Posts tagged ‘anonymous’

TorrentFreak: Swedes Prepare Record File-Sharing Prosecution

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

serversFollowing a lengthy investigation by anti-piracy group Antipiratbyrån, in 2010 police raided a “warez scene” topsite known as Devil. Dozens of servers were seized containing an estimated 250 terabytes of pirate content.

One man was arrested and earlier this year was eventually charged with unlawfully making content available “intentionally or by gross negligence.”

Police say that the man acted “in consultation or concert with other persons, supplied, installed, programmed, maintained, funded and otherwise administered and managed” the file-sharing network from where the infringements were carried out. It’s claimed that the Devil topsite had around 200 members.

All told the man is accused of illegally making available 2,250 mainly Hollywood movies, a record amount according to the prosecutor.

“We have not prosecuted for this many movies in the past. There are many movies and large data set,” says prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad. “It is also the largest analysis of computers ever made in an individual case.”

Few details have been made available on the case but it’s now been revealed that Antipiratbyrån managed to trace the main Devil server back to the data center of a Stockholm-based electronics company. The site’s alleged operator, a man from Väsbybo in his 50s and employee of the company, reportedly admitted being in control of the server.

While it would likely have been the intention of Devil’s operator for the content on the site to remain private, leaks inevitably occurred. Predictably some of that material ended up on public torrent sites, an aggravating factor according to Antipiratbyrån lawyer Henrik Pontén.

“This is a very big issue and it is this type of crime that is the basis for all illegal file sharing. The films available on Pirate Bay circulate from these smaller networks,” Pontén says.

The big question now concerns potential damages. Pontén says that the six main studios behind the case could demand between $673,400 and $2.69m per movie. Multiply that by 2,250 and that’s an astonishing amount, but the lawyer says that in order not to burden the justice system, a few titles could be selected.

Henrik Olsson Lilja, a lawyer representing the defendant, declined to comment in detail but criticized the potential for high damages.

“I want to wait for the trial, but there was no intent in the sense that the prosecutor is looking for,” Lilja told Mitte.se. “In practice, these are American-style punitive damages.”

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: U.S. Copyright Alert System Security Could Be Improved, Review Finds

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

spyFebruary last year the MPAA, RIAA and five major Internet providers in the United States launched their “six strikes” anti-piracy plan.

The Copyright Alert System’s main goal is to inform subscribers that their Internet connections are being used to share copyrighted material without permission. These alerts start out friendly in tone, but repeat infringers face a temporary disconnection from the Internet or other mitigation measures.

The evidence behind the accusations is provided by MarkMonitor, which monitors BitTorrent users’ activities on copyright holders’ behalf. The overseeing Center for Copyright Information (CCI) previously hired an impartial and independent technology expert to review the system, hoping to gain trust from the public.

Their first pick, Stroz Friedberg, turned out to be not that impartial as the company previously worked as RIAA lobbyists. To correct this unfortunate choice, CCI assigned Professor Avi Rubin of Harbor Labs to re-examine the system.

This week CCI informed us that a summary of Harbor Labs’s findings is now available to the public. The full review is not being published due to the vast amount of confidential information it contains, but the overview of the findings does provide some interesting details.

Overall, Harbor Labs concludes that the evidence gathering system is solid and that false positives, cases where innocent subscribers are accused, are reasonably minimized.

“We conclude, based on our review, that the MarkMonitor AntiPiracy system is designed to ensure that there are no false positives under reasonable and realistic assumptions. Moreover, the system produces thorough case data for alleged infringement tracking.”

However, there is some room for improvement. For example, MarkMonitor could implement additional testing to ensure that false positives and human errors are indeed caught.

“… we believe that the system would benefit from additional testing and that the existing structure leaves open the potential for preventable failures. Additionally, we recommend that certain elements of operational security be enhanced,” Harbor Labs writes.

In addition, the collected evidence may need further protections to ensure that it can’t be tampered with or fall into the wrong hands.

“… we believe that this collected evidence and other potentially sensitive data is not adequately controlled. While MarkMonitor does protect the data from outside parties, its protection against inside threats (e.g., potential rogue employees) is minimal in terms of both policy and technical enforcement.”

The full recommendations as detailed in the report are as follows:

recommendations

The CCI is happy with the new results, which they say confirm the findings of the earlier Stroz Friedberg review.

“The Harbor Labs report reaffirms the findings from our first report – conducted by Stroz Friedberg – that the CAS is well designed and functioning as we hoped,” CCI informs TF.

In the months to come the operators of the Copyright Alert System will continue to work with copyright holders to make further enhancements and modifications to their processes.

“As the CAS exits the initial ramp-up period, CCI has been assured by our content owners that they have taken all recommendations made within both reports into account and are continuing to focus on maintaining the robust system that minimizes false positives and protects customer security and privacy,” CCI adds.

Meanwhile, they will continue to alert Internet subscribers to possible infringements. After nearly two years copyright holders have warned several million users, hoping to convert then to legal alternatives.

Thus far there’s no evidence that Copyright Alerts have had a significant impact on piracy rates. However, the voluntary agreement model is being widely embraced by various stakeholders and similar schemes are in the making in both the UK and Australia.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: BitTorrent Users are Avid, Eclectic Content Buyers, Survey Finds

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

Each month 150-170 million Internet users share files using the BitTorrent protocol, a massive audience by most standards. The common perception is that these people are only interested in obtaining content for free.

However, studies have found that file-sharers are often more engaged than the average consumer, as much was admitted by the RIAA back in 2012. There’s little doubt that within those millions of sharers lie people spending plenty of money on content and entertainment.

To get a closer look, in September BitTorrent Inc. conducted a survey among a sample of its users. In all, 2,500 people responded and now the company has published the results. The figures aren’t broken down into age groups, but BitTorrent Inc. informs TF that BitTorrent users trend towards young and male.

Music

From its survey the company found that 50% of respondents buy music each month, with a sway towards albums rather than singles (44% v 32%). BitTorrent users are reported as 170% more likely to have paid for a digital music download in the past six months than Joe Public.

Citing figures from the RIAA, BitTorrent Inc. says its users are also 8x more likely than the average Internet user to pay for a streaming music service, with 16% of BitTorrent users and 2% of the general public holding such an account.

Perhaps a little unexpectedly, supposedly tech-savvy torrent users are still buying CDs and vinyl, with 45% and 10% respectively reporting a purchase in the past 12 months. BitTorrent Inc. says that the latter represents users “engaging and unpacking art as a multimedia object”, a clear reference to how the company perceives its BitTorrent Bundles.

On average, BitTorrent Inc. says its user base spends $48 a year on music, with 31% spending more than $100 annually.

bit-music

Movies

When it comes to movies, 47% of respondents said they’d paid for a theater ticket in the preceding 12 months, up on the 38% who purchased a DVD or Blu-ray disc during the same period.

Users with active movie streaming accounts and those making digital movie purchases tied at 23%, with DVD rental (22%) and digital rental (16%) bringing up the rear.

All told, BitTorrent Inc. says that 52% of respondents buy movies on a monthly basis with the average annual spend amounting to $54. More than a third say they spend in excess of $100.

bit-movie

So do the results of the survey suggest that BitTorrent Inc.’s users have a lot to offer the market and if so, what?

“The results confirm what we knew already, that our users are super fans. They are consumers of content and are eager to reward artists for their work,” Christian Averill, BitTorrent Inc.’s Director of Communications, told TF.

“BitTorrent Bundle was started based on this premise and we have more than 10,000 artists now signed up, with more to come. With 90% of purchase going to the content creators, BitTorrent Bundle is the most artist friendly, direct-to-fan distribution platform on the market.”

It seems likely that promoting and shifting Bundles was a major motivator for BitTorrent Inc. to carry out the survey and by showing that torrent users aren’t shy to part with their cash, more artists like Thom Yorke will hopefully be prepared to engage with BitTorrent Inc.’s fanbase.

Also of note is the way BitTorrent Inc. is trying to position that fanbase or, indeed, how that fanbase has positioned itself. While rock (20%), electronic (15%) and pop (13%) took the top spots in terms of genre popularity among users, 23% described their tastes as a vague “other”. Overall, 61% of respondents described their musical tastes as “eclectic”.

“[Our] users are engaged in the creative community and they have diverse taste. They also do not define themselves by traditional genres. We feel this is a true representation about how fans view themselves universally these days. They are eclectic,” Averill concludes.

While monetizing content remains a key focus for BitTorrent Inc., the company is also making strides towards monetizing its distribution tools. Last evening uTorrent Plus was replaced by uTorrent Pro (Windows), an upgraded client offering torrent streaming, an inbuilt player, video file converter and anti-virus features. The ad-free client (more details here) is available for $19.95 per year.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Torrents Good For a Third of all Internet Traffic in Asia-Pacific

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

download-keyboardOver the years we have been following various reports on changes in Internet traffic, specifically in relation to torrents.

One of the patterns that emerged with the rise of video streaming services is that BitTorrent is losing its share of total Internet traffic, in North America at least, where good legal services are available.

This downward spiral is confirmed by the latest report from Sandvine which reveals that torrent traffic is now responsible for ‘only’ 5% of all U.S. Internet traffic in North America during peak hours, compared to 10.3% last year.

In other countries, however, this decrease is not clearly visible. In Europe, for example, the percentage of Internet traffic during peak hours has remained stable over the past two years at roughly 15%, while absolute traffic increased during the same period.

In Asia-Pacific BitTorrent traffic there’s yet another trend. Here, torrents are booming with BitTorrent traffic increasing more than 50% over the past year.

asia-pacific

According to Sandvine torrents now account for 32% of all traffic during peak hours, up from 21%. Since overall traffic use also increased during the same period, absolute traffic has more than doubled.

Looking at upstream data alone torrents are good for more than 55% of all traffic during peak hours.

One of the countries where unauthorized BitTorrent usage has been growing in recent years is Australia, which has one of the highest piracy rates in the world.

There are several reasons why torrents are growing in popularity, but the lack of good legal alternatives is expected to play an important role. It’s often hard or expensive to get access to the latest movies and TV-shows in this region.

It will be interesting to see whether this trend will reverse during the coming years as more legal services come online. Netflix’ arrival in Australia next year, for example, is bound to shake things up.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: BitTorrent Preps Sync Pro to Take on the Cloud

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

Sharing files across multiple devices used to be laborious and time-consuming affair but with the advent of services such as Dropbox the practice has become a breeze.

However, while many users remain unconcerned that third-party companies offering ‘cloud storage’ have control of their files, the revelations of Edward Snowden have undoubtedly increased fear of government snooping. With their new product ‘Sync’ in alpha, this data security loophole was pounced upon last year by BitTorrent Inc.

Released in early 2013, BitTorrent Sync is a tool that allows users to securely sync folders across multiple devices using the BitTorrent protocol. In terms of functionality it can be compared to any number of cloud-based services but with one key exception – Sync does not store data in the cloud but does so on users’ devices instead.

The software has now reached version 1.4 and the take-up has been impressive. During August, BitTorrent Inc. confirmed that there had been 10 million user installs transferring over 80 Petabytes of data between them.

Now the company is preparing to debut Sync 2.0 with greater functionality and flexibility while maintaining the privacy of its users. For the first time it will be made available in two editions, ‘free’ and ‘pro’. So what’s the difference?

“Sync 2.0 free will be an improvement from 1.4 and there won’t be any limits on performance or size of individual folders,” BitTorrent Inc.’s Christian Averill informs TorrentFreak.

“Pro users simply get premium functionality, catered specifically to individuals with large data needs and business workgroups.”

Sync 2.0 Free Edition
● Feature improvements, to enhance sharing and syncing folders
● Updated UI across platforms, new tablet apps on Android/iOS
● General performance improvements and bug fixes
● 30-day trial period for Sync Pro
● No restrictions on performance or individual folder sizes.

Sync 2.0 Pro Edition
● Access to very large folders (TBs): allows for on-demand access to individual files
● Control over folder permissions and ownership (see image below)
● Automatic synchronization across devices: all your devices are tied via a common identity; moves the relationship from device-to-device to person-to-person
● Priority technical support

sync-pro

BitTorrent Inc. believes that Sync 2.0 trumps services like Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive on a number of fronts. Sync 2.0 places no file-size restrictions on users versus a 1TB limit for rivals. Files are also synced more quickly, up to 16X, since Sync does not rely on uploads to the cloud.

Finally, in addition to enhanced security Sync 2.0 aims to offer better value for money too. The ‘free’ edition is just that and the ‘pro’ version costs $39.99. Competitors Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive charge upwards of $83.99 for comparable services.

No firm release data has been announced for Sync 2.0 but those interested in becoming an early adopter can do so here.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: U.S. Brands Kim Dotcom a Fugitive, ‘Spies’ on Others

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

megaupload-logoIt’s been nearly three years since Megaupload was taken down by the U.S. authorities but it’s still uncertain whether Kim Dotcom and his fellow defendants will be extradited overseas.

Two months ago the U.S. Government launched a separate civil action in which it asked the court to forfeit the bank accounts, cars and other seized possessions of the Megaupload defendants, claiming they were obtained through copyright and money laundering crimes.

Megaupload responded to these allegations at the federal court in Virginia with a motion to dismiss the complaint. According to Megaupload’s lawyers the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) is making up crimes that don’t exist.

In addition, Dotcom and his co-defendants claimed ownership of the assets U.S. authorities are trying to get their hands on. A few days ago the DoJ responded to these claims, arguing that they should be struck from the record as Dotcom and his colleagues are fugitives.

In a motion (pdf) submitted to a Virginia District Court the U.S. asks for the claims of the defendants to be disregarded based on the doctrine of fugitive disentitlement.

“Claimants Bram van der Kolk, Finn Batato, Julius Bencko, Kim Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, and Sven Echternach, are deliberately avoiding prosecution by declining to enter the United States where the criminal case is pending,” U.S. Attorney Dana Boente writes.

“The key issue in determining whether a person is a fugitive from justice is that person’s intent. A defendant who flees with intent to avoid arrest is a fugitive from justice,” he adds.

Since Kim Dotcom and his New Zealand-based Megaupload colleagues are actively fighting their extradition they should be seen as fugitives, the DoJ concludes.

“Those claimants who are fighting extradition on the criminal charges in the related criminal case, claimants van der Kolk, Batato, Kim Dotcom, and Ortmann, are fugitives within the meaning of the statute, regardless of the reason for their opposition.”

Megaupload lawyer Ira Rothken disagrees with this line of reasoning. He told TF that the fugitive disentitlement doctrine shouldn’t apply here.

“The DOJ is trying to win the Megaupload case on procedure rather than the merits. Most people don’t realize that Kim Dotcom has never been to the United States,” Rothken says.

A person who has never been to the United States and is currently going through a lawful procedure in New Zealand shouldn’t be seen as a fugitive, according to Rothken.

The recent DoJ filing also highlights another aspect of the case. According to a declaration by special FBI agent Rodney Hays, the feds have obtained “online conversations” of Julius Bencko and Sven Echternach, the two defendants who currently reside in Europe.

These conversations were obtained by law enforcement officers and show that the authorities were ‘spying’ on some of the defendants months after Megaupload was raided.

tapped

“During a conversation that occurred on or about March 28, 2012, Bencko allegedly told a third-party, ‘I can come to Bratislava [Slovakia] if needed .. bu [sic] you know .. rather not travel around much .. ‘ Later in the conversation, Bencko states ‘i’m facing 55 years in usa’,” the declaration reads.

In addition to the two defendants, law enforcement also obtained a conversation of Kim’s wife Mona Dotcom, who is not a party in the case herself.

“During a conversation that occurred on or about February 9, 2012 a third-party told Mona Dotcom, ‘Also Julius [Bencko] wants Kim [Dotcom] to know that he will be supportive in what ever way possible that he needs’,”

According to the U.S. the ‘tapped’ conversations of Bencko and Echternach show that since they are avoiding travel to the United States, they too can be labeled fugitives.

It’s unclear how the online conversations were obtained, but Megaupload lawyer Ira Rothken told TF that he wouldn’t be surprised if civil liberties were violated in the process, as has happened before in the case.

Whether these fugitive arguments will be accepted by the court has yet to be seen. Highlighting the motion Megaupload submitted earlier, Rothken notes that regardless of these arguments the case should be dismissed because the court lacks jurisdiction.

“The United States doesn’t have a stature for criminal copyright infringement,” Rothken tells us. “We believe that the case should be dismissed based on a lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Court: $30,000 for Sharing a Pirated Movie is Excessive Punishment

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

cashOver the past several years hundreds of thousands of Internet subscribers have been sued in the United States for allegedly sharing copyrighted material, mostly films, online.

The goal of these lawsuits is to encourage alleged downloader to settle, and in some cases copyright holders continue proceedings against the defendants after being identified by their ISPs.

If the alleged pirates then fail to respond, the rightsholder can ask the court for a default judgment, where they usually get their way.

This also happened in lawsuits brought by the makers of the independent films Elf-Man and The Thompsons. In both cases the copyright holders asked the court for a default judgment of $30,000 for sharing a single film.

With 11 defendants, including one couple who would share the fine, the potential damage award amounted to a massive $300,000. The copyright holders argued that this is justified since they suffered significant losses as a result, but the court disagreed.

In related orders U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice notes that a $30,000 punishment per shared film is excessive, considering the evidence that was presented.

“This Court finds the evidence in this case, which merely shows that each Defendant copied and published via BitTorrent Plaintiff’s motion picture––the cost of which to rent or purchase was less than $20––rather than distributed for commercial resale, does not support a $30,000 penalty for each Defendant,” Judge Rice writes.

In his order the Judge refers to the Eighth Amendment which prohibits excessive fines as well as cruel and unusual punishments. In this case the requested damages are unconstitutional as they’re seen as excessive in relation to the nature of the offense.

“This Court finds an award of $30,000 for each defendant would be an excessive punishment considering the seriousness of each Defendant’s conduct and
the sum of money at issue,” the order reads.

The filmmakers argued that the pirated downloads threaten the financing of future films and that high damages could serve as a deterrent. Judge Rice, however, was not convinced and set these arguments aside.

“… this Court is unpersuaded that the remote damages––’downstream revenue’ and destroyed plans for a sequel due, in part, to piracy––justify an award of $30,000 per defendant, even in light of the statute’s goal of deterrence.”

Judge Rice opted to award the minimum in statutory damages instead, which is $750 per film. In addition, he awarded $2,225 in attorney fees per defendant, which brings the total to a little under $3,000.

This is not the first time that the Eighth Amendment has been raised in a file-sharing case. The same argument was used to lower the damages award in RIAA’s case against Jammie Thomas, although this was overturned on appeal.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Artists and Labels Now Sue Chrysler Over CD-Ripping Cars

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

ripping-carToward the end of the last century record labels feared that home taping would kill the music industry.

To counter the threat cassette tape recorders posed at the time, they asked Congress to take action.

This eventually resulted in the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA) of 1992. Under this law importers and manufacturers must pay royalties on “digital audio recording devices,” among other things.

The legislation is still in play today. Instead of targeting cassette recorders, however, the threats are now other copying devices. According to the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies, this includes media entertainment systems that are built into many cars.

This week the music group, which lists major record labels and 300,000 artists among its members, sued Chrysler and its technology partner Mitsubishi (pdf) for failing to pay royalties.

The dispute revolves around Chrysler’s media entertainment systems including “MyGIG” and “Uconnect Media Center” which allow car owners to rip CDs to a hard drive.

“These devices are covered by the AHRA, but the defendants have refused to pay royalties on them or include the required serial copy protections,” AARC Executive Director Linda Bocchi comments.

The music group reached out to Chrysler and Mitsubishi hoping to settle the issue, but these talks failed. As a result AARC saw no other option than to take the case to court.

“We had hoped Chrysler and the Mitsubishi Electric companies would settle their liability and begin paying what they owe once they had an opportunity to study and assess the issues,” Bocchi says.

“But it has now become painfully clear they have no intention of complying with the law. While litigation is always a last resort, it is clear this lawsuit is the only way to protect our members’ rights.”

The current lawsuit follows an earlier case against Ford and General Motors, which is still ongoing.

In both cases artists and record labels are looking for statutory damages, which could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars. In addition, they want to prevent the manufacturers from selling these unauthorized devices in their cars.

Ford has already filed a motion to dismiss arguing that AHRA doesn’t apply to their systems, and the other defendants including Chrysler are likely to do the same. Whose side the court will agree with is expected to become clear in the months to come.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: If Illegal Sites Get Blocked Accidentally, Hard Luck Says Court

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

blockedThe movie and music industries have obtained several High Court orders which compel UK ISPs to block dozens of websites said to facilitate access to copyright-infringing content. Recently, however, they have been joined by those seeking blockades on trademark grounds.

The lead case on this front was initiated by Cartier and Mont Blanc owner Richemont. The company successfully argued that several sites were infringing on its trademarks and should be blocked by the UK’s leading ISPs.

The case is important not only to trademark owners but also to those operating in the file-sharing arena since the High Court is using developments in one set of cases to determine the outcome of legal argument in the other.

The latest ruling concerns potential over-blocking. In some cases target sites move to IP addresses that are shared with other sites that are not covered by an injunction. As a result, these third-party sites would become blocked if ISPs filter their IP addresses as ordered by the Court.

To tackle this problem Richemont put forward a set of proposals to the Court. The company suggested that it could take a number of actions to minimize the problem including writing to the third-party sites informing them that a court order is in force and warning them that their domains could become blocked. The third party sites could also be advised to move to a new IP address.

Complicating the issue is the question of legality. While third-party sites aren’t mentioned in blocking orders, Richemont views some of them as operating unlawfully. When the company’s proposals are taken as a package and sites are operating illegally, Richemont believes ISPs should not be concerned over “collateral damage.”

Counsel for the ISPs disagreed, however, arguing that the Court had no jurisdiction to grant such an order. Mr Justice Arnold rejected that notion and supported Richemont’s efforts to minimize over-blocking in certain circumstances.

“The purpose of Richemont’s proposal is to ensure that the [blocking] order is properly targeted, and in particular to ensure that it is as effective as possible while avoiding what counsel for Richemont described as ‘collateral damage’ to other lawful website operators which share the same IP address,” the Judge wrote.

“If the websites are not engaged in lawful activity, then the Court need not be concerned about any collateral damage which their operators may suffer. It is immaterial whether the Court would have jurisdiction, or, if it had jurisdiction, would exercise it, to make an order requiring the ISPs to block access to the other websites.”

The ISPs further argued that the Court’s jurisdiction to adopt Richemont’s proposals should be limited to sites acting illegally in an intellectual property rights sense. The argument was rejected by the Court.

Also of note was the argument put forward by the ISPs that it is the Court’s position, not anyone else’s, to determine if a third-party site is acting illegally or not. Justice Arnold said he had sympathy with the submission, but rejected it anyway.

“As counsel for Richemont submitted, the evidence shows that, in at least some cases, it is perfectly obvious that a particular website which shares an IP address with a Target Website is engaged in unlawful activity. Where there is no real doubt about the matter, the Court should not be required to rule,” the Judge wrote.

“Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Richemont’s proposal gives the operators of the affected websites the chance either to move to an alternative server or to object before the IP address is blocked. If they do object, the IP address will not be blocked without a determination by the Court.”

In summary, any third-party sites taken down after sharing an IP address with a site featured in a blocking order will have no sympathy from the High Court, if at Richemont’s discretion they are acting illegally. The fact that they are not mentioned in an order will not save them, but they will have a chance to appeal before being blocked by UK ISPs.

“This action is about protecting Richemont’s Maisons and its customers from the sale of counterfeit goods online through the most efficient means, it is not about restricting freedom of speech or legitimate activity,” the company previously told TF.

“When assessing a site for blocking, the Court will consider whether the order is proportionate – ISP blocking will therefore only be used to prevent trade mark infringement where the Court is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so.”

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: MPAA Pays University $1,000,000 For Piracy Research

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

mpaa-logoLast week the MPAA submitted its latest tax filing covering 2013. While there are few changes compared to previous years there is one number that sticks out like a sore thumb.

The movie industry group made a rather sizable gift of $912,000 to Carnegie Mellon University, a figure that neither side has made public before.

This brings the MPAA’s total investment in the University over the past two years to more than a million dollars.

The money in question goes to the University’s “Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics” (IDEA) that researches various piracy related topics. During 2012 MPAA also contributed to the program, albeit significantly less at $100,000.

TF contacted IDEA co-director Rahul Telang, who told us that much of the money is spent on hiring researchers and, buying data from third parties and covering other research related expenses.

“For any substantial research program to progress it needs funding, and needs access to data and important stakeholders who care about this research. IDEA center has benefited from this funding significantly,” he says, emphasizing that the research applies to academic standards.

“All research is transparent, goes through academic peer review, and published in various outlets,” Telang adds.

While IDEA’s researchers operate independently, without an obligation to produce particular studies, their output thus far is in line with Hollywood’s agenda.

One study showed that the Megaupload shutdown boosted digital sales while another reviewed academic literature to show that piracy mostly hurts revenues. The MPAA later used these results to discredit an independent study which suggested that Megaupload’s closure hurt box office revenues.

Aside from countering opponents in the press, the MPAA also uses the research to convince lawmakers that tougher anti-piracy measures are warranted.

Most recently, an IDEA paper showed that search engines can help to diminish online piracy, an argument the MPAA has been hammering on for years.

The tax filing, picked up first by Variety, confirms a new trend of the MPAA putting more money into research. Earlier this year the industry group launched a new initiative offering researchers a $20,000 grant for projects that address various piracy related topics.

The MPAA sees academic research as an important tool in its efforts to ensure that copyright protections remain in place, or are strengthened if needed.

“We want to enlist the help of academics from around the world to provide new insight on a range of issues facing the content industry in the digital age,” MPAA CEO and former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd said at the time.

The movie industry isn’t alone in funding research for ‘political’ reasons. Google, for example, heavily supports academic research on copyright-related projects in part to further its own agenda, as do many other companies.

With over a million dollars in Hollywood funding in their pocket, it’s now up to IDEA’s researchers to ensure that their work is solid.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Why Hollywood Director Lexi Alexander Sides With “Pirates”

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

lexIt’s pretty obvious that Lexi Alexander isn’t your average Hollywood director. Instead of parading on the red carpet sharing redundant quotes, she prefers to challenge the powers that rule Hollywood.

A few months ago Alexander campaigned to get Pirate Bay’s Peter Sunde released from prison, pointing out that throwing people in jail is not going to stop piracy.

She believes that the MPAA and other pro-copyright groups are a bigger threat than casual pirates, and unlike some of her colleagues she is not afraid to tell the world.

Recently Alexander penned five reasons why she’s pro file-sharing and copyright reform. While she’s doesn’t agree with the “everything should be free” mantra of some anti-copyright activists, Alexander believes that file-sharing is mostly a symptom of Hollywood’s failures.

Over the past day or so this turned into a heated debate (e.g. 1, 2) between a movie industry workers on Twitter, where various anti-piracy advocates condemned the movie director and others for siding with “pirates.”

From a Hollywood perspective Alexander’s ‘balanced’ comments may indeed appear extreme, not least since like-minded voices keep quiet for career reasons. So why has she decided to jump on the barricades then? Today, Alexander explains her motivations to us in a short interview.

TF: What triggered you to discuss file-sharing and copyright related topics in public?

Lexi: It wasn’t my intent to be that outspoken about file-sharing, at first I just wanted to expose the hypocrisy of Hollywood going after anybody for any crime. But after I had published that first blog, I was suddenly exposed to a lot more information about the issue, either from people in the copyright reform movement or through outlets like yours.

Frankly, TorrentFreak has a lot to do with the extent of my outspokenness. Sometimes I see your headlines in my Twitter feed and I think I’m in some alternative universe, where I’m the only one who swallowed the red pill. “Another kid in prison for a file-sharing”, “Anti file-sharing propaganda taught in schools”, “torrent sites reported to the state department”, etc., etc. All done in the name of an industry that is infamous for corruption. I mean, doesn’t anybody see that? Hollywood studios shaking their finger at people who illegally download stuff is like the Vatican shaking their finger at pedophiles.

TF: What’s your main motivation to support file-sharing and copyright reform??

Lexi: Well, first and foremost I will not stand for young, bright minds being hunted and locked up in my name. And since I am still part of the film & TV industry, albeit not the most popular member at this point, these acts are done in my name. Even if I would agree with this ludicrous idea that everything to do with file-sharing or downloading is theft and should be punished with prison…then I’d still insist that everybody in Hollywood who has ever stolen anything or cheated anybody needs to go to prison first. If we could somehow make that rule happen with magical fairy dust…you’d never hear another beep about imprisoning file-sharers.

Secondly, I have said this a million times and it’s like I’m talking to the wall…horrible thieves (aka the four letter acronym) are stealing 92.5 % of foreign levies from filmmakers in countries outside of the US, breaking the Berne Convention in the process. It’s actually not legal for those countries to hand any money to anybody else but the creator. But somehow, some very smart con men duped these shady collection societies into handing them all the dough. Ask me again why I need copyright reform?

See, I wish more of my colleagues would come out of the fog…but that fog is made of fears, so it is thick and consistent. Fear to upset the decision makers, fear to get blacklisted and never get to make movies again, fear to get fired by your agents, fear to become unpopular with your film-industry peers, it’s so much easier to blame the British, pimple-faced teenager, who uploaded Fast and the Furious 6, for the scarcity we experience.

I used to get frustrated about my peers’ lack of courage, but lately I feel only empathy. I don’t like seeing talented storytellers ruled by fear. I don’t even enjoy the endless admissions I get anymore from producers or Executives who whisper in my ear that they’re pro file-sharing too (this is often followed by a demonstration of their illegally downloaded goods or their torrent clients, as if they’re trying to make sure I’ll put in a good word, if the power were to shift to the other side one of these days).

TF: Do you believe that your opinions on these topics may impact your career? If so, how?

Lexi: What do you think? LOL

But my opinions on these topics are based on facts, so therefore the question I have to ask myself next is: If I keep the truth to myself and watch innovators get sent to prison by actual criminals…how does that impact my soul?

I do realize how huge the giant I decided to criticize really is whenever I read about the amount of money that’s at play here.

At the moment I still have a TV show under option, which I am currently developing and I’m getting ready to pitch another one. A few things definitely fell through right after my first piracy post and I’m not sure how many people don’t consider me for projects because of my file-sharing stance. I can’t really worry about that. First and foremost I’m still a filmmaker, so if this shit gets too real I have to force my mind down the rabbit hole (filmmaker euphemism for escaping into your screenplays or movies).

TF: File-sharing also has its downsides of course. What’s the worst side of piracy in your opinion?

Lexi: The worst part is that there are a lot of people who suddenly feel entitled to do anything they want with our work, at any given stage. I spoke to a filmmaker the other day whose film got leaked during post production. It was missing the visual effects and it had a temp score (temporary music used as a filler before the real score is ready). Then reviews started popping up about this version of the film on IMDB, yet the people who posted those reviews had no fucking clue what they were judging, revealed by the many comments about “the director ripping off the Dark Knight score”. It was the Dark Knight score, you morons.

That was really heartbreaking and whoever doesn’t understand that can go to hell. I don’t think there’s anybody in the world who’d like their work, whatever it may be, stolen when it’s half way done and paraded around the world with their name on it.

I also will never be able to respect anybody who films or watches one of those shaky cam movies. I don’t buy that there’s anybody who enjoys a movie that way, I think this is all about trying to be the shit on some forum.

TF: In what way do you think file-sharing will (and has) change(d) the movie industry?

Lexi: I entered this industry right at the beginning of the transition to digital technology. I remember insisting to shoot my first two films on film stock, by then people were already dropping the “dinosaur” and “stone age” hints. We were all beaten into submission when it came to new digital technologies, because they reduced production and distribution costs. Then the powers started realizing that those same technologies also made unauthorized duplications much easier, so the narrative changed and now we were told to hate that part of it. It’s almost comical isn’t it?

I quickly realized that file-sharing would shatter borders and as someone who considers herself a citizen of the world, rather than of one country, this made me extremely happy. I have always wanted entertainment events to be global rather than national. This is good for the world.

The more the audience becomes familiar with foreign movies and TV shows (not synchronized and released months later, but subtitled and premiering simultaneously) the sooner we will start accepting, maybe even demanding shows and movies with a diverse, global cast from the get go. And since those are the shows I create… it cannot happen fast enough.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: BitTorrent Inc. Now Allows All Artists to Get Paid

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

bittorrent-bundleFor years BitTorrent Inc. has been struggling with its image due to the name of the company being identical to that of the world’s most popular file-sharing protocol.

To many BitTorrent is synonymous with piracy and as a result it seemed likely that without a name change BitTorrent Inc. would forever struggle to separate itself in the eyes of the public.

Despite the odds, however, BitTorrent Inc. has put up quite a fight to reposition itself as a friend of the artist. Not only in distribution skills either, but also when it comes to monetizing content and returning unprecedented revenue shares back to creators.

Last month the company enjoyed a big breakthrough when Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke decided to release his new album through BitTorrent Inc.’s ‘Bundle’ project. A special paywalled torrent format allowed Yorke to charge BitTorrent users for his album, a first for BitTorrent Inc.

The experiment did very well, with the collaboration reporting in excess of 4.4 million downloads to date. And now, with that success still ringing, BitTorrent Inc. has announced it will open up the paywall project to content creators everywhere.

“Taylor Swift sparked debate over the state of music in recent weeks; the value of a stream, the value of a record,” Matt Mason, BitTorrent’s chief content officer, said in a statement.

“The value of art shouldn’t be up for debate. It should be up to artists. Our goal with BitTorrent Bundle is to restore control to creators.”

While BitTorrent Bundles have become associated with music, the company is opening up the platform to creators of all content including film, digital books and even software. The company won’t be taking the lion’s share of the revenue either. BitTorrent Inc. will ask for just 10% of sales, returning 90% to the artists and creators.

Following in Yorke’s footsteps, yesterday musician Diplo became the second artist to release a pay-gated BitTorrent Bundle. Featuring his original Florida album and plenty of previously unreleased content, the F10rida digital box set is now available for just $5.

It’s unlikely Diplo will achieve Thom Yorke levels of success when it comes to sales, but even a small percentage should provide a decent return after picking up 90% of the spoils.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Movie Chief Describes University Piracy Fines as “Terrific”

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

wifi-dangerIn addition to their obligations under the DMCA, in 2010 a new requirement was put in place which meant that university funding in the U.S. was placed in jeopardy if establishments didn’t take their anti-piracy responsibilities seriously.

The policy hasn’t been repeated in any other key countries in Europe or elsewhere, but that hasn’t stopped educational institutions from introducing their own policies to deal with on-campus infringement. A particularly harsh example can be found in Australia.

The University of New South Wales, which is ranked among the top five universities in Australia, offers its students free Wi-Fi Internet access. Known as Uniwide, the system was upgraded last year to offer speeds of 1.3 Gigabits per second in order to cope with around 20,000 devices being regularly connected to the network.

With students achieving up to 10 megabits per second on their connections, it’s perhaps no surprise that some use the Wi-Fi network for downloading movies, TV shows and other copyrighted content. In order to curtail the practice the university has put in place tough punishments for those who flout the rules.

uniwide

While disconnections and up to $1,000 in fines are serious enough, it may come as a surprise that monies collected don’t go to compensate artists. University of New South Wales pumps the money back into “student amenities” instead.

“I just find it disturbing that a university has decided how it will enforce the laws of the Commonwealth,” Michael Speck, an independent anti-piracy investigator and former NSW policeman told The Age. “It’s quite disturbing and without too much natural justice.”

Adding fuel to the fire, two parties embroiled in the general piracy debate currently raging in Australia have also weighed in with their opinions.

Steve Dalby, chief regulatory officer of Internet provider iiNet, called the fines “very strange”. The response from Dalby is predictable. The ISP famously refused to pass on infringement notices to its customers when prompted to by movie company Village Roadshow, a spat that took the pair to court.

On the other hand, comments from Graham Burke, co-chief executive of Village Roadshow, reveal that the rivals are still just as far apart in their views. Burke said it was “terrific” that the university was fining students and being “proactive and taking responsibility for the users of its network.”

“We think it is more important for students to be educated about copyright by the university imposing these fines than it is for the rights holders to collect damages for the breaches that are occurring,” Burke told The Age.

“In fact the more I think about it this action by the university is helping the future of good citizenship of its many students.”

There can be little doubt that traditionally poor students would find themselves thinking deeply about copyright when landed with a $1,000 fine but whether that would put money back in the artists’ pockets long-term is another matter.

Fortunately not too many WiFi users are falling foul of the rules. According to the university, three students and one staff member have received punishments this year. All had their access suspended and two of the students were fined $480 each.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Giganews Not Liable for Pirating Usenet Customers, Court Rules

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

giganewsAdult magazine publisher Perfect 10 has made a business out of suing online services for allegedly facilitating copyright infringement.

Over the past several years the company has targeted a dozen high-profile companies including Google, Amazon, Yandex, MasterCard, Visa, RapidShare, Giganews and Depositfiles.

Aside from a few private settlements the company has yet to score its first victory in court. The company was confident that this would happen in their prolonged battle with Usenet provider Giganews, but late last week these hopes were shattered.

On Friday the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled on several motions (1, 2, 3) regarding Giganews’ liability for copyright infringement, as well as the nature of its DMCA takedown process.

In its order the court confirms that there is no evidence that Giganews is directly involved in any infringing practices.

“A claim for direct copyright liability demands evidence that the defendant had a direct hand in causing the infringement. The undisputed evidence before the Court, however, demonstrates that Defendants had no direct causal role in the alleged infringement,” the order reads.

According to the Court, Perfect 10 confuses direct and indirect copyright infringement, as the company has presented no evidence that Giganews employees are engaged in distributing pirated content.

Furthermore, claims of indirect copyright infringement also failed. The Court didn’t accept that Giganews is liable for the alleged copyright infringements of its users, as there is no proof that the company enjoyed direct financial benefit from any Perfect 10 images its subscribers may have distributed.

“[T]he ‘direct financial benefit’ requirement demands more than evidence that customers were ‘drawn’ to Giganews to obtain access to infringing material in general. Perfect 10 must prove with competent evidence that at least some of Giganews’ customers were ‘drawn’ to Giganews’ services, in part, to obtain access to infringing Perfect 10 material.”

“This action is a specific lawsuit by a specific plaintiff against a specific defendant about specific copyrighted images; it is not a lawsuit against copyright infringement in general on the Usenet,” the order adds.

In addition to their infringement claims Perfect 10 also argued that Giganews didn’t respond properly to takedown requests. While the court doesn’t dispute that proper takedown notices would give Giganews actual knowledge of infringements, the publisher’s notices were not proper.

Instead of listing message-IDs that could identify specific content, Perfect 10 sent in screenshots of a newsreader window, instructing Giganew “to conduct searches of specific names within certain newsgroups” and remove all results that were returned “on a certain date.” These notices do not comply with the DMCA’s standards, the court argues.

All in all the orders mean that Giganews is not liable for the infringements Perfect 10 claimed, and as a result the company can put the case to rest after three years.

However, as noted by Techdirt, it’s unlikely that Perfect 10 will stop its legal campaigns anytime soon. Just this summer the company initiated a new suit against hosting service OVH, who thanks to Giganews now have some additional ammunition to fight back.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: KickassTorrents Moves to Kickass.so Domain Name

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

kickasstorrents_500x500With millions of unique visitors per day KickassTorrents (KAT) is one of the most used torrent sites. In recent months it has even rivaled The Pirate Bay in terms of traffic.

Over the years KAT has moved from domain to domain on a few occasions, to evade law enforcement and pressure from the entertainment industries. Most recently the site had been operating from the Kickass.to domain.

Starting today however, the site is serving its pages from the Somalian TLD Kickass.so.

Wondering whether the site may have run into issues with the .to registry we contacted the KAT team for further details. “It’s just annual domain rotation,” we were told in a brief reply.

An additional announcement posted on the site today assures the site’s users that there is nothing to worry about.

“We are moving to kickass.so now. As you know we change our domain regularly. Nothing more has been changed for you, so don’t worry, you can use Kickass as usually, it’s automatically redirected,” the KAT team writes.

Intended or not, the domain change will have some consequences on the anti-piracy front. For example, the site will become accessible again in most countries where it has been blocked previously.

In addition all the URLs that were blocked by Google through DMCA notices, more than 1.6 million, will become accessible again under the new domain. This also means that Google’s new downranking algorithm will be bypassed, at least temporarily.

In recent weeks KAT has lost a significant amount of traffic due to Google’s new anti-piracy measure, so intended or not, that may be an extra incentive to keep the yearly domain rotations going.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: ISP Provides Free VPN to Protect Customer Privacy

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

vpn4lifeIn April a landmark ruling from the European Court of Justice declared Europe’s Data Retention Directive a violation of Internet users’ privacy and therefore invalid.

The Directive required Internet service providers and other telecommunications companies to log data on the activities of their subscribers, including who they communicate with and at what times, plus other identifying information such as IP addresses.

One of the first companies to react to the decision was Swedish ISP Bahnhof. The ISP has a reputation for objecting to what it sees as breaches of customer privacy, so did not hesitate following the Court’s announcement.

“Bahnhof stops all data storage with immediate effect. In addition, we will delete the information that was already saved,” Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung said.

However, at the end of last month Swedish telecoms regulator PTS ordered Bahnhof to start storing communications data again under local data retention laws, warning the ISP that non-compliance would result in hefty fines.

At the time Karlung promised a “Plan B” to skirt the order, and today the details of that have emerged.

“One week remains before PTS requires a fine of five million krona ($676,500) from Bahnhof, as the company has not yet begun to store customer traffic data. Therefore, Bahnhof has chosen to activate ‘Plan B’,” Karlung announced today.

The plan involves Bahnhof reactivating data storage on November 24 as required. However, the ISP will thwart the collection of meaningful data by providing every customer with access to an anonymizing VPN service free of charge.

“The EU Court of Justice has held that it is a human right for people not to have their traffic data stored. We therefore believe that the time is ripe for VPN services become popular,” Karlung says.

The service, called LEX Integrity, is a no-logging provider so it will be impossible for any entity to get useful information about its users.

“The EU Court of Justice has issued a ruling that the previous government chose to ignore, and the current government has been silent for so long that we are starting to lose patience,” Karlung adds.

“So now Bahnhof will resolve the situation in a responsible manner, namely by solving the whole problem. We will start to store data, but at exactly the same time we will make data storage meaningless.”

The VPN service will become active next Monday.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Dotcom Faces Jail Following Application to Revoke Bail

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

dotcom-laptopAfter putting up a grand fight for what will soon be three years, the last couple of weeks have certainly thrown Kim Dotcom an unusual number of serious curve balls.

Last week it was revealed that his New Zealand legal team had backed out of their arrangement to defend the Megaupload founder.

High-profile Queen’s Counsel Paul Davison, QC, and Simpson Grierson, one of New Zealand’s biggest lawfirms, decided to pull out, a decision that could prove pivotal in the entrepreneur getting a fair trial.

It’s also transpires that lawyer Fletcher Pilditch, who was defending Dotcom colleague Finn Batato, has also withdrawn his services from the case.

And back in the Auckland District Court today, things got even worse.

A full report on developments isn’t possible due to a news blackout, but Crown Prosecutor Christine Gordon told the Court that an application had been made to have Dotcom’s bail revoked after an apparent breach of conditions.

That application, the details of which are shrouded in secrecy, will be heard next Monday. Should it be granted, Dotcom could soon be back behind bars in New Zealand.

In the meantime, apparently considering him a flight risk, Judge Nevin Dawson has taken the decision to clamp down on Dotcom’s movements ahead of next week’s hearing.

In addition to banning him from using his helicopter, Dotcom is forbidden from using boats and undertaking any travel whatsoever by sea. He must stay within 80km (50 miles) of his home and report to police every single day, rather than his previous weekly check-ins.

The development is yet another obstacle for Dotcom ahead of his looming 2015 extradition battle. The withdrawal of Paul Davison QC and Simson Grier was revealed today to be the decision of the lawyers, not Dotcom, with the former informing the Court that there was no intention to disrupt the case.

Nevertheless, that is the immediate effect. While Dotcom and legal team chief Ira Rothken say they are in talks with other lawfirms. the scale of the case means this is no ordinary problem and one that might even prove impossible to overcome.

“Suffice to say that even over the last few days, we have spoken to some of the other top firms in New Zealand,” Rothken said.

“We’ve also spoken to some QCs. It’s a very difficult situation in the sense that these firms will have to look through about 100 meters of legacy files.”

One interested firm said it would need 120 days just to look over the case to see they can help, a serious problem when the extradition hearing is scheduled for February and has taken 18 months to prepare.

Today the Crown said it was prepared to give Dotcom an extra month by postponing the hearing until March, but that was overruled by the Judge who said that it would now take place in early June.

This morning Dotcom said he will not be giving up.

“This year was a total disaster. I have taken many punches. But I won’t break. I will keep going through this hell for my kids. Count on it,” Dotcom said.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week – 11/17/14

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

guardiansThis week we have two newcomers in our chart.

Guardians of the Galaxy is the most downloaded movie.

The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are BD/DVDrips unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart.

Ranking (last week) Movie IMDb Rating / Trailer
torrentfreak.com
1 (9) Guardians of the Galaxy 8.5 / trailer
2 (2) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 8.0 / trailer
3 (1) Dracula Untold 6.3 / trailer
4 (3) If I Stay 7.0 / trailer
5 (…) The November Man 6.3 / trailer
6 (4) Let’s Be Cops 6.7 / trailer
7 (6) Hercules 6.2 / trailer
8 (5) Into The Storm 6.0 / trailer
9 (10) How to Train Your Dragon 2 8.2 / trailer
10 (…) Free Fall 4.1 / trailer

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: The Copyright Monopoly Wars Are About To Repeat, But Much Worse

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Rick Falkvinge. Original post: at TorrentFreak

copyright-brandedPeople sometimes ask me when I started questioning if the copyright monopoly laws were just, proper, or indeed sane. I respond truthfully that it was about 1985, when we were sharing music on cassette tapes and the copyright industry called us thieves, murderers, rapists, arsonists, and genocidals for manufacturing our own copies without their permission.

Politicians didn’t care about the issue, but handwaved away the copyright industry by giving them private taxation rights on cassette tapes, a taxation right that would later infest anything with digital storage capacity, ranging from games consoles to digital cameras.

In 1990, I bought my first modem, connecting to FidoNet, an amateur precursor to the Internet that had similar addressing and routing. We were basically doing what the Internet is used for today: chatting, discussing, sharing music and other files, buying and selling stuff, and yes, dating and flirting. Today, we do basically the same things in prettier colors, faster, and more realtime, on considerably smaller devices. But the social mechanisms are the same.

The politicians were absolutely clueless.

The first signal that something was seriously wrong in the heads of politicans was when they created a DMCA-like law in Sweden in 1990, one that made a server owner legally liable for forum posts made by somebody else on that server, if the server operator didn’t delete the forum post on notice. For the first time in modern history, a messenger had been made formally responsible for somebody else’s uttered opinion. People who were taking part in creating the Internet at the time went to Parliament to try to explain the technology and the social contract of responsibilities, and walked away utterly disappointed and desperate. The politicians were even more clueless than imagined.

It hasn’t gotten better since. Cory Doctorow’s observation in his brilliant speech about the coming war on general computing was right: Politicians are clueless about the Internet because they don’t care about the Internet. They care about energy, healthcare, defense, education, and taxes, because they only understand the problems that defined the structures of the two previous generations – the structures now in power have simply retained their original definition, and those are the structures that put today’s politicians in power. Those structures are incapable of adapting to irrelevance.

Enter bitcoin.

The unlicensed manufacturing of movie and music copies were and are such small time potatoes the politicians just didn’t and don’t have time for it, because energy healthcare defense. Creating draconian laws that threaten the Internet wasn’t an “I think this is a good idea” behavior. It has been a “copyright industry, get out of my face” behavior. The copryight industry understands this perfectly, of course, and throws tantrums about every five years to get more police-like powers, taxpayer money, and rent from the public coffers. Only when the population has been more in the face of politicians than the copyright industry – think SOPA, ACTA – have the politicians backpedaled, usually with a confused look on their faces, and then absentmindedly happened to do the right thing before going back to energy healthcare defense.

However, cryptocurrency like bitcoin – essentially the same social mechanisms, same social protocols, same distributed principles as BitTorrent’s sharing culture and knowledge outside of the copyright industry’s monopolies – is not something that passes unnoticed. Like BitTorrent showed the obsolescence of the copyright monopoly, bitcoin demonstrates the obsolescence of central banks and today’s entire financial sector. Like BitTorrent didn’t go head-to-head with the copyright monopoly but just circumvented it as irrelevant, bitcoin circumvents every single financial regulation as irrelevant. And like BitTorrent saw uptake in the millions, so does bitcoin.

Cryptocurrency is politically where culture-sharing was in about 1985.

Politicians didn’t care about the copyright monopoly. They didn’t. Don’t. No, they don’t, not in the slightest. That’s why the copyright industry has been given everything they point at. Now for today’s million dollar question: do you think politicians care about the authority of the central bank and the core controllability of funds, finances, and taxation?

YES. VERY MUCH.

This is going to get seriously ugly. But this time, we have a blueprint from the copyright monopoly wars. Cory Doctorow was right when he said this isn’t the war, this is just the first skirmish over control of society as a whole. The Internet generation is claiming that control, and the old industrial generation is pushing back. Hard.

We’ve already seen the magic trigger words usually applied to culture-sharing being tried on bitcoin. Like this infamous quote:

“Bitcoin is used to buy illegal drugs!”

Since this is laughably used in defense of the US Dollar, that argument cannot go uncountered by the trivial observation that “So… you’re claiming that the US Dollar isn’t?”. But we’re already seeing the arguments that were used in the copyright monopoly battle getting rehashed against the next generation of peer-to-peer technology. The exact same trigger words: organized crime, file sharing, child porn, drug trade. The trigger words that mirror the way “communism” was used in the US in the 1950. And “jazz music” before then, by the way.

Beyond bitcoin, there are technologies like Ethereum and Counterparty, which aim to make the more core services of government – incorporation, courts, arbitration – obsolete and circumvented. The old structures will not accept that development sitting down.

The entire copyright monopoly war is about to repeat. But rather than brushing it off because politicians don’t care about what’s being discussed, this time, the technology and social changes are going to be attacking the very core power of politicians head-on. This time, they will try to crush technology and its users quite deliberately, rather than out of ignorance. This time, they will hold no punches and consider no balance against rights to privacy, life, happiness, or liberty.

But this time we’re ready. This time, we have a blueprint for exactly what will happen, because the copyright monopoly wars were the tutorial missions in the game of civil liberties. To be honest, we haven’t played the tutorial very well. But we know all the adversary’s capabilities, moves, and patterns now.

The end of that development is either a Big Brother society beyond dystopian nightmares, or a society where cryptocurrency is firmly established and the copyright monopoly has also been abolished to cheers and whistles from a new, liberated generation, who have new problems to deal with instead of those that defined our grandparents’ generation.

About The Author

Rick Falkvinge is a regular columnist on TorrentFreak, sharing his thoughts every other week. He is the founder of the Swedish and first Pirate Party, a whisky aficionado, and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. His blog at falkvinge.net focuses on information policy.

Book Falkvinge as speaker?

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: The Pirate Beacon Pimps TPB With Movie Trailers and Info

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

pirate bayMany Pirate Bay users are avid movie fans, who use their favorite torrent site to discover and download fresh content.

Since not all titles immediately ring a bell, they often use third-party sites and services such as IMDb to find more info. In fact, nearly 2% of all IMDb visitors browsed The Pirate Bay before coming to the site, and vice versa.

To save these users a few clicks there is now a new browser extension that pulls up movie information automatically. The Pirate Beacon, as it’s called, shows users descriptions, IMDb ratings and trailers when users hover over Pirate Bay link.

We reached out to Jordan, the developer of Pirate Beacon, who tells us that the idea actually came from a friend who made a mockup of the discovery tool last year. After working on it for a while the project was shelved, but last Saturday he picked it up again.

A few hours of coding later The Pirate Beacon was online.

The extension uses IMDb links to gather movie info, so it’s only available for torrents that have this listed. The trailers are then pulled from trailersapi.com and when this fails a movie poster is displayed instead.

“It works pretty good for newer movies but doesn’t do so well for older ones. So if I can’t find a trailer, I fall back to the IMDb posters api to grab a movie poster for it,” Jordan says.


tpb-afk-beacon

Jordan explains that the addon will help people to gather info about movies without having to leave the site, which can be quite cumbersome at times.

“I think it is most useful for discovery purposes. If you’ve ever spent any time browsing TPB you will know that it’s somewhat annoying to see a movie that you’ve not heard of then have to go find it. This just takes that annoyance away,” Jordan.

The idea appeals to a lot of fellow Pirate Bay users as it has immediately started to gain traction. After an initial Chrome release it’s now available for Firefox too. Additionally, support for many TPB proxies has been added as well.

Jordan says he will continue to work on the project. Support for the Opera browser is one of the next items on the todo list, and he also wants to add support for more torrent sites, starting with KickassTorrents.

“I am planning to expand it to other torrent sites as well. People have been requesting it to work with some other sites. It’s now available on Firefox and Chrome and soon to be available on Opera,” he notes.

The Pirate Beacon’s source code is available on GitHub and the Chrome and Firefox extensions are up on the official site.

The MPAA, meanwhile, is trying to steer people away from The Pirate Bay. The movie group launched its own search engine earlier this week.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Hey UK: Jailing File-Sharers for Years is Shameful

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

jailMonday this week, Kane Robinson and Richard Graham, an admin and uploader of now-defunct file-sharing forum Dancing Jesus, had their lives turned upside down when they were handed jail sentences of 32 and 21 months respectively.

The pair had got involved in Dancing Jesus years ago, when they were teenagers. The site dealt in leaked music, no one disputes that, but if you knew of Dancing Jesus before the site got raided you were in the minority. It was a niche site, to say the least.

Still, the UK record labels claimed the duo had cost them around £240m ($378m) in losses. It appears the court believed them and as a result the pair are locked away at this very moment for a very long time indeed.

Sadly that estimate can only be a dramatic exaggeration. If we are to believe claims from the other side of the Atlantic, the behemoth that was Megaupload – the subject of the world’s largest copyright case – ‘only’ managed to cost the entertainment industry an alleged $500m, and that’s the estimate of a notoriously aggressive US Government.

Also, Megaupload hosted 12 billion unique files and had 100 million users. Dancing Jesus had 12,000 registered users and carried 22,500 allegedly infringing links. Robinson and Kane made no money from their activities, that much was accepted in court. Megaupload made an alleged $175m.

The sums don’t add up, anyone can see that, but at this point, today, none of that means much to the pair staring at four gray walls with devastated families at home and ruined lives behind them.

Ok, they knew what they were doing and many will argue that there needs to be some kind of punishment for distributing content to the public without permission, but this week’s sentences go way too far by most sensible standards.

Before his incarceration, Graham told TF that he’d been taking school exams when the music industry first homed in on him, and since being arrested he’d gone on to university and obtained a degree.

And leading up to Dancing Jesus, Kane Robinson was headhunted to run the official Arctic Monkeys website by the band’s manager.

“Kane’s fansite (which ironically shared their tracks for free and gained the band a lot of exposure) was receiving a lot more traffic than theirs. He ran that for several months,” Kane brother Kyle informs TF.

After the closure of Dancing Jesus, both men had put file-sharing behind them and were working in legitimate jobs. Dangerous? No. Violent? No. Dancing Jesus years behind them? No doubt. Compassion then? Not a chance.

To underline the harshness of this week’s sentences we could compare them with cases recently before the UK courts.

Consider the pilot who admitted to flying a plane whilst three times over the drink limit yet faces a maximum two years in jail? Or what about the sex offender caught file-sharing Category A-rated child abuse images on file-sharing networks? He got a 15 month suspended sentence just days after Robinson and Graham were given 32 and 21 months each.

Instead, however, let’s take a look at a file-sharing case that concluded last week in Finland. It involved a 40-year-old man also accused of making copyrighted content available to the public – 964 video files, 49,951 music tracks and 573 other sundry files to be precise.

Last week the court found the man guilty of copyright infringement, fined him 1,000 euros with 2,000 euros in legal costs. He was also ordered to pay damages to local music rights group Teosto to the tune of 1,500 euros plus 3,000 euros to IFPI. Jail wasn’t on the agenda.

Whether this is a fair punishment for the offenses in hand is for others to decide. However, it seems unlikely that those with the ability to look beyond this week’s “£240 million losses” headlines will feel that it’s proportionate for two non-violent men to spend the next few Christmas Days behind bars.

That said, in today’s legal climate it’s unrealistic to expect UK-based file-sharing site operators to simply walk away from a court without some kind of punishment, even if they did only operate a linking forum. But even then, several years in jail makes little to no sense for non-commercial operators, especially when supposed financial losses are either plucked from thin air or a product of highly speculative accounting.

The lesson here is simple. The ground rules, at least in the UK, have changed. The last three big cases in the UK (SurftheChannel, Fast and Furious ‘cammer’, Dancing Jesus) were all private prosecutions by the entertainment industries and have all ended in prison time for the defendants. There is no reason to think things are about to change.

In the meantime, people like Kane’s family are left trying to rally support on Facebook in an attempt to scrape together £5,000 in a GoFundMe fundraiser to finance an appeal aimed at achieving a more realistic sentence.

In conclusion it now appears that anyone other than low-level UK file-sharers need to consider whether their “fun” hobby is really worth losing years of their freedom over. And of course, shameful as it might be, that’s the message the industry wanted to send all along.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Mega Terminates Kim Dotcom’s Account For Repeat Infringements

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

dotcom-laptopNew Zealand-based entrepeneur Kim Dotcom has dealt with numerous copyright infringement allegations in recent years.

The United States launched a criminal case against Dotcom and wants him extradited, while the major movie and music companies filed their own suits against Megaupload’s former boss.

This week he can add another allegation to this growing list, a rather unusual one too as it comes from cloud hosting service Mega, a company he founded.

Dotcom has been using Mega to share his first music album “Good Times” with everyone who wants to give it a spin. While he holds all the rights, several prominent music labels kept informing Mega that the album was “infringing.”

A few weeks ago we learned that the takedown requests were all inaccurate, and triggered by a prankster. However, that apparently didn’t stop them from coming in and as a result Dotcom has now had his Mega account terminated for repeatedly violating the terms of service.

Those who try to grab a copy of the album via the official download link on Kim.com see the following message:

“The file you are trying to download is no longer available. The associated user account has been terminated due to multiple violations of our Terms of Service.”

megatosviol

The account termination probably won’t last as it was triggered by false takedowns. However, it shows how easy it is to abuse the takedown process to shut down people’s accounts, at least temporarily.

Previously Mega told TF that they take every takedown notice seriously, but that they also plan to set up a system where repeated false takedowns can be flagged to prevent this type of abuse in the future.

“We are improving our systems to monitor the takedown process and will eventually be able to identify repeated incorrect notices,” a Mega spokesperson said.

For now, we hope that Dotcom has his files backed up in a safe place.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Liam Neeson Downloaders Face Anti-Piracy Shakedown

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Andy. Original post: at TorrentFreak

File-sharers in the United States, Germany and the UK are particularly familiar with the tactics of so-called copyright trolls. In recent years the lucrative nature of the business has attracted many companies, all out to turn piracy into profit.

Most countries have managed to avoid the attentions of these outfits, Sweden, the spiritual home of The Pirate Bay, included. However, in a surprise move the Scandinavian country has now appeared on the file-sharing lawsuit radar.

Along with Universal Pictures and Studio Canal, Check Entertainment is one of the companies behind the 2014 Liam Neeson movie, Non-Stop. According to latest figures from Box Office Mojo it has done very well, bringing in excess of $222 million on a $50 million budget.

Nevertheless, according to Dagens Media, Check Entertainment has hired lawfirm Nordic Law to go to court in Sweden to obtain the identities of individuals said to have downloaded and shared the action thriller.

The U.S.-based company has targeted subscribers of five local Internet service providers – Com Hem, Bredbandsbolaget, Banhof, Telia Sonera and Telenor – with the aim of forcing them to turn over the names and addresses of 12 of their Internet subscribers. Data on the alleged file-sharers was captured by German anti-piracy outfit Excipio.

At this point Check Entertainment says it wants to “investigate and prosecute” the subscribers for alleged copyright infringement but if cases in the rest of the world are any yardstick the aim will be a cash settlement, not a full court case.

Interestingly, one ISP from the five has indicated that its customers do not have to be concerned about possible lawsuits or shakedowns.

Service provider Banhof, a company long associated with subscriber privacy, says it is currently the only ISP in the Swedish market that does not store data on its customers’ Internet activities.

The development dates back to April when the EU Court of Justice declared the Data Retention Directive to be invalid. In response, many Swedish ISPs stopped storing data but since then most have reversed their decision to comply with apparent obligations under the Swedish Electronic Communications Act. Banhof did not, however.

This means that even if the ISP is ordered by the court to reveal which subscribers were behind a particular IP address at a certain time, it has no data so simply cannot comply.

“We have no such data. We turned off data storage on the same day that the EU judgment was handed down,” Banhof CEO Jon Karlung told Dagens Media.

While Sweden has a long tradition of file-sharing and the state regularly prosecutes large scale file-sharers, actions against regular sharers of a single title are extremely rare, ‘trolling’ even more so.

“It’s pretty rare,” Karlung says. “It has been quite a long time since it happened last.”

The big question now is whether the courts will be sympathetic to Check Entertainment’s complaint.

“We have submitted [our case] to the district court and now we want to see what the service providers say in response,” Nordic Law’s Patrick Andersson concludes.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Anti-Piracy Firm Rightscorp On The Brink of Bankruptcy?

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

rightscorp-realFor years the entertainment industries have been complaining that online piracy hurts their revenues.

This problem has motivated people to start anti-piracy companies such as Rightscorp, a company that uses standard DMCA takedown requests to send settlement offers to alleged copyright infringers.

Rightscorp had big plans and went public last year on the NASDAQ exchange, aiming to help the biggest entertainment companies turn piracy into profit. Thus far, however, the results have been rather disappointing.

Despite teaming up with prominent names such as Warner Bros. and BMG, the company hasn’t been able to turn a profit.

In their latest SEC filing published earlier today the company reports a total loss of $2.2 million for the current year. This brings the total loss since its founding in 2011 to more than $6.5 million.

“The Company had a cumulative net loss from inception to September 30, 2014 of $6,540,194. The Company has not yet established an ongoing source of revenues sufficient to cover its operating costs and to allow it to continue as a going concern,” the SEC filing reads.

For Rightscorp to remain in business it desperately needs extra investment. The current revenue stream of $250,000 per quarter from piracy settlements doesn’t come close to covering operating costs.

In a word of caution to investors, Rightscorp warns that without extra funding the company may have to cease its operations.

“If the Company is unable to obtain adequate capital it could be forced to cease operations. Accordingly, these factors raise substantial doubt as to the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern,” the filing reads.

Investors appear to have foreseen Rightcorp’s troubles as the companies stock price continues to nosedive, straight to the bottom. This week it reached a new low of 13 cents per share.

riht

One of Rightscorp’s problems is that they can only reach a fraction of U.S. Internet subscribers. Most large ISPs, including Comcast, have thus far refused to forward their settlement demands.

Several smaller providers are not eager to forward the “settlement” DMCA notices either. In an attempt to force them to do so the company recently obtained several DMCA subpoenas against local ISPs, but these are also being protested.

Whether Rightscorp will be able to survive these setbacks has yet to be seen. One thing’s for sure though, profiting from piracy is not as easy as they had hoped.

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

The Hacker Factor Blog: No Ifs or Ands

This post was syndicated from: The Hacker Factor Blog and was written by: The Hacker Factor Blog. Original post: at The Hacker Factor Blog

A few days ago, the magazine Paper released their new issue. It features NSFW images of Kim Kardashian. (You know, one of those people who is famous for having no natural talents.) Their paper kicked off a predictable chain of events. First, people couldn’t believe that it could be real. Then they uploaded it to FotoForensics. Then the people who uploaded the nudes were banned…

Rock

Over at FotoForensics, we have seen hundreds of variants of these pictures uploaded for analysis. Each variant comes from a different site and varies in quality, size, and cropping. (And every person who has uploaded the nudes has been banned.) I’ve also received multiple inquiries, asking whether these pictures are real and decreeing the evils of representing a false body image.

There are four pictures: one image of her clothed, two partial nudes, and one full nude. Let me begin with: I will not be analyzing the nudes.

Here’s the non-nude picture, as put out by Paper magazine:

Visually, there are a couple of clear indicators that this is not a real photo. The rest can be pulled up with a forensic analysis.

  • The glass and step-stool are perfectly aligned horizontally and vertically. We also see the perfect vertical alignment on her far glove. Perfect grid alignment doesn’t happen in real life. In real life, the camera is never perfectly level to the objects.

  • The spray from the glass is uneven. It mostly goes backward and not forward. When the artists put in the spray, he chose not to make it look like it was splashing into the dress.
  • Either Kim is a contortionist in ways that were not demonstrated in her 2007 leaked sex video, or her back would need to be broken to achieve that angle.
  • The biometrics indicate that her neck was stretched, back was spliced, and her forearms were repositioned.
  • The light gradient identifies areas where her belly was tucked in, her arms were remodeled, her face was cleaned up, and where the artist really screwed up on her back shoulder.

  • But what about the stream going over her head? A simple histogram equalization shows that it is missing part of the shadow on the left. (Oops…) The entire stream was digitally added.

  • The compression level (ELA) across the image is very high. The background shows rainbowing, which is a strong indicator of an Adobe product. But the rest of it does not really identify any edits. With ELA, repeated resaves lowers the quality, while repeated edits raise the quality. This picture has undergone repeated edits that have increased the error level potential to the point that the edits do not stand out.
  • A metadata analysis reveals that it was likely first captured with one or more pictures from a Phase One IQ 250 camera (serial number GR001047). However, it is also a composite, with at least 13 paste/place operations — see the “Document Ancestors” records in the metadata. The modifications were made with Adobe Photoshop CS6 for the Macintosh. A deeper metadata analysis even identifies that it was last printed on an Officejet Pro 8600 printer.

The short response is that none of the pictures are actual photos. They are all altered images.

Scissors

The thing most people missed was that these pictures were by artist Jean Paul Goude. Goude is known for taking photos, splicing pieces around, and the smoothing out the final result. This splicing technique is not intended to create realistic body images. Over at Goude’s web site are a series of pictures that show how he creates his art (with someone who is not Kim):

Over at Reddit, CopeSe7en has an excellent summary of how the champagne picture was created.

1 shot of model bent over with glass on butt.

1 shot of model in that pose holding bottle.

1 shot of champagne landing in a glass.

1 shot of champagne blowing out of the bottle.

2-3 shots of a long stream of champagne and some mist.

Combine the first 2 shots of the model into what you see here. Then replace the glass from the stem up with the image of champagne landing in a glass. Replace the top of the bottle with the shot of the exploding bottle. Then use the few champagne stream and mist photos to build a long stream of champagne flying around the model.

From an artistic viewpoint, it is not my type of art. I’m more fond of Tom Everhart, Edward Gorey, and Holly Kitaura. But some people, like the editors at Paper, were very please with the result.

From a technical viewpoint, this is an interesting artistic method. The results are entertaining, as long as you suspend disbelief. And while Goude’s splice job was better than most, it still was far from perfect.

However, let’s be clear: the resulting image is a caricature, an illustration, an exaggeration based loosely on the likeness of Kim Kardashian. For people who just want to see a nude Kim, you can get the same results by pasting a picture of her head onto any other nude body. And for people concerned about misrepresenting body images, you need to remember: this is not real and it was never intended to be interpreted as real.

Paper

Paper wrote that they wanted to “break the Internet” with these pictures. But really, they didn’t break anything. Whenever celebrities pull stunts like this, we see a very specific sequence of events at FotoForensics. First, people upload the pictures — they almost always upload the clothed picture first, and then the nudes. A few people stop there, but most do not. After uploading Kim’s nudes, they begin uploading nudes from other sites. And then the child porn begins to appear…

In this case, we saw the entire cycle — from clothed to kiddie porn — in a 20 hour period. The new banning system has been catching people, usually in minutes. (And with our new reporting system, we are able to report pedophiles in seconds. You may not have a login at FotoForensics, but on the Internet nobody is anonymous.)

Sometimes I think that I’m the only person who sees the irony in these pictures. Back in August and September, there was a big hoopla about some anonymous people releasing nude celebrity photos from compromised accounts. Kim wasn’t part of the first release of photos. (That just shows how far down the D-list scale she really is.) But Kim was included in the second volley of celebrity nudes.

Personally, I think that Kim had leaked her own nude selfie last September since it was photoshopped the same way she alters her other pictures. (I serious doubt that the folks at 4chan tried to “enhance” her selfie.) And since it didn’t get much attention, she’s now trying to “break the Internet”. Personally, I find her continued need for attention to be pathetic… Maybe people would pay more attention to her if she stopped putting on layers of Fotoshop by Adobé. But as it is, she continually displays a deep need for attention, so everyone should talk about her. Now.

Then again, these pictures came out right before Thanksgiving: a holiday when we celebrate turkeys.