January 30th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

gavelIn the U.S. roughly half a million people have been sued for sharing copyrighted files in recent years, but filing of mass-lawsuits is not getting easier. A federal judge in Iowa has just issued a key order which makes mass-BitTorrent piracy lawsuits virtually impossible. The judge ruled that copyright holders can’t join multiple defendants in one suit, since there is no proof that they shared files with each other.

In order to join multiple defendants in one lawsuit a copyright holder has to make it clear that they were involved in the same series of transactions. In other words, it has to be likely that the alleged pirates traded files with each other.

In the cases in question, there were weeks or even months between the time the first and last defendant was spotted sharing the film. This makes it very unlikely that all defendants did in fact share files with each other.

“In the Killer Joe cases, the January defendants would have to be connected to the Internet and still actively distributing data through the BitTorrent client approximately three months later to be involved in the same transaction as the April defendants, which is implausible at best,” the Judge writes.

Read the full article @ TorrentFreak.com.

Posted in Politics & Law Tagged with:

December 23rd, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Update 12/29/13: Sadly, this has turned out not to be true.

Iron Maiden - The TrooperIn the case of Iron Maiden, still a top-drawing band in the U.S. and Europe after thirty years, it noted a surge in traffic in South America. Also, it saw that Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Columbia, and Chile were among the top 10 countries with the most Iron Maiden Twitter followers. There was also a huge amount of BitTorrent traffic in South America, particularly in Brazil.

Rather than send in the lawyers, Maiden sent itself in. The band has focused extensively on South American tours in recent years, one of which was filmed for the documentary “Flight 666.” After all, fans can’t download a concert or t-shirts. The result was massive sellouts. The São Paolo show alone grossed £1.58 million (US$2.58 million) alone.

Read the full article @ CITE World.

Posted in Politics & Law Tagged with: , , ,

December 2nd, 2013 by Michael Sauers

salinger three storiesFile-sharing sites and platforms of all kinds can be goldmines of unusual information and today fans of writer J. D. Salinger will be the ones getting particularly excited. Last evening three previously unreleased stories by the reclusive American author were uploaded to private BitTorrent tracker What.cd, including The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls, a piece previously under lock and key at the Princeton University Library. The stories are now widely available.

Read the full article @ TorrentFreak.com.

Posted in ebooks Tagged with: , ,

April 23rd, 2013 by Michael Sauers

sync-appBitTorrent Inc. has opened up its Sync app to the public today. The new application is free of charge and allows people to securely sync folders to multiple devices using the BitTorrent protocol. Complete control over the storage location of the files and the absence of limits is what sets BitTorrent’s solution apart from traditional cloud based synchronization services.

Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive and Mega are just a few examples of the many file-storage and backup services that are available today.

All these services rely on external cloud based hosting to back up and store files. This means that you have to trust these companies with your personal and confidential files, and that your storage space is limited.

For those people who want to be in control of their own data there haven’t been many alternatives, but BitTorrent Sync has the potential to trigger a small revolution on this front.

Read the full article on TorrentFreak.com.

Posted in Internet, Tech Tagged with: , , ,

March 20th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

NYPL uses filters. Fine. I’m not going to have that argument. But it looks like they block “Peer-to-Peer File Sharing” as a category. Why? 

A spokesperson for the library confirmed to TorrentFreak that they use blocking software to restrict access to these websites. This is done to protect Internet users from seeing inappropriate or illegal content.

“In an effort to protect patrons from inappropriate content or malicious activity and comply with existing laws, NYPL uses filtering software to prevent access to identified websites that offer potentially illegal or malicious content, as well as those that may cause harm to Library technology,” TorrentFreak was told.

Sorry, but the way I read that last bit, in order to do that you should just pretty much block the Internet as a whole as any Web site could contain" “potentially illegal or malicious content”.

Read the full article @ TorrentFreak. (Unless you’re at the NYPL then you can as they’re blocked too.)

Posted in Libraries, Tech Tagged with: , , ,

July 28th, 2011 by Michael Sauers

Netflix Relief Fund with Jason Alexander from Jason Alexander

Posted in video Tagged with: , ,

July 2nd, 2008 by Michael Sauers

Let’s say that I download the last episode of the recent season of Lost via BitTorrent. It’s not yet available on DVD and I get broadcast TV in my home. Is this theft? Some in the entertainment world say yes. Here’s an example:

In a demonstration for BusinessWeek earlier this year, Attributor executives showed how many times scenes from "The Sopranos" had appeared on 20 leading video sites since they first aired on TV. In all, 1,500 scenes from 52 episodes had been viewed 32 million times. For Time Warner’s (TWX) HBO, those viewings might have brought in more than $1 million, said Attributor Chief Executive Officer Jim Brock. [Emphasis added.]

The quote talks about and HBO series which people do pay to see (by subscribing to HBO) but I’ve read similar statements regarding broadcast TV shows too. But here’s the catch:

It turns out that Brock was estimating revenue from advertising that did, or could have, run next to the "Sopranos" clips. I’m glad I asked, because there’s a big difference between an overlooked opportunity and outright theft.

Here is exactly where we need to separate the hype from the reality. Is the company losing money because of theft or because of their lack of understanding and missing of an opportunity?

Read the full article at Tools of Change for Publishing.

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May 15th, 2008 by Michael Sauers

TorrentFreak has a great post explaining some of the most common misconceptions about anti-piracy enforcement today. They are:

  1. There have been very few actual legal cases, as yet, that have involved torrents.
  2. The majority of copyright cases are CIVIL, not criminal
  3. What most people think of as being the law, often isn’t.
  4. The RIAA and the MPAA never get involved in anti piracy evidence collection directly.
  5. Most of the time, people are going from what someone they have met on a forum had read in an IRC channel.

Each of these are addresses in detail on TorrentFreak.

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May 9th, 2008 by Michael Sauers

DrEvil Ok, I exaggerate a little but this is getting a smidge ridiculous. The MPAA is demanding $15.4 million from The Pirate Bay to "cover the damages they suffered from 4 movies and 13 TV-episodes that were made available via the popular BitTorrent tracker". Sorry, but by that logic, never mind the insane math involved in coming up with that number, the MPAA should be suing Google too since I can find torrents of The Pink Panther via their search engine too. 

Pirate Bay’s response: “The worst thing is that I lost 100 kronor on a bet on the number they would come up with,” Sunde added. “And, it sucks that they didn’t claim more than for Napster and the other sites. It’s cooler to break the record.”

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July 2nd, 2007 by Michael Sauers

I’ll stick with Azureus as it allows me to do many things to control my Torrents but for those not willing to put in the effort, try FireTorrent. This is a simple Firefox add-on that allows you to download torrents. It just adds a new “torrent” tab to the Downloads screen and takes over whenever you click on a link to a .torrent file.

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