Sweden’s IIS Faces The Court Of Law; Prosecutor Accuses The Organization Of Assisting Copyright Infringement
Filed under: Announcements & Events, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Legal P2P News & Issues
The Internet Infrastructure Foundation (IIS), Sweden’s company in charge with top-level domain name registrations (.se), refused to put down two of The Pirate Bay’s domain names and is now charged by the country’s prosecution office with assisting copyright infringement.
A little bird told The Pirate Bay (earlier this year), that Swedish authorities will go after its .se domain names. As such, TPB dropped the anchor in Greenland, then in Iceland, and finally in Sint Maarten (.SX).
Although TPB no longer uses any of its .se domain names, Swedish authorities are determined to cut all of the ship’s connections with the IIS. As such, the Swedish Prosecution Authority filed a petition (at the beginning of this month) with the Stockholm District Court, asking IIS to take action against thepiratebay.se and piratebay.se. The organization refused to comply.
“The legal system has not been able to shut down the service after the previous guilty verdict against TPB,” IIS’s Chief of Communications Maria Ekelund told TorrentFreak.
“Therefore the prosecutor has opened a new case against both the domain holders and .SE. The prosecutor is accusing .SE of assisting TPB who are assisting others to commit copyright infringement.”
“In the eyes of the prosecutor, .SE’s catalogue function has become some form of accomplice to criminal activity, a perspective that is unique in Europe as far as I know,” IIS’s CEO Danny Aerts said.
“There are no previous cases of states suing a registry for abetting criminal activity or breaching copyright law,” he continued.
As far as the company is concerned, they did nothing but to provide with a service that’s meant to link URLs to a specific IP address, just as they do for Google(.se).
“.SE translates the .se domain names to name servers, a name server operator translates this into an IP address and a resolver operator (such as Telia) helps .SE respond to the most frequent queries,” Aerts explained.
“IP addresses are subsequently allotted to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) through RIPE. And IANA grants us the right to administer the top-level .se domain. Perhaps I should also remember to mention Google, which helps you find the address if you do not know the domain name.”
In other words, this complex system is keeping the internet online, and IIS is not the only one responsible for doing so.
“Where should the line be drawn for legal processes and matters of liability?” Aerts asked.
“.SE will naturally respond to the prosecutor’s perspective. We have an educational task ahead of us in explaining to the District Court what a domain name is, what .SE does and the fundamentally incorrect nature behind seizing a domain name forever,” he continued.
Unfortunately for the company, the trial will cost a whole lot of money, money that will be taken out of ISS’s educational programs.
“This will be an expensive process and, although our lawyers will find it an interesting case, these are funds that we would rather spend on our investments in schools or digital inclusion,” Aerts stated.
If the Swedish Prosecution Authority wins the case, IIS will be forced to erase any evidence that thepiratebay.se and piratebay.se ever existed as registered under .se domain names.
“Removing a domain name can be compared to taking down the signs hanging outside the shoe store. Although this would make it more difficult for customers to find the store, it would still be there and any customers who were able to find it would be able to continue buying shoes there,” the company’s CEO concluded.
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Digital Media, Mobile Phones, P2P technology, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
The comprehensive report on sharing PC games via BitTorrent’s networks reveals some interesting aspects of the “digital piracy” issue. The results are to be published in the “International Journal of Advanced Media and Communication”.
The illegal sharing of digital content (using peer-to-peer technology) has been the catalyst of thousands of debates and media headlines. With one side claiming that online piracy is the death of the American jobs and responsible for billions of dollars lost by the entertainment industry, the other one’s flag reads “freedom of speech”, “internet’s freedom” and “piracy is not theft”. The most epic controversy of the past decade is born, but what we really know about each of the coin’s side proves to be limited.
The report, as mentioned before, focused on game piracy and used open methodologies to gather data that covered a three-month period – between 2010 and 2011. One hundred and seventy three games were included. The results prove to tear down all the myths surrounding online piracy. For example, “shooter” games are not pirates favorite dish, but also children’s games and family games. Moreover, it highlights that the real figure of illegal copies that are being accessed via BitTorrent is under what other reports (the gaming industry’s) claim to be.
Specifics of the report reveal that 12.6 million unique peers (covering more than 250 countries/areas) shared pirated games, including Darksiders, Fallout: New Vegas, NBA 2k11, Call of Duty: Black Ops, TRON Evolution, Starcraft 2, Star Wars the Force Unleashed 2, The Sims 3: Late Night, Two Worlds II, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Furthermore, of the 173 sampled games, the ten most popular titles drove more than 4 out of every 10 unique peers on BitTorrent, and just 20 of the monitored countries were contributing to more than three-quarters of the total file-sharing activity.
An average of 536,727 unique peers (spread across the globe) sharing the most popular games titles via BitTorrent were acknowledged during the three-month period. The most dedicated unique peers seemed to cover the following territories: Romania, Croatia, Greece, Poland, Ukraine, Italy, Armenia, Serbia, and Portugal.
Another interesting aspect is that mass-media’s positive game reviews drive the most attention on BitTorrent’s networks.
“First and foremost, P2P game piracy is extraordinarily prevalent and geographically distributed [at least it was during the period analyzed]. However, the numbers in our investigation suggest that previously reported magnitudes in game piracy are too high,” Anders Drachen (working for the Department of Communication and Psychology, at Aalborg University and the PLAIT Lab, Northeastern University and Robert Veitch of the Department of IT Management at Copenhagen Business School, in Frederiksberg, Denmark) said.
“It also appears that some common myths are wrong, e.g. that it is only shooters that get pirated, as we see a lot of activity for children’s and family games on BitTorrent for the period we investigated.”
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Downloads, Movies, MP3, Digital Audio & Games, Tops
TorrentFreak has published the data they collected with the top 10 most shared movies on BitTorrent for the week ended May 12. All the films included in this chart are DVDrips (unless mentioned otherwise).
A stunning surprise from ‘Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters’, as it managed to go up 5 places, all the way to number one. Breathing on the deadly duo’s necks is ‘Iron Man 3′ (still CAM version), followed by ‘Parker’.
This week’s chart features four new entries.
The chart also includes free download links for the movies listed here – via Kat.ph (clicking on download movie links in the chart below shows you all the versions available for the respective movie; just pick the one you want [don't simply click on that big blue button] and then download it).
|Ranking||(last week)||Movie||Rating / Trailer||Download Movie|
|1||(6)||Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters||6.2/trailer|
|2||(2)||Iron Man 3 (CAM)||7.8/trailer|
|4||(…)||Assault On Wall Street||6.0/trailer|
|6||(3)||The Place Beyond The Pines (DVDscr)||7.7/trailer|
|7||(…)||I Give It A Year||6.0/trailer|
|9||(…)||Escape From Planet Earth||5.2/trailer|
|10||(5)||21 And Over
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Downloads, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services, Tops
To get a better view on how the peer-to-peer scene is evolving with respect to what file sharing software people are using, we keep you posted weekly with the latest numbers. So here’s a list with last week’s top ten most downloaded p2p file sharing programs – the chart is based on figures published by Download.cnet.com and it refers to the number of times a p2p client was downloaded from their site (to download the programs click on their names – between brackets are displayed the current versions of the apps).
Week ended May 12
|P2P Filesharing Client||Number of downloads (last week)||Number of downloads(total)|
|1. uTorrent (3.3) Read review||46,277||20,675,494|
|2. BitTorrent (7.8 Read review||12,587||22,365,738|
|3. uTorrent (3.2.beta)||8,280||334,594|
|4. FrostWire (5.5.6) Read review||4,446||34,448,040|
|5. Vuze (5.0) Read review||4,047||9,169,030|
|6. BitComet (1.35) Read review||3,755||84,544,064|
|7. Movie Torrent (4.0.8) Read review||3,176||1,421,836|
|8. BitChe (2.0 build 60)||2,148||605,047|
|9. Ares Galaxy (2.2.4)
|10. uTorrent Control
Filed under: Announcements & Events, File-Sharing Programs, Networks & Services
Signed and written by Kim Dotcom, the 48-pages long white paper is breaking the Megaupload case into small pieces. Let’s take a quick look at the highlight features of his statement.
“The United States vs. You (and Kim Dotcom)” is Kim’s story on how the United States chose to seize his business (Megaupload). What happened “represents one of the clearest examples of prosecutorial overreach in recent history,” the document explains.
The white paper goes on to remind about the failure of SOPA, and how the US government chose Megaupload as a target. It reminds the reader about a legal precedent, when, on April the 18th 2013, a court ruled that YouTube is not responsible for what its users upload (as long as the company can prove that it was not unaware of the infringement). The same clemency could have been given to Megaupload, but did that happen? As we all know, it didn’t.
Citing Professor Goldman, we find that:
[T]he government’s prosecution of Megaupload demonstrates the implications of the government acting as a proxy for private commercial interests. The government is using its enforcement powers to accomplish what most copyright owners haven’t been willing to do in civil court (i.e., sue Megaupload for infringement); and the government is doing so by using its incredibly powerful discovery and enforcement tools that vastly exceed the tools available in civil enforcement; and the government’s bringing the prosecution in part because of the revolving door between government and the content industry (where some of the decision-makers green-lighting the enforcement action probably worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the copyright owners making the request) plus the Obama administration’s desire to curry continued favor and campaign contributions from well-heeled sources.
This is where Kim made a terrible mistake, that of collaborating with US authorities in another case (read more here). Meanwhile, US investigators were gathering incriminating data on Megaupload, ultimately leading to the questionable seizure of the domain.
Kim’s white document is full of interesting details about the whole fiasco, suggesting some pretty wild ideas (including that of being a scapegoat) about why Megaupload was targeted and not Rapidshare instead.
“The United States Vs. You” also reminds us about Aaron Swartz, a young and brilliant mind who took his own life.
“The unfortunate case of Aaron Swartz also comes to mind. Swartz was a young internet entrepreneur – founder of Infogami and co-founder of Reddit and RSS co- developer – an activist for government reform, digital rights and civil liberties, and a vocal opponent of SOPA. He was indicted in 2011 for allegedly attaching a laptop to MIT’s computer network and downloading a large number of articles from an archive of academic journals. The prosecution alleged that Swartz intended to make the papers available on P2P file-sharing sites,” Kim’s paper reads.
Tragically, Aaron Swartz killed himself on January 11, 2013, about two weeks before a significant evidence suppression hearing in his legal case. Shortly after Swartz’s death, his attorney sent a letter to the Office of Professional Responsibility of the U.S. Department of Justice, requesting an inquiry into the conduct of the lead prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymann. According to Swartz’s lawyer:. . . AUSA Heymann appears to have failed timely to disclose exculpatory evidence relevant to Mr. Swartz’s pending motion to suppress. Indeed, evidence suggests AUSA Heymann may have misrepresented to the Court the extent of the federal government’s involvement in the investigation into Mr. Swartz’s conduct prior to the application for certain search warrants.Second, AUSA Heymann appears to have abused his discretion when he attempted to coerce Mr. Swartz into foregoing his right to a trial by pleading guilty. Specifically, AUSA Heymann offered Mr. Swartz four to six months in prison for a guilty plea, while threatening to seek over seven years in prison if Mr. Swartz chose to go to trial.
Read it in full here.