Filed under: Announcements & Events, Downloads, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
A while back we reported the The Pirate Bay‘s intention to no longer host .torrent files and use exclusively magnet links on their platform. That day has arrived and Pirate Bay’s blog reads:
No more torrents=no changes anyhow
Today marks the end of an era. Sort of.
TPB will no longer give out links to .torrent files. The reason is simple: They’re just a waste of space and our time.
Instead we’re giving you Magnet links. It’s simpler for us and no more hassle for you. It’s more resilient than .torrent files and it uses much less bandwidth for those who wants to mirror. Also, since the magnet links are just a hash, it’s on every single torrent detail page – so noone knows that you actually downloaded a file or not.
This means that noone can block torrent files without blocking data within a webpage. So far, few countries have implemented such harsh censorship tactics. Countries, particularily in EU, seems to moving towards total censorship so we do all we can to avoid our users ending up with less freedom.
A lot of media has hyped that we’re stopping with the torrent files. It’s like saying that Ferrari is no longer sellings cars – they’re just selling BETTER cars. As are we, we’re giving you the best links there are!
And to kinda-quote a bible, “Spilling seed is more severe then all sins, since he defiles his soul in this world and the world to come and he does not see the glory of the sharing.”
PS. you _can_ download individual files using magnets – just wait until the metadata is fetched from the network. It is worth it.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Legal P2P News & Issues
“We’re confident we’re going to win”, said Kim Dotcom in his first interview as a free man. But he’s not off the hook completely as the U.S. Department of Justice is still working on having Dotcom and three of his co-workers extradited for conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.
As a condition for his bail, Dotcom is forbidden to use the internet. Also, his funds were seized so he can’t flee the country.
“It went way too far, it was out of all proportion. We feel that the action taken against us was political,” he told TorrentFreak.
“I am relieved to go home to see my family, my three little kids and my pregnant wife,” he added.
Kim is also determined to fight and win against US’ attempts of extradition. When asked about how the police treated him after the arrest, Kim said:
“Well, it felt a little bit like an audition to American Idol.”
His bail was granted under several conditions, some of which were not released to the public. As for the US efforts to get their hands on the 38-year-old Dotcom and three of his accomplices, they claim that Megaupload has caused damages of over half a billion dollars. Dotcom’s small fortune was seized by New Zealand’s authorities, including millions of dollars in investments, and assets, such as luxury cars and artworks.
North Shore District Court Judge Nevin Dawson is the man who let Kim Dotcom free; he considered that the defendant no longer poses a flight risk as all of his assets and money were transparent. Kim had several attempts to bail, but all of them were denied as he was seen as a serious flight risk, but that changed:
“Since that time, all known assets have been seized and are unavailable for Mr. Dotcom’s use or disposal,” said the judge.
“No new assets or accounts of any significance have been revealed since his arrest. Mr. Dotcom’s submission that he has not concealed any assets or bank accounts has largely been borne out.”
The judge said he received an affidavit from Bonnie Lam – the Hong Kong chief financial officer of Megaupload who vouched for Kim.
US’ biggest fear is that Kim will try to reach Germany, his homeland country, because Germany has no extradition treaty signed with the US. However, Dawson said that although there is a law which prevents Germans being extradited to any country, there is a treaty between Germany and the U.S. that would allow Dotcom to be prosecuted in Germany if he flees and if German authorities believe that’s necessary.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Legal P2P News & Issues
The same giant publishers that today complain about piracy, have built their empires by pirating literary works themselves; HarperCollins is just an example
A recent article by Greg Sandoval at Cnet casts a different light on the intricate relationship between U.S. publishing industry and the U.S. government with emphasis on the latter’s ‘tolerance’ toward the former’s practice of pirating intellectual property.
Before this whole war-rage against piracy started, a silent agreement existed for decades between the U.S. Government and pirates, an agreement which aided many book publishers make a fortune.
An example is Edwin Burrows’ and Mike Wallace’s book “Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898”, in which they talk about the birth of NY’s publishing sector in the 1830s and 1840s; and, at that time, the government’s shuteye to copyright gave a significant boost to the publishers.
Burrows’ and Wallace’s book explain that one of the most reliable revenue source for U.S. publishers back then was mass-producing unauthorized copies of British books, while authors didn’t get any credit. However, although you may feel for British authors, don’t. They’ve done the same to French authors.
“Some (U.S. publishers) sent agents to England with orders to grab volumes from bookstalls… and ship them west by fast packet. Copy was then rushed from the dock to the composing room, presses run night and day, and books hurried to the stores or hawked in the streets like hot corn,” reads the book.
Furthermore, the authors explain that one of the most successful pirates was the company which later became HarperCollins, now owned by News Corp.
Copyright laws to protect publishers existed since 1787 in the United States, but only covered American works; the government “refused as yet to recognize foreign copyrights,” Gotham’s authors claim.
January 1842 was the time in which Charles Dickens visited New York. The British writer was most beloved by the city for his stories, as they perfectly vibrated with New York’s issues on poverty and class division. According to “Gotham”, Dickens’ purpose of visit was “partly for sightseeing, partly in a fruitless attempt to promote an international copyright law that would require Americans to pay for the pleasure of reading him.” Did he make money out of it? Not as much.
After putting his thoughts on paper about this trip, the piece was immediately pirated by U.S. publishers; and this went on for 40 years without any involvement from the government.
The following question may never find an answer: why the sudden interest in stopping piracy overseas? Oh, wait, I think the answer is actually pretty obvious even if it’s not one with which the US govt would ever agree.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Legal P2P News & Issues
Swepiracy, a BitTorrent tracker founded in 2006 and one of Sweden’s most popular file-sharing portals, has been brought down after a coordinated operation undertaken by authorities from both Sweden and the Netherlands.
A week ago, police forces in Norrköping (eastern Sweden) raided the house of a 20-year-old man who was suspected of running the website. Meanwhile, the Netherlands’ authorities seized Swepiracy’s servers located there.
“Swepiracy has tried to shield its operations by placing servers in the Netherlands but Swedish and Dutch police have, through coordinated raids, been able to secure evidence of [copyright] infringement,” Sweden’s Anti-Piracy Bureau (Antipiratbyrån) stated.
Also, according to the anti-piracy group Swepiracy was an important promoter of copyright infringement materials and, prior to this operation, has been warned to cease its illegal operations. As a precaution, the website’s owner moved the website’s servers into the Netherlands, but that didn’t help.
In a statement given to the local newspaper (Folkbladet) prosecutor Henrik Rasmusson said that the young man is suspected of running Swepiracy. He also said that the owner of the site have made a lot of money after charging the site’s users, in order to have access to pirated movies.
“Maybe as much as one million [kronor] ($150,000),” he said.
After answering some questions the man behind Swepiracy was released, but he remains under criminal suspicion of copyright infringement.
“He admits that he ran the operations, but he doesn’t believe doing so was a criminal act,” Rasmusson told the paper.
Theinternationals, SceneAccess and Sparvar are also scoped by the Anti-Piracy Bureau, and actions will be taken against them in the near future.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Downloads, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Tops
Alternatives to the Recently Defunct FileSharing Services
In the past few months some of the big names in the BitTorrent community had either decided to drop their support for file-sharing (see BTJunkie or Filesonic) or were seized by the US authorities (see MegaUpload). So, we’ve decided to compile a list of alternatives for all the filesharing lovers out there worried (or not) about the recent unfolding of events.
Being in the scene for years, the portal does not host torrent files, but redirects its visitors to downloadable links.
Rapidly growing in popularity since its launch in 2009, Kat.ph is now placed on the top 3 most visited torrent sites.
The semi-private tracker requires registration for full access.
Another newcomer, 1337x focuses on the community factor. The websites is currently placed on the 10th place.
Already scoped by the RIAA – who filed a complaint against the portal – BitSnoop is gaining a lot of audience this year.
Covering a wide variety of torrents, h33t is an excellent alternative.
7. The Pirate Bay
Recently changing their domain from .org to .se, The Pirate Bay needs no introduction. Instead of .torrents it now offers magnet links. TPB also introduced 3D downloadable objects in their “menu”.
Planning to change their domain from .com to .ws the portal’s goal is to “provide an easy-to-use directory and search engine for all kind of torrent files. Visitors of ExtraTorrent.com can upload torrents to this site, tracked by any BitTorrent tracker.”
Dedicated to TV shows torrents.
Yet another popular torrent site that managed to keep up after several attempts to be shut-down for good.