Posted: 05 Sep 2016 12:51 AM PDT
In recent years, file-sharers all across the world have been threatened with lawsuits, if they don’t pay a significant settlement fee.
The process was pioneered in Germany where it turned into an industry by itself, but copyright holders have also targeted alleged pirates in the UK, United States, Canada and elsewhere.
Earlier this year, rightsholders began targeting Sweden, with more details appearing in public last week.
One of the organizations leading the way is Spridningskollen (Distribution Check). Using data gathered by German anti-piracy outfit Excipio, they plan to start by targeting around 1,000 alleged pirates, offering them settlements of around $233 (2,000 kronor).
Spridningskollen spokesman Gordon Odenbark compared the process with speeding cameras, where torrent users risk a ‘fine’ if they get caught. This will generate revenue, but could also act as a deterrent, preventing other people from violating rightsholders’ rights.
Interestingly, however, shortly after Spridningskollen announced its plans the group itself faced allegations of intellectual property rights violations. Swedish ISP Bahnhof is accusing the group of trademark infringement, noting that they have a claim on the “spridningskollen” mark.
“Bahnhof was the first to apply for the Spridningskollen trademark rights at the Swedish Patent and Registration Office,” the ISP announced.
Earlier this year Bahnhof was the first ISP to warn the public about the looming flood of settlement requests. To help the public understand the severity of the issue the ISP launched the site Spridningskollen.org, which they say maps the “spread of extortion letters” from copyright holders.
Now that the anti-piracy group has ‘stolen’ their name, Bahnhof plans to take action over the apparent trademark infringement.
“It is surprising that those who claim to defend intellectual property rights don’t track it better themselves. It says a lot about the quality level of their so-called initiative,” Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung says.
The ISP is demanding that the website of the anti-piracy group, Spridningskollen.se, is shut down.
“Our lawyers are looking into it. We see the many different ways that interfere with their operation. Extortion letters are unethical, anachronistic and counter-productive,” Karlung says.
In addition, Bahnhof is calling on the Government to reform copyright law in order to prevent excessive and overbroad enforcement tactics.
Until then, the ISP vows to protect its subscribers from the copyright trolling practice as best as they can. This means that if copyright holders demand IP-address info and user details from Bahnhof, they will fight this in court.
Posted: 04 Sep 2016 11:39 PM PDT
This week we have four newcomers in our chart.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is the most downloaded movie.
The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are Web-DL/Webrip/HDRip/BDrip/DVDrip unless stated otherwise.
RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart.
Posted: 04 Sep 2016 11:48 AM PDT
The movie industry has gone head to head with Google in recent years, demanding tougher anti-piracy measures from the search engine.
According to Warner Bros. and other major studios, Google makes it too easy for its users to find pirated content. Instead, they would prefer Google to remove sites such as The Pirate Bay from search results entirely.
Warner itself is also taking action, by reporting pirated content to the search engine, asking it to be removed from the index. This year the movie studio intensified its efforts and thus far it has flagged over four million allegedly infringing URLs.
We use the term allegedly with good reason, as not all of the reports are accurate. In fact, this week we stumbled upon recent takedown requests that have some glaring errors.
With help from its anti-piracy partner Vobile, Warner asked Google to censor several of its own URLs from the search engine.
The same notice also lists another Warnerbros.com URL for the sci-fi classic The Matrix. Again, Vobile asks Google to remove this link from search results, acting on behalf of the Hollywood studio.
The apparent ‘self-censorship’ is not a one-off mistake either. A few days earlier, a similar DMCA takedown notice targeted Warner’s website, claiming that the official page for The Lucky One is infringing Warner’s copyrights.
Of course, Warner only hurts itself with these erroneous takedown requests. Unfortunately, however, Warnerbros.com is not the only ‘legitimate’ domain that’s being targeted.
The same notices highlighted above also target a link to the Amazon store, where users can rent or buy a copy of The Dark Knight. In addition, it targets a link to Batman Begins in the Sky Cinema store, as well as the film’s official IMDb page.
In other words, Warner is inadvertently trying to make it harder for the public to find links to legitimate content, which runs counter to their intentions.
Luckily for the Hollywood studio, Google is there to save the day. The search engine spotted their mistakes and decided to take no action for the Amazon, Sky and IMDb links.
The Warnerbros.com URLs are still under investigation though, perhaps to make the studio sweat a little.
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