Tag Archives: copyright

Pirate Party UK received 100 members an hour after registration

The Pirate Party is off to a running start in the UK.

Days after officially registering and announcing it would be running in the next general election on a copyright and surveillance reform platform, the party confirmed online publicity had helped drive hundreds of members to sign up each hour.

“I’m trying to get hold of my web guys to confirm exact sign-up rates, but I believe we peaked at over 100 memberships an hour when Slashdot ran the story at the same time Stephen Fry twittered about us, and I’m sure we were over 100 forum sign-ups and hour,” party leader Andrew Robinson told IT PRO in an email.

Slashdot is a popular tech news aggregation site, while Stephen Fry is well-known for his Twitter power.

Robinson told the Register that “donations have been coming in so fast that PayPal were concerned we were a fraudulent site.”

The party’s treasurer Eric Priezkalns said the number of new members wasn’t yet confirmed, but would be made public over the weekend. “It is still very early days, and we have been overwhelmed by the response, which has exceeded all our expectations,” he told IT PRO.

The party was also up to 1,700 members on Facebook, topping even the Conservative party’s 1,200 fans – although the party itself has stressed it needs people to become members of the political party, not just follow it on social networking sites, in order to succeed.

For more on the Pirate Party’s plans for the UK, click here.

aXXo is Back

When the popular DVD ripper aXXo stopped releasing new torrents earlier this year many loyal fans were left disappointed. After nearly five months of absence early indications seemed to indicate that he’s back in business. However, those who look closer will notice that something is amiss.

axxoThis March, aXXo – BitTorrent’s most praised uploader – went silent. In the months that followed many people wondered what had happened to him, while some even decided to exploit the situation by posing as aXXo on various sites.

However, to the delight of millions of his loyal fans aXXo seemed to have returned today. After nearly five months of absence two new uploads were submitted to Mininova a few hours ago – both were uploaded by the ‘official’ aXXo account and appear to be legit.

The last time aXXo reappeared after taking a long break, the symbolic title “I Am Legend” was the first torrent to be uploaded. This time around aXXo appeared more humble with the release of “Kung Fu Panda” and “Bee Movie.” But these are not the only oddities.

aXXo’s ‘new’ uploads


Strangely enough both titles have been uploaded before by aXXo, about a year ago. A quick look at the torrent file reveals that these new aXXo torrents were indeed created months ago. The only thing new about them is that they’ve been re-uploaded to Mininova.

What is even more strange is that aXXo was not the only user to upload these titles yesterday. Dozens of new “Kung Fu Panda” and “Bee Movie” torrents were submitted to Mininova yesterday, some by well known uploaders like FXG, FXM and KLAXXON who have all been inactive for weeks or months.

The issue seems to be specific to Mininova since none of the uploaders have added these old torrents to the other sites they generally upload to, such as Darkside.rg in aXXo’s case. So what happened then?

While we don’t have any conclusive evidence, our best guess is that there was a glitch in Mininova’s system that caused these ‘new’ uploads to appear all of a sudden. This would mean that aXXo fans will have to wait a little longer for his return and that shouting about a comeback is a perhaps a little premature.

Update: The torrents have been removed by Mininova, but torrents for the same movie titles (all uploaded on August 6) are still listed.


ThePirateBay Founder Peter Sunde Resigns

According to the latest post in the official TPB Blog it seems like one of the founder of TPB a.k.a. The Pirate Bay Peter Sunde resigns from his position.

Says the post:

“The past years I’ve been very active in the discussion of the current state and the future states of the internets. It’s an important cause and I will not give the fight up.

However, I have decided to not be the spokes person for The Pirate Bay anymore. The reasons are many but most importantly it takes too much of my time. I want to build something new and I want to focus my energy in a different direction. I have projects waiting to be finished, a book is waiting to be finalized and many more books are waiting to be read.

Our issues has been raised to another level and it’s time for biological dispersal. At the same time, I have a feeling of being sessile when I need to be the most motile creature ever. The regeneration will continue with me in another place.

Today marks the end of a small era for me, but I am simply leaving a role in order to be a person instead.

Sometimes when you draw on the foggy insides you find what you’re after.”

The Pirate Bay is currently under a bundle of lawsuits from all types of trade groups and media groups and is under acquisition by a software company that wants to take it legal.

The Pirate Bay to Close down in Netherlands

The Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN has won its court case against The Pirate Bay. The Amsterdam court today ruled that the site must cease all operations in The Netherlands within 10 days, or else pay penalties of 30,000 euros ($42,300) a person, per day.

pirate bayIn an Amsterdam court last week, BREIN’s lawyer argued that The Pirate Bay is responsible for millions of copyright infringements every day, and that the site should therefore be blocked to visitors from The Netherlands.

Interestingly, the news came as a total surprise to Fredrik, Gottfrid and Peter who said they received no official summons and were not aware of the case. In a counter move, the three sent a letter to the Amsterdam court, asking it to dismiss the case and impose damages against BREIN instead.

Today, the verdict was made public and The Pirate Bay has lost the case. The judge ruled that The Pirate Bay has to stop all of their activities in The Netherlands within ten days. If they don’t comply all defendants will be ordered to pay 30,000 euros ($42,300) per day in penalties up to a maximum of 3 million euros ($4,231,000) total.

The court argued that BREIN had done enough to inform the three defendants about the court case, although they were never officially summoned. In a letter to the court the defendants had indicated that if they had know, they wouldn’t have the financial means to attend the hearing. Because of this the court issued a default judgment and gave in to BREIN’s demands.

Pirate Bay spokesman Peter Sunde, who is one of the defendants told TorrentFreak that they will appeal the decision, and that they are currently looking for legal representation.

Interestingly, the verdict claims that The Pirate Bay doesn’t have a registered owner, but holds the three accused responsible for it. However, as we’ve reported previously the site is in fact owned by a company called “Reservella” and not any of the defendants named in the case.

In addition to the three founders, GGF, the intended buyers of the Pirate Bay were also ordered to pay 30,000 euros ($42,300) per day in penalties if they continue to operate the site as it is after the deal is closed.

Legal experts informed TorrentFreak that the current ruling can be largely attributed to the lack of defense, and the fact that the defendants failed to show up. With this ruling in hand, it is not unlikely that BREIN will put pressure on Dutch ISPs if the Pirate Bay doesn’t block Dutch visitors within 10 days.


‘Pirated’ Youtube Clip Boosts Band’s Album Sales

If the major record labels are to believed, they lose millions of dollars due to YouTube pirates. But is this really the case? While anti-piracy outfits try to have all infringing music taken offline or have the audio on pirated YouTube clips disabled, the band Barcelona responded with a video thanking a video uploader for using their song.

Every day hundreds of thousands of clips are uploaded to YouTube, some of which use copyrighted music. Of course the major record labels argue that these illegal uploads are killing their profits as people buy less music when YouTube users add a track to a home made video.

Not everyone in the music business agrees with this assessment though. When the indie rock band Barcelona saw one of its latest tracks featured in a viral video with nearly a million views, they responded quite differently. They claim that the clip below actually boosted their album sales and concert visits.

Kuroshio Sea featuring the Barcelona track

So, instead of demanding that YouTube pull the video, the band posted a response to the ‘Kuroshio Sea’ video on the site, thanking their new found fans and the uploader who posted the original video.

“We’re so flattered to learn that it features one of our songs called Please Don’t Go,” Barcelona’s lead singer Brian Fennell says in the video response.

“We want to let you know that it’s been affirming in the last week to watch in the iTunes store a correlation with the sales of our record ‘Absolutes’, growing in the rock charts as a result of having the song placed in the video,” drummer Rhett Stonelake added.

Barcelona’s response

Aside from the boost in record sales, the band says that they’ve also met some new fans who came to their concerts after seeing the video on YouTube. It is a great way of promoting music online, especially when it’s coupled to a great video.

Unfortunately for most artists, anti-piracy outfits such as the RIAA, BPI and IFPI are increasingly policing YouTube to get all copyrighted music taken off the site. One such artist to suffer recently is the unfortunate Calvin Harris, who clashed with the music industry lobby group BPI.

“IT’S MY FUCKING SONG YOU ABSOLUTE BASTARDS,” Harris wrote on Twitter when he found out that YouTube had removed a clip he uploaded himself, following a copyright complaint from the BPI.

“FUCK YOU ‘The BPI’ what have you ever done for anybody you useless shower of cunts,” he added. As if that wasn’t enough Harris labeled the BPI the “worst organization to ever walk the earth” and their online employees “massive retards.”

Like many other artists, Harris just wants his music to be heard, and he believes that putting a clip on YouTube might in fact introduce new people to his music. If people like what they hear, they might even buy his album or visit his gigs, much like what happened with Barcelona.

YouTube is free promotion for bands and artists, it has the potential to drive revenue instead of killing it. It is time for the major labels and anti-piracy outfits to listen to the artists for once, and perhaps ask them if they actually want to have their content removed or not.


Convert torrent files to PNG – Hid.im

The site Hid.im, allows users to convert torrent files into PNG images, as a way to allow the uncensored, hidden upload of torrent files to image hosting services such as photobucket, imageshack etc, also almost all discussion boards allow uploads of image files.

According to Michael Nutt, founder of the site, via TorrentFreak the site is

“an attempt to make torrents more resilient. The difference is that you no longer need an indexing site to host your torrent file. Many forums will allow uploading images but not other types of files.”

For this to work we have to simply select the torrent file and submit it to the site and the site will do all the background work. the only restriction is on the file size. The file size should be less than 250 KB.

Those trying to decode the message will need either a Firefox extension or through the site’s bookmarklet.