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Australia Targets Google With Tough New Anti-Piracy Law

Australia already has laws to enable the blocking of overseas sites that facilitate piracy but the content industries want more. New legislation unveiled today will give copyright holders new tools to force Google and other search engines to delete search results that link to infringing sites.

Section 115a of Australia’s Copyright Act allows copyright holders to apply for injunctions that force ISPs to prevent subscribers from accessing ‘overseas online locations’ that facilitate access to infringing content.

The legislation has been used on a number of occasions since its adoption in 2015 and as a result, dozens of notorious pirate sites are now inaccessible via regular means. However, pirate sites are often quick to adapt, with mirrors, proxies and other sites popping up to reactivate access.

Additionally, search engines – Google in particu...

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Court: ISP’s Lack of Terminations Didn’t Lure Pirating Subscribers

There is no evidence that Internet provider Grande Communication's lack of repeat infringer terminations acted as a draw to pirating subscribers. US District Court Judge Lee Yeakel has adopted the recommendations of the Magistrate Judge, which means that the RIAA labels must now limit their case to the contributory infringement claim.

Last year several major record labels, represented by the RIAA, filed a lawsuit against ISP Grande Communications, accusing it of turning a blind eye to pirating subscribers.

According to the labels, the Internet provider knew that some of its subscribers were frequently distributing copyrighted material, but failed to take any meaningful action in response.

Grande refuted the accusations and filed a motion to dismiss the case. The ISP partially succeeded as the claims against its management company Patriot were dropped.

In addition, the vicarious infringement allegati...

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Roku to Go Back on Sale in Mexico After Copyright Victory

Popular streaming device Roku will go back on sale in Mexico after a ruling by a court in Mexico City. The device has been off the shelves for more than a year following an initially successful copyright complaint by TV company Cablevision. However, that ruling has now been overturned and Roku declared legal, paving the way for a full return to the streaming market in Mexico.

Commercial streaming-capable devices are often designed to receive officially licensed programming but many can be reprogrammed to do illegal things.

Manufacturers say they are not responsible for this behavior but last year in Mexico, that position was successfully challenged.

Following a complaint filed by cable TV provider Cablevision, the Superior Court of Justice of the City of Mexico handed down an order preventing the importation of Roku devices and prohibiting stores such as Amazon, Liverpool, El Palacio de Hierro, and Sears from putting them on sale.


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Vodlocker Hammers Streaming Sites with JavaScript-based DDoS

Vodlocker.to offers a handy video embed tool which several smaller pirate streaming sites have grown to rely on. Starting recently, however, the site also appears to have become the source of a rather nasty JavaScript-based DDoS campaign, which uses the unwitting viewers of these embedded videos to take out several pirate streaming sites.

Last year we highlighted a rather interesting service which makes it easy for anyone to embed a pirated movie.

Requiring only an IMDb number, Vodlocker.to allows anyone to embed videos, many of which are pirated.

This turned out to be a welcome feature for many smaller site operators, who use basic scripts to set up a streaming portal with minimal investment. In exchange, Vodlocker can serve some extra ads on these sites, which makes it a win-win for both parties.

More recently, however, it appears that ‘someone’ has added some extra code to the Vodlocker ...

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Court Orders Swedish ISP Telia to Block The Pirate Bay & FMovies

Sweden's Patent and Market Court has ordered a local ISP to block access to several large torrent and streaming platforms. The interim ruling, which comes into force at the end of October, requires Telia to block The Pirate Bay, Dreamfilm, FMovies, and NyaFilmer following a complaint from Hollywood and local studios.

In an effort to reduce levels of copyright infringement, content companies and distributors have adopted site-blocking as one of their preferred anti-piracy tools.

The practice is now commonplace across Europe, with many of the main torrent and streaming portals blocked by local ISPs.

In Sweden, ‘pirate’ site blocking became a reality in February 2017 when ISP Bredbandsbolaget (Broadband Company) was ordered to block The Pirate Bay and streaming portal Swefilmer.

That process took a long time to come to fruition. The original lawsuit, filed in 2014 by Univer...

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GTA ‘Cheat’ Developers Have Homes Searched and Assets Frozen

Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive Software are taking a clear stand against cheat developers. An Australian Federal court has granted search and seizure orders against several people who are believed to be connected to the cheating software "Infamous."

Over the past year there has been a wave of copyright infringement lawsuits against alleged cheaters or cheat makers.

More than a handful have been filed in the US, but there’s also been some action in Australia recently.

In one case, filed last month, GTA V developer Rockstar Games and its parent company Take-Two Interactive are going after several people believed to be linked to the popular “Infamous” cheat.

This lawsuit is notable because the Federal Court of Australia has signed off on several broad enforcement actions. Not only are the defendants...

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Japan Plans to Criminalize Pirate Link Sites, Up to Five Years in Jail for Operators

Sites that link to copyright-infringing content aren't currently illegal under Japanese law but efforts are underway to close the loophole. The government is considering prison terms of up to five years for site operators who knowingly link to pirated content and refuse to respond to takedowns requests.

For the past several months, authorities in Japan have been grappling with the thorny issue of online piracy. The country has attempted to deal with the issue previously but there now appears to be greater momentum.

Back in September an advisory panel for the Agency for Cultural Affairs recommended that ‘pirate’ indexing sites (known locally as ‘leech’ sites) should be outlawed. These platforms host no infringing content themselves but provide hyperlinks to content hosted elsewhere.

Unlike in Europe where such sites are illegal when they deliberately pr...

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Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 10/15/18

The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again'. 'Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation' completes the top three.

This week we have two newcomers in our chart.

Ant-Man and the Wasp 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 (1) Ant-Man and the Wasp 7.3 / trai...

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Explicit Music Piracy Warnings are Seen As Most Effective

Researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, conducted a study to find out which piracy warnings are seen as most effective by the general public. As it turns out, more explicit variants tend to be favored. "STOP. This is illegal. You may be monitored and you may be fined," paired with an appropriate warning icon, is seen as relatively most effective.

Over the past decades, the entertainment industries have tried out numerous anti-piracy campaigns.

From “don’t copy that floppy,” “copyright alerts,” to “get it right,” and everything in between, it has been tried.

The problem with these campaigns is that it’s hard to measure the direct effect. This prompted psychology researchers Joanne Ullman and Clayton Silver from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to conduct a controlled experiment.

The results, published in an article titled “Perceived Effectiveness of Pot...

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Fuckr Developer, Right or Not, Backs Down in Fear of Grindr Copyright Lawsuit

The creator of controversial third-party Grindr application 'Fuckr' has withdrawn his opposition to a Grindr copyright complaint. Grindr filed a DMCA takedown notice with Github in September, stating that Fuckr infringes Grindr's intellectual property rights. However, after initially filing a counter-notice to have his software reinstated, Fuckr's creator has now backed away, fearing a prolonged copyright battle.

Released back in 2015, the Fuckr desktop application provides controversial enhanced access to the popular Grindr dating service.

Among other things, Fuckr gives Grindr users the ability to precisely locate hundreds of other users while revealing usually hidden information such as photos, HIV status, and even preferred sexual positions.

Early September, Grindr hit Fuckr with a DMCA notice, targeted at its official Github repository. Fuckr was taken down by Github but perhaps surprisingly, its developer ‘tomlandia’ chose to fight back.

Responding with a DMCA ...

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