Monday, April 6, 2020
Home Blog Page 4

‘Hellboy’ Must Explain Calculation For the $270,000 Piracy Damages Claim * TorrentFreak

0



The makers of the movie ‘Hellboy’ recently asked for $270,000 in piracy damages against the operator of the now-defunct torrent site MKVCage. While the accused man didn’t put up a defense, U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth Mansfield recommended denying the request, as it’s unclear how the movie company ended up at this figure. As a result, Hellboy must go back to the drawing board.

Last summer, the makers of the movie “Hellboy” (HB Productions) filed a complaint against torrent site MKVCage at a Hawaii federal court.

The movie company accused the site and its operator of promoting and distributing pirated copies of the Hellboy movie while demanding an end to the activity.

The lawsuit quickly had an effect as MKVCage became unreachable. At the same time, the uploader stopped pushing torrents to other sites as well. This meant that part of the plan had succeeded, without the torrent site putting up a defense.

But HB Productions wanted more. The company argued that the site caused irreparable damage and demanded compensation from the operator, a Pakistani man named Muhammad Faizan.

Since Faizan didn’t show up in court, the movie company’s attorney Kerry Culpepper requested a default judgment totaling more than $270,000 in infringement damages.

“The certain sum of $270,902.58 […] was calculated by multiplying the number of instances of infringement in the United States logged by Plaintiff’s agent by the price for purchasing a copy of the motion picture in Hawaii,” Culpepper wrote to the court.

Despite a hefty damages award hanging over his head, Faizan remained quiet. This generally means that the court will side with the plaintiff but in this case, Magistrate Judge Kenneth J. Mansfield is reluctant.

In a recently issued report and recommendations, Mansfield advises the court to deny the damages request, as the “sum” is not as “certain” as Hellboy’s attorney makes it out to be.

“The First Amended Complaint and the Motion do not indicate how Plaintiff calculated its asserted $270,902.58 damages amount. Nor does Plaintiff’s Motion include documents setting forth amounts necessary to calculate a certain damages sum,” Judge Mansfield writes.

“Without such information, the Court is unable to determine the formula Plaintiff used to calculate its alleged damages. The Court thus finds that Plaintiff fails to establish that its claim is for a ‘sum certain’ and recommends that the district court deny the Motion,” he adds.

This recommendation serves as guidance to the federal court, which has yet to rule on the matter. However, before it could do so, HB Production’s attorney already withdrew his request for a default judgment.

The movie company now plans to file a new motion in the near future where it will provide more detail on its calculations. Among other things, it will have to explain in detail how many infringements were logged, and what retail price for the movie the company chose.

By law, the maximum statutory damages are $150,000 per work. Since HB Productions asked for a substantially higher amount here, these details are crucial in order to determine whether it will be granted, or not.

A copy of Magistrate Judge Kenneth J. Mansfield’s report and recommendations is available here (pdf)


Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.

Source link

Pirated Content is Now Harder to Find in Search Engines * TorrentFreak

0



An anti-piracy memorandum aimed at removing allegedly-infringing content from search engines is beginning to have an effect in Russia. That’s according to the chief of the Internet Video Association, an anti-piracy group representing the interests of numerous licensed online video distribution platforms.

In 2018, leading content companies and distributors plus Yandex, Rambler Group, Mail.Ru Group, vKontakte, and RuTube signed up to a landmark anti-piracy memorandum in Russia.

The aim of the voluntary agreement was to make pirated content harder to find in search engines. This, the organizers said, would be achieved by the creation of a centralized database of allegedly-infringing content to be regularly queried by Internet platforms so that delistings could take place.

The ultimate aim is to have the memorandum written into law but in the meantime, it’s being claimed that the system is already having the desired effect.

Formed in 2013 to protect the interests of several licensed online distribution platforms, the Internet Video Association has grown to become one of the most vocal anti-piracy groups in Russia. Its members support the memorandum and according to director general Alexei Byrdin, it is now considered to be achieving its aims.

Byrdin says a certain level of piracy comes hand-in-hand with any legal content business and achieving a complete victory over piracy can’t be achieved in Russia or anywhere else in the world. However, by removing infringing content from search engines, easy access to unlicensed content is being reduced.

“The correct measurement of the effect of the fight against piracy is a decrease or increase in the availability of pirated content. It is this indicator and approach that I consider the most correct,” Byrdin told Regnum.

“Pirated products in the Russian Federation have become less accessible. And by accessible, we mean the easy discovery of pirated content through search services. It was at this point that our anti-piracy memorandum struck home. Last year there were several high-profile premieres that managed to be practically shielded from the effects of pirate consumption, thanks to the memorandum.”

While the memorandum is indeed powerful (search engines have agreed to remove pirated content within six hours of it being reported in the centralized database), other factors have also played a part in reducing pirate consumption. Reducing piracy rates is of limited use if potential consumers have few viable options to buy licensed products but according to Byrdin, local consumers now see official platforms as an attractive proposition.

“There is a certain cumulative effect. For a very long time services have explained that they really have everything conveniently, inexpensively, with a large assortment, and users are finally believing this,” the anti-piracy chief explained.

“This is also due to the fact that in Russia the audience of smart TV users is growing year-on-year, and these consumers appreciate the convenience of such services. This really is simple and affordable home entertainment. Not much can be compared in terms of user experience.”

Like many countries around the world trying to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic, Russia is also shutting down its entertainment venues, including cinemas. Byrdin will be hoping that consumers frustrated by the lack of options in search results will flock to licensed platforms for their entertainment fix. Whether this transpires will remain to be seen.

Nevertheless, those involved in the licensed distribution of entertainment content clearly see the memorandum as a great tool to achieve their aims. Writing it into law hasn’t been easy and delays caused it to time out in October 2019.

After a short extension, the signatories agreed to keep the system running until the end of January 2021, by which time it’s hoped that agreement will be reached on some of the more contentious points, including the permanent delisting of entire sites considered to be repeat offenders.


Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.

Source link

The Pirate Bay’s Oldest Active Torrent Turns 16 Years Old Today * TorrentFreak

0



While the majority of The Pirate Bay users download recent content, there are quite a few older torrents that continue to survive. Today, the oldest of all – an episode from the Swedish comedy series “High Chaparral” – celebrates its sixteenth anniversary. Other older torrents, including a copy of the documentary “Revolution OS” and an album from the Swedish pop group Gyllene Tider, remain active as well.

The Pirate Bay has weathered quite a few storms since its inception.

The notorious torrent site, which is a piracy icon today, was originally founded by Swedish anti-copyright think tank Piratbyrån during the summer of 2003.

In the years that followed, a lot has happened. The site was raided twice, had various changes in ownership, and the original co-founders were sentenced to prison. And in recent years, prolonged downtime issues, as the site currently faces, are the rule rather than the exception.

Despite all these setbacks and challenges, TPB is still here. It remains accessible on the Tor network, where the latest blockbusters, as well as some rare old torrents, remain readily available.

While torrents rely on at least one active seed to keep them alive, some files have proven to be quite resilient. In fact, quite a few torrents are older than some of the site’s younger users.

Today, The Pirate Bay’s oldest active torrent celebrates its sixteenth anniversary. The honor goes to an episode of the Swedish comedy show “High Chaparral,” which was uploaded by ‘kbdcb’ on March 25, 2004. At the time of writing, the file has one seeder according to TPB’s statistics, but various public trackers list more.

The oldest active torrent on TPB

The High Chaparral episode has been marked as the oldest active Pirate Bay torrent for a while. In the video category, it is currently followed by a copy of the 2001 documentary Revolution OS, which still has over a dozen seeders.

Looking at other categories, we see that the oldest active music torrent is an album from the Swedish pop group Gyllene Tider, titled “Samtliga hits!” The oldest game torrent is a copy of the Lord of the Rings strategy game War of the Ring, while a torrent for a really old version of ArcSoft’s photo editing software Funhouse leads the applications category.

If anything, this shows that no matter how much downtime a site like The Pirate Bay suffers, these torrents still survive.

That the High Chaparral episode is the longest surviving torrent on the site is remarkable for another reason as well. A few weeks after the torrent was uploaded, several people complained that they were stuck at 99%, which means that there was no seeder around at the time.

Years later, people started to notice that it had become the oldest torrent on The Pirate Bay, including MasterWAV, who dedicated an entry in his or her diary to this discovery.

“Dear diary, my heart burst of excitement to discover the oldest torrent in The Pirate Bay. I am happy to comment on this book and be part of the history of TPB. It’s like climbing Everest. Sincerely, thanks.”

Other commenters promised to keep seeding the file “forever,” which may be the prime reason why it’s still around today.

While sixteen years is impressive, there are even older torrents available on the Internet. “The Fanimatrix” torrent file holds the all-time record. It was created in September 2013 and, after being previously resurrected, continues to be available today with more than 100 people seeding.


Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.

Source link

AMD Uses DMCA to Mitigate Massive GPU Source Code Leak * TorrentFreak

0



AMD has filed at least two DMCA notices against Github repos that carried “stolen” source code relating to AMD’s Navi and Arden GPUs, the latter being the processor for the upcoming Xbox Series X. The person claiming responsibility for the leak informs TorrentFreak that if he doesn’t get a buyer for the remainder of the code, he’ll dump the whole lot online.

Graphics cards are big business and AMD is one of the leading brands with an estimated 32% share of the discrete desktop market.

In July 2019, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, AMD released its Radeon RX 5000 series powered by ‘Navi’ GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit). The source code for these devices is extremely sensitive and considered secret but perhaps not for much longer.

This week rumors began to circulate that an unnamed individual had somehow obtained the source for Navi 10, Navi 21 and Arden devices, the latter representing the rumored GPU for the yet-to-be-released Xbox Series X. Confirming whether such leaks are genuine is difficult but yesterday AMD took action which tends to support the theory.

In a DMCA notice sent to development platform Github, AMD identified the recently-created ‘xxXsoullessXxx’ repository and a project titled “AMD-navi-GPU-HARDWARE-SOURCE” as the location of its “stolen” intellectual property.

“This repository contains intellectual property owned by and stolen from AMD,” the semiconductor company wrote. “The original IP is held privately and was stolen from AMD.”

Github responded by immediately taking the repository down, as per AMD’s request. That prompted us to try and find the person behind the repo and to ask some questions about what AMD was trying to suppress. The individual informed TorrentFreak that AMD’s GPU source code was the content in question. (Responses edited for clarity)

“In November 2019, I found AMD Navi GPU hardware source codes in a hacked computer,” the person explained. “The user didn’t take any effective action against the leak of the codes.”

Questioned further on the route of extraction, we were told that a combination of factors led to the leak.

“The source code was unexpectedly achieved from an unprotected computer//server through some exploits. I later found out about the files inside it. They weren’t even protected properly or even encrypted with anything which is just sad.”

The individual, who claims to be female, told us that the package included code for Navi 10 and Navi 21 devices. She also confirmed that the source for the Xbox Series X GPU ‘Arden’ was part of the haul.

When asked whether the person had spoken to AMD about the leak, the answer was negative.

“I haven’t spoken to AMD about it because I am pretty sure that instead of accepting their mistake and moving on, they will try to sue me. So why not just leak it to everyone?” we were told.

The alleged leaker further told us that one “source code packet” had already been released. Whether that is limited to the material made available via Github remains unclear but TF was able to find links to a file-hosting site where an archive claiming to be the content was stored. Given the potentially criminal route via which the content was obtained, we did not download the package.

That AMD is concerned about the leak was underlined once again late yesterday. Having indicated in its initial complaint to Github that the source couldn’t be found anywhere else, the company later backtracked, identifying at least four other locations on Github where the project had been forked. All of those repos have been taken down.

While taking down the repositories is a logical first step for AMD, the gravity of this leak is hard to underestimate. The claimed hacker told TF that she valued the source at $100m but how that calculation was arrived at is unknown. While AMD considers its next steps, an even bigger storm may be heading the company’s way.

“If I get no buyer I will just leak everything,” the leaker concluded, adding that the files would be secured with passwords that will only be handed out to select individuals.


Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.

Source link

🔴FIRE HD 10 TABLET PLAY STORE GAMING & SPEED UP

0



Do you want to install the google play store on your Fire HD 10 tablet? Do you want to speed up your Fire HD 10 tablet? Do you want to turn your Fire HD 10 tablet in to a retro gaming machine then this video is for you!
✅For business enquiries: [email protected]
📌Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/TechDoctorUK

#FIREHD #tablet #amazon

Biggest Tech Discounts at Amazon:
✅USA http://amzn.to/2zMXqHh
✅UK http://amzn.to/2oqEPLM

Its becoming more and more important to protect your privacy online. This can easily be done using a Virtual Private Network. A Virtual Private Network allows you to stay anonymous and stay safe online. This means your ISP can’t monitor you and can’t throttle any of your applications

Here are my two recommendations:

✅ 57% OFF IPVanish: https://www.techdoctoruk.com/tdukIPvanish
✅ 66% OFF NORD: https://www.techdoctoruk.com/tdukNordVPN

🤝 Subscribe for more https://goo.gl/A8KH33 .. its free!

👍Thanks for watching and please like if it helped. THANKS!



Views: 25

source

Nintendo Shuts Down Kickstarter Campaign For Violating Animal Crossing Copyrights * TorrentFreak

0



A law firm acting for Nintendo of America has shut down a successful Kickstarter campaign for alleged breaches of copyright. According to the gaming giant, the fundraiser used characters and images from the Animal Crossing series without obtaining the necessary permission.

Anyone with a cool idea that could potentially develop into a great product or business can raise funding on Kickstarter.

Launched in 2009, the crowdfunding platform has helped to fund almost 180,000 projects with an impressive $4.85 billion in pledges. But while many projects go on to enjoy success, others can fail at an early stage due to basic errors.

The ‘New Adventures Passport Travel Holder’ fundraiser launched with a modest target of just £1,000. The aim was to offer an RFID-protected passport holder and luggage tags along with a matching lanyard, which doesn’t sound especially exciting in the grand scheme of things.

Nevertheless, the project quickly amassed 1,823 backers pledging more than £34,000 between them, 34 times the original target. While there may have been other factors contributing to this success, a quick view of the promotional material provides a fairly obvious clue as to why it was so popular.

For reasons best known to those behind the crowdfunding campaign, creating original artwork for the products wasn’t high on the agenda. As the image shows, all of the products are adorned with characters from the highly successful Animal Crossing video game series created by Nintendo.

History has shown us that this kind of move is a bad idea. Nintendo is known to aggressively protect its copyrights and trademarks and this case was no different. In a letter and DMCA notice to Kickstarter, a law firm acting for Nintendo explained that the project must be shut down.

“Nintendo owns copyrights in all aspects of its Animal Crossing video game franchise, including but not limited to the audio-visual work, imagery, and fictional character depictions covered by [various U.S. Copyright Registration numbers relating to Animal Crossing, Animal Crossing: City Folk, New Leaf, and Wild World],” the complaint reads.

“The reported campaign displays images of Nintendo’s copyright-protected Animal Crossing characters and images in connection with the creation of products that make unauthorized use of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing characters and images, all in violation of Nintendo’s rights.”

In response, Kickstarter swiftly shut down the campaign, noting that it had been rendered unavailable due to an “intellectual property dispute”.

Considering the text used to draw attention to the UK-launched campaign, the use of Nintendo’s works appears to have been intentional.

Advertising the “New Adventures” travel holder, those behind the project described their product as a “cute animal pattern passport cover for your new adventures crossing the horizons!” Almost all words in that description relate to Animal Crossing which makes the project easy to find in search engines by gaming fans.

“All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Tue, March 31 2020,” the campaign read before being taken down. Clearly, that will not happen now.

At any one time, Nintendo is involved with multiple intellectual property disputes which are tackled using various means.

In recent months the gaming company has resorted to site-blocking measures in the UK to tackle Switch piracy, filed a complaint against Github to tackle a remake developer, obtained an injunction in the US to restrain a mod seller, filed DMCA anti-circumvention notices, and continued with a full-blown lawsuit against download portal RomUniverse.


Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.

Source link

YouTube Cartoon Featuring Creepy Bugs Bunny Copyright Claimed By Warner Bros. * TorrentFreak

0



A dark parody cartoon depicting a washed-out Bugs Bunny as a sex offender has been hit with a DMCA complaint by Warner Bros. MeatCanyon, a channel with more than 66 million views, has responded with a new animation in which characters mourn his passing, stating that since Warner claimed the content as its own, they have now confirmed that “Bugs was a struggling rapist all along.”

Despite racking up to close to 67 million views on its popular YouTube account, MeatCanyon’s cartoons are not yet mainstream fodder.

Thanks to the actions of a copyright holder, however, more publicity is certainly on the horizon.

Many of MeatCanyon’s cartoons are extremely dark, featuring a creepy Ronald McDonald and Jimmy Fallon as a previously-masked character in Scooby-Doo, to give just two examples. But when Patreon-funded MeatCanyon released a two-minute cartoon entitled ‘Wabbit Time’ recently, the end result was a copyright strike on its YouTube account.

The parody cartoon is dark – super dark – and features a character that looks broadly like Bugs Bunny but is both predatory, washed-out, and a shadow of his usual self.

With horrible teeth, drooping teats and a foul mouth, this is clearly not the Bugs everyone is used to, despite sharing the same name. Following his opening line (“What’s up Doc?” which is trademarked but not copyrighted) he attempts to do something awful to a man resembling Elmer Fudd, which reinforces the disconnect from the original ten times over.

Reading between the lines, this was all too much for Warner Bros. As can be seen in the image below, the company filed a copyright complaint with YouTube and had the video taken down.

“Warner brothers just copyright claimed my wabbit season vid….so it’s removed and now I have a strike on my channel….but why [YouTube?],” MeatCanyon wrote on Twitter before the weekend.

With Warner claiming its rights had been infringed and YouTube effectively agreeing, it was the end of the road for the Wabbit Season video.

“It is unfortunate that Youtube decided to side with Warner Brothers. Deleting my video, and giving my channel a strike. I worked very hard on that video and its honestly pretty sad to see it go. There was a lot of people who really enjoyed that video, and it at least makes me happy to know that so many people out there will miss it being on this channel,” MeatCanyon wrote.

But the channel wasn’t done just yet.

In a new cartoon uploaded yesterday titled ‘RIP Wabbit Season’, numerous grotesque characters mourn the ‘death’ of the sinister Bugs Bunny while raising a pretty dark question: Why would Warner claim a video depicting Bugs Bunny as a “struggling rapist” as their own?

The truth, of course, is that Warner didn’t claim the video as its own but claimed copyright infringement instead. There’s little doubt that the cartoon is intended as a parody but that intent in itself doesn’t provide absolute protection under US law.

Should MeatCanyon choose to take the matter further, the intricacies of fair use would need to be examined by a court, including (but not limited to) whether Wabbit Season represented a comedic commentary relating to the original work that necessarily required copying its elements.

There’s also the matter of whether the new work has a detrimental effect on the market (or potential market) for the original work(s). No one could reasonably argue that MeatCanyon’s variant represents direct market competition for Warner’s version but the nature of the former could potentially cast the latter in a different light, at least in some eyes.

These are complex and potentially massively expensive matters to definitively conclude (a reference list of ‘fair use’ case outcomes can be found here) so it seems likely that MeatCanyon will accept the strike and move on. TorrentFreak reached out to MeatCanyon for comment but at the time of publication, we were yet to hear back.




Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.

Source link

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent

0


This week we have four newcomers in our chart.

Star Wars: Episode IX is the most downloaded movie.

The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are Web-DL/Webrip/HDRip/BDrip/DVDrip unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the articles of the recent weekly movie download charts.

This week’s most downloaded movies are:


Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.

Source link

The Pirate Bay Uses Downtime to ‘Rewrite Some Code’ * TorrentFreak

0



The Pirate Bay’s regular domain has been unreachable for more than two weeks. Initially, it was unclear what had caused the trouble, but TorrentFreak is informed that it is being caused by a technical problem and that the tech admin is taking this opportunity to rewrite some code. Meanwhile, the .onion address remains accessible through the Tor network.

The Pirate Bay’s main domain has been missing in action for more than two weeks.

As previously reported, ThePirateBay.org displays a Cloudflare error message across the entire site, and some proxies are affected by the downtime as well.

The official Pirate Bay forums remain open but the moderators there don’t know what’s going on either. The site’s operator, ‘Winston,’ appears to operate in his own bubble, without talking directly to TPB staff or the public at large.

This lack of information has caused some uncertainty among regular Pirate Bay users, with some fearing that things may never return to normal.

To find out more we contacted a source who has a direct line with Winston. This person informed us that the downtime is due to a technical issue. In addition, the TPB tech admin is taking the opportunity to rewrite some of the site’s code.

While the response isn’t very detailed, it suggests that everything may eventually return to normal. Our follow-up question asking why the .onion domain has no issues remains unanswered for now.

Another question that comes to mind is why there’s such a massive lack of communication. It shouldn’t be hard to put some kind of message out. However, aside from the response above, we heard nothing further.

In recent years there has been a slow and steady change in the public’s response to Pirate Bay downtime. A few years ago, 24-hours of downtime was a reason for many people to panic, but right now a week of downtime can pass without much fuss.

In the TPB forums, many people point out that the site is still accessible at the new .onion address. New uploads are coming through fine as well, which is important, as many other torrent sites partly rely on content from The Pirate Bay.

That said, recent weeks have shown that TPB is vulnerable, or at least, far from stable. When someone asked if there’s a replacement for ‘Winston’ in case something bad happened, TPB admin Moe answered jokingly.

“There is no replacement for Winston. We do have a Walter sleeping outside the server room who claims he can do the job, but we question his suitability because he seems overly sober,” Moe wrote.

That’s a typical response one can expect from the Pirate Bay crew. However, the question is certainly valid, especially since the true answer is unknown.


Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.

Source link