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Copyright Troll Law Firm Broke Copyright Law, Disciplinary Board Finds


A law firm deeply entrenched in so-called copyright troll activities in Finland broke copyright law itself, a disciplinary board has found. Hedman Partners sent out letters demanding large sums to make supposed lawsuits disappear but according to the Finnish Bar Association, it committed an offense when it obtained private subscriber data for one client but then used it with others.

So-called copyright trolling in the file-sharing space involves copyright holders claiming their rights have been infringed before heading to court to demand the identities of subscribers behind IP addresses.

Once these identities have been obtained, law firms affiliated with trolls write to the person whose name appears on the ISP bill in order to demand cash settlements to make supposed lawsuits go away. It’s a lucrative but extremely controversial practice.

This type of activity got underway in Finland during 2013, taking hold during 2014, with a notable escalation in...

Read entire story Today at TorrentFreak

Nintendo Sues Console ROM Sites For ‘Mass’ Copyright Infringement


Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against the alleged operator of the popular console ROM sites LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co. The sites are among the most notorious online hubs for pirated games, according to Nintendo, and face millions of dollars in potential damages.

Emulators are handy tools for people who want to play games on platforms other than the usual console they’re intended for.

These are particularly useful for retro games and consoles, which are no longer sold, allowing users to enjoy the games they were hooked on decades ago.

However, many game publishers are less content with this practice. Nintendo, in particular, has repeatedly called out ROMS and emulator sites, both in and outside the United States.

This week, Nintendo took two of these sites to court. In a complaint filed at a federal court in Arizona, th...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

Two Years On, Alleged KAT Founder Continues to Fight Extradition


Exactly two years ago, on July 20th 2016, KickassTorrents was shut down following a criminal investigation by the United States. The enforcement action also led to the arrest of several men, including an alleged operator, who is still waiting for a final extradition decision after two years.

During the summer of 2016 the torrent community went into shock when KickassTorrents (KAT) disappeared offline.

Polish law enforcement officers apprehended Artem Vaulin, the site’s alleged founder, at a local airport and around the same time the site went dark

The arrest was part of a U.S. criminal case which also listed two other men as key players. At the time, KAT was the most-used torrent site around, so the authorities couldn’t have hit a more prominent target.

The criminal case meant the end of the torrent site, but also the start of a slowly progress...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

Steal This Show S04E02: Crypto & The Beyond


Today we bring you the next episode of the Steal This Show podcast, discussing renegade media and the latest decentralization and file-sharing news. In this episode we talk about the crypto revolution with Primavera De Filippi, blockchain researcher at Harvard University and CNRS.

In this episode, we meet Primavera De Filippi, author of the recently published ‘Blockchain and the Law‘, from Harvard University Press (co-authored with Aaron Wright).

Primavera is interested in how the law will change to accommodate blockchain — and how blockchain might replace parts of the law.

We’ve already seen how P2P filesharing strained the world’s copyright law: what changes will P2P money bring?

Steal This Show aims to release bi-weekly episodes featuring insiders discussing crypto, privacy, copyright and file-sh...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

SEGA Accused of “Anti-Consumer” Behavior With “Rushed” Sonic Mania Plus Protection


The Bulgarian responsible for cracking the latest variants of the Denuvo anti-tamper technology has slammed SEGA for being "anti-consumer". Voksi says that when cracking the protection on Sonic Mania Plus, he noticed that the anti-piracy system hadn't been deployed properly, meaning that even people who buy the game will be negatively affected.

Since their aim is to prevent people from copying titles and playing them for free, no anti-piracy technologies are popular with pirates.

Underlying this emotion is a kind of unofficial ‘hate-scale,’ in which the level of a dislike for a particular system increases proportionately to its success on the ground. Denuvo, one of the most prominent and difficult to crack anti-piracy technologies, is hated most of all.

Denuvo isn’t undefeatable, various groups and individuals have proven that. However, there are persistent claims, denied by its makers, that the tec...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

NetEase Refutes PUBG’s Copyright Infringement Claims in Court


NetEase, the Chinese developer of the popular mobile games 'Rules of Survival' and 'Knives Out', has responded to PUBG's copyright infringement claims. The company asked the California federal court to dismiss PUBG's lawsuit, describing it as an attempt to monopolize the popular “battle royale” genre.

When PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) was first released last year, it became an instant hit.

This success earned the company hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, but according to PUBG, this could have been much more if others hadn’t copied their work.

The general theme of PUBG is now used by many games, which is a thorn in the side of the developer. To protect its financial interests, the company, therefore, decided to take the developer of two alleged spinoffs to court.

In April, PUBG filed a lawsuit against NetEase, the makers of ‘Rules of Survi...

Read entire story 7/19/2018 at TorrentFreak

Premier League Obtains Piracy Blocking Order For 2018/19 Season


The High Court has granted the Premier League permission to continue blocking live pirate streams of football matches in the UK. The football organization obtained a pioneering injunction early 2017, with a second order expiring in May 2018. That has now been renewed by Justice Arnold for the 2018 to 2019 season. Many of the details are shrouded in secrecy.

Top tier football broadcast licensing in the UK is handled by the Premier League but like all content owners, it faces a threat from unauthorized providers.

Instead of paying significant monthly subscriptions to broadcasters such as Sky and BT Sport, large numbers of fans are turning to piracy-enabled set-top boxes for their fix. While not as sleek as their official counterparts, they can provide a cheap alternative for those on a budget.

Often Kodi-powered, these devices are augmented with third-party addons that facilitate access to streams freely available online or the mor...

Read entire story 7/19/2018 at TorrentFreak

Former Pirate Bay Cyberlocker ‘Bayfiles’ Makes a ‘Comeback’


Bayfiles, the file-hosting service originally launched by two Pirate Bay co-founders, makes a comeback under new ownership this week. The site disappeared after the 2014 raid on a Stockholm datacenter. The new operators acquired the site's domains and logotype from Fredrik Neij, but will otherwise start from scratch.

In 2011, Pirate Bay founders Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde launched Bayfiles, a new file-sharing venture.

Instead of relying on torrents, which had previously made TPB a huge success, Bayfiles allowed users to upload and download large files directly.

With its no-nonsense sharing approach, the site swiftly accumulated a steady user base. However, that ended when the site was abruptly pulled offline, following a raid in 2014. Bayfiles probably wasn’t the primary target, but the site never returned.

While most users had given up on Bayfiles, an anonymous group of &#...

Read entire story 7/18/2018 at TorrentFreak

Flipkart Dismisses FIFA 18 PC Piracy Report as “Irrelevant Question”


Flipkart, the India-based online retail giant set to be largely acquired by Walmart after outbidding Amazon, has some its virtual shelves stocked with pirated games. However, when a customer pointed out that offering games with cracks might be a "serious oversight", a Flipkart representative dismissed his complaint as an "irrelevant question".

The name Flipkart probably doesn’t ring too many bells in the United States but if all goes to plan, one of the country’s major retailers will soon be a 77% owner.

Flipkart is India’s largest online retailer and according to a report published in 2017, it controls almost 40% of the entire market.

That prompted Walmart and Amazon to file bids for Flipkart, with the former coming out on top with a $16 billion offer for what CNN describes as “the most valuable startup in India.”

Like all successful online retailers, Flipkart offers a wide rang...

Read entire story 7/18/2018 at TorrentFreak

Pirates Punish Denuvo-Protected Games With Poor Ratings


Denuvo's anti-piracy technology is a thorn in the side of game pirates. While it has been defeated on several occasions recently, the strict anti-piracy measures have not been without consequence. According to new research, Denuvo has frustrated pirates to a point where they sabotage reviews on Metacritic, leading to significantly lower ratings for protected games.

The Denuvo anti-piracy system has been a sworn enemy of many gaming pirates for years.

Early on, the anti-tampering system appeared to be unbreakable. While it’s getting cracked more easily nowadays, it’s still seen as a major roadblock.

Denuvo leaves the average game pirate powerless. While they wait for crackers to find a patch, there’s little they can do, aside from bickering and complaining perhaps, which is quite common and not without consequence.

According to new research published by Dr. Zike Cao of the Erasmus University’s Rotterdam S...

Read entire story 7/17/2018 at TorrentFreak