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  1. Reddit Piracy Takedowns and Subreddit Bans Skyrocketed in 2020 Reddit's latest transparency report reveals that the number of copyright takedown notices it receives continues to rise. Last year, 375,774 pieces of content were removed following copyright holder complaints. This is a 300% increase compared to the year before. At the same time, Reddit's repeat infringer policy resulted in 303 users and 514 subreddits being banned. With millions of daily users, Reddit is without a doubt one of the most visited sites on the Internet. The com
  2. Software Pirates Using Comcast Face Unmasking, $150,000 in Damages People who downloaded and/or used pirated software owned by Siemens are about to become part of a copyright infringement lawsuit in the United States. According to the company, 142 yet-to-identified Comcast users were observed using unlicensed software. As a result, the developer wants Comcast to hand over their personal details so they can be pursued for damages that could reach $150,000. Downloading and streaming copyrighted movies, TV shows and music accounts for the majority of online inf
  3. IOC is Extremely Concerned About the Impact of Piracy on the Olympics The International Olympic Committee is extremely concerned about the impact online piracy could have on the planned Tokyo Olympics. The committee highlights Saudi Arabia as a problem area and it asks the US Government to intervene by placing the Middle Eastern country on its Special 301 Priority Watch List. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is known to maintain a tight grip on its intellectual property righ
  4. Piracy: Most Germans unaware of hidden dangers Two out of three people in Germany (64%) are unaware of the hidden dangers of piracy – fraud, identity theft and malware – or its links to criminal gangs, according to new research by intellectual property protection organisation FACT. The research, which focused on consumer behaviour and attitudes to piracy, found that with restrictions in place across the country, the nation has turned to home TV and entertainment tech to keep themselves occupied, with a third of Germans (32%) buying or receiving devices to w
  5. Police, anti-piracy groups, and sports companies are fighting a battle, not only to prevent pirate IPTV services from operating but also to stop fans from becoming illegal streaming customers. Interestingly, a potent part of their arsenal consists only of carefully constructed words that, when delivered into the hands of the lazy and unscrupulous, can be amplified to distort and mislead. As a publication entirely dedicated to reporting on copyright, piracy, torrent and streaming sites (plus all things closely related), here at TorrentFreak we aim to tell all
  6. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference a few days ago to announce the results of an undercover operation stat started months ago. Detectives busted four sellers of 'pirate' Amazon Fire Sticks, including an 88-year-old suspect. According to the police, selling jailbroken devices is a crime. Online piracy is traditionally associated with a young and tech-savvy audience, but that image doesn’t always hold up. Piracy has reached the masses with the help of online streaming and easy-to-use devices. In fact, it’s now mainstream e
  7. Online piracy remains widespread all over the world, including African countries. The Nigerian Copyright Commission, which is trying to curb this problem, has estimated that over $1 billion is lost due to piracy per year. To help local authorities fight back, the U.S. embassy in Nigeria has donated 50 laptops and other gadgets. The United States Government is taking the lead role when it comes to copyright policies and enforcement around the globe. Through diplomatic pressure and positive reinforcement, it tries to steer foreign governments
  8. Kingdom Leaks, a music piracy site that has been leaking new music to the Internet for the past seven years, has announced its imminent demise. Due to personal reasons, from January 1, 2021, the site will permanently close down, taking all user data and content with it. While a disappointment to its followers, the site's self-deletion won't be discouraged by recording labels. According to the music industry, the main threat to artists and labels from a piracy perspective is the availability of stream-ripping platforms and tools. On the other hand, however, a
  9. The EU Commission is calling for the capacity of law enforcement agencies around Europe to be "substantially strengthened" to fight piracy and other IP crimes. Promising to reinforce cooperation between rightsholders, intermediaries, police and prosecutors, the Commission says that dealing with these threats must become a higher priority. While cooperation across borders has been a regular feature of piracy and similar IP crime investigations across Europe, there is considerable momentum in Brussels to make better use of international resources.
  10. New research published by the European Union Intellectual Property Office shows that, in the EU, people more frequently pay to access online content. There is still a group of stubborn pirates who remain, however, but these often pay for legal services too. Affordable options appear to be the key to lowering piracy rates. The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) regularly conducts studies to see how piracy develops over time. When compared to earlier years, the findings help to signal trends which can be useful as input for fu
  11. In 2019, popular IPTV management platform Xtream Codes was dismantled as part of reported raids against pirate IPTV providers. After massive anti-piracy action was reported across Europe again last week, Xtream-Codes has broken its silence, condemning its characterization as a pirate service and claiming that it always collaborated with law enforcement agencies to stop piracy. For broadcasters all over the world, the problem of unlicensed IPTV providers, suppliers, and resellers has only grown during the past few years. Despite many law enfo
  12. The official website of President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort surprised visitors this weekend with an unexpected 'bonus'. In addition to promoting the luxurious location, it also contained a link to a well-known pirate movie site, illegally streaming Disney's Mulan among hundreds of other movies. In common with most weeks since his inauguration in January 2017, President Trump has been the subject of thousands of headlines this week but for reasons he would’ve preferred to avoid. With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to grip the world, the
  13. The Spanish pirate streaming giant Megadede will shut down within a week. The site's operators announced their surprise decision without providing any further detail. Megadede is among the 100 most visited sites in the country and will be missed by many. However, there certainly is no shortage of alternatives, as other sites are queuing up to welcome stranded pirates. Spain is an interesting country when it comes to piracy. On the one hand, it has one of the highest piracy rates worldwide, but there is no shortage of enforcement actions either.
  14. Disney's Mulan is a smash hit on pirate sites, where millions of people streamed and downloaded pirate copies of the film over the past week and a half. For days on end, the film has been pirated many times more than the competition, which is a rare sight. This 'success' is the result of a volatile mix of steep costs, low availability, and high-quality pirate alternatives. Online movie piracy has plagued Hollywood for roughly two decades now. Despite numerous enforcement efforts, the problem only appears to get worse. Ten years ago, the thre
  15. Private universities in the US are more expensive than public ones and tend to attract 'wealthier' students. On average, these students should be able to afford legal streaming services, which they do. However, at the same time, new research shows that these students are also more likely to pirate. Two decades ago, piracy was booming at university campuses where high-speed Internet access was readily available. This threat was quickly recognized by copyright holders, who swiftly took action in response. The RIAA and MPAA, f
  16. Several pirated copies of the sci-fi thriller 'Tenet' have appeared online. The leaks, which were recorded in theaters, appear to have at least two sources. One has badly cropped Korean subtitles and the other, which is sponsored by a gambling company, reveals partial German subtitles. Whether Warner Bros. should be overly concerned about these leaks is up for debate. In recent months many films have skipped the box office or faced delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. This was also the case for Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated s
  17. A group of 34 organizations and institutions have signed the 'Warsaw Declaration', hoping to increase international cooperation in the fight against online piracy. The signees, including prominent names such as the BBC, HBO, and NBCUniversal, believe that effective global collaboration is key to address the ongoing problem. Last month, many key players in the entertainment industries took part in the International Content Protection Summit in Warsaw, Poland. The summit was organized by the Sygnał Association, supported by the EU’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO),
  18. A new study on the effects of the IPRED anti-piracy law in Sweden shows that the legislation increased music sales by 36 percent. At the same time, Internet traffic in the country dropped significantly. The results suggest that the law initially had the desired effect, but the researchers also note this didn't last long. It’s been five years since Sweden implemented the controversial anti-piracy legislation, IPRED. The law, which gives rights holders the authority to request the personal details of alleged copyright infringers, was met with fierce resistance from ISPs and the public at large.
  19. Vuze, one of the most-used BitTorrent clients with millions of active users, is speaking out against piracy. The team behind the popular file-sharing software is urging their users not to "steal" from rightsholders. In addition, they encourage people to consider reporting illegal behavior. Following in the footsteps of the makers of uTorrent, the Vuze team is now taking a stand against piracy. The California-based company says it will focus more on highlighting legal content through social media and other outlets. Vuze emphasizes that its technology is completely legal, but wants its users
  20. A lawsuit hitting the Moscow City Court next month is aiming to deal with TV show piracy on a much broader basis than case-by-case takedowns. Brought by the local distributor of 15 shows including Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, the suit will aim to purge a wide range of unauthorized TV content from more than a dozen sites. Since August 2013, rightsholders in Russia have enjoyed greater powers to help them deal with websites carrying or linking to pirated movies and TV shows. The pre-trial mechanism allows for the imposition of so-called “preliminary interim measures” should the sites in
  21. There are many ways to tackle the issue of online piracy and Louisiana State University has decided on its approach. At the bottom end, offenders will experience a temporary Internet disconnection, with repeat offenders receiving fines and potentially career-damaging notes on their education records. Anyone providing an Internet-access infrastructure to third parties needs to be aware of the online piracy issue. For service providers, whether that’s a regular ISP, web host, or the operator of a free open WiFi in a local coffee shop, knowledge of how other people’s actions can affect them is a
  22. Los Angeles based anti-piracy firm CEG TEK has expanded its piracy monetization services to Japan, with Australia and Canada next on the list. The company is currently conducting ISP compliance tests in both countries to see if sending out automated piracy fines can bring in substantial extra revenue. For more than a decade copyright holders have been monitoring pirated downloads of their work on various file-sharing networks. Traditionally these efforts have focused on the United States where ISPs are required to forward takedown notices to their account holders. A recent trend has seen th
  23. New research by economist Koleman Strumpf shows that there is no significant effect of movie piracy on box office revenues. This conclusion is based on data from 150 blockbuster movies that were released over a period of six years, using the popular Hollywood exchange as an indication for the revenue impact. Research into online piracy comes in all shapes and sizes, often with equally mixed results. Often the main question is whether piracy is hurting sales. A new study conducted by economist Koleman Strumpf is one of the most comprehensive on the subject so far. Drawing on data from a popu
  24. Since 2011, Netflix has become one of the most powerful companies in the world, boasting a worldwide user base of nearly 150 million. Between 2011 and 2015, Netflix and other streaming services penetrated the global market so effectively that piracy plummeted roughly 50%. However, for the first time in years, that trend line is changing. In 2018, global piracy went up. Global piracy rate is a useful indicator for the health of the streaming market because it highlights a key value of streaming providers: convenience. Netflix proved that even in a world where
  25. Netflix may be losing $192M per month from piracy, cord cutting study claims As many as 1 in 5 people today are mooching off of someone else’s account when streaming video from Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Video, according to a new study from CordCutting.com. Of these, Netflix tends to be pirated for the longest period — 26 months, compared with 16 months for Amazon Prime Video or 11 months for Hulu. That could be because Netflix freeloaders often mooch off their family instead of a friend — 48 percent use their parents’ login, while another 14 percent use their sister or
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