LimeWire has been in the RIAA's crosshairs since 2006 thanks to its P2P functionality.
The U.S. Government’s Operation in Our Sites 2 certainly caused shockwaves in November with the seizing of more than 80 domains which it claimed were involved in copyright infringing activities. Within that batch of domains were a handful linked to file-sharing, including several rap and hiphop music related sites and the Torrent-Finder meta-search engine.
This was the second phase of the Government’s plan to take control of domain names. Operation in Our Sites 1 took place some 5 months earlier in June 2010 and saw the seizure of seven domains including TVShack.net, Movies-Links.TV, FilesPump.com, Now-Movies.com, PlanetMoviez.com, ThePirateCity.org and ZML.com.
Not much has been heard about these seizures since, but thanks to the eagle-eyed CopyHype we now have some of the documentation associated with the operation.
As can be seen from the document embedded below, on December 9th last year the Government filed a complaint for civil forfeiture in the Southern District of New York against the seven domains listed above. The initial seizing of a domain is the first step in the forfeiture process.
The U.S. is no stranger to seizing domains said to be involved in illegal activity, as can be seen from this case in 2008 where four URLs were used to sell pirate software and 141 others were linked to illegal gambling. When used in connection with a crime or even civil offense, domains appear to be treated like any other asset in these cases, i.e fair game for seizure and forfeiture.
As pointed out by Techdirt, the domain owners actually have 60 days to apply to have their domains back. The chances of them doing that are slim to non-existent.
As demonstrated in the case of the Torrent-Finder seizure in Operation in Our Sites 2, its quite surprising to see how non-technical the investigation into these 7 original sites appears to have been and how easy it was for them to lose their domains.
According to the forfeiture filing, ICE agents clicked various hyperlinks on, for example, TVShack, which enabled them to view movies stored on several other sites. The MPAA then confirmed that the movies in question were still airing in theaters and therefore illegal copies and that was it – enough evidence had been collated to warrant seizing its domain.
If clicking a link and finding material on the end of it that the MPAA says is copyright infringing is enough to seal a site’s fate, then ICE are going to be very, very busy this year if they carry on with this strategy. All the signs suggest that they will.
While some site owners might be prepared to fight back in order to get their domains returned in the future, chances are most won’t want to break cover and may prefer to relocate instead. TVShack tried that with a move from .net to .cc, and promptly lost that domain too, but having advance notice will allow other sites to prepare just that little bit better.
Article from: TorrentFreak.
uTorrent for Windows saw its first public release in September 2005 and soon became the most widely used BitTorrent application. The potential of the minimalistic client was soon picked up by BitTorrent Inc. who bought it in December 2006.
In the years that followed the original BitTorrent mainline client was gradually transformed into a rebranded version of uTorrent, and today BitTorrent Inc. announced that both clients combined now have more than 100 million active users a month. Users literally come from all over the world, with 20 million active daily users from over 220 countries.
“This is an exciting day for our team. Our vision is to build a complete technology ecosystem comprised of software, content and devices, designed to connect modern content creators with a massive digital audience,” BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker said. “This milestone highlights the size of our user base and the power of our software.”
BitTorrent Inc.’s acquisition of uTorrent is without doubt the best decision the company has ever made. Where other projects such as the “movie store” and CDN-services failed miserably, uTorrent’s popularity kept on growing.
The irony is that the company which founded one of the most innovative technologies on the web in the last ten years, has not managed to build a new business model around it. Perhaps the BitTorrent powered movie store and CDN were ahead of its time, but the fact is that the company now relies on a toolbar to pay the salaries of its employees.
While there is no shame in relying on toolbars to keep million of BitTorrent users satisfied with an entirely free experience, we can only assume that the company had a greater plan in mind when it was founded back in 2004. That said, toolbars do bring in some serious money.
In addition to the millions of daily active users, the BitTorrent Mainline and uTorrent client are downloaded by 400,000 people a day according to BitTorrent Inc. An unknown percentage of these new downloads also choose to install the toolbar, which is good for millions of dollars in revenue a year.
This stable stream of revenue ensures that BitTorrent Inc. can continue the development of uTorrent in the future, and that’s a welcome message to at least 100 million BitTorrent users. TorrentFreak congratulates BitTorrent for reaching this impressible milestone, and we’re eager to see how far this number can increase in the future.
Article from: TorrentFreak.
Ten years ago, when BitTorrent was first released to the public, most people were lucky to own one computer with a connection to the Internet. Today, many people own several interconnected ‘online’ devices including smartphones, laptops and NAS servers.
To make BitTorrent downloads on one device accessible on others, all the major BitTorrent clients have developed web interfaces. These allow users to start, stop and pause downloads from wherever they are. Transmission, the favorite BitTorrent client of many Mac users, also has a web interface, albeit a limited one in the eyes of most iPhone and iPad owers.
To fill this gap, developer Luka Hlastec coded a native remote access App for the Transmission client named iControlbits. The App, which controls the Transmission client daemon via the RPC protocol, has more features than the standard web interface making it both convenient and useful.
“I’ve made it for myself, for managing transmission downloads,” Luka Hlastec told TorrentFreak when we asked him about his motivation to develop a Transmission App.
“I’m using Transmission daemon on my NAS device. With this app I can connect remotely to my NAS from everywhere and manage downloads and Transmission server settings. You can also start Transmission on your Mac and enable remote access and then connect with my app.”
Among other things the App allows users to start, stop, remove and pause current transfers. In addition, it can connect to multiple Transmission ‘servers’ with the option to set and change speed limits for the server as well as individual downloads.
iControlbits, currently sold for $1.99 in the App store, works as advertised but could benefit from some extra features. In particular the option to add new downloads would be a nice one to have. The developer is aware of this and hopes to release it soon. “I have coded a feature for adding new downloads, which I’ll probably include in next version,” Hlastec told TorrentFreak.
But user satisfaction is not the biggest worry for the App – Apple’s anti-torrent police is the more imminent threat. As many people know, Apple is notoriously known for banning all applications that have anything to do with BitTorrent. This was kindly demonstrated three months ago when a new remote control App was booted from the App Store in just a few days.
Let’s hope that for Hlastec and Transmission using Apple customers, iControlbits doesn’t share the same fate.
We have a few dozen promo codes for people who want to try the App for free.
Article from: TorrentFreak.
This week there are five newcomers in the list. Little Fockers is the most downloaded movie of the week.
The data for our weekly download chart is collected by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are DVDrips unless stated otherwise.
RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart.
|Ranking||(last week)||Movie||Rating / Trailer|
|1||(…)||Little Fockers (TS)||5.4 / trailer|
|2||(1)||TRON: Legacy (TS)||7.5 / trailer|
|3||(4)||Death Race 2||?.? / trailer|
|4||(2)||Inception||9.1 / trailer|
|5||(…)||Nude Nuns with Big Guns||4.6 / trailer|
|6||(…)||Tees Maar Khan (DVDscr)||3.6 / trailer|
|7||(…)||True Grit (DVDscr)||8.4 / trailer|
|8||(…)||Saw 3D||5.7 / trailer|
|9||(3)||The Tourist (TS)||6.0 / trailer|
|10||(6)||The Social Network||8.4 / trailer|
Article from: TorrentFreak.
After nearly a half decade of criminal and civil action against The Pirate Bay and untold millions spent trying to take the site down, one might have just a little cold sympathy for the position of the international music and movie industries.
The combined might of the MPAA and IFPI, with almost limitless funding and the ears of politicians worldwide, has failed miserably to take The Pirate Bay offline. Their lawyers couldn’t do it and their friends in government assisted by their friends in the Swedish police department couldn’t do it either.
Nevertheless, the entertainment industries will have learned a lot on the way. In 2011 they will continue their pressure on BitTorrent and other file-sharing sites with a multi-pronged strategy that will see them pile pressure not just on the sites themselves, but on those providing them with critical services and infrastructure. Here are five predictions for 2011.
The next phase of these domain seizures will certainly come in 2011 and they are expected to be bolder than those in 2010. Whether or not they include any of The Pirate Bay’s domains remains to be seen (both TPB and MegaUpload escaped this fate in 2010) but it seems almost inevitable that more torrent sites will make an appearance.
Companies that provide hosting for BitTorrent and other file-sharing sites can expect to come into the spotlight in 2011. This pressure technique has been used by Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN for several years already and has sealed the fate of hundreds of smaller BitTorrent sites. More recently, it also took down some bigger players.
Not only has The Pirate Bay suffered downtime and been forced to relocate several times in the last 12 months, but other prominent file-sharing sites such as Rlslog have too. The trend will continue during this year but while it has proven to be an annoying inconvenience, it will probably only be effective short term.
As we have seen in a number of cases in the last few years, the IFPI and MPAA have attempted to have The Pirate Bay banned or blocked in a number of countries including Italy, Denmark, Ireland and The Netherlands, with varying success.
In the last few weeks the MPA have begun testing the strategy against Usenet indexer, Newzbin, another site which refuses to go offline. The movie industry group is trying to force UK ISP BT to block customer access to the site. If successful the pressure will shift to other ISPs in the country initially, then other sites will be suggested for blockade, probably starting with The Pirate Bay.
While ISP blocks can be circumvented with ease, they still have the potential to hinder the growth of sites as inexperienced users will quickly give up trying to access a non-responsive site.
As demonstrated by the recent withdrawal of service from Wikileaks by Mastercard and PayPal, pressure applied in the right places by the right people can have powerful results. In 2010 significant numbers of private BitTorrent sites also reported problems with their donation accounts at PayPal. With little advertising to speak of, private sites are particularly vulnerable to this kind of setback.
Last month What.cd confirmed that due to music industry pressure their donations processing services have been withdrawn several times. Expect this approach to become more widespread.
Whenever the entertainment industries speak about The Pirate Bay, they are sure to assert that the site makes a fortune in advertising revenue. In their submission to the U.S. Government on “notorious pirate markets” the MPAA said that the site makes $60,000 per month in advertising, a clear attempt to give the impression that the running of the site is motivated by illegal commercial interests.
In a complaint dated 23rd August 2010 and filed in the U.S. District Court in California, Disney and Warner Bros revealed their intention to go after Triton Media, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based company (not to be confused with Triton Media Group of Sherman Oaks, CA) they claim “owned, operated, provided advertising consulting and referrals for, and/or provided other material assistance” to nine movie-centric sites.
In October a judge signed a consent judgment barring Triton from working with several streaming sites including watch-movies-online.tv, watch-movies-links.net and thepiratecity.org or other similar operations. They were also ordered to pay $400,000 to Disney and Warner.
While Triton were an easier target than most, this success may well embolden the entertainment industries to take further legal action against advertisers. They may, however, simply have a quiet word in those at the top of the advertising chain and suggest that promoting goods on torrent sites can prove counter productive.
Still the big question remains – will these draconian measures prove effective? While they will certainly prove to be a hindrance, sites are already preparing to deal with the various threats listed above. Are torrent sites about to give up and go home? Absolutely not.
Article from: TorrentFreak.