Man Tried to Burn Down Telecoms Watchdog to Avenge Pirate Site-Blocking 2

While copyright holders and many governments see site-blocking as a reasoned and measured response to copyright infringement, some people view it as overkill.

People should be able to access whatever content they want without rich corporations deciding what should and should not appear on computer screens, the argument goes.

For former student Pavel Kopylov, blocking of pirate sites in Russia has gone too far. So, to make his displeasure obvious to Roscomnadzor, the government entity responsible for carrying it out, last year he attempted to burn one of its offices down – three times.

On April 2, 2018, reportedly dissatisfied that his favorite torrent tracker had been blocked, Kopylov went to the local offices of Roscomnadzor,
smashed a window, and threw a bottle of flammable liquid inside together with a burning match. The attempt was a failure – the fire didn’t ignite and a guard was alerted by the noise.

Almost two weeks later, Kopylov returned for a second try. This time a fire did ensue but it was put out, without causing catastrophic damage. A third attempt, on May 9, 2018, ended in complete failure, with a guard catching the would-be arsonist before he could carry out his plan.

Nevertheless, the prosecutor’s office saw the attacks as an attempt to destroy Roscomnadzor’s property by arson, an offense carrying a penalty of up to five years in prison. The prosecution sought two years but in the end, had to settle for considerably less.

Interfax reports that a court in the Ulyanovsk region has now sentenced the man for repeatedly trying to burn down Roscomnadzor’s regional office. He received 18 months probation but the prosecution intends to appeal, describing the sentence as excessively lenient.

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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Disney and Charter Team Up on Piracy Mitigation 7

With roughly 22 million subscribers, Charter Communications is one of the largest Internet providers in the US.

The company operates under the Spectrum brand and offers a wide variety of services including TV and Internet access.

In an effort to provide more engaging content to its customers, this week Charter signed a major new distribution agreement with The Walt Disney Company.

The new partnership will provide the telco’s customers with access to popular titles in Disney’s services, including Hulu, ESPN+ and the yet-to-be-launched streaming service Disney+.

The fact that these giant companies have teamed-up is a big deal, business-wise and for consumers. Most Spectrum subscribers will likely be pleased to have more options, but there may also be a subgroup that has concerns.

Away from the major headline, both companies also state that they have agreed to partner up on piracy mitigation.

“This agreement will allow Spectrum to continue delivering to its customers popular Disney content […] and will begin an important collaborative effort to address the significant issue of piracy mitigation,” says Tom Montemagno, EVP, Programming Acquisition for Charter.

The public press releases give no concrete details of what this “piracy mitigation” will entail. It does mention that the two companies will work together to “implement business rules” and address issues such as “unauthorized access and password sharing.”

TorrentFreak reached out to Charter for further details, but the company said that it’s not elaborating beyond the press release at this time.

The term “mitigating” suggests that both companies will actively work together to reduce piracy. This is interesting because Charter is currently caught up in a major piracy liability lawsuit in a US federal court in Colorado.

Earlier this year the Internet provider was sued by several music companies which argued that the company turned a blind eye to piracy by failing to terminate accounts of repeat infringers. In addition, Charter stands accused of willingly profiting from these alleged copyright infringements.

Charter’s new agreement with Disney suggests that there could be a more proactive anti-piracy stance going forward. One possibility might be a more strict repeat infringer policy but, without further details, it remains unclear what the “piracy mitigation” entails precisely.

In any case, it will be interesting to see how the two companies plan to put a dent in current piracy levels, and what that means for Charter customers.

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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Cloudflare Flags Copyright Lawsuits as Potential Liabilities Ahead of IPO 12

As a CDN and security company, Cloudflare currently serves around 20 million “Internet properties”, ranging from domains and websites through to application programming interfaces (APIs) and mobile applications.

At least hundreds of those properties, potentially more, are considered ‘pirate’ platforms by copyright groups, which has resulted in Cloudflare being sucked into copyright infringement lawsuits due to the activities of its customers.

On Thursday, Cloudflare filed to go public by submitting the required S-1 registration statement. It contains numerous warnings that copyright infringement lawsuits, both current and those that may appear in the future, could present significant issues of liability for the company.

Noting that some of Cloudflare’s customers may use its services in violation of the law, the company states that existing laws relating to the liability of service providers are “highly unsettled and in flux”, both in the United States and further afield.

“For example, we have been named as a defendant in a number of lawsuits, both in the United States and abroad, alleging copyright infringement based on content that is made available through our customers’ websites,” the filing reads.

“There can be no assurance that we will not face similar litigation in the future or that we will prevail in any litigation we may face. An adverse decision in one or more of these lawsuits could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.”

Cloudflare goes on to reference the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA, noting that they may not offer “complete protection” for the company or could even be amended in the future to its detriment.

“If we are found not to be protected by the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA, CDA [Communications Decency Act] or other similar laws, or if we are deemed subject to laws in other countries that may not have the same protections or that may impose more onerous obligations on us, we may face claims for substantial damages and our brand, reputation, and financial results may be harmed. Such claims may result in liability that exceeds our ability to pay or our insurance coverage,” Cloudflare warns.

As a global company, it’s not only US law the company has to consider. Cloudflare references the recently-approved Copyright Directive in the EU, noting that also has the potential to expose Cloudflare and other online platforms to liability.

As recently as last month and in advance of any claims under that particular legislation, Cloudflare experienced an adverse ruling in an Italian court. Local broadcaster RTI successfully argued that Cloudflare can be held liable if it willingly fails to act in response to copyright infringement notices. In addition, Cloudflare was ordered to terminate the accounts of several pirate sites.

Of course, it’s not uncommon for S-1 filings to contain statements that can be interpreted as impending doom, since companies are required to be frank about their business’s prospects. However, with single copyright cases often dealing with millions of dollars worth of alleged infringement, Cloudflare’s appraisal of the risks seems entirely warranted.

Cloudflare’s S-1 filing can be viewed here

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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YouTube Forbids Monetizing Short Music Clips Through Manual Content-ID Claims 17

Millions of people use YouTube to share their creations with the world, as commentary, entertainment, education, or for any other purpose they see fit.

In most cases, these videos remain online without any issues. However, for some creators, YouTube’s copyright enforcement is causing a mess, one that severely affects their day-to-day activities.

We’ve repeatedly covered problems with YouTube’s Content-ID system dating as far back as eight years ago. Most of these issues are the result of overbroad filters, often when YouTube finds a copyright match where it shouldn’t.

However, the problems go much deeper than random ‘bot’ mistakes. YouTube allows certain copyright holders to make “manual” Content-ID claims as well. This allows them to flag content that’s not caught by Content-ID. However, despite the fact that these claims are reviewed by a person, some are rather frivolous.

In some instances, it appears that just mentioning the title of an artist or song can result in a manual copyright claim, even though the audio itself isn’t used in the video.

After many YouTube creators bitterly complained about these types of abuse, which deprives them of revenue, YouTube is beginning to change its policies.

“One concerning trend we’ve seen is aggressive manual claiming of very short music clips used in monetized videos. These claims can feel particularly unfair, as they transfer all revenue from the creator to the claimant, regardless of the amount of music claimed,” the YouTube team explains.

Last month the video service took the first step by requiring copyright holders to provide timestamps for all manual claims, precisely identifying what they see as infringing. This week, the company goes a step further.

In an effort to create a fairer creator ecosystem, YouTube will soon forbid copyright holders from using the manual claiming process to monetize videos that feature short or unintentional music fragments.

This means, for example, that a three-second music clip in a longer video can no longer be claimed this way. The same would likely be true for a song that unintentionally plays in the background on a TV or radio.

The YouTube team notes that these additional changes are intended to improve fairness in the creator ecosystem. The company hopes that it will ultimately lead to fewer unfair and aggressive practices by some rightsholders.

In addition, the policy update also copes with a stick for rightsholders, which is relatively rare for YouTube. Those rightsholders who repeatedly violate the new policy can lose their manual Content-ID claiming rights.

“Once we start enforcement, copyright owners who repeatedly fail to adhere to these policies will have their access to Manual Claiming suspended,” YouTube writes.

While this change is a big step, it only impacts a relatively small number of claims. Automated Content-ID claims, which represent the vast majority, are not affected by the policy update.

In addition, copyright holders can still manually claim short or unintentional uses of their work. However, instead of taking the monetization option, they can choose to prevent any type of monetization of the video, or block it altogether.

It remains to be seen how happy video creators will be with this new policy once it goes into effect mid-September. In theory, the result could see more videos get blocked, as YouTube recognizes.

“We acknowledge that these changes may result in more blocked content in the near-term, but we feel this is an important step toward striking the right balance over the long-term. Our goal is to unlock new value for everyone by powering creative reuse and content mashups, while fairly compensating all rightsholders,” the YouTube team concludes. 

Time will tell whether the changes have the intended effect, or if the current problems will persist.

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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Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus is almost out thanks to Netflix this time. To be more exact, Netflix has just released a new trailer for the film and it shows that Enter the Florpus is everything that a fan of Invader Zim would expect. In this trailer, you get a bit more of what the film’s about compared to previous trailers.

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus Netflix

Nickelodeon unfortunately canceled the show back in 2004 before the second season was full finished. That was because of poor ratings. Invader Zim creator Jhonen Vasquez said: ”The mission was not necessarily to make a kids’ show and it wasn’t to make a show trying to shock people, either. It’s just a particular kind of stupid.”

But since then, and even during its initial run, the show was a fan-favorite despite being subversive in its animation, content, and messages. Also the merchandise of the tv show has never really gone out of production. On the contrary, you can still buy many items featuring Zim and his trusty robot servant GIR online.

The new Netflix movie’s synopsis seems to tease that ZIM will finally find out why he was sent to Earth. According to the Netflix synopsis “ZIM discovers his almighty leaders never had any intention of coming to Earth. He loses confidence in himself for the first time in his life, which is the big break his human nemesis, Dib has been waiting for”.

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus Trailer

In an interview with Polygon about the upcoming movie, the creator also explains that he’d turned down revisiting Invader Zim in the past. He also explains why he’s choosing to do so now:

“The tricky thing about returning was making it clear to the new Nick that inviting Zim back meant inviting Zim back, a thing that wasn’t going to be something else, they were still inviting a pulsating garbage bag of filth encrusted rabid weasels into their studio. For the most part everyone understood what they were signing on for.”

Enter the Florpus will be on Netflix on August 16.


‘Get it Right’ Hopes High-Profile Social Influencers Can Deter Piracy 22

Last month, TorrentFreak reported that the Creative Content UK (CCUK) “Get it Right” anti-piracy campaign had ended the practice of sending infringement notices to ‘pirating’ Internet users in the UK.

“The educational emails sent by ISPs upon detection of infringing file-sharing activity have served their purpose and are ceasing, with the focus instead increasing the broader engagement with fans based around their passion for music, TV, film and all other kinds of creative content,” a CCUK spokesperson told us.

The wider campaign, which is funded by the UK government and run by music and movie industry groups BPI and MPA, launched a new phase today. It aims to educate consumers on the efforts expended during the creation of original content in the hope that will lead to a natural decline in piracy rates. Hearts and minds, if you will.

It begins with the first installment of a new mini-series featuring creators (social influencers) talking about their own content and what it takes to produce it, including the work put in by those behind the scenes.

Quite smartly, CCUK has gone down the “accessible superstar” route in its first episode by featuring popular YouTuber Caspar Lee and ‘influencer’ Snoochie Shy, who together have more than 10 million followers on various platforms.

The first video in the mini-series

Given that this writer had to Google for information on both Lee and Shy, it seems clear that the target audience of the campaign is relatively young. We spoke to CCUK who confirmed our suspicions.

“The principal target audience of the Get it Right campaign overall is 16-34, but the focus of this particular influencer video (and others to come) is more 16-24 – so Millennials and early Gen Z essentially. It may also resonate with some younger, early-teen Caspar and Snoochie followers too,” a CCUK spokesperson explained.

As the video notes, Caspar Lee starred in a movie (Laid in America) which according to CCUK was heavily pirated to the tune of 500,000 downloads/streams in a single month. This in itself raises an interesting question.

If Lee’s followers are his biggest fans, presumably they already have some level of respect for him. If that’s the case, why did so many of them pirate his movie, even after having semi-direct ‘personal’ contact with him through his social media channels? That’s something CCUK hopes to address with its campaign.

“One of the paradoxes of Internet/social media led fandom is arguably that there can be huge love and passion for the artist/influencer, their content and what they do and have to say, but this doesn’t always translate into their content being accessed from the right sources,” CCUK told TF.

“Some fans may even think – ‘this guy must be making loads of money – he’s not going to miss if I don’t pay for it.’ But the reality is that artists and creators do feel it, particularly new ones trying to break through.

“Think how many young creators are looking to make a living from the Internet and from creating content, and all the people that work with them, who can all be seriously impacted. Caspar and the people that worked with him didn’t get to make a sequel for example.”

CCUK add that some of this unofficial consumption may be down to a genuine lack of awareness, with people having difficulty differentiating between official and pirate platforms, for example. But whatever the reasons for piracy, the group’s leaders hope to use their education campaign to encourage a change in both behavior and attitudes.

“It’s encouraging to see Get It Right quietly but surely having a positive effect, and that its core message is getting through,” says Ian Moss, BPI Director of Public Affairs.

“Fans have a clear choice – If they value the creative process, and access content legally from licensed sources, creators will be able to invest more of their time and creativity into producing the music, film and other entertainment we love. If they don’t, and creators feel less able to take risks and invest, this rich choice will diminish for us all.”

Marianne Grant, who co-leads on the campaign for the MPA, believes that people who have been exposed to the Get it Right campaign are now more willing to see how their own actions can make a difference by spending more time considering whether to consume from legitimate sources.

“Since Get it Right was launched, more people are taking that time, with the almost 30 per cent of the population who have been exposed to Get it Right materials reducing significantly their use of infringing content,” Grant says.

“Our task now is to reach further into the population with these interesting and important messages – to provide more engaging and informative content to improve people’s understanding about the creative process and all the people who are involved in it – and to encourage further change.”

A CCUK spokesperson informs TF that this first ‘influencer’ video is “effectively a pilot”, the results of which will shape the direction of future videos in the series. They will target the same age group, so expect to see similar “influencers” playing a key role in future productions.

Whether the campaign will make a real difference “on the ground” remains to be seen. However, reading between the lines and given the target audience, older pirates may not be considered the biggest problem in the UK right now. And of course, they’ll be more set in their ways, so molding younger minds may be the easier option.

They’ll also know who Caspar Lee is, which is a big plus and a good start.

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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‘Google Blocked TorrentFreak From Appearing in Search Feature’ 27

At TorrentFreak, we have written hundreds of articles about website blocking and censorship. Today, we’re featured in one ourselves.

Leaked Google documents reveal that TorrentFreak.com shows up in one of Google’s previously unknown blocklists, which actively hides our domain from the Google Now service.

Google Now was a Google search feature that presented users with informational cards, to provide users with more details on subjects of interest to them. While the brand no longer exists, the feature is still present in the Google Android app and its feed.

The controversial blocklist is part of a treasure trove of files that were leaked by whistleblower Zachary Vorhies, who shared them with Project Veritas. The entire collection of files uncovers many previously unknown policies and actions from Google.

“These documents were available to every single employee within the company that was full-time. And so as a fulltime employee at the company, I just searched for some keywords and these documents started to pop up,” Vorhies said.

The Google Now blocklist, which is available here, contains nearly 500 domain names. The file starts with APKMirror, eBay and some Google sites, and then continues with several torrent related sites including The Pirate Bay, RARBG and EZTV, as well as some that no longer exist.

TorrentFreak.com is grouped in with the torrent sites. While the list doesn’t give a reason for the block, it appears that it’s related to the subject of piracy.

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Torrent blocks

The list then continues with sites that are tagged due to having a “high user block rate.” These include quite a few conservative websites. As the description suggests, they may have been filtered because a lot of users block these sites.

Further down the list, there are also a dozen sites that are supposedly “flagged for peddling hoax stories.”

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High user block rate

This isn’t the first Google leak story by Project Veritas. The outlet previously published internal Google documents about what it described as “algorithmic unfairness.”

Google obviously wasn’t happy with the leaks. The company reportedly sent a threatening letter to Vorhies after it uncovered his identity, and the San Fransisco police later visited the Google insider for a “mental health” check.

The turn of events triggered Vorhies to release the documents in public and step out of the shadows. In addition to sharing the information publicly, he also sent the data dump to the US Department of Justice’s antitrust division.

TorrentFreak is not able to independently verify the authenticity of the blocklist or any of the other materials that were leaked. It’s also not clear whether the list is up-to-date and still actively used.

We reached out to a Google spokesperson to find out more. including why our site appears on this list, but at the time of writing, we have yet to hear back.

A full copy of all the leaked files, which also contains other documents about censorship, hiring practices, and psychological research, is accessible via Project Veritas. The site also published a detailed video interview with the whistleblower.

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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Ads on Pirate Sites Can Hurt Sales, Survey Finds 34

In recent years, various copyright holder groups embraced a “follow-the-money” approach in the hope of cutting off funding to so-called pirate sites.

Major copyright holder groups such as the RIAA and MPAA see this as an effective strategy. Their ultimate goal is to drain these infringing sites of their revenue.

Several voluntary initiatives have been set up to facilitate this process. This includes the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), an anti-piracy certification program operated by giants including Amazon, Google, Facebook, Disney and Warner.

TAG’s goal is to get as many advertisers and advertising networks on board as possible, to effectively prevent ads from showing up on ‘dubious’ websites. This isn’t just so these companies can have a clear conscience. A new survey, conducted by TAG and Brand Safety Institute (BSI), suggests that it’s a wise business decision as well.

The survey in question polled 1,017 adults in the United States. These respondents were asked whether they believe that advertisers should prevent their ads from showing up on dubious sites. In addition, the survey asked whether they would buy less if they saw a brand’s ads on these sites.

The results of the survey, perhaps unsurprisingly, show that many people would like advertisers to prevent their ads from appearing on ‘dangerous’ sites. Hate speech, porn, and hacked sites were seen as most troublesome, and pirate sites follow at a distance, with 53% of the respondents urging advertisers to take action for this category.

Ads on Pirate Sites Can Hurt Sales, Survey Finds 35

When asked whether people would actually buy less should they encounter ads on such sites, the results are clear as well. Here, a new category of “terrorist training videos” tops the list, with 90% of the respondents stating that they would buy less. For piracy sites, this goes down to 82%.

Ads on Pirate Sites Can Hurt Sales, Survey Finds 36
Buy less? (image credit TAG)

While it’s clear that advertising on the wrong sites can lead to reputational damage and potentially fewer sales, it’s worth taking a closer look at the full survey results to provide some nuance.

When asked whether people would buy less after seeing ads on pirate sites, 18% actually said that they would buy the same amount. It wouldn’t be a surprise if this includes pretty much all the people who actually use these sites, and then some.

Conversely, the vast majority, if not all of the remaining 82% might never visit any pirate sites to begin with, so they won’t see the ads anyway.

However, Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG and co-founder of BSI, stresses that their survey shows the danger of advertising on inappropriate sites. “This survey drives home the real and measurable risk to a company’s bottom line from a preventable brand safety crisis,” he says.

“While reputational harm can be hard to measure, consumers said that they plan to vote with their wallets if brands fail to take the necessary steps to protect their supply chain from risks such as hate speech, malware, and piracy.”

For TAG the results of the survey are a great promotional message. The organization would like to see more companies come aboard as members, which in increase its cash flow.

Becoming a certified TAG member is not cheap. The basic membership package starts at $10,000 and this can go up to 65,000 if an advertiser is accepted for the ‘Thought Leadership’ package. Advertising agencies and ‘ad tech’ companies can also join, with TAG requiring some to pay even more.

While several major brands are willing to pay these amounts in order to be on the safe side, not all are. Aside from the cost issue, some brands and ad agencies are actually not interested in banning ads on pirate sites.

As we pointed out in the past, there are also plenty of advertising outfits that still love to work with pirate sites. In fact, there are many advertisers and ad agencies that specifically target them.

DMCAForce is such a company. The CEO, Mark Bauman, previously explained that his company seeks solutions to keep both copyright holders and website operators happy.

Bauman said that his advertising company prefers not to ban or block any sites. It doesn’t want to reward piracy either but sees cooperation between site operators and copyright holders as a win-win.

At the end of the day, pirate site visitors are also consumers. While TAG’s survey is probably right that advertising on such sites will be frowned upon by the general public, one has to question whether the users of these sites share the same opinion.

In that regard, it’s worth noting that participants in the TAG survey couldn’t indicate that they would buy more after seeing ads on pirate sites. That may have provided some valuable extra insight.

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

Ads on Pirate Sites Can Hurt Sales, Survey Finds 37 Ads on Pirate Sites Can Hurt Sales, Survey Finds 38

Ads on Pirate Sites Can Hurt Sales, Survey Finds 39



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TV Distributors Abandon IPTV Blocking Application Down Under 41

Changes to the law now make it relatively straightforward to have blatant ‘pirate’ sites blocked by ISPs in Australia.

Entertainment industry groups have targeted dozens of sites using the streamlined system, including many of the top torrent and streaming platforms. For reasons that remain unclear, however, one application for a blocking order now appears to have hit the stops.

Back in February, an application for injunction filed in Federal Court saw TV distributor International Media Distribution (IMD) targeting Reelplay, an IPTV provider that specializes in Italian, Greek, and Arabic programming.

TV Distributors Abandon IPTV Blocking Application Down Under 42
The Reelplay offering (from Reelplay.co)

Luxembourg-registered IMD describes itself as the single largest provider of ethnic channels to US-based multi-billion dollar TV distributor, Dish Network, and the “leading aggregator and marketer of niche television services to various ethnic communities around the globe.”

In the application for an injunction (pdf), IMD was joined by two other companies – Netherlands-based distributor Overlook Management BV and Lebanon-based pan-Arab TV station Al Jadeed. Together they complained that Reelplay offered 15 TV channels for which they are the exclusive licensee.

Given that Reelplay indicates on its site that it is “not responsible for the content and do not guarantee nor claim any rights to the content”, this seemed like a fairly straightforward case for the applicants, at least on the surface. However, something appears to have gone wrong.

ComputerWorld reports that during a case management hearing in March, the Judge indicated he would be looking closely at a couple of points of interest.

“Justice Burley told the applicants that he would pay ‘particularly close attention’ to proof of service in the matter and said that [the applicants] needed to ensure they fulfilled the requirements of Section 115a of the Copyright Act,” writes Rohan Pearce.

Since then the Judge issued several orders which required, among other things, for Overlook Management to be joined as an applicant, and the applicants to serve affidavit and schedules of evidence.

On June 28, 2019, the Judge noted that the matter had been listed for hearing on August 16, 2019. However, a subsequent order, dated August 8, stated that the applicants had been granted leave to file a notice of discontinuance. Yesterday, the court indicated that a final order had been handed down, terminating the case.

No details to explain the move are on record at the court, so it remains open to question whether some kind of agreement has been reached with Reelplay or if the case hit some kind of technical or legal block. Reelplay doesn’t list the channels it offers to the public on its site but discontinuing the disputed channels would at least have the potential to undermine the action.

Either way, the Reelplay site appears to be fully functional and capable of taking orders for the Arabic package in question. It features an Android-based box loaded with 450+ channels plus a 24-month subscription, priced at AUS$230. Only time will tell if the companies in question will return for a second bite at the cherry.

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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Kim Dotcom Set to Mobilize Former Megaupload Users Against Joe Biden 47

After being targeted by the US government in 2012, it seems possible that Kim Dotcom may yet slip through the hands of at least two presidents and potentially more.

It’s now seven years since the raids that dismantled his Megaupload empire yet Kim Dotcom is still in New Zealand and leading what appears to be a very privileged life.

At the same time as fighting with every legal bone in his body, he is clearly determined to stir up a political storm in the United States too, a country he will remind you again and again that he has never even been to. For Dotcom, you see, there are old scores to be settled.

Dotcom is convinced that current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was the political driving force behind the fate of Megaupload. The former vice president burnt the file-hosting site to the ground as a “gift” to his friends in Hollywood, Dotcom insists. And soon, it will be payback time.

In a series of tweets this morning, Dotcom said that next year he will be mirroring his infamous campaign against former candidate Hillary Clinton to ensure that Joe Biden never sets foot in the White House.

“Like @HillaryClinton he’s corrupt to the core and can never become US President. Watch me in 2020,” he warned.

Dotcom usually plays some of his cards close to his chest, while teasing others well in advance of their production. However, he’s now on record that he’ll be using a database of former Megaupload users apparently still in his possession to mobilize against Biden.

“Still waiting to get access to your Megaupload files?” he wrote.

“I will email 30 million former US Megaupload users a video link in 2020 explaining how @JoeBiden destroyed your favorite website. Most of you were teenagers or students then but now you’re voters. Let’s retire Biden together,” the Megaupload founder added.

Putting the two parts together suggests that Dotcom not only has uploaders’ IP addresses to geo-locate them but their corresponding email addresses too. With the statute of limitations long exceeded in cases of alleged copyright infringement, errant users probably shouldn’t be too concerned, even if those can be matched to uploads.

While it seems extremely unlikely that any will ever get access to their files again, Dotcom says they will be receiving something else from him, something that he hopes will undermine both Biden and his campaign.

“Everyone who ever uploaded a file to Megaupload from a US IP address will receive this video link about how @JoeBiden abused his power to destroy Megaupload, incl. commentary from an insider and Biden bragging to a lawyer we planted at a fundraiser that HE destroyed MU,” Dotcom added.

Although the content of the forthcoming video is yet to be seen, the allegations against Biden certainly aren’t new. They are almost as old as the case against Dotcom himself, which has been moving at a glacial pace since its inception more than three-quarters of a decade ago.

And according to Dotcom, it might still only be at its halfway point.

In June, after a tortuous path through the lower courts, New Zealand’s Supreme Court heard the extradition case against Dotcom. It is yet to hand down any decision but even at this stage, the Megaupload founder is making his predictions. In tweets over the past several weeks, Dotcom has predicted that he will lose by a slim margin.

“I can tell you from my experience with the Courts that relationships are more important than laws. Judges are appointed to support the govt of the time and not for guardianship of the law. My upcoming 2-3 Supreme Court judgment will prove my point,” he wrote last week.

But even then the show won’t be over, far from it.

Kim Dotcom Set to Mobilize Former Megaupload Users Against Joe Biden 48
Another seven years? Possibly…

At the time of writing, Dotcom claims that he’s has already been on bail longer than anyone in New Zealand’s history but he’s vowing to stick it out “until the end” while making as much mud stick as he can – both at home and in the United States.

“My case is the biggest stain on New Zealand’s rule of law. My gift to the ‘independent’ Judiciary,” he concludes.

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Kim Dotcom Set to Mobilize Former Megaupload Users Against Joe Biden 49 Kim Dotcom Set to Mobilize Former Megaupload Users Against Joe Biden 50

Kim Dotcom Set to Mobilize Former Megaupload Users Against Joe Biden 51



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