Chrome and Firefox Block Torrentz2 Over “Harmful Programs”
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Chrome and Firefox are blocking direct access to the popular torrent meta-search engine Torrentz2.eu. According to Google's safe browsing program, some pages on Torrentz2 contain harmful programs. The site's operator contradicts this and notes that the only ad they have promotes a VPN service.

For the past few hours, Chrome and Firefox users have been unable to access Torrentz2.eu without running into a significant roadblock.

Instead of the usual torrent search box, visitors to the meta-search engine now see an ominous red warning banner when they try to find a torrent.

“The site ahead contains harmful programs,” Google Chrome informs its users.

“Attackers on torrentz2.eu might attempt to trick you into installing programs that harm your browsing experience (for example, by changing your homepage or showing extra ads on sites you visit),” the warn...

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Bell Asks Employees to Back Pirate Site Blocking Plan
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Bell, Canada's largest telecommunications company, is asking its employees to support the company's calls to have pirate sites blocked. Through an internal message, employees are encouraged to share their thoughts with the local telecom regulator CRTC, However, this effort may just backfire.

Last month, a coalition of Canadian companies called on the local telecom regulator CRTC to establish a local pirate site blocking program, which would be the first of its kind in North America.

The Canadian deal is supported by Fairplay Canada, a coalition of both copyright holders and major players in the Telco industry, such as Bell and Rogers, which also have media companies of their own.

Thus far, there’s been a fair amount of opposition to the proposal. While CTRC is reviewing FairPlay Canada’s plans, OpenMedia has launched a petition to stop the effort in its t...

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Dutch Continue to Curb Illegal Downloading But What About Streaming?
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After previously being legal for personal use, in 2014 the Netherlands banned downloading of copyrighted content. In 2013, 41% of people engaged in the practice but according to a new study, just 24% admitted to having downloaded pirate media within the previous 12 months. While that sounds like good news, unauthorized streaming is absent from the stats.

After many years of downloading content with impunity, 2014 brought a culture shock to the Dutch.

Citizens were previously allowed to obtain content for their own use due to a levy on blank media that compensated rightsholders. However, the European Court of Justice found that system to be illegal and the government quickly moved to ban downloading from unauthorized sources.

In the four years that have passed since the ban, the downloading landscape has undergone change. That’s according to a study published by the Consumer Insights panel at Telecompaper which found that...

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Australian Pirate Site Blocks Actually Block Pirate Sites
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New research, promoted by copyright holders, concludes that Australia's pirate site-blocking efforts are paying off. The court-ordered blockades have effectively limited the number of direct visits to blocked sites. Whether the effect is as pronounced as claimed is unclear though, in part because VPN usage is not accounted for.

Australian copyright holders and lawmakers have been struggling to find an adequate response to online piracy for several years.

Progress has been slow, but with pirate site blockades now in effect, there appears to be some movement.

New research published by INCOPRO this week shows that traffic to blocked pirate sites has decreased 53.4% since the first measures were implemented a year ago. In total, usage of the top 250 pirate sites dropped a significant 25.4% in Australia.

In summary, the research confirms that direct traffic to blocked sites has decreased dramatic...

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TVAddons Suffers Big Setback as Court Completely Overturns Earlier Ruling
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In 2017, Kodi add-on site TVAddons was taken offline following a copyright complaint from Canada's largest telecoms companies. TVAddons' owner was subjected to a no-notice search, something which caused outrage at the time. Soon after a judge found serious errors in the execution of the search order and vacated it. Now, in a major setback for TVAddons, an appeals court has overturned that ruling.

On June 2, 2017 a group of Canadian telecoms giants including Bell Canada, Bell ExpressVu, Bell Media, Videotron, Groupe TVA, Rogers Communications and Rogers Media, filed a complaint in Federal Court against Montreal resident, Adam Lackman.

Better known as the man behind Kodi addon repository TVAddons, Lackman was painted as a serial infringer in the complaint. The telecoms companies said that, without gaining permission from rightsholders, Lackman communicated copyrighted TV shows including Game of Thrones, Prison Break, The Big Bang Theory, America’s Got Talent, Keeping Up With ...

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SkyTorrents Dumps Massive Torrent Database and Shuts Down
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The ad-free and privacy-focused torrent site "SkyTorrents" has become a victim of its own success. With millions of pageviews per day, the site was too expensive to manage, leaving the operator no other option than to shut it down. People who are interested in the site's 15 million torrent database can now grab a copy before it disappears for good.

About a year ago we first heard about SkyTorrents, an ambitious new torrent site which guaranteed a private and ad-free experience for its users.

Initially, we were skeptical. However, the site quickly grew a steady userbase through sites such as Reddit and after a few months, it was still sticking to its promise.

“We will NEVER place any ads,” SkyTorrents’ operator informed us last year.

“The site will remain ad-free or it will shut down. When our funds dry up, we will go for donations. We can also handover to someone with similar intent, interests, a...

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Pirate Site Admin Sentenced to Two Years Prison & €83.6 Million Damages
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A man said to be the brains behind one of France's most popular streaming sites has been sentenced in his absence by a court in the suburbs of Paris. Currently on the run, the 41-year-old was sentenced to two years in prison and a shocking 83 million euros in damages after infringing the rights of companies including Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Bros.

Way back in 2011, Streamiz was reported to be the second most popular pirate streaming site in France with around 250,000 visitors per day. The site didn’t host its own content but linked to movies elsewhere.

This prominent status soon attracted the attention of various entertainment companies including the National Federation of Film Distributors (FNDF) which filed a complaint against the site back in 2009.

Investigators eventually traced the presumed operator of the site to a location in the Hauts-de-Seine region of France. In October 2011 he was arrested leaving his M...

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BitTorrent Client uTorrent Suffers Security Vulnerability
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BitTorrent client uTorrent is suffering from an as yet undisclosed vulnerability. The security flaw was discovered by Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy, who previously said he would reveal a series of "remote code execution flaws" in torrent clients. BitTorrent Inc. has rolled out a patch in the latest Beta release and hopes to fix the stable uTorrent client later this week.

With dozens of millions of active users a day, uTorrent has long been the most used torrent client.

The software has been around for well over a decade and it’s still used to shift petabytes of data day after day. While there haven’t been many feature updates recently, parent company BitTorrent Inc. was alerted to a serious security vulnerability recently.

The security flaw in question was reported by Google vulnerability researcher Tavis Ormandy, who first reached out to BitTorrent in November last year. Google’s Project Zero allows developers a 90-day windo...

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Steal This Show S03E13: The Tao of The DAO
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Today we bring you the next episode of the Steal This Show podcast, discussing renegade media and the latest decentralization and file-sharing news. In this episode, we talk to Chris Beams, founder of the decentralized cryptocurrency exchange Bisq.

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!

In this episode, we meet Chris Beams, founder of the decentralized cryptocurrency exchange Bisq. We discuss the concept of DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations) and whether The Pirate Bay was an early example; how the start of Bitcoin parallels the start of the Internet itself; and why the meretricious Bitcoin Cash fork of Bitcoin is based on a misunderstanding of Open Source deve...

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Copyright Trolls Target Up to 22,000 Norwegians for Movie Piracy
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The Oslo District Court has effectively given a Danish law firm the go-ahead to target up to 21,804 potential pirates with cash settlement demands. Njord Law ran into trouble at the Supreme Court last year when it was found that its evidence against alleged pirates failed to show serious levels of infringement. This time around it has clearly learned from its earlier experiences.

Last January it was revealed that after things had become tricky in the US, the copyright trolls behind the action movie London Has Fallen were testing out the Norwegian market.

Reports emerged of letters being sent out to local Internet users by Danish law firm Njord Law, each demanding a cash payment of 2,700 NOK (around US$345). Failure to comply, the company claimed, could result in a court case and damages of around $12,000.

The move caused outrage locally, with consumer advice groups advising people not to pay and even major anti-piracy groups distancing themselves from...

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