocked at the ISP level in the UK? A leaked report commission by the studios shows that on the one hand direct traffic to pirate sites seriously reduced. But on the other, usage of unblocked linking-only sites increased by more than 230%. unblockerDuring 2014, several key strategies emerged to lead the mainstream entertainment industries’ anti-piracy efforts. At the consumer end, so-called “strikes†programs saw errant Internet subscribers receive warning notices in an effort to correct their behaviors. Then, on top of sending millions of DMCA-style takedown notices to sites and search engines, entertainment companies went to court in several regions to have domains blocked at the ISP level. The UK was hit particularly hard and now dozens of sites are inaccessible via regular means. But the big question remains – is this an effective way to reduce piracy? Earlier this year the movie studios decided to find out by hiring a company called Incopro to conduct a study. The report has never been made public but TorrentFreak has now obtained a copy. The report, titled ‘Site Blocking Efficacy Study United Kingdom’ is dated September 30, 2014 and focuses on the top 250 “open access†websites involved in the unauthorized distribution of film and television content. Dedicated music sites were not included. Overall the 26 page report, which relies heavily on Alexa data, found that blocking had resulted in targeted sites losing an average 73.2% of their direct traffic. And, when compared to the global control, usage of pirate sites had declined over time. The report breaks sites down into three categories – linking only sites (the majority of sites in the top 250), public P2P portals and hosting. Three sites were identified as the most popular among UK users in August 2014 – watchseries.lt (link), putlocker.is (link) and nowvideo.sx (host), with the former maintaining the number one position for the previous six months. And despite being blocked in March 2013 and taking a large hit in direct traffic, KickassTorrents maintained its place in the top 10. In all cases, direct traffic to ‘pirate’ sites plummeted when ISPs implemented court-ordered blockades. The chart below shows the effect of a 2013 blocking order against BitSnoop, TorrentReactor, TorrentHound, Torrent Downloads, Monova, Filestube, Filecrop, 1337x, Torrentz, TorrentCrazy and ExtraTorrent. http://i.imgur.com/BrH6p2f.jpg However, while direct traffic to ‘pirate’ sites diminishes following blocking actions, Incopro found that a particular kind of site in the top 250 actually does better over time. So-called “linking only†sites (i.e not a P2P portal or hosting site) enjoy significant boosts, as shown in the chart below. http://i.imgur.com/kGMxgI5.jpg “Linking Only sites have shown a growth in usage over time, indicating that these sites increase in usage and can take the place of those that are blocked if they are allowed to grow over time,†the company warns. “In summary, where there are sustained periods of blocking, usage levels are driven downwards across all site categories. Linking Only sites are the fastest growing category and should be considered as blocking targets over a sustained period to curtail their growth.†Circumvention techniques While the Alexa data relied on by Incopro relates to direct traffic to sites, the big unknown is how many people continue to visit blocked sites using circumvention tools such as VPNs and proxy services. In its report, Incopro highlights three different types 1. Dedicated sites offering access or a mirror of a blocked site 2. Sites offering access to more than one blocked site (i.e come.in) 3. VPNs or proxy services offering access to any site Immediately there is a problem for anyone looking to measure traffic to sites when the above methods are used. While option 1 is relatively easy to measure, options 2 and 3 present significant technical issues. For these reasons, Incopro measured only option 1. Nevertheless, as the chart below shows, use of dedicated proxies accounts for more than half of blocked “pirate†site traffic. http://i.imgur.com/efDvU0w.jpg Conclusion In summing up, Incopro found that when a website and all of its domains and dedicated proxies are blocked by court order (and updated quickly), “there is a significant impact in reducing infringement by the sites themselves and a reduction in the overall infringement undertaken by the most popular websites in the UK.†But to really get to the heart of the problem requires a much deeper analysis and the answer to a question that sits way outside the scope of the report. Does site blocking really put more money into the pockets of the entertainment industries? ——————————————————————————— Top 250 leading “pirate†movie/TV sites (dedicated music sites excluded) watchseries.lt putlocker.is nowvideo.sx uploaded.net kickass.to videoweed.es sockshare.com firedrive.com movshare.net alluc.to vodlocker.com isohunt.to thepiratebay.se 4shared.com novamov.com rapidgator.net torrentz.eu gorillavid.in free-tv-video-online.me cucirca.eu rarbg.com torlock.com warez-bb.org mega.co.nz yify-torrent.org g2g.fm watchtvseries.to rlslog.net zzstream.li allmyvideos.net thevideo.me dfiles.eu played.to sendspace.com letitbit.net icefilms.info vidbull.com daclips.in couchtuner.eu billionuploads.com thefile.me watchseries-online.ch thedarewall.com filenuke.com promptfile.com primewire.ag extratorrent.cc stream-tv.me cokeandpopcorn.ch letmewatchthis.ae tv-series.me eztv.it turbobit.net videomega.tv vidto.me zalukaj.tv torrentbutler.eu watchserieshd.eu filmai.in watchtvseries.ch watch32.com iwatchonline.to uploadboy.com movreel.com ch131.so movie4k.to movpod.in tubeplus.me p30download.com rapidshare.com viooz.co avaxsearch.net bitshare.com sceper.ws torrents.to nosvideo.com sharesix.com torrentfunk.com expressleech.com rapidmoviez.com heroturko.me vidspot.net seedpeer.me www2.zmovie.tw downloadha.com uploadc.com torrentbit.net 180upload.com vidbux.com tehparadox.com bestreams.net clicktoview.org divxstage.to 2shared.com sharebeast.com ffilms.org watchmovies.to terafile.co rlsbb.com torrentus.si mightyupload.com filefactory.com vidxden.com freakshare.com losmovies.com flashx.tv youtubeonfire.com uppit.com desitorrents.com movie25.cm Filmix.net torrents.net uploadable.ch watchseries7.eu fsplay.net sharerepo.com watch-tvseries.net watchonlineseries.eu videobull.to tusfiles.net seriespepito.com seventorrents.re zalaa.com wareztuga.tv uploadbaz.com filepost.com afdah.com 990.ro tv-release.net vidshark.ws kinogo.net torrenthound.com moovyshoovy.com vodu.ch rutor.org peliculaspepito.com boerse.bz lostfilm.tv allyoulike.com kinox.to bigcinema.tv kino-v-online.tv kinozal.tv rodfile.com putlockertvshows.me watchfreemovies.ch filehoot.com nowdownload.ch solarmovie.ag 2baksa.net filecore.co.nz shaanig.com luckyshare.net d-addicts.com sumotorrent.sx 1337x.to exsite.pl yourbittorrent.com awesomedl.ru thetorrent.org filecloud.io kinoman.tv cloudyvideos.com vidics.ch 300mbfilms.co zone-telechargement.com cuevana2.tv video.tt uptobox.com linksfu.com depfile.com h33t.to megafilmeshd.net onfillm.ru vitorrent.org movzap.com dpstream.net videobam.com greek-movies.com softarchive.net filmifullizle.com torrentroom.com v1vn.com 1fichier.com youwatch.org tnttorrent.info apnadesiforums.com divxplanet.com movie8k.to 1channelmovie.com watchonlinefree.tv online.stepashka.com fileom.com tormovies.org movierulz.com oneclickwatch.org stream.cz torrent.cd mobi-live.ru myvideolinks.eu rajtamil.com netload.in dubbedepisodes.org monova.org torrentreactor.net channelcut.tv rslinks.org torrenty.org fileserve.com keep2s.cc divxstream.net zi-m.com torrentz.to kingfiles.net uloz.to tvshow7.eu megashares.com darkwarez.pl vodly.to scrapetorrent.com ryushare.com cinemaxx.ro watchmoviespro.pw hdvnbits.org torrents.fm datafile.com secureupload.eu phim3s.net vidhog.com peb.pl solarmovie.me share-online.biz watchopolis.net mega-search.me fileswap.com chameleons-download.com zmovie.in vertor.eu kinoprosmotr.net rusfolder.com divxcentral.com popcorntime.io ourrelease.org keep2share.cc uploadrocket.net motionempire.me crocko.com filenuke.net fulldls.com filestube.to
  15. This year the entertainment industries reached agreement with the UK government to begin sending warning notices to Internet pirates. However, TorrentFreak has learned that the MPAA considered pulling out, fearful that the so-called VCAP scheme might prove ineffective. One of the cornerstones of modern online piracy schemes are so-called ‘copyright alert’ programs. The idea is simple – rightsholders monitor online file-sharing networks, capture IP addresses of alleged pirates and have ISPs send warnings to subscribers. Several countries in the world currently operate these systems. France was one of the pioneers but the largest project is handled with the cooperation of the largest ISPs in the United States. In the summer a new deal was reached between the music and movie industries and the government to bring notices to the UK. However, TorrentFreak has learned that just three months earlier Hollywood was getting cold feet over the scheme. Leaked emails reveal that the MPAA was giving consideration to the consequences of pulling out of VCAP (or delaying it by 18 months) due to the group not having enough information on the effectiveness of notice-only, no punishment schemes. Since consequences could include political fallout due to UK government involvement in VCAP, the MPAA decided to send former Senator Chris Dodd to the UK. Dodd met Ed Vaizey, the UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, and Tim Luke, Prime Minister David Cameron’s Senior Policy Advisor, in the first week of March 2014. Dodd returned with plenty of praise for Vaizey whose apparent efforts in paving the way for site blocking and attacking the finances of pirate sites were showing results. Nevertheless, there were sticking points. It appears that a notice-only warning system, one in which subscribers aren’t punished for their actions, was not something the MPAA aspired to. This left the MPAA wondering whether launching VCAP quickly would be a favorable thing to do. Interestingly, Dodd also made it clear to Vaizey that the MPAA was seriously considering the political implications of when VCAP should begin, a point not lost on the politicians. Both Vaizey and Luke felt that if notices only started going out in the months preceding the May 2015 general election that would be an unwelcome development. A delay on notice-sending until the fall of 2015 was preferred all round. Whatever happened in the interim period, in May news leaked that an agreement had been reached and by June the MPAA were confirming internally that a Memorandum of Understanding had indeed been signed. Despite public comments welcoming the VCAP agreement it seems clear that the MPAA would prefer a system with account suspensions and disconnections. For now, however, that is not on the agenda. At this point it appears Hollywood will give VCAP time to work, but could pull out at a later point if the public simply isn’t getting the message.
  16. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has claimed the Christmas No1 spot in the UK all-format charts, overtakingFIFA 15 at the eleventh hour thanks to a PlayStation 4 bundle promotion. It means that Activision's flagship shooter series has topped the UK chart at Christmas on five separate occasions. FIFA 15, the clear frontrunner in the build-up to the holiday period, drops to second. In third and fourth are the non-movers GTA5 and Far Cry 4, while a 97 percent surge in sales pushesAssassin's Creed Unity to fifth. A similar spike in sales for The Crew, Ubisoft's open-world racer, brings it to sixth as retailers lower the game's price by as much as £15.
  17. Admins and uploaders know the risks, but when otherwise good citizens go to jail for sharing files it's a horrible moment for all involved. This week two young men from the UK were locked up for years, one for his acts as a teenager several years ago. What a complete and utter waste of life. Monday this week, Kane Robinson and Richard Graham, an admin and uploader of now-defunct file-sharing forum Dancing Jesus, had their lives turned upside down when they were handed jail sentences of 32 and 21 months respectively. The pair had got involved in Dancing Jesus years ago, when they were teenagers. The site dealt in leaked music, no one disputes that, but if you knew of Dancing Jesus before the site got raided you were in the minority. It was a niche site, to say the least. Still, the UK record labels claimed the duo had cost them around £240m ($378m) in losses. It appears the court believed them and as a result the pair are locked away at this very moment for a very long time indeed. Sadly that estimate can only be a dramatic exaggeration. If we are to believe claims from the other side of the Atlantic, the behemoth that was Megaupload – the subject of the world’s largest copyright case – ‘only’ managed to cost the entertainment industry an alleged $500m, and that’s the estimate of a notoriously aggressive US Government. Also, Megaupload hosted 12 billion unique files and had 100 million users. Dancing Jesus had 12,000 registered users and carried 22,500 allegedly infringing links. Robinson and Kane made no money from their activities, that much was accepted in court. Megaupload made an alleged $175m. The sums don’t add up, anyone can see that, but at this point, today, none of that means much to the pair staring at four gray walls with devastated families at home and ruined lives behind them. Ok, they knew what they were doing and many will argue that there needs to be some kind of punishment for distributing content to the public without permission, but this week’s sentences go way too far by most sensible standards. Before his incarceration, Graham told TF that he’d been taking school exams when the music industry first homed in on him, and since being arrested he’d gone on to university and obtained a degree. And leading up to Dancing Jesus, Kane Robinson was headhunted to run the official Arctic Monkeys website by the band’s manager. “Kane’s fansite (which ironically shared their tracks for free and gained the band a lot of exposure) was receiving a lot more traffic than theirs. He ran that for several months,†Kane brother Kyle informs TF. After the closure of Dancing Jesus, both men had put file-sharing behind them and were working in legitimate jobs. Dangerous? No. Violent? No. Dancing Jesus years behind them? No doubt. Compassion then? Not a chance. To underline the harshness of this week’s sentences we could compare them with cases recently before the UK courts. Consider the pilot who admitted to flying a plane whilst three times over the drink limit yet faces a maximum two years in jail? Or what about the sex offender caught file-sharing Category A-rated child abuse images on file-sharing networks? He got a 15 month suspended sentence just days after Robinson and Graham were given 32 and 21 months each. Instead, however, let’s take a look at a file-sharing case that concluded last week in Finland. It involved a 40-year-old man also accused of making copyrighted content available to the public – 964 video files, 49,951 music tracks and 573 other sundry files to be precise. Last week the court found the man guilty of copyright infringement, fined him 1,000 euros with 2,000 euros in legal costs. He was also ordered to pay damages to local music rights group Teosto to the tune of 1,500 euros plus 3,000 euros to IFPI. Jail wasn’t on the agenda. Whether this is a fair punishment for the offenses in hand is for others to decide. However, it seems unlikely that those with the ability to look beyond this week’s “£240 million losses†headlines will feel that it’s proportionate for two non-violent men to spend the next few Christmas Days behind bars. That said, in today’s legal climate it’s unrealistic to expect UK-based file-sharing site operators to simply walk away from a court without some kind of punishment, even if they did only operate a linking forum. But even then, several years in jail makes little to no sense for non-commercial operators, especially when supposed financial losses are either plucked from thin air or a product of highly speculative accounting. The lesson here is simple. The ground rules, at least in the UK, have changed. The last three big cases in the UK (SurftheChannel, Fast and Furious ‘cammer’, Dancing Jesus) were all private prosecutions by the entertainment industries and have all ended in prison time for the defendants. There is no reason to think things are about to change. In the meantime, people like Kane’s family are left trying to rally support on Facebook in an attempt to scrape together £5,000 in a GoFundMe fundraiser to finance an appeal aimed at achieving a more realistic sentence. In conclusion it now appears that anyone other than low-level UK file-sharers need to consider whether their “fun†hobby is really worth losing years of their freedom over. And of course, shameful as it might be, that’s the message the industry wanted to send all along. http://torrentfreak.com/hey-uk-jailing-file-sharers-for-years-is-shameful-141116/
  18. This year marks 100 years since the outbreak of World War I, but the general public in the UK still doesn't have access to original unpublished works such as diaries and letters from the Great War. Current UK copyright laws prevent many British institutions from showing such important historical works. Libraries and museums now hope to change these outdated laws through a newly launched campaign. Currently, the duration of copyright protection for published works in the UK is life of the author plus 70 years, but for unpublished works the situation is different. ­­ As per the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) 1988, unpublished works from authors who died before 1969 are protected until 2039, regardless of the age of the work. This is unlike other countries in Europe where institutions are allowed to use such important historical material freely and lawfully. The fact that very old unpublished works from authors who died long ago are still in copyright and will remain so till 2039 is especially frustrating to libraries and museums who want to display essential historical documents. To address this issue, the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CLIP) has launched a campaign to free the country’s history from the clutches of what they are calling as “out­dated†and “inconsistent†copyright laws. The campaign, which is being supported by several leading museums, libraries, and cultural organisations including Imperial War Museums, National Library of Scotland, Collections Trust, aims to push the UK government to reduce the current copyright term. “The copyright laws mean we’re not presenting a true representation of our cultural heritage,†says Naomi Korn, IP consultant at the Chair, Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance. “Cultural heritage organizations either have to be willing to incur the risks or the costs of presenting the copyrighted works. That’s the choice to make it available. That’s wrong.†As part of the effort, CLIP is asking libraries, museums, archives, as well as cultural institutions to display a blank case in which they would like to show an unpublished document, but can’t due to copyright laws. The document below, for example, is currently on display at the National Library of Scotland. The campaign is also protesting the issue of copyright to Orphan Works, where one or more rightsholders are unknown or cannot be located. Under current UK copyright laws, reproducing these works as well as displaying the original would require permission from the rights holder, even if they are untraceable. The cultural institutions hope that the public will join the campaign by signing the petition on Change.org and using the hashtag #catch2039 on Twitter to spread the word.
  19. After more than a month of downtime the popular MP3 search engine MP3Juices made a comeback this weekend. The site, which had its .com domain name seized by UK piracy police PIPCU, is now back in action operating from a new domain. Over the past few months City of London’s PIPCU anti-piracy unit has been working together with copyright holders to topple sites that provide or link to pirated content. One of the most-used tactics is to contact domain name registrars, asking them to suspend allegedly infringing domain names. This has resulted in the “shutdown†of a few pirate sites, with the MP3 search engine MP3Juices one of the most recent targets. With millions of visitors each month MP3Juices was one of the largest sites of its kind, but that changed in September when the site lost its domain name. After the suspension weeks went by without a sign of life from the operators, until this weekend. Yesterday MP3Juices returned using a new .to domain name. The surprise comeback was announced through the site’s official Facebook page. “We are back www.mp3juices.to. Have fun, post any errors/problems below,†the status update reads. The unexpected resurrection was welcomed by many of the site’s followers, who were delighted to see their favorite MP3 search engine back in action. MP3Juices is back http://torrentfreak.com/images/facebook-comments.png At the moment it’s unclear why it took more than a month for the site to move to a new domain. TorrentFreak asked the MP3Juices team for a comment on the comeback and their future plans, but they have yet to respond. While PIPCU’s domain name suspension was bypassed by MP3Juices, it certainly wasn’t without damage. The site has lost most of its users, with many going to MP3Juices.cc, a site that launched last month. The MP3Juices.cc team informed TF that they created their site for those who miss the old site. It offers a search engine similar to the original service, and has grown to 150,000 daily visitors in just a few weeks. So the end result of PIPCU’s actions is that they damaged one site, but inspired the launch of another. Whether the actions of the police have actually resulted in less copyright infringement is doubtful, as availability of pirated content has increased.
  20. The City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has forced the shutdown of a popular, if not the largest, sports-focused torrent site. A staff member at The Sports Torrent Network, a tracker popular with fans on both sides of the Atlantic, informs TF that in the face of threats closure was the only option. After obtaining government funding to protect the rights of mainstream music and movie companies, last year UK police began a campaign aimed at closing dozens of torrent and other file-sharing sites. Many sites subsequently reported receiving letters from PIPCU, the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, warning that their operations had been scouted and deemed to be infringing. While most sites ignored the warnings, some inevitably felt the pressure and decided to quit while they were ahead. In the months that followed direct pressure on sites reduced when police began to concentrate on indirect measures, such as pressuring registrars to retract domains and advertisers to stop supporting sharing sites. However, earlier this month police restarted their direct approach, sending threat letters out to the operators of torrent sites in an attempt to close them down directly. In at least one case the police have been successful. Due to its coverage of sports including the NHL, NBA, soccer and Formula 1, The Sports Torrent Network (TSTN) was a site popular with fans on both sides of the Atlantic. With an estimated 20,000 userbase and its own ‘capping’ team, the site was certainly a fan favorite and possibly the largest site of its type. But now, after an unwelcome warning, the party is over. Along with other sites, a little under two weeks ago TSTN received communications from the police which stated that the site’s operators could be committing crimes with serious penalties attached. “Such activity is an indictable offense under the Serious Crime Act 2007 and is punishable by up to ten years’ imprisonment (two years for encouraging/assisting communication to the public; and ten years for encouraging/assisting distribution to the public),†the police explained. “PIPCU has the lawful right to pursue action against you and against the thesportstorrentnetwork.co.uk website in order to prevent, detect and disrupt criminal activity.†While the threats looked official enough, a more detailed examination of the correspondence sent to TSTN raised questions over its authenticity. As can be seen from the screenshot below, a clear spelling error was present in the title of the mail, which lead to concerns this may have been some kind of fake. However, an additional error later in the email suggested that it was probably genuine. As can be seen under the highlight, it appears that police neglected to fill in a precise date instead of the placeholder text. But errors aside, TSTN decided that while it had been a good run, now was the time to thrown in the towel. The site is now permanently closed. “We are sad the site had to go but feel it was the only option,†a staff member told TF. With calls from the UK Prime Minister’s IP advisor to permanently fund the Intellectual Property Crime Unit, the shutdown of TSTN will certainly not be the last. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  21. Video showcases how the small device can pause and rewind live TV, as well as stream video to phones and tablets. Microsoft has launched its digital TV Tuner for Xbox One across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The miniature peripheral receives TV signals from a coaxial cable (the old-fashioned wires used to air free terrestrial TV) and feeds that into the Xbox One via USB connection, though the console will need to be powered on in order to watch it. The Xbox One Digital TV Tuner costs £25 in the UK The tuner adds several key features to the traditional Freeview experience. First, Live Pause, which allows users to freeze live TV for up to thirty minutes, as well as rewind and fast-forward footage. Owners can play their games while Live Pause is activated too. Second, the OneGuide offers a basic panel of TV listings to peruse with either the controller or Kinect (although, how effective voice commands are remains to be seen). The OneGuide is available either as a full-screen menu or an in-picture window, the latter of which allows users to browse other channels while watching one station. Third, the peripheral uses SmartGlass to stream video from the Xbox One to connected devices on a user's home network. This can also be done while playing games on the Xbox One, with television being processed in the background. (At the time of going to press, connected devices included Windows phones and tablets, as well as iOS devices, with Android support "coming soon"). As well as this, users can watch TV via Snap Mode, which fixes a small picture in a column on the right-hand-side of the screen while something else is displayed in the main picture. The TV Tuner arrives nearly a full year after the Xbox One's UK launch. The peripheral costs £25. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  22. Tougher new laws outlined by Justice Secretary; "These internet trolls are cowards who are poisoning our national life." Feminist essayist Anita Sarkeesian has been subjected to online abuse for monthsPeople who abuse and harass others online could face up to two years in prison, if tough new measures are introduced in the UK. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling proposed the new laws in a Mail on Sunday article, claiming he would "take a stand against a baying cyber-mob." If enacted, the changes would allow sentencing of internet trolls to be taken to crown court, where the maximum penalty would be two years imprisonment. Under existing law, the maximum sentence for internet trolling is six months. The proposals were outlined amid regular attacks on celebrities and public figures via social media. Though Mr Grayling was speaking generally about online abuse, his comments also come in the wake of a protracted two-month abuse campaign against female game critics and developers. "These internet trolls are cowards who are poisoning our national life," Mr Grayling wrote. "No-one would permit such venom in person, so there should be no place for it on social media. That is why we are determined to quadruple the current six-month sentence." Rape threats were made against the model Chloe Madeley last week, apparently in response to comments by her mother, Judy Finnigan, who spoke out against about the convicted rapist Ched Evans. "As the terrible case of Chloe Madeley showed last week, people are being abused online in the most crude and degrading fashion," Grayling added. ‘This is a law to combat cruelty – and marks our determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob. We must send out a clear message: if you troll you risk being behind bars for two years." Within the games community, the feminist essayist Anita Sarkeesian has been subject of sustained abusefrom her detractors. She has previously had to vacate her home following death threats, and on at least two occasions there have been threats of bombings and massacres made against event organisers who have advertised her attendance. Other female games industry figures, such as Brianna Wu and Zoe Quinn, have also been subjected to death threats. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  23. The popular sports streaming site Fromhot, also known as Sportlemon and Frombar, has disabled access to UK visitors. The unusual move comes shortly after City of London Police seized one of its main domain names. Over the past few months City of London Police have been working together with copyright holders to take on sites that provide or link to pirated content. The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) uses a variety of measures to achieve its goals. This includes sending requests to registrars requesting the suspension of allegedly infringing domain names. The sports streaming site Fromhot, also known as Sportlemon and Frombar, was one of the most recent targets of the latter strategy. The “franchise†has well over a million visitors per month but some of these went missing after the Frombar.com domain was suspended. The streaming site does remain operational from several alternative domain names, which now point to Fromhot.com, but interestingly enough the site can no longer be accessed from the UK. A few days after its main domain was suspended the sport streaming site decided to block all visitors from the UK. It appears that this measure was taken in the hope of avoiding further actions from PIPCU. TorrentFreak contacted the people behind the site for a comment on the unusual measure, but we have yet to hear back. Frombar is not the first sports streaming site to be targeted by PIPCU. In May, PIPCU had the domain of the Cricfree.tv streaming portal suspended but its operator was able to bring the site back under a new domain. In addition to the domain suspensions PIPCU also had several sports streaming site operators arrested. TorrentFreak previously revealed that the operator of BoxingGuru.co.uk, boxingguru.eu, boxingguru.tv and nutjob.eu was arrested during April. This was followed by the arrest last month of 27-year old Zain Parvez, who allegedly operated CoolSport.se, CoolSport.tv and KiwiSportz.tv. Parvez was described as the head of an “industrial scale†sports streaming operation but all charges against him were dropped earlier this week. Whether the blockade of UK traffic will keep PIPCU at bay has yet to be seen. The notice posted on the seized Frombar.com still notes that the site is “under criminal investigation.†Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  24. The latest UK IP Crime Report reveals that significant progress is being made in the fight against online piracy but still many challenges remain. One of the main problems traces back to U.S. hosting companies, who according to the report give shelter to most of the investigated pirate sites. The latest UK IP Crime Report reveals that significant progress is being made in the fight against online piracy but still many challenges remain. One of the main problems traces back to U.S. hosting companies, who according to the report give shelter to most of the investigated pirate sites. The figure above comes as a bit of a surprise, as one would expect that United States authorities and industry groups would have been keeping their own houses in order. Just a few months ago the US-based IIPA, which includes MPAA and RIAA as members, called out Canada because local hosting providers are “a magnet†for pirate sites. However, it now appears they have still plenty of work to do inside U.S. borders. But even when hosting companies are responsive to complaints from rightsholders the problem doesn’t always go away. The report mentions that most sites simply move on to another host, and continue business as usual there. “In 2013, FACT closed a website after approaching the hosting provider on 63 occasions. Although this can be a very effective strategy, in most instances the website is swiftly transferred onto servers owned by another ISP, often located outside the UK.†While downtime may indeed be relatively brief the report claims that it may still hurt the site, as visitors may move on to other legitimate or illegitimate sources. “The [moving] process usually involves a disruptive period of time whereby the website is offline, during which users will often find an alternative service, thus negatively affecting the website’s popularity.†While hosting companies remain a main target, tackling the online piracy problem requires a multi-layered approach according to the UK Crime Group. With the help of local law enforcement groups such as City of London’s PIPCU, copyright holders have rolled out a variety of anti-piracy measures in recent months. This includes domain name suspensions, cutting off payment processors and ad revenue, website blocking by ISPs and criminal prosecutions. These and other efforts are expected to continue during the years to come. Whether that will be enough to put a real dent in piracy rates has yet to be seen. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  25. After tickets for their upcoming UK and Ireland tour sold-out within just two minutes, Royal Blood can now announce details of a major European tour which includes their biggest headline show to date at London's O2 Academy Brixton. The confirmation of the tour adds to a phenomenal breakthrough year for the duo, which has already seen their Mercury Prize-nominated self-titled debut album hit #1 as the highest charting debut rock album in three years. To coincide with the tour announcement, Royal Blood have also launched the video for their next single 'Ten Tonne Skeleton' which impacts on December 1st. The single's 7' format will feature the previously unreleased track 'One Trick Pony' which is now available to pre-order. Royal Blood's domestic success is also being building internationally with highlights including another #1 in Ireland, Top 10 positions in Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and on Billboard's Top Rock Albums, plus Top 20 placings in numerous countries across Europe. Recently seen at the Reading, Leeds and Download festivals as well as guests to Arctic Monkeys at two huge shows in London's Finsbury Park and at Dublin's Marlay Park, Royal Blood's newly announced UK tour leg is scheduled as follows: FEBRUARY 22nd ' Glasgow, Barrowland 27th ' Plymouth, Pavilions 28th ' Bridlington, Spa MARCH 2nd ' Portsmouth, Guildhall 3rd ' Newport, Centre 5th ' Norwich, UEA 6th ' Blackpool, Empress Ballroom 8th ' Belfast, Ulster Hall 9th ' Dublin, Olympia 11th ' Wolverhampton, Civic Hall 13th ' London, O2 Academy Brixton 14th ' Nottingham, Rock City Royal Blood tickets for the UK and Ireland dates of the tour go on sale from 9am on Friday, October 17th. Priced at £19 for London and £17 for all regional dates. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post