ISP Has No ‘Safe Harbor’ Defense in Piracy Case, Record Labels Argue
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Texas-based Internet provider Grande Communications has no right to a safe harbor defense, several major record labels have informed the court. The companies are requesting a summary judgment, arguing that evidence and testimony clearly show that the ISP's acceptable use policy was a sham.

Last year several major record labels, represented by the RIAA, filed a lawsuit against ISP Grande Communications accusing it of turning a blind eye to pirating subscribers.

According to the RIAA, the Internet provider knew that some of its subscribers were frequently distributing copyrighted material, but failed to take any meaningful action in response.

Grande refuted the accusations and filed a motion to dismiss the case. The ISP partially succeeded as the claims against its management company Patriot were dropped. The same was true for the vicarious infringement allegation...

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TRON: Our BitTorrent Plan Might Take Two Decades
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Ever since BitTorrent Inc. was acquired by the TRON foundation, people have been asking what the cryptocurrency outfit intends to do with the file-sharing giant. A new announcement by TRON founder Justin Sun shines a little more light on the end game - democratizing and decentralizing the Internet - but like Rome, Sun's baby won't be built in a day. Or a decade.

Back in May, TF broke the news that Justin Sun, the entrepreneur behind the popular cryptocurrency TRON, was in the process of acquiring BitTorrent Inc.

Two months later, BitTorrent Inc. and the TRON Foundation confirmed the acquisition.

“With this acquisition, BitTorrent will continue to provide high quality services for over 100M users around the world. We believe that joining the TRON network will further enhance BitTorrent and accelerate our mission of creating an Internet of options, not rules,” BitTorrent Inc. said.

TRON’s Justin Sun added that the acquisiti...

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Europeans Take “Upload Filter” Protests to The Streets
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Following massive protests, the EU copyright reform plans were sent back to the drawing board last month. This means that the proposal will be opened up for changes, also to the controversial "upload filter" text. In support of this effort and to show critics that the opposition is real, the protests will soon move beyond the web, to the streets of several European cities.

After years of careful planning and negotiating, the European Parliament was ready to vote on its new copyright directive last month.

With backing from large political factions and pretty much the entire entertainment industry, many assumed that proposal would pass.

They were wrong.

The Copyright Directive was sent back to the drawing board following protests from legal scholars, Internet gurus, activists, and many members of the public. Article 13, often referred to as the “upload filter” proposal, was at the center of this pushback.

The vote was...

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Top 10 Torrent Site iDope Goes Down With Domain Issues
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One of the Internet's most popular torrent sites has disappeared offline. iDope took the number 10 spot in our annual list of most-visited torrent sites but has been missing in action for a number of days. The site’s operator informs TF that domain issues are behind the downtime and normal service should be resumed in the coming days.

In the summer of 2016, shockwaves rippled through the BitTorrent scene when KickassTorrents (KAT), the world’s most popular torrent site at the time, was forcefully shut down.

The action coordinated by the US government saw alleged KAT founder Artem Vaulin taken into custody. Meanwhile, millions of former users scrambled to find alternatives elsewhere on the Internet.

Unsurprisingly, many dispersed to existing torrent giants such as The Pirate Bay and RARBG but it didn’t take long for new blood to enter the ecosystem. Soon after KAT’s demise, a new indexer ca...

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PUBG: NetEase Masks Its Copyright Infringement With Game Updates
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PUBG has told a federal court in California that there are no grounds to dismiss its lawsuit against the Chinese developer NetEase. According to the company, the "Rules of Survival" and "Knives Out" games are blatantly copied from PUBG, accusing NetEase of hiding the similarities with new game updates.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is without a doubt one of hottest games at the moment.

The success earned the company hundreds of millions of dollars, which inspired other developers to create similar games.

Some of these games are too similar, according to PUBG.

To protect its financial interests, the company, therefore, decided to take the developer of two alleged spinoffs to court. PUBG sued the Chinese company NetEase, the makers of ‘Rules of Survival’ and ‘Knives Out’, accusing it of copyright infringement.

While NetEase readily admitted th...

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SevenTorrents Shuts Down, Transfers Database to New Torrent Site
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SevenTorrents, a torrent index that has serviced more than 40 million unique users over the past 10 years, has announced its retirement. While a site throwing in the towel is pretty common, SevenTorrents says it has transferred its user database to a brand new torrent site so its community can live on.

Hundreds of torrent sites have come and gone over the years with most disappearing after relatively short periods in action.

Sites like The Pirate Bay, which has just celebrated 15 years online, tend to drown out smaller players on the news front, but several have an impressive history behind them.

Take SevenTorrents, for example. The site has been serving torrents for around 10 years and last year serviced around six million unique visitors. It’s not a giant by any means but its longevity is notable in a somewhat hostile and oppressive anti-piracy environment.

No...

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Facebook Bans The Sale of All Kodi Boxes, Legal or Not
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Facebook has expanded its ban on the sale of piracy-enabling streaming devices. According to the company's latest commerce policies, all streaming devices that use Kodi software are now outlawed, which logically also applies to the many legal streaming boxes that are available.

Entertainment companies see streaming piracy as one of the largest threats to the industry. This is true for streaming sites, but also specialized pirate boxes, which are often sold with the popular media player Kodi installed.

While Kodi itself is a neutral platform, third-party add-ons can turn it into a powerful pirate tool. This is why Kodi and piracy are often mentioned in the same breath.

This negative stigma has already resulted in Google banning “Kodi” from the autocomplete feature of its search engine, among other things. And recently Facebook has piled on...

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KickassTorrents Karaoke Pirate Handed Suspended Jail Sentence
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A 63-year-old man from Lancashire, UK, has been handed an eight-month suspended sentence for karaoke track piracy. Steve Mather was raided by City of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit in 2015, after making available unlicensed karaoke content on sites including KickassTorrents.

Following a complaint filed by the BPI, City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) launched an investigation into UK-based individuals who uploaded unlicensed karaoke tracks to the Internet.

In February 2015, the BPI carried out test downloads of eight ‘pirate’ karaoke albums to which Sunfly Karaoke and Digitop held the rights. In December that year, police carried out raids in several locations, one of which targeted then 60-year-old Steve Mather.

“The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has dismantled a gang suspected of uplo...

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Why Nintendo Will Never Defeat Retro Gamers
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This week and after 18 years of service, EmuParadise terminated all retro game downloads in response to a Nintendo lawsuit targeting two other download portals. While Nintendo might see this as a big win, the Japanese gaming giant - which has turned out some of the best titles of all time - doesn't seem to understand that this is a movement that will never be tamed.

The past few weeks have been pretty bad for fans of the retro gaming scene. Following action by Nintendo, two ROM platforms shut down in response to a lawsuit and another, EmuParadise, voluntarily stopped providing game downloads.

While these events have probably resulted in congratulations being shared among colleagues back in Kyoto, few gamers will join in the celebrations. Quite simply, most don’t understand why the company chooses to be so aggressively protective.

For the purposes of this discussion, let’s work on the assumption that distributing and obtaining ...

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ISP Will Block BitTorrent Traffic on ‘Unlimited’ Mobile Plan
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The Belarusian Internet provider Velcom has announced that mobile subscribers will no longer be able to use BitTorrent freely on its "unlimited" plan. No specific reason is provided, but it's likely that avid torrent users are causing too much overhead.

Access to the Internet is considered a basic need in many modern countries. Ideally, this should come without any content restrictions.

With all the fuss about net neutrality in recent years, most Internet providers have stayed clear from any interference.

In Belarus, however, local ISP Velcom is crossing a sensitive line.

The company informed its customers that its summer promotion, which provided subscribers on some plans with “unlimited” Internet access, is being limited.

Those who exceeded their regular cap have been able to access the Internet...

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