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  1. Disney Patents Blockchain-Based Movie Distribution System to Stop Pirates As a prime content producer, Disney has a vested interest in keeping pirates at bay. The entertainment company is involved in various enforcement initiatives and a few days ago, added a new anti-piracy patent to its arsenal. With a blockchain-based distribution system, Disney hopes to make it harder for pirates to intercept films being distributed to movie theaters. Disney is one of the best known brands in the world and the owner of an impressive collection of movies and TV shows.
  2. Movie Tycoon Sues YouTube over Piracy and Exposes Content-ID ‘Caveat’ Movie tycoon Carlos Vasallo is suing YouTube for widespread copyright infringement. Despite sending over 10,000 takedown notices, pirated copies of his movies continue to appear. YouTube did offer access to its Content-ID system but the movie magnate refused, as that would require him to release the video platform from all possible piracy claims that took place in the past. To protect copyright holders, YouTube uses an advanced piracy recognition system that flags and disables videos that ar
  3. Court Orders Paypal to Freeze VPN Company’s Funds in Piracy Case A federal court in Virginia has signed a temporary restraining order that requires PayPal to freeze the assets of VPN provider VPN.ht. The company is being sued by several movie studios and stands accused of facilitating piracy. The court also signed off on a request to lock the domain name of a Popcorn Time fork, which already appears to have thrown the towel. Hawaiian attorney Kerry Culpepper has made a habit of putting pressure on key players in the piracy ecosystem.
  4. YouTube Class Action: Plaintiff Can’t Identify Piracy Without Access to Content ID Maria Schneider's class action lawsuit against YouTube has taken another unusual turn. The complaint alleges massive infringement but thus far identifies no infringing videos. YouTube wants to know exactly what it's dealing with but Schneider says that since she has no access to Content ID - a big part of why the complaint was originally filed - she can't easily provide that information. In 2020, Grammy award-winning musician Maria Schneider filed a class action lawsuit ag
  5. UK Pirates Remain Driven by Convenience, Availability and Cost A report published by the UK Intellectual Property Office shows that a quarter of all online entertainment consumers downloaded or streamed content illegally last year. Many pirates pay for content but turn to illegal sources when availability is lacking or when the costs become too high. Every year the UK Government publishes a new edition of its Online Copyright Infringement Tracker. This report is the result of an annual survey that polls the piracy habits of people
  6. RIAA: Twitter Must License Music & Fight Piracy Without Charge The RIAA and NMPA are putting Twitter under pressure to do something about the platform's piracy problem. Slamming the company for allowing pre-release music to be distributed to the public, the industry groups say that Twitter is failing to meet its legal obligations when responding to takedown notices. Licensing is the answer, they suggest, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Over the years, a number of music industry players have taken on some of the largest content distribu
  7. YouTube Class Action Lawsuit Wants to Identify Every ‘Pirate’ Uploader Since 2015 Grammy award-winning musician Maria Schneider wants a court to order YouTube to hand over huge amounts of data relating to copyright infringement on the platform. In summary, Schneider wants to identify all users who had a takedown notice filed against their account since 2015 to determine whether YouTube's repeat infringer policies come up to scratch. Last summer, Grammy award-winning musician Maria Schneider filed a class action lawsuit against YouTube, claiming massive d
  8. The Oscars Will Boost Piracy, Especially Without Legal Options The Academy Awards ceremony is just a few weeks away but several of the top movie contenders are not available in many countries around the world. These release delays indirectly drive people to pirate sites. UK piracy tracking firm MUSO warns Hollywood that this may trigger a costly piracy boom that could have been avoided. The Oscars is the most watched award show of the year, closely followed by hundreds of millions of movie fans around the world. The 93rd Academy Awards ceremon
  9. Reddit Users Targeted For Pirating OnlyFans and Other Subscription Model Images Platforms such as OnlyFans allow content creators, including those working in the adult space, to post content and earn money from fans. Others prefer to go it alone with their own subscription-based services but inevitably some consumers prefer to get that content for free, via illegal uploads to sites like Reddit. That, however, is not without legal risk. The growth of the Internet has enabled millions of content creators to more directly address their fans. Platforms such
  10. Search Engines Won’t Face Monopoly Investigation Over Pirated Content Pirated eBooks and similar content will remain in search results after Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service declined to take action following a complaint from an anti-piracy group. According to FAS, Yandex and Mail.ru did not abuse their dominant positions by denying access to takedown tools because unfair competition can only take place when the parties operate in the same market. Sending DMCA takedown notices for infringing content is something that happens millions of times ever
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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),
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