Tag Archives: AZAPI

Crisis Looms as YouTube Faces Permanent Blocking by Russian ISPs

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/crisis-looms-as-youtube-faces-permanent-blocking-by-russian-isps-191224/

As the most popular video hosting platform on the Internet, YouTube is awash with both legal and unlicensed content. However, since the company is responsive to copyright complaints, it is largely protected by the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA.

The system is far from perfect and is nowhere near comprehensive. False positives, abusive copyright claims and the sheer volume of uploads make it almost impossible to police the platform to a standard acceptable to everyone. The same can be said of the Internet has a whole but with automated and manual takedown tools, YouTube does what it can.

One copyright holder that isn’t happy with YouTube’s efforts is Russian publishing giant Eksmo and its anti-piracy partner AZAPI, the Association for the Protection of Copyright in the Internet. It says the YouTube system “does not always work” so has decided to step up its efforts to protects its clients’ rights.

As a result, Eksmo recently filed a court case against YouTube and the video platform of local search giant Yandex, claiming that the sites offer pirated audio copies of the sci-fi novel ‘The Three-Body Problem’ by the Chinese author Liu Cixin.

The December complaint was initially rejected due to lack of evidence but on appeal, the Moscow City Court has now ruled that YouTube and Yandex.video must remove the content or face having it blocked by local ISPs. According to a report by local news outlet Vedomosti, the content in question still exists on both platforms.

According to a statement from the Moscow City Court published by TASS on Monday, it has now taken preliminary measures against both sites.

“The court ordered Yandex.video and YouTube to remove the link to the Cixin audiobook. As a security measure, the court imposed a block on this material on both hosting sites,” the press service said.

The Court spokesperson had no comment on the potential for YouTube or Yandex.video to be permanently blocked in Russia but it appears that AZAPI has plans for just that.

“We are ready to go to court using other books. If the complaints are satisfied, we can insist on the eternal blocking of Yandex.Video and YouTube in Russia,” AZAPI chief Maxim Ryabyko informs Vedomosti.

AZAPI represents the interests of Russia’s biggest publishers so the possibility for additional complaints is substantial. What remains unclear is the standard to which YouTube is being held. If the site receives a valid copyright complaint against a specific URL, it usually removes the content in a timely manner. However, that doesn’t necessarily prevent the same content from being uploaded again. At least from AZAPI’s perspective, this appears to be a case of repeat infringement.

“There were situations even when, after making a court ruling, we continued to find controversial copies on this platform,” Ryabyko says.

From the limited comments available, AZAPI seems to be demanding a “takedown, staydown” arrangement in response to its complaints, something which goes beyond Google’s responsibilities under the DMCA.

Whether AZAPI’s threats are ultimately designed to bring YouTube to the negotiating table is unclear but having the site blocked in Russia seems like the nuclear option, particularly when YouTube offers a number of special tools that may help to prevent further infringement.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Telegram Faces Anti-Piracy Referral to US Over Cryptocurrency Plans

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/telegram-faces-anti-piracy-referral-to-us-over-cryptocurrency-plans-191127/

Telegram was founded in 2013 by brothers Nikolai and Pavel Durov, who previously launched Russian social network VK (vKontakte).

The messaging service has grown from strength to strength and currently has around 300 million users. However, Telegram is increasingly associated with the spread of copyright-infringing material, as highlighted in October by the RIAA.

“Telegram offers many user-created channels which are dedicated to the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted recordings, with some channels focused on particular genres or artists,” the RIAA wrote in its submission to the USTR.

While one submission to US authorities is problematic, Telegram could soon face a few more coming from Russia itself, where a court order exists to prevent ISPs from providing access to the service. The threat comes from the Internet Copyright Protection Association (AZAPI) which represents copyright holders including some of the largest book publishers.

AZAPI says it has identified at least 170 Telegram channels that help to distribute pirated content to an audience of several million users. A letter reportedly sent by AZAPI to Telegram (obtained by local news outlet Kommersant) has the anti-piracy outfit complaining that most channels, and indeed Telegram itself, are not responding to copyright complaints.

It’s a position shared by Aleksey Byrdin, Director General of the Internet Video Association.

“Since 2016, we have repeatedly encountered the absolute neglect of the Telegram administration to the claims of copyright holders on audiovisual content,” Byrdin says.

As a result, AZAPI wants Telegram to introduce digital fingerprinting technology to assist with the identification and removal of allegedly infringing content. However, the whole matter is being further complicated by Telegram’s cryptocurrency business plans.

According to AZAPI, Telegram’s upcoming TON Blockchain network (and its token ‘gram’) “will be an ideal tool for monetizing counterfeit content on an anonymous basis.”

As a result, if anti-piracy measures aren’t taken, AZAPI says it will be left with no choice but to file complaints with the US Chamber of Commerce, the SEC, the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) and the American Book Publishers Association.

Whether any such referrals can deepen the quagmire Telegram already finds itself in the US is another matter, however.

On October 11, the SEC announced that it had “filed an emergency action and obtained a temporary restraining order against two offshore entities conducting an alleged unregistered, ongoing digital token offering in the U.S. and overseas that has raised more than $1.7 billion of investor funds.”

The two companies – Telegram Group and TON issuer – filed a response to the SEC just a day later, requesting that the court throw out the SEC’s case.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Internet Archive Faces Permanent ISP Blocking Following Audiobook Lawsuits

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/internet-archive-faces-permanent-isp-blocking-following-audiobook-lawsuits-190823/

The Internet Archive (archive.org) is a nonprofit library of millions of free books, movies, software and music.

Founded back in 1996, it’s considered one of the most important sites on the entire Internet, not least for its Wayback Machine which provides an unrivaled history of pages published on the web.

Like all platforms of its type, the Internet Archive contains copyrighted material, some of it present without rightsholders’ permission. While the platform previously stated it has some reservations concerning the DMCA, it acknowledges that ‘safe harbor’ provisions are vital to the existence of libraries such as the one it offers via Archive.org.

Internet Archive is required to respond to properly presented DMCA takedown notices but over in Russia, where the site provides millions of visitors with an invaluable service, things are on the brink of going seriously wrong.

The issues stem from the Internet Copyright Protection Association (AZAPI), an anti-piracy group which in part represents the rights of authors.

According to AZAPI, Archive.org has been making available a pair of audiobooks – Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky and Third Eye Diamond by Daria Dontsova – without obtaining permission from rightsholders. It’s unclear whether AZAPI filed simple takedown notices with the Internet Archive to have the titles taken down but the matter eventually went to court.

Digital rights group Roskomsvoboda reports that on May 13, 2019, the Moscow City Court examined the case involving Metro 2033 and decided in AZAPI’s favor. It subsequently issued an order preventing the Internet Archive (Archive.org) from “creating technical conditions” that result in the audiobook detailed by the plaintiff being made available to the public.

According to Roskomsvoboda, whose lawyers are now representing Internet Archive, the digital library was not involved in the initial hearing and was not advised of the outcome. An appeal against that decision is now underway.

Nevertheless, AZAPI, still returned for another bite of the cherry, complaining that another audiobook, Third Eye Diamond by Daria Dontsova, was also being made available via Archive.org.

A hearing in that case took place August 16, with AZAPI stepping up its demands to have Internet Archive (Archive.org) permanently blocked by all ISPs in Russia. However, the case has hit a roadblock due to AZAPI failing to provide evidence that the company behind the audiobook actually has the rights to the work.

As a result, another hearing in the matter is set to take place mid-September. Whether or not the Moscow court will then order Internet Archive to be permanently blocked in Russia remains to be seen but it certainly hasn’t shied away from blocking other huge platforms in the past, Sci-Hub as a prime example.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.