Broadcaster Offers Pirates ‘Free’ Legal TV Box in Exchange For Giving Up Illegal Streams

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TV pirates in Singapore are being offered an interesting deal in an effort to discourage them from consuming content via illegal sources. Owners of piracy-configured devices can hand them over to telecoms company StarHub for destruction and in return receive a free legal device with Ultra HD 4K support. Of course, there are some strings attached.


On July 6, a new Copyright Bill was tabled in the Singapore Parliament. There are many amendments under consideration that are designed to protect creators and distributors of all kinds.

For example, there are proposals to ensure that creators of works are recognized as the first owners of that content, even when that work is commissioned by a third party. It will also be a requirement to properly attribute creators when content is displayed in public, such as online.

Additionally, when copyright works are accessed legally, they can be used for data analysis, without asking p...

Read entire story Today at TorrentFreak

Akamai: Online Pirates Are Clever But Not Unbeatable

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There's a growing number of technology companies trying to help copyright holders fight online piracy. Akamai Technologies, one of the big players, takes a multi-faceted approach to tackle the problem. In recent years the company has already reported several success stories but plenty of challenges remain.


The anti-piracy ecosystem is quite diverse. It ranges from DMCA takedown farms to more technologically enhanced companies, ones that use machine learning and advanced content protection technologies to keep pirates at bay.

While it actively supports the DMCA process, Akamai considers itself among the second group. The company, which specializes in content delivery and cybersecurity, is a partner of several streaming services that offer live or on-demand content.

Rightsholders, including major sports leagues and organizers, are growing increasingly worried. They see it impact...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

Studios Appear To Be Preparing an Assault on UK Movie Piracy

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Several more movie studios have quietly joined a partnership with the Federation Against Copyright Theft that bears all the hallmarks of a pending major anti-piracy scheme. It will be of concern to UK-based pirates that several of the companies are already involved in broad litigation activity in the United States against both downloaders of content and those that provide it.


Last month we revealed that a coalition of known anti-piracy groups, rightsholders and related movie companies are quietly building a new coalition in the UK.

Data retrieved from the UK’s Companies House database showed that a partnership, previously known as H&B Administration, had rebranded to FACT Administration LLP with key member FACT Worldwide, a division of the Federation Against Copyright Theft.

As of June, FACT Administration LLP consisted of companies that previously sent cash settlement demands to users of ISP Sky on behalf of TCYK LLC, the owner of the R...

Read entire story 7/24/2021 at TorrentFreak

Watch Tower Can’t Identify Defendant in ‘Dubtown’ Copyright Suit, Court Declines to Help

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The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society has run into problems in its copyright lawsuit against the pseudonymous creator of the animation series 'Dubtown'. The videos, which portray a fictional Jehovah's Witness town depicted in Lego, are created by 'Kevin McFree', but Watch Tower doesn't know who he is or where he lives, and nobody wants to help, including the court.


The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, the supervising body and publisher for the Jehovah’s Witness religious group, wants to put an end to the activities of a defendant known only as ‘Kevin McFree’.

‘McFree’ (which is presumably not his real name) is the creator of the ‘Dubtown’ series of stop-motion Lego animations that take place in a fictitious Jehovah’s Witness town.

In the summer of 2018, Watch Tower filed an application for a DMCA subpoena at a New York court, demanding that YouTube/Google should hand over his personal deta...

Read entire story 7/23/2021 at TorrentFreak

MPA Adds New Pirate Streaming Sites to UK Blocklist

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The MPA, which represents Netflix and the major Hollywood studios, has obtained a new blocking injunction in the UK targeting several pirate streaming sites. The court order helps to curb piracy, the industry group notes. Ideally, the MPA would like to request similar blocking injunctions in the US as well.


The list of websites that are blocked in the UK for facilitating copyright infringement is growing longer and longer.

In a new ruling issued this month, the High Court ordered the major ISPs, including Sky, BT, TalkTalk, and Virgin, to block access to over a dozen ‘pirate’ streaming sites.

UK Blocklist Expands

The new blocking request was issued following a complaint from the Motion Picture Association Europe (MPA), which acts on behalf of Netflix and several major Hollywood movie studios.

Among the new sites are the popular streaming portals Myflixer.to, S...

Read entire story 7/23/2021 at TorrentFreak

Rightscorp Tracks Alleged Pirates Without a Private Investigator’s License, RCN Argues

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Internet provider RCN has modified its countersuit against the RIAA and Rightscorp. The company argues that the piracy notices sent on behalf of music labels were fraudulent and based on flimsy evidence. In addition, piracy tracking firm Rightscorp lacks a private investigator's license, which could cause further trouble.


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.

ISPs Sued Over Repeat Infringers

Several major music industry companies including Arista Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music, and Warner Records, have filed lawsuits against some of the largest U.S. Internet providers. The list of targets includes RCN, which was sued in 2019.

The liability lawsuits ...

Read entire story 7/22/2021 at TorrentFreak

OMI IN A HELLCAT Denies Copyright Crimes, Demands Cars & Millions Back

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Former Gears IPTV operator OMI IN A HELLCAT is fighting the US Government over the seizure of a fleet of supercars, jewelry, and millions of dollars in cash. The YouTuber has informed a Pennsylvania court that he has committed no crimes and his business activities were entirely legal. As a result, all of his assets should be returned, he argues.


In November 2019, dozens of FBI and IRS agents shut down a pirate IPTV service operated by YouTuber OMI IN A HELLCAT, real name Bill Omar Carrasquillo.

The authorities also seized a huge fleet of supercars, jewelry, and in excess of $5.2m in cash from a personal account. Those assets are now subject to a civil forfeiture process initiated by the United States Government.

It’s alleged that Carrasquillo and his business partners operated IPTV services variously branded as Gears, Reloaded, and Gears Reloaded, selling access to television, movies and sports content without ...

Read entire story 7/22/2021 at TorrentFreak

Greece Adds OpenSubtitles to Its Pirate Site Blocklist

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Following a request from a local anti-piracy group, Greek ISPs are required to block access to dozens of new domain names. The targeted domains include Fmovies.to, zooqle.com, and several RARBG proxies. The subtitle-sharing community OpenSubtitles is also on the list.


Pirate site blocking was a novelty ten years ago, but today it’s common practice in many countries. This is also true for Greece, where the first domains were targeted in 2018.

These blocking requests are managed by the EDPPI, a special commission at the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports that acts following complaints from rightsholders.

The Greek system is different from that of many other countries because it doesn’t involve court oversight. It’s an administrative procedure that allows copyright holders to swiftly request pirate site blockades, without the need...

Read entire story 7/21/2021 at TorrentFreak

Tokyo Olympics: Sony Obtains High Court Order to Prevent Piracy

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The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, is being held mostly without spectators but the reach of global TV will ensure it is seen around the world. With the assistance of a High Court order, Sony Pictures wants to make sure that viewers in India enjoy the games without resorting to illegal streaming platforms.


Following massive preparations that were thrown into turmoil due to the global pandemic, this Friday the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony will finally get underway.

For just over two weeks the sporting action will largely take place without spectators but a global audience in the billions is set to watch the spectacle unfold on TV and via numerous streaming services.

In India, Sony Pictures holds the exclusive rights to broadcast the games and with help from the court, wants to ensure that people don’t turn to unlicensed platforms instead.

Sony’s Pre-empti...

Read entire story 7/21/2021 at TorrentFreak

Google Delisted Hundreds of Thousands of URLs to Comply with Russian ‘VPN Law’

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Week in and week out, the Russian telecoms watchdog Roskomnadzor orders Google to remove hundreds of URLs. The requests, which are sent under the country's VPN law, target sites and services that allow access to pirated content. Over the past two years, more than half a million links were targeted through these requests.


Over the past several years, Russia has introduced various anti-piracy laws and regulations that focus on the role of online intermediaries.

App stores are required to take strict action against ‘pirate’ apps, search engines must swiftly block pirate sites, and even VPN services and proxies can be banned.

Russia started cracking down on VPNs and anonymizers in 2017, banning services that allow users to access pirate sites. A year later the legislation was updated by requiring search engines to block the URLs of services that don’t comply.

In recent ...

Read entire story 7/20/2021 at TorrentFreak