Tag Archives: subpoena

American Petroleum Institute Obtains DMCA Subpoena Ordering Cloudflare Action Against Pirate Site

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/american-petroleum-institute-obtains-dmca-subpoena-ordering-cloudflare-action-against-pirate-site-191222/

Most reports of copyright-based legal action in the United States center on the unlicensed downloading, sharing, or distribution of movies, TV shows, music and software.

Albeit at a slower rate, other less mainstream materials are also detailed in infringement complaints, notably copyrighted scientific and research papers, often with pirate sites like Sci-Hub or Libgen somewhere in the equation. This week a relatively rare complaint was filed in a US court protesting the illegal sale of copyrighted petroleum industry documents.

The application for a DMCA subpoena, filed at a Delaware district court by powerful oil and gas industry association American Petroleum Institute (API), claims that its authored standards documents are being made available online without its permission.

“For decades, API has authored standards for the safety and quality of products in the petroleum and gas industry. As author, API owns the copyright in these standards and has registered the copyrights with the U.S. Copyright Office,” counsel for API writes.

“The copyrighted standards constitute a very valuable asset to API. Indeed, sales of the API standards to petroleum and gas industry professionals create considerable income for API.”

According to API, others are also benefiting from the sale of its standards. The application lists several problematic domains (e-standard.org, e-stds.org, pdfstandards.org) all of which direct to one main site located at e-standardstore.org.

“This company is not an authorized distributor of API’s standards. Despite not being an authorized distributor, these links display images of API’s logos. This unauthorized use of API’s logos falsely suggests to consumers that this company is an authorized distributor of API standards,” API adds.

The E-Standards.org ‘pirate’ site

As the image above shows, API’s publications are easily discoverable on the infringing site. API says there are at least 1,700 standards for sale in PDF format, which is problematic in itself since the association only offers physical standards which means the downloads must be copies.

“Additionally, API does not permit sales of its standards in PDF format (or any other electronic format) by anyone. Therefore, the sale of downloadable or e-mailed copies of API’s standards are clearly sales of unauthorized copies or scans of API’s publications,” API adds.

API says that after investigating the ‘pirate’ site’s IP addresses, they were determined to be operated by Cloudflare. As a result, API wants the CDN company to immediately terminate its services utilized by E-Standards.org while handing over the personal details of whoever is behind the platform.

From the API subpoena to Cloudflare

The Delaware court quickly signed off on the API subpoena so some type of action by Cloudflare can be expected soon. That being said, this set of domains isn’t only a thorn in the side of API but also various other specialist organizations that author their own standards.

According to Google’s Transparency Report, all of the redirection domains have been the subject of DMCA notices, some of which date back to 2013. The main domain cited by API (E-Standards.org) is also at the center of most additional complaints including those filed by safety company Underwriters Laboratories, International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the National Fire Protection Association, and American Water Works Association.

A copy of the DMCA subpoena to Cloudflare 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.

DISH to Subpoena Google, Facebook, PayPal & Twitter to Identify ‘Pirate’ IPTV Operators

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/dish-to-subpoena-google-facebook-paypal-twitter-to-identify-iptv-pirate-operators-190929/

DISH Networks’ efforts to disrupt, take down, or obtain settlements from unlicensed IPTV operators are continuing with force through the US legal system.

The broadcaster is currently tied up in a number of lawsuits, each targeting companies and individuals that allegedly provide the company’s content to the public, without having first obtained appropriate licensing.

A complaint filed in August targets Easybox IPTV, an allegedly-infringing IPTV outfit that supplies both subscriptions and ready-configured (aka ‘fully-loaded’) devices to the United States market.

Easybox IPTV’s offering

The DISH lawsuit, which demands around $10 million in damages, was filed in a Texas federal court. It lists up to five ‘John Does’, claiming that individually and collectively they do business under the Easybox IPTV banner.

DISH earlier explained that it doesn’t actually know who these people are but its investigations indicated that they might be from China. Now, however, it has now been given the opportunity to discover their identities after gaining permission from the Court.

A discovery order signed September 19 by District Judge Lynn N. Hughes grants DISH permission to subpoena and obtain information from some of the world’s largest Internet companies that have done or are still doing business with Easybox.

The list is comprehensive and a potential eye-opener for other IPTV providers operating without cast-iron licensing agreements.

Top of the list is payment processor PayPal. The Easybox website is currently down for supposed maintenance but according to archive copies of the site, PayPal isn’t clearly listed as a payment option for direct customers. Nevertheless, the company is probably head of the list for good reason.

Second up is Google. Like many companies, Easybox is likely to have used Google in several ways but a cursory review of the site’s source reveals an analytics account and links to the now-defunct Google+.

On the domain front, DISH has permission to subpoena Washington-based domain name registrar Enom and domain registry Namecheap. The Easybox.tv domain has clear links to both and could provide useful information.

When it comes to hosting, Miami-based Netrouting Inc. makes an appearance. In common with the domain companies, these may also have valuable information for DISH.

Easybox’s Facebook and Twitter pages are no longer active. The former is listed as unavailable but the latter appears to have been suspended after violating the platform’s rules. But whatever the reasons for their demise, both companies are likely to have plenty of additional information to offer up.

Finally, DISH will be able to enter the physical world to request information from entities that appear to have distributed or sold Easybox IPTV devices. Michigan-based fulfillment company Xpert Fulfillment Inc., Finest Bargain Inc. (which appears to sell via Amazon), and Ace Discount Store are all listed and should expect calls for information soon.

“By November 4, 2019, DISH must replead this case identifying the defendant as Easybox IPTV. When the other defendants are identified, they may be named,” Judge Hughes concludes.

The discovery order can be obtained 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.

RIAA Targets Large Polish File-Hosting Site Chomikuj

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/riaa-targets-large-polish-file-hosting-site-chomikuj-190622/

Image result for Chomikuj

In English-speaking countries, file-hosting sites such as the defunct Megaupload and its successor MEGA need little introduction.

These platforms allow(ed) users to upload files into a digital storage locker, to be shared with others as they so choose.

In Poland, Chomikuj is a similar household name. Translated roughly as “hamster”, the platform has been around since 2006 and is very popular. It’s currently receiving around 17 million visits per month, placing it just outside the top 50 most-popular sites in the country.

Like many platforms operating in the same niche, Chomikuj has to deal with users uploading content to which they don’t own the rights. It’s unclear how much infringing content is present on the platform but according to Google’s Transparency Report, with close to 27 million URLs targeted only four domains in the world are listed with more complaints against them.

After issuing takedowns for more than 7.7 million URLs, the BPI is the most active sender. In second place is the RIAA, having sent in excess of 4.2 million, which may be why the music industry group has gone to court in the United States to find out more about the platform.

In common with several other actions in recent weeks, the RIAA filed for a subpoena at a Columbia federal court ordering Cloudflare to hand over whatever personal information it holds on the operators of Chomikuj.

Citing the DMCA (17 U.S.C § 512(h)), the RIAA stated its case by declaring that it needs the information to protect its members’ copyrights.

“The purpose for which this subpoena is sought is to obtain the identities of the individuals assigned to these websites who have reproduced and have offered for distribution our members’ copyrighted sound recordings without their authorization.

“This information will only be used for the purposes of protecting the rights granted to our members, the sound recording copyright owner, under Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,” the RIAA told the Court.

The music group then listed three musical works – Karma Kameleon by Culture Club, Chains of Love by Erasure, and Edge of Heaven by Wham! – stating that these titles had not been authorized for use on Chomikuj.

As was the case in several previous applications, the Court clerk was happy to sign off on the request and a letter was sent to Cloudflare demanding IP and email addresses and all other identifying information. What happens next remains unclear.

The letter to Cloudflare can be found here (pdf)

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

After RIAA Targets DJ & Producer Site Mixstep, Site Shuts Down

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/after-riaa-targets-dj-producer-site-mixstep-site-shuts-down-190616/

In recent weeks the RIAA has really stepped on the gas in an effort to tackle sites offering allegedly-infringing content.

The music industry group’s current weapon-of-choice is the DMCA subpoena. These orders, which are easy to obtain and do not need to be scrutinized by a judge, give the RIAA significant discovery powers that help to identify the operators of online platforms.

The latest site to be targeted by the RIAA is Mixstep.co, an upload platform designed for audio works. Last week the powerful industry group told a Columbia federal court that the site was hosting content at a single URL which infringes one or more of its members’ copyrights.

The RIAA says the URL linked to the Ed Sheeran/Justin Bieber track “I Don’t Care” but the location was already inaccessible the morning after the subpoena was obtained. Nevertheless, the RIAA now wants to identify the operator of the site.

The message where the file used to be

The subpoena orders domain registry Namecheap to hand over the personal details of the platform’s domain owner, including name, physical address, IP address, telephone, email address, payment, account history, and other information.

TorrentFreak spoke with the operator of Mixstep who told us he wasn’t previously aware why the RIAA is targeting him. The site was never intended to host infringing content and was actually set up for the use of creators.

“We made this project for DJs and producers,” he told TF.

In common with many upload platforms – YouTube included – Mixstep has users who uploaded infringing content. However, the site has been working hard to take content down and has dealt severely with those who have abused the service.

“We already banned a lot of users who uploaded illegal files,” the operator added.

It’s not completely clear why the RIAA wants to identify the operator of the site but if its aim was to neutralize the platform, the music group has achieved that goal. With the service operated on a zero profit basis, its owner says it has run its course.

“I think it’s enough to fight with all these [users uploading infringing files] so we’re going to shut down our project very soon. Anyway, Mixstep was a no-profit project,” he said.

Visitors to the site now see the following message, so it may be ‘mission accomplished’ for the RIAA.

The end of the show

The RIAA’s letter to Cloudflare can be downloaded 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.