Posts tagged ‘Copyright’

TorrentFreak: Hustler Hustles Tor Exit-Node Operator Over Piracy

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

torFaced with the growing threat of online file-sharing, Hustler committed to “turning piracy into profit” several years ago.

The company has not been very active on this front in the United States, but more so in Europe. In Finland for example Hustler is sending out settlement demands for hundreds of euros to alleged pirates.

A few days ago one of these letters arrived at the doorstep of Sebastian Mäki, identifying the IP-address through which he offers a Tor exit-node. According to Hustler the IP-address had allegedly transferred a copy of Hustler’s “This Ain’t Game Of Thrones XXX.”

The letter is sent by lawfirm Hedman Partners who urge Mäki to pay 600 euros ($800) in damages or face worse.

However, Mäki has no intention to pay up. Besides running a Tor exit-node and an open wireless network through the connection, he also happens to be Vice-President of a local Pirate Party branch. As such, he has a decent knowledge of how to counter these threats.

“All we can do at the moment is fight against these trolls, and they are preying on easy victims, who have no time nor energy to fight and often are afraid of the embarrassment that could follow, because apparently porn is still a taboo somewhere,” Mäki tells TorrentFreak.

So instead of paying up, the Tor exit-node operator launched a counter attack. He wrote a lengthy reply to Hustler’s lawyers accusing them of blackmail.

“According to Finnish law, wrongfully forcing someone to dispose of their financial interests is known as blackmail. Threatening to make known one’s porn watching habits unless someone coughs up money sounds to me like activities for which you can get a sentence.”

Mäki explains that an IP-address is not necessarily a person and that Hustler’s copyright trolling is likely to affect innocent Internet users. Because of this, he has decided to report these dubious practices to the police.

“I am also concerned that other innocent citizens might not have as much time, energy, or wealth to fight back. Because your actions have the potential to cause so much damage to innocent bystanders, I find it morally questionable and made a police report.”

Whether the police will follow up on the complaint remains to be seen, but Hustler will have to take its hustling elsewhere for now. They clearly targeted the wrong person here, in more ways than one.

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

TorrentFreak: ISP Alliance Accepts Piracy Crackdown, With Limits

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

us-ausFollowing last week’s leaked draft from Hollywood, Aussie ISPs including Telstra, iiNet and Optus have published their submission in response to a request by Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

While the movie industry’s anti-piracy proposal demonstrates a desire to put ISPs under pressure in respect of their pirating customers, it comes as no surprise that their trade group, the Communications Alliance, has other things in mind.

The studios would like to see a change in copyright law to remove service providers’ safe harbor if they even suspect infringement is taking place on their networks but fail to take action, but the ISPs reject that.

ISP liability

“We urge careful consideration of the proposal to extend the authorization liability within the Copyright Act, because such an amendment has the potential to capture many other entities, including schools, universities, internet cafes, retailers, libraries and cloud-based services in ways that may hamper their legitimate activities and disadvantage consumers,” they write.

But while the ISPs are clear they don’t want to be held legally liable for customer piracy, they have given the clearest indication yet that they are in support of a piracy crackdown involving subscribers. Whether one would work is up for debate, however.

Graduated response

“[T]here is little or no evidence to date that [graduated response] schemes are successful, but no shortage of examples where such schemes have been
distinctly unsuccessful. Nonetheless, Communications Alliance remains willing to engage in good faith discussions with rights holders, with a view to agreeing on a scheme to address online copyright infringement, if the Government maintains that such a scheme is desirable,” they write.

If such as scheme could be agreed on, the ISPs say it would be a notice-and-notice system that didn’t carry the threat of ISP-imposed customer sanctions.

“Communications Alliance notes and supports the Government’s expectation, expressed in the paper that an industry scheme, if agreed, should not provide for the interruption of a subscriber’s internet access,” they note.

However, the appointment of a “judicial/regulatory /arbitration body” with the power to apply “meaningful sanctions” to repeat infringers is supported by the ISPs, but what those sanctions might be remains a mystery.

On the thorny issue of costs the ISPs say that the rightsholders must pay for everything. Interestingly, they turn the copyright holders’ claims of huge piracy losses against them, by stating that if just two-thirds of casual infringers change their ways, the video industry alone stands to generate AUS$420m (US$392) per year. On this basis they can easily afford to pay, the ISPs say.

Site blocking

While warning of potential pitfalls and inadvertent censorship, the Communications Alliance accepts that done properly, the blocking of ‘pirate’ sites could help to address online piracy.

“Although site blocking is a relatively blunt instrument and has its share of weaknesses and limitations, we believe that an appropriately structured and safeguarded injunctive relief scheme could play an important role in addressing online copyright infringement in Australia,” the Alliance writes.

One area in which the ISPs agree with the movie studios is in respect of ISP “knowledge” of infringement taking place in order for courts to order a block. The system currently employed in Ireland, where knowledge is not required, is favored by both parties, but the ISPs insist that the copyright holders should pick up the bill, from court procedures to putting the blocks in place.

The Alliance also has some additional conditions. The ISPs say they are only prepared to block “clearly, flagrantly and totally infringing websites” that exist outside Australia, and only those which use piracy as their main source of revenue.

Follow the Money

Pointing to the project currently underway in the UK coordinated by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, the Communications Alliance says that regardless of the outcome on blocking, a “follow the money” approach should be employed against ‘pirate’ sites. This is something they already have an eye on.

“Some ISP members of Communications Alliance already have policies in place which prevent any of their advertising spend being directed to sites that promote or facilitate improper file sharing. Discussions are underway as to whether a united approach could be adopted by ISPs whereby the industry generally agrees on measures or policies to ensure the relevant websites do not benefit from any of the industry’s advertising revenues,” the ISPs note.

Better access to legal content

The Communications Alliance adds that rightsholders need to do more to serve their customers, noting that improved access to affordable content combined with public education on where to find it is required.

“We believe that for any scheme designed to address online copyright infringement to be sustainable it must also stimulate innovation by growing the digital content market, so Australians can continue to access and enjoy new and emerging content, devices and technologies.

“The ISP members of Communications Alliance remain willing to work toward an approach that balances the interests of all stakeholders, including consumers,” they conclude.

Conclusion

While some harmonies exist, the submissions from the movie studios and ISPs carry significant points of contention, with each having the power to completely stall negotiations. With legislative change hanging in the air, both sides will be keen to safeguard their interests on the key issues, ISP liability especially.

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

TorrentFreak: The Next-Generation Copyright Monopoly Wars Will Be Much Worse

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

copyright-brandedWe’ve been manufacturing our own copies of knowledge and culture without a license for quite some time now, a practice known first as mixtaping and then as file-sharing.

Home mass manufacturing of copies of culture and knowledge started some time in the 1980s with the Cassette Tape, the first widely available self-contained unit capable of recording music. It made the entire copyright industry go up in arms and demand “compensation” for activities that were not covered by their manufacturing monopoly, which is why we now pay protection money to the copyright industry in many countries for everything from cellphones to games consoles.

The same industry demanded harsh penalties – criminal penalties – for those who manufactured copies at home without a license rather than buying the expensive premade copies. Over the next three decades, such criminal penalties gradually crept into law, mostly because no politician thinks the issue is important enough to defy anybody on.

A couple of key patent monopolies on 3D printing are expiring as we speak, making next-generation 3D printing much, much higher quality. 3D printers such as this one are now appearing on Kickstarter, “printers” (more like fabs) that use laser sintering and similar technologies instead of layered melt deposit.

We’re now somewhere in the 1980s-equivalent of the next generation of copyright monopoly wars, which is about to spread to physical objects. The copyright industry is bad – downright atrociously cynically evil, sometimes – but nobody in the legislature gives them much thought. Wait until this conflict spreads outside the copyright industry, spreads to pretty much every manufacturing industry.

People are about to be sued out of their homes for making their own slippers instead of buying a pair.

If you think that sounds preposterous, that’s exactly what has been going on in the copyright monopoly wars so far, with people manufacturing their own copies of culture and knowledge instead of buying ready-made copies. There’s no legal difference to manufacturing a pair of slippers without having a license for it.

To be fair, a pair of slippers may be covered by more monopolies than just the copyright monopoly (the drawing) – it may be covered by a utility patent monopoly, a design patent monopoly, possibly a geographic indication if it’s some weird type of slipper, and many more arcane and archaic types of monopolies. Of course, people in general can’t tell the difference between a “utility patent”, a “design patent”, a “copyright duplication right”, a “copyright broadcast right”, a “related right”, and so on. To most people, it’s all just “the copyright monopoly” in broad strokes.

Therefore, it’s irrelevant to most people whether the person who gets sued out of their home for fabbing their own slippers from a drawing they found is technically found guilty of infringing the copyright monopoly (maybe) or a design patent (possibly). To 95% or more, it’s just “more copyright monopoly bullshit”. And you know what? Maybe that’s good.

The next generation of wars over knowledge, culture, drawings, information, and data is just around the corner, and it’s going to get much uglier with more stakes involved on all sides. We have gotten people elected to parliaments (and stayed there) on the conflict just as it stands now. As this divide deepens, and nothing suggests it won’t, then people will start to pay more attention.

And maybe, just maybe, that will be the beginning of the end of these immoral and deeply unjust monopolies known as copyrights and patents.

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: “Six Strikes” Anti-Piracy Warnings Double This Year

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

pirate-runningFebruary last year, five U.S. Internet providers started sending Copyright Alerts to customers who use BitTorrent to pirate movies, TV-shows and music.

These efforts are part of the Copyright Alert System, an anti-piracy plan that aims to educate the public. Through a series of warnings suspected pirates are informed that their connections are being used to share copyrighted material without permission, and told where they can find legal alternatives.

During the first ten months of the program more than more than 1.3 million anti-piracy alerts were sent out. That was just a ramp up phase though. This year the number of alerts will grow significantly.

“The program doubles in size this year,” says Jill Lesser, Executive Director of the overseeing Center for Copyright Information (CCI).

Lesser joined a panel at the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum where the Copyright Alert System was the main topic of discussion. While the media has focused a lot on the punishment side, Lesser notes that the main goal is to change people’s norms and regain their respect for copyright.

“The real goal here is to shift social norms and behavior. And to almost rejuvenate the notion of the value of copyright that existed in the world of books and vinyl records,” Lesser said.

The notifications are a “slap on the wrist” according to Lesser, but one which is paired with information explaining where people can get content legally.

In addition to sending more notices, the CCI will also consider adding more copyright holders and ISPs to the mix. Thus far the software and book industries have been left out, for example, and the same is true for smaller Internet providers.

“We’ve had lots of requests from content owners in other industries and ISPs to join, and how we do that is I think going to be a question for the year coming up,” Lesser noted.

Also present at the panel was Professor Chris Sprigman, who noted that the piracy problem is often exaggerated by copyright holders. Among other things, he gave various examples of how creative output has grown in recent years.

“This problem has been blown up into something it’s not. Do I like piracy? Not particularly. Do I think it’s a threat to our creative economy? Not in any area that I’ve seen,” Sprigman noted.

According to the professor the Copyright Alert System is very mild and incredible easy to evade, which is a good thing in his book.

The professor believes that it’s targeted at casual pirates, telling them that they are being watched. This may cause some to sign up for a VPN or proxy, but others may in fact change their behavior in the long run.

“Do I think that this is a solution to the piracy problem. No. But I think this is a way of reducing the size of it over time, possibly changing social norms over time. That could be productive. Not perfect but an admirable attempt,” Sprigman said.

Just how effective this attempt will be at changing people’s piracy habits is something that has yet to be seen.

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

TorrentFreak: Warner Bros. Sues New York Bar For Playing 80-Year Old Song

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

giacomoMany bars, pubs and restaurants like to entertain their guests with live music, with bands often playing covers of recent hits or golden oldies.

As with all music that’s performed in public, the bar owners are required to pay the royalties, even if there are just handful of listeners present.

Royalty collection agencies take this obligation very seriously and drive around the country visiting local bars and pubs to check whether they obey the law. Those who don’t usually get a bill in the mailbox, and if they refuse to pay up it gets worse.

Every year hundreds of small establishments are sued by copyright holders, often with help from performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI. This week, Giacomo Jacks, a restaurant/bar from Amityville, New York, became a target.

The bar is being sued by Warner Bros. and Pure Songs for playing two songs without permission back in February. As they failed to secure the rights, Giacomo Jacks now faces a maximum of $60,000 in damages.

While these lawsuits are fairly common, the song over which Warner Bros is suing stands out immediately, as it’s more than 80 years old.

The song in question is the classic love song “I Only Have Eyes for You,” written by Harry Warren and lyricist Al Dubin and used in Warner Bros’ 1934 movie Dames. Since then it has been covered dozens of times, including the well-known Flamingos version.

I Only Have Eyes for You (1934)
copyreg

In the lawsuit Warner Bros. claims to have been severely harmed by the public performance in the Amityville bar, for which it demands proper compensation. Since the actual damage can’t be calculated they ask for up to $30,000 per infringement.

“The said wrongful acts of the Defendants have caused and are causing great injury to the Plaintiffs, which damage cannot be accurately computed, and unless this Court restrains the Defendants from the further commission of said acts, said Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable injury,” the complaint (pdf) reads.

While Warner Bros. appear to be on sound legal ground (the song’s copyright only expires after 95 years) suing a small local business over a 80-year old song is not the best PR. That said, considering previous cases that dealt with the same issue, Giacomo Jacks will most likely lose the case or end up paying a hefty settlement fee.

Meanwhile, various unauthorized copies of the track are played hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube and elsewhere.

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

TorrentFreak: MPAA Research: Blocking The Pirate Bay Works, So…..

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

blocktpb1Website blocking has become one of the favorite anti-piracy tools of the entertainment industries in recent years.

The UK is a leader on this front, with the High Court ordering local ISPs to block access to dozens of popular file-sharing sites, including The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents.

Not everyone is equally excited about these measures and researchers have called their effectiveness into question. This prompted a Dutch court to lift The Pirate Bay blockade a few months ago. The MPAA, however, hopes to change the tide and prove these researchers wrong.

Earlier today Hollywood’s anti-piracy wish list was revealed through a leaked draft various copyright groups plan to submit to the Australian Government. Buried deep in the report is a rather intriguing statement that refers to internal MPAA research regarding website blockades.

“Recent research of the effectiveness of site blocking orders in the UK found that visits to infringing sites blocked declined by more than 90% in total during the measurement period or by 74.5% when proxy sites are included,” it reads.

MPAA internal research
mpaa-leak

In other words, MPAA’s own data shows that website blockades do help to deter piracy. Without further details on the methodology it’s hard to evaluate the findings, other than to say that they conflict with previous results.

But there is perhaps an even more interesting angle to the passage than the results themselves.

Why would the MPAA take an interest in the UK blockades when Hollywood has its own anti-piracy outfit (FACT) there? Could it be that the MPAA is planning to push for website blockades in the United States?

This is not the first sign to point in that direction. Two months ago MPAA boss Chris Dodd said that ISP blockades are one of the most effective anti-tools available.

Combine the above with the fact that the United States is by far the biggest traffic source for The Pirate Bay, and slowly the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place.

It seems only a matter of time before the MPAA makes a move towards website blocking in the United States. Whether that’s through a voluntary agreement or via the courts, something is bound to happen.

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

TorrentFreak: Leaked Draft Reveals Hollywood’s Anti-Piracy Plans

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

us-ausAs the discussions over the future of anti-piracy legislation in Australia continue, a draft submission has revealed the wish-list of local movie groups and their Hollywood paymasters.

The draft, a response to a request by Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull for submissions on current anti-piracy proposals, shows a desire to apply extreme pressure to local ISPs.

The authors of the draft (obtained by Crikey, subscription, ) are headed up by the Australia Screen Association, the anti-piracy group previously known as AFACT. While local company Village Roadshow is placed front and center, members including the Motion Picture Association, Disney, Paramount, Sony, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal and Warner make for a more familiar read.

Australian citizens – the world’s worst pirates

The companies begin with scathing criticism of the Australian public, branding them the world’s worst pirates, despite the ‘fact’ that content providers “have ensured the ready availability of online digital platforms and education of consumers on where they can acquire legitimate digital content.” It’s a bold claim that will anger many Australians, who even today feel like second-class consumers who have to wait longer and pay more for their content.

So what can be done about the piracy problem?

The draft makes it clear – litigation against individuals isn’t going to work and neither is legal action against “predominantly overseas” sites. The answer, Hollywood says, can be found in tighter control of what happens on the Internet.

Increased ISP liability

In a nutshell, the studios are still stinging over their loss to ISP iiNet in 2012. So now, with the help of the government, they hope to introduce amendments to copyright law in order to remove service providers’ safe harbor if they even suspect infringement is taking place on their networks but fail to take action.

“A new provision would deem authorization [of infringement] to occur where an ISP fails to take reasonable steps – which are also defined inclusively to include compliance with a Code or Regulations – in response to infringements of copyright it knows or reasonably suspects are taking place on its network,” the draft reads.

“A provision in this form would provide great clarity around the steps that an ISP would be required to take to avoid a finding of authorization and provide the very kind of incentive for the ISP to cooperate in the development of a Code.”

With “incentives” in place for them to take “reasonable steps”, ISPs would be expected to agree to various measures (outlined by a ‘Code’ or legislation) to “discourage or reduce” online copyright infringement in order to maintain their safe harbor. It will come as no surprise that subscriber warnings are on the table.

‘Voluntary’ Graduated Response

“These schemes, known as ‘graduated response schemes’, are based on a clear allocation of liability to ISPs that do not (by complying with the scheme) take steps to address copyright infringement by their users,” the studios explain.

“While this allocation of liability does not receive significant attention in most discussions of graduated response schemes, common sense dictates that the schemes would be unlikely to exist (much less be complied with by ISPs) in the absence of this basic incentive structure.”

While pointing out that such schemes are in place in eight countries worldwide, the movie and TV companies say that a number of them contain weaknesses, a trap that Australia must avoid.

“There are flaws in a number of these models, predominantly around the allocation of costs and lack of effective mitigation measures which, if mirrored in Australia, would make such a scheme ineffective and unlikely to be used,” the paper reads.

It appears that the studios believe that the US model, the Copyright Alerts System (CAS), is what Australia should aim for since it has “effective mitigation measures” and they don’t have to foot the entire bill.

“Copyright owners would pay their own costs of identifying the infringements and notifying these to the ISP, while ISPs would bear the costs of matching the IP addresses in the infringement notices to subscribers, issuing the notices and taking any necessary technical mitigation measures,” they explain.

In common with the CAS in the United States, providers would be allowed discretion on mitigation measures for persistent infringers. However, the studios also imply that ISPs’ ‘power to prevent’ piracy should extend to the use of customer contracts.

“[Power] to prevent piracy would include both direct and indirect power and definitions around the nature of the relationship which would recognize the significance of contractual relationships and the power that they provide to prevent or avoid online piracy,” they write.

Voluntary agreements, required by law, one way or another

The key is to make ISPs liable first, the studios argue, then negotiations on a “voluntary” scheme should fall into place.

“Once the authorization liability scheme is amended to make clear that ISPs will be liable for infringements of copyright by their subscribers which they know about but do not take reasonable steps to prevent or avoid, an industry code prescribing the content of those ‘reasonable steps’ is likely to be agreed between rightsholders and ISPs without excessively protracted negotiations.”

However, any failure by the ISPs to come to the table voluntarily should be met by legislative change.

“In the absence of any current intention of and incentive for ISPs in Australia to support such a scheme (and the strong opposition from some ISPs) legislative recognition of the reasonable steps involved in such a scheme is necessary,” they write.

Site blocking

Due to “weakness” in current Australian law in respect of ISP liability, site blocking has proved problematic. What the studios want is a “no-fault” injunction (similar to the model in Ireland) which requires ISPs to block sites like The Pirate Bay without having to target the ISPs themselves.

“Not being the target of a finding against it, an ISP is unlikely to oppose the injunction – as long as the procedural requirements for the injunction are met. Once made, a blocking injunction would immediately prevent Australian internet users from being tempted to or accessing the blocked sites,” the studios explain.

Despite The Pirate Bay doubling its traffic in the face of extensive blocking across Europe, the movie companies believe that not blocking in Australia is part of the problem.

“The absence of a no-fault procedure may explain the very high rates of film and TV piracy in Australia when compared with European countries
that have such a procedure,” they write.

Unsurprisingly, the studios want to keep the bar low when it comes to such injunctions.

“The extended injunctive relief provision should not require the Court to be satisfied that the dominant purpose of the website is to infringe copyright,” they urge.

“Raising the level of proof in this way would severely compromise the effectiveness of the new provision in that it would become significantly more difficult for rightsholders to obtain an injunction under the scheme: allegedly non-infringing content would be pointed to in each case, not for reasons of freedom of access to information on the internet, but purely as a basis to defeat the order.”

The studios also want the ISPs to pick up the bill on site-blocking.

“[Courts in Europe] have ordered the costs of site blocking injunctions be borne by the ISP. The Australian Film/TV Bodies submit that the same position should be adopted in Australia, especially as it is not likely that the evidence would be any different on a similar application here,” they add.

Conclusion

If the studios get everything they’ve asked for in Australia, the ensuing framework could become the benchmark for models of the future. There’s a still a long way to go, however, and some ISPs – iiNet in particular – won’t be an easy nut to crack.

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

TorrentFreak: Lionsgate Targets Downloaders of Expendables 3 Leak

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

expendablespiracyOver the past few weeks movie studio Lionsgate has rolled out an unprecedented anti-piracy campaign to stop people from sharing leaked copies of The Expendables 3.

Aside from dragging six file-sharing sites to court, Lionsgate sent out hundreds of thousands of takedown notices to websites that linked to pirated copies of the leaked movie.

As a result all traces of the movie were completely wiped from many file-sharing sites. However, the movie studio still isn’t satisfied and is now going after individual downloaders as well.

Lionsgate has started sending takedown notices targeting people sharing the movie via BitTorrent. The notices are being sent to various ISPs who are urged to forward them to the customers whose accounts were monitored sharing the movie.

Interestingly, this also includes those who use remote servers known as BitTorrent seedboxes. While many believe that seedboxes keep them safe from the prying eyes of piracy monitoring firms, this is not always the case. Yesterday, a customer of the Canadian seedbox provider Whatbox received the following notice.

Copyright warning
expendable-seedbox

Via an email Whatbox urged the customer to delete the file in question, or face account suspension.

“A copyright complaint has been received for content existing on your account. To prevent account suspension, please delete the affected content within the next 24 hours,” the notice reads.

TorrentFreak contacted Whatbox, who explained that this takedown procedure is standard policy. As an Internet access provider it properly processes all incoming requests form copyright holders.

“When we receive a notice we check for the infohash and email the appropriate customer asking them to remove the file(s). Nothing is passed along to the copyright enforcement group except to confirm that the content was found and subsequently removed,” Anthony Ryan of Whatbox says.

“If a customer causes a large number of copyright complaints, we reserve the right terminate their service with a prorated refund and 24 hours of complimentary service to backup all their non-infringing files,” Ryan adds.

The above notice confirms that Lionsgate’s takedown efforts are now targeting individual downloaders, through their ISPs. The action appears limited to warning letters and at least for now there are no signs that Lionsgate will drag file-sharers to court.

Nu Image, another studio involved in the production of The Expendables 3, hasn’t taken any legal action either. However, they are more familiar with the topic than Lionsgate, as they sued a record breaking 23,322 U.S. Internet users for downloading a copy of the first Expendables film.

To be continued?

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

TorrentFreak: Anti-Piracy Lawyer Wants Domain Registrars to Silence Critics

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

Several years ago when suing BitTorrent users was gaining in popularity, lawyers on both sides of the copyright fence saw there was good money to be made by getting involved.

On the one hand some lawyers teamed up with piracy monitoring firms to track and then file lawsuits against file-sharers in the hope of grabbing some quick and easy settlement cash. On the other were the “good guys”, lawyers who helped Joe Public defend against the corporate might of those who by now were being openly described as “trolls”.

One such “good guy” was Mike Meier, a DC attorney who previously placed on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s list of file-sharing defense lawyers.

“In my opinion, [settlement outfits] are bill collectors for the movie industry,” Meier said at the time. “They’re basically extorting money”.

Then in November 2011, SJD over at the FightCopyrightTrolls website noticed something interesting. A redesign of Meier’s website revealed that the lawyer had switched sides. No longer was he championing those wrongly accused by “trolls”, but instead the site was acting as an information portal for people Meier himself had sued.

The FightCopyrightTrolls (FCT) article on the topic has remained intact for almost three years but last Friday Meier tried to have it taken down. He went about that in a quite unusual way too, by bypassing the FCT website operators, bypassing their webhost, and going straight for their domain registrar.

Writing directly to registrar Internet.bs, Meier said that various pages on FCT were not only defamatory and libelous, but also infringed upon his copyrights.

“You are hosting a website with information that infringes on my copyrights and defames me. I am requesting that you take that information down immediately,” his letter to Internet.bs reads.

While Meier’s other allegations are focused here, his copyright complaint appears to be directed at screenshots of his website posted by FCT which provide commentary and criticism of Meier’s transformation from one side of the settlement fence to the other.

Meier’s website before the transformation

Meier’s website after the transformation

In his communication with Internet.bs, Meier goes on to warn the registrar that as a service provider the law requires it “to remove or disable access to the infringing materials upon receiving this notice” or risk losing its immunity from having a lawsuit brought against itself.

Despite Internet.bs not “hosting a website” as Meier claims, it didn’t stop him from doubling up on his takedown efforts. The domain registrar of another site, ExtortionLetter.info, also received a DMCA notice from Meier after it partially reproduced the article originally published by FCT in 2011 and commented on the same.

To date Meier’s actions appear to have had very little effect, the effect he was hoping for at least. Neither FightCopyrightTrolls nor ExtortionLetter have been taken down in whole or in part by their domain registrars, and the articles in question have now become renewed topics of discussion after being forgotten for several years.

Add to that the method of complaint – what appear to be a pair of flawed DMCA notices sent by an apparent copyright expert – and the information that Meier hoped to suppress will now be more visible than ever before.

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

TorrentFreak: Russian Govt. Plans Tougher Anti-Piracy Legislation

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

In an effort to crack down on rampant online piracy, last August Russia introduced a brand new anti-piracy law.

The legislation provides a mechanism for sites to be blocked should they not comply with rightsholder takedown requests within 72 hours.

The ultimate sanction was applied in a limited number of cases during the first year leaving rightsholders with many complaints, not least that the law only applies to movies and TV shows.

For months the authorities have been investigated ways to boost the legislation and in early July a set of amendments were passed following their second reading. They are currently being considered by the lower house of parliament, the State Duma.

According to Deputy Duma Speaker Sergei Zhelezniak, it is likely they will return for a further reading during the fall, this time containing provisions for the protection of music, books and software.

“Most likely, we will table amendments at the beginning of the autumn session,” Zhelezniak told a meeting of the copyright protection working group.

Zhelezniak says that legislators have carefully studied the proposals of the executive authorities and generally agreed that there should be tightened penalties for owners of Internet sites which intentionally engage in piracy. These sites will be blocked by court order and placed in a “special register”.

Ministry of Culture State Secretary Grigory Ivliev says that the government wants to increase the level of fines levied against those who engage in the piracy of music, books and software. For businesses fines could be increased to around one million rubles ($26,600) while individuals could face fines up to 300,000 rubles ($8,300)

If all goes to plan, the new amendments could in force as early as this December.

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

TorrentFreak: BBC & FACT Shut Down Doctor Who Fansite

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

doctorwhoIn just a few hours time the brand new season of Doctor Who will premiere, kicking off with the first episode ‘Deep Breath’. There’s been a huge build up in the media, but for fans who prefer to socialize and obtain news via a dedicated community, today brings bad news.

Doctor Who Media (DWM) was a site created in 2010 and during the ensuing four and a half years it amassed around 25,000 dedicated members.

A source close to the site told TF that since nothing like it existed officially, DWM’s core focus was to provide a central location and community for everything in the “Whoniverse”, from reconstructions of missing episodes to the latest episodes, and whatever lay between.

But yesterday, following a visit by representatives from the BBC and Federation Against Copyright Theft, the site’s operator took the decision to shut down the site for good.

“I had a knock at the door and a couple of guys were there. One from FACT and one from BBCWW [BBC Worldwide]. The FACT guy basically explained what the issue was, said that he was there to give a cease and desist and wanted the domain transferred,” the site’s operator informs TorrentFreak.

With threats of executing an official search warrant and taking the matter to court if terms could not be reached, there was never any question of embarking on a losing battle. With the user database secured, an agreement was quickly reached to close down the site and transfer the domain.

Interestingly, however, the domain name will not be going to FACT as is usually the case. Doctor Who Media’s operator told TF that it will be transferred to the BBC as there are trademark issues involved.

“DWM may have been a major factor of my life for the past few years, but I wasn’t going to let it ruin me, so I agreed, signed, the guy wrote down his mobile number in case there were any issues and then they went. They were about as nice as you could expect given the situation. It’s only a job after all,” he concludes.

The tip about the site’s shutdown came from a DWM user who told TF that he’ll be sad to see its doors close for the final time.

“I can’t speak for others but having that content available really helped raise my interest level in Doctor Who. Often times, having watched stuff there led to me purchasing the exact same content on iTunes as well as all the various other content available for Doctor Who,” he explained.

And now, all eyes turn to the season premiere tonight. As of yesterday, all but the final episode of the brand new season had leaked to file-sharing sites, although it’s worth pointing out that Doctor Who Media refused to carry any of that content.

Will the leaks have a positive or negative impact on viewing figures? There’s only a few hours to find out, but it’s doubtful the BBC will be weeping following tonight’s episode.

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

TorrentFreak: No VPN on Earth Can Protect Careless Pirates

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

pirate-cardLast year, Philip Danks, a man from the West Midlands, UK, went into a local cinema and managed to record the movie Fast and Furious 6. He later uploaded that content to the Internet.

After pleading guilty, this week Wolverhampton Crown Court sentenced him to an unprecedented 33 months in prison.

The Federation Against Copyright Theft are no doubt extremely pleased with this result. After their successful private prosecution, the Hollywood-affiliated anti-piracy group is now able to place Danks’ head on a metaphorical pike, a clear warning to other would-be cammers. But just how difficult was this operation?

There’s often a lot of mystery attached to the investigations process in a case like this. How are individuals like Danks tracked and found? Have FACT placed spies deep into file-sharing sites? Are the authorities sniffing traffic and breaking pirates’ VPN encryption?

Or are they spending half an hour with Google and getting most of it handed to them on a plate? In Danks’ case, that appears to be exactly what happened.

Something that many millions of people use online is a nickname, and Danks was no exception. His online alias in the torrenting scene was TheCod3r, and as shown below it is clearly visible in the release title.

Kick-up

The idea behind aliases is that they provide a way to mask a real name. Military uses aside, adopting an alternative communications identity was something popularized in the 70s with the advent of Citizens Band radio. The practice continues online today, with many people forced to adopt one to register with various services.

However, what many in the file-sharing scene forget is that while aliases on a torrent site might be useful, they become as identifying as a real name when used elsewhere in ‘regular’ life. The screenshot below shows one of Danks’ first huge mistakes.

Fish-Google

Clicking that link on dating site Plenty of Fish (POF) reveals a whole range of information about a person who, at the very least, uses the same online nickname as Danks. There’s no conclusive proof that it’s the same person, but several pieces of information begin to build a picture.

In his POF profile, Danks reveals his city as being Willenhall, a small town situated in an area known locally as the Black Country. What FACT would’ve known soon after the movie leaked online was which cinema it had been recorded in. That turned out to be a Showcase cinema, just a few minutes up the road from Willenhall in the town of Walsall.

Also revealed on Danks’ POF profile is his full name and age. When you have that, plus a town, you can often find a person’s address on the UK’s Electoral Register.

It’s also trivial to find social networking pages. Not only do pictures on Danks’ POF profile match those on his Facebook page, he also has a revealing movie item listed in his interests section.

fb-1

Of course, none of this in itself is enough to build a decent case, but when you have the police on board as FACT did, things can be sped up somewhat. On May 23, 2013 Danks was raided and then, just two days later, he did something quite astonishing.

Posting on his Facebook page, the then 24-year-old took to his Facebook account (he has two) to mock the makers of Fast and Furious 6.

“Seven billion people and I was the first. F*** you Universal Pictures,” he wrote.

Also amazing was Danks’ apparent disregard for the predicament he was in. On May 10, 2013, Danks again took to Facebook, this time to advertise that he was selling copies of movies including Robocop and Captain America.

sale

This continued distribution of copyrighted material particularly aggravated the Court at his sentencing hearing this week, with Danks’ behavior being described as “bold, arrogant and cocksure offending.”

While the list of events above clearly shows a catalog of errors that some might even find amusing, the desire of many pirates to utilize the same nickname across many sites is a common one employed by some of the biggest in the game.

Once these and other similar indicators migrate across into real-life identities and activities (and the ever-present Facebook account of course), joining the dots is not difficult – especially for the police and outfits like FACT. And once that happens, no amount of VPN encryption of lack of logging is going to put the genie back in the bottle.

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

TorrentFreak: Fast & Furious 6 Pirate Sentenced to 33 Months Prison

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

During May 2013, TorrentFreak received an email from an individual in the UK who detailed serious problems he’d experienced in the preceding days.

On May 23 at 07:30, five unmarked cars containing 10 police officers and representatives from the Federation Against Copyright Theft tried to apprehend the man at this former address. That error was quickly corrected and within minutes three cars, four detectives and two FACT officers had made it to the correct location.

The police were looking for Philip Danks, a man from Walsall in the West Midlands. Their information was that the then 24-year-old had cammed Fast and Furious 6 at the local Showcase cinema before uploading it to the Internet.

“I was detained for 3 hrs 12 minutes, out of that I was questioned for approximately 40 minutes,” Danks told TorrentFreak at the time. “One police officer and two FACT officers conducted the interview. The police officer sat back and let FACT do all the questioning, so FACT were running the show.”

Danks was eventually released, but in September police were back, this time arresting both his sister and her former boyfriend. New allegations were made, this time in respect of the unauthorized camming and uploading of the movie ‘Epic’.

In March this year Danks told TF that the police weren’t going to take any action against him. However, after previously keeping us updated, Danks went quiet. Today his fate has been revealed.

Following a trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court, Danks was sentenced to 33 months in prison for recording, uploading and also selling physical copies of Fast and Furious 6.

In Court it was claimed that Danks’ uploading of Fast 6 resulted in more than 700,000 downloads costing Universal Pictures and the wider industry millions of pounds in losses.

It appears that Danks was also very easy to trace. When he contacted TF last year his email address betrayed his online nickname – ‘TheCod3r’ – a handle that is now easily linked to a KickassTorrents upload of the same movie. FACT say it was this username that led them to Danks.

Comments left by TheCod3r on KickassTorrentsfast6com

While 33 months is no doubt an extremely harsh sentence, there were important aggravating factors. FACT report that following his arrest in 2013, Danks continued to both sell and distribute illegal copies of movies. He was assisted with uploading by Michael Bell, his sister’s former boyfriend. The Court sentenced Bell to a 12 month community order with 120 hours unpaid work.

Both pleaded guilty to committing offenses under the Fraud Act 2006 and the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988. 

Kieron Sharp, Director General of FACT said that his organization is grateful to West Midlands Police for their assistance in bringing Danks and Bell to justice.

“This is an important case and an important sentence. Danks was responsible for recording, uploading and distributing the film and was clearly unconcerned at the time about the consequences of his actions, perhaps believing that the internet gave him anonymity. We at FACT have shown that we will find and identify people committing criminal offenses and ensure that they are properly dealt with through the courts,” Sharp said.

The MPAA’s Chris Marcich said that holding pirates to account is vital if the creative industries are to flourish alongside the development of legal services.

“It is important that those making money on the back of other people’s hard work and creativity, paying nothing back into the creative economy, are held accountable and we welcome today’s verdict,” Marcich said.

“This is one important element of the wider strategy to tackle this issue which also includes educating consumers about legitimate online sources of content through schemes like Creative Content UK, working with advertiser and payment processors to cut off the revenue streams pirate sites rely on and blocking illegal sites through the courts.”

Yet again FACT have another very big headline under their belt which will prove useful in their quest to deter those contemplating a similar course of action to Danks. As previously noted, camming on its own is not considered an offense, but couple it with distribution and selling copies for profit and things can get very serious indeed.

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

TorrentFreak: Google Asked to Remove 1 Million Pirate Links Per Day

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

google-bayIn the hope of steering prospective customers away from pirate sites, copyright holders are overloading Google with DMCA takedown notices.

These requests have increased dramatically since Google began making the data public. A few years ago the search engine received just a few dozen takedown notices during an entire year, but today it processes millions of allegedly infringing links per week.

Over the past months the number of reported URLs has continued to rise. Now, for the first time ever, Google has processed an average of more than one million URLs per day.

Last week Google was asked to remove more than 7.8 million results, up more than 10% compared to the previous record a week earlier. The graph below shows the remarkable increase in requests over the past three years.

To put these numbers in perspective, Google is currently asked to remove an infringing search result every 8 milliseconds, compared to one request per six days back in 2008.

google-dmca-record

The massive surge in removal requests is not without controversy. It’s been reported that some notices reference pages that contain no copyrighted material, due to mistakes or abuse, but are deleted nonetheless. Google has a pretty good track record of catching these errors, but since manual review of all links is unachievable, some URLs are removed in error.

Google says it’s doing its best to address the concerns of copyright holders. Last year the company released a report detailing the various anti-piracy measures it uses. However, according to some industry groups the search giant can and should do more.

For the RIAA the staggering amount of takedown requests only confirms the notion that the process isn’t very effective. Brad Buckles, RIAA executive vice president of anti-piracy, previously suggested that Google should start banning entire domains from its search results.

“Every day produces more results and there is no end in sight. We are using a bucket to deal with an ocean of illegal downloading,” Buckles said.

The issue has also piqued the interest of U.S. lawmakers. Earlier this year the House Judiciary Subcommittee had a hearing on the DMCA takedown issue, and both copyright holders, Internet service providers, and other parties are examining what they can do to optimize the process.

In the meantime, the number of removal requests is expected to rise and rise, with 10 million links per week being the next milestone.

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

TorrentFreak: Movie Boss Avoids Copyright Q&A to Avoid Piracy “Crazies”

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

runningThe main thrust from the government and entertainment industry figures is that something pretty drastic needs to be done about the illegal downloading habits of many Australians.

Consumer groups and citizens, on the other hand, want any response to be measured and coupled with assurances from entertainment companies that Australians will stop being treated like second-class consumers. Local ISPs have varying opinions, depending on the depth of their Big Media affiliations.

Back in July a discussion paper leaked revealing government proposals that include measures such as the tweaking of ISP liability right through to ‘pirate’ website blocking. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull later indicated that a public Q&A would be held in September for representatives from the entertainment industries, ISPs, and consumer groups to air their thoughts on the proposals.

While the opportunity was welcomed by the majority of stakeholders, it’s now clear that not everyone will be there.

Village Roadshow is the company that mounted the most aggressive anti-piracy legal action ever against iiNet, one of Australia’s largest ISPs. They have a deep interest in how this debate pans out. This morning, however, co-CEO Graham Burke told ZDNet that his company wouldn’t be attending the discussions because he’ll be overseas at the time.

While that may be true, an email Burke sent to Turnbull and other participants shines rather more light on the topic.

“My company is not prepared to participate in the forum. As expressed to you previously these Q and A style formats are judged by the noise on the night and given the proposed venue I believe this will be weighted by the crazies,” Burke told the Minister.

According to ZDNet, attendees from the ISP industry will include iiNet CEO David Buckingham, Telstra executive director Jane Van Beelen and Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein.

On a musical front the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) will be in attendance, as will writer and producer Peter Duncan. Looking after the interests of citizens will be consumer group Choice, but it appears Burke and Village Roadshow are concerned about potential dissent from the “crazies”.

“What is at stake here is the very future of Australian film production itself and it is too crucially important to Australia’s economy and the fabric of our society to put at risk with what will be a miniscule group whose hidden agenda is theft of movies,” Burke told the Minister.

It’s perhaps understandable for the movie boss to avoiding walking into a losing battle, but referring to those that do wish to participate in an open debate as having a hidden agenda of “movie theft” isn’t going to win over potential allies.

Boycotting discussions in which people get the opportunity to air their perhaps opposing opinions doesn’t indicate a willingness to enter a dialog or negotiations either.

But that might be the nail on the head right there.

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

TorrentFreak: Court: Usenet Provider Doesn’t Have to Filter Pirated Content

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

news-serviceIn 2009, Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, representing the movie and music industries, took Europe’s largest Usenet provider News-Service Europe (NSE) to court.

Through the court BREIN demanded that NSE delete all infringing content from its servers, and in 2011 the Court of Amsterdam sided with the copyright holders.

The Court argued that NSE willingly facilitated copyright infringement through its services. In its verdict the Court ruled that NSE had to remove all copyrighted content, and filter future posts for possible copyright infringements.

Responding to the verdict the Usenet provider said that it was economically unfeasible to filter all messages. The company therefore saw no other option than to shut down its services while the appeal was pending.

This week the Appeals Court ruled on the case overturning the previous verdict, setting a more positive precedent for Usenet providers and similar services.

The Court concluded that NSE does not facilitate copyright infringement as long as it maintains a procedure through which copyright holders can send unlimited takedown notices.

In addition, the Court decided that proactive filtering of copyrighted content is not required, as that conflicts with existing jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice.

“We are very pleased with this ruling,” NSE CEO Patrick Schreurs says. “The Court correctly states that a Usenet provider such as News-Service Europe can not be expected to proactively monitor the messages others place.”

The ruling this week is an interlocutory verdict. The Court still has to rule on how NSE’s notice and takedown procedure should operate. Afterwards, both BREIN and NSE still have the option to take the case to the Supreme Court.

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

TorrentFreak: Major Torrent Sites and Google Purge The Expendables 3

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

With The Expendables 3 now officially released in theaters, the autopsy over its leak last month and the potential effects on box office figures has begun.

Many news outlets reported yesterday that the first weekend’s takings represent a flop for the third in the Expendables franchise and, of course, those closest to Hollywood are pointing the figure firmly at piracy.

But on the ground, on some of the very sites accused of facilitating piracy of the action movie, there are signs which suggests that this leaked title is being treated somewhat differently to any that have gone before.

LimeTorrents

Noting that the site was named in a Lions Gate lawsuit, TF monitored for the presence of The Expendables 3 torrents on popular torrent site LimeTorrents. The result is shown in the image below.

Lime-Expend

While the site lists 14 torrents, not a single working Expendables 3 torrent appears in the search results. The three that do appear are sponsored links that do not lead to anything useful.

But while LimeTorrents are clearly doing all they can to comply with the terms of a lawsuit, other sites that have not been named by Lions Gate also appear to have been taking action.

KickassTorrents

KickassTorrents is the world’s second largest torrent site and the go-to place for many looking for fresh content. However, anyone searching for leaked Expendables 3 torrents will be going home disappointed. There are currently nine torrents returned in results, all of which are trailers. The leaked movie cannot be found.

Kick-expend

It’s worth noting that like many of the leading torrent sites, Kickass removes torrents following copyright holder requests, so that goes someway to explaining why the Expendables 3 torrents have all disappeared. What is notable, however, is that no fresh ones seem to be reappearing as is usually the case.

RARBG

There’s a similar story over at RARBG, the site placed 10th in our Top Torrent Sites 2014 post. A search produces the two torrents shown in the screenshot below and as they clearly point out, these definitely ain’t The Expendables.

rarbg

BitSnoop

The effect of these takedowns, whether from rightsholders or introduced on a voluntary basis, can also be seen on torrent sites that specialize in indexing torrents found elsewhere. BitSnoop, the 9th most popular torrent site online with an index of 23 million torrents, currently has none related to The Expendables 3.

bitsnoop-expend

Torrentz

Over at Torrentz, a meta-search engine that indexes content on other sites, we can see that just four torrents are returned following an Expendables 3 search, none of which are the movie in question.The links at the top are sponsored and don’t relate to torrents.

The note at the bottom reveals that 41 torrent links have been removed following DMCA notices and their euro equivalent. Again, no more torrents seem to be reappearing.

torrentz-expend

Google

While torrents disappearing and not reappearing within major torrent sites is quite unusual in itself, perhaps the most dramatic effect can be seen in Google search results.

As previously documented, Lions Gate has put in a herculean effort to have listings removed. This, combined with any torrent site self-censorship efforts, has resulted in a tiny number of usable entries in the first 20 pages of Google results for common searches such as ‘The Expendables 3 + download + torrent’.

Of course, more experienced downloaders and those who persevere through a few searches can still find torrents and other ways to watch the movie. Torrents still remain on The Pirate Bay too, but there are clear signs that the leak of this movie is being treated differently from any other in recent memory, and not only by those involved in its legal distribution either.

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

TorrentFreak: U.S. Court Grants Order to Wipe Pirate Sites from the Internet

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

stop-blockedThe entertainment industries often complain that they have virtually no means to target pirate sites, especially those run from overseas.

This grim outlook isn’t shared by the operators of ABS-CBN, the largest media and entertainment company in the Philippines, who filed a lawsuit against several unauthorized streaming sites at a District Court in Oregon.

The company’s complaint alleges a mixture of trademark and copyright infringement against a dozen websites including Pinoystreaming.com, Pinoytvko.biz and Pinoy-tube.com. The sites in question are operated by different people, some of whom have no apparent connection to the United States.

To stop the sites from operating as quickly as possible the media company requested a temporary restraining order. This was done under seal without the knowledge of the defendants, as ABS-CBN feared that they would otherwise switch domain names and continue operating as usual.

“Absent a temporary restraining order, Defendants will be able to completely erase the status quo by transferring the benefits of their prior illegal activities to new websites,” the company argued.

In short, ABS-CBN requested power to take the sites offline before the owners knew that they were getting sued, and without a chance to defend themselves. While that may seem a lot to ask, Judge Anna Brown granted the request.

Earlier this month the Judge signed the temporary restraining order which bars the operators from running their sites. In addition, it allows the media company to order hosting companies to take down the servers, domain registrars to seize the domain names, and search engines to remove all results linking to the sites.

“Upon Plaintiffs’ request, those with actual notice of the injunction, including any Internet search engines, Web hosts, domain-name registrars, and domain name registries or their administrators, shall cease facilitating access to any or all domain names and websites…,” the order reads.

The court also ordered the domain name registrars to point the domains to a copy of the complaint, so the website owners would know why their sites had been wiped from the Internet. Further, to prevent the defendants from passing on Google traffic to a new domain, ABS-CBN was granted permission to access the Google Webmaster Tools of the defendants.

“Plaintiffs may enter the Subject Domain Names into Google’s Webmaster Tools and cancel any redirection of the domains that have been entered there by Defendants which redirect traffic to a new domain name or website and thereby evade the provisions of this Order,” the order reads.

The above is just part of the injunction which effectively shuts down the sites in question. All websites in the suit are now redirected to a copy of the complaint. Also, several domains are no longer present in Google’s search results.

The preliminary injunction is unique in its kind, both due to its broadness and the fact that it happened without due process. This has several experts worried, including EFF’s Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry.

“It’s very worrisome that a court would issue a rapid and broad order affecting speech based on allegations, without careful consideration and an opportunity for the targets to defend themselves,” McSherry tells TorrentFreak.

In addition to the restraining order, Judge Brown also granted ABS-CBN’s request to freeze all financial assets of the defendants until further notice. The defendants were given the option to appeal both orders after they were issued, but it’s unknown whether they have done so.

This is not the first ex-parte injunction to be handed down against alleged pirate sites this month. The same happened in the Expendables 3 case, although this order wasn’t nearly as broad as the one against the Filipino streaming sites.

Whether it’s the start of a new trend has yet to be seen, but considering the broad measures judges are willing to sign off, things could get messy.

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

TorrentFreak: Ferguson Attacks And Web Censorship Are Parts Of Same Story

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

The governments around the world are reacting the exact same way today as they did when the printing press arrived 500 years ago. There isn’t really anything new under the sun.

Then, as now, they were used to telling people what was true and what wasn’t, telling whatever story that fit whatever it was they wanted to do.

“Cannabis is dangerous. Tobacco is not harmful at all. Oh, and there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”

When police troops in Ferguson launched tear gas grenades at a television team from Al-Jazeera, that is a symptom of the exact same thing as web censorship: governments are losing control of the story. Governments can no longer invent whatever truth that fits what they want to happen. Police firing at press is actually something very rare – even in the worst of war zones, it’s a rare occurrence that press teams are deliberately targeted, and yet, this was precisely what happened in Ferguson, USA.

The reason is the exact same as for web censorship and mass surveillance:

The governments and the people working for them are attacking anybody who exposes what they do, using whatever power they have to do so.

Tear gas grenades against a TV crew may have been both overviolent and counterproductive, but it’s still the same thing. It’s exactly what happened when the printing press arrived, and the penalties for using a printing press – thereby circumventing the truthtellers of that time – gradually increased to the death penalty (France, 1535).

Not even the death penalty worked to deter people from using the printing press to tell their version of events to the world, which more often than not contradicted the official version. The cat was out of the bag. As it is now. Governments and police still don’t understand that everybody is a broadcaster – attacking a TV crew was futile in the first place.

During the initial, hopeful months of the Arab Spring, a lot of photos circulated of young people gathering for protests. What was interesting about the photos were that they were taken with mobile phones, but also that they showed a lot of other people at the protest taking photos of the same crowd at the same time with their own mobile phone. Thus, the photos of the ongoing revolution contained instructions in themselves for how to perpetuate the revolution – take pictures of crowds defying the edicts and dictums.

This is why it’s so puzzling that the police even bother to give special treatment to people from television stations and newspapers. Strictly speaking, they’re not necessary to get the story out anymore, even if they still have some follower advantage for the most part.

“Police are being transformed from protecting the public into protecting government from the public”, as @directorblue just tweeted. That could be said about pretty much anything concerning the net, too — from oppressive applications of copyright monopoly law to strangling net innovations or giving telcos monopolies that prevent the net’s utility.

The attacks on the public by police troops in Ferguson, attacks from the copyright industry against those who want a free net, and web censorship by governments are all different sides of the same story. And all of this has happened before. Last time this happened, it took 200 years of civil war to settle the dust and agree that the printing press may have been a nice invention after all.

Can we please not repeat that mistake?

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: TalkTalk Wants Resellers to Warn Pirating Customers

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

talktalklogoUnlike those in the US, Internet providers in the UK are not obliged to forward copyright infringement notices to their subscribers. This means that local Internet users are spared the typical warnings that are so common elsewhere.

Despite the lacking legal requirements, some anti-piracy groups do send copyright infringement notices to UK ISPs. In most cases these are ignored by the providers, but last week TalkTalk forwarded a notice to one of its resellers.

In the email the ISP asks Opal Solutions to forward the notice in question to one of its subscribers who allegedly shared a pirated copy of “Godzilla”. In addition the reseller was urged to take “preventive” measures, but what these should be is left open.

“Please see below copyright infringement email regarding an IP address of one of your clients, Please inform your client and take necessary preventative measures,” TalkTalk wrote.

At the bottom of this article is a copy of the original copyright infringement notice TalkTalk forwarded. It is a typical DMCA style notice sent by IP Echelon on behalf of Warner Bros.

IP Echelon didn’t make any effort to customize the notice for the UK audience. The email specifically references US copyright law, which doesn’t apply to the reseller or TalkTalk.

What’s most noteworthy, though, is that TalkTalk has decided to pass on this notice. The ISP is not known to forward these notices to its own subscribers, yet they appear to be urging a reseller to go beyond what’s required by law.

The forwarded email is most likely an attempt to avoid any type of liability. The question that remains is this: if TalkTalk do this with resellers does this mean they will start warning their subscribers as well?

Earlier this year the news broke that TalkTalk and other UK providers will voluntarily start sending infringement notices under the VCAP program. While VCAP isn’t going into effect before the summer of 2015, TalkTalk’s forwarded infringement notice could suggest that they might do something sooner.

Below is a full copy of the copyright infringement notice.

—-

We are writing this message on behalf of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc..

We have received information that an individual has utilized the
below-referenced IP address at the noted date and time to offer
downloads of copyrighted material.

The title in question is: Godzilla

The distribution of unauthorized copies of copyrighted television
programs constitutes copyright infringement under the Copyright Act,
Title 17 United States Code Section 106(3). This conduct may also
violate the laws of other countries, international law, and/or treaty
obligations.

Since you own this IP address
we request that you immediately do the following:

1) Contact the subscriber who has engaged in the conduct described
above and take steps to prevent the subscriber from further downloading
or uploading Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. content without authorization; and

2) Take appropriate action against the account holder under your Abuse
Policy/Terms of Service Agreement.

On behalf of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., owner of the exclusive rights
in the copyrighted material at issue in this notice, we hereby state that
we have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner
complained of is not authorized by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.,
its respective agents, or the law.

Also, we hereby state, under penalty of perjury, that we are authorized
to act on behalf of the owner of the exclusive rights being infringed
as set forth in this notification.

We appreciate your assistance and thank you for your cooperation in this
matter. Your prompt response is requested.

Any further enquiries can be directed to copyright@ip-echelon.com
Please include this message with your enquiry to ensure a swift response.

Respectfully,

Adrian Leatherland
CEO
IP-Echelon
Email: copyright@ip-echelon.com
Address: 6715 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, 90028, United States

- ————- Infringement Details ———————————-
Title: Godzilla
Timestamp: 2014-08-13T14:06:26Z
IP Address:
Port: 60261
Type: BitTorrent
Torrent Hash: c5cdf551eea353484657d45dbe93f688575a1e31
Filename: Godzilla.2014.WEBRiP.XviD-VAiN
Filesize: 2485 MB
- ———————————————————————

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

TorrentFreak: Anti-Piracy Outfit Wants to Hijack Browsers Until Fine Paid

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

Many rightsholders around the world are looking for ways to cut down on Internet piracy and US-based Rightscorp thinks it has an attractive solution.

The company monitors BitTorrent networks for infringement, links IP addresses to ISPs, and then asks those service providers to forward DMCA-style notices to errant subscribers. Those notices have a sting in the tail in the shape of a $20 settlement demand to make supposed lawsuits go away. The company says 75,000 cases have been settled so far with copyright holders picking up $10 from each.

Earlier this year the company reported that its operation cost $2,134,843 to run in 2013, yet it brought in just $324,016, a shortfall of more than $1.8 million. With the second quarter of 2014 now in the bag, Rightscorp has been reporting again to investors. TorrentFreak has seen a transcript of an August 13 conference call which contains some interesting facts.

In pure revenue terms the company appears to be doing better, $440,414 during the first six months of 2014. However, operating costs were $1.8m compared to $771,766 in the same period last year. Bottom line – the company lost $1.4m in the first six months of 2014.

Still, Rightscorp is pushing on. It now represents the entire BMG catalog, plus artists belonging to the Royalty Network such as Beyonce, Calvin Harris and Kanye West. And, as previously reported, it’s now working with 140 ISPs, some of which are apparently disconnecting repeat infringers.

Interestingly, and despite the ISP removing settlement demands from infringement notices, Comcast subscribers are apparently handing cash over to Rightscorp too. How this is being achieved wasn’t made clear.

What is clear is that Rightscorp is determined to go after “Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Cable Vision and one more” in order to “get all of them compliant” (i.e forwarding settlement demands). The company predicts that more details on the strategy will develop in the fall, but comments from COO & CTO Robert Steele hint on how that might be achieved.

“So we start in the beginning of the ISP relationship by demanding the forwarding of notices and the terminations,” Steele told investors.

“But where we want to end up with our scalable copyright system is where it’s not about termination, it’s about compelling the user to make the payment so that they can get back to browsing the web.”

Steele says the trick lies in the ability of ISPs to bring a complete halt to their subscribers’ Internet browsing activities.

“So every ISP has this ability to put up a redirect page. So that’s the goal,” he explained.

“[What] we really want to do is move away from termination and move to what’s called a hard redirect, like, when you go into a hotel and you have to put your room number in order to get past the browser and get on to browsing the web.”

The idea that mere allegations from an anti-piracy company could bring a complete halt to an entire household or business Internet connection until a fine is paid is less like a “piracy speeding ticket” and more like a “piracy wheel clamp”, one that costs $20 to have removed.

Except that very rarely are Rightscorp looking for just $20.

According to comments Steele made to investors, “very few” people targeted by his company pay a fine of just $20, even though that’s what most of them believe to be the case after Googling the company.

“[For] most people, piracy is a lifestyle, and so most people are getting multiple notices,” Steele explained. “So we’re closing cases everyday for $300, $400, $500 because people got multiple notices.”

One of the ways Rightscorp achieves these inflated settlements is by having a headline settlement fee of $20, but not applying that to a full album. By charging $20 for each and every album track, costs begin to climb.

So, while someone receiving an initial infringement notice might think the matter can be solved by paying $20, after contacting the company they realize the matter is much more serious than first believed. At this point the company knows the name and address of the target, something they didn’t initially know. Now the pressure is really on to settle.

Finally, we come to the question of success rates. We know that 75,000 cases have been settled overall, but how many people have simply ignored Rightscorp notices and moved on. One investor indirectly asked that question, but without luck.

“At the moment we consider that trade secret,” Steele said.

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

TorrentFreak: I Visited Pirate Bay’s Peter Sunde in Prison, Here’s What he Had to Say

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

sunde-small— by Julia Reda

It wasn’t easy to meet Peter in prison. Initially, his request for the approval of my visit was rejected, as have been requests on behalf of other friends. It was only when he read up on the regulations and filed a complaint – pointing out my status as an elected representative of the European Parliament – that my visit was approved.

He tells me that this is par for the course in prison. “If you don’t constantly insist upon your rights, you will be denied them”. Repeatedly, he had to remind the guards that they’re not allowed to open confidential mail he receives from journalists. His alleged right to an education or occupation during his jail time in practice amounted to being given a beginners’ Spanish book.

“Prison is a bit like copyright,” Peter remarks. In both areas, there is a lack of transparency and the people in power profit from the fact that the average person doesn’t pay a lot of attention to the issue. That opens the door to misuse and corruption.

Few people feel directly affected by these systems (even though a lot of Internet users commit copyright infringements, many don’t even realize that they are breaking laws and suffer no repercussions). Hence it is difficult to get traditional politics to change even the most blatant injustices that these systems produce. I ask him whether his imprisonment has changed his political views.

“It has confirmed them,” he replies. “I knew the system was broken before, but now I know to what extent.”

“The worst thing is the boredom”, Peter informs me when I ask him about life in prison. He gives an account of his daily routine: “I have soy yoghurt and muesli for breakfast, which I was recently allowed to buy from my own money, as the prison doesn’t offer any vegan food.”

That is followed by one hour of exercise – walking around the yard in circles – and sometimes the chance to play ping-pong or visit the prison library in the afternoon, before Peter is locked in his cell for the night. The only other distraction comes from the dozens of letters Peter receives every day.

Not all the books that his friends and supporters send make their way to him – they are screened for “inappropriate content” first. Other items that arrive in the mail, such as vegan candy, won’t be handed out to him until after his release, “but at least the prison has to catalog every single thing you send me, which pisses them off,” Peter says with a wink.

While his notoriety mostly comes from his role in founding the Pirate Bay, Peter has been critical of the platform’s development for a long time and has been focusing his energy on other projects.

“There should be 10,000 Pirate Bays by now!” he exclaims. “The Internet was built as a decentralized network, but ironically it is increasingly encouraging centralization. Because The Pirate Bay has been around for 11 years now, almost all other torrent sites started relying on it as a backbone. We created a single point of failure and the development of file sharing technology got stuck.”

In Peter’s eyes, the Pirate Bay has run its course and turned into a commercial enterprise that has little to do with the values it was founded on. Nowadays, the most important battles for an open Internet take place elsewhere, he says, noting that the trend towards centralization is not limited to file sharing.

Facebook alone has turned into its own little walled-garden version of the Internet that a lot of users would be content using without access to the wider Net. At the same time, services from Google to Wikipedia are working on distribution deals that make their services available to people without real Internet access.

One step to counter this trend towards centralization could be data portability, the right to take all one’s personal data from a service such as Facebook and bring it along to a competitor. The right to data portability is part of the proposed European data protection regulation that is currently stuck in negotiations among the EU member states.

“Having data portability would be a great step forward, but it’s not enough. Portability is meaningless without competition.” Peter says.

“As activists and entrepreneurs, we need to challenge monopolies. We need to build a Pirate social network that is interoperable with Facebook. Or build competition to small monopolies before they get bought up by the big players in the field. Political activism in parliaments, as the Pirate Party pursues it, is important, but needs to be combined with economic disruptions.

“The Internet won’t change fundamentally in the next two years, but in the long-term, the effects of the decisions we take today can be dramatic.”

According to Peter, establishing net neutrality, especially on mobile networks, will be one of the crucial fights. The Internet may have started out as a non-commercial space, but is entirely ruled by business arguments nowadays, and without net neutrality, large corporations will be able to strengthen their monopolies and stifle innovation. A pushback will be needed from small enterprises as well as civil society – but those groups struggle to be heard in political debates as they often lack the financial resources for large-scale lobbying efforts.

Although Peter is visibly affected by his imprisonment and talks about struggling with depression, he has not stopped making plans for the future. “Things will get easier once I get out. I’ve been a fugitive for two years and could hardly go to conferences or would have to show up unannounced.”

Once his eight month sentence has come to an end, Peter wants to get back to activism. When I ask about his upcoming projects, he starts grinning and tells me to be patient.

“All I can say now is that I’m brimming with ideas and that one of my main goals will be to develop ethical ways of funding activism. You often need money to change things. But most ways of acquiring it require you to compromise on your ideals. We can do better than that.”

Peter is now hoping for his prison sentence to eventually be transformed into house arrest, which would allow him to see his critically ill father and spend less time in isolation. Whether that happens will largely depend on whether the Swedish state will continue to view a file-sharing activist as a serious threat to the public. In a society where the majority of young people routinely break copyright law simply by sharing culture, that view seems entirely unsustainable.

About The Author

Julia Reda is a German politician for the Pirate Party Germany and a member of the European Parliament since 2014, where she serves as a Vice-President of the Greens/EFA group. She is also the chairperson of the Young Pirates of Europe.

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

TorrentFreak: Premier League to Clamp Down on GIFs and Vines

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

premierWhen Steve Wilhite of Compuserve created the GIF format in the late 80s, he probably didn’t imagine it would be in use more than a quarter of a century later.

Against the odds, in 2012 the GIF celebrated its 25th birthday, a fitting tribute to a format that has not only endured but also enjoyed a resurgence alongside today’s meme culture. However, the tiny video clips available in today’s GIFs aren’t appreciated by everyone.

On the eve of the new season, the UK’s Premier League has been putting fans on notice that it will no longer tolerate the unauthorized distribution of its copyright works. In addition to going after those who live stream full matches, the football giant says it now intends to tackle individuals who post short clips online.

According to the League, the problem is being caused by fans who record goals and upload them as GIFs and Vines within a few minutes of the event. These spread virally around blogs and sites such as Twitter and are enthusiastically consumed, especially on mobile devices.

“You can understand that fans see something, they can capture it, they can share it, but ultimately it is against the law,” Dan Johnson, director of communications at the Premier League, told the BBC.

These over-enthusiastic fans sharing a few seconds of footage – often at particularly low quality – are apparently causing financial hardship for the most-watched football league in the world. So, to bring that to an end, the Premier League are looking towards a technological solution.

“It’s a breach of copyright and we would discourage fans from doing it, we’re developing technologies like gif crawlers, Vine crawlers, working with Twitter to look to curtail this kind of activity,” Johnson said.

“I know it sounds as if we’re killjoys but we have to protect our intellectual property.”

Going after those who place short video clips online is not new. There have been several reports in the past few months of UFC owner Zuffa taking action against individuals who upload GIFs, with a recent purge in July against content hosted on popular hoster GfyCat.

While fans insist that GIFs of goals and knockouts are simply free promotion, the rights to show such things don’t come cheap. UK tabloid The Sun has an app which shows Premier League goals within two minutes of the moment, but fans have to pay £7 per month ($11.68) to access it.

As the UFC have no doubt realized by now (and the Premier League soon will), taking down GIFs will be a huge resource drain and will do little to stop availability of content. The files are too tiny, far too easily shared and come from potentially thousands of directions. Add to this the problem of having to nuke content in near real-time, and this becomes an unsolvable problem, at least by enforcement means.

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

TorrentFreak: Hulkfile Shuts Down Following Expendables 3 Lawsuit

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

hulkfileThree weeks ago a high quality leak of the upcoming The Expendables 3 film appeared online.

Fearing a massive loss in revenue, movie studio Lionsgate sued the operators of six websites that allegedly failed to remove the infringing files – Limetorrents.com, Billionuploads.com, Hulkfile.eu, Played.to, Swankshare.com and Dotsemper.com.

A few days ago the court sided with Lionsgate and granted a preliminary injunction to seize the financial assets of the site’s operators. In addition the sites were forbidden from linking to the infringing material. Since this includes user uploaded files, the order effectively means that the sites have to shut down.

Today the broad order claimed its first major casualty in cloud hosting provider Hulkfile. The company informs TorrentFreak that it has disabled access to all visitors from the United States and that it intends to shut down globally during the coming days.

“Hulkfile.eu is no longer accessible in the U.S. and will shut down completely soon. We can’t keep building our business on the weak base the preliminary injunction left us with,” Hulkfile’s operator says.

Hulkfile believes that Lionsgate has painted a tainted picture of its service to the U.S. federal court. The file-storage service says it honors all takedown requests, and even developed a special removal tool for copyright holders which is used by various takedown services.

“We’re not doing anything wrong, it’s a service just like any other cloud storage service in the world. If Hulkfile was started to support piracy, then why would we have created a takedown system which provided access to more than 40 copyright holders and piracy fighters?”

The takedown notices Lionsgate sent for the Expendables leak hadn’t been processed yet due to the vacation period, the hosting service claims. The movie studio could have taken the links down themselves if they used Hulkfile’s removal tool, but Lionsgate’s takedown partner MarkMonitor has apparently shown no interest in using it.

“We showed good faith by providing access to a removal tool which MarkMonitor never asked to gain access to, even after we offered it multiple times. Every day there is a new file-sharing service launching somewhere. The only way for copyright holders to protect their material is to cooperate, not to fight,” Hulkfile tells TF.

With an injunction that basically prevents Hulkfile from operating its service, the company sees no other option than to throw in the towel. Users will get the option to transfer their files to another hosting provider, but Hulkfile will not come back after that.

It seems that Hulkfile is not the only casualty. The smaller file-sharing service Swankshare completely vanished from the Internet shortly after the court issued its preliminary injunction. It’s currently unknown whether this site plans to stay down for good.

While the Expendables leak posed a serious threat to Lionsgate’s revenue, one has to wonder whether this justifies putting several other companies out of business with such broad injunctions. In particular because Hulkfile and others had no real option to defend themselves due to the ex-parte nature of the order.

Considering the ‘success’ booked by Lionsgate in such a small time period it’s safe to expect that more movie companies will use the same strategy in the future.

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

TorrentFreak: TorrentShack Resurrected After Hollywood Takedown

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

With police and trade groups such as the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and the BPI on the prowl, it has to be said that running a file-sharing site in the UK right now is not without its risks.

Earlier this month it became clear that the long-standing private torrent site TorrentShack (TSH) had run its course after FACT managed to track down the site’s operator. As is usually the case, FACT told the site’s operator he could either close down the site and hand over its domain – or face the consequences.

To avoid trouble TSH’s admin agreed to FACT’s terms, and at the time of writing the site is unreachable, presumably as agreed. However, if FACT are thinking of cracking open the champagne, those celebrations might be a bit premature.

A few hours ago the official TorrentShack Twitter account published its final tweet, but it didn’t signal the end of the road.

The end result is that a TorrentShack clone is now online. An announcement reveals that the site’s former .net domain is already in FACT’s hands and the old servers and their databases have been taken offline and wiped. However, the former admin of the site was apparently not the only person with a set of keys to the back door.

“Luckily for us though, [the admin] was not the only one with access to the main site box,” the announcement reads.

“In short we have managed to get hold of one of the latest back ups before everything was taken offline.”

So, against the odds, TorrentShack appears to have been resurrected. The site’s operators warn that they currently have no funds but will do their best to get the site back to normal soon. Whether FACT will stand for that remains to be seen.

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