Extortion Hacking On the Rise, But Does Not Always Pay Off

Cyberattacks are on the rise, with major corporations, media companies, the healthcare industry and even the federal government becoming targets of hacking. Recent incidents involved media content as hackers threatened early releases of movies and streaming series if the property owners failed to pay ransoms. Hackers called the Shadow Brokers told the NSA they would release secret espionage tools unless the agency pays up. Security experts suggest that this type of extortion has had mixed results thus far. Continue reading Extortion Hacking On the Rise, But Does Not Always Pay Off

HBO Sends Warnings to Torrent Users Sharing ‘Game of Thrones’

The first four episodes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” fifth season were leaked online before the season’s premiere. Reportedly leaked from a review screener, the episodes have since been downloaded from public torrent sites millions of times. In response, HBO has distributed thousands of warnings to those Internet subscribers whose connections were determined to share leaked episodes. There are no legal ramifications for the subscribers, but HBO hopes that the warnings will prevent some of them from downloading future episodes. Continue reading HBO Sends Warnings to Torrent Users Sharing ‘Game of Thrones’

Fans Used Periscope to Live Stream ‘Game of Thrones’ Illegally

“Game of Thrones” fans have found a new way to pirate HBO’s hit show: live streaming through Twitter’s Periscope app. The Australian site Mumbrella reported that several Periscope users were broadcasting the “Game of Thrones” Season 5 premiere, and HBO issued take-down notices. Periscope, which has an entire team dedicated to reviewing material, issued a statement saying it explicitly prohibits piracy and it can remove content and shut down user accounts. Continue reading Fans Used Periscope to Live Stream ‘Game of Thrones’ Illegally

Maelstrom: BitTorrent’s New Browser Built on P2P Architecture

BitTorrent’s peer-to-peer Web browser endeavor, Maelstrom, is now in beta. Since its limited alpha release back in December of last year, the browser has reportedly seen as many as 3,500 publishers and more than 10,000 developers sign up to work on its platform. The beta release will make the browser available to more people and help gauge interest in a torrent-based service built on a decentralized, P2P architecture. For now, the beta version of Maelstrom is only available for Windows users. Continue reading Maelstrom: BitTorrent’s New Browser Built on P2P Architecture

Pirates and the Wealthy Watching Theatrical Releases at Home

“Furious 7,” the latest installment in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, broke box office records last weekend, and that’s not even counting the people who watched the movie at home. From Thursday to Monday, the film had been illegally downloaded 2.59 million times on torrent networks. Meanwhile, fans could legally stream the movie on PRIMA, a streaming set-top box. For the luxury of streaming movies opening weekend, PRIMA users would have to shell out $500 for the 24-hour rental. Continue reading Pirates and the Wealthy Watching Theatrical Releases at Home

Popcorn Time Accounts for One-Ninth of U.S. Torrent Traffic

In less than a year, Popcorn Time has become one of the most popular services to torrent pirated media content online. The slick grid interface looks similar to that of Netflix or Hulu, making the service look more legitimate and easier to navigate to find a TV show or movie. The program is actually an index of other BitTorrent sites. Popcorn Time’s popularity has been growing in the U.S. and abroad, especially in countries where streaming services are less established. Continue reading Popcorn Time Accounts for One-Ninth of U.S. Torrent Traffic

The Pirate Bay Returns After Being Shut Down by Authorities

Popular file-sharing site The Pirate Bay is back online following a two-month outage after police in Stockholm raided a data center and seized servers. Responding to complaints from Swedish anti-piracy group Rights Alliance, authorities shut down numerous peer-to-peer and torrent-related services on December 9. Later that month, The Pirate Bay page returned, went through several iterations, and eventually replaced its pirate ship with a phoenix logo. A countdown clock indicated a February 1 return, and the site now appears to be live. Continue reading The Pirate Bay Returns After Being Shut Down by Authorities

BitTorrent Starts Testing New Maelstrom Torrent Web Browser

BitTorrent, known for its peer-to-peer file sharing service, has unveiled a new Web browser, Maelstrom, that could take Web content from centralized servers to a network of shared torrents. A browser that utilizes a peer-to-peer network makes downloading large files faster and keeps files off a cloud that could be surveyed by the government or hacked by cyber criminals. Maelstrom could also supplement existing browsers to take the load off of other networks. Continue reading BitTorrent Starts Testing New Maelstrom Torrent Web Browser

Musician Releases Album via BitTorrent Bundle with Pay Gate

Thom Yorke, the lead singer of the rock band Radiohead, recently partnered with file-sharing company BitTorrent to release his new solo album directly to fans. Yorke’s album, “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes” is the first record to be released as part of a BitTorrent Bundle with a pay gate, a feature that BitTorrent is testing as it tries to shed its reputation for pirated content. So far, the gamble for BitTorrent and Yorke has proved successful with 400,000 downloads in the first three days. Continue reading Musician Releases Album via BitTorrent Bundle with Pay Gate

Good Old Games Now Offers Movies via DRM-Free Platform

Steam competitor Good Old Games is introducing movies to its DRM-free digital distribution platform. Users can stream or download from the company’s collection of game- and tech-related documentaries. Good Old Games expects to add more movies on a weekly basis. The company believes that the reason many people pirate content is because it is the most user-friendly way to access video. By introducing movies on a DRM-free platform, the company hopes to increase availability and ease of use. Continue reading Good Old Games Now Offers Movies via DRM-Free Platform

File Sharing Not in Decline, U.S. Consumers Lead the Charge

Despite those who claim a drop in P2P activity, legal pressure and growing popularity of paid services have not led to a decline in file sharing. According to Tru Optik, 300 million users swap files via BitTorrent each month. Tru Optik estimates that more movies and TV shows are downloaded by file sharers than are sold via iTunes, Google Play and Amazon combined. The U.S. accounts for more downloaded media and software than any other country, with the exception of video game downloads in Brazil.

Continue reading File Sharing Not in Decline, U.S. Consumers Lead the Charge

Should Hollywood Be Worried About Popcorn Time for Android?

Popcorn Time and its pirating tools have gone mobile with a new Android app. Time4Popcorn’s Popcorn Time app is available on the developer’s website. According to TechCrunch, it is similar to the original desktop program in design, provides the same access to pirated movies and TV shows, and streams torrents. The app comes from the Time4Popcorn development group, which promises a Windows XP version soon. A number of developers have been launching spin-offs of the original and now-defunct Popcorn Time. Continue reading Should Hollywood Be Worried About Popcorn Time for Android?

BitTorrent Live Plans to Go Mobile with Video Streaming App

BitTorrent Live was launched for the desktop in beta last year, offering a free peer-to-peer solution for broadcasting and streaming live video, as opposed to using a single company’s servers to record video and share with viewers. Now BitTorrent says users will be able to stream live video via smartphones with a mobile app it plans to launch later this year. However, the company has yet to reveal specific platforms or whether it will allow for broadcasting, merely viewing, or both. Continue reading BitTorrent Live Plans to Go Mobile with Video Streaming App

Music: Prince Sues Facebook Users for Copyright Infringement

Known for filing copyright infringement lawsuits, musician Prince has targeted 22 individuals for posting links of his live concerts and posting them on Facebook and blogs, and filed a lawsuit for $22 million in damages. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California. Only two of the defendants are referenced by their real names in the lawsuit, and the others are referenced by their online usernames.  Continue reading Music: Prince Sues Facebook Users for Copyright Infringement

Notorious Markets List: MPAA Points Out Global Piracy Sites

Following last month’s report by major Hollywood studios stating that 82 percent of infringing URLS that point to pirate sites and torrent files come from Google’s search engine, the Motion Picture Association of America has released a list of major worldwide torrenting sites, cyberblockers, and brick-and-mortar marketplaces. The MPAA is not creating this list to facilitate piracy, but rather to raise awareness in an effort to combat it. Continue reading Notorious Markets List: MPAA Points Out Global Piracy Sites

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