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Hollywood Praises Australia’s Anti-Piracy Laws, But More Can Be Done
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In a recent submission to the US Trade Representative, the MPA applauds Australia's anti-piracy enforcement tools, including effective copyright laws. Hollywood's trade group notes that piracy rates are dropping. However, it adds that even more can be done on the anti-piracy front to keep copyright problems at bay.

For years on end, entertainment industry insiders have regularly portrayed Australia as a piracy-ridden country.

However, after several legislative updates, the tide appears to have turned. This is the conclusion reached by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in a recent report.

The industry group, which is largely made up of Hollywood studios, along with the recently added Netflix, continuously monitors Australia’s anti-piracy efforts. In recent years, things have been going in the right direction.

A short summary of its findings was recently repo...

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Sci-Hub & Libgen Blocked By Austrian ISPs Following Elsevier Complaint
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Austrian ISP T-Mobile has announced that following a supervisory procedure carried out by local telecoms regulator TKK, it has begun blocking two dozen Sci-Hub and Libgen related domains. The original complaint was filed against rival ISP A1 several months ago by publishing giant Elsevier. A1's blocking is also well underway.

For well over a decade, entertainment industry groups have been developing legal processes to have allegedly-infringing websites blocked at the ISP level.

The majority of these complaints have been initiated by movie and music companies but in recent years, other content distributors have sought similar blockades in order to protect their interests.

Publishing giant Elsevier has emerged as a major player with arch-rivals Sci-Hub (‘The Pirate Bay of Science’) and Libgen (Library Genesis) as its key targets. Late last week, Austrian ISP T-Mobile revealed th...

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Spammers Abuse Medium.com to Spread ‘Pirate’ Scams
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Scammers are using the online publishing platform Medium to spread links to supposedly pirated movies and TV-shows. The issue plagues many platforms, but as one of the world's most visited websites, Medium is an ideal tool to lure prospective pirates into signing up for dubious subscriptions.

Founded in 2012 by former Twitter CEO Evan Williams, online publishing platform Medium.com swiftly became the go-to place for many authors.

The site has featured works of renowned writers, politicians, high profile activists, major companies, as well as average Joes.

Today, Medium has millions of daily visitors, making it one of the 100 most visited websites in the world. The majority of these are drawn to the compelling and informative writings, but the site has proven a draw to scammy ‘pirates’ as well.

Every week, hundreds, if not thousand...

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ACE Hits Two More Pirate Streaming Sites, Seizes More Openload Domains
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Global anti-piracy coalition Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment is continuing its drive to purge pirate sites from the Internet. In addition to the dramatic taking down of Openload last week and a related domain seizure run, another two streaming services have succumbed to the Alliance's wishes by closing down their operations and handing their domains to the MPA.

After a standing start just over two years ago, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment quickly became the most feared anti-piracy group on the planet.

Compromised of around three dozen entertainment companies, including the major Hollywood studios, Netflix and Amazon, the group now targets piracy on a global scale, sharing resources and costs to tackle infringement wherever it might be.

Last week the group took down Openload and Streamango, a dramatic and significant action by any standard. However, as documented here on several occasions (1,2,3), the anti-pir...

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Cox and Music Companies Battle Over Piracy Evidence Ahead of Trial
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Last year, several major music companies sued Internet provider Cox Communications for failing to take proper action against pirating subscribers. The case will soon head to trial where Cox plans to present evidence showing that its anti-piracy measures were effective. However, the music labels want to exclude the evidence, describing it as a confusing mess of misleading calculations.

Regular Internet providers are being put under increasing pressure for not doing enough to curb copyright infringement.

Music rights company BMG got the ball rolling a few years ago when it won its piracy liability lawsuit against Cox Communications.

The ISP was ordered to pay $25 million in damages and another $8 million in legal fees. Hoping to escape this judgment, the company filed an appeal, but the case was eventually settled with Cox agreeing to pay an undisclosed but substantial settlement amount.

The landmark case signaled the start of many s...

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RIAA Delists YouTube Rippers From Google Using Rare Anti-Circumvention Notices
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The homepages of five major YouTube-ripping platforms have been delisted from Google search in response to relatively rare notices citing the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA. The complaints, which are reported by Google as being sent by the RIAA, target FLVTO, 2Conv, Y2Mate, and Yout.

While music piracy has reduced in recent years due to the popularity of platforms such as Spotify, the major labels remain highly concerned over so-called steam-ripping services.

These sites allow users to enter a YouTube URL, for example, and then download audio from the corresponding video, mostly in MP3 format. This means that users can download music and store it on their own machines, negating the need to revisit YouTube for the same content. This, the major labels say, deprives content creators of streaming revenue.

Tackling this issue has become one of the ind...

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Tech Companies Warn U.S. Against Harmful Copyright Laws Worldwide
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Major tech companies including Google, Facebook and Twitter are concerned about harmful copyright legislation being created around the world. Industry groups warn that these developments, including the EU Copyright Directive, harm the interests of US companies, while conflicting with various free trade agreements.

In recent years many countries around the world have tightened their copyright laws to curb the threat of online piracy.

These new regulations aim to help copyright holders, often by creating new obligations and restrictions for Internet service providers that host, link to, or just pass on infringing material.

Rightsholders are happy with these developments, but many Silicon Valley giants and other tech companies see the new laws as threats. This was made clear again this week by the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and the Internet Associ...

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Police Shut Down Thailand’s Most Popular Pirate Site Following Hollywood Request
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Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation has confirmed the shutdown of the country's most popular pirate site, Movie2free.com. The streaming portal was shut down following a request from the Motion Picture Association. The site's operator, a 22-year-old man, was arrested earlier in the week and has yet to be charged.

With millions of views per day, Movie2Free.com was one of the largest pirate sites on the Internet, particularly popular in south-east Asia.

In the west, the site doesn’t ring a bell with most people. In Thailand, however, it was listed among the top 15 most visited websites in the country, only beaten by Google, YouTube, and a few others.

The site’s popularity didn’t go unnoticed by Hollywood. Earlier this year the MPA listed the site in its yearly overview of notorious pirate sites, which it submitted to the US Trade Representative.

&#...

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Japan Pirate Site Traffic Collapsed 50% in Four Months, With a Little Help From Cloudflare
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A report published by the Motion Picture Association reveals that traffic to pirate sites focused on Japan halved between March and June 2018. A significant part of the collapse is attributed to the closure of giant manga site Mangamura and two similar platforms. Interestingly, especially considering criticism elsewhere on the piracy front, information provided by Cloudflare reportedly uncovered the identity of Mangamura's operator.

During April 2018, the government in Japan introduced emergency websites blocking measures, seeking assistance from ISPs to block three pirate sites – Mangamura, AniTube! and MioMio.

Just four days later, one of the sites – giant manga platform Mangamura – suddenly called it quits, shutting itself down and creating a massive gap in the piracy market.

It transpired that a criminal investigation was underway into the activities of Mangamura, which eventually led to the arrest of the site’s alleged operator in Manilla, his deportation to Japan, a...

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USDOJ Highlights Threat of Increasingly Sophisticated Pirate Services
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The Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice has issued a warning in respect of the way pirate material is being distributed online. A decade ago, individual downloads were the norm, Brian Benczkowski says. Today, however, technologically advanced multi-national streaming services are taking over while generating millions of dollars in profits.

From its relatively basic and humble roots back in the 1990s, Internet-based distribution of copyright-infringing content underwent a renaissance at the turn of the century.

Peer-to-peer technologies, including the now omnipresent BitTorrent protocol, brought file-sharing to the masses and with it a huge problem for the content industries.

Twenty years on – a lifetime in technology – BitTorrent still attracts hundreds of millions of users but the immediacy of streaming, including movies, TV series, live TV and sports, is now considered one of the greatest...

Read entire story at TorrentFreak