New York Times: Three Charged With Leaking Movies as Part of Global Piracy Ring. “Three men are facing federal charges of participating in an international piracy ring that distributed popular movies and television shows online before their release dates, prosecutors announced Wednesday. The men, who have been charged with copyright infringement conspiracy, were accused of being members of the Sparks Group, a sophisticated piracy outfit spanning several continents.”
Sydney Morning Herald: Google moves to block movie piracy loophole. “Google Australia has agreed to banish hundreds more websites involved in the illegal downloading of movies and programs after pirates were able to bypass its initial attempts to remove them from search results. The tech giant agreed to voluntarily pull down websites engaging in piracy last year to help stop the spread of illegally downloaded material, a move which allowed copyright holders to avoid fighting the tech giant for an injunction in court.”
Music Ally: BPI has now asked Google to remove more than 500m search links. “British music industry body the BPI has set a new milestone, but it’s announcing it in frustration rather than celebration. The body says it has just submitted its 500 millionth URL to Google, asking for it to be delisted from the company’s search engine on the grounds of copyright infringement. The BPI also says it has sent 398m removal notices to Microsoft for the Bing and Yahoo search engines, meaning it’s on course to reach 1bn total link submissions across those search engines this year.” BPI stands for British Phonographic Industry.
I’m not a huge fan of piracy, but I admire the creativity. Mashable: This site is a pirate radio for the most popular streaming services . “All the Streams claims to be a ‘private radio for streaming,’ and does work as such. You can ‘turn the dial’ and go to channels of the main streaming services, from Hulu to Netflix to Amazon Prime. Like actual pirate radio, you cannot choose what’s playing — you just sit back and enjoy.” As of this writing it is still working. Warning: the video playing on the Showtime channel when I checked it contained nudity.
TorrentFreak: Torrent Sites Help Game Developer to Share Free Copy of ‘Death and Taxes’. “With help from some top torrent sites, Placeholder Gameworks has released a free copy of its new game Death and Taxes. The developer torrent has the same features as the $12.99 Steam release. While there’s no significant effect on sales, developer Oak, who once was a hardcore pirate himself, is convinced that the official torrent will help the game in the long run.”
Complete Music Update: Australian copyright owners say Google should help enforce the web-blocks. “Australian anti-piracy organisation Creative Content Australia has called on the country’s government to do more to force search engines and social media to stop pesky pirates from accessing proxy servers that allow them to reach piracy sites that have been blocked.”
The Next Web: You’ll need 19 years and $139,346 to download everything on The Pirate Bay. “Since its inception 17 years ago, users have uploaded 6,720 terabytes — or 6.7 petabytes — worth of content to The Pirate Bay, according to a data shared by Pirate Bay admin Winston… Out of this, only 2.58 petabytes are still being seeded.”
Billboard: Labels & Publishers Win $1 Billion Piracy Lawsuit Against Cox Communications. “Cox Communications was found liable for the piracy infringement of more than 10,000 musical works by a U.S. District Court jury in Virgina on Thursday (Dec. 19), awarding $1 billion statutory damages to plaintiffs Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and EMI.”
Economic Times: Film maker wins copyright infringement case against Google, YouTube. “Indian filmmaker Suneel Darshan has won a copyright infringement case against Google and its YouTube video-streaming platform, after an eight-year-long court battle.”
The Register: Europol wipes out 30,000+ piracy sites, three suspects cuffed to walk the legal plank. “In total, Europol says it was able to shut down 30,506 domains. They also arrested three people, seized 26,000 pieces of clothing and perfume, grabbed 363 litres of alcohol (about 10 Reg holiday parties), an unspecified number of hardware devices, and upwards of €150,000 in bank and online payment accounts.”
BBC: Sham news sites make big bucks from fake views. “There are 350 million registered domain names on the internet. Experts say it’s impossible to count how many are sham news sites. But just like legitimate websites, they earn money from the major tech companies that pay them to display ads.”
Publishers Weekly: Educational Publishers File Suit to Block Sale of Pirated E-books. “According to the lawsuit filed in the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the pirate sites are selling unlicensed e-books using Google ads which they place in response to searches for the publishers’ legitimate content. While the lawsuit proceeds, the publishers, through the Educational Publishers Enforcement Group which brought the action, were granted a temporary restraining order that calls for the immediate shut down of the illegal activity on these sites, as well as the cessation of the services that support the sites.”
BBC: Rise of comic book piracy ‘a real problem’. “A comic book writer’s claim that the proliferation of piracy is “a real problem” has encouraged others in the industry to share their concerns. Jim Zub, who writes for Marvel and IDW, tweeted that 20 times as many people read comics illegally shared online, than pay for digital or physical works.”
Ubergizmo: A Boxing Fight Was Illegally Streamed Through The Reflection Off A Guy’s Glasses. “There are some sporting events that are held behind a paywall where viewers will need to purchase a pass in order to watch it. There are some ways to get around this, such as going to a bar where the event might be streamed, or alternatively, there is always pirate streams that you could look for.”
TorrentFreak: Spammers Abuse Medium.com to Spread ‘Pirate’ Scams. “Scammers are using the online publishing platform Medium to spread links to supposedly pirated movies and TV-shows. The issue plagues many platforms, but as one of the world’s most visited websites, Medium is an ideal tool to lure prospective pirates into signing up for dubious subscriptions.”