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Mainstream Media Outlets Promote ‘Pirate’ Streaming Boxes Now?
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Streaming set-top boxes are popular among cord-cutters and millions of people use them to access movies, TV-shows, and livestreams. While these devices can be used for legitimate purposes, quite a few ship with questionable apps that can be used to access "pirate" content. When these are promoted by mainstream media outlets, the movie industry starts asking questions.

In recent years it has become much easier to stream movies and TV-shows over the Internet.

Legal services such as Netflix and HBO are flourishing, but millions of people are streaming from unauthorized sources as well, often paired with perfectly legal streaming platforms and devices.

Hollywood insiders have dubbed this trend “Piracy 3.0” and are actively working with stakeholders to address the threat. Just a few weeks ago, the MPAA called on the FTC to bring actions for unfair and deceptive trade practices against services that market pirate streaming devices.<...

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Yandex and TV Giants Make Peace Over ‘Pirate’ Search Results
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Four lawsuits filed by companies under the umbrella of broadcasting giant Gazprom-Media against leading Russian search engine Yandex are set to conclude in settlement agreements. The signing of an anti-piracy memorandum last month between search engines and rightsholders played a key role in the amicable conclusion.

In many developed countries, rightsholders are in dispute with search engines over the appearance of pirated content in search results and other indexes.

Back in August, TV companies under the Gazprom-Media umbrella filed complaints at the Moscow City Court, demanding that Yandex remove links to infringing content. Yandex initially refused to comply but under threat of ISP blocking, eventually took preventative action.

In September, the TV channels filed another four lawsuits against Yandex. The companies asked the Court to order the search provider to “stop creating tec...

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Tipster Gets $10,000 Reward for Reporting Software Piracy
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An unnamed Australian company has agreed to pay a AU$160,000 piracy settlement to the Software Alliance. The manufacturing outfit reportedly used commercial software without a proper license. The copyright infringement was revealed following a tip from an informant who will receive a healthy AU$10,000 reward.

Over the past two decades, the Software Alliance (BSA) has represented major software companies including Adobe, Apple, Microsoft and Oracle, in their fight against under-licensed businesses.

This has resulted in audits at thousands of companies worldwide, whose computers are carefully inspected to see if the business owner has failed to pay his or her dues.

Some of these audits have been controversial and the evidence collection process has raised eyebrows as well. Especially BSA’s explicit attempts to convince people to report companies in exchange for hard cash.

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EU Members Approve Upload Filters for “Terrorist Content”
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The EU is not only cracking down on copyright-infringing content, there's a strong focus on terrorist material too. The EU Commision recently proposed new regulations that would require hosting platforms to remove terrorist content within one hour, or face consequences. This week member states gave the plan a green light, which goes well beyond Article 13.

The ‘upload filters’ topic has been widely debated in the European Parliament this year.

While most attention has been focused on copyright-infringing material and Article 13, another filtering discussion has been going on at the same time.

This summer the EU Commission pushed forward a plan to require content hosting platforms including Google, Twitter, and Facebook to swiftly remove terrorist content when a national authority points it out to them.

The proposed regulation was accepted by the EU member states at a Council meeting earlier this week.

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Rightsholders Say Latest Article 13 Text Won’t Close the Value Gap
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Rightsholders including music group IFPI have written an open letter expressing deep concerns over the latest text of the proposed Article 13. According to the industry giants, the current proposal would need fundamental changes to address the so-called 'Value Gap' and could, if passed in its current form, end up leaving rightsholders worse off than they currently are.

This September, the European Parliament backed the controversial Article 13 proposals, something that was met with a chorus of support from the entertainment industries, the music sector in particular.

The final text of Article 13 is yet to be finalized so the EU Parliament will need to vote again, once that’s completed. However, as Article 13 mutates to address the concerns of opponents, rightsholders have been expressing concern that the changes will actually strengthen the position of major online content sharing service providers (OCSSPs) such as YouTube.

Last week, ...

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Nintendo Targets Sellers of Pirated Switch Games in Court
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Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against a California man and several unnamed defendants. They are accused of selling pirated Nintendo Switch and NES Classic games, as well as offering modding services. The complaint lists various counts of copyright and trademark infringement and Nintendo requests an injunction to halt future sales.

At the start of the year the infamous hacking group Team Xecutor announced an ‘unstoppable’ Nintendo Switch hack.

This made it possible to load pirated games onto the popular console, an opportunity many people have taken advantage of.

Some have taken it a step further by offering Nintendo Switch “modifications” for sale, specifically mentioning the Team Xecuter hack. This is what California resident Mikel Euskaldunak did, according to Nintendo.

In a complaint filed at a federal court this week, Nintendo of America accuses the man and several u...

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DoJ Indicts Five Men For Pre-Release Movie & TV Show Piracy
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A federal grand jury in California has indicted five men for allegedly offering pre-release copies of hundreds of movies and TV shows via the Internet. The individuals, from the UK, India, United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia, are reported to have hacked into Hollywood film production companies in order to obtain copies of The Expendables 3, The Walking Dead, and other popular titles.

Public sharing of movies and TV shows before their commercial release is considered to be one of the most damaging types of piracy.

With no official copies on the market, entertainment companies are unable to compete in what would ordinarily be the most profitable window of opportunity for sales. That’s why, year after year, individuals who leak content early become targets for law enforcement.

Yesterday the Department of Justice revealed that a federal grand jury has indicted five men in four countries on charges that they distributed or offered for sale hundreds of mov...

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Tech Giants Warn US Govt. Against EU’s ‘Article 13’ Plans
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The CCIA, which represents global tech firms including Cloudflare, Google, and Facebook, is warning the U.S. Government against the EU's copyright reform plans. According to the tech giants, Article 13 could result in significant economic consequences for the U.S. digital economy, with a possible ripple effect on the rest of the world.

Under President Trump, the United States has worked hard to put several new trade deals in place.

The administration is also working on a new trade agreement with the EU for which the US Trade Representative recently asked the public for input.

This week the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), which includes Amazon, Cloudflare, Facebook, and Google as members, sent in its thoughts.

The submission includes a stark warning against the EU’s proposed copyright reform plans, including Article 13, which could open the door to upload filtering. ...

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Bell & Videotron File Criminal Complaint Against IPTV Provider
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Media giants Bell and Videotron have filed a criminal complaint against a Canada-based IPTV provider. In response, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) carried out a search at the residence of a former employee of a Videotron subcontractor, seizing equipment allegedly used to offer unlicensed TV channels to subscribers for around $35 per month.

While regular torrent and streaming sites are still a big hit with online pirates, dedicated IPTV services are becoming increasingly popular with consumers.

These services, which can be difficult to tell apart from official offerings, typically supply access to hundreds of otherwise premium channels at a knockdown price. This disruption is something that broadcasters and rightsholders all over the world are keen to bring to an end.

In particular, there have been many raids around Europe but news is now surfacing of action in Canada, featuring two of the country’s most po...

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Google Gets a Slap on the Wrist For Site-Blocking Failures
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Under Russian law, search engine operators are required to censor their search results to ensure that permanently blocked sites do not appear in their indexes. After failing to comply by interfacing its systems with the national FGIS blacklist database, Google has now been fined 500,000 rubles (US$7,545), the lowest amount that can be levied under existing laws.

Last year, Russian introduced new legislation that can see search engines fined for offering links to VPNs and other anonymizers that have been banned in the country. Fines can also be issued to search engines that fail to connect to a resource offering up-to-date information on what domains should be rendered inaccessible.

This database (known as FGIS), should have been utilized by Google, but for reasons that remain unclear, the US-based search giant didn’t want to play ball.

Several weeks ago, local telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor contacted Google with a demand that it...

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