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New Torrent tech makes pirates tough to track

The arms race between technology and legislators is about to step up several notches as BitTorrent (the file sharing technology of choice for downloading music, movies, TV shows and applications) becomes increasingly difficult to monitor and track.
Mininova, once the largest BitTorrent site on the Internet, has paid a settlement fee to Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN to end the legal clash between the two parties. In return, BREIN dropped the damages claim they were preparing and Mininova has withdrawn their appeal, making it impossible for the site to return to full swing.

mininovaAfter operating for almost five full years, the BitTorrent giant Mininova deleted over a million torrent files from its site during November last year.


Mininova was left with little choice, having been forced into these drastic measures by a negative verdict in their court battle with local anti-piracy outfit BREIN.


The Dutch court told Mininova that it had to remove all infringing torrent files from its index, while threatening the site with huge fines for non-compliance. That selective task, however, proved technically unfeasible. Instead, the site’s owners took the decision to remove all torrents uploaded by regular users, many of which were not infringing any copyrights at all.


Following this decision Mininova started to lose visitors at a rapid pace. A year after the court decision the site lost most of its traffic, as former users looked for alternative torrent sites with a wider variety of content.


Meanwhile, the legal battle between Mininova and BREIN continued in the background. Mininova appealed the verdict at the Court of Amsterdam and BREIN prepared a damages claim on behalf of the entertainment industry.


In addition, both parties began negotiating a mutual agreement that would be acceptable to all parties involved, and they succeeded in finalizing that today.


“Both parties have now reached a settlement. Mininova will abide the verdict of the Court of Utrecht and will withdraw the appeal. In order to settle the matter permanently, Mininova pays Brein an undisclosed amount of money,” the Mininova team announced.


Instead of fighting the decision with all means available to them, Mininova decided that it was for the best to pay a settlement fee instead. The agreement announced today puts an end to the ongoing legal battle between Mininova and BREIN.


Mininova co-founder Niek told TorrentFreak that he’s happy with the outcome, and relieved that the legal proceedings are finally over. For more than two years Mininova has negotiated with BREIN, both in private and in the court room, and the current outcome was seemingly inevitable.


“Even though Mininova filed pro forma appeal, we strongly felt that giving up on it was a sacrifice BREIN made. After all Dutch case law makes clear appeal of verdict would’ve been decided in favor of rightholders,” BREIN’s head Tim Kuik told TorrentFreak.


“We both agreed settlement was preferable over a long drawn court battle over damages. We carry no grudge and wish the guys from Mininova the very best with their new ventures, including the Mininova site in its present form that it took since 29 November 2009,” Kuik added.


Mininova will continue to operate as a torrent site with authorized uploaders only, as it has been for the past year.


Article from: TorrentFreak.

A teenager was arrested yesterday on suspicion of being involved with the Anonymous' Operation Payback. The operation orchestrated DDoS attacks on anti-piracy targets in the last months, and more recently against those who obstructed Wikileaks' work. Sources have informed TorrentFreak that the arrestee is one of the IRC-operators of Anonymous, known under the nickname Jeroenz0r.

operation paybackStarting mid-September, dozens of anti-piracy groups, copyright lawyers and pro-copyright outfits have been targeted by a group of Anonymous Internet ?vigilantes’ under the flag of Operation Payback.


The operation started initially as ‘payback’ against outfits that tried to stop the BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay, and DDoS attacks were organized to strike back. A few days ago, the operation changed course and instead began to go after organizations that displayed opposition towards Wikileaks.


Over the last days several high profile companies and institutions were taken offline temporarily by DDoS attacks including Mastercard, Visa and Paypal. Conversely, Operation Payback’s operation was also obstructed with the deletion of their Twitter and Facebook accounts after the news hit the mainstream media.


Yesterday, this was followed by the arrest (Dutch) of an alleged ‘member’ of Operation Payback in The Netherlands. The local police announced that a 16 year old boy was arrested, suspected of being involved in the DDoS attacks on Wikileaks related targets.


The boy, whose identity was not released, will be heard in court today and has reportedly confessed to his involvement.


According to several sources the arrestee is known online under the nickname Jeroenz0r. The authorities have not yet confirmed this, but the person using this nickname has been ‘missing’ online for the past 24 hours, and has been involved with Operation Payback for quite a while. Jeroenz0r was also an IRC operator at thefailship.net, where one of the former IRC channels of Operation Payback was hosted.


“Jeroenz0r and his server became delinked Thursday night at around midnight UTC time,” a source told TorrentFreak, confirming that the teenager lives in The Hague, where the arrest was made.


“Some of his friends tried calling him yesterday but the phone lead to voicemail. When calling his home number, his dad refused to comment on the situation. Furthermore, his local town newspaper also reported that a local 16 year old boy was arrested.”


Another source, who acts as an Operation Payback spokesman, confirmed that Jeroenz0r has been unreachable since the time of the arrest.


How the police became aware of Jeroenz0r is unknown, but we were told that he didn’t cover his tracks too well.


“Others on the network who know him a bit better knew that he was sloppy and often left traces from his actions online. Also, the Google results on him are quite impressive and indicate that he has been quite active in the torrent scene.”


In a possible response to the arrest, the Dutch Prosecution Office now seems to be under a DDoS attack. Previously the Dutch police stated that they will not go after people who ‘make their computers available” for these attacks, but that they will target people who are more heavily involved.


Update: The Failship IRC team released the following message.


Dear OM [Dutch Prosecution Office],


The remarkably swift arrest of Jeroenz0r, a 16 year old Dutch student, has been all over the international media since the event took place. While the Kremlin takes a dig at the U.S. over Assange’s arrest, while Facebook and Twitter delete the accounts of cyber activists, while over 9,000 ‘hacktivists’ are believed to be behind electronic onslaught, the Dutch authorities arrest a 16-year-old boy

suspected of involvement with Operation Payback.


The whole world reports about WikiLeaks and Operation Payback. How could an underage boy be held responsible for making the world wide news? How could the Dutch authorities hold a 16 year old boy responsible for the world being in a state of digital war?


Is it in the haste of getting something done, that the Dutch government labeled him as a scapegoat and a terrorist, just so they could say: “We have done our part about the cyber terrorists”? Is the detention and possible conviction of Jeroenz0r an act by law,

or is it –as we suspect– a political statement? Is Jeroenz0r being used to scare the

hell out of everybody who would think that they could do something about censorship and the forces our governments (ab)use?


If this would be a fair trial, what evidence would there be? He may have been a user, or even host for an IRC server, still, this may hopefully not be the primary reason? Even if he had an active role in coordinating the attacks on MasterCard and Visa, which is still improbable, Anonymous is not a personal army and will not be commanded like one. How then, would that incriminate him if everybody is responsible for his/her own deeds? One student would never be powerful enough to take down corporations like MasterCard, Visa or Paypal.


Could we accept that in todays’ society, big corporations are using children as a means of manipulating people for their own gain and benefit? What could have happened if the government had decided to stick out for freedom of expression and free speech, and refused to bend under the demands of MasterCard and Visa? It could have turned out to be a turning point in the war between big corporations and the people who get caught in the gears of the system and have no means of making their way out from the mess.


Eventually, even the government will have to decide, either to be the puppet in the hands of global corporations, or be the one who paved way for rebellion against oppressive corporations and corruption of our society.


We would like Jeroenz0r to know that Anonymous will not be giving up on him. One for all, all for one. Divided by zero.


Signed:

10.12.2010

Failship IRC team

Anonboots, Bnon, (Jeroenz0r), Kris, Paws, Zeekill


Article from: TorrentFreak.

The BitTorrent Inc. team has just added two of the most interesting apps yet to the popular uTorrent client. The first one allows users to integrate the all-round media player VLC to uTorrent, making it possible for users to play media files from within the client. The second is uCast, an exciting new app which enables users to share a 'live' RSS feed of selected torrents with friends.

utorrentLast month the uTorrent team rolled out the stable release of uTorrent 2.2, the first release to open up BitTorrent’s App Studio to uTorrent’s 65 million users. Although those apps aren’t meant to change the fundamental purpose of uTorrent, two new ones that were published today will probably get some traction.


The first new app added to the ‘market’ this morning is the VLC player app. VLC is a popular media player among BitTorrent users, and not just because it is free. It also includes a huge number of video codecs so it can play virtually every video file available.


With the VLC app, uTorrent users now have a shortcut to play media files in VLC directly, without having to open folders or even extract archives. Users only have to click on the app and it will display a list of recently downloaded torrents which they can play in VLC with just a single click.


Admittedly this app is not a technological breakthrough but it does save on time and annoyances, especially for those who have never used VLC before. According to BitTorrent Inc. “..it’s a perfect match to the varied file types in the BitTorrent ecosystem,” a description we subscribe to.


The second app that was launched today, named uCast, adds a new and interesting feature to uTorrent. With uCast, uTorrent users have the option to create an RSS feed of the (selected) torrents they are downloading, and share this with friends who are also avid BitTorrent users.



Wikileaks TorrentCast

torrentcast


This enables users to easily share a selection of torrents without having to lookup the original torrent download links. The RSS feed, which BitTorrent calls a TorrentCast (example), can be easily imported into uTorrent or any other client that supports RSS downloads.


One of the best features is that new torrents can be added to the uCast feed later, by simply selecting a recently downloaded torrent from within the app. This makes sharing torrents with friends easier and a lot more convenient than it is now. It’s can be compared to a torrent blog, or a living mixtape as BitTorrent Inc. describes it.


“Your TorrentCast is like a living mix tape, because you can add files at any time and your friends will instantly get them. You can also open up your TorrentCast to collaboration, so your friends can also add files to it,” BitTorrent Inc. writes.



Managing a TorrentCast

torrentcast


In addition to maintaining these TorrentCasts alone, users can also invite others to collaborate on the feeds. By entering a password others have access to the feed, and the option to add or remove torrents. This added social layer and broadcast functionality is by far the most innovative app we’ve seen from BitTorrent Inc. thus far,


It will be interesting to see how the two new apps are received by the public, but they are certainly more useful and promising than some of those previously announced. The TorrentCast app uses the uca.st domain ‘short url service’, and you’re of course free to share yours below.


The VLC and uCast apps are available now in the app market and both require the latest stable version of uTorrent.


Article from: TorrentFreak.

15 Tips to Become a Good Seedbox Provider or Reseller

Seedbox providers are the gateway between those who want to start seeding & downloading fast, but don’t possess the DIY know-how to set up a seedbox from scratch through torrent-friendly reseller hosting companies. However, those who seek a seedbox are more knowledgeable than ever before. That’s why as a seedbox provider, it’s becoming an ever-increasing fine line between staying in business and folding up shop. If you’re a seedbox provider/reseller (or aim to be) - here are a few tips on how to stay competitive & successful in a market that already seems to be over-saturated. Regardless, there’s plenty of room for good seedbox providers - when done right.
Super-Seed
Andrew Crossley, owner of the now infamous anti-piracy lawfirm ACS:Law, has always insisted that he has no fear of taking contested file-sharing cases to court. Now it has emerged that he recently tried to get a court to issue default judgments against individuals who offered no defense, but the hearing failed on so many levels its difficult to know where to start. Nevertheless, we'll have a go.

catfishThe Patents County Court in the UK has slammed a messy attempt by law firm ACS:Law to get default judgments against 8 internet connection owners who it is claimed infringed or allowed others to infringe copyrights.


The case between Media C.A.T Limited and 8 unnamed and unrepresented defendants was heard before Judge Birss QC. ACS:Law must’ve thought they were going to shoot fish in a barrel. What they didn’t expect was that they and Media C.A.T turned out to be the fish and it was the judge, not them, holding the gun.


“This judgment deals with a series of Requests for Judgment made by the claimant in eight parallel actions. The claimant is the same but the defendant is a different individual in each case. The cases are separate but they raise issues in common and the requests for judgment were received by the Court at the same time. It is convenient to deal with them together,” began Judge Birss in his ruling.


The claimant in the case was Media C.A.T, a company which “represents various owners or exclusive licensees of copyrighted works (“Rights Owners”) to monitor and protect their copyrighted works from acts of infringement.”


For those unfamiliar with Media C.A.T, it is a kind of ‘front company’ for rightsholders being represented in the UK’s well known ‘speculative invoicing’ schemes which target illicit file-sharers. It neither produces nor owns any media of its own.


Each defendant in the case was described by ACS:Law as either the infringer or “someone authorised by him to use his internet connection, or someone who gained access to the defendant’s internet connection due to the router to that connection having no adequate security..[..]”


Monitoring of alleged infringements was carried out by NG3 Systems Limited (a company referred to heavily in the ACS:Law leaked emails). It was noted that the company logged infringements between 30 May 2009 and the end of November 2009.


The Particulars of Claim in the case state:


“By reason of the infringement(s) the claimant has suffered loss and damages and by this claim seeks compensation for the loss and damages suffered together with an injunction against the defendant to prevent repetition of the infringement and/or an injunction to compel the defendant to take adequate measures to effectively secure their internet connection.”


Judge Birss somewhat politely described the cases presented as having “a number of unusual features.”


1. The claimant, Media C.A.T, is not the rights holder of the works in question. A copyright case can only be brought by the owner of a copyright or an exclusive licensee. Indeed, the Judge later noted that: “There is no plea that the works qualify for copyright protection at all.”


2. “The Particulars of Claim include allegations about unsecured internet connections. I am aware of no published decision in this country which deals with this issue in the context of copyright infringement,” wrote Judge Birss.


3. “The plea that ‘allowing’ others to infringe is itself an act restricted by s16 (1)(a) and 17 of the 1988 Act is simply wrong,” noted Judge Birss. “The term used by those sections of the Act is ‘authorising’ and the difference may be very important if the allegation is about unauthorised use of an internet router by third parties.”


Judge Birss later noted: “A key part of the plea of infringement rests on an assertion [by ACS:Law] that ‘allowing’ others to infringe is itself an infringing act, when it is not.”


4. “The injunction claimed in the prayer is unusual too,” he continued. “There is no claim for an injunction to restrain copyright infringement, as one would ordinarily expect to see in a copyright claim. The injunction claimed relates to ‘safeguarding’ the defendant’s internet connection. This relates to the previous points.”


Judge Birss then goes on to explain that the Particulars of Claim presented by ACS:Law “are defective on a number of somewhat technical but important grounds”, including non-compliance with at least four Civil Procedure Rules.


ACS:Law took these cases to court on November 30 where they asked for default judgments, stating:


The defendant has not filed an admission or defence to my claim, or an application to contest the court’s jurisdiction and the time for doing so has expired. I request that judgment be entered for an amount including costs, to be decided by the court.


In respect of two defendants, the Judge decided that they had failed to respond to court papers, which meant that they were, in principle, in default. However, in three other cases, defendants had actually responded to the court papers with their defense.


“There is no conceivable basis for default judgment in these two cases,” wrote Judge Birss. “The requests for judgment should never have been filed.”


The Judge offered his summary as follows:


“In two cases it appears the defendant is in default, in three others there is simply no evidence proceedings have been served and I refuse to find that they have been and in the final three cases the defendant has responded to the claim, filed a defence and is not in default at all.”


The end result was that ACS:Law were denied default judgments in each and every case.


“I should end by recording that I am not sorry to have reached the conclusion I have in refusing all the requests for default judgment,” noted Judge Birss, later adding:


“In all these circumstances, a default judgment arrived at without notice by means of an essentially administrative procedure, even one restricted to a financial claim, seems to me to be capable of working real injustice.”


So, rather than living up to his word that he would bring proper, full and properly defended cases to court, ACS:Law owner Andrew Crossley has again taken what will be viewed by many as the coward’s way out. Those same observers will be absolutely delighted that these bullying tactics have failed in such epic fashion.


Update: Consumer group BeingThreatened comment:


BeingThreatened.com finds it interesting that ACS:Law have failed in their first attempts to acquire default judgements. The judge is taking a dim view of the accusations, especially with reference to the attempted injunction; and whether ‘allowing’ comes anywhere close to the legal definition of ‘authorisation’. Such analysis at an early stage by the judge and court likely to hear any forthcoming cases should be encouraging to threatened innocent parties.


Future cases may well hinge on some of the issues the judge mentons in discussionon which he appears well qualified and knowledgeable. Amusingly, it appears that at least one of the allegedly libellous accusations on Slyck.com is entirely accurate: ACS:Law are not the best at getting things right.


Article from: TorrentFreak.

BitTorrent is a great technology to share files both quickly and efficiently, but like most other P2P-technologies it has an Achilles' heel. The download process relies in part on central servers that can crash or go offline for a variety of reasons. To address this vulnerability the first truly decentralized BitTorrent/P2P client has been developed, meaning that no central trackers, or even BitTorrent search engines are required to download movies, software and music.

BitTorrent is branded as a peer-to-peer technology, but despite this label the downloading process still relies heavily on central servers. In the first place there are the BitTorrent search engines and indexes such as The Pirate Bay and isoHunt. These are needed to search for content and to grab the .torrent file one needs to download a file.


Besides these torrent sites, most BitTorrent downloads are still managed by so-called trackers. These servers coordinate the download process and make sure that people can find others who are sharing the files they want to download. To a certain degree, trackers are no longer needed with ‘trackerless’ technology such as DHT, but even DHT often uses a central server to get a torrent started.


Finally central servers are used by moderators to help hunt spam and malware. All file sharing programs without such central checking have become practically useless over time.


In the last years these ‘central server’ vulnerabilities have caused a number of minor inconveniences for torrent users. When trackers go offline, downloads usually slow down or may stop entirely, and when a torrent search engine such as The Pirate Bay has technical issues, users have to search for alternatives.


To address these issues, ideally BitTorrent downloads should no longer require a central server. P2P technology should not only facilitate the downloading and sharing process, but also the searching and storage of torrent files. This may sound like a technology that might only become available in the distant future, but in reality it already exists.


The latest version of the Tribler BitTorrent client (Win, Mac and Linux), released only a few minutes ago, is capable of all the above and many more things that could be described as quite revolutionary. The client combines a ‘zero-server’ approach with features such as instant video streaming, advanced spam control and personalized content channels, all bundled into a single application.


The Tribler team has come a long way to reach the point they’re at now. We first reported on the ‘tax-payer-funded’ BitTorrent client in 2006, and in the years that followed tens of millions of dollars have been spent on the client’s development resulting in the latest 5.3 release.



Triber: search, download and play (large).

tribler


Despite the fact that only a few thousand people are using Tribler on a monthly basis, in technological terms it is one of the most advanced clients. People who install the client will notice that there’s a search box at the top of the application, similar to that offered by other clients. However, when one does a search the results don’t come from a central index. Instead, they come from other peers.


In fact, Tribler’s search functionality even has an auto-suggest function which is also built to work based on P2P data instead of a central server. Remarkably enough the response times for the searches and the auto suggest are both pretty fast, under a second in 99% of cases.


As for the downloads themselves, if one clicks on a ‘torrent’ in the search result, the meta-data is pulled in from another peer and the download starts immediately. Tribler is based on the standard BitTorrent protocol and uses regular BitTorrent trackers to communicate with other peers. But, it can also continue downloading when a central tracker goes down.


Tribler users can choose if they want to play the downloading file directly (if it’s video) with the built in VLC player, or wait for it to finish first. In addition to searching for files, users can also create their own channels or subscribe to those of others. Again, this is all based on technology that doesn’t require a central server. Other new features are subtitle integration, support for magnet links and advanced spam controls.



Tribler Channels

tribler


Spam control in a P2P program that actually works is something not seen before. The Tribler spam mechanism revolves around user generated “channels”, which may contain several thousands of torrents.

When people like a channel they can indicate this with “mark as favorite”. When more people like a channel, the associated torrents get a boost in the search results.


The idea is that spam and malware will automatically be pushed down to non-existence in search results and the majority of users will favor the channels they love. In scientific terms, this is a classic case of survival of the fittest and group selection at work. Again, this is done without central servers.


With the combination of P2P-based search, torrent downloads and moderation, BitTorrent sites have been almost rendered obsolete. Although we don’t see torrent sites going away any time soon it’s ‘assuring’ to see that there are alternatives. Tribler’s cutting edge technology allows users to search for torrents and download files without the need for any central server. A revolution, not only for BitTorrent but for P2P in general.


As mentioned before, the Tribler project is funded by tax payers money, most of which comes from EU grants. However, according to Dr. Johan Pouwelse, leader of the Tribler project at Delft University of Technology, those who complain that spending all this money on the development of a BitTorrent client is a waste, are wrong.


“Tax payer money is going into Internet research, which happens to use a very powerful technology called BitTorrent. That’s different. On a wider scale a few hundred million euros of research money is being spent on making computer networks more robust and improving video streaming. I think that is money well spent,” Pouwelse told TorrentFreak.


Eventually, Pouwelse and his team hope to shape the future of Internet-based video delivery, and this won’t just be limited to PCs either. “Our architecture has unbounded scalability and in principle can work on all TVs, phones and other devices in the world simultaneously,” he said.


“22 scientists are working full time in the P2P research team i’m coordinating at Delft University of Technology. A lot of the algorithms and Open Source code we write ends up in Tribler. Roughly 6 other universities or organisations contribute code regularly to Tribler. It’s by far the largest science-driven P2P effort around,” Pouwelse added.


Aside from the fact that the technology itself is both exciting and fully operational in the real world, there are some issues that have to be overcome. Due to the low userbase of Tribler, the total number of torrents that are findable is relatively low. About 20,000, which is quite low compared to the millions of torrents most BitTorrent sites index.


This means that most of the popular content is available but that obscure files will be harder to find. The only way to really change this is when more people start to use the client, which might take a few more domain seizures than we’ve seen thus far.


Update: A message from Dr. Johan Pouwelse.


Many readers wonder why this is new compared to Kazaa, Exeem, LimeWire, Gnutella, eMule. Well, that explanation is a bit technical, here it goes. All these client either contain spam or use servers. For instance, Limewire Cooperation was sending out digitally signed instructions to block anti-piracy companies and spammers in general (157 pages of details).


Tribler does not use spam protection that originates exclusively from some cooperate headquarter or Swedish moderator server and does not use servers for search. After launching Tribler it quickly fills its integrated SQL light engine (pdf) with discovered content. It has a bias to talk to peers with the same download taste. Similar to how Google keeps out the Spammers using PageRank, Tribler uses a distributed reputation system (pdf).


Update: As pointed out by readers, there are other P2P-technologies that work fully decentralized, such as Kademlia. The decentralized “revolution” is limited to BitTorrent only.


Article from: TorrentFreak.

ISP Eircom, the company pioneering a 3 strikes scheme for illicit file-sharers in Ireland, has been outlining the details of the regime it will implement in conjunction with the music industry. Eircom customers will be offered a music streaming service as part of their subscription but for those who choose to continue to share files, 12 months disconnections are on the horizon.

eircomToday, Eircom has been outlining details of a new service it will offer to its customer base. The Irish ISP will offer a new product called MusicHub which will allow subscribers to stream music from the big labels including Universal Music, Sony, EMI, Warner Music and Merlin.


According to Eircom, MusicHub will provide subscriber access to unlimited streaming of all tracks in the above labels’ catalogs, with no restrictions and with no advertising.


If MusicHub users would like to download songs they can do that too. Monthly packages will start at 15 tracks for €5.99 up to 40 tracks for €12.99.


While the MusicHub deal is the product of cooperation between Eircom and the music industry, it is born out of conflict. In February 2009, IRMA – representing EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner – reached an 11th hour out of court settlement with Eircom on the controversial issue of illicit file-sharing.


The implementation of the agreement was held up over legal argument, but earlier this year the High Court in Dublin gave it the green light. The deal would see Eircom introduce a graduated response system for dealing with errant subscribers so now, along with today’s MusicHub carrot, comes the 3 strikes stick.


“Eircom is proceeding with implementation of the protocol which could result in the suspension and ultimately disconnection of broadband service for those customers who deliberately and persistently infringe copyright,” the company said today in a statement.


As expected, Eircom will send out warnings to subscribers suspected of illicit file-sharing in the first instance to “encourage them to change their behaviour”, then it intends to get tough.


“If a customer persists with the illegal activity it may result in a seven day suspension or yearlong disconnection of their broadband service,” the company warns.


A seven day suspension will be triggered when the music industry monitors a user sharing illicit files for the third time. Any further notice will activate the 12 month disconnection.


Eircom notes that the scheme has been operating on a trial basis since June this year and the number of notifications being processed have now reached 1,000 per month.


In stark contrast to its earlier neutral position (on which IRMA took the ISP to court), Eircom now says it has a responsibility to deal with the copyright infringements of its customers on behalf of the music industry.


“The company believes that it has a duty to ensure that the rights of artists and the laws of the state, including copyright law, are upheld, and to take action when illegal activity is brought to our attention,” it notes.


Nevertheless, Eircom adds that “our obligations to our customers remain paramount, and the primacy of their rights, in particular their rights to privacy, are reflected in the phased structure of the protocol, and in the Eircom MusicHub service launched today. Eircom is of the view that these obligations are part of a role that all responsible companies must serve.”


To this end, Eircom is guaranteeing that it will never hand subscribers’ personal details to the music industry and will never monitor their online activities. They will, however, take the word of the music industry and their monitors on face value and presume it is accurate as a matter of course.


Other ISPs in Ireland, such as UPC, have refused to play ball. In a recent court case it was decided that a 3 strikes regime could not be forced on an Internet service provider.


However, as detailed in our earlier report, the government is appealing for the music industry and ISPs to get together to try and reach some sort of compromise. According to its announcement today, Eircom will position itself as some kind of broker in the negotiations.


“Today Eircom confirmed that it will continue to play a leadership role with the music industry, other ISPs, and key stakeholders including Government to find a long term sustainable solution that addresses the issues of illegal file sharing while minimising the impact on customers.”


What remains to be seen now is how the ISP market pans out. Will customers stop pirating and switch to Eircom to gain access to the MusicHub service, or will they stay with the likes of UPC in order to carry on pirating without worry of disconnections? Will the disconnections at Eircom have the desired effect, or will customers simply switch to another ISP? The next few months should prove very interesting.


Article from: TorrentFreak.

A yet to be released cable from the US Embassy in Stockholm will reveal that the United States Government was very concerned about file-sharing related issues in Sweden. The US Embassy actively worked with the Swedish authorities to reduce file-sharing related threats, which included The Pirate Bay which was raided in 2006 following US pressure.

pirate bayIt is no secret that the US Government has been actively involved in copyright enforcement in other countries, including Sweden. After the raid on The Pirate Bay’s servers in 2006, it became clear that the US had threatened to put Sweden on the WTO’s black list if they refused to deal with the Pirate Bay problem.


But that was not the end of the ‘collaboration’ between the US and Sweden on this front.


According to an unreleased US Embassy cable in possession of Swedish Television, the US pressure on Sweden to deal with file-sharing issues continued in the years that followed. In the cable, which dates back to 2008, the US Embassy presented a list of six items that they wanted to see addressed, all related to online copyright infringement.


A year later, five of these six items were indeed turned into action, including the appointment of more copyright police and prosecutors, backed up by educational anti-piracy campaigns. Of course, the Pirate Bay wasn’t left unmentioned in this cable either.


The cable writer mentions that it was hard for the Embassy to get openly involved in piracy related issues, because most of the press coverage was unfavorable towards the copyright industry.


“After the raid on The Pirate Bay on May 31, 2006, the issue of internet piracy was fiercely debated in Sweden. Press coverage was largely, and still is, unfavorable to the positions taken by the rights-holders and the United States Government,” the cable reads.


“The Pirate Bay raid was portrayed as the Government of Sweden caving in to United States Government pressure. This delicate situation made it difficult, if not counter-productive, for the Embassy to play a public role in IPR issues,” it adds.



Excerpt from the cable

se cable


In a response to the revelations, Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask denied that Sweden ever responded to pressure from the US Government. She hinted that the cable writer was making these remarks just to get a better payday.


Former Pirate Bay spokesman Peter Sunde was surprised about the leaked cable, although the fact that the US put pressure on the Swedish Government was not that new to him.


“We all knew for a long while that the US was behind the raid and pressured Sweden, but that they’re still doing it was news to us,” Peter Sunde told TorrentFreak. “And that the Minster of Justice just says that the cable writer is lying ‘to get a higher salary’ shows that she doesn’t even care if her government is corrupt.”


The cable in question has not been published by Wikileaks yet, but is expected to be released in the near future. This, and other cables, are likely to add more insight into the backroom deals related to file-sharing and copyright issues.


Article from: TorrentFreak.

IRIS Distribution has just launched an anti-piracy campaign which it says is designed to push music ownership and support for the artists that create it. Aimed directly at kids, the 'I Share Everything But My Music' promotion features artwork depicting a stubborn non-sharing rabbit and, as perhaps expected, a thief-inspired racoon. Hoping to catch children early, the anti-piracy message is even available on baby clothes.

Educating the most easily influenced members of society is what our world is built upon, so it comes as little surprise that when planning for the future, guiding the youth in a particular direction is a useful strategy.


Over the last few years, in an attempt to force reductions in illicit file-sharing, movie and music groups have targeted young adults and children with a broad spectrum of anti-piracy campaigns.


At the brutal end of the scale is the climate of fear generated by targeting the teenage inhabitants of colleges and universities in the United States with lawsuits and the more recent threat of reduced funding.


Somewhere in the middle lie schemes such as the one behind “Escape From Terror Byte City”, the MPAA-created book which tells the story of two young boys who attempt to download the latest Transformers movie from a file-sharing website but, naturally, everything goes terribly wrong for them.


Others have targeted even younger children, and sometimes in not entirely straightforward manner either, such as when EMI went undercover in 2009 to promote music in schools but were revealed to have an anti-piracy agenda.


This week sees the launch of a new anti-piracy campaign, this time created by digital distribution company IRIS Distribution and the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM).


The “I Share Everything But My Music” promotion features artwork by illustrator and animator S Britt, as seen below.


Everything But My Music


“Copyright awareness doesn’t have to be heavy-handed; it boils down to supporting the artists that create the music we love,” said Bryn Boughton, Co-Founder and CMO of IRIS Distribution.


“IRIS Distribution has over 700 independent label clients, so we are intensely concerned with helping them sustain their artists’ recording careers. S. Britt helped us create something fun that people will want to buy for the kids in their lives, and at the same time, promotes music ownership.”


The artwork is indeed eye-catching and very kid-friendly, but obviously the animals were chosen to provoke a response in children, a point not lost on Hypebot.


“The campaign is a cutesy way to start the conversation about music piracy with kids,” they wrote today. “But does the rabbit seem a little conceited? Does the raccoon resemble a thief? And if that orange is an MP3, the rabbit appears too stuck-up to take it.”


The kid’s t-shirts are available from ShareShirts, either on their own or bundled with a couple of children’s albums – Kimya Dawson’s Alphabutt and Kids Songs: Sing and Learn Activities. But while even the RIAA tends to stop at 4 year-olds, IRIS go even further – with anti-piracy clothes for babies.


babies


While this fairly gentle campaign from IRIS can hardly be compared with those generated by the RIAA, one has to wonder if it will enjoy any more success than any of the other initiatives in recent years, especially when they are continually set back by things such as thoughtless music rights issues that negatively affect children.


Maybe you think you could do better? Perhaps you’d like to see an alternative message displayed on your own version of ShareShirts? There’s a full size image available here – feel free to put your remixes or fresh designs in the comments.


Article from: TorrentFreak.


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