Tag Archives: IFPI

Denmark Blocks Sci-Hub Plus Streaming, Torrent & YouTube-Ripping Sites

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/denmark-blocks-sci-hub-plus-streaming-torrent-youtube-ripping-sites-190926/

While many countries around Europe have frameworks in place to block ‘pirate’ sites on copyright grounds, Denmark can take credit for being a pioneer.

As long ago as 2006, music industry group IFPI began targeting Russian MP3 download site AllofMP3 and in 2008, the country became the first in the region to compel an ISP to block The Pirate Bay.

Since then, rightsholders – under the leadership of anti-piracy group RettighedsAlliancen (Rights Alliance) – have taken selective action to target further sites for blocking, specifically those that have proven themselves most popular with local audiences.

Last week, Rights Alliance indicated that it had won a new blocking order following a process at a court in Holbæk. The group said that it had targeted 11 sites in various sectors, including streaming, torrent, file-hosting and ripping sites but few other details were made available.

Information provided by Rights Alliance to TorrentFreak can now put more meat on those bones.

The action was taken on behalf of many content-related companies covering music, movies, TV shows and publishing. They include IFPI, Sony Music, Elsevier, the Danish Producers’​ Association, film company Zentropa Productions, Nimbus Film, Nordisk Film, and Scanbox Entertainment, to name a few.

The single torrent site targeted was the popular platform TorrentFunk followed by six streaming platforms – Filme3d, Filmi2k, GoMovies, HDfilmcehennemi2, PopcornTime-online, and Watch32.

Given the participation of IFPI and Sony in the process, it’s no surprise that stream-ripping platforms also make an appearance. The two sites targeted in this sector are named as YouTube converter sites Converto and MP3-YouTube. In 2018, Denmark became the first country in the world to compel an ISP to block a YouTube-ripping site.

That publisher Elsevier is involved naturally points to the blocking of Sci-Hub and Library Genesis (Libgen). These ‘pirate’ libraries of scientific papers have been blocked in a number of regions already, including France, Germany, and Russia. Neither are strangers to direct legal action either, but both sites continue their stated mission regardless.

In common with many similar procedures, the action was targeted at a local ISP, in this case Fibia. The Court ultimately determined that all of the sites infringe the plaintiffs’ copyrights and that Fibia enables its customers to access the sites in question.

As a result, Fibia was directed to block subscriber access to the sites within seven days of receiving the court order. In line with a code of conduct agreed among ISPs in Denmark, other ISPs will also block the above-named sites, despite not being named in the complaint.

Rights Alliance Director Maria Fredenslund informs TorrentFreak that this latest action represents “blocking wave 14” in Denmark and more sites will be targeted in the future.

“We file about 5-6 cases per year targeting the most popular infringing sites,” Fredenslund concludes.

Users attempting to visit the newly-blocked sites (and the hundreds blocked following previous actions) will be directed to the Share With Care campaign portal which contains advice supported by a dedicated film search engine, pointing visitors to legal sources.

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

Music Piracy Drops Dramatically, IFPI Shows

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/music-piracy-drops-dramatically-ifpi-shows-190924/

Music piracy, in various forms, has been a problem for decades but more recently stream-ripping has emerged as the dominant source.

Three years ago music industry group IFPI sounded the alarm bell. Stream-ripping had become a bigger piracy threat than other forms of piracy, including torrent sites, the group said.

This awareness motivated various music labels and publishers to crack down on ripping tools. That also led to the demise of YouTube-MP3, which once was the most popular ripping site.

While there was no shortage of enforcement actions, the stream-ripping problem only appeared to increase. By this time last year, IFPI’s yearly consumer insight report revealed that 32% of all Internet users were stream rippers, up from 30% in 2016.

Online piracy, in general, was also substantial, as 38% of the surveyed Internet users classified themselves as pirates. That number includes the stream-rippers, obtaining content from various legal sites.

These statistics are certainly concerning but what IFPI failed to note was that a downward trend was starting to emerge, one that continues today.

IFPI just released its latest consumer insight report, which it renamed to the “Music Listening” report. The main focus is on legal consumption, which is thriving. However, stream-ripping piracy is still highlighted as a major threat.

“Copyright infringement remains a challenge for the music ecosystem. 27% of all those surveyed used unlicensed methods to listen to or obtain music in the past month, while 23% used illegal stream ripping services – the leading form of music piracy,” IFPI notes.

There is little further context in the full report as IFPI doesn’t compare the numbers to earlier years, as it does with other statistics. We don’t know whether this is intentional or not, but the music industry group fails to observe one of the largest changes in piracy consumption in recent years.

This year 27% of Internet users classify themselves as music pirates, compared to 38% last year. Similarly, the percentage of stream-rippers dropped from 32% to 23% between 2018 and 2019, which is a rather dramatic decrease.

2019 piracy stats (credit: IFPI)

To put this into perspective, out of every 100 persons who were classified as music pirates last year, 29 kicked the habit. And for every 100 stream-rippers, 28 stopped. These groups obviously overlap, but it’s certainly a major shift.

Another thing we observed is that the role of search engines is no longer highlighted. This used to be a top priority. In 2016 IFPI reported that 66% of all music pirates used general search engines (e.g. Google) to find pirated music. A year later this went down to 54%, last year it dipped under 50%, and in 2019 it’s not mentioned at all.

For some reason, we think this may have been different if these trends had gone in the other direction. For example, in 2016, IFPI sounded the alarm bell when stream-ripping grew 10% while the 28% drop this year isn’t mentioned.

Perhaps the music industry group has its reasons not to discuss these newsworthy changes, but we definitely think it is at least worth pointing them out.

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

Stream-Ripping Giant Convert2MP3 Settles With Music Industry and Shuts Down

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/stream-ripping-giant-convert2mp3-settles-with-music-industry-and-shuts-down-190621/

The music industry views stream-ripping as one of the largest piracy threats, worse than torrent sites or direct download portals.

In 2016, the RIAA, IFPI, and BPI filed legal action against YouTube-MP3, the largest stream ripping site at the time. This case eventually resulted in a settlement in which the site agreed to shut down voluntarily.

This was a clear victory for the music industry, which swiftly moved on to its next targets. This included Convert2MP3, which was sued in Germany with backing from the music groups IFPI and BVMI.

With dozens of millions of monthly visitors, Convert2MP3 is one of the largest stream-rippers on the Internet. Thus far, its legal battle in Germany has mostly remained under the radar, but today it becomes clear that it has far-reaching consequences. 

Music group IFPI just announced that in a combined effort with the German industry group BVMI, it has reached a settlement with the stream-ripping site. The settlement requires the site to shut down immediately and hand over its domain name to IFPI. 

The settlement agreement further requires the operator to pay financial compensation but the actual amount is not mentioned.

The agreement comes after a German court issued a preliminary injunction against Convert2MP3. The court concluded that the site circumvented technological protection measures, using software it owned or produced.

Convert2MP3

IFPI’s Chief Executive Frances Moore is pleased with the outcome and hopes that it will motivate other stream-rippers to follow suit.

“Stream ripping is a threat to the entire music ecosystem. Sites such as Convert2MP3 show complete disregard for the rights of artists and record companies and take money away from those creating and investing in music.

“The successful outcome if this case sends a clear signal to other stream ripping sites that they should stop their copyright infringing activities or face legal action,” Moore adds.

Not everyone agrees that these type of sites are by definition copyright-infringing. In a letter to the US Trade Representative, digital rights group EFF previously stressed that there are plenty of legal use cases as well.

“[M]any audio extractions qualify as non-infringing fair uses under copyright. Providing a service that is capable of extracting audio tracks for these lawful purposes is itself lawful, even if some users infringe,” EFF wrote.

That said, the music industry is determined to keep challenging these sites. There is an ongoing court case against FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com in the US, and in Denmark and Australia stream-rippers including Convert2MP3 are blocked by court order.

The latter blockades are less useful now that Convert2MP3 has agreed to shut down. The domain currently displays a message from the music industry groups and the site’s Facebook and Twitter profiles have been removed.

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

GoDaddy to Suspend ‘Pirate’ Domain Following Music Industry Complaints

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/godaddy-to-suspend-pirate-domain-following-music-industry-complaints-180601/

Most piracy-focused sites online conduct their business with minimal interference from outside parties. In many cases, a heap of DMCA notices filed with Google represents the most visible irritant.

Others, particularly those with large audiences, can find themselves on the end of a web blockade. Mostly court-ordered, blocking measures restrict the ability of Internet users to visit a site due to ISPs restricting traffic.

In some regions, where copyright holders have the means to do so, they choose to tackle a site’s infrastructure instead, which could mean complaints to webhosts or other service providers. At times, this has included domain registries, who are asked to disable domains on copyright grounds.

This is exactly what has happened to Fox-MusicaGratis.com, a Spanish-language music piracy site that incurred the wrath of IFPI member UNIMPRO – the Peruvian Union of Phonographic Producers.

Pirate music, suspended domain

In a process that’s becoming more common in the region, UNIMPRO initially filed a complaint with the Copyright Commission (Comisión de Derecho de Autor (CDA)) which conducted an investigation into the platform’s activities.

“The CDA considered, among other things, the irreparable damage that would have been caused to the legitimate rights owners, taking into account the large number of users who could potentially have visited said website, which was making available endless musical recordings for commercial purposes, without authorization of the holders of rights,” a statement from CDA reads.

The administrative process was carried out locally with the involvement of the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi), an autonomous public body tasked with handling anti-competitive behavior, unfair competition, and intellectual property matters.

Indecopi HQ

The matter was decided in favor of the rightsholders and a subsequent ruling included an instruction for US-based domain name registry GoDaddy to suspend Fox-MusicaGratis.com. According to the copyright protection entity, GoDaddy agreed to comply, to prevent further infringement.

This latest action involving a music piracy site registered with GoDaddy follows on the heels of a similar enforcement process back in March.

Mp3Juices-Download-Free.com, Melodiavip.net, Foxmusica.site and Fulltono.me were all music sites offering MP3 content without copyright holders’ permission. They too were the subject of an UNIMPRO complaint which resulted in orders for GoDaddy to suspend their domains.

In the cases of all five websites, GoDaddy was given the chance to appeal but there is no indication that the company has done so. GoDaddy did not respond to a request for comment.

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

ISP Telenor Will Block The Pirate Bay in Sweden Without a Shot Fired

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/isp-telenor-will-block-the-pirate-bay-in-sweden-without-a-shot-fired-180520/

Back in 2014, Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Nordisk Film and the Swedish Film Industry filed a lawsuit against Bredbandsbolaget, one of Sweden’s largest ISPs.

The copyright holders asked the Stockholm District Court to order the ISP to block The Pirate Bay and streaming site Swefilmer, claiming that the provider knowingly facilitated access to the pirate platforms and assisted their pirating users.

Soon after the ISP fought back, refusing to block the sites in a determined response to the Court.

“Bredbandsbolaget’s role is to provide its subscribers with access to the Internet, thereby contributing to the free flow of information and the ability for people to reach each other and communicate,” the company said in a statement.

“Bredbandsbolaget does not block content or services based on individual organizations’ requests. There is no legal obligation for operators to block either The Pirate Bay or Swefilmer.”

In February 2015 the parties met in court, with Bredbandsbolaget arguing in favor of the “important principle” that ISPs should not be held responsible for content exchanged over the Internet, in the same way the postal service isn’t responsible for the contents of an envelope.

But with TV companies SVT, TV4 Group, MTG TV, SBS Discovery and C More teaming up with the IFPI alongside Paramount, Disney, Warner and Sony in the case, Bredbandsbolaget would need to pull out all the stops to obtain victory. The company worked hard and initially the news was good.

In November 2015, the Stockholm District Court decided that the copyright holders could not force Bredbandsbolaget to block the pirate sites, ruling that the ISP’s operations did not amount to participation in the copyright infringement offenses carried out by some of its ‘pirate’ subscribers.

However, the case subsequently went to appeal, with the brand new Patent and Market Court of Appeal hearing arguments. In February 2017 it handed down its decision, which overruled the earlier ruling of the District Court and ordered Bredbandsbolaget to implement “technical measures” to prevent its customers accessing the ‘pirate’ sites through a number of domain names and URLs.

With nowhere left to go, Bredbandsbolaget and owner Telenor were left hanging onto their original statement which vehemently opposed site-blocking.

“It is a dangerous path to go down, which forces Internet providers to monitor and evaluate content on the Internet and block websites with illegal content in order to avoid becoming accomplices,” they said.

In March 2017, Bredbandsbolaget blocked The Pirate Bay but said it would not give up the fight.

“We are now forced to contest any future blocking demands. It is the only way for us and other Internet operators to ensure that private players should not have the last word regarding the content that should be accessible on the Internet,” Bredbandsbolaget said.

While it’s not clear whether any additional blocking demands have been filed with the ISP, this week an announcement by Bredbandsbolaget parent company Telenor revealed an unexpected knock-on effect. Seemingly without a single shot being fired, The Pirate Bay will now be blocked by Telenor too.

The background lies in Telenor’s acquisition of Bredbandsbolaget back in 2005. Until this week the companies operated under separate brands but will now merge into one entity.

“Telenor Sweden and Bredbandsbolaget today take the final step on their joint trip and become the same company with the same name. As a result, Telenor becomes a comprehensive provider of broadband, TV and mobile communications,” the company said in a statement this week.

“Telenor Sweden and Bredbandsbolaget have shared both logo and organization for the last 13 years. Today, we take the last step in the relationship and consolidate the companies under the same name.”

Up until this final merger, 600,000 Bredbandsbolaget broadband customers were denied access to The Pirate Bay. Now it appears that Telenor’s 700,000 fiber and broadband customers will be affected too. The new single-brand company says it has decided to block the notorious torrent site across its entire network.

“We have not discontinued Bredbandsbolaget, but we have merged Telenor and Bredbandsbolaget and become one,” the company said.

“When we share the same network, The Pirate Bay is blocked by both Telenor and Bredbandsbolaget and there is nothing we plan to change in the future.”

TorrentFreak contacted the PR departments of both Telenor and Bredbandsbolaget requesting information on why a court order aimed at only the latter’s customers would now affect those of the former too, more than doubling the blockade’s reach. Neither company responded which leaves only speculation as to its motives.

On the one hand, the decision to voluntarily implement an expanded blockade could perhaps be viewed as a little unusual given how much time, effort and money has been invested in fighting web-blockades in Sweden.

On the other, the merger of the companies may present legal difficulties as far as the court order goes and it could certainly cause friction among the customer base of Telenor if some customers could access TPB, and others could not.

In any event, the legal basis for web-blocking on copyright infringement grounds was firmly established last year at the EU level, which means that Telenor would lose any future legal battle, should it decide to dig in its heels. On that basis alone, the decision to block all customers probably makes perfect commercial sense.

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