Zippyshare Shows ‘Forbidden’ Message to German Visitors

Zippyshare Shows ‘Forbidden’ Message to German Visitors

File-hosting site Zippyshare has been online for more than 12 years, serving millions of users every day.

Stats from SimilarWeb indicate that traffic to the site has remained stable for some time, hovering around the 100 million visits per month mark. That positions the site well within the top 500 sites on the whole Internet, making it a major player in the file-hosting market.

The site is utilized by users all over the world but last month those in the UK suddenly found the platform inaccessible. At least initially, there was speculation that local Internet service providers had blocked the site but given the circumstances, that seemed unlikely.

The error messages received by users when attempting to access the site’s domain indicated that ISPs weren’t to blame and Zippyshare itself had probably begun blocking UK visitors. Even those using some UK-based VPN servers couldn’t access the platform either.

It’s been more than month since that unexplained problem first raised its head and the situation doesn’t appear to have changed for those in the UK since. Indeed, a new problem seems to have raised its head elsewhere in Europe.

This week, users of Zippyshare attempting to access the site from Germany began reporting that they too are experiencing the same issues, with visitors seeing the same “403 Forbidden” notice, as shown below;

Tips received by TorrentFreak from users in Germany indicate that the site cannot be reached from several ISPs including Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, M-net, Pyur, Unitymedia, and others.

Changing DNS settings to point to other providers (such as Cloudflare or Google) doesn’t seem to help matters but we did manage to access the site using VPN servers located in Berlin and Frankfurt.

Zippyshare did not respond to our earlier request for comment and the site hasn’t made any announcements that would explain the ‘forbidden’ errors now being displayed across the EU’s most powerful countries.

While that’s a strange situation for a platform of Zippyshare’s scale and reach, stats provided by SimilarWeb reveal that the highest volume of visitors to the site are from Indonesia (13%) followed by Japan (9%), the United States (8%), Brazil (7%) and then India (4%).

This data suggests that countries in the EU are fairly insignificant in terms of traffic, which could explain the apparent apathy. Or, of course, Zippyshare might simply not want to talk about the problem in public, either voluntarily or otherwise, for a number of reasons.

Until the platform comments, speculation will continue.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Credits TorrentFreak

If you found this post informative, please help by sharing to your social pages using the links above. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more great content!

Stay protected online, check out my new VPN Partnership and protect your online activity from spying eyes. – CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT MY VPN PARTNER

LaLiga & Rights Alliance Win Dynamic Football Piracy Blocking Order

LaLiga & Rights Alliance Win Dynamic Football Piracy Blocking Order

Movies, TV shows, and music have all proven popular with online pirates for years but with fast Internet connections now widespread, streaming live television is on the increase.

This presents a unique problem for football leagues hoping to generate large revenues from fans keen to catch the big game on TV.

There are dozens of pirate sites available today willing to provide that content for free, a point not lost on Danish anti-piracy group Rights Alliance (RettighedsAlliancen). Figures provided by the group indicate that between February 2018 and February 2019, locals made 18 million visits to the most popular illegal live sports services.

To help counter this threat, Rights Alliance teamed up with Spanish top-tier football league LaLiga in legal action designed to prevent local Internet users from accessing the sites.

In a case filed on February 8, 2019, LaLiga demanded that local ISP Telenor should prevent its subscribers from accessing 10 sites (list below) that infringe its copyrights by showing live matches. LaLiga suggested DNS blocking as a possible method but Telenor asked for the whole injunction to be denied.

LaLiga stated that that previous rulings from the European Court of Justice found that the English Premier League owned copyright in its broadcasts, which included videos, music, highlights of previous matches and graphics.

When these are made available to the public, it is only the rightsholder that holds an exclusive license to do so. The same holds true when such broadcasts are made available to a “new audience” – i.e one that the rightsholder hadn’t initially taken into account, such as unauthorized streaming over the Internet of an otherwise terrestrial broadcast.

As is becoming typical in similar cases, the local court referenced other important rulings from the EU Court, including GS Media, BREIN v Ziggo and BREIN v Filmspeler, to determine if the protected works were being made available to the public in contravention of EU law.

Nine of the ‘pirate’ services listed in the complaint were ultimately deemed to be infringing due to them offering copyrighted works and generating revenue via advertising. The tenth, Spain-based RojaDirecta, requested more time to respond to LaLiga’s complaint, so the site will be dealt with at a later date.

On April 15, 2019, the Court of Frederiksberg handed down its order, which requires Telenor to block the listed sites using a “technical solution” such as DNS blocking. The provider is also required to block other domains that appear in future which facilitate access to the same sites. These will be advised by Rights Alliance under strict rules laid down by the Court.

Under the Danish ISP Code of Conduct, other major ISPs in Denmark will also implement the blocks against the sites in the complaint.

This is an important case in Denmark for both LaLiga and Rights Alliance, one that paves the way for blocking of unlicensed live sports and general TV portals in general.

LaLiga’s Audiovisual Director Melcior Soler welcomed the decision.

“Audiovisual Piracy is illegal and has great consequences, not only for us, but for the league and the future of the game, so we are very happy that RettighedsAlliancen has joined us in the fight. We know that Denmark is at the forefront of the development of digital tools to fight online piracy, and this is a big issue for us,” Soler said.

“We are now looking forward to seeing the effects of the blockings and hope that they can serve as an example for other countries, so that we can stand together in the fight against online piracy.”

The full order (supplied to TF by Rights Alliance) can be found here (pdf).

The site names, which are partially redacted in the order, are as follows:

  • livetv*****
  • tvron*****
  • ronaldo7****
  • kora-star****
  • live.harleyquinnwidget****
  • myfeed2all****
  • stream2watch****
  • jokerlivestream****
  • kora-online****

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Credits TorrentFreak

If you found this post informative, please help by sharing to your social pages using the links above. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more great content!

Stay protected online, check out my new VPN Partnership and protect your online activity from spying eyes. – CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT MY VPN PARTNER

Mobdro Pirate Streaming App Slammed in Malware Report

Mobdro Pirate Streaming App Slammed in Malware Report

In recent years, millions of users around the world have turned to Android-based applications for their piracy fix.

They’re mostly free and easy to install, quickly providing access to the latest movies, TV shows, live sports, and PPV events.

Entertainment industry groups have long insisted that users of these applications are putting themselves at risk of malware and similar issues, but it’s fairly uncommon for them to go into much detail.

That changed today with the publication of a study carried out by the Digital Citizens Alliance in conjunction with network security company Dark Wolfe Consulting. Some of the key findings concern the popular live streaming application known as Mobdro.

The researchers say that after installing the Android application, it forced an update and then forwarded their Wi-Fi name and password to a server that identified as being located in Asia. Mobdro then started to seek access to media content and other legitimate apps on the researchers’ network.

“Researchers observed that the app that sent the user’s wireless name and password up to an external server in Indonesia then began probing the network and talking to any file-sharing services on the Local Area Network. It also ‘port knocked,’ a process to look for other active malware,” they write.

“[A]fter the initial update, the device accepted commands from a threat actor. Those commands may come from the app itself or from the movie streams. With each selection of content, the user opens the door to a new set of commands and malicious payloads from a threat actor to a device in use.”

It’s not explained how the video streams themselves could contain malware. Mobdro is believed to scrape the web for content, much like Kodi add-ons do, and security experts haven’t seen malware in video streams.

However, the researchers state that the “commands in the apps or from the movie streams” were “either encrypted or encoded, making it difficult to analyze for infection.” It’s a vague statement that the study builds on, noting that encrypted commands could perform an update, retrieve malware, take part in a DDoS attack, or obtain files stored on the device or network – such as images, movies or documents.

There’s little doubt that the behavior highlighted above is not something the average person would expect from a video streaming app. However, it should be noted that the Mobdro software actually asks the user to grant permission to their photos, media, files and device location.

Most will blindly grant those permissions instead of declining, of course, and it sounds like the researchers followed that lead.

Furthermore, in view of the researchers’ findings, it’s also worth highlighting the chaotic situation that surrounds Mobdro and many similar apps that facilitate access to illicit streams of movies and TV shows. Crucially, these aren’t allowed on official platforms like Google Play.

So, where it was once pretty obvious where the ‘official’ app could be obtained, there are now a large number of ‘fake’ sites also offering ‘hacked’ variants of the software, any one of which could have experienced tampering. The researchers do not reveal the source of their installation files.

Another point of interest is raised when the researchers note that the software they installed also makes it possible for a “threat actor” to log in to a user’s device and then navigate away from the device to the Internet, effectively posing as the user online.

While this initially seems like a shocking claim, anyone who reads the official app’s EULA before installing the software will see for themselves that Mobdro is pretty upfront about this unpopular ‘feature’. Users of the software that choose not to see adverts find themselves agreeing to become peers on the (in)famous Luminati network, meaning that their bandwidth and IP address can indeed be used by others.

It’s far from ideal (who wants their connections used by others apart from Hola users?) but the site that hosts the software makes this clear, to those who bother to read the small print at least. Which is probably very few people indeed, sadly.

TorrentFreak requested comment from the operators of the official Mobdro client but at the time of publication, we were yet to hear back.

The full report, ‘Fishing in the Piracy Stream: How the Dark Web of Entertainment is Exposing Consumers to Harm’ also contains information previously covered in earlier TorrentFreak articles. It can be found here (pdf)

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Credits TorrentFreak

If you found this post informative, please help by sharing to your social pages using the links above. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more great content!

Stay protected online, check out my new VPN Partnership and protect your online activity from spying eyes. – CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT MY VPN PARTNER

BREIN Goes After ‘Pirate’ Plex Share With Thousands of Movies and TV-Shows

BREIN Goes After ‘Pirate’ Plex Share With Thousands of Movies and TV-Shows

Plex is a multifunctional media server that allows users to easily organize all their entertainment in one place. 

Whether it’s movies, music, TV-shows, or photos, Plex can organize and index, making the content ready to stream on a wide variety of supported devices. 

The technology itself is content-neutral, which means that it can be used both legally and illegally. In this case illegally, due to the often copyright infringing content. Much like the Kodi platform, Plex seems to be rather popular among pirates. 

There are a variety of places where access to “Plex shares” are being offered, sometimes in exchange for a small fee. Those who sign up can then stream from a library of movies and TV-shows that’s regularly updated by the owner. 

While sharing a small Plex library privately with a few friends isn’t going to be noticed easily, things change when access to a treasure trove of pirated videos is offered in public places. This is what a Dutch Plex user learned the hard way. 

Earlier this week the man in question informed fellow Plex users on Tweakers that he was approached by local anti-piracy group BREIN, which had become aware that he was running a Plex share with 5,700 movies and 10,000 TV-shows. 

Since these were offered without permission, BREIN requested a €750 settlement plus an additional €500 for each day the share remained online. The user in question, who publicly stated that he downloaded the videos through Usenet and torrents sites, admitted his wrongdoing and swiftly complied.

This is the first time we’ve seen this type of settlement with the owner of a Plex share, but it may not be the last. According to BREIN Director Tim Kuik, his organization keeps an eye on all kinds of piracy-related activity, also on Plex. 

“BREIN and its participants are alert on any kind of server being used to give unauthorized public access to content. In this matter we received information from a third party which enabled us to determine widespread infringement by the person in question,” Kuik informs TF.

Interestingly, the audience of the Plex server, as described by BREIN, differs quite a bit from the user’s own account. 

The Plex user, who has removed his initial posting, said he shared with two friends and his parents. However, BREIN, which had an informant with access to the server, said the audience was substantially larger. In addition, it was being advertised in public places such as Discord and Reddit.

“The customer base consisted of visitors who – for a fee or not – were given access to the media server’s library to view films and/or series,” the anti-piracy group wrote in an announcement.

“Customers were also given the opportunity to submit requests for films and/or series that they would like to see, which were subsequently made available,” BREIN added.

BREIN’s statement is backed up by readers from Tweakers. In response to a news report, they posted links to Reddit posts that suggest that the user in question, or someone linked to this person,  indeed offered his share with a much larger group. However, the user in question denied this. 

Whether the owner had just a few users on the Plex share or many more is ultimately irrelevant. The person in question admitted to downloading the files through torrents and Usenet, which in itself is against the law.

The question remains how BREIN obtained the personal details that were used to send the registered letter.

According to the user, the address in the letter contained a typo he made in his PayPal account. He also used a different name with PayPal, which was mentioned in the letter as well. This suggests that BREIN somehow received this information via the payment provider, but this remains unconfirmed. 

Plex doesn’t appear to be directly involved in the matter, as it generally informs users following copyright complaints, which hasn’t happened. We reached out to the company, which informed us that it respects user privacy as well as rightsholders’ rights.

“We take our customers’ privacy extremely seriously. Per our terms of service and privacy policy, libraries are owned and managed by our customers, and we have no access to the contents of their files,” a Plex spokesperson informed TorrentFreak.

“Our terms of service are very clear that we respect copyright holders’ rights and customers agree that they must have rights to the content in their libraries,” the company added.

Finally, BREIN itself stresses that there’s nothing wrong with using Plex, as long as people do so legally. That is, using it to access files for which they have obtained permission.

“It is permitted to use Plex with legally obtained material,  as long as it’s for your own use,” the anti-piracy group notes. 

Those who share thousands of movies and TV-shows and share these in public, on the other hand, risk being caught at one point or another.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Credits TorrentFreak

If you found this post informative, please help by sharing to your social pages using the links above. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more great content!

Stay protected online, check out my new VPN Partnership and protect your online activity from spying eyes. – CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT MY VPN PARTNER

Avengers: Endgame Leaks Online in China, Begins to Spread

Avengers: Endgame Leaks Online in China, Begins to Spread

Avengers: Endgame is being tentatively billed as the biggest box office hit the world has ever seen.

The movie is set for release in the United States in two days’ time, when millions of Marvel fans will descend on cinemas nationwide to view the spectacular.

Interestingly, the companies behind the movie chose to release the movie in China first and as of 5pm local time today, it had already raked in around $90m in sales. That’s hugely impressive by any standard.

The decision to release in China, it was previously reported, was to help combat rampant piracy in the region. However, with millions of citizens hitting cinemas around the country of 1.3 billion people, there was always likely to be one here and there equipped with technology capable of recording the blockbuster once inside.

In anticipation of this somewhat inevitable event, TorrentFreak sources put systems in place to check for the movie being shared on BitTorrent. Between 4:00pm and 5:00pm local time, those triggers went off, indicating the jewel in Marvel’s crown had already hit the Internet.

Within minutes of the initial seed appearing, dozens of exclusively China-located users began sharing a 1.2GB torrent of the movie. There are also other variants, around the 2GB mark. We are currently unable to confirm the quality of those releases.

Data obtained by TF indicates that most initial sharers were using variants of the popular Chinese-market ‘Thunder’ torrent client, which can usually be identified via its client code beginning 7.10.35.XXX in newer variants. A sole uTorrent user from Vietnam (highlighted below) was one of the early seeds on one torrent.

The only good news for Marvel is that the version detailed above is of terrible quality.

“The image flickers constantly throughout. It’s semi-rotated and is littered throughout with watermarks for a gambling site that spin around the screen,” our source explains.

Due to the concerns about spoilers, we have no intention of posting additional screenshots (other than the above) that have the potential to ruin the movie for fans. However, we can confirm that the audio on this particular release is poor too.

Despite the release being touted in China as a TS (which should have direct audio) we are informed that there are plenty of crunching noises and intermittent coughing throughout. This version has English audio with Chinese subtitles.

If ever there was a case for viewing a movie how it should be seen in the cinema, this pirated copy reinforces that, with bells on. Whether improved versions are standing by is currently unknown.

Update: What appears to be the same copy has now begun circulating on some English-language sites, albeit in different file sizes.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Credits TorrentFreak

If you found this post informative, please help by sharing to your social pages using the links above. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more great content!

Stay protected online, check out my new VPN Partnership and protect your online activity from spying eyes. – CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT MY VPN PARTNER

Piracy Tracking Firm MUSO Secures Additional £3.5m in Funding

Piracy Tracking Firm MUSO Secures Additional £3.5m in Funding

Anti-piracy firms often portray copyright infringers as thieves that must be stopped or eradicated.

However, the people at UK firm MUSO have a different take on the piracy problem. The company offers its clients classic takedown tools but prefers to frame piracy as an opportunity rather than a threat.

MUSO believes that piracy audiences are great untapped pools of wealth. This is also a message it communicates to its clients, which include major players such as Sony Interactive, IMG, Entertainment One, and the European Union Intellectual Property Office.

In its early years, the startup received funding from the UK Government, but more recently it received backing from the more traditional venture capital firm Harwell Capital. 

This week MUSO announces that it has raised an additional £3.5 million in funding from Harwell. This is in addition to a £2.5 million investment it received from the same company two years ago, bringing the total for its Series A funding round to £6 million. 

The UK-based anti-piracy outfit says it will use the money to expand the company’s sales and marketing, so it can increase its market share in the digital media, gaming and live broadcast sectors. 

MUSO’s main goal remains unchanged. It will continue to focus on the more positive approach of converting pirates into paying customers, instead of disregarding this audience as ‘criminals.’

“Unlike other anti-piracy or content protection outfits, MUSO focuses on pointing out to rights holders and media distributors that piracy audiences are actually untapped opportunities, rather than enemies, or the criminals that we perceive them to be,” the company explains. 

MUSO founder and CEO Andy Chatterley, who’s a Grammy-nominated music producer, is happy with the continued support. 

“Harwell has been a hugely supportive investment partner, who provide far more than cash alone to the company. They understand our vision and objectives and bring significant advice and acumen to ensure we can execute on our continued growth plans in a most exciting market,” Chatterley notes. 

Aside from providing piracy takedown services and insights to its clients, MUSO also regularly publishes piracy-related data. Last week, for example, it revealed that the first episode of Game of Thrones was pirated more than 50 million times in 24 hours. 

In addition, the company has also helped to document the changing interests of the pirate audience, which has moved from torrents and direct downloads to streaming-based services in recent years.

There have been critical notes as well, of course. Last year MUSO and music outfit AIM announced that they managed to issue five million takedowns in just a few months, labeling their partnership as a great success. 

However, on closer inspection, it appeared that pretty much all these requests were sent to Google and that the vast majority of the reported URLs were not removed because they were not indexed by the search engine. 

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Credits TorrentFreak

If you found this post informative, please help by sharing to your social pages using the links above. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more great content!

Stay protected online, check out my new VPN Partnership and protect your online activity from spying eyes. – CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT MY VPN PARTNER

Malibu Media Wants to Dismiss Piracy Case Against IT Experts, Says They Can Hide Infringing Activity

Malibu Media Wants to Dismiss Piracy Case Against IT Experts, Says They Can Hide Infringing Activity

In recent years, file-sharers around the world have been pressured to pay significant settlement fees or face legal repercussions.

These so-called “copyright trolling” efforts have been a common occurrence in the United States for roughly a decade, and they still are.

Malibu Media, the Los Angeles-based company behind the ‘X-Art’ adult movies, is behind many of these cases. The company has filed thousands of lawsuits in recent years, targeting Internet subscribers whose accounts were allegedly used to share Malibu’s films via BitTorrent.

These cases generally don’t make it to trial and there are several examples where the rightsholder opted to voluntarily dismiss a case when a defendant pushed back. This is also what happened in a lawsuit that was filed against Tim McManus. 

The adult entertainment company named McManus in a complaint last year and later added his company Greenwood Digital as well. However, these defendants were not intent on settling and fought back. They filed a counterclaim for “abuse of process” against Malibu Media and requested discovery. 

The defendants were ready to fight the case on its merits as that would help them to clear their names. However, Malibu Media then decided that it would no longer pursue the case. 

While we have seen such voluntary dismissals in the past, in this case, the adult entertainment company gave a rather unique explanation. It informed the court that it chose not to continue because the defendants are “IT professionals” who know how to hide infringing activity.

“Plaintiff has elected not to pursue its claim against Defendants as present evidence does not support the time and expense that would be incurred in an attempt to bear out Defendants’ infringer status as a direct or contributory infringer as it appears the Defendants are sophisticated IT professionals with the knowledge to hide infringing activity.

“For this reason, and to conserve judicial resources and prevent unnecessary expense for the parties, Plaintiff respectfully requests that this Court dismiss with prejudice Plaintiff’s claim against Defendants,” Malibu Media added.

In essence, Malibu argues that it’s not financially feasible to pursue the matter because the IT company can, presumably, hide any infringing activity despite the evidence it has collected. 

McManus and his IT company deny these accusations and believe that the rightsholder didn’t have any proper evidence to begin with.

They are not happy with this request for a dismissal, as it will make it harder for them to clear their name and get compensated for the costs they have incurred thus far in their defense. They made this clear in a filing submitted to the District Court of New Jersey yesterday. 

According to the defendants, the allegations made by Malibu Media have led to both financial and reputational damage. They request the court to deny the motion to dismiss, allowing the case to be fought on its merits.

“Defendants have been severely prejudiced by being forced to expend substantial sums of money and time to defend against plaintiff’s claims and pursue their Counterclaims.  In addition, by the mere existence of plaintiff’s lawsuit against defendant Tim McManus, Mr. McManus’s reputation and ability to secure business have been negatively affected,” the defendants argue. 

In an additional certification, defendant Tim McManus writes that the case has harmed his reputation. Among other things, he says that the false accusations were brought up by one of his students at Fordham University. 

“It is a challenge explaining to the students that I did not download the titles outlined in the plaintiff’s Complaint. These accusations have harmed my reputation since I cannot say (yet) that I won a favorable judgment in the case,” McManus writes.

McManus stresses that his company is also harmed by the case and wants to fight the allegations in court so he can properly refute the claims. If the case was simply dismissed, as Malibu wants, that wouldn’t be an option. 

It is now up to the court to decide whether this case will be dismissed or whether McManus and his company will have the chance to clear their names and request compensation. 

A copy of the defendant’s opposition is available here (pdf). The matter is currently scheduled to be discussed in a court hearing later this week.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Credits TorrentFreak

If you found this post informative, please help by sharing to your social pages using the links above. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more great content!

Stay protected online, check out my new VPN Partnership and protect your online activity from spying eyes. – CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT MY VPN PARTNER

Nintendo Targets Amazing C64 Port of Super Mario Bros. After 7 Years’ Development

Nintendo Targets Amazing C64 Port of Super Mario Bros. After 7 Years’ Development

When it was released in 1982, the Commodore 64 (or C64) was a revelation.

Resplendent in all its 8-bit glory, the machine packed 20 kilobytes of ROM, 64 kilobytes of RAM, the ability to display multicolor sprites and a sound chip (the now legendary SID) to die for.

How many machines were eventually sold is up for debate, but with lower estimates of more than 12 million units and some as high as 30 million, it was clearly a massive success story that still has developers excited today.

In parallel with the companies who wrote code for Commodore’s machine, a thriving hobbyist scene thrived in the 80s. So-called ‘demos’, distributed via BBSs, pushed the computer to its limits, delighting users with super-smooth scrolling and sampled speech – in fact anything it wasn’t originally expected to do.

The fascination with the C64 has persisted for decades. It wasn’t officially discontinued until 1994 but since then has lived on, both in hardware and emulated forms. Those pushing the limits of what the machine can do have also remained hard at work.

One of those individuals is a programmer known online as ZeroPaige, who for the past seven years has been attempting to cram a port of Nintendo’s 1985 NES game Super Mario Bros. into Commodore’s now ancient hardware.

On April 18, 2019, ZeroPaige revealed that his goal had been reached, with the release of Super Mario Bros 64.

“This is a Commodore 64 port of the 1985 game SUPER MARIO BROS. for the Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System,” ZeroPaige wrote.

“It contains the original version that was released in Japan and United States, as well as the European version. It also detects and supports a handful of turbo functionalities, and has 2 SID support.”

The developer released the somewhat incredible port as a C64 disk image file, playable on hardware or emulators. The reception it received was amazing, with many fans heaping praise on ZeroPaige for completing a task many believed couldn’t be done.

But of course, the mighty Nintendo was watching too.

Links to the image squirreled away on hosting platforms started to go down, with the suspicion that the Japanese gaming giant was behind the deletions. Seven years of hard work taken down with a few lines of text.

Early this morning, the Commodore Computer Club revealed that it too had been hit with a copyright notice, effectively confirming that Nintendo was behind the action against Super Mario Bros. 64.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

It doesn’t really come as a surprise that Nintendo has targeted the project. The company has been extremely busy in recent months taking down sites that offer ROMs that infringe on its copyrights.

Furthermore, Super Mario Bros. is also available on its Game Boy, Wii U, and Switch platforms, so the ….erm….Commodore 64…is also a market threat.

But while this takedown will have C64 fans shaking their heads, it will prove impossible to delete Super Mario Bros. 64 from history. As things stand, the disk image is available for download in a number of places and for those who want to play it, a few minutes searching will yield results.

The other factor is that the people most interested in this project will already have plenty of connections in the emulator scene, so much of the sharing will go on behind closed doors. This is perhaps a fitting tribute to the distribution that took place in the 1980s, when hobbyists began pushing the C64 to perform tricks its creators never envisioned.

While Nintendo’s lawyers clearly see Super Mario Bros. 64 as just another threat to be countered, the company’s programmers are probably sitting quietly at their desks, smiling quietly at the impressive work of ZeroPaige.

After all, they’re all striving for the impossible. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Credits TorrentFreak

If you found this post informative, please help by sharing to your social pages using the links above. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more great content!

Stay protected online, check out my new VPN Partnership and protect your online activity from spying eyes. – CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT MY VPN PARTNER

ACE Sees “Piracy Reduction” Efforts Pay Off, But Work is Not Done Yet

ACE Sees “Piracy Reduction” Efforts Pay Off, But Work is Not Done Yet

During the summer of 2017, several of the largest entertainment industry companies in the world teamed up to create a new anti-piracy coalition.

The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) brought together well-known Hollywood outfits including Disney, Warner Bros, NBCUniversal, media giants such as Sky and BBC, as well as the streaming-based newcomers Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu.

This is without a doubt one of the most prominent copyright enforcement groups in history and one with a clear mission. ACE wants to bring a halt to all forms of piracy but with a specific focus on online streaming, which it sees as a major threat to its industry.

The organization has filed several lawsuits in the US, for example, targeting vendors of pirate streaming boxes. This has been quite effective so far, with Dragon Box settling for $14.5 million TickBox TV agreeing to pay $25 million in damages.

However, behind the scenes, there have been many less visible enforcement efforts as well. ACE regularly reaches out to developers who create ‘add-ons’ and ‘builds’ that are specifically designed to access pirated content through streaming boxes, including those running Kodi.

These efforts are not made public by ACE, but the targeted developers sometimes speak about them in public. Last week, for example, when the Hydra9 repository was targeted, among others. 

“Some in the community got served ACE letters yesterday, including myself. My letter specifically mentions most of my builds, and the Hydra9 repo,” developer ‘Terror’ informed people on Telegram, sharing a cease and desist letter. 

“I have made so many friends in this community and the Hydra9 team has been the highlight of my time making builds. I will likely continue as a skinner/teacher only, after I’m done dealing with ACE,” he added.

The letter in question is similar to those that have gone out to many other developers since 2017. As can be seen below, it comes with a rather impressive list of logos from entertainment industry companies, to which Discovery Inc., Channel 5, and Telefe have yet to be added.

It appears that these efforts have been quite successful but thus far ACE hasn’t said much about them in public. To find out more, we asked the organization whether it could share any data on how many of these requests it has sent out over the past two years. 

While we didn’t get any exact figures from ACE, which clearly doesn’t want to give away too much, the group said that a “significant” number of developers and site operators cooperated after being notified. 

“ACE has sought and obtained voluntary cooperation from a significant number of owners, operators, and developers of sites, add-ons, and services that facilitate piracy,” ACE spokesperson Richard VanOrnum told us. 

ACE targets people throughout the world and says it prioritizes voluntary measures over lawsuits. Through these efforts, it hopes to boost the legal market. Thus far, the media companies behind the group are happy with the results.

“Our members are pleased that the overwhelming majority of owners, operators, and developers of sites, add-ons, and services that facilitate copyright theft voluntarily comply with copyright law upon contact with ACE representatives,” VanOrnum tells us.

“We will execute more planned global actions along these lines and look to continue our success protecting creators around the world,” he adds.

If a cease and desist order is ignored, legal action remains an option. While ACE hasn’t shied away from that in the past, it aims to address issues out of court where possible.

Cease and desist letters are only part of its strategy though. ACE also seeks cooperation from many other players in the ecosystem, including advertising networks, payment processors, cyberlockers, domain name registrars and registries, search engines, online marketplaces, and social media services, to name a few.

ACE hopes to promote legally available content while addressing illegal add-ons and streaming boxes. However, it also has its eyes set on other streaming services, including apps and websites. 

“We are continuously reviewing our strategy and will consider new outreach and enforcement efforts where appropriate,” VanOrnum tells us, again, without giving away any concrete targets.

The group does explain that it has a comprehensive “piracy reduction plan” which tries to incorporate all the major streaming threats.

While the early signs suggest that this plan is paying off, work is far from done yet. New investigations are being launched on a regular basis, which means that the cease and desist letter Hydra9 received, was certainly not the last.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Credits TorrentFreak

If you found this post informative, please help by sharing to your social pages using the links above. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more great content!

Stay protected online, check out my new VPN Partnership and protect your online activity from spying eyes. – CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT MY VPN PARTNER

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 04/22/19

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 04/22/19

This week we have two newcomers in our chart.

Glass is the most downloaded movie.

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 Web-DL/Webrip/HDRip/BDrip/DVDrip unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the articles of the recent weekly movie download charts.

This week’s most downloaded movies are:
Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer
Most downloaded movies via torrents
1 (1) Glass 6.9 / trailer
2 (2) Escape Room 6.4 / trailer
3 (…) High Life 6.3 / trailer
4 (3) How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World 7.8 / trailer
5 (5) Aquaman 7.7 / trailer
6 (…) The Professor and the Madman 7.5 / trailer
7 (6) Bumblebee 7.0 / trailer
8 (9) The Mule 7.1 / trailer
9 (4) The Upside 6.5 / trailer
10 (7) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 8.6 / trailer

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Credits TorrentFreak

If you found this post informative, please help by sharing to your social pages using the links above. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more great content!

Stay protected online, check out my new VPN Partnership and protect your online activity from spying eyes. – CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT MY VPN PARTNER