EU Court: YouTube and Uploaded Are, In Principle, Not Liable For Pirating Users

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The Court of Justice of the European Union has handed down a long-awaited copyright ruling that clarifies if and when online services such as YouTube and Uploaded are liable for pirating users. The Court finds that, in principle, these services are not liable under EU law. However, that changes when the services are aware of specific infringements.


Week in and week out, YouTube’s users upload millions of hours of videos. As with any user-generated content site, this also includes copyright-infringing content.

The file-hosting platform Uploaded faces similar issues. While it can be used to share legal files, some people choose to use it to share pirated content.

This is a thorn in the side of several rightsholders, who argue that YouTube and Uploaded are liable for the infringing activities of their users. In Germany, this resulted in two lawsuits that remain unresolved but had a breakthrough today.

The first ...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

Filelinked Made ‘Banned’ Piracy Apps Easier to Find But Has Now Disappeared

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An app that allowed users to find and install Android apps unavailable on official stores has disappeared in mysterious circumstances. The innovative 'Filelinked' tool allowed users to set up their own app stores, accessible by anyone with the relevant code. This made it a haven for people looking to download and share piracy apps, which could explain its apparent demise.


In a normal environment, installing software to Android devices, including Amazon’s popular Fire TV range, is a straightforward affair. Both Google and Amazon provide their own easy-to-use stores but for some users, these can have limitations.

While some apps can slip through Google or Amazon’s moderation processes, it’s generally accepted that these platforms don’t allow piracy-focused apps to be made available to the public. This means that users have to obtain their APK files from third-party sources and sideload them to their devices.

None of this i...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

Anti-Piracy Lawyer Officially Secures RARBG Trademark

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Anti-piracy lawyer Kerry Culpepper has officially secured the RARBG trademark, a name that's commonly associated with a popular torrent site. The move is linked to an anti-piracy initiative, where the lawyer uses brands of pirate sites and services against themselves. Culpepper says he plans to enforce the trademark, but what this will look like is unknown.


Copyright holders can take a wide variety of measures to tackle online piracy, with some being more creative than others.

Hawaiian attorney Kerry Culpepper has tried different options over the years. This includes using the brands of various pirate sites and services as a weapon.

Pirate Trademarks

To pull this off, Culpepper incorporated the Hawaiian corporation 42 Ventures, which he used to register several piracy-related trademarks. The company’s current trademark portfolio includes the popular “YTS,” “Popcorn Time,” and “Terrarium” brands. In addition, it ...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

EU Court: Copyright Trolls Can Target BitTorrent Pirates Provided Claims Aren’t ‘Abusive’

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Europe's top court has ruled that so-called copyright trolls can demand cash settlements from alleged BitTorrent pirates. Clarifying that sharing fragments of data associated with BitTorrent transfers still represents a communication to the public, the EU Court of Justice says that cases can be pursued but only when local courts consider them to be non-abusive, justified, and proportionate.


Cyprus-based Mircom International Content Management & Consulting (Mircom) is a well-known entity in the world of copyright trolling.

The company acts as a middle-man between rightsholders and legal action against alleged pirates from whom it demands cash settlements to make supposed lawsuits disappear.

Mircom and controversy are rarely far apart. In 2019 the High Court in the UK threw out its efforts to obtain the identities of Virgin Media customers and in Denmark it was accused of filing cases it had no right to file.

Demands For Subscriber Data in Denmark Face O...

Read entire story 6/21/2021 at TorrentFreak

Sony Wins Pirate Site Blocking Order Against DNS-Resolver Quad9

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Sony Music has obtained an injunction that requires the freely available DNS-resolver Quad9 to block a popular pirate site. The order, issued by the District Court in Hamburg, Germany, is the first of its kind. The Quad9 foundation has already announced that it will protest the judgment, which could have far-reaching consequences.


Copyright holders have made serious work of website blocking in Germany.

A few months ago a voluntary agreement was announced with the country’s largest ISPs, which agreed to block pirate sites after a verification process.

This is a major win for rightsholders, but one that can be easily defeated. The Internet providers use relatively simple DNS blockades which can be circumvented by switching to third-party DNS resolvers such as Google, Cloudflare or Quad9, which are all free to use. However, that loophole may not last forever.

Last week Sony Music obtained an...

Read entire story 6/21/2021 at TorrentFreak

Record Labels Want YouTube Rippers to Log and Share User Data

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The copyright lawsuit between several major record labels and YouTube-rippers FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com is entering sensitive territory. As part of the discovery process, the music companies demand logs of what content the sites' users download and where from. The operator of the sites doesn't keep such extensive logs, but could the court force him to do so?


Free music is easy to find nowadays. Just head over to YouTube and one can find millions of tracks, including many of the most recent releases.

This is a problem for the major record labels which don’t want tracks to leak outside YouTube’s ecosystem. For this reason, YouTube rippers are seen as a major threat.

The music industry is actively tackling this issue by requesting IPS blockades, sending takedown notices, and taking site operators to court.

FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com Lawsuit

In 2018, a group of prominent record labels sued two very popular YouTube rippers, FL...

Read entire story 6/20/2021 at TorrentFreak

Windows 11: Microsoft Slowly Starts Taking Down Leaked ISO

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After a leaked copy of Windows 11 began circulating this week, thousands downloaded the ISO file to get an early look at the new operating system. Perhaps surprisingly, Microsoft hasn't yet made much of an effort to contain the leak, but was successful in taking down the ISO from various hosting sites. It also targeted a tech news site, which removed an installation tutorial.


Earlier this week, a copy of the next version of Windows leaked onto the web.

Known officially as Windows 11, the leaked copy is a pre-beta version but that hasn’t stopped tech sites publishing mini reviews, assessing everything from its visual appearance to various technical features.

This early reveal isn’t what Microsoft had in mind so, with various ISO files now circulating on torrent sites, file-hosting platforms and even Google’s services, Microsoft has made a start at trying to remove the leak from the web.

A Slow Start to Public Takedowns

Ever...

Read entire story 6/19/2021 at TorrentFreak

Triller Sues YourEXTRA YouTube Channel For Jake Paul Fight Piracy

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People who thought that uploading the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren fight to YouTube was a good idea are now having their opinions changed by Triller. As the list of targets expands, Triller has filed a new lawsuit targeting the operator of the YourEXTRA YouTube channel, demanding what could stretch to millions in damages for breaches of copyright law and the Federal Communications Act.


Every week millions of users upload their own content to YouTube. The platform provides a great way to grow a large audience but for those who don’t play the rules, trouble can lie ahead.

In many instances, uploading infringing material to YouTube can go completely unpunished but choose content that is closely monitored (such as music), suspensions and even account closures can be the end result.

And as some individuals are now learning, there are bigger pitfalls too.

Triller Sending a Clear Message to Boxing Pirates

As widely publicized, for the past couple of m...

Read entire story 6/18/2021 at TorrentFreak

Mysterious Malware Blocks The Pirate Bay and Other Pirate Sites

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A new type of recently discovered malware actively targets pirates. Instead of heavily compromising the computers of victims, its main goal is to block hundreds of pirate sites. Sophos found several variations of the malware, which itself is disguised as pirated software. While the impact can be great, fixing the problem is relatively easy.


For a few years now, copyright holders have warned that people who use pirate sites risk running into malware and other malicious content.

These warnings are meant to dissuade people from using these sites. However, a new type of malware already does that in a more direct way.

In an article published this week, British security company Sophos highlights a malware campaign that actively targets pirates. Not to harm their computers, but to block them from accessing pirate sites in the future.

Disguised as Pirated Software

The malware in question is disguised as pirated ...

Read entire story 6/18/2021 at TorrentFreak

Jetflicks: Programmer of Pirate IPTV Service Handed 12 Months in Prison

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A man who worked as a programmer for a major pirate streaming operation has been sentenced in the US. Luis Angel Villarino was indicted in August 2019 for his part in running Jetflicks . After admitting to one count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, he has now been ordered to serve 12 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.


In 2019, eight men were indicted by a grand jury for conspiring to violate criminal copyright law for running Jetflicks and iStreamitAll, two of the largest pirate streaming services in the United States.

The Las Vegas-based platforms were huge. Jetflicks, which was disguised as an aviation service, offered around 183,285 pirated TV episodes to customers. iStreamitAll was reported to have made available more than 118,479 TV shows and 10,980 movies to its customers, at the time more content than was on offer at Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

In December 2019, Darryl Julius Polo...

Read entire story 6/17/2021 at TorrentFreak

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