Tag Archives: youtube

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.

Stream-Rippers Successfully Counter YouTube’s Blocking Efforts

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/stream-rippers-successfully-counter-youtubes-blocking-efforts-190719/

After the music industry complained about YouTube stream-rippers for many years, the streaming service took a drastic measure last week.

As first reported here, YouTube began blocking several popular stream-ripping tools, which resulted in these sites becoming unusable.

YouTube didn’t repond to our request for comment, but it appeared to be a concerted efforts to prevent outsiders from downloading music from the platform. A big move, which generated widespread attention, all the way up to the US Congress.

House Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, reportedly reached out to Google in response. Nadler is a driving force behind many copyright reform proposals and known as a staunch advocate of a more aggresive anti-piracy approach by tech companies.

According to CNET, Nadler was interested in hearing more about the blocking measures, and he’s not alone. Several music industry insiders have shown a keen interest in the developments as well, and the RIAA is cautiously optimistic following the news.

“While we do not yet know how effective these new measures are, we applaud YouTube for taking affirmative steps towards shutting down the fastest growing form of music piracy,” RIAA boss Mitch Glazier said.

YouTube, meanwhile, has yet to respond to our request for more details. CNET was more lucky, and quotes the video platform stating that “some MP3 stream ripping sites” were blocked after the platform made some changes recently.

“It’s our desire to be good partners to our content licensors as our interests are aligned on thwarting violative downloads and downloader site,” YouTube added in a statement.

While YouTube is happy to side with the music industry and the music industry is pleased with the enforcement efforts, the blocked sites are not sitting still. As is often the case when something becomes blocked online, people quickly find ways to thwart or circumvent the efforts.

And indeed, little over a week after the blocking efforts started, many of the targeted sites are able to rip MP3s from YouTube again.

Mp3-youtube.download almost instantly announced that it was working on a fix and today the site is working just fine. The same is true for Dlnowsoft.com, which was also blocked last week, as well as the massively popular Onlinevideoconverter.com, which is among the top 200 most-visited sites on the Internet.

Ripping again…

TorrentFreak spoke to the operator of a stream-ripping site who prefers to remain anonymous. He confirmed that bypassing YouTube’s block wasn’t that complicated. Simply moving the site to new IP-addresses did the trick.

“To fix the problem, we simply used other servers that are not in the range of IP-addresses blocked by YouTube,” the operator of the stream-ripping site informed us.

If YouTube is indeed serious about its efforts to take out ‘voliative’ stream-ripping sites, it will likely block the new IP-addresses as well, eventually. This will then trigger a proverbial cat and mouse game, one we know all too well from other pirate site blocking efforts.

Although it’s unlikely that YouTube can completely ban stream-ripping sites from its platform, continued blocking efforts may eventually prompt some site operators and users to give up. Whether these users will switch to legal services or other ”free’ resources, remains a question, of course.

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

YouTube ‘Blocks’ Popular MP3 Stream-Ripping Sites

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/youtube-blocks-popular-mp3-stream-ripping-sites-190710/

Free music is easy to find nowadays. Just head over to YouTube and you can find millions of tracks, including many of the most recent releases.

While some artists happily share their work, the major record labels don’t want tracks to leak outside YouTube’s ecosystem. For this reason, they see YouTube-to-MP3-rippers as a major threat.

Several prominent music companies have already taken legal action against key players in recent years. They managed to shut down sites such as YouTube-MP3, blocked others, and are currently involved in a civil lawsuit against FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com in the US.

At the same time, music companies have repeatedly asked YouTube to step up as well. While the streaming site threatened several stream-ripping sites with tough language in the past, it hasn’t taken any strong countermeasures. 

However, it appears that this position may have changed. Several operators of YouTube-to-MP3 rippers have confirmed that the streaming service is actively blocking requests from their sites. 

“All my servers are blocked with error ‘HTTP Error 429: Too Many Requests’,” the operator of Dlnowsoft.com informs TorrentFreak. As a result, the stream-ripping site currently displays a “service temporarily unavailable, we will come back soon” error message. 

The site in question is not alone. Mp3-youtube.download, another stream-ripper, is facing a similar issue. According to its operator, something changed yesterday evening and users now see a ‘this URL does not exist’ error message when they try to convert a YouTube clip. 

The massively popular Onlinevideoconverter.com, which is among the top 200 most-visited sites on the Internet, appears to be affected as well. While videos from sites such as Vimeo can still be converted, YouTube links now return the following error message. 

None of the site operators we heard from was warned by YouTube in advance.

We also reached out to the video streaming service for a comment and further details, but at the time of writing, we have yet to hear back.

While YouTube’s efforts, intentional or not, are effective, they will likely trigger a cat-and-mouse game. The operator of a popular stream-ripper, who prefers to remain anonymous, managed to get around the blockade by deploying several proxy servers. 

Many other stream-rippers and YouTube converters such as FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com are still working fine as well, but it’s not clear whether they were actively targeted by YouTube. 

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 14 New Sites in Campaign Against YouTube-Rippers & Piracy

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/riaa-targets-14-new-sites-in-campaign-against-youtube-rippers-piracy-190606/

For some time, the world’s leading record labels have complained that YouTube doesn’t pay the going rate for musical content streamed to its users.

However, when consumers use so-called YouTube-ripping sites to obtain content, it’s claimed that the position worsens. By obtaining music in this fashion, users are able to keep local libraries which further deplete YouTube hits and by extension, revenue generated by the labels.

To plug this hole, the RIAA is working to identify the operators of leading YouTube-ripping platforms. Via DMCA subpoenas, the industry group has been forcing CDN service Cloudflare and domain registries such as NameCheap to hand over the personal details of the people behind these tools.

Two new DMCA subpoenas, obtained by the RIAA in recent days, reveal an apparent escalation in this activity. Mainly targeting Cloudflare but in one instance also NameCheap, the RIAA demands private information relating to several sites.

10Convert.com

With around two million visitors per month (SimilarWeb stats), this platform has a prime focus on YouTube-ripping. The majority of its traffic comes from Brazil (69%), with the United States accounting for a little over 2% of its users.

Amoyshare.com

Enjoying around 4.6m visits per month with most of its visitors coming from the United States (15%), this platform’s focus is offering downloadable tools that enable users to grab videos and music from a wide range of platforms.

However, Amoyshare also offers “AnyUTube”, an online converter which is the element the RIAA is complaining about.

Anything2MP3.cc

This site, which enjoys a relatively low 300,000 visits per month, appears to be dual-use. While it is possible to download content from YouTube, Anything2MP3 also offers users the ability to convert their own audio files in the browser.

IMP3Juices.com

With around six million visits per month, this platform is one of the more popular ones targeted by the RIAA. Around 12.5% of the site’s traffic comes from Italy, with the US following behind with just under 10%.

The site functions like a ‘pirate’ download portal, with users able to search for artists and download tracks. However, the RIAA provides a URL which reveals that the site also has a YouTube to MP4 conversion feature. Indeed, it seems possible that much of the site’s content is obtained from YouTube.

BigConverter.com

Down at the time of writing, possibly as a result of the subpoena, this site offered downloading functionality for a range of sites, from YouTube and Facebook through to Twitter, Vimeo, Vevo, Instagram, Dailymotion, Metacafe, VK, AOL, GoogleDrive and Soundcloud.

YouTubeMP4.to

Enjoying around 7.7 million visits per month, YouTubeMP4.to is a straightforward YouTube video downloader. Almost 23% of its traffic comes from the United States with the UK just behind at close to 11%.

QDownloader.net

This platform has perhaps the most comprehensive offering of those targeted. It claims to be able to download content from 800 sites, of which YouTube is just one. With more than 12 million visits per month, it’s not difficult to see why QDownloader has made it onto the RIAA’s hit list.

GenYouTube.net

Another big one, this multi-site downloader platform attracts around seven million visits per month. The majority of its traffic comes from India (14%), with the United States following behind with around 12%.

Break.TV

For reasons that aren’t immediately clear, YouTube and SoundCloud downloader Break.TV has lost a lot of its monthly traffic since late 2018. From a high edging towards three million visits per month, it now enjoys just over 1.6 million. Interestingly the site says it must only be used to obtain Creative Commons licensed material.

MP3XD.com

In common with IMP3Juices.com, MP3XD.com appears to be focused on offering pirate MP3 downloads rather than straightforward ripping services. However, its content does appear to have been culled from YouTube.

Given that it defaults to Spanish, it seems to target Latin America. Indeed, with close to 10 million visits per month, almost a third hail from Mexico, with Venezuela and Argentina following behind.

DL-YouTube-MP3.net

This platform is a straightforward YouTube-ripping site, offering downloads of both video and audio content. It is one of the lower-trafficked sites on the list, with around 870,000 visits per month with most of its traffic (38%) coming from France.

ConvertBox.net

With around 150,000 visits, ConvertBox is the smallest platform targeted by the RIAA in this batch. It offers conversion features for YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and SoundCloud via its website and mobile apps. Around a fifth of its traffic comes from France.

Downloaders.io

Another multi-downloader, Downloaders.io offers tools to rip content from a number of platforms, YouTube included. It’s traffic has been up and down since the start of the year but has averaged around 200K visits per month. Close to 30% of traffic hails from the United States.

Hexupload.net

A relative newcomer, this site doesn’t appear to fit into the ripping or general pirate site niche. Down at the time of writing, this 270,000 visit per month platform appears to have acted as a file upload site, from which users could generate revenue per download.

Cloudflare and NameCheap will now be required to hand over the personal details they have on the users behind all of these sites. As usual, that will include names, addresses, IP addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and more.

It isn’t clear what the RIAA has planned for these platforms but since the request was made by the group’s Vice-President Online Piracy, it doesn’t take much imagination to come up with a few ideas.

This latest move by the RIAA follows similar action against several other sites detailed in our earlier reports (1,2,3).

The RIAA’s letters to Cloudflare and NameCheap can be found here and here.

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

’12 Million Watched a Pirate Stream of Joshua vs. Ruiz on YouTube’

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/12-million-watched-a-pirate-stream-of-joshua-vs-ruiz-on-youtube-190606/

The fight between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr last weekend was highly anticipated by boxing fans.

Events like this draw an audience of millions. Unfortunately for the rightsholders, not all fans go through legal channels.

Before the fight, Kieron Sharp of anti-piracy group FACT issued a public announcement, urging the public to do the right thing. “More and more people are becoming aware that piracy is illegal – don’t find yourself in the criminals’ corner this weekend,” he said.

Whether these words had any impact is hard to measure, but new statistics released by piracy monitoring firm MUSO reveal that millions of people watched the fight through unlicensed channels.

MUSO estimates that 13 million people turned to unauthorized sources. The vast majority of these, 93% or over 12 million views, are traced back to YouTube. These numbers surpass those for the Fury vs Wilder fight last year, which came in at nearly 10 million views.

YouTube usually responds rapidly when any infringing content is spotted, but with live events like this, many takedown notices come too late it appears.

The geographical location data for the unauthorized viewers show that most came from Nigeria, 2,351,496 to be precise. This may in part be due to the Nigerian background of the British boxer Anthony Joshua, who lost the fight in the seventh round.

Kenya follows at a respectable distance with 998,027 viewers, followed by the United Kingdom with 921,994, the United States with 600,501, and Mexico with 587,028 viewers.

Commenting on the findings Andy Chatterley, CEO at MUSO, says that this is the largest unauthorized streaming audience his company has ever tracked.

“The Joshua vs. Ruiz fight has been the largest unauthorized audience that we’ve ever tracked across boxing and it’s staggering to see that 93% of the audience watched via YouTube,” Chatterley says.

The numbers are definitely impressive, which may be in part driven by the high cost of the pay-per-view broadcasts.

As for the fight, the latest reports note that Joshua is looking for a rematch against Ruiz. If it gets that far, it will be interesting to compare the unauthorized streaming numbers, although it may be hard to beat the 13 million.

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

YouTube Ordered to Hand Over Identities of Manga Pirates

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/youtube-ordered-to-hand-over-identities-of-manga-pirates-190603/

Users of YouTube upload millions of pieces of content to the platform every month, much of it without incident or irritation to third-parties.

However, there are those who upload copyright content, most of it music and videos, that infringe on the rights of the original owners.

When that happens, copyright holders can file claims with YouTube to have the content removed, via the platform’s Content ID system or by filing a manual claim.

Users are generally aware that these complaints have the potential to lead to a ‘strike’ against their accounts but a publishing giant in Japan seems to want to take things much further.

Founded in 1922, Shogakukan Inc. is one of Japan’s largest publishers offering more than 60 magazines, 8,000 books, and 13,000 manga titles (comics/graphic novels), to name a few. It’s also part owner of Viz Media, the largest publisher of comic books and graphic novels in the United States.

Shogakukan’s manga publications are often pirated in digital formats (PDF documents, for example) but they also get uploaded to YouTube. These take the form of videos, often set to music, featuring static views of the pages of each title, timed for easy reading.

YouTube users who uploaded the company’s content in this fashion now need to look over their shoulders.

On May 24, lawyers acting for Shogakukan requested a DMCA subpoena at a California district court to help it identify several YouTube channel operators who allegedly uploaded images of the company’s content.

DMCA subpoenas are not reviewed by a judge and only require a signature from a court clerk. As a result, Shogakukan may shortly be in receipt of some very sensitive information, at least according to its letter to YouTube.

In addition to requiring YouTube to disable access to the infringing works as listed by the publisher, the Google-owned video platform must also hand over the personal details of several channel operators identified as LNDA, Kile Russo, Anime FightClub, and Optimistic Neko, among others.

The subpoena requires YouTube to hand over information it holds on the alleged infringers “from the time of user registration with any and all of the Infringer’s Accounts”, including names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, IP address logs, account and credit card numbers and the names of financial institutions connected to them.

According to the subpoena, the information above shall be obtained “from any and all sources” including YouTube accounts, Google AdSense accounts, “or any other service accounts(s) registered with or linked to the infringer’s account” with YouTube.

Interestingly, however, the term “infringer” appears to apply to a broader range of YouTube users than just the handful of individuals listed in the subpoena.

The letter contains a list of Shogakukan works and then states that, in addition to the named channels/users, YouTube must hand over the details of “any other users registered with www.youtube.com who uploaded and/or posted any Infringing Work specified under the column entitled as “Infringing Work” in Exhibit A.”

Exhibit A (DMCA subpoena to YouTube)

Given the broad nature of the subpoena, it seems that YouTube is not only being asked to provide targeted information but is also required to work pro-actively by searching for the content in question and then handing over the personal details of anyone who may have uploaded it.

While the DMCA subpoena process may be quick, a judge’s experience might have proven valuable in this case, given its potential scope.

The subpoena and associated documents can be found here (1,2)

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YouTube-Rippers Infringe Copyright on “Industrial Scale” Says Judge

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/youtube-rippers-infringe-copyright-on-industrial-scale-says-judge-190601/

As part of the music industry’s war on so-called ‘stream-ripping’, earlier this year Sony, Universal, and Warner, with assistance from Music Rights Australia and the Australasian Performing Right Association, demanded that ISPs in Australia block access to several YouTube-ripping platforms.

Following a Federal Court appearance in April, during which the music groups asked for action against four key players – 2conv, Flv2mp3, FLVto, and Convert2mp3 – Justice Perram handed down an order requiring most of the country’s ISPs to block the platforms.

This week, the Judge published the reasoning for his decision. While the blocking aspects are specific to Australian law, it contains some interesting comments about the activities of such platforms that may inform similar cases and actions in other regions.

In setting up his arguments, Justice Perram places an emphasis on the differences between streaming and downloading from YouTube.

While it has been argued that in practice there is only one difference (the former is a transient process while the latter goes a step further by retaining the data), the Judge indicates that is not for the end user to decide. The decision is made by the entity that uploads the data to YouTube and by YouTube itself.

“A person who uploads media to YouTube is required, as part of that process, to determine who can view that media and under what circumstances. It is possible as part of that process to grant permission to permit downloading of files,” the Judge writes.

In most cases uploading takes place after the user selects the ‘Standard YouTube License’, which only allows end users to stream the media, not download. Uploading under a ‘Creative Commons License’ can permit end users to download but the labels do not upload on this basis. In essence, the decision of whether to allow streaming or downloading from YouTube lies with the uploader, the Judge says.

YouTube then delivers that content to end users under the terms of the uploading agreement, which is “achieved by YouTube defaulting to delivery of the media via the HTML5 format which enables streaming but not downloading.”

Turning to the ripping sites themselves, the Judge notes that in testing the platforms a paralegal at a law firm was able to “strip music files” out of the musical works uploaded to YouTube by the record companies. Since she was given permission, that was fine, but the Judge noted that there is “no doubt” that anyone else doing so would have infringed copyright.

After ripping took place on the sites in question, the resulting content was made available to end users. That, the Judge notes, is a “communication to the public” so in respect of the musical works detailed in the case, that represents copyright infringement.

“It follows that the operators of the websites are infringing the relevant music and performance copyrights by copying the soundtracks out of music videos streamed from YouTube,” the Judge writes.

“They are also infringing the same copyrights by making soundtracks then available online and electronically transmitting them to users. The operators also facilitate the infringement of both kinds of copyright by permitting users to make a copy of the soundtrack.”

Given that uploaders can grant the ability to allow streaming or downloading, the Judge says that such ripping platforms will only be of use to anyone where YouTube does not allow download functionality, i.e “where no permission is given to make a copy of media on YouTube.”

A statement published on the ConvertMP3 platform, that claims that downloading from YouTube is “completely legal” when users have obtained permission from the copyright owner to do so, is described as “technically correct” by the Judge. However, he dismissed the disclaimer as “entirely without substance”, existing only to “underscore the dishonesty of the website operators.”

The traffic to the websites listed in the order is considerable (66.5 million visits to Convert2mp3.net in January 2019 and 112.4 million to Flvto.biz in January 2019 alone), something which indicates that they are “responsible for piracy of music from music videos on an industrial scale.”

While it’s important to repeat that the order was considered and granted under Australian law, there are common threads with legislation in other regions that may yet prove important in cases against similar platforms.

Justice Perram’s order can be downloaded here.

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YouTuber Sends Lawyer After UFC to Stop ‘Unfair’ Takedown Notices

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/youtuber-sends-lawyer-after-ufc-to-stop-unfair-takedown-notices-190517/

Copyright enforcement on YouTube is a growing source of frustration,  particularly the overbroad takedown efforts.

Many channel operators and users have complained about apparent abuse, but most don’t go any further than that. 

John MacKay, owner of the popular channel  “Boxing Now” is an exception. On his channel, MacKay releases videos with post-fight commentary of popular fights. With hundreds of thousands of subscribers, he’s amassed a sizeable audience over the years.

The channel also comments on matches from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Since MacKay hasn’t cleared the rights to these broadcasts, he doesn’t use video footage from these fights. Instead, he shows a few still images, commenting on these. 

Nonetheless, the UFC is not happy with his coverage, as the organization has sent five takedown notices targeting Boxing Now’s videos. These are not automated Content-ID flags, but actual takedown notices, which resulted in the videos being removed from YouTube. 

MacKay believes that his work is a clear case of fair use so in response sent counternotices for each takedown. The UFC hasn’t responded to any of these, which meant that YouTube restored the videos. However, at that point, most harm was already done. 

“My videos are most often viewed in the days immediately after a fight, and when UFC has them taken down for a few days with these unfair copyright claims, I lose a lot of viewers and a significant amount of money,” MacKay says, commenting on the issue.

Frustrated by the continued takedowns, MacKay decided to take a stand. He reached out to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to help him address the matter. The EFF was happy to oblige and this week attorney Alex Moss sent a letter to the UFC, demanding that it stops sending unwarranted notices.

Boxing Now

In the letter, Moss goes over the four factors of fair use, concluding that all weigh in the channel operator’s favor.  For example, the videos are transformative, only use a few frames of the copyrighted content, and do not compete with the original broadcast.

“Mr. MacKay’s post-fight commentary could not and did not affect the market for a live broadcast or recording of the entire fight. If anything, Mr. MacKay’s use of still images for commentary purposes would likely increase demand for the original,” Moss writes.

The EFF’s attorney points out that the UFC has an obligation to consider fair use before sending a takedown request, as was determined in the Lenz vs. Universal case. The repeated notices targeting Boxing Now’s videos indicate that the UFC has failed to meet this obligation, which harms the channel’s business. 

When the videos are taken down shortly after being posted, MacKay is missing a lot of views and therefore ad revenue. Added to that, the takedown notices also put his channel at risk, as YouTube may terminate accounts after repeat infringements. 

What the UFC’s precise motivation is for the requests is unknown. The EFF’s attorney points out, however, that the UFC also has its own post commentary videos on YouTube and that it’s reducing the competition with its takedown notices.

“We note that UFC also produces YouTube videos containing post-fight commentary, and that Mr. McKay’s videos and UFC’s videos may compete for viewership and advertising revenue. This further suggests that UFC’s takedowns of Mr. McKay’s videos were done in bad faith,” Moss writes.

The channel operator, therefore, demands that the UFC stops issuing unwarranted takedown requests. The EFF requests that the organization confirms this intention before the end of the month. 

“Accordingly, we demand that you cease sending takedown notices for Mr. McKay’s videos that make fair use of still images from UFC fights. Please confirm your agreement to do so by May 28, 2019, ” Moss concludes.

It’s not clear whether the EFF and MacKay plan any legal action should the UFC fail to meet their demand. However, as highlighted a few days ago, the likelihood of a lawsuit over unwarranted takedown notices becomes ever more likely, whether that happens in this case or not.

Speaking with TorrentFreak, Moss says she can’t go into detail about any potential follow-up steps. The EFF’s attorney hopes that the letter has some effect and that the UFC stops sending wrongful takedown notices. 

“It’s not too much to expect copyright owners to consider whether something actually infringes before cutting off people’s access,” Moss tells us.

A copy of EFF’s letter, sent to UFC on behalf of Boxing Now’s John MacKay, is available here (pdf).

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‘YouTube Content-ID Abusers Could Face Millions of Dollars in Damages’

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/youtube-content-id-abusers-could-face-millions-of-dollars-in-damages-190509/

With over 20 million subscribers of its main channel and over 30 million over its entire network, WatchMojo is one of the largest players on YouTube.

The Montreal-based video production company has been around for well over a decade and continues to expand its viewership, despite fierce competition.

While WatchMojo owes a lot of its success to YouTube, the company is also growing increasingly frustrated with rampant copyright abuse on the platform. We’re not talking about people who steal their content, but about companies that unlawfully claim their videos.

These complaints are far from new and we have highlighted these issues repeatedly over the years. However, when a channel the size of WatchMojo sounds the alarm bell, people should pay attention. This includes abusive rightsholders, which could be liable for millions of dollars in damages.

But let’s start with the basis for the recent uproar. Last weekend WatchMojo’s CEO Ashkan Karbasfrooshan published a video in which he exposed some of the worst Content-ID abusers. The video provides several examples of companies that claimed WatchMojo content which, according to the channel, is protected under fair use.

For example, when WatchMojo published a video commenting on an Avengers movie trailer, an outfit called Hexacorp (which does business as Orfium) claimed it, arguing that the trailer’s music was used without permission. Hexacorp represented Ramen Music, which licensed the track to Marvel, but apparently, WatchMojo wasn’t allowed to show it.

WatchMojo disagreed and protested the claim citing fair use. After all, the trailer and music were clearly used for commentary purposes. This worked and Hexacorp eventually let the claim go, but many other channels with less legal knowledge simply accepted the claim, allowing Hexacorp to monetize their videos.

What plays a major role here is that protesting Content-ID claims may eventually lead to copyright notices. These notices can result in “strikes” which can then cause people to lose all content in their YouTube channels. That’s not a risk many channels want to take.

TorrentFreak spoke to WatchMojo’s CEO who informed us that this is just one of the many examples. Every month they receive hundreds of Content-ID claims across their channels. However, WatchMojo vigorously fights back and prevails on nearly every occasion.

Karbasfrooshan notes that Content-ID abusers come in all shapes and sizes. Some stand out in terms of volume but are quick to let go of claims once a channel protests. Others send only a few complaints but protest when channels push back.

While there’s no doubt that rightsholders should be able to pursue legitimate claims, WatchMojo believes that many see the system as a revenue-generating opportunity. They simply issue thousands of frivolous claims, knowing that many won’t be protested, even though there are clear arguments for fair use.

This means that the rightsholders will scoop up extra revenue with very little expense. After all, most Content-ID claims are automated.

In addition, WatchMojo also signals a possible anti-competitive angle. The channel receives a lot of strikes for content from the music company BMG.  These, again, often target fair use videos and are sometimes issued globally, even though the rights can only be enforced in certain countries.

The full expose is explained in detail in WatchMojo’s video, where Karbasfrooshan highlights that BMG’s parent company, Bertelsmann, also has a stake in ZergNet, which happens to be a direct competitor of WatchMojo on YouTube.

“Bertelsmann, through their investment arm BMDI, has invested in our direct competitor ZergNet, whose assets Looper, Nicky Swift and a bunch of others compete with us for the same audience, fighting for the same ad dollars, competing for the same eyeballs,” WatchMojo’s CEO notes.

WatchMojo’s CEO Ash Karbasfrooshan

Whether the behavior is anti-competitive or not, the overarching problem is that many rightsholders ‘abuse’ the Content-ID system, willingly or not. According to US case law, they are required to consider fair use when issuing takedown requests, something that doesn’t happen very often it seems.

Content-ID is a voluntary system that’s not rooted in law. However, WatchMojo believes that abusive rightsholders are opening themselves up to millions of dollars in potential damages from YouTube channels. One way this could happen is through a class action lawsuit.

Karbasfrooshan floated this idea in his initial video which triggered a lot of response from fellow channel operators. The basic idea is that a group of affected channels files a class action suit against an abusive rightsholder, with the goal of obtaining a settlement for unlawfully claimed and monetized videos.

In a follow-up video, WatchMojo explains in detail how this would work. What is clear, is that the potential damages are massive. According to a calculation made by the channel, rightsholders earned over $2 billion through unlawfully claimed videos over the past several years.

YouTube revenue and potential damages (red) (credit: WatchMojo)

Whether the calculations hold up or not, it is clear that companies that send out a lot of claims against fair use content could theoretically face substantial damages. This, of course, has to be backed up in court, but according to WatchMojo’s CEO, who has plenty of legal experience, it’s a viable option.

“We are now actively exploring taking legal action against a couple of targets where we have built up a lot of evidence of wrongdoing, abuse, and received additional evidence from other channels too,” Karbasfrooshan tells TorrentFreak.

For now, WatchMojo is not ready to serve as a representative plaintiff in a class action suit. It hopes that by highlighting the potential risks for copyright holders, the associated companies will do the right thing and properly consider fair use.

WatchMojo has complained about Content-ID abuse for quite a while and it believes that some type of legal action against an abuser is inevitable. Whether that’s through a class action suit or not.

“It’s a matter of time, if not us, someone will come along and sue and win big,” Karbasfrooshan tells us.

WatchMojo’s CEO has spoken to lawyers who, once they were informed about what was going on, were also convinced that some type of legal action is inevitable.

“I assure you that once I explained how Content-ID worked vs. copyright law, and then how rightsholders abused it, the general consensus was: ok, these rightsholders are going to get sued,” Karbasfrooshan says.

“Now, whether that’s done via a class action suit or a direct lawsuit is a different matter. I think the former is interesting but the latter is practically more likely,” he adds.

Still, Karbasfrooshan hopes that lawsuits are not needed to address this. Ideally, copyright holders should change the way they operate and respect fair use, he says.

And there’s also a major role for YouTube here. They can make a simple change and whitelist channels that have good standing, so these are not harmed by frivolous claims.

“The answer is simple: it’s time for a separate class of channels for those who use the platform in a professional manner,” Karbasfrooshan notes.

The latter angle will be discussed in the third episode of WatchMojo’s four-part series on Content-ID abuse. In addition, the channel will also launch “The FU Show”, where it will break down and discuss fair use (FU) issues in regards to content claims. 

Needless to say, these videos are very informative, and there’s something in there for channel operators as well as copyright holders. 

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

YouTube “Very Concerned” About Article 13, Mulls Copyright Claim Tweaks

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/youtube-still-very-concerned-about-article-13-mulls-copyright-claim-tweaks-190501/

On March 26, the EU Parliament voted to pass the new Copyright Directive, including the controversial Article 13 (Article 17 in the final text).

The final step took place mid-April, when the Council of Ministers approved the legislation, despite opposition from Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Finland, and Sweden.

YouTube was and remains one of the primary targets of the legislation. Copyright holders, those from the music industry in particular, want to prevent the platform from utilizing content without paying a fair market rate.

Whether that will be the actual real-world outcome remains unclear but in a new post on its Creator Blog, YouTube says that it still has deep reservations surrounding the legislation.

“[W]e are also still very concerned about Article 13 (now renamed Article 17) — a part of the Copyright Directive that recently passed in the E.U,” writes YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

“While we support the rights of copyright holders—YouTube has deals with almost all the music companies and TV broadcasters today—we are concerned about the vague, untested requirements of the new directive.”

While it hardly needs repeating, the tacit requirement for some Internet platforms to install upload filters to prevent infringement in the absence of content licensing deals remains a big concern for many companies. While YouTube already has such systems in place, strict upload filters are a potential threat, Wojcicki suggests.

“[Article 17] could create serious limitations for what YouTube creators can upload. This risks lowering the revenue to traditional media and music companies from YouTube and potentially devastating the many European creators who have built their businesses on YouTube,” the company’s CEO adds.

Although Article 17 has passed on the EU level, member states will still have to write its provisions into local law, a process that’s likely to prove both complex and controversial. Wojcicki would like to see YouTube supporters, many of whom are Article 17 opponents, continue the fight, to ensure the best possible outcome.

“While the Directive has passed, there is still time to affect the final implementation to avoid some of the worst unintended consequences. Each E.U. member state now has two years to introduce national laws that are in line with the new rules, which means that the powerful collective voice of creators can still make a major impact,” she writes.

“We must continue to stand up and speak out for open creativity. Your actions have already led to the most popular Change.org petition in history and encouraged people to reach across borders. This is not the end of our movement but only the beginning.”

Finally, Wojcicki says that the company has been listening to key YouTube content creators who have expressed frustration over what they feel is an abuse of the copyright claims process on the platform.

Some users are receiving copyright claims following the use of small excerpts of copyrighted content lasting ten seconds or shorter, sometimes in an inadvertent context. It appears that the platform may be prepared to tackle this issue in the future.

“We also heard firsthand that our Manual Claiming system was increasingly being used to claim very short (in some cases one second) content or incidental content like when a creator walks past a store playing a few seconds of music,” Wojcicki notes.

“We were already looking into this issue but hearing this directly from creators was vital. We are exploring improvements in striking the right balance between copyright owners and creators.”

These types of claims, that are often filed without considering fair use implications, are decried by creators as a major irritant when attempting to review and critique third-party content, or film in public places. How YouTube will tackle this problem remains unclear but addressing it effectively could be a real boost to those who use copyrighted content within the confines of the law.

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

Win a Raspberry Pi 3B+ and signed case this Pi Day 2019

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/win-raspberry-pi-3b-pi-day/

Happy Pi Day everyone

What is Pi Day, we hear you ask? It’s the day where countries who display their date as month/day/year celebrate the first three digits of today displaying Pi, or 3.14.2019 to be exact.

In celebration of Pi Day, we’re running a Raspberry Pi 3B+ live stream on YouTube. Hours upon hours of our favourite 3B+ in all it’s glorious wonderment.

PI DAY 2019

Celebrate Pi Day with us by watching this Pi

At some point today, we’re going to add a unique hashtag to that live stream, and anyone who uses said hashtag across Instagram and/or Twitter* before midnight tonight (GMT) will be entered into a draw to win a Raspberry Pi Model 3 B+ and an official case, the latter of which will be signed by Eben Upton himself.

Raspberry Pi - PI Day 2019

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the most pointless, yet wonderful, live stream to ever reach the shores of YouTube!

*For those of you who don’t have a Twitter or Instagram account, you can also comment below with the hashtag when you see it.

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Jenni Sidey inspires young women in science with Astro Pi

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/jenni-sidey-inspires-young-women-science-astro-pi/

Today, ESA Education and the Raspberry Pi Foundation are proud to celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science! In support of this occasion and to encourage young women to enter a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), CSA astronaut Jenni Sidey discusses why she believes computing and digital making skills are so important, and tells us about the role models that inspired her.

Jenni Sidey inspires young women in science with Astro Pi

Today, ESA Education and the Raspberry Pi Foundation are proud to celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science! In support of this occasion and to encourage young women to enter a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), CSA astronaut Jenni Sidey discusses why she believes computing and digital making skills are so important, and tells us about the role models that inspired her.

Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is part of the United Nations’ plan to achieve their 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. According to current UNESCO data, less than 30% of researchers in STEM are female and only 30% of young women are selecting STEM-related subjects in higher education
Jenni Sidey

That’s why part of the UN’s 2030 Agenda is to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. And to help young women and girls develop their computing and digital making skills, we want to encourage their participation in the European Astro Pi Challenge!

The European Astro Pi Challenge

The European Astro Pi Challenge is an ESA Education programme run in collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation that offers students and young people the amazing opportunity to conduct scientific investigations in space! The challenge is to write computer programs for one of two Astro Pi units — Raspberry Pi computers on board the International Space Station.

Astro Pi Mission Zero logo

Astro Pi’s Mission Zero is open until 20 March 2019, and this mission gives young people up to 14 years of age the chance to write a simple program to display a message to the astronauts on the ISS. No special equipment or prior coding skills are needed, and all participants that follow the mission rules are guaranteed to have their program run in space!

Take part in Mission Zero — in your language!

To help many more people take part in their native language, we’ve translated the Mission Zero resource, guidelines, and web page into 19 different languages! Head to our languages section to find your version of Mission Zero and take part.

If you have any questions regarding the European Astro Pi Challenge, email us at [email protected].

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Today’s blog post is about Junie Genius

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/junie-genius/

It’s Monday. It’s morning. It’s England. The members of the Raspberry Pi Comms team begin to filter into Pi Towers, drowsy and semi-conscious. We’re tired from our weekends of debauchery.

One by one, we file into the kitchen. Fingers are clutching the handles of favourite mugs as we line up for the coffee machine. Select, click, wait. Select, click, wait. Double Americanos and Flat Whites pour, steaming hot and promising the glorious punch of caffeine to finally start our week.

Back in the office space, we turn on laptops, sign into Slack, and half-heartedly skim through pending messages while the coffee buzz begins to make its way through our systems, bringing us back to life.

“Ooooh”, comes a voice from the end desk, and heads turn towards Alex, who has opened the subscriptions page of the Raspberry Pi YouTube channel.

“Ooooh?” replies Helen, lifting herself from her chair to peer over the dividing wall between their desks.

“New Junie!”

Figures gather behind the Social Media Editor as she connects her laptop to her second display and enlarges the video to fullscreen.

It’s Monday. It’s morning. It’s England. And mornings like this are made for Junie Genius.

ROBOTS RUINED MY LIFE (and my sleep schedule)

This week, it gets personal. In the past, I’ve fought robots, and robots have fought me, BUT NOW, together, we’re fighting crime. SUPPORT ME ON PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/JunieGenius HANG W/ ME ONLINE: INSTAGRAM – https://www.instagram.com/juniegenius/ TWITTER – https://twitter.com/Junie_Genius I HAVE TEE SHIRTS: https://teespring.com/stores/junie-genius?page=1 #23942939_ON_TRENDING If you see this, comment if you would join my team of robotic Avengers.

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10 YouTubers you should be following

Post Syndicated from Alex Bate original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/10-raspberry-pi-youtube/

When it comes to finding Raspberry Pi tutorials on the internet, many makers’ first port of call is YouTube. From professional content creators to part-time hobbyists, the video-sharing platform is full of makers documenting their projects for the world to see.

animated classic movie count down

Here are some of Youtube’s finest who use Raspberry Pi at the heart of many of their builds.

JenFoxBot

Jen’s channel is a collection of educational videos about computer science, explorations into the inner workings of tech, and build videos using Raspberry Pi. We’ve covered her work on the blog a few times, sharing her IoT Pet Monitor and her safety helmet, and we get excited about our subscriber notifications whenever she posts a new video.

Let’s Make a (Local) Internet Server!

What is the Internet and how does it work? Also, what the heck is a server?? Learn about all these awesome things & how you can make your very own with a Raspberry Pi computer! Hooray!

Sean Hodgins

Sean describes himself as someone who likes building, creating, and making, and his channel is brimming with examples of just how ingenious and interesting his makes are. From designing and creating his own PCBs for Kickstarter, to 3D-printing and Raspberry Pi project building, Sean’s channel has plenty to keep makers happy.

Haunted Jack in the Box – DIY Raspberry Pi Project

This project uses a raspberry pi and face detection using the pi camera to determine when someone is looking at it. Plenty of opportunities to scare people with it. You can make your own! Want to support these projects?

N-O-D-E

N-O-D-E tears Raspberry Pis to pieces and rebuilds them, turning them into mini servers, dongles, Pi slims, and more. N-O-D-E’s channel an interesting resource for those looking to modify their Pi, and it’s well documented and accessible, thanks to the supporting website.

The NODE Mini Server: A Computer For The Decentralized Age

More at N-O-D-E.net

Estefannie Explains It All

Estefannie started her video-making journey as a means to reassure herself that she knew what she was talking about. If she could successfully produce a tutorial video about algorithm analysis, this meant she had retained the information to begin with. Smart! From there, her channel has evolved into a kitchen table maker diary, with fun, entertaining tutorials on how to build using Raspberry Pi and Arduino.

ROBO SUIT | Halloween Build ft. Arduino + Raspberry Pi

I like making robots. So this Halloween I am going to be a robot. Check out the whole story and full tutorial on how to make your own Robo Suit here: https://www.hackster.io/estefanniegg/halloween-build-robosuit-c1a615 I used three Arduinos, one Raspberry Pi, servos, LEDs, and tons of wires to make this costume!

TucksProjects

With only a few videos so far, Tucker Shannon’s channel is a promising collection of rather wonderful Raspberry Pi builds. We covered his DIY CNC wood burner on the blog last year, and sat patiently waiting for more. And boy, were we happy with what came next. Check out his Raspberry Pi laser turret, and spend the rest of your day trying to figure out when you can make time to build your own.

Raspberry Pi Laser Turret (Draws on wall!) Pt1.

Glow in the dark laser pi tutorial PT. 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rg1HivG02tw STL FILES https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2965798

Tinkernut

OMG, LOL, ROFLCOPTER, animated baby GIF, animated baby JIF — if you like YouTube and Raspberry Pi, we’d be shocked if you haven’t come across Tinkernut yet. With his well-documented projects and live comment aftershows, Tinkernut beautifully bridges the gap between his love of making and the interests of the community devouring his content.

BUILD: Coke Bottle SPY CAM! – Tinkernut Workbench

Learn how to take a regular Coke Zero bottle, cram a Raspberry Pi and webcam inside of it, and have it still look like a regular Coke Zero bottle. Why would you want to do this? To spy on those irritating April Fooligans!!!

Blitz City DIY

Looking to build a Raspberry Pi thermal camera? Need a review about Android TV OS for the Pi? Whatever your Raspberry Pi needs, Blitz City DIY will likely have you covered. With a collection of fun digital making builds using various tech; 3D-printing experiments; and reviews aplenty, Blitz City DIY is a gem amongst the maker channels of YouTube.

webOS Open Source Edition for Raspberry Pi

After reading an article in MagPi about the availability of webOS OSE for Raspberry Pi, I was curious to check it out. I think it definitely has potential and it’s always exciting when a new open source OS is available for the Pi.

engineerish

We’ve covered a few of engineerish’s projects here on the blog. He’s the king of creating projects you didn’t know you needed until you saw them, such as a Raspberry Pi binary clock, and a maze generator. While engineerish’s channel is fairly new, we’re excited to see where his builds will take him in the future.

Build a Binary Clock with Raspberry Pi – And how to tell the time

In this video I’ll be showing how I built a binary clock using a Raspberry Pi, NeoPixels and a few lines of Python. I also take a stab at explaining how the binary number system works so that we can decipher what said clock is trying to tell us.

Frederick Vandenbosch

Members of the Raspberry Pi Twitter community, you’ll recognise Frederick, who is an active contributor that often answers maker queries and takes part in the general Pi conversation. And on YouTube, his contributions are just as plentiful and rewarding.

Raspberry Pi Connected Picture Frame with Resin.io

▼ Info and links below ▼ For this project, I created a digital picture from which downloads its pictures from a shared Dropbox folder. A simple user interfaces allows the user to navigate the pictures and optionally like them. Upon liking a picture, a notification is sent via the IFTTT service.

Explaining Computers

Christopher Barnatt’s Explaining Computers channel reminds us a little of the educational videos our science teachers would record for us to play back during exam prep season. His videos are easy-to-follow explanations of various computing topics, well-presented, and with a theme tune that’ll be stuck in your head for days!

Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Overclocking

Overclocking a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ using a Noctua cooling fan to stop it throttling. Here I show how to overclock a Pi 3B+, and steadily take the CPU speed as high as it can go . . . but how far is that?!

Shameless plug…

Not to be confused with this, a shameless pug:

Raspberry Pi YouTube

The MagPi magazine

Is this cheating? Never mind. The MagPi magazine’s YouTube channel is full of reviews of the latest third-party add-ons for your Pi. 99% hosted by Rob (the guy who accosts our blog once a month to talk about the magazine), the MagPi’s channel is a must subscription for any Raspberry Pi enthusiast.

DiddyBorg Raspberry Pi robot

The DiddyBorg v2 is the latest robot from the excellent PiBorg, complete with ThunderBorg motor controller. Is it as good as it looks? Get one here: http://magpi.cc/diddyborg Subscribe today to twelve months print subscription to never miss an issue and get a Raspberry Pi Zero W with accessories.

Raspberry Pi Foundation

OK, this IS cheating, but it’s our blog post so we say it’s OK. The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s YouTube channel collects introduction videos for our free resources, live talks from events, portraits of your projects, and that one time our Director of Software Engineering decided to ride a Pi-powered motorised skateboard. Oh, and product releases like this…

A BRAND-NEW PI FOR π DAY

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is now on sale now for $35.

Who did we miss?

If you run, or follow, a YouTube channel with Raspberry Pi–related content, share it with us in the comments! We’ll be watching.

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Австрия: отговорност на YouTube

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/youtube-2/

Виенският търговски съд постановява, че YouTube не е  интернет посредник, а носи отговорност за транспортираното съдържание. От това следва, че сайтът трябва предварително да проверява съдържанието.

Компанията YouTube вижда себе си като посредник, който не носи отговорност за съдържанието. И така би желала да я виждат другите. И това е стандартната защита.

Австрийска телевизия Puls 4  предприема действия срещу съдържание  в YouTube без уредени права. “Възразяваме срещу YouTube, което прави възможно качването на съдържание, произведено от нас, без да ни пита  и без да плаща  възнаграждение”, казват от телевизията.

Отговорност на платформите. Започва се.

Решението от първа инстанция не е окончателно.

Majority of Canadians Consume Online Content Legally, Survey Finds

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/majority-of-canadians-consume-online-content-legally-survey-finds-180531/

Back in January, a coalition of companies and organizations with ties to the entertainment industries called on local telecoms regulator CRTC to implement a national website blocking regime.

Under the banner of Fairplay Canada, members including Bell, Cineplex, Directors Guild of Canada, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Movie Theatre Association of Canada, and Rogers Media, spoke of an industry under threat from marauding pirates. But just how serious is this threat?

The results of a new survey commissioned by Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) in collaboration with the Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH) aims to shine light on the problem by revealing the online content consumption habits of citizens in the Great White North.

While there are interesting findings for those on both sides of the site-blocking debate, the situation seems somewhat removed from the Armageddon scenario predicted by the entertainment industries.

Carried out among 3,301 Canadians aged 12 years and over, the Kantar TNS study aims to cover copyright infringement in six key content areas – music, movies, TV shows, video games, computer software, and eBooks. Attitudes and behaviors are also touched upon while measuring the effectiveness of Canada’s copyright measures.

General Digital Content Consumption

In its introduction, the report notes that 28 million Canadians used the Internet in the three-month study period to November 27, 2017. Of those, 22 million (80%) consumed digital content. Around 20 million (73%) streamed or accessed content, 16 million (59%) downloaded content, while 8 million (28%) shared content.

Music, TV shows and movies all battled for first place in the consumption ranks, with 48%, 48%, and 46% respectively.

Copyright Infringement

According to the study, the majority of Canadians do things completely by the book. An impressive 74% of media-consuming respondents said that they’d only accessed material from legal sources in the preceding three months.

The remaining 26% admitted to accessing at least one illegal file in the same period. Of those, just 5% said that all of their consumption was from illegal sources, with movies (36%), software (36%), TV shows (34%) and video games (33%) the most likely content to be consumed illegally.

Interestingly, the study found that few demographic factors – such as gender, region, rural and urban, income, employment status and language – play a role in illegal content consumption.

“We found that only age and income varied significantly between consumers who infringed by downloading or streaming/accessing content online illegally and consumers who did not consume infringing content online,” the report reads.

“More specifically, the profile of consumers who downloaded or streamed/accessed infringing content skewed slightly younger and towards individuals with household incomes of $100K+.”

Licensed services much more popular than pirate haunts

It will come as no surprise that Netflix was the most popular service with consumers, with 64% having used it in the past three months. Sites like YouTube and Facebook were a big hit too, visited by 36% and 28% of content consumers respectively.

Overall, 74% of online content consumers use licensed services for content while 42% use social networks. Under a third (31%) use a combination of peer-to-peer (BitTorrent), cyberlocker platforms, or linking sites. Stream-ripping services are used by 9% of content consumers.

“Consumers who reported downloading or streaming/accessing infringing content only are less likely to use licensed services and more likely to use peer-to-peer/cyberlocker/linking sites than other consumers of online content,” the report notes.

Attitudes towards legal consumption & infringing content

In common with similar surveys over the years, the Kantar research looked at the reasons why people consume content from various sources, both legal and otherwise.

Convenience (48%), speed (36%) and quality (34%) were the most-cited reasons for using legal sources. An interesting 33% of respondents said they use legal sites to avoid using illegal sources.

On the illicit front, 54% of those who obtained unauthorized content in the previous three months said they did so due to it being free, with 40% citing convenience and 34% mentioning speed.

Almost six out of ten (58%) said lower costs would encourage them to switch to official sources, with 47% saying they’d move if legal availability was improved.

Canada’s ‘Notice-and-Notice’ warning system

People in Canada who share content on peer-to-peer systems like BitTorrent without permission run the risk of receiving an infringement notice warning them to stop. These are sent by copyright holders via users’ ISPs and the hope is that the shock of receiving a warning will turn consumers back to the straight and narrow.

The study reveals that 10% of online content consumers over the age of 12 have received one of these notices but what kind of effect have they had?

“Respondents reported that receiving such a notice resulted in the following: increased awareness of copyright infringement (38%), taking steps to ensure password protected home networks (27%), a household discussion about copyright infringement (27%), and discontinuing illegal downloading or streaming (24%),” the report notes.

While these are all positives for the entertainment industries, Kantar reports that almost a quarter (24%) of people who receive a notice simply ignore them.

Stream-ripping

Once upon a time, people obtaining music via P2P networks was cited as the music industry’s greatest threat but, with the advent of sites like YouTube, so-called stream-ripping is the latest bogeyman.

According to the study, 11% of Internet users say they’ve used a stream-ripping service. They are most likely to be male (62%) and predominantly 18 to 34 (52%) years of age.

“Among Canadians who have used a service to stream-rip music or entertainment, nearly half (48%) have used stream-ripping sites, one-third have used downloader apps (38%), one-in-seven (14%) have used a stream-ripping plug-in, and one-in-ten (10%) have used stream-ripping software,” the report adds.

Set-Top Boxes and VPNs

Few general piracy studies would be complete in 2018 without touching on set-top devices and Virtual Private Networks and this report doesn’t disappoint.

More than one in five (21%) respondents aged 12+ reported using a VPN, with the main purpose of securing communications and Internet browsing (57%).

A relatively modest 36% said they use a VPN to access free content while 32% said the aim was to access geo-blocked content unavailable in Canada. Just over a quarter (27%) said that accessing content from overseas at a reasonable price was the main motivator.

One in ten (10%) of respondents reported using a set-top box, with 78% stating they use them to access paid-for content. Interestingly, only a small number say they use the devices to infringe.

“A minority use set-top boxes to access other content that is not legal or they are unsure if it is legal (16%), or to access live sports that are not legal or they are unsure if it is legal (11%),” the report notes.

“Individuals who consumed a mix of legal and illegal content online are more likely to use VPN services (42%) or TV set-top boxes (21%) than consumers who only downloaded or streamed/accessed legal content.”

Kantar says that the findings of the report will be used to help policymakers evaluate how Canada’s Copyright Act is coping with a changing market and technological developments.

“This research will provide the necessary information required to further develop copyright policy in Canada, as well as to provide a foundation to assess the effectiveness of the measures to address copyright infringement, should future analysis be undertaken,” it concludes.

The full report 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.

BPI Wants Piracy Dealt With Under New UK Internet ‘Clean-Up’ Laws

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/bpi-wants-music-piracy-dealt-with-under-uk-internet-clean-up-laws-180523/

For the past several years, the UK Government has expressed a strong desire to “clean up” the Internet.

Strong emphasis has been placed on making the Internet safer for children but that’s just the tip of a much larger iceberg.

This week, the Government published its response to the Internet Safety Strategy green paper, stating unequivocally that more needs to be done to tackle “online harm”.

Noting that six out of ten people report seeing inappropriate or harmful content online, the Government said that work already underway with social media companies to protect users had borne fruit but overall industry response has been less satisfactory.

As a result, the Government will now carry through with its threat to introduce new legislation, albeit with the assistance of technology companies, children’s charities and other stakeholders.

“Digital technology is overwhelmingly a force for good across the world and we must always champion innovation and change for the better,” said Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

“At the same time I have been clear that we have to address the Wild West elements of the Internet through legislation, in a way that supports innovation. We strongly support technology companies to start up and grow, and we want to work with them to keep our citizens safe.”

While emphasis is being placed on hot-button topics such as cyberbullying and online child exploitation, the Government is clear that it wishes to tackle “the full range” of online harms. That has been greeted by UK music group BPI with a request that the Government introduces new measures to tackle Internet piracy.

In a statement issued this week, BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor welcomed the move towards legislative change and urged the Government to encompass the music industry and beyond.

“This is a vital opportunity to protect consumers and boost the UK’s music and creative industries. The BPI has long pressed for internet intermediaries and online platforms to take responsibility for the content that they promote to users,” Taylor said.

“Government should now take the power in legislation to require online giants to take effective, proactive measures to clean illegal content from their sites and services. This will keep fans away from dodgy sites full of harmful content and prevent criminals from undermining creative businesses that create UK jobs.”

The BPI has published four initial requests, each of which provides food for thought.

The demand to “establish a new fast-track process for blocking illegal sites” is not entirely unexpected, particularly given the expense of launching applications for blocking injunctions at the High Court.

“The BPI has taken a large number of actions against individual websites – 63 injunctions are in place against sites that are wholly or mainly infringing and whose business is simply to profit from criminal activity,” the BPI says.

Those injunctions can be expanded fairly easily to include new sites operating under similar banners or facilitating access to those already covered, but it’s clear the BPI would like something more streamlined. Voluntary schemes, such as the one in place in Portugal, could be an option but it’s unclear how troublesome that could be for ISPs. New legislation could solve that dilemma, however.

Another big thorn in the side for groups like the BPI are people and entities that post infringing content. The BPI is very good at taking these listings down from sites and search engines in particular (more than 600 million requests to date) but it’s a game of whac-a-mole the group would rather not engage in.

With that in mind, the BPI would like the Government to impose new rules that would compel online platforms to stop content from being re-posted after it’s been taken down while removing the accounts of repeat infringers.

Thirdly, the BPI would like the Government to introduce penalties for “online operators” who do not provide “transparent contact and ownership information.” The music group isn’t any more specific than that, but the suggestion is that operators of some sites have a tendency to hide in the shadows, something which frustrates enforcement activity.

Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, the BPI is calling on the Government to legislate for a new “duty of care” for online intermediaries and platforms. Specifically, the BPI wants “effective action” taken against businesses that use the Internet to “encourage” consumers to access content illegally.

While this could easily encompass pirate sites and services themselves, this proposal has the breadth to include a wide range of offenders, from people posting piracy-focused tutorials on monetized YouTube channels to those selling fully-loaded Kodi devices on eBay or social media.

Overall, the BPI clearly wants to place pressure on intermediaries to take action against piracy when they’re in a position to do so, and particularly those who may not have shown much enthusiasm towards industry collaboration in the past.

“Legislation in this Bill, to take powers to intervene with respect to operators that do not co-operate, would bring focus to the roundtable process and ensure that intermediaries take their responsibilities seriously,” the BPI says.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Home Office will now work on a White Paper, to be published later this year, to set out legislation to tackle “online harms”. The BPI and similar entities will hope that the Government takes their concerns on board.

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

Singapore ISPs Block 53 Pirate Sites Following MPAA Legal Action

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/singapore-isps-block-53-pirate-sites-following-mpaa-legal-action-180521/

Under increasing pressure from copyright holders, in 2014 Singapore passed amendments to copyright law that allow ISPs to block ‘pirate’ sites.

“The prevalence of online piracy in Singapore turns customers away from legitimate content and adversely affects Singapore’s creative sector,” said then Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah.

“It can also undermine our reputation as a society that respects the protection of intellectual property.”

After the amendments took effect in December 2014, there was a considerable pause before any websites were targeted. However, in September 2016, at the request of the MPA(A), Solarmovie.ph became the first website ordered to be blocked under Singapore’s amended Copyright Act. The High Court subsequently ordering several major ISPs to disable access to the site.

A new wave of blocks announced this morning are the country’s most significant so far, with dozens of ‘pirate’ sites targeted following a successful application by the MPAA earlier this year.

In total, 53 sites across 154 domains – including those operated by The Pirate Bay plus KickassTorrents and Solarmovie variants – have been rendered inaccessible by ISPs including Singtel, StarHub, M1, MyRepublic and ViewQwest.

“In Singapore, these sites are responsible for a major portion of copyright infringement of films and television shows,” an MPAA spokesman told The Straits Times (paywall).

“This action by rights owners is necessary to protect the creative industry, enabling creators to create and keep their jobs, protect their works, and ensure the continued provision of high-quality content to audiences.”

Before granting a blocking injunction, the High Court must satisfy itself that the proposed online locations meet the threshold of being “flagrantly infringing”. This means that a site like YouTube, which carries a lot of infringing content but is not dedicated to infringement, would not ordinarily get caught up in the dragnet.

Sites considered for blocking must have a primary purpose to infringe, a threshold that is tipped in copyright holders’ favor when the sites’ operators display a lack of respect for copyright law and have already had their domains blocked in other jurisdictions.

The Court also weighs a number of additional factors including whether blocking would place an unacceptable burden on the shoulders of ISPs, whether the blocking demand is technically possible, and whether it will be effective.

In common with other regions such as the UK and Australia, for example, sites targeted for blocking must be informed of the applications made against them, to ensure they’re given a chance to defend themselves in court. No fully-fledged ‘pirate’ site has ever defended a blocking application in Singapore or indeed any jurisdiction in the world.

Finally, should any measures be taken by ‘pirate’ sites to evade an ISP blockade, copyright holders can apply to the Singapore High Court to amend the blocking order. This is similar to the Australian model where each application must be heard on its merits, rather than the UK model where a more streamlined approach is taken.

According to a recent report by Motion Picture Association Canada, at least 42 countries are now obligated to block infringing sites. In Europe alone, 1,800 sites and 5,300 domains have been rendered inaccessible, with Portugal, Italy, the UK, and Denmark leading the way.

In Canada, where copyright holders are lobbying hard for a site-blocking regime of their own, there’s pressure to avoid the “uncertain, slow and expensive” route of going through the courts.

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

Roku Displays FBI Anti-Piracy Warning to Legitimate YouTube & Netflix Users

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/roku-displays-fbi-anti-piracy-warning-to-legitimate-youtube-netflix-users-180516/

In 2018, dealing with copyright infringement claims is a daily issue for many content platforms. The law in many regions demands swift attention and in order to appease copyright holders, most platforms are happy to oblige.

While it’s not unusual for ‘pirate’ content and services to suddenly disappear in response to a DMCA or similar notice, the same is rarely true for entire legitimate services.

But that’s what appeared to happen on the Roku platform during the night, when YouTube, Netflix and other channels disappeared only to be replaced with an ominous anti-piracy warning.

As the embedded tweet shows, the message caused confusion among Roku users who were only using their devices to access legal content. Messages replacing Netflix and YouTube seemed to have caused the greatest number of complaints but many other services were affected.

FoxSportsGo, FandangoNow, and India-focused YuppTV and Hotstar were also blacked out. As were the yoga and transformational videos specialists over at Gaia, the horror buffs at ChillerFlix, and UK TV service BritBox.

But while users scratched their heads, with some misguidedly blaming Roku for not being diligent enough against piracy, Roku took to Twitter to reveal that rather than anti-piracy complaints against the channels in question, a technical hitch was to blame.

However, a subsequent statement to CNET suggested that while blacking out Netflix and YouTube might have been accidental, Roku appears to have been taking anti-piracy action against another channel or channels at the time, with the measures inadvertently spilling over to innocent parties.

“We use that warning when we detect content that has violated copyright,” Roku said in a statement.

“Some channels in our Channel Store displayed that message and became inaccessible after Roku implemented a targeted anti-piracy measure on the platform.”

The precise nature of the action taken by Roku is unknown but it’s clear that copyright infringement is currently a hot topic for the platform.

Roku is currently fighting legal action in Mexico which ordered its products off the shelves following complaints that its platform is used by pirates. That led to an FBI warning being shown for what was believed to be the first time against the XTV and other channels last year.

This March, Roku took action against the popular USTVNow channel following what was described as a “third party” copyright infringement complaint. Just a couple of weeks later, Roku followed up by removing the controversial cCloud channel.

With Roku currently fighting to have sales reinstated in Mexico against a backdrop of claims that up to 40% of its users are pirates, it’s unlikely that Roku is suddenly going to go soft on piracy, so more channel outages can be expected in the future.

In the meantime, the scary FBI warnings of last evening are beginning to fade away (for legitimate channels at least) after the company issued advice on how to fix the problem.

“The recent outage which affected some channels has been resolved. Go to Settings > System > System update > Check now for a software update. Some channels may require you to log in again. Thank you for your patience,” the company wrote in an update.

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

Sending Inaudible Commands to Voice Assistants

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2018/05/sending_inaudib.html

Researchers have demonstrated the ability to send inaudible commands to voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant.

Over the last two years, researchers in China and the United States have begun demonstrating that they can send hidden commands that are undetectable to the human ear to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Inside university labs, the researchers have been able to secretly activate the artificial intelligence systems on smartphones and smart speakers, making them dial phone numbers or open websites. In the wrong hands, the technology could be used to unlock doors, wire money or buy stuff online ­– simply with music playing over the radio.

A group of students from University of California, Berkeley, and Georgetown University showed in 2016 that they could hide commands in white noise played over loudspeakers and through YouTube videos to get smart devices to turn on airplane mode or open a website.

This month, some of those Berkeley researchers published a research paper that went further, saying they could embed commands directly into recordings of music or spoken text. So while a human listener hears someone talking or an orchestra playing, Amazon’s Echo speaker might hear an instruction to add something to your shopping list.