Thor Ragnarok Furiously Pirated After iTunes Pre-Order Blunder

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Marvel's Thor Ragnarok was due it be released digitally on February 19th. However, some kind of blunder at Apple means that people using MoviesAnywhere and Vudu were offered it for immediate download via iTunes. Copies are now all over the Internet and getting pirated at a furious rate.


When perfect copies of movies leak out onto the Internet in advance of their official release dates, there’s usually an element of skullduggery at play.

This can sometimes involve people intercepting, stealing, or borrowing DVD screener discs, for example. However, other problems can unexpectedly raise their heads.

Case in point – the pre-release leak of Marvel’s Thor Ragnarok this past weekend.

With a disc release planned for February 26th just four months after the superhero movie’s theatrical debut, digital distribution on iTunes was set to go...

Read entire story Today at TorrentFreak

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 01/22/18

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The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'The Shape of Water' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Thor Ragnarok'. 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' completes the top three.


This week we have three newcomers in our chart.

The Shape of Water 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) The Shape of Water (DVDScr) 8.0 / trailer 2 (...

Read entire story Today at TorrentFreak

Kim Dotcom Sues Government for ‘Billions’ Over Erroneous Arrest

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Kim Dotcom is seeking billions of dollars in damages from the New Zealand Government over an invalid arrest warrant. The entrepreneur accuses the authorities of negligence and misfeasance, which resulted in the destruction of the highly profitable Megaupload service.


Six years ago, New Zealand police carried out a spectacular military-style raid against individuals accused only of copyright infringement.

Acting on allegations from the United States government and its Hollywood partners, New Zealand’s elite counter-terrorist force raided the mansion of Kim Dotcom, who was detained along with his wife and children.

Megaupload’s founder has always maintained that his arrest was unlawful under New Zealand law, and he is determined to hold the authorities accountable.

In addition to getting married and celebrating his birthday th...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

Copyright Trolls Obtained Details of 200,000 Finnish Internet Users

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In general terms, Finland was targeted by copyright trolls fairly late in the day, during 2013. But according to information compiled by an NGO activist, they're certainly making up for lost time. Since December 2013, the Market Court has ordered local ISPs to hand over the personal details of more than 200,000 Internet users, so that copyright trolls can pursue them for cash settlements.


Fifteen years ago, the RIAA was contacting alleged file-sharers in the United States, demanding cash payments to make supposed lawsuits go away. In the years that followed, dozens of companies followed in their footsteps – not as a deterrent – but as a way to turn piracy into profit.

The practice is now widespread, not just in the United States, but also in Europe where few major countries have avoided the clutches of trolls. Germany has been hit particularly hard, with millions of cases. The UK has also seen tens of thousands of individuals targeted since 2006 although m...

Read entire story Yesterday at TorrentFreak

China Seriously Doubts Objectivity of US ‘Pirate Site’ List

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Every year the US Government pinpoints some of the largest piracy websites and other copyright-infringing venues. The USTR calls on foreign countries to take appropriate action in response, but not all are convinced of the objectivity of the "notorious markets" list. China's commerce ministry, for one, notes that the US claims lack conclusive evidence and relevant data.


Late last week, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) released an updated version of its “Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets,” identifying some of the worst IP-offenders worldwide.

The overview is largely based on input from major copyright holders and related industry groups. While the US Government admits that it doesn’t make any judgments, the list carries a lot of weight and can hurt the image of companies that are singled out.

For some of the ‘classic’ pirate sites such as The Pirate Bay, this doesn’t really matter. On the c...

Read entire story 1/20/2018 at TorrentFreak

Police Shut Down Pirate Streaming TV Provider, Three Men Arrested

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Police have raided a pirate streaming TV service in Poland and arrested three men aged 30, 42 and 57. Authorities say that the provider initially offered accounts for free, then shifted customers onto subscription packages which generated the operators around 840,000 euros. A dozen computers, nine servers, decoders, and more than 60 storage devices were seized.


As prices for official multi-channel cable and satellite packages continue to increase, unauthorized streaming TV providers are providing an interesting alternative for those who demand the greatest variety of channels at a cut-down price.

Of course, none of this is legal and as such, authorities are clamping down. Today brings news of yet another pirate raid, this time in the city of Lublin, Poland.

A statement from the Provincial Police Headquarters reveals that officers from the Cybercrime and Economic Crime units conducted an investigation under the supervision of the Dist...

Read entire story 1/20/2018 at TorrentFreak

Linking Is Not Copyright Infringement, Boing Boing Tells Court

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The popular blog Boing Boing has asked a federal court in California to drop the copyright infringement lawsuit filed against it by Playboy. With help from the EFF, Boing Boing argues that its article linking to an archive of hundreds of centerfold playmates is clearly fair use. Or else it will be "the end of the web as we know it," the blog warns.


Late last year Playboy sued the popular blog Boing Boing for publishing an article that linked to an archive of every playmate centerfold till then.

“Kind of amazing to see how our standards of hotness, and the art of commercial erotic photography, have changed over time,” Boing Boing’s Xena Jardin commented.

Playboy, instead, was amazed that infringing copies of their work were being shared in public. While Boing Boing didn’t upload or store the images in question, the publisher took the case to court.

The blog’s parent company Happy Muta...

Read entire story 1/19/2018 at TorrentFreak

Hollywood Asks New UK Culture Secretary To Fight Online Piracy

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Stan McCoy, president of the Motion Picture Association’s EMEA division, has penned an open letter to the UK's new culture secretary Matt Hancock. McCoy implies that more can be done to tackle online piracy, including dealing with pirate sites and illicit streaming devices. Considering the UK already has a considerable track record tackling all of these things, an eyebrow or two might be raised.


Following Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle earlier this month, Matt Hancock replaced Karen Bradley as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Hancock, the 39-year-old MP for West Suffolk, was promoted from his role as Minister for Digital and Culture, a position he’d held since July 2016.

“Thrilled to become DCMS Secretary. Such an exciting agenda, so much to do, and great people. Can’t wait to get stuck in,” he tweeted.

Of course, the influence held by the Culture Secretary means that the entertainment industries wi...

Read entire story 1/19/2018 at TorrentFreak

MPAA Wins $19.8 Million From Pirate Site Pubfilm

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A New York federal court has issued a default judgment against pirate streaming site Pubfilm in favor of the MPAA. The movie studios were granted nearly $20 million in statutory damages and an order to have the site's domain names permanently seized. Taking the site down completely might be easier said than done, however.


In recent years the MPAA has pursued legal action against several pirate sites and the streaming service Pubfilm is one of their latest targets.

Hollywood’s industry group initially kept the lawsuit secret. This was done to prevent Pubfilm’s operator from moving to a new domain preemptively. While this strategy worked, Pubfilm didn’t throw in the towel.

Soon after the pubfilm.com domain name was suspended, the site moved to pubfilm.ac. And that wasn’t all. Pubfilm also started to actively advertise its new domain through Google Adsense to regain its lost traffic.<...

Read entire story 1/19/2018 at TorrentFreak

Judge Tells Movie Company That it Can’t Sue Alleged BitTorrent Pirate

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A federal judge in Oregon has told a movie company targeting a local Internet user that it won't be able to sue him for alleged movie piracy via BitTorrent. Judge Michael H. Simon informed the company behind the 2015 drama film Fathers & Daughters that since it didn’t possess exclusive rights as required under the United States Copyright Act, it has no standing to bring a lawsuit.


Despite a considerable migration towards streaming piracy in recent years, copyright trolls are still finding plenty of potential targets around the world. Alleged BitTorrent pirates are target number one since their activities are most easily tracked. However, it isn’t all plain sailing for the pirate hunters.

Last December we reported on the case of Lingfu Zhang, an Oregan resident accused by the makers of the 2015 drama film Fathers & Daughters (F&D) of downloading and sharing their content without permission. While these kinds of cases often disappear, with target...

Read entire story 1/18/2018 at TorrentFreak