Chinese Game of Thrones Pirates Unaffected By US ‘Trade War’
Icon

Last Sunday's Game of Thrones finale was enjoyed by millions around the world but those trying to view through the official channel in China were left disappointed. With the US-China trade war being blamed for the blackout, citizens turned to file-sharing sites where global politics are easily bypassed.

Following its launch in 2011, Game of Thrones became one of the most talked about and loved TV shows in history.

Eight years and dozens of Emmy awards later, episode six of season eight aired last Sunday, bringing the curtain down for the final time.

While millions were able to soak up this momentous TV occasion, fans in China were left brokenhearted. Tencent Video, the Chinese platform that has held the local distribution rights to the HBO series since 2014, revealed that it would not be broadcasting S08EP06.

Citing a mysterious “media transmission p...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
Movie Company Uses DMCA Subpoena Shortcut to Identify Pirates
Icon

When copyright holders want to identify pirates in the US, they have to file a lawsuit. However, in Hawaii, the people behind the film "Hunter Killer" have used a shortcut by requesting a DMCA subpoena. This is unusual, as many legal experts thought this was no longer an option.

In the early 2000s, the RIAA started going after against tens of thousands of alleged music pirates.

The music industry had just defeated Napster, but P2P file-sharing remained a massive problem. Applications such as KaZaA, Morpheus, Grokster, and eDonkey, had millions of users each.

Since filing federal lawsuits is relatively expensive, the RIAA attempted to take a shortcut by applying for so-called DMCA subpoenas. These are not reviewed by a judge, as regular subpoenas are, and only require a signature from the court clerk.

While this worked initially, Internet provid...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
Reddit KOs Piracy-Focused MMA Community, Ex-UFC Fighter Gets The Blame
Icon

Piracy of UFC and other live MMA events got a little bit harder this week after Reddit banned its popular /r/mmastreams sub-Reddit. Following numerous copyright infringement complaints, the 165,000 member community must now find a new home. After a controversial Twitter outburst, some believe that an ex-UFC fighter should shoulder some of the blame.

Diligently following top-tier Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) events has never been an inexpensive pastime.

From its modern roots in the early 1990s on a strictly PPV basis, MMA has become a huge draw around the globe. Dominated by the UFC, those PPVs today cost upwards of $60 in the US, albeit less in other countries where providers like BT Sport offer the events as part of much cheaper packages.

Nevertheless, there is no shortage of fans who’d prefer not to pay anything at all. That, of course, is entirely possible using various types of pirate streaming outlets, fr...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
Award-Winning John Lennon Photographer Sues Universal Music For $150,000
Icon

Award-winning photographer Allan Tennanbaum has filed a copyright infringement complaint against Universal Music in New York. Known for his iconic images of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, the photographer says that Universal used his work without permission on one of its websites. He is demanding up to $150,000 in damages.

As part of the RIAA, Universal Music is known for being the aggressor in dozens of copyright infringement complaints concerning the unlicensed use of its music.

Now, however, it now finds itself on the other side of the fence, following a copyright infringement complaint filed against it in the United States.

The man behind the action is Allan Tannenbaum, an award-winning photographer known for his works depicting the New York art, music and nightlife scene in the 70s and early 80s.

Tannenbaum’s portfolio contains many iconic photographs of John Lenno...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
There Were 140 Piracy ‘Incidents’ in UK Cinemas Last Year
Icon

Years have gone by without a single movie leak tracing back to a UK cinema, but that changed in 2018. The Cinema Association reports that there were three movie leaks from local theaters last year, as well as a record-breaking 140 'piracy' incidents. The group cautions movie theater personnel to remain vigilant.

The earlier a film ends up on pirate sites, the more filmmakers, cinemas, and other players in the movie industry stand to lose.

This is the main reason why movie theaters keep a very close eye on their visitors.

Employees are specifically trained and instructed to recognize potentially suspicious behavior so they take action in response. Those who help to catch a pirate, are eligible for hard cash bounties.

In the UK, the Film Content Protection Agency (FCPA) is in charge of these rewards as well as educating cinema personnel.  This is much needed, it appears, as ...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
SET TV IPTV Reseller A-Box TV Ordered to Pay Dish $2 Million in Damages
Icon

A-Box TV, a company that acted as a reseller of 'pirate' streams provided by the now-defunct IPTV service SET TV, has agreed to pay U.S television provider Dish $2,000,000 in damages. SET TV itself agreed to pay DISH a settlement of $90,000,000 in 2018.

Last June, popular ‘pirate’ IPTV service SET TV went offline after being sued by DISH Network and encryption partner NagraStar.

In a Florida court, the defendants were accused of creating and selling subscriptions to the SET TV service which, among other things, offered numerous television channels that were unlawfully obtained from DISH’s satellite service and retransmitted to customers.

The $20-per-month platform had offered its subscribers a package of 500 live channels, including on-demand content and PPV broadcasts, sometimes via pre-configured...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
Popular Streaming Site Pelispedia Shuts Down, Operators Arrested
Icon

Uruguayan authorities, helped by Interpol and the US movie industry, have arrested the alleged operators of the popular streaming site Pelispedia. The couple stands accused of profiting from copyright infringement. Following a raid on their house, several assets were seized and the site was shut down.

With over a million visitors per day, Pelispedia.tv was one of the most popular streaming sites in Latin America. 

Just a few weeks ago, it was highlighted by the US Trade Representative as a notorious pirate site, following a referral from Hollywood’s MPAA. 

By then, rightsholders and enforcement authorities already had their eyes focused on the site’s alleged operators, a couple from Uruguay. Following collaborative efforts from Interpol, rightsholders, and Uruguayan authorities, this culminated in two arrests last week.

According to Urug...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
Game of Thrones Piracy in Russia: 180,000 Takedowns, Mirror Wars & Capitulation
Icon

Anti-piracy outfit Group-IB has released data on what it took to protect Game of Thrones from online pirates in Russia. Across the last four seasons alone, the firm executed 180,000 successful takedowns, more than 43,700 since Season 8 began. The response from pirates was interesting, from creating mirror sites to reinstate search traffic to converting their pages to legitimate fan hangouts.

There have been many stories published about Game of Thrones, mostly due to its massive viewing figures.

However, the now-concluded show wasn’t always viewed on legitimate platforms, something which made it the most-pirated show in TV history.

While breaking records on all platforms is something that many shows will settle for, behind the scenes there’s a constant battle against piracy. Over in Russia, that task has fallen to anti-piracy company Group-IB.

After working on behalf of streaming service Amediateka, which has held the exclusive distr...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
How Game of Thrones Made Piracy History
Icon

The final episode of Game of Thrones marked the end of one of the biggest piracy topics in history. The show made dozens of piracy headlines over the years, ranging from prominent leaks, to a mind boggling record that's unlikely to ever be broken.

Traditionally, the Game of Thrones season finale is among the most viewed episodes, also on pirate sites.

When the entire series comes to an end, interest is only heightened.

This is what happened indeed. While many people have been rather critical about the story-line of the final season, millions of people ‘tuned’ in, both through authorized and unofficial channels.

The official ratings shot through the roof, with 13.6 million US viewers during the official airing, which is also a new all-time record for an HBO show. On pirate sites, there was plenty of in...

  Read entire story

Posted on TorrentFreak
Italian Version of Article 17 Requires LEGAL Content to Be Filtered Out
Icon

Last Friday the text of the new EU Copyright Directive was published on the Official Journal of the EU. However, due to glaring error, the Italian translation of Article 17 (formerly 13) requires online platforms such as YouTube to prevent the availability of works "that do not infringe copyright", even in cases where such works are "subject to an exception or limitation".

After years of work, on March 26, 2019 the new EU Copyright Directive was adopted, with 348 Members of Parliament in favor, 274 against, and 36 abstentions.

A little under a month later, the EU Council of Ministers waved the legislation through, despite opposition from Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Finland, and Sweden. Belgium, Estonia, and Slovenia abstained.

EU member states were then granted two years to implement the law, which includes the controversial Article 17 (formerly 13). That requires platforms like YouTube to sign licensing agreements with cre...

  Read entire story