Cloudflare Suspends Streaming Sites and File Hosters, But Not Over Piracy
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Cloudflare has suspended the account of the video streaming service RapidVideo, as well as several similar platforms. Some suspect that piracy allegations have something to do with it, but Cloudflare refutes this. The company explains that it can sometimes suspend sites that are found to cache a "disproportionate" amount of non-HTML files.

As one of the leading CDN and DDoS protection services, Cloudflare is used by millions of websites across the globe.

As with any service of its size, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the company’s clientele includes many pirate sites. This includes the likes of The Pirate Bay.

In recent years many copyright holders have complained about Cloudflare’s involvement with these platforms. However, the company maintains its position as a neutral Internet intermediary.

Copyright holders can request Cloudflare to share which hosting company serves the und...

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Posted on TorrentFreak
EU Commission Deletes Article 13 Post Because ‘Mob’ Understood it Incorrectly
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On Friday, the EU Commission published a piece on Medium that suggested that Google has taken over the minds of millions of citizens, rendering them incapable of thinking for themselves in their opposition of Article 13. The piece was later deleted with a note implying that people simply aren't capable of understanding the subtle nuances of the English language.

Last week the European Parliament and European Council agreed on the final text of the EU Copyright Directive.

Supporters of Article 13 say this will lead to a better deal for the entertainment industries at the expense of Google’s YouTube, since it will have to obtain proper licenses for content uploaded to platform, while taking responsibility for infringing uploads.

Opponents, on the other hand, believe that the Article 13 proposals will be bad news for the Internet as a whole, since they have the potential to stifle free speech and expression, at...

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Posted on TorrentFreak
Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 02/18/19
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The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'Creed II' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald'. 'Ralph Breaks the Internet' completes the top three.

This week we have four newcomers in our chart.

Creed II 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 articles of the recent weekly movie download charts.

This week’s most downloaded movies are: Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer Most downloaded movies via torrents 1 (…) Creed II 7.5 / trailer 2 (…) ...

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Torrent Sites Ban Popular Uploader ‘CracksNow’ for Sharing Ransomware
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Several torrent sites have banned the account of the popular software uploader CracksNow. The software and cracks were repeatedly flagged as malicious and some came with the GandCrab ransomware. While malicious torrents are nothing new, it's rare for this to happen via a "trusted" uploader.

The entertainment industries regularly warn the public at large that pirate sites are riddled with malware and viruses, posing a threat to unwitting visitors.

While these comments are partly made out of self-interest, they’re not entirely overblown. There are indeed plenty of scammers who upload nasty content that is added to, or disguised as, popular files.

This is nothing new and generally speaking, these files are easy to spot and swiftly removed from well-moderated sites. However, in a recent case, this wasn’t as apparent, since it involved a wel...

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When Building a Torrent Site, Streaming Service, or App, Intent is Almost Everything
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Every few weeks, plans for starting new torrent sites, streaming platforms, and apps, appear on Internet discussion platforms. While most have lofty goals, few consider what might happen when they hit the jackpot. Initial intent is crucial so careless actions early on can easily come back to haunt and then undermine successful projects.

Several weeks ago, former BitTorrent Inc. executive Simon Morris published a series of articles on Medium, discussing his time at the company and thoughts for the future.

By any standard, his articles are absolutely first class and a must-read for anyone interested in the resilience of the BitTorrent protocol, decentralization, and how ‘breaking rules’ can create both winners and losers.

The third piece in the series raises an extremely important issue – that of initial intent when creating disruptive platforms or technologies.

Perhaps mos...

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Pirate Site Slammed for Meddling with DRM-Free Games, Circumvention Ensues
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Pirate site IGG-Games, which sits among the top 1,500 sites in the world, is under fire for meddling with pirate releases. One particular example involves the DRM-free game The Eternal Castle, which has been modified not to run if people remove IGG-Games' advertising code. The site says it needs to do this to prevent other sites "stealing" its releases but pirates are not impressed. In fact, they've developed a tool to remove this 'DRM'.

When piracy groups or sites release games online, consumers (despite paying nothing for the pleasure) expect certain standards.

On a base level the game must work as advertised, any DRM should be removed, and no one should add any unwanted extras – particularly not malware, spyware, or forced advertising.

In the vast majority of cases, pirate releases tend to conform to these standards but a popular pirate site called IGG-Games (Ranked the 1,500th most popular site in the world by SimilarWeb) has been widely accused of not playing by the accepted rules for quit...

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Filmmakers Want Phone Ban and Special Court to Tackle Indian ‘Cam’ Piracy
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Now that 'cam' piracy is being outlawed in India, the local Film Federation is calling for a special court to handle these cases. In addition, it wants phones to be banned from theaters. While the movie industry requests these tough measures, new data suggest that Indian 'cam' piracy has dropped drastically in recent years, at least for some movies.

With Bollywood, India has a thriving movie industry that’s known all around the world.

On the other hand, the country also has one of the highest piracy rates, which is seen as a major threat by industry insiders.

Following pressure from U.S. movie companies, India’s government recently agreed to update its Cinematograph Act to outlaw ‘cam’ piracy. Anyone recording or transmitting movies in a movie theater without permission now faces a three-year prison sentence.

This change was welcomed by film industry insiders around the w...

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Vox Targets The Verge Critic With Dubious YouTube Takedown
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Vox Media has targeted a YouTuber over a critical reaction video of The Verge's highly criticized "PC Build" how-to. The company sent a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube, claiming that the video infringed its rights. While Vox may have hoped to bury the video, it move swiftly backfired.

The Verge is typically known as a news operation that’s fairly critical of copyright abuse. 

The site has repeatedly highlighted problems with YouTube’s Content-ID and copyright takedown system. 

Just this week it reported how YouTube is being used for extortion scams, an issue that we covered last month. The site also covered the Article 13 plans in the EU, with a headline stating that it threatens the Internet as we knew it.

Given the above, it’s surprising that a video from The Verge is now at the center of the latest YouTube cop...

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EU Commission Portrays “Article 13” Opponents as a Misled and Misinformed Mob
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With the ink barely dry on Wednesday's agreement for the final draft of Article 13, the EU Commission published an eyebrow-raising piece Thursday. While much of it is implied, the Commission suggests that the millions of people who opposed Article 13 have been misled and are therefore poorly informed.

This Wednesday the European Parliament and European Council agreed on the final text of the EU Copyright Directive.

That, of course, includes the hugely controversial Article 13, which critics insist will lead to upload filtering, censorship, plus all kinds of unintended consequences that could change the shape of the Internet forever.

Urgent claims have been made on both sides, including that the music industry could be brought to its knees if Article 13 doesn’t pass, and the Internet will break if the worst fears of the legislation come true. In the end and a...

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South Korea Expands Site Blocking Efforts with SNI Eavesdropping
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South Korea will expand its site blocking measures with SNI eavesdropping, so HTTPS sites can be blocked as well. The new measure, which will also affect pirate sites, has generated widespread opposition. While it's more effective than standard DNS blocking, it's certainly not impossible to circumvent.

When it comes to pirate site blocking, South Korea is one of the most active countries in the Asia-Pacific region. 

According to recent data from the Motion Picture Association, the country has blocked 456 sites to prevent the public from accessing pirated material.

These blocking orders are sanctioned by the Korean Communications Standards Commission (KCSC), which also oversees other blocking efforts, including those targeted at porn or illegal gambling sites. 

While the ISP blockades work well for regular HTTP sites, they are fairly easy to bypass ...

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