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About adoreddragon

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  2. The Free State Foundation, a think tank founded in 2006 which receives regular donations from the MPAA, is calling on Congress to tackle the threat from streaming piracy. In a new paper, FSF notes that those streaming unlicensed content to the public are currently guilty of a misdemeanor, an offense that should be upgraded to a felony if piracy is to be brought under control. Soon after the turn of the century, P2P consumption of unlicensed media quickly dominated the file-sharing landscape. The BitTorrent protocol emerged as the unchallenged kind of peer-to-peer transfers and for many years no rival could get anywhere near its level of market saturation. Then, soon after the turn of the decade, the tide began to turn. With cheaper, faster bandwidth becoming increasingly available to a broader user base, opportunities to stream content directly from websites gathered unprecedented momentum. What began several years earlier as a relatively niche activity, soon turned into a content monster. This critical shift in consumption habits was interesting on several fronts, not least since it made piracy accessible to relative novices via the growing Internet-enabled set-top box market. As a result, illegal streaming is now considered one of the major threats, but various pro-copyright groups are concerned that current legislation doesn’t go far enough to tackle those involved in supply. The problem was summed up in April 2015 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee by then-Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante. “Currently, criminals who engage in unlawful internet streaming can only be charged with a misdemeanor, even though those who unlawfully reproduce and distribute copyrighted material can be charged with a felony,” Pallante said. “This distinction makes no sense. As streaming becomes a dominant method of obtaining content online, unlawful streaming has no less of an adverse impact on the rights of copyright owners than unlawful distribution.” In a new paper published by the Free State Foundation (FSF), a think tank founded in 2006 which receives regular donations from the MPAA, streaming is again described as a misdemeanor offense and one that should be taken more seriously to protect copyright holders. In its report ‘Modernizing Criminal Copyright Law to Combat Online Piracy’, FSF notes that copyright holders face difficulties prosecuting mass-scale willful infringement via civil lawsuits. So, to give them the assistance they require, Congress should upgrade piracy via streaming to a felony offense. “Congress should update criminal copyright law to better address growing copyright piracy taking place through online streaming sites and enabled by illicit streaming devices,” FSF writes. “Currently, willful copyright infringement via online streaming is only a misdemeanor, whereas willful infringement via digital downloading is a felony when statutory minimums are satisfied. “This disparate treatment of streaming and downloading has no principled basis. Consumers increasingly access copyrighted video and music through streaming.” FSF states that punishments for misdemeanor copyright infringement (willful infringements of exclusive rights other than reproduction and distribution) include up to a year of prison and a fine of up to $100,000, or both. Punishments for felony copyright infringement usually include up to five years in prison or a $250,000 fine, or both. Due to its scope, the latter option for serious offenses is viewed by FSF as a more significant deterrent that can better protect copyright holders. “By making willful infringement of multiple or high value copyrighted works via online streaming a felony, Congress would empower law enforcement to better combat black market online traffickers in copyrighted content,” FSF adds. In addition to the more severe sentencing of those who stream to the public, FSF would like to see law enforcement given more tools to catch them in the act in the first instance. In some quarters, its suggestions are likely to be viewed as extremely controversial. “Additionally, Congress should consider providing federal law enforcement with more tools, including the authority to seek wiretaps to obtain evidence of suspected criminal copyright activities, to combat online piracy. Similar wiretap authority already exists in the case of theft of trade secrets and economic espionage,” FSF writes. The report isn’t specific as to which players should be disrupted via such legislation, but repeated references to piracy-enabled set-top boxes, addon-enabled software, hosting services and others in the streaming ecosystem indicates a tendency towards plugging loopholes across the board in a largely untested and still-developing market. What also seems clear is a desire to shift enforcement costs onto the state, rather than them being carried entirely by copyright holders who would otherwise have to engage in difficult and expensive civil litigation. “Despite suffering substantial harm on account of online piracy, copyright owners are often ill-equipped and financially unable to combat such piracy through civil lawsuits,” FSF reports. “Pirates of copyrighted content are not often amenable to service of process and to civil litigation. Unsurprisingly, many technically sophisticated online piracy operations are designed to avoid accountability to copyright holders and to the civil justice system. “Thus, circumstances clearly exist in which the civil justice system is inadequate or unable to address or combat online piracy operations.” While the terminology used in the FSF report can at times suggest a tightening of the law against those who stream to the public and those who consume streaming content, it eventually makes clear that such legislation should be directed “to online traffickers in copyrighted content, not individual Internet users.” It also states that “reasonable safe harbor provisions” should exist for online service providers to receive immunity from criminal and civil liability, providing they remove or disable access to infringing content when advised by a rightsholder. Considering the donations FSF receives from the MPAA, it’s probably safe to assume that the report’s recommendations are broadly aligned with those of the Hollywood group. In that respect, it’s interesting that the studios feel that current law exposes them in some way. Thus far, tools to tackle administrators of pirate streaming sites in the US don’t appear to have been lacking but perhaps there is currently a little too much room for maneuver. source: torrentfreak
  3. Russian company Arusoft has released a new version of its DeUHD ripping tool which bypasses AACS 2.1. The new encryption version appeared last month on the UHD Blu-ray discs of Fury and The Patriot and couldn't be bypassed with existing tools. The new version makes it possible for pirates to rip the discs in question, which happened soon after The ongoing battle between copyright holders and pirates is often described as a cat and mouse game, especially when it comes to content protection. Hollywood studios release their movies with copy protection. Pirates break it. New protection is released. Pirates break it again. And so forth. With UHD Blu-rays, copyright holders have long had the upper hand in this game. The discs are protected with AACS 2.0 encryption which was long believed to unbreakable. This changed late last year. While the encryption technically wasn’t ‘cracked,’ at least not publicly, various pirated UHD Blu-ray movies were released. After several years behind, the ‘pirates’ were in front again. Not much later, another breakthrough came when a Russian company released a Windows tool called DeUHD that could rip UHD Blu-ray discs. While this was initially another win for pirates, bad news was on the horizon. Last month, the UHD Bluray releases of the movies Fury and The Patriot came out with a new encryption version, labeled AACS 2.1. This addition made it impossible to rip the discs and some feared that bypassing the protection could take a long time. Yesterday, however, Arusoft released a new version of its DeUHD ripping tool that is now able to rip AACS 2.1 discs. TorrentFreak reached out to Arusoft who informed us that the AACS 2.1 discs come with a crucial difference. The main file has a fmts extension, an encrypted m2ts format, which contains forensic information. “It’s extension is fmts instead of m2ts because it contains some extra info used by studios to track the player used for decryption, which is the major difference from aacs2.0 discs,” Arusoft notes. “It is not too difficult to bypass this protection, just takes some time to do it,” they add. While Arusoft doesn’t condone piracy, as MyCE notes, the new DeUHD release opens the door for pirates to share releases to a wider audience. And indeed, a few hours ago several UHD Blu-ray rips of Fury have appeared online. Interestingly, there is some concern among the broader public whether this would be ‘safe’ or not. It’s obviously illegal, but the main worry is that AACS 2.1 presumably added forensic watermarks could help to identify the source of a leak. DeUHD’s developers, however, suggest that these data have been stripped. “All redundant data has been cleared from the disc,” Arusoft tells TorrentFreak. In a similarly worded statement, MyCE was informed that DeUHD “clears the garbage from the file” but other than that no definite claims were made. TorrentFreak previously reached out to the licensing outfit AACS LA to find out more about the new encryption. The company said it would review our request but has yet to comment. source: torrentfreak
  4. @HiroJun thank you very much for invite!
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  6. @HiroJun hi. can i request an invite, it seems great tracker
  7. hi @Skylights i would like apply, i like turkish culture and account will help me for those stuff when i search about it
  8. Micron in their latest research article has revealed the full potential of their upcoming GDDR6 memory which will be equipped with the latest graphics cards from GPU manufacturers. The GDDR6 memory has been in works for quite some time and many manufacturers have already started mass production so we can expect to see the memory shipping soon in the latest cards. Micron GDDR6 Memory Research Article Reveals Full Potential – Up To 20 Gb/s Possible With Little But Effective Voltage Bump Within the research paper, Micron discusses several aspects of the GDDR6 memory which includes silicon changes, channel enhancements, and performance measurements. While GDDR6 follows an evolutionary path over GDDR5 and GDDR5X memory, there are still some significant changes in the underlying architecture to boost memory bandwidth while saving power. This makes the VRAM a viable option for next-generation consumer graphics cards such as NVIDIA’s upcoming line of the GeForce products. One detail that caught my eye was the Micron has already determined in performance measuring that their GDDR6 memory could extend beyond the 16.5 Gb/s range. The result proved that with a slight but helpful bump in I/O voltage, the memory chips can push speeds as high as 20 Gb/s which is a significant jump from the JEDEC defined 14 Gb/s target. While the preceding results demonstrate full DRAM functionality up to as high as 16.5Gb/s, it is possible for the overall performance of an architecture to be capped by timing limitations in the memory array itself. To determine if this GDDR6 interface could extend beyond the 16.5Gb/s range, the device was placed into a mode of operation which exercises only the I/O while bypassing the memory array. The oscilloscope measurement presented in Fig.15 confirms that when bypassing the memory array, and with a small, but helpful, boost in I/O supply voltage, it is possible to push Micron Technology, Inc.’s GDDR6 I/O as high as 20Gb/s. We know that from our own experience that GDDR5X proved to provide a big boost in memory performance with clock bump. At reference voltage, it was able to achieve the same clock rates that are offered on the Titan XP with a GTX 1080. If we are looking at similar performance scaling with GDDR6, then 20 Gb/s overclocks on upcoming cards can provide a similar performance boost. So just what kind of performance we might expect from a 20 Gb/s clock bump, well to put things into perspective, a 256-bit card with such speeds would able to deliver 640 Gb/s bandwidth which is close to Titan V’s 652.8 Gb/s (HBM2). A 384-bit card would almost hit the 1 Tb/s barrier with an approximate bandwidth of 960 GB/s surpassing NVIDIA’s Tesla V100 solution. Micron mentions that they are very confident in claiming that GDDR6 data rates are gonna extend beyond the Jedec defined speeds so this is a just a hint of the overclocking potential we would get to see on the next-generation gaming cards. source: wccftech
  9. Last month we reported that over a dozen Google employees had resigned to protest the company’s contract with the US Department of Defense helping the military with artificial intelligence. It now appears that Google has decided not to renew its contract with the Pentagon. “Google will not seek another contract for its controversial work providing artificial intelligence to the US Department of Defense for analyzing drone footage after its current contract expires,” Gizmodo reports. The publication cited three sources who suggest that the update came from Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene who announced the decision at a meeting with employees this morning. Employees had demanded Google to enforce a policy stating the company will never build warfare technology Known as Project Maven, the controversial pilot program involves Google providing artificial intelligence capabilities to the DoD for the analysis of drone footage. The decision to help the military sparked concerns from the industry along with Google’s own staff. With Project Maven, Google promised Pentagon a “Google-earth-like” surveillance system that could surveil entire cities with analysts learning about any building, any person with a single click. The company, however, remained cautious of this contract becoming public worried about how people would perceive it. Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM are other tech giants competing for similar contracts. Apart from a few resignations, about 4,000 of the company’s employees signed a petition asking Google to stop getting involved in the “questionable practice of targeted killings.” Employees argued that the company’s decision to help the US military – and possibly others in the future – goes against the company’s ethical principles and would result in the erosion of user trust. Google staff demanded the company to work on a clear policy that states that the company or its contractors will never “build warfare technology.” Project Maven was Google’s first major contract with Pentagon after which the company was eyeing for bigger contracts with intelligence agencies. The company is reportedly pursuing a Pentagon cloud computing contract worth $10 billion. In today’s meeting, Greene told employees that Google is at the forefront of the conversation about the ethical use of artificial intelligence. While it has internally announced to not go for a contract renewal, the discussion on warfare technology has just started. With the billions of dollars that this nascent technology promises to bring, it would be interesting to see how long these AI heavyweights stay away from offering AI-powered cyberweapons. source: wccftech
  10. Apple was thrust into the middle of a long-simmering dispute on Thursday between the encrypted messaging app Telegram and the Russian government, which has sought to shut down the service since it declined to help Moscow intercept communications sent through its platform. Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, accused Apple of refusing to allow the messaging service’s software to be updated globally after Russian authorities ordered the iPhone maker to remove Telegram from Apple’s App Store. The app ran afoul of the Russian authorities for refusing to cooperate with the country’s security agencies. The allegation from Mr. Durov is significant because it undercuts the importance that Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, has placed on privacy and encrypted communication, and adds to criticism that the company too easily acquiesces to the demands of governments in important foreign markets. Last year, Apple agreed to Chinese government rules to remove apps from its App Store that allowed users to avoid the country’s online censorship through virtual private networks. The compromises contrast with Apple’s dealings with authorities in the United States. In 2016, Apple was taken to court for refusing to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation gain access to encrypted messages sent by one of two attackers who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif. “Russia banned Telegram on its territory in April because we refused to provide decryption keys for all our users’ communications to Russia’s security agencies,” Mr. Durov said in a statement posted to his official Telegram channel. “We believe we did the only possible thing, preserving the right of our users to privacy in a troubled country.” “Unfortunately, Apple didn’t side with us,” he continued. A Russian national, Mr. Durov left the country in 2014 after he lost control of Vkontakte, Russia’s popular rival to Facebook. In 2013, he founded Telegram, selling it as one of the few remaining ways to communicate while avoiding the intelligence services. The app was particularly popular in Russia and Iran, where it has also been blocked. In March, the company said Telegram had reached 200 million active daily users. Mr. Durov said that while Russia accounted for only about 7 percent of Telegram’s user base, Apple’s move had effectively barred it from updating software for all of its users worldwide since mid-April. He said that had meant Telegram was also unable to fully comply with new privacy rules put in place in the European Union last week. An Apple spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Mr. Durov’s statement. The situation highlights the messy gatekeeper role that Apple plays, with its App Store acting as the main way people can download apps, along with Google’s Play store. Apple finds itself caught between the interests of encrypted messaging apps such as Telegram and Signal, which want to prevent anybody from intercepting communications between users, and governments, which want access to messages to identify security risks and other issues. The Russian authorities have repeatedly said Telegram is a threat, claiming that extremists use it to coordinate their efforts. Russian human rights activists and many otherwise apolitical users, however, saw the move as an attempt by the Kremlin to curtail freedoms and as only the first step in a broader plan to introduce online censorship. Thousands rallied in central Moscow at the end of April to protest the shutdown. The Russian government’s communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, has been trying to block Telegram since the end of April, when a Moscow court cleared the way for it to do so. The agency went to court after the app refused to share its encryption keys with the Russian security services. So far, the attempts to shut Telegram down have been clumsy, with the app remaining available on many devices in Russia, including some that began to use virtual private networks, or VPNs, to hide their geographic location from authorities. In order to hinder access to the app, Russian authorities took the unusual step of shutting down entire segments of the Russian internet. Many small organizations, including language schools and museums, have been blocked as collateral damage. source: nytimes
  11. A study commissioned by Canada's Innovation, Science and Economic Development department has revealed that three-quarters of the Canadian public consume online content exclusively from legal sources. Perhaps surprisingly, just 5% identify as hardcore pirates. Meanwhile, 10% of the population have received infringement notices, with a quarter throwing them straight in the trash. Back in January, a coalition of companies and organizations with ties to the entertainment industries called on local telecoms regulator CRTC to implement a national website blocking regime. Under the banner of Fairplay Canada, members including Bell, Cineplex, Directors Guild of Canada, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Movie Theatre Association of Canada, and Rogers Media, spoke of an industry under threat from marauding pirates. But just how serious is this threat? The results of a new survey commissioned by Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) in collaboration with the Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH) aims to shine light on the problem by revealing the online content consumption habits of citizens in the Great White North. While there are interesting findings for those on both sides of the site-blocking debate, the situation seems somewhat removed from the Armageddon scenario predicted by the entertainment industries. Carried out among 3,301 Canadians aged 12 years and over, the Kantar TNS study aims to cover copyright infringement in six key content areas – music, movies, TV shows, video games, computer software, and eBooks. Attitudes and behaviors are also touched upon while measuring the effectiveness of Canada’s copyright measures. A study commissioned by Canada's Innovation, Science and Economic Development department has revealed that three-quarters of the Canadian public consume online content exclusively from legal sources. Perhaps surprisingly, just 5% identify as hardcore pirates. Meanwhile, 10% of the population have received infringement notices, with a quarter throwing them straight in the trash. General Digital Content Consumption In its introduction, the report notes that 28 million Canadians used the Internet in the three-month study period to November 27, 2017. Of those, 22 million (80%) consumed digital content. Around 20 million (73%) streamed or accessed content, 16 million (59%) downloaded content, while 8 million (28%) shared content. Music, TV shows and movies all battled for first place in the consumption ranks, with 48%, 48%, and 46% respectively. Copyright Infringement According to the study, the majority of Canadians do things completely by the book. An impressive 74% of media-consuming respondents said that they’d only accessed material from legal sources in the preceding three months. The remaining 26% admitted to accessing at least one illegal file in the same period. Of those, just 5% said that all of their consumption was from illegal sources, with movies (36%), software (36%), TV shows (34%) and video games (33%) the most likely content to be consumed illegally. Interestingly, the study found that few demographic factors – such as gender, region, rural and urban, income, employment status and language – play a role in illegal content consumption. “We found that only age and income varied significantly between consumers who infringed by downloading or streaming/accessing content online illegally and consumers who did not consume infringing content online,” the report reads. “More specifically, the profile of consumers who downloaded or streamed/accessed infringing content skewed slightly younger and towards individuals with household incomes of $100K+.” Licensed services much more popular than pirate haunts It will come as no surprise that Netflix was the most popular service with consumers, with 64% having used it in the past three months. Sites like YouTube and Facebook were a big hit too, visited by 36% and 28% of content consumers respectively. Overall, 74% of online content consumers use licensed services for content while 42% use social networks. Under a third (31%) use a combination of peer-to-peer (BitTorrent), cyberlocker platforms, or linking sites. Stream-ripping services are used by 9% of content consumers. “Consumers who reported downloading or streaming/accessing infringing content only are less likely to use licensed services and more likely to use peer-to-peer/cyberlocker/linking sites than other consumers of online content,” the report notes. Attitudes towards legal consumption & infringing content In common with similar surveys over the years, the Kantar research looked at the reasons why people consume content from various sources, both legal and otherwise. Convenience (48%), speed (36%) and quality (34%) were the most-cited reasons for using legal sources. An interesting 33% of respondents said they use legal sites to avoid using illegal sources. On the illicit front, 54% of those who obtained unauthorized content in the previous three months said they did so due to it being free, with 40% citing convenience and 34% mentioning speed. Almost six out of ten (58%) said lower costs would encourage them to switch to official sources, with 47% saying they’d move if legal availability was improved. Canada’s ‘Notice-and-Notice’ warning system People in Canada who share content on peer-to-peer systems like BitTorrent without permission run the risk of receiving an infringement notice warning them to stop. These are sent by copyright holders via users’ ISPs and the hope is that the shock of receiving a warning will turn consumers back to the straight and narrow. The study reveals that 10% of online content consumers over the age of 12 have received one of these notices but what kind of effect have they had? “Respondents reported that receiving such a notice resulted in the following: increased awareness of copyright infringement (38%), taking steps to ensure password protected home networks (27%), a household discussion about copyright infringement (27%), and discontinuing illegal downloading or streaming (24%),” the report notes. While these are all positives for the entertainment industries, Kantar reports that almost a quarter (24%) of people who receive a notice simply ignore them. Stream-ripping Once upon a time, people obtaining music via P2P networks was cited as the music industry’s greatest threat but, with the advent of sites like YouTube, so-called stream-ripping is the latest bogeyman. According to the study, 11% of Internet users say they’ve used a stream-ripping service. They are most likely to be male (62%) and predominantly 18 to 34 (52%) years of age. “Among Canadians who have used a service to stream-rip music or entertainment, nearly half (48%) have used stream-ripping sites, one-third have used downloader apps (38%), one-in-seven (14%) have used a stream-ripping plug-in, and one-in-ten (10%) have used stream-ripping software,” the report adds. Set-Top Boxes and VPNs Few general piracy studies would be complete in 2018 without touching on set-top devices and Virtual Private Networks and this report doesn’t disappoint. More than one in five (21%) respondents aged 12+ reported using a VPN, with the main purpose of securing communications and Internet browsing (57%). A relatively modest 36% said they use a VPN to access free content while 32% said the aim was to access geo-blocked content unavailable in Canada. Just over a quarter (27%) said that accessing content from overseas at a reasonable price was the main motivator. One in ten (10%) of respondents reported using a set-top box, with 78% stating they use them to access paid-for content. Interestingly, only a small number say they use the devices to infringe. “A minority use set-top boxes to access other content that is not legal or they are unsure if it is legal (16%), or to access live sports that are not legal or they are unsure if it is legal (11%),” the report notes. “Individuals who consumed a mix of legal and illegal content online are more likely to use VPN services (42%) or TV set-top boxes (21%) than consumers who only downloaded or streamed/accessed legal content.” Kantar says that the findings of the report will be used to help policymakers evaluate how Canada’s Copyright Act is coping with a changing market and technological developments. “This research will provide the necessary information required to further develop copyright policy in Canada, as well as to provide a foundation to assess the effectiveness of the measures to address copyright infringement, should future analysis be undertaken,” it concludes. source: torrentfreak
  12. In recent months, thousands of alleged movie pirates in Sweden have been hit with cash demands by a Danish law firm. Sadly, instead of the situation calming down, things are now getting worse. According to a local report, several new law firms are getting in on the action, with one demanding almost double the figures quoted by the Danish outfit while warning of additional costs on top. Back in 2016, so-called copyright-trolling landed in Sweden for the first time via an organization calling itself Spridningskollen (Distribution Check). Within months, however, it was all over, with the operation heading for the hills after much negative publicity. February this year, another wave of trolling hit the country, with Danish law firm Njord Law targeting the subscribers of several ISPs, including Telia, Tele2 and Bredbandsbolaget. Thousands of IP addresses had been harvested by its media company partners, potentially linking to thousands of subscribers. “We have sent out a few thousand letters, but we have been given the right to obtain information behind many more IP addresses that we are waiting to receive from the telecom operators. So there are more,” lawyer Jeppe Brogaard Clausen said in October. But while Internet users in Sweden wait for news of how this campaign is progressing, multiple new threats are appearing on the horizon. Swedish publication Breakit reports that several additional law firms in Sweden are also getting in on the action with one, Innerstans Advokatbyrå, already sending out demands to alleged file-sharers. “By downloading and uploading the movie without permission from the copyright holder, you have committed a copyright infringement,” its letter warns. “However, the rightsholder wishes to propose a conciliation solution consisting of paying a flat rate of 7,000 kronor [$831] in one payment for all of the copyright infringements in question.” The demand for 7,000 kronor is significantly more than 4,500 kronor ($535) demanded by Njord Law but Innerstans Advokatbyrå warns that this amount will only be the beginning, should an alleged pirate fail to pay up and the case goes to court. “If this happens, the amount will not be limited to 7,000 kronor but will compensate for the damage suffered and will include compensation for investigative costs, application fees and attorney fees,” the company warns. Breakit spoke with Alex Block at Innerstans Advokatbyrå who wouldn’t reveal how many letters had been sent out. However, he did indicate that while damages amounts will be decided by the court, a license for a shared film can cost 80,000 kronor ($12,800). “This will last for a long time, and to a large extent,” he said. Of course, we’ve reported on plenty of these campaigns before and their representatives all state that people will be taken to court if they don’t pay. This one is no different, with Block assuring the public that if they don’t pay, court will follow. The credibility of the campaign is at stake, he notes. “It’s our intention [to go to court], even if we prefer to avoid it. We must make reality of our requirements, otherwise it will not work,” he says. Breakit says it has seen a copy of one letter from the lawfirm, which reveals a collaboration between US film company Mile High Distribution Inc. and Mircom International Content Management & Consulting Ltd. Mircom is extremely well known in trolling circles having conducted campaigns in several areas of the EU. German outfit Media Protector is also involved, having tracked the IP addresses of the alleged pirates. This company also has years of experience working with copyright trolls. With several other law firms apparently getting in on the action, Swedish authorities need to ensure that the country doesn’t become another Germany where trolls have run rampant for a number of years, causing misery for thousands. While that help may not necessarily be forthcoming, it’s perhaps a little surprising that given Sweden’s proud and recent history of piracy activism, there appear to be very few signs of a visible and organized pushback from the masses. That will certainly please the trolls, who tend to thrive when unchallenged. source: torrentfreak
  13. The controversial ripping tool AnyDVD has released a new beta version that allows users to decrypt and copy UHD Blu-Ray discs. The software makes use of the leaked keys that came out recently and appears to work well. Meanwhile, disc drive manufacturers are patching security holes. For a long time UHD Blu-Ray discs have been the holy grail for movie rippers. Protected by the ‘unbreakable’ AACS 2.0 encryption, pirates were left with regular HD releases. While that’s fine for most people, it didn’t sit well with the real videophiles. This year there have been some major developments on this front. First, full copies of UHD discs started to leak online, later followed by dozens of AACS 2.0 keys. Technically speaking AACS 2.0 is not confirmed to be defeated yet, but many discs can now be ripped. This week a popular name jumped onto the UHD Blu-Ray bandwagon. In its latest beta release, AnyDVD now supports the format, relying on the leaked keys. “New (UHD Blu-ray): Fetch AACS keys from external file for use with ‘UHD-friendly’ drives,” the release notes read. The involvement of AnyDVD is significant because it previously came under legal pressure from decryption licensing outfit AACS LA. This caused former parent company Slysoft to shut down last year, but the software later reappeared under new management. Based on reports from several AnyDVD users, the UHD ripping works well for most people. Some even claim that it’s faster than the free alternative, MakeMKV. The question is, however, how long the ripping party will last. TorrentFreak has learned that not all supported Blu-Ray disc drives will remain “UHD-friendly.” According to one source’s information, which we were unable to independently verify, device manufacturers have recently been instructed to patch the holes through firmware updates. This indeed appears to be what’s happening. According to several user reports, LG’s WH16NS40 is no longer able to read and rip UHD Blu-Rays after the most recent firmware change. Ironically, LG advertises it as “Improved BD UHD disc compatibility.” So, while ripping tools such as AnyDVD are joining in to support UHD ripping, AACS LA and disc drive manufacturers appear to be patching security holes. But whatever they do, rippers are unlikely to stop their efforts until they’ve reached the holy grail. source: torrentfreak
  14. People are being warned to be on their guard after fake piracy fines demanding hundreds of euros were sent out to Internet users in Germany. The emails claim that the user has infringed the rights of 20th Century Fox by streaming illegal content from popular platform Kinox. But the whole thing is an elaborate scam designed to part people from their hard-earned cash. Most people who obtain and share large quantities of material online understand that comes with risk, possibly in the form of an ISP-forwarded warning, a letter demanding cash, or even a visit from the police. While the latter only happens in the rarest of circumstances, warnings are relatively commonplace, especially in the United States where companies like Rightscorp pump them out in their thousands. Letters demanding cash payment, sent by so-called copyright trolls, are less prevalent but these days most people understand the concept of a piracy ‘fine’. With this level of understanding in the mainstream there are opportunities for scammers, who have periodically tried to extract payments from Internet users who have done nothing wrong. This is currently the case in Germany, where a consumer group is warning of a wave of piracy ‘fines’ being sent out to completely innocent victims. The emails, which claim to be sent on behalf of 20th Century Fox, allege the recipient has infringed copyright on streaming portal Kinox.to. For this apparent transgression, they demand a payment of more than 375 euros but the whole thing is an elaborate scam. Unlike some fairly primitive previous efforts, however, these emails are actually quite clever. Citing a genuine ruling from the European Court of Justice which found that streaming content is illegal inside the EU, the cash demand offers up personal information of the user, such as IP addresses, browser, and operating system. However, instead of obtaining these via an external piracy monitoring system and subsequent court order (as happens with BitTorrent cases), the data is pulled from the user’s machine when a third-party link is clicked. As highlighted by Tarnkappe, who first noticed the warning, there are other elements to the cash demands that point to an elaborate scam. Perhaps the biggest tell of all is the complete absence of precise details of the alleged infringement, such as the title of the content supposedly obtained along with a time and date. These are common features of all genuine settlement demands so any that fail to mention content should be treated with caution. “Do not pay. It is rip off. Report to the police,” the local consumer group warns. Interestingly, warning recipients are advised by the scammers to pay their ‘fine’ directly to a bank account in the United Kingdom. Hopefully it will have been shut down by now but it’s worth mentioning that people should avoid direct bank transfers with anyone they don’t trust. If any payment must be made, credit cards are a much safer option but in the case of wannabe trolls, they’re best ignored until they appear with proper proof backed up by credible legal documentation. Even then, people should consider putting up a fight, if they’re being unfairly treated. source: torrentfreak