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UK Government Publishes Advice on ‘Illicit Streaming Devices’
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The UK's Intellectual Property Office has today published advice on so-called 'Illicit Streaming Devices'. Noting the importance of ensuring that copyright holders get paid, the IPO warns that 'Kodi boxes' and 'Android TV boxes' present a threat to child welfare while presenting an electrical safety hazard to the public. If you have one, you should wipe it clean now, the government says.

With torrents and other methods of obtaining content simmering away in the background, unauthorized streaming is the now the method of choice for millions of pirates around the globe.

Previously accessible only via a desktop browser, streaming is now available on a wide range of devices, from tablets and phones through to dedicated set-top box. These, collectively, are now being branded Illicit Streaming Devices (ISD) by the entertainment industries.

It’s terminology the UK government’s Intellectual Property Office has adopted this morning. In a new public advisory...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak

Kodi-Addon Developer Launches Fundraiser to Fight “Copyright Bullies”
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Shani, the developer of the popular Kodi-addon ZemTV, is asking the public for help so he can defend a lawsuit filed by American satellite and broadcast provider Dish Network. A proper defense is needed to avoid a bad precedent, he stresses. "The fight is rigged against the little guy, they are trying to make something illegal that shouldn't be illegal."

Earlier this year, American satellite and broadcast provider Dish Network targeted two well-known players in the third-party Kodi add-on ecosystem.

In a complaint filed in a federal court in Texas, add-on ZemTV and the TVAddons library were accused of copyright infringement. As a result, both are facing up to $150,000 for each offense.

While the case was filed in Texas, neither of the defendants live there, or even in the United States. The owner and operator of TVAddons is Adam Lackman, who resides in Montreal, Canada. ZemTV’s developer Shahjahan Durrani is even further...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 11/20/17
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The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Logan Lucky'. 'Wind River' completes the top three.

This week we have three newcomers in our chart.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is the most downloaded movie again.

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 weekly movie download chart.

This week’s most downloaded movies are: Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer Most downloaded movies via torrents 1 (1) Valerian and the City of ...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak

Kodi Addon Dev Says “Show of Force” Will Be Met With Defiance
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Cease-and-desist letters, hand-delivered this week to several Kodi developers by the world's most powerful entertainment companies, were designed to intimidate. That's the belief of an as-yet-untouched Kodi dev who informs TF that while many people in the scene are simple "one man bands", most won't be intimidated by these multi-billion dollar rivals.

For many years, the members of the MPAA have flexed their muscles all around the globe, working to prevent people from engaging in online piracy. If the last 17 years ‘progress’ is anything to go by, it’s a war that will go on indefinitely.

With Columbia, Disney, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, and Warner on board, the MPAA has historically relied on sheer power to intimidate opponents. That has certainly worked in many large piracy cases but for many peripheral smaller-scale pirates, their presence is largely ignored.

This week, however, several...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak

Danes Deploy ‘Disruption Machine’ to Curb Online Piracy
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Danish anti-piracy group RettighedsAlliancen is taking a scattered approach to combat piracy. The piracy 'disruption machine,' as they call it, distributes a list of hundreds of pirate sites to ISPs, ad-brokers, search engines, payment processors and other intermediaries, who all expected to take action in response. In the future, this could expand to social media sites and web browsers, the group envisions.

Over the years copyright holders have tried a multitude of measures to curb copyright infringement, with varying levels of success.

By now it’s well known that blocking or even shutting down a pirate site doesn’t help much. As long as there are alternatives, people will simply continue to download or stream elsewhere.

Increasingly, major entertainment industry companies are calling for a broader and more coordinated response. They would like to see ISPs, payment processors, advertisers, search engines, and social media companies assisting in their anti-piracy effo...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak

Original Torrentz Domain Names Listed For Sale
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After serving as the most used torrent meta-search engine for more than a decade, Torrentz shut down last year. The reason behind the sudden shutdown decision remains unclear but it appears that the owner is moving on for good as the site's domain names are now listed for sale.

Last year, the torrent ecosystem lost two of its biggest sites. First KickassTorrents was taken down following a criminal investigation by the FBI, resulting in indictments against the operators.

A few days later, Torrentz.eu decided to close its doors as well, albeit voluntarily. Without prior warning, all torrent listings were removed from the meta-search engine, which was the third largest torrent site at the time.

The site’s operator kept the website online, but instead of offering links to the usual torrents, its users were left with the following message: “Torrentz w...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak

“The Commercial Usenet Stinks on All Sides,” Anti-Piracy Boss Says
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Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN has responded to last week's Usenet related raids. The Hollywood-backed group describes Usenet as a refuge for pirates of all ilks, with uploaders, site owners and resellers working in tandem to facilitate copyright infringement. "It's stinking on all sides," Kuik says.

Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN has targeted pirates of all shapes and sizes over the past several years.

It’s also one of the few groups keeping a close eye on Usenet piracy. Although Usenet and associated piracy are a few decades old already and relatively old-fashioned, the area still has millions of frequent users. This hasn’t escaped the attention of law enforcement.

Last week police in Germany launched one of the largest anti-piracy operations in recent history. Houses of dozens of suspects connected to Usenet forums were searched, with at least 1,000 gigabytes of ...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak

The Truth Behind the “Kodi Boxes Can Kill Their Owners” Headlines
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This week, tabloid headlines screamed that so-called "Kodi Boxes" are a threat not only to the entertainment industries, but also to life itself. Claiming that devices could kill their owners due to electrical safety standards failures, we took a look at the actual report. Forget just throwing set-top boxes in the trash, it looks like anything electrical without a brand name needs to be discarded immediately.

Another week, another batch of ‘Kodi Box Armageddon’ stories. This time it hasn’t been directly about the content they can provide but the physical risks they pose to their owners.

After being primed in advance, the usual British tabloids jumped into action early Thursday, noting that following tests carried out on “illicit streaming devices” (aka Android set-top devices), 100% of them failed to meet UK national electrical safety regulations.

The tests were carried out by Electrical Safety First, a charity which was prompted into action by anti-pi...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak

Pirate Site Owner Found Guilty, But He Can Keep The Profits
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The 47-year-old operator of Filmfix, a site that offered paid access to torrent links, has been found guilty of facilitating copyright infringement by a District Court in Lund, Sweden. The man was sentenced to 120 hours of community service but can keep the site's profits, as there was no hard proof that users paid for pirated content directly.

Traditionally, Sweden has been rather tough on people who operate file-sharing sites, with The Pirate Bay case as the prime example.

In 2009, four people connected to the torrent site were found guilty of assisting copyright infringement. They all received stiff prison sentences and millions of dollars in fines.

The guilty sentence was upheld in an appeal. While the prison terms of Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundström were reduced to eight, ten and four months respectively, the fines swelled to $6.5 million.

This week another torrent related filesharing case ...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak

Ares Kodi Project Calls it Quits After Hollywood Cease & Desist
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The Ares Project, the group behind the hugely popular Ares Wizard and Kodi repository, has thrown in the towel. Like several other projects this week, Ares was threatened by the MPA-led anti-piracy coalition Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment. Speaking with TorrentFreak, its operator warns that those behind similar projects should exercise caution.

This week has been particularly bad for those involved in the Kodi addon scene. Following cease-and-desist notices from the MPA-led anti-piracy coalition Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, several addon developers and repositories shut down.

With Columbia, Disney, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, Warner, Netflix, Amazon and Sky TV all lined up for war, the third-party developers had little choice but to quit. One of those affected was the leader of the hugely popular Ares Project, which quietly disappeared mid-week.

The Ares Wizard was an extremely popular ...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak