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Google Gets a Slap on the Wrist For Site-Blocking Failures
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Under Russian law, search engine operators are required to censor their search results to ensure that permanently blocked sites do not appear in their indexes. After failing to comply by interfacing its systems with the national FGIS blacklist database, Google has now been fined 500,000 rubles (US$7,545), the lowest amount that can be levied under existing laws.

Last year, Russian introduced new legislation that can see search engines fined for offering links to VPNs and other anonymizers that have been banned in the country. Fines can also be issued to search engines that fail to connect to a resource offering up-to-date information on what domains should be rendered inaccessible.

This database (known as FGIS), should have been utilized by Google, but for reasons that remain unclear, the US-based search giant didn’t want to play ball.

Several weeks ago, local telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor contacted Google with a demand that it...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak

Activists to Deliver 4 Million Anti ‘Article 13’ Signatures to EU Parliament
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Ahead of the final trilogue negotiations this Thursday, activists will deliver an anti "upload filter" petition signed by four million people to the European Parliament. Lawmakers will try to agree on the final text of the controversial Article 13 this week. The latest proposals stress that any measures platforms take should not remove legitimate content.

In a plenary vote in September, the European Parliament backed the controversial Article 13 proposal, which is part of the EU’s copyright reform plans.

Since then, the proposal has been tweaked in an attempt to gain broader support, but thus far the critics have yet to be silenced. That includes rightsholders as well.

Most opposition is generated by anti upload filter activists though. They rallied support from the public through various online campaigns, including a prominent petition hosted on Change.org.

Yesterday the “Stop the censorship-machinery! Save th...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak

UK Govt. Backs Anti-Piracy Campaign With £2 Million in Funding
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The UK Government has committed £2 million to fund the ongoing "Get it Right" anti-piracy campaign until 2021. Under this program, UK Internet providers and rightsholders have teamed up to warn alleged pirates and educate the public at large on how to access content through 'genuine' channels.

Four years ago, copyright indistry groups and Internet providers teamed up to fight online piracy in the UK.

Backed by the Government, they launched several educational campaigns under the “Get it Right” banner.

Under the program, ISPs send out piracy warnings to subscribers whose accounts are used to share copyright-infringing material. This started early last year and has been ongoing since.

There haven’t been any official updates in a while, nor is it known how many alerts are going out on a monthly basis. However, it appears that copyright holde...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 12/10/18
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The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'Venom' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Smallfoot'. 'The Predator' completes the top three.

This week we have two newcomers in our chart.

Venom is the most downloaded movie.

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 articles of the recent weekly movie download charts.

This week’s most downloaded movies are: Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer Most downloaded movies via torrents 1 (1) Venom 7.0 / trailer 2 (7) Smallfoot 6.7 / t...

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New EU Piracy Watchlist Targets Key Pirate Sites and Cloudflare
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Following the example set by the United States, the European Union has published its very first 'Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List'. The European Commission report targets a broad range of alleged 'pirate' sites in the BitTorrent, cyberlocker, stream-ripping spaces, encouraging law enforcement and network players to help stymie their activities.

In recent years the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has released several reports detailing “notorious markets” that contribute to large volumes of copyright infringement worldwide.

The annual reports are aimed at guiding the U.S. Government’s position towards foreign countries where these sites and services are located. With a focus overseas, US-based platforms are not included.

Earlier this year the EU announced that it would be following the example set by the United States by producing a similar report of its own.

“The list will identify...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak

Scammers Use Facebook and Google to Spread Malicious ‘Pirate’ Files
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Scammers and spammers are using user-generated content sites to distribute links to malware and viruses. The malicious content is advertised as pirated software and games, in an attempt to lure users. The issue is plaguing many platforms but appears to be rather persistent on Facebook and Google groups.

Last weekend we reported how scammers were sending DMCA notices to downrank game piracy sites.

Presumably, this was done to give their malware-infested pirate sites a better ranking in search results.

While our previous article focused on the abuse of takedown notices, the problem is much broader. In addition to removing content, scammers are also spamming many sites with messages that link people to their dubious pirate sites.

We spoke to a source who has followed this activity for quite a while and actively reported spam he found on medium.com, change.org, wattpad....

Read entire story at TorrentFreak

IFPI Slams Pirate MEP For ‘Lobbying’ Kids, Forgets a Decade of Rightsholders Doing Just That
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Yet another war of words on Twitter over Article 13 has delivered one of the great ironies of recent times. After Pirate MEP Julia Reda called on kids to 'lobby' their parents over the controversial legislation, she got a "shame on you" from IFPI for "manipulating minors". Trouble is, the entertainment industries have been doing the same for well over a decade.

As the controversy over the EU’s Article 13 proposals continue, Twitter appears to be the communications weapon of choice for parties on both sides.

While the debate has often been well thought out and considered, at times it has descended into a chorus of potty-mouthed name-calling that at times has proven embarrassing to read. But that’s the Internet, of course.

As one of the main opponents of Article 13 and in particular its requirement for upload filtering, Julia Reda MEP has been a frequent target for proponents. Accused of being a YouTube/Google shill (despit...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak

Showbox: Is it ‘Back’ and More Importantly, is it ‘Safe’?
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Users of Showbox will no doubt be aware that the popular streaming tool has been under fire recently, targeted by lawsuits that shut down various websites and the app itself. The Internet is now buzzing with news of a return along with the inevitable question "But is it safe?" It's a difficult, if not impossible, question to answer.

As first reported here on TorrentFreak, popular streaming application Showbox hit turbulent times recently.

In May we revealed that a group of independent movie studios (Dallas Buyers Club, Cobbler Nevada, Bodyguard Productions, and others) were targeting sites and individuals said to be behind or offering Showbox.

Back in September, a DMCA subpoena filed by the same companies ordered Cloudflare to expose the people linked to various sites offering the application.

It is important to know that the companies behind this request are known serial litigants and have been in...

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Bizarre Blocking Order Targets ‘Pirate’ Domains Before They’re Registered
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Last week an Indian court issued one of the broadest site-blocking injunctions to date. To prevent the film "2.0" from being pirated by the masses, the Madras High Court ordered local ISPs to preemptively block 12,564 domain names. TorrentFreak can now reveal that this order only targets 16 websites and that most of the listed domains are not even registered.

Website blocking is without a doubt one of the favorite anti-piracy tools of the entertainment industries.

India is no stranger to this measure either. Over the years, local courts have issued a variety of blocking orders, often to protect films upon their initial release.

This also happened last week. Following a request by Lyca Productions, the company behind the film “2.0,” the Madras High Court ordered 37 local ISPs to block access to a list of 12,564 domain names, should that be necessary to stop the film from being pirated.

When the news broke it was u...

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GTA V’s Take-Two Wants $150,000 in Damages From Cheat Maker
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Rockstar Games' parent company Take-Two Interactive has filed a motion for default judgment against the alleged creator of the "Elusive" GTA V cheat. The company estimates that the cheat has caused severe harm, and requests $150,000 compensation, the maximum statutory damages for copyright infringement.

Over the past year there has been a wave of copyright infringement lawsuits against alleged cheaters or cheat makers.

Take-Two Interactive Software, the company behind ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ (GTA V), is one of the major players involved. The company has filed several lawsuits in the US and abroad, targeting alleged cheaters.

In August the company filed a case against Florida resident Jhonny Perez, accusing him of copyright infringement by creating and distributing a cheating tool. The software, known as “Elusive,” could be used to cheat and grief, interfering with the ga...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak