news icon

At the time of writing, at least dozens but most likely hundreds of pirate sites are effectively down due to a domain issue at a single registrar. The problem seems to be isolated to sites using .TV domains registered at Sarek Oy in Finland, a registrar well known for its pirate-friendly policies. As things stand, hundreds of domains are completely devoid of DNS, resulting in one of the biggest mass blackouts in recent history.

A few hours ago a TorrentFreak reader linked us to a list of almost 200 domains with several things in common.

The vast majority have naming conventions that almost certainly point to some type of piracy activity. No shortage of the word ‘streams’ for example, along with other familiar pirate terms such as HD, cine, film, movie, plus the likes of buff, cric and crack.

Sites with ‘anime’ in their domain names also stand out; they include the popular Animebytes, a platform that above most seemed to be generating significant panic. A gloomy discussion on ...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
news icon

On Monday, anti-piracy coalition ACE announced the shutdown of SiamBit, an 18-year-old torrent site said to have as many as 100,000 paying members, mostly from Thailand. While those details are unusual, the bigger picture is quite extraordinary. Four people arrested on suspicion of running the site include the suspected ringleader, a professional racing driver in his late thirties. Events show how an arrest in January triggered a domino effect leading right to his door.

Press releases announcing the shutdown of yet another pirate site, more arrests, and what that means for the entertainment industry, are nothing out of the ordinary. In particularly busy periods, simply determining where one batch ends and another begins can present challenges.

Yet in many cases, even the most straightforward reports have much more going on just below the surface. An announcement published Monday by the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment is clear, quite detailed, but also conservative in respect of reporting events behind the scenes.

The matter involves...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
news icon

Several film companies are continuing efforts to obtain piracy-related information in connection with Reddit users. While Reddit declined to comply with recent subpoenas for subscriber information, it handed over the personal details of one user last year. A new court filing sheds some light on the type of evidence being sought by the filmmakers, which includes BitTorrent activity and pirate site visits.

Early last year, a group of filmmakers obtained a subpoena which required Reddit to reveal the identities of users who commented on piracy-related topics.

The movie companies said they were not planning to go after these people in court but wanted to use their comments as evidence in an ongoing piracy lawsuit against Internet provider RCN.

Reddit wasn’t willing to go along with the request, at least not in full. The company objected, arguing that handing over the requested information would violate its users’ right to anonymous speech. Reddit later responded similarly to a...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
news icon

A self-styled astrologer, who allegedly sold subscriptions to a 10,000 channel pirate IPTV service, was warned that his illegal business had no future. A complaint filed at a California court claims the defendant believed he had enough time and space to dodge a cease-and-desist. Ultimately, the stars failed to align, rendering an inevitable copyright infringement lawsuit impossible to predict.

Thanks to a global pooling of knowledge and intelligence, answers to our most difficult questions are just a few clicks away on the internet today.

Since in many cases those answers aren’t necessarily right, or even right at all, that might explain why some seek advice from outer space. For a fee, astrologer Vaneet Sharma and his company Astro Vastu Solutions (AVS) reportedly supply all kinds of advice.

However, when DISH offered AVS some advice for free, the cease-and-desist notice got lost in the ether and the inexorable march towards conflict began.

Sharma IPTV...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
news icon

Every week we take a close look at the most pirated movies on torrent sites. What are pirates downloading? 'The Iron Claw' tops the chart, followed by 'The Beekeeper'. ‘'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' completes the top three.

The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only.

Downloading content without permission is copyright infringement. These torrent download statistics are only meant to provide further insight into piracy trends. All data are gathered from public resources.

This week we have three newcomers on the list. “The Iron Claw” is the most downloaded title.

The most torrented movies for the week ending on February 19 are: Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer Most do...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
news icon

BitTorrent is often characterized as a decentralized file-sharing technology. However, its reliance on centralized indexes runs contrary to this idea. Over the years, several 'indestructible' alternatives have been proposed, including the relatively new Bitmagnet software. With Bitmagnet, people can run their own private BitTorrent index, relying on DHT and the BEP51 protocol.

When Bram Cohen released the first version of BitTorrent in 2002, it sparked a file-sharing revolution.

At the time bandwidth was a scarce resource, making it impossible to simultaneously share large files with millions of people over the Internet. BitTorrent not only thrived in that environment, the protocol remains effective even to this day.

BitTorrent transfers rely on peer-to-peer file-sharing without a central storage location. With updated additions to the protocol, such as the BitTorrent Distributed Hash Table (DHT), torrent files no longer require a tracker server eit...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
news icon

A popular pirate site specializing in content from South Korea has been shut down by a court in the United States. Wavve Americas, a coalition of Korean broadcasters, filed a complaint against Kokoa TV in 2023, alleging trademark infringement, cybersquatting, copyright infringement, and other business-related violations. Kokoa TV had been receiving tens of millions of visits each month.

Lawsuits filed in the United States targeting pirate sites usually focus on breaches of copyright law, typically direct and secondary infringement, or violations of the DMCA, depending on individual circumstances.

Allegations of copyright infringement also featured in a complaint filed at an Arizona court in 2023, which hoped to quickly shut down a popular pirate site. Somewhat unusually, however, federal trademark infringement and cybersquatting allegations also played a key role, alongside other claims including unfair competition.

Complaint Targets Kokoa TV

Plaintiff Wavve ...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
news icon

A new study has found that pirate site blocking in Brazil and India boosted legal consumption. The non-peer-reviewed research confirms previously published findings that were limited to the UK. The effects on unblocked pirate sites are mixed, however, and whether the increased interest in legal content lasts over longer periods has yet to be researched.

In recent years, website blocking has become one of the most widely-used anti-piracy enforcement mechanisms in the world.

ISPs in several dozen countries prevent subscribers from accessing a variety of ‘pirate’ sites. New blocks are added every month and rightsholders are actively lobbying to expand the measure to the United States.

While site blocking is by no means a panacea, copyright holders are convinced that it has a notable effect and have research to back this up.

Piracy Blocking Research

One of the earliest pieces of peer-reviewed academic research, base...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
news icon

If initial reports coming out of Italy today are proven true, Italy's Piracy Shield system designed to block live sports piracy, is currently blocking Zenlayer CDN IP addresses and the innocent services reliant upon them. A claim that cloud services provider Cloud4C has been rendered inaccessible appears to be credible.

There’s no shortage of reasonable arguments that support the existence of a comprehensive anti-piracy system in Italy, capable of returning revenue to broadcasters, local football clubs, and rightsholders in general.

On the other side of the debate, consumers of pirate IPTV services argue that a virtual monopoly, in which competition isn’t allowed to exist, is the very reason pirate IPTV services became so popular in the first place.

In the middle of this chasm of differences are those who warned that the supposed solution to piracy of live sports – the much ...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
news icon

Launched in 2007, TVkaista allowed users to record live TV broadcasts and store them in the cloud to enjoy later. Rightsholders insisted that, without a license, TVkaista was an illegal service. In subsequent legal action, the operators of the service faced allegations of criminal copyright infringement and fraud. Seventeen years after TVkaista's launch, its former CEO has just been sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay $505,000 in compensation.

Given the ongoing shift in the TV market away from terrestrial and satellite delivery in favor of IP-based services, cloud recording services are no longer the big deal they once were.

When TVkaista launched in Finland way back in 2007, storing video in the cloud certainly wasn’t taken for granted as it is now. The service came with a program guide and allowed users to record and store TV shows from 15 local channels. TVkaista said video would be retained for a month, allowing users to watch their recordings at a time of their choosing.

At the time, similar services were...

  Read entire story