After serving as the most used torrent meta-search engine for more than a decade, Torrentz shut down last year. The reason behind the sudden shutdown decision remains unclear but it appears that the owner is moving on for good as the site's domain names are now listed for sale.
Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN has responded to last week's Usenet related raids. The Hollywood-backed group describes Usenet as a refuge for pirates of all ilks, with uploaders, site owners and resellers working in tandem to facilitate copyright infringement. "It's stinking on all sides," Kuik says.
This week, tabloid headlines screamed that so-called "Kodi Boxes" are a threat not only to the entertainment industries, but also to life itself. Claiming that devices could kill their owners due to electrical safety standards failures, we took a look at the actual report. Forget just throwing set-top boxes in the trash, it looks like anything electrical without a brand name needs to be discarded immediately.
The 47-year-old operator of Filmfix, a site that offered paid access to torrent links, has been found guilty of facilitating copyright infringement by a District Court in Lund, Sweden. The man was sentenced to 120 hours of community service but can keep the site's profits, as there was no hard proof that users paid for pirated content directly.
The Ares Project, the group behind the hugely popular Ares Wizard and Kodi repository, has thrown in the towel. Like several other projects this week, Ares was threatened by the MPA-led anti-piracy coalition Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment. Speaking with TorrentFreak, its operator warns that those behind similar projects should exercise caution.
Center for Justice, a Washington non-profit organization, has asked a federal court to unseal several documents that may provide more insight into the financial agreements between filmmakers, lawyers and piracy tracking outfits. The so-called copyright trolling operations may, in fact, be well-coordinated "illegal settlement factories" that prey on people with limited financial resources.
Two Kodi addon developers, both of whom distributed addons via the popular Colussus addon repository, have been told to cease and desist their activities. A letter delivered to one, apparently by hand in the UK, reveals that the MPA/MPAA led Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, which counts Netflix and Amazon among its members, is behind the action.
The infamous Chinese cracking group 3DM has lost its legal battle with Koei Tecmo. A Chinese court sided with the game maker, awarding the company the equivalent of $245,000 in piracy damages and legal fees. In addition, the group is ordered to stop pirating Koei Tecmo games in future.
Letters being sent out to Internet account holders in Sweden accusing them of copyright infringement are under investigation by Sweden's Data Protection Authority. Since the letters demand a cash payment, they could be considered a debt collection measure. If that's indeed the case, they must comply with strict legislation.
A federal court in Seattle has asked a copyright holder of the film "Once Upon a Time in Venice" to provide more information on the evidence it has against accused BitTorrent pirates. The accuracy of the tracking tools was put in doubt after the company sued a now-deceased man, who was mentally and physically incapable of operating a computer at the time of the accusation.