Pirate IPTV Won’t Be Stopped in 2021 But User Fatigue Could Be Crucial


As authorities around the world struggle contain one of the largest piracy threats of the last decade, it's unlikely that pirate IPTV services will die out anytime soon. The big question, however, is whether users will become tired of the disruptions and inconvenience and rightsholders will meet them in the middle on price.

During December, on the day world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua was preparing to retain all three of his belts by defeating Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev at Wembley, someone looking to watch the fight cheaply asked which pirate IPTV service would be the best to choose.

From the discussions seen by TF, this person had already subscribed to a package with another provider. However, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, after handing over money to that supplier and receiving the login details, all that appeared on the screen was…well…nothing. It was blank, no EPG, ...

Read entire story 1/2/2021 at TorrentFreak

Pirate Site Search Traffic Tanked Following Google Updates


Pirate sites lost quite a bit of traffic in 2020. A detailed analysis of the yearly trend shows that visitors from search engines dropped by roughly a third. Interestingly, it appears that Google's algorithm updates did most of the damage.

When the file-sharing boom started twenty years ago, most ‘sharing’ took place in dedicated applications such as Napster and Limewire.

This software was embraced by millions of people, mostly through word-of-mouth advertising and news reports.

A few years later, when the first torrent sites appeared online, the piracy ecosystem expanded. Some of these sites were private and closed communities but others marketed themselves to the masses. This is where search engines came in handy.

Search Engines ‘Help’ Pirate Sites

Unlike apps, the content on ...

Read entire story 1/1/2021 at TorrentFreak

Japan’s Brand New Anti-Piracy Law Goes Live: Here’s How it Will Work


A few hours ago and after years of preparation, amendments to Japan's copyright law came into effect, aiming to criminalize those who download unlicensed manga, magazines, and academic texts from the Internet. So how will the new law work, who will it affect, and what kind of penalties should people expect?

In 2012, Japan passed legislation that made it illegal to download unlicensed movies and music from the Internet.

The move, to criminalize these activities with a prison sentence of up to two years, was widely welcomed by copyright holders. However, for many others operating in less protected niches, the law didn’t go far enough.

Wildly popular manga (local comics), magazines and other literary works (such as academic texts) were not covered by the law. It would take another eight years for legislation to catch up.

In the summer and after years of work, Japan’s...

Read entire story 1/1/2021 at TorrentFreak

Could Trump’s Twitter Account Be ‘DMCA-Banned’? Not Long To Find Out


President Trump has received many copyright complaints on Twitter, a tally that has just increased due to yet another DMCA takedown notice. However, a policy decision by Twitter means he's been able to circumvent the platform's repeat infringer rules. The big question is whether he'll continue getting special treatment moving forward or will Twitter eventually have to nuke his account?

Every year billions of citizens help to develop the Internet by adding their own content, whether that’s substantial works such as videos, music or articles, or smaller but nevertheless important comments or snippets of information.

Inevitably, however, some of these postings can infringe other people’s copyrights, resulting in rightsholders and anti-piracy companies issuing DMCA takedown notices to have them removed. The sting in the tail for many users, however, is that if they continually receive DMCA notices against their accounts on sites like YouTube, Twitch or Twit...

Read entire story 12/31/2020 at TorrentFreak

TorrentFreak’s 20 Most Read Articles of 2020


With 2020 nearing its end, we take a look at the most-read news articles published by TorrentFreak this year. There was a lot of interest in enforcement actions, including the SPARKS raids and indictments. At the same time, articles about trouble at pirate sites were popular as well.

Every year we write hundreds of articles here at TorrentFreak. While they’re all worth reading, some get more exposure than others.

On the brink of the new year, we look back at 2020 by going over the 20 most-read news items of the year.

There are a few major themes in this overview. The biggest story of the year was perhaps the SPARKS raid and indictments, which makes an appearance with two separate entries.

As always, downtime and troubles at various pirate sites generate a lot of interest too. The weeks of downtime at The Pirate Bay earlier this year for exam...

Read entire story 12/31/2020 at TorrentFreak

BREIN’s Upcoming Anti-Piracy Campaign Is Unusually Honest and Focused


Anti-piracy campaigns come in all shapes and sizes and completely understandably, none are popular with pirates. However, if we pragmatically accept that they're never going away, then we should probably acknowledge that while some are horribly exploitative, others deserve at least some respect for their structure and proportionality.

While plenty of people monitor the world of online copyright infringement, here at TorrentFreak we’ve continuously dived deeper than most into almost every anti-piracy campaign proposed or launched in the last 15 years.

It’s safe to say that pirates generally hate all attempts to deny them access to free content but whether people like it or not, rightsholders will always seek to protect their content. The big question is how and one doesn’t have to be a proponent or opponent of piracy to recognize that there are levels to anti-piracy campaigns that can make some i...

Read entire story 12/30/2020 at TorrentFreak

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ is a Massive Hit on Pirate Sites After Early HBO Premiere


'Wonder Woman 1984' premiered both on HBO Max and in movie theaters this weekend, which proved to be a massive success. The same can be said for the film's release on pirate sites which hit record numbers. On Saturday, nearly 10% of all pirate downloads on torrent sites related to Wonder Woman, something we haven't seen before. It's a potential game-changer.

The news that Warner Bros. has decided to premiere all upcoming movie titles both on HBO Max and in cinema, was a shock to many movie insiders.

Some star actors feared a loss in revenue and filmmakers, including Christopher Nolan, argued that their work should be seen on the big screen first.

Strong Opening Weekend

The critique didn’t change Warner Bros. plans and a few days ago “Wonder Woman 1984” was the first film to premiere on HBO Max and in cinemas simultaneously. Thus far the results don’t disappoint – the film set a ‘pandemic recor...

Read entire story 12/30/2020 at TorrentFreak

Undercover Cops Arrest Sellers of ‘Pirate’ Amazon Firesticks At Florida Flea Market


The Polk County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference a few days ago to announce the results of an undercover operation stat started months ago. Detectives busted four sellers of 'pirate' Amazon Fire Sticks, including an 88-year-old suspect. According to the police, selling jailbroken devices is a crime.

Online piracy is traditionally associated with a young and tech-savvy audience, but that image doesn’t always hold up.

Piracy has reached the masses with the help of online streaming and easy-to-use devices. In fact, it’s now mainstream enough to have made it all the way to local flea markets.

We’re not talking about bootleg DVDs or CDs that have been sold under the counter for decades. No, we’re referring to pirate streaming boxes and sticks that provide a portal into the world of streaming piracy.

A few days ago, the Polk County Sheriff’s ...

Read entire story 12/29/2020 at TorrentFreak

Pirate Site Operators Facing Six Years Prison, Six Million Euros in Damages


In 2015, authorities in Spain launched an investigation into pirate site Descargasmix.com and around 15 associated domains. At the time the sites were considered to be the most important platforms targeting Spanish-speaking audiences. Two men, alleged to be the sites' operators will go on trial in 2021, with prosecutors demanding six-year prison sentences and damages in excess of six million euros.

In October 2015, an investigation was launched into the operations of Descargasmix.com and associated domains including DDmix and up to 15 variants.

According to Spanish authorities, the group was the most important site network serving the Spanish-speaking community and caused significant damages to intellectual property rights holders seeking to exploit the same market.

Investigation Carried Out By Three Groups

The investigation into the Descargasmix group was carried out by three entities – the Federation for the Protection of Intellectual Property (FAP), the Associat...

Read entire story 12/29/2020 at TorrentFreak

Beast IPTV Shut Down By Alliance For Creativity and Entertainment


Beast IPTV, a popular pirate IPTV service that has faced numerous issues over the past few weeks, has shut down and will not be returning. In a pair of statements, one of which goes into more detail than the other, the service says it was "forced" to close its doors. Fingers are pointing to action by the Alliance of Creativity and Entertainment and what appears to be legal action in the United States and Canada.

Over the past several weeks, users of pirate IPTV service Beast IPTV have been reporting numerous issues with their accounts.

Some initial downtime coupled with an inability to make new payments, an obvious lack of customer support, then a complete disappearance of the service itself, all provided the tell-tale signs of a platform on the way out. The big question was why.

As is common in IPTV circles when a service shows signs of stress, rumors had been circulating for some time that Beast was in trouble. While technical issues are always an option, when site staff go dark an...

Read entire story 12/28/2020 at TorrentFreak