Statistics are great. As long as you have enough data points, you can ‘win’ virtually any argument by citing only those that support your claim.

This technique is used everywhere, also in debates about copyright, especially when it comes to the impact of online file-sharing on revenue.

Rightsholders frequently cite from studies that reveal major losses. At the same time, their opponents pick findings which clearly prove that there is no serious harm. Both may be right, but neither tell the full story.

If you read the headline of this article it’s easy to see that the ‘pro-piracy’ side will gladly put the findings in their arguments folder. However, the same research actually has something in store for anti-piracy advocates as well.

The research we’re referring to is published by Zhuang Liu of the University of Western Ontario, in a paper (pdf) titled “Quantifying the Heterogeneous Effects of Piracy on the Demand for Movies.”

Liu conducted an in-depth study on the link between piracy and sales, using estimated download numbers from pirated torrents as a key variable. This revealed that different types of piracy can have different effects.

After monitoring downloads and sales, including box office and DVD figures, for a period of 40 weeks and comparing it to the tracked piracy activity, he concludes that piracy does impact sales negatively. That said, its effect is far from uniform.

“File sharing reduces the total revenue of the motion picture industry from the box office by $ 231 million in total or 2.71% of the current box office in the US for my sample of 40 weeks in 2015,” the article reads.

On average, piracy results in a loss of roughly $500,000 per movie. That’s not insignificant. The bulk of the harm is not created at the box office though, but with DVD aftersales, the research found.

“Unlike the box office, in the home-video market, DVD revenue decreases by a surprising 36% due to piracy,” Liu writes.

What’s interesting to note is that not all piracy types have the same effect. For the earlier low-quality releases (CAM and TS), the “word-of-mouth” effect outweighs the negative effects on sales. Most of the harm is done by later high-quality leaks (WEBDL, DVDrip and BRRip), which compete directly with DVD and Blu-ray sales.

While the net effect of piracy is negative, pirates can also serve as promoters. Through word-of-mouth ‘advertising’ piracy positively impacts box-office attendance, Liu estimates.

“There’s some benefit from piracy, the word-of-mouth from piracy actually contribute to a total of $68.7 million to the industry box office and DVD revenue,” Liu says, clarifying that the figure applies to a period of 40 weeks and is limited to the US.

There’s another upside of course, as pirates save a lot of money, much more than the movie studios lose. This means that if all piracy could be eradicated, consumer welfare would be ‘lost.’

“Consumer welfare decreases when we ban piracy, which is much higher than the increase in motion picture industry revenue,” Liu notes.

That said, it’s unrealistic to expect that piracy could be banned entirely. Movie studios take down files and sites whenever they can, but a pirated copy is never hard to find. That brings us to another important finding.

If a single movie is protected from piracy successfully, it ‘only’ gains an average $70,000 in additional revenue.

“Consumers who watch pirated movies simply like ‘pirated stuff’, so if studios try to report and remove torrents of a movie on the file-sharing network, the pirate consumers will just switch to other pirated movies. The improvement in revenue will be very small, around $70,000 on average per movie,” Liu tells us.

That last point is important. If all piracy was eliminated, films would see a $500,000 increase in revenue per title. But in more isolated cases, which is what mostly happens today, the effect is much lower.

The research offers several interesting insights, to say the least. However, it is not without shortcomings. As it only looks at BitTorrent traffic, it captures only a small part of the piracy ecosystem.

In addition, tracking torrent downloads accurately also has its challenges. Liu aggregated completed counts form various BitTorrent trackers, which likely means that the downloads are overestimated.

We would caution anyone from drawing strong conclusions from this or any other study. What it does brilliantly show, however, is that not all piracy is the same. The quality and timing of leaked files are crucial, and the effects differ greatly between the box-office and DVD aftersales.

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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Hollywood frequently stresses that piracy not only hurts the major studios, but also smaller independent productions.

While that may be true, for many independent artists obscurity is actually a bigger problem than piracy.

This idea is also shared by Lee Gardner, the Director and co-writer of the film “Adopting Trouble.” A digital copy of the film came out on Amazon this week where it can be rented for $0.99 or brought for $4.99.

The problem is, however, that people have to notice the film first. That’s a tough job when there’s virtually no marketing budget available. This is why Gardner and his team at Rare Legend Films decided to reach out to RARBG, one of the top torrent sites.

Realizing that pirates will get their hands on the film anyway, he sent the film’s master files to the site, whose in-house release group FGT turned those into torrents of varying qualities.

Aopting torrents…

The releases come with a special note from Gardner himself, who explains why his production company took this unconventional step.

“The thing they never tell you when you are making your film is that you won’t have enough money for marketing and without it, no-one will see your film. Maybe torrenters can fill that gap and spread the word on independent films,” he writes.

The director sees torrenters as trendsetters. This is why the film came out on RARBG before the official Amazon release. While there are no obligations, a donation or plug are welcome of course.

“So we are giving it to torrenters a little earlier than anyone else. If you like our movie. Please donate. Throw us a clam, a shekel or two. Tell your friends, your family and everyone you know,” Gardner adds.

Director’s message

Other filmmakers have shared their work on torrent sites in the past, and it’s always interesting to hear their motivations. Especially when they work directly with a site such as RARBG.

Speaking with TorrentFreak, Gardner says that RARBG was the only site he reached out to. The director was already familiar with the site and knew that it displayed a list of newly released movies, so it was a good fit.

The reason is simple as well; it’s all about exposure.

“The worst thing for an independent filmmaker is if no one ever sees their film. We had a micro-budget for our film and it was mostly out of our own pockets with no interest from distribution companies since we have no name talent involved,” he says.

Without a marketing budget and knowing that the film would be pirated anyway, they felt like they had nothing to lose.

That said, Gardner certainly isn’t arguing that piracy helps the movie industry as a whole. However, it’s a reality that they have to deal with.

“I wish piracy didn’t exist but I don’t think it will ever go away. Our little three-man production company certainly doesn’t have the means or the time to go after people the way Hollywood does,” he says.

“Piracy clearly has an impact economically on filmmakers, theaters, and distribution companies, but I don’t know that anyone can say exactly how it affects everything.”

The effects of piracy can vary but so can the motivations of pirates. Gardner doesn’t believe everyone pirates because they refuse to pay. In part, it’s a sign of anti-establishment, but also skepticism about what’s being offered.

“I think many people are hesitant these days to spend money on movies, even Hollywood offerings. When I take my family of five out to the theater it’s hard if the movie is a letdown,” Gardner says.

For independent films, there is even more hesitance. People often have no clue what to expect. They often don’t know the directors, writers or actors. So there might be room for innovation there.

One option would be to allow people to watch the beginning of a movie for free, so they can decide whether it’s worth their money or not.

“We need to find solutions to ease that hesitancy and better support independent filmmakers. One solution could be a platform where a potential customer can see the first 20 minutes of a film for free,” Gardner notes.

As for “Adopting Trouble,” people can watch it entirely for free on RARBG and other torrent sites where it was uploaded. Those who like it can choose to make a donation or grab a copy on Amazon.

To avoid issues, Gardner stresses that his company will keep standard performance copyright. This means that others can’t take it and sell it elsewhere, as happened with “The Man From Earth: Holocene.”

It will be interesting to see whether the torrent release delivers the exposure Gardner hoped for.

If that’s the case it might be worth repeating in the future. That would also depend on other factors of course, as a sanctioned torrent release may be harder to pull off with outside investors in the project.

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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TorrentFreak recently reported on the plight of developer Matt Huisman, the creator of what he believed to be a completely legitimate Kodi add-on.

Huisman created the ‘Showmax Add-on’ which provided access to content provided by Showmax, an online video subscription service launched in South African back in 2015. As a competitor to Netflix and Amazon Video, Showmax requires a paid subscription.

Despite suggesting that it wasn’t opposed to introducing a Kodi add-on of its own, Showmax never came up with the goods. So, after appeals from the company’s customers, Huisman took it upon himself to create an add-on so that Showmax users could conveniently view content inside Kodi.

The important thing to note is that the ‘Showmax Add-On’ was designed from the ground up to be non-infringing, in that it required all users to have a valid, paid-for subscription with Showmax. Nevertheless, Showmax recently asked anti-piracy company Irdeto (Denuvo’s owner) to take action against the add-on, filing complaints with both Huisman and Github, where the add-on had its official repository.

With the Showmax Add-On taken down from both Huisman’s site and Github, the matter was considered to be over. However, that clearly wasn’t the case. In a move that makes little sense, Irdeto has now filed an infringement complaint against Huisman with PayPal.

“We are contacting you as we have received a report that your website www.matthuisman.nz is currently infringing upon the intellectual property of Irdeto BV. Such infringement also violates PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy,” an email sent to Huisman by PayPal reads.

“If you feel your sales do not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of Irdeto BV, please complete the attached Objection to Infringement form.”

Huisman, who is the developer behind several similar projects, has a “Show me Love” page on his site, in which he invites fans to donate in appreciation of his work. He informs TorrentFreak that he never sold the Showmax Add-On and he’s shocked that Irdeto has taken such action.

“Irdeto have just had my PayPal (for donations) shut down. Wow! I wasn’t even selling [the Showmax] add-on,” he says.

Huisman is now required to file a counter-notice with PayPal in the hope of regaining full access to his account. However, PayPal has already warned him that if action isn’t taken soon, the company will “escalate” the matter.

“Failure to respond by the following date will result in the further escalation of this issue: December 01, 2018,” PayPal’s Brand Risk Management center advises.

On face value, this action by Showmax and Irdeto (who are both owned by corporate giant Naspers) is somewhat confusing.

It is perhaps understandable that they don’t want a third-party Kodi add-on being used to access their content (even though an account is still required), but going after a developer’s means to take donations for all of his projects is a measure usually reserved for fully-fledged ‘pirate’ sites.

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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Takedown notices are a particularly useful tool for copyright holders who want to make sure that infringing copies of their work are not widely distributed.

Every single day, rightsholders and their representatives scour the web for references to pirated content, which aren’t hard to find.

These links are then reported to various online services, such as Google, requesting their operators to remove the allegedly infringing content. This system works well in theory but it’s being abused by scam-artists as well.

One of the most recent scams we’ve seen targets various popular game piracy sites, including skidrowgamereloaded.com, fitgirl-repacks.site, freegogpcgames.com, crotorrents.com, nosteam.ro, pcgames-download.com and skidrowreloaded.com.

The notices in question are seemingly sent by prominent names in the gaming industry, such as Steam and Ubisoft. However, the sudden flurry of takedown requests appears to be initiated by scammers instead.

TorrentFreak spoke to the operator of one of the affected sites who prefers to remain anonymous. He has been following the activity for a while and asked Google for information about a sender claiming to be Ubisoft.

Google revealed that this “Ubisoft” sent notices from suspicious Gmail addresses, using a Russian user interface, from an unidentified Ukrainian IP-address. In addition, the handle used in one of the email addresses can be linked to game-related spam, which doesn’t build any confidence either.

The site owner shared his findings with Google but the company repeatedly said that there is no option to file a counter notification.

This is because the notices are not regular DMCA takedowns. Instead, they are notifications that the URLs circumvent technological protection measures such as DRM, which is separately covered in the DMCA.

“Google has been notified that the following URLs distribute copyright circumvention devices in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 1201,” Google informed the site owner.

“Please find attached the notice we received. There is no formal counter notification process available under US law for circumvention, so we have not reinstated these URLs. If you dispute that you are distributing circumvention devices, please reply with a further explanation.”

Google is correct. The DMCA doesn’t prescribe a takedown and counter-notification scheme for DRM circumvention. While Google has voluntarily chosen to take the URLs offline, it is not required to offer a counter-notice option. This puts targeted sites at a severe disadvantage.

The site owner informs TorrentFreak that he’s been following a spamming operation for a few months. Interestingly, one of the email addresses from the takedown notices could also be matched to a scammer he had contact with in the past.

In addition to the Ubisoft notices, there are also similar requests from other popular brands such as Valve’s Steam. These notices also use the DRM circumvention argument and target popular game piracy sites.

“We are the owners of these copyrighted games listed below. These games were only created by our devlopers [sic] and sell exclusively on steampowered.com,” a Steam notice reads

Apart from the broken English and typo, this claim doesn’t really hold up. Steam or Valve are not the creators of many of the mentioned games, nor are they all exclusively sold on Steam.

One of the many notices

The end result of these fraudulent notices is that thousands of URLs have been wiped from Google’s search results by what appear to be scammers. In some cases, Google has rejected the requests, but many have been honored.

What certainly doesn’t help is that the allegations are not incorrect per se. Pirated games often circumvent DRM. However, the scammy notices are sent out for a different purpose.

One may wonder what the goal of these scammers is. While it’s hard to prove without a doubt, it looks like they are trying to get malicious sites ranked higher in search results.

According to our source, the scammers can be linked to a couple of pirate gaming sites which trick people into downloading cryptocurrency miners. These sites are, of course, not targeted by the fraudulent DMCA requests.

“I have been investigating those persons for a long time, and I can tell with proof that they are behind a massive spam attack spreading their miners. They are taking advantage of the lack of games cracks lately, creating websites claiming they provide cracked games, but all the links on these sites lead to cryptocurrencies miners,” he says.

TorrentFreak visited one of the sites which indeed featured a link that looks rather suspicious. According to Virustotal, it’s flagged as ‘Filetour’ by several anti-virus vendors. This is malware that launches in-browser mining sites.

As scammers remove Google search results for regular pirate gaming sites, these scammy alternatives get a better ranking and more traffic.

To add to the mess, the situation also caused some upheaval between pirate sites. One of the targeted sites suspects that competitor GoodOldDownloads is behind the notices. So, in a retaliatory move, they targeted the site in question with a series of counter-takedowns.

We have seen no sign that this is a matter of competition for a regular pirate site though, and neither has the site owner we have spoken to. Instead, it seems more likely that scammers are behind this scheme.

TorrentFreak contacted Ubisoft, Valve, and Google for a comment on the situation but none of the companies responded.

When we started working on this article none of the takedown requests were flagged as suspicious by Google, but that’s now starting to change. Google actively flagged several of the Steam and Ubisoft notices we referred to in our article.

“We believe that an impostor or someone else abusing the process submitted this request. We report it here for the sake of completeness and to provide a view into one kind of abuse of the DMCA process,” a notice in Google’s transparency report reads.

Interestingly, however, Google still lists the reported links as “removed” and it’s unclear if that will change.

Impostor

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 its massive library of research papers, Sci-Hub has been described as “The Pirate Bay of Science”.

The site is dedicated to providing open access to scientific knowledge, something which millions of individuals truly appreciate.

However, due to the copyrighted nature of much of the content provided by the platform, it has become public enemy #1 among academic publishers.

Site founder Alexandra Elbakyan’s mission is to tear down the paywalls for the good of humankind, a position that has been supported to varying degrees among academics themselves.

“When Sci-Hub became known, I thought that it will provide a good case against copyright law. When the law prevents science to develop, that law must be repealed,” Elbakyan wrote earlier this year.

That challenge to the law has seen Sci-Hub implicated in several copyright suits, including one filed by publishing giant Elsevier, three years ago. However, despite best efforts, Sci-Hub has remained online.

To tackle the site’s resilience, publishers have won ISP blocking orders in several jurisdictions, including Germany and more recently, Sweden. Now it is Russia’s turn to tighten the thumbscrews.

In a case filed recently by UK academic publisher Springer Nature Limited, the Moscow City Court was told that Sci-Hub is infringing the company’s copyrights and should, therefore, be subjected to blocking.

Listing “bulletproof” hosting company Quasi Networks Ltd and US-based CloudFlare as facilitating access to the site, Springer Nature complained that three specific works were being made available illegally by Sci-Hub.

The study papers that led to the block

As the above table obtained from the Court shows, the research papers cover topics of interest to the medical community in the spheres of heart and brain health – Effect of glucose-lowering therapies on heart failure, Nitric oxide signaling in cardiovascular health and disease, and Lactate in the brain: from metabolic end-product to signaling molecule.

These would ordinarily sit behind paywalls but thanks to Sci-Hub, their contents are available for everyone to absorb for free. It’s a situation that’s unacceptable to Springer Nature and the Moscow City Court was sympathetic to the company’s complaints.

A decision on preliminary interim measures was handed down last month, which compelled local telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor to take action to undermine “technical conditions that ensure placement, dissemination and other use of the works”.

As a result, several Sci-Hub and Library Genesis domains (gen.lib.rus.ec, www.libgen.io, scihub.unblocked.gdn, lgmag.org, libgen.unblocked.gdn, sci-hub.tw and libgen.io) are now being rendered inaccessible by Russian Internet Service Providers.

“Access to the Sci-Hub site in Russia is closed by Roscomnadzor. It turns out that Springer’s scientific publishing house filed a lawsuit demanding to restrict access to the portal,” Sci-Hub founder Alexandra Elbakyan announced on social networks VK and Telegram.

Of course, Sci-Hub is no stranger to blocking efforts so has other domains up its sleeve. However, these can also be targeted by rightsholders, so Elbakyan encourages users to check for the latest updates.

“The spare domain sci-hub.se works but for how long, I can not guarantee. Therefore, to access Sci-Hub, use tools to circumvent Internet censorship – which you can search for in Google or by using the bot in Telegram: @scihubot,” Elbakyan concludes.

While Sci-Hub continues its mission to provide open access, it’s interesting to note the indirect effect the site is having on the academic community.

Last month, several prestigious European research councils announced a major push for Open Access publishing, designed to limit the influence of major copyright holders and “tear down” their paywalls.

On Thursday, Sci-Hub appeared to be completely offline everywhere. It is not clear what caused the outage.

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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Legislation passed last year in Russia saw the creation of a centralized database of permanently blocked sites.

Search companies are required to connect their systems to this database (known locally as FGIS) so that such banned sites can be preemptively removed from search results. However, while most companies are acting as required, Google has thus far failed to connect to the resource.

As a result, Google was recently found to be in breach of federal law. The company was given a warning and told to connect within three days and begin filtering, but the tech giant failed to do so. It now faces an administrative fine of between 500,000 and 700,000 rubles (US$7,611 to US$10,656). On Monday, telecoms regulator Roscomnadzor confirmed it had officially opened a case against the US search giant.

While negotiations are still underway for Google to comply moving forward, it’s now clear that small fines don’t act as a deterrent to companies with huge revenue streams. It’s something the Russian government now wishes to address.

As part of reforms under consideration to tackle these types of violations, tech companies could face fines up to 1% of local revenue. In Google’s case, that’s around 450.2 million rubles (US$6.7m).

Roscomnadzor says that Google, Facebook, Telegram and other tech giants remain in breach of various local laws, including failure to hand over encryption keys to the government and neglecting to hold personal data of citizens locally in Russia.

A Reuters source told the news outlet that members of the presidential administration have already sent the proposals to representatives of several Russian and foreign Internet companies to receive feedback on the amendments.

The proposals, seen by Reuters but not published, indicate amendments to the Code of Administrative Offenses of Russia, which will see fines of 1% of annual revenue for repeated infringements of local law, with a minimum fine of 1.5 million rubles (US$22,400) if the company makes no money locally.

While the draft proposals appear to target large companies such as Google, Facebook and local search giant Yandex, services that provide access to blocked sites (such as VPNs and proxy services) will also be covered the legislation.

Messenger services like Telegram are also a target and even Netflix, if the company collects personal data of Russian citizens and stores it outside the country.

Additionally, companies that repeatedly breach the regulations could be subject to web-blocking themselves, something that Yandex was threatened with earlier this year in a response to a copyright complaint from several TV companies.

A source from an unnamed ‘foreign’ Internet company told Reuters that working out the precise levels of fines could be difficult for the Russian government.

“Yes, for foreign companies [the levels of fines under consideration] are already a substantial amount, but it is not clear how they will be calculated and charged,” the source said.

“Many foreign companies do not have a legal entity in Russia, while others have only a representative office that performs only marketing functions, and therefore its revenue is minimal. How much a company really earns in Russia, only the company knows.”

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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As the site-blocking movement progresses around the globe, more and more countries are being added to the list.

Entertainment companies see the practice as crucial to preventing the flow of pirated content but critics claim the process is overly-aggressive and can lead to collateral damage. Following a ruling in India yesterday, opponents of blocking will have yet more ammunition.

Following an application by Lyca Productions Private Limited, the producer of the sci-fi movie ‘2.0’, the Madras High Court handed down a super-aggressive blocking order yesterday that puts most – if not all – similar injunctions in the shade.

In order to protect the movie – which is due for release today – Justice M Sundar ordered 37 local Internet service providers to block a staggering 12,564 websites on the basis that they are likely to offer illegal copies of the movie.

While the order has not yet been published on the website of the Court, local media reports indicate that 2,000 of those websites are operated by notorious Tamil movie website TamilRockers.

Given that so many ‘sites’ are connected to one platform, the order may actually cover more than 12,000 domains instead of individuals sites, but in advance of the order itself being published, that’s hard to clarify.

Nevertheless, what we’re looking at here is a preemptive blocking order of a truly huge scale against sites that have not yet made the movie available and may never do so.

In the meantime, however, a valuable lesson about site-blocking is already upon us. Within hours of the blocks being handed down, a copy of ‘2.0’ appeared online and is now available via various torrent and streaming sites labeled as a “1080p PreDVDRip”. Forums reviewed by TF suggest users aren’t having a problem obtaining it.

With a reported budget of US$76 million, ‘2.0’ is the most expensive Indian film. The sci-fi flick is attracting huge interest and at one stage it was reported that Arnold Schwarzenegger had been approached to play a leading role in the flagship production.

“We had thought of casting Arnold. We had talked and allotted dates also. But somehow things did not work out as the contracts of Hollywood and India are contradictory,” director S. Shankar told local media.

More controversy hit the movie Tuesday when the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) filed a complaint against the movie with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. COAI claims that ‘2.0’ shows mobile phone use in a bad light, suggesting that the devices are detrimental to health.

The depiction is “defamatory to COAI and its members, endangers public order, presents anti-scientific attitudes, constitutes offenses including under various sections of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) and is in violation of the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1952,” the complaint reads.

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 LibreELEC 9.0 Alpha cycle has continued and releases for Amlogic and Slice hardware have been added additionally to the test cycle. We officially support now Khadas VIM (AML S905X) and the LePotato (AML S905X) too. Since the 8.90.005 release we support a wide range of Rockchip devices. There are no plans to release LibreELEC 9.0 images for NXP/iMX6 hardware as support was removed from Kodi some months ago. Support will be reinstated in a future LibreELEC, we wrote an dedicated article about the future of LibreELEC.

Alpha releases are important to the team because we cannot test every scenario and sometimes sidestep issues without realising. The project needs a body of regular testers to go find the problems we miss. Testing will be particularly important for LibreELEC 9.0 as Kodi v18 includes substantial internal changes to VideoPlayer and introduces new retro-gaming capabilities.

** ROCKCHIP **

We added several Rockchip devices at this release. Please consider it as alpha quality and not yet as perfect. All kind of flavors of HDR, 4k and audio are supported already. These images are rather new and it is likely that you hit an problem sooner or later. Please report them at our issue tracker or at the dedicated Rockchip forum that they could get fixed. Within the LE9 release cycle we are likely not able to finish the Rockchip devices to reach an perfect stable state – they stay in alpha status as long it is needed.

TEST NOTES

Our current focus is the OS core and we are more interested in hardware and driver bugs than Kodi problems. Please report the issues you find by starting a thread in the forums or use our bug tracker. Raspberry Pi users are reminded that dtoverlay=lirc-rpi has now been deprecated. Please read the infrared remotes wiki page  before updating.

** CAUTION **

Alpha builds exist for hands-on testing not a hands-off experience. If you run Alpha builds you must be willing to report issues and engage the LibreELEC and Kodi developers in hunting bugs. If you have no idea what a debug log is or “wife acceptance factor” is critical, these builds are not for you. If you want to run Alpha builds please make a backup and store it somewhere off-box first. Your failure to make a backup is not our problem.

Updates since v8.90.007 ALPHA:

– updated to Kodi 18 RC1
– Kernel updated to 4.19.4 for Generic, RPi and Slice
– a lot more updates and fixes, have a look at the full changelog

LibreELEC 9.0 Alpha 008 (Kodi 18 RC 1)

To update an existing installation from within the Kodi GUI select manual update in the LibreELEC settings add-on and then check for updates; select the LibreELEC 9.0 channel and then the 8.90.008 release. To create new install media please use our simple USB/SD Creator App. The following .img.gz files can also be used to create install media or update the old fashioned way:

RPi 2/3 LibreELEC-RPi2.arm-8.90.008.img.gz (info)

RPi 0/1 LibreELEC-RPi.arm-8.90.008.img.gz (info)

Generic LibreELEC-Generic.x86_64-8.90.008.img.gz (info)

Odroid_C2 LibreELEC-Odroid_C2.arm-8.90.008.img.gz (info)

KVIM LibreELEC-KVIM.arm-8.90.008.img.gz (info)

LePotato LibreELEC-LePotato.arm-8.90.008.img.gz (info)

WeTek_Core LibreELEC-WeTek_Core.arm-8.90.008.img.gz (info)

WeTek_Hub LibreELEC-WeTek_Hub.arm-8.90.008.img.gz (info)

WeTek_Play LibreELEC-WeTek_Play.arm-8.90.008.img.gz (info)

WeTek_Play_2 LibreELEC-WeTek_Play_2.arm-8.90.008.img.gz (info)


Rockchip

due a major bug no release for 008



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At the start of this decade, US lawmakers drafted several controversial bills to make it easier for copyright holders to enforce their rights online.

These proposals, including SOPA and PIPA, were met with fierce resistance from the public as well as major technology companies. They feared that the plans, which included pirate site-blocking measures, went too far.

The public protests columnated in a massive Internet blackout. This had the desired effect, as the bills were eventually shelved early 2012.

In the many years that followed, the “site blocking” issue was avoided like the plague. The aversion was mostly limited to the US, as website blocking became more and more common abroad, where it’s one of the entertainment industries’ preferred anti-piracy tools.

Emboldened by these foreign successes, it appears that rightsholders in the US are now confident enough to bring the subject up again, albeit very gently.

Most recently the site-blocking option was mentioned in a joint letter from the RIAA and the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), which contained recommendations to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) Vishal Amin.

The IPEC requested input from the public on the new version of its Joint Strategic Plan for Intellectual Property Enforcement. According to the music industry groups, website blocking should be reconsidered an anti-piracy tool.

“There are several changes that should be made legislatively to help legal authorities and third parties better protect intellectual property rights,” the music groups write.

“These include fixing the DMCA, making it a felony to knowingly engage in unauthorized streaming of copyrighted works, and investigating the positive impact that website blocking of foreign sites has in other jurisdictions and whether U.S. law should be revised accordingly.”

The RIAA and NMPA choose their words carefully, realizing that it’s a sensitive issue. In a single sentence, however, they hint at bringing back SOPA-like blocking powers, including criminalizing online streaming.

A lot has changed in recent years though. The music groups point out that site-blocking has proven to be an effective enforcement tool abroad which has helped to decrease piracy and boost legal consumption.

According to the music industry groups, there is a pressing need for additional tools to stop pirate sites which increasingly use foreign domain names and bulletproof hosting. Blocking could be the right answer.

As such, now could be a good time to put the issue on the political agenda again.

“As website blocking has had a positive impact in other countries without significant unintended consequences, the U.S. should reconsider adding this to its anti-piracy tool box,” the RIAA and NMPA write.

From the RIAA/NMPA submission

The RIAA and NMPA are not the only ones to hint at these measures. The Copyright Alliance, which describes itself as the “unified voice of the copyright community,” also references site-blocking. Again, very subtly.

The group notes that IPEC may want to “observe how other countries are enforcing copyright laws, and whether those enforcement efforts are effective.”

There’s only one suggestion that’s specifically mentioned in this regard, and that’s site-blocking. The Copyright Alliance points out that this has been rather effective abroad and that the US could learn from these efforts.

“In addition to learning what remedies are effective, much can be learned from other countries in ensuring such remedies are proportionate and do not result in overblocking or other unwanted consequences,” they write.

The submissions suggest that after seven years copyright holders are gearing up to call for US blocking proposals again.

While these will undoubtedly be met with protests, a full comeback is inevitable. In recent years US rightsholders have lobbied and litigated for site blocking measures in dozens of countries, while the issue was left untouched on their home soil.

This is now starting to change, very slowly.

Here are the above -referenced copies of the RIAA/NMPA (pdf) and Copyright Alliance (pdf) submissions to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, which both cover a wide range of topics.

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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Huawei: Smartphone with micro notch in December

Huawei could anticipate Samsung in releasing the first smartphone in the world with micro notch, positioned on the upper corner of the display. The Chinese giant is reported being ready to present it’s own Display Infinity similar to the Samsung Infinity-O display. The news came directly from Huawei through a teaser published on their Weibo official social account.

 

 

This teaser represents an image accompanied just by the number “12” which clearly states that the release should be this December. The image doesn’t leave a lot to imagination. We can clearly note that other than the body of a smartphone with the universe in the background, there is a small circle point where a ray of light passes through. This should be the micro notch in the same corner as Samsung’s design. Of course it’s impossible to know which of the two companies came up with this concept first.

infinity-o display

Infinity display by Samsung

Samsung in fact should have been the first to launch this kind of technology on a smartphone with the name Galaxy A8S. Rumors have it that the release is also this December. The exact same month that Huawei is now launching their new model. It is more than obvious that the first to ever release such a technology in the smartphone world is only some days away from the second. This is a war that has been already out for some time among the two brands. Trying to dominate the market with exclusive innovations and as a matter of fact, the first act was that of the number of cameras that each company used on their latest smartphones. Both have now gone up to 4 cameras on the back of their smartphones.

Earlier this month, the Korean company unveiled different types of display to achieve more screen to body ratio on smartphones. All these displays come under Samsung’s Infinity branding. And they are named based on their looks such as Infinity U, Infinity V, Infinity O, Infinity Flex, and New Infinity. Fresh reports from Korea report that Samsung has already begun mass production of Infinity O displays. But now it seems that it will not be the only one to release this kind of technology before the year ends. Of course the real question is who can do it better. Both companies have a great reputation when it comes in innovations.

As the battle continues on for who can deliver the world’s first phone with an in-screen camera cutout to global customers, we will let you know more in the upcoming articles.