The British justice system can occasionally deliver as stern messages as any Texas or Mississippi municipality. A judge in the idyllic town of Wolverhampton has just sentenced a 25-year old man named Philip Danks to 33 months in prison for recording “Fast and Furious 6” at a movie theater and distributing a pirated version of the film. The judge explained his harsh decision by referring to the “bold, arrogant and cocksure” manner of the accused. That seems to be an apt description, since Mr. Danks promoted his illicit endeavor in his Facebook profile. More →
I have stolen music. A massive amount of music, in fact. Over the past decade or so, I have illegally downloaded hundreds of songs from various file-sharing networks. Even thousands, most likely.
In the past couple of years, however, I have completely stopped stealing music as my listening habits shifted from album-based listening to services like Pandora and Spotify. The painful irony here, however, is that recording artists and music labels earn far less money from me now that I have gone legit than they did when I was a thief.
After a report on Tuesday detailing a new legal initiative on online piracy in the U.K. claimed that the local government has decriminalized illegal downloads, TorrentFreak has set the record straight on the matter, saying that torrenting movies, music, games and any other kind of online content will be just as illegal in the future as it is now. More →
A new study looking at the relationship between movie piracy and Hollywood revenues has found that the mass illegal downloads movie studios complain about while spending vast resources to put a stop to, are not that relevant. TorrentFreak reveals that economist Koleman Strumpf has conducted a tremendous amount of research before releasing his determination – that movie piracy is not harmful to Hollywood. He looked at data from 150 blockbuster movies that were released over a period of seven years and, and drew data from a popular BitTorrent tracker as well as revenue projections from the Hollywood Stock Exchange. More →
Hollywood has been on a holy war against piracy for years, but that doesn’t mean it actually managed to achieve anything worth bragging with, especially as some studies have revealed that piracy doesn’t actually have an impact on Hollywood’s bottom line. No matter what Hollywood comes up with to defend against piracy, pirates still figure out ways to illegally download copyrighted content. In fact, TorrentFreak reveals that even Hollywood downloads just as much content as regular Internet users, no matter what its official stance against piracy is. More →
The finale of the fourth Game of Thrones season shattered all previous illegal download records, TorrentFreak reports. First, a quarter-million people shared a single file at the same time. Beyond that, more than 1.5 million users downloaded a pirated copy of the show within the first 12 hours after it aired, with the number expected to move past 7.5 million in the following days. More →
The Internet provides access to many surprising things, including the means to enjoy copyrighted content without paying for it. Whether it’s movies or TV shows, music, books, games, software or other protected digital content, the Internet offers users ways to get their entertainment fix free of charge. Naturally, copyright holders are right to try to fight piracy, which they do on a regular basis, but a court in the European Union on Thursday ruled in favor of a certain type of copyright infringement. More →
When we last checked in on the ‘six strikes’ Copyright Alert System, we discovered that it hadn’t done anything to curb online piracy as traffic continued to trend upwards at the most popular torrent site in the world. Now that the first year of the newly implemented system has come to an end, the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) has shared the results. More →
While Game of Thrones took home the official title of the most pirated TV show of 2013, the most pirated film of the past year was The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, TorrentFreak reports. The first episode of The Hobbit saga was downloaded an estimated of 8.4 million times on BitTorrent networks from January 1st to mid-December 2013, according to the publication’s sources which include download statistics from public BitTorrent trackers. However, the numbers do not include data from online streaming sites and cyberlocker downloads. More →
This was quite a year for big TV series and as a result, it was also a big year for pirating TV shows. The wildly popular hit AMC show Breaking Bad wrapped up; The Walking Dead, Mad Men and Game of Thrones had huge seasons; and new shows like Masters of Sex and Sleepy Hollow burst onto the scene. Published ratings are a good gauge when measuring a show’s popularity, of course, but ratings are hardly an exact science. What is an exact science, however, is comparing torrent download volumes. More →
A new AT&T patent awarded in mid November describes methods through which the Internet service provider may track the privacy-related habits of customers and assign them a “Subscriber Reputation Score” (SRS) which could be used to limit access to file-sharing or P2P sites for repeat pirating offenders. The patent, discovered by Torrent Freak, basically explains a means of regulating traffic inside a network by following patterns for users and monitoring Internet-browsing habits with a specific focus on pirated content. More →
In Switzerland, it is completely legal for Internet users to download copyrighted content from illegal sources. As a result, file-sharing portals are very popular there, especially since Netflix hasn’t come to Switzerland yet. According to the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), 35 percent of Swiss Internet users take advantage of this each month by using “unlicensed services.” To combat this piracy, according to a report by TorrentFreak, a working group is recommending fairly drastic measures to the Swiss Justice Minister, including that Swiss ISPs delete illegal content on Swiss-based sites, display warning when accessing “unauthorized content sources,” and make “obviously illegal sites” inaccessible. More →