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Ordinaryus

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Ordinaryus last won the day on October 22 2019

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About Ordinaryus

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  1. The RIAA is continuing to use DMCA anti-circumvention notices to remove YouTube ripper websites from Google's search results. The music group started a few months ago and has only increased its efforts. However, the targeted sites are fighting back by continuously updating their URLs in response, turning it into a game of whack-a-mole. Late last year the RIAA started targeting several YouTube rippers and downloaders by sending relatively rare takedown requests to Google. Instead of the usual DMCA copyright notices, the music group asked the search engine to remove various URLs for alleged violations of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision. The sites in question circumvent YouTube’s rolling cipher, which is a technical protection measure that protects audio and video from being copied without permission, the RIAA argued. As such, they should be removed from Google’s search results. This takedown strategy appeared to be quite effective. After taking down the many links to FLVTO, 2Conv, Y2Mate, and Yout, the RIAA expanded its scope to other YouTube rippers. In total, the music group has now targeted thousands of URLs in hundreds of notices. The upside for the RIAA is that there’s no standard counter-notice option for these requests. So, even when site owners don’t agree with the request, they have no option to protest it. Besides going to court, perhaps. That doesn’t mean that these operators are sitting idly by while their search traffic is taken away. On the contrary, behind these scenes there’s a full-blown takedown war going on. Or to phrase it less aggressive: a game of takedown whack-a-mole. Pretty much all of the large YouTube rippers are continuously updating to new URLs, which are not yet taken down by the RIAA. In most cases, new numbers are simply added to the URL. This ensures that their websites continue to show up in Google’s search results. Take Flvto.biz, for example. People who access the site today will notice that the English homepage redirects to Flvto.biz/en44. However, just a few days ago it used Flvto.biz/en42, and in between, it was accessible through Flvto.biz/en43. The site keeps updating its URLs to remain visible in Google’s search results. This is indeed needed, as the RIAA continues to send takedown notices similar to the one below. Many other sites are using the same strategy, which is obvious from new homepages such as 2conv.com/en25, mpgun.com/lang-2en/convert, y2mate.com/en4, ytmp3.cc/en10, savefrom.net/3, and listenvid.com/us4. The listenvid.com/us4 URL, which is still active at the time of writing, will likely update soon, as the RIAA removed it from Google’s search results just a few hours ago, as can be seen here; The above clearly shows that many YouTube rippers are not backing down but the RIAA is showing no signs of stopping either. After it started a few months ago, the group’s efforts have only increased. Yesterday alone the RIAA submitted over a dozen notices targeting hundreds of URLs. The result is a game of whack-a-mole that can potentially continue for years. Unless one side gives up of course. None of the YouTube rippers we contacted responded to our request for comment. From what we can see, their traffic doesn’t appear to be impacted much. Some have seen a drop in traffic recently, but others witnessed an uptick at the same time. In any case, all the major sites are still findable in Google’s search results. Source: torrentfreak.com
  2. The company behind the movie Hunter Killer has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Verizon retailer Victra. According to the complaint, employees of the phone store promoted the use of pirate apps including Popcorn Time and Showbox. This case follows a similar lawsuit against the shop from two other movie companies, which was quietly settled in 2018. Millions of people around the world use pirate apps on their mobile devices to stream TV-shows and movies. In recent years copyright holders have tried to tackle the problem, both in and outside of court. Hawaiian attorney Kerry Culpepper has been particularly active on the legal front. Representing several affiliated movie companies, he has gone after users, site operators and developers connected to YTS, Popcorn Time, Showbox, and Cotomovies. In a new lawsuit, filed at a Hawaiian federal court, Culpepper addresses another element of the piracy distribution chain. Representing Hunter Killer Productions, the attorney has filed a complaint against the phone store chain Victra. The movie company accuses AKA Wireless and ABC Phones, who do business as Victra, of inducing and contributing to copyright infringement. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Victra employees promoted the piracy apps Popcorn Time and Showbox to customers. “Defendants’ employees explained to their customers how to use the movie piracy apps installed onto the customers’ devices to infringe copyright protected content while the customers were at VICTRA stores. “Defendants promoted the movie piracy apps to their customers to entice them to purchase particular products and thereby increase their profit,” Hunter Killer Productions claims. The movie company mentions two instances where a Victra employee promoted a pirate app in store. This happened in Verizon-branded stores in El Paso, Texas, and Kahului, Hawaii. The complaint is supported by a declaration from a customer who was caught pirating. He mentions that an employee named Sabrina installed “Popcorn Time” on a tablet he bought. She also explained how to use it to watch free movies, without mentioning that it’s a piracy app. “Sabrina never informed me that Popcorn Time was illegal. Because Sabrina worked for VICTRA, I assumed that Popcorn Time was a legitimate platform for watching Copyright protected content like Netflix and was part of the promotion,” the customer writes. As mentioned in the complaint, this is not the first time that Victra has been made aware of this issue. Two years ago, the phone store chain was sued by two other movie companies, which accused it (and its employee) of doing pretty much the same. That case, which mentions the same alleged offense by an employee of the Kahului store, was eventually dismissed after a settlement was reached. The details of this agreement were not made public. According to Hunter Killer Productions, Victra profited from the actions of its employees as they led to an increase in sales. The employees are not listed as defendants, but the movie company is holding the phone store liable. “The intentional inducement and contributory infringement occurred within the scope of their employment,” the movie company writes, adding that Victra is therefore liable for these actions. Hunter Killer Productions requests either actual damages or statutory damages, to compensate its claimed losses. However, considering the legal track record of the movie company, it is likely that this case will eventually be settled for an undisclosed amount. — A copy of the complaint filed by Hunter Killer Productions against Victra is available here (pdf). Source: torrentfreak.com
  3. After falling into third-party hands, the main domain of Kim Dotcom's K.im project has been returned following a settlement agreement. While this progress is being welcomed by the Megaupload founder, even more serious matters lie on the horizon. Will the New Zealand Supreme Court decide against extradition to the US? Dotcom predicts that while close, the judgment will not go in his favor. Kim Dotcom’s under-development file-sharing/crypto project K.im had problems recently when its main K.im domain fell into third-party hands. As previously reported, communication issues with the registry led to the domain expiring and it was quickly snapped up by Kalin Karakehayov, an expired domain specialist. Dotcom informed TF that the project’s lawyers filed a complaint with the domain registrar in the hope that the domain would be returned. Indeed, following a review process completed around two weeks ago, the .IM registry determined that since the registration by Karakehayov had been abusive, the domain should be transferred back to the K.im project. On the day the decision was handed down, Karakehayov told TF that he intended to appeal. However, just two weeks later it now appears that peace has broken out. “After getting to know the people behind k.im, we have agreed to a small, cost-covering settlement to save mutual legal expenses and downtime of their project,” Karakehayov told us via email. “They were very fair in its implementation that due to time constraints was based on pure trust from both sides. We’re on good terms and I wish all the best for their project.” With the domain now apparently back in the hands of the K.im project, TorrentFreak caught up with Kim Dotcom who informs us that he didn’t personally speak to Karakehayov but the end result is welcome. “We are happy to have the domain back,” he says. “We are aiming to release K.im this year and I’m confident that millions of users will love it. We are changing how commerce is done on the Internet for the benefit of all. You can expect some whining from the established monopolies.” While Dotcom is pleased that this latest roadblock has been overcome, the New Zealand-based entrepreneur has bigger issues to deal with. Specifically, a Supreme Court judgment that will decide whether he and his former Megaupload colleagues will be extradited to the United States to face copyright infringement, racketeering, and money laundering charges – not to mention the possibility of decades in prison. The Supreme Court hearing took place in June 2019 after several lower courts had determined that Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk, and Finn Batato can be sent to the United States to face justice. The defendants are hoping that the Supreme Court will decide to the contrary. Dotcom informs TorrentFreak that he doesn’t have a date for the judgment but he’s nevertheless looking forward to “dissecting the judgment with the best legal minds.” That being said, he isn’t optimistic that the decision will go in his favor. “I expect a 3:2 majority in favor of extradition because three of the five judges were appointed by the National Party and the former Attorney General who was responsible for the actions taken against me in New Zealand. This is a political case and it will most likely be a political judgment,” he says. “The law in New Zealand couldn’t be more favorable for me so the judgment will probably be a hack of the law for the history books.” While another adverse ruling would represent a significant setback for Dotcom, he maintains that the battle against extradition is far from over. “The process doesn’t end with this judgment (unless I win) and Crown Law suggested at the start of the hearing that we could be fighting for another seven years until any finality is achieved,” he concludes. If that timeline of events plays out, it will have been 15 years since the shuttering of Megaupload and the raid on Dotcom, his twins born in 2012 will be almost ready to leave school, and at least two US presidents will have come and gone. Source: torrentfreak.com
  4. President Trump has signed the new USMCA trade deal with Canada and Mexico into law. The agreement covers a wide range of trade topics including copyright issues. Despite objections from many copyright holders, the USMCA includes liability protections for Internet companies, including a DMCA-style safe harbor. Last month the United States, Canada, and Mexico signed off on a new trade deal, which replaced the quarter-century old the NAFTA agreement. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will accommodate changes in trade that the three countries have witnessed over the years, especially online. After the US Senate passed the legislation earlier this month, President Trump has now signed the new text into law. Replacing NAFTA with a better deal was one of the President’s election promises, which is now fulfilled. The USMCA covers a wide range of trade topics including copyright and anti-piracy enforcement. On the copyright side, the deal doesn’t bring much change to US law. However, the new deal does require Mexico and Canada to revise some of their policies. For example, USMCA requires all countries to have a copyright term that continues for at least 70 years after the creator’s death, which is already the case in the US. For Canada, however, this means that the country’s current copyright term must be extended by 20 years. This won’t happen instantly, as the country has negotiated a transition period to consult the public on how to best meet this requirement. In the long term, an extension seems inevitable though. Another controversial subject that was widely debated by experts and stakeholders is the DMCA-style ‘safe harbor’ text. In the US and under certain conditions, ISPs are shielded from copyright infringement liability under the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA and the new deal expands this security to Mexico and Canada. This safe harbor expansion is welcomed by many large technology companies including Internet providers and hosting platforms. However, many major entertainment industry companies and rightsholder groups are not happy, as they are trying to get rid of these broad safe harbor policies. The Directors Guild of America previously said it was “deeply disappointed” that the new USMCA deal will export the “flawed and outdated United States policy” that allows online services to “shirk responsibility for copyright violations.” Last year the House Judiciary Committee also urged the US Trade Representative not to include any safe harbor language in trade deals while the Copyright Office is reviewing the effectiveness of the DMCA law, but without result. That said, the USMCA’s safe-harbor language also comes with obligations for online services. The agreement specifically mentions that ISPs must take down pirated content and implement a repeat infringer policy if they want to apply for safe harbor protection. This is largely modeled after the DMCA law. The safe harbors for copyright infringement and the takedown requirements don’t apply to Canada as long as it continues to rely on its current notice-and-notice scheme. However, the country will enjoy safe harbors for other objectionable content, in the sense that online platforms are not treated as the creator of user-generated content. Despite criticism from many copyright holder groups, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) is happy that the new trade agreement is now law. “USMCA will help facilitate the growth of the legal digital market for creative content while addressing the multi-billion dollar threat of online piracy,” MPA’s CEO Charles Rivkin comments. While Trump has signed the USMCA into law, Mexico and Canada have yet to follow. Canada started this process yesterday when Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland introduced the USMCA implementation bill. Source: torrentfreak.com
  5. Facebook-owned Instagram has taken down an independently developed API claiming that it violates the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA. The complaint claims that the tool 'Instagram-API' allows unauthorized access to Instagram users' posts, which the company says are copyrighted works to which it grants protected access. DMCA notices are sent in their millions every single week, mainly to restrict access to copyright-infringing content. These notices usually target the infringing content itself or links to the same, but there are other options too. The anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA allow companies that own or provide access to copyrighted works to target tools and systems that facilitate access to that content in an unauthorized manner. Recent examples can be found in the war currently being waged by the RIAA against various YouTube-ripping sites, which provide illicit access to copyright works, according to the industry group. This week Facebook-owned Instagram entered the arena when it filed a DMCA notice against code repository Github. It targeted Instagram-API, an independent Instagram API created by a Spain-based developer known as ‘mgp25‘. Instagram claims that at least in part, the notice was filed to prevent unauthorized access to its users’ posts, which can contain copyrighted works. “The Company maintains technological measures to control access to and protect Instagram users’ posts, which are copyrighted works. This notice relates to GitHub users offering, providing, and/or trafficking in technologies, products, and/or services primarily designed to circumvent the Company’s technological measures,” the complaint begins. According to Instagram, Instagram-API is code that was designed to emulate the official Instagram mobile app, allowing users to send and receive data, including copyrighted content, through Instagram’s private API. It’s a description that is broadly confirmed by the tool’s creator. “The API is more or less like a replica of the mobile app. Basically, the API mimics the requests Instagram does, so if you want to check someone’s profile, the mobile app uses a certain request, so through basic analysis we can emulate that request and be able to get the profile info too. The same happens with other functionalities,” mgp25 informs TorrentFreak. While Instagram clearly views the tool as a problem, mgp25 says that it was originally created to solve one. “Back in the day I wasn’t able to use Instagram on my phone, and I wanted something to upload photos and communicate with my friends. That’s why I made the API in the first place,” he explains. There are no claims from Instagram that Instagram-API was developed using any of its copyrighted code. Indeed, the tool’s developer says that it was the product of reverse-engineering, something he believes should be protected in today’s online privacy minefield. “I think reverse engineering should be exempt from the DMCA and should be legal. By reverse engineering we can verify whether apps are violating user privacy, stealing data, backdooring your device or doing even worse things,” he says. “Without reverse engineering we wouldn’t know whether the software was a government spy tool. Reverse engineering should be a right every user should have, not only to provide interoperability functionalities but to assure their privacy rights are not being violated.” While many would consider that to be a reasonable statement, Instagram isn’t happy with the broad abilities of Instagram-API. In addition to the above-mentioned features, it also enables access to “Instagram users’ copyrighted works in manners that exceed the scope of access and functionality that would be permitted by a user with a legitimate, authorized Instagram account,” the company adds. After the filing of the complaint, it took a couple of days for Github to delete the project but it is now well and truly down. The same is true for more than 1,500 forks of Instagram-API that were all wiped out after their URLs were detailed in the same complaint. Regardless of how mgp25 feels about the takedown, the matter will now come to a close. The developer says he has no idea how far Instagram and Facebook are prepared to go in order to neutralize his software so he won’t be filing a counter-notice to find out. Source. torrentfreak.com
  6. YouTube allows copyright holders to remove videos they deem to be copyright-infringing. However, it turns out that these takedown powers go even further. As it turns out, rightsholders can also remove content before it even exists. That's what happened to a reporter who had his perfectly legal livestream taken down by Warner Bros. before it even started. To protect copyright holders, YouTube uses advanced tools that flag and disable videos which are used without permission. In addition to this Content-ID system, copyright holders can also submit manual takedown notices to remove infringing content. Both routes have led to abuse in the past, resulting in takedowns of perfectly legitimate videos. This is particularly worrying for channel owners, as these allegations can potentially lead to multiple copyright strikes after which YouTube removes the entire account. Over the years we have covered takedown mishaps in great detail. However, this week we learned something new. As it turns out, copyright holders also have the ability to remove content that doesn’t exist yet. A preemptive copyright strike, so to speak. This unusual takedown strategy was revealed by Matt Binder, a reporter at Mashable who hosts a podcast named DOOMED, which is also live-streamed through YouTube. Earlier this month, Binder scheduled a show discussing CNN’s Democratic candidates’ debate with progressive activist Jordan Uhl. The show was recorded after the broadcast and in preparation Binder scheduled the podcast’s livestream on YouTube, with “post-Democratic debate” in the title. Many creators use this scheduling feature to announce their upcoming live streams. What’s new, however, is that Binder’s scheduled stream was removed before it even started. In other words, the content was deemed to be infringing before it existed. Binder documented the unusual episode on Mashable where he also reveals that the takedown notice was issued on behalf of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which owns CNN. “The notice informed me that I had received a copyright strike for my scheduled stream,” Binder writes, noting that YouTube immediately restricted his ability to stream content live. “That one copyright strike was enough to disable livestreaming on my channel for the strike’s three-month duration. If I were to accumulate three strikes, YouTube would just shut down my channel completely, removing all of my content,” Binder adds. Apparently, Warner Bros. and CNN were monitoring streams that could potentially infringe on their right to broadcast the Democratic candidate’s debate. Based on the title alone, they mistakenly concluded that Binder’s stream was going to be illegal, which it clearly wasn’t. To correct the mistake Binder protested the takedown notice, hoping that it would be swiftly reversed. However, his first request was denied because it was unclear if he had a valid reason to file a counter-notification. As a reporter, Binder followed up the story and reached out directly to YouTube, informing the company that he planned to write about the issue. That worked, as the mistake was soon corrected and the copyright strike disappeared as well. One has to wonder, however, if the average Joe would be able to achieve the same result. In any case, it seems off that copyright holders can claim copyright infringement on content that has yet to be created. We previously reported that Google search allows rightsholders to remove infringing URLs that are not yet indexed by the search engine. Binder’s case is similar but goes a step further as the allegedly infringing content didn’t exist when the stream was taken down. YouTube constantly has to balance the interests of its users and those of copyright holders. It’s likely that the option to preemptively strike live streams is used to make it easier to take down scheduled broadcasts of sports games or other time-sensitive major broadcasts. While this preemptive takedown option may be useful, Binder’s example shows that these powers can also lead to overblocking, which can seriously hurt legitimate content creators. Source: torrentfreak.com
  7. A lawsuit filed by US broadcaster DISH Network against Easybox IPTV looks set to end with significant cost to the men behind the unlicensed IPTV provider. In a motion for final judgment and permanent injunction, DISH is demanding $9.9m in damages for direct copyright infringement of 66 copyrighted works, broadcast by Easybox without permission. There are thousands of businesses and individuals involved in the supply and sale of ‘pirate’ IPTV services around the globe. These subscription packages routinely grant access to hundreds and even thousands of otherwise premium channels for a cheap price, undermining the business models of content providers and broadcasters alike. This has resulted in both criminal and civil action across several continents with broadcaster DISH Network leading the charge in the US. Just one of the company’s lawsuits, filed last August in a Texas court, targeted Easybox, an IPTV service that reportedly offered subscribers more than 1,000 channels, including more than two dozen channels exclusively licensed by DISH. “Defendants capture live broadcast signals of the Protected Channels, transcode these signals into a format useful for streaming over the Internet, transfer the transcoded content to one or more servers provided, controlled, and maintained by Defendants, and then transmit the Protected Channels to Service Users through OTT delivery,” the DISH complaint alleged. According to DISH, the company went to great lengths to have Easybox cease its activities in advance of filing the lawsuit, including sending almost 300 copyright infringement notices to the service and its CDN providers, all of which were ignored. The Easybox IPTV offering Last September, DISH was granted permission to subpoena several companies (including PayPal, Google and Namecheap) in order to identify the people behind Easybox. They were eventually named as Hung Tran and Thi Nga Nguyen. With the individuals mounting no defense, DISH requested a default judgment at the end of December 2019 with a clerk entering a default earlier this month. DISH has now laid out its proposals for a final judgment and permanent injunction. “Defendants, without authorization from DISH, transmitted the Protected Channels and the copyrighted works that air on those channels to users of their Easybox set-top boxes, smart IPTV subscriptions, and subscription renewals in the United States. In doing so, Defendants directly infringed DISH’s exclusive rights to distribute and publicly perform the works that air on the Protected Channels,” the proposed order reads. Laying out its claim for direct copyright infringement, DISH demands statutory damages of $150,000 for each of 66 registered and copyrighted works owned by DISH and that the defendants “willfully and maliciously infringed by transmitting without authorization on the Easybox service.” That’s a not-insignificant total of $9.9m. In addition, DISH is demanding a permanent injunction to prevent the defendants or anyone acting in concert with them from streaming, distributing, or publicly performing DISH channels and programming, and/or advertising, selling or providing any service offering the same. DISH is also requesting an order preventing any company from providing infrastructure to the defendants in respect of Easybox or a similar service. These include data centers, domain companies, domain anonymization services, CDNs, and social media platforms. The broadcaster further demands that Verisign and any other registries or registrars of the domains Easybox.tv, E900x.com, and k2442.com should render them inaccessible before transferring them to DISH for the company’s use. Any future domains registered by the defendants for the purposes of infringing DISH’s rights should be treated similarly, the proposed injunction reads. The court is yet to sign off on DISH’s proposals but given the one-way traffic thus far in what has become a busy case generating thousands of pages of documents, a judgment favorable to Easybox seems unlikely. The motion for default judgment and the proposed final judgment and permanent injunction can be found here and here (pdf) Source: torrentfreak.com
  8. Happy Chinese New Year 2020 Freeleech for the period 2020-01-24 to 2020-01-27 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Free invitations for a limited time Hello everyone On the occasion of celebrating the lunar new year, we specially add 5 limited time invitations for each user at the level of Zhuji Sanxian. Welcome to invite your friends who like Chinese movies and share. Pay attention to the implementation of the site, please make sure that the people you invite pass the assessment, otherwise your account will also be disabled. Have a good time.
  9. Happy Chinese New Year 2020 Freeleech for the period 2020-01-24 to 2020-01-30
  10. Happy Chinese New Year 2020 Freeleech for the period 2020-01-24 to 2020-02-23
  11. Happy Chinese New Year 2020 Freeleech & 2x Upload is on.
  12. FREELEECH! Time left: 9h 04m 32s
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