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Experts warned that a radical site-blocking program without proper checks and balances would end badly in Italy. On Saturday, at least one Cloudflare IP address was added to the Piracy Shield anti-piracy system. According to an expert, that ended up blocking "half of Italy's personal sites" not to mention a charity, a telecoms company, and several schools. It's the outcome many people predicted but one that could've been easily avoided.

Following a statement that Italy’s all-new anti-piracy system had received top marks from telecoms regulator AGCOM for “working perfectly,” on Saturday the truth came out in all its glory.

Piracy Shield has only been fully operational for a few weeks. So, expecting it to work flawlessly, right out of the box, was always unrealistic. There have been reports of unexpected behavior in the ticketing system, for example, plus other issues one might describe as relatively normal for a new system, or at least non-critical.

But while any unexpected behavior needs to...

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It's been four days since at least 200 .TV domains, many of them linked to pirate sites, suddenly went dark with no explanation. The domains affected by the unprecedented event were all registered at Finland-based registrar Sarek Oy and until late Friday the situation remained grim. However, information provided by Peter Sunde's Njalla suggests cause for optimism, potentially in the next few hours or within the next few days.

The last time over 200 pirate sites went offline at the same time was…..well, probably never. Certainly, so many sites have never gone down and stayed down for four days straight in what still amounts to a relatively tight niche.

Yet that’s exactly what happened this week, when at least 200 .TV domains were suddenly rendered useless. WHOIS records revealed that the domains had a status of ‘serverHold’ which indicates a domain with no presence in the domain name system.

Registry >> Registrar >> Domain Owner

The suspended domains were all registered at Sarek Oy,...

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Just three weeks after launch, Italy's Piracy Shield blocking system is set for expansion. The news was revealed by the head of AGCOM and local anti-piracy group FAPAV, who also addressed media reports that overblocking is already affecting innocent parties. Those media reports, published by reputable outlets, were dismissed as "fake news." In reality, the claim that Piracy Shield is "working perfectly" isn't just fake, it's pure propaganda.

Italy’s Piracy Shield blocking platform is the mechanism through which sports rightsholders exercise their right to use state-approved tools in their fight against IPTV piracy.

In common with other systems in use around Europe, Piracy Shield acts on information provided by rightsholders. After identifying the target to be blocked, domain names and IP addresses are fed into the Piracy Shield system.

From there, data is pumped directly to the nation’s ISPs who must block or risk financial penalties.

Given that Piracy Shield cannot function without human input...

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Open source movie streaming project Movie-Web has lost its public-facing demo site. The domain name was seemingly suspended by registrar Namecheap, following a complaint from several major movie studios. The developers have no intention of fighting back, but the app's code remains available on GitHub for others to use.

In recent months, Movie-Web has quickly gained popularity among a particular group of movie aficionados.

The open source software, which is still available on GitHub, allows anyone to set up a movie search engine capable of streaming content from third-party sources. These external sources tend to have large libraries of pirated entertainment.

Like Google

Movie-Web’s developers are not oblivious to the legal ramifications but since they don’t host any files, they hoped to avoid legal trouble. The software just provides a search engine for third-party content, the...

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Google has just processed the eight billionth DMCA takedown request for its search engine. With a recent increase in notices, the 10 billion milestone is just a year away. A recent uptick in activity is mainly pushed by publishers, including Korean media giant Kakao Entertainment, which is one of the most active senders over the past six months.

For many people, Google is the go-to starting point when they need to find something on the web. With just a few keystrokes, the search engine can find virtually anything.

This is generally good, but copyright holders are not happy with all content that can be discovered. Pirates sites, for example, should remain hidden when possible.

In recent years Google has tweaked its algorithms to address this issue. At the same time, it continues to process DMCA takedown notices which allow rightsholders to ‘remove’ problematic content, even when it’s yet to be indexed...

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The Interplanetary File System is known as a censorship-resistant technology. However, it's not immune to copyright holder complaints. When software company JetBrains warned an IPFS gateway operator that they are liable for the alleged availability of pirated keys, the Electronic Frontier Foundation stepped up in his defense. Liability questions are never straightforward, though.

The InterPlanetary File System, more broadly known as IPFS, has been around for nearly a decade.

While the name may sound alien to the general public, the peer-to-peer file storage network has a growing user base among the tech-savvy.

In short, IPFS is a decentralized network where users make files available to each other. The system makes websites and files censorship-resistant and not vulnerable to regular hosting outages; as long as at least one user in the network continues to share.

These advantages allow archivists, content creators, researchers, and others to rel...

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Record labels have responded to Internet Archive's motion to dismiss 'expired' ‘Great 78 Project‘ copyright infringement claims. The music companies, including UMG and Sony, counter the statute of limitations argument. In addition, they stress that "hisses, crackles, and pops" on old records are flaws, not a license to copy and digitize the music.

The Internet Archive is widely known for its Wayback Machine, which preserves copies of the web for future generations.

These archiving efforts, which started decades ago, will become more valuable over time. The same could apply to IA’s other projects, including the digitization of old books and records.

Six years ago, the Archive began archiving the sounds of 78-rpm gramophone records, a format obsolete today. In addition to capturing their unique audio, including all ‘crackles and hisses’, this saves unique recordings for future generations before the vi...

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Officers of the Quebec Provincial Police (Sûreté du Québec) carried out raids this week against suspected members of an IPTV piracy group operating in Canada. At least five people were arrested on suspicion of various crimes including theft of telecommunications services, fraud, and money laundering. A key suspect targeted in an earlier operation was out of the country. The action follows a criminal complaint filed by companies including Bell, Videotron, and Rogers.

The action in Canada this week is being described as the second phase of an operation that began last year.

Events were triggered when rightsholders led by Bell Media filed a criminal complaint against pirate IPTV service, Arubox TV.

Following an investigation by the Quebec Provincial Police, in 2023 the Office of Criminal Assets Recovery and Money Laundering carried out five searches; a condo in Laval and premises in Saint-Eustache and Brownsburg-Chatham were among the targets.

When some of those locations were targeted again this week, police may have returned to fini...

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The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated the $1 billion piracy damages award against Internet provider Cox Communications. While the ISP remains contributorily liable for pirating subscribers, a finding of vicarious copyright infringement was reversed. A new trial will determine the appropriate damages amount given these new conclusions.

Late 2019, Internet provider Cox Communications lost its legal battle against a group of major record labels, including Sony and Universal.

Following a two-week trial, a Virginia jury held Cox liable for its pirating subscribers. The ISP failed to disconnect repeat infringers and was ordered to pay $1 billion in damages.

Heavily disappointed by the decision, Cox later asked the court to set the jury verdict aside and decide the issue directly, arguing that the “shockingly excessive” damages should be lowered. Both requests were denied by the court, which upheld the origina...

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At the time of writing, at least dozens but most likely hundreds of pirate sites are effectively down due to a domain issue at a single registrar. The problem seems to be isolated to sites using .TV domains registered at Sarek Oy in Finland, a registrar well known for its pirate-friendly policies. As things stand, hundreds of domains are completely devoid of DNS, resulting in one of the biggest mass blackouts in recent history.

A few hours ago a TorrentFreak reader linked us to a list of almost 200 domains with several things in common.

The vast majority have naming conventions that almost certainly point to some type of piracy activity. No shortage of the word ‘streams’ for example, along with other familiar pirate terms such as HD, cine, film, movie, plus the likes of buff, cric and crack.

Sites with ‘anime’ in their domain names also stand out; they include the popular Animebytes, a platform that above most seemed to be generating significant panic. A gloomy discussion on ...

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