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A 58-year-old man has been ordered to pay four Swedish TV companies more than $164,000 in damages after being found guilty of selling illegal IPTV service subscriptions. He claimed that a third party was responsible for the sales but a local court found him guilty of copyright infringement offenses, also handing down a four-month suspended prison sentence.

Due to the way many pirate IPTV services are structured, top level suppliers often rely on a cascading marketing system whereby subscriptions are sold and resold through a network of so-called resellers.

This type of arrangement allows lower-level individuals to sell subscriptions to their own customer bases while also helping to shield providers from unwanted attention from copyright holders and authorities. Of course, this can also draw attention to the resellers who end up shouldering the blame when investigations get underway.

Investigation in Sweden

In 2018, a representat...

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Activision sued Call of Duty cheat maker EngineOwning this month, alleging breaches of the DMCA. According to new filings, an Activision lawyer was trolled by the defendants online with one claiming he would never be found. That will remain to be seen after the court granted a request to compel Google, Reddit, Steam, PayPal, Trustpilot and more to hand over the details of the defendants.

In reponse to rampant cheating in Call of Duty games, earlier this month Activision filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against cheat maker EngineOwning UG and CMN Holdings S.A.

The complaint also named six individuals (Valentin Rick, Leonard Bugla, Leon Frisch, Ignacio Gayduchenko, Marc-Alexander Richts, Alexander Kleeman) and added 50 ‘Doe’ defendants.

Activision explained that to combat cheating it had previously deployed its RICHOCET Anti-Cheat system and since EngineOwning tools bypass that, these defendants are in breach of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention pro...

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The European Parliament has approved the Digital Services Act (DSA), including several key changes. The proposed legislation adds a right for people to use and pay for online services anonymously. However, the amendments to ban site blocking and 'dumb' upload filters were voted down by the majority.

In recent years the European Commission has proposed and adopted various legislative changes to help combat online piracy.

This includes the Copyright Directive which passed in 2019. A year later, the EU proposed more copyright regulations as part of the Digital Services Act, which was up for a vote this week.

Big Tech and Takedowns

The Digital Services Act (DSA) is the official successor to the E-Commerce Directive. The new package aims to bring EU legislation into line with the current state of the digital age, which has changed dramatically over the past several years.  Read entire story

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Internet provider Bright House has asked a Florida federal court to sanction several record labels for 'destroying' evidence that it says is crucial to the ongoing piracy liability lawsuit. In addition to sanctions, the ISP also wants the option to inform the jury about the missing evidence, while testimony based on that information should be precluded from trial.

Under US copyright law, Internet providers must terminate the accounts of repeat infringers “in appropriate circumstances.”

In the past such drastic action was rare, but with the backing of legal pressure, ISPs are increasingly being held to this standard.

Billion Dollar Lawsuits

Several major music industry companies including Artista Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music, and Warner Records, have filed lawsuits against some of the largest U.S. Internet providers. This also includes Bright House, which is owned by Charter.

Through legal action, the mu...

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A decade has passed since Megaupload's servers were raided on behalf of the U.S. Government. On the same day, helicopters and police swarmed the estate of founder Kim Dotcom. The criminal enforcement action was supposed to put the larger-than-life Internet entrepreneur in the shadows, but the opposite happened.

At the end of 2011, Kim Dotcom dropped the “Megaupload Song.”

The track, a blatant promotional piece for the file-sharing site, featured top artists such P Diddy, Will.i.am, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, and Kanye West.

This unprecedented advertisement came as a complete surprise to friends and foes. Not just because of the sheer star power, but also because Kim Dotcom himself wasn’t particluarly public at the time.

Locally, the New-Zealand entrepreneur enjoyed some fame, living the high life in a multi-million dollar mansion. And in gaming circles, he w...

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OpenSubtitles, one of the largest repositories of subtitle files on the internet, has been hacked. Founded in 2006, the site was reportedly hacked in August 2021 with the attacker obtaining the personal data of nearly seven million subscribers including email and IP addresses, usernames and passwords. The site alerted users yesterday after the hacker leaked the database online.

OpenSubtitles is one of the largest and most popular subtitle repositories on the Internet. Millions of subtitle files are downloaded every week in many languages, often to be paired with downloaded movies and TV shows.

The site was founded in 2006 by a Slovakian programmer who came up with the idea while drinking a few beers at a local pub. Following an announcement late yesterday, more beers might be needed to cope with an emerging crisis.

OpenSubtitles Hacked, Millions of Subscribers’ Details Exposed

In a post to the OpenSubtitles forum, site administrator ‘oss&...

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The EU is planning to develop its own government-run DNS resolver. The project dubbed DNS4EU is meant to offer a counterweight to the popular resolvers that are mostly based in the U.S. Aside from offering privacy and security to users, the DNS solution will also be able to block "illegal" websites, including pirate sites.

The Domain Name System has been an essential component of the Internet since the mid-eighties.

DNS resolvers make it possible to map a human-readable domain name to an IP-address, so a website or service can be easily located. Older people also call it the Internet’s phone book.

Nowadays, there are several large DNS resolvers. Many ISPs operate their own but third-party DNS services are very popular too. The most used third-party options include Google, Cloudflare, OpenDNS and Norton, which are all US-based. This large foreign footprint has the EU worried.

DNS4EU   Read entire story

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Joint action by Europol and law enforcement authorities in ten countries has shut down VPNLab, a VPN service said to have been used to commit cybercrimes including malware distribution and ransomware campaigns. The service's domain now displays a seizure banner claiming the service's involvement in major international cyber attacks.

In common with all communications systems such as telephone networks, internet service providers and even email, VPN services can be used by honest citizens and criminals alike.

In terms of staying within the boundaries of the law, the important factor is whether the communications provider or service actively and knowingly encourages or facilitates illegal activities. According to an announcement by Europol, VPN provider VPNLab appears to have overstepped the mark.

VPNLabs Domain Seized, Service Shut Down

Historical visitors to the VPNLab.net website were previously greeted w...

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Axel Springer has lost its copyright infringement lawsuit against Eyeo GmbH, the company behind Adblock Plus. The German publishing house, which owns the Bild and Die Welt brands, among others, claimed that adblockers interfere with the presentation of websites in browsers, thus breaching copyright. In a victory for Eyeo, the Hamburg District Court has dismissed the case.

In order to finance their operations, millions of websites rely on advertising to generate revenue. For some readers, however, excessive or obtrusive advertising is something to be combatted, often through the use of adblocking tools.

Developed by German company Eyeo GmbH and available on Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Android and iOS, one of the most popular tools is AdBlock Plus. It’s able to drastically reduce the volume of advertising seen by its users but that didn’t sit well with publishing giant Axel Springer.

The publisher, which owns Bild and Die Welt, among oth...

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As scientists and academics of all kinds turn to Sci-Hub to freely access scientific papers, a new browser tool aims to make access even more straightforward. Currently available from the Mozilla addon store but also compatible with Chrome, 'Sci-Hub Injector' embeds Sci-Hub download links into popular publishers' websites.

Given its reputation for tearing down paywalls to deliver knowledge and enlightenment to academics, students and researchers, Sci-Hub remains one of the internet’s most valuable data resources.

Praised by all who find its services useful or even vital, Sci-Hub also has to deal with attacks from publishing giants who would prefer to see the platform taken offline, or blocked by ISPs wherever that is a viable option.

Unfortunately for the publishers, however, those utilizing Sci-Hub tend to be tech-savvy individuals who are not only undeterred by blocks but can also have ...

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