Tag Archives: rapidvideo

RapidVideo Shuts Down Following Legal Pressure from Warner Bros and Netflix

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/rapidvideo-shuts-down-following-legal-pressure-from-warner-bros-and-netflix-191021/

RapidVideo is a popular file-hosting service that specializes in hosting videos.

Similar to other file-hosting services, it can be used for good and bad. The bad, in this case, is people uploading pirated videos. 

Whether the site’s operators want it or not, that’s what many of RapidVideo’s users are indeed doing. Two weeks ago this resulted in yet another scathing report from movie industry group MPA, which branded the site as a “notorious” piracy haven. 

Behind the scenes, the website’s operator faces mounting pressure as well. RapidVideo has been targeted by lawyers from the MPA and ACE, two of the most powerful anti-piracy forces, which are demanding far-reaching copyright enforcement measures from the site.

To back up their pressure, two MPA/ACE members, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Netflix, filed a lawsuit in Germany to stop the alleged copyright infringements the site enables. While this case remains ongoing, the site’s operator decided not to await the verdict and has shut the site down effective immediately.

The millions of users who regularly visit the site currently see nothing more than a 404 error.

RapidVideo not accessible

TorrentFreak spoke to “Alex Bytes,” the operator of RapidVideo, who informed us that the shutdown is permanent. The site’s operator already considered throwing the towel after the adoption of the new EU Copyright Directive earlier this year, which may make upload filters semi-mandatory for some sites.

“It was high time to quit, because of the upcoming law changes within the EU, due to Article 13/17, where it is a more challenging situation for service providers,” RapidVideo’s Alex tells us.

By shutting the service down, RapidVideo also hopes to get the lawsuit from Warner Bros. and Netflix off its back. In addition, Alex points out that advertising revenues were dropping significantly, so it was hardly worth continuing anyway.

According to RapidVideo’s operator, ACE and the MPA previously demanded far-reaching measures to prevent piracy. The rightsholders requested a thorough “take down, stay down” policy, that would go further than hash or filename filtering.

Instead, rightsholders wanted the site to implement a system similar to YouTube’s Content-ID where more advanced fingerprinting techniques are used to match file uploads to potentially infringing content.

This wasn’t an option for RapidVideo, likely because it would require substantial investments. The other option, shutting the entire site down, became more and more attractive instead, especially in light of the pending lawsuit.

“By shutting down, the lawyers have no more reason to fight in the court against me,” Alex tells us.

For now, however, the court case remains ongoing. TorrentFreak reached out to the lawyer of Warner Bros. and Netflix for a comment on RapidVideo’s decision and the future of their legal claims, but at the time of writing, we have yet to hear back.

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

RapidVideo Blocks Pirate Sites Over Copyright Concerns

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/rapidvideo-blocks-pirate-sites-over-copyright-concerns-190531/

RapidVideo is a popular file-hosting site that specializes in hosting videos.

Similar to other file-hosting services, it can be used for good and bad. The bad, in this case, is uploading pirated videos. 

Whether the site’s operators want it or not, that’s what many of RapidVideo’s users are indeed doing. A few months ago this resulted in a scathing report from Hollywood’s MPAA, which branded the site as a “notorious” piracy haven. 

The U.S. Trade Representative didn’t adopt this recommendation in its yearly overview. Whether RapidVideo’s outspoken response had anything to do with it is unknown. However, the video hosting site has recently taken several measures which are are not typical for a “notorious” site.

In April we reported that RapidVideo had shut down its pay-per-view rewards program, which was one of the MPAA’s main complaints. This week the video hosting service went a step further, by banning referrals from popular pirate video indexing sites.

The site’s operator informs TorrentFreak that referrals from the German sites Kinox.to , Streamkiste.tv , Filmpalast.to and Movie4k.to are now actively blocked. Instead of the requested videos, users now see the following message, translated from German.

“I’m sorry! This portal is temporarily not available based on a copyright protection claim. Unfortunately, this content is not available in your region.”

Blocked

The message is shown to all visitors from these four video indexing sites. They are shown based on the referring URL but, if these fail, RapidVideo is also considering adding IP-address blockades in the future. 

RapidVideo took the drastic measure because it’s particularly concerned about the German legal concept of ‘Störerhaftung’ (‘interferer liability’). This means that a third party can be held responsible for someone else’s infringements, even when it played no intentional part.

Add in Europe’s proposed Article 17, previously known as Article 13, and you get a volatile mix of potential copyright problems.  

“Article 13 is coming within a few months to 2 years, so the control has to become tougher, because ‘Interferer liability’ and ‘Article 13’ together are a bad combination,” RapidVideo’s operator tells us.

RapidVideo’s operator stresses that there could be more blockades like this when Article 17 is implemented throughout the European Union member states.

It is worth noting that the four targeted sites are all blocked by the German ISP Vodafone as well. This is also what RapidVideo mentioned to Tarnkappe as an additional motivation.

A video hosting service such as RapidVideo blocking ‘pirate’ sites is quite a game changer, to say the least. In the case of Kinox.to it appears to have had some effect already, as the site has removed all links to RapidVideo.

Movie4K seems to have taken another approach. When we tried to access a RapidVideo link from the site it went through an anonymous referrer service, which worked just fine.

But that’s the thing with blockades, there’s always a way around them.

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