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July 04 2020


Pirate Streaming Site Uses Associated Press For Promo Campaign

associated pressFounded in 1846, news agency Associated Press (AP) has been around for 174 years.

The non-profit organization started by covering the Mexican–American War and has since transformed into one of the most reputable news sources in the world, winning dozens of Pulitzer prices.

AP’s Paid Press Releases

Although AP doesn’t have to make a profit, income is required to pay the bills. This much-needed revenue comes from newspapers and broadcasters, for example. In addition, AP also generates income from paid press releases that enable outsiders to share their content on the reputable AP site directly.

Paid listings are used by a wide variety of companies. These are properly marked as paid content but nonetheless offer significant value. They help to spread a press release to other news sites and also bring in traffic through search engines.

The latter is something we noticed recently when we saw a paid AP press release as the top result while searching on Google for the pirate site Fmovies. The real Fmovies was nowhere to be found in the top results, but an AP page that advertised another streaming pirate site was.

We initially didn’t make too much of this as we’ve seen pirate sites issuing press releases before. However, when looking closer this week, we noticed this wasn’t an isolated incident but part of a broader PR campaign using AP as a promotional tool.

Pirate Promotion

This turns out to be extremely simple. Just write a few paragraphs filled with pirate-related keywords with a link to your own pirate site. Here are a few examples we just found on the AP site.

These articles mention both legitimate platforms and pirate sites, always with a prominent link to The press release copy is badly written and on occasion hard to comprehend. It’s also misleading at times, by suggesting that Yolamovies is a torrent site, for example.

“YolaMovies is among the most active torrent websites for TV series lovers,” one reads. “It is packed with features to improve your torrenting encounter, by a built-in admin checker on the primary page into a calendar that outlines event launch dates for countless displays.”

Traffic Increases

What’s clear, however, is that Yolamovies – or someone promoting it – is using these press releases to get more visitors. That strategy appears to be working. In recent weeks the visitor numbers have gone up significantly.

According to Alexa, half of the site’s visitors come from the AP website, where many people end up after a Google search.

AP clearly distances itself from the content in paid press releases. We have no idea whether the organization is even aware of them, but these examples show that the vetting process for paid content isn’t very strict.

Finally, it’s worth stressing that wouldn’t have been much of a problem if Google hadn’t started pushing official pirate sites down in the results. While that decision was likely taken to prevent copyright infringement, the question is whether Google users are better off when they’re directed towards unknown pirate sites instead.

We have no idea who is running Yolamovies or what their plans are. The site appears to be using a basic script and the site’s contact page is missing at the moment.

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


Kortizes-Video: „Der Polsprung und seine Folgen“

Der Kortizes-Vortrag von Lydia Baumann

Der Polsprung und seine Folgen – Von Welt­unter­gangs­prophezeiungen zur Geo­wissen­schaft

ist jetzt online:

Die selbsternannte Nostradamus-Deuterin Rose Stern glaubt in den rund tausend vierzeiligen Versen des Renaissance-Mediziners und angeblichen Sehers Nostradamus Warnungen vor einem Polsprung am Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts zu lesen.

Dieser »Polsprung«, also der Tausch des magnetischen Nord- und Südpols der Erde, sei der Auslöser des Weltuntergangs. Laut der Interpretation Rose Sterns würden die Menschen innerhalb weniger Tage sowohl vom Polsprung selbst, als auch von damit einhergehenden Naturkatastrophen wie Vulkanausbrüchen und großflächigen Überflutungen getötet. Dem ganzen sollen zudem noch schlimmste Kriege, höchstwahrscheinlich der Dritte Weltkrieg, vorausgehen.

Doch ist so ein Szenario überhaupt realistisch? Kann ein Polsprung ein Sterben derart großen Ausmaßes tatsächlich verursachen? Gibt es Polsprünge eigentlich in Wirklichkeit und wenn ja, könnte uns einer unmittelbar bevorstehen?

Zum Weiterlesen:

  • Video von Skeptics in the Pub Köln: „Astrobiologie“, GWUP-Blog am 23. Februar 2020
  • Jetzt im Skeptiker: Keine Panik – Nostradamus, Rose Stern und der Polsprung 2019, GWUP-Blog am 2. Oktober 2019
  • Nostradamus und der Polsprung 2019 – Die düsteren Prophezeiungen der Rose Stern, analysiert aus geowissenschaftlicher Perspektive, Skeptiker 3/2019
  • Nachgefragt-Podcast mit Lydia Baumann: „Polumkehrungen des Erdmagnetfelds“ vom 10. Juli 2019
  • Nostradamus: Das „Wesen, halb Schwein, halb Mensch“ – ein Soldat mit Gasmaske im Krieg? GWUP-Blog am 2. Juli 2016
  • Entschlüsselt: Die prophetische Visitenkarte des Nostradamus – der Turniertod von Heinrich II., GWUP-Blog am 2. Juli 2016
  • Nostradamus entschlüsselt: Ein Berg ist kein Heißluftballon und ein Mausoleum kein Papst, GWUP-Blog am 15. Juni 2016
  • Video: Der Polsprung 2019 – wir werden alle sterben. Oder auch nicht, GWUP-Blog am 25. November 2018
  • SkepKon-Video: Nostradamus, Rose Stern und der Polsprung, GWUP-Blog am 2. Juli 2019
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Illegal Streaming Business Models to be Investigated By Royal United Services Institute

Streaming KeyFounded way back in 1831, the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) is a British defence and security think tank.

With an original mission to study military science, RUSI’s current president is the Duke of Kent and today focuses on defense and security matters. More recently it has expanded into the realms of terrorism and organized crime, illustrated in its report on the links between illicit tobacco and the funding of terror attacks.

This week RUSI announced a new project that will examine the criminal activity linked to intellectual property infringement, with a focus on “financial business models of organized crime groups involved in illicit streaming, piracy and the counterfeiting of related merchandise.”

RUSI states that intellectual property offenses have often been viewed as victimless crimes, despite connections with fraud and similar activity. RUSI says that this had led law enforcement to classify it as low priority offending.

“Despite intellectual property crime representing a growing national security threat to the UK, it does not, in my view get the attention it deserves,” says Keith Ditcham, Director, Organised Crime and Policing at RUSI.

“Through increasing our understanding of intellectual property crime we could not only make a positive impact on this crime but also help disrupt the criminal activities of those organized crime groups engaged in wider criminality that affects the national security of the UK.”

With funding being provided by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), Alliance for Intellectual Property, the Premier League, Motion Picture Association (MPA EMEA), and the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE), RUSI appears set to reframe perceptions among policymakers with its upcoming report. The key questions set by the project are as follows:

  • What types of criminal structures are involved in illicit streaming, piracy and related counterfeiting in the audio-visual sector and what business models do they exploit?
  • What volume of criminal proceeds is derived from illicit streaming, piracy and related counterfeiting in the audio-visual sector and how are these proceeds moved?
  • What is currently being done to track and disrupt the illicit financial flows derived from IP crime?
  • How can intermediaries, such as financial institutions, play a role in the disruption of illicit streaming and piracy?
  • How can the UK improve its response to IP crime from a follow-the-money perspective?

While the project’s findings will no doubt prove interesting, the fairly obvious aim is to elevate the status of intellectual property offenses by framing them as potential fuel for organized crime groups that have a tendency to commit what are currently perceived as more serious crimes.

The Alliance for Intellectual Property, which counts entities such as the BPI, the Publishers Association, and many other groups as members, says the project will not only be a learning exercise but will also provide an opportunity to nudge law enforcement and policymakers in the right direction.

“We know there is serious criminality involved in counterfeiting and piracy but we don’t have a deep understanding of how these criminals operate and how it links to other forms of crime,” says Director General Dan Guthrie.

“The in-depth study by RUSI will provide an opportunity to shine a light on a form of criminality that brings cultural, economic and social damage across our communities. We will then look forward to sharing the research with law enforcement bodies and policymakers to find ways to reduce this harmful crime.”

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

July 03 2020


Welt-Ufo-Tag: Walulis über die „Yetis des Weltraums“

Zum „Welt-Ufo-Tag“ (2. Juli) blickt Walulis auf das Phänomen zurück:

Maintower hat mit CENAP-Mitbegründer Hansjürgen Köhler gesprochen:

Seit über 40 Jahren betreibt er eine UFO-Meldestelle und ist 24 Stunden am Tag erreichbar, wenn jemand am Himmel etwas Unbekanntes fliegen sieht.

Und die Wiener Zeitung fragt zu Recht:

Wo bleiben die Ufos am Welt-Ufo-Tag?

Zum Weiterlesen:

  • Meat Loaf sieht Geister und Russell Crowe filmt Ufos, GWUP-Blog am 31. März 2013
  • Ufo-Videos der US-Navy jetzt freigegeben: zwei Flugzeuge und ein Ballon? GWUP-Blog am 2. Mai 2020
  • Ufo-Information: Innerhalb des geheimen Ufo-Programms des Pentagon
  • Ufo-Information: Offizielle Freigabe der Navy UFO-Videos
  • Erstkontakt zu Aliens? Was dann? tagesschau am 2. Juli 2020

„Ich sing ein Lied, ganz ohne Sinn, weil ich bekloppt geworden bin“: Christian Anders und Corona

Oliver Kalkofe, der sich schon zu Beginn des Lockdown im März gegen

Egoisten, Pauschalisten, Betrüger, Abzocker, egomanische Instagram-Models, Internet-Trolle, Lügner, Fake-News-Verbreiter, Realitätsverweigerer, Impfgegner, Verschwörungstheoretiker, Rassisten, Reichsbürger, Zyniker, Misanthropen, Hetzer und Arschlöchern aller Art

wandte, singt sich offenbar seinen ganzen Frust über Dummschwätzer und Virenleugner von der Seele – mit einer exaltierten Parodie auf Christian Anders‘ „Zug nach Corona“:

Anders wiederum hat lediglich seinen „Zug nach Ebola“ von vor sechs Jahren umgewirrt. Auf diesen Mann passen mal locker 16 der 17 eingangs aufgelisteten Titulierungen.

Zum Weiterlesen:

  • Der Horror-Zug nach Ebola, GWUP-Blog am 2. November 2014
  • „Heilen, bis die Menschen verrecken“, Jungle World 27/2020
  • Covid-19: Eine visuelle Analyse der europaweiten Infodemie, GWUP-Blog am 1. Juli 2020
  • Dank Attila Hildmann enttarnt: Bundeswehr wirft hetzenden Soldaten raus, volksverpetzer am 30. Juni 2020
Reposted byfinkregh finkregh

„Verschwörungstheorien – Fake Facts erobern die Welt“ bei n-tv

n-tv hat eine kurze (zirka 20 Minuten) Reportage über Verschwörungsmythen produziert:

Verschwörungstheorien – Fake Facts erobern die Welt

Die Corona-Pandemie hat es deutlich gemacht. Verschwörungstheorien haben derzeit leichtes Spiel. Doch wer verbreitet sie eigentlich und warum? Wer glaubt sie? Und wie kann man eine absurde Verschwörungstheorie von einer tatsächlich geheim gesteuerten Verschwörung unterscheiden? Die Reportage geht geheimnisvollen Annahmen auf den Grund, zeigt ihre Anhänger und die Entstehung sowie Verbreitung.

Zu sehen ist der Beitrag am Sonntag (5. Juli) um 7.30 Uhr und 18.30 Uhr sowie im Stream bei TVNow.

Zum Weiterlesen:

  • Es geht zu Ende mit Deutschland, n-tv am 13. Juni 2020
  • TV-Tipp: „Verschwörungstheorien – Fake Facts erobern die Welt“, rolling stone am 1. Juli 2020
  • Virus im Kopf: Verschwörungstheorien in Zeiten von Corona, br am 2. Juli 2020
  • Schule startet Projekt zum Thema Verschwörungstheorien – und sieht sich plötzlich mit der Praxis konfrontiert, GWUP-Blog am 1. Juli 2020
  • Examining the role of 5G COVID‐19 conspiracy beliefs and support for violence, British Journal of Social Psychology am 21. Juni 2020

Swedish ISP Loses Appeal Over ‘Dynamic’ Pirate Bay Blockade

do not enter signThe Pirate Bay is blocked by ISPs in dozens of countries around the world, including its birth ground Sweden.

The first Swedish blockade was issued against local Internet provider Bredbandsbolaget more than three years ago.

Building on this victory, copyright holders then obtained an interim order against Telia, Sweden’s largest ISP. After an initial protest, the case was sent back to the lower court which issued another block late last year. This came in the form of a ‘dynamic’ order, which allows the blocklist to be updated regularly.

Telia appealed the decision but this week the blockade was upheld by the Swedish Patent and Market Court. According to the ruling, Telia facilitated copyright infringement by allowing customers to access several pirate sites.

Hollywood Scores Another Site Blocking Victory

The order follows a complaint from several Hollywood studios, including Disney Enterprises, Universal Studios, Warner Bros. Entertainment. In addition to The Pirate Bay, they also listed Dreamfilm, FMovies, and NyaFilmer as targets. These sites now have to be blocked.

In the appeal, the ISP argued that website blockades are easy to circumvent and therefore ineffective. People would only have to update their DNS to an external provider such as Google or OpenDNS to regain access. In addition, there would be a risk of overblocking.

The Court, however, determined that blocking efforts are effective enough to deter some people. The risk over overblocking is also seen as minimal. In the end, the interests of the rightsholders weighed stronger than potential concerns for the public at large.

“In view of the above considerations, the Court finds that blocking in accordance with the judgment is proportionate in a balance against all opposing parties’ interests,” the Court ultimately concludes.

Mirrors and Proxies are Covered

As highlighted by IPKAT, the injunction will also apply to mirror and proxy sites, irrespective of whether they are operated by the same people. General-purpose search engines such as Google and Yahoo are excluded, however.

The Court further clarified that Telia doesn’t have to actively search for new domains under which these sites are made accessible. This will be up to the rightsholders, after which the ISP has two to three weeks to update its blocklist.

The current blocking order will remain in place for three years and Telia is required to pay the movie companies’ legal costs. The Internet provider also risks an additional fine of half a million Swedish kroner ($54,000) if it fails to properly block the pirate sites in question.

A copy of the Patent and Market Court’s Appeal decision is available here (pdf)

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


YouTube Hit With Class Action Lawsuit Over Copyright Enforcement, Repeat Infringer Policy

Sad YouTubeFor many years, Google-owned YouTube has been wrestling with the vast amounts of copyright-infringing content being uploaded by users to its platform.

The challenge is met by YouTube by taking down content for which copyright holders file a legitimate infringement complaint under the DMCA. It also operates a voluntary system known as Content ID, which allows larger rightsholders to settle disputes by either blocking contentious content automatically at the point of upload or monetizing it to generate revenue.

Content ID Should Be Available to All Copyright Holders

A class action lawsuit filed Thursday in a California court by Grammy award-winning musician Maria Schneider tears apart YouTube’s efforts. It claims that the video-sharing platform fails on a grand scale to protect “ordinary creators” who are “denied any meaningful opportunity to prevent YouTube’s public display of works that infringe their copyrights — no matter how many times their works have previously been pirated on the platform.”

The 44-page complaint leaves no stone unturned, slamming YouTube as a platform designed from the ground up to draw in users with the lure of a “vast library” of pirated content and incentivizing the posting of even more material. YouTube then reaps the rewards via advertising revenue and exploitation of personal data at the expense of copyright holders who never gave permission for their work to be uploaded.

The lawsuit further criticizes YouTube for not only preventing smaller artists from accessing its Content ID system but denouncing the fingerprinting system itself, describing it as a mechanism used by YouTube to prevent known infringing users from being terminated from the site under the repeat infringer requirements of the DMCA.

Content ID Allows YouTube to Avoid Terminating Repeat Infringers

“Content ID is not only unavailable to Plaintiffs and the Class, but it actually insulates
the vast majority of known and repeated copyright infringers from YouTube’s repeat infringer policy, thereby encouraging its users’ continuing upload of infringing content”, the complaint reads.

Highlighting Google’s claims that 98% of YouTube copyright issues are resolved with Content ID, the action turns this statement on its head, stating that what the company really means is that all but a fraction of copyright-infringing material is “entirely insulated” from its repeat infringer policy.

“This two-tiered system essentially trains YouTube’s billions of uploading users that there is essentially minimal risk to uploading to their hearts’ content,” it reads.

“And while YouTube’s Content ID partners are protected from these repeat infringers because their uploads will always be screened against the Content ID catalog before publication, Plaintiffs and the Class remain at risk of recurring infringement by these same repeat infringers.”

The complaint says this undermines YouTube’s repeat infringer policy, which mandates that users will be terminated when they accrue three active strikes in a 90 day period. Its claim to safe harbor protection is also nullified, the complaint adds, due to YouTube placing a limit on the number of takedown notices it will process and restricting access to “certain automated tools” designed to locate infringing content on the platform.

No Takedown / Staydown Mechanism

Turning to how YouTube has affected Schneider herself, the action lists a number of songs that have been posted to YouTube without her permission. She claims to have applied to be included in the Content ID system twice but was rejected, so must now “self-police” for infringement instead of enjoying the “automatic and preemptive blocking” afforded to larger rightsholders via Content ID.

Schneider is joined in the action by a British Virgin Islands company called Pirate Monitor Ltd, which reportedly obtained the rights back in January to several non-U.S. movies first published in Hungary. One of those works, titled Immigrants – Jóska menni Amerika, was registered with the US Copyright Office earlier this year.

All of the Pirate Monitor works have been previously uploaded to YouTube in violation of copyright and the company was also denied access to Content ID. Takedown notices were processed by YouTube but the company says that removal took several days, with titles being subsequently reposted by infringers.

“Put simply, copyright holders should not be forced to repeatedly demand that the same platform take down infringing uses of the same copyrighted work, while other rights holders are provided access to standard digital fingerprinting and blocking tools,” the complaint adds.

“By not allowing Plaintiffs to block the upload of infringing materials at the time of upload, Defendants force Plaintiffs and the Class into a time consuming, cumbersome, inaccurate, and flawed ‘manual’ process to enforce their copyrights, all to the benefit of Defendants’ money-making machine.”

No Respect for Copyright Management Information

The complaint also takes a deep dive into YouTube’s alleged misconduct in respect of Copyright Management Information (CMI), metadata that can be found in lawfully sold copyright works which can provide a means to discover who owns it, in YouTube’s case at the point of upload to its platform.

“YouTube neither encourages nor protects the original CMI metadata during the upload process, even though YouTube knows it exists and its value for protecting the rights of creators,” the plaintiffs write.

“Defendants have created a system that not only disregards, but eliminates or conceals, and/or encourages uploaders to eliminate or conceal, CMI from the video files published on the YouTube platform.”

YouTube Not Entitled to Safe Harbor Protection Under the DMCA

Due to its actions, YouTube cannot rely on the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA, the complaint alleges. These include placing limits on the number of takedown notices it will process, preventing plaintiffs from properly enforcing their rights. When these limits are exceeded, the lawsuit states that rights holders risk losing access to YouTube’s infringement mitigation tools.

It further alleges that YouTube now requires some notice senders to identify what part of an allegedly-infringing work infringes their rights by supplying time stamps. While this is automated under Content ID, those outside the system find themselves with additional work.

“By conditioning these notification and takedown procedures on the provision of additional information — information not required under the DMCA — YouTube has violated the requirements of the DMCA and forfeited its safe harbor protections.”

The action further alleges that YouTube’s ‘three strikes in 90 days’ termination policy is deficient since when timed appropriately, it allows users to safely upload eight copyright infringing works in a year without being terminated.

“By erasing copyright strikes after 90 days, YouTube has not satisfied the safe harbor requirements of the DMCA and forfeited its safe harbor protections,” it adds.

Piling on the pressure, the complaint says that YouTube has constructive knowledge that repeat infringers are infringing works of the plaintiffs’ and class since these are being shielded from termination by the Content ID system which does not deliver ‘strikes’. It further adds that YouTube is profiting from infringements that it could control, another disqualifier from the safe harbor provisions.

Potentially Billions in Copyright Infringement Damages

In summary, the complaint alleges direct copyright infringement, inducement of copyright infringement, contributory copyright infringement, vicarious infringement, and removal of CMI, contrary to the Copyright Act. As a class action, many more rights holders could now pile on, with the potential for calculator-busting claims for damages.

The full complaint can be obtained here (pdf)

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

July 02 2020


New York Times Selectively Cracks Down on ‘Copyright Infringing’ Trump Meme

Last year, millions of people feared that the new EU Copyright Directive would ‘kill’ memes.

While the first signs of a massive meme-massacre have yet to appear, captioned photos are not above the law. President Trump can attest to that.

Yesterday, he posted a meme featuring a photo of himself with the text: “In reality they’re not after me. They’re after you. I’m just in the way.”

Needless to say, this tweet was either loved or hated, depending on personal conviction. That by itself is nothing new. However, Trump’s post also triggered a response from the New York Times (NYT) because the newspaper hadn’t approved the photo for use in this context.

The photo, taken by Damon Winter, originates from a NYT feature that was published in 2015. After the article came out, however, the same photo was memeified and published numerous times all over the Internet. You can even buy a t-shirt featuring the meme on Amazon.

The removed image
trump deleted tweet

These memes have never triggered a copyright complaint from the newspaper, as far as we know. But when Trump posted it to Twitter the company was quick to respond, as spotted by Axios. The complaint is documented by the Lumen Database, which has a copy of the takedown notice.

While the NYT certainly has the right to protect its content, the action appears to be more than just a basic copyright issue. The newspaper’s takedown request only targets Trump’s tweet and leaves all other copies of the same image untouched.

It doesn’t take much effort to find the exact same meme or anti-Trump memes featuring the same image on Twitter. However, these all remain freely accessible. Further research reveals that NYT sent only one other takedown notice to Twitter this year. That was for a video that was allegedly copied from the news site.


The NYT confirmed to TorrentFreak that the company is indeed behind the takedown request. We also asked why no action was taken against the same image posted by other accounts, but that question remains unanswered (see update below).

The newspaper has been very critical of Trump so that may play a role here as well. Or simply the fact that his tweets have so much exposure compared to others. Whether that is right or wrong is up for debate. The New York Times has the law on its side, but the selective use of a DMCA takedown is worth highlighting.

This is also true for another special ‘Trump-treatment’ when it comes to copyright infringement. Twitter usually suspends accounts of repeat copyright infringers, but that’s not the case with Trump.

The US President has had over a dozen of his tweets flagged for copyright infringement but his account remains intact. Others have not been so lucky. This preferential treatment also expands to other alleged policy violations.

Twitter grants Trump more leeway than the average Twitter user. This is in part because it has a special stance toward ‘world leaders.’

While Twitter has removed the original meme from Trump’s tweet, a copy remains available on the Internet Archive.

On Twitter, people can still see the meme and counter-memes as well, just not from the President directly. In fact, as we’ve seen in the past with takedown requests, people are now sharing the meme even more following its removal, which is exemplary of the Streisand Effect.

Update: We received an additional comment form the newspaper, clarifying that they are looking into other meme postings as well.

“We only recently became aware of the fact that this meme has been circulating. We are looking at the other social media accounts that are using it to determine whether they, too, are in violation of copyright laws. That requires a case-by-case fair use analysis, which is ongoing,” Eileen Murphy, a NYT spokesperson tells TorrentFreak.

Please keep the discussion limited to the issue at hand.

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


The Pirate Bay: VPN Provider OVPN Hit With Court Injunction, Vows to Fight

The Pirate BayEarly June, movie companies Svensk Filmindustri and Nordisk Film, supported by anti-piracy partner Rights Alliance, obtained an IP address from Cloudflare which they hoped would lead to The Pirate Bay.

The parties subsequently went to court in Sweden and obtained an injunction compelling local ISP Obenetwork, to which the parties had linked the address, to hand over information about its dealings with the site.

It soon became clear that the IP address wasn’t operated by Obenetwork and had actually been allocated to Swedish VPN provider OVPN. As a result, the Stockholm District Court threw out the injunction but the movie companies weren’t done just yet.

New Court Injunction Targeting OVPN

Undeterred by this setback, the movie companies and Rights Alliance returned to court last week demanding that OVPN, on pain of financial penalties, should hand over customer information relating to the IP address including name and address, how long the service had been used for, and how much was paid for it.

“The defendant [OVPN] sells VPN services. A VPN service means that the traffic was tunneled off the original [IP address] via a VPN service and then out to the internet. This means that only the VPN service’s [IP-address] is publicly visible,” the application reviewed by TF reads.

Citing an earlier TF interview with OVPN, the applicants stated that they now believe the IP address does belong to the VPN provider and was in use by The Pirate Bay early June. Furthermore, in common with the matter against Obenetwork, the applicants asked the court to keep OVPN in the dark about the application. However, according to OVPN’s David Wibergh, that was unsuccessful.

Case is Already Public Knowledge, Secrecy Unjustified

“The Rights Alliance filed that we should not be involved, but the court overruled that decision and referenced that we were already made aware of the circumstances due to [TorrentFreak’s] article where I was quoted,” Wibergh informs TF.

“The Rights Alliance requested a penalty of 100,000 SEK if we did not provide the requested information, as well as a penalty of 100,000 SEK in case we delete any user information connected to who had the IP address at the specified time, i.e penalties connected to information that we don’t have.”

OVPN Will Fight the Injunction

As previously reported, OVPN states that its entire structure is built to ensure that no logs can be stored, with servers locked in cabinets and operated without hard drives. The studios are seeking names and addresses, the length of time the service was in use, and how much was paid for it.

However, while OVPN could in theory have a username it could hand over, there is no requirement for its customers to provide physical or email addresses, or pay with anything other than Bitcoin or cash.

“We are responding to the court order [Wednesday], as we were made aware of it [Monday] and were only given 48 hours to provide a response,” Wibergh informs TF.

“We have retained legal counsel and are contesting the injunction in court. As always, we are prepared to go the entire way to ensure our customers’ privacy and safety.”

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

July 01 2020


Kritischer Homöopathie-Artikel in Hebammen-Zeitschrift

Was sagt man dazu?

In der Deutschen Hebammen Zeitschrift (7/2020) findet sich ein durchaus kritischer Beitrag über Homöopathie.

Fazit der Autorin Tara Franke:

Was, wenn sich definitiv bestätigen sollte – was einige ExpertInnen längst als gesetzt sehen –, dass die Wirkung von Homöopathika nicht über die eines Placebos hinausgehen sollte? Placebos können im Einzelfall sehr hilfreich sein.

Aber können sie auch Schaden anrichten. Wäre es juristisch und ethisch vertretbar, solche Mittel unter falschen Heilsversprechen zur Selbst- und Fremdmedikation zu verkaufen und einem Teil der Behandelten mit einer Placebo-Wirkung tatsächlich zu helfen? Was, wenn deren Anwendung die Einnahme wirksamer Medikamente verzögert oder verhindert?

Die Homöopathie könnte – durch das spezielle Narrativ, die lange Tradition, die hohen Kosten der Anamnesesitzungen und die feste Überzeugung der BefürworterInnen – ein besonders wirksames Placebo sein.

Sie muss aber, wie alle anderen medizinischen Therapien auch, eine kritische Hinterfragung nach dem heutigen Stand der Wissenschaft akzeptieren.

Nicht nur, weil Krankenkassen und damit die Allgemeinheit teilweise die Kosten erstatten, sondern weil Menschen ein Recht darauf haben, über belegte Wirkungen und Nebenwirkungen von Medikamenten aufgeklärt zu werden, um eine informierte Entscheidung über deren Einnahme treffen zu können.

Zum Weiterlesen:

  • Homöopathie und Hebammen, GWUP-Blog am 23. Oktober 2019
  • Coming up short: Journal retracts penis enlargement paper after realizing it was homeopathy, Retraction Watch am 1. Juli 2020
  • Verdummdichnichtsondernentdummdichlieber, Gesundheits-Check am 21. Juni 2020
  • Homöopathie: Ärztekammer kippt Weiterbildung, nordmagazin am 30. Juni 2020
  • „Zweifelhafte Heilsversprechen mit Homöopathie“ bei Spiegel-TV, GWUP-Blog am 30. Juni 2020
  • Die Apotheke ohne Homöopathie heute in der Süddeutschen, GWUP-Blog am 29. Juni 2020
  • Homöopathie: Apothekerin erhält Hassbriefe, apotheke adhoc am 1. Juli 2020
  • Scharlatane haben praktisch Narrenfreiheit: Interview mit Jutta Hübner in der „Welt“, GWUP-Blog am 1. Juli 2020
Reposted byfinkregh finkregh

Schule startet Projekt zum Thema Verschwörungstheorien – und sieht sich plötzlich mit der Praxis konfrontiert

Was ist denn da los?

Eine Gesamtschule in Moers, die den Namen der Geschwister Scholl trägt, lässt sich von Verschwörungsideologen ins Boxhorn jagen?

Die Schülervertretung hatte zu einem Fotowettbewerb unter dem Motto

Mein Aluhut gegen verstrahltes Gedankengut

aufgerufen. Während der Ferien sollten sich Schülerinnen und Schüler mit selbstgebastelten Alu-Hüten ablichten, um auf das Thema Verschwörungstheorien aufmerksam zu machen.

Nicht ganz unerwartet fiel sogleich eine Troll-Armee über die Aktion her, orchestriert von den #StayAwake-Facebook-Gruppen:

So um die 1200 Nachrichten sollen im Direktorat eingegangen sein,

… mit heftigen Beschimpfungen, Denunzierungen bis hin zu persönlichen Bedrohungen. „Wir haben Mails aus Berlin, Bonn und München bekommen von Menschen, die weder unsere Schule kennen noch mit Moers etwas zu tun haben“, sagt Schulleiter Rolf Grüter der RP gegenüber.

In den Mails sei die Rede von purer Gehirnwäsche, von Staatspropaganda, von Missbrauch an Kindern, von krankem, perversen und sadistischem Agieren der Schule, die Schule müsse sofort geschlossen und der Schulleiter entlassen werden. Im Sinne der Reichsbürger liest man auch etwas von einer Bundesrepublik Deutschland, die unter Treuhandverwaltung der Alliierten stehe.

So what?

Nicht für die Geschwister-Scholl-Schule:

Zum Schutz der Lehrerinnen und Lehrer, der Schülerinnen und Schüler, so die RP, setzt die Schulleitung den Wettbewerb vorerst aus.

Heute Abend versuchte der Schulleiter das Ganze zu relativieren: Keineswegs wolle man „vor der hetzerischen Kampagne einknicken und kapitulieren“:

Nach ausführlicher Beratung und Abwägung aller Umstände haben wir uns gemeinsam mit den gewählten Schülervertretern – durchaus mit ‚der Faust in der Tasche‘ – entschlossen, den Start des Wettbewerbs nach den Sommerferien auszusetzen und gemeinsam mit der Schulgemeinde das Thema ‚Umgang mit Verschwörungstheorien‘ noch einmal anzugehen.


Nur lassen sich Verschwörungsideologen nicht von einer symbolischen „Faust in der Tasche“ beeindrucken, sondern nur von demonstrativer Unerschrockenheit.

DIE PARTEI Moers kritistiert denn auch explizit die Reaktion der Schule als „schwer erträglich“. Die SPD ruft am Freitag zum öffentlichen „Aluhut-Basteln“ auf. Und der Verein „Erinnern für die Zukunft“ mahnt jene Werte an, die mit den Namenpaten Sophie und Hans Scholl verbunden sind.

Holm Hümmler von der GWUP sagte im WDR:

Letztlich jeder, der sich in diesem Bereich engagiert, bekommt irgendwelche Hassbotschaften – es ist nur die Frage, wie man damit umgeht. Wenn man eine Schulleitung hat, die sich davon beeindrucken lässt, dann wird das halt zum Problem. Man merkt natürlich auch, wo man Leute einschüchtern kann. Und da setzen die dann eben besonders aggressiv an.

Positiv ist in jedem Fall, dass endlich eine gesellschaftliche Debatte über Verschwörungsideologien stattfindet – bei der klar wird, dass nicht nur abgedrehte Promis wie Attila Hildmann über die sozialen Medien Tausende oder gar Zehntausende Anhänger zu zielgerichteter Feindseligkeit aufstacheln können.

Und wer weiß: Vielleicht fällt Schülern, Lehrern und Schulleitung nach den Ferien tatsächlich noch was Besseres ein, als ein paar Funny Pics zu prämieren.

So lustig ist das Thema nämlich gar nicht.

Zum Weiterlesen:

  • Schule stellt klar: Bleiben bei klarer Haltung und knicken nicht ein, wochenmagazin moers am 1. Juli 2020
  • Geschwister-Scholl-Gesamtschule kapituliert vor Trollen, Ruhrbarone am 30. Juni 2020
  • Video: Rapper – und jetzt auch Robbie Williams – in der Verschwörungsfalle, GWUP-Blog am 29. Juni 2020
  • Der schwierige Umgang mit Verschwörungsgläubigen, GWUP-Blog am 15. Mai 2020
  • Wir müssen über Unsinn reden, futurezone am 21. Juni 2020
Reposted byfinkregh finkregh

Rightsholders Want African Countries to Up Their Anti-Piracy Game

africaThe American copyright industry generates billions of dollars in annual revenue and is generally seen as one of the primary export products.

Whether it’s movies, music, software or other goods, US companies are among the market leaders.

To protect the interests of these businesses around the globe, copyright holder groups can often rely on help from the US Government. The yearly list of ‘notorious markets,’ for example, is a well known diplomatic pressure mechanism to encourage other countries to up their enforcement actions and improve laws.

The same is true for trade deals and other policies, which often require trade partners to take actions in favor of copyright holder interests.

The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), which represents the ESA, MPA, and RIAA, among others, has been the voice of major entertainment industries on this front. The Alliance regularly encourages the U.S. to further the interests of its members, and it currently has its eyes set on Africa.

The African Growth and Opportunity Act

Specifically, the IIPA has taken an interest in the latest eligibility review of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This process, lead by the US Trade Representative (USTR), determines which sub-Saharan African countries can enjoy the trade benefits of this legislation.

The idea behind AGOA is to improve economic relations between the African region and the US. However, African countries first have to qualify and that comes with certain restrictions, including a clause that prohibits states from opposing US foreign policy.

The IIPA, for its part, would like to use the legislation to improve copyright laws and strengthen anti-piracy measures. While copyright holders support growth in African countries, they say that the growth of Internet access comes with a major downside; piracy.

“This impressive technological growth, unfortunately, is accompanied by illegitimate activities that will hamper legitimate economic growth if left unchecked,” the IIPA warns the USTR.

“To effectively ensure a safe, healthy, and sustainable digital marketplace, AGOA eligible countries should assess whether their legal regimes are capable of responding to today’s challenges, including rampant online piracy.”

African Countries Should Do More to Tackle Piracy

The copyright holders would like sub-Saharan African countries to have copyright laws and policies that offer optimal protection against piracy.

At the moment, this is not the case, IIPA says, noting that several AGOA countries have “inadequate and ineffective” copyright protection, “deficient local laws,” as well as “weak enforcement.”

“These shortcomings enable parties to engage in piracy, some on a commercial scale, because it is a high-profit, low risk enterprise, unencumbered by the considerable costs associated with either producing and licensing works, or protecting them against theft,” the group notes.

IIPA AGOA submission

In its submission, the IIPA is mostly concerned with Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. The criticism of South Africa isn’t new. Rightsholders have mentioned piracy and fair use concerns repeatedly over the past several months.

This apparently made an impact as President Ramaphosa sent two controversial new bills back to Parliament for a do-over last month.

Kenya also proposed new legislation, but this isn’t up to par either, according to US rightsholders. The same is true for Nigeria, which should require ISPs to take action against persistent pirates while extending the copyright term for sound recordings to 70 years.

Ideally, these African countries should be encouraged to work with copyright holders and the US Government to implement adequate laws. If not, the US Government should question whether they can still enjoy the AGOA benefits, IIPA says.

“We urge the Administration to continue to consider copyright laws and enforcement practices under the intellectual property eligibility criteria of AGOA,” the group concludes.

A copy of the IIPA’s full submission for the “2020 AGOA Eligibility Review” is available here (pdf)

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


Inszenierung voller Fehler: „Die Zerstörung des Corona-Hypes“

Der Volksverpetzer hat sich erbarmt und das vielgeteilte Youtube-Video von „Psychologiestudent Sebastian“, der das Thema Corona „komplett in seine Einzelteile zerlegen“ will, bis zum Ende geschaut – und danach „zerstört“.


Das Video „Die Zerstörung des Corona Hypes“ ist eine Inszenierung voller Fehler […], mit den immergleichen Fehlern der Maßnahmen-Gegner.

Wir können noch ergänzen, dass der „Sebastian aus Ulm“ immer schon seltsames Zeug von sich gegeben hat, etwa als „Experte für das Thema Wurzelchakra, definitiv!“

Zum Weiterlesen:

  • Faktencheck: Die Zerstörung von „Die Zerstörung des Corona Hypes“, volksverpetzer am 1. Juli 2020
  • Impfung gegen Covid-19 „sinnlos“? Sucharit Bhakdi stellt unbelegte Behauptungen auf, correctiv am 19. Juni 2020
  • Herr Raffelhüschen, wo ist Ihre Studie? Gesundheits-Check am 18. Juni 2020

Covid-19: Eine visuelle Analyse der europaweiten Infodemie

Fünf Faktencheck-Organisationen in Deutschland (Correctiv), Frankreich, Italien, Spanien und Großbritannien haben eine kurze Analyse veröffentlicht, welche Falschinformationen zur Corona-Pandemie am häufigsten sind, wann und wo sie aufgetaucht sind und wie sie sich verbreitet haben:

Es geht um

  • Die Behauptung, das Virus sei menschengemacht
  • Schutz und Heilmittel
  • Falschinformationen zu Impfungen
  • Masken und Schutzkleidung
  • Falschinformation über 5G
  • Maßnahmen, die angeblich eine Infektion verhindern
  • Bill Gates
  • Vergleiche mit der saisonalen Grippe

Dieser Bericht untersucht die gemeinsamen Themen der Misinformation zu Covid-19 (sowie unbelegte Theorien, die nicht zwangsläufig falsch sind), die sich in allen oder den meisten der fünf Länder zeigten. Er hebt außerdem einige Bereiche hervor, in denen sich die Themen unterschieden – wenn zum Beispiel ein Thema, das in einem oder zwei Ländern weit verbreitet war, in keinem der anderen Länder eine Rolle spielte.

Zum Download des 17-seitigen PDF und zur Online-Version geht’s hier.

Eine detaillierte Analyse der populärsten Verschwörungsmythen rund um Covid-19 gibt es auch im aktuellen Skeptiker (2/2020).

Den Skeptiker kann man gedruckt oder als E-Paper bestellen.

Zum Weiterlesen:

  • Die Verschwörungsmythen-Seuche, Skeptiker 2/2020
  • Dunkle Mächte, verdorbene Eliten – was ist dran an den Verschwörungstheorien, prisma am 1. Juli 2020
Reposted byfinkregh finkregh

Nicht mehr lustig: Bill Gates in einem neuen TED-Talk über die Verschwörungsmythen

Anfang Juni hatte Bill Gates sich schon einmal zu den Verschwörungsmythen über ihn geäußert.

Jetzt gibt es auch einen TED-Talk (vom 29. Juni), bei dem Gates mit Chris Anderson über dieses Thema spricht:

Die Frage, wie er mit diesen Mythen umgeht, war zwangsläufig. Und weil Bill Gates bei seinem Kampf gegen Seuchen gerade in Zeiten von Donald Trump extrem diplomatisch vorgehen muss, formulierte er sehr vorsichtig:

„Bei Microsoft gab es ein paar Kontroversen, aber die hatten wenigstens was mit der realen Welt zu tun. Es gab ja durchaus kartellrechtliche Fragen.“ Die Verschwörungsmythen seien etwas ganz Neues für ihn.

„Mein erster Instinkt war, darüber zu lachen. Aber das ist unangebracht, weil das viel zu ernst ist. Denn solche Mythen werden viele Menschen davon abhalten, sich impfen zu lassen. Aber ich bin unsicher, was ich sagen oder tun soll. Denn egal, was ich sage, es wird die Mythen ja nur noch befeuern.“

Darüber hinaus geht es um einen amerikanischen Blick auf die Corona-Pandemie und die Impfstoff-Entwicklung.

Zum Weiterlesen:

  • Bill Gates auf der TED-Konferenz: Nicht mehr lustig, Süddeutsche am 30. Juni 2020
  • Bill Gates ist zum Ziel von Verschwörungstheoretikern geworden, Deutschlandfunk am 1. Juli 2020
  • „Gib Gates keine Chance“: Der Tech-Milliardär als Schnittpunkt für Verschwörungsmythen, GWUP-Blog am 12. Juni 2020

Scharlatane haben praktisch Narrenfreiheit: Interview mit Jutta Hübner in der „Welt“

Heute in der Welt (und online bei Welt+): ein großes Interview mit der INH-Leiterin und -Sprecherin Prof. Jutta Hübner:

Die Professorin für Integrative Onkologie am Universitätsklinikum Jena kündigt darin eine Leitlinie zu alternativen Verfahren in der komplementären Therapie von Krebs an, denn:

Komplementäre und alternative Medizin wird bei Krebspatienten sehr häufig angewendet. Das geschieht aber oft nicht auf der Grundlage von gesicherten Informationen, sondern eher aus dem Bauch heraus. Häufig auch ohne ärztliche Anleitung – beispielsweise bei Heilpraktikern, Heilern oder eigenständig auf Basis von zweifelhaften Informationen aus dem Internet. Hier besteht aber durchaus ein Risiko, denn alternative Medizin kann den Patienten auch erheblich schaden.

Wir werden in der Leitlinie erstmals eine Übersicht darüber geben, was überhaupt wissenschaftlich gesichert und sinnvoll ist und welche Risiken bei einzelnen Methoden bestehen. Das gibt es bisher in diesem Umfang noch nicht – es ist aber extrem wichtig, sowohl für die Patienten als auch für die ärztliche Beratung.

Nach der Bewertung einiger „alternativer“ Verfahren …

  • Homöopathie: „Hat in der Behandlung von Krebs nichts verloren, zerstört das Vertrauen zwischen Ärzten und Patienten.“
  • Mistel: „Im Vergleich zu Placebos kein Überlebensvorteil für die Patienten.“
  • Aprikosenkerne: „Lebensgefährlich für unsere Patienten.“
  • Orthomolekulare Medizin: „Definitiv keine Anhaltspunkte dafür, dass man damit Krebs heilen kann.“

… geht es in dem Gespräch auch um das „Heiler“-Unwesen:

Welt: Eigentlich könnte man juristisch dagegen vorgehen, wenn man durch so eine Behandlung geschädigt wurde. In der Praxis scheint das aber nicht so einfach.

Hübner: Das ist genau der Grund, warum Sie sich in der Onkologie so gut als Scharlatan halten können: Sie haben nie ein Problem.

Wenn der Patient rechtzeitig merkt, dass das Verfahren nicht wirkt, dann geht er einfach zu einem anderen Therapeuten. Wenn er es nicht rechtzeitig merkt, dann ist oft die restliche Lebenszeit zu kurz und zu schade für einen kräftezehrenden Gerichtsprozess.

Und im Zweifelsfall – wenn beispielsweise so ein Vertrag unterzeichnet wurde – auch kaum Erfolg versprechend und verbunden mit einem extrem hohen finanziellen Risiko. Viele Patienten schämen sich auch dafür, dass sie sich haben täuschen lassen, und hängen das nicht an die große Glocke.

Welt: Das hört sich unbefriedigend an.

Ja, leider ist das so. Scharlatane haben in Deutschland praktisch Narrenfreiheit. Da sind die Patienten auf sich alleine gestellt, sich rechtzeitig durch gute Informationen zu schützen. Das ist eigentlich ein Dilemma – es müsste andere Organisationen geben, die gegen diese Leute vorgehen. Auch wenn einige Verbraucherschützer schon sehr gute Arbeit leisten.

Welt: Wie kann es sein, dass einige Menschen in Heilberufen dermaßen das Berufsethos missachten?

Ich glaube, es gibt da zwei Gruppen von Menschen. Der einen Gruppe ist tatsächlich egal, was sie damit anrichtet, solange es profitabel ist.Die weit größere Gruppe glaubt tatsächlich, dass ihre Methode funktioniert und hat dann moralisch auch kein Problem damit, dafür Geld zu nehmen.

Zum Weiterlesen:

  • Welche alternativen Mittel bei Krebs helfen – und welche eher schaden, Welt+ am 1. Juli 2020
  • Alternative Medizin: Keine Alternative bei Krebs, Dtsch Arztebl 2020; 117(10): A-498 / B-427
  • „Der Einsatz homöopathischer Mittel in der Onkologie verbietet sich“, GWUP-Blog am 1. Oktober 2019
  • Das vermeintliche Mistel-Wunder: Der Masterplan der Anthroposophie, MedWatch am 3. Dezember 2019
  • Krebsforscher: “Finger weg von komplementären Verfahren”, GWUP-Blog am 7. Januar 2015
  • Homöopathie und Krebs, GWUP-Blog am 23. Oktober 2019
  • Chemophobie, Aprikosenkerne und andere Krebsmythen, GWUP-Blog am 3. Februar 2019
  • Verschwörungsmythen rund um Krebs im „Skeptiker“, GWUP-Blog am 20. März 2019
  • Homöopathie, Ganzheitlichkeit und die sprechende Medizin, GWUP-Blog am 20. April 2013

„Aufklärung jetzt“ von Steven Pinker im Freigeist-Podcast: Wie die Vernunft gedeihen kann

Im Skeptiker 4/2019 empfahl Holger von Rybinski das Buch

Aufklärung jetzt – Für Vernunft, Wissenschaft, Humanismus und Fortschritt

von Steven Pinker:

Es hat in den letzten Jahren sicher wenige populärwissenschaftliche 700-Seiten-Werke gegeben, die so klar strukturiert und gut lesbar sind, dass man bedauert, wenn das Buch zu Ende ist […] Pinker zerpflückt Argumente von Wissenschaftsgegnern und naiven Gläubigen […]

Pinker zeigt, dass die Aufklärung auch nach 200 Jahren noch nicht überall in der Gesellschaft angekommen ist. Aktuell gibt es zahlreiche Gegenbewegungen, die wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse ignorieren, beispielsweise Impfgegner oder Leugner des menschengemachten Klimawandels […]

Pinker führt in seinem Buch eine immense Anzahl von Argumenten dafür auf, warum an der Aufklärung kein Weg vorbei führt, wenn wir die großen Probleme der Menschheit angehen.

Im aktuellen Freigeist-Podcast stellt Helmut Fink ein Kapitel aus „Aufklärung jetzt“ vor.

Der säkulare Humanismus vertraut traditionell auf Rationalität. Doch wie können wir auf die menschliche Vernunft setzen, wenn Irrationalität doch eine so große Rolle spielt und viele Standpunkte gegen neue Fakten und Argumente immun zu sein scheinen? Ist die Vernunft wirklich ein Wesenszug des Menschen oder nur ein fernes Ideal?

Helmut Fink stellt hier ein Kapitel aus Steven Pinkers Buch „Aufklärung jetzt“ vor, dessen philosophische Gedanken und neue Erkenntnisse zum Thema Anlass zur Hoffnung geben.

Denn Vernunft ist zwar eine begrenzte Fähigkeit, aber es gibt Bedingungen, unter denen sie nachweislich gedeiht und das Aufklärungsversprechen einlösen kann.

Zum Weiterlesen:

  • Steven Pinker: „Aufklärung jetzt“ – Eine gnadenlos zuversichtliche Weltsicht, Deutschlandfunk Kultur am 26. September 2018
  • „Aufklärung jetzt“: Sorge dich nicht, forsche, Zeit-Online am 19. September 2018
  • Steven Pinker: Aufklärung macht die Menschen freier, GWUP-News am 31. August 2019

Police Arrest Pirate IPTV Operator & ‘Hijack’ Streams With Anti-Piracy Warning

IPTVSometime during Tuesday, users of a pirate IPTV provider marketed under the Global / Global Entertainment brands were given a surprise.

Instead of accessing the live TV package they’d originally subscribed to, they’re now being treated to a warning that claims to originate from two police forces in the UK.

“This illegal stream has been seized By Norfolk and Sussex Police,” it begins.

“Watching illegal broadcasts is a crime. Your IP address has been recorded. You are instructed to cease and desist immediately from all illegal media streaming.”

As news of the message spread around various IPTV discussion forums, the speculation began. Some put forward the theory that the operator of the service had orchestrated some kind of cut-and-run scam, faking the seizure notice and then fleeing with subscribers’ money. Others stated that it was some kind of hack designed to scare users of the service.

To find out the truth, TorrentFreak contacted Suffolk Police with a copy of the message. They confirmed that the notice is part of a criminal investigation and should be taken seriously.

Message is Genuine, One Man Arrested

“Officers are aware that speculation is circulating online stating that the on screen message is a ‘hack’. However, recipients should be clear that this is a genuine police operation,” the force informs TF.

Police Seize IPTV

Police are not yet naming Global as a target and it’s certainly possible that additional providers are also affected by the action. However, they did confirm that officers from the local Cyber and Serious Organised Crime team carried out a warrant at a property in the Hollesley area of East Suffolk yesterday, in connection with premium pay-TV channels that were “being facilitated to tens of thousands of people.”

According to the police, a 24-year-old man was arrested under section 44 of the Serious Crime Act and Section 11 of the Fraud Act under suspicion of obtaining services dishonestly and concealing/converting criminal property, i.e money laundering. He was taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Center for questioning and was released under investigation pending further inquiries.

First Time a Seizure Notice Has Appeared Via an IPTV Service

In respect of the anti-piracy message now being displayed on former customers’ screens, police say this was made possible after gaining access to the IPTV provider and disabling the suspected illegal streams.

While seizure and similar anti-piracy warnings have appeared on dozens of pirate websites over the years, this is the first instance that we’re aware of that has managed to deliver the same type of message via an IPTV provider, direct to people’s television sets. It’s an intriguing development that may yet resonate with the public.

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

June 30 2020


Amazon Sued For Copyright Infringement on Movies Including Austin Powers

When Amazon is mentioned in connection with copyright infringement lawsuits, it’s usually due to its involvement in the global anti-piracy coalition, Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment.

In those cases, Amazon is always on the offensive but in a lawsuit filed in a New York court, the company itself is being targeted for distributing copyrighted works for which it doesn’t hold a license.

The complaint was filed by Ralf Hartmann (RH), who previously acted as CEO for German film investor CP Medien. Around ten years ago, when CP Medien was being wound up, it was reported that Hartmann would continue working in the film industry through the CP Medien subsidiary Capella Films.

How that venture panned out isn’t clear but according to the lawsuit, Capella Films “assigned, transferred and sold” all of its interests in several films to Hartmann. The rights acquired by Hartmann included copyrights and exclusive reproduction and distribution rights. It’s alleged that these rights have been breached by Amazon after the company distributed copies of several movies to the public via its streaming service.

Amazon Streamed Unlicensed Movies in the US and Overseas

“Beginning in July 2017, Defendants, without obtaining either license or authorization from RH, made the motion pictures “Commander Hamilton” and “After the Rain” available for digital distribution either via streaming on demand, and/or for rent or sale on its Prime Video service in the United States,” the complaint reads.

It’s alleged that these two titles were rented and/or purchased at least hundreds of times by Prime Video subscribers.

Noting the worldwide reach of Amazon’s streaming service, the lawsuit claims that from July 2017, Amazon made the movies After the Rain, Commander Hamilton, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, and Drop Dead Gorgeous available for digital distribution (either via streaming and/or rent from Prime Video) in overseas countries including the UK, Germany and Australia. These are estimated to have been sold or streamed “thousands of times”.

Hartmann says that since these titles were stored on Amazon’s servers in the United States and streamed to both local and overseas customers without a proper license, this constitutes breaches of the US Copyright Act. There appears to be a lack of clarity when it comes to the scale of the alleged infringement so Hartmann hopes to learn the scale of the alleged infringement through discovery.

Direct and Contributory Infringement in the United States

Alleging direct infringement in the United States, the lawsuit claims that “Commander Hamilton” and “After the Rain” were distributed willfully and intentionally in the country and as a result, Hartmann is entitled to statutory damages of $150,000 per infringed work or actual damages and Amazon’s profits from infringement to be determined at trial.

Claiming acts of contributory copyright infringement in the United States, the lawsuit says that by “facilitating, managing or directing unauthorized distributions” of these two unlicensed movies, Amazon materially contributed to copyright infringements carried out by Prime Video subscribers via the website or the company’s streaming app.

“Each unlawful distribution of the Motion Pictures Commander Hamilton and After the Rain — whether by on demand stream, rental and/or sale — constitutes a separate act of contributory infringement for which Plaintiff is entitled to actual damages,” the lawsuit adds, noting that for each work it can claim maximum statutory damages of $150,000.

Infringement in the United States and Overseas

Hartmann’s third claim details alleged contributory copyright infringement in respect of movies streamed to foreign users from Amazon’s servers in the United States, for which $150,000 per work infringed is again claimed.

“Because copies of these four Motion Pictures – Commander Hamilton, After the Rain, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and Drop Dead Gorgeous – were without RH’s license or authorization, hosted on Defendants’ servers based in the United States and then distributed from these servers to Prime Video subscribers in Foreign Countries, each such distribution…was a violation of the Copyright Act,” the claims states.

Vicarious Infringement in the US and Infringement Overseas

Claim four asserts that by failing to control the conduct of Amazon Digital, Amazon is vicariously liable for the direct copyright infringement of Amazon Digital by streaming the two movies in the US via the Prime Video service.

Noting that all of the movies listed in the third claim were hosted in the United States and streamed to customers overseas, Hartmann says he is also entitled to damages under the copyright laws of foreign countries.

Request For Judgment Against and Amazon Digital

In conclusion, the lawsuit seeks an order from the court that the defendants infringed the plaintiff’s copyrights and that since that infringement was willful, damages should be “increased and trebled”. Amazon is yet to file its response.

The complaint and can be found here (pdf)

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

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