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With 2010 nearing its end, we take a look at the most-pirated titles across various categories, starting with movies. Aside from the usual suspects such as Oscar winners Avatar and The Hurt Locker, the list also includes a few surprising entries and some notable absentees.

Last year Avatar broke all records at the box office, and in 2010 the film’s success continued online scooping up yet another prestigious award.

With 16,580,000 downloads on BitTorrent alone, Avatar is undisputedly the
The Spanish House of Representatives has rejected new legislation under which hundreds of file-sharing sites that are currently perfectly legal, could have been shut down. The rejection is a major victory for the tens of thousands of Internet users who launched many protests in recent months. Conversely, the news will come as a disappointment to proponents of the legislation, including the entertainment industries and the U.S. Government.

Traditionally, Spain has been one of the few countries where courts have affirmed that P2P-sites operate legally. In an attempt to change this, the Spanish Government recently proposed new legislation under which sites offering links to copyright works could be taken offline without a judicial order.

The legislation, an amendment which is part of the Sustainable Economy Law (LES), was drafted by Minister of Culture Ángeles González-Sinde and assisted by the United States Government. However, in recent months the proposed legislation, also known as ‘The Sinde Act’, has been widely protested by the public.

In a final attempt to get the amendment rejected, the country’s leading file-sharing sites went down voluntarily this week. Just hours later it became apparent that the public protests had not been in vain.

After a lengthy debate the House of Representatives decided to adopt the Sustainable Economy Law, but reject the controversial amendment. The law will now go to the Senate without the amendment that would allow for the shutdown of P2P sites.

This decision of the House of Representatives was celebrated as a clear victory for the public.

“The will of the people has put an end to the pressure imposed by lobbyists, embassies and foreign governments on our representatives.” the association of Internet users wrote in a response to the good news.

“And this victory has shown something else: that democracy and the rule of law are not guaranteed. They must be earned every day and minute by minute, because if people are not concerned to defend these things, nobody will do it for them,” the association added.

Representatives of the entertainment industries have voiced their disappointment in the press. The president of anti-piracy organization Promusicae regretted the decision of the Government and said that the creative industry has been left for dead, while file-sharing ‘thieves’ get protection.

For the Minister of Culture, the failure to get the amendment approved may have some serious consequences. Both the entertainment industries and people on the pro-filesharing side have already called for the resignation of Ángeles González-Sinde.

Article from: TorrentFreak.

Following last month's failed attempt by ACS:Law to have default judgments handed down to 8 individuals accused of illegal file-sharing, the company's allegations have again been heard in court. Detailing a case where ACS failed to get the defendant's name right, a judge has now rounded up all of the company's outstanding cases for a hearing next month. Things are about to get interesting.

abortretryfailLast month, the Patents County Court in the UK witnessed a messy attempt by law firm ACS:Law to get default judgments against 8 internet connection owners who the company claimed infringed or allowed others to infringe copyrights.

Representing Media C.A.T, a kind of ?front company’ for movie companies involved in so-called “pay up or else” or “speculative invoicing” schemes, ACS:Law managed to squeeze an impressive number of errors into the proceedings and the result was that in all 8 cases, default judgments were denied.

Now it appears that another ACS:Law case has been heard in court, this time against an alleged file-sharer called Mr Billington.

“Following our phone call today regarding the claim form I have received from yourselves [on behalf of] ACS:Law, I apologise for the belated reply as on the claim form there is no mention of timescale, or a acknowledge service form for me to respond to, which I believe should have been included,” Mr Billington wrote in a letter to the clerk of the court.

Judge Birss QC, who also handled last month’s cases, noted that in Mr Billington’s case the claim appeared to have been issued without including a response pack, i.e the necessary paperwork which enables the defendant to put his side of the story.

“My last correspondence on 1st November to ACS Law was advising them that I have not infringed any copyright, I refuted the claim in that, they have an IP address, which they claim relates to my computer,” continued Mr Billington.

“Firstly I have 5 computers so I do not know which one they refer to. Also I am not the sole user of the computers. I asked them for further evidence of this alleged infringement. I then receive the said claim form.”

The defendant then went on to explain that since he had been receiving “threatening letters from ACS Law demanding monies” he believed he had been the victim of “some sort of scam”.

However, rather than deal with the case, the Judge did something interesting.

In October the Patents County Court implemented new procedures designed to streamline intellectual property disputes. To this end, the court conducted a review of ACS:Law/Media C.A.T cases in the system. They found 27, which included the 8 from the previous hearing and this new one involving Mr Billington.

“Some of the cases are defended but the court file in most of the 27 cases consists of little more than a claim form,” wrote the Judge, noting that all cases are broadly similar. He added:

“In the circumstances I have decided to take an unusual course and to exercise the court’s power to make orders of its own initiative under CPR Part 3 rule 3.3(1). The order I will make is an order to convene a hearing for directions in this case and in all the parallel Media C.A.T. Limited cases in the Patents County Court files at the moment.”

So, the hearing of all outstanding ACS:Law cases will take place on Monday 17th January 2011 before Judge Birss QC who has the power to decide how these cases will be dealt with. Considering his comments from the previous cases, that Media C.A.T is not even the rights holder of the movies in question, potentially all of the cases could be dismissed.

Should this come to pass, this could be a pivotal point in the overall ‘speculative invoicing’ scene in the UK.

There are loud but unconfirmed reports that ACS:Law are no longer instructed to act for rightsholder DigiProtect in similar cases. If both they and Media C.A.T are put out of the picture, ACS:Law have no more significant anti-filesharing clients left and if it’s true that damaged reputations are directly linked to the prospect of gaining more customers, that gap won’t be filled any time soon.

Furthermore, it has been confirmed that lawyers Gallant MacMillan no longer represent Ministry of Sound in chasing alleged file-sharers. Couple that with comments from CEO Lohan Presencer that their latest court application “makes no economic sense” and it’s clear that it’s hardly full-steam ahead for them either.

Another interesting issue that appeared again in Mr Billington’s case is ACS:Law’s ability to keep making mistakes. In addition to the catalog of errors from last month, in the case detailed above ACS:Law managed to get the defendant’s name wrong. Allan Billington does not exist. There is, however, an Aaron Billington at the address in question.

While a transposed forename might seem fairly trivial here, consider the implications of a transposed IP address – the only evidence on which ACS:Law rely. For example, TorrentFreak’s IP address is – transposing the last three digits of that IP connects readers not to file-sharing news, but to a gender reassignment clinic.

The important thing now is that the court will notify all 27 individuals of the January hearing and give them a chance to respond. They must respond, it is absolutely crucial. Anyone in receipt of one of these court claims (claim numbers here) can contact us here at for completely free and confidential advice.

Article from: TorrentFreak.

BitTorrent search engine isoHunt is fighting the permanent injunction issued by the District Court of California last summer in their case against the MPAA. isoHunt contests the imposition of a site-wide keyword filter based on a list of movie industry keywords. By doing so, the search engine also makes a case for the public's 'freedom of search', not just on BitTorrent, but on the Internet in general.

mpaaIn May this year the U.S. District Court of California issued a permanent injunction against BitTorrent search engine isoHunt.

The injunction is the result of isoHunt’s protracted court battle with the MPAA that started back in 2006. The court ordered the owner of isoHunt to start censoring the site’s search engine based on a list of thousands of keywords provided by the MPAA, or cease its operations entirely in the U.S.

The filter has now been implemented for a few months and prevents a list of film related phrases from showing up in the search results. In addition, isoHunt changed the appearance of its search engine for U.S. users, such as removing the list of most searched for phrases on the site. Although the site’s owner actively protested this form of commercial censorship, the court left isoHunt with no choice.

However, isoHunt does not intend to be defeated so easily and has decided to take the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. There, it hopes to get the law on its side and quash the previous District Court ruling.

The BitTorrent search engine has now filed (pdf) its opening appellate brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, requesting for better protection from such mass copyright lawsuits for both isoHunt and other search engines alike. The counsel of isoHunt argues that if the permanent injunction holds up, other search engines such as Google may face similar censorship threats as well.

“This case is about the freedom to search on the internet and whether web search engines have to preemptively censor user generated links and torrent data files or be subject to keyword filtering,” said isoHunt counsel Ira Rothken.

The appellate brief addresses the various misunderstandings and misjudgments that the defendant believes were made by the District Court. One of the questions is whether the keyword filter violates the First Amendment Free Speech rights.

In addition, it is questioned “whether the District Court exceeded its territorial jurisdiction in ordering Defendants, Canadians operating in Canada, to ‘filter’ communications taking place entirely within Canada.” In other words, is a US court permitted to order censorship measures for a Canadian company?

Among other things, isoHunt further questions whether it was rightfully excluded from the “safe harbor” provided by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and whether the common law that resulted from the Grokster verdict applied to a BitTorrent search engine.

isoHunt’s Appeal Brief

Instead of being equated to P2P applications that actually touch, distribute, or copy copyrighted material isoHunt should be seen a regular search engine. After all, most torrent files can be downloaded through Google as well, the defense argues.

“Defendants showed that 95% of the torrents available on their system were also available on Google or Yahoo!,” the brief reads.

The opposition against the permanent injunction does not mean that isoHunt is not willing to make concessions. Instead of a keyword filter, isoHunt’s owner would rather implement a system that bans torrent files based on “infringing” hashes. A similar system is already in use for a partnership the site has with the US Attorney General to ban child porn.

The Ninth Circuit Appeal Court has now to decide whether the permanent injunction will stay in place or not. This decision will be a crucial one to the future of isoHunt and possibly other search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

Article from: TorrentFreak.

LG has released what it says is the first smartphone with a dual-core processor, the Optimus 2X. There may be more dual-core handsets on the horizon. "It's a question of offering performance at lower power," said the Yankee Group's Carl Howe. "You get the same performance but at a lower clock speed, which consumes less power."

South Korea's LG Electronics on Thursday unveiled the LG Optimus 2X, a smartphone with a dual-core processor.
Thursday Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) announced its new 2.5-inch, 5,400 RPM Travelstar Z-series family of hard drives. According to the company, the 500 GB version offers the industry's highest capacity for a single-platter, 7-mm thick hard drive. This is accomplished by using the sixth-generation perpendicular
An important step has been made towards the goal of building custom Windows Phone 7 ROMs, with skilled coder having reportedly successfully swapped out the imgfs.bin file from a European HTC HD7 with ones from both a Mondrian (HTC 7 Surround) and Asian language Schubert (HD7) ROM, resulting in what he claims are two flashable NBH images. For those unfamiliar with WP7 ROM structures -- and really, who isn't? -- the imgfs.bin
Attachment 62164European antitrust regulators have privately expressed concern over Intel's buyout of security-software maker McAfee, according to a report, a development that could slow the completion of the chipmaker's biggest-ever acquisition.

Citing unnamed sources, as well as a questionnaire reportedly being circulated by European Union investigators, The Wall Street Journal said a preliminary review of the deal has raised concern about Intel's plan to engineer security features directly into its chips.

Regulators have reportedly been asking rival security-software companies about
Acting on information provided by an anti-piracy group, Swedish police have carried out raids and taken down at least one warez scene topsite. Items seized include at least a dozen computers and servers containing a conservative 200 terabytes of media, mainly Hollywood movies. As other sites get sucked into the fallout, the recriminations and finger-pointing have begun.

This week, Swedish authorities again turned their attention to

Facebook will double its pace of startup acquisitions next year and expects to acquire as many as 15 different companies in order to absorb new ideas and technology. That according to statements made by Michael Brown, corporate development manager at Facebook,


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