UK Police Threats Fail to ‘Impress’ Pirate Site Operator

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City of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit is targeting online piracy on multiple fronts. Besides pressing advertisers and hosting companies, pirate site owners are also being contacted directly. This week some fresh letters were sent out, urging operators to shut down or go legit. However, not all recipients are impressed by the latest enforcement action.


For most police departments, online piracy has no priority, but in recent years City of London Police have made copyright infringement one of their main targets.

In September 2013, the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) was founded, marking the start of a broad enforcement campaign to decrease traffic to online pirate sites.

To achieve this goal PIPCU has targeted hosting services, advertisers and payment processors, asking them to cut ties with allegedly infringing sites. In addition, police also sent out warning letters to pirate site owners directly, asking the...

Yesterday at TorrentFreak

Netflix VPN Crackdown, A Year of Frustrations

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Last year Netflix launched an aggressive campaign to prevent its users from bypassing geo-blockades through VPN services. The crackdown has met fierce resistance around the world but is still in effect. Today we review the current state of affairs with some prominent VPN providers, many of whom voice concerns about the ongoing blocking efforts.


In an move to appease Hollywood’s major studios, last year Netflix increased its efforts to block customers who circumvent geo-blockades.

As a result, it has become harder to use VPN services to access Netflix content from other countries. However, the measures also affect well-intentioned customers who merely use a VPN to protect their privacy.

This broad blocking policy has sparked wide protests and now that 12 months have passed, we take a closer look at where things stand today.

TorrentFreak spoke to several VPN providers who have to deal with the issue on a ...

1/20/2017 at TorrentFreak

Steal This Show S02E09: The Information Apocalypse

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Today we bring you the next episode of the Steal This Show podcast, discussing renegade media and the latest file-sharing and copyright news. In this episode, we talk to Jeremy Kauffman, founder and CEO of the blockchain-based, P2P content platform LBRY.


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

This episode features LBRY‘s founder and CEO, Jeremy Kauffman. Jeremy introduces us to the soon-to-be-launched, blockchain-based, P2P content platform LBRY, and discusses the excitements, challenges and potential threats to liberty of running a completely decentralized, out-of-control platform.

We take on a variety of topics: upstart ‘shitcoins’ and their ...

1/20/2017 at TorrentFreak

Megaupload 2.0 News Delayed By ‘Expected’ Roadblock

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A few hours ago Kim Dotcom was gearing up to make an important announcement about a new version of the defunct Megaupload service. However, with minutes left to go, the Megaupload 2.0 plans hit an "expected" roadblock, which means that the wait continues.


January 2012, New Zealand Police carried out the largest action ever against individuals accused of copyright infringement.

The raid on Kim Dotcom’s Coatesville mansion was carried out on behalf of United States authorities, who are still trying to extradite him and several of his former colleagues.

Meanwhile, Dotcom hasn’t been sitting still. Today, exactly five years after the raid on his house and the destruction of the original Megaupload, the entrepreneur planned to announce fresh details on a new and improved version, Megaupload 2.0.

Dotcom, who is not of...

1/20/2017 at TorrentFreak

London Has Fallen Copyright Trolls Test Norway After US Retreat

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The copyright trolls behind the action movie London Has Fallen are testing out the Norwegian market after things got tricky in the US. In November, LHF Productions backed away from suing a US citizen after they were threatened with exposure, but now they're demanding money in Europe.


While the overall volume of lawsuits continues to fall, copyright trolling is still a live and viable business model in the United States. However, things don’t always go smoothly.

After demanding payments from alleged pirates for some time, last November it was reported that LHF Productions, the company behind the action movie London Has Fallen, was having difficulty with a spirited defendant in one of its cases.

In communications with LHF’s legal team, James Collins and his lawyer J. Christopher Lynch systematically took apart LHF’s claims, threatening to e...

1/20/2017 at TorrentFreak

32% of All US Adults Watch Pirated Content

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Nearly a third of all US adults admit to having downloaded or streamed pirated movies or TV-shows, a new survey from Irdeto has found. Even though many are aware that watching pirated content is not permitted, a large number of pirates are particularly hard to deter.


Despite the availability of many legal services, piracy remains rampant througout the United States.

This is one of the main conclusions of research conducted by anti-piracy firm Irdeto, which works with prominent clients including Twentieth Century Fox and Starz.

Through YouGov, the company conducted a representative survey of over 1,000 respondents which found that 32 percent of all US adults admit to streaming or downloading pirated video content.

These self-confessed pirates are interested in a wide variety of video content. TV-shows and movies that still play in t...

1/19/2017 at TorrentFreak

Movie Director Steals Clam Chowder to Avenge Illegal Downloads

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An Emmy-award winning director who discovered that one of his movies had been downloaded from torrent sites and handed out among store employees has gotten his revenge. Casey Tebo went to the store in question and started stealing ingredients to make a clam chowder. Unlike most pirates, however, he got caught.


Among most copyright holders and some artists there is an insistence that illegal downloading is tantamount to stealing. A download can result in a lost sale, they argue, thereby depriving creators (or distributors) of revenue.

File-sharers, on the other hand, have their own theories as to what their hobby amounts to. Conclusions vary, from “try before you buy” to satisfying demand unmet by authorized sources. Some merely want content for free but still argue that a copy does not amount to theft.

Director Casey Tebo, on the other hand, strongly disagrees.

Te...

1/19/2017 at TorrentFreak

Internet Freedom Day: How Massive ‘Blackout’ Protests Killed Two Anti-Piracy Bills

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Five years ago today the Internet went on strike to fight SOPA and PIPA, two anti-piracy bills. As part of the historic protests tech giants such as Google and Wikipedia stood by many smaller players in a massive "Internet blackout," which helped to defeat the bills. Since then, January 18 has become known online as "Internet Freedom Day."


At the start of the decade several new bills were introduced in the United States, aiming to make it easier for copyright holders to enforce their rights online.

The proposals, including SOPA and PIPA, would’ve streamlined the shutting down of allegedly infringing domain names and threatened to increase liability for third party services, among other things.

Fearing broad Internet censorship, the proposals ignited a wave of protests led by various activist groups. But, what started as a small protest movement was swiftly elevated to mainstream news, when tech giants suc...

1/18/2017 at TorrentFreak

ISP Says it Won’t Send BREIN’s Anti-Piracy Warnings

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ISP Ziggo says it will not send warning notices to file-sharers on behalf of Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN. The ISP, which is the largest cable operator in the Netherlands, has declared itself a neutral access provider that won't become involved in enforcing third-party rights.


As one of Europe’s most prominent anti-piracy groups, BREIN is at the forefront of copyright enforcement in the Netherlands. In early January the outfit revealed some its achievements over the past year, including enforcement actions against hundreds of sites and prolific uploaders of pirate content.

While tackling those closer to the top of the tree, BREIN has had a tendency to leave regular ‘pirate’ users alone. However, in recent times it has been developing plans to target Internet subscribers with ‘educational’ warning notices.

This past week...

1/18/2017 at TorrentFreak

Netflix is ‘Killing’ DVD Sales, Research Finds

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Netflix has rapidly become the go-to destination for many movie and TV fans. The service is bringing in billions for copyright holders, but it also has a downside. New research shows that the availability of content on Netflix can severely hurt physical disc sales, which traditionally have been the industry's largest revenue source.


We’re all familiar with the claims that piracy is “killing” the movie industry, but legal alternatives are in constant competition as well.

Over the past decade, TV and movie companies have taken part in a massive ‘experiment’ in which they’ve had to reinvent their business models, adapting to rapidly changing demands from consumers.

In part responding to piracy, the movie industry started offering their own online video download options, and with bandwidth becoming cheaper and more readily available, streaming services such as Netflix soon foll...

1/17/2017 at TorrentFreak