Posts tagged ‘Legal Issues’

TorrentFreak: RIAA Complaint Kills Grooveshark Chromecast Support

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

groovesharkTwo years ago, music streaming service Grooveshark suffered a setback after its app was pulled from Google’s Android store for the second time.

While Google cited Terms of Service violations, ongoing copyright-related issues with the world’s largest recording labels were the number one suspect for the takedown. Generally, Grooveshark parent company Escape Media are not on good terms with the RIAA due to legal issues dating back several years.

Last month, however, there appeared to be something of a turnaround in relationships with Google when Grooveshark announced that it was about to debut Chromecast support via the Play Store.

The development was well received, with Hypebot wondering if Google welcoming Grooveshark back amounted to redemption for the US-based streaming company.

But now, less than a month later, it’s all over.

“After a jointly approved press release from Grooveshark, we were notified by Google [that] our app was suspended for Terms of Service of compliance,” Grooveshark announced today.

The development came as a surprise to Grooveshark, since the company believes it did enough to comply with Google’s Terms of Service this time around. However, it will come as no surprise that the root of the complaint lies with the major recording labels based in the United States.

According to a statement sent to TheNextWeb, the RIAA is behind the suspension after claiming that Grooveshark’s service infringes on their artists’ copyrights.

“We found this interesting as Google (YouTube) is also engaged in a lawsuit over the same points,” a Grooveshark spokesperson said.

While that is indeed true, YouTube’s relationships with the labels are considerably better than those currently enjoyed by Grooveshark. Even Google sympathizes with the labels, something which became evident last year when the search giant excluded the term Grooveshark from its Autocomplete and Instant services.

But despite the drawbacks, Grooveshark continues. Grooveshark for Android can still be downloaded from the company’s site. Chromecast functionality also remains.

“You may still access your full Grooveshark library on Chromecast via our main site (grooveshark.com) or html5 mobile site….using the ‘mirroring’ tool,” the company concludes.

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

TorrentFreak: Witness Offered $3.50/Hr to Testify Against Pirate Bay Founder

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

Alleged “super hacker” Gottfrid Svartholm is currently being held in a Danish prison on suspicion of hacking into the computers of IT company CSC.

After being extradited to Denmark from Sweden in 2013, next month he will go to trial.

In recent weeks Danish authorities have been attempting to round up witnesses to ensure they attend the Frederiksberg court during September. It’s unclear how many there are, but TorrentFreak has learned at least one won’t be attending.

John, who has asked us not to use his real name, is a former colleague of Gottfrid who lives and works in Cambodia. TorrentFreak previously confirmed his identity and the fact that he and Gottfrid did business together. In April he received a surprise telephone call which led to an unsettling series of events involving Danish police.

Several months later and John is again being put under pressure. Following suspicions he was being watched, John received an anonymous tipoff that he had been placed on the prosecution’s witness list against Gottfrid. Sure enough, on Wednesday Jens Jorgensen from the Danish police, one of the people who traveled to Cambodia to question John, telephoned John to register him as a witness.

John and Jorgensen then exchanged emails in which the former expressed bemusement at why the prosecution would want to use his evidence when it actually supports the position of Gottfrid Svartholm.

“I fail to see how anything I previously said to you could be used in this case against [Gottfrid]. As I told you, lots of people had access to [Gottfrid's] computer,” John wrote.

“Why on earth would you want me to testify against him when you know full well that I don’t believe he committed this crime based on what little information I have?”

In his early days of detention Gottfrid was kept in solitary confinement, something which enraged Wikileaks’ Julian Assange and prompted complaints from Gottfrid’s mother Kristina to Amnesty. This treatment is also a big issue with John.

“Gottfrid’s previous prolonged, extrajudicial solitary confinement in your country very clearly meets the United Nations definition of torture, and I find it utterly troubling,” John told Jorgensen.

“With that in mind, I am deeply concerned about the prospect of being a part of something that is so clearly unethical if not outright illegal. Is there some sort of legal equivalent of being a conscientious objector to trials? If so, I would consider myself a conscientious objector to this one, the whole thing disgusts me whether he committed the crime or not.”

Clearly, traveling half way around the world to assist the prosecution in a high profile trial against someone you believe is innocent is problematic enough, but John also has serious concerns about the legal issues involved.

“Will I be offered access to a lawyer at any point during all of this? he asked Jorgensen.

“So far I’ve been threatened with force by a man claiming to be a Swedish policeman, made to answer a bunch of questions, and now I’m being asked to make a decision about legal matters. I’d really like access to a lawyer so I can make informed decisions about this, but I can’t afford one as I got fired from my job the day after you came to see me.”

In addition to visiting John, Danish police also visited John’s employer when they visited Cambodia earlier this year. He was fired less than 24 hours later but was fortunate to find new employment.

In his response, Jorgensen confirmed that attending the trial is a voluntary act and no one will force John to attend. He also informed John that if he needs legal advice, he’ll have to pay for it himself. Nevertheless, the summons was issued.

The summons states that traveling expenses will be reimbursed and if necessary John will be provided with a hotel room in Denmark. He is also offered DKK 40 for every two hours he’s away from home or work – that’s roughly $3.50 per hour. If that isn’t enough the police say that more money may be available, but in John’s case that probably won’t be needed.

“I respectfully refuse your invitation and can confirm that I have no intention of appearing in court, at least until you clarify your motives for requesting me to do so, and until you provide access to appropriate legal advice so that I can make an informed decision,” John concludes.

A copy of the summons can be found below – note that while Gottfrid Svartholm is accused of only “white collar” offenses, the contact address is the Public Prosecutor’s Department of Violent Crime.

witness

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

TorrentFreak: Exploring the Legal Basis for the New ‘Pirate’ Proxy War

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

Since the launch of Operation Creative last year, UK police have contacted a range of so-called ‘pirate’ sites while giving their operators the opportunity to shut down quietly to avoid further action. It was pretty much certain that torrent and streaming sites would be prime targets, and we’ve seen that play out in recent months.

This week, however, PIPCU delivered a surprise. Instead of going after sites that host or link to infringing material, they targeted a series of sites that have never done so, arresting their alleged operator in the process.

Reverse Proxies

So-called ‘reverse proxies’ are not file-sharing sites, they merely restore access to third-party sites that have been rendered inaccessible by ISPs, as the result of a court order for example. The sites that were closed down this week enabled users to access The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents, even if their ISP actively blocks the site.

The police intervention raises many questions, none of which will be officially answered while an investigation is underway. So, in order to try and fill in some of the blanks, TorrentFreak spoke with expert intellectual property lawyer Darren Meale to explore a possible basis for this week’s arrest of a proxy site operator.

“Internet users have sought ways to continue to access the sites by getting round the blocking put in place by the ISPs. One of the ways to do this is to use proxy servers. This operation is a major step in tackling those providing such services.” – FACT director Kieron Sharp commenting this week on the proxy shutdowns.

Breach of a High Court order?

Darren Meale: “The individual has been accused of helping Internet users access websites which the English High Court has ordered the major UK ISPs to block. That order arose in a civil, not a criminal action, and only applies to the ISPs in question. If it applied to the individual and he ignored the Court order, he would be in contempt of court and a judge could commit him to prison. But I don’t understand that to be what is going on here.”

Assisting a criminal enterprise?

So, with the High Court blocks a potential red herring, our attention is turned to the activities of the sites being unblocked by the proxies, and how merely facilitating access to those sites might be perceived as an offense by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit.

Darren Meale: “Sites like The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents have been the subject of all sorts of civil and criminal actions around the world, but are tricky to target because of where they are based and the way they operate. That’s why initiatives like site blocking have become popular in the UK.

“The rights owners, police and other authorities can’t get their hands on the sites directly, at least not practically. Of course, that doesn’t mean that those sites aren’t still committing criminal offenses.

“Although we tend to think of copyright infringement as a civil wrong, it is also a criminal offense provided it is carried out ‘in the course of business’. Sites like KAT run as a commercial enterprise and make a lot of money out of advertising, so there is a pretty strong case that they are committing criminal offenses, including in the UK.”

If sites like The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents are committing crimes, others can also commit crimes by helping them, Meale says.

Darren Meale: “The Serious Crime Act 2007 makes it a crime to intentionally encourage or assist someone else committing a crime, in the same way as it used to be a crime to ‘incite’ someone to commit a crime.

“The UK’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has previously accused operators of file-sharing websites of committing crimes of this nature. PIPCU’s statement in this matter also refers to its intention to ‘come down hard on people believed to be committing or deliberately facilitating such offenses’.

“These kinds of ‘inchoate‘ offenses are, in my view, the most likely candidate for what this individual has been arrested for.”

But other ISPs are facilitating access to illegal sites too..

Only six ISPs in the UK have been ordered to block sites like The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents, the others are, at this very moment, knowingly facilitating access to these potentially criminal sites. How is it that a proxy service operator now finds himself in hot water while these ISPs continue with no repercussions?

Meale points out that the L’Oreal v eBay decision found that service providers (eBay in that case) had no duty to police their services for infringement. Also, service providers benefit from safe harbors under the E-commerce Directive, rendering them immune from prosecution in certain circumstances.

Darren Meale: “However, there is a difference between providing Internet access generally (which ISPs do) and providing a service or website which sets out to link to another, illegal, website. An attempt to make ISPs liable for what flows through them in the same way as someone running a file-sharing site failed in Australia in a case called iiNet. I think the same distinction would be drawn in Europe and the UK.

“Providing general Internet access: OK subject to exceptions such as if the ISP is hosting. But setting up a service designed to help people access illegal websites: that’s much more dubious. That’s not to say that the legal issues that surround all this are straightforward – they’re not.”

Conclusion

What shines through following the events of this week is how untested the waters are in cases such as these. Whether PIPCU intends to follow this matter through to the bitter end (risking a potentially unfavorable outcome) remains to be seen, but it’s possible that won’t be needed.

At this point they have already achieved the total closure of all targeted sites along with the seizure of their domains. That, along with a clear message to others mulling the same course of action might, in the overall scheme of things, be considered “mission accomplished.”

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

Darknet - The Darkside: Microsoft China Offices Raided By Government

This post was syndicated from: Darknet - The Darkside and was written by: Darknet. Original post: at Darknet - The Darkside

There has been a lot of back and forth between the US government and China when it comes to cyber-terrorism or cyber-espionage, valuable secrets being sought out by both sides. For political and commercial purposes, and if you’ve watched any movies lately you’ll know the ‘China Hackers’ are almost super human. This time the…

Read the full post at darknet.org.uk

Darknet - The Darkside: Navy Sys Admin Hacks Into Databases From Aircraft Carrier

This post was syndicated from: Darknet - The Darkside and was written by: Darknet. Original post: at Darknet - The Darkside

So this story caught my eye and I found it pretty interesting as it reads like something out of a Tom Clancy novel crossed with a bunch of script kiddies, a Navy Sys Admin has been charged with conspiracy to hack – the interesting part was that he hacked the Navy (whilst working there..) and [...]

The post Navy Sys Admin Hacks Into…

Read the full post at darknet.org.uk