Tag Archives: Anti-Piracy

iKeepSafe Inadvertently Gives Students a Valuable Lesson in Creators’ Rights

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/ikeepsafe-inadvertently-gives-students-a-valuable-lesson-in-creators-rights-161023/

Children and students of all kinds are some of the most valuable assets to society. After all, they’re literally the future of the planet. As a result, hundreds of groups around the world dedicate themselves to protecting their interests, from general welfare and healthcare to Internet safety.

One of the groups dedicated to the latter is the Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe), an alliance of policy leaders, educators, law enforcement and technology experts.

iKeepSafe has launched a new initiative in partnership with pro-copyright/anti-piracy group Creative Future called the Contribute to Creativity Challenge.

“We know that when students are given the opportunity to be creative, they not only learn to make conscious choices about sharing their creative work, but they also understand the value of respecting the rights of other creators,” iKeepSafe says.

The challenge is a competition which requires students to submit electronic projects that center around the importance of behaving well online, such as respecting copyright and related rights.

“To participate, each entrant will need to submit an electronic project educating others about the importance of being an ethical, responsible online digital citizen,” iKeepSafe notes.

“The submissions will be judged according to the judging rubric and the winning entries will each receive a $75 Amazon gift card for books or classroom supplies.”

For those submitting entries the exercise of considering what makes a good digital citizen should be an enlightening one. Indeed, the creative process itself should also be enjoyable and educational, further sweetened by the prospect of a few bucks should the entry be a winner.

But for those young creators getting involved, there’s another equally valuable lesson to be learned from this exercise, even at the tender age of 12.

It’s quite likely that some participating students will be considering getting involved in the business of content creation, whether that’s in the music, movie, TV, or publishing sectors. With that in mind, they should consider the terms and conditions of any contracts entered into. This competition is a great place to start.

The Contribute to Creativity Challenge has five pages of T&Cs (pdf). They include rules that submitted content cannot infringe other people’s intellectual property rights or condone any illegal activities, which is fair enough.

However, since this is all about being creative and respecting creators’ rights, we took a look at what rights these young creators will have over their content after it’s submitted to the competition and what uses it will be put to thereafter.

“By entering the Competition, each Entrant hereby grants to Promoter and their assigns, licensees and designees a non-exclusive, irrevocable, perpetual license to use, copy, publish, and publicly display the Entry and all elements of the Entry (including, but not limited to, the Entrant’s name, city and country, biographical information, statements, voice, photograph and other likeness (unless prohibited by law)) in whole or in part,” the conditions read.

Of course, some kind of license is required if the competition operators are to be able to do anything with the entries. However, it also means that whether the entrant likes it or not (or even understands the legal jargon), their submitted work can be published along with their photographs until the end of time by iKeepSafe, “in any and all media either now known or not currently known, in perpetuity throughout the universe for all purposes.”

In perpetuity. Universe. All purposes. And, just to be clear, “without notification and without compensation of any kind to Entrant or any third party.” (emphasis ours)

Of course, there will be many students who will relish the thought of their projects gaining some publicity since that could really help their profile. However, it seems likely from the conditions of the competition that what iKeepSafe really wants is free material for upcoming campaigns.

“The Promoter shall have the right, without limitation, to reproduce, alter, amend, edit, publish, modify, crop and use each Entry in connection with commercials, advertisements and promotions related to the Promoter, the sale of Promoter’s products, the Competition and any other competition sponsored by Promoter, in any and all media, now or hereafter known, including but not limited to, all forms of television distribution, theatrical advertisements, radio, the Internet, newspapers, magazines and billboards,” the conditions read.

The eagle-eyed will have noticed that student entrants grant iKeepSafe a non-exclusive license, which usually means that they are also free to exploit their works themselves, a luxury that an exclusive license does not offer. While that’s a good thing, a subsequent clause could conceivably muddy the waters.

“Entrant agrees not to release any publicity or other materials on their own or through someone else regarding his or her participation in the Competition without the prior consent of the Promoter, which it may withhold in its sole discretion,” it reads.

Just to be absolutely clear, there’s no suggestion that iKeepSafe are leading students down a dark path here, since their overall goal of promoting ethical behavior online is a noble one. That being said, would it really hurt to properly compensate student creators featured in subsequent campaigns that will largely exist to help businesses?

After all, the message here is about being ethical, and with Creative Future on board – which represents rightsholders worth billions of dollars – there’s more than a little bit of cash lying around to properly compensate these young creators.

Perhaps the key lesson for students and other creators to be aware of at this early stage is that some companies and organizations will be prepared to exploit their creative work while giving little or indeed absolutely nothing back.

Today it’s a harmless school project competition entry on ethics, but in a few years time it could be something worth millions, ask George Michael.

Finally, if being ethical and responsible really is the goal, perhaps students and competition operators alike should consider a much less restrictive Creative Commons license.

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

Anti-Piracy Outfits Agree to Strengthen International Cooperation

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-outfits-agree-to-strengthen-international-cooperation-161022/

With the Internet and therefore online piracy having developed into a truly global phenomenon, anti-piracy groups everywhere are expanding their reach.

What was once a semi-isolated affair has become a multi-agency, cross-continent operation, with governments and rights holders alike striving to share information and pool resources.

An event this week illustrated where things are going, with representatives from around the world descending upon Brussels for a meeting hosted by the Motion Picture Association.

The International Roundtable, titled “Combating Internet Piracy: International Practice”, saw government officials from Europe and Russia join representatives from the United States and the UK to discuss cooperation against piracy.

The meeting (Photo via Роскомнадзор)


According to information released by Russian telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor and translated by the MPA, those gathered agreed that a “lack of intellectual property protection causes significant economic damage to individual rights holders and the global economy.”

Of course, that message certainly isn’t new. Neither are mounting public claims by rights holders that Internet users are being put at risk through their visits to unauthorized sites.

Those assembled agreed that consumers are negatively impacted from enjoying entertainment in a safe environment since pirate sites “are a fertile ground for identity theft, viruses, malware or spyware.”

As mentioned earlier, anti-piracy groups and initiatives of all kinds now understand that collaboration is part of the way forward, whether that’s sharing information or working towards tougher legal frameworks.

“In particular, participants acknowledged the need to strengthen international cooperation in the fight against IPR violations on the Internet and to continue sharing experiences in improving legislation, and law enforcement practice in combating copyright infringement in the digital environment in the EU, Russian Federation, and USA,” a summary of the meeting reads.

Those at the meeting included representatives from the US “six-strikes” Copyright Alert System and the UK’s GetitRight campaign. Details are fairly scarce, but these groups are likely to have shared data on how educational messages affect the behaviors of Internet pirates and how voluntary agreements with industry players such as ISPs can become part of the anti-piracy package.

Another item on the agenda was the role that search engines and user-generated content companies play when it comes to fighting online piracy. While Russia has its own issues with services like Yandex, for the US and Europe the focus is very much on Google and sites such as YouTube.

Service provider liability and related legislative initiatives will continue to be hot topics in the months and years ahead. This is particularly true of the United States, where the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA are under scrutiny alongside a controversial debate on the so-called ‘value gap‘ claimed to be present on YouTube.

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 https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-sites-remain-popular-in-the-uk-despite-website-blockades-161022/

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. Unblocked.vip, for example, has cycled through various domain names in order to remain available.

And then there are the newcomers. 123movies.to 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. Putlocker.is is currently down.

Site Alexa rank Type Original site blocked?
123movies.to 81 Streaming No
Watchseries.ac (*) 126 Streaming Yes
Unblocked.vip (*) 127 Proxy links Yes
Putlocker.is (down) 161 Streaming No
Pirateproxy.red (*) 183 Torrents (proxy) Yes
Thepiratebay.org 316 Torrents Yes
Rutracker.org 384 Torrents No
Vodlocker.com 407 Cyberlocker No
Zippyshare.com 412 Cyberlocker No
Yify-torrent.org 431 Torrents No

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

Cisco Develops System To Automatically Cut-Off Pirate Video Streams

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/cisco-develops-system-automatically-cut-off-pirate-video-streams-161021/

network-roundWhile torrents continue to be one of the Internet’s major distribution methods for copyrighted content, it’s streaming that’s capturing the imagination of the pirating mainstream.

Easy to use via regular web browsers, modified Kodi installations, and fully-fledged IPTV services, streaming is now in the living rooms of millions of people. As such it is viewed as a threat to subscription and PPV TV providers worldwide, especially those offering live content such as sporting events.

Pirate services obtain content by capturing and restreaming feeds obtained from official sources, often from something as humble as a regular subscriber account. These streams can then be redistributed by thousands of other sites and services, many of which are easily found using a simple search.

Dedicated anti-piracy companies track down these streams and send takedown notices to the hosts carrying them. Sometimes this means that streams go down quickly but in other cases hosts can take a while to respond or may not comply at all. Networking company Cisco thinks it has found a solution to these problems.

The company’s claims center around its Streaming Piracy Prevention (SPP) platform, a system that aims to take down illicit streams in real-time. Perhaps most interestingly, Cisco says SPP functions without needing to send takedown notices to companies hosting illicit streams.

“Traditional takedown mechanisms such as sending legal notices (commonly referred to as ‘DMCA notices’) are ineffective where pirate services have put in place infrastructure capable of delivering video at tens and even hundreds of gigabits per second, as in essence there is nobody to send a notice to,” the company explains.

“Escalation to infrastructure providers works to an extent, but the process is often slow as the pirate services will likely provide the largest revenue source for many of the platform providers in question.”

To overcome these problems Cisco says it has partnered with Friend MTS (FMTS), a UK-based company specializing in content-protection.

Among its services, FMTS offers Distribution iD, which allows content providers to pinpoint which of their downstream distributors’ platforms are a current source of content leaks.

“Robust and unique watermarks are embedded into each distributor feed for identification. The code is invisible to the viewer but can be recovered by our specialist detector software,” FMTS explains.

“Once infringing content has been located, the service automatically extracts the watermark for accurate distributor identification.”

Friend MTS also offers Advanced Subscriber iDentification (ASiD), a system that is able to identify legitimate subscribers who are subsequently re-transmitting content online.

According to Cisco, FMTS feeds the SPP service with pirate video streams it finds online. These are tracked back to the source of the leak (such as a particular distributor or specific pay TV subscriber account) which can then be shut-down in real time.

“The process is fully automated, ensuring a timely response to incidents of piracy. Gone are the days of sending a legal notice and waiting to see if anyone will answer,” Cisco says.

“SPP acts without the need to involve or gain cooperation from any third parties, enabling an unmatched level of cross-device retransmission prevention and allowing service providers to take back control of their channels, to maximize their revenue.”

Friends MTS and Cisco believe the problem is significant. During the last month alone the company says it uncovered 12,000 HD channels on pirate services that were being sourced from Pay TV providers.

How much of dent the companies will be able to make in this market will remain to be seen but not having to rely on the efficiency of takedown requests certainly has the potential to shift the balance of power.

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

KSI Buys His Own Movie 62 Times to Atone For Piracy Sins

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/ksi-buys-his-own-movie-62-times-to-atone-for-piracy-sins-161020/

ksi-7KSI, the UK-based YouTubing, videogaming, rapper-comedian has 14.8 million channel subscribers. As a result he’s own of the most popular stars on the Internet.

The London-based jack-of-all-trades recently released a movie called Laid in America. It came out on Blu-ray earlier this month but rather than all of his fans buying it, many pirated it on torrent sites.

That led to KSI going crazy in a video published last week, in which he called his pirating fans some terrible, awful things.

Quickly, however, people with long memories recalled that KSI himself isn’t so innocent when it comes to getting stuff without paying for it. Indeed, KSI had previously downloaded a pirate copy of Sony Vegas and even asked for help on Twitter to get it working.


As a result, the cries of ‘hypocrite’ on his channel became deafening but of course, someone of KSI’s YouTubing abilities was hardly going to let this opportunity go to waste. We were waiting for a response and yesterday morning it came, albeit briefly.

KSI uploaded a new video titled “I’M A HYPOCRITE” but immediately made it private before we could get a sneak preview. Was this his long-awaited apology?

In the past few hours it became clear that, yes, yes it was. In a new five minute long, well-produced video, KSI gets on his knees and asks for forgiveness.

Ok, he doesn’t at all. He dresses up as a pirate, goes for a swashbuckling adventure around London, and attempts to atone for his sins by buying stuff.


However, instead of buying Sony software to make up for his earlier transgression, KSI does the next best thing.

He visits HMV, buys every single copy of his OWN movie that the store has in stock, takes them out onto the streets, and gives them all away to adoring fans. No doubt impressed, Sony are probably recalling their lawyers right now.

While some might find his style unpalatable, there’s little doubt that KSI is a master of YouTube and utterly brilliant at getting clicks. Of course, everyone who reports on his antics only adds to his popularity, but when people like him are prepared to deal with a difficult topic like piracy in a refreshing way, that’s worthy of a second look.

Last week we toyed with the tantalizing possibility that KSI might be engaged in a guerilla anti-piracy campaign. While that may or may not be the case, if you’re trying to reach the YouTube generation with that kind of message, there doesn’t seem to be a better way to go about it.

Young people aren’t best known for following the advice of men in suits. Young men dressed as pirates, on the other hand…. GetitRight campaign take note?

Finally, while the video is no doubt entertaining, even the cleverest anti-piracy campaigns can backfire in unexpected ways, as the YouTube comment below illustrates.


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

Police Confirm Arrests of BlackCats-Games Operators

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/police-confirm-arrests-blackcats-games-operators-161020/

After being down for several hours, yesterday the domain of private tracker BlackCats-Games was seized by the UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit.

The domain used to point to an IP address in Canada, but was later switched to a server known to be under the control of PIPCU, the UK’s leading anti-piracy force.

Following several hours of rumors, last evening sources close to the site began to confirm that the situation was serious. Reddit user Farow went public with specific details, noting that the owner of BlackCats-Games had been arrested and the site would be closing down.

Former site staff member SteWieH added that there had in fact been two arrests and it was the site’s sysops that had been taken into custody.

While both are credible sources, there was no formal confirmation from PIPCU. That came a few moments ago and it’s pretty bad news for fans of the site and its operators.

“Officers from the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) have arrested two men in connection with an ongoing investigation into the illegal distribution of copyright protected video games,” the unit said in a statement.

Police say that the raids took place on Tuesday, with officers arresting two men aged 47 and 44 years at their homes in Birmingham, West Midlands and Blyth, Northumberland. Both were arrested on suspicion of copyright infringement and money laundering offenses.

Detectives say they also seized digital media and computer hardware.

PIPCU report that the investigation into the site was launched in cooperation with UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). Former staff member SteWieH says that a PayPal account operated by the site in 2013 appears to have played an important role in the arrests.

Detective Sergeant Gary Brownfrom the City of London Police Intellectual Property Unit said that their goal was to disrupt the work of “content thieves.”

“With the ever-growing consumer appetite for gaming driving the threat of piracy to the industry, our action today is essential in disrupting criminal activity and the money which drives it,” Brownfrom said.

“Those who steal copyrighted content exploit the highly skilled work and jobs supported by the gaming industry. We are working hard to tackle digital intellectual property crime and we will continue to target our enforcement activity towards those identified as content thieves whatever scale they are operating at.”

UK Interactive Entertainment welcomed the arrests.

“UKIE applauds the action taken by PIPCU against the operators of the site. Sites like this are harmful to the hard work of game creators around the world. PIPCU’s actions confirm that these sites will not be tolerated, and are subject to criminal enforcement,” a spokesman said.

Stanley Pierre-Louis, general counsel for the Entertainment Software Association, thanked PIPCU for its work.

“ESA commends PIPCU for its commitment to taking action against sites that facilitate the illegal copying and distribution of incredibly advanced works of digital art. We are grateful for PIPCU’s leadership in this area and their support of creative industries.”

Both men have been released on police bail.

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

Blackcat Games Domain Seized by UK Anti-Piracy Police

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/blackcat-games-domain-seized-by-uk-anti-piracy-police-161019/

blackcats-1For the past several years, the UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has been contacting torrent, streaming, and file-hosting sites in an effort to close them down.

In the main, PIPCU has relied on its position as a government agency to add weight to its threats that one or way or another, sites will either be shut down or have their operations hampered.

Many sites located overseas didn’t take the threats particularly seriously but on several occasions, PIPCU has shown that it doesn’t need to leave the UK to make an impact. That appears to be the case today with private tracker Blackcats-Games.

With around 30K members, the long-established private tracker has been a major player in the gaming torrents scene for many years but earlier today TorrentFreak received a tip that the site may have attracted the attention of the authorities.

With the site down no further news became available, but in the past few hours, fresh signs suggest that the site is indeed in some kind of legal trouble.

Results currently vary depending on ISP and region, but most visitors to the site’s Blackcats-Games.net domain are now greeted with the familiar banner that PIPCU places on sites when they’re under investigation.


TorrentFreak has confirmed that the police images appearing on the site’s main page are not stored on the front-facing server BlackCats-Games operated in Canada (OVH,, but are actually being served from an IP address known to be under the control of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit.

The same server also provides the images for previously-seized domains including filecrop.com, mp3juices.com, immunicity.org, nutjob.eu, deejayportal.co.uk and oldskoolscouse.co.uk.


Of course, being greeted by these PIPCU images leads many users to the conclusion that the site may have been raided and/or its operators arrested. While that is yet to be confirmed by the authorities or sources close to the site, there is also a less dramatic option.

PIPCU is known to approach registrars with requests for them to suspend domains. The police argue that since they have determined that a particular site is acting illegally, registrars should comply with their requests.

While some like Canada-based EasyDNS have not caved in to the demands, others have. This has resulted in domains quickly being taken out of the control of site operators without any due process. It’s certainly possible that this could’ve happened to Blackcats-Games.net.

Furthermore, a separate micro-site (nefarious-gamer.com) on BlackCats’ server in Canada is still serving a short message, an indication that the server hasn’t been completely seized. However, there are probably other servers elsewhere, so only time will tell how they have been affected.

Until official word is received from one side or the other, the site’s users will continue to presume the worst. In 2015, PIPCU deprioritized domain suspensions so more could be at play here.

Update: A source close to the site has informed TF that there has been an arrest but was unable to confirm who was detained.

Update2: A Reddit moderator says that the owner of Blackcats-Games has been raided and arrested, with equipment seized.

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

Man Uses His Own Name For Pirate Streaming Sites, Gets Arrested

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/man-uses-his-own-name-for-pirate-streaming-site-gets-arrested-161018/

pirate-cardFor the past several years, the Hollywood studios of the MPA/MPAA and the major recording labels have regularly attended the UK High Court to force ISPs to block pirate sites.

Following a slow start in 2012, a year later a wide range of sites were blocked, including EZTV, Movie2K, PrimeWire, Vodly, YIFY-Torrents, SolarMovie and TubePlus. Dozens of additional sites were targeted in 2014 and 2015, but with so many sites operational, a sizeable task lay ahead.

In May 2016, the MPA obtained a new injunction, this time against several streaming sites including Putlocker, WatchFree and Couchtuner. Also included in the package were Rainierland and RainierTamayo, two popular domains for a site showing the latest movies and TV shows.


Soon after the ISPs put their blocking measures in place the site’s operator began receiving notifications from users having difficulty reaching the site. In response, he published a Facebook post containing advice on how to circumvent the blockades.


Earlier this month, however, the site experienced much bigger problems. According to media reports in the Philippines, the operator of Rainierland and RainierTamayo was arrested following a complaint from Australia-based anti-piracy outfit Internet Fraud Watchdog.

Members of the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group swooped on the computer science graduate who was reportedly “caught red-handed” as he uploaded movies to his site. In a sign that the authorities wanted to send a message, the arrest was televised on national TV, including Tamayo being put into a cell with several other prisoners.

Internet Fraud Watchdog (IFW) Executive Chairman Ken Gamble said they had been “investigating a person running a number of websites that were pirating a lot of US movies, big blockbuster movies online.” It’s not clear how complex that investigation became but the suspect certainly didn’t make himself difficult to identify.

Local media identified the operator of RainierTamayo.com as a local man called Rainier Tamayo. IFW say they were able to trace him through his website which had been leaking films online since 2011. Perhaps pointlessly, all domains currently registered to Tamayo are WHOIS-protected, despite featuring his name in various forms in their URLs.

Police say that during the raid they also seized several computers, laptops and routers but that is likely to be the least of the computer graduate’s worries. According to police sources, if found guilty Tamayo could face up to 12 years in jail for violating copyright law.

The sites in question are currently still up but appear to be non-functional when it comes to playing movies. Tamayo didn’t immediately respond to TF’s request for comment which raises the possibility that he’s still being held.

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

Denuvo Says It’s Still Winning the War Against Games Pirates

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/denuvo-says-its-still-winning-the-war-against-games-pirates-161017/

There have been a number of anti-piracy technologies that have become loathed by video games pirates over the years. Some are hated due to their tendency to reduce the quality of the gaming experience. Others are predictably hated due to their effectiveness.

In fact, if one took the time to map dislike of a particular technology and place it on a timeline of how long it takes it to get bypassed or ‘cracked’, those graphs would look very similar indeed. So, when we say that Denuvo is currently the most-hated of all anti-piracy technologies, there’s no real need to ask why.

Just recently, however, pirates have had reason to celebrate. In a matter of months, Denuvo has gone from pretty much uncrackable to a little bit vulnerable.

Early August, a cracker known as Voksi found a loophole in Steam which allowed many Denuvo-protected titles to be played for free. It was a Denuvo bypass, not a full crack, but pirates were grateful. Then, just a few days later the gratitude developed into glee when the first full crack of Denuvo appeared online courtesy of cracking group CPY.

But pirates are always hungry for more and immediately wanted to know when new games would become available. They didn’t have to wait long. Just a couple of weeks later the iteration of Denuvo protecting ‘Inside’ was cracked in record time.

Not long after, those victories were followed by cracks for new games including Doom and Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, so was this the beginning of the end for Denuvo? Well, it all depends on one’s perspective.

Over the years, anti-piracy companies have learned that claiming their technology is flawless has always come back to bite them. Denuvo is no different. In a new interview with MCVUK, the company explains that being uncrackable is neither the claim nor the aim.

“You have to have a realistic view of anti-piracy measures,” marketing director Thomas Goebl explains.

“There is no such thing as unbreakable protection. That’s something we always tell our clients to help manage their expectations. Our scope is to prevent early cracks for every title. We want to allow an initial window when a game is released to have an uncracked version and thus guarantee sales.”

When one considers the effort and funds expended leading up to a game’s release, it’s no surprise that the first few days and weeks are the most important in terms of sales. For so-called ‘AAA titles’ (a big target market for Denuvo), marketing expenses can run into millions of dollars, with every cent designed to make gamers salivate with anticipation while moving their hands ever closer to their wallets. Any delay on stopping a pirate copy appearing quickly translates to more sales, Denuvo says.

But despite notable recent setbacks, Denuvo-protected titles still do not appear online on day one. Or week one. Or even month one. If people want these games, they’re going to have to pay for them. In fact, it is not unusual for games to remain unpirated for months, something that was unthinkable only a year or two ago when titles often appeared online before launch.

Denuvo CEO Reinhard Blaukovitsch told MCVUK that there are a number of strategies that can be employed by developers in order to recoup their development costs and Denuvo is just one piece of the puzzle.

“Some trust in DRM solutions, ones that are user-friendly. They also trust in our solution. There may be other solutions, where you go DRM free or do different price ranges in different territories. This is a marketing decision and strategy that the publishers may want to use. If they decide on some DRM technology or techniques, we can help them,” Blaukovitsch says.

Marketing man Thomas Goebl says that good games will always sell well but as soon as a working pirated version is available online, suddenly developers have to compete with free.

“Even if the service is good, if it has nice community features and so on, those people who don’t want to pay for it simply won’t pay because there is free competition,” he says.

Interestingly, Goebl notes something that many pirates will understand already. Multi-player games that require constant access to an online service are in many cases less vulnerable than variants that can also be played substantially offline. Just Cause 3 (released 11 months ago but yet to be cracked) might be considered one such example.

“Especially for single player games, or if there’s a big single player portion to the game, it makes perfect sense to use an anti-tamper solution like ours to prevent any cracks during the launch window time frame,” Goebl says.

Some pirates might be asking why it’s possible to quickly crack Inside, for example, but not other games that have been released since. The partial answer to that is while crackers like CPY burn the midnight oil circumventing Denuvo, the developers at Denuvo are doing the same with CPY’s work.

“The procedure [after a crack] is the same every time. We analyze how the crack was done and then we update our protection. It’s a game of cat and mouse that we play,” Blaukovitsch says.

“There are many techniques we use to prevent people from debugging, reverse engineering and otherwise tampering with our software. We are improving that technology or those techniques on a day-to-day basis, and coming up with new ideas that are almost entirely new inventions on a monthly basis on how we improve our service.”

The end result, no matter how unpopular with pirates, is that by the company’s own metrics, Denuvo is winning. In the majority of cases the technology does indeed stop games being pirated before, during and after launch, and indeed many months on in most cases.

Whether that will continue to be the case moving forward is unclear, but right now Denuvo is still the most-hated anti-piracy technology on the market. As long as it remains that way, it will be doing its job.

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 https://torrentfreak.com/pastor-says-piracy-is-literally-killing-actors-so-he-gives-them-cars-161016/

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.

Lawmakers Warned That 10 Year Sentences Could Apply to File-Sharers

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/lawmakers-warned-that-10-year-sentences-could-apply-to-file-sharers-161016/

Under current UK legislation, pirates of physical media such as CDs and DVDs can be jailed for up to 10 years. On the other hand, those committing similar offenses online can be jailed for ‘only’ two years.

This has led to anti-piracy groups such as the Federation Against Copyright Theft choosing to pursue their own private prosecutions under the Fraud Act, which allows for much tougher sentences.

In an effort to fix this disparity, earlier this year a new draft of the Digital Economy Bill contained plans to extend the current ‘online’ prison term from two to ten years. The relevant section amends the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and simply replaces the word two with ten.

On its way to becoming law, the Bill has been progressing through various stages in the House of Commons. This week, however, concerns were raised over the precise wording of the amendments. The image below shows how they currently stand.


Despite assurances from MPs that 10-year sentences are directed at large-scale commercial pirates, the text above does not clearly reflect that goal. In fact, just about any online infringer could be swept up in its net, a point not lost on Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group (ORG), who this week appeared before MPs.

In an exchange with Nigel Adams MP in the Commons, Killock said that ORG is concerned that ordinary members of the public could be affected by the amendments.

“We are worried about the impact of this on people who should not be criminalized and who we thought the Government were not trying to criminalize in this case,” Killock said.

“Our position is that if the Government are going to extend the sentence and have the same sentence online as offline for criminal copyright infringement — that is to say, 10 years — then they need to be very careful about how the lines are drawn, because the offenses are quite different.”

Killock said that offline criminal copyright infringement is all about criminal gangs duplicating things like DVDs, but online things are harder to define because everything looks like the same act – publication.

“You put something on the internet, it is a publication. So how do you tell who is the criminal and who is the slightly idiotic teenager, or whatever it happens to be? How do you make sure that people who should not be threatened with copyright criminal sentences are not given those threats?” Killock asked the MP.

To illustrate his point, Killock spoke about the current state of copyright trolling in the UK by companies such as Golden Eye International.

“They have no specific knowledge that these people are actually the people doing the downloading, all they know is that somebody appears to have downloaded,” Killock said.

At this point Adams interrupted, stating that there’s no intent for the new legislation to affect regular file-sharers.

“The idea of the Bill is not to go after people who are downloading content, it is purely for those who are uploading content for commercial gain. That is the whole purpose,” Adams said.

“Unfortunately, that is not how the language of the offense reads,” Killock responded.

“The test in the offense is that somebody is ‘causing a loss’, which is defined as not paying a licence fee, or is ‘causing the risk of loss’, about which your guess is as good as mine, but it is essentially the same as making available, because if you have made something available and somebody else can then make a copy, and then infringe copyright further and avoid further licence fees, basically that is a criminal act,” the ORG chief explained.

“So file sharers, whether they are small or large, all appear to be criminal copyright thieves. Similarly, people who are publishing things on websites without a license are also potentially criminalized. Those things can be dealt with much better and more simply through civil courts and civil copyright action.”

So, to solve the problem of the legislation potentially targeting the wrong people, Killock suggested a tightening-up of the wording in the amendments.

“What we are calling for is either to get rid of those things which are attacking individuals and wrongly bringing individuals into scope, or to put thresholds of seriousness around the risk of loss and/or causing loss. Something like, ‘Serious risk of causing significant loss’ would be the way to deal with this. Similarly, ‘Causing serious loss’,” he said.

Even with this explanation, the MP didn’t appear to understand.

“If you are knowingly uploading creative content online for commercial gain, to my mind it does not matter whether it is 50 quid or 50,000 quid, you are knowingly stealing someone’s content,” Nigel Adams said.

“The commercial gain is not part of this offense. That is what I am saying,” said Killock.

“The offense is purely to cause loss — in other words, to not pay a license fee — or to cause risk of loss. There is no ‘commercial’ in it. So you have to put the threshold somewhere. You have an offense for the commercial activities and, separately, individuals who cause risk of loss or fail to pay a license fee.”

The Open Rights Group are to be commended for raising this issue in the House of Commons since as things stand, the wording of the legislation is wide open to abuse from aggressive rightsholders. Whether appropriate amendments will be introduced remains to be seen, but there is clearly a need to be more specific. If not, trouble could lie ahead.

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

Boxing Promoter Offers Cash Reward to Identify Pirate Streamer

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/boxing-promoter-offers-cash-reward-to-identify-pirate-streamer-161015/

streamingkeyEvery day, content production companies and their anti-piracy partners take a keen interest in people posting their material online without permission.

They’re often able to use technical means to identify infringers, often relying on IP address, financial, and similar information. However, some also resort to chasing pirates in the physical realm.

This is the approach currently being taken by Duco Events, who are said to be recognized by the World Boxing Organization as the leading promoter in the Asia Pacific region. Duco partners with companies including ESPN, Fox Sports, MAIN EVENT, SKY Sports and SKY Arena, and it is tired of having its content pirated.

One of the biggest thorns in its side is New Zealander James Bryant. Earlier this year he informed NZ Herald that he intended to stream a Duco boxing event taking place in July. That led to a private investigator being sent to his parents’ Auckland house to serve court papers. He wasn’t there.

Bryant, who claims to be a web developer and SEO specialist, says that on a separate occasion another person emailed him looking for a computer repair. Suspicious, he gave a friend’s address, which led to an investigator sitting outside there all day. He eventually asked for Bryant by name.

“They’ve called me twice, and they told me that it’s getting serious now, that it was too big to go away,” Bryant said.

That was back in the summer and it appears that as promised, Duco haven’t forgotten about Bryant. However, they still haven’t managed to locate him.

“I have been on holiday for the last few months and they are not doing a very good job at finding me,” Bryant said last week.

“It doesn’t bother me one bit … as soon as they find me, I will make it my personal mission to stream every event.”

Bryant’s defiance was not well received, with Duco chief executive Martin Snedden rejected claims that chasing streamers is counter-productive.

“In our view it is out-and-out theft, and people are starting to get the message that the risk isn’t worth getting involved. We know we can’t eradicate this, but we’re getting better at running interference,” Snedden said.

Now it appears that Duco are turning up the heat. In a posting this week to the company’s Facebook page, the boxing promotions outfit sought assistance in finding the elusive Bryant.


But if Duco thought that this would prompt Bryant to give himself up, they were very wrong. Instead, the self-confessed streamer has started a fund-raiser with two aims. First, to raise money to fight Duco, and second, to set up a new streaming service.

“My mission is to raise money for the upcoming battle and also to raise funds which will be put into developing a dedicated website which will be hosted on an overseas server which will broadcast live events as they happen,” Bryant explains.

“I am currently setting up a site which will provide live streams of legal events such as music, sport and festivals. It will be hosted off shore in any event that the courts do not allow me access to a computer, I plan on hosting a wide range of different events.

“I believe that as New Zealanders we shouldn’t have to feed the pockets of the corporations to watch sports we care about. It’s time to stand up New Zealand!” he concludes.

Seconds away….round two.

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 https://torrentfreak.com/riaa-cloudflare-shields-pirates-and-frustrates-blocking-efforts-161013/

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 VK.com 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 Emp3world.ch. 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

– Youtube-mp3.org
– Mp3juices.cc
– Convert2mp3.net
– Aiomp3.com
– Clipconverter.cc
– Savefrom.net
– Youtube2mp3.cc
– Onlinevideoconverter.com

Search-and-Download Sites

– Emp3world.ch
– Audiocastle.biz
– Viperial2.com
– Im1music.info
– Albumkings.com
– Newalbumreleases.net

BitTorrent Indexing and Tracker Sites

– Thepiratebay.org
– Extratorrent.cc
– Bitsnoop.com
– Isohunt.to
– Torrentdownloads.me
– LimeTorrents.cc
– Rarbg.to
– 1337x.to


– 4shared.com
– Uploaded.net
– Zippyshare.com
– Rapidgator.net
– Dopefile.pk
– Chomikuj.pl
– Turbobit.net
– Hitfile.net
– 1fichier.com
– Bigfile.to
– Share-online.biz
– Ulozto.cz

Unlicensed Pay-for-Download Sites

– Mp3va.com
– Soundsbox.com
– Iomoio.com
– Soundike.com
– Payplay.fm
– Mp3million.com
– Megaboon.com
– Melodishop.com
– Melodysale.com
– Mp3caprice.com
– Ivave.com
– Mediasack.com
– Goldenmp3.ru

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

Insanely Popular YouTuber KSI Goes F****ing Ballistic at Movie Pirates

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/insanely-popular-youtuber-ksi-goes-fng-ballistic-at-movie-pirates-161013/

ksi-4If YouTube stars are the world’s next big celebrities, Olajide “JJ” Olatunji, Jr. plays in the big league.

Also known as KSI, the UK-based YouTubing, videogaming, rapper-come-comedian has amassed a staggering 14.76m subscribers. For perspective, giant music channel Vevo has two million less.

KSI is currently running the 22nd most-subscribed YouTube channel on the planet and with more than three billion views, he’s a truly influencial global player.

All this fame has opened up plenty of opportunities for the millionaire 23-year-old. In addition to launching a rap career, KSI has just starred in a movie with fellow YouTuber Caspar Lee.

Laid in America is the story of two guys attempting to do what the title suggests and for those interested in assessing their success, the movie has just come out on Blu-ray. However, it’s also available on torrent sites and KSI is far from impressed.

In a seven-minute video addressed to fans of both kinds (those who pay and those who do not), the YouTube megastar goes completely off the deep end. For his fans his bad language and crazy antics aren’t anything new but as anti-piracy rants go, this one is pretty epic.

“Stop pirating the fucking movie. For fuck’s sake man!” he begins. “I get it, I get it why people pirate. If there’s no physical way of getting what you want then yeah, I get it.”

Highlighting a free music track called “For The Summer” that he previously released with Randolph, KSI says that it’s OK for people to consume that how they like. Torrenting his movie, on the other hand, is completely unacceptable.

“[Since it has a price tag], evidently this shit is not for free,” KSI says. “Trust me, there isn’t a shortage of places where you can go to get this fucking thing. So why the fuck are you watching it without paying for it? You stealing mother-fucking piece of shit.”

KSI then goes on to question whether people are pirating his movie because they don’t like him, specifically since he’s a “black guy doing alright for himself.” With almost 15 million subscribers, that hardly seems likely.

But while his delivery may be unorthodox, KSI’s anti-piracy message is pretty standard. In fact, his message is SO familiar it could’ve been penned by the PR department of any major Hollywood studio.

“I’m not the only one that made this movie. There were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that made this movie. It’s not just me you’re fucking over, you’re fucking over so many people,” he explains.

“You’re fucking over the producer, director, actors, people who did the music, the cameramen, the lighting crew, the set crew. Seriously, it’s fucking ridiculous. Laid in America is going to be the most illegally downloaded movie of last month and this month as well, what the fuck?”

While that claim isn’t true, the thought that KSI’s Hollywood-style rant might be industry-sponsored in some way is a pretty tantalizing one as it would reach an audience the studios couldn’t easily reach by other means. Whether it would work is another matter, however.

But for what it’s worth, KSI says he doesn’t care about the money being lost through downloads, he only wants to get enough sales so he can make Laid in America 2. With that in mind, this kind of tweet only provokes him further.


Faced with torrent taunts, KSI turns his rant up to 11, threatening violence against pirates, calling them unrepeatable words, and promising to use them as a toilet. He says he simply can’t grasp the idea that after giving all of his videos away for free, the one time he asks people to pay, they won’t. Welcome to the Internet.

KSI is quite a character and while he comes over as wild, he certainly knows what he’s doing. No doubt he’s angry (or maybe his distributor Universal Studios is angry) that people are pirating his movie but he also knows his rants about the topic are making him money while attracting even more attention.

Thus far, the video embedded below has almost 1.9 million views but KSI’s change of tone halfway through suggests he really does care about his stuff getting pirated. Maybe that’s part of the show too, but it’s fairly convincing. (Warning:NSFW x2)

Finally, as any YouTube visitor knows, the comments on the site can be absolutely vicious and those under KSI’s video are no different. There are hundreds informing the YouTube star that his movie is going to get pirated anyway but there are also some pointing out that KSI has no right to ask other people not to pirate.

Apparently, some time ago, KSI was found out to be using a pirated version of Sony Vegas to create his YouTube videos. His ‘fans’ aren’t letting him forget that but in true rebellious fashion, KSI isn’t letting it bother him either.

Armed with an image depicting himself as a pirate, KSI fired right back.



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

New Anti-Piracy Unit Takes Over UK Anti-Camming Operations

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/new-anti-piracy-unit-takes-over-uk-anti-camming-operations-161012/

cammer1According to the movie industry the most damaging form of piracy involves the distribution of films that are not yet released or are enjoying their first-run in theaters.

The claim makes some sense. Due to the business model employed by the studios, titles still in cinemas are usually not available for consumption elsewhere, meaning that it’s impossible to compete for that business.

As a result, much time and effort is expended trying to stop people recording (‘camming’) movies in theaters. In the United States it’s an extremely serious offense punishable by jail time, and over in the UK those who record and then upload to the Internet can receive the same treatment.

The job of catching these people has usually fallen to two UK bodies – The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and the Film Distributors’ Association (FDA). In the past, the FDA fully sponsored a dedicated FACT investigator with duties that included staff training and building relationships with the police. Now, however, things are on the move.

The FDA says it has launched a new anti-piracy unit. Titled the Film Content Protection Agency, it will take over the work previously carried out by FACT. According to Screen Daily, several of FACT’s theatrical experts will be rolled into the new unit.

Back in May, it was announced that Hollywood will withdraw its funding for FACT, ending a 30-year relationship and depriving the anti-piracy group of 50% of its budget. Now it appears that the Motion Picture Association has thrown its support behind the FDA’s new unit instead.

“Cinema security is a key priority for the industry and the MPA welcomes this important step by FDA,” said Stan McCoy, MPA president and managing director for EMEA.

“We will work closely with the new unit to analyze threats and offer practical support as it fulfils its UK-wide remit on behalf of film distributors and other partners.”

According to the UK’s Companies House, the Film Content Protection Agency was formed as a limited company during the summer, registered to the FDA’s Kingly Street address in London.

At the time of incorporation, the FCPA had a single director, 85-year-old Barbara Kahan, who remained in the role for a whole day and then resigned. Kahan is rather active for an octagenarian. According to the government, she’s held posts in more than 18,000 companies.

It’s possible that Kahan set up the new anti-piracy company and then resigned, but that left FCPA without any directors or people with significant control. What’s also problematic is the state of the new website set up to promote the new anti-piracy group.

Currently it’s completely non-functional, having gone down sometime in the past couple of days. However, when the site was up it was providing information on the unit and detailing its goals. While most of the claims seemed fairly accurate, one particular section caught our eye.

Titled “It’s the Law”, the section stated that “The penalty for online copyright theft is up to a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine – in line with the theft of physical goods.”

Search snapshot of the currently-down site


While all anti-piracy outfits hope this will indeed become true in the months to come, the above statement is certainly not accurate under current UK law.

Ignoring the deliberate replacement of ‘infringement’ with ‘theft’ (which is not helpful when advising the public about legal matters), the current maximum prison sentence in the UK for online infringement is two years.

Amendments to boost punishments are indeed underway as part of the Digital Economy Bill but they still in progress in the House of Commons and are many stages away from being written into law.

Only time will tell how the new anti-piracy unit will manifest itself but it seems likely that it will maintain the same pressure applied for years by FACT, but under a new banner.

FDA President Lord Puttnam welcomed the creation of the new unit.

“I’m delighted this new unit is up and running,” said FDA President Lord Puttnam.

“It’s an important addition to the distributors’ armoury in safeguarding theatrical releases and enabling UK audiences to enjoy films to their maximum effect in legitimate formats.”

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

Court Rejects Massive Torrent Damages Claim, Admin Avoids Jail

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/court-rejects-massive-torrent-damages-claim-admin-avoids-jail-161011/

Founded a decade ago in 2006, SwePiracy grew to become one of the most famous private torrent sites on the Swedish scene. As such, it became a target for anti-piracy outfits.

In February 2012 following an investigation by anti-piracy group Antipiratbyrån (now Rights Alliance), police in Sweden and the Netherlands took coordinated action to shut down the site.

Earlier this year its now 25-year-old operator appeared in court to answer charges relating to the unlawful distribution of a sample 27 movies between March 2011 and February 2012. The prosecution demanded several years in prison and nearly $3 million (25k kronor) in damages.

During the trial last month, SwePiracy defense lawyer Per E. Samuelsson, who also represents Julian Assange and previously took part in The Pirate Bay trial, said the claims against his client were the most unreasonable he’d seen in his 35 years as a lawyer.

After deliberating for three weeks, the Norrköping District Court handed down its decision today. SwePiracy’s former operator was found guilty of copyright infringement but it appears the prosecution’s demands for extremely harsh punishment were largely dismissed.

The torrent site operator avoided a lengthy jail sentence and was sentenced to probation and 100 hours community service instead. The prosecution’s claim for damages was dramatically reduced from millions to ‘just’ $148,000, payable to movie outfit Nordisk Film. On top, the state confiscated $45,600 said to have been generated by SwePiracy.

While the sentence certainly could’ve been worse, it appears that the 25-year-old will still mount an appeal.

“I have been in contact with my client and we will appeal both the conviction and the issue of damages. He thinks that the court went high with the damages,” Per E. Samuelsson told IDG.

And it appears the prosecution aren’t happy with the outcome either. Henrik Pontén from Rights Alliance says that Nordisk Film may also appeal since the District Court failed to apply principles previously applied in the trial of The Pirate Bay.

The parties have until November 1 to file an appeal.

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 https://torrentfreak.com/brein-tracks-down-youtube-pirate-warns-others-161011/

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.

Russian Anti-Piracy Chief Arrested in ‘Fraud’ Investigation

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/russian-anti-piracy-chief-arrested-fraud-investigation-161007/

copyright-brandedOne of Russia’s most prominent anti-piracy fighters has found himself at the center of a criminal fraud investigation.

Maxim Ryabyko, Director General of Association for the Protection of Copyright on the Internet (AZAPO), was reportedly arrested in Moscow earlier this week, together with a friend.

According to local news reports, the pair were carrying out a money handoff after offering to help drop a criminal investigation against a local Internet entrepreneur in return for 50 million rubles ($800,000).

Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed the arrests but didn’t mention any names. Interior Ministry spokeswoman Irina Volk said that two men were arrested in a cafe in the center of Moscow on Thursday, suspected of fraud. Both have since been released on bail.

A source in the Government, however, confirmed to the TASS news agency that AZAPO’s General Director was one of the arrested men.

While details are scarce, there are reports suggesting that the case is related to the prominent pirate book library Lib.rus.ec. Last week AZAPO announced that the site was being investigated in both Russia and Ecuador, while the operators are on the run.

AZAPO’s announcement specifically highlighted the possible involvement of the Russian service iMobilco, which reportedly charged for access to infringing books obtained through Lib.rus.ec, without compensating copyright holders.

In a separate article, AZAPO reprinted a news report from Gazeta which reported that Russian authorities carried out a search at the Moscow home of iMobilco’s founder, Nikolai Belousov.

Belousov is reportedly the person who was being offered a “deal” in exchange for 50 million rubles.

iMobilco’s founder told the news site Vedomosti that he is aware of Ryabyko’s arrest. He says that he was being extorted after AZAPO accused him of profiting from copyright infringements linked to Lib.rus.ec.

AZAPO’s General Director, meanwhile, denies all allegations including the arrest itself, which he says he first heard about in the media.

In recent months the anti-piracy group has been in the news several times, most notably for its efforts to block the prominent torrent site RuTracker, and limit copyright infringements on sites such as VKontakte.

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

MPAA Says Portugal’s Pirate Site-Blocking System is World Leader

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-says-portugals-pirate-site-blocking-system-is-world-leader-161007/

The concept of whole-site blocking has been on the entertainment industries’ agenda for a decade now, after Russia’s AllofMP3 and then The Pirate Bay were blocked in Denmark. Since then, momentum has been building.

Blocking is now underway in multiple countries around the world, especially in Europe where the practice is widespread. The music and movie industries say blocking is effective but they also know that pushing blockades through the courts can be expensive and controversial.

In Portugal, however, things are much more streamlined. Thanks to an agreement forged between rightsholders, ISPs and the government in 2015, it is now a formality to have sites blocked in the country. If the parties agree that a site is operating illegally it can be blocked, all without stepping into a courtroom.

No surprise then that copyright holders have been taking full advantage of the system. After blocking The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, ExtraTorrent, Isohunt, RARBG, and dozens of others in October 2015, another 40 sites were added the month after. By April 2016 at least 330 sites had been blocked and every month the same process repeats.

The smoothness of the non-adversarial system appears to have impressed the MPAA. According to a SapoTek report, the Hollywood group has been presenting the Portuguese model to the Spanish Senate and is now planning to do the same before the French Senate.

FEVIP, the Portuguese Association of Audiovisual Works Defense, said in a statement that an MPAA-sponsored study between September 2015 and February 2016 found that out of 250 unauthorized sites, 22 had already been voluntarily blocked by the program.

Paulo Santos, executive director of FEVIP, said that Portugal’s program is now receiving international recognition for its streamlined processes. Noting a “special efficiency” in relation to results versus costs of litigation, Santos said that the program has resulted in a decrease in visits to pirate sites of “at least 60%”.

FEVIP say that the reductions are similar to those achieved by blocking in the UK, where the group claims pirate sites typically lose 75% of their local users within three months of a blockade being put in place.

To date, hundreds of sites and thousands of URLs have been blocked in both countries, yet piracy somehow persists. Clearly, a 60% or even 75% reduction in traffic to domains is not translating to a similar drop in piracy rates or indeed, increases in sales.

However, it seems likely that the MPAA and others will continue their blocking efforts regardless. Voluntary solutions are clearly in favor, since they receive less judicial scrutiny after implementation and cost far less to run on an ongoing basis. Spain and France next? Only time will tell.

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

Court Asks How it Can Ban Illegal Pokemon Go Downloads

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/court-asks-how-it-can-ban-illegal-pokemon-go-downloads-161006/

Last summer saw the launch of the latest Nintendo craze, with the augmented reality Pokémon Go game taking the world by storm.

While most countries don’t have a problem with Nintendo’s popular offering, others have reacted negatively after players turned up in culturally sensitive areas.

Similar issues are now causing problems in India, despite the game not being on sale there. But of course, that hasn’t stopped determined pirates from getting copies.

Over the past several months, countless people in India have been downloading illicit copies of Pokémon Go from the Internet. In the West, this has already caused copyright issues, but India’s are somewhat unique.

Public-Interest Litigation (PIL) is quite literally litigation for the protection of the public interest. One such PIL was filed last month in the Gujarat High Court against the developers of Pokémon Go. The petitioner claimed that the game hurt the religious feelings of citizens after it placed eggs in places of worship.

“To find eggs in temples of Hindus and Jains is blasphemous, and therefore my client has sought a ban on the game from the country,” petitioner Alay Anil Dave’s lawyer told the Court.

A second PIL filed with the Court by Sanjay Chaudhari claims that the game endangers public safety.

San Francisco-based developer Niantic Inc. and central and state governments are respondents in the somewhat unusual cases and all were issued with notices by the Court last week. Of course, the PILs aren’t copyright-related but the same problems persist – how can Indians be stopped from pirating and then playing the game?

That’s the question now being asked by the Gujarat High Court, which has filed a request with the state government asking for ideas on what steps can be taken to stop the game from being downloaded from the Internet.

“The division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi asked the government how the downloading of the game could be stopped, after it was told that legally the game was still not available in India, yet people were downloading its pirated copy,” the report notes.

Only time will tell what solutions the state government will come up with. However, India has developed quite a reputation for broad-brush actions to stop citizens downloading illicit content from the Internet.

So-called ‘John Doe’ orders have regularly restricted access to sites including The Pirate Bay, ExtraTorrent and hundreds of other domains, so a similar response could be under consideration.

That being said, trying to stop downloads of an app that typically weighs in at just 60MB will be an entirely different matter.

There are many thousands of sites that can and do host the game, including entirely legitimate affairs such as Dropbox. Stopping the distribution of Pokémon Go in India won’t be just difficult, it will be entirely unachievable by any anti-piracy technique, or any number of techniques working in tandem.

Perhaps the only way of making a dent in this problem will be getting the developer on board to restrict where eggs appear. That would certainly make more sense than going down the blocking route and all the collateral damage that would cause.

We’ll know more about the blocking plans next week, which could provide an indication of just how far India’s courts are prepared to go when it comes to blocking illicit content online.

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