Tag Archives: news

Free Spotify and YouTube Users Are Now a Bigger Challenge Than Music Pirates

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/free-spotify-and-youtube-users-are-now-a-bigger-challenge-than-music-pirates-190721/

Pirate site blocking has proven to be a rather effective copyright enforcement tool in many countries.

Italy, one of the European frontrunners, has taken a particularly active approach. In recent years, thousands of domain names have been added to the nation’s pirate blocklist, following complaints from a wide range of copyright holders.

It is not just the numbers that set Italy apart, the blocking mechanism itself is unique as well. To have a website blocked, rightsholders can ask the local telecoms watchdog Agcom to issue an order, without need for a trial.

Instead of dealing with blockades in court, Agcom has the power to grant injunctions without judicial overview, which it does on a regular basis. Over the past year alone, 385 blocking orders were issued by the telecoms watchdog.

The site blocking efforts have obviously decreased traffic to the targeted sites, but according to data released by Agcom, the number of visits to all pirate sites combined has dropped too. As shown below, the number of mobile and desktop visits to pirate sites decreased more than a third (35%) between 2018 and 2019. 

The downward traffic trend is visible across all types of piracy sites but, logically, the traffic drop for the blocked sites is most pronounced. The graph below shows that the number of visitors to blocked sites tank swiftly after a new blocking order is issued. 

For example, in January 2019 2conv.com (blue line) and flv2mp3.by (green line) were blocked, and soon after, the visitor numbers went down. 

Agcom and various entertainment industry groups are happy with the overall impact. They believe that, after many years, they finally managed to get a grip on piracy.

TorrentFreak spoke to Enzo Mazza, chief at Italian music industry group FIMI, who believes that a combination of site blocking and educational campaigns has paid off.

“The first major blockade targeted the Pirate Bay in 2008 and the case was confirmed by the Supreme Court. In terms of market impact, site blocking has proven to be effective in conjunction with the increase of the legal offer,” Mazza says.

“The Agcom regulation played a great role, also in terms of education and awareness. Most of the blocked sites have a landing page, created by Agcom and shown by the ISPs, which explains visitors how to reach legal sites.”

While this is positive news for the Italian music industry, it doesn’t mean that all is well. Mazza informs us that there are bigger problems than piracy. Ironically, these problems are linked to the legal alternatives many pirates have switched to. 

“The main issue here is not piracy. It’s how to convert people from free YouTube and Spotify accounts to premium services,” Mazza says.”Italy is a country where the ‘culture of free’ is radicated and it’s not easy to drag people into a subscription model.”

Nearly 90% of Italian music consumers use YouTube to stream music, which is a problem for the industry. While these people are enjoying music legally, record labels would like to see these people converted into paying customers.

“Conversion rates are still below the global average and this is a major challenge for the industry. We are urging in particular Spotify to do more in terms of promotional campaigns in order to engage new premium customers,” Mazza says. 

So, while the website blocking efforts have helped to bring piracy rates down, this isn’t immedially resulting in much more revenue.

The next step is to convert these same people into paying subscribers. However, this should be done witch caution, as cutting the free options could simply drive people back to pirate sites. 

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

Alleged KickassTorrents Founder Continues to Fight US Extradition

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/alleged-kickasstorrents-founder-continues-to-fight-us-extradition-190720/

On July 20th, 2016, exactly three years ago today, the torrent community was in dire straits.

Polish law enforcement officers had just apprehended Artem Vaulin, the alleged founder of KickassTorrents (KAT), at a local airport.

The arrest was part of a U.S. criminal case which also listed two other men as key players. At the time, KAT was the most-used torrent site around, so the authorities couldn’t have hit a more prominent target.

The criminal case marked the end of the torrent site and the start of a lengthy legal battle for the suspected operator.

To this day, Vaulin remains in limbo. March 2017, the Warsaw District Court ruled in first instance that the alleged KickassTorrents owner can be extradited. However, more than two years have now passed and the final ruling has yet to come in. 

Vaulin is currently out on bail awaiting the final decision on the extradition request from the United States, while the other two defendants are still at large.

Over the past year, there have been no official updates. Vaulin’s defense team informed us that things haven’t really moved. In addition, a new status report filed by US Attorney John R. Lausch Jr. this week shows that there’s little progress.

“Defendant is still undergoing extradition proceedings in Poland, and the parties are not currently aware of a timetable for a resolution of those proceedings,” Lausch Jr. informed the court. 

Status update

The case’s status hearing, which was initially scheduled for last Wednesday, has now been postponed until October. It’s unclear, however, whether there will be any progress by then.

Back in 2016, the defense team submitted a motion to dismiss the entire case. Among other things, it argued that torrent files themselves are not copyrighted content. The court decided, however, that the US Government’s case is strong enough to continue.

Since that decision, more than two years ago, there hasn’t been any progress as both parties await the extradition decision. 

Meanwhile, it’s pretty clear that the original KickassTorrents is not coming back. The site’s spirit remains online, though. Several former staffers of the site relaunched a KAT spinoff late 2016, and that site is still going strong. 

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

Google Fined Again For Not Removing Banned Sites From Search Results

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/google-fined-again-for-not-removing-banned-sites-from-search-results-190720/

In order to control what kind of information its citizens have access to online, Russia operates an Internet ‘blacklist’.

Known locally as FGIS (Unified Register of Prohibited Information), the database contains the domains of thousands of sites containing anything from extremist material to pirated copies of movies and TV shows.

Major online technology platforms are expected to interface with FGIS to ensure they receive up-to-date information on which sites are forbidden in Russia. In the case of search engines, the database provides details on which sites should be removed from search results.

After failing to connect its systems to the FGIS and deindexing sites as required, last December Google was fined by Russian authorities. That was followed by threats from local telecoms watch Roscomnadzor early 2019 that the US-based company could be fined again for non-compliance, as well as facing a potential block itself.

In February 2019 it was reported that Google was finally playing ball and everything was running more smoothly. However, that appears not have been the case. According to an announcement published this week by Roscomnadzor, Google has been fined again.

“The company has not complied with the requirements of the law..[..]..by excluding from search results links to Internet resources with illegal information, access to which is restricted in Russia,” Roscomndazor said.

“The control event recorded that Google carries out selective filtering of search results – more than a third of the links from a single registry of prohibited information are still preserved in its search results.”

Explaining that Google has been told repeatedly of the legal requirements in Russia, the watchdog revealed that the fine handed down was 700,000 rubles – just US$11,098 – a drop in the ocean as far as Google is concerned.

Digital rights group Roscomsvoboda reports that in April 2019, Google had removed 80% of the specified banned content from its search results. However, data covering the period ending May, for which the fine was levied, showed that removal levels had fallen to 67.5%.

Last month, when Google learned that it was in line for another fine after a warning from Roscomnadzor, the company expressed surprise.

“We have not changed anything. A couple of months ago we agreed that we will not connect to the registry of banned sites and will not blindly delete anything, but consider requests to delete content, and where it meets the requirements, we remove content from the Russian service,” a spokesperson said.

“We do not understand why Roscomnadzor is talking about a new case or where they get these figures from.”

Whether Google will eventually connect to the FGIS isn’t clear. It currently receives a daily list of sites to be blocked and acts on those as it sees fit. Only time will tell whether that will be enough for Roscomndazor moving forward.

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

AWS Named as a Leader in Gartner’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Magic Quadrant for the 9th Consecutive Year

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-named-as-a-leader-in-gartners-infrastructure-as-a-service-iaas-magic-quadrant-for-the-9th-consecutiveyear/

My colleagues on the AWS service teams work to deliver what customers want today, and also do their best to anticipate what they will need tomorrow. This Customer Obsession, along with our commitment to Hire and Develop the Best (two of the fourteen Amazon Leadership Principles), helps us to figure out, and then to deliver on, our vision. It is always good to see that our hard work continues to delight customers, and to be recognized by Gartner and other leading analysts.

For the ninth consecutive year, AWS has secured the top-right corner of the Leader’s quadrant in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), earning highest placement for Ability to Execute and furthest for Completeness of Vision:

The full report contains a lot of detail and is a great summary of the features and factors that our customers examine when choosing a cloud provider.

Jeff;

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Pirate Bay Overblocking Hits EZTV Due to Shared Cloudflare IP Address

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-overblocking-190718/

The Pirate Bay is arguably the most widely blocked website on the Internet. ISPs from all over the world have been ordered to prevent users from accessing the torrent site.

This is also the case in the Netherlands. While the issue remains pending at the Supreme Court, ISPs including Ziggo are already required to prevent users from accessing the popular torrent site.

A court ruling of 2017 required Ziggo to block both domain names and IP-addresses of The Pirate Bay and its many proxies. The list of blocked domains has grown to hundreds in recent years and the Dutch blocklist is regularly updated with new domains and IP-addresses by anti-piracy group BREIN.

Thus far, this hasn’t caused any trouble but earlier this month several torrent users noticed that Ziggo’s Pirate Bay blockade had carried over to EZTV.io, another popular torrent site. While EZTV also provides access to infringing content, it’s not covered by the court order. 

Still, EZTV users were welcomed by the following message from Ziggo when they tried to access the site.

Blocking message (translated)

As it turns out, both EZTV and The Pirate Bay use Cloudflare and the CDN company decided to put both sites on the same IP-address. As a result, Ziggo’s filters also blocked access to EZTV, which is a classic example of overblocking. 

Ziggo confirmed the error to local news site Tweakers but said that there was little it could do without an update from BREIN. 

“Despite the fact that Ziggo has repeatedly pointed out these these types of risks, the court did not sufficiently account for these types of complications. This means that even if we see or are reminded that a website is being incorrectly blocked, Ziggo is obliged to uphold the blockade, until further notice from Brein,” Ziggo noted.

The ISP said that it informed BREIN about the issue early July, but the list wasn’t immediately updated. This meant that EZTV remained blocked for at least a week. The torrent site was eventually unblocked after BREIN asked Cloudflare to put ETZV on a separate IP-address.

BREIN director Tim Kuik admits that the overblocking took place but doesn’t known why Cloudflare put the sites on the same IP-address. 

“I have no idea why EZTV became available at that IP address. Just like The Pirate Bay, they use Cloudflare and someone apparently thought it was a good idea,” Kuik told Tweakers

While BREIN helped to get EZTV unblocked again, Kuik stresses that the torrent site is illegal as well. The anti-piracy group summoned EZTV to stop its infringing activity and plans to have it blocked in the future as well, once the Pirate Bay case is finalized at the Supreme Court.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that shared Cloudflare IP-addresses has resulted on overblocking. Two years go, dozens of pirate sites were mistakenly blocked by Internet backbone provider Cogent, following a court order. Cloudflare eventually resolved the matter by putting the sites on separate IP-addresses.

At the time, Cloudflare’s General Counsel Doug Kramer told TorrentFreak that it’s important for his company to understand how different blocks operate around the world, so  it can limit coleteral damage. However, that clearly didn’t work in EZTV’s case.

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

Meet the Newest AWS News Bloggers!

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/meet-the-newest-aws-news-bloggers/

I wrote my first post for this blog way back in 2004! Over the course of the first decade, the amount of time that I devoted to the blog grew from a small fraction of my day to a full day. In the early days my email inbox was my primary source of information about upcoming launches, and also my primary tool for managing my work backlog. When that proved to be unscalable, Ana came onboard and immediately built a ticketing system and set up a process for teams to request blog posts. Today, a very capable team (Greg, Devin, and Robin) takes care of tickets, platforms, comments, metrics, and so forth so that I can focus on what I like to do best: using new services and writing about them!

Over the years we have experimented with a couple of different strategies to scale the actual writing process. If you are a long-time reader you may have seen posts from Mike, Jinesh, Randall, Tara, Shaun, and a revolving slate of guest bloggers.

News Bloggers
I would like to introduce you to our current lineup of AWS News Bloggers. Like me, the bloggers have a technical background and are prepared to go hands-on with every new service and feature. Here’s our roster:

Steve Roberts (@bellevuesteve) – Steve focuses on .NET tools and technologies.

Julien Simon (@julsimon) – Julien likes to help developers and enterprises to bring their ideas to life.

Brandon West (@bwest) – Brandon leads our developer relations team in the Americas, and has written a book on the topic.

Martin Beeby (@thebeebs) – Martin focuses on .NET applications, and has worked as a C# and VB developer since 2001.

Danilo Poccia (@danilop) – Danilo works with companies of any size to support innovation. He is the author of AWS Lambda in Action.

Sébastien Stormacq (@sebesto) – Sébastien works with builders to unlock the value of the AWS cloud, using his secret blend of passion, enthusiasm, customer advocacy, curiosity, and creativity.

We are already gearing up for re:Invent 2019, and can’t wait to bring you a rich set of blog posts. Stay tuned!

Jeff;

‘Repeat Copyright Infringer’ Case Against Cloudflare Can Continue, Court Rules

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/repeat-copyright-infringer-case-against-cloudflare-can-continue-court-rules-190716/

Popular CDN and DDoS protection service Cloudflare has come under a lot of pressure from copyright holders in recent years.

The company offers its services to millions of sites, including some of the world’s leading pirate sites.

Many rightsholders are not happy with this. They accuse Cloudflare of facilitating copyright infringement by continuing to provide access to these platforms. At the same time, they call out the CDN service for masking the true hosting locations of these ‘bad actors’.

Cloudflare’s activities have also triggered some lawsuits. Just last week, we reported that an Italian court ordered the company to terminate the accounts of several pirate sites. In the U.S. there’s an ongoing copyright infringement case as well, which brought more bad news for the company a few days ago.

The case in question wasn’t filed by any of the major entertainment industry players, but by two manufacturers and wholesalers of wedding dresses. Not a typical “piracy” lawsuit, but it’s a copyright case that could have broad effects.

In a complaint filed at a federal court in California last year, Mon Cheri Bridals and Maggie Sottero Designs argued that even after multiple warnings, Cloudflare fails to terminate sites operated by counterfeit vendors. This makes Cloudflare liable for the associated copyright infringements, they said.

Cloudflare responded to the allegations and in April it filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. The company said that the rightsholders failed to state a proper claim, as the takedown notices were not proof of infringement, among other things. In addition, the notices were not formatted properly. 

“Plaintiffs characterize their notifications as ‘credible’ without stating any facts that demonstrate their credibility. In any event, defective notifications, like those the plaintiffs sent to Cloudflare, cannot support any claim of actual knowledge,” Cloudflare argued.

According to Cloudflare, the notifications “may or may not be true”. Without a court determining whether they are accurate or not, the company says they don’t “convey actual knowledge of infringement.” As such, the company doesn’t believe it can be held liable.

District Judge Vince Chhabria disagrees, however. In an order signed a few days ago he denies the motion to dismiss. According to the Judge, the allegations and claims made by the wedding dress manufacturers are sufficient at this stage of the case.

“Cloudflare’s main argument – that contributory liability cannot be based on a defendant’s knowledge of infringing conduct and continued material contribution to it – is wrong,” Judge Chhabria writes.

“Allegations that Cloudflare knew its customer-websites displayed infringing material and continued to provide those websites with faster load times and concealed identities are sufficient to state a claim,” he adds.

Cloudflare also pointed out other deficiencies in the notices, and stressed that it’s not a hosting provider, but these comments were countered too. At this stage of the case, it’s enough to show that Cloudflare was aware of the alleged infringements, the Court notes.

“The notices allegedly sent by the plaintiffs gave Cloudflare specific information, including a link to the offending website and a link to the underlying copyrighted material, to plausibly allege that Cloudflare had actual knowledge of the infringing activity,” Judge Chhabria writes.

The denial of Cloudflare’s motion to dismiss means that the case will move forward. While the case has nothing to do with traditional pirate sites, any rulings could spill over, which means that other copyright holders will watch this case closely.

Mon Cheri Bridals and Maggie Sottero ultimately hope to recoup damages for the losses they’ve suffered as well preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to stop all infringing activity.

Cloudflare, for its part, will argue that it’s not actively participating in any infringing activity and that it merely has a role as a third-party intermediary, which is not liable for the alleged infringing activities of its customers.

A copy of District Judge Vince Chhabria’s order 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.

Premier League Wins New ISP Piracy Blocking Order

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/premier-league-wins-new-isp-piracy-blocking-order-190716/

Blocking websites associated with piracy is one of the most common tools deployed against unauthorized content distribution involving movies, TV shows, and music.

However, the rising consumption of pirate sources of live TV, particularly sports, has presented broadcasters with a new challenge.

The Premier League has been attempting to solve this problem in the UK with so-called ‘dynamic’ blocking injunctions, one which allows servers to be blocked in real-time by ISPs, as matches are underway.

Earlier this month it was reported that the League had filed an application to expand this effort to Ireland. Targeting major ISPs Eircom, Sky, Virgin Media, and Vodafone, the League sought permission to have these companies quickly respond to blocking demands.

On Monday in the Commercial Court, after ISPs either supported or failed to oppose the application, the proposal was converted into Ireland’s first dynamic blocking injunction. It will aim to prevent consumers from accessing ‘pirate’ streams via IPTV services, websites, apps, and third-party Kodi addons.

Counsel for the Premier League told the Court that the bulk of those the company is seeking to block access the company’s matches via set-top boxes.

According to a report from Irish Times, the IP addresses of streaming hosts will be updated at least twice while matches are underway so that ISPs are able to prevent their subscribers from accessing the locations. Once the matches have ended, the blocking measures are supposed to stop.

There is also a nod to due process, with hosting companies being told of the existence of the order enabling them to notify their customers (the alleged infringers) that their streams will be blocked.

Targeted suppliers, almost certainly IPTV providers, are also given permission to apply to the court to have their servers unblocked, if any of their legitimate content is rendered inaccessible as a result of the injunction.

In common with the applications in the UK, the order granted in Ireland was in part based on “confidential information” that only the court and the parties involved have access to in order to prevent technical circumvention of the order.

The precise nature of that information isn’t clear but we’re informed that the blocking process is already well understood by outside parties, with providers able to take countermeasures and, if all else fails, end-users able to deploy VPNs.

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

Aptoide Removes ‘Popcorn Time’ and ‘Showbox’ Apps Following Piracy Lawsuit

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/aptoide-removes-popcorn-time-and-showbox-apps-following-piracy-lawsuit-190713/

Aptoide is a third-party alternative to Google’s official Play Store. Among other things, it allows users to install a variety of apps on their Android devices.

The marketplace, which is operated from Portugal, recently accused Google of anti-competitive behavior after is was flagged as being insecure.

The brawl with Google is not Aptoide’s only concern though. A few weeks ago the company was sued by two movie outfits; TBV Productions and Hunter Killer Productions. These are the companies behind the movies “I Feel Pretty” and “Hunter Killer” respectively.

The movie outfits, which are not new to piracy-related lawsuits, accuse Aptoide of facilitating massive piracy. Specifically, the complaint states that the company induces, encourages and promotes the use of Popcorn Time and Showbox for blatant copyright infringement.

Popcorn Time and Showbox are free applications that allow users to stream video. They both support BitTorrent streaming and are regularly linked to piracy. This has led to legal issues for developers in the past, and the two movie companies are now expanding this to the app marketplace.

“Plaintiffs bring this action to stop the massive piracy of their motion pictures brought on by the software applications Show Box app and Popcorn Time,” the complaint reads.

The movie companies note that Aptoide marks both apps as “Trusted” which means that they are “100% safe.” While that refers to potential security issues, the Plaintiffs see it as an endorsement. 

According to Aptoide’s stats the two apps are quite popular. Popcorn Time was reportedly downloaded between 500,000 and 3 million times, while Showbox is credited with 5 to 25 million downloads. No surprise, perhaps, as both apps are described as great sources to get free movies.

The Showbox app is described as “all you’ll ever need to watch movies and tv shows for free” and “The app supports torrent downloads…” Popcorn Time’s description reads “The legendary app lets you stream and watch movies and TV shows for free…”

Showbox on Aptoide

According to the movie companies, it’s clear that Aptoide promotes the apps for infringing uses. 

“Defendant Aptoide promotes Popcorn Time and the Show Box app
overwhelmingly, if not exclusively, for purposes of infringing Copyright protected content, including Plaintiffs’,” they write. 

From the complaint

As such, the rightsholders demand statutory damages for the alleged infringing activities, which could reach $150,000 per work, as well as an injunction to stop Aptoide from offering these apps to the public. 

However, it seems that the injunction is no longer required as Aptoide has already removed the apps from its marketplace. The original Showbox and Popcorn Time URLs, which are listed in the complaint, now return an error

“We could not find the App you are looking for. Try to use the search form above to find your App,” the error reads.

Several other Popcorn Time apps were removed as well, even though they were not listed in the complaint. 

It’s not clear when the apps were removed but it happened after the lawsuit was filed. The movie companies mention that TBV Productions, Inc. tried to get the apps removed before the complaint was filed, but to no avail. 

It appears that the legal action may have motivated Aptoide to spring into action. We reached out to the company for a comment on the app removal and the lawsuit, but at the time of writing we haven’t heard back. 

While the case remains ongoing for now, Aptoide’s recent actions suggest that it’s willing to resolve the matter. However, that likely means that they will have to keep a close eye on other apps as well, because a new Showbox was just added to their repository. 

A copy of the complaint TBV Productions and Hunter Killer Productions filed against against Aptoide 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.

Judge Denies $10K Default Judgment Against Alleged Pirate

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/judge-denies-10k-default-judgment-against-alleged-pirate-170712/

In recent years, file-sharers around the world have been pressured to pay significant settlement fees, or face legal repercussions.

As the most active copyright litigant in the United States, adult entertainment outfit Malibu Media has been on the frontline of these efforts in recent years..

The company, widely known for its popular “X-Art” brand, has gone after thousands of alleged offenders. Many of its targets eventually pay up and those who fail to respond can face costly default judgments.

New Jersey resident Joe Park found himself in the latter category. The man was named in a Malibu Media lawsuit last year and failed to respond. Not just to the settlement requests, but also to the lawsuit filed at the New Jersey District Court.

Without a response, the complaining party can request a default judgment. This is exactly what Malibu Media did. It submitted a motion arguing that it’s entitled to $10,500.00 in statutory damages for copyright infringement and an additional $559.99 in costs.

In many cases, courts grant default judgment requests, as there is no defense. This has allowed Malibu Media to collect dozens, if not hundreds of default judgments. However, in the present matter, U.S. District Court Judge John Michael Vazquez decided otherwise.

In an opinion released this week, Judge Vazquez denied the motion, concluding that Malibu Media isn’t entitled to anything.

The denial is based on a culmination of rulings in similar BitTorrent piracy cases. While Malibu Media portrayed the defendant as a persistent copyright infringer, the Court is far from convinced.

“The Court is not satisfied that Plaintiff has sufficiently demonstrated that the named Defendant actually committed the complained of acts of infringement,” Judge Vazquez writes.

The Court doesn’t deny that it has jurisdiction or that the defendant was properly served, as it required. However, after reviewing several relevant decisions in similar cases, it is not convinced that there is enough evidence to show that the defendant is liable.

Among other things, the opinion cites a ruling from U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, who previously denied a subpoena requested in a similar case filed by Strike 3. This highlighted that the IP-address evidence used in these cases is “famously flawed” and not trustworthy.

Judge Lamberth also criticized the litigation effort in general, accusing the “copyright troll” practice as a “high-tech shakedown” where courts are used “as an ATM.”

Judge Vazquez further cites last year’s Cobbler Nevada v. Gonzales case. Here, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that identifying the registered subscriber of an IP-address by itself is not enough to plausibly claim that this person is also the infringer.

“Plaintiff will have to show something more than merely tying Defendant to an IP address in order to sufficiently establish copyright infringement,” Judge Vazquez notes.

This ‘something more’ can be quite a stumbling block for these cases, as the rightsholders often have little or no evidence to tie the infringements to a person, other than an IP-address.

The Court realizes that this puts Malibu Media in a tough spot, but sees no other option than to deny the motion for a default judgment.

The ruling is significant in the sense that, without any defense arguments from the accused pirate, a court refused to grant a default judgment. While this is by no means the end of these type of lawsuits, it certainly represents another setback for the ‘copyright troll’ efforts.

A copy of U.S. District Court Judge John Michael Vazquez’s order 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.

Apple Needs to Tackle ‘Pirate’ Music Apps, Labels Insist

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/apple-needs-to-tackle-pirate-music-apps-labels-insist-190712/

The popularity of smartphones and their accompanying software ecosystems have given rise to large volumes of applications that appear to infringe copyright.

With its side-loading ability, Android is by far the most affected platform, with apps easily installable on millions of devices granting access to unlicensed content, including music, movies, and TV shows.

However, even when apps are pre-vetted for availability on Google Play or Apple’s App Store, some rogue tools slip through the net. This situation is unacceptable to most rightsholders but given the manner in which music is often consumed these days, recording labels tend to be the most dissatisfied.

This has prompted a large coalition of music-focused industry groups, headed up by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), to write to Apple demanding change.

In a joint request the RIAJ, the Japan Association of Music Enterprises, the Music Publishers Association of Japan, and the Federation of Music Producers Japan, to name just four, seek assurances from the US-based tech giant that it will “tighten up” its processes to prevent “unauthorized” streaming apps ending up on its platform.

According to the industry groups, “unauthorized” means any app that allows a user to stream music in “ways that fall beyond the intention of the music’s copyright and neighboring right holders.”

The groups don’t offer any specifics but it seems extremely likely that given the pressure on sites and tools that rip, source, or otherwise cull content from YouTube, these are prime candidates for Apple’s attention.

“The recent torrent of Unauthorized Music Apps flooding the industry is enabling users to listen to music for free, resulting in these app operators to gain unfair profits through advertising sales,” the groups write.

“These operators are not only committing copyright infringement, but also stealing profit from the music’s rightful copyright owners and legitimate service providers—profit that they would have otherwise gained through CD sales, downloads, and streaming.”

That CD sales are placed at the head of the list is unsurprising. Despite much of the world ditching plastic discs in favor of digital streaming, Japan still has a love affair with the format, albeit one that’s on the wane.

According to figures published by the RIAJ, 88.65 million CDs were produced in Japan during 2018, down 13 percent on the previous year. That’s compared to 52 million units sold across the entire US during 2018. In 2014, around 85% of music sales in Japan came from CDs. Around 54% of consumption now comes from streaming.

The RIAJ acknowledges that Apple removes “unlicensed apps” from its App Store in response to takedown requests. However, removed apps sometimes reappear on the platform after being disguised as new tools. As a result, the RIAJ wants to be involved in the app approval process, to ensure that rogue software doesn’t appear on the App Store.

Calling for Apple to “strengthen its review process”, the RIAJ says the US company should begin “contacting and working with RIAJ for apps suspected to be Unauthorized Music Apps” while expediting takedowns for tools that violate Apple’s own terms and conditions.

“The music industry associations and music streaming service providers will continue to discuss and engage in efforts to tighten control over Unauthorized Music Apps, strive to build an honest and fair market, and demand speedy amendment of the Copyright Act that regulates leeching sites and apps,” the RIAJ concludes.

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

AWS New York Summit 2019 – Summary of Launches & Announcements

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-new-york-summit-2019-summary-of-launches-announcements/

The AWS New York Summit just wrapped up! Here’s a quick summary of what we launched and announced:

Amazon EventBridge – This new service builds on the event-processing model that forms the basis for Amazon CloudWatch Events, and makes it easy for you to integrate your AWS applications with SaaS applications such as Zendesk, Datadog, SugarCRM, and Onelogin. Read my blog post, Amazon EventBridge – Event-Driven AWS Integration for your SaaS Applications, to learn more.

Werner announces EventBridge – Photo by Serena

Cloud Development Kit – CDK is now generally available, with support for TypeScript and Python. Read Danilo‘s post, AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) – TypeScript and Python are Now Generally Available, to learn more.

Fluent Bit Plugins for AWSFluent Bit is a multi-platform, open source log processor and forwarder that is compatible with Docker and Kubernetes environments. You can now build a container image that includes new Fluent Bit plugins for Amazon CloudWatch and Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose. The plugins routes logs to CloudWatch, Amazon S3, Amazon Redshift, and Amazon Elasticsearch Service. Read Centralized Container Logging with Fluent Bit to learn more.


Nicki, Randall, Robert, and Steve – Photo by Deepak

AWS Toolkit for VS Code – This toolkit lets you develop and test locally (including step-through debugging) in a Lambda-like environment, and then deploy to the AWS Region of your choice. You can invoke Lambda functions locally or remotely, with full control of the function configuration, including the event payload and environment variables. To learn more, read Announcing AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio Code.

Amazon CloudWatch Container Insights (preview) – You can now create CloudWatch Dashboards that monitor the performance and health of your Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate clusters, tasks, containers, and services. Read Using Container Insights to learn more.

CloudWatch Anomaly Detection (preview) – This cool addition to CloudWatch uses machine learning to continuously analyze system and application metrics, determine a nominal baseline, and surface anomalies, all without user intervention. It adapts to trends, and helps to identity unexpected changes in performance or behavior. Read the CloudWatch Anomaly Detection documentation to learn more.

Amazon SageMaker Managed Spot Training (coming soon) – You will soon be able to use Amazon EC2 Spot to lower the cost of training your machine learning models. This upcoming enhancement to SageMaker will lower your training costs by up to 70%, and can be used in conjunction with Automatic Model Training.

Jeff;

 

Two Pirate Site Operators Jailed For a Total of 66 Months

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/two-pirate-site-operators-jailed-for-a-total-of-66-months-190711/

The popularity of Usenet – sometimes known as the newsgroups – has been on the wane for some years now.

Nevertheless, the worldwide system is still home to astonishing quantities of pirated media, including movies, TV shows, music, games and software.

In November 2017, following an investigation by local anti-piracy group GVU, authorities in Germany revealed that they hadn’t taken their eyes off this significant avenue of pirate supply.

Sharing sites Town.ag and Usenet-Town were said to be at the center of the Usenet scene in the region, together facilitating access to well over a million copyright-infringing works. However, following raids in Germany, Spain, Netherlands, San Marino, Switzerland and Canada – carried out by a reported 182 officers from various agencies – the sites were shuttered.

One of the key men behind Town.ag, who was arrested in Spain and extradited to Germany, has already been in custody for almost 18 months. He and another suspect went on trial in Dresden last month. According to GVU, 16 trial days were set aside, in part due to the “persistent silence” of one of the men.

GVU announced this week that the pair have now been convicted, with the alleged head of Town.ag (Gerrit G) sentenced to three years and eight months in prison and the site’s technical administrator (Matthias E) receiving a prison sentence of one year and 10 months.

“[Gerrit G) had the idea for Town.ag, which he implemented himself and with the help of other accomplices,” GVU said in a statement.

“One of these accomplices was also in the dock in Dresden: Matthias E. was responsible for the technical side of the lucrative portal operation and carried out, for example, the server maintenance, but also provided copyrighted material on Town.ag.”

GVU says it has been closely monitoring the local Usenet scene since 2015, noting that around 4.5 million visitors per month flocked to various portal sites in search of movies, TV shows, games, and eBooks. Interestingly, it also claims that two dedicated Usenet providers helped to fund the “criminal network” with sponsorship deals.

The anti-piracy group says the massive raids in 2017 shook up the Usenet scene, with 20 Usenet portals shutting up shop in response. According to GVU, the effect was long-term, with all of the portals remaining offline today. Meanwhile, GVU says that its investigations will continue as criminal proceedings are ongoing.

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

AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) – TypeScript and Python are Now Generally Available

Post Syndicated from Danilo Poccia original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-cloud-development-kit-cdk-typescript-and-python-are-now-generally-available/

Managing your Infrastructure as Code provides great benefits and is often a stepping stone for a successful application of DevOps practices. In this way, instead of relying on manually performed steps, both administrators and developers can automate provisioning of compute, storage, network, and application services required by their applications using configuration files.

For example, defining your Infrastructure as Code makes it possible to:

  • Keep infrastructure and application code in the same repository
  • Make infrastructure changes repeatable and predictable across different environments, AWS accounts, and AWS regions
  • Replicate production in a staging environment to enable continuous testing
  • Replicate production in a performance test environment that you use just for the time required to run a stress test
  • Release infrastructure changes using the same tools as code changes, so that deployments include infrastructure updates
  • Apply software development best practices to infrastructure management, such as code reviews, or deploying small changes frequently

Configuration files used to manage your infrastructure are traditionally implemented as YAML or JSON text files, but in this way you’re missing most of the advantages of modern programming languages. Specifically with YAML, it can be very difficult to detect a file truncated while transferring to another system, or a missing line when copying and pasting from one template to another.

Wouldn’t it be better if you could use the expressive power of your favorite programming language to define your cloud infrastructure? For this reason, we introduced last year in developer preview the AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK), an extensible open-source software development framework to model and provision your cloud infrastructure using familiar programming languages.

I am super excited to share that the AWS CDK for TypeScript and Python is generally available today!

With the AWS CDK you can design, compose, and share your own custom components that incorporate your unique requirements. For example, you can create a component setting up your own standard VPC, with its associated routing and security configurations. Or a standard CI/CD pipeline for your microservices using tools like AWS CodeBuild and CodePipeline.

Personally I really like that by using the AWS CDK, you can build your application, including the infrastructure, in your IDE, using the same programming language and with the support of autocompletion and parameter suggestion that modern IDEs have built in, without having to do a mental switch between one tool, or technology, and another. The AWS CDK makes it really fun to quickly code up your AWS infrastructure, configure it, and tie it together with your application code!

How the AWS CDK works
Everything in the AWS CDK is a construct. You can think of constructs as cloud components that can represent architectures of any complexity: a single resource, such as an S3 bucket or an SNS topic, a static website, or even a complex, multi-stack application that spans multiple AWS accounts and regions. To foster reusability, constructs can include other constructs. You compose constructs together into stacks, that you can deploy into an AWS environment, and apps, a collection of one of more stacks.

How to use the AWS CDK
We continuously add new features based on the feedback of our customers. That means that when creating an AWS resource, you often have to specify many options and dependencies. For example, if you create a VPC you have to think about how many Availability Zones (AZs) to use and how to configure subnets to give private and public access to the resources that will be deployed in the VPC.

To make it easy to define the state of AWS resources, the AWS Construct Library exposes the full richness of many AWS services with sensible defaults that you can customize as needed. In the case above, the VPC construct creates by default public and private subnets for all the AZs in the VPC, using 3 AZs if not specified.

For creating and managing CDK apps, you can use the AWS CDK Command Line Interface (CLI), a command-line tool that requires Node.js and can be installed quickly with:

npm install -g aws-cdk

After that, you can use the CDK CLI with different commands:

  • cdk init to initialize in the current directory a new CDK project in one of the supported programming languages
  • cdk synth to print the CloudFormation template for this app
  • cdk deploy to deploy the app in your AWS Account
  • cdk diff to compare what is in the project files with what has been deployed

Just run cdk to see more of the available commands and options.

You can easily include the CDK CLI in your deployment automation workflow, for example using Jenkins or AWS CodeBuild.

Let’s use the AWS CDK to build two sample projects, using different programming languages.

An example in TypeScript
For the first project I am using TypeScript to define the infrastructure:

cdk init app --language=typescript

Here’s a simplified view of what I want to build, not entering into the details of the public/private subnets in the VPC. There is an online frontend, writing messages in a queue, and an asynchronous backend, consuming messages from the queue:

Inside the stack, the following TypeScript code defines the resources I need, and their relations:

  • First I define the VPC and an Amazon ECS cluster in that VPC. By using the defaults provided by the AWS Construct Library, I don’t need to specify any parameter here.
  • Then I use an ECS pattern that in a few lines of code sets up an Amazon SQS queue and an ECS service running on AWS Fargate to consume the messages in that queue.
  • The ECS pattern library provides higher-level ECS constructs which follow common architectural patterns, such as load balanced services, queue processing, and scheduled tasks.
  • A Lambda function has the name of the queue, created by the ECS pattern, passed as an environment variable and is granted permissions to send messages to the queue.
  • The code of the Lambda function and the Docker image are passed as assets. Assets allow you to bundle files or directories from your project and use them with Lambda or ECS.
  • Finally, an Amazon API Gateway endpoint provides an HTTPS REST interface to the function.
const myVpc = new ec2.Vpc(this, "MyVPC");

const myCluster = new ecs.Cluster(this, "MyCluster", {
  vpc: myVpc
});

const myQueueProcessingService = new ecs_patterns.QueueProcessingFargateService(
  this, "MyQueueProcessingService", {
    cluster: myCluster,
    memoryLimitMiB: 512,
    image: ecs.ContainerImage.fromAsset("my-queue-consumer")
  });

const myFunction = new lambda.Function(
  this, "MyFrontendFunction", {
    runtime: lambda.Runtime.NODEJS_10_X,
    timeout: Duration.seconds(3),
    handler: "index.handler",
    code: lambda.Code.asset("my-front-end"),
    environment: {
      QUEUE_NAME: myQueueProcessingService.sqsQueue.queueName
    }
  });

myQueueProcessingService.sqsQueue.grantSendMessages(myFunction);

const myApi = new apigateway.LambdaRestApi(
  this, "MyFrontendApi", {
    handler: myFunction
  });

I find this code very readable and easier to maintain than the corresponding JSON or YAML. By the way, cdk synth in this case outputs more than 800 lines of plain CloudFormation YAML.

An example in Python
For the second project I am using Python:

cdk init app --language=python

I want to build a Lambda function that is executed every 10 minutes:

When you initialize a CDK project in Python, a virtualenv is set up for you. You can activate the virtualenv and install your project requirements with:

source .env/bin/activate

pip install -r requirements.txt

Note that Python autocompletion may not work with some editors, like Visual Studio Code, if you don’t start the editor from an active virtualenv.

Inside the stack, here’s the Python code defining the Lambda function and the CloudWatch Event rule to invoke the function periodically as target:

myFunction = aws_lambda.Function(
    self, "MyPeriodicFunction",
    code=aws_lambda.Code.asset("src"),
    handler="index.main",
    timeout=core.Duration.seconds(30),
    runtime=aws_lambda.Runtime.PYTHON_3_7,
)

myRule = aws_events.Rule(
    self, "MyRule",
    schedule=aws_events.Schedule.rate(core.Duration.minutes(10)),
)
myRule.add_target(aws_events_targets.LambdaFunction(myFunction))

Again, this is easy to understand even if you don’t know the details of AWS CDK. For example, durations include the time unit and you don’t have to wonder if they are expressed in seconds, milliseconds, or days. The output of cdk synth in this case is more than 90 lines of plain CloudFormation YAML.

Available Now
There is no charge for using the AWS CDK, you pay for the AWS resources that are deployed by the tool.

To quickly get hands-on with the CDK, start with this awesome step-by-step online tutorial!

More examples of CDK projects, using different programming languages, are available in this repository:

https://github.com/aws-samples/aws-cdk-examples

You can find more information on writing your own constructs here.

The AWS CDK is open source and we welcome your contribution to make it an even better tool:

https://github.com/awslabs/aws-cdk

Check out our source code on GitHub, start building your infrastructure today using TypeScript or Python, or try different languages in developer preview, such as C# and Java, and give us your feedback!

Amazon EventBridge – Event-Driven AWS Integration for your SaaS Applications

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/amazon-eventbridge-event-driven-aws-integration-for-your-saas-applications/

Many AWS customers also make great use of SaaS (Software as a Service) applications. For example, they use Zendesk to manage customer service & support tickets, PagerDuty to handle incident response, and SignalFx for real-time monitoring. While these applications are quite powerful on their own, they are even more so when integrated into a customer’s own systems, databases, and workflows.

New Amazon EventBridge
In order to support this increasingly common use case, we are launching Amazon EventBridge today. Building on the powerful event processing model that forms the basis for CloudWatch Events, EventBridge makes it easy for our customers to integrate their own AWS applications with SaaS applications. The SaaS applications can be hosted anywhere, and simply publish events to an event bus that is specific to each AWS customer. The asynchronous, event-based model is fast, clean, and easy to use. The publisher (SaaS application) and the consumer (code running on AWS) are completely decoupled, and are not dependent on a shared communication protocol, runtime environment, or programming language. You can use simple Lambda functions to handle events that come from a SaaS application, and you can also route events to a wide variety of other AWS targets. You can store incident or ticket data in Amazon Redshift, train a machine learning model on customer support queries, and much more.

Everything that you already know (and hopefully love) about CloudWatch Events continues to apply, with one important change. In addition to the existing default event bus that accepts events from AWS services, calls to PutEvents, and from other authorized accounts, each partner application that you subscribe to will also create an event source that you can then associate with an event bus in your AWS account. You can select any of your event buses, create EventBridge Rules, and select Targets to invoke when an incoming event matches a rule.

As part of today’s launch we are also opening up a partner program. The integration process is simple and straightforward, and generally requires less than one week of developer time.

All About Amazon EventBridge
Here are some terms that you need to know in order to understand how to use Amazon EventBridge:

Partner – An organization that has integrated their SaaS application with EventBridge.

Customer – An organization that uses AWS, and that has subscribed to a partner’s SaaS application.

Partner Name – A unique name that identifies an Amazon EventBridge partner.

Partner Event Bus – An Event Bus that is used to deliver events from a partner to AWS.

EventBridge can be accessed from the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), or via the AWS SDKs. There are distinct commands and APIs for partners and for customers. Here are some of the most important ones:

PartnersCreatePartnerEventSource, ListPartnerEventSourceAccounts, ListPartnerEventSources, PutPartnerEvents.

CustomersListEventSources, ActivateEventSource, CreateEventBus, ListEventBuses, PutRule, PutTargets.

Amazon EventBridge for Partners & Customers
As I noted earlier, the integration process is simple and straightforward. You need to allow your customers to enter an AWS account number and to select an AWS region. With that information in hand, you call CreatePartnerEventSource in the desired region, inform the customer of the event source name and tell them that they can accept the invitation to connect, and wait for the status of the event source to change to ACTIVE. Then, each time an event of interest to the customer occurs, you call PutPartnerEvents and reference the event source.

The process is just as simple on the customer side. You accept the invitation to connect by calling CreateEventBus to create an event bus associated with the event source. You add rules and targets to the event bus, and prepare your Lambda functions to process the events. Associating the event source with an event bus also activates the source and starts the flow of events. You can use DeActivateEventSource and ActivateEventSource to control the flow.

Here’s the overall flow (diagram created using SequenceDiagram):

Each partner has the freedom to choose the events that are relevant to their application, and to define the data elements that are included with each event.

Using EventBridge
Starting from the EventBridge Console, I click Partner event sources, find the partner of interest, and click it to learn more:

Each partner page contains additional information about the integration. I read the info, and click Set up to proceed:

The page provides me with a simple, three-step procedure to set up my event source:


After the partner creates the event source, I return to Partner event sources and I can see that the Zendesk event source is Pending:

I click the pending event source, review the details, and then click Associate with event bus:

I have the option to allow other AWS accounts, my Organization, or another Organization to access events on the event bus that I am about to create. After I have confirmed that I trust the origin and have added any additional permissions, I click Associate:

My new event bus is now available, and is listed as a Custom event bus:

I click Rules, select the event bus, and see the rules (none so far) associated with it. Then I click Create rule to make my first rule:

I enter a name and a description for my first rule:

Then I define a pattern, choosing Zendesk as the Service name:

Next, I select a Lambda function as my target:

I can also choose from many other targets:

After I create my rule, it will be activated in response to activities that occur within my Zendesk account. The initial set of events includes TicketCreated, CommentCreated, TagsChanged, AgentAssignmentChanged, GroupAssignmentChanged, FollowersChanged, EmailCCsChanged, CustomFieldChanged, and StatusChanged. Each event includes a rich set of properties; you’ll need to consult the documentation to learn more.

Partner Event Sources
We are launching with ten partner event sources, with more to come:

  • Datadog
  • Zendesk
  • PagerDuty
  • Whispir
  • Saviynt
  • Segment
  • SignalFx
  • SugarCRM
  • OneLogin
  • Symantec

If you have a SaaS application and you are ready to integrate, read more about EventBridge Partner Integration.

Now Available
Amazon EventBridge is available now and you can start using it today in all public AWS regions in the aws partition. Support for the AWS regions in China, and for the Asia Pacific (Osaka) Local Region, is in the works.

Pricing is based on the number of events published to the event buses in your account, billed at $1 for every million events. There is no charge for events published by AWS services.

Jeff;

PS – As you can see from this post, we are paying even more attention to the overall AWS event model, and have a lot of interesting goodies on the drawing board. With this launch, CloudWatch Events has effectively earned a promotion to a top-level service, and I’ll have a lot more to say about that in the future!

Court Orders Cloudflare to Terminate Accounts of Pirate Sites

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/court-orders-cloudflare-to-terminate-accounts-of-pirate-sites-190711/

As one of the leading CDN and DDoS protection services, Cloudflare is used by millions of websites across the globe. This includes many pirate sites.

In recent years many copyright holders have complained about Cloudflare’s involvement with these platforms. RTI, a company owned by the Italian mass media giant Mediaset, took things a step further and went to court.

RTI complained that Cloudflare offered its services to various pirate sites, which made available its TV-shows, including Grande Fratello (Big Brother), and L’isola dei Famosi (The Celebrity Island ).

The broadcaster argued that Cloudflare could be seen, among other things, as a hosting provider under the e-Commerce directive (Directive 2000/31/CE) . And, since it was made explicitly aware of the infringing actions of its clients but failed to take action, the company could be held liable.

US-based Cloudflare disagreed. It countered that the Italian court didn’t have jurisdiction and that the e-Commerce directive didn’t apply to foreign companies, but those objections were rejected.

In a ruling handed down by the Commercial Court of Rome late last month, Cloudflare was ordered to immediately terminate the accounts of the contested pirate sites. These include filmpertutti.uno, italiaserie.tv, piratestreaming.watch, cinemalibero.red, and various others.

In addition, Cloudflare was ordered to share the personal details of the site owners and their hosting companies with RTI.

If Cloudflare fails to comply with any of the above, it must pay a fine of €1,000 for each day the infringements continue.

While Cloudflare doesn’t see itself as a hosting provider, the Court concluded that it can be seen as such, under European law. Among other things, its “Always Online” service hosts various website resources even when the site’s servers go offline.

This means that unlike an ISP, which merely passes on traffic, Cloudflare can be held liable for the infringements of its customers, if it deliberately fails to respond properly to copyright takedown notices or similar complaints.

Interestingly, most of the pirate sites listed in the complaint are still online today. Some are redirecting to new domains, but Italiaserie.org is still operational using Cloudflare. We couldn’t see any RTI content on the site, however.

According to RTI’s attorney Alessandro La Rosa, Cloudflare would violate the court order if any of the mentioned sites make RTI content available through its service. This would mean that Cloudflare is liable to pay €1,000 per day.

The ruling from the Court of Rome can’t be appealed and there are also two similar proceedings against the company before the same Court. These were filed by RTI and Medusa Film (both companies of the Mediaset Group) and remain ongoing.

Cloudflare did not immediately reply to our request for comment.

The full list of affected domains as mentioned in the complaint reads as follows: filmpertutti.uno,  piratestreaming.watch, cinemalibero.red, altadefinizione.review, guardaserie.watch, serietvu.club, casacinema.news, italiaserie.org, italiaserie.tv, cinemasubito.org, and ctrlhits.online.

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

Sports Streaming Piracy Is Worth Millions to Sponsors

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/sports-streaming-piracy-is-worth-millions-to-sponsors-1907xx/

The Premier League has been battling streaming piracy for a long time.

In recent years, the prestigious football league successfully obtained court orders to block sites and streams, for example. In addition, it’s been involved in several prosecutions.

This anti-piracy activity is no surprise as there’s a lot at stake. The broadcast rights for the Premier League are sold for billions of pounds. And when fewer people watch the games legally, the value of these rights goes down.

Interestingly, however, not all companies that are involved with the Premier League, or sports broadcasts in general, are hurt by piracy. In fact, for sponsors, these unauthorized viewers are free eyeballs as they are generally not factored into their contracts.

The scale of this uncaptured sponsorship value via pirate audiences has never been measured, but new research conducted by GumGum Sports, in partnership with MUSO, aims to fill this gap.

The latter company is known for measuring piracy across the world and paired with GumGum’s sponsorship and marketing analysis, they were able to quantify the value of this rogue audience.

In their study, the companies looked at eight matches of the previous Premier League season. They found that these matches had an average pirate audience of 7.1 million viewers across as many as 149 countries.

Most of these unauthorized viewers came from China, where nearly a million people tuned in per match, followed by Vietnam, Kenya, India and Nigeria. The U.S. and the U.K. took 10th and 11th places among the piracy audience.

These numbers were complemented with GumGum’s marketing and sponsorship insights. After factoring in the exposure of different brands in various regions, they came to the conclusion that there is £1 million in uncaptured sponsorship media value per match.

The majority of value is linked to field-side LED advertising and the sponsorship placements on the front of the players’ jerseys. While pirates may not pay, they definitely see these sponsored messages.

Jeff Katz, VP of Partnerships & Strategy at GumGum Sports, says that this research shows that there is a massive amount of sponsorship revenue which is currently overlooked.

“Clubs and sponsors have never been able to quantify media exposure from unauthorized streaming, which over the years amounts to billions of dollars in unrealized value.

“Now we have a unique data set that gives an advantage to brand sponsors while also enabling clubs to better demonstrate the value they’re driving on behalf of corporate partners,” Katz adds.

The question remains who stands to benefit from these findings. Sponsors now know that they’ve had a lot of free eyeballs over the years, which is positive.

However, they may end up paying more as a result, if the pirate audience is factored into future price negotiations for sponsorships. Although clubs may like the prospect, that’s obviously not what sponsors want.

The real winners, perhaps, are the pirates. While we doubt that the findings will stop the Premier League and other sports rightsholders from cracking down on sports piracy, it shows that pirates do bring some value to the table.

MUSO co-founder and CEO Andy Chatterley hopes that the findings will change the perception of pirates. He emphasizes that this audience should certainly not be disregarded.

“Piracy audiences have too long been disregarded as offering no real value to rights holders and distributors, but the reality is that these huge audiences still see the same shirt sponsors and commercials as people watching the game via a licensed channel,” Chatterley says.

In theory, it’s possible that the added value from sports streaming pirates might even outweigh the losses. But, to answer that question, one has to know how many pirate viewers would pay if unauthorized streams were not available. Perhaps that’s a good avenue to research next.

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

Alleged Mastermind of Giant Pirate Manga Site Arrested in Manilla

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/alleged-mastermind-of-giant-pirate-manga-site-arrested-in-manilla-190710/

During April 2018, the Japanese government introduced emergency website-blocking measures aimed at reducing levels of copyright infringement in the country.

Several ISPs responded by blocking three leading pirate sites including Mangamura, AniTube! and MioMio, all of which had huge followings in Japan.

As the largest player, Mangamura was of particular interest. Founded in 2016, the manga-focused site was blamed for facilitating huge volumes of pirate downloads. Using a one-visit, one-infringement calculation, local anti-piracy group CODA estimated damages to the manga industry of around $2.91 billion.

Just days after the web-blocking announcement Mangamura disappeared, but police in Japan said they were still focused on catching its operator. Authorities in the Philippines say that person is now in custody.

According to an announcement from the Bureau of Immigration, on Sunday its agents arrested a Japanese-German-Israeli fugitive wanted by Japanese authorities for breaches of copyright law.

An intelligence officer of the Bureau’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) is said to have identified 28-year-old Romi Hoshinko (aka Zakay/Sakay Romi) at Ninoy Aquino International Airport as the person wanted in connection with running Mangamura between January 2016 and April 2018.

ABS-CBN published a photo of the arrested man on Twitter.

The allegations of infringement against Hoshino are several times greater than those leveled at Kim Dotcom and Megaupload. In this case, however, there won’t be a drawn-out extradition battle when expelling Hoshino, a foreign national, from the country.

Philippines authorities say that after acting on a request from the Embassy of Japan in Manilla, the arrest of Hoshino was carried out in coordination with police in Tokyo. This will now lead to his deportation from the country.

“His presence in the country is a risk to public safety and security,” said Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.

“We are in close coordination with our foreign counterparts who send us information about criminals who might be hiding in the Philippines. Upon knowledge, we immediately seek, arrest, and deport these fugitives.

“The Japanese embassy informed us that they will conduct the necessary coordination with the Israeli and German Embassy regarding the fugitive’s deportation to Japan,” he concluded.

In the meantime, Hoshino will be detained at a detention facility in Taguig City.

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

Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL Serverless – Now Generally Available

Post Syndicated from Danilo Poccia original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/amazon-aurora-postgresql-serverless-now-generally-available/

The database is usually the most critical part of a software architecture and managing databases, especially relational ones, has never been easy. For this reason, we created Amazon Aurora Serverless, an auto-scaling version of Amazon Aurora that automatically starts up, shuts down and scales up or down based on your application workload.

The MySQL-compatible edition of Aurora Serverless has been available for some time now. I am pleased to announce that the PostgreSQL-compatible edition of Aurora Serverless is generally available today.

Before moving on with details, I take the opportunity to congratulate the Amazon Aurora development team that has just won the 2019 Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Special Interest Group on Management of Data (SIGMOD) Systems Award!

When you create a database with Aurora Serverless, you set the minimum and maximum capacity. Your client applications transparently connect to a proxy fleet that routes the workload to a pool of resources that are automatically scaled. Scaling is very fast because resources are “warm” and ready to be added to serve your requests.

 

There is no change with Aurora Serverless on how storage is managed by Aurora. The storage layer is independent from the compute resources used by the database. There is no need to provision storage in advance. The minimum storage is 10GB and, based on the database usage, the Amazon Aurora storage will automatically grow, up to 64 TB, in 10GB increments with no impact to database performance.

Creating an Aurora Serverless PostgreSQL Database
Let’s start an Aurora Serverless PostgreSQL database and see the automatic scalability at work. From the Amazon RDS console, I select to create a database using Amazon Aurora as engine. Currently, Aurora serverless is compatible with PostgreSQL version 10.5. Selecting that version, the serverless option becomes available.

I give the new DB cluster an identifier, choose my master username, and let Amazon RDS generate a password for me. I will be able to retrieve my credentials during database creation.

I can now select the minimum and maximum capacity for my database, in terms of Aurora Capacity Units (ACUs), and in the additional scaling configuration I choose to pause compute capacity after 5 minutes of inactivity. Based on my settings, Aurora Serverless automatically creates scaling rules for thresholds for CPU utilization, connections, and available memory.

Testing Some Load on the Database
To generate some load on the database I am using sysbench on an EC2 instance. There are a couple of Lua scripts bundled with sysbench that can help generate an online transaction processing (OLTP) workload:

  • The first script, parallel_prepare.lua, generates 100,000 rows per table for 24 tables.
  • The second script, oltp.lua, generates workload against those data using 64 worker threads.

By using those scripts, I start generating load on my database cluster. As you can see from this graph, taken from the RDS console monitoring tab, the serverless database capacity grows and shrinks to follow my requirements. The metric shown on this graph is the number of ACUs used by the database cluster. First it scales up to accommodate the sysbench workload. When I stop the load generator, it scales down and then pauses.

Available Now
Aurora Serverless PostgreSQL is available now in US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo). With Aurora Serverless, you pay on a per-second basis for the database capacity you use when the database is active, plus the usual Aurora storage costs.

For more information on Amazon Aurora, I recommend this great post explaining why and how it was created:

Amazon Aurora ascendant: How we designed a cloud-native relational database

It’s never been so easy to use a relational database in production. I am so excited to see what you are going to use it for!

BT Sport Subscribers Test Pirate Sites After UFC PPV Decision

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/bt-sport-subscribers-test-pirate-sites-after-ufc-ppv-decision/

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the world’s leading mixed martial arts promotion in the world.

It is based in the United States and as a result, the majority of its events take place there, meaning that fans in Europe face having to stay awake all night if they are to watch live UFC events.

Since 2013, this has been possible for subscribers to BT Sport, who have enjoyed all live shows as part of their regular subscriptions. However, that all changed on Saturday night with UFC 239, which BT Sport recently decided shouldn’t be included in customers’ packages after all.

Instead, people were told they’d have to pay out an extra £19.95 to view the admittedly-stacked card on BT Sport Box Office, a decision that went down like a lead balloon with fans, especially those who’d taken out a subscription solely for UFC events.

In the weeks leading up to the fight, there were long discussion threads on various forums (including BT Sport’s own) complaining about the move and suggesting a boycott.

Whether this took place at scale on Sunday morning UK/Ireland time isn’t yet known but fan outrage was clear to see on social media, including in a poll conducted by MMA reporter Niall McGrath.

Of course, a boycott of PPV buying doesn’t necessarily mean a boycott on watching the event. Indeed, if fans’ claims leading up to the event were anything to go by, many would be hitting the pirate high seas Saturday/Sunday to express their displeasure at BT Sport’s decision.

Widely circulated ‘boycott’ poster

Since live events are mainly streamed from ‘pirate’ websites, obtaining viewing figures is not as easy as tracking users in torrent swarms, for example. However, we spoke to a seller of ‘pirate’ IPTV services before and after the event to see if there had been any greater uptake than usual.

“No more orders than we usually get on a Friday/Saturday/Sunday but more people definitely asked if we could get BT Sport Box Office for the fights. We couldn’t promise that channel in advance but we have others that give the same thing. Good enough,” the seller explained.

A long thread on Reddit, which appeared after the fights finished on Sunday, patted everyone on the back who took part in the boycott. As expected, it’s littered with comments about BT Sport screwing over dedicated fans and, of course, people turning to piracy.

“It literally took me 40 seconds on my first duckduckgo search (because google censors a lot of this kind of stuff) to find a site where I was able to watch the entire event live in HD with no interruptions. Hard for a pathetic business model to compete with that,” one commenter wrote.

“Cancelled my bt sports and got an IPTV set up,” said another. “Probably the smoothest viewing experience I’ve had watching any UFC event. No commercials and no cutting the sound on interviews every time someone swears.”

And then things descended to the bottom, quickly.

With another fan declaring that this is the first time “in years” he’d pirated an event, the discussions continued with how that’s possible, where to do it, and the inevitable private messages where one can only guess at the content but draw an obvious conclusion. And this isn’t even a piracy-focused sub-Reddit, it’s /r/mma with close to 780K members.

While people will rightly point that this is a mere subset of BT Sport’s customers not paying an extra £19.95, the people who turned to a pirate IPTV service on Saturday/Sunday will have immediately discovered that ALL of BT Sport’s live content is also available for less than £10 per month.

If pirate IPTV gains traction with them (and their friends, and their friends’ friends), £30 to £40 per month regular subscriptions to BT Sports could get boycotted too, along with those paid to Sky Sports and other companies.

Bloody Elbow’s piece on why BT Sport’s decision to go PPV with UFC 239 was wrong really hits the spot but only time will tell if the PPV model in the UK will persist – or if it will go down with a huge headache quicker than previously undefeated Ben Askren did during the red-eye hours of Sunday morning.

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