Welcome to Your Open Source for Sharing Torrent Invites !

  • We're one of the best invite forum on the internet! Here you will find free invites, free seedboxes, free bonuses, and even you can Buy/Sell your torrent invites or accounts
  • InviteHawk gives you the opportunity to get into the best private trackers out there either by buying your way in or just grab free invites given by our members
  • InviteHawk gives you a platform to earn money by selling the extra invites and accounts you have of torrent sites
  • Get the best deals and discounts for various torrent sites only on InviteHawk
  • Never miss a chance to signup on a tracker with open registrations. InviteHawk sends you regular updates about sites with open signups. Just subscribe to our Open Signup Section
  • Get to know everything about a tracker with all the updated information by checking out the tracker reviews



News Posters
  • Content count

  • Donations

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

  • Feedback


ALAN30 last won the day on January 26

ALAN30 had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

2,222 InviteHawk Legend


About ALAN30

  • Rank
    Invite King

Profile Information

  • Gender

Recent Profile Visitors

3,910 profile views
  1. The MPAA is visiting Vietnam to discuss with local authorities how they can properly deal with movie piracy sites. One target that was singled out is 123movies, a streaming site that is said to be operated from Vietnam. According to the movie industry group, it is "the most popular illegal site in the world." With millions of visitors per day, pirate streaming site 123movies, also known as GoMovies, is a force to be reckoned with. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is fully aware of this and previously alerted the US Trade Representative about this “notorious market.” However, since the site is not operating from the US, Hollywood’s industry group is also reaching out to 123movies’ alleged home turf, Vietnam. Following in the footsteps of the US ambassador, the MPAA seeks assistance from local authorities. The MPAA is currently in Vietnam where it’s working with the Office of the Police Investigation Agency to combat pirate sites. According to the MPAA’s Executive Vice President & Chief of Global Content Protection, Jan van Voorn, 123movies is one of the prime targets. “Right now, the most popular illegal site in the world, 123movies.to (at this point), is operated from Vietnam, and has 98 million visitors a month,” Van Voorn said, quotedby VNExpress. “There are more services like this – sites that are not helpful for local legitimate businesses,” he adds. The MPAA hopes that the Vietnamese authorities will step in to take these pirate sites offline, so that legal alternatives can grow. In addition, it stresses that the public should be properly educated, to change their views on movie piracy. While it’s clear that 123movies is a threat to Hollywood, there are bigger fish out there. The 98 million number MPAA mentions appears to come from SimilarWeb’s January estimate. While this is a lot of traffic indeed, it’s not the largest pirate site. The Pirate Bay, for example, had an estimated 282 million visitors during the same period. TorrentFreak asked the MPAA to confirm the claim but at the time of writing, we have yet to hear back. Perhaps Van Voorn was referring to streaming sites specifically, which would make more sense. In any case, it’s clear that Hollywood is concerned about 123movies and similar sites and will do everything in its power to get them offline. https://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-brands-123movies-as-the-worlds-most-popular-illegal-site-180316/
  2. Music streaming service Deezer is piling on the pressure in order to stop people downloading music from its service. Various tools have already been targeted but even evasive action appears to enjoy limited success. After moving from code repository Github to Gitlab following a copyright complaint, the popular Deezloader Reborn tool has been hit once again and is now out for good. Spotify might grab most of the headlines in the world of music streaming but French firm Deezer is also growing in popularity. Focused more on non-English speaking regions, the music service still has a massive selection of tens of millions of tracks. More importantly for pirates, it also has a loophole or two that allows users to permanently download songs from the service, a huge ‘selling’ point for the compulsive archiver. One of the most popular third-party tools for achieving this was Deezloader but last year Deezer put pressure on its operators to cease-and-desist. “On April 27, 2017 we received takedowns and threatened legal action from Deezer if we don’t shut down by April 29. So we decided to shut down Deezloader permanently,” the team announced. Rather than kill the scene, the attack on Deezloader only seemed to spur things on. Many other apps underwent development in the months that followed but last December it became evident that Deezer (and probably the record labels supplying its content) were growing increasingly tired of these kinds of applications. The company sent a wave of DMCA notices to developer platform GitHub, targeting several tools, claiming that they are “in total violation of our rights and of the rights of our music licensors.” GitHub responded quickly by removing access to repositories referencing Deezloader, DeezerDownload, Deeze, Deezerio, Deezit, Deedown, and their associated forks. Deezer also reportedly modified its API, in order to stop or hinder apps already in existence. However, pirates are a determined bunch and behind the scenes many sought to breathe new life into their projects, to maintain the flow of free music from Deezer. One of those that gained traction was the obviously-titled ‘Deezloader Reborn’ which enjoyed a new lease of life on both Github and Reddit after taking over from DeezLoader V2.3.1. But in January 2018, Deezer turned up the pressure again, hitting Github with a wave (1,2) of takedown notices targeting various projects. On January 23, Deezer hitDeezloader Reborn itself with the notice detailed below. The following project, identified in the paragraph below, makes available a hacked version of our Deezer application by describing methods to bypass Deezer’s security measures to unlawfully download its music catalogue, in total violation of our rights and of the rights of our music licensors (phonographic producers, performing artists, songwriters and composers): https://github.com/ExtendLord/DeezLoader-Reborn I therefore ask that you immediately take down the project corresponding to the URL above and all of the related forks by others members who have had access or even contributed to such projects. Not only did Github comply with Deezer’s request, Reddit did too. According to a thread still listed on the site, Reddit removed a post about Deezloader Reborn following a copyright complaint from Deezer. Two days later Deezer targeted similar projects on Github but by this time, Deezloader Reborn already had new plans. Speaking with TF, project developer ExtendLord said that he wouldn’t be shutting down but would continue on code repository Gitlab instead. Now, however, those plans have also come to an abrupt end after Gitlab took the page down. Deezloader Reborn – gone from Gitlab A copy of the page available on Archive.org shows Deezloader Reborn at version 3.0.5 with the ability to download music ready-tagged and in FLAC quality. Links to newer versions are being shared on Reddit but it appears there is no longer a central trusted source for the application. There’s no official confirmation yet but it seems likely that Deezer was behind the Gitlab takedown. TorrentFreak has contacted ExtendLord who linked us to this pagewhich states that “DeezLoader Reborn is no longer maintained due to DMCA. [Version] 3.1.0 is the last update, no more updates will be made.” So, at least for now, it appears that Deezloader Reborn will go the way of various other Deezer-reliant applications. That won’t be the end of the story though, that’s a certainty. https://torrentfreak.com/deezer-piles-pressure-on-pirates-deezloader-reborn-throws-in-the-towel-180315/
  3. Three men said to be behind notorious India-focused pirate site Tamilrockers have been arrested. One of the men is believed to be a site administrator and all are said to be well educated, with degrees in computer science and engineering. Indian police paraded the men before the media yesterday. Two other men, reportedly linked to partner site DVD Rockers, were also detained. Just two years ago around 277 million people used the Internet in India. Today there are estimates as high as 355 million and with a population of more than 1.3 billion, India has plenty of growth yet to come. Also evident is that in addition to a thirst for hard work, many Internet-enabled Indians have developed a taste for Internet piracy. While the US and Europe were the most likely bases for pirate site operators between 2000 and 2015, India now appears in a growing number of cases, from torrent and streaming platforms to movie release groups. One site that is clearly Indian-focused is the ever-popular Tamilrockers. The movie has laughed in the face of the authorities for a number of years, skipping from domain to domain as efforts to block the site descend into a chaotic game of whack-a-mole. Like The Pirate Bay, Tamilrockers has burned through plenty of domains including tamilrockers.in, tamilrockers.ac, tamilrockers.me, tamilrockers.co, tamilrockers.is, tamilrockers.us and tamilrockers.ro. Now, however, the authorities are claiming a significant victory against the so-far elusive operators of the site. The anti-piracy cell of the Kerala police announced last evening that they’ve arrested five men said to be behind both Tamilrockers and alleged sister site, DVDRockers. They’re named as alleged Tamilrockers owner ‘Prabhu’, plus ‘Karthi’ and ‘Suresh’ (all aged 24), plus alleged DVD Rockers owner ‘Johnson’ and ‘Jagan’ (elsewhere reported as ‘Maria John’). The men were said to be generating between US$1,500 and US$3,000 each per month. The average salary in India is around $600 per annum. While details of how the suspects were caught tend to come later in US and European cases, the Indian authorities are more forthright. According to Anti-Piracy Cell Superintendent B.K. Prasanthan, who headed the team that apprehended the men, it was a trail of advertising revenue crumbs that led them to the suspects. Prasanthan revealed that it was an email, sent by a Haryana-based ad company to an individual who was arrested in 2016 in a similar case, that helped in tracking the members of Tamilrockers. “This ad company had sent a mail to [the individual], offering to publish ads on the website he was running. In that email, the company happened to mention that they have ties with Tamilrockers. We got the information about Tamilrockers through this ad company,” Prasanthan said. That information included the bank account details of the suspects. Given the technical nature of the sites, it’s perhaps no surprise that the suspects are qualified in the IT field. Prasanthan revealed that all had done well. “All the gang members were technically qualified. It even included MSc and BSc holders in computer science. They used to record movies in pieces from various parts of the world and join [them together]. We are trying to trace more members of the gang including Karthi’s brothers,” Prasanathan said. All five men were remanded in custody but not before they were paraded in front of the media, footage which later appeared on TV. https://torrentfreak.com/tamilrockers-arrests-police-parade-alleged-movie-pirates-on-tv-180315/
  4. A poisoned version of MediaGet, an all-in-one BitTorrent client developed in Russia, was used to offload malicious cryptocurrency miners. According to research from Microsoft, the application helped to kick off the Dofoil campaign that targeted hundreds of thousands of computers. Mediaget says that the issue has been fully resolved at their end. First released in 2010, MediaGet has been around for a while. Initially, the torrent client was available in Russian only, but the team later expanded its reach across the world. While it’s a relatively small player, it has been installed on millions of computers in recent years. It still has a significant reach, which is what Microsoft also found out recently. This week the Windows Defender Research team reported that a poisoned version of the BitTorrent client was used to start the Dofoil campaign, which attempted to offload hundreds of thousands of malicious cryptocurrency miners. Although Windows Defender caught and blocked the culprit within milliseconds, the team further researched the issue to find out how this could have happened. It turns out that the update process for the application was poisoned. This then enabled a signed version of MediaGet to drop off a compromised version, as can be seen in the diagram below. “A signed mediaget.exe downloads an update.exe program and runs it on the machine to install a new mediaget.exe. The new mediaget.exe program has the same functionality as the original but with additional backdoor capability,” Microsoft’s team explains. The update poisoning The malicious MediaGet version eventually triggered the mass coin miner outbreak. Windows Defender Research stresses that the poisoned version was signed by a third-party software company, not MediaGet itself. Once the malware was launched the client built a list of command-and-control servers, using embedded NameCoin DNS servers and domains with the non-ICANN-sanctioned .bit TLD, making it harder to shut down. More detailed information on the attack and how Dofoil was used to infect computers can be found in Microsoft’s full analysis. MediaGet informs TorrentFreak that hackers compromised the update server to carry out their attack. “Hackers got access to our update server, using an exploit in the Zabbix service and deeply integrated into our update mechanics. They modified the original version of Mediaget to add their functionality,” MediaGet reveals. The company says that roughly five percent of all users were affected by the compromised update servers. All affected users were alerted and urged to update their software. The issue is believed to be fully resolved at MediaGet’s end and they’re working with Microsoft to take care of any copies that may still be floating around in the wild. “We patched everything and improved our verification system. To all the poisoned users we sent the message about an urgent update. Also, we are in contact with Microsoft, they will clean up all the poisoned versions,” MediaGet concludes. https://torrentfreak.com/microsoft-poisoned-torrent-client-triggered-coin-miner-outbreak-180315/
  5. Cloudflare has suffered a setback in the piracy liability case filed against it by adult publisher ALS Scan. A federal court in California ruled that the CDN provider can substantially assist copyright infringements by hosting cached copies of files. Whether Cloudflare did this and if it's indeed liable, is now a matter for a jury to decide. As one of the leading CDN and DDoS protection services, Cloudflare is used by millions of websites across the globe. This includes thousands of “pirate” sites, including the likes of The Pirate Bay, which rely on the U.S.-based company to keep server loads down. Many rightsholders have complained about Cloudflare’s involvement with these sites and in 2016 adult entertainment publisher ALS Scan took it a step further by dragging the company to court. ALS accused the CDN service of various types of copyright infringement, noting that several customers used Cloudflare’s servers to distribute pirated content. While Cloudflare managed to have several counts dismissed, the accusation of contributory copyright infringement remains. With the case heading to trial, both sides have submitted motions for partial summary judgment on this contributory infringement claim. This week California District Court Judge George Wu ruled on the matter, denying the CDN provider’s motion in its entirety. One of Cloudflare’s arguments was that it did not substantially assist copyright infringements because the sites would remain online even if they were terminated from the service. It can’t end the infringements entirely on its own, the company argued. The Court disagreed with this assessment, noting that Cloudflare’s cache can be seen as a substantial infringement by itself, which is something the company has control over. “First of all, as to the infringements that are the cache copies, Cloudflare does appear to have the master switch,” Judge Wu writes. “Second of all, just because the infringing images will remain online, does not mean the assistance is insubstantial. If that were true, then liability based on server space would rely on whether or not an infringing site had, or could acquire a backup server.” Cloudflare also stressed that there are no simple measures it could take in response to alleged copyright infringements. Removing a cached copy based on a takedown notice is not an option, the company argued, as that leaves sites and their users vulnerable to malicious attacks. Judge Wu didn’t deny that terminating service to sites such as ‘bestofsexpics.com and cumonmy.com’ could cause security issues but added that this doesn’t mean that it’s okay for Cloudflare to support illegal activity. “f Cloudflare’s logic were accepted, there would be no web content too illegal, or dangerous, to justify termination of its services. While Cloudflare may do amazing things for internet security, the Court would have a hard time accepting that Cloudflare’s security features give it license to assist in any online activity,” Judge Wu writes. From the order Moving on to ALS’ motion, which was also denied in part, the Court brings more bad news for Cloudflare. While the CDN provider keeps its safe harbor defense at trial, the Court ruled that the existence of cache copies can be sufficient to prove that Cloudflare assisted in the alleged copyright infringements. “The Court would find that, as a legal matter, Cloudflare’s CDN Network, to the extent it is shown to have created, stored, and delivered cache copies of infringing images, substantially assisted in infringement,” the order reads. “The reason is straightforward: without Cloudflare’s services those cache copies would not have been created and served to end users,’ a footnote clarifies. The order doesn’t draw any conclusions about actual infringements. However, if ALS can prove to the jury that specific images were in Cloudflare’s cache, without permission, the “substantial assistance” element required for contributory liability is established. If that happens, the only remaining element at trial is whether Cloudflare was aware of these infringements, which is where the takedown notices would come in. The case will soon be in the hands of the jury and can still go in either direction. However, the order puts Cloudflare at a disadvantage as it can no longer argue that cached copies of infringing content by themselves are non-infringing. This will obviously be a concerns to other CDN providers as well, which makes this a landmark case. — A copy of Judge Wu’s ruling, obtained by TorrentFreak, is available here (pdf). https://torrentfreak.com/cloudflares-cache-can-substantially-assist-copyright-infringers-court-rules-180314/
  6. In the legal battle over the legality of the Dutch Pirate Bay blockade, Advocate General Van Peursem has advised the Supreme Court to throw out the previous order and do the case all over again. Citing recent EU jurisprudence, the Attorney General suggests that the previous freedom of entrepreneurship and information defenses are less likely to survive a do-over. The Pirate Bay is arguably the most widely blocked website on the Internet. ISPs from all over the world have been ordered by courts to prevent users from accessing the torrent site. In most countries courts have decided relatively quickly, but not in the Netherlands, where there’s still no final decision after eight years. A Dutch court first issued an order to block The Pirate Bay in 2012, but this decision was overturned two years later. Anti-piracy group BREIN then took the matter to the Supreme Court, which subsequently referred the case to the EU Court of Justice, seeking further clarification. After a careful review of the case, the EU Court of Justice decided last year that The Pirate Bay can indeed be blocked. The top EU court ruled that although The Pirate Bay’s operators don’t share anything themselves, they knowingly provide users with a platform to share copyright-infringing links. This can be seen as “an act of communication” under the EU Copyright Directive. This put the case back with the Dutch Supreme court, which now has to decide on the matter. Today, Advocate General Van Peursem advised the court to throw out the previous court order, and do the case over in a new court. In his recommendation, Van Peursem cites similar blocking orders from other European countries. He stresses that the rights of copyright holders should be carefully weighed against those of the ISPs and the public in general. In blocking cases, this usually comes down to copyright protection versus Internet providers’ freedom to carry on business and the right to freedom of information. The Advocate General specifically highlights a recent Premier League case in the UK, where the court ruled that copyright prevails over the other rights. The ultimate decision, however, depends on the context of the case, Van Peursem notes. “At most, one can say that if a copyright is infringed, it normally won’t be possible to justify the infringement by invoking the freedom to conduct business or the freedom of information. After all, these freedoms find their limit in what is legally permissible. “This does not mean that a blockade aimed at protecting the right to property always ‘wins’ over the freedoms of entrepreneurship and information,” he adds. Previously, the Supreme Court already ruled that it was incorrect of the lower court to rule that the Pirate Bay blockade was ineffective. Together, this means that it will be tough for the ISPs to win this case. If the Supreme Court throws out the previous court order the case will start over from scratch, but with this new context and the EU court orders as further clarification. It is unclear whether ISPs can and will suspend the current Pirate Bay blockade, if that happens. The Advocate General’s advice is not binding, so it’s not yet certain whether there will be a do-over. However, in most cases, the recommendations are followed by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is expected to release its final verdict later this year. https://torrentfreak.com/dutch-pirate-bay-blocking-case-180316/
  7. For 15 years, Dolby supplied encoding and decoding technologies for use in Adobe products including Audition, After Effects, Lightroom and Premiere Pro. The licensing agreement between the companies allowed Adobe to self-report usage, on the condition that Dolby could carry out an audit. However, after the software company failed to comply in recent years, Dolby has rolled out the lawyers. Adobe has some of the most recognized software products on the market today, including Photoshop which has become a household name. While the company has been subjected to more than its fair share of piracy over the years, a new lawsuit accuses the software giant itself of infringement. Dolby Laboratories is best known as a company specializing in noise reduction and audio encoding and compression technologies. Its reversed double ‘D’ logo is widely recognized after appearing on millions of home hi-fi systems and film end credits. In a complaint filed this week at a federal court in California, Dolby Labs alleges that after supplying its products to Adobe for 15 years, the latter has failed to live up to its licensing obligations and is guilty of copyright infringement and breach of contract. “Between 2002 and 2017, Adobe designed and sold its audio-video content creation and editing software with Dolby’s industry-leading audio processing technologies,” Dolby’s complaint reads. “The basic terms of Adobe’s licenses for products containing Dolby technologies are clear; when Adobe granted its customer a license to any Adobe product that contained Dolby technology, Adobe was contractually obligated to report the sale to Dolby and pay the agreed-upon royalty.” Dolby says that Adobe promised it wouldn’t sell its any of its products (such as Audition, After Effects, Encore, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro) outside the scope of its licenses with Dolby. Those licenses included clauses which grant Dolby the right to inspect Adobe’s records through a third-party audit, in order to verify the accuracy of Adobe’s sales reporting and associated payment of royalties. Over the past several years, however, things didn’t go to plan. The lawsuit claims that when Dolby tried to audit Adobe’s books, Adobe refused to “engage in even basic auditing and information sharing practices,” a rather ironic situation given the demands that Adobe places on its own licensees. Dolby’s assessment is that Adobe spent years withholding this information in an effort to hide the full scale of its non-compliance. “The limited information that Dolby has reviewed to-date demonstrates that Adobe included Dolby technologies in numerous Adobe software products and collections of products, but refused to report each sale or pay the agreed-upon royalties owed to Dolby,” the lawsuit claims. Due to the lack of information in Dolby’s possession, the company says it cannot determine the full scope of Adobe’s infringement. However, Dolby accuses Adobe of multiple breaches including bundling licensed products together but only reporting one sale, selling multiple products to one customer but only paying a single license, failing to pay licenses on product upgrades, and even selling products containing Dolby technology without paying a license at all. Dolby entered into licensing agreements with Adobe in 2003, 2012 and 2013, with each agreement detailing payment of royalties by Adobe to Dolby for each product licensed to Adobe’s customers containing Dolby technology. In the early days when the relationship between the companies first began, Adobe sold either a physical product in “shrink-wrap” form or downloads from its website, a position which made reporting very easy. In late 2011, however, Adobe began its transition to offering its Creative Cloud (SaaS model) under which customers purchase a subscription to access Adobe software, some of which contains Dolby technology. Depending on how much the customer pays, users can select up to thirty Adobe products. At this point, things appear to have become much more complex. On January 15, 2015, Dolby tried to inspect Adobe’s books for the period 2012-2014 via a third-party auditing firm. But, according to Dolby, over the next three years “Adobe employed various tactics to frustrate Dolby’s right to audit Adobe’s inclusion of Dolby Technologies in Adobe’s products.” Dolby points out that under Adobe’s own licensing conditions, businesses must allow Adobe’s auditors to allow the company to inspect their records on seven days’ notice to confirm they are not in breach of Adobe licensing terms. Any discovered shortfalls in licensing must then be paid for, at a rate higher than the original license. This, Dolby says, shows that Adobe is clearly aware of why and how auditing takes place. “After more than three years of attempting to audit Adobe’s Sales of products containing Dolby Technologies, Dolby still has not received the information required to complete an audit for the full time period,” Dolby explains. But during this period, Adobe didn’t stand still. According to Dolby, Adobe tried to obtain new licensing from Dolby at a lower price. Dolby stood its ground and insisted on an audit first but despite an official demand, Adobe didn’t provide the complete set of books and records requested. Eventually, Dolby concluded that Adobe had “no intention to fully comply with its audit obligations” so called in its lawyers to deal with the matter. “Adobe’s direct and induced infringements of Dolby Licensing’s copyrights in the Asserted Dolby Works are and have been knowing, deliberate, and willful. By its unauthorized copying, use, and distribution of the Asserted Dolby Works and the Adobe Infringing Products, Adobe has violated Dolby Licensing’s exclusive rights..,” the lawsuit reads. Noting that Adobe has profited and gained a commercial advantage as a result of its alleged infringement, Dolby demands injunctive relief restraining the company from any further breaches in violation of US copyright law. “Dolby now brings this action to protect its intellectual property, maintain fairness across its licensing partnerships, and to fund the next generations of technology that empower the creative community which Dolby serves,” the company concludes. Dolby’s full complaint can be found here (pdf). https://torrentfreak.com/dolby-labs-sues-adobe-for-copyright-infringement-180314/
  8. Playboy's initial attempt to hold the popular blog Boing Boing liable for copyright infringement failed last month. However, this doesn't mean that it's completely over. The publisher has requested personal information on the people who uploaded the infringing centerfold footage on YouTube and Imgur, to determine what steps to take next. Interestingly, Imgur 'downloaders' are targeted too, which technically includes everyone who viewed the images. Late last year Playboy filed a copyright lawsuit against the popular blog Boing Boing. The site had previously published an article linking to an archive of Playboy centerfold images, which the adult magazine saw as problematic. Boing Boing’s parent company Happy Mutants was accused of various counts of copyright infringement, with Playboy claiming that it exploited their playmates’ images for commercial purposes. The California district court was not convinced, however. In an order last month, Judge Fernando Olguin noted that it is not sufficient to argue that Boing Boing merely ‘provided the means’ to carry out copyright-infringing activity. There also has to be a personal action that ‘assists’ the infringing activity. “For example, the court is skeptical that plaintiff has sufficiently alleged facts to support either its inducement or material contribution theories of copyright infringement,” Judge Olguin wrote. Playboy was given the option to file a new complaint before the end of February, or else the case would be dismissed. The magazine publisher decided to let the matter go, for now, and didn’t file a new complaint. That doesn’t mean that they’ll completely pass on the issue though. Instead of only going after Boing Boing, Playboy is now digging up information on the people who posted the infringing content on Imgur and YouTube. Last week the California Court asked why PlayBoy hadn’t responded after the latest order. The company replied that it thought no response was needed and that the case would be dismissed automatically, but it included another interesting note. “Plaintiff has elected to pursue third party subpoenas under, inter alia, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Section 512(h) in order to obtain further facts before determining how to proceed on its claims against Happy Mutants,” Playboy writes. Looking through the court dockets, we observed that Playboy requested DMCA subpoenas against both Imgur and YouTube. In both cases, the company demands information that can identify the uploaders, including email addresses, phone numbers, and other documents or information. With Imgur, it goes even further. Here, Playboy also requests information on people “who downloaded any photos” from the Imgur gallery in question. That could be quite a long list as anyone would have to download the images in order to see them. This could include millions of people. Playboy subpoena against Imgur A broad request like this goes further than we’ve ever seen. However, soon after the requests came in, the clerk granted both subpoenas. At this point, it’s unclear whether Playboy also intends to go after the uploaders directly. It informed the California District Court that these “further facts” will help to determine whether it will pursue its claims against Boing Boing, which means that it must file a new complaint. It’s worth mentioning, however, that the subpoenas were obtained early last month before the case was dismissed. Alternatively, Playboy can pursue the Imgur and YouTube uploaders directly, which is more likely to succeed than the infringement claims against Boing Boing. That’s only an option if Imgur and YouTube have sufficient information to identify the infringers in question, of course. The allegedly infringing centerfold video is no longer listed on YouTube. The Imgur gallery, which was viewed more than two million times, is no longer available either. —- Playboy’s latest filing mentioning the DMCA subpoenas can be found here (pdf). We also obtained copies of the Youtube (pdf + attachment) and Imgur (pdf + attachment) subpoenas themselves. https://torrentfreak.com/playboy-wants-know-downloaded-pirated-playmates-imgur-180313/
  9. German software company Bitmanagement is asking the US Court of Federal Claims for a partial summary judgment against the US Government. According to the software vendor, it's undisputed that the Navy installed its software on hundreds of thousands of computers without permission, infringing its copyright. In 2011 and 2012, the US Navy began using BS Contact Geo, a 3D virtual reality application developed by German company Bitmanagement. The Navy reportedly agreed to purchase licenses for use on 38 computers, but things began to escalate. While Bitmanagement was hopeful that it could sell additional licenses to the Navy, the software vendor soon discovered the US Government had already installed it on 100,000 computers without extra compensation. In a Federal Claims Court complaint filed by Bitmanagement two years ago, that figure later increased to hundreds of thousands of computers. Because of the alleged infringement, Bitmanagement demanded damages totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. In the months that followed both parties conducted discovery and a few days ago the software company filed a motion for partial summary judgment, asking the court to rule that the US Government is liable for copyright infringement. According to the software company, it’s clear that the US Government crossed a line. “The Navy admits that it began installing the software onto hundreds of thousands of machines in the summer of 2013, and that it ultimately installed the software onto at least 429,604 computers. When it learned of this mass installation, Bitmanagement was surprised, but confident that it would be compensated for the numerous copies the Government had made,” the motion reads. “Over time, however, it became clear that the Navy had no intention to pay Bitmanagement for the software it had copied without authorization, as it declined to execute any license on a scale commensurate with what it took,” Bitmanagement adds. In its defense, the US Government had argued that it bought concurrent-use licenses, which permitted the software to be installed across the Navy network. However, Bitmanagement argues that it is impossible as the reseller that sold the software was only authorized to sell PC licenses. In addition, the software company points out that the word “concurrent” doesn’t appear in the contracts, nor was there any mention of mass installations. The Government also argued that Bitmanagement impliedly authorized it to install the software on hundreds of thousands of computers. This defense also makes little sense, the software company counters. The Navy licensed an earlier version of the software for $30,000, which could be used on 100 computers, so it would seem odd that it could use the later version on hundreds of thousands of computers for only $5,490, the company argues. “To establish that it had an implied license, the Government must show that Bitmanagement — despite having licensed a less advanced copy of its software to the Government in 2008 on a PC basis that allowed for installation on a total of 100 computers in exchange for $30,000 — later authorized the Government to make an unlimited number of installations of its advanced software product for $5,490.” The full motion brings up a wide range of other arguments as well which, according to Bitmanagement, make it clear that the US Government is liable for copyright infringement. It, therefore, asks the court for a partial summary judgment. “Bitmanagement respectfully requests that this Court grant summary judgment as to the Government’s liability for copyright infringement and hold that the Government copied BS Contact Geo beyond the limits of its license, on a scale equal to the hundreds of thousands of unauthorized copies of BS Contact Geo that the Government either installed or made available for installation,” the company concludes. If the Government is indeed liable the scale of the damages will be decided at a later stage. The software company previously noted that this could be as high as $600 million. This is not the first time that the U.S. military has been ‘caught’ pirating software. A few years ago it was accused of operating unlicensed logistics software, a case the Obama administration eventually settled for $50 million. — A copy of the motion for partial summary judgment is available here (pdf). https://torrentfreak.com/u-s-navy-under-fire-in-mass-software-piracy-lawsuit-180312/
  10. Best known for his efforts to defeat anti-piracy protection Denuvo, the cracker known as 'Voksi' has revealed another string to his bow. After participating in the closed beta of Serious Sam's Bogus Detour in 2016, he got friendly with the game's developers. Now, with their permission, he's giving the game away for free in an effort to boost sales of the action adventure. Bulgarian cracker Voksi is unlike many others in his line of work. He makes himself relatively available online, interacting with fans and revealing surprising things about his past. Only last month he told TF that he is entirely self-taught and had been cracking games since he was 15-years-old, just six years ago. Voksi is probably best known for his hatred of anti-piracy technology Denuvo and to this day is still one of just four groups/people who have managed to crack v4 of the anti-tamper technology. As such, he and his kind are often painted as enemies of the gaming industry but that doesn’t represent the full picture. In discussion with TF over the weekend, Voksi told us that he’s a huge fan of the Serious Sam franchise so when he found out about the latest title – Serious Sam’s Bogus Detour (SSBD) – he wanted to play it – badly. That led to a remarkable series of events. “One month before the game’s official release I got into the closed beta, thanks to a friend of mine, who invited me in. I introduced myself to the developers [Crackshell]. I told them what I do for a living, but also assured them that I didn’t have any malicious intents towards the game. They were very cool about it, even surprisingly cool,” Voksi informs TF. The game eventually hit the market (without Voksi targeting it, of course) with some interesting additions. As shown in the screenshot taken from the game and embedded below, Voksi was listed as a tester for the game. An unusual addition to the game credits…. Perhaps even more impressively, official Stream screenshots here show Voksi as a player in the game. It’s not exactly what one might expect for someone in his position but from there, the excitement began to fade. Despite a 9/10 rating on Steam, the books didn’t balance. “The game was released officially on 20 of June, 2017. Months passed. We all hoped it’d be a success, but sadly that was not the case,” Voksi explains. “Even with all the official marketing done by Devolver Digital, no one batted an eye and really gave it a chance. In December 2017, I found out how bad the sales really were, which even didn’t cover the expenses for the making game, let alone profit.” Voksi was really disappointed that things hadn’t gone to plan so he contacted the developers with an idea – why didn’t he get involved to try and drum up some support from an entirely unconventional angle? How about giving a special edition of the game away for free while calling on ‘pirates’ to chip in with whatever they could afford? “Last week I contacted the main dev of SSBD over Steam and proposed what I can do to help boost the game. He immediately agreed,” Voksi says. “The plan was to release a build of the game that was playable from start to finish, playable in co-op with up to 4 players, not to miss anything important gameplay wise and add a little message in the bottom corner, which is visible at all times, telling you: “We are small indie studio. If you liked the game, please consider buying it. Thank you and enjoy the game!” Message at the bottom of the screen But Voksi’s marketing plan didn’t stop there. This special build of the game is also tied to a unique giveaway challenge with several prizes. It’s underway on Voksi’s REVOLT forum and is intended to encourage more people to play the game and share the word among family, friends and whoever else can support the developers. Importantly, Voski isn’t getting paid to do any of this, he just wants to help the developers and support a game he feels deserves a lot more attention. For those interested in taking it for a spin, the download links are available here in the official thread. The ‘pirate’ build – Serious.Sam.Bogus.Detour.B126.RIP-Voksi – is slightly less polished than those available officially but it’s hoped that people will offer their support on Steam and GOG if they like the game. https://torrentfreak.com/voksi-pirates-new-serious-sam-game-with-permission-from-developers-180312/
  11. The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi'. 'The Shape of Water' completes the top three. This week we have four newcomers in our chart. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 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 (10) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 7.7 / trailer 2 (…) Star Wars: The Last Jedi 7.4 / trailer 3 (1) The Shape of Water 8.0 / trailer 4 (…) Downsizing 5.7 / trailer 5 (5) Thor Ragnarok 8.1 / trailer 6 (3) Black Panther (HDTS) 7.9 / trailer 7 (2) Ferdinand 6.7 / trailer 8 (…) The Greatest Showman 7.9 / trailer 9 (4) Justice League 7.1 / trailer 10 (…) Pitch Perfect 3 6.1 / trailer Tagged in:
  12. Worldwide there's a notable decrease in camcording piracy, according to data collected by the MPAA. However, in Russia, this trend is going in the opposite direction. This week the US International Trade Commission heard that there's been a 200% increase in Russian cams over the last two years, fueling the pockets of "criminal syndicates." The movie industry sees movies that are illegally recorded in theaters as one of the biggest piracy threats worldwide. To combat this, audio and video watermarking tools are used to detect pirates and their favorite locations. In addition, night-vision goggles and other spy tech are employed to monitor moviegoers during high profile film premieres. Despite these efforts, so-called ‘cam’ releases of hundreds of films still end up on pirate sites. In fact, the majority of all new pirated movies that appear online can be traced to a digital recording in a movie theater. This can be the movie itself, the audio, or both. The good news for the movie industry is that the total number seems to be dropping somewhat. According to statistics gathered by the MPAA, 447 illegal recording of its members’ movies were detected in 2017. This is down 11% compared to the year before when 503 titles were recorded. This suggests that enforcement actions and preventive measures are paying off. However, this is not visible everywhere. This week Kevin Rosenbaum of the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), which represents various industry groups including the MPAA, informed the US International Trade Commission that camcording piracy is on the rise in Russia. In his oral testimony, Rosenbaum signaled three key copyright issues in Russia that deserve attention from the US Government. “First is to dramatically improve enforcement against online piracy, particularly piracy sites and services directed to users outside of Russia,” Rosenbaum said. In addition, the country also has to address the problem with the Russian collecting societies, to effectively handle music licensing. These currently lack transparency or good governance, IIPA noted. The third issue that needs attention is camcording piracy. According to IIPA’s statement, there has been a dramatic increase in illegally recorded movies over the past several years. “Russia must address the problem of camcording motion pictures, which has risen dramatically over the past three years (200% since 2015) and fuels online piracy,” Rosenbaum noted. In 2015 the movie industry traced 26 camcorded copies to Russia and by last year this number had increased to 78. These releases are linked to movie theaters around the country, from Moscow, Kazan, Tatarstan, St. Petersburg, all the way up to Siberia. The Russian camcording piracy problem was also highlighted in IIPA’s recent Special 301 submission to the US Trade Representative. “Russia remains the home to some of the world’s most prolific criminal release groups of motion pictures.” IIPA wrote last month. “The illicit camcords that are sourced from Russia are only of fair quality, but they remain in high demand by international criminal syndicates.” With help from the Russian-Anti Piracy Organization over a dozen cammers were caught last year. In addition, four criminal cases were launched. IIPA hopes that these will result in convictions, to create a deterrent effect. In addition, the group highlights that Russia could strengthen its laws, perhaps with a little push from the US. — A copy of Kevin Rosenbaum’s statement before the United States International Trade Commission is available here (pdf). In addition to Russia, it also highlights issues in other countries. https://torrentfreak.com/camcording-piracy-is-dropping-but-not-in-russia-180311/
  13. Something is not right in Tabloid Land. An article published this week in the The Express cites experts from McAfee talking about a "fresh Kodi warning" that "might stop you streaming illegally FOREVER." Not only is no new threat even touched upon in the piece, but one of the McAfee experts thinks that Kodi "is a streaming site". Over the past several years, the last couple in particular, piracy has stormed millions of homes around the world. From being a widespread but still fairly geeky occupation among torrenters, movie and TV show piracy can now be achieved by anyone with the ability to click a mouse or push a button on a remote control. Much of this mainstream interest can be placed at the feet of the Kodi media player. An entirely legal platform in its own right, Kodi can be augmented with third-party add-ons that enable users to access an endless supply of streaming media. As such, piracy-configured Kodi installations are operated by an estimated 26 million people, according to the MPAA. This popularity has led to much interest from tabloid newspapers in the UK which, for reasons best known to them, choose to both promote and demonize Kodi almost every week. While writing about news events is clearly par for the course, when one considers some of the reports, their content, and what inspired them, something doesn’t seem right. This week The Express, which has published many overly sensational stories about Kodi in recent times, published another. The title – as always – promised something special. Sounds like big news…. Reading the text, however, reveals nothing new whatsoever. The piece simply rehashes some of the historic claims that have been leveled at Kodi that can easily apply to any Internet-enabled software or system. But beyond that, some of its content is pretty weird. The piece is centered on comments from two McAfee security experts – Chief Scientist Raj Samani and Chief Consumer Security Evangelist Gary Davis. It’s unclear whether The Express approached them for comment (if they did, there is no actual story for McAfee to comment on) or whether McAfee offered the comments and The Express built a story around them. Either way, here’s a taster. “Kodi has been pretty open about the fact that it’s a streaming site but my view has always been if I use Netflix I know that I’m not going to get any issues, if I use Amazon I’m not going to get any issues,” Samani told the publication. Ok, stop right there. Kodi admits that it’s a streaming site? Really? Kodi is a piece of software. It’s a media player. It can do many things but Kodi is not a streaming site and no one at Kodi has ever labeled it otherwise. To think that neither McAfee nor the publication caught that one is a bit embarrassing. The argument that Samani was trying to make is that services like Netflix and Amazon are generally more reliable than third-party sources and there are few people out there who would argue with that. “Look, ultimately you’ve got to do the research and you’ve got to decide if it’s right for you but personally I don’t use [Kodi] and I know full well that by not using [Kodi] I’m not going to get any issues. If I pay for the service I know exactly what I’m going to get,” he said. But unlike his colleague who doesn’t use Kodi, Gary Davis has more experience. McAfee’s Chief Consumer Security Evangelist admits to having used Kodi in the past but more recently decided not to use it when the security issues apparently got too much for him. “I did use [Kodi] but turned it off as I started getting worried about some of the risks,” he told The Express. “You may search for something and you may get what you are looking for but you may get something that you are not looking for and that’s where the problem lies with Kodi.” This idea, that people search for a movie or TV show yet get something else, is bewildering to most experienced Kodi users. If this was indeed the case, on any large scale, people wouldn’t want to use it anymore. That’s clearly not the case. Also, incorrect content appearing is not the kind of security threat that the likes of McAfee tend to be worried about. However, Davis suggests things can get worse. “I’m not saying they’ve done anything wrong but if somebody is able to embed code to turn on a microphone or other things or start sending data to a place it shouldn’t go,” he said. The sentence appears to have some words missing and struggles to make sense but the suggestion is that someone’s Kodi installation could be corrupted to the point that someone people could hijack the user’s microphone. We are not aware of anything like that happening, ever, via Kodi. There are instances where that has happened completely without it in a completely different context, but that seems here nor there. By the same count, everyone should stop using Windows perhaps? The big question is why these ‘scary’ Kodi non-stories keep getting published and why experts are prepared to weigh-in on them? It would be too easy to quickly put it down to some anti-piracy agenda, even though there are plenty of signs that anti-piracy groups have been habitually feeding UK tabloids with information on that front. Indeed, a source at a UK news outlet (that no longer publishes such stories) told TF that they were often prompted to write stories about Kodi and streaming in general, none with a positive spin. But if it was as simple as that, how does that explain another story run in The Express this week heralding the launch of Kodi’s ‘Leia’ alpha release? If Kodi is so bad as to warrant an article telling people to avoid it FOREVER on one day, why is it good enough to be promoted on another? It can only come down to the number of clicks – but the clickbait headline should’ve given that away at the start. https://torrentfreak.com/mcafee-security-experts-weigh-in-weirdly-with-fresh-kodi-warning-180311/
  14. Copyright organizations met with the UK government on dozens of occasions in just three months, a response to a Freedom of Information request has revealed. Groups such as the MPAA, BPI, Premier League, Sky and the Federation Against Copyright Theft were all involved, alongside Facebook, Amazon and eBay who were discussing their takedown practices. While doing business with clients and suppliers is the usual day-to-day routine for most businesses, companies in the entertainment sector seem keener than most to spend time with those in power. Whether there’s pressure to be applied in respect of upcoming changes in policy or long-term plans for modifying legislation, at least a few times a year news breaks of rightsholders having private meetings with officials. Most of the time, however, the head-to-heads fly under the radar. This week, however, the UK government published a response to a Freedom of Information Request which asked for details of meetings between the government and copyright owner organizations, enforcement organizations, and collection societies (think BPI, MPA, FACT, Publishers Association, PRS, etc) including times, dates and topics discussed. The request asked for details of meetings held between May 2016 and April 2017 but the government declined to provide all of this information since the effort required to extract the information “would exceed the cost limit.” Given the amount of data published, this isn’t a surprise. Even though the government chose to limit the response to events held between January 16, 2017 and April 17, 2017, the meetings between the government and the above groups number in their dozens. January 2017 got off to a pretty slow start but week three and beyond saw a flurry of meetings with groups and companies such as ITV, BBC, PRS for Music, Copyright Licensing Agency and several other organizations to discuss the EU’s Digital Single Market proposals. On January 18, 2017 Time Warner had a meeting to discuss content protection and analytics, followed a day later by the Premier League who were booked in to discuss “illicit streaming devices” (a topic mirrored in March during a meeting with the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance). Just a few days later the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit held a “Partnership Working Group Meeting involving industry” and two days after that the police, Trading Standards, and the EU Police Agency convened to discuss enforcement activity. January 26, 2017 saw an IP Outreach Workshop involving members of the IP Crime Group. This was potentially a big meeting. The IPCG consists of several regional police forces, PIPCU, National Crime Agency, Crown Prosecution Service, Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Trading Standards, HMRC, IFPI, BPI, FACT, Sky TV, PRS, FAST and the Publishers Association, to name just a few. As the first month of the year was drawing to a close, Amazon met with the government to discuss “current procedures for removing copyright, design and trademark infringing material from their platform.” A similar meeting was held with eBay on February 1 and on February 20, Facebook had its turn on the same topic. All three companies had come in for criticism from copyright holders for not doing enough to stem the tide of infringing content available on their platforms, particularly so-called Kodi boxes that provide access to movies, shows, and live TV. However, in the months that followed they each responded positively, with eBay, Amazon and Facebook announcing restrictions on devices sold. While all three platforms still have a problem with infringing device sales, the situation appears to have improved since last year. On the final day of January 2017, the MPAA attended a meeting to discuss the looming Digital Economy Bill and digital TV piracy. A couple of days later they were back again for a “business awareness seminar” with other big shots including the Alliance for IP, the Anti-Counterfeiting Group, Trading Standards and the Premier League. However, given the dozens that took place, perhaps one of the more interesting meetings in terms of the mix of those in attendance took place February 7. Titled “Organized Crime Task Force Meeting – Belfast” it was attended by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the National Crime Agency, Trading Standards, HM Revenue and Customs, the Border Force, and (spot the odd one out) the Federation Against Copyright Theft. This seems to suggest that FACT (a private company) is effectively embedded at the highest level of law enforcement, something that has made people very uncomfortable in the past. Later in February, there was a roundtable meeting with the Alliance for IP, MPAA, Publishers’ Association, BPI, Premier League and Federation Against Copyright Theft (again) to discuss Brexit, the Digital Single Market, IP enforcement and industrial strategy. A similar meeting was held in March which was attended by UK Music, BPI, PRS, Featured Artists Coalition, and many more. The full list of meetings, which number in their dozens for just a three-month period, can be found here pdf. Whether the volume is representative of other three-month periods isn’t clear but it seems reasonable to conclude that copyright organizations have the ears of government officials in the UK on an almost continual basis. https://torrentfreak.com/uk-govt-met-with-copyright-holders-dozens-of-times-in-just-three-months-180310/
  15. It's unthinkable that Netflix would ever do a deal with The Pirate Bay, but in Spain, something very similar happened a few years ago. Newly uncovered information reveals that the local streaming platform Flimin signed an agreement with one of the country's most notorious pirate sites, in return for a significant stake in the company. In 2011 Hollywood’s MPAA highlighted SeriesYonkis as one of the most prolific pirate sites on the Internet. “With a worldwide Alexa rank of 855, Seriesyonkis.com is one the most visited websites in the world for locating and streaming unauthorized copies of motion picture and television content,” Hollywood’s industry group informed the US Government. While the MPAA was calling for tough enforcement actions, film industry partners in Spain came up with a different plan. They signed an unprecedented deal with the pirate site in 2011, hoping to convert its users into paying customers. The main figures in this unusual episode are Juan Carlos Tous, the founder of the legal streaming platform Filmin, and SeriesYonkis owner Alexis Hoepfner, who operated the pirate site under his company Burn Media. With help from lawyer Andy Ramos they negotiated a unique deal that would ‘merge’ both businesses. According to local newspaper El Confidencial, which has seen a copy of the agreement, SeriesYonkis company would get a 23% stake in Filmin, on the condition that pirate links were replaced with legal ones within a set period. The entire agreement was kept secret by a confidentiality clause, which worked well until a few days ago. SeriesYonkis also made two loans of 250,000 euros available, which were convertible into shares. In addition to the above, Filmin also offered compensation for every pirate it converted, up to 10 euros per user that signed up for an annual subscription. The agreement further stipulated that SeriesYonkis had to apologize for its pirate ways. Point five stressed that SeriesYonkis and other Burn Media sites had to “carry out communication and awareness actions so that the users of the websites understand the need to legally access audiovisual content.” Interestingly, SeriesYonkis wasn’t planning to go down and let other pirate sites take its traffic. The agreement included a clause that obligated Filmin to spend 25,000 euros to shut down or reduce traffic to other pirate sites. The episode took place when Spain was about to implement its Sinde law, which would make it hard for local pirate sites in a country that was considered a “safe haven” at the time. However, not everything went according to plan. The Sinde law didn’t destroy all Spanish pirate sites and six months after signing the agreement, SeriesYonkis stopped deleting pirate links. Even worse, its owner launched several new pirate sites, such as SeriesCoco and SeriesKiwi. Filmin’s founder was outraged and sent an email demanding answers. “I would like to hear your opinion on the progress and explanation of your plan with SeriesCoco! I do not understand anything! I thought you were going to decrease, and I see that you are opening portals!! WTF!” Tous wrote. The deal eventually fell apart. Filmin kept its shares and stopped paying for new referrals. SeriesYonkis’ company Burn Media filed a lawsuit to get back its money, but thus far that hasn’t happened. According to an insider close to the deal, the idea was brilliant. SeriesYonkis reportedly earned millions of euros at the time, more than Filmin, and used this money to go legal and destroy the competition ahead of a tough new anti-piracy law. “The pirate not only abandons its weapons, but is integrated into the industry, and uses capital earned from piracy to fight against it,” a source told El Confidencial. “It was a winning deal for everyone,” another source added, regretting that it didn’t work out. “It was a very bold agreement, something unusual in this sector, that would have changed the scenario if it had worked.” Today, roughly seven years after the agreement was set into motion, Filmin is one of the larger streaming platforms in Spain. SeriesYonkis is also still around, but was sold by Hoefner in 2016 and no longer links to pirated content. https://torrentfreak.com/spanish-netflix-competitor-partnered-leading-pirate-site-180310/