Tag Archives: sweden

Streaming Site Operator Jailed For Three Years After Landmark Trial

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/streaming-site-operator-jailed-for-three-years-after-landmark-trial-170516/

Founded more than half a decade ago, Swefilmer grew to become Sweden’s most popular movie and TV show streaming site. It was credited alongside another streaming portal for serving up to 25% of all online video streaming in Sweden.

With this level of prominence, it was only a question of time before authorities stepped in to end the free streaming bonanza. In 2015, that happened when an operator of the site in his early twenties was raided by local police.

This was followed by the arrest of a now 26-year-old Turkish man in Germany, who was accused of receiving donations from users and setting up Swefilmer’s deals with advertisers.

The pair, who had never met in person, appeared at the Varberg District Court in January, together accused of making more than $1.5m from their activities between November 2013 and June 2015.

As the trial progressed, it was clear that the outcome was not likely to be a good one for the men.

Prosecutor Anna Ginner described the operation as being like “organized crime”, with lawyer Henrik Pontén of RightsAlliance claiming that the evidence only represented a small part of the money made by the pair.

From the beginning, it was always claimed that the 26-year-old was the main player behind the site, with the now 23-year-old playing a much smaller role. While the latter received an estimated $4,000 of the proceeds, the former was said to have enriched himself with more than $1.5m in advertising revenue.

The Varberg District Court has now handed down its ruling and it’s particularly bad news for the 26-year-old, who is reported to have led a luxury lifestyle with proceeds from the site.

In a short statement the court confirmed he had been convicted of 1,044 breaches of copyright law and serious money laundering offenses. He was sentenced to serve three years in prison and ordered to forfeit $1.59m. The Court was far more lenient with the younger man.

After being found guilty of four counts of copyright infringement but playing almost no role in the site’s revenue operations, no sentencing for money laundering was handed down. He was instead handed probation and ordered to complete 120 hours of community service, a sentence that was positively affected by his age when the offenses were committed.

It’s worth noting that the sentence received by the 26-year-old goes way beyond the sentences handed down even in the notorious Pirate Bay case, where defendants Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Gottfrid Svartholm received 10 months, 12 months and 8 months respectively.

However, with Henrik Pontén describing the Swefilmer case as being primarily about money laundering, his group is clearly unhappy that copyright offenses aren’t considered serious enough to warrant lengthy sentences in their own right.

“We welcome the judgment, but it is clear that copyright law must be adapted to today’s serious piracy. The penalty for copyright infringement should in itself be enough to deter people from crime,” Pontén says.

“The low level of penalties allows foreign piracy organizations to locate their operations in Sweden. The trend is very worrying.”

An important factor in the case moving forward is that in determining whether infringement had taken place, the Court drew heavily on the GS Media ruling handed down by the European Court of Justice last September.

In that decision, the Court found that linking to copyrighted material is only allowed when there is no intent to profit and when the linker is unaware that the content is infringing.

When there is a profit motive, which there clearly was in the Swefilmer case, operators of a site are expected to carry out the “checks necessary” to ensure that linked works have not been illegally published.

The operators of Swefilmer failed on all counts, so the local court determined that the platform had communicated copyrighted works to the public, in breach of copyright law.

Speaking with TorrentFreak, the 23-year-old expressed relief at his relatively light sentence but noted it may not be over yet.

“I was really happy when the judgment came. The long wait is finally over,” he said.

“RightsAlliance will appeal because they did not receive any compensation for the trial. But the prosecutor is satisfied with the judgment so it is only RightsAlliance who are dissatisfied.”

According to IDG, the lawyer of the 26-year-old believes that his client’s sentence is far too severe, so there may be an appeal in that direction too.

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

ISP Bombarded With 82,000+ Demands to Reveal Alleged Pirates

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/isp-bombarded-with-82000-demands-to-reveal-alleged-pirates-170513/

It was once a region where people could share files without fear of reprisal, but over the years Scandinavia has become a hotbed of ‘pirate’ prosecutions.

Sweden, in particular, has seen many sites shut down and their operators sentenced, notably those behind The Pirate Bay but also more recent cases such as those against DreamFilm and Swefilmer.

To this backdrop, members of the public have continued to share files, albeit in decreasing numbers. However, at the same time copyright trolls have hit countries like Sweden, Finland, and Denmark, hoping to scare alleged file-sharers into cash settlements.

This week regional ISP Telia revealed that the activity has already reached epidemic proportions.

Under the EU IPR Enforcement Directive (IPRED), Internet service providers are required to hand over the personal details of suspected pirates to copyright holders, if local courts deem that appropriate. Telia says it is now being bombarded with such demands.

“Telia must adhere to court decisions. At the same time we have a commitment to respect the privacy of our customers and therefore to be transparent,” the company says.

“While in previous years Telia has normally received less than ten such [disclosure] requests per market, per year, lately the number of requests has increased significantly.”

The scale is huge. The company reports that in Sweden during the past year alone, it has been ordered to hand over the identities of subscribers behind more than 45,000 IP addresses.

In Finland during the same period, court orders covered almost 37,000 IP addresses. Four court orders in Denmark currently require the surrendering of data on “hundreds” of customers.

Telia says that a Danish law firm known as Njord Law is behind many of the demands. The company is connected to international copyright trolls operating out of the United States, United Kingdom, and elsewhere.

“A Danish law firm (NJORD Law firm), representing the London-based copyright holder Copyright Management Services Ltd, was recently (2017-01-31) granted a court order forcing Telia Sweden to disclose to the law firm the subscriber identities behind 25,000 IP-addresses,” the company notes.

Copyright Management Services Ltd was incorporated in the UK during October 2014. Its sole director is Patrick Achache, who also operates German-based BitTorrent tracking company MaverickEye. Both are part of the notorious international trolling operation Guardaley.

Copyright Management Services, which is based at the same London address as fellow UK copyright-trolling partner Hatton and Berkeley, filed accounts in June 2016 claiming to be a dormant company. Other than that, it has never filed any financial information.

Copyright Management Services will be legally required to publish more detailed accounts next time around, since the company is now clearly trading, but its role in this operation is far from clear. For its part, Telia hopes the court has done the necessary checking when handing information over to partner firm, Njord Law.

“Telia assumes that the courts perform adequate assessments of the evidence provided by the above law firm, and also that the courts conduct a sufficient assessment of proportionality between copyright and privacy,” the company says.

“Telia does not know what the above law firm intends to do with the large amount of customer data which they are now collecting.”

While that statement from Telia is arguably correct, it doesn’t take a genius to work out where this is going. Every time that these companies can match an IP address to an account holder, they will receive a letter in the mail demanding a cash settlement. Anything that substantially deviates from this outcome would be a very surprising development indeed.

In the meantime, Jon Karlung, the outspoken boss of ISP Bahnhof, has pointed out that if Telia didn’t store customer IP addresses in the first place, it wouldn’t have anything to hand out to copyright trolls.

“Bahnhof does not store this data – and we can’t give out something we do not have. The same logic should apply to Telia,” he said.

Bahnhof says it stores customer data including IP addresses for 24 hours, just long enough to troubleshoot technical issues but nowhere near long enough to be useful to trolls.

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

Four Men Jailed For Running Pirate Movie Sites

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/four-men-jailed-running-pirate-movie-sites-170510/

In the wake of December 2014 action that closed down The Pirate Bay for weeks, Swedish police turned their focus to one of the country’s top streaming portals, Dreamfilm.se.

The site had been growing in popularity for a while, and together with defunct streaming site Swefilmer, whose admins also went on trial recently, the site accounted for up to 25% of online viewing in Sweden.

“After an administrator was detained and interrogated, it has been mutually agreed that dreamfilm.se will be shut down for good,” the site said in a January 2015 statement.

While the site later came back to life under a new name, Swedish police kept up the pressure. In February 2015, several more sites bit the dust including the country’s second largest torrent site Tankefetast, torrent site PirateHub, and streaming portal Tankefetast Play (TFPlay).

Image previously released by Tankafetasttankafetast

It took more than two years, but recently the key people behind the sites had their day in court. According to IDG, all of the men admitted to being involved in Dreamfilm, but none accepted they had committed any crimes.

Yesterday the Linköping District Court handed down its decision and it’s particularly bad news for those involved. Aged between 21 and 31-years-old, the men were sentenced to between six and 10 months in jail and ordered to pay damages of around $147,000 to the film industry.

A 23-year-old man who founded Dreamfilm back in 2012 was handed the harshest sentence of 10 months. He was due to receive a sentence of one year in jail but due to his age at the time of some of the offenses, the Court chose to impose a slightly lower term.

A member of the Pirate Party who reportedly handled advertising and helped to administer the site, was sentenced to eight months in prison. Two other men who worked in technical roles were told to serve between six and 10 months.

Image published by Dreamfilm after the raiddreamfilm

Anti-piracy outfit Rights Alliance, which as usual was deeply involved in the prosecution, says that the sites were significant players in the pirate landscape.

“The network that included Dream Movie, Tankafetast, TF Play and Piratehub was one of Europe’s leading players for illegal file sharing and streaming. The coordination of the network was carried out by two of the convicted,” the group said.

“This case is an example of how organized commercial piracy used Sweden as a base and target for its operations. They are well organized and earn a lot of money and the risks are considered small and punishments low in Sweden,” lawyer Henrik Pontén said.

While lenient sentences are now clearly off the agenda, the convicted men still have a chance to appeal. It is not yet clear whether they will do so. In the meantime the Dreamfilm.se domain will be seized until the District Court decision becomes final.

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

Spotify’s Beta Used ‘Pirate’ MP3 Files, Some From Pirate Bay

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/spotifys-beta-used-pirate-mp3-files-some-from-pirate-bay-170509/

While some pirates will probably never be tempted away from the digital high seas, over the past decade millions have ditched or tapered down their habit with the help of Spotify.

It’s no coincidence that from the very beginning more than a decade ago, the streaming service had more than a few things in common with the piracy scene.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek originally worked with uTorrent creator Ludvig ‘Ludde’ Strigeus before the pair sold to BitTorrent Inc. and began work on Spotify. Later, the company told TF that pirates were their target.

“Spotify is a new way of enjoying music. We believe Spotify provides a viable alternative to music piracy,” the company said.

“We think the way forward is to create a service better than piracy, thereby converting users into a legal, sustainable alternative which also enriches the total music experience.”

The technology deployed by Spotify was also familiar. Like the majority of ‘pirate’ platforms at the time, Spotify operated a peer-to-peer (P2P) system which grew to become one of the largest on the Internet. It was shut down in 2011.

But in the clearest nod to pirates, Spotify was available for free, supported by ads if the user desired. This was the platform’s greatest asset as it sought to win over a generation that had grown accustomed to gorging on free MP3s. Interestingly, however, an early Pirate Bay figure has now revealed that Spotify also had a use for the free content floating around the Internet.

As one of the early members of Sweden’s infamous Piratbyrån (piracy bureau), Rasmus Fleischer was also one of key figures at The Pirate Bay. Over the years he’s been a writer, researcher, debater and musician, and in 2012 he finished his PhD thesis on “music’s political economy.”

As part of a five-person team, Fleischer is now writing a book about Spotify. Titled ‘Spotify Teardown – Inside the Black Box of Streaming Music’, the book aims to shine light on the history of the famous music service and also spills the beans on a few secrets.

In an interview with Sweden’s DI.se, Fleischer reveals that when Spotify was in early beta, the company used unlicensed music to kick-start the platform.

“Spotify’s beta version was originally a pirate service. It was distributing MP3 files that the employees happened to have on their hard drives,” he reveals.

Rumors that early versions of Spotify used ‘pirate’ MP3s have been floating around the Internet for years. People who had access to the service in the beginning later reported downloading tracks that contained ‘Scene’ labeling, tags, and formats, which are the tell-tale signs that content hadn’t been obtained officially.

Solid proof has been more difficult to come by but Fleischer says he knows for certain that Spotify was using music obtained not only from pirate sites, but the most famous pirate site of all.

According to the writer, a few years ago he was involved with a band that decided to distribute their music on The Pirate Bay instead of the usual outlets. Soon after, the album appeared on Spotify’s beta service.

“I thought that was funny. So I emailed Spotify and asked how they obtained it. They said that ‘now, during the test period, we will use music that we find’,” Fleischer recalls.

For a company that has attracting pirates built into its DNA, it’s perhaps fitting that it tempted them with the same bait found on pirate sites. Certainly, the company’s history of a pragmatic attitude towards piracy means that few will be shouting ‘hypocrites’ at the streaming platform now.

Indeed, according to Fleischer the successes and growth of Spotify are directly linked to the temporary downfall of The Pirate Bay following the raid on the site in 2006, and the lawsuits that followed.

“The entire Spotify beta period and its early launch history is in perfect sync with the Pirate Bay process,” Fleischer explains.

“They would not have had as much attention if they had not been able to surf that wave. The company’s early history coincides with the Pirate Party becoming a hot topic, and the trial of the Pirate Bay in the Stockholm District Court.”

In 2013, Fleischer told TF that The Pirate Bay had “helped catalyze so-called ‘new business models’,” and it now appears that Spotify is reaping the benefits and looks set to keep doing so into the future.

An in-depth interview with Rasmus Fleischer will be published here soon, including an interesting revelation detailing how TorrentFreak readers positively affected the launch of Spotify in the United States.

Spotify Teardown – Inside the Black Box of Streaming Music will be published early 2018.

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

250,000 Pi Zero W units shipped and more Pi Zero distributors announced

Post Syndicated from Mike Buffham original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/pi-zero-distributors-annoucement/

This week, just nine weeks after its launch, we will ship the 250,000th Pi Zero W into the market. As well as hitting that pretty impressive milestone, today we are announcing 13 new Raspberry Pi Zero distributors, so you should find it much easier to get hold of a unit.

Raspberry Pi Zero W and Case - Pi Zero distributors

This significantly extends the reach we can achieve with Pi Zero and Pi Zero W across the globe. These new distributors serve Australia and New Zealand, Italy, Malaysia, Japan, South Africa, Poland, Greece, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. We are also further strengthening our network in the USA, Canada, and Germany, where demand continues to be very high.

Pi Zero W - Pi Zero distributors

A common theme on the Raspberry Pi forums has been the difficulty of obtaining a Zero or Zero W in a number of countries. This has been most notable in the markets which are furthest away from Europe or North America. We are hoping that adding these new distributors will make it much easier for Pi-fans across the world to get hold of their favourite tiny computer.

We know there are still more markets to cover, and we are continuing to work with other potential partners to improve the Pi Zero reach. Watch this space for even further developments!

Who are the new Pi Zero Distributors?

Check the icons below to find the distributor that’s best for you!

Australia and New Zealand

Core Electronics - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

PiAustralia Raspberry Pi - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

South Africa

PiShop - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

Please note: Pi Zero W is not currently available to buy in South Africa, as we are waiting for ICASA Certification.

Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway

JKollerup - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

electro:kit - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

Germany and Switzerland

sertronics - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

pi-shop - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors


botland - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors


nettop - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors



ksy - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

switch science - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

Please note: Pi Zero W is not currently available to buy in Japan as we are waiting for TELEC Certification.


cytron - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

Please note: Pi Zero W is not currently available to buy in Malaysia as we are waiting for SIRIM Certification

Canada and USA

buyapi - New Raspberry Pi Zero Distributors

Get your Pi Zero

For full product details, plus a complete list of Pi Zero distributors, visit the Pi Zero W page.

Awesome feature image GIF credit goes to Justin Mezzell

The post 250,000 Pi Zero W units shipped and more Pi Zero distributors announced appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Swefilmer Piracy Trial Ends, Operators Face Years in Jail

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/swefilmer-piracy-trial-ends-operators-face-years-in-jail-170428/

Founded more than five years ago, Swefilmer grew to become Sweden’s most popular movie and TV show streaming site. It was once said to have accounted for 25% of all web TV viewing in Sweden.

In 2015, a 22-year-old Swefilmer operator revealed he’d been raided and in 2016 a Turkish national was arrested in Germany on a secret European arrest warrant. The now 26-year-old was accused of receiving donations from users and setting up Swefilmer’s deals with advertisers.

The pair appeared at the Varberg District Court in January, accused of making more than $1.5m from their activities between November 2013 and June 2015.

After a few weeks’ suspension, the case got back underway this month, when details of the investigation into the site were revealed to the Court.

This week the trial concluded with prosecutor Anna Ginner describing the Swefilmer streaming operation as being like “organized crime”, while demanding a 4.5-year prison sentence for the 26-year-old alongside damages of more than $1.5m.

“I say this bears the traits of organized crime. A crime that has drawn in a lot of big money,” said Ginner via video link.

“The aim was to provide all visitors of the website Swefilmer an opportunity to see movies for free. The website even placed advertising to encourage more visitors,” she said.

“The effect of the business has been that thousands of users have done just that, instead of paying for the Swedish film companies. This has damaged the film studios.”

According to local media, the 26-year-old’s lawyer dismissed the prosecution’s claims as “fantasy”, noting that it’s not clear that his client committed any crimes at all.

That assertion wasn’t shared by lawyer Henrik Pontén of RightsAlliance.

“We must not forget that it is only a small part of the money that we have been able to find. There is a large amount of money that has been lost somewhere in the world,” Pontén said.

The prosecution considers the 26-year-old to be the main player behind the site, with the 22-year-old playing a much smaller role. He stands accused of receiving around $4,000 of the proceeds but according to his lawyer Claes Kennedy, no crime was committed, since at the time it had not been established by the EU court that linking to pirated content was illegal.

Nevertheless, the prosecution wants the site’s former administrator to receive a year in jail but may settle for a suspended sentence plus community service, a point on which his lawyer agrees.

For his part, Henrik Pontén hopes the punishments are closer to the top of the scale as a deterrent to others.

“Foreign criminals are attracted to Sweden for the opportunity to earn serious money and receive low penalty rates,” he told Hallands Nyheter.

The district court’s decision is due mid-May.

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

Pirate Site Operators Caught By Money Trail, Landmark Trial Hears

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-site-operators-caught-by-money-trail-landmark-trial-hears-170411/

Founded half a decade ago, Swefilmer grew to become Sweden’s most popular movie and TV show streaming site. At one stage, Swefilmer and fellow streaming site Dreamfilm were said to account for 25% of all web TV viewing in Sweden.

In 2015, local man Ola Johansson took to the Internet to reveal that he’d been raided by the police under suspicion of being involved in running the site. In March 2016, a Turkish national was arrested in Germany on a secret European arrest warrant.

After a couple of false starts, one last June and another this January, the case finally got underway yesterday in Sweden.

The pair stand accused of the unlawful distribution of around 1,400 movies, owned by a dozen studios including Warner, Disney and Fox. Investigators tested 67 of the titles and ten had been made available online before their DVD release.

Anti-piracy group Rights Alliance claims that the site generated a lot of money from advertising without paying for the appropriate licenses. On the table are potential convictions for copyright infringement and money laundering.

Follow the money

In common with so many file-sharing related cases, it’s clear that the men in this case were tracked down from traces left online. Those included IP address evidence and money trails from both advertising revenues and site donations.

According to Sveriges Radio who were in court yesterday, police were able to trace two IP addresses used to operate Swefilmer back to Turkey.

In an effort to trace the bank account used by the site to hold funds, the prosecutor then sought assistance from Turkish authorities. After obtaining the name of the 26-year-old, the prosecutor was then able to link that with advertising revenue generated by the site.

Swefilmer also had a PayPal account used to receive donations and payments for VIP memberships. That account was targeted by an investigator from Rights Alliance who donated money via the same method. That allowed the group to launch an investigation with the payment processor.

The PayPal inquiry appears to have been quite fruitful. The receipt from the donation revealed the account name and from there PayPal apparently gave up the email and bank account details connected to the account. These were linked to the 26-year-old by the prosecutor.


The site’s connections with its advertisers also proved useful to investigators. The prosecution claimed that Swefilmer received its first payment in 2013 and its last in 2015. The money generated, some $1.5m (14m kronor), was deposited in a bank account operated by the 26-year-old by a Stockholm-based ad company.

The court heard that while the CEO of the advertising company had been questioned in connection with the case, he is not suspected of crimes.

Connecting the site’s operators

While the exact mechanism is unclear, investigators from Rights Alliance managed to find an IP address used by the 22-year-old. This IP was then traced back to his parents’ home in Kungsbacka, Sweden. The same IP address was used to access the man’s Facebook page.

In court, the prosecution read out chat conversations between both men. They revealed that the men knew each other only through chat and that the younger man believed the older was from Russia.

The prosecution’s case is that the 26-year-old was the ring-leader and that his colleague was a minor player. With that in mind, the latter is required to pay back around $4,000, which is the money he earned from the site.

For the older man, the situation is much more serious. The prosecution is seeking all of the money the site made from advertising, a cool $1.5m.

The case was initially set to go ahead last year but was postponed pending a ruling from the European Court of Justice. Last September, the Court determined that it was illegal to link to copyrighted material if profit was being made.

Claes Kennedy, the lawyer for the 22-year-old, insists that his client did nothing wrong. His actions took place before the ECJ’s ruling so should be determined legal, he says.

The case continues.

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

The Pirate Bay’s Swedish Domain is Listed For Sale

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/the-pirate-bays-swedish-domain-is-listed-for-sale-170407/

In 2003, when The Pirate Bay was in its infancy, its main domain was ThePirateBay.org. The site still uses that domain today but it has burned through many others over the years.

One that has stood the test of the time is the site’s iconic ThePirateBay.se domain. It’s been in use for many years, often relied upon as a fall-back measure when other domains have been seized or suspended.

Notably, in 2012 the site switched from its .org domain to .se, a move which triggered a domain-hopping exercise which lasted until 2015 when the site moved back again.

While several other Pirate Bay domains have been consigned to Davy Jones’s Locker, ThePirateBay.se has always weathered the storms of the high seas. Now, however, all that might be coming to an end.

During Thursday, ThePirateBay.se temporarily stopped redirecting to ThePirateBay.org, at least for some users. Intrigued as to why this might be the case, TF carried out some routine checks and was confronted with what appears to be an unconnected surprise. According to its WHOIS entry, the domain has been put up for sale.

Clicking through reveals a sale underway on domain auction site Sedo. Probably due to the short time it’s been on offer, there has been little to no interest thus far. At the time of writing, bidders are able to offer as little as $90 (plus VAT) to the seller of the domain, who according to Sedo is located in Barbados.

Of course, it’s unlikely the domain will sell for such a low amount but perhaps more importantly, it’s debatable whether it’s worth anything at all.

In 2013, anti-piracy prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad filed a motion targeting ThePirateBay.se and lesser-used alternative PirateBay.se. He argued that Punkt SE (IIS), the organization responsible for Sweden’s top-level .SE domain, should be held liable for Pirate Bay’s copyright infringements unless it suspended the domain.

The case was heard in April 2015 and a month later the Stockholm District Court ruled that The Pirate Bay should forfeit both ThePirateBay.se and PirateBay.se to the Swedish state. The case later went to the Svea Court of Appeal, which upheld the decision of the District Court, but things weren’t over yet.

While the Court agreed that Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij had transferred the domains to a third party in 2012, it determined the transaction to be mere ‘paperwork’ and held that Neij had effectively retained control of the domains.

What followed was a June 2016 appeal by Neij to the Supreme Court, which challenged the Court of Appeal’s opinion that a domain name is a type of intellectual property that can be seized under copyright law.

Whether the Supreme Court will take the case remains to be seen. It’s clear, however, that whatever happens ThePirateBay.se is up to its neck in legal disputes and is already prone to seizure, something that casts doubt over its future potential.

TorrentFreak spoke to Sweden’s IIS to find out how any potential sale might affect the ongoing Pirate Bay domain legal dispute but the organization declined to comment. The operators of The Pirate Bay have not confirmed the sale, which appears to have been running for a few weeks.

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

Coming in 2018 – New AWS Region in Sweden

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/coming-in-2018-new-aws-region-in-sweden/

Last year we launched new AWS Regions in Canada, India, Korea, the UK (London), and the United States (Ohio), and announced that new regions are coming to France (Paris) and China (Ningxia).

Today, I am happy to be able to tell you that we are planning to open up an AWS Region in Stockholm, Sweden in 2018. This region will give AWS partners and customers in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden low-latency connectivity and the ability to run their workloads and store their data close to home.

The Nordics is well known for its vibrant startup community and highly innovative business climate. With successful global enterprises like ASSA ABLOY, IKEA, and Scania along with fast growing startups like Bambora, Supercell, Tink, and Trustpilot, it comes as no surprise that Forbes ranks Sweden as the best country for business, with all the other Nordic countries in the top 10. Even better, the European Commission ranks Sweden as the most innovative country in EU.

This will be the fifth AWS Region in Europe joining four other Regions there — EU (Ireland), EU (London), EU (Frankfurt) and an additional Region in France expected to launch in the coming months. Together, these Regions will provide our customers with a total of 13 Availability Zones (AZs) and allow them to architect highly fault tolerant applications while storing their data in the EU.

Today, our infrastructure comprises 42 Availability Zones across 16 geographic regions worldwide, with another three AWS Regions (and eight Availability Zones) in France, China and Sweden coming online throughout 2017 and 2018, (see the AWS Global Infrastructure page for more info).

We are looking forward to serving new and existing Nordic customers and working with partners across Europe. Of course, the new region will also be open to existing AWS customers who would like to process and store data in Sweden. Public sector organizations (government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofits) in Sweden will be able to use this region to store sensitive data in-country (the AWS in the Public Sector page has plenty of success stories drawn from our worldwide customer base).

If you are a customer or a partner and have specific questions about this Region, you can contact our Nordic team.

Help Wanted
As part of our launch, we are hiring individual contributors and managers for IT support, electrical, logistics, and physical security positions. If you are interested in learning more, please contact aws-jobs-sweden@amazon.com.



BitTorrent Inc. to Refocus on What Made it Rich – uTorrent

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/bittorrent-inc-to-refocus-on-what-made-it-rich-utorrent-170328/

While torrent clients such as qBitTorrent and Deluge have a passionate following among enthusiasts, there can only be one winner when it comes the true king of BitTorrent transfers.

Owned by San-Francisco based BitTorrent Inc., uTorrent is the leading torrent client in the West. It has more than 150 million active users a month, a staggering achievement for a piece of software that started out as a one-man project in Sweden back in 2004.

Now on version 3.4.9, uTorrent has undergone more than 12 years of development, 11 years under the guidance of BitTorrent Inc., who took control of the client (and its creator Ludvig Strigeus) back in 2006. The client’s massive success since has had a significant effect on BitTorrent Inc., generating tens of millions of dollars in advertising and affiliate revenue.

Indeed, this revenue has been the major contributor to BitTorrent Inc.’s very existence, financing a basket of other products the company has brought to the table in recent years, such as the popular Dropbox competitor BitTorrent Sync.

But despite the huge contribution uTorrent has made to the company and its various forays into other areas, in recent years the software has descended into something of an unsung hero.

Caught between the bad publicity generated by millions of pirates using the software for less than legal activities, a reliance on its huge revenue, plus its role in distributing content from signed-up artists, BitTorrent Inc. has at times been required to delicately maneuver around the client’s very existence.

Now, however, that might be about to change. According to a report from Variety, changes are underway at BitTorrent Inc that could see uTorrent and its Mainline sister client come back into the limelight.

First up, the company has yet another new CEO. Rogelio Choy joins the company after spending two years at parking service Luxe Valet. However, Choy is also a former BitTorrent employee, serving as its Chief Operating Officer between 2012 and 2015.

The hiring of Choy reportedly coincides with a shake-up of BitTorrent Inc.’s product line. BitTorrent Live, the patented live video streaming project developed by BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen, will be set loose as a separate, venture-funded company, Variety reports.

That company will be headed up by Cohen himself, who will reportedly step back from his day-to-day involvement with BitTorrent Inc. but remain on the company’s board. He also has a little something up his sleeve.

Cohen, a serial inventor and self-confessed puzzle enthusiast, is said to be focusing on a new crypto-currency project. Given how active Cohen has been in related and often heated discussion online in recent years, that doesn’t come as a surprise.

But with all these changes underway, perhaps the most important news for torrent fans is that BitTorrent Inc. will refocus on its flagship products, the uTorrent and Mainline clients. Quite how this will manifest itself is open to debate, however.

Most of the really important additions such as magnet links, PEX, and the network-friendly uTP protocol enhancement happened before 2010, some seven years ago. There have been a few minor additions in recent times, such as altruistic mode in 2016, but other than that development has been flat.

Pulling something exciting out of the hat at this late stage in a product’s life could be a big ask but considering BitTorrent’s success and longevity (nothing else has come along to beat it from a technical perspective in 15 years), the company could yet deliver a surprise.

It’s certainly possible, however, that BitTorrent Inc. will choose to continue its policy of focusing on what positive things the software can do, rather than the software itself. For years the company has been trying to attract artists to its distribution platform, even going as far as offering to finance them through its discovery fund.

But with that now scrapped, it will need to rely on artists who understand the benefits of BitTorrent Bundles. They will join the likes of Bribery Corporation, who recently struck a deal with BitTorrent to provide the exclusive platform for all their releases.

Whatever happens, uTorrent remains an exciting part of the P2P landscape and doesn’t look like it will disappear anytime soon. Whether it can receive an unexpected technological boost will remain to be seen, but in the meantime it will remain the client of choice for tens of millions of fans, many of whom are happy with it, just the way it is.

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

Pirate Bay’s Oldest Torrents Are ‘Teenagers’ Now

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bays-oldest-torrents-are-teenagers-now-170326/

The Pirate Bay is one of the most established brands on the Internet, but this certainly wasn’t the case 13 years ago.

The notorious torrent site was originally founded by Swedish pro-culture organization Piratbyrån, during the summer of 2003.

It was first hosted in Mexico, where Gottfrid Svartholm operated the site on a server owned by the company he was working for at the time. After a few months, it moved to Sweden, where Fredrik Neij ran the site and tracker from a Pentium III 1GHz laptop with 256MB of RAM.

While some of the site’s current users weren’t even born at the time, several of the torrents that were uploaded back then are still available today. This week the site’s longest surviving torrents turn thirteen years old. In other words, they’re teenagers now.

Below are the oldest listed torrents as of this week. An episode of “The High Chaparral” has the honor of being the oldest torrent. The file was originally uploaded on March 25, 2004, and although it lists zero seeders in the search results, there are still several people sharing it.

Pirate Bay’s oldest torrents listed

The ‘unofficial’ record hasn’t gone unnoticed to Pirate Bay users. Several commenters refer to the torrent’s achievement as the oldest surviving torrent on the site.

“Well, I guess since this is a part of TPB history i’ll add it to my Raspberry Pi torrent server to seed forever. Hopefully others will do the same,” one person writes in the comment section.

Other torrents that will soon reach teenager status are a copy of the first season of “Oz,” a book with “Top Secret Recipes,” and the “Revolution OS” documentary, which covers the history of Linux, GNU and the free software movement.

What’s most remarkable is that people are still sharing these files after all this time. A torrent only remains available if there’s at least one person sharing it. Over the years millions of torrents have stopped working, but these have weathered all the storms.

To give an idea of how many older torrents are still listed on The Pirate Bay, we looked at one of the site’s most recent database dumps.

Of the 60,000 torrents that were initially available on TPB at the end of 2004, roughly 3,000 are still online today. This number goes up to 10,000 for the 2006 torrents, and 300,000 of all torrents that were uploaded last year are still around.

Given the iconic status of the “High Chaparral” torrent, it’s not unthinkable that this one will live on to become an adult. That is, if The Pirate Bay itself is still operational in 2022.

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

ЕСПЧ: право на справедлив процес при трансгранично тв излъчване

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/6_echr/

Интересно решение, въпросът точно по този начин не е третиран още в съдебната практика на ЕСПЧ – Arlewin v. Sweden (application no. 22302/10).

Шведски бизнесмен е обсъждан като фигура от сенчестия бизнес в  телевизионно предаване изключително за аудиторията в Швеция,  на шведски и  с шведски водещ. Оказва се обаче, че редакционната отговорност (с езика на директивата, но за яснота)  е на доставчик на медийна услуга в Обединеното кралство.

Бизнесменът подава иск в Швеция, но от него се изисква да обжалва в съд  в Обединеното кралство.

Според ЕСПЧ, Швеция е имала задължението по член 6 от ЕКПЧ за осигуряване на   ефективен достъп до справедлив процес.  Не може да се каже, че насочването към съд в ОК е  била разумна  практическа алтернатива за лицето. По мнение на Съда, налице е ограничение на  правото на справедлив съдебен процес, нарушение на чл.6 ЕКПЧ.

Filed under: Media Law Tagged: еспч

ЕСПЧ: след решението Делфи

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/echr_delfi-2/

Делфи срещу Естония беше и ключово, и шоково решение на ЕСПЧ, впрочем решения – като се вземе предвид и решението на Голямата камара.

Както и се очакваше, по ред причини ( като правото на ЕС по темата) ЕСПЧ ще има шлейф от доизясняващи решения, ето първото – Index.Hu – носи сe отговорност от сайтовете за коментари на трети лица във форумите, но решението Index.Hu показва, че не винаги.

Ето и нова практика – Pihl v. Sweden (application no. 74742/14)

В блог се появява коментар, според който шведски гражданин – Mr Rolf Anders Daniel Pihl – има нацистки прояви. В блога е отбелязано, че авторите на коментарите носят отговорност за твърденията си, че това не са позиции на блога и коментаторите се призовават да спазват определени правила. Скоро след това засегнатото лице също в коментар оспорва казаното и иска заличаване на твърдението. Така и става – коментарът е заличен с бележка, че твърдението е невярно, и извинение.

Въпреки това засегнатото лице настоява да получи обезщетение за вреди по силата на – както лицето смята – позитивното задължение на държавата да гарантира прилагането на чл.8 ЕКПЧ и да привлече към отговорност издателя – малка неправителствена организация – към отговорност. След като получава отказ в Швеция, лицето се обръща към ЕСПЧ.

Съдът в [27] се позовава на известния вече баланс на чл.8 и чл.10 ЕКПЧ, включително на известните вече критерии от решението Фон Хановер, и накрая достига до решението Делфи:

27. В това отношение, що се отнася до конкуриращи се интереси по член 8 и член 10 от Конвенцията, Съдът е установил следното, както е обобщено в Делфи AS [139]: Съдът е установил, че, както е въпрос на принципи, правата, гарантирани в съответствие с членове 8 и 10 заслужават еднакво уважение, и резултатът не трябва, по принцип, да варира в зависимост от това дали жалбата е била подадена в Съда на основание член 10 от Конвенцията от издателя или по силата на член 8 от Конвенцията от лицето, което е било предмет на тази статия.

28. …за конкретната оценка на въпросната намеса се вземат предвид: контекст  на коментарите; мерките, прилагани от дружеството, за да се предотврати или премахне клеветнически коментар; отговорността на авторите на коментарите и др.

и след обсъждане Съдът заключава, че

  • с оглед най-вече на факта, че коментарът  не съдържа подбуждане към насилие и е публикуван в един малък блог, управляван от сдружение с нестопанска цел, който прекратява  достъпа в деня след искане на заявителя и девет дни, след като е бил публикуван коментарът,
  • и че националните съдилища са действали в рамките на своята свобода на преценка и при справедлив баланс между правата на жалбоподателя по силата на член 8, и  свобода на изразяване по член 10 ЕКПЧ.

Жалбата на Mr Rolf Anders Daniel Pihl е недопустима.

Filed under: Media Law Tagged: еспч

Pirate Bay’s Peter Sunde Doesn’t Plan to Pay Hollywood ‘Back’… Ever

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bays-peter-sunde-doesnt-plan-to-pay-hollywood-back-ever-170318/

Former Pirate Bay spokesperson Peter Sunde paid the ultimate price for his involvement with the notorious pirate site, sacrificing his freedom.

Since his release from prison over two years ago he has been busy with several old and new projects, ranging from Flattr to his art projects, and even a TV-show in Finland.

However, even though he hasn’t been involved with TPB for nearly a decade, his past association still haunts him. Just last year a District Court in Finland ordered him to pay €350,000 ($375,000) for music shared illegally by the site’s users.

Speaking on TorrentFreak’s Steal This Show podcast this week, Peter says that he wasn’t even aware that the case was ongoing until he heard the verdict.

Peter explains that the court wants him to prove that he’s no longer operating The Pirate Bay. An impossible task, according to the former TPB spokesman, who used the court’s own logic in a snarky reply.

“I sent the message to the court saying: you have to prove that you’re not trying to poison me. I didn’t get a reply, so I guess they are trying to poison me. I’m using their own logic now,” he says.

Where most people would be devastated when told to pay hundreds of thousands of euros, Peter is no longer impressed. The Finnish case is still under appeal, but even if the damages amount stands, it’s not that big of a deal.

As the result of various court cases, the former TPB spokesman already owes millions to Hollywood. In Sweden alone, the damages are already well in the range of €15 million and increase every year with a fourteen percent interest rate, he says.

With these numbers the damages will be more than half a billion before he retires. In fact, it already is pretty much impossible for Peter to pay even the interest alone. It’s likely he’ll be in debt for the rest of his life. But even if he could pay, he wouldn’t.

“Out of principle I would never pay them anything,” Peter says, as he doesn’t feel that he took anything from the Hollywood studios or record labels to begin with.

“People ask me so many times: how are you going to pay the money back, and I’m like, what do you mean back? You have to have the money first in order to give it back. There was never any money handed over to me. I didn’t take any money.”

During the Pirate Bay trial, Peter and his co-defendants presented evidence showing that piracy doesn’t cause rightsholders any significant harm, if any at all. However, The Pirate Bay defendants had to pay nonetheless, as the rightsholders argued that a proper license would have cost them too.

While debts can be a real burden, Peter is relaxed. Many of his friends are struggling to pay their mortgages or student loans, but he has stopped worrying.

“When you get to ten million euros, it is not like those two hundred and fifty euros per month are actually going to get you into that debt-free zone when you’re sixty. So you don’t care about it, you stop caring about it,” he says.

The massive debt, in a way, provided him a sense of freedom. No matter what financial trouble he runs into, it will still be impossible to pay. And since Peter opted not to pay at all, there’s less of a burden.

“So the only thing that actually happens is that you pay less. You just change the way of life. You’re actually protected. I can owe quite a lot of money. It means that I will never have to pay anything because I won’t be in a position where that’s gonna happen.

“Maybe I should start a torrent site in Sweden,” Peter jokes.

More details on the full episode with Peter Sunde is available at the Steal This Show website.

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

Steal This Show S02E12: ‘How The Internet Broke Politics’

Post Syndicated from J.J. King original https://torrentfreak.com/steal-show-s02e12-internet-broke-politics/

stslogo180If you enjoy this episode, consider becoming a patron and getting involved with the show. Check out Steal This Show’s Patreon campaign: support us and get all kinds of fantastic benefits!

In this episode, we meet Peter Sunde, co-founder of The Pirate Bay. We discuss how he survives under the huge (and growing) fines placed on him after The Pirate Bay trials in Sweden, and find out that all may not be what it seems in the world of pirate fines

We also hear why Peter got into an argument with Creative Commons founder Larry Lessig – and whether Trump could be a good thing for world politics. How 4Chan, Anonymous and Wikileaks became players on the political stage, and how to survive in a world hitting ‘peak information.’

Finally, we return to the thorny issue of how to get creators paid in the emerging media landscape. Will we need a Universal Basic Income? Or does this just equate to a return to class society?

Steal This Show aims to release bi-weekly episodes featuring insiders discussing copyright and file-sharing news. It complements our regular reporting by adding more room for opinion, commentary, and analysis.

The guests for our news discussions will vary, and we’ll aim to introduce voices from different backgrounds and persuasions. In addition to news, STS will also produce features interviewing some of the great innovators and minds.

Host: Jamie King

Guest: Peter Sunde

Produced by Jamie King
Edited & Mixed by Riley Byrne
Original Music by David Triana
Web Production by Siraje Amarniss

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

Court Orders ISP to Hand Identities Behind 5,300 IP Addresses to Copyright Trolls

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/court-orders-isp-to-hand-identities-behind-5300-ip-addresses-to-copyright-trolls-170315/

In 2016, copyright trolling made a brief appearance in Sweden but after a huge backlash, the perpertrators disappeared with their tails between their legs.

Last month, however, it became evident that Sweden is still a target for those seeking cash settlement demands from alleged pirates.

An initiative, fronted by Danish law firm Njord and backed by known international copyright trolls Guardaley, made headlines when it began targeting the customers of several ISPs, including Telia, Tele2 and Bredbandsbolaget, the provider that was previously ordered to block The Pirate Bay.

At the time it was unclear how many people the lawfirm had in its sights but the situation has become more clear following a recent legal development.

Sweden’s new Patent and Market Court, that was formed last year to handle specialist copyright complaints, handed down a ruling on Friday. It grants Njord and its partners the right to force ISP Telia to hand over the personal details of subscribers behind thousands of IP addresses, despite the ISP’s objections.

“There is probable cause of infringement of copyright in the films in that they were made unlawfully made available to the public via file sharing networks,” the Court wrote in its judgment.

“The applicants’ interest in having access to the information outweighs any opposing interests, including the interest of the individual [subscribers] to remain anonymous.”

Telia says that although it places great value on its subscribers’ right to privacy, complying with a court order is a legal requirement.

“We believe that our customers’ privacy is incredibly important, but now we must comply with this court decision,” a Telia press spokesperson told SVT.

In all, subscribers behind 5,300 Telia IP addresses will be affected, with claims that each unlawfully downloaded and shared a range of movie titles including CELL, IT, London Has Fallen, Mechanic: Resurrection, Criminal and September of Shiraz. All have featured in previous Guardaley trolling cases in the United States.

It’s not known how many of the 5,300 IP addresses Telia will be able to match to subscribers, or whether each IP address will identify a unique subscriber, but it’s safe to say that thousands of households will be affected.

While it appears that Telia will be the first ISP to hand over subscriber names and addresses to the rightsholder groups, the ISP will not be the last. Tele2 and Bredbandsbolaget are also being targeted and will need to comply with any court orders handed down, just as Telia has.

At this stage, the total numbers of Swedish subscribers affected by these cases still remains a little unclear, but it’s believed that around 20,000 might be eventually hit with some kind of settlement demand.

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

ISP Blocks Pirate Bay But Vows to Fight Future Blocking Demands

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/isp-blocks-pirate-bay-but-vows-to-fight-future-blocking-demands-170301/

Two weeks go after almost three years of legal battles, Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Nordisk Film and the Swedish Film Industry finally achieved their dream of blocking a ‘pirate’ site.

The Patent and Market Court ordered Bredbandsbolaget, the ISP at the center of the action, to block The Pirate Bay and another defunct site, Swefilmer. A few hours ago the provider barred its subscribers from accessing them, just ahead of the Court deadline.

This pioneering legal action will almost certainly open the floodgates to similar demands in the future, but if content providers think that Bredbandsbolaget will roll over and give up, they have another thing coming.

In a statement announcing that it had complied with the orders of the court, the ISP said that despite having good reasons to appeal, it had been not allowed to do so. The provider adds that it finds it unreasonable that any provider should have to block content following pressure from private interests, so will fight all future requests.

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

Noting that the chances of contesting a precedent-setting ruling are “small or non-existent”, the ISP added that not all providers will have the resources to fight, if they are targeted next. Fighting should be the aim though, since there are problems with the existing court order.

According to Bredbandsbolaget, the order requires it to block 100 domain names. However, the ISP says that during the trial it was not determined whether they all lead to illegal sites. In fact, it appears that some of the domains actual point to sites that are either fully legal or non-operational.

For example, in tests conducted by TF this morning the domain bay.malk.rocks led to a Minecraft forum, fattorrents.ws and magnetsearch.net/org were dead, piratewiki.info had expired, torrentdr.com was parked and ViceTorrent.com returned error 404. Also, Swefilmer.com returned a placeholder and SweHD.com was parked and for sale.

“What domains should be blocked or not blocked is therefore reliant on rightsholders’ sincerity, infallibility and the ability to make proportionate assessments,” Bredbandsbolaget warns.

“It is still unclear which body receives questions and complaints if an operator is required to mistakenly block a domain.”

In the wake of the blocking ruling two weeks ago, two other major ISPs in Sweden indicated that they too would put up a fight against blocking demands.

Bahnhof slammed the decision to block The Pirate Bay, describing the effort as signaling the “death throes” of the copyright industry.

Telia was more moderate but said it has no intention of blocking The Pirate Bay, unless it is forced to do so by law.

The full list of domains that were blocked this morning are as follows:


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

Swedish Internet Users Face New Wave of Piracy Cash Demands

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/swedish-internet-users-face-new-wave-of-piracy-cash-demands-170225/

Last year, mass ‘copyright-trolling’ hit Sweden for the first time. An organization calling itself Spridningskollen (Distribution Check) claimed its new initiative would save the entertainment industries and educate the masses.

Predictably there was a huge backlash, both among the public and in the media, something which eventually led the group to discontinue its operations in the country. Now, however, a new wave of trolling is about to hit the country.

Swedish publication Breakit.se reports that a major new offensive is about to begin, with a Danish law firm Njord and movie company Zentropa at the helm.

The companies are targeting the subscribers of several ISPs, including Telia, Tele2 and Bredbandsbolaget, the provider that will shortly begin blocking The Pirate Bay. It’s not clear how many people will be targeted but Breakit says that many thousands of IP addresses cover 42 pages of court documents.

Bredbandsbolaget confirmed that a court order exists and it will be forced to hand over the personal details of its subscribers.

“The first time we received such a request, we appealed because we do not think that the privacy-related sacrifice is proportionate to the crimes that were allegedly committed. Unfortunately we lost and must now follow the court order,” a spokesperson said.

It appears the trolls are taking extreme measures to ensure that ISPs comply. Some Swedish ISPs have a policy of deleting IP address logs but earlier this week a court ordered Telia to preserve data or face a $22,000 fine.

Jeppe Brogaard Clausen of the Njord lawfirm says that after identifying the subscribers he wants to “enter into non-aggressive dialogue” with them. But while this might sound like a friendly approach, the ultimate aim will be to extract money. It’s also worth considering who is behind this operation.

The BitTorrent tracking in the case was carried out by MaverickEye, a German-based company that continually turns up in similar cases all over Europe and the United States. The company and its operator Patrick Achache are part of the notorious Guardaley trolling operation.

Also of interest is the involvement of UK-based Copyright Management Services Ltd, whose sole director is none other than Patrick Achache himself. The company is based at the same London address as fellow copyright trolling partner Hatton and Berkeley, which previously sent cash settlement demands to Internet users in the UK.

In addition to two Zentropa titles, the movies involved in the Swedish action are CELL, IT, London Has Fallen, Mechanic: Resurrection, Criminal and September of Shiraz. All have featured in previous Guardaley cases in the United States.

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

“We Won’t Block Pirate Bay,” Swedish Telecoms Giant Says

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/wont-block-pirate-bay-swedish-telecoms-giant-says-170221/

Last week after almost three years of legal wrangling, Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Nordisk Film and the Swedish Film Industry finally achieved their dream of blocking a ‘pirate’ site

After losing an October 2015 trial at the Stockholm District Court, the rightsholders went to appeal last September, a hearing that ran for several days at the brand new Patent and Market Court.

Last Monday the court ruled that Bredbandsbolaget, the ISP at the center of the action, must block The Pirate Bay.

For the rest of Europe, where blocking is becoming more and more commonplace, it was just another day at the office. Back in Sweden, however, the reaction was more animated. It appears that Internet service providers don’t like the idea of becoming copyright policemen and as a result, none voiced support for the decision.

In other EU countries where blocking injunctions have been achieved, ISPs have often resigned themselves to the same fate and smoothed the process moving forward. The rightsholders are still holding on to the idea that might be a possibility in Sweden, as spokesman Per Strömbäck told IDG this morning.

“We believe that the legal situation is now clear and that ISPs should act in loyalty with Bredbandsbolaget and apply the same rules,” Strömbäck said.

“We believe and hope that we will get to a solution as we have in Norway, Denmark and the UK, where telecom operators cooperate and all block the pirate sites.”

But the signs are not good.

Last week ISP Bahnhof absolutely slammed the decision to block The Pirate Bay, describing the effort as signaling the “death throes” of the copyright industry. It even hinted that it may offer some kind of technical solution to customers who are prevented from accessing the site.

For those familiar with Bahnhof’s stance over the years, this response didn’t come as a surprise. The ISP is traditionally pro-freedom and has gone out of its way to make life difficult for copyright enforcers of all kinds.

However, as one of the leading telecoms companies in Sweden and neighboring Norway, ISP Telia is more moderate. Nevertheless, it too says it has no intention of blocking The Pirate Bay, unless it is forced to do so by law.

“No, we will not block if we are not forced to do so by a court,” a company press officer said this morning.

Telia says that the decision last week from the Patent and Market Court affects only Bredbandsbolaget, indicating that a fresh legal process will be required to get it to respond. That eventuality appears to be understood by the rightsholders but they’re keeping their options open.

“It depends on how [the ISPs] choose to act,” Strömbäck told IDG. “One can have lot of hypothetical scenarios in which some follow, but others do not. Or where some protest loudly and generate debate.”

Thus far, no ISPs have publicly indicated they’re a “follower”. Telia will not be “following”, while one can safely put Bahnhof into the “protest loudly” category. There are plenty of others, however, so it will take more time to see how this plays out.

Interestingly, way back in 2008 after the IFPI forced Danish ISP ‘Tele2’ to block access to The Pirate Bay, Telia received a letter warning that legal measures would follow if it didn’t follow suit. The ISP refused, noting that blocking would be illegal in Sweden.

While subsequent decisions from the EU and indeed Sweden’s courts have now indicated otherwise, it’s been nine long years since that initial threat to the ISP. But in all that time Telia hasn’t changed its position.

Almost a decade ago it advised copyright holders to move away from the idea of blocking and concentrate on providing better legal alternatives instead. Entertainment companies have indeed made significant progress on that front, but today Telia is standing by its long-standing advice, that blocking will not provide the solution.

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