Illegal IPTV services can be found all over the world but if recent investigations are an accurate barometer, several countries in the European Union are hotter locations than most.

While Spain, Bulgaria and the Netherlands have all seen raids or arrests, it is the UK that keeps featuring regularly in IPTV investigations. This week is no exception.

Following an investigation and referral by the Federation Against Copyright Theft, two people were arrested yesterday in connection with the unauthorized streaming of TV broadcasts.

Officers from Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards unit assisted by local police executed a warrant at an address in Bursledon, Hampshire.

Local media reports that a 41-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman were arrested under suspicion of offenses under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and money laundering.

“Providing copyright material such as that from Sky or BT Sport, brings a significant loss to legitimate businesses – this is illegal and I would urge residents to be careful when they are signing up to subscription services from third parties as it is also illegal to watch,” Hampshire County councilor Roy Perry said in a statement.

“It is possible to trace this type of online activity, and we will continue to investigate and pursue those involved in illegal streaming of copyright television as it threatens the livelihoods of those working legitimately in the industry and the wider UK economy.”

The arrests stem from a year-long multi-agency investigation, initiated by the Federation Against Copyright Theft, which identified pirate IPTV suppliers in the UK. adds that yesterday’s arrests are part of a wider investigation coordinated by Europol, which has already led to warrants in South Ireland and Scotland.

Investigations involving Trading Standards are relatively rare in the UK but not unheard of (1,2). Perhaps the most notable was the prosecution of modded Kodi box seller Brian ‘Tomo’ Thompson who was handed a suspended sentence in 2017.

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 Kodi and its dazzling array of addons grabs most mainstream piracy headlines, much simpler options lie just below the surface.

Referred to generally as APKs (taken from the installation format used by Android devices), these applications provide direct access to huge amounts of movie and TV show content. Most can be downloaded and installed in seconds and are extremely simple to use.

Perhaps the most impressive in recent years has been Terrarium TV. Inspired by the simplicity of Popcorn Time, Terrarium TV eschewed the use of torrents as a supply protocol. Instead, the software pulled in content from file-hosting sites in a similar way to Kodi addons, but with an almost non-existent learning curve.

Created by a developer who identified as Hong Kong-based Peter Chan (aka NitroXenon), Terrarium TV enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom over the past couple of years. With only Showbox and a handful of other applications getting anywhere close to its volume of active users, Terrarium TV became the go-to app for Android users looking for a Netflix-style fix.

Now, however, the ride is over.

In a notification pushed to Terrarium TV users last night, NitroXenon explained that his days of working on the app are over.

“It has always been a great pleasure to work on this project. However, it is time to say goodbye. I am going to shut down Terrarium TV, forever,” he wrote.

“I know this day will come eventually. I know it would be hard to let go. But it is really time for me to move on to other projects.”

Thanking users for their support over the years, NitroXenon singled out Reddit moderator ‘Nic’ for his her support. TorrentFreak reached out to Nic for comment but she preferred not to add anything further.

The big question, of course, is why NitroXenon decided to close Terrarium TV down but again, the decision didn’t really come as a surprise. From pushing regular updates to the app as it grew (the last was around May), in recent months its developer has been mostly absent, with users requesting information but very little coming back.

As is often the case when services shut down abruptly, speculation builds that maybe the developer has been subjected to legal pressure. While that’s a distinct possibility (the MPA and its associates have reached into the Asia-Pacific region before to threaten developers of similar apps) there are no clear signs that happened here.

Equally, the rumor that NitroXenon was paid off by the studios to shut down the application is almost certainly untrue. If (and it is an if) NitroXenon was targeted, it is definitely not the style of the MPA (or the Alliance For Creativity and Entertainment) to offer cash for favors. If anything, they’re the ones demanding the money.

As can be seen from the image of the notification below, NitroXenon indicates that Terrarium TV will work until the end of September. However, in most (if not all) cases the app appears to be dead already. Users cannot get beyond the ‘UPDATE’ button.

While some Terrarium TV users are sarcastically describing this September 11 as the “worst in history,” it’s likely that other applications will take up the slack. TeaTV, which looks very similar to Terrarium TV, is already gaining traction.

Finally, now would also be a good time to look out for imposters claiming to be Terrarium reincarnated.

During the past few months, there has been an effort by third-parties to contact publications (such as TF and others in the tech space) to convince them that their website is the real home of Terrarium TV. However, the app hasn’t had a website of its own for some time, so the claims are easily debunked.

The closure of Terrarium TV follows after a similar APK pulled the plug. Morpheus TV took this decision in August after its developer decided it had received too much mainstream attention. Unlike Terrarium, however, the idea is to relaunch quietly under a new name, to a select group of people.

“Distribution will be restricted to a small group of individuals and hidden from public eyes like it was supposed to be,” the Morpheus developer said.

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 second 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 bugfixing only.

Most notable fixes to mention in Beta 2 are EPG and PVR interface optimisations and Live TV related fixes. Further more there are some improvements regarding Bluray playback and menus. Of course there are several more changes which are listed on our github reposity found here: Beta2 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.

The wiki pages

One of the best sources of information next to our forum for asking question and finding answers is the Kodi wiki pages. With each release certain aspects of the software change and this of course needs to be reflected on the official wiki pages. Several team members and regular users spend quite some time updating and tweaking these pages to become a helpfull one stop place for all information.

The V18 Leia t-shirt

Inspired by the galaxy far, far away theme, our resident artist Sam went above and beyond and designed perhaps the coolest Kodi announce video of all time.

We loved his work so much that we’re modeling the Kodi 18 shirt after it along with more art to come. Here it is, our newest, coolest shirt: K-18L
(Available in several shirt colours and not just black or white)


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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At the turn of the century, downloading movies and TV shows from the Internet wasn’t a particularly attractive proposition. The process was cumbersome and content availability was poor.

Early peer-to-peer file-sharing applications gave the activity increased exposure, with multi-source downloading improving speeds for a growing audience. However, when BitTorrent came along and gained traction around 2003, the phenomenon exploded.

While tens of millions of torrent users are still active on a daily basis today, another type of unauthorized content delivery is grabbing most of the headlines. Video streaming, which has been going from strength to strength over the past eight years and more, is now perceived as the greatest threat to Hollywood.

Torrents have a relatively steep learning curve but streaming does not. If a person can operate Netflix, he can also use a pirate streaming website. The process is made even more simple with the latest desktop and mobile applications, which are so intuitive a child can use them – and many do.

Lobbying registration documents recently filed with Congress indicate that the MPAA is taking the threat very seriously. First reported by O’Dwyer PR, they reveal that the Hollywood group has hired Fort Lauderdale-based law firm Becker & Poliakoff to take the battle against piracy to Capitol Hill.

Filed as required under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, the documents reveal a two-person team representing the MPAA’s interests.

They are Senior Corporate & Government Relations Director Bert Gómez, who opened TV broadcaster Univision’s Washington government relations office and has 25 years of lobbying under his belt. And Omar Franco, the Managing Director of Becker’s Washington, D.C. office, who previously acted as Chief of Staff for Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart.

The disclosure sums up the MPAA’s aims in a short paragraph. The lobbyists will tackle copyright policy on Capitol Hill, with an emphasis on “streaming piracy devices and applications” and the “economic impact of film industry production.”

Taking the piracy fight to Capitol Hill

Today’s buzzing ‘market’ for online streaming devices and applications will give Gómez and Franco plenty to discuss. In addition to the now ubiquitous Kodi and the swarm of third-party addons flooding its ecosystem, mainly Android-based applications are causing headaches for all of the studios.

Tools such as Terrarium TV and Showbox are becoming household names, with these and similar tools often pre-loaded onto set-top boxes to provide an accessible and entirely free Netflix-like experience to everyday consumers.

Unlike Netflix, however, these types of applications grant access to all content – no matter how new – meaning that first-run movies are regularly available during week one, something which famously causes a red mist to descend upon studios bosses everywhere.

As the leading force behind the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), the MPAA has already shown it has illegal streaming firmly in its sights.

The thirty-company global coalition, which also features Amazon, Netflix, CBS, HBO, BBC, Sky, Bell Canada, CBS, Hulu, Lionsgate, Foxtel, and Village Roadshow, is currently engaged in legal action against various players in the illicit streaming sector.

Set-top box sellers such as SET TV and Tickbox have already found themselves in court, while various Kodi addon developers have quit following legal threats. However, this is just the tip of a massive iceberg that will take years to melt, even if the MPAA massively turns up the heat.

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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Little more than three years ago Elsevier, one of the world’s largest academic publishers, took Sci-Hub to court.

It was an unfair battle from the start. With a net income of more than $1 billion per year, the publisher could fund a proper case, while its nemesis relied on donations.

Elsevier won the case, including millions of dollars in damages. However, the site remained online and grew bigger. Looking back today, Sci-Hub and its founder Alexandra Elbakyan may very well be the moral winner.

This week a group of eleven prestigious European research councils announced that they have agreed to give Open Access a massive push.

“By 2020 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants provided by participating national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms,” they note.

In other words, this publicly funded research can no longer be locked away behind expensive paywalls, which mostly benefits wealthy publishers. It should be as open as…Sci-Hub.

This is a massive deal in academic circles. Traditionally, many researchers preferred “high impact” journals as these provide more prestige. However, many of these are not open. This new agreement changes this dynamic. More high-quality research will appear in Open Access journals, which increases their impact and appeal.

It’s a major achievement that can be credited to a steadily increasing group of researchers who have promoted Open Access and pushed against copyright’s stranglehold on science.

While there is no concrete proof, there is reason to believe that Sci-Hub played a major role too. Not least since its open nature is widely embraced by researchers and authors around the world.

That brings us back to Sci-Hub’s founder, who recently published a detailed biography.

When the Elsevier lawsuit was first announced TorrentFreak was the first English publication to get an interview with Elbakyan, who made it clear that she wouldn’t cave in to the pressure.

“Everyone should have access to knowledge regardless of their income or affiliation. And that’s absolutely legal. Also the idea that knowledge can be a private property of some commercial company sounds absolutely weird to me,” she said at the time.

While Elbakyan is often portrayed as a pirate, many sympathize with her ideas. It certainly doesn’t seem fair to punish researchers by denying them access to knowledge, simply because their University can’t pay the subscription.

In fact, copyright in some cases prevents researchers from accessing their own publications, because these are also locked behind a paywall.

“The funniest thing I was told multiple times by researchers is that they have to download their own published articles from Sci-Hub. Even authors do not have access to their own work,” Alexandra previously said.

This may sound bizarre, but it’s true. For years it has been standard practice to have researchers sign an agreement to transfer their copyrights to the publisher. Without earning a penny, they were ordered to sign away the rights to their work, only to see it disappear behind a paywall.

It’s this practice that Sci-Hub and Elbakyan are revolting against. And as this week’s news shows, that hasn’t been without success. While publishers won’t like it, we would argue that there certainly is a Sci-Hub effect on academic publishing.

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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With $15 billion in annual revenue, American satellite and broadcast provider Dish Network is a force to be reckoned with.

The company has been on a pirate crusade in recent years, filing several lawsuits against alleged pirate sources, including the popular Kodi-addon repository TVAddons.

TVAddons previously announced that it had reached a confidential settlement and this week the case was indeed dismissed (pdf). Dish, however, maintains dedicated to the piracy problem on other fronts.

In a new job listing the Fortune 200 company is looking for a fraud investigator with a special focus on researching and monitoring online piracy activities.

“DISH in Englewood, Colorado, is looking for an Investigator II to work on multiple projects with topics ranging from satellite piracy, IPTV violations, Intellectual Property violations, forum monitoring, Internet monitoring, and end-user cases,” the posting reads.

One of the primary responsibilities of this position is to keep an eye on businesses and individuals that offer Dish content illegally. This covers streaming sites, IPTV services, and also Kodi-addons.

In addition, the job also requires daily monitoring of specific “targeted websites” and forums, and a summary of the activity on these platforms in daily reports.

Dish’s vacancy

Dish stresses that prospective candidates should be able to handle confidential information with discretion. They must also work with outside counsel, likely because their research could be used as the basis for future lawsuits.

Finally, the position demands that candidates help implement various takedown procedures, with Dish specifically highlighting eBay, Craigslist, and YouTube as services of interest.

While the job application reveals no groundbreaking details or plans, it’s clear that Dish is taking piracy rather seriously. The company’s efforts are clearly not limited to the occasional lawsuit.

And for those who like spending time trawling through piracy forums, it’s good to know that Dish, and likely others, are reading along.

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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When the vast majority of movies are released to the public, viewings take place exclusively in cinemas. The industry is extremely protective of this initial window, which is seen as both lucrative and protective of the theater industry.

This strict and exclusive window also causes problems, however. While huge marketing budgets are mostly successful in luring large numbers of people to the big screen, millions sit at home waiting for a cable, DVD, or VOD release. Or, alternatively, a pirate copy to appear either online or through physical piracy channels.

These illicit copies are obtained by people taking camcorders or similar devices into cinemas and recording the screen. Quality is notoriously suspect but for large numbers of impatient movie fans, a ‘cammed’ copy with blurry video and unwanted audio interruptions is still desirable.

Some countries have legislation to deal with the problem. In the US, for example, ‘camming’ is a serious offense, one that can see offenders hauled off to prison. In other regions, however, the activity isn’t viewed so seriously, something which movie companies are keen to change.

In Italy, ‘camming’ is currently considered an administrative wrongdoing, i.e something which is technically wrong to be handled in ways other than prison. It’s a position the movie industry hopes will change if new legislation under consideration is placed on the books.

According to an Adnkronos report, a new bill has just been presented by the Forza Italia party which proposes upgrading the offense significantly.

The proposal, signed by Member of Parliament Marzia Ferraioli, would transform camcording from a “mere administrative wrongdoing” to a “criminal offense punishable like other illegal acts of piracy.”

“The law proposal by Mrs. Ferraioli, whom we thank for the attention given to the issue of piracy, represents an important signal at a time, like the current one, in which the protection of audiovisual works is severely tested,” Federico Bagnoli Rossi of anti-piracy group FAPAV told Key4Biz.

“Specifically, the problem of camcording has often been underestimated or considered to be in decline but it still represents the apex of the illicit supply chain of pirated content.

“This aspect is also aggravated by the fact that these recordings are made in the very first days of the presence of films in cinemas, when the works are in their initial phase of exploitation, creating significant economic damage to the exhibitors and to the entire audiovisual industry,” Rossi said.

In common with opponents of camming around the world, Italian authorities believe that illegally-recorded first-run titles not only undermine the investment made in films and the livelihoods of those who make them, but also serve as a profit center for criminals involved in other crime.

“The profits of the illegal activity of camcording finances criminal organizations, they create huge damage to the entire chain of film, and undermine the work of the workers and professionals involved in making a film,” the legislative proposals read.

To combat the threat, it’s also envisioned that cinema owners will be able to install video surveillance systems to “monitor the introduction, installation or other abusive use of devices with camcorder functionality.”

A report published by FAPAV in July, which revealed a two percent fall in piracy overall, stated that dealing with illicit camcording was one of the anti-piracy group’s most pressing goals.

“Our priorities, at the moment, are represented by a tightening of the regulation that regulates camcording, that is the illicit video or audio recording of a film in the theater, and overcoming the problems arising from those services that hide the real owners of the websites and hosting providers that host them,” FAPAV wrote.

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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BitTorrent is often praised for its decentralized nature. The file-transfers take place between users and there’s no central service required.

That’s also one of the main reasons why pirates embraced it.

There is a weak spot though. In order to download something, you need a torrent or magnet link. These are available through torrent sites which, as history has shown, can disappear overnight.

While it’s unlikely that all torrent sites will be eradicated at once, we recently spotted a rather novel approach to this ‘problem.’ A few weeks ago OpenPGP keys with magnet links were added to SKS keyservers.

These keyservers are computers which store and index OpenPGP keys over the Internet. This helps users who rely on encrypted email, for example. The servers generally share the keys amongst each other in a pool and uploaded keys generally can’t be removed.

The permanent storage of keys generally isn’t an issue. However, when the system is used as a stealth resource to store magnet links to pirated content, this resilience is put in a different light.

This is exactly what happened.

A few weeks ago a series of rather odd, but valid, PGP keys were uploaded to SKS keyservers. These keys were not meant to encrypt email though, but as a safe storage for torrent magnet links.

As a result, popular keyservers, including the ones hosted by research university MIT and Surfnet, have transformed into pirate sites.

The magnet links, most of which point to pirated content, were added in the UID field. In examples we’ve seen, sometimes there were a hundred magnet links added to a single key entry. And with the search functionality of the keyservers, these are easy to find.

Magnet links..

While there are over a thousand magnet links on these keyservers now, there are a lot of duplicate entries. That makes it more of a gimmick than a usable tool for pirates, but still.

While keyservers are not really an alternative to pirate sites yet, these magnet links have not gone unnoticed. We received the first tip weeks ago and others spotted it too. The irremovable nature of these links is particularly intriguing.

MIT, for example, clearly states in its FAQ that it is impossible to remove keys once they’re up.

TorrentFreak spoke about the issue with Kristian Fiskerstrand, who operates the sks-keyservers website. He notes that removing keys is not possible due to the nature of these servers.

“The keyserver network is intended as an add-by-anyone key store, and structurally these are valid OpenPGP keyblocks,” Fiskerstrand says.

Only the owner of a private key can remove an entry. Keyservers are designed to keep their data online and share it with other servers. Similar to the blockchain, nothing is removed.

Fiskerstrand confirms that if copyright holders want these keys removed, they’re out of luck.

“[E}ven if the copyright holders were having issues with it they should focus on removing the underlying data not any pointer that is far off the original data,” Fiskerstrand notes.

That, however, brings us back to the beginning of this article.

Since BitTorrent transfers are decentralized there is no single source to go after. Copyright holders will have to go after each and every pirating torrent user individually…

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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Next week, MEPs will again vote on the controversial copyright proposals of Article 13.

Critics say the proposed legislation would see platforms such as YouTube compelled to introduce strict upload filters, to prevent unlicensed content being offered to the public. These systems, they say, would stifle creativity and lack the ability to differentiate in situations of fair use.

Those in favor say that YouTube has enjoyed the free ride long enough and must now play fair with other people’s content.

The theory in the music industry is that the enhanced liability regime of Article 13 will force YouTube, their main target, to properly license the music it hosts, at rates more in line with those being charged elsewhere in the industry. Removing safe harbors, insiders say, is the only way YouTube can be forced to compensate artists fairly.

The debate has raged for months – years even – with the music industry on one side and tech companies and proponents of Internet freedom on the other. However, YouTube and owners Google have remained relatively quiet, a little unusual given that they’re the prime targets of the legislation.

Now, however, YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl has weighed in on the proposals, warning of a new, more restrictive creative environment should Article 13 pass into law.

“The open internet eliminated the barriers of traditional media gatekeepers and ignited a new global creative economy for creators and artists. It has given anyone with an idea the ability to share their passion, find fans all over the world and build a business,” Kyncl writes on the YouTube Creator Blog.

“Despite best intentions, I believe this may now be at risk as European policymakers prepare to vote on a new European Copyright Directive on September 12. In fact, some parts of the proposal under consideration – and in particular the part known as ‘Article 13’ — potentially undermine this creative economy, discouraging or even prohibiting platforms from hosting user-generated content.”

Kyncl warns that passing the controversial proposal would lead to a stifling of creativity and a negative effect on YouTube users of all kinds.

YouTube creators, in particular, could find their revenues at risk, if the platform is held to higher standards of liability. Critics have long warned that erring on the side of caution would become the standard for sites like YouTube, potentially leading to censorship (filtering) of difficult or questionable content.

YouTube’s Chief Business Officer reiterates once again that his platform has invested in several technologies designed to assist copyright owners. Its Content ID and more recent Content Match systems can identify content for monetization purposes or remove it, at copyright holders’ request.

“Copyright holders have control over their content: they can use our tools to block or remove their works, or they can keep them on YouTube and earn advertising revenue. In over 90% of cases, they choose to leave the content up,” he writes.

“Enabling this new form of creativity and engagement with fans can lead to mass global promotion and even more revenue for the artist. For instance, a growing list of global artists have seen their songs go viral in fan-made dance videos, such as Drake’s ‘In My Feelings’ and Maître Gims’ Sapés Comme Jamais. Dua Lipa got her start singing covers and Alan Walker allowed his track Fade to be used in user generated content and video games, which helped him build a massive global fanbase.”

In informal discussions with music industry insiders this week, TF also questioned why tools like Content ID and Content Match aren’t able to solve the problem of infringing music content being made available on YouTube. We were told that while these systems have their uses, only the enhanced liabilities offered by Article 13 can address the undervaluation of content and ensure that YouTube pays a fair licensing rate for the content it offers.

But while the music industry seeks to render YouTube ineligible for safe harbor protections under the e-Commerce Directive, YouTube is warning that the effects of Article 13 will be felt far beyond the Internet’s most popular video site.

“The Copyright Directive won’t just affect creators and artists on YouTube. It will also apply to many forms of user generated content across the Internet. And that’s why so many other people are raising concerns too,” Kyncl writes.

“Individuals, organizations (like European Digital Rights and the Internet Archive), companies (like Patreon, WordPress, and Medium), the Internet’s original architects and pioneers (like Sir Tim Berners Lee), and the UN Special Rapporteur for free expression have spoken out. Creators across the Internet are standing up for their right to create and express themselves, including Phil DeFranco, LeFloid, and TO JUZ Jutro.”

With that, Kyncl signs off by urging opponents of Article 13 to air their opinions on social media (#SaveYourInternet) and with policymakers via The all-important EU vote is set to take place September 12, so expect a crescendo of often acidic debate over the next few days.

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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pirate-cardThe Netherlands has long been a relaive safe haven for pirating consumers.

Downloading movies without permission, regardless of the source, was not punishable by law according to Government officials.

This eventually changed in 2014 when the European Court of Justice spoke out against the tolerant stance.

As a result, the Dutch Government quickly outlawed unauthorized downloading. However, breaking the habits of a large section of the population proved difficult and until this day, local piracy rates have remained high.

In 2015, this prompted Dutch filmmakers’ association SEKAM to hold the Government responsible, demanding compensation for the piracy losses they suffered. This week, Court of The Hague ruled on the matter, partially agreeing with the filmmakers.

In its verdict, the Court reviewed statements made by several Government officials made prior to the downloading ban, including those from former State Secretary for Security and Justice Fred Teeven.

In these statements, the Government made it clear that downloading pirated content was allowed, something that runs contrary to EU law. The Court specifically highlights a press release from 2011 where this was made apparent.

Looking ahead at future policy, the press release noted that “downloading of copyright-protected works from evidently illegal sources will become unlawful, but not punishable.”

This clearly suggests that it was fine until then, according to the Court.

“The unmistakable message that is sent is that, at that moment, downloading from illegal sources in the Netherlands is absolutely allowed,” the Court writes in its verdict.

This is particularly problematic since these and other statements were made in the public domain with the goal to inform the public.

“Based on this message, expressed by the responsible Government official in the public domain and in the media, there will have been downloaders who assumed that downloading from illegal sources was permitted, whereas this was generally known to be forbidden in other EU member states,” the verdict reads.

As a result, the Government is liable for the statements, which opens the door to a damages claim.

While the Court sides with the filmmakers on this issue, Tweakers highlights that the Court doesn’t rule on whether the Government can also be held responsible for its lack of enforcement after the download ban in 2014. That would have to be determined in a civil case.

The filmmakers’ organization Sekam sees the verdict as a “strong signal,” NOS reports. The group now plans to enter into negotiations with the Government about possible compensation.

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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