PC Software Piracy Decreases Worldwide, But Remains Rampant

IPVanish “No-Logging” VPN Led Homeland Security to Comcast User


IPVanish, a VPN provider that for years claimed a strict no-logging policy, led Homeland Security to a suspect using a Comcast IP address, court papers filed in 2016 reveal. StackPath, the new operator of IPVanish, informs TorrentFreak that they won't speak on behalf of the former team who have long since left the company. Assurances of security have been promised for the future, however.

On May 4, 2016, Scott Sikes, a Special Agent with the Department of Homeland Security, was engaged in a child abuse investigation.

Acting undercover, Sikes was monitoring a channel on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) when a suspect posted a link. When Sikes opened it he discovered an image of child pornography.

Sikes struck up a one-on-one chat session with the suspect who subsequently posted three more links, each containing the same kind of material. It was later discovered that the suspect had posted 17 other links leading to similar abuse imagery.

Having captured the susp...

Read entire story Today at TorrentFreak

Judgment Day Nears for EU’s ‘Piracy Filters’


The EU's plans to modernize copyright law in Europe are moving ahead. With a crucial vote coming up later this month, protests from various opponents are on the rise as well. They warn that the proposed plans will result in "Internet filters" which threaten people's ability to freely share content online. According to Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda, these filters will hurt regular Internet users, but also creators and businesses.

September 2016, the European Commission published its proposal for a modernized copyright law. Among other things, it proposed measures to require online services to do more to fight piracy.

Specifically, Article 13 of the proposed Copyright Directive will require online services to track down and delete pirated content, in collaboration with rightsholders.

The Commission stressed that the changes are needed to support copyright holders. However, many legal scholars, digital activists, politicians, and members of the public worry that they will violate the rights of regular I...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

Flight Sim Company Threatens Reddit Mods Over “Libelous” DRM Posts


Flight sim company FlightSimLabs caused controversy earlier this year after embedding malware in its software to tackle piracy. Now the company is at the center of a new storm after unhappy users on Reddit reported anti-piracy files being installed into Windows systems folders. In response, FlightSimLabs have threatened Reddit mods with legal action, for not doing enough to tackle 'libel'.

Earlier this year, in an effort to deal with piracy of their products, flight simulator company FlightSimLabs took drastic action by installing malware on customers’ machines.

The story began when a Reddit user reported something unusual in his download of FlightSimLabs’ A320X module. A file – test.exe – was being flagged up as a ‘Chrome Password Dump’ tool, something which rang alarm bells among flight sim fans.

As additional information was made available, the story became even more sensational. After first dodging the issue with carefully worded stat...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 06/04/18


The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'Tomb Raider' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Avengers: Infinity War'. 'A Quiet Place' completes the top three.

This week we have two newcomers in our chart.

Tomb Raider is the most downloaded movie.

The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are Web-DL/Webrip/HDRip/BDrip/DVDrip unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart.

This week’s most downloaded movies are: Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer Most downloaded movies via torrents 1 (…) Tomb Raider 6.6 / trailer 2 (2) Avengers: Infinity War (H...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

When Joe Public Becomes a Commercial Pirate, a Little Knowledge is Dangerous


In a piracy landscape that's becoming increasingly monetized, some piracy-focused business schemes claim to exist in a "gray area", treading the fine line of legality. But mainly they are potential disasters waiting to happen, something which is recognized by everyone except those actually involved in them.

Back in March and just a few hours before the Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker fight, I got chatting with some fellow fans in the local pub. While some were intending to pay for the fight, others were going down the Kodi route.

Soon after the conversation switched to IPTV. One of the guys had a subscription and he said that his supplier would be along shortly if anyone wanted a package to watch the fight at home. Of course, I was curious to hear what he had to say since it’s not often this kind of thing is offered ‘offline’.

The guy revealed that he sold more o...

Read entire story 6/3/2018 at TorrentFreak

UK Pirate Site Blocks are “Opaque and Poorly Administered”


The Open Rights Group has published a thorough overview of which sites are blocked by court orders in the UK. The group aims to provide more insight into the scope of the blockades and has discovered that they are poorly administered. ORG calls upon ISPs to clean up their lists and hopes the courts will enable more transparency.

Following a series of High Court orders handed down in recent years, the UK’s major ISPs are required to block access to dozens of the world’s most popular ‘pirate’ sites.

Over time the number of blocked URLs has expanded to well over 1,000, with popular torrent, streaming, and direct download sites being the main targets.

Many of these URLs are proxies and mirrors. These come and go and the High Court permits copyright holders to expand the blocklists with these domains, provided that they are alternative ways to reach already blocked websites.

In the past, we ...

Read entire story 6/3/2018 at TorrentFreak

“Fight Club” Author Chuck Palahniuk Apologizes For Piracy Rants


For years, novelist Chuck Palahniuk saw piracy as one of the reasons behind his dwindling income. People were 'stealing' his books without paying for them, after all. However, last weekend it turned out that the real thief was closer to home than he ever imagined, and in no way linked to piracy.

When it comes to the link between piracy and sales, there are thousands of different opinions. This applies to music, movies, software and many other digital products, including ebooks.

Some authors and publishers see no harm in piracy, while others see it as a massive threat.

Although there is no definite or universal answer we can give, piracy is certainly an easy scapegoat. This is what novelist and “Fight Club” author Chuck Palahniuk found out first hand.

When his income started to dwindle, online piracy was often mentioned as one of the culprits. Peop...

Read entire story 6/2/2018 at TorrentFreak

ISP Questions Impartiality of Judges in Copyright Troll Cases


As a staunch defender of privacy and serial critic of copyright trolling activities, Bahnhof has carved out a niche as one of the most customer-friendly ISPs in Sweden. The company certainly isn't scared of speaking its mind and in a new broadside, it targets several of the country's judges, questioning their impartiality for supporting pro-copyright groups while presiding over important copyright cases.

Following in the footsteps of similar operations around the world, two years ago the copyright trolling movement landed on Swedish shores.

The pattern was a familiar one, with trolls harvesting IP addresses from BitTorrent swarms and tracing them back to Internet service providers. Then, after presenting evidence to a judge, the trolls obtained orders that compelled ISPs to hand over their customers’ details. From there, the trolls demanded cash payments to make supposed lawsuits disappear.

It’s a controversial business model that rarely receives outside praise. Ma...

Read entire story 6/2/2018 at TorrentFreak

GoDaddy to Suspend ‘Pirate’ Domain Following Music Industry Complaints


GoDaddy, the world's largest domain name registrar, has reportedly agreed to disable access to another piracy-related domain following copyright complaints from a member of music group IFPI. A precautionary measure handed down by the Peruvian Copyright Commission found that Fox-MusicaGratis.com caused irreparable damage to rightsholders so should be put out of action.

Most piracy-focused sites online conduct their business with minimal interference from outside parties. In many cases, a heap of DMCA notices filed with Google represents the most visible irritant.

Others, particularly those with large audiences, can find themselves on the end of a web blockade. Mostly court-ordered, blocking measures restrict the ability of Internet users to visit a site due to ISPs restricting traffic.

In some regions, where copyright holders have the means to do so, they choose to tackle a site’s infrastructure instead, which could mean complaints to ...

Read entire story 6/1/2018 at TorrentFreak

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