Tag Archives: Breaking News

ISP Questions Rightscorp’s Credibility and Objectivity Ahead of Piracy Trial

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/isp-questions-rightscorps-credibility-and-objectivity-ahead-of-piracy-trial-200218/

A group of major record labels is running a legal campaign against Internet providers which they accuse of not doing enough to deter persistent copyright infringers.

This has already resulted in a massive windfall in their case against Cox, where a jury awarded a billion dollars in damages. In a few weeks, the music companies will be hoping for the same outcome following the trial against ISP Grande Communications.

Similar to the Cox case, the music companies – including Capitol Records, Warner Bros, and Sony Music – argue that the Internet provider willingly turned a blind eye to pirating customers. As such, it should be held accountable for copyright infringements allegedly committed by its users.

In preparation for the trial, both sides have submitted requests to keep information away from the jury members. These motions in limine, as they’re called, can be used to prevent misleading or prejudicial information from influencing the jury.

The record labels, for example, asked to exclude certain evidence regarding Rightcorp, the company that sent the anti-piracy notices to Grande. These notices are essential evidence in the case as Grande is accused of not properly responding to them.

Specifically, the music companies asked the court to exclude “irrelevant or unfairly prejudicial” evidence or arguments about Rightscorp’s business practices, the company’s finances, or the allegation that the anti-piracy firm destroyed evidence.

A few days ago Grande responded to this request. According to the ISP, it would be unfair to exclude these broad categories, especially because the information is directly relevant to the reliability of key witnesses.

As we have documented here in the past, Rightscorp’s financial situation isn’t very positive. It manages to survive with financial help from the record companies, a point not lost on Grande.

The ISP questions whether the music companies’ trial witnesses, Rightscorp’s Gregory and Boswell and Christopher Sabec, are still credible given the circumstances.

“In assessing the credibility of Mr. Boswell and Mr. Sabec, the jury should be permitted to consider not only Rightscorp’s financial relationship with Plaintiffs, but also evidence regarding Rightscorp’s dire financial condition,” Grande notes.

“In short, Rightscorp’s relationship with Plaintiffs is the only thing keeping Rightscorp’s business afloat, and the jury should know that when evaluating testimony from Mr. Boswell and Mr. Sabec regarding the reliability of the Rightscorp system and the evidence it generates.”

Grande concedes that Rightscorp technically has no direct financial interest in the outcome of the lawsuit. However, it notes that the company certainly has a strong interest in proving that its notices are reliable.

In addition to the financial situation, Grande also questions the ethical side of Rightcorp’s business practices.

The piracy tracking outfit made a name for itself by demanding settlements from hundreds of thousands of alleged pirates. This business model is one that the music companies were aware of and frowned upon, Grande argues

The ISP points to emails it obtained from the music companies through discovery which reference an article that describes Rightscorp’s call center script as “terrifying extortion.”

In addition, Grande points out an email from Sony where the music company notes that it wants to keep its distance from Rightscorp, describing it as “publishers using 3rd parties to milk consumers.” Despite these comments, its lawsuit now relies on evidence provided by the same company.

“Now, however, having purchased evidence from Rightscorp, Plaintiffs want to present Rightscorp’s notices as legitimate evidence of infringement and intend to argue that Rightscorp is a credible business with a reliable system,” Grande notes.

The ISP believes that the jury should know about Rightscorp’s financial situation and business practices, including the call center script. This should allow it to make a better assessment of the Rightscorp witnesses’ credibility.

The music companies disagree and, at the same time, submitted several responses to Grande’s requests to have information excluded from the trial.

For example, Grande asked the court to exclude evidence which shows that the company terminated customers for non-payment. However, the music companies argue that this information is crucial, as it shows that terminations were taking place.

“It is understandable that Grande wants to keep from the jury evidence that it terminated customers for non-payment. Such evidence completely eviscerates an argument Grande is likely to make: that because of the importance of internet access, termination of service is a drastic measure that should be used sparingly, if at all.”

The music companies feel that it’s important to highlight that terminations were not a problem when the ISP itself was affected.

“Moreover, evidence that Grande terminated customers when its property or services were being stolen, but refused to do so when others’ property was being stolen, is independently admissible as it is highly probative of Grande’s willfulness,” the music companies add.

It is now up to the court to decide on these and various other motions to determine what evidence can be discussed at trial. Later this month the jury will be selected. As reported earlier, the jury members will be first asked several selection questions, including whether they read TorrentFreak articles.

A copy of Grande’s response to the music companies’ motion in limine is available here (pdf), and the music companies’ opposition can be found here (pdf).

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

Cloudflare Blocks Access to Pirate Site For “Legal Reasons”, Displays Rare 451 Error

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/cloudflare-blocks-access-to-pirate-site-for-legal-reasons-displaying-rare-451-error-200217/

As one of the most important infrastructure companies on the entire Internet, Cloudflare often finds itself embroiled in copyright disputes of other entities’ making.

Along with millions of other ‘normal’ websites, ‘pirate’ sites often use Cloudflare’s services. The CDN company has a stated aim of remaining a neutral intermediary but entertainment industry groups see the company as helping to facilitate piracy by assisting sites to more efficiently stay online while rendering their true locations harder to find.

While sites like The Pirate Bay, for example, are using Cloudflare’s services trouble-free at this very moment, the same cannot be said of Germany-focused music piracy site DDL-Music.to.

This morning, Tarnkappe informed TorrentFreak that visitors to the platform utilizing German IP addresses were being blocked by Cloudflare. While these kinds of claims are relatively common given the sometimes unreliable nature of pirate sites, in this case clarity is being provided by the CDN company itself, which clearly states that it has taken action.

Tests carried out for TF using the German-based IP address listed above returned a rare “Error HTTP 451” which, as the image shows, is deployed when a site is “Unavailable For Legal Reasons.” Tests carried out by us from IP addresses elsewhere in Europe accessed the site without issue, perhaps suggesting that any “legal reason” may be specific to German territory.

This is the first time that we’ve seen an Error HTTP 451 displayed by Cloudflare when attempting to access a pirate site. The special HTTP status code was approved by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) back in 2015 as a more informative alternative to the “403 Forbidden” code utilized by some ISPs engaged in blocking.

“A really good Error 451 message would tell their customers how to challenge a block, how long the block’s expected to last, where the relevant legal documents are and which legal authority imposed the blocking order,” the 451 Unavailable project wrote at the time.

A nod towards providing this additional information is actually mentioned in Cloudflare’s own 4XX error code documentation that was updated only this month.

“Server is unable to deliver the resource due to legal actions,” the notes against Error 451 read. “The response should include an explanation in the response body with details of the legal demand.”

As the above screenshot of the Cloudflare error shows, no explanation for the blocking is provided. Why that is the case is currently unknown since Cloudflare has yet to respond to our request for comment. However, DDL-Music’s status as an obvious pirate site (and one with a history of being targeted by copyright groups) leads us towards a theory that Cloudflare may have been placed under pressure.

With that in mind, it’s perhaps helpful to look at the recent history surrounding ISP blockades of pirate sites in Germany and how they have played out, mostly without direct intervention from the courts.

In March 2019, Vodafone told TorrentFreak it had implemented a blockade of pirate platform Boerse.to following a notification from local music rights group GEMA, an action duplicated by its service provider 1&1. Around the same time, Vodafone also began blocking DDL-Music. Kabel Deutschland is also known to block access to the music platform.

The companies believe that principles established by the Federal Court of Justice require them to do so, without a specific court order.

On the same basis, Vodafone previously blocked access to several other ‘pirate’ sites including S.to, BS.to, Libgen and Kinox.to.

Whether Cloudflare is following a similar pattern of behavior with its restriction of DDL-Music is currently unknown but we will update this article as soon as the company responds.

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

New Wave Of Nintendo Anti-Piracy Complaints Helps Microsoft Too

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/new-wave-of-nintendo-anti-piracy-complaints-helps-microsoft-too-200215/

While most if not all gaming companies have piracy issues to contend with, Nintendo is among the most aggressive when it comes to protecting its intellectual property rights.

The company has a multi-pronged strategy that tackles the issue from almost every conceivable direction. When sites create archives of gaming ROMs available for download, Nintendo is happy to sue their operators and when entities are more difficult to pursue with direct legal action, it has taken to the courts to have ISPs block piracy-facilitating platforms.

While it has many adversaries on the piracy front, the infamous Team-Xecutor is perhaps the company’s arch-nemesis. With its development of hardware and software solutions to skirt Nintendos technical protection measures, such as those available for the Switch platform, Team-Xecutor is now one of Nintendo’s priorities.

Last November we reported that Nintendo had begun targeting Google with relatively rare DMCA anti-circumvention notices, which detailed URLs where Team-Xecutor and similar piracy-enabling products could be found.

Since these notices aren’t easily countered, Google removed many listings from its indexes, meaning that anyone searching for Team-Xecutor’s SX OS and SX Pro products would find related pages more difficult to find. It now transpires that on this front, Nintendo is keeping up the pressure, firing off more and more complaints to Google in an effort to reduce the popularity of these products.

In early December, following our last update, Nintendo sent a notice to Google targeting 91 pages on Team-Xecutor.com.

“The URLs listed below promote, and direct visitors to resellers of, circumvention software and devices called the SX OS and SX Pro,” the notice reads.

“The SX OS and SX Pro is designed to bypass technological protection measures in the Nintendo Switch video game system and allows users to play unauthorized copies of Nintendo’s video game files that are offered unlawfully via the Internet.”

While that was certainly the case for many of the listed URLs, rival gaming companies also benefited from the notice. Intentionally or otherwise, Nintendo also requested the delisting of pages relating to modification devices for Microsoft’s XBox 360, including the Xecutor Sonos 360 sound module, for example.

Another, a couple of days later, listed another 65 URLs, again targeting a mixture of Nintendo and Xbox-related products.

While Team-Xecutor and sellers of the R4 range of backup cartridges are the main targets, these devices are distributed through networks of resellers, all of which Nintendo wants to render harder to find. Many notices in December also addressed this issue, targeting a range of sites selling Team-Xecutor and similar products.

After a six week hiatus, this month Nintendo began sending notices again, largely following the same format as before by deleting specific pages on a range of sites from Google’s search results. While this is a nuisance for the targeted platforms, three in particular appeared to have made the mistake of offering circumvention devices on their homepages.

As a result, sxswitch.com, mod-switch.com, and gogioco.com have all had their homepages deleted from search results. Team-Xecutor.com received the same treatment back in September 2019.

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

BitTorrent ‘Copyright Troll’ Lawsuits Skyrocket In Sweden

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/bittorrent-copyright-troll-lawsuits-skyrocket-in-sweden-200214/

Sweden is widely known as the birthplace of The Pirate Bay, without a doubt the most iconic torrent site on the Internet.

However, in recent years the country has also evolved into a hotbed for copyright trolls. These use the same file-sharing technology to extract monetary settlements from suspected pirates.

This ‘copyright-trolling’ phenomenon is driven by a select group of copyright holders. In court, they ask for permission to obtain the personal details of account holders, claiming that their IP-addresses are tied to infringing activity.

The law firms involved represent a variety of companies, including the makers of familiar movie and TV titles such as ‘Angel Has Fallen,’ ‘Black Sails’ and ‘Spartacus,’ but also music, and adult entertainment.

The first wave of these lawsuits in Sweden started almost four years ago but the practice has grown exponentially since. According to Swedish Internet provider Bahnhof, which has kept track of these developments, record numbers were reached last year.

During 2019, a total of 140 new applications were submitted to the Patent and Market Court. This is up from 72 during the whole of 2018, and substantially more than the 27 applications that were filed a year earlier.

Not only has the number of applications grown, but the cases also target more IP-addresses in total. In 2019, 60,368 IPs were targeted which is a 15% increase compared to 2018. Combined with the 2017 numbers, we see that more than 144,000 IP-addresses have been targeted over the past three years.

It’s worth noting that this exceeds the number of targets in other, much larger countries, including the United States. While the US has a much larger population, the number of targeted IP-addresses in federal cases are at most a few thousand in a typical year.

It may seem odd that an Internet provider is keeping track of these statistics. Especially when considering that Bahnhof has an entire website dedicated to the copyright trolling efforts, which it describes as extortion practices.

However, Bahnhof is not an ordinary ISP. The company has been very vocal in opposing these legal demands and actively shields its subscribers from getting exposed. With success, as it simply doesn’t hand over any data.

This dedication to protecting the privacy of subscribers is good PR for the company. Its competitors, however, will be less pleased.

According to Bahnhof, four ISPs were requested to disclose data during the past year. Telia was the main target with 31,572 IP-addresses, followed by Com Hem (19,520), Telenor (9,276), and Tre (312).

A significant number of the targeted IP-addresses were requested by adult entertainment companies, which results in settlement requests such as the one below.

In the request, the account holder is offered a settlement of 7,000 Swedish Krona ($722). At the top of the letter, it prominently states that this is about “filesharing of an erotic movie”.

According to Bahnhof, this type of language is likely used to invoke some extra shame, which may increase the likelihood of paying.

As for the future, there is no sign that things will be slowing down anytime soon. Dozens of new cases have already appeared this year. Time will tell whether we will see another record in 2020.

More information on these and other cases is available on Bahnhof’s website, which is regularly updated with new information.

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

Warhorse Studios Hilariously Infringes Pirates’ Copyrights to “Support the Developer”

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/warhorse-studios-hilariously-infringes-pirates-copyrights-to-support-the-developer-200214/

For developers of PC games around the globe there are three certainties – death, taxes and online piracy. While this trio are rarely the subject of amusement, developer Warhorse Studios is doing its best to satirize the latter.

After releasing its action role-playing game Kingdom Come: Deliverance early 2018, the game was quickly cracked by infamous underground group Codex, who released the title online for consumption by the pirating masses. It’s unclear to what extent this event affected sales but within a week of its launch, it had sold a million copies, including more than 300,000 on Steam.

With two million copies sold in the year that followed, Warhorse Studios clearly had a hit on its hands but this year the company showed that it also has a sense of humor. While publicizing a revamp of its headquarters in Prague, the company revealed that it had framed a copy of the information (NFO) file released by Codex with its pirate release, giving it pride of place near the company’s kitchen.

This unorthodox move was met with delight by many of the developer’s fans while also gaining it respect among those who might not traditionally part with cash to enjoy its work. And now, just a month later, Warhorse is poking yet more fun at the piracy phenomenon with another hilarious stunt that may even see it raise a bit of extra cash.

Offered at Displate.com, Displates are described as “one-of-a-kind” metal posters “designed to capture your unique passions.” Their creators note that they’re “sturdy, magnet mounted, and durable enough to withstand a lifetime of intense staring.”

So, if you’re into staring intensely at pirate-created artwork for an eternity, boy does Warhorse Studios have something for you. Pirate ASCII art, preserved on metal.

Warhorse previously explained that it had upscaled the Codex NFO file using AI software, so it’s likely that these metal posters will be of exceptional quality. They are available in three sizes – medium, large, and extra-large – with the latter presented in quadriptych format – i.e four posters combined to make one big image. There’s also a range of colors.

It’s obvious that Warhorse has a sense of humor but it also understands the piracy scene. Many so-called ‘scene’ release groups state that if you enjoy a pirated copy of a game, you should buy it to “support the developer.” With its metalized NFO offering, the developer states in the description that by buying the pirated poster, people will be “supporting the developer of Kingdom Come: Deliverance.”

Pirating the work of pirates is a humorous concept, especially given that the NFO itself almost certainly enjoys copyright protection. Obviously Codex isn’t in any position to do anything about that, which makes the whole episode even more delicious. All that being said, Warhorse certainly doesn’t endorse copyright infringement.

“In all honesty, putting up the CODEX Info was meant to be a joke and a form of self-irony. This doesn’t change the fact that piracy still harms various industries,” PR Manager Tobias Stolz-Zwilling told TF referencing the company’s NFO shenanigans.

“But in the case of Kingdom Come: Deliverance we can rely on and be proud of a strong and loyal community that supported us way before release and even years after. Anyone who intends to pirate your game wouldn’t buy it anyway. All in all, we strongly believe that in a tense world and a tense industry, one should maintain a healthy sense of humor.

“PS: Support your favorite developers – that way you ensure future games.”

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

US Govt: Massive Jetflicks Pirate Site Was Disguised as Aviation Service

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/us-govt-massive-jetflicks-pirate-site-was-disguised-as-aviation-service-200213/

In August 2019, eight men were indicted by a grand jury for conspiring to violate criminal copyright law by running “two of the largest unauthorized streaming services in the United States.”

Kristopher Lee Dallmann, Darryl Julius Polo, Douglas M. Courson, Felipe Garcia, Jared Edward Jaurequi, Peter H. Huber, Yoany Vaillant, and Luis Angel Villarino were the operators of Jetflicks, an unlicensed subscription-based TV show streaming service running out of Las Vegas, Nevada.

The defendants were charged with reproducing thousands of copyrighted TV shows and streaming them to customers all over the United States. Jetflicks reportedly had a massive library running to more than 183,000 episodes.

Last December, Darryl Julius Polo – who also ran another service called iStreamitAll – pleaded guilty to copyright infringement and money laundering charges. Alongside, Jetflicks programmer Luis Angel Villarino pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement.

The trial of the other defendants is set to go to trial in the summer, having been recently delayed due to Canadian authorities handing over a trove of discovery material. However, a legal matter involving Jetflick’s Kristopher Lee Dallmann has now provided an early glimpse into how that pirate streaming service was born.

As part of a US Government motion requesting confirmation that Dallmann waived his attorney-client privilege with respect to legal advice he received on the operation of Jetflicks, an FBI agent’s affidavit reveals what was said by Dallmann during the execution of a search warrant on his Las Vegas home on November 16, 2017.

Under questioning, Dallmann told the agent that the FBI misunderstood the nature of Jetflicks, claiming it was an entity providing aviation services.

“[Dallmann] described Jetflicks as a service through which customers could put their personal DVD collection onto a mobile device that could be utilized on aircraft,” the agent explained, adding that Dallman said that Jetflicks provided “minimal streaming services” and that its primary source of income came from digitizing personal DVD collections.

During the interview, Dallmann said that Jetflicks only ever had two customers, who combined paid a total of $80,000. Later, however, the Las Vegas resident admitted to streaming TV shows without permission but said that was permissible under the law since if a complaint was received, he would remove the content.

Following a pause in the interview, during which Dallmann used the bathroom, the tone appeared to change. The FBI agent reports Dallmann as weeping while admitting that he hadn’t been telling the entire truth. The Jetflicks business, or the DVD digitization service at least, hadn’t been successful and as a result, he’d turned to downloading TV shows from various websites and streaming them illegally via Jetflicks.

Dallmann volunteered that he had sought legal advice from an unnamed attorney who told him that Jetflicks could operate legally as long as content was taken down following a copyright complaint. However, Dallmann also admitted to receiving a cease-and-desist notice sent by the MPAA but said that the same attorney advised him to ignore it, dismissing the correspondence as having been “written by an amateur”.

According to the US Government, the illegal Jetflicks streaming operation and DVD digitization project (named as Jetflicks MoVi Entertainment System) ran alongside each other. The premise for the latter was that Dallmann “would contract with private aircraft owners to digitize their personal DVD collections of movies and television shows so they could watch their favorite movies and shows on digital devices on their planes.”

Interestingly, it’s reported that the Jetflicks MoVi Entertainment System was being built with copyright in mind. Promotional material seized by the FBI stated that Jetflicks would need to inspect a customer’s DVD collection to ensure that all original copies were owned before a customer’s new digital system could be populated.

“This aviation-services business, however, never got off the ground,” the motion reads.

“So, Mr. Dallmann and other conspirators quickly realized that it was much more lucrative to run and expand what amounted to an illegal version of Netflix, that is, a service where they obtained infringing digital copies of television shows from pirate sites, processed and renamed those works, and then streamed and distributed them on an unlimited basis to paying subscribers.”

While the aviation business failed, it’s claimed that the defendants used its identity to ensure that banks and payment processors for the streaming business carried on supplying their services.

According to the Government, Dallmann and his co-conspirators told service providers that their business focused on in-flight entertainment, referring them to Jetflicks.com rather than the Jetflicks.mobi domain used by the streaming entity.

Archive image from Jetflicks.com

“For example, beginning in November 2016, Jetflicks used a company called Stripe to process subscriptions for the jetflicks.mobi illegal streaming service,” the motion reads.

“However, the Jetflicks Stripe account listed the domain as ‘jetflicks.com’ and Mr. Dallmann described his business to Stripe as follows: ‘Private and Corporate aviation entertainment system sales, service, and subscription services. We invented the first entertainment system for private aviation that is classified as carry-on equipment’.”

Dallmann reportedly made a further statement to Stripe, shortly after opening the account, that his “aviation” business had 3,500 active customers. An application for a Wells Fargo account had Dallmann stating his business as “In flight entertainment for private jets.”

The untruths apparently continued when Jetflicks responded to streaming customers who complained that certain TV shows weren’t available on the service. They were told that the service’s “legal department” were negotiating contracts with copyright owners and that in some cases “a lot of red tape” was involved.

One customer who asked about the show True Blood was reportedly told that “Contract renewals and negotiations are in progress with HBO. They have a new HBO-ToGo mobile phone app now… so you can understand how they want it all on their app now. We will keep working on it but nothing moves fast with that sort of thing.”

The trial of the six remaining defendants is set to go ahead in July 2020.

The US Government’s motion and supporting affidavit can be found here and here (pdf)

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

US Congress Starts Review on Possible Modernization of the DMCA

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/us-congress-starts-review-on-possible-modernization-of-the-dmca-20021/

When the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was introduced in 1998, few people could of imagined the online developments of the next two decades. Nevertheless, the law remains in place today and at times, according to some, struggles to keep up with whatever technology throws at it.

The DMCA is a complex beast but some of its key goals are to outlaw the production and distribution of tools and services designed to circumvent DRM systems controlling access to copyright works (Section 1201 anti-circumvention) and limit the liability of online service providers for the actions of their users (Section 512). Particularly in respect of the latter, many copyright holders believe that changes are long overdue.

With the U.S. Copyright Office already conducting its own study into the DMCA, Senator Thom Tillis has launched a new initiative in the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property to find ways to modernize the DMCA to better tackle the drastic changes of the past 22 years. Supported by written testimony from a number of copyright experts, the first hearing took place yesterday.

Even at this early stage, it seems clear that while Section 1201 isn’t considered perfect and has its detractors, it is Section 512 that will likely prove the most controversial to address, particularly in respect of notice-and-takedown and related service provider safe harbor provisions. In his testimony, Steven J. Metalitz, who helped to draft the DMCA more than two decades ago, provided his assessment of why the law no longer works as intended.

Metalitz references three ‘V’s as major issues faced by rightsholders today – the volume of infringement; the velocity of infringing activity; and the importance of voluntary arrangements, including licensing and technological collaboration.

“Section 512 in general, and the notice-and-takedown system in particular, implicitly assume a model in which the volume of infringing activity is sufficiently low that human decision making can feasibly be applied on virtually a case-by case basis to decisions about whether to file a notice of infringement, how such notices are to be processed, and what action should be taken in response to them,” Metalitz testified.

“If that model was ever a realistic approach, the huge volume of online infringement soon outstripped it. It was not long before the entire notice-and-takedown process became fully automated on both sides: robots talking to robots to decide the fate of particular disputed postings or links, which themselves had been generated through automated processes.”

Addressing the current velocity of online infringements, Metalitz said the question of how quickly a service provider must act to deal with an infringement complaint to maintain safe harbor is now an issue.

Drafters of the DMCA may not have envisioned a situation where infringing content is not only made instantly available to an audience of millions, but can instantly reappear even following a successful takedown notice, rendering the system pointless, Metalitz said.

“In reviewing section 512, the subcommittee should consider what changes are needed to respond to this vast acceleration in the velocity of online infringement, as well as the ease with which Internet users with even limited tech savvy can carry it out,” he added.

To help address some of these issues, Metalitz hopes that the subcommittee will look at the role of voluntary arrangements between copyright holders and service providers, such as licensing and other mechanisms, that can help to mitigate and manage online infringement, perhaps underpinned by changes in the law.

Given her position as Director of Copyright Research and Policy at the Center For Protection of Intellectual Property, the testimony of Sandra Aistars demonstrated a clear determination towards a tightening of the law, with suggestions on the notice-and-takedown/service provider front proving of particular interest.

“I do not advocate doing away with the protections safe harbors have afforded internet companies, because along with the negative, they have also done much to spur positive developments and creativity on the internet. Nevertheless, I believe that the last twenty two years of applying the DMCA to everyday practice have demonstrated that the marketplace and the courts have eroded the original intent of Congress,” Aistars testified.

“In considering legislation, it will be important to focus on how best to restore those elements of the DMCA intended to foster cooperation between stakeholders. One clear area of legislative reform would be to restore/clarify the original meaning of red flag knowledge.

“Similarly, elements of the DMCA which have received little or no attention — such as the concept of sending notice of infringements by means of representative lists, rather than link by link, and the requirement to accommodate standard technical measures, should be revisited and incorporated more effectively into any new legislation,” she added.

That brings Aistars to the conclusion that notice-and-takedown is for the past and something more permanent should be considered for the future. Legislation that provides incentives for service providers to develop technologies or policies to achieve notice-and-staydown regimes would be favorable, she argued, especially since Europe is moving towards that with Article 17 of the Copyright Directive.

“Some progress has already been made on this in the European Union Digital Single Market Directive, demonstrating not only that this is an achievable goal, but that internet services operating in the EU will already be required to meet such standards,” Aistars added.

But while Aistars suggests that the DMCA needs significant work to be effective in today’s environment, others believe that it is still delivering on its goal to encourage innovation. Any significant change, perhaps in line with the EU’s plans, could hinder that, some suggest.

Professor Rebecca Tushnet of the Harvard Law School works with the Organization for Transformative Works, a user-generated content project with a budget of less than $400,000 per year. It receives 1.12 billion page views per month yet receives less than one DMCA notice per month, most of them invalid.

“Empirical research reveals that most of the internet service providers who rely on §512 are like us: receiving relatively low levels of notices and handling them individually. There just aren’t that many entities receiving millions of notices,” her testimony reads.

“While market pressures and business decisions have led a few large sites like YouTube to more filter-based systems, it is important not to treat YouTube as a model for the internet at large—unless the only online service we want to survive is YouTube.”

Tushnet believes that most beneficiaries of Section 512 are not companies like Google or Facebook. Indeed, if Congress targets these kinds of entities with changes to copyright law, it will only help them dominate the market.

“If Congress changes the DMCA to target Google and Facebook, or because of rogue overseas sites that already aren’t complying with the DMCA to begin with, it will ensure that only Facebook, Google and pirate sites survive, making the problem of market concentration even worse without protecting creators,” Tushnet said.

“Most service providers don’t need and can’t get expensive filtering technology. A mandate for that, whether called ‘staydown’ or something else, would destroy the small and medium entities that are vital to innovation, creativity, and competition on the internet.”

Finally and perhaps unsurprisingly, the thorny issue of dealing with so-called ‘repeat infringers’ is set for hot debate, embedded as it is with Section 512, safe harbor, and its potential effect on regular Internet users. It is certainly on Sandra Aistars’ agenda, up to and including taking the most aggressive measures possible against those accused of infringing copyright via their home connections.

Referencing the recent BMG v Cox case, which dealt with the repeat infringements of BitTorrent users and the failure of the ISP to disconnect them, Aistars expressed disappointment at those who submitted amicus briefs arguing that disconnection would be unfavorable if multiple users in a household had access to an Internet connection.

“Apparently these parties believe high speed internet service is more of a basic human necessity than housing or transportation, which can both be seized under federal forfeiture laws regardless if jointly held,” Aistars testimony reads.

“While I do not suggest that the circumstances under which federal forfeiture is permitted are exactly comparable, surely if the seizure of a jointly owned home or automobile is permissible, disabling internet service must also be under appropriate circumstances. Clearly ISPs have no qualms disabling service for nonpayment, for instance.”

Yesterday’s hearing was just the beginning but for those who want all of the details thus far, the testimonies are available here.

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

Movie Companies File Lawsuits in Canada Targeting 3,348 Alleged BitTorrent Pirates

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/movie-companies-file-lawsuits-in-canada-targeting-3348-alleged-bittorrent-pirates-200211/

In the United States, several companies are actively filing large volumes of lawsuits against alleged movie pirates, many of whom are said to have downloaded pornographic material.

However, there is a growing trend of companies connected to mainstream movies aggressively enforcing their rights with a view to obtaining settlements against regular file-sharers, torrent site operators, and even app developers.

Two companies involved in this area are Rambo V Productions, Inc. (Rambo: Last Blood) and Fallen Productions, Inc. (Angel Has Fallen). While mostly active in the United States, two lawsuits filed in Canada’s Federal Court of Toronto in recent days show that their litigation and cash settlement program is beginning to spread.

Filed closely together on February 7, the two statements of claim are almost identical, differing only in respect of movie titles and IP addresses, plus dates and times when the infringing behavior allegedly took place. The Rambo V Productions claim targets 1,218 Doe Defendants, with Angel Has Fallen targeting 2,130.

In common with all related complaints, the claims detail how BitTorrent technology works and how individuals participate in concert with other users in order to download and share movies online, without obtaining permission from the copyright holders.

“Each Doe Defendant has unlawfully, and without the Plaintiff’s authorization or consent, utilized the BitTorrent peer-to-peer network to download and/or unlawfully offer to upload the Work thus infringing the Plaintiff’s copyright in the Work,” the claims read.

In similar cases filed in other jurisdictions, it is common for each defendant to be referenced by a single IP address alongside an alleged date and time of infringement. In these cases, however, all defendants have two dates and times of supposed infringement logged against them, which are spaced several days apart. The reason for this becomes apparent in the following paragraph.

“In accordance with the provisions of s. 41.25 and s. 41.26 of the Copyright Act each Defendant was notified of his or her Unlawful Acts by Notice,” the claims read.

This is a reference to the provisions (1,2) in Canadian law that allow copyright holders to send warning notices to alleged infringers via their service providers. According to the plaintiffs in both cases, each Doe Defendant was sent such a notice but failed to take remedial action.

“The First Notice informed each Defendant that they had been detected by forensic software as offering for upload the Work, and indicated that if the Work was taken down that there would be no action taken as against such Defendant. Each Defendant failed to respond, or refused to respond, to the First Notice and continued his or her Unlawful Acts,” they add.

When no action was taken in response to the first notice, the plaintiffs claim that their counsel sent a second notice to the Doe Defendants, informing them that the copyrighted work was still being made available and that legal action could follow.

“This Second Notice indicated that the work had not been removed and that legal action may be taken as against such Defendant. The Defendant failed or refused to respond to the Second Notice and has continued his or her Unlawful Acts,” the claims note.

While one person is usually named as the customer of an ISP (the person who pays the bill) it is common for other people in a particular household to have access to the same Internet connection via a router. This means that the bill payer may or indeed may not be the person (the Doe Defendant) who committed any of the alleged infringements.

The claims for both Rambo: Last Blood and Angel Has Fallen attempt to cover all bases by stating that even if the bill payer isn’t the direct infringer, he or she is ultimately responsible.

“In that case, the customer should have, and ought to have, the knowledge of who was using the customer’s internet account at the specifically identified date and time,” the claims add. But the responsibility doesn’t end there.

While acknowledging that some of the defendants may not be ‘direct infringers’, the plaintiffs state that through “negligence or wilful blindness” they “authorized others” to infringe after failing to exercise sufficient control over the use of their Internet connections when they knew that infringement was taking place.

“Each Defendant was provided with prior notice (the First Notice) that such Defendant’s internet account was being used in a way that infringed the Plaintiff’s copyright, and yet such Defendant did nothing to prevent or cease the infringement. Each Defendant therefore knew or should have known that their internet account was being used contrary to s. 27(1) and s.27(2) of the Copyright Act,” both claims add.

While the statements of claim state that defendants can be served in either Canada or the United States, both indicate that the listed IP addresses are believed to be located in Canada and that damages and injunctions will be sought as part of the action.

Excess Copyright‘s Howard Knopf believes that the plaintiffs will now attempt to obtain “Norwich Orders” to force the ISPs to hand over the identities of the individuals behind the listed IP addresses. At this stage it’s unclear whether any or all will fight back.

The claims filed by Rambo V Productions and Fallen Productions can be found here and here

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

Olympic Committee & Top Soccer Groups Urge US Govt. Action Over Pirate IPTV

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/olympic-committee-top-soccer-groups-urge-us-govt-action-over-pirate-iptv-200210/

Each year the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) publishes its Special 301 Report that highlights countries that are considered to be failing when it comes to the protection of intellectual property rights.

As part of the preparations for publication, the USTR asks for input from copyright holders, content distributors and other interested parties, which are then taken into consideration when deciding which countries appear in the final report. One of the hot topics in 2020 has its center in the Middle East, specifically Saudi Arabia.

In 2017, a new broadcaster called beoutQ began transmitting from the country, mainly utilizing satellite communications. However, instead of licensing or producing its own content, beoutQ rebranded and rebroadcast content owned by Qatar-based broadcaster beIN Sport. After much outcry and complaints from content owners globally, the USTR labeled beoutQ a “notorious market” in its 2019 Special 301 Report.

In August 2019, beoutQ suddenly stopped broadcasting via satellite but that was not the end of the matter. With millions of beoutQ devices installed in homes, the IPTV-enabled devices are now being primarily repurposed as streaming boxes, delivering the same content as they did before but utilizing the Internet. According to some of the world’s leading sports leagues and bodies, this presents a clear threat to the industries they represent.

In submissions to the USTR filed over the past few days, the International Olympic Committee, global soccer governing body FIFA, Englands’ Premier League and Spain’s La Liga, urge the USTR to keep Saudi Arabia on the Priority Watch List for 2020 on the basis that it denies “adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights.”

The submissions begin with an outline of what each organization does and how beoutQ has affected their businesses. There is a level of déjà vu when reading the submissions by the Premier League and La Liga in that their collaboration is obvious, with entire sections cut and paste across the submissions. In that respect, they agree in exactly the same words that while the satellite broadcasting element isn’t an immediate threat, the IPTV capabilities are.

“Although beoutQ ceased broadcasting in mid-August 2019 (though rumors continue to circulate about its possible return), piracy continues to run rampant in Saudi Arabia. IPTV apps providing access to vast swaths of pirated content continue to be available on the up to three million beoutQ set-top boxes reportedly in circulation in Saudi Arabia and the region, among other IPTV boxes in the Saudi market,” both submissions read.

“For example, an independent report commissioned by the Premier League and several other sports rights holders and published in April 2019 revealed that one such IPTV app EVDTV, is itself based in Saudi Arabia. According to that report, contact details for the pirate service are publicly available on the app’s website, universeiptvs.com, which provides, inter alia, a phone number and location in Saudi Arabia.

“Despite repeated complaints by beIN and other rights holders, Saudi Arabia has never brought criminal action against beoutQ, or its Saudi facilitators and supporters,” the pair add in unison.

The FIFA submission is essentially an edited variant of the submissions presented by the Premier League and La Liga, with various paragraphs copied verbatim and others that are more specific to its role as a governing body. However, they all agree that after spending 15 months attempting to initiate a copyright infringement case in Saudi Arabia against beoutQ and its Saudi-based facilitators, it proved impossible to obtain legal counsel in the country.

With no legal remedy available, the USTR should punish Saudi Arabia, the soccer groups insist.

For its part, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) says its policy is to ensure that the Olympics reaches the widest possible audience, by allocating broadcasting rights to television, radio, mobile and Internet platforms. It says that the majority of the revenue generated by these rights is pumped back into sports and supporting athletes, including those in the United States.

The big issue in the Middle East and North Africa is that the IOC has licensed beIN, the official broadcasting partner that has been heavily targeted by beoutQ with its pirated broadcasts, which included the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games coming up, the IOC is concerned that its broadcasting partnerships could be undermined once again.

“In view of this longstanding situation, the IOC respectfully requests that USTR maintain Saudi Arabia’s position on the Priority Watch List and engage with Saudi Arabia to encourage the Kingdom to protect and enforce the intellectual property rights of rights holders and to consider taking further appropriate steps in order to address the ongoing harm caused to rights-holders and broadcasters from this pirate activity,” the IOC concludes.

The submissions from IOC, FIFA, Premier League and La Liga can be found here (1,2,3,4 pdf)

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

Tech Giants Warn U.S. Against EU Upload Filters and Site Blocking

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/tech-giants-warn-u-s-against-eu-upload-filters-and-site-blocking-200210/

Last year there were fierce protests against the EU Copyright Directive which, according to opponents, would result in broad upload filters on the web.

Despite this pushback, the directive passed, and individual EU member states are now working on implementing the text into local law.

This includes Article 17 (formerly Article 13), which requires many online services to license content from copyright holders. If that is not possible, these companies should ensure that infringing content is taken down and not re-uploaded to their services.

These new requirements are welcomed by rightsholders but many tech companies see them as a threat. This week, several industry groups issued a warning about the negative consequences in their submissions for the US Trade Representative’s Special 301 Report.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), which includes Amazon, Cloudflare, Facebook, and Google as members, is one of the concerned groups. According to the CCIA, Article 17 will have significant consequences for both online services and users.

“Online services must implement filtering technologies in order to comply with the requirements under Article 17. While Article 17 avoids the word ‘filter’, practically speaking content-based filtering will be required if a service is to have any hope of achieving compliance,” the group writes.

CCIA notes that Article 17 will result in a ‘notice-and-staydown’ obligation. This goes against the current global standards that provide online services with a safe harbor against copyright infringements committed by users.

As a result, tech companies fear that they will no longer be able to operate freely in the EU. In some cases, that could mean that they can’t operate there at all. Contrary to claims from EU officials, CCIA believes that lawful activities carried out by users will be severely restricted.

Technically speaking, fair use including memes and parodies will still be allowed. However, since these copyright exceptions can’t be determined by automatic filters, services may choose to remove more content than they have to.

“Because algorithms used to monitor content on platforms cannot contextualize to determine whether the content was lawfully uploaded under one of the exceptions listed, the law requires platforms to err on the side of removing content,” CCIA writes.

This is exacerbated by the concern that copyright exceptions apply to users, but not to the platforms, the tech companies argue. This means that online services can still be held liable for content users have posted lawfully.

While it’s too late to stop the legislation now, CCIA urges the US Government to make EU member states aware of these concerns. Ideally, EU member states should ensure that the fallout from the new requirements is limited. For example, by requiring rightsholders to notify online services before they have to take action.

This criticism is shared by the Internet Association (IA), which includes many of the same tech companies as members.

“The EU Directive effectively requires internet services of all sizes to implement comprehensive content filtering systems, without regard for the inevitable consequences of such filtering,” IA writes.

In addition to the critique on Article 17, both industry groups also flagged various European website blocking schemes and orders as problematic. In particular, those that take place without any oversight from courts.

This includes Greece’s “Committee for Online Copyright Infringement” which issued various pirate site blockades after a similar attempt previously failed in court.

The IA and CCIA both mention Italy’s site-blocking efforts as well. This is administered by the Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM) which can require ISPs to block sites without a judicial process.

Finally, Russian piracy blocking efforts are mentioned too. These affect some of the tech companies directly, as it requires search engines to remove all links to
allegedly infringing websites within 24 hours.

“In practice, this law has resulted in overbroad removal and delisting requests for general-purpose websites that would not be subject to removal under Section 512 of the Copyright Act or other parts of U.S. copyright law,” IA writes.

The tech companies hope that the US Government will take its concerns into account. Aside from the EU-focused issues, the full requests of both CCIA and IA highlight a variety of concerns in other regions as well.

The CCIA’s submission to the USTR is available here (pdf) and the Internet Association’s submission can be found here (pdf).

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

US Court Orders Easybox IPTV to Pay $9.9m in Copyright Infringement Damages

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/court-orders-easybox-iptv-to-pay-9-9m-in-copyright-infringement-damages-200208/

As part of its ongoing campaign targeting unlicensed IPTV providers servicing the US market, broadcaster DISH Network filed a lawsuit in a Texas court last August.

It targeted Easybox, an IPTV service that reportedly offered subscribers more than 1,000 channels, including more than two dozen channels exclusively licensed by DISH.

The broadcaster’s lawsuits often target IPTV providers for alleged breaches of the Federal Communications Act but in this instance, the lawsuit was based in copyright law. In common with other similar actions currently winding their way through US courts, this one met little opposition along the way.

DISH says it tried to get Easybox to stop its illegal activities on many occasions before filing the lawsuit, including by sending around 300 copyright infringement notices to the provider and its CDN providers between 2016 and 2019. All were ignored so the broadcaster was left with little option but to bring the matter before a judge.

As reported in detail last week, DISH recently put forward a proposed final judgment and permanent injunction for the court’s consideration. That has now been largely accepted and signed off by the court, with some exceptions, but largely along the lines of DISH’s recommendations.

In an order signed February 5 by District Court Judge Lynn N. Hughes, the Judge notes that defendants Hung Tran and Thi Nga Nguyen were served on November 21, 2019, but neither filed an answer or otherwise appeared to defend the action. As a result, the order grants DISH $150,000 in statutory damages for 66 of DISH’s copyrighted works infringed via the IPTV service.

“Dish Network LLC will take $9,900,000 from Hung Tran, Thi Nga Nguyen, and Easybox IPTV, jointly and severally, plus interest,” the default judgment reads.

“This amount reflects statutory damages of $150,000 for their willful infringement of sixty-six of Dish’s copyrighted works.”

The terms of the permanent junction are less tightly-worded than those proposed by DISH but still restrain the defendants, Easybox IPTV, or any entity they create, from distributing DISH’s channels in the United States or selling Easybox set-top boxes or IPTV subscriptions that stream DISH’s channels.

The injunction also orders various service providers to stop doing business with Easybox and the named defendants, if that business entails transmitting copyrighted TV shows. Those third-party Internet companies are named as Global Layer B.V. and WorldStream B.V. (Netherlands), OVH Hosting Inc. (Canada), and Netrouting Inc. (United States).

In its proposed permanent injunction, DISH previously requested that the registries in control of domain names connected to Easybox should render them inaccessible before transferring them to DISH for the company’s use. The actual injunction handed down by Judge Hughes doesn’t go quite that far.

“Registries must disable the domain names used to transmit Dish’s protected channels within forty-eight hours of receiving this order. The domain names to be disabled include easybox.tv, e900x.com, and k2442.com, and any future domain name used by Easybox IPTV, Hung Tran, or Thi Nga Nguyen to transmit Dish’s channels.”

Whether the defendants will pay all or indeed any of the damages handed down by the Court remains an open question. The Easybox service and associated sites appear to have been down for some time.

The default judgment and injunction can be viewed here (pdf)

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Unofficial Coronavirus Papers Archive Serves Up Half a Terabyte of Knowledge

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/unofficial-coronavirus-papers-archive-serves-up-half-a-terabyte-of-knowledge-200207/

The idea that scientific papers and studies should be locked up behind a paywall is a tightly held belief among the world’s largest, richest publishers. To the founder of the infamous Sci-Hub — often known as The Pirate Bay of Science — that is objectionable to the point of being offensive to humanity.

Granting free access to scientific knowledge for the benefit of all mankind is a growing movement. As reported here last December, people such as an archivist known as ‘shrine’ are now adding significant momentum to the cause, one that a few weeks ago received a specific calling.

Having made almost continuous headlines all around the planet this year, the Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak needs little introduction. At the time of writing, it has infected at least 31,500 people in 28 countries, killing more than 630. Preventing its spread is now a global matter and while doctors and scientists do their work, people like ‘shrine’ are doing their part to assist.

A few days ago, a thread appeared on Reddit announcing the creation of an unofficial database of coronavirus-related papers and studies.

Organized by ‘shrine’ with support from friends and hosting provided by ‘Archivist’ at archiving site The-Eye.eu, the database was compiled after scanning Sci-Hub’s 80 million documents for anything related to coronaviruses and placing them in one place for easy access. The archive currently holds 5,532 studies and papers dating from 2020 right back to 1968.

A tiny sample of the coronavirus archive

“Our project is illegal, but it’s the right thing to do in this crisis. We refuse to put copyright before human lives. Sharing everything we know about the virus is essential, which is why international scientists are openly sharing their coronavirus findings in an unprecedented way,” ‘shrine’ writes.

“Developing-world scientists often work without article access due to complex and expensive contract agreements between publishers, universities, and hospitals, relying on overseas colleagues to help them hunt down PDF files. The virus is not going to wait for this, so we need to act with conviction, now.”

This week, Vice reported that scientific publishers, including Elsevier, Wiley, and Springer Nature, had removed their paywalls to allow free access to some research studies on multiple strains of the coronavirus. But for ‘shrine’, it was too little, too late.

“Publishers kept their Coronavirus paywalls active for nearly three weeks before waking up and providing a severely limited open access release,” he informs TorrentFreak.

“In our view this obstruction and delay to open research access during the crisis constitutes a crime against humanity, and should be seen as a direct attack against our life and health as a species.”

Even though the project is just a few days old, visitors to the archive have been arriving from all over the world.

Traffic data shared with TF shows that users from North America are responsible for just over 42% of the database’s hits, with Europe a close second accounting for almost 39%. Oceania and Asia follow in third and fourth place with 4.57% and 2.13% respectively, with South America and Africa sitting at the bottom.

At the time of writing, the unofficial archive has received more than half a billion requests which in turn have consumed around half a terabyte of bandwidth (see visual logfile sample render below). According to ‘shrine’ the project has been well received but if just a small amount of information from the archive proves useful to anyone in this health crisis, it will be mission accomplished.

“The Coronavirus Papers release has been met with appreciation and support from anonymous virologists, and we consider the project a success if we have assisted even one scientist with access to one of these critical studies.

“We hope that the archive continues to hold value as research continues, long after the publishers forget about the threat of pandemics and put their paywalls back up,” he adds.

While the archive at The-Eye is conveniently and instantly available, the entire collection of coronavirus papers — along with the earlier Libgen-archiving material — is also available via torrents. This method of sharing scientific studies is seen as crucial to maintaining access long term since it augments centralized storage with robust decentralization.

“The human right to education is enshrined in the torrents. The immutable 100-terabyte torrent collection stands as a promise of knowledge for future generations, for as long as we keep seeding humanity’s library keeps standing,” ‘shrine’ says.

“We are coming to realize that de-centralized web protocols like BitTorrent, IPFS, DAT, and others are central to the democratization of knowledge. The de-centralized protocols make it so that we’re not fighting alone, people all over the world can stand up with us for humanity’s knowledge.”

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

YouTuber Who Slammed Copyright Lawsuit Against Katy Perry Hit With Copyright Complaint From Perry’s Publisher

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/youtuber-who-slammed-copyright-lawsuit-against-kay-perry-hit-with-complaint-from-perrys-publisher-200207/

In August 2019, a jury found that the writers of the Katy Perry hit ‘Dark Horse’ had infringed on the rights of Christian rapper ‘Flame’ over his 2008 track ‘Joyful Noise”. The $2.78 million judgment sent shockwaves through the industry, with Perry’s side describing the decision a “travesty of justice.”

“The writers of Dark Horse view the verdicts as a travesty of justice. There is no infringement,” the statement read. “There was no access of substantial similarity. The only thing in common is unprotectable expression — evenly spaced ‘C’ and ‘B’ notes — repeated. People including musicologists from all over are expressing their dismay over this.”

One of those who found the lawsuit ridiculous was musician and YouTuber Adam Neely, who posted a video on YouTube explaining why it made absolutely no sense. The video, in which he unequivocally supported Perry’s side, pulled in millions of views and as a result the musician was asked to comment by numerous news publications covering the case.

Unfortunately, Neely himself now finds himself at the center of a copyright dispute as a result of his original video. In a new video posted to YouTube today, Neely recounts his journey following the case, noting that he strongly defended both Katy Perry and her publisher, Warner Chappell, in the belief that the lawsuit was bad for musicians, bad for creativity, and bad for the artform of music-making.

Warner Chappell, however, appear to see things differently. Instead of quietly thanking their avid supporter, they have hit his video with a copyright complaint instead.

“Katy Perry’s publisher, Warner Chappell, just claimed one of my videos. Warner Chappell did not hire me to make this video defending their platform in public and yet they have now claimed the advertising revenue for the video,” he explains.

“That is, of course, an incredibly crappy thing for Warner Chappell to do. But it gets a lot weirder. Katy Perry lost that suit so where does that leave the copyright for Warner Chappell? Dark Horse was found to be infringing on Joyful Noise so why is Warner Chappell still able to claim my video and take my advertising revenue?”

But Neely’s frustrations only increase after digging into the claim itself. It claims that Neely “used the melody” for Dark Horse in his video. However, the defendants in the Perry case previously stated that particular musical component of Dark Horse wasn’t a melody at all, but rather a background element to their track. The melody of Dark Horse never even appeared in Neely’s video — but the drama doesn’t stop there.

The allegedly-infringing content according to Warner Chappell was found between 35 seconds and 44 seconds into Neely’s video. However, as the exasperated musician points out, that part of the track was actually a demonstration of a section of Joyful Noise, not Dark Horse.

“[Warner Chappell] are claiming my video for a melody that they just lost a lawsuit defending. My video was all about how they should HAVE NOT lost the lawsuit because that melody was so minor as to not be copyrightable,” Neely says.

Only adding insult to injury is that this wasn’t a claim actioned automatically by YouTube’s systems, but was actually filed manually by a human being. This, Neely suggests, means that whoever filed the claim couldn’t tell the difference between the melodies in the two tracks and ended up filing a complaint against the wrong one.

This trainwreck is going to be hard to explain away…

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

Pirate IPTV Supplier One Box TV Ordered to Pay $3.8m Damages

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-iptv-supplier-one-box-tv-ordered-to-pay-3-8m-damages-200106/

There are many hundreds of entities and individuals involved in the provision, distribution and sale of unlicensed IPTV services worldwide, with the majority managing to avoid serious consequences – at least for now.

But while most remain somewhat in the shadows, others make themselves more visible, sometimes following the decision to incorporate as an official entity. That may have been the case with One Box TV, LLC, a three-year-old Florida-registered company that made a business out of the sale of piracy-configured IPTV devices and subscriptions from its websites and a booth at a flea market.

Following an investigation carried out by DISH Networks and NagraStar, in August 2019 the companies filed a lawsuit against One Box TV and sole manager Donna Fogle in a Florida court. According to the complaint, the company sold $19 per month IPTV subscriptions (described as ‘device codes’) offering unlicensed DISH programming alongside pre-configured Android-style boxes for around $275.

The content offered by One Box TV was illegally obtained from DISH’s satellite communications and rebroadcast to the public for commercial advantage and personal financial gain, DISH alleged. This activity breached the Federal Communications Act (FCA) causing the broadcaster considerable financial damage, the complaint added.

The case has been ‘progressing’ for months without input from the defendants so it’s no surprise that DISH and NagraStar moved for a default judgment. DISH informed the court that it should be entitled to significant statutory damages under various sections of the FCA ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 for each violation, with Section 605(e)(4) allowing the plaintiffs to seek damages for each piracy device distributed.

Following One Box TV’s default, DISH and NagraStar obtained permission to conduct discovery among financial institutions associated with the IPTV seller to ascertain how many devices/device codes it had sold. According to DISH, the amount totaled at least 3,805 units, which could have put One Box TV on the hook for $38 million, even if the minimum statutory damages were awarded by the court.

Instead, DISH requested a much lower amount of $1,000 per violation for a total of $3,805,000 in statutory damages. On top, the company sought a permanent injunction. The court was happy to oblige.

“Having reviewed the record evidence, the Court concludes OneBox is liable for violating the Federal Communications Act,” District Judge James S. Moody writes in his order.

“Dish has shown OneBox violated the Act at least 3,805 times, entitling Dish to the $3,805,000 it seeks in statutory damages. And Dish proved entitlement to a permanent injunction against OneBox by demonstrating irreparable harm and that there is no adequate remedy at law.”

The injunction is comprehensive and forbids One Box TV, Donna Fogle, and/or anyone acting in concert with them from rebroadcasting DISH programming and/or offering subscriptions/device codes providing access to DISH’s content and communications.

Whether the plaintiffs will ever see any of the $3.8m in damages remains an open question.

The order and final default judgment obtained by TF can be viewed here and here (pdf)

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Huge French Torrent Site YggTorrent Suffers Domain Suspension

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/huge-french-torrent-site-yggtorrent-suffers-domain-suspension-200205/

While torrent giants such as The Pirate Bay are known and used all around the world, there are many sites that have a strong following in their native countries.

In France, for example, YggTorrent is a spectacular success. It’s the largest French-language sharing platform and also operates its own torrent tracker, a rarity these days. Alongside a reported 3,500,000 registered members, Alexa stats reveal that YggTorrent.ws is the 38th most-visited domain in the whole of France, period.

While that is an impressive achievement for a site that is just a handful of years old, unexpected overnight developments at the tracker are set to negatively affect that ranking, if only temporarily.

Earlier today, an individual who identified as one of the operators of YggTorrent informed TF that the torrent site’s main domain name, YggTorrent.ws, had been “suddenly disabled” by its registrar without warning or explanation. As the image below shows, it now displays the ominous ‘serverHold’ status.

According to ICANN, the serverHold domain status is uncommon and “usually enacted during legal disputes, non-payment, or when your domain is subject to deletion.” The status, which is rarely accompanied by good news, is set by the domain registrar, in this case Tucows.

As its DNS records suggest, the domain was purchased through Peter Sunde’s Njalla service but as a privacy platform, the company has no control over the ‘serverHold’ status.

As a result of this change, visitors to YggTorrent.ws can no longer access the site. However, in common with many platforms operating in a similar niche, YggTorrent has many domains in backup including yggtorrent.pe, yggtorrent.ch and yggtorrent.gg.

At least for the time being, however, the site is promoting the Sweden-based YggTorrent.se domain as its primary alternative. Crucially, it still maintains control over a separate domain for its tracker, which means that torrent sharing can continue for users, even if the main domain is down.

What caused the sudden loss of the .ws domain remains unclear but if history is anything to go by, copyright infringement issues must be at the top of the list. In 2018, YggTorrent was forced to abandon its .com domain following a complaint from French anti-piracy outfit SACEM.

Then, in 2019, following a complaint from local anti-piracy group SCPP, a Paris court ordered five French Internet providers to block access to thirteen websites that link to pirated content. Included in that order was YggTorrent.ch, a domain that remains under the control of the site but is currently used for redirection purposes only.

The site’s operators note that their Icelandic domain is blocked by various ISPs in France too but an additional domain for users affected by that action is already in place.

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

IPTV Supplier Omniverse Wants Hovsat to Pay its $50 Million Piracy Damages Bill

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/iptv-supplier-omniverse-wants-hovsat-to-pay-its-50-million-piracy-damages-bill-200204/

Last year, several major Hollywood studios filed a piracy lawsuit against Omniverse One World Television.

Under the flag of anti-piracy group ACE, the companies accused Omniverse and its owner Jason DeMeo of supplying pirated streaming channels to various IPTV services.

Omniverse offered live-streaming services to third-party distributors, such as Dragon Box and HDHomerun, which in turn offered live TV streaming packages to customers. According to ACE, the company was a pirate streaming TV supplier, offering these channels without permission from its members.

The IPTV supplier initially denied the allegations and countered that it did everything by the book. The company pointed to a licensing deal it had with cable company Hovsat, which relied on a long-standing agreement with DirecTV to distribute TV content.

As the case progressed, the Hovsat deal didn’t turn out to be as solid as expected. After several IPTV providers distanced themselves from Omniverse, it threw in the towel. Last November the company agreed to a liability judgment of $50 million for the copyright infringements it caused.

While Omniverse agreed to the monstrous judgment, it mostly blames Hovsat, as it made clear in a separate complaint that was filed against the company last summer. The IPTV supplier always believed that it was properly licensed and wants Hovsat to cover the multi-million piracy bill.

As time went by it became apparent that Hovsat, a revoked New Jersey corporation, wasn’t responding in court. The same is true for its alleged owner Shant Hovnanian. This lack of response has now prompted Omniverse to request a default judgment.

In a new filing submitted at a federal court in California, Omniverse is demanding $50 million, the exact damages amount it agreed with the Hollywood studios last November.

“HovSat is the party responsible for the copyright infringement alleged by the Plaintiffs by way of misrepresenting to Omniverse that HovSat actually received a license to distribute the copyrighted content through agreements with DirecTV,” Omniverse writes.

The defunct IPTV supplier accuses Hovsat of fraudulently claiming that it had a valid and lawful copyright license from DirecTV. This breach of contract made Omniverse liable for millions of dollars in damages.

“Had HovSat not made the misrepresentations regarding acquiring the distribution licenses for the copyrighted content, and thus not breached their contract with Omniverse, Omniverse would have never been subject to the above-caption lawsuit raised by Plaintiffs. It logically follows that HovSat’s misrepresentations thus proximately and directly caused the $50,000,000 in damages suffered by Omniverse,” the filing adds.

The court has yet to sign off on the default judgment. However, since Hovsat is not defending itself in court, there is a good chance that the IPTV supplier will indeed come out the winner. Whether it will ever recoup any of the potential damages from Hovsat is another question.

A copy of the proposed default judgment, which has yet to be signed off, is available here (pdf).

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

Supreme Court Denies Kim Dotcom’s Appeal to Access Illegal Spy Recordings

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/supreme-court-denies-kim-dotcoms-appeal-to-access-illegal-spy-recordings-200203/

In the weeks and months leading up to and beyond the 2012 raid on Kim Dotcom and his former associates, the Megaupload founder was being spied on by the authorities in New Zealand.

Between December 2011 and March 2012, the highly secretive Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) spy agency listened in on the private communications of Kim and former wife Mona Dotcom, plus Megaupload co-defendant Bram van der Kolk.

Given the US-instigated investigation into Dotcom and Megaupload, this type of eavesdropping may seem little out of the ordinary. However, GCSB’s powers are limited by law, including that it may not conduct surveillance on New Zealand citizens or permanent residents. Since Dotcom is a permanent resident, that made the spying illegal.

Ever since the authorities accepted that potential evidence had been illegally obtained, the Megaupload founder has put considerable effort into finding out exactly what was captured by the GCSB. At every turn, however, he has been declined access to the material.

In 2017, for example, the High Court rejected Dotcom’s request, claiming that the release of the intercepted communications would undermine national security. Overall, the ruling added, withholding the information would be in the public interest, even if that was at the expense of Dotcom’s rights.

Predictably, Dotcom refused to back down, immediately taking the matter to the Court of Appeal. Unfortunately for him, the result was the same.

While accepting that the intercepted communications are “relevant” and could be “put to use”, in a 2019 ruling the Court determined that Dotcom’s right to access the information was outweighed by national security concerns.

With the Supreme Court the only avenue left for Dotcom, an appeal was subsequently filed there. In a written judgment published today, the Supreme Court sided with the decisions of the lower courts and refused to hear the appeal.

“We are not satisfied that it is necessary in the interests of justice to hear the
proposed appeal. While there may be questions arising about the scope and
application of s 70 of the Evidence Act, the present case is not the appropriate case to consider those issues,” the panel of three judges writes.

“No question of principle arises. Rather, the matters the applicant wishes to raise relate to whether natural justice was met in this particular case and as to the weight given to the competing public interests on these facts.”

Rejecting the notion that there had been a miscarriage of justice, the judges note that since the case has been examined in detail by the lower courts and justice will be done by compensating Dotcom for his loss of dignity, the Supreme Court will not review the matter.

“Mr Dotcom’s arguments would reprise matters all of which have been carefully examined in the Courts below and, as the Court of Appeal noted, the ‘general nature of the disputed information is known to Mr Dotcom’. In addition, these issues would arise in a context where the respondent has been held to account having accepted liability and the central question is as to the level of damages,” the judges add.

In a statement on the decision to deny his appeal, this morning Dotcom criticizes the entire process, drawing particular attention to the fact that his lawyers have been prevented from doing their jobs properly on the grounds of national security.

“[T]hey have not been permitted to have any meaningful input into this process because, at every stage, the GCSB has required its evidence and submissions to be treated as classified and heard only in a secret hearing from which my counsel and I were excluded,” Dotcom writes.

“The Courts’ reasons were also classified and not stated in their decisions. We have been blindfolded, with one hand tied behind our backs, while up against the fully equipped and limitlessly funded GCSB and Crown lawyers seeking to keep us all in the dark and away from the truth.”

While at some point Dotcom will be awarded damages for the illegal spying, he says this process has never been about money, not least since it ceased being economically viable a long time ago.

“For me, it has always been about ensuring that we know what has happened and, as a result, the GCSB is held accountable publicly for its unlawful conduct under John Key’s National government. I want to make sure that this never happens again.

“We shouldn’t be kept in the dark when state agencies act unlawfully and they should never get away with not being fully accountable to us, as the GCSB has now achieved. They don’t care about paying some money to me and my family, although they will fight to limit that also. They just care about you and I not getting to know what they did, or the actual harm they caused,” he adds.

But while today’s ruling was handed down by New Zealand’s top court, Dotcom believes that interference from the United States played an important role in denying him access to the illegally captured communications. As a result, he’s now embarking on a new mission, one to change the law in New Zealand.

“I don’t like the United States influencing what we all should be entitled to as people of New Zealand, as I fear may have happened here. No one should. But, they, and the GCSB, has stopped me from knowing the truth, at least for now. If the Court of Appeal’s decision represents the law in New Zealand, then the law must change. I will fight for that change. Please join me,” he concludes.

As reported last week, Dotcom is awaiting another decision from the Supreme Court regarding his extradition to the United States. He doesn’t believe the decision will go in his favor but is preparing for a long battle, one that could see him fight in New Zealand for another seven years.

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

DISH Demands $9.9m in Damages From Pirate IPTV Provider

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/dish-demands-9-9m-in-damages-from-pirate-iptv-provider-200131/

There are thousands of businesses and individuals involved in the supply and sale of ‘pirate’ IPTV services around the globe.

These subscription packages routinely grant access to hundreds and even thousands of otherwise premium channels for a cheap price, undermining the business models of content providers and broadcasters alike. This has resulted in both criminal and civil action across several continents with broadcaster DISH Network leading the charge in the US.

Just one of the company’s lawsuits, filed last August in a Texas court, targeted Easybox, an IPTV service that reportedly offered subscribers more than 1,000 channels, including more than two dozen channels exclusively licensed by DISH.

“Defendants capture live broadcast signals of the Protected Channels, transcode these signals into a format useful for streaming over the Internet, transfer the transcoded content to one or more servers provided, controlled, and maintained by Defendants, and then transmit the Protected Channels to Service Users through OTT delivery,” the DISH complaint alleged.

According to DISH, the company went to great lengths to have Easybox cease its activities in advance of filing the lawsuit, including sending almost 300 copyright infringement notices to the service and its CDN providers, all of which were ignored.

The Easybox IPTV offering

Last September, DISH was granted permission to subpoena several companies (including PayPal, Google and Namecheap) in order to identify the people behind Easybox. They were eventually named as Hung Tran and Thi Nga Nguyen.

With the individuals mounting no defense, DISH requested a default judgment at the end of December 2019 with a clerk entering a default earlier this month. DISH has now laid out its proposals for a final judgment and permanent injunction.

“Defendants, without authorization from DISH, transmitted the Protected Channels and the copyrighted works that air on those channels to users of their Easybox set-top boxes, smart IPTV subscriptions, and subscription renewals in the United States. In doing so, Defendants directly infringed DISH’s exclusive rights to distribute and publicly perform the works that air on the Protected Channels,” the proposed order reads.

Laying out its claim for direct copyright infringement, DISH demands statutory damages of $150,000 for each of 66 registered and copyrighted works owned by DISH and that the defendants “willfully and maliciously infringed by transmitting without authorization on the Easybox service.” That’s a not-insignificant total of $9.9m.

In addition, DISH is demanding a permanent injunction to prevent the defendants or anyone acting in concert with them from streaming, distributing, or publicly performing DISH channels and programming, and/or advertising, selling or providing any service offering the same.

DISH is also requesting an order preventing any company from providing infrastructure to the defendants in respect of Easybox or a similar service. These include data centers, domain companies, domain anonymization services, CDNs, and social media platforms.

The broadcaster further demands that Verisign and any other registries or registrars of the domains Easybox.tv, E900x.com, and k2442.com should render them inaccessible before transferring them to DISH for the company’s use. Any future domains registered by the defendants for the purposes of infringing DISH’s rights should be treated similarly, the proposed injunction reads.

The court is yet to sign off on DISH’s proposals but given the one-way traffic thus far in what has become a busy case generating thousands of pages of documents, a judgment favorable to Easybox seems unlikely.

The motion for default judgment and the proposed final judgment and permanent injunction can be found here and here (pdf)

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Instagram Uses DMCA Complaint to Protect Users’ “Copyrighted Works”

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/instagram-uses-dmca-complaint-to-protect-users-copyrighted-works-200130/

DMCA notices are sent in their millions every single week, mainly to restrict access to copyright-infringing content. These notices usually target the infringing content itself or links to the same, but there are other options too.

The anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA allow companies that own or provide access to copyrighted works to target tools and systems that facilitate access to that content in an unauthorized manner. Recent examples can be found in the war currently being waged by the RIAA against various YouTube-ripping sites, which provide illicit access to copyright works, according to the industry group.

This week Facebook-owned Instagram entered the arena when it filed a DMCA notice against code repository Github. It targeted Instagram-API, an independent Instagram API created by a Spain-based developer known as ‘mgp25‘. Instagram claims that at least in part, the notice was filed to prevent unauthorized access to its users’ posts, which can contain copyrighted works.

“The Company maintains technological measures to control access to and protect Instagram users’ posts, which are copyrighted works. This notice relates to GitHub users offering, providing, and/or trafficking in technologies, products, and/or services primarily designed to circumvent the Company’s technological measures,” the complaint begins.

According to Instagram, Instagram-API is code that was designed to emulate the official Instagram mobile app, allowing users to send and receive data, including copyrighted content, through Instagram’s private API. It’s a description that is broadly confirmed by the tool’s creator.

“The API is more or less like a replica of the mobile app. Basically, the API mimics the requests Instagram does, so if you want to check someone’s profile, the mobile app uses a certain request, so through basic analysis we can emulate that request and be able to get the profile info too. The same happens with other functionalities,” mgp25 informs TorrentFreak.

While Instagram clearly views the tool as a problem, mgp25 says that it was originally created to solve one.

“Back in the day I wasn’t able to use Instagram on my phone, and I wanted something to upload photos and communicate with my friends. That’s why I made the API in the first place,” he explains.

There are no claims from Instagram that Instagram-API was developed using any of its copyrighted code. Indeed, the tool’s developer says that it was the product of reverse-engineering, something he believes should be protected in today’s online privacy minefield.

“I think reverse engineering should be exempt from the DMCA and should be legal. By reverse engineering we can verify whether apps are violating user privacy, stealing data, backdooring your device or doing even worse things,” he says.

“Without reverse engineering we wouldn’t know whether the software was a government spy tool. Reverse engineering should be a right every user should have, not only to provide interoperability functionalities but to assure their privacy rights are not being violated.”

While many would consider that to be a reasonable statement, Instagram isn’t happy with the broad abilities of Instagram-API. In addition to the above-mentioned features, it also enables access to “Instagram users’ copyrighted works in manners that exceed the scope of access and functionality that would be permitted by a user with a legitimate, authorized Instagram account,” the company adds.

After the filing of the complaint, it took a couple of days for Github to delete the project but it is now well and truly down. The same is true for more than 1,500 forks of Instagram-API that were all wiped out after their URLs were detailed in the same complaint.

Regardless of how mgp25 feels about the takedown, the matter will now come to a close. The developer says he has no idea how far Instagram and Facebook are prepared to go in order to neutralize his software so he won’t be filing a counter-notice to find out.

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

Kim Dotcom Domain Dispute Settled, Next Up: Supreme Court Extradition Ruling

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/kim-dotcom-domain-dispute-settled-next-up-supreme-court-extradition-ruling-200129/

Kim Dotcom’s under-development file-sharing/crypto project K.im had problems recently when its main K.im domain fell into third-party hands.

As previously reported, communication issues with the registry led to the domain expiring and it was quickly snapped up by Kalin Karakehayov, an expired domain specialist.

Dotcom informed TF that the project’s lawyers filed a complaint with the domain registrar in the hope that the domain would be returned. Indeed, following a review process completed around two weeks ago, the .IM registry determined that since the registration by Karakehayov had been abusive, the domain should be transferred back to the K.im project.

On the day the decision was handed down, Karakehayov told TF that he intended to appeal. However, just two weeks later it now appears that peace has broken out.

“After getting to know the people behind k.im, we have agreed to a small, cost-covering settlement to save mutual legal expenses and downtime of their project,” Karakehayov told us via email.

“They were very fair in its implementation that due to time constraints was based on pure trust from both sides. We’re on good terms and I wish all the best for their project.”

With the domain now apparently back in the hands of the K.im project, TorrentFreak caught up with Kim Dotcom who informs us that he didn’t personally speak to Karakehayov but the end result is welcome.

“We are happy to have the domain back,” he says. “We are aiming to release K.im this year and I’m confident that millions of users will love it. We are changing how commerce is done on the Internet for the benefit of all. You can expect some whining from the established monopolies.”

While Dotcom is pleased that this latest roadblock has been overcome, the New Zealand-based entrepreneur has bigger issues to deal with. Specifically, a Supreme Court judgment that will decide whether he and his former Megaupload colleagues will be extradited to the United States to face copyright infringement, racketeering, and money laundering charges – not to mention the possibility of decades in prison.

The Supreme Court hearing took place in June 2019 after several lower courts had determined that Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk, and Finn Batato can be sent to the United States to face justice. The defendants are hoping that the Supreme Court will decide to the contrary.

Dotcom informs TorrentFreak that he doesn’t have a date for the judgment but he’s nevertheless looking forward to “dissecting the judgment with the best legal minds.” That being said, he isn’t optimistic that the decision will go in his favor.

“I expect a 3:2 majority in favor of extradition because three of the five judges were appointed by the National Party and the former Attorney General who was responsible for the actions taken against me in New Zealand. This is a political case and it will most likely be a political judgment,” he says.

“The law in New Zealand couldn’t be more favorable for me so the judgment will probably be a hack of the law for the history books.”

While another adverse ruling would represent a significant setback for Dotcom, he maintains that the battle against extradition is far from over.

“The process doesn’t end with this judgment (unless I win) and Crown Law suggested at the start of the hearing that we could be fighting for another seven years until any finality is achieved,” he concludes.

If that timeline of events plays out, it will have been 15 years since the shuttering of Megaupload and the raid on Dotcom, his twins born in 2012 will be almost ready to leave school, and at least two US presidents will have come and gone.

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