Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
To avoid the disastrous effects of misdirected copyright enforcement (see the case of the United States), but still keep piracy at bay, the Russian government has announced that is ready to adopt a different approach.
Governments from around the world desperately tried to put an end to piracy, either by dragging thousands of alleged infringers into copyright lawsuits or by going after the source – file-sharing services. Unfortunately for them neither worked. As a matter of fact, their efforts only increased the popularity of file-sharing websites, and did little to nothing to stop them from spreading. Their lack of inspiration to find a suitable solution – such as creating more virtual places where legal content can be purchased, understanding that there’s a vital difference between “hardcore pirates” and the usual BitTorrent user, and, why not, come up with improved copyright laws that do not undermine our freedom of speech and human rights – eventually led to an increase in popularity of what we know as graduated response systems. Their declared purpose is to educate the regular internet user about copyright and copyright infringement; however, this method is not enough for rightsholders, who continue to target file-sharers by the hundreds of thousands.
Taking the stand at Read Legally – Russia’s initiative to quench the thirst for knowledge in a legal manner, Vladimir Grigoryev (head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) said:
“We do not plan to hold Internet users liable for downloading as they do in the U.S., where owners of computers can end up in court.”
This doesn’t mean, however, that piracy will be welcomed with open arms by Russia. The Russian government is determined to impose stricter rules when it comes to websites that facilitate copyright infringement.
“Responsibility [for illegally downloading copyrighted content] will be placed on the owners of pirate websites,” Grigoryev said.
He continued by saying that Russian file-sharers will soon be the subjects of educational programs similar to those in the United States.
“[File-sharers] will enter an educational campaign,” he said.
Details about the campaign are scarce, at least for now, but the Russian government seems to be confident.
Time will tell whether the country’s entertainment industry, who had been sending complaints about VKontakte and AllofMP3 clones for years now, is going to be satisfied once these campaigns kick in or not.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
After being found guilty of inducing copyright infringement at a massive scale and liable of paying millions in damages to the MPAA, isoHunt is asking a federal court of appeals to grant it a jury trial.
Approximately two weeks ago the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made a decision in the isoHunt case. The three-judge panel ruled against Gary Fung (founder of isoHunt), making him liable of paying millions of dollars in damages to Hollywood’s studios.
Despite this decision, isoHunt is not yet ready to lay down its arms.
“Fung submits that, in a serious miscarriage of justice in a landmark case, he has been wrongfully denied trial by jury and found liable by judges on disputed facts through application of erroneous legal standards,” Ira Rothken (representing Fung), wrote to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday.
In an attempt to obtain a trail, Fung’s attorney asked the court of appeals to rehear the case, this time with a bigger panel of judges.
Furthermore, Rothken pointed to the fact that there is no difference between what Fung did and what Google does – that is not hosting infringing links but merely provide with them.
“No infringing materials touch Fung’s websites; he has no capacity to investigate or to police the internet,” he wrote.
His argument, however, may not appeal the court, who previously stated that unlike Google, Fung does not fall under the protection of U.S. copyright laws. The reason for that, the court continued, is because Fung’s business model was made to infringe copyright in the first place.
In response, Fung said that isoHunt was a search engine just like Google, and that it should be protected by the DMCA. He continued by saying that isoHunt acted on all takedown request from rights holders.
The court of appeals found him guilty anyway.
In a previous article on the subject, we’ve mentioned the court’s arguments about Fung posting messages that encouraged users to download files whenever they visit the website. To that, Rothken said:
“Liability based on messages culled from digital storage that are remote from any specific infringements at issue will severely chill free speech. The effect of decisions herein is to make sarcasm directed at copyright enforcement or statements in support of file-sharing a reason for later imposition of liability.”
If the court denies the request, Gary Fung will find himself in the position of paying a lot of money to the MPAA – that is up to $150.000 per infringement.
Stay tuned to find out more!
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Digital Media, Mobile Phones, P2P technology, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Tops
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the ship with most of all? The Pirate Bay is!
So, how did The Pirate Bay become the number one torrent hub in the world? Well, according to a TorrentFreak thesis, the downfall of cyberlockers, including 4Shared, Megaupload, RapidShare, FileServe and Hotfile, had pushed the ship’s sales into this position.
In 2011, cyberlockers were the undisputed kings of file-sharing. Before being shutdown, Megaupload alone accounted for an impressive number of users and internet traffic (not to mention that MU and Rapidshare had more internet traffic than Facebook back in 2009), while other one-click hosting services hurried to follow the pattern. Even further, at some point experts believed that file-hosting services will overthrow BitTorrent altogether.
This, however, did not happen. Instead, with the downfall of Megaupload, services alike started to impose anti-piracy measures, leading to a visible decrease in users and traffic.
Putting together data from Quantcast and Alexa, TorrentFreak came up with a list of the top ten sites that are used, in one way or the other, to share files. The leader is The Pirate Bay (currently ranked as #74 by Alexa), followed by MediaFire (currently ranked as #109 by Alexa), and KickassTorrents (currently ranked as #116 by Alexa).
The entire list as seen on TorrentFreak:
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Digital Media, Mobile Phones, P2P technology, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
The newly launched file-sharing service is attempting to promote the BitCoin (an unconventional BitTorrent currency) by offering high-speed remote transfers and HTTPS downloads.
When the fight against piracy pushes internet providers into throttling your bandwidth, a service that promotes high-speed transfers and, most of all, privacy is indeed a glimpse of hope for the future of BitTorrent; such a service is BitFetch.
Not only BitFetch allows high-speed remote downloading from any browser (no torrent client is needed), but it also aims to help build BitTorrent’s financial future by exclusively relying on the BitCoin.
One can make use of BitFetch by clicking the “Deposit” button (top right corner of the webpage).
“You can send any amount to this address using your Bitcoin client or online wallet,” their website reads.
Once the payment is complete, you can add torrents by either using a web torrent link or a magnet link. Furthermore, you can upload a torrent directly from within your internet browser. After the torrent file is completely downloaded, BitFetch will provide with a direct link of your files.
“I created BitFetch as an alternative to BitcoinTorrentz, since its owner went MIA since October and the site was down most of the time,” the service’s founder told TF.
BitFetch’s interface is looking awesome, with a sleek white over a black-greyish background and eye-candy effects. Also of interest is the fact that your regular torrent files will be stored for 2 days (48 hours) once the torrent download is completed. We said regular, because torrent files that exceed 10GB will expire after 10 days.
We store the following information:
Your account token – effectively your password
The amount of bytes you have downloaded
The amount of bitcoin you have deposited
Trivial statistics such as registration date or last activity
Your IP address, BitCoin transfers and billing address, browser headers, and anything that could jeopardize your identity are not stored, the website states.
“We use a single cookie to provide you with a balance when you revisit the website. This is the token ID that is shown when you click on Deposit and can be used to access your balance on other computers. If you delete this cookie you will be given a new unique token ID.”
“I always thought it was a great idea to take advantage of the instant nature, non-existent fees and pseudoanonymity of Bitcoin for services like this, especially in this day and age where governments and ISPs are the puppets of copyright groups,” BitFetch explained.
“I think that in the coming years BitCoin is going to become absolutely huge. People are slowly waking up to the fact that fiat currencies are a joke and Bitcoin actually puts the power back into their hands.”
BitTorrent ratio “trademark” is also a matter of interest for BitFetch.
“Bitfetch tries to keep a ratio above 1. In fact, in the last 2 months the average ratio has been 1.62 (total BT bytes out / total BT bytes in).”
One more thing, before we conclude our report on this. There are two other important features offered by BitFetch. Near the “Deposit” button, you will notice a “Settings” tab; here you can check whether automatic downloads are enabled or not, and enable/disable desktop notifications (this last feature works only with Google Chrome and Safari 6+).
Filed under: Announcements & Events, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
This sort of software leaks are quite common and usually they’re just the spark to ignite the users’ anticipation, a quick peek at what the company is working on.
Over the last few years, Microsoft has been sometimes openly bothered by the frequent leaks concerning its products, others times the company itself has been suspected as using this method to promote its software - this time the new “release” is one the company’s upcoming projects, Windows Blue and since this week can be found on filesharing sites (here, for example).
Apparently, the 2.63GB ISO file is thought to have been released by one of Microsoft’s service partners from France. From tomshardware.com we learn what this leaked version reveals:
Current users of Windows 8 still have access to the File Recovery option, but it takes a little digging to find it. It’s located in the Control Panel under “All Control Panel Items” and allows users to back up their data to an external drive. This supposedly isn’t in the next release at all.
Another “hands-on” report claims that Microsoft has pushed most of the PC settings controls from the desktop to the new Modern UI overlay. These include settings for SkyDrive, Network, Apps, Accounts, Update and Recovery, Time & Language, and others. “If you were looking for any further proof of the desktop being eased out going forward, look no further than this,” said Paul Thurrott.
The leaked update also reveals a handful of new apps including Alarms, Calculator, Movie Moments and Sound Recorder. There’s also a new updated Snap mode that allows users to open two apps side by side, each one consuming half the screen – currently only one takes up 75-percent of the screen. Snap may even accommodate up to four at a time.
Also seen in this build is the ability to manipulate the size and arrangement of tiles, and to name Start Screen groups without going into semantic zoom mode. The update even provides the ability to customize the desktop’s background and color schemes directly from the blocky Modern UI.
There is also a functional copy of IE included in the leaked ISO but for now there’s no info about the updates to it.
Microsoft will make Windows Blue available this summer as a preview and will officially release it near the end of this year.