Tag Archives: DL-protect

Google Asked to Delist Pirate Movie Sites, ISPs Asked to Block Them

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/google-asked-to-delist-pirate-movie-sites-isps-asked-to-block-them-171018/

After seizing several servers operated by popular private music tracker What.cd, last November French police went after a much bigger target.

Boasting millions of regular visitors, Zone-Telechargement (Zone-Download) was ranked the 11th most-visited website in the whole of the country. The site offered direct downloads of a wide variety of pirated content, including films, series, games, and music. Until the French Gendarmerie shut it down, that is.

After being founded in 2011 and enjoying huge growth following the 2012 raids against Megaupload, the Zone-Telechargement ‘brand’ was still popular with French users, despite the closure of the platform. It, therefore, came as no surprise that the site was quickly cloned by an unknown party and relaunched as Zone-Telechargement.ws.

The site has been doing extremely well following its makeover. To the annoyance of copyright holders, SimilarWeb reports the platform as France’s 37th most popular site with around 58 million visitors per month. That’s a huge achievement in less than 12 months.

Now, however, the site is receiving more unwanted attention. PCInpact says it has received information that several movie-focused organizations including the French National Film Center are requesting tough action against the site.

The National Federation of Film Distributors, the Video Publishing Union, the Association of Independent Producers and the Producers Union are all demanding the blocking of Zone-Telechargement by several local ISPs, alongside its delisting from search results.

The publication mentions four Internet service providers – Free, Numericable, Bouygues Telecom, and Orange – plus Google on the search engine front. At this stage, other search companies, such as Microsoft’s Bing, are not reported as part of the action.

In addition to Zone-Telechargement, several other ‘pirate’ sites (Papystreaming.org, Sokrostream.cc and Zonetelechargement.su, another site playing on the popular brand) are included in the legal process. All are described as “structurally infringing” by the complaining movie outfits, PCInpact notes.

The legal proceedings against the sites are based in Article 336-2 of the Intellectual Property Code. It’s ground already trodden by movie companies who following a 2011 complaint, achieved victory in 2013 against several Allostreaming-linked sites.

In that case, the High Court of Paris ordered ISPs, several of which appear in the current action, to “implement all appropriate means including blocking” to prevent access to the infringing sites.

The Court also ordered Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo to “take all necessary measures to prevent the occurrence on their services of any results referring to any of the sites” on their platforms.

Also of interest is that the action targets a service called DL-Protecte.com, which according to local anti-piracy agency HADOPI, makes it difficult for rightsholders to locate infringing content while at the same time generates more revenue for pirate sites.

A judgment is expected in “several months.”

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

SACEM Provides Details on Recent Torrent Site Raids in France

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/sacem-provides-details-on-recent-torrent-site-raids-in-france-161203/

Two weeks ago and seemingly out of the blue, popular private music tracker What.cd went offline. French military police targeted some of the site’s infrastructure at hosting provider OVH and the site responded by deleting itself.

The news came as a huge disappointment to the site’s users and the wider torrent community as a whole, but French police weren’t done yet.

In a follow-up action, French Gendarmerie targeted Zone-Telechargement (Download Zone), the country’s largest pirate site and 11th most-visited website in the region overall. That site went down too, closely followed by affiliated DDL site, DL-Protect.

Behind all of these actions is SACEM, the Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music. This industry group has a mandate to collect and distribute royalties while protecting the copyrights of its members. And according to its general secretary, they’re only just getting started.

In an interview with French news site Le Monde, David El Sayegh said that SACEM and the police hadn’t “just woken up” to pirate sites operating in France. The actions against both What.cd and Zone-Telechargement were the result of a “long process and meticulous work.”

The SACEM chief said the investigation into the two million direct download link Zone-Telechargement began two years ago in partnership with another local anti-piracy outfit. It turned up a lot of useful information.

“We filed a complaint in 2014, joined by ALPA (French Association for the Fight against Piracy). This process was to identify accounts, assets, servers and advertising agencies. It’s always quite a complex and sophisticated system, they are large investigations,” he said.

“There were many advertisements on the site, often pornographic. [Zone-Telechargement] generated at least 1.5 million euros in sales per year, with offshore accounts located in Malta, Cyprus and Belize.”

David El Sayegh said that rightsholders were looking at damages of more than
75 million euros but the operators of the site were no longer resident in France. That didn’t stop their arrests, however. Seven people were arrested on Monday in France and Andorra, with police there calling the action ‘Operation Gervais‘.

“The two administrators, arrested by international mandates, had left France to settle in Andorra. Large seizures of assets were carried out: luxury cars, real estate, and savings accounts,” he said.

The Gendarmerie confirmed the seizure of 450,000 euros and two cars and said that the men, both aged 24, were “repeat offenders.” Authorities in Andorra confirmed that 250,000 euros across several accounts had been frozen.

“We are looking at a case of counterfeiting for profit, on a large scale,” El Sayegh continued. “These people do not pay taxes, they do not pay the rightful rightsholders, they do not respect anything. They have developed a very organized and sophisticated mechanism to voluntarily operate outside the law.”

With the site targeted in France and its operators arrested in Andorra, the operation spread further afield. SACEM says that servers were also seized in Germany and as far away as Iceland, a country often associated with high levels of privacy.

Of course, the recent shutdowns were very unpopular with users, but El Sayegh said that the law is on SACEM’s side.

“These are counterfeit business activities, these are people who have grown rich on the backs of creators. They make millions without paying one euro to creators. They are thugs who should not have the compassion of one person, and who will answer for their acts before justice.”

But while harshly criticizing site operators, El Sayegh tone was a little more moderate when speaking of their users. He asked them to consider how creators are to earn a living in the face of piracy but suggested that they’re only chasing the bigger fish.

“The challenge is mainly to stop those who trade works. But the objective above all is to attack the evil at its source, and the administrators of the pirate sites,” he said.

Other unnamed targets are also in SACEM’s sights. However, it seems unlikely that many sites will continue their stay in France following the events of the past couple of weeks.

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

Police Shut Down France’s Largest Pirate Site (Updated)

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/police-shut-down-frances-largest-pirate-site161129/

zonetelecharAfter seizing several servers of the popular private music tracker What.cd two weeks ago, the French military police have now caught an even bigger fish, Zone-Telechargement.com.

With millions of regular visitors, Zone-Telechargement was ranked the 11th most-visited website in the entirety of France.

Telechargement is French for “download,” and the site offered direct downloads of a wide variety of pirated content, including films, series, games, and music. However, yesterday afternoon the site suddenly became inaccessible.

After some confusion, the French Gendarmerie took credit on Twitter, stating that an investigation had concluded that the download portal caused rightsholders 75 million euros in losses.

Gendarmerie Nationale Tweet

telechargementtweet

Founded in 2011, Zone-Telechargement’s popularity soared after the shutdown of Megaupload, which was also hugely popular in France until its shutdown early 2012.

Interestingly, it appears that the site wasn’t the only target yesterday. DL-Protect, another large direct-download site and the 19th most popular website in France according to Alexa, also went down.

While the police only mentioned one site, Zataz reports that this direct download site was targeted by the police as well. In common with the action against What.cd, French music industry group SACEM and the movie group ALPA also played a role in yesterday’s actions.

SACEM informs TorrentFreak that they will issue a comment later today.

With two prominent shutdowns in one month, it’s quite clear that the Gendarmerie’s cybercrime division and SACEM have online piracy high on their agenda.

Update: New information just released revealed that the two direct download sites were allegedly operated by the same people.

The enforcement action is a collaboration between the French Gendarmerie and the Andorran police. Seven people were apprehended, and two still remain in custody, one in Andorra and one in France.

Zataz reports that in recent years the sites generated 10 million euro in revenue.

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