Government Breaches The First Amendment

Developed with the help of the Department of Justice, “Operation In Our Sites” is a project meant to stop piracy by seizing domain names that host or provide infringing materials.

Two of their targets were and, domain names that are owned by the Spanish company Puerto 80. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized these domains for offering links to live sport video streams. However, the websites also included non-infringing materials such as user-created forums, discussions and several technical tutorials.

The 23 of September started with EFF (The Electronic Frontier Foundation) pleading against these measures in an amicus brief with a federal court, invoking the violation of The First Amendment.

“Domain name seizures are blunt instruments that cause unacceptable collateral damage to free speech rights,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman.

“Web site operators must have the confidence that government actions ostensibly targeting copyright infringement are undertaken legally. We urge the Court of Appeals to ensure that that happens.”

After trying and failing to reach an agreement with ICE and other US government authorities, Puerto 80 petitioned the district court to return the domain names. The judge rejected Puerto 80’s request and so they’ve decided to make another appeal to the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals.

“ICE’s domain name seizures, including this one, are occurring without meaningful court oversight, with no chance for the targets to defend themselves before their websites are taken down and a highly cumbersome process for challenge afterwards,” said EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry.

“The government should stop these seizures until they comply with the law.”

EFF’s brief was seconded by The Center for Democracy and Technology and Public Knowledge.

(source EFF)

Vuze Takes Over Your Electronics

Also known as Azureus – a BitTorrent client first time developed for the UNIX and Linux operating system, Vuze is one of the most used file-sharing clients that, over the years, managed to cover the ever-growing needs of its community by creating an all-in-one platform that not only downloads and uploads torrent files, but also offers burning DVDs solutions and device integration with popular platforms such as iTunes, Xbox 360 and PS3.

By doing so, Vuze’s attitude towards a better future attracted millions of people who quickly connected their multi-media devices to their services.

Following the same quick-evolving pace, they’ve decided, just this week, to add DLNA support, thus making their client compatible with thousands of new devices that integrate the DLNA technology (TVs, set-top boxes, tablets, NAS devices and so forth). A full list of supported devices can be found here.

“Today, we’re continuing this crusade to unleash your content on your mobile and TV screens by adding all DLNA-supported devices, a few additional Android devices, and more,” the Vuze team announced.

“With this release, most DLNA-supported devices should now show up in your Vuze Sidebar – assuming they’re connected to the same home network as Vuze – making it possible to stream directly from Vuze to the DLNA device of your choice. Once you spot your device name under Device Playback in the Sidebar, simply drag-and-drop.”

Top 10 Most Downloaded Movies on BitTorrent

TorrentFreak has published the data they collected with the top 10 most shared movies on BitTorrent for the week ended September 25. All the films included in this chart are DVDrips (unless mentioned otherwise).

Lots of changes in this week’s chart. All the top 3 most downloaded films via p2p networks are new titles in our list – starting with Terrence Malick’s latest work, the drama ‘The Tree of Life’, followed by Sci-Fi flick ‘Green Lantern’ and ending with the comedy ‘Horrible Bosses’.

This week’s list features five new entries.

Ranking (last week) Movie Rating / Trailer
1 (…) The Tree of Life 7.7/trailer
2 (…) Green Lantern 6.1/trailer
3 (…) Horrible Bosses 7.4/trailer
4 (…) Transformers 3 6.6/trailer
5 1) Thor 7.4/trailer
6 (5) Friends with Benefits 6.8/trailer
7 (4) Fast Five 7.6/trailer
8 (2) Setup 4.7/trailer
9 (…) Zookeeper 7.9/trailer
10 (7) Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 6.8/trailer

(via TorrentFreak)

A Long-Expected Open Meeting: DEA on the Table

Two days ago, a meeting – that has been expected ever since the United Kingdom’s copyright fiasco started to take shape – finally happened. Ed Vaizey MP – the government’s Communications Minister – faced the opponents of the censorship bill that has been put into motion against all websites who are connected to copyright infringement. Until now, the controversial Voluntary Code of Practice between UK’s ISPs and Right Holders has been debated behind closed doors which, of course, was not well regarded by the media nor by the public.

However, on the 21th September 2011, Ed Vaizey held an organized by Dominique Lazinksi of the Tax Payers Alliance session that also featured representatives from the Open Rights Group (ORG), Timico’s Trefor Davies, Pirate Party, COADEC, Open Digital Policy, the Featured Artists Coalition and LINX.

Ideas were exchanged, eyebrows were frowned and everyone had something to say:

Trefor Davies, Chief Technology Officer of Timico UK said :”I think Ed Vaizey found the level of debate far more constructive than he had been expecting. The gist was that people were not supporting unlawful behaviour but concerned that the evidence presented was not open to scrutiny.

We should be pursuing other more conventional methods of prevention such as bigger effort to liaise with other countries to take down sites. The concern is that blocking is not only very ineffective but that the collateral damage includes constraints on innovation and freedom of expression.

This is a war that cannot be won. I’m not saying we should encourage state surveillance but this is a scenario where openness of communication makes more sense.”
Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group (ORG), said:

“The meeting was not able to consider the rights holders’ proposals at the meeting, because they are not yet published. Consumer Focus and others have seen them: and they remain very worrying, although possibly so badly thought out that they are unlikely to see the light of day.

Nevertheless, we must see these proposals for what they are: a lobbying tactic to keep the pressure on enforcement and control, rather than market failure.

The task for ORG and others interested in user rights and the potential of the digital world has to be to set out another agenda, that works in societies’ interests, rather than just those of IP owners. We will be working with the organisations who attended today to make this happen.”

James Firth (Slightly Right of Centre) added:

“It was a chance to short-circuit the negative image those lobbying for the Digital Economy Act had carefully crafted around myself and others opposing the Act. Few – if any – were standing for the right to copy music for free.

Civil liberties arguments aren’t chiefly about the freedom to copy, but the right to due process under law, and the dangers inherent in any system of censorship. Many of these points have been airbrushed by the pro-control lobbying campaign.

Chatting afterwards the general consensus was positive – there is a real possibility of a follow-up meeting. Whether or not rights holders will come to the table with opponents is a different story!”

By the end of this historic meeting Ed Vaizey seemed to be enthusiastic about setting up a new one between the group and Rights Holders. However, many are still suspicious that this event would change anything, and who can blame them after the long history of communication failures (pardon my pun) that lie behind Vaizey’s “righteous” path?

Until then, discussions between Rights Holders and ISPs regarding censorship and the best way to apply it will continue. No agreement has been reached thus far, with differences over costs, the legal process and legal coverage being extremely controversial.

World’s Average Download Speed – 580 KBps, Says Report

Pando Networks – a global game-delivery company – released a report on the world’s top downloading speeds.

Their study began on 1st of January and ended on the 30th of July 2011 and the graphic shows that the average download speed is approximately 580 KBps. Their research tracked down the download speeds of 21 million gamers around the around, most of which are MMO/Free-To-Play players (League of Legends, Lord Of The Rings Online and so forth).

Pando’s graphic can be accessed at the following link . The first three places are occupied by South Korea with 2,202 KBps, Romania with 1,909 KBps and Bulgaria with no less than 1,611 KBps. Unfortunately, USA couldn’t even reach the top 15 fastest countries in the world; the country’s fastest ISP is still Verizon, followed by Comcast.

According to, Pando sent these figures with no third-party validation.