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‘Copyright Troll’ Bypasses Federal Court To Get ‘Cheap’ Piracy Settlements


Strike 3 Holdings has been the most active copyright litigant in the U.S. this year but, during the summer, it suddenly stopped filing lawsuits in federal courts. Further research now reveals that the adult entertainment company moved its efforts to the state level, which can be a much cheaper option. However, several defense attorneys are protesting this move, noting that it's not allowed.

Earlier this week we reported on a notable finding. For some reason, the two most active copyright litigants in the US had stopped filing new lawsuits in federal courts.

Instead of seeing hundreds of new cases each month targeting alleged BitTorrent pirates, there were none.

While the reason for this hiatus is unknown, we can now confirm that at least one of the companies hasn’t halted its efforts at all. Instead, it changed the venue, which isn’t without controversy.

In the U.S, copyright-related court cases are exclusively a matter of federal law, which...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

Fake: DMCA Notice Targeting Apple Jailbreaks on Reddit Was Fraudulent


A DMCA notice that targeted Reddit's /r/jailbreak sub-Reddit earlier this week was fraudulent. Fingers were pointed firmly towards Apple on the basis it had previously targeted a tweet containing an encryption key. However, it now transpires that the notice sent to Reddit was created by an imposter. The targets of this malicious act are now calling on Reddit to share DMCA notices by default, to prevent abuse.

Earlier this week, black clouds began to form over the passionate iOS jailbreaking community. Tolerated by Apple through gritted teeth due to legal protection under the DMCA, the company took the unusual step of sending a DMCA notice targeting a developer’s tweet containing an encryption key.

While that tweet was later restored, the takedown came as a complete surprise and the knock-on effect from this unsettling act would set the scene for the company getting blamed for additional similar acts, this time on Reddit.

In the wake of the Twitter action, a moderator of the /...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

USMCA Trade Deal Keeps DMCA-Style ‘Safe Harbor’ for ISPs


The United States, Canada, and Mexico have signed a new trade deal that will replace NAFTA. The USMCA deals with a wide range of trade topics including copyright issues. Despite warnings from rightsholders and some lawmakers, the agreement offers liability protections for Internet companies, including a DMCA-style safe harbor provision.

More than a quarter-century after the United States, Canada, and Mexico approved the NAFTA trade agreement, the North American countries have now signed off on a new trade deal.

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will accommodate changes in trade that the three countries have witnessed over the years, especially online.

The road to this final deal wasn’t without obstacles. After agreeing on the text a year ago, new demands and proposed changes were tabled, some of which were included in the Protocol of Amendments that was published this week.

The a...

Read entire story 12/12/2019 at TorrentFreak

Apple Hits Encryption Key With DMCA Notice, Panic Shuts Down the Jailbreak Sub-Reddit


A sub-Reddit dedicated to jailbreaking iOS devices put itself into lockdown yesterday after several DMCA notices were filed against the discussion forum. Various sources reported that the notices were filed by Apple, in an attempt to hinder distribution of jailbreaking-related tools and information. While that remains unconfirmed, Apple did use the DMCA to take down a related tweet containing an encryption key.

To most users of mobile computing devices such as phones and tablets, they exist to be used however the consumer sees fit. However, the majority are restricted to prevent the adventurous from doing whatever they like with their own hardware.

To bypass these restrictions, users can utilize a so-called jailbreak tool. These unlock the digital handcuffs deployed on a device and grant additional freedoms that aren’t available as standard. As such, they are popular with modders who enjoy customizing their hardware with new features that otherwise wouldn’t exist.


Read entire story 12/12/2019 at TorrentFreak

Most Active Copyright Trolls Have Stopped Filing U.S. Piracy Lawsuits, For Now


The two companies behind nearly all U.S. file-sharing lawsuits in recent years haven't filed any new complaints recently. Instead of submitting hundreds of new complaints, there are none. It's unclear why both companies have halted their efforts but it could have something to do with recent legal developments.

While most piracy activity has shifted to streaming in recent years, U.S. courts have still been overloaded with BitTorrent related piracy lawsuits.

This phenomenon, often dubbed as copyright trolling, started roughly a decade ago and remains ongoing.

This scheme can be both simple and lucrative. Rightsholders file complaints against “John Does” who are initially only known by an IP-address. They then request a subpoena to obtain the subscriber details and demand a settlement from the account holder.

In recent years, the vast majority of the U.S. lawsuits were filed...

Read entire story 12/11/2019 at TorrentFreak

Google’s Top UK “Where to Watch” Searches Weren’t a Piracy Concern in 2019


Google has just released its Year in Search 2019 report which reveals what users searched for during the past year. Some of the most popular questions in the UK were "where to watch" followed by popular TV shows and events, something which prompted a warning from anti-piracy group FACT. But are these searches really a major concern anymore?

That Google knows every detail of what its users search for is no secret – after all, the company itself processes all of the requests.

Armed with this data, Google publishes its annual ‘Year in Search‘ report, the latest of which appeared yesterday. From our perspective, there were very few – if any – piracy-related aspects to report, something which should be encouraging to rightsholders.

However, after the BBC published its take on Google’s UK search statistics, noting that several questions in the ̶...

Read entire story 12/11/2019 at TorrentFreak

Texas Man Sued for Selling Pirate Boxes Advertised on Facebook


Media giant ABS-CBN has filed a lawsuit against a Texas man who stands accused of of selling pirate streaming devices. The defendant, who allegedly promoted the boxes through various Facebook pages, faces millions of dollars in potential damages.

ABS-CBN, the largest media and entertainment company in the Philippines, is continuing its legal campaign against piracy.

Over the past several years, the company has singled out dozens of streaming sites that offer access to ‘Pinoy’ content without permission, both in the US and abroad.

While these traditional sites remain a key focus for the company, ABS-CBN is expanding its scope in the US by going after an alleged seller of pirate streaming boxes.

In a complaint filed at a federal court in Texas, the company accuses local resident Anthony Brown of ...

Read entire story 12/10/2019 at TorrentFreak

Helix IPTV: Hackers Threaten to Expose Resellers & Customers


Popular 'pirate' IPTV provider Helix Hosting appears to be facing a crisis after someone claiming to be a hacker posted a message on the service's homepage. According to the statement, Helix failed to pay a ransom so as a result, the personal details of customers and resellers, plus an owner's name, address and phone number, will be leaked online.

Pirate IPTV providers have become a pretty big deal in recent years.

Offering cut-price access to otherwise subscription TV channels, PPVs, and video-on-demand archives, customers have flocked to them in their millions.

One popular provider operating in the space is Helix Hosting but if a message that appeared on the service’s homepage is anything to go by, the Christmas period may become memorable for all the wrong reasons.

The statement, published hours ago on the official Helix Hosting homepage, claimed that Helix had been hacked and was being hel...

Read entire story 12/10/2019 at TorrentFreak

The Pirate Bay is Trialing High-Quality Video Streaming Links


Developments over the past few days indicate that The Pirate Bay may about to fully launch a brand new feature. In addition to traditional magnet links, many titles now feature a subtle 'B' button which allow users to stream movies and TV shows directly in the browser on a new site called BayStream.

The Pirate Bay is well known for its huge database of magnet links which allow users to download most types of content imaginable.

Over the past few days, however, the platform has been adding a brand new feature that will please those who prefer to access movies and TV shows instantly, rather than waiting for them to download.

As the image below shows, in addition to the familiar magnet and trusted uploader icons displayed alongside video and TV show releases, the site also features a small orange ‘B’ graphic.

In some cases (but currently ...

Read entire story 12/9/2019 at TorrentFreak

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 12/09/19


The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'Ad Astra' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood'. 'Rambo: Last Blood' completes the top three.

This week we have two newcomers in our chart.

Ad Astra is the most downloaded movie.

The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are Web-DL/Webrip/HDRip/BDrip/DVDrip unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the articles of the recent weekly movie download charts.

This week’s most downloaded movies are: Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer Most downloaded movies via torrents 1 (…) Ad Astra 6.9 / trailer 2 (1) Once Up...

Read entire story 12/9/2019 at TorrentFreak