National Assembly ‘Kills’ French Three-Strikes Anti Piracy Law

hadopilogoIn recent years many anti-piracy initiatives have emerged and in several countries so-called “graduated response” schemes have been implemented.

France is seen as the pioneer of so-called “three strikes” anti-piracy legislation, in which repeated file-sharing offenders face fines of up to 1,500 euros.

Since 2010 the French Hadopi agency has handed out millions of warning notices. A few thousand account holders received more than three notices, of which a few hundred of the worst cases were referred for prosecution.

Copyright holders around the world have cited Hadopi as one of the success stories, hoping to establish similar legislation elsewhere. However, in France the law hasn’t been without controversy and in a total surprise the lower house of the French Parliament has now voted in favor of killing it.

Interestingly, the vote late last week went down under quite unusual circumstances.

In a nearly empty chamber, the French National Assembly voted to end the Hadopi institution and law in 2022, Next Inpact reports. What’s noteworthy is that only 7 of the 577 Members of Parliament were present at the vote, and the amendment passed with four in favor and three against.

The decision goes against the will of the sitting Government, which failed to have enough members present at the vote. While it’s being seen as quite an embarrassment, the amendment still has to pass the senate, which seems unlikely without Government support.

The ‘coup,’ orchestrated by the Green party has caused quite a media stir, not least because French President François Hollande called for the end of Hadopi before his election, a position he later retracted.

“Related Greens” MP Isabelle Attard says that it’s time to end the “schizophrenic” behavior of the Government on the matter. “A choice has to be made at some point. We can’t call out Hadopi as useless and, years later, still let it linger on,” she says.

While it’s doubtful that the amendment means the definite end of Hadopi, it certainly puts it back on the political agenda. Whether this will lead to actual change will become apparent in the future.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Source: TorrentFreak

Swedish Police Want to Block The Pirate Bay & Seize Domains

With infrastructure often spread around the world and multiple domains in backup, shutting down access to torrent and streaming sites can be a complex affair. Even when national legal systems provide the necessary tools, the process can be extremely drawn out, not to mention ineffective.

The case of The Pirate Bay provides a perfect example. Deemed illegal just about everywhere, the site has remained online despite the efforts of law enforcement, countless legal professionals, and courts around the globe. The world’s most notorious torrent site doesn’t play by the rules, a point certainly not lost on Paul Pintér, Sweden’s national coordinator for IP enforcement.

Pintér, previously a computer crime and forensics investigator with the Stockholm County Police, has headed up a specialist anti-piracy unit since 2010. He feels that the police need more powers to shut down sites such as The Pirate Bay.

In a memorandum submitted to the Government, Pintér says that websites that violate copyright or trademark law should be blocked by Internet service providers. Furthermore, while preliminary investigations are underway, domain names should be seized by the authorities.

“They commit crimes, they should be removed from the Internet. I see it as an additional tool to combat piracy,” Pintér told IDG.

Pintér understands the problems only too well. The process to seize The Pirate Bay’s .SE domain has dragged on since 2013 and now sits with the court of appeal. A decision was due this week but Punkt SE (IIS), the organization responsible for Sweden’s top level .SE domain, informs TorrentFreak that the decision has been delayed again.

“If we have a site selling counterfeit clothing or an illegal streaming site, and you can seize its domain during the investigation, it is gone during that time. It is a good preventive measure if nothing else,” Pintér says.

Being able to quickly seize a ‘pirate’ domain would certainly be an asset to the police but there are those who will question whether that would trample due process. Pintér suggests that wouldn’t be the case.

“I want the law to be technology neutral. We carry out seizures in many, many other cases, everything from computers to money,” Pintér says.

Nevertheless, adjustments would have to be made. In his memorandum to the government Pintér calls for changes in the law that would allow police to seize not only tangible items such as physical property, but also intangible items such as domain names.

Furthermore, rather than relying on entertainment industry companies to take their own legal action, Pintér would like amendments to the law that would allow copyright or trademark infringing sites to be blocked by ISPs.

“I’m not talking about blocking everything. I’m talking about sites that contain criminal material. I don’t see a difference between child pornography, copyright infringement or trademark infringement – for me it is a crime,” Pintér concludes.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Source: TorrentFreak

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week – 05/02/16

deadpoolThis week we have three newcomers in our chart.

Deadpool, which was released as a Blu-ray rip a few days ago, is the most downloaded movie again.

The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are BD/DVDrips unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart.

Ranking (last week) Movie IMDb Rating / Trailer
1 (1) Deadpool 8.6 / trailer
2 (2) Zootopia (TS) 8.3 / trailer
3 (9) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (TS) 7.5 / trailer
4 (3) The Jungle Book (TS) 8.3 / trailer
5 (5) The Boss (Webrip) 5.2 / trailer
6 (7) Triple 9 (Webrip) 6.5 / trailer
7 (…) The Huntsman: Winter’s War (TS) 6.2 / trailer
8 (4) Ride Along 2 5.9 / trailer
9 (10) Hail Caesar! (Web-DL) 6.8 / trailer
10 (9) Baaghi: A Rebel For Love (DVDscr) 6.1 / trailer

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Source: TorrentFreak

Prince Fights Piracy From Beyond the Grave

On April 21 the world lost one of its greatest musical icons. Aged just 57, Prince passed away at his Paisley Park home.

Having shifted just 1,400 albums in the 72 hours prior to his passing, the days that followed saw Prince dominate both the news and the hearts of millions of fans.

In the four days after his death Prince sold 650,000 albums plus 2.8 million songs, led by classics Purple Rain (330,000) and When Doves Cry (245,000).

Of course, not everyone was keen (or had the means) to put their hands in their pockets and as a result unauthorized downloading of Prince tracks was also brisk. The day after his death saw an estimated 100,000 people download a Prince torrent, with Prince music dominating the top five most-shared music file slots on KickassTorrents.

But while Prince may be gone his musical machine lives on. His tracks and albums remain available to buy and the anti-piracy protection they’ve enjoyed for years continues.

Famous for working with anti-piracy outfit Web Sheriff while he was alive, Prince’s instructions to protect his music from Internet pirates continue after his death. As part of a long-running campaign to make Prince music harder to find, Web Sheriff has been hitting Google with requests to remove thousands of URLs linking to unauthorized copies since 2014.

During the past year most Web Sheriff notices have included anything from a handful to a few hundred links per notice but in the days directly after Prince’s passing, Web Sheriff reporting to Google surged to a thousand in a single notice. One has to track back to 2014 to find similar levels.


As ever, the most popular targets are URLs on the hundreds of torrent sites in operation today. The content targeted includes anything from singles and albums, right up to entire discographies and full video collections listed on The Pirate Bay.

For keen Prince fans there are also some oddities that can’t be found anywhere else, legally at least. In addition to rare bootlegs, remixes and 12″ collections, there are torrents which provide access to live recordings, TV shows, rehearsals, outtakes and other unreleased tracks.


Finally, in February and March, Google received four Web Sheriff notices containing around 450 requests for URL takedowns. These are listed under the name of the Web Sheriff but with a warning sign next to each. For reasons that aren’t yet clear, Google believes that these notices were either sent by an imposter or amounted to some other abuse of the takedown system.


We pointed out these anomalies to the Web Sheriff on Thursday but by the time of publication we were yet to receive an explanation.

Update: Comment from Web Sheriff

“It seems to have been an error as to which Web Sheriff accounts [Google] have ‘accepted’ as being bona fide for complaints etc and which is being rectified,” the company said.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Source: TorrentFreak