The U.S. Copyright Office regularly reviews these exemptions to Section 1201 of the DMCA, which prevent the public from ‘tinkering’ with DRM-protected content and devices.

These provisions are renewed every three years after the Office hears various arguments from stakeholders and the general public. This year, this process has resulted in some noteworthy changes

There was a major victory for the “right to repair” movement, as Vice points out, which gives the public more leeway to fix their own devices even if the means that they have to break DRM in the process.

In addition, there’s also an important update related to the preservation of abandoned games.

To preserve these games for future generations and nostalgic gamers, the Copyright Office previously included game preservation exemptions. This meant that libraries, archives, and museums can use emulators and other circumvention tools to make old classics playable.

However, these exemptions are limited and do not apply to games that require a connection to an online server, which includes the most recent games. When the online servers are taken down, the game simply disappears forever.

To address this, several game fans including San Francisco’s Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (The MADE) urged the Copyright Office to expand the DMCA exemptions to online games. And with the release of the new exemptions, game archivists gained some new freedoms.

The new exemptions will allow preservation institutions who legally possess a copy of a video game’s server code and the game’s local code, to break DRM and other technological restrictions to make these playable.

This type of “tinkering” is seen as fair use by the Government, which rejects critique from the major game companies who fear that this may hurt sales of the games they sell.

Part of the new exemptions (full decision here)

The MADE founder Alex Handy informs TorrentFreak he is happy with the decision but notes that there still is a long way to go before all games can be legally archived.

“While this exemption does not necessarily fix all the problems that are out there in the difficult realm of digital preservation, it is another step forward toward reforming our extremely restrictive digital copyright laws,” Handy tells us.

“We’ve gained a small victory that will help us save dead MMOs, provided, of course, we have been given the original server code by the owning entity. The exemption allows us to circumvent any DRM or other restrictions included in the game, or around it.”

The exemption process generally moves slowly but for game preservationists, this is certainly a step in the right direction. Handy notes that the Copyright Office put a lot of work into their review, but that it may not fully understand what’s at stake here.

Without proper exemptions to legally archive works, many games are at risk of being lost forever.

“When George Martin was asked why he hadn’t saved more Beatles outtakes and recordings, he responded that he didn’t know anyone would care about those things in the future,” Handy says.

“The same thing is going on in the games industry, and it is only very recently that most companies in the industry have begun to properly preserve their histories, source code and all.”

This was also illustrated by James Clarendon, software development manager at Amazon, during a hearing on the exemptions earlier this year. He worked for 2K Games in 2012 and was confronted with this problem when the company wanted to reissue their megahit BioShock after five years.

“The problem was, was that no archive of that game existed and nobody had actually put in the time to build an archive for that. We had to scour people’s machines, artists, engineers, everybody’s machines to find the missing pieces and put it back together,” Clarendon said, adding that they didn’t manage to reissue the full original.

The MADE says that it will continue work to widen the exemptions until all games can be properly archived. That will likely take a few more hearings, at a minimum, but they believe it’s worth the effort.

“The MADE is thankful for everyone who helped out in this project, including our friends in the industry, the folks at Reddit’s PCMasterRace and our lawyers from UC Berkeley,” Handy says.

A full overview of the Copyright Office’s final rules is available here (pdf). This also includes a new DMCA circumvention exemption for filmmakers to rip a DVD or Blu-Ray disc, beyond the documentary genre, although that remains limited.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

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In a complaint filed in a federal court in Texas, the persons behind the ZemTV addon and the TVAddons library were accused of copyright infringement.

Following a confidential settlement, last month Dish Network dismissed its lawsuit against TVAddons founder Adam Lackman. However, ZemTV developer Shahjahan Durrani, Shani for short, remained at risk.

The UK-based Kodi-addon programmer initially planned to defend himself but had to give up this fight due to the high costs. As a result, Dish moved for a default judgment which has now been granted.

Without a proper defense, US District Court Judge Vanessa Gilmore agreed that Shani is indeed liable for the copyright infringements that were carried out through his addon.

“Defendant developed ZemTV and then distributed and supported it through [..TVAddons..], resulting in his unauthorized retransmission of the Protected Channels and causing injury to Plaintiff throughout the United States. Therefore, Defendant is liable for direct copyright infringement,” Judge Gilmore writes.

“Defendant engaged in these illegal activities for more than 16 months, despite having received Plaintiff‘s notices of infringement from his service providers and Tvaddons.”

Dish previously argued that ZemTV’s infringing activities were willful and asked for the maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per infringed work. This would serve as a clear deterrent to Shani and other infringing Kodi-addon developers, the company said.

The Judge doesn’t want to go that far though. Instead, the developer is ordered to pay a third of the requested amount, which adds up to $650,000.

“The amount consisting of $50,000.00 for each of its thirteen registered, copyrighted works that Defendant willfully infringed by retransmitting these copyrighted works without authorization on ZemTV,” Judge Gilmore writes.

A negative outcome was nearly unavoidable as the developer didn’t defend himself. In addition to the damages, Shani is also barred from distributing ZemTV or any similar addons in the future.

TorrentFreak reached out to Shani who is not convinced that Dish is ‘winning’ anything with this verdict, as the external sources that were used by his addon remain online.

“Dish are still at the same place they started. They didn’t lose any money due to the addon and the sources which the addon scanned still are online. The Zem addon is not maintained so obviously it won’t work, but the apps and servers it scanned are still working.

“Based on their complaint, we should see a 10-fold increase in their subscriptions. Well, I won’t hold my breath, Shani tells us.

Whether Dish will actually recoup any of the damages has yet to be seen. The addon developer gave up the legal fight due to a lack of funds, so it seems unlikely that he can pay $650,000, if he intends to pay at all.

The default judgment wraps up the Dish lawsuit, which was one of the first enforcement efforts related to Kodi piracy. While Kodi itself is perfectly legal software, the entertainment industry is determined to root out the piracy links.

This and other efforts appear to have had some effect, as Comparitech highlights that Kodi-related search traffic has dropped significantly over the past year. Google’s autocomplete ban likely plays a role here, but it seems plausible that the various anti-piracy efforts are paying off too.

A copy of the default judgment issued yesterday by Texas US District Court Judge Vanessa Gilmore is available here (pdf).

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

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The problem

For many years our developers have been working getting the Kodi code in component specific parts. In that effort some components have been split off in such a way they are actually separate from Kodi itself, and can be installed at any point in time. We have already been using such components for years and we call these add-ons and the ones using Python programming language have been inside a repositoryy for quite some time. Also the skins you can install to give Kodi a different looks and feel are add-ons. Now the big difference is that the Python and Skin add-ons usually don’t really care what operating system they run and install on as they are platform agnostic. With the binary add-ons however one of the biggest problems is we have to pre compile these for a specific operating system and some cases also the OS version. They usually consist of C++ code and you cannot simply compile it for one platform and use it on another platform. Added to the fact is that they are tied to a specific Kodi version because of certain functions used as well which make it quite the logistical nightmare how to distribute them for each Kodi version per platform.

The work

For the past years you of course have already been using them as most screensavers and visualizations and all PVR clients are in fact binary add-ons. To not halt the work on splitting them off from our code because we simply compiled them and then put them in the same installer package as Kodi itself. The logistic part something we put on hold  would worry about in the future however was always considered to when work progressed. For the past years this was not an issue cause the ones we included were quite small in size and there was no real pressure to get the logistic part working. However with Kodi v18 a completely new feature was finally merged after years of work that made the binary repository a high priority. For RetroPlayer which is a feature that lets you play old gameroms using emulators the size of the installer package would grow considerably and double in size.

To play a gamerom you need emulators and each game console has one if not multiple emulators. Counting them up there would be more than 80 emulators to compile each time we created an installer package and that takes quite some compile time for something that might not always change. Now again add the fact that say these 80 emulators (plus the 70 or so we already had) need to be compiled for all the platforms we support and then for each Kodi version you can imagine this needs some clever thinking to prevent clashes and prevent the add-on to be installed on the wrong platform. We always had a certain idea how we should solve this but it never really was time to get that done until now. Not only the compiling had to be sorted however there’s also the part of putting them on our server(s) and letting each Kodi client know there’s a new version available for that specific platform it is installed on.

It works

We can now finally say all this has been finalised and are happy to say we can finally split off the binary add-ons from our main Kodi installer which reduces it to half the normal size. For users this means that as already mentioned the installer is much smaller and the Kodi version they get is just enough to get started. Once they decide to get extra functionality like a using PVR they simply go to the repository and  only install what they need unlike now where we preinstall them all. Next is the fact that for example a PVR add-on received some fixes you don’t have to wait till we release a new Kodi version. Just like Python and Skin add-ons you will just received the updated PVR add-on and can enjoy the improvement straight away.

Binary repositort is currently available for Android, OSX and Windows. For Linux you still have to use the PPA and iOS and UWP will continue to include the binary add-ons in the installer because of platform limitations and for now nothing changes.



Should you wish to give it a try a new version is readily available each day as well as nightly version. We can certainly recommend trying it out however take in mind that it’s not fully production and living room ready yet (take a backup). So far a guestimate of several tens of thousands users already use it so it can’t be that bad can it. You can get it from the download page clicking on the platform of choice and hitting the “pre release” tab. For Android and Windows we have an easy to use download add-on which you can find in our repository.

Go to the Official download page and choose the platform of choice and you will find these builds under the pre release tab.

If you do appreciate our work feel free to give a small donation so we can continue our effort. Just find the big “Donate” button at the top of the website.

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India’s famous film industry turns out a staggering number of movies each year and many thousands can be found on local and international pirate sites. These often come in the form of so-called ‘cams’, copies of movies recorded in cinemas using anything from camera-enabled smartphones to high-end video cameras.

With leaking of content escalating to crisis levels, theater operators have found themselves under pressure, with some accused of assisting or enabling pirates to make their copies. According to local reports, the Tamil and Telugu film industries – which contribute more than a third of all film revenues in India – are particularly affected.

In order to stem the tide, the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) has been placing cinema operators under pressure, recently urging digital distribution company Qube Cinema Technologies not to supply equipment to nine suspected of being involved in piracy.

“The theatres that are found to be enabling piracy should not be able to play movies anymore. We are meeting the theater owners association on Tuesday to demand some concrete steps,” a TFPC spokesperson reported Monday.

That meeting with the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association took place yesterday as planned and the result was an agreement on a strict set of rules designed to prevent pirates from recording the latest movies and uploading them to the Internet.

First up, all cinemas in the southern state of Tamil Nadu must saturate their entire sites with CCTV cameras. That means all inside locations (including projection rooms and customer seating areas) plus outside to cover all parking and entrance areas. These cameras must be installed by November 6, 2018.

Having CCTV cameras is mandatory but it’s no good if they’re not in working order. This means that all cameras must be recording 24 hours a day, seven days a week to “record every single second’s happening.”

Cinemas that don’t take these CCTV warnings seriously will have to face the consequences. There’s a second installation deadline of November 15, after which sites that are not blanket covered by CCTV will be banned from screening any new films.

Those that meet the criteria will get to screen the latest releases but will still have to comply in other areas.

Local reports say that security guards will be put in place to search customers for recording devices on the way in. Those who get through will then have to sit through “an awareness documentary” about piracy, which will highlight the consequences of getting caught ‘camming’.

Meanwhile, two members of cinema staff will be tasked with monitoring audiences, to ensure that no one is able to record any part of a movie, if they somehow manage to get a camera past security.

In parallel, additional measures face those who somehow manage to capture their own copies of the latest movies and upload them to the Internet. A report in The Hindu cites the founder and CEO of anti-piracy outfit Copyright Media on their efforts to disrupt illicit copies.

“As soon as the pirated torrents make their way to the internet search engines, we bump up fake torrents and keep removing actual, good quality torrents using a software to parse through the Google search — and remove the links one by one by flagging Google. Such links are taken down immediately and only the fake torrents remain,” he said.

While fake ‘anti-piracy’ torrents are a tactic with roots deep in the last decade, India’s film producers are also embracing site-blocking and domain suspensions. According to the official Twitter account of the Tamil Film Producers Council, several domains have recently been suspended for piracy.

Those breaching India’s Copyright Act 1957 can be jailed for up to three years with fines of US$2,700 but convictions for cam-related movie piracy are rare, despite thousands of copies being available online.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

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We hereby present you the forth Beta build of Kodi v18 as we are heading towards the final release. Since we are now in Beta stage our focus will be on solving bugs and possible usability problems. So far it has been proven to be quite solid to use as a daily driver for those who were brave enough to try it out. Of course you should still keep in mind it’s not a final release yet and that on any upgrade a small glitch could happen as we are still doing rework. Once you decide to give it a try it is highly recommended that you create a backup first.

Currently included

A full changelog is nearly impossible to create and in this release article we will only cover the basics. For a more extensive list you can visit our wiki page v18 (Leia) changelog which will be update along the way. From now on all v18 releases will not contain any big new features as we are focussed on bug fixing only.

Most notable changes to mention in Beta 4:

  • Finally implemented binary repository for Android, OSX and Windows
  • Further improve controller handling
  • Fix playback of files in playlists that have mixed content of audio and video
  • Fix possible crash on exit
  • Bump NFS library to 3.0
  • Various other code improvements and cleanups

Of course there are several more changes which are listed on our github repository found here: Beta4 changes.

Make sure to also go through our news sections which contain all past announcements regarding the Leia release and some highlights of what it will contain.

Stability and usability is key

In general the whole stability has been improved quite a lot. The times you still get glitches or occasional crashes haven been reduced due to just ripping out not so well coded parts and replaced with a more structured design and standard. Not that the old code was bad however over time new insights were gained and having newer code standards just make it better. Untangling all parts or components and make them behave better next to each other has been one of the biggest efforts done so far.

Current available skins

Due to changes in how Kodi works skins need to be updated for each release. As of this moment we have the following ones have been update by their developers and are readily available from our repository.

Adnoic, Aeon Nox 5, Andromeda, Black Glass Nova, ChromaConfluence, fTV, Grid, Mimic, NebulaOmni, Rapier, Sio2, Xperience1080

More will follow at a later point in time when we approach final release.

Python 2 & 3 compatibility will be enforced

Currently, Kodi includes the Python 2.7 interpreter to run addons written in Python programming language. However, Python 3 was released almost 10 years ago and the matter of implementing the Python 3 interpreter in Kodi has been brought up on the Kodi forum several times. Now, thanks to a successful GSOC 2017 project, we have a working Python 3.6 interpreter for Kodi, and on the latest DevCon 2017 in Prague Team Kodi decided that it’s time to move on and migrate Python addon subsystem to Python 3. <--break->There are several reasons for that:

  • Python 2 End of Life is planned for 2020.

  • Python 3 is mature enough and more and more Python libraries either convert their codebase to Python 3-compatible or drop Python 2 support completely (Django is the most notable example).

  • Most current Python books, tutorials and courses are focused on Python 3.

  • Python 2 is not actively developed. It receives only security patches while Python 3 gets all the cool new features with every minor version.

However, Python 3 is not backward-compatible with the 2nd version so some transition process is required. Currently the plan is the following:

  • Kodi 19 (M*) will be released with Python 3 interpreter for running Python-based addons.

  • After the release of Kodi 18 (Leia) only addons that are compatible with both Python 2 and 3 will be accepted to the official addon repository. Also, Python 3-only addons will be accepted to the repositories for Kodi 19 (M*) and above.

  • Addon developers are highly encouraged to convert their addons to Python 2/3-compatible so that after the release of Kodi 19 (M*) we will have enough addons that work with the new version.

  • Test builds based on Kodi 18 with the Python 3 interpreter will be provided continuously so addon developers can test their addons for compatibility with Python 3. Test builds for Windows are already available for downloading from here and test builds for Ubuntu can be obtained from this PPA.

  • One the v18 version has been branched off for final release the nightlies will become Python 3 only while the release builds will still be Python 2.

Writing Python code that is compatible with both 2 and 3 versions is totally possible and the “big” Python world has been doing it for years since the release of Python 3.0. There are a number of tools and best practices developed to simplify this process. Please read this Kodi Wiki article for more information and technical details about the migration process. Also a special Wiki section has been created that will be updated with new information. You can post questions about converting your addon code to Python 3-compatible or share your experience in “Python 3 migration” subforum on the official Kodi forum.

Binary repository

We can now finally say binary repostory has been finalised for Android, OSX and Windows and are happy to say we can finally split off the binary add-ons from our main Kodi installer which reduces it to half the normal size. For users this means that as already mentioned the installer is much smaller and the Kodi version they get is just enough to get started. Once they decide to get extra functionality like a using PVR they simply go to the repository and only install what they need unlike now where we preinstall them all. Next is the fact that for example a PVR add-on received some fixes you don’t have to wait till we release a new Kodi version. Just like Python and Skin add-ons you will just received the updated PVR add-on and can enjoy the improvement straight away.

Read more here Kodi v18 – Binary add-ons repository


The story continues

Although we don’t really have a clear future plan or clear cut goals (except making a great media center) we would welcome any developer who wants to spend time on getting Kodi better in every way. Either improving the core code to newer standards, fixing bugs or implementing a new feature we haven’t thought of. Compared to years ago the code has become better to understand and follow for newcomers to get started. Once we get something written down of certain to reach goals we will certainly share them.

A great improvement has been made on the documentation that explains how to compile and work on the core code for Kodi. We highly recommend to read the article Kodi’s GitHub codebase new face and better documentation.


Release time

Since we now started the Beta cycle a final release will be on the near horizon. When the final release will actually be is yet unknown as it all depends on the stability now more people will start using the v18 builds.

That’s about it for now and we’ll go back at improving this upcoming v18 release. Should you wish to give it a try a new version is readily available each day as well as nightly version. We can certainly recommend trying it out however take in mind that it’s not fully production and living room ready yet (take a backup). So far a guestimate of several tens of thousands users already use it so it can’t be that bad can it. You can get it from the download page clicking on the platform of choice and hitting the “pre release” tab. For Android and Windows we have an easy to use download add-on which you can find in our repository.

Go to the Official download page and choose the platform of choice and you will find these builds under the pre release tab.

If you do appreciate our work feel free to give a small donation so we can continue our effort. Just find the big “Donate” button at the top of the website.

May the force be with you…..

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The major labels claim that since unlicensed content is readily available for free on user-uploaded content sites, these platforms are able to pay less to the labels in licensing fees while hiding behind so-called ‘safe harbor’ laws.

In an attempt to solve this business model riddle, the industry lobbied strongly for new EU legislation (Article 13) that would effectively require user-uploaded content platforms to install upload filters to detect infringing content before it’s even made available to the public.

In September, those legislative amendments were adopted by the EU Parliament. But while the music industry celebrated its initial victory, opponents warned that the measures could stifle innovation.

Now, more than a month later, YouTube is warning users that if the amendments pass in their current form, the Internet experience as a whole could “drastically change” for the worse causing the loss of thousands of jobs.

“Article 13 as written threatens to shut down the ability of millions of people — from creators like you to everyday users — to upload content to platforms like YouTube,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki told YouTube creators.

While this worrying element of Article 13 was highlighted dozens of times in the run up to the crucial September vote, the music industry shrugged off the criticism. However, Wojcicki now warns that the damage could go further still, by negatively affecting access to content that’s already on the platform.

“[Article 13] threatens to block users in the EU from viewing content that is already live on the channels of creators everywhere. This includes YouTube’s incredible video library of educational content, such as language classes, physics tutorials and other how-to’s,” the YouTube CEO warns.

“This legislation poses a threat to both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world. And, if implemented as proposed, Article 13 threatens hundreds of thousands of jobs, European creators, businesses, artists and everyone they employ.”

In the run-up to the vote, opponents of the amendments said that the adoption of Article 13 would mean putting even more power into the hands of corporations.

On the one hand, difficulties in complying with the new law would mean only the biggest companies would be able to police uploads effectively. On the other, smaller uploaders might not be adept at ensuring that uploads are non-infringing and with liability for that content passed to sites like YouTube, platforms might not accept those uploads. This, Wojcicki says, is a very real threat.

“The proposal could force platforms, like YouTube, to allow only content from a small number of large companies. It would be too risky for platforms to host content from smaller original content creators, because the platforms would now be directly liable for that content,” she explained.

“We realize the importance of all rights holders being fairly compensated, which is why we built Content ID and a platform to pay out all types of content owners. But the unintended consequences of Article 13 will put this ecosystem at risk.”

In closing, the YouTube CEO says the company is committed to building bridges with industry. However, if the fiery rhetoric that hit the Internet in the run-up to September’s vote is any indication of things to come, it seems unlikely that the labels will water down their requirements now.

Still, the precise wording of Article 13 is yet to be finalized, so YouTube hopes that there is still some room for maneuver.

“Please take a moment to learn more about how it could affect your channel and take action immediately. Tell the world through social media (#SaveYourInternet) and your channel why the creator economy is important and how this legislation will impact you,” Wojcicki concludes.

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As a result, Internet providers were required to forward all copyright notices they receive from rightsholders to their customers. Providers that fail to comply, face damages up to $10,000.

This notice-and-notice scheme created a safe harbor for Internet providers, protecting them from copyright holder lawsuits. At the same time, however, their Internet subscribers faced a new threat.

In theory, the copyright notices were supposed to be relatively harmless, merely informing subscribers that their connections are being abused to pirate content. However, it soon became apparent that the system was also being used by some rightsholders to send settlement demands.

This problem initially garnered quite a bit of attention in the press and among politicians, but later faded away. However, now that Canadian lawmakers are working on a new update of copyright law, it’s being brought into focus again.

During a hearing before the House Heritage Committee last week, Pam Dinsmore of Rogers Communications mentioned that her company sends roughly 2.4 million notices per year. Like other ISPs, Rogers is not against the system itself, but it believes that updates are required.

This was the focus of an earlier hearing last month before the INDU committee, where Canadian ISPs including TekSavvy, Shaw, Rogers, and Bell shared their experiences.

One issue all parties appeared to agree on is that the notice-and-notice scheme should ban settlement demands.

Among the speakers was Andy Kaplan-Myrth, VP of regulatory and carrier affairs at TekSavvy. He noted that some of the copyright infringement notices can be intimidating to subscribers and that they can violate customer privacy, sometimes without even mentioning Canadian law

“Some notices include content that’s more familiar from scams and spam: advertising for other services, settlement offers, or personalized links that secretly reveal information about the end-user to the sender,” Kaplan-Myrth said.

“This puts ISPs in a difficult position, since we’re required to forward notices to end-users, including whatever extraneous, misleading or harmful content may be included,” he added.

TekSavvy recommended that the notice-and-notice scheme should be updated to ban these types of settlement notices as well as other unrelated info. This ban on settlement requests or other clear abuse was shared by Shaw, Rogers, and Bell.

“We’re a supporter of getting rid of settlement demands coming to consumers. That’s not appropriate. It should be written out of notices,” Bell’s SVP of Regulatory Affairs, Robert Malcolmson said.

Another notice-and-notice issue that was brought up by several ISPs is standardization. Right now there is no uniform notice template, which means that it’s hard to process all of them automatically. This makes it more expensive.

“On average, we receive thousands of infringement notices per week. They come from dozens of companies and use scores of different templates, fewer than half of which can be processed automatically,” TekSavvy’s Kaplan-Myrth said.

TekSavvy sees the costs that are involved with the notice processing as a significant burden for the company. What’s making it worse, perhaps, is that rightsholders themselves have almost no barriers when it comes to costs.

Adding a small fee to submit requests could level the playing field and prevent abuse at the same time, the ISP suggests.

“Currently there’s essentially no cost for rights holders to send infringement notices. As long as they can send notices at no cost, then even if they get settlements from only a small number of end-users, there will be a business model for rights holders to send greater and greater volumes of notices,” Kaplan-Myrth noted.

The standardization call is shared among all ISPs although there are some variations in what this should look like.

TekSavvy doesn’t want the notices to reference any external content, for example. However, Bell, which is also a copyright holder itself, wouldn’t mind adding the option to use the copyright notices to point subscribers to legal alternatives.

“I’m not sure it would be such a bad thing, from a public policy standpoint, for the notice to say, (a) you’re consuming this content illegally and (b) there’s another source of legal consumption, and here it is,” Bell’s Malcolmson said.

While that last part is up for debate, there is a broad call for a more standardized approach to copyright notices. Getting rid of the settlement demands is also widely supported. And since the Government previously indicated that it would like to get rid of these excesses too, that’s high on the agenda for the upcoming reform of copyright law.

Just to be clear, the notice-and-notice scheme is different from the regular legal actions copyright holders can take. Even if automated settlement notices are banned, rightsholders can still go after pirating subscribers in court. That’s more resource intensive and expensive though.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

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The Spy Who Dumped Me 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 (…) The Spy Who Dumped Me 6.2 / trailer
2 (2) Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again 7.1 / trailer
3 (1) Ant-Man and the Wasp 7.3 / trailer
4 (4) The First Purge 5.2 / trailer
5 (3) Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation 6.3 / trailer
6 (…) Slender Man 3.1 / trailer
7 (5) Solo: A Star Wars Story 7.1 / trailer
8 (…) Galveston 6.2 / trailer
9 (6) Sicario: Day of the Soldado 7.3 / trailer
10 (8) The Meg (Subbed HDRip) 6.0 / trailer

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

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While a stock Kodi installation is entirely legal, millions of users install special third-party add-ons that grant access to huge libraries of infringing content. This isn’t recommended by the official Kodi team but there’s little doubt that most Kodi users now connect the media player with free movies, TV shows, and live sports.

To counter this threat, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment – a coalition of 30 media giants including the MPAA, Netflix, Amazon, Disney, and Sony – has been targeting developers of third-party add-ons that provide access to infringing content. Many have stopped their activities following legal threats but the ecosystem remains lively and as a result, Kodi remains popular with the public.

With this in mind, it’s perhaps a little surprising that Sony Australia is actively encouraging users of its range of Android-based smart TVs to install Kodi on their devices.

As the image from Sony’s website shows, the company not only places Kodi in the number one spot for recommended Android TV apps, it highlights that “community-created addons” can be used to “provide access to popular internet streaming media services.”

Kodi streaming addons are where it’s at…

The hyperlink in Sony’s recommendation links to the official Kodi wiki which in turn links to official addons (which shouldn’t cause any legal issues) and unofficial repositories, which aren’t guaranteed to be problem-free by the Kodi team.

However, the same page also offers a list of banned addons, which are mostly used to access infringing content. They can’t be downloaded or installed from the wiki page but they do provide a handy guide for users looking for an entry point into the darker parts of the Kodi world.

At this point, it should be reiterated that stock Kodi is entirely legal and there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with Sony’s promotion of Kodi or legal addons. However, seeing Sony recommending Kodi’s ability to utilize third-party add-ons is somewhat of a surprise, given Sony’s efforts as part of ACE to discourage people from using those that infringe.

Of course, that’s where the problem lies.

The vast majority of users of Kodi and/or Sony’s TVs will not know which add-ons they are supposed to use and which ones are legal and which ones are not. That said, it’s almost inevitable that they’ll gravitate towards the ones offering the most exciting content, which means precisely the type of addon being targeted by ACE and by default, Sony Pictures.

Still, if Sony is happy to recommend third-party Kodi add-ons to get the best out of its televisions, it must be confident that its customers will do the right thing. There are plenty of legal addons available but good luck to the layman when it comes to filtering them out.

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These submissions help to guide the U.S. Government’s position toward foreign countries when it comes to copyright enforcement, putting significant pressure on the mentioned sites.

The MPAA’s submission included many of the usual targets including The Pirate Bay and Fmovies, but also several hosting sites or cyberlockers.

The latter category is interesting. While there are unmistakenly several “rogue” hosting platforms that don’t care about copyright holders, not all fit the billing. One of the bad actors according to the Hollywood group, however, is Rapidvideo.

“ is a streaming/download cyberlocker with a global Alexa ranking of 999. had 21.66 million worldwide unique visitors in August 2018 according to SimilarWeb data,” the MPAA wrote.

“The site incentivizes users to upload content with an affiliate program. The site pays from $7.50 to $60 USD per 10,000 views depending on the country in which the viewer is located,” the Hollywood group added.

As is usual in these reports, there is virtually no detail about any alleged copyright-infringing activity. While we’re pretty certain that Rapidvideo stores some pirated videos, this is no different from Google Drive or Dropbox, for example.

The MPAA’s report does mention that some hosting sites don’t remove infringing files, but only the reported links to these files. On top of that, many sites don’t respond well to takedown notices at all.

So that must be the case with Rapidvideo then? Well, the site’s owner wholeheartedly disagrees.

“We have a DMCA agent guy working with us, who also works with the MPAA and other rightsholders. He was happy with our anti-piracy methods, but the MPAA reported our site to the government nonetheless,” Rapidvideo’s Alex informs TorrentFreak.

As it turns out, Rapidvideo doesn’t fit the MPAA’s description at all.

The site processes takedown requests, has a designated DMCA agent, a repeat infringer policy, and it even implemented an MD5 hash filter system to ensure that flagged files are not re-uploaded.

While the company is incorporated in Belize, it believes that it’s fully compliant with US, Canadian and EU law. It even complies with the proposed ‘upload filter’ the EU may implement in the near future.

In recent months Rapidvideo was approached several times by a representative of an anime video distributor. Many of the recent enforcement changes were implemented as a result between the distributor and Rapidvideo’s copyright agent.

This was also communicated to other rightsholders, including MPAA members, the site’s owner says. However, that didn’t prevent the listing on the MPAA’s most recent overview of rogue sites.

“After the whole procedure, we learned that we would appear on the list submitted by the MPAA to the U.S. Government. This, despite that everything was correctly implemented in compliance with the regulations and rules, including the DMCA,” Alex says.

Rapidvideo was told that they didn’t process all notices correctly. While the site admits that some reports were set aside, those were all inaccurate takedown notices. For example, they lacked details that are actually legal requirements.

“They said that we did not correctly handle all DMCA notices, but those were not fully correct, as required by the DMCA law. Many parts were missing, such as a signature of the rightsholder representative or the names of the infringing works.”

The video hosting site feels that if the copyright holders push them to comply with the law, those companies should be held to the same standards. Also, none of the rightsholders complained about the rejections directly.

Rapidvideo hasn’t sent an official rebuttal to the USTR, so it could very well be listed in the official overview of Notorious Markets early next year.

The video hosting site is fully confident that its policies and procedures are compliant with copyright law. They are not intimidated by the MPAA’s report, and with their upload filter, they have nothing to fear from the EU either, according to the owner.

“We have everything fully ready for the EU upload filter. We are also a legal company that pays taxes and complies with all rules and regulations, so we are not afraid of any possible outcomes,” Alex concludes.

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