BitTorrent is a tremendously popular peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol designed to simplify and speed up the process of transferring large files over the Internet while drastically limiting the bandwidth consumption of any one server.
In a conventional file-transfer process, a file is stored on a server on a network such as the Internet. Other computers on the network send messages to the server, informing it that they would like to copy that file. When the two sides establish a connection, the other computers become clients to the server. As the number of clients increases, so do the demands on the server. And while each client might consume only a little bandwidth, the server can consume tremendous amounts. To reduce costs and prevent the server from crashing, the server’s owner will typically constrain the speed at which each client is allowed to download data or even limit the number of clients that can be served at one time.
We all know what really goes down over at The Pirate Bay, and apparently so does the Swedish District court, which found TPB's defiantly outspoken founders guilty of assisting copyright infringement and ordered them to serve a year in prison and pay a combined $3.6 million in fines. And if the latest rumor turns out to be true, they'll be the ones laughing all the way to bank, even if ultimately paying the fine, which would leave them with $4.2 million.
That's the amount that would be left over after Global Gaming Factory X, a gaming company, acquires the torrent sharing site for $7.8 million. GGF says it plans to complete the acquisition by August and then launch new business models that would pay copyright owners.
"We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site," said Hans Pandeya, CEO of GGF. "The Pirate Bay is a site that is among the top 100 most visited Internet sites in the world."
Of course, illegal access to copyrighted content might play a small huge role in why TPB is so popular, but GGF believes it can build on the torrent site's success while going completely legit.
Bit Torrent user’s who scored pre-released versions of the Windows 7 RC may have gotten more then they bargained for. Malware-laced copies of Microsoft’s newest OS were seeded to torrents in late April, and security researchers are warning users who may have downloaded Windows 7 from non-Microsoft sources, to format, and reinstall their OS.
Adoption rate of the pirated version has slowed since the official release, but as many as 27,000 machines were estimated to be compromised when the command and control center for the bot net was located and finally shut down on May 10th by authorities. Currently, researchers at Damballa are monitoring installations of the infected version, and estimate that approximately 1,600 new machines are added per day. The good news here is that new installations won’t be drafted into the bot net, but it’s still not a good idea to run software from non-trusted sources.
Blocking this type of infection is difficult researchers confess since the Trojan was integrated into the OS installer, and it became active immediately following setup. The situation is also compounded by the reality that Windows 7 still has very limited anti virus options. Operating systems however aren’t the only attack vector for those looking to poison torrents. Similar malware infested Trojans were found in other popular torrented applications including iWork 09 and even Photoshop CS4.
Sure, Apple’s app store has been known to make its fair share of senseless moves, but this one just about nears the top of the list. Recently they rejected Maza Digital’s Drivetrain, an app that would allow users to control the Transmission Bittorrent client from anywhere. Why? Because those that use it are infringing upon rights, of course!
Apple’s reason for denying the app was because “this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights.” So, while there are millions of legal torrents available and it’s quickly become one of the most popular ways to download files, those that use it are (and I’m paraphrasing here) criminal.
Well, at least you can still get Ze Frank’s free iPhone app. I wonder if they’ll try to deny it too?
As any PC power-user knows, getting files from one place to another is one of the oldest tasks in the book. Since way back when people have used floppies, ZIP disks, CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, thumb drives, email and more to get the files you need from point A to point B. But now there’s DropBox, which has—in the half year or so since it came out of beta—become our very favorite way of making sure that we always have our most important files at hand.
If you’re not familiar with how DropBox works, it’s simple: You create a free account with DropBox, and install a small app on your computer. This app creates a folder on your computer (wherever you choose) and monitors that folder at all times. Whenever you change the contents of this folder, by adding, modifying or deleting files, DropBox automatically syncs these changes to your account’s folder on their servers. Additionally, any other computer logged into that same account will have their DropBox folder synced as well. There’s nothing earthshaking about this capability, but the whole process is amazingly simple and makes collaboration an absolute breeze.
Still, with a little creativity, DropBox can be a lot more than just a way to move files from one computer to another. We’ve compiled a list of five of the coolest DropBox tricks we’ve heard of so far, so read on to find out how you can use DropBox and other free software to recover a stolen laptop, organize your Torrents, keep your passwords safe, and more.
We're not sure if this is just an excuse to dress up as pirates and wave the Jolly Roger in a public setting (and admit it, you've wanted to do this since the first time you rode Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride as a child), but a band of Swedish 'pirates' marched in protest of the Stockholm district court scalawags who issued a guilty verdict in the Pirate Bay trial. Pirate Bay's founders -- Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom -- were each sentenced to walk the plank one year in jail and ordered to be pay 30 million kronor ($3.6 million) in damages to several major media companies following the ruling on Friday.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets led by Sweden's Pirate Party, a political organization which supports free file sharing for noncommercial use, many of which could be seen wearing bandannas and other pirate-attire. The party said it's membership shot up 20 percent to about 20,000 after the verdict was announced.
"The establishment and the politicians have delcared war against our whole generation," said Rickard Falkvinge, party Chairman and founder.
While unconfirmed, we hear that several court officials, fearful the protest might turn physical, made a clean getaway after someone distracted the crowd by shouting out, "Look behind you, a three-headed monkey!"
The pirate bay is taking on water at a frantic pace, and while an appeal in the trial is still likely, odds are pretty good that site may soon be brought down once and for all through a court injunction. Truth is though; the Pirate Bay brought this down on themselves. By picking up the torch that Napster and Kazaa dropped, they painted a huge bulls eye on their chest and blatantly taunted the movie and music industry by posting take down notices on the site, a sign of open defiance.
Though they may soon pay the price for these actions, it remains to be seen who the movie and music industry would consider to be “next on the list”. Tracker sites like Mininova, isoHunt, and Demonoid come to mind, but one searching tool rules them all, Google. Type any movie or TV show into Google followed by the word “torrent” and every tracking site, including many lesser known domains; spill their results for the world to see. In fact according to Google Trends, searches for the term “wolverine torrent” quadrupled after the movie was leaked onto peer-to-peer networks.
Google claims they are quick to remove offending content, but it’s a never ending battle. When one torrent link dies, dozens more take their place.
Can Google be held legally liable for this? It’s hard to say but with the Pirate Bay gone, we may soon find out! What do you think?
Breaking: The Swedish District court holding the infamous Pirate Bay trial issued a Guilty verdict early this morning, sentencing each of the four defendents involved to one year of jail time and split fines of 3.6 million dollars. The founders of the Pirate Bay were found guilty of assisting copyright infringement, even though half of the initial charges against them were dropped shortly after the trial began. The complete verdict can be found here (in Swedish). More news on the ramifications of this trial as it develops.
We have been keeping our eyes on a disturbing new trend within the movie and music industry over how to deal with online copyright disputes, and the news continues to worry privacy advocates. The idea of booting people off the internet without any recourse sounded harsh when we first read about it, but when it was an ocean away in Australia it didn’t raise as many eyebrows. The approach defiantly received more mainstream attention however when the RIAA began proposing similar actions in the US, and now the world is watching to see what the French do with a new proposed law called “Création et Internet”.
If passed into law, the legislation would deal very harshly with any form of file sharing, be it video or audio. Alleged offenders will first receive an e-mailed warning, followed by a registered letter, and lastly with a 3-12 month suspension of internet service. The law will also prevent users from switching ISP’s to avoid punishment, and even public hotspots will contain filters. Additionally, home users will be required to lock down home networks, and will be legally responsible for its security.
In return the French will start receiving DVD’s in a more timely fashion, and music DRM will be drastically scaled back. John Kennedy, CEO of the Global Music Trade Group trumpeted this arrangement as a fair trade off, while Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of a France based open internet alliance was less than impressed. “This is emblematic of how a government legislates with the same ignorance and archaism as the entertainment industries that promote the 'graduated response.' They are, like this law, doomed to fail."
Experts on both sides feel this bill has a good chance of passing into law, and if that happens, it’s only a matter of time before it starts to spread again.
The unreleased U2 album "No Line on the Horizon" was leaked onto Bit Torrent last week, and the resulting downloads have sent the RIAA into a frenzied fit. New rumors reported by TechCrunch have revealed that the recording industry might be looking to track down people who downloaded the album using Last.fm’s Scrobbler service. Scrobbler keeps track of songs playing on a user’s computer, regardless of the program used to do so. This information is then shared with Last.fm’s servers which broadcast’s playlists, along with recommending new tracks. According to unconfirmed sources within Last.FM, the RIAA contacted and obtained the logs of users who may have played the leaked U2 tracks. Apparently the logs also contain information that “can be used to identify individuals and will likely be shared with 3rd parties that have relationships with the RIAA.”
Given the fact that that no legal precedent would force Last.fm ito release a user’s personal information, should they be protecting its customers from the RIAA here? Let us know what you think after the jump.