The desktop variant of innovative torrent client WebTorrent has now clocked up an impressive 250,000 downloads, its founder reports. In a market where competing clients are often closed source or commercial ventures, WebTorrent promises to be transparent and non-commercial, forever. And that’s despite Netflix knocking at the door.
It’s no secret that copyright holders are trying to take down as much pirated content as they can, but targeting open source software is not something we see every day. Paramount Pictures recently sent a DMCA takedown to Google, listing a copy of the popular operating system Ubuntu. An honest mistake, perhaps, but a worrying one.
After Russia’s leading search engine Yandex failed to remove links to pirate books from its search results, publisher Eksmo filed a complaint with the Moscow Court. Technically, Yandex could’ve found itself blocked nationwide for copyright non-compliance but in the end, cooler heads prevailed.
VPN provider Perfect Privacy has had two of its servers seized by Dutch police, as part of an active investigation. Police bypassed the VPN service and went directly to the company’s hosting provider, I3D, who complied with a subpoena requesting the hardware. At the time of writing, it remains unclear why the servers in question were taken.
Music rights group BMG says that Internet providers RCN and Windstream should not be allowed to obtain a declaratory judgment on their potential liability for pirating subscribers. According to BMG, the providers are improperly trying immunize themselves, hiding behind the DMCA’s safe harbor.
In January 2016, a BitTorrent enthusiast thought he’d launch a stand-alone tracker for fun. Soon, Zer0day.ch was tracking thousands of torrents after being utilized by The Pirate Bay and ExtraTorrent. Now it’s tracking almost four million peers and a million torrents, but the ride has been far from smooth.
Several Internet providers in India have found a clever way to reduce the load BitTorrent transfers put on their network, while pleasing their torrenting subscribers at the same time. They’ve teamed up with Torbox.net which offers a fully fledged torrent search engine that connects users to ‘local’ peers to guarantee maximum download speeds.
The U.S. Copyright Office is considering expanding the mandatory deposit requirement for publishers, so that record labels would also have to submit their online-only music to the Library of Congress. The Library would then allow the public to access the music. The RIAA, however, warns that this plan introduces some serious piracy concerns.
In recent months CloudFlare has been called out repeatedly for offering its services to known pirate sites, including The Pirate Bay. These allegations have now resulted in the first lawsuit after adult entertainment publisher ALS Scan filed a complaint against CloudFlare at a California federal court.
Internet provider Cox Communications maintains that it’s not responsible for copyright infringements carried out by its subscribers. The company has announced that it will appeal the $25 million damages verdict in its case against music publisher BMG.