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Comcast Threatens To Sue News Site TorrentFreak For Covering Torrent News

"We'll sue them for...copyright infringement, I guess? Who cares, we have enough money to keep pretty much any case in court until our foes are ground to dust."

Last week, TorrentFreak published a great story about law firms that are also copyright trolls. As part of the article, they published a subpoena response from Comcast showing that an IP address connected with one firm was trolling torrent sites. Now, Comcast has loosed its lawyers, leveling charges of copyright infringement at TorrentFreak.

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The Pirate Bay Launches Censorship-Dodging Web Browser

Live in a country that blocks The Pirate Bay? Block their block with some blocks on your own.

Notorious torrent-sharing site The Pirate Bay is 10 years old today, and they got you a little something. They launched PirateBrowser, a custom Firefox browser that skirts Internet censorship and lets you access the Pirate Bay from anywhere. We should at least send them a card or something.

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French File Sharing Law Claims Its First Victim

One French citizen faces a fine of up to 600 Euros and a two week disconnection from the Internet for sharing files online.

After sharing a file or two and ignoring warnings from the government to knock it off, an as-yet-unnamed French Internet user has become the first person fined under France's controversial 'Hadopi' law -- a statute that gives file sharers "three strikes" before swooping in with draconian measures like hefty fines and disruptions in Internet service. In addition to a fine that could be as much as 600 euros, the individual will reportedly have their Internet service cut for up to two weeks.

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GoT Season Finale Sets Torrenting Record, Possibly Due to Stark Fans Who Cancelled HBO Too Early

"That's it, I'm not giving them ANY MORE MONEY!... Wait, there's another one this week?"

And now for news that is probably not going to shock anyone: The episode that ended this season of Game of Thrones is officially the most pirated copy of any file on BitTorrent, with a record 170,000 people sharing an episode simultaneously. The last record, by the way, was also held by Game of Thrones, as the third season premiere racked up 163,000 illegal downloads the day after it premiered in April. And the record before that? GoT was also considered the highest pirated shows of all time during its second season as well. I think maybe HBO should start to reconsider their business model just a little bit.

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You Wouldn’t Steal a Museum Installation: The Pirate Bay’s First Server Put on Display

One minute they're up in their room sharing files and the next they're incurring the wrath of intellectual property holders everywhere. This year -- September to be precise -- marks the tenth anniversary of when the equally beloved and despised The Pirate Bay file-sharing site was founded, enabling people the world over to watch and listen to media of all kinds without even having to pay a dime to do so; a quality which really hasn't earned it any popularity points within the film and music industries. To commemorate this milestone in unrepentant copyright infringement, the Computer Museum in Linköping, Sweden has placed the site's very first server on permanent display as a part of its "50 years of file-sharing" wing to be revered by techies, and possibly smashed by crowbar-wielding corporate goons, everywhere. The fact we're treating modern technology with the same respect as ancient religious relics has to be saying something about our current culture.

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The Pirate Bay is Back Online, Conspiracy Theorists Likely Disappointed by Mundane Downtime

As we previously reported, The Pirate Bay was down from a power failure due to an issue with a power distribution unit. Much like it sounds, the power distribution unit distributes power, and is a pretty necessary component. After almost 48 hours, The Pirate Bay is now back up and operating as normal. The reason why it was down for so long is actually kind of complicated.

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New Report Shows That Everyone Torrents Music

If you, for some reason, thought music piracy was just a fad that bit the dust with Napster and KaZaA, don't you worry. Music trend analytics company Musicmetric has released an analysis of the digital music scene, dubbed the Digital Music Index, that highlights the trends of music consumers around the world. It turns out everyone torrents music, regardless of the multiple new legit delivery methods available to us in modern times -- such as Pandora, Spotify, or iTunes -- but the real question is not if people torrent music, but which countries are at the top of the torrent chain, and which artists sit atop those chains.

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Study Vindicates Your Friend’s Paranoia, Finds Most BitTorrent Pirates Are Being Monitored

Anyone that's used a BitTorrent client to illegally download music, movies, or really any popular media content at all might have already been tagged by a number of different monitoring firms. According to a study conducted by computer scientists at the University of Birmingham, popular torrents for things like recently released films are being constantly watched by several groups. Some of these trace back to known copyright enforcement elements, whilst others are hidden behind third-party hosting.

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Pirate Bay Founder Gottfrid Svartholm Arrested in Cambodia

Gottfrid Svartholm, the internet's pirate king, was arrested in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, on Thursday. Svartholm, better known by his handle, Anakata, is the founder of everyone's favorite torrent provider, The Pirate Bay. Mr. Svartholm, age 27, has "technically" been on the run since he was sentenced to one year in prison in Sweden for his involvement in creating The Pirate Bay. I say technically because Svartholm hasn't really been running; he simply refused to return to his ancestral homeland after receiving his sentence. Svartholm did not return to Sweden for his trial due to an illness that kept him bed-ridden in a hospital.

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Researchers Show Just How Easy It Is to Locate Torrent Seeders

Anyone who forgets to set their DVR or doesn't have cable will probably lament that, man, there are a lot of fake torrents out there. From uploaders trying to infect unsuspecting users with malware, to griefers just trying to entertain themselves by fooling others, a lot of torrents aren't what they say they are. A team of researchers from Universidad Carlos III and Institute IMDEA Networks created a tool to track the seeders on The Pirate Bay to investigate the fake torrent issue. However, the tool they created shows just how easy it is to gather information on the people behind the torrents when all you have is the torrent itself.

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Another One Bites the Dust: UKNova Stops Sharing Torrents

In what appears to be yet another win for the Federation Against Copyright Theft, or FACT, UKNova will now disable their torrent trackers in order to comply with a cease and desist order from the ever vigilant copyright monitors. UKNova had even previously been overwhelmingly selective with what they allowed in an attempt not to infringe. Looks like their strict policies didn't keep them off the radar, unfortunately.

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Pirates Beware: Google Takedown Requests Up 1,137% Since 2011

It's not a good time to be in the business of helping internet pirates. According to a new report, Google has seen a dramatic rise in DMCA takedown requests in recent months. How high, you ask? Requests have doubled in the last few weeks, and spiked an unbelievable 1,137 percent year-over-year. According to the report, Google received requests to take down 1.5 million URLs per week last month. In July 2011, they were asked to take down an average of 131,577 each week.

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The Internet Archive Now Includes Thousands of Torrents

The Internet Archive is basically a giant digital library on the Internet of anything and everything. Their archives include websites, films, music, books, and digitized materials in general. All of these are available for free public access. After finding something interesting, users can download the file to their computer for offline use. Due to the large nature of these files, however, it can be difficult to receive full ones with any regularity due to connection speed, interruptions, and so on. That's why the Internet Archive has announced they will now be offering much of their content via torrent.

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Demonoid Busted By Local Authorities Following Massive DDoS Attack

Last week, we reported that popular private torrent site Demonoid was hit by a massive DDoS attack and was subsequently out of commission for over a week. The length of the outage, and the fact that the address stopped pointing anywhere rather than displaying some kind of outage message, caused speculation that the venerable site may be down for good. Unfortunately, Demonoid's demise may not be speculation any longer, as word broke that Ukrainian authorities shut down the site.

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Torrent Site Demonoid Still Down After Massive DDoS Attack One Week Ago, Down For Good?

As some of you are aware, The Pirate Bay and EZTV aren't the only torrent sites in town. An extremely popular alternative to those two is Demonoid. The site doesn't get nearly as much press as other torrent sites like The Pirate Bay, but that's partly because Demonoid is a closed, private community that usually requires current members to create and send invites to potential new users. Unlike The Pirate Bay, Demonoid also loosely institutes a seeding policy where users are expected to keep a 1:1 seed-to-leech data ratio if they want to keep their account. Around one week ago, Demonoid was hit by a massive DDoS attack that was so large that the site is still down one week later, and the future of the site is looking a bit grim.

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TV Release Groups Dump Xvid and Enrage the Internet

If you are one of those unfortunate souls that do not have cable and get your TV by questionably nefarious Internet means, you might've been greeted with a rude awakening when you tried to download last night's episode of The Simpsons (which had a stellar Game of Thrones parody for the opening): Your favorite TV release group switched away from the Xvid-AVI format in favor of MP4-x264.

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Afraid of Losing The Pirate Bay? Download the 90MB Backup

It seems like the world of torrent sites is ever shrinking. Over the years, we've lost old favorites like TorrentSpy and Mininova, and BTjunkie just recently gave up the ghost. Even the ones that are still around seem to be at least moderately fearful in the face of recent law enforcement pushes; even The Pirate Bay, stalwart survivor, retreated to a .se domain for safety. And when a torrent site is gone, it's gone, right? Maybe not. You can actually download your own personal backup copy of The Pirate Bay pretty easily, it's only 90MB.

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The Pirate Bay Will Stop Serving Torrents Soon

Ridiculously popular torrent site, The Pirate Bay, will stop serving torrents within the next month. Don't worry too much just yet, though, as the plan only currently consists of ceasing serving torrents, which means the site will still contain magnet links -- links that do not actually store a file, but rather point toward a file. A benefit of magnet links is that, since a site doesn't actually have any sort of file on hand, it becomes more difficult to accuse a site of any wrongdoing in court. Though The Pirate Bay has only switched the default download file to a magnet link instead of the torrent, and simply lists the torrent file second now instead of first, the site will remove torrent files in favor of magnet links indefinitely in a month or so. This surely marks the end of an era.

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The Pirate Bay is Mysteriously Down For Many Users Worldwide

As of this post, one of the most popular torrent sites, The Pirate Bay, is down. Reports floating around the web claimed that Comcast ISP subscribers were unable to access the torrent site, leading many to speculate that Comcast was blocking access. Engadget states that pings and DNS lookups resolved correctly, which is a little weird considering the site is currently inaccessible. Engadget reached out to Comcast and received word that they are not blocking The Pirate Bay, stating, "We're not blocking PirateBay and reports online indicate users from several ISPs around the world are affected." We here at Geekosystem can confirm that we cannot access The Pirate Bay, and are not Comcast subscribers. TorrentFreak is also reporting that The Pirate Bay team claims they aren't blocking access to their site either, and are currently investigating the cause of the blockage. The Pirate Bay team also confirmed that there is a significant drop in U.S. visitor traffic, but other ISPs in Canada and Australia are having issues, though Comcast subscribers seem to be the biggest subset of people who cannot access the site. Andrew Munchbach of Boy Genius Report claims that after loading his VPN client, he was able to access The Pirate Bay, which would support a theory of ISP tampering, but as Engadget reported, Comcast claims they are not responsible for the blockage, and considering subscribers of various other ISPs are also reporting they cannot access the torrent site, it would seem a little farfetched that random ISPs worldwide colluded to selectively block The Pirate Bay. We'll update when more information become available. (via EngadgetTorrentFreak, Boy Genius Report)

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Judge Denies Copyright Holder the Right to Subpoena ISPs

District Court Judge Harold Baker has denied a copyright holder the right to subpoena internet service providers of alleged copyright infringers, because IP addresses are not people. This ruling may end up setting a precedent for future cases regarding copyright infringers, as just in the last year alone, copyright holders have sued over 100,000 infringers, but with this ruling, copyright holders may not be able to legally force an ISP to divulge the IP addresses of its customers, which would prevent the copyright holders from obtaining the personal information of the infringers.

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