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Picking the best VPN can be a tricky endeavor. There are hundreds of VPN services out there, all promising to keep you private. Some are more anonymous than others, however. To help you pick the best one for your needs, we asked dozens of VPNs what their logging policies are, how they handle torrent users, and what else they do to keep you anonymous.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

The VPN industry is booming and prospective users have hundreds of options to pick from. All claim to be the best, but some are more anonymous than others.

The VPN review business is also flourishing. Just do a random search for “best VPN service” or “VPN review” and you’ll see dozens of sites filled with recommendations and preferred picks.

We don’t want to make any recommendations. When it comes to privacy and anonymity, an outsider can’t offer any guarantees. Vulnerabilities are always lurking around the corner and even with the most secure VPN, you still have...

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Posted on TorrentFreak
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Spammers continue to abuse Google Maps to promote scammy pirate links. These 'treasures' show up through the maps feature from where they are picked up by search engines. This can be pretty effective, it seems, as some links are getting thousands of views.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

Google Maps is a wonderful tool that helps millions of people find their way around the world. Some would be literally lost without it.

Generally speaking, Maps is used to navigate the real world. However, spammers are also using it to guide prospective pirates on the Internet.

This leads to rather unusual findings. For example, this week one of our searches guided us to a user-generated Google Map that marked a location in the middle of New Delhi, India.

While it’s no secret that there are millions of pirates in the Asian country, it was still a bit of a surpr...

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Posted on TorrentFreak
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Spotify has filed a wave of DMCA takedown notices with Google in an effort to remove links to software claiming to offer a premium experience without paying. In many of its complaints Spotify warns that the company believes that the tools are intended to be used as "instruments of fraud".

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

Spotify is currently the most popular music streaming platform in the world with 286 million users. An impressive 130 million subscribe to the company’s premium service with the remainder using the ad-supported tier.

Somewhere in those figures are a small minority who enjoy the features of Spotify Premium but yet manage to do so without paying the subscription fees charged by the company. This is achieved by deploying various hacks and workarounds that remove the restrictions imposed on users of the ad-supported service.

In many cases this means users obtaining a hacked ...

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Posted on TorrentFreak
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Irdeto is mostly known for its 'Denuvo' anti-piracy tool, which protects many high profile games. However, the digital security company operates a broad suite of anti-piracy tools. This includes "App Watch," a service that allows content providers to monitor and restrict the use of pirate apps on their Android-based set-top boxes.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

Many content providers and networks have their own set-top boxes that can be connected to any modern TV.

These devices are often running on Android and sometimes allow users to install third-party apps, via Google’s Play store, for example.

This opens the door to a wide range of other apps which can be problematic, especially when they offer a gateway to pirated content that directly competes with the operator’s service.

To address this potential threat, digital security company Irdeto is offering an ‘App Watch’ service. This is part of the co...

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Posted on TorrentFreak
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A hobbyist electronics hacker who took a cheap standard calculator and modified it to access the Internet has been hit with a DMCA copyright complaint. According to CASIO, the project uses its copyrighted source code but the developer informs TorrentFreak that his code was written entirely from scratch.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

Hobbyist electronics hacker and YouTuber ‘Neutrino’ only has 10 videos on his channel but many are extremely popular.

Back in April he constructed his own interactive and contactless handwash dispenser to help people avoid the coronavirus and earlier this month published an absolute gem, transforming an old CASIO scientific calculator into something better.

After a not inconsiderable amount of work, Neutrino’s device was able to communicate with similar devices nearby and even connect to the Internet. Pretty impressive for a supposed amateur.

As standa...

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Posted on TorrentFreak
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The US Copyright Office has published its long-awaited review of the DMCA's safe harbor provisions. The report proposes several tweaks to the law, including one that could make it much easier to go after online pirates. At the same time, the Copyright Office stresses that more research is needed on the effects of upload filters and pirate site blocking.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

In 2016, the U.S. Government launched a public consultation to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the DMCA’s Safe Harbor provisions.

In response, the Copyright Office received a lot of input, including more than 92,000 comments. Various rightsholders weighed in, as expected, and so did technology companies, law scholars and civil rights groups.

This week, the Copyright Office released its long-awaited report (pdf), summarizing the public input, while offering several recommendations to lawmakers on how to move forward.

The overall conclusion is that there’...

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Posted on TorrentFreak
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A company that develops personnel assessment tests for companies to vet prospective employees has filed a lawsuit against YouTube demanding that the platform is permanently blocked by ISPs in the country. OnTarget says that the video platform has not responded to previous orders to remove its content so must now be considered a repeat infringer under Russia's anti-piracy laws.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

Five years ago, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki revealed that 400 hours of video were being uploaded to the platform every minute. Today that volume has increased to a staggering 500 hours per minute, a vast amount of content by any standard.

While the majority of the video uploaded to YouTube isn’t problematic for the company or third-parties, some users breach copyright law by uploading content that infringes on the rights of others. When that content is discovered by YouTube’s Content ID system or is manually claimed by a rightsholder it can be monetized or removed, but not...

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Pirate sites regularly get into trouble for breaching copyright law. However, a new case filed in Hawaii is of an entirely different order. A well-known anti-piracy lawyer has filed a lawsuit against several YTS sites because the company he represents obtained a similarly-named trademark this year. The complaint mostly targets 'clones' and the real YTS is not named.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

The Hawaiian company ’42 Ventures’ doesn’t immediately ring a bell with most torrent users. However, when we say that it owns the trademarks for ‘YTS’ and ‘Popcorn Time,’ interests will pique.

Founded last year, the company doesn’t operate a pirate site. On the contrary, it’s represented by Kerry Culpepper, a well-known anti-piracy lawyer who works with several Hollywood film companies.

Following its inception, 42 Ventures registered several piracy-related trademarks which it uses to target pirate sites and apps, including ...

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Posted on TorrentFreak
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A court in New York has ordered Boom Media, a prominent reseller of 'pirate' IPTV subscriptions, to pay $3.3m in damages to TV broadcaster DISH Network. The judgment states that Boom's former operators, mother-and-son team Debra and John Henderson, should be held jointly and severally liable after failing to mount a defense.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

Last October, DISH Network filed a lawsuit in the United States targeting Boom Media LLC, a reseller of IPTV services sourced from a number of well-known ‘pirate’ suppliers.

Filed in a New York district court, the complaint also named John Henderson of New York and Debra Henderson of North Carolina as defendants, stating that the LLC was operated from John’s home (with him as the sole member) while his mother provided key support for the operation by receiving customer payments.

“The codes [DISH terminology for subscriptions] are designed and produced t...

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Next week the Oscar-nominated The Simpsons short The Longest Daycare will premiere on Disney+, a fact announced on Twitter today by Al Jean, who has been writing for the show for more than 30 years. Inadvertently or not, however, Jean managed to promote the show using a screenshot from a pirated version of the show that appeared on torrents more than seven years ago.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

In 2012, the short film ‘The Longest Daycare’ hit the big screen attached to screenings of the 20th Century Fox release Ice Age: Continental Drift.

At just five minutes long it’s much shorter than a standard The Simpsons episode but, according to Al Jean who has worked on the show for more than 30 years, it was a “thank you” note to Simpsons fans who had stuck with the show for two-and-a-half decades. And things went well.

The Longest Daycare was nominated for an Oscar and now, more than eight years later, is about to make its debut on the streami...

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