All posts by Ernesto

Megaupload 2.0 Will Outsource File-Hosting and Prevent Takedown Abuse

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

megaupload-mu2For many people Kim Dotcom is synonymous with Megaupload, the file-sharing giant that was taken down by the U.S. Government early 2012.

While the underlying criminal case against its operators is still ongoing, Megaupload will soon be back in business. At least, a fresh incarnation of the service which will be different in quite a few aspects.

This weekend Megaupload 2, or MU2, secured its first investment round. Through Max Keiser’s crowdfunding platform Bank to the Future, it raised well over a million dollars from 354 investors in just two weeks.

That’s quite an impressive achievement for a service that has yet to be launched and for which many technical details have yet to be released.

To find out a bit more TorrentFreak reached out to Kim Dotcom, who is not officially part of the venture but is operating as its chief “evangelist,” in part because of his ongoing legal cases.

As things currently stand, Megaupload 2.0 won’t be fully operational on the planned launch date, January 20th next year. However, the company will release additional details on how it will operate and function at that date, which also marks the fifth anniversary of the takedown of the original Megaupload.

“It is unlikely that we can make a full January 20th launch happen. The fund-raising was delayed and the legal team needed more time for the new setup. But we will reveal more details about Megaupload 2 and Bitcache on that special day,” Dotcom says.

From what has been revealed thus far, Megaupload 2.0 and the associated Bitcache platform will allow people to share and store files, linking every file-transfer to a bitcoin transaction.

This adds a layer of security for users of the service but also provides options for content creators to generate revenue. These bitcoin transactions will occur off the blockchain through Bitcache, since the blockchain itself wasn’t built to handle the massive volume Megaupload 2.0 envisions.


The bitcoin element is not the only part that’s different from the original Megaupload though. Perhaps surprisingly, the new incarnation isn’t going to store all files itself. Instead, it plans to use third-party providers such as Maidsafe and Storj.

“Megaupload 2 will be a caching provider for popular files on special high-speed servers that serve the files from ram. Long term storage will mostly be provided by numerous third-party sites that we are partnering with. You can expect more details on January 20,” Dotcom tells us.

This means that MU2 will mostly act as an intermediary between other file-storage platforms, adding a separate layer of encryption through Bitcache.

“MU2 via its third-party encryption providers will make sure that every file is encrypted on-the-fly. On top of that Bitcache will add an additional layer of encryption with its new ‘pay per download’ encrypted container.”

How the pay-per-download functionality will work exactly is unknown. The transaction value is said to be “absolutely minimal” per individual transfer, but good enough for content providers to earn revenue.

Another change compared to the original Megaupload is that the new service won’t offer unrestricted direct delete access to copyright holders. Instead, it will have a takedown procedure where all rightholder requests will be processed and manually checked by people.

“Megaupload 2 will not provide a direct delete tool,” Dotcom says, referring to the many mistakes rightsholders made on the original service.

“It will be a more time-consuming effort but because of mass automated takedown requests by the content industry with a failure rate of over 30% it has become a requirement to protect the rights of users.”

Megaupload 2.0 will be the third file storage service to use the Mega brand. A year after the takedown Dotcom launched the privacy company, Mega, which is still operational today albeit without his blessing.

From what we know thus far it’s clear that MU2 and Bitcache will be something quite different from both the original service and Mega. According to Dotcom, all changes will be for the better and he said that former Megaupload users will be welcomed with open arms.

With over a million raised by investors already, MU2 is currently valued at well over $50 million. While this is still peanuts compared to the multi-billion dollar IPO the original Megaupload was working on, it shows that people have faith in Dotcom and his team.

During the weeks to come more details about the new incarnation are expected to be released, which we plan to keep a close eye on.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

BPI Reports Quarter Billion ‘Pirate’ Links to Google, Ask UK Govt. For Help

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

googlepiratebayDespite the growing availability of legal music services in many countries, record labels are facing a constant stream of pirated music.

In an attempt to prevent these infringements, BPI and other music industry groups send millions of takedown notices to Internet services every month.

Although several major search engines are targeted, most of these requests are directed at Google. The numbers are quite staggering, and over the past few hours UK music industry group BPI hit a new milestone.

BPI just crossed the mark of 250,000,000 reported links, and is currently adding nearly three million new ones every week.

The majority of these allegedly copyright infringing URLs have been removed from Google’s search results. While this usually happens in a matter of hours, the music group believes that more should be done to address the underlying problem.

“Consumers are still too often directed towards the online black market when they search online for entertainment, rather than to legal services that reward artists and creators,” BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor informs TorrentFreak.

“The fact the BPI alone has now sent a quarter of a billion notices to Google to remove search results directing consumers to illegal copies of music – and almost as many again to Bing – demonstrates that there is a major problem underlying the UK digital economy,” he adds.

Copyright holder groups and search engines have organized several roundtable discussions in an attempt to find new solutions, but thus far without a satisfactory result for both sides.

In recent years Google has introduced a variety of tweaks and changes to the way its search engine operates. It downranks sites for which it receives a lot of takedown requests, for example. Similarly, it actively promotes legal content in search results.

However, BPI and other rightsholders would like search engines to go even further, by delisting pirate sites in their entirety or making sure that pirated content can’t simply reappear under a new URL.

Google is not willing to go this far, as it may lead to over-blocking and other problems, which has brought both camps to a stalemate.

BPI hopes that the UK Government can help to break this impasse. Lawmakers are currently working on a new and revised version of the Digital Economy Bill which could be used to address the search issue, by demanding a proactive stance from Google, Bing and others.

“The Digital Economy Bill which is before Parliament represents a real opportunity for Government to back the creative businesses that provide millions of UK jobs, by insisting that search engines put in place an effective Code of Practice to address this problem,” Taylor says.

While the search issue has been brought up in the recent discussions in parliament, there is no search engine related language in the current form of the bill. So for now, BPI has to keep adding to the quarter billion URLs they have targeted already, onto the next milestone.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week – 10/24/16

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

suicidesquadThis week we have two newcomers in our chart.

Suicide Squad is the most downloaded movie for the third week in a row.

The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are Web-DL/Webrip/HDRip/BDrip/DVDrip unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart.

Ranking (last week) Movie IMDb Rating / Trailer
1 (1) Suicide Squad 6.7 / trailer
2 (…) Bad Moms 6.5 / trailer
3 (2) Don’t Breathe 7.5 / trailer
4 (…) Sausage Party 6.7 / trailer
5 (4) Star Trek Beyond 7.4 / trailer
6 (3) Lights Out 6.6 / trailer
7 (6) Mechanic: Resurrection 5.8 / trailer
8 (9) Independence Day: Resurgence 5.4 / trailer
9 (10) The Infiltrator 7.2 / trailer
10 (7) Captain America: Civil War 8.1 / trailer

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Pirate Party On Course For Historic Election Win in Iceland

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

pirate-iceFounded in 2006 by Rick Falkvinge, the Pirate party movement has scored some significant victories over the years.

The greatest success is the continuing presence in the European Parliament, but in Iceland the local Pirate Party is writing history as well.

Iceland’s Pirates have a great track record already, with three members in the national Parliament. However, more may join in the future as the party has added many new supporters in recent months.

With elections just a week away the tension is growing. The Pirates have been leading the polls for most of the year and are currently neck-and-neck with the Social Democratic Alliance to become the largest party in the country.

This brings the Pirates in an unusual position where they have to start thinking about possible partners to form a coalition Government, for the first time in history.

TF spoke with Ásta Helgadóttir, Member of Parliament for the Icelandic Pirate Party, who says that the party is ready to bring the change many citizens are longing for.

“Firstly, by adopting a new constitution which has already been voted on in a non-binding referendum,” Helgadóttir says.

asta“This will change how Iceland functions as a democracy, transitioning into a much more meaningful democracy. The Pirates are focused on decentralization of power, access to information and civil and human rights. The pillars of any meaningful notion of democracy.”

Despite the Pirate name, copyright issues are not central to their plans. That said, they have spoken out against recent web-blocking efforts.

Iceland’s ISPs have been ordered to block access to ‘infringing’ sites such as The Pirate Bay, which the party sees as a step in the wrong direction. The party fears that these censorship efforts will lead to more stringent measures.

“These measures are not a solution and only exacerbate the problem. There needs to be a review of copyright law and how creators are compensated for their work,” Helgadóttir notes, adding that some ISPs are planning to fight the blockades in court.

While the Pirate Party movement has always appealed to the younger generations, in Iceland it receives support across all age groups. One of their main selling points is a broad and clear vision for Iceland that breaks with the current political establishment.

The Pirate Party was in part formed by supporters of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, a unanimously adopted parliamentary resolution to create the optimal environment for freedom of information and free expression.

“This work is still under way but something the Pirates want to implement,” Helgadóttir says.

“The resolution brings limited liability for intermediaries, whistleblower protection, enhanced source protection, due process, defamation law reform and data protection, among other things.”

With just a week to go, there’s a realistic chance that the Pirates will book a historic election win, allowing them to govern the country during the years to come.

In that regard, the timing could hardly be any better. With the recent revelations from the Panama Papers scandal and the banking crisis fresh in mind, people are longing for change.

According to Helgadóttir, the party hasn’t set any specific goals in terms of a vote percentage they want to reach. Whatever the outcome, they will to their best to and steer the country in the right direction once again.

“We do not have a specific target in terms of percentages. Our objective is to get the ball rolling on some fundamental issues, whether that happens with 10% of the vote or 40% of the vote is not paramount.”

The parliamentary elections will take place next week, October 29.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Pirate Sites Remain Popular in the UK, Despite Website Blockades

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

blocked-censorWebsite blocking has become one of the favorite anti-piracy tools of the entertainment industries in recent years.

The UK is a leader on this front, with the High Court ordering local ISPs to block access to many popular file-sharing sites.

Over time the number of blocked URLs has expanded to well over 1,000, with popular torrent, streaming, and direct download sites being the main targets.

While research has shown that this approach is somewhat effective, there are plenty of options through which people can circumvent the blockades, including many reverse proxies.

Similarly, pirate sites can simply switch to a new domain name to evade the court orders, and new sites are allowed to flourish in the shadow of those that are no longer available.

This week we decided to take a look at the current pirate site landscape in the UK, with some surprising results.

As it turns out, the list of top ten most-used pirate sites in the UK includes several sites that are on the ISPs blockists. In some cases the sites remain accessible on their original domain names, via the HTTPS URL.

As we’ve highlighted before, not all ISPs are able to block HTTPS traffic, which allows their subscribers to load The Pirate Bay and other blocked sites just fine.

There are also websites that intentionally help visitors to circumvent the blocks by registering new domain names., for example, has cycled through various domain names in order to remain available.

And then there are the newcomers. deserves a mention here as it’s currently the most-used pirate site in the UK. With an Alexa rank of 81, it’s even one of the 100 most-visited sites in the country.


Below we’ve made an overview of the ten most-used pirate sites in the UK. Several of these are on the blocklist, with a current or previous URL. This suggests that the blocking efforts are not as effective as rightsholders would like them to be.

The conclusion is also in line with research from Italy, which suggested that site-blocking can actually be counterproductive. Similarly, a UK report revealed that it significantly boosts traffic to non-blocked websites.

While the entertainment industries still see enough value in website blocking, it’s clear that it’s not the silver bullet that will defeat piracy. And at a rate of £14,000 per site, it comes at a high cost.

The label “pirate site” applies to sites that have been classified as such by entertainment industry groups. It’s worth noting that at the time of writing, several of the sites (*) had already started redirecting to new domain names. is currently down.

Site Alexa rank Type Original site blocked? 81 Streaming No (*) 126 Streaming Yes (*) 127 Proxy links Yes (down) 161 Streaming No (*) 183 Torrents (proxy) Yes 316 Torrents Yes 384 Torrents No 407 Cyberlocker No 412 Cyberlocker No 431 Torrents No

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Android Pirate App Store Case Ends in Mistrial, Jury Undecided

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

applanetAssisted by police in France and the Netherlands, the FBI took down the “pirate” Android stores Appbucket, Applanet and SnappzMarket during the summer of 2012.

During the years that followed several people connected to the Android app sites were arrested and indicted, and slowly but surely these cases are now reaching their conclusions.

Two months ago the first sentencing was announced, and it was a big one. SnappzMarket’s ‘PR manager’ Scott Walton was handed a 46-month prison sentence for conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.

Like several others, Walton had pleaded guilty in order to get a reduced sentence. However, not all did. David Lee, a California man linked to Applanet, decided to move to trial instead.

The indictment charged Lee with aiding and abetting criminal copyright infringement (pdf). In addition, he was charged with conspiring to infringe copyrights and violating the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision.

As the case progressed it became clear that the U.S. Government’s evidence wasn’t as strong as initially thought. Before the trial even started, the prosecution voluntarily dropped the criminal copyright infringement charge.

The “overt” acts that were scrapped due to a lack of evidence are all related to an undercover FBI agent in the Northern District of Georgia, who supposedly downloaded pirated apps from Applanet’s computer servers.

What remained was the conspiracy charge and last week both parties argued their case before the jury. Over the course of several days many witnesses were heard, including FBI agents and co-defendant Gary Sharp, who previously pleaded guilty.

Friday last week the closing arguments were presented after which the jury retreated to deliberate at 10:30 in the morning. At the end of the day, however, they still hadn’t reached a decision so the court decided to continue after the weekend.

On Monday the jury got back together but after having failed to reach a verdict by the end of the day, a mistrial was declared. This means that David Lee has not been found guilty.



TorrentFreak reached out to Lee’s lawyers for more information but they declined to comment.

In the jury instructions the defense hammered on the fact that the government must prove that either the conspiracy or an overt act took place in the District of Georgia, even if the defendant never set foot there.

It could be that the Jury couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on that point or any of the other key issues.

TF also contacted the Department of Justice, who didn’t go into detail either, but informed us that they are still evaluating the outcome. “We are considering our options,” a DoJ spokesperson said.

In theory, the U.S. Government can ask for a retrial, which means that the case has to be tried again. For now, however, David Lee remains out of prison.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

UK Movie Pirates Lose Appeal, Prison Time Stands

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

piratkeybEarly 2013, five UK men were arrested for their alleged involvement in several interrelated movie release groups including RemixHD, 26K, UNiQUE, DTRG and HOPE/RESISTANCE.

The groups were responsible for distributing no less than 9,000 copyright infringing movies on popular torrent sites, including ExtraTorrent.

These releases generated five million unauthorized ‘views’ and a million pounds in lost revenue, according to a calculation from UK’s Federation Against Copyright Theft, which was actively involved in the case.

All the men opted to plead guilty and late last year Wolverhampton Crown Court handed down sentences adding up to 17 years of jail time.

Sahil Rafiq and Reece Baker received the toughest sentences, four-and-a-half years and four years and two months, respectively. The pair appealed the decision in court this week, but without the desired result.

Defense lawyers argued that a reduced sentence would be appropriate as the men didn’t profit from the widespread copyright infringement. However, the Court of Appeal rejected this argument and denied the appeal.

“Whilst we accept that the sentences passed on these two young men were stiff, we are unpersuaded that they were manifestly excessive,” Mr Justice Hickinbottom said, quoted by Express & Star.

This means that Sahil Rafiq, who was accused of uploading more than 880 movies and causing 1.5 million illegal downloads as founder of 26K, will have to sit out his four-and-a-half year sentence.

Reece Baker, a member of DTRG and the founder of HOPE/RESISTANCE, has to serve four years and two months. He was said to have triggered more than 226,000 illegal downloads and aggravated his circumstances by continuing to upload movies while he was on bail.

The three other men haven’t appealed their sentences, as far as we know.

Graeme Reid, founder of ‘RemixHD,’ was jailed for three years and six months and ANALOG and TCM founder Ben Cooper received the same sentence. Scott Hemming, who uploaded some 800 movies, received a two-year suspended sentence.

Due to the distributed nature of BitTorrent, many of the movies the men released online are still being shared on public torrent sites, and perhaps will still be long after they’ve served their sentences.

Additional background and information is available in our previous in -depth coverage on these cases, here and here.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Megaupload User Fears Complete Data Loss, Asks Court For Help

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

megauploadIn the wake of Megaupload’s shutdown nearly five years ago, many of the site’s users complained that their personal files had been lost as collateral damage.

One of these users is Kyle Goodwin, who operates a sports video company in Ohio. He used Megaupload as part of his business, storing large videos he created himself.

After Megaupload’s servers were raided Mr. Goodwin could no longer access the files. In an effort to remedy this, he asked the court to help him and others to retrieve their personal property.

Helped by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Stanford’s Hoover Institution, Mr. Goodwin filed over half a dozen requests asking the court to find a workable solution for the return of his data. Thus far, however, this has been without success.

This week, his legal team once again raised the issue before the Virginia District Court, pointing out that the government’s actions are still being felt today.

“As a result of the government’s actions, Mr. Goodwin and many other former Megaupload users lost access to their valuable data, and that data remains inaccessible today,” Goodwin’s legal team writes (pdf).

The files were originally stored by Carpathia Hosting, which was later taken over by QTS Realty Trust. Although the backups are still in place, QTS informed the court last year that this may not last for long.

At the time QTS noted that “there is a high likelihood that the disk drives, on which the data presumably reside, will experience high failure rates.”

Meanwhile, the parties involved including the Government, Megaupload and copyright holders, have yet to find a mutually agreeable solution for the data retrieval. Similarly, the court has yet to rule on Mr. Goodwin’s motion asking for the return of his property, which he filed in 2012.

“Mr. Goodwin’s motion remains pending. Further delay may mean the complete loss of Mr. Goodwin’s valuable property and that of other former Megaupload users,” his lawyers write.

Hoping to finally make a breakthrough while the data still exists, Mr. Goodwin is now asking the court to rule on his pending motion for return of his property as soon as possible.

Megaupload counsel Ira Rothken hopes that the court will hold the Government responsible for their actions and that it will help to reunite former users with their data.

“Megaupload looks forward to having the court determine whether or not the U.S. acted appropriately by turning off all consumer access to their data stored in the cloud,” Rothken tells TF in a comment.

“The Department of Justice should avoid elevating Hollywood interests over consumer interests and do the right thing for consumers like Kyle Goodwin who wants access to youth soccer videos he stored in the Megaupload cloud,” he adds.

The sports videographer is not the only one waiting to be reunited with his files. Many others are in the same position. Just a few weeks ago a former Megaupload user contacted TorrentFreak in desperation, hoping to recover a personal photo that is very dear to him.

Whether the court can help to make this happen has yet to be seen. The lack of progress over the past several years doesn’t encourage optimism.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

‘Bowl of Skittles’ Photographer Sues Trump for Copyright Infringement

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

trumpdWith the U.S. presidential elections just weeks away there’s plenty of mud-slinging going on from every imaginable angle.

It’s safe to say that a few lines have been crossed here and there, and according to a complaint that was filed at an Illinois District Court this week, Donald Trump’s a pirate.

The case in question was filed by UK-based photographer David Kittos, who shares a lot of his work publicly on Flickr. This includes a photo of a bowl of Skittles, which he took to experiment with a light tent and off-camera flash.

The photo was uploaded with an “all rights reserved” notice and didn’t really get any attention, until it became part of Trump’s presidential campaign in the form of the following “advertisement” tweeted by Donald Trump Jr.

“If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”


While the message itself has been widely debated already, few people knew that the image was used without permission. Making things even worse, the photographer in question turns out to be a refugee himself, as stated in the complaint.

“The unauthorized use of the Photograph is reprehensibly offensive to Plaintiff as he is a refugee of the Republic of Cyprus who was forced to flee his home at the age of six years old,” Kittos’ lawyer writes (pdf).

“Plaintiff never authorized Defendant Trump for President, Inc. or the other Defendants to use the Photograph as part of the Advertisement or for any other purpose,” the complaint adds.

In addition to Donald Trump Sr, the complaint also lists running mate Mike Pence and Trump Jr. as defendants. All are accused of both direct and secondary copyright infringement, by sharing the image online.

After about a week Trump’s tweet was removed, following a complaint from Kittos’ lawyer, but others continued to share it on social media and elsewhere.

In the lawsuit the photographer asks for an injunction, hoping to prevent further copyright infringements. In addition, he wants damages for copyright infringement, as well as compensation from any profits that were made in the process.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

KickassTorrents Defense: Torrents Are Not Copyrighted Content, US Has No Case

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

kickasstorrents_500x500In July, Polish law enforcement officers arrested Artem Vaulin, the alleged owner of KickassTorrents, who’s been held in a local prison ever since.

While awaiting the start of extradition hearings, Vaulin’s U.S. defense team has asked the Illinois federal court to dismiss the entire case.

In a detailed memorandum, lead counsel Ira Rothken argues that the U.S. Government’s allegations of criminal conduct are flawed. Assuming that Vaulin is indeed the site’s founder, he didn’t commit any crimes.

KickassTorrents (KAT) was merely a torrent search index, the defense explains. It provided a search function for torrent files which in and by themselves do not contain any copyrighted content.

“Websites like KAT are devoid of content files. Instead, KAT is nothing more than a search engine, no different in any material way from Google and other popular website search engines, except that KAT indexes BitTorrent files,” Rothken writes.

“Thus, at its core, the indictment merely alleges that visitors to KAT may take advantage of KAT’s automated search processes to search for and locate ‘dot torrent’ files. Such files contain textual information assembled by automated processes and do not contain copyrighted content.”

If KAT’s users downloaded any infringing content, this would occur away from the site on their local computers, beyond KAT’s control. Merely downloading a torrent file by itself is not an infringing act.

The fact that torrents themselves are not illegal means that operating a torrent index can’t be classified as a direct copyright infringement, according to the defense. As such, torrent search indexes don’t commit any criminal acts.

“The fundamental flaw in the government’s untenable theory of prosecution is that there is no copyright protection for such torrent file instructions and addresses. Therefore, given the lack of direct willful copyright infringement, torrent sites do not violate criminal copyright laws,” the memorandums reads.

It is possible to hold torrent site operators liable for “secondary” infringements committed by their users, as we have seen in the past. However, this is only possible under civil law, Vaulin’s defense team argues.

Congress has declined to include “secondary copyright liability” in criminal legislation. As such, the indictment accuses Vaulin of a crime that doesn’t exist.

“The indictment would make defendant responsible for infringements committed by former visitors to KAT who are acting in an entirely different online context. In the global connected culture, such elastic expansions of criminal exposure cannot be permitted to stand absent overt action by Congress updating the Copyright Act,” the defense notes.

Vaulin’s legal team further points out that the indictment fails to specify any copyrighted media that was downloaded or infringed in the United States. In addition, the money laundering claims are moot since these are based on the criminal copyright infringement claims.

In summary, the defense says that the U.S. Government’s claim of willful direct criminal copyright infringement for operating a torrent site fails. As such, they ask the federal court to dismiss the case in its entirety.

“Any theory that a torrent search engine could be held responsible for the offsite infringing acts of its users would be a theory of civil secondary copyright infringement. Such a civil theory is not an offense against the United States and fails as a matter of law.”

“Any and all counts that are dependent on criminal copyright infringement, including the conspiracy and money laundering counts, must fail. For all the reasons set forth above, the Court should dismiss the indictment,” Rothken adds.

The KAT case shows a lot of similarities to the criminal proceedings against Kim Dotcom, for whom Ira Rothken is also the lead counsel. Both cases center around questions of whether the defendants be extradited for secondary copyright infringement charges.

The U.S. Government is expected to counter these claims during the weeks to come, after which the court must make a decision.

The full memorandum of law in support of the motion to dismiss is available here (pdf).

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Lucasfilm Sues ‘Lightsaber Academy’ and ‘Jedi Club’ Over Trademark Infringement

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

lightsaberacHave you ever wanted to learn how to properly fight with a lightsaber? Then the New York Jedi club classes are the ideal place.

Leveraging the renewed Star Wars hype, the classes held in midtown Manhattan have gained widespread attention from the public and even mainstream media publications.

However, the phenomenon hasn’t gone unnoticed by Lucasfilm either, one of the major Star Wars rightsholders. The movie company is not amused with the lightsaber classes and has taken the matter to federal court.

In a complaint filed at a California District Court, they sue Michael Brown and several of his companies, including the popular New York Jedi club and the associated Lightsaber Academy.

“Defendants are in the business of promoting, producing, offering for sale and selling unauthorized ‘Lightsaber’ classes, which purport to teach students how to use ‘Lightsabers’ and/or perform as ‘Jedi’,” the complaint (pdf) reads.

Lucasfilm owns the trademarks to both “Jedi” and “Lightsaber,” which Brown’s businesses use to market their classes and events.

In addition, the ‘Lightsaber Academy,’ which issues certificates to prospective lightsaber practitioners, is accused of using a logo that’s similar to Lucasfilm’s Jedi Order logo.

“Defendants regularly use the Lucasfilm Trademarks without authorization in connection with their businesses. Among other infringing activities, Defendants use a logo that is nearly identical, and confusingly similar, to Lucasfilm’s trademark Jedi Order logo,” the complaint reads.

Trademarked logo


Lucasfilm sums up a variety of allegedly infringing acts and notes that the merchandising and domain names such as and also use trademark-infringing elements.

To Brown, the lawsuit shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. He is aware of the potential issues as he has repeatedly sought to license the use of various Star Wars elements, or get some other form of permission from Lucasfilm.

However, time and again the movie outfit refused to give its blessing.

“Lucasfilm has consistently denied Defendants’ requests. Lucasfilm has never licensed or authorized Defendants to make any commercial use of the Lucasfilm
Trademarks or any other of Lucasfilm’s intellectual properties,” the complaint notes.

Earlier this year Lucasfilm sent Brown a cease and desist order to prevent further infringements. However, instead of halting the business, Lightsaber Academy filed their own trademark application to protect their logo.

Meanwhile, the classes continued, with the next one being scheduled for this coming Thursday at Ripley Grier Studios.

Jedi class


Lucasfilm hopes that the court can bring an end to this once and for all.

They charge Brown and his businesses with trademark infringement, cybersquatting, unfair competition and more, with potential damages running into the dozens of millions.

Time will tell whether it’s wise to pick a fight with a group of highly organized Jedi. It’s going to be an interesting battle for sure.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week – 10/17/16

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

suicidesquadThis week we have three newcomers in our chart.

Mechanic: Resurrection is the most downloaded movie for the second week in a row.

The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are Web-DL/Webrip/HDRip/BDrip/DVDrip unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart.

Ranking (last week) Movie IMDb Rating / Trailer
1 (1) Suicide Squad 6.7 / trailer
2 (…) Don’t Breathe 7.5 / trailer
3 (9) Lights Out 6.6 / trailer
4 (2) Star Trek Beyond 7.4 / trailer
5 (…) Captain Fantastic 8.0 / trailer
6 (3) Mechanic: Resurrection 5.8 / trailer
7 (4) Captain America: Civil War 8.1 / trailer
8 (4) Independence Day: Resurgence 5.4 / trailer
9 (…) Mr. Church 7.3 / trailer
10 (5) The Infiltrator 7.2 / trailer

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Pastor Says Piracy is Literally Killing Actors, So He Gives Them Cars

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

pastorWith more than half of its population living in “absolute poverty,” Nigeria is one of the world’s poorest countries.

The economy has been growing in recent years but unfortunately, not all people reap the rewards. This is also true for those in the film industry.

With close to a billion U.S. dollars in box office revenue, “Nollywood” appears to be doing well. Still, not all actors and filmmakers are rich, as some people falsely assume.

According to Nigerian Pastor Joshua Iginla, piracy is one of the main problems, and he urges the local government to tackle this menace.

“The level of piracy in this country is serious; I hope government will do something about it,” Iginla says.

The pastor has been preaching this anti-piracy message for quite some time. He believes that Nollywood’s actors and actresses are Nigeria’s ambassadors, showing the world a positive image of the country.

However, he warns that the threat of piracy is real, noting that it has already caused several early deaths.

“Many [people] have died prematurely because they are hardworking but piracy has crippled them. We enjoy watching their films but we watch them when they are helpless with none to help them,” he says.

The public at large believes that all actors and actresses are rich, but the pastor says that this is a misunderstanding. This is something he personally experienced when actor Ayo Emmanuel contacted him with a call for help.

“I wept when Ayo Emmanuel sent me a text a few weeks back that he was sick and needed financial assistance,” Iginla says.

The pastor, who is known for his philanthropy, decided not to sit idly by. During the Sunday service at Champions Royal Assembly at City of Wonders last week, he generously donated a brand new Peugeot 301 to the sick actor.

Emmanuel was floored by the generous surprise gift, as the picture below fittingly illustrates.

Emmanuel’s response


The actor reportedly suffers from “spiritual and depression” related problems. While a car might not help him to cope with these challenges, he no longer needs a bus to get to church.

A full photo-op of the giveaway ceremony was posted on the pastor’s Facebook page, including one in which Emmanuel, popularly known as “Nollywood Policeman”, poses with a handwritten sign in front of his new car.

Emmanuel’s new car


The pastor is often criticized for giving away expensive gifts while so many others don’t have enough food to feed their families. However, Iginla stresses that actors have it rough too and that it’s up to him to decide where his money is spent.

While he has helped a lot of poor people, Nollywood actors and actresses are among his favorites.

Over the past several years he has donated dozens of luxury cars to Nollywood celebrities, including a Hummer Jeep, Mercedes G-Wagon, and Mercedes CLS 550.

The fortunate pastor clearly has enough money in the bank. In addition, he’s also seen a prophet by some. In 2016 several of his “prophecies” came true, although one publication notes that he’s not always right.

How exactly he acquired his fortune remains a mystery though, just like his gift of predicting the future.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Company Offers “Fraudulent” and Deceptive Copyright Registrations

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

copyright-bloodIn pretty much every part in the world creators can claim copyright on their work without having to register anything.

In fact, most countries don’t even have an official copyright registration office. The United States does, as registrations are a requirement for court cases, but that’s one of the exceptions.

The same is true for India. While registration is voluntary, an official registration at the Government’s Copyright Office can help to solve legal disputes.

Interestingly the Indian Copyright Office has now become the center of a rights dispute itself. As it turns out, the website is offering ‘unofficial’ copyright registrations to Indians as well.

The website in question offer users “anteriority proof for their copyrights” in 164 countries, charging roughly $10 for a copyright registration.

India’s (unofficial) “Copyright Registration Office”


The Indian Government is not happy with the unofficial registration site. In a press statement it describes the service as fraudulent, because users can confuse it with the official copyright office.

“This claim is totally fraudulent and creating confusion among the general public,” the Government’s press bureau notes.

The Government clarifies that it has nothing to do with the site and advises copyright holders not to register their works there or make any payments. In addition, it has taken legal action and hopes to get the website blocked.

“The matter has already been referred to the concerned Ministries to block the fake website (i.e. and initiate legal action,” the Government statement adds.

The misleading Indian copyright registration site is just one of many. The same outfit is also connected to similar sites that target copyright holders in other countries, many of which don’t have an official registration service.

In Australia, Italy and the Netherlands, similar sites are operational, all offering paid registrations. The UK even has two separate domains, and, listing popular brands such as BT and Marks and Spencer to add legitimacy.

UK’s (unofficial) “Copyright Registration Office”


We reached out to the UK Government’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) which clarified that copyright holders don’t have to register anything.

“Copyright is an automatic right in the UK – you do not need to register or pay a fee. If you create a work of art, from literature to music, you own the rights to that work free of charge,” an IPO spokesperson told TF.

The IPO stresses that the websites have nothing to do with the Government and cautions rightsholders to think carefully before handing over any money.

“A number of private companies can be found on the internet that offer a form of registration service for a fee. None of these are official or are connected in any way to the Intellectual Property Office.

“We advise that people check very carefully before opting to use any paid-for services such as these,” IPO’s spokesperson adds.

While it’s absolutely not required to register copyright in the UK, the websites in question are not necessarily breaking the law, since there’s no law forbidding private companies from keeping a copyright register.

That said, the registration sites conveniently fail to mention their voluntary nature and are highly misleading to many creators who are not up-to-date on their rights and obligations.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services. to Shut Down, No Longer Profitable

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

allmyvideosFounded five years ago, has become a household name in the video-hosting world.

With millions of users per month it is the go-to site for many, but this is about to change as a message on the homepage warns.

“We are sorry to inform everyone that effective October 23, 2016 will stop accepting new uploads and the site will close fully at the end of the month,” the site announced.

The announcement coincides with a submission from the Hollywood industry group MPAA to the U.S. Government, which listed AllMyVideos as one of the top pirates sites.

However, according to the operator of the site, prospective legal issues are not the reason why they’re pulling the plug. The site was forced to take this drastic step due to a lack of revenue.

“Honestly, the main reason why the site is closing is the fact that the video hosting business is not profitable any longer, not by any means. Over the years making the site break even has become a massive issue,” Bill from AllMyVideos tells us.

Like many other sites that are often associated with piracy, it’s hard to get decent paying ads that are not peddling malware. In addition, payment providers often refuse to work with these type of sites, while overall subscriptions revenues are dropping.

“It’s very difficult to get ads that will cover the bandwidth. And AllMyVideos sold maybe five premium subscriptions a week over the last few months, for a total of around $200,” Bill says.

The lack of revenue runs directly counter to a report that was published by the Hollywood-backed Digital Citizens Alliance (DCA) two years ago. This report claimed that these hosting services are highly profitable with huge profit margins.

For example, DCA’s report estimated the site to have a yearly profit of $997,587, with a very healthy profit ratio of close to 85%.

Cyberlocker revenues, estimated by DCA


AllmMyVideos says that these figures don’t make any sense, which is evidenced by the fact that they are not shutting down due to a lack of profits.

“Honestly, I don’t know how the MPAA thinks people make money off hosting. The unreal $ values they come up with are insane. A profit margin of -20% is more like it,” Bill tells us.

The site is not the first to cite money issues as a reason to quit. Earlier this year other file-hosting services shut their doors for the same reason, and torrent site TorrentHound also cited financial problems as one of the main factors to throw in the towel.

In recent years, rights holders and industry groups have pushed hard to cut the money stream to pirate sites in any way they can, which appears to have had some effect.

DCA’s profit report, for example, was used to get payment processors to stop serving file-hosting services. Similarly, advertisers are also frequently warned not to do business with these and other “pirate” sites.

For AllMyVideos these reflections are moot. While they’ve enjoyed their ride, the team behind the site is ready to move on to new adventures.

“It’s been five years and it’s sad to see the site close. My team has met a lot of great people and wishes everyone the best of luck,” Bill concludes.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services. Mysteriously Goes Down

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

putlockerisWith dozens of millions of monthly views, is the go-to video streaming site for many people.

The site ranks among the 250 most-visited websites on the Internet and is particularly popular in the United States, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

However, starting three days ago the site suddenly became inaccessible. While a brief downtime stint is nothing unusual for these type of sites, the prolonged downtime is cause for concern among users.

Many are voicing their frustration after being confronted by yet another CloudFlare downtime banner, showing them that the site’s servers are still unresponsive.

“Putlocker is down so I no longer have a reason to live,” one user dramatically announced.

“Putlocker has been down the whole day. I’m going through serious withdrawals,” another added. down


Looking for answers, TorrentFreak tried to contact the team on their known support address. However, this email returned an error message as well.

As far as we can see the current problems are related to the site’s servers. The domain name itself is operating as it should and hasn’t been seized or suspended by the registrar.

Interestingly, the downtime occurs right after Hollywood’s MPAA reported the site to the United States Trade Representative, describing it as one of the largest piracy threats.

“ is the most visited infringing English language video streaming link site in the world,” the MPAA wrote.

According to the MPAA the site is believed to operate from Vietnam, with its servers being hosted at the Swiss company Private Layer. Whether there’s a direct relation between the report and the downtime is unclear though.

Meanwhile, several “other” Putlockers are seizing the opportunity to gain some traction, at least for the time being. Whether the real will return as well has yet to be seen.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

RIAA: CloudFlare Shields Pirates and Frustrates Blocking Efforts

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

cassetteFollowing in the footsteps of the MPAA, the RIAA has submitted its overview of “notorious markets” to the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR).

These annual submissions help to guide the U.S. Government’s position toward foreign countries when it comes to copyright enforcement.

This year the RIAA’s report includes 47 alleged pirate sites in various categories. As in previous years, popular torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay and ExtraTorrent are prominently mentioned.

There’s also a strong focus on so-called “stream-ripping” sites. While these have been around for roughly a decade, the music industry sees them as a growing threat, which is also evidenced by the recent lawsuit against YouTube-MP3.

According to the music group, it is getting harder to target these sites, as they are increasingly taking precautions.

“It is exceedingly difficult to track, enforce against, and accurately associate various notorious websites,” RIAA writes, listing domain hopping, reverse proxy services and anonymous domain name registrations as the main factors.

Obstructing factors


The Pirate Bay is one of the prime examples of a site that has switched domain names in the past. Due to various enforcement efforts it burnt through more than a dozen domains with ease.

In addition, TPB and other pirate sites are increasingly using the popular CDN CloudFlare. Besides saving costs, it also acts as a reverse proxy and shields the true hosting location from public view.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the RIAA which repeatedly mentions CloudFlare in its report.

“BitTorrent sites, like many other pirate sites, are increasing (sic) turning to Cloudflare because routing their site through Cloudflare obfuscates the IP address of the actual hosting provider, masking the location of the site,” the RIAA writes.

Throughout the report the RIAA attempts to point out the hosting location of all pirate sites, but it often has to put down “obfuscated by Cloudflare” instead.

Obstructing factors


Aside from making it harder to identify the hosting location, CloudFlare can also make it harder for ISPs to block websites.

Traditionally, some ISPs have blocked pirate sites by IP-address, but this is no longer an option since CloudFlare customers share IPs with other sites, which can lead to overblocking.

“The use of Cloudflare’s services can also act to frustrate site-blocking orders because multiple non-infringing sites may share a Cloudflare IP address with the infringing site,” the RIAA notes in its report.

While CloudFlare itself isn’t tagged as a notorious site, the fact that both the RIAA and MPAA are highlighting the service in their report is not without reason. The industry groups are likely to demand a more proactive anti-piracy policy from CloudFlare in the future.

Apart from all the doom and gloom, there is also a positive development. After being labeled as a notorious pirate site for years, the RIAA has taken social network off its list. This is the direct result of licensing agreements between the site and various major labels.

“Russia’s vKontakte has now reached licensing agreements with major record companies and has thus been removed from our list,” the RIAA writes.

Finally, it’s worth noting that MP3Skull is no longer on the list. As we suggested yesterday, the RIAA believes that the people behind the site switched their operation to Curiously, this knowledge didn’t prevent them from seizing the domain name of a seemingly unrelated site.

The full list of RIAA’s “notorious” pirate sites can be found below, and the full report is available here (pdf).

Stream-Ripping Sites


Search-and-Download Sites


BitTorrent Indexing and Tracker Sites




Unlicensed Pay-for-Download Sites


Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

RIAA Seize Domain Name of The ‘Wrong’ MP3Skull Website

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

mp3skullnewRepresenting various major record labels, the RIAA filed a lawsuit against MP3Skull April last year.

With millions of visitors per month the MP3 download site had been one of the prime sources of pirated music for a long time. This frustrated many music industry insiders who claimed millions in losses.

Earlier this year a Florida federal court sided with the RIAA awarding the labels more than $22 million in damages. In addition, it issued a permanent injunction which allowed the RIAA to take over the site’s domain names.

Despite the million dollar verdict MP3Skull continued to operate for several months, using a variety of new domain names, which were subsequently targeted by the RIAA’s legal team.

The latest domain name it used was Initially, this served the original MP3 download portal, but late last month something changed.

All of a sudden, redirected to, an unrelated YouTube converter and direct download portal which has been operating independently for quite some time.

After some news articles started to confuse the two services, was quick to distance itself from its namesake.’s tweets


“In the past we read some articles about our service. Learn something: We are not the old mp3skull and not the owner,” the site’s operator wrote on Twitter. “I don’t know why is redirecting to us, I think they just gave up.”

Indeed, there are no signs that the two MP3Skull’s are connected. The old MP3Skull domains are associated with, which is still online, but there are no links to as far as we can see.

However, despite this clarification the RIAA appears to have been confused as well, since they took action and seized the domain name without warning.

The Whois information currently lists the RIAA as the domain registrant and the domain itself is no longer serving any content.’s Whois


A source familiar with the situation informs TorrentFreak that the domain name was targeted using the original MP3Skull injunction. This means that the RIAA appears to have seized a domain name of an unrelated third party.

While there is ground to argue that the “other” MP3Skull was facilitating copyright infringement, in principle it should not be targeted by an injunction that’s issued against an entirely different site.

These type of ‘mistakes’ or broad applications, are exactly why digital rights activists protest broad website blocking efforts.

The YouTube MP3 converter and download site, meanwhile, has registered a new domain name and continues to operate from The original MP3Skull seems to have given up for good.

TorrentFreak contacted the RIAA for a comment on the situation but we have yet to hear back.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

BREIN Tracks Down YouTube Pirate, Warns Others

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

sadyoutubeIn the present day and age piracy is perhaps more scattered than it’s ever been.

Torrent sites, streaming services, cyberlockers, mobile apps, linking sites and many more are all labeled as infringing sources.

But, the piracy problem is not restricted to ‘shady’ sites and services alone. On many ‘legal’ platforms there’s a wide availability of copyright infringing material as well, YouTube included.

Despite the availability of fingerprinting technology in YouTube’s controversial Content-ID system, it’s very easy to find full copies of popular films on the site, as we’ve illustrated in the past.

This is also what an observant Dutch copyright holder discovered a few days ago. However, instead of merely issuing a takedown notice, the rightsholder contacted local anti-piracy outfit BREIN.

BREIN, which has a track record of going after pirate uploaders of all shapes and sizes, took immediate action. The group managed to trace the person behind the ‘anonymous’ YouTube account, who had promised viewers that he’d upload a new movie every week.

“BREIN managed to identify the anonymous uploader and forced him to cease his infringing activities,” the group writes, adding that YouTube uploaders may have to pay for their infringing activities.

“On YouTube, illegal uploaders should also be aware that they could face a cease and desist order with a penalty clause for future infringements, and a settlement amount for those committed in the past.”

In this case the infringer, who is described as a “young man”, was let off without having to pay any damages but BREIN adds that repeat infringers may not be as lucky.

“In this particular case we have settled without payment of compensation from the uploader, that will be different in case of repeat infringement,” BREIN director Tim Kuik informs TorrentFreak.

Although the anti-piracy group didn’t need YouTube to hand over the personal details of the uploader, BREIN says it can take the necessary legal action to do so if needed. Previously, they did the same with an eBook pirate who used Google Play.

This is not the first time that BREIN has targeted an individual uploader. Earlier this year it also focused on Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents uploaders, a prolific Usenet uploader, and a Facebook music pirate. These were all ordered to pay thousands of euros in damages.

While we don’t know the exact circumstances it’s possible that the YouTube uploader was a minor, which may explain the lack of a monetary settlement. For BREIN, however, the larger goal is to let pirates know that they are vulnerable, also on YouTube.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

MPAA Reports Pirate Sites and Hosting Providers to U.S. Government

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original

mpaa-logoResponding to a request from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), the MPAA has sent in its annual list of notorious markets.

In its latest submission the Hollywood group targets a wide variety of “rogue” sites and services which they claim are promoting the illegal distribution of movies and TV-shows, with declining incomes and lost jobs in the movie industry as a result.

“The criminals who profit from the most notorious markets throughout the world threaten the very heart of our industry and in so doing they threaten the livelihoods of the people who give it life,” the MPAA writes.

What’s new this year is that the MPAA calls out several hosting providers. These companies refuse to take pirate sites offline following complaints, even when the MPAA views them as blatantly violating the law.

“Hosting companies provide the essential infrastructure required to operate a website,” MPAA writes. “Given the central role of hosting providers in the online ecosystem, it is very concerning that many refuse to take action upon being notified.”

The Hollywood group specifically mentions Private Layer, Altushost and Netbrella, which are linked to various countries including the Netherlands, Panama, Sweden and Switzerland.

CDN provider CloudFlare is also named. As a US-based company it can’t be included in the list. However, MPAA explains that it is often used as an anonymization tool by sites and services that are mentioned in the report.

“An example of a CDN frequently exploited by notorious markets to avoid detection and enforcement is Cloudflare. CloudFlare is a CDN that also provides reverse proxy functionality. Reverse proxy functionality hides the real IP address of a web server.”

Stressing the importance of third-party services, the MPAA notes that domain name registrars can also be seen as possible “notorious markets.” As an example, the report mentions the Indian Public Domain Registry (PDR) which has repeatedly refused to take action against pirate sites.

At the heart of the MPAA’s report are as always the pirate sites themselves. This year they list 23 sites in separate categories, each with a suspected location, as defined by the movie industry group.

Torrent Sites

According to the MPAA, BitTorrent remains the most popular source of P2P piracy, despite the shutdowns of large sites such as KAT, Torrentz and YTS.

The Pirate Bay has traditionally been one of the main targets. Based on data from Alexa and SimilarWeb, the MPAA says that TPB has about 47 million unique visitors per month.

The MPAA writes that the site was hit by various enforcement actions in recent years. They also mistakenly suggest that the site is no longer the number one pirate site, but add that it gained traction after KAT and Torrentz were taken down.

“While it has never returned to its number one position, it has had a significant comeback after and went offline in 2016,” the MPAA writes.

ExtraTorrent is another prime target. The site offers millions of torrents and is affiliated with the Trust.Zone VPN, which they advertise on their site.

“ claims astonishing piracy statistics: offering almost three million free files with sharing optimized through over 64 million seeders and more than 39 million leechers.

“The homepage currently displays a message warning users to use a VPN when downloading torrents. is affiliated with Trust.Zone,” MPAA adds.

The full list of reported torrent sites is as follows: (Switzerland) (Latvia) (Bosnia and Herzegovina) (Russia) (Unknown)

Direct Download and Streaming Cyberlockers

The second category of pirate sites reported by the MPAA are cyberlockers. The movie industry group points out that these sites generate millions of dollars in revenue, citing a report from Netnames.

The “Movshare Group,” which allegedly operates,,,,, and several other pirate sites is a particularly large threat, they say.

As in previous submissions VKontakte, Russia’s equivalent of Facebook, is also listed as a notorious market. (Netherlands) and the “Movshare Group” (several locations) (Netherlands) (Russia) (Netherlands/Switzerland) (Russia)

Linking Websites

Finally, there are various linking websites, many of which focus on a foreign audience. These sites don’t host the infringing material, but only link to it. The full list of linking sites is as follows. (Unknown) (Brazil/Portugal) (Netherlands) (Russia) (Thailand) (Spain/Mexico/Argentina/Venezuela/Peru/Chile) (Switzerland) (Romania) (Switzerland/Vietnam) (Mexico/Argentina/Spain/Peru/Venezuela) (France)

In its closing comments the Hollywood industry group calls on USTR and the U.S. government at large to help combat these threats, either directly or by encouraging foreign nations to take action.

“We strongly support efforts by the U.S. government to work with trading partners to protect and enforce intellectual property rights and, in so doing, protect U.S. jobs,” the MPAA concludes.

MPAA’s full submission is available here.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.