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  1. A pair of companies behind two of the most popular online multiplayer games have sued a cheat maker in the United States for copyright infringement offenses. Riot Games and Bungie claim that through the provision of its tools designed for Valorant and Destiny 2, GatorCheats trafficked in malicious software contrary to the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA. While the vast majority of videogames players are happy to enjoy games within the parameters set by their developers, there are millions who prefer to cheat their way to victory. A
  2. Hundreds of non-commercial Nintendo fangames have been removed from the popular game publishing community Game Jolt after the platform complied with several DMCA takedown requests. Many of the affected games have dedicated fanbases including many die-hard Nintendo fans, some of whom now seem eager to revolt. As one of the most iconic gaming manufacturers in the world, Nintendo has been fighting piracy for decades. The company has an in-house anti-piracy division that signals the latest threats to steer enforcement actions in the right direct
  3. President Trump has received many copyright complaints on Twitter, a tally that has just increased due to yet another DMCA takedown notice. However, a policy decision by Twitter means he's been able to circumvent the platform's repeat infringer rules. The big question is whether he'll continue getting special treatment moving forward or will Twitter eventually have to nuke his account? Every year billions of citizens help to develop the Internet by adding their own content, whether that’s substantial works such as videos, music or articles, or smaller but nev
  4. Senator Thom Tillis has released a discussion draft of the “Digital Copyright Act of 2021," a potential successor to the current DMCA. The draft proposes a takedown-and-stay down requirement for online service providers, which indirectly suggests the use of piracy filters. That's just one of the many elements that will be fiercely debated in the coming months. It is a busy week for copyright proposals in the United States, one that will resound far into the year ahead. A few hours after the ‘CASE Act’ and the ‘Protecting Lawful Streaming Act
  5. The creator of popular TV show Cheaters is now engaged in legal action to prevent the series from being viewed on YouTube illegally. Targeting more than two dozen channels that uploaded episodes, lawyers for Bobby Goldstein Productions wants YouTube to hand over their identities and an account of the profits generated. With millions of users uploading huge quantities of content every day, YouTube is the largest video platform on the planet. Of course, not all of this content is licensed for upload and as a result, YouTube regularly finds its
  6. Major online course provider Udemy has used the DMCA to delete a video on YouTube that showed students how to legally access 6,000 courses for free via a schools and public libraries partnership. According to the course provider, using screenshots containing the Udemy logo amounts to an infringement of the company's copyrights. With more than 35 million students, 57,000 instructors, and 400 million course enrollments, Udemy is a huge player in the online learning space. Accessing the company’s content obviously comes at a price too so when o
  7. US Senator Thom Tillis has asked various stakeholders to shed light on possible DMCA reforms, including easier website blocking options and a notice-and-staydown regime. These potential changes will be welcomed by major copyright holders but groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Re:Create, and Public Knowledge are fiercely against. When the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was introduced in 1998, file-sharing was a fringe activity, and online streaming a futuristic idea. The developments over the past two decades ha
  8. Under the banner of the MPA, the major Hollywood studios plus Netflix have filed a complaint with Github resulting in the removal of popular streaming app MediaBox HD. The takedown is the latest in a series setbacks for the Android-based movie and TV show piracy app which was previously mentioned in legal action unrelated to the MPA. Preventing the general public from accessing movies and TV shows without paying for them is a monumental task that, if anything, feels even more difficult than it was 15 years ago. In addition to hundreds, perha
  9. University student and security researcher Erik Johnson is fighting back after proctoring software company Proctorio sent a series of DMCA notices to suppress his criticism of its controversial 'spying' tool. After his project was taken down from Github, Johnson has now filed a counter-notice and is prepared to appear in court, assisted by the EFF. With millions of students working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the use of so-called proctoring software has skyrocketed. The stated aim of this software is to detect and prevent cheat
  10. In a new lawsuit filed in the US, Nintendo sues an Amazon seller who distributed RCM Loader, a device that the company claims has the sole purpose of allowing people to play pirated video games by circumventing the Switch console's technological protection measures. On top, Nintendo is also suing the defendant for abusing the DMCA's counter-notification system. Nintendo’s ongoing battle to prevent people from playing pirated content on Switch consoles is showing no signs of slowing down. Its main targets thus far have been distributors and s
  11. Global anti-piracy coalition Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment has obtained a DMCA subpoena requiring the Tonic domain registry to hand over all information it holds on a wide range of 'pirate' sites. These include torrent giant 1337x.to and streaming portal BS.to, which are good for 78 million visits per month. Veterans Kinox.to and Movie4K.to are among the remaining targets. After launching more than three years ago in June 2017, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) quickly became the most powerful anti-piracy coalition on the planet.
  12. An RIAA takedown request, which removed the YouTube-DL repository from GitHub, has ticked off developers and GitHub's CEO. Numerous people responded by copying and republishing the contested code, including in some quite clever ways. Meanwhile, GitHub's CEO is "annoyed" as well, offering help to get the repo reinstated. The music industry has increased its enforcement actions against stream-ripping tools and services in recent years. The RIAA and other music groups have filed lawsuits, sent cease and desist orders, and issued numerous DMCA t
  13. An individual who filed false copyright complaints with platforms including Facebook, Amazon, and Instagram in order to damage a rival's business has been heavily punished by a court. In a default judgment handed down this week, the defendant was ordered to pay almost $370k for abusing the DMCA. Every day millions of DMCA takedown notices are sent to major online platforms including Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The aim is to remove content that infringes third-party copyrights and the majority succeed in that goal. However, some pe
  14. A large number of Twitch users have had their videos deleted following a new round of mass DMCA notice processing. Twitch has also imposed an interesting 'deal' on those affected. In exchange for removing their ability to file a counternotice, Twitch won't be placing a copyright 'strike' against users' accounts. A fair 'amnesty' deal or a coach-and-horses through due process? During the summer there was uproar when Twitch users were suddenly bombarded with copyright notices for content uploaded between 2017 to 2019. Unsurprisingly, the claim
  15. Anti-piracy coalition ACE has obtained a subpoena to compel the Tonic domain registry to hand over all information it has on the owner of S.to. With hundreds of thousands of registered users, S.to is the largest German-language pirate TV streaming community. These requests are a core part of the anti-piracy toolbox, a source informs us. With hundreds of thousands of registered users and millions of regular visitors, the pirate TV-streaming community S.to is a force to be reckoned with. The site targets a German-language audience and currentl
  16. During the summer, a modder and his team known for creating a steady flow of games based on Nintendo's Mario titles released The Missing Link, a fan-made Zelda game that aimed to bridge the gap between Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. Now, after a handful of months in circulation, Nintendo's lawyers have filed a copyright complaint to have it taken down. With a video game history dating back decades, Nintendo is perhaps the most well-known brand in the market. Nintendo’s characters including Mario and Zelda are much loved but despite the a
  17. Last month there was excitement when the source code for Windows XP was leaked online. The big question, however, was how quickly Microsoft would act to have it disappeared from the web. The partial answer is that the company took 10 days to have one public repository taken down. And that was hosted on Github, a platform owned by Microsoft itself. When Microsoft’s Windows XP launched in 2001, it was somewhat of a revelation. Built on Windows NT and a clear step up from the consumer variants of Windows that preceded it, the OS reigned for yea
  18. U.S. lawmakers are considering updating the DMCA to bring it into line with current piracy challenges. A detailed consultation process resulted in a set of recommendations from the Copyright Office this year, but many questions remain. A hearing at the House Judiciary Committee yesterday reiterated that stakeholders aren't in agreement on how to move forward. After several years of public consultations and stakeholder meetings, the US Copyright Office published its review of the DMCA’s safe harbor provisions this May. The report doesn’t prop
  19. Google has reached a new milestone. Over the past several years, copyright holders have asked the search engine to remove URLs from three million unique domains. These include blatant pirate sites such as YTS.mx and Fmovies.to, but also several unusual and innocent targets including Netflix, the BBC, and even the official White House website. Over the past few years, copyright holders have asked Google to remove billions of links to allegedly pirated content. At one point, the search engine processed close to three million links per day. A d
  20. The words Nintendo and pornography can only ever be seen together when the former is trying to distance itself from the latter. That's the case today after Nintendo's lawyers filed a DMCA takedown notice against a game called Peach's Untold Tale. It depicts the princess and many other Nintendo characters having fun in many ways that are completely unacceptable to the gaming giant. https://torrentfreak.com/images/peaches2.jpg (NSWF image) Over the past several years it has become increasingly apparent that Nintendo isn’t prepared to tolerate instances where i
  21. Several organizations have asked the Copyright Office to renew the exemption to the DMCA's DRM circumvention restrictions. This allows abandoned online games to be preserved for future generations. In addition, the Software Preservation Network and the Library Copyright Alliance ask for an expansion, to allow these games to be made available more broadly. There are a lot of things people are not allowed to do under US copyright law, but perhaps just as importantly there are exemptions too. The U.S. Copyright Office regularly reviews these exemptio
  22. New movie titles 'leak' online pretty much every day, but some get more attention than others. Tenet is one of those titles that made worlwide headlines, including numerous articles about the film being leaked. This prompted a flurry of takedown requests from copyright holders, which accidentally targeted some of those news reports. When a major blockbuster title leaks online, it sets a series of intruiging processes in motion. It was no different this week when low-quality CAM versions of Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi thriller ‘Tenet’ surf
  23. Cloudflare doesn't remove anything in response to DMCA takedown notices unless it stores the content permanently. However, the company will hand over personal details of customers to copyright holders who obtain a DMCA subpoena. Over the past 12 months, Cloudflare was ordered to share information regarding more than 400 accounts. Popular CDN and DDoS protection service Cloudflare has come under a lot of pressure from copyright holders in recent years. The company offers its services to millions of sites. This includes multinationals, governments, but also s
  24. Yet another President Trump tweet has been removed following a complaint. This one, however, is now part of a copyright lawsuit filed by British singer-songwriter Eddy Grant over the unlicensed use of his 1982 song 'Electric Avenue'. According to the complaint, which demands up to $150,000 in damages, the video containing the track remained live on Twitter, despite demands it was taken down. For the overwhelming majority of Twitter users, receiving even a very small number of copyright complaints against their account can mean its loss, with Twitter invoking its repe
  25. Anti-piracy groups have a long memory, it appears. They don't easily forget about their former adversaries, even those that shut down many years ago. A variety of rightsholders and reporters still flag sites such as Openload, KickassTorrents, isoHunt, Hotfile, and even Rapidshare. Perhaps they're being sentimental but it's high time to move along. Many ‘pirate’ sites – we use that term very loosely here – have come and gone over the years. Older readers may recall that Suprnova was once the leading torrent site, a brief reign that came t
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