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This month the tabloids have been spicing up regular Premier League and PPV boxing event articles with exclusive commentary on cutting-edge anti-piracy techniques. The Orwellian revelation that Illegal Streaming Detector Cars are tracking people to their homes warrants specific and immediate action; 1) Wrap Firesticks in Tin Foil. 2) Wrap Head in Tin Foil. 3) BUY LEGAL TV PACKAGES.

Early January, anti-piracy group FACT and West Mercia Police announced they would be visiting addresses in the UK to warn people away from pirate IPTV services.

Police had obtained a customer list from a service they raided last year and, since many people hand over their real details to pirate services, tracking down some subscribers would’ve been trivial. None were ever destined for prosecution but they did have an important purpose.

Those visited are the physical proof that people who simply watch illegal streams risk a visit from the police. That’s a psycholog...

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Sci-Hub, a shadow library that offers a free gateway to paywalled academic research, has lost control over one of its main domain names. Sci-Hub.se was deactivated by The Internet Foundation in Sweden, which manages the country's .se domains. The action came without warning and took Sci-Hub founder Alexandra Elbakyan by surprise.

By offering free access to millions of ‘paywalled’ research papers, Sci-Hub is often described as “The Pirate Bay of Science”.

The site is used by researchers from all over the world to access papers they otherwise have a hard time accessing. For some, the site is essential to their work.

Major academic publishers such as Elsevier, Wiley, and American Chemical Society are not happy with the rogue research library. These companies have made billions of dollars selling access to research and see Sci-Hub as a direct threat to their business model.

The publishers h...

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Paul Hansmeier, a former copyright troll attorney who's currently serving a 14-year prison sentence, wants to hire an undercover investigator to go after online pirates while he's in prison. The convicted lawyer has also requested a sentence reduction, citing a prolonged stay in solitary confinement.

Three years ago, a U.S. District Court in Minnesota sentenced Paul Hansmeier to 14 years in prison.

Hansmeier was a key player in the Prenda Law firm, which pursued cases against people who were suspected of downloading pirated porn videos via BitTorrent.

Investigating and suing pirates isn’t illegal, but Hansmeier and his associate John Steele entered criminal territory when they lied to the courts, committed identity theft, and created a honeypot by uploading self-produced porn torrents to The Pirate Bay as bait.

Hansmeier and Steele’s individual responses...

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In June 2022, Bungie obtained a $13.5m copyright infringement judgment against defendants who supplied Destiny 2 cheating software 'Wallhax'. New filings by Bungie claim that Wallhax logged users' machines, including medical data of Department of Defense or "active military" personnel. Meanwhile, two defendants are now testifying on behalf of Bungie.

In August 2021, Bungie filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against a number of defendants involved in the development and supply of Destiny 2 cheating tool, Wallhax.

Last summer, Elite Boss Tech, Inc., 11020781 Canada Inc., and owner Robert James Duthie Nelson, admitted that their tool breached copyright by injecting new code into Bungie’s, thereby creating an unlicensed derivative work.

The defendants further conceded that their software circumvented technical measures in breach of the DMCA, but a $13.5 million damages award in Bungie’s favor didn’t mark...

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Season 23 of Big Brother has just got underway in Brazil, and broadcaster Globo is taking no chances. In a leaked email, Globo staff are informed that when people share too much BBB23 content on social media, it hurts the show and the company, and it needs to be stopped. And if staff suspect people of sharing their passwords, they should be reported too.

First broadcast in the Netherlands back in 1999, reality TV show ‘Big Brother’ is now a global franchise spanning more than 60 countries.

Big Brother Brazil (BBB) is one of the most successful regional variants. Right now, BBB23 is live on air, so millions of fans are tuning in at home to watch other people living in a different house for a bit while others watch.

When BBB fans aren’t glued to their TVs waiting for the drama to unfold, many can be found on social media, usually speculating about what comes next, based on what they’ve just seen. To facil...

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Malibu Media, the adult entertainment company that previously demanded hefty settlements from thousands of pirates, now finds itself in rough waters. A federal court in Texas has just dismissed one of its last remaining piracy lawsuits after Malibu failed to resolve a corporate suspension due to tax issues. The end of an era?

Adult entertainment outfit Malibu Media has often been characterized as a copyright-trolling operation.

The Los Angeles company, known for its popular “X-Art” brand, has gone after thousands of alleged file-sharers in U.S. courts, collecting millions of dollars in settlements on the way.

Tables Turned

Not too long ago Malibu was one of the most active anti-piracy litigants in the U.S., but in recent years this activity ground to a halt. In the one case that continued, the hunter became the hunted.

A “John Doe” defendant turned the tables and filed a long list of...

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Last month, the U.S. seized dozens of domains for illegally streaming World Cup 2022 matches. The tournament began in November, but according to a Special Agent's affidavit, Homeland Security received information on sites illegally streaming World Cup matches in September. HSI affidavits filed in support of the December 2022 domain seizures reveal how that process played out.

The World Cup is international football’s most prestigious tournament. International governing body FIFA guards its lucrative rights to the competition with a rod of iron.

FIFA World Cup 2022 got underway on November 20 in Qatar, and in the hours leading up to December 10, Homeland Security Investigations began seizing pirate streaming site domains. Our initial report was confirmed by U.S. authorities two days later, with a statement claiming that “55 separate websites” had been seized.

Over the next few days, 23 additional domains were seized, bringing the ...

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Popular live TV streaming portal USTVGO appears to have shut down its service. A brief message on the site says "Sorry, we are closed," leaving millions of users with plenty of unanswered questions. While the reason for the sudden decision is unknown, rightsholders and anti-piracy outfits already had USTVGO on their radar.

With millions of monthly users, USTVGO was one of the most visited live TV streaming portals on the Internet.

As its name suggests, the portal focused on US channels, making it a popular site for cord-cutting Americans or those living abroad.

A few days ago, USTVGO users were presented with a disappointing message. Out of the blue, the site’s clean homepage, which usually carries links to over a hundred channels including ABC, CBS, NBC, and Nickelodeon, was replaced with just four words; Sorry, we are closed.

Mystery Disappearances

When the message first ...

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With war raging over the border in Ukraine, a pro-Moscow separatist region to its east, and inflation at 35%, former soviet republic Moldova was granted EU candidate status last summer. New copyright law crafted to protect artists under strict EU standards is now mired in allegations of corruption and Russian interference. Meanwhile, local artists are currently being paid absolutely nothing.

Just days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko appeared on TV.

Pointing at a map of Ukraine split into four parts, the Putin ally directed attention toward Moldova, stoking fears that the former soviet republic could be next on Moscow’s list.

One month later, Moldova applied for EU membership. In June 2022, EU leaders granted candidate status to the Republic of Moldova, noting that its reform agenda must continue until EU conditions are met.

Harmonization With EU Copyright Law

Under the EU-Moldova Association Agreeme...

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A new whitepaper released by brand protection company Corsearch shows that half of all the pirate sites it flagged use Cloudflare's services. The Internet infrastructure company clearly stands out and should do more to address the issue, the report suggests. Banning domains that are removed or demoted by Google could be a good start, Corsearch notes.

Popular Internet infrastructure service Cloudflare has come under a lot of pressure from copyright holders in recent years.

The company offers its services to millions of sites. This includes multinationals, governments, but also some of the world’s leading pirate sites.

These sites have proven to be quite a headache for the San Francisco-based tech company. Ideally, however, the company prefers not to be the arbiter of what content is allowed and what is not.

The Curation Conundrum

The company reiterated its position a few months ago. To shield itself from escalatin...

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