Bell and Rogers to Request ‘Pirate’ Site Blocking Order in Canada

Bell and Rogers to Request ‘Pirate’ Site Blocking Order in Canada

Last year, a coalition of copyright holders and major players in the telco industry asked the Canadian Government to institute a national pirate site blocking scheme.

The Fairplay coalition argued that such measures would be required to effectively curb online piracy. Canada’s telco regulator CRTC reviewed the request but eventually denied the application, noting that it lacks jurisdiction.

While the denial came as a setback, the main players pushing for site blocking are not letting the matter go easily. Bell and Rogers, two of the main proponents of the mechanism, later tried to get a blocking regime instituted through the planned revision of the Copyright Act.

Thus far there are no signs that they’re getting what they want, but there is another path to site-blocking that the two companies, together with Groupe TVA, are about to explore.

Last month we reported on a lawsuit the three companies filed against the operators of ‘pirate’ IPTV service operating from the domain names GoldTV.ca and GoldTV.biz. The companies argued that the service provides access to their TV content without licenses or authorization.

“The GoldTV.biz Service provides unauthorized access to hundreds (if not thousands) of live television channels and video-on-demand content,” the complaint filed at the Federal Court reads.

Among other things, the companies requested an interim injunction to stop the operator(s), who remain unidentified, from continuing to offer the allegedly-infringing IPTV service. This request was reviewed by the Federal Court in Ontario, which granted it late last week.

According to Justice Catherine Kane, the telecom companies would suffer “irreparable harm” if the two GoldTV sites were to continue.

The interim order will remain in place until a final determination of the claims is made. Among other things, the operator(s) are forbidden from operating, maintaining, promoting, or selling any infringing services, including GoldTV.

While the copyright holders are likely to be happy with this preliminary ruling, the follow-up step may prove to be even more interesting. According to The Wire, the copyright holders will move for a website blocking order next month.

This order, which they plan to formally request in September, will request various ISPs including Bell Media, Eastlink, Cogeco Inc., Rogers’ Fido, Shaw Communications Inc., TekSavvy Solutions Inc., Telus Corp., and Videotron to block the GoldTV sites.

To our knowledge, this will be the first time that these companies have requested a pirate site blocking order in Canada. Interestingly, several of the ISPs that are targeted are connected to the copyright holders. As such, it is unlikely that there will be any protests from their side.

However, other ISPs, such as Techsavvy, may object to the requested order, if it’s formally submitted. This could then turn into a test case for court-ordered pirate site blockades in Canada.

The question remains, however, if the rightsholders will push through with their request. While GoldTV.ca was still operational yesterday, the site has now become unreachable. The same is true for GoldTV.biz, which doesn’t load either. That said, both sites could of course reappear.

It is clear, however, that after requests to get a blocking regime instated through the CRTC, Bell, Rogers, and others are now considering filing a blocking order through the court. And if they are successful, more will likely follow.

A two-day hearing on the GoldTV case is currently scheduled for September 11/12, and we will likely hear more after that.

A copy of the interim injunction that was issued by the Federal Court last week is available here (pdf).

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Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 08/12/19

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent – 08/12/19

This week we have four newcomers in our chart.

Aladdin 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 (…) Aladdin 7.3 / trailer
2 (…) The Hustle 5.3 / trailer
3 (1) Avengers: Endgame 8.7 / trailer
4 (…) Brightburn 6.2 / trailer
5 (…) Rocketman 7.6 / trailer
6 (5) Alita: Battle Angel 7.5 / trailer
7 (2) The Red Sea Diving Resort 6.4 / trailer
8 (3) Godzilla: King of the Monsters 6.5 / trailer
9 (4) Hellboy 5.3 / trailer
10 (6) Shazam! 7.3 / trailer

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Kim Dotcom Set to Mobilize Former Megaupload Users Against Joe Biden

Kim Dotcom Set to Mobilize Former Megaupload Users Against Joe Biden

After being targeted by the US government in 2012, it seems possible that Kim Dotcom may yet slip through the hands of at least two presidents and potentially more.

It’s now seven years since the raids that dismantled his Megaupload empire yet Kim Dotcom is still in New Zealand and leading what appears to be a very privileged life.

At the same time as fighting with every legal bone in his body, he is clearly determined to stir up a political storm in the United States too, a country he will remind you again and again that he has never even been to. For Dotcom, you see, there are old scores to be settled.

Dotcom is convinced that current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was the political driving force behind the fate of Megaupload. The former vice president burnt the file-hosting site to the ground as a “gift” to his friends in Hollywood, Dotcom insists. And soon, it will be payback time.

In a series of tweets this morning, Dotcom said that next year he will be mirroring his infamous campaign against former candidate Hillary Clinton to ensure that Joe Biden never sets foot in the White House.

“Like @HillaryClinton he’s corrupt to the core and can never become US President. Watch me in 2020,” he warned.

Dotcom usually plays some of his cards close to his chest, while teasing others well in advance of their production. However, he’s now on record that he’ll be using a database of former Megaupload users apparently still in his possession to mobilize against Biden.

“Still waiting to get access to your Megaupload files?” he wrote.

“I will email 30 million former US Megaupload users a video link in 2020 explaining how @JoeBiden destroyed your favorite website. Most of you were teenagers or students then but now you’re voters. Let’s retire Biden together,” the Megaupload founder added.

Putting the two parts together suggests that Dotcom not only has uploaders’ IP addresses to geo-locate them but their corresponding email addresses too. With the statute of limitations long exceeded in cases of alleged copyright infringement, errant users probably shouldn’t be too concerned, even if those can be matched to uploads.

While it seems extremely unlikely that any will ever get access to their files again, Dotcom says they will be receiving something else from him, something that he hopes will undermine both Biden and his campaign.

“Everyone who ever uploaded a file to Megaupload from a US IP address will receive this video link about how @JoeBiden abused his power to destroy Megaupload, incl. commentary from an insider and Biden bragging to a lawyer we planted at a fundraiser that HE destroyed MU,” Dotcom added.

Although the content of the forthcoming video is yet to be seen, the allegations against Biden certainly aren’t new. They are almost as old as the case against Dotcom himself, which has been moving at a glacial pace since its inception more than three-quarters of a decade ago.

And according to Dotcom, it might still only be at its halfway point.

In June, after a tortuous path through the lower courts, New Zealand’s Supreme Court heard the extradition case against Dotcom. It is yet to hand down any decision but even at this stage, the Megaupload founder is making his predictions. In tweets over the past several weeks, Dotcom has predicted that he will lose by a slim margin.

“I can tell you from my experience with the Courts that relationships are more important than laws. Judges are appointed to support the govt of the time and not for guardianship of the law. My upcoming 2-3 Supreme Court judgment will prove my point,” he wrote last week.

But even then the show won’t be over, far from it.

Another seven years? Possibly…

At the time of writing, Dotcom claims that he’s has already been on bail longer than anyone in New Zealand’s history but he’s vowing to stick it out “until the end” while making as much mud stick as he can – both at home and in the United States.

“My case is the biggest stain on New Zealand’s rule of law. My gift to the ‘independent’ Judiciary,” he concludes.

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Rightsholders Remove Google Results of Legal Search Engine ‘JustWatch’

Rightsholders Remove Google Results of Legal Search Engine ‘JustWatch’

The entertainment industries have gone head to head with Google over the past years, demanding tougher anti-piracy measures from the search engine.

Ideally, several industry groups would like Google to completely remove pirate sites from its search results. In addition, they argue that the search engine should boost the rankings of legal services and sites that allow the public to find legal content.

JustWatch is one of these legal options. While it doesn’t offer any content itself, it provides a great search tool for people who want to find legal entertainment on dozens of services. As such, it is widely recommended by industry insiders.

When Fox alerts ISPs and hosting companies of alleged pirates, for example, it specifically recommends JustWatch as a good starting point.

“We encourage you to refer your account holder to the website justwatch.com where they will find an array of legal choices,” Fox notes.

Given this reputation, it’s rather unfortunate that copyright holders repeatedly ask Google to remove JustWatch URLs from its search engine. While these requests are likely made in error, the result is that these companies make it harder for people to find legal alternatives.

Take this copyright infringement notice from anime producer Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) for example. The takedown request, directed at Google, lists dozens of infringing URLs, as well as two from JustWatch.

Takedown notice

While KBS probably identified these URLs by mistake, thinking that JustWatch is a pirate site, Google did in fact take action. As a result, the site’s official page of “The King’s Face” is no longer showing up in the search results.

“In response to a complaint that we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at LumenDatabase.org,” Google explains.

JustWatch removed…

This isn’t an isolated incident either. Since the start of this year, Google has been asked to remove more than a hundred JustWatch URLs. These notices are attributed to a variety of rightsholders, including KBS, CJ, AMC Networks, Zee Entertainment, and Toei Animation.

In the example given earlier, as well as several other instances, the links have been removed. However, Google also managed to prevent some takedowns, including this one AMC sent for “Fear The Walking Dead.”

What’s clear, however, is that many JustWatch links are no longer appearing in Google’s search results. While this is unlikely to be intentional, it is rather unfortunate, especially since rightsholders themselves have asked Google to promote such services.

Perhaps it’s a good idea to prevent these clear errors, before demanding Google to “do more”?

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Serie A Launches Anti-Piracy Campaign But Shares ‘Sponsor’ With Pirate Movies

Serie A Launches Anti-Piracy Campaign But Shares ‘Sponsor’ With Pirate Movies

There can be little doubt that the wide availability of unlicensed streaming portals and IPTV services is causing grave concern among football leagues all over Europe.

The Premier League has been particularly vocal about this growing form of piracy and has taken matters to the UK High Court, obtaining blocking orders which enable it to take action in real-time, with the help of Internet service providers.

With the new season about to start this month, Italy’s top-tier football league Serie A has launched an anti-piracy campaign of its own, declaring that “Piracy Kills Football” alongside the hashtag #STOPIRACY which it hopes fans will spread across social media.

“The Serie A League is at the forefront of addressing the scourge of piracy, we must defend football against this criminal attack and make it clear to those who use illegal decoders that they are committing a real crime,” says Serie A president Gaetano Miccichè.

“The problem is global and damages football at all levels. We are strengthening the tools to identify and counter acts of piracy in real-time, but it is essential for us to create a system together with the help of the Government and the telecoms operators.”

Piracy Kills Football (Image credit: Serie A)

However, it’s the comments of Serie A CEO Luigi De Siervo that serve to raise a wry smile when viewed from a wider angle to encompass all kinds of video piracy and a Serie A sponsorship deal in particular.

“Piracy is a criminal phenomenon, implemented by people who do not realize the seriousness of what they are doing,” the CEO writes. “Continuing will end up destroying the content creation industry, the cinema, TV, print media, but also and above all football, the quintessential premium product.”

Citing the potential destruction of the cinema is an interesting choice.

Readers may recall our recent article which detailed the activities of Russia-based gambling company, 1XBET. In a nutshell, the majority of CAM-copies of movies (those filmed in cinemas and released online during their theatrical release), currently contain lots of advertising and promo codes for 1XBET.

Pirate releases with 1XBET branding

According to SportBusiness Sponsorship, 1XBET is actually an official presenting partner for Serie A and as a result, its ads can be found almost everywhere on Serie A’s site. It even has its own ‘Player Profile’ page where the betting company is the star of the show. But there’s more.

“The three-year deal will run until 2021, making 1XBet the league’s International Presenting Partner, covering Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North Africa and the Americas,” the publication notes.

“As part of the deal, 1XBet will be featured in all match graphics, idents and virtual goal mat advertising in all live Serie A broadcasts.”

GOAL….sponsored by 1XBET

Bizarrely, given the coverage that 1XBET has received in relation to piracy and CAM copies of movies, its ads are also running on the very same page as Serie A’s anti-piracy campaign, right across the bottom of the screen and under the comments claiming that piracy is destroying cinema.

We’ve embedded some of the Serie A page below, so the context is clear in respect of the anti-piracy language (particularly that involving the cinema) and the positioning of the 1XBET advertising.

“1XBET is a gambling company originating from Russia that uses cam copies to advertise itself internationally,” Dmitry Tyunkin, Deputy Director of Anti-Piracy and Brand Protection at cyber-security firm Group-IB, previously told TorrentFreak.

As noted earlier, there’s no overwhelming evidence available to the general public that 1XBET itself is driving camming ‘sponsorship’ directly, even though the prevalence of the branding and advertising in pirate movie releases tends to suggest otherwise. Maybe pirates have taken it upon themselves to advertise the company in releases just for kicks., who knows.

Having said all that, Serie A doesn’t appear to consider any of this a problem, even when the same advertising appears on the same page as their very own anti-piracy campaign. Strange times indeed.

Finally, Serie A team Juventus promoted the campaign on Twitter. See for yourself how it went down with fans. Many cited much bigger issues as responsible for the impending death of football, not least (but not limited to) the extortionate prices fans are expected to pay to watch matches.

Mile 22 with 1XBET ads

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‘Copyright Troll’ Files Over 1,000 Piracy Lawsuits in Half a Year

‘Copyright Troll’ Files Over 1,000 Piracy Lawsuits in Half a Year

While most piracy activity has shifted to streaming in recent years, US courts are still overloaded with BitTorrent related lawsuits.

This phenomenon, often dubbed as copyright trolling, started roughly a decade ago and remains ongoing.

The process is fairly simple. Rightsholders file complaints against “John Does,” who are initially only known by an IP-address. They then request a subpoena to obtain the subscriber details from the associated ISP, which are then used to request a settlement.

This ‘revenue’ model has been widely criticized and increasingly courts have become more reserved as well. Last year, there was an important Appeals Court ruling which clarified that rightsholders need “something more” than an IP-address alone, to make their case.

Nonetheless, the traditional boilerplate complaints are far from over. This week we decided to take a look at the number of file-sharing lawsuits filed in the first half of 2019. This showed that one company has been particularly active.

The adult entertainment production company Strike 3 Holdings, which distributes its adult videos via the Blacked, Tushy, and Vixen websites, takes the crown. In the first six months of this year, it filed 1,071 complaints. That’s up from last year when it filed 976 new cases in the same period.

Strike 3 filings

The second most litigious rightsholder is Malibu Media, another adult entertainment outfit. The company, known for its X-Art brand, has been an established player in US courts for a few years. During the first half of 2019 it filed 337 new cases, which is down from 681 last year.

Aside from the two adult companies, there were also some regular movie companies active. Hunter Killer Productions, for example, filed 25 cases, Bodyguard Productions was good for 16, and LHF Productions added three new complaints.

All filers have been active in previous years as well, so there aren’t any surprises on that front.

While there have been slightly fewer cases than in the first half of 2018, this year has already surpassed the total number of piracy lawsuits that were filed in 2017, which were little over 1,000. Whether last year’s record high of more than 3,300 new cases will be broken, has yet to be seen.

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Bulgaria CyberCrime Unit Arrests Man For Running Dozens of Pirate Sites

Bulgaria CyberCrime Unit Arrests Man For Running Dozens of Pirate Sites

Like many countries in Europe, Bulgaria is home to large numbers of pirate sites operating in multiple niches, from torrent and streaming platforms, to dedicated IPTV services.

In recent times authorities there have indicated that they are taking a tougher line to combat infringement in the country and yesterday announced results on that front.

According to an announcement from the Ministry of the Interior, a “special operation” was carried out this week to take down dozens of streaming platforms said to be involved in the unlicensed distribution of copyright works.

Carried out under the direction of the Sofia District Prosecutor’s office, the Cybercrime Specialized Unit at the State Security Service detained a 40-year-old man said to be the owner/operator of dozens of pirate sites, which appear to have focused on the streaming sector.

The authorities claimed that the man ran more than 40 websites which distributed movies online without obtaining permission from copyright holders. He allegedly got one site off the ground and then used the content from that to fuel the others, which were then supported financially by adverts provided by Google.

“He originally published the films on one of the sites he controlled. After reaching a certain number of visitors and the traffic generated – for which he was paid for by Google respectively – he downloaded the works and shared them again, but on some other domains,” the statement from the Ministry reads.

“The procedure was repeated 4-5 times until the resource was exhausted from the sites he controlled. Thus, for the same copyright sites, the capitalist received multiple payments from Google.”

According to the statement, most of the sites were “hosted” on the Internet by one of the largest cloud service providers in the United States. This, the authorities claimed, led the man to believe he was anonymous. However, international investigations carried out by Bulgaria’s General Directorate for Combatting Organized Crime (GDBOP) uncovered his identity.

The full list of sites attributed to the man by the authorities reads as follows:

x-movies-8.com, new123movies.com, phim-3s.com, phim-14.com, xxxmovies8.com, ww1.serialitebg.com, xmovies8- tv.com, onlinemovies2017.com, xmovies-8.com, onlinemovies2016.com, newcinema2016.info, movies-16.com, onlinemovies-gold.com , megashare-movies.com, newmovies-2016.com, onlinemovies-is.com, big-top-40.com, movie-8k.com, tv-1000.net, online-movies-pro.info, moviesonline-pro.com, filmi-bg-audio.com, terminator-genesys-online.info, starwars7download.info, resident-evil-7-online.info, mision-impossible-5-online.info, james-bond-24-online.info, onlain-filmi-bg.com, filmi-fen.com, filmi-2015.com, kinofilme-2014.com, movies-2017.com, hulu-movies.com, onlain-filmi.info, movies-2015.com, movies-16.com, movie-32.com, new123movies.stream

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RIAA: Ebay and Amazon Sell a Lot of Copyright Infringing Music

RIAA: Ebay and Amazon Sell a Lot of Copyright Infringing Music

Responding to a request from the US Department of Commerce, the RIAA submitted its views on several copyright infringement matters.

Specifically, it informed the Government about counterfeit and pirated goods that pass through online third-party marketplaces, and what can be done about that.

The music group sent a letter that encourages the Government to take action where possible. For example, by encouraging online platforms to share names and contact information of possible infringers.

In addition, the Government can also clarify when online intermediaries should be held liable for acts carried out by sellers of counterfeit and pirated goods.

When it comes to piracy and e-commerce platforms, the RIAA believes that any such changes should apply to mobile, Kodi or browser apps, and to the storefronts that distribute them. This refers to pirate apps on mobile stores, but also devices that are sold through Amazon and eBay.

“As online commerce goes increasingly mobile and distributed, there shouldn’t be different rules that apply to apps that can access the Internet via any connected device, as opposed to just the traditional website,” the RIAA writes.

When it comes to counterfeit goods, the RIAA is particularly concerned with large platforms that sell unauthorized music recordings. These counterfeit products are sold very frequently by large retailers, the music group explains.

This year, the RIAA conducted two studies into the sale of counterfeit music. For the first, it made various tests buys on Amazon and eBay, focusing on current and evergreen album titles released by major U.S. record labels.

This revealed that a significant portion of the CDs on these platforms are unauthorized. This is also true for the CDs that were marked as “fulfilled by Amazon.”

“The study showed that 16% of the CDs purchased via eBay were counterfeit, and 11% of the CDs purchased via Amazon were counterfeit. Alarmingly, 25% of the purchased CDs that were ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ were counterfeit,” the RIAA writes.

In another study, the RIAA searched for “brand new” box sets of selected titles on eBay and AliExpress, and then bought the four lowest-priced box sets on each platform. The result, again, revealed that copyright infringement is rampant.

“On both eBay and AliExpress, 100% of the test buys of the box sets were counterfeit. This is of particular concern as box sets are premium physical music products designed for the superfan that often contain the most significant sound recordings in an artist’s repertoire,” the RIAA notes.

Where appropriate, platforms that willingly distribute copyright-infringing content should be held liable. At a minimum, these platforms should deter repeat infringers, the RIAA argues.

The music group hopes that the US Department of Commerce will take its findings and comments into account and come up with possible solutions to curb piracy and counterfeiting on online platforms.

A copy of the RIAA’s letter, providing input for the upcoming report on the state of counterfeit and pirated goods trafficking and recommendations, is available here (pdf).

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Police Arrest Two in Football Piracy Crackdown

Police Arrest Two in Football Piracy Crackdown

Piracy of football (or soccer for those in the US) is currently one of the hottest copyright infringement related topics.

The major leagues – the Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, and Serie A, to name just four – see piracy as an existential threat, with millions of fans favoring unlicensed platforms over their expensive official offerings.

But while Europe is currently the key battleground, broadcasters and their anti-piracy partners are cracking down elsewhere too. South America, where football is followed by some of the most passionate fans in the world, is now seeing action after the police targeted two men this week.

Following an investigation launched in 2017, officers of the Intellectual Property Brigade (BRIDEPI) of the Chilean Investigative Police arrested one man in the port city of Valparaíso while the other was detained in the
Santiago Province commune Maipú.

Aged between 20 and 30-years-old, they are the alleged administrators of FutbolChile.net and VeoPartidos.com, sites which aired live matches to fans without permission from rightsholders.

Head of BRIDEPI Marco León told Chile’s 24horas that the men operated independently but generated money from advertising placed on their respective sites. According to the police unit, losses to local cable broadcasters run to several million dollars.

The original signals were allegedly obtained from companies including Fox Sports via a subscription but were then captured in the suspects’ homes and transmitted to the sites via the Internet. One of the men is believed to have been operating for around five years.

“We are talking about 100,000 or 200,000 monthly visits [to the websites], where all the content was offered absolutely for free,” León said.

BRIDEPI added that it was “technically very difficult” to determine where the original signals were coming from. It was the first case of its type in the country and as a result, the police had to call in expert support from Brazil and Argentina.

The police unit warns that piracy is a moving target and today’s techniques may not work as well in the future. Technology is moving so quickly that in a year’s time, something else will come along to complicate investigations.

“[T]echnological progress is faster than us,” BRIDEPI concludes.

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Torrent Mogul YTS is Being Sued By Yet Another Movie Company

Torrent Mogul YTS is Being Sued By Yet Another Movie Company

This week many avid torrenters were taken by surprise when two of the largest pirate sites stopped adding fresh content.

Both EZTV.io and YTS.lt didn’t have any new torrents for several days. This unusual hiatus, which eventually ended a few hours ago, remains unexplained thus far.

While some were ready to call the end of the sites, it’s more likely that they were hit by some kind of technical hiccup. However, that doesn’t mean that there are no other issues behind the scenes at the moment.

As we reported earlier, YTS has already been hit by two separate complaints filed by movie companies in US courts this year. While it may not be directly related to this week’s problems, another lawsuit has just been added to this growing list.

In a complaint filed at a Hawaii federal court, Wicked Nevada, the company behind the biographical thriller “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” accuses the site of contributing to widespread copyright infringement of the film.

In addition to going after the site’s unnamed operator, the lawsuit also targets 16 “John Does” who are accused of downloading and sharing a copy of the movie that was uploaded by YTS. These “Does” are subscribers of ISPs Spectrum, Hawaiian Telcom and Verizon.

“Defendant JOHN DOE has made the torrent file ‘Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile (2019) [WEBRip] [720p] [YTS.AM]’ available to users in Hawaii such as Defendants DOES 1-16, the United States and the entire World to download from its interactive YTS website,” the complaint reads.

The complaint displays a lot of similarities with the lawsuits that were filed earlier. For example, it mentions that the YTS.lt domain was registered by the now-dissolved UK company Techmodo Limited. In addition, it mentions that the torrent site uses the services of a variety of US-based companies.

Cloudflare, for example, is mentioned as a hosting and nameserver provider. The movie company used this US connection to obtain a subpoena and find out more about the alleged operator of the torrent site. This revealed that the Cloudflare account in question was logged into by AT&T, Spectrum, and Verizon Wireless IP-addresses.

Whether these IP-addresses have anything to do with the operator remains a question, of course, as this person could also have used an IP-obfuscation tool such as Hola, which routes traffic over the IP-addresses of other people. That would actually make sense, as the account was also logged into by a VPN IP-address and from the TOR network.

“Defendant JOHN DOE further uses the Virtual Private Network provider London Trust Media (Colorado) and even the Onion Router exit relays of the US Naval Research Labs in Washington, DC and an individual in Texas to conceal its login records to its Cloudflare account when operating the interactive websites,” the complaint reads.

With the lawsuit, the movie company hopes to recoup some of its alleged losses. It accuses the YTS operator and its users of contributory and direct copyright infringement, while tagging on a claim of intentional inducement against the former.

Wicked Nevada also requests an injunction to stop the defendants’ infringing activities and to prevent third-party intermediaries such as hosting companies, domain registrars, and search engines, from facilitating access to the YTS domains. Ultimately, the company hopes to shut the site down.

Again, these claims are very similar to those made in the previously filed cases against YTS.

All in all, the three lawsuits make YTS the most sued pirate site in the US that we know of. It’s worth noting that all these cases are filed in the state of Miami by the same attorney, Kerry Culpepper, who represents quite a few movie outfits.

It’s not entirely clear to us what the reason is for filing separate lawsuits, as these companies could also bundle their powers. However, with every added lawsuit, the rightsholders may believe that they are getting closer to the operator.

This week, Wicked Nevada requested two new ex-parte motions for a subpoena. These motions are sealed, so we don’t know which companies it targets, but it will likely be another effort to obtain more information.

That brings us back to the issues YTS and EZTV faced over the past several days. While we can only speculate at this point, it’s possible that the legal pressure caused the sites, which may be interconnected, to lose a hosting provider. That could explain the temporary lack of new content.

For now, however, we can only speculate. That said, with YTS being the most visited torrent site on the Internet, the lawsuits are well worth keeping a close eye on.

A copy of the complaint filed by Wicked Nevada at the US District Court for the District of Hawaii is available here (pdf).

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