Straight and to the point, BitTorrent Inc. announced that the BitTorrent Mainline and uTorrent client software combine to serve 100 million users every month, TorrentFreak reports.
On any given day, 20 million users from over 220 countries load up one of the clients, while also distributing 400,000 new clients every day. That adds up to a lot of users, and a lot of game demos and Linux distros (and perhaps one or two illicit downloads...).
"This is an exciting day for our team. Our vision is to build a complete technology ecosystem comprised of software, content, and devices designed to connect modern creators with a massive digital audience," BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker said. "This milestone highlights the size of our user base and the power of our software."
Both clients are free, though it's estimated BitTorrent Inc. rakes in millions of dollars each year through the optional installation of an accompanying toolbar.
With a little help from their colleagues in The Netherlands, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) sent over two dozen BitTorrent and Usenet indexing sites packing, TorrenFreak.com reports.
Save for HD-UNiT3D, the names of the sites aren't known. According to Tim Kuik, Managing Director of anti-piracy outfit BREIN, listing the names "would amount to free PR for the sites that intend to continue their unlawful activities at another hosting provider." Just as well, because it's getting hard to keep track of all the file sharing sites the MPAA has managed to shut down, anyway.
"This year we have made over 600 of these sites inaccessible," Kuik said. "Some seek refuge in a foreign hosting provider. These 29 apparently thought that in America they could go undisturbed. That is incorrect. Through cooperation with our foreign colleagues we can make sites in other countries inaccessible."
The MPAA hasn't yet said anything on the matter, and according to TorrentFreak, that fact that it hasn't been notified by any of the affected site owners suggests that these are all small time outfits.
The largest single BitTorrent suit to date doesn't belong to the MPAA or any of Hollywood's major film studios, and instead originates from Axel Braun Productions, a pornography outfit targeting 7,098 John Doe plantiffs, XBizNewswire.com reports.
Their sin? Illegally downloading and sharing "Batman XXX: A Porn Parody." For doing so, Axel Braun, acting as a one man wolf pack, has now waged war with anyone who pirates his porn and had some strong words to go along with the current lawsuit.
"F*** 'em all," Braun said. "People don't realize that when you pirate a movie it hurts all of the people who work very hard to get it produced -- from the cast to the production assistants to the makeup artists. These are people who live paycheck to paycheck, and with 'Batman XXX,' that was a film I financed myself. So we are going after every one of them who pirates our content."
After reading his comments, we can't shake the image of Butthead saying, "Heh, heh... Hey Beavis, he said 'work very hard.'" But we digress. The real point here is that Braun believes that going on a legal rampage against file sharers is a "new form of revenue for adult companies." Really? We suppose that would make him the Rambus of the adult film industry, only Rambus has never actually come out and said it so plainly.
The hit film "The Social Network" has made a boatload of cash, over $75 million in the US alone. But now BitTottent users have the opportunity to see a high quality version of it for free. A DVD screener of the movie has wormed its way onto BitTorrent, and the internets are eating it up. The torrent has been downloaded well over 100,000 times so far, with the plurality of users (31%) residing in the US.
DVD screeners are studio owned copies of a film used for distribution to trusted groups like studio personnel and those considering a film for awards. This digital copy is usually of good quality, but short of a final DVD. This new leak almost certainly came from a studio source.
While no one can be sure, it is unlikely that this will have any real impact on ticket sales. After three weeks, the bulk of sales have already been made.
A recent hacker attack against hosting provider Reality Check Network resulted in a massive blackout for several popular torrent sites, TorrentFreak reports. The attack took place on Saturday morning, corrupting the Master Boot Records (MBRs) of several servers, RCN said.
"We are writing this letter to inform you that a very targeted malicious attack took place on our network this morning at 6AM EST. As a result, most of our server operating systems have been corrupted resulting in the current downtime," the company wrote to the affected customers.
"We have access to all backups and have already figured out a strategy for bringing your servers back up, and have all hands on deck working to restore service," Reality Check Network President Moisey Uretsky added.
Much to the dismay of conspiracy theorists, the hacker in question doesn't appear to be a hired goon of the RIAA. Instead, Reality Check Network said "it was the result of an ex-employee" who had worked for the company for three years and "had intimate knowledge" of the systems.
A few months back, Voltage Studios (the indie studio that made "The Hurt Locker") began legal proceedings against those seen illegally sharing the movie online. 5,000 "John Doe" lawsuits were filed by the film's producers. Voltage Pictures has now started moving ahead with the next phase of the legal process. Several ISP customers have received notices that their provider has been subpoenaed, and must turn over their names to Voltage's lawyers.
A number of small movie studios have been working with the law firm of Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver. This firm is managing the cases in exchange for a portion of any settlements of judgments that result. The ACLU and EFF have both strongly opposed this action. Some ISPs have even objected due to the huge number of subpoenas they are likely to get.
Some alleged infringers have already been offered settlement offers of several thousand dollars. When faced with the possibility of huge legal fees, many individuals may choose to settle. This strategy didn't work out so well for the RIAA, do you think the producers of The Hurt Locker have a better chance of success?
Researchers from the University of Ballarat's Internet Commerce Security Laboratory have it all wrong. Everyone knows BitTorrent is mostly used for downloading Linux distros and game demos, right? As it turns out, it's even hard to type that with a straight face.
It's no secret that BitTorrent is a popular tool for snagging copyrighted content, but is BitTorrent getting a bad rap? According to a new study, if anything, we might be underestimating just how much illegal content flows through the file sharing protocol.
The above mentioned researchers examined 1,000 torrent files from 23 trackers and found that 89 percent of the content was confirmed to be copyrighted, while the remaining 11 percent was suspect at best. And out of all those files, only three of them were confirmed legal. That's .3 percent, folks.
Broken down into categories, movies, music, and TV shows were the most popular, with not a single legal file being shared among any of them.
Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm, and Peter Sunde, the three outspoken founders of the popular torrent tracking site The Pirate Bay, have been told to take their shenanigans out The Netherlands, or face the consequences. Failure to do so will result in fines of 50,000 euros (around US$64,590) per day.
This is the second time in two summers the trio have been told get out of Dodge, so to speak. Last summer, an anti-piracy outfit took TPB's founders to court, where a judge ultimately ordered them to remove a list of torrents linking to copyrighted works and to ban Dutch users from accessing the site.
Sunde and company opted to appeal the case, and this latest ruling confirms the one from a year ago. The judge did not, however rule that TPB is guilty of copyright infringement, but did say that the site's operators assist in copyright infringement by both allowing and encouraging users to share torrents.
While TPB and its founders will likely remain ever defiant, the case sets a precedent that might be used against other torrent sites.
A young Argentinian hacker, known only by his sobriquet Ch Russo, claims to have successfully slipped past The Pirate Bay's defenses, gaining access to the torrent site's administrative control panel. An SQL injection vulnerability discovered by Ch Russo and a couple of his chums exposed the site's user database, which is said to contain account information belonging to around 4 million users. However, the hacker denies altering or deleting information.
The trio also resisted the temptation of selling the data to the companies assisting the entertainment industry in its fight against piracy. “Probably these groups would be very interested in this information, but we are not [trying] to sell it,” Russo told security blog KrebsOnSecurity in a phone interview. “Instead we wanted to tell people that their information may not be so well protected.”
Taking a leaf out of the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) book, the producers of the Hurt Locker on Monday instituted legal proceedings against people who illegally downloaded the critically acclaimed film from the internet. Voltage Pictures, the production company responsible for the film, fired the first salvo in the form of a copyright infringement complaint against 5,000 people. The scope of the complaint might even be expanded to accommodate more downloaders later on.
“The true names of Defendants are unknown to the Plaintiff at this time. Each Defendant is known to the Plaintiff only by the Internet Protocol (“IP”) address assigned to the Defendant by his or her Internet Service Provider on the date and at the time which the infringing activity of each Defendant was observed,” reads the complaint.
Voltage Pictures told the court that it will amend the complaint to reflect the true names of the defendants as and when it is able to identify them. And yes, the complaint also mentions the Hurt Lockers's amazing feat of six Oscar victories (probably in a bid to make a strong first impression).
The production company believes it is entitled to recover from the downloaders actual or statutory damages, costs of filing the suit and attorney fees. It is also seeking “injunctive relief” in the matter, asking the court to prohibit illegal downloaders from further downloading, pirating or hosting/storing unauthorized versions of its films.
Although RIAA has abandoned the mass lawsuit strategy, the contagion seems to be sweeping the film industry, with a consortium of film studios called the US Copyright Group filing a similar complaint against 20,000 downloaders in March.