The sleekest, most intuitive platform for pirated movie streaming we’ve ever seen was shut down by its creators at the end of last week, but one torrent site has taken on the task of resurrecting the defunct Popcorn Time. According to TorrentFreak, the team at torrent site YTS “will now be picking up the Popcorn Time project and continuing on like previously.” YTS believes it is in a better position regarding copyrights than the original designers were, meaning the app should stay online for the foreseeable future. More →
The pirate’s answer to Netflix is now offline. Popcorn Time streamed dozens of free movies straight from their torrent files to computers all around the world, and the creators never stopped claiming that it was all completely legal. They even checked four times! But despite the massive response, much of which the creators say was positive, the app has been permanently disconnected. According to the message that now dominates the front page of the app’s website, the creators no longer want to be a part of “endless debates about piracy and copyright, legal threats and the shady machinery that makes us feel in danger for doing what we love.” We’ll be keeping an eye out to see if the team has anything else in store for the future.
A Russian startup that received $100,000 of funding from Microsoft made headlines recently as its emerging efforts to battle digital piracy found their way to the spotlight. Dubbed Pirate Pay, the company’s technology launches attacks on groups of computers hosting pirated content, theoretically making it impossible for them to share copyrighted material. While the company claims to have already successfully trialed its technology when it blocked nearly 45,000 attempts to download pirated copies of a Russian film, one expert believes Pirate Pay’s system may be illegal. More →
Russian startup Pirate Pay is taking aim at the growing popularity of illegal file-sharing as it looks to cooperate with music labels and movie studios to stem the distribution of copyrighted materials on the Internet. The company’s technology launches attacks on “BitTorrent swarms,” or groups of computers hosting pirated content, making it impossible for them to share copyrighted material, TorrentFreak reports. “After creating the prototype, we realized we could more generally prevent files from being downloaded, which meant that the program had great promise in combating the spread of pirated content,” Pirate Pay CEO Andrei Klimenko said recently in an interview. Pirate Pay recently received a $100,000 investment from the Microsoft Seed fund, and it claims to have blocked nearly 45,000 attempts to download pirated copies of Russian film “Vysotsky. Thanks to God, I am Alive” in a test campaign launched earlier this year for Russia-based Walt Disney Studios Sony Pictures Releasing. More →
In an effort to bypass censorship as well as heat from authorities and copyright owners, The Pirate Bay on Sunday unveiled new plans to “experiment with sending out some small drones that will float some kilometers up in the air.” The GPS controlled drones will hover over international waters and host parts of the website. “Everyone knows WHAT TPB is. Now they’re going to have to think about WHERE TPB is,” The Pirate Bay team told TorrentFreak. “We’re already the most resilient and the most down to earth. That’s why we need to lift off, being this connected to the ground doesn’t feel appropriate to us anymore.” The Pirate Bay has been the subject of a number of raids and investigations stemming from numerous claims of copyright infringement. In order to stay afloat, the service seemingly must find new and innovative ways to reach the masses. “We’re just starting so we haven’t figured everything out yet. But we can’t limit ourselves to hosting things just on land anymore,” the team stated on its blog. “These Low Orbit Server Stations (LOSS) are just the first attempt. With modern radio transmitters we can get over 100Mbps per node up to 50km away. For the proxy system we’re building, that’s more than enough.” More →
Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner Cable and other Internet service providers in the United States will soon launch new programs to police their networks in an effort to catch digital pirates and stop illegal file-sharing. Major ISPs announced last summer that they had agreed to take new measures in an effort to prevent subscribers from illegally downloading copyrighted material, but the specifics surrounding the imminent antipiracy measures were not made available. Now, RIAA chief executive Cary Sherman has said that ISPs are ready to begin their efforts to curtail illegal movie, music and software downloads on July 12th. Read on for more. More →
Swedish registrar and Web host Binero on Wednesday confirmed earlier reports suggesting digital piracy hub The Pirate Bay is currently under investigation by authorities in Sweden. Members of The Pirate Bay team reported last week that they believe the site is currently the focus of a new investigation, and that Swedish police are planning to execute a raid in an effort to seize Pirate Bay servers. IDG’s ComputerSweden on Wednesday reported that the site’s Web host has confirmed that the group’s suspicions are at least partially true. “We can confirm that an investigation is underway against the Pirate Bay. We received a letter with questions,” Binero representative Erik Arnberg said. “We will not share any information about our customers until there is a court order, or when a prosecutor can refer to an applicable law. In this case, we have answered the questions with information that’s already available through Whois services.” Authorities in Sweden raided The Pirate Bay back in 2006 and the company’s founders were later sentenced to jail and forced to pay millions in fines after being found guilty of multiple piracy-related charges. More →
The recent ordeal surrounding the now defeated SOPA and PIPA proposals followed by the shuttering of file-sharing giant Megaupload has put online piracy back in the spotlight. Despite studies showing Megaupload’s closure had no impact on online piracy whatsoever, copyright owners continue to pressure authorities in an effort to go after more services similar to Megaupload. The new wave of attention these file-sharing services are attracting is driving some illegal downloaders to seek out new means of sharing copyrighted materials, and decentralized torrent network Tribler emerged as one option. Another interesting solution created by a New York University professor takes things a step further, however, completely removing the Internet from the file-sharing equation and therefore putting pirates out of authorities’ reach. More →
Swedish authorities have reportedly secured warrants and are planning to raid The Pirate Bay. Unnamed Pirate Bay team members speaking with TorrentFreak claim to have learned that the raid is currently being planned by Swedish police, and they expect the operation to target Pirate Bay servers and the site’s new .se domain. Law enforcement officials in Sweden first raided The Pirate Bay in 2006, and the company’s founders were eventually sentenced to jail and forced to pay millions in fines. The service remained online, however, and it is still operational today. “The Swedish district attorney Fredrik Ingblad initiated a new investigation into The Pirate Bay back in 2010. Information has been leaked to us every now and then by multiple sources, almost on a regular basis. It’s an interesting read,” The Pirate Bay said on its blog. “We can certainly understand why WikiLeaks wished to be hosted in Sweden, since so much data leaks there. The reason that we get the leaks is usually that the whistleblowers do not agree with what is going on. Something that the governments should have in mind – even your own people do not agree.” More →
Though box office revenues declined for the second consecutive year in 2011, a new study suggests that there is little if any correlation between United States box office revenues and illegal file-sharing facilitated by BitTorrent. Major Hollywood studios have spent tremendous resources over the years fighting digital piracy, but the recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Minnesota and Wellesley College is the latest to suggest that illegal file-sharing services have less of an impact on movie sales than had previously been conveyed, at least where U.S. box office sales are concerned. While there is some evidence that suggests a link between BitTorrent and decreased international box office sales due to the delay between U.S. openings and international openings, no such connection could be made in the U.S. “We do not see evidence of elevated sales displacement in US box office revenue following the adoption of BitTorrent, and we suggest that delayed legal availability of the content abroad may drive the losses to piracy,” the researchers wrote. The team did not investigate the potential relationship between digital piracy and DVD sales or legal movie downloads.
Copyright holders thought they had scored a major victory last month when one of the biggest file-sharing networks in the world was shuttered. Megaupload had been responsible for an estimated 30% to 40% of all file-sharing traffic worldwide, but a recent study suggests that the network’s closure did absolutely nothing to slow piracy related to file-sharing. To compound matters, another network that has flown under the radar for some time has now been dragged into the spotlight, and it may pose one of the biggest threats yet to copyright owners and their content. Read on for more. More →
On Wednesday, Sweden’s Supreme Court announced that it decided not to grant an appeal in the long-running Pirate Bay trial. After a nine-day trial in April 2009, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström were found guilty of assistance to copyright infringement and sentenced to one year each in prison and payment of roughly $7 million in damages. Each defendant appealed the verdict, and in November 2010 the sentences were shortened, but the fines were increased. The new sentence was again appealed, and now the Supreme Court has rejected those appeals. Sunde must serve eight months in prison, with Neij facing 10 and Lundström to face four months. Svartholm, who missed the hearing do to illness, will be forced to serve a one year prison sentence. One of the defendants, however, reached out to TorrentFreak and informed the website that he plans appeal the new sentence at the European Court of Justice. More →
Piracy is still a huge problem according to the music industry and Hollywood, and it’s hard to dispute the notion that downloading a paid digital product without actually paying for it is theft. Now, as TorrentFreak releases its list of the 10 most pirated movies of 2011, we can see a possible correlation between illegal downloads and movie revenue continue to take shape. Read on for more. More →