Popcorn Time surfaced earlier this week and was quickly labeled "the Netflix of piracy", providing easy access to illegal movies via a sophisticated-looking app. Fast-forward a few days after its launch, and the service's app has been taken down, with the folks behind it saying "the experiment has come to an end."
Italy is cracking down on piracy in a mass shutdown of websites -- in the form of blocking at the Internet service provider level -- that are related in some way to file sharing. The move will see 46 sites blocked to Internet goers in the nation, perhaps the largest move of this nature to happen in Italy.
A court in the Netherlands has tossed out a cases against a Dutch man who uploaded more than 5,000 ebooks to The Pirate Bay, saying the matter isn't criminal and should be dealt with in civil court. This is the latest blow to the anti-piracy group BREIN, which isn't happy with the ruling.
In a ruling that some have called yet another nail in the coffin, a federal judge dismissed a case against one of the defendants in a mass BitTorrent lawsuit. According to him, the IP address being used by the plaintiff as its sole evidence is not enough to prove criminal liability in the act of piracy.
Torrents increased by 50-percent over the past year, as internet users uploaded rising amounts of content - much of it copyrighted - despite attempts by content owners to lock down access to high profile sites like The Pirate Bay. In fact, the site now lists more than 2.8m files, TorrentFreak points out, predominantly video, and with uploads rising by half in 2013 and doubling compared to two years ago.
Google, the world's biggest search engine, receives vast quantities of takedown requests, where individuals and entities can request that Google take down a link containing allegedly infringing content in 2013. The number of takedown requests has grown exponentially over the years, having hit 235,000,000 links said to violate copyrights. Of these, Google decided to discard 9-percent of the requests, amounting to 21 million Web addresses.
It would appear that bands that have gotten over the madness hump that is the realization that their music is being pirated have begun taking advantage of that fact. One perfect example is Iron Maiden, a band that this week has revealed that they take the data they’ve gathered on where their music is being pirated, and instead of taking the massive time and resources involved in persecution to punish these areas, they’ve aimed their concert series directly for them.
AT&T has been awarded a patent that would let the company track subscriber browsing behavior, assign them a "reputation score", and then block "high-risk" subscribers from being able to access file-sharing services. The patent is called "Methods, devices and computer program products for regulating network activity using a subscriber scoring system". In other words, the blocking system could rely on tracking software installed on subscriber computers. The patent was spotted by TorrentFreak and relayed by Gigaom.
This summer, Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg was sentenced to jail in Sweden after being sent there from Cambodia, where he was arrested after having received a sentence back in 2009 that ultimately resulted in a multi-million fine. Warg was sentenced in Sweden over a separate hacking charge, and now faces additional woes as a Russian court has hit him with a copyright infringement charge due to hosting certain movies.