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Everything posted by NelsonG

  1. 'Stranger Things' actress Millie Bobby Brown also is set to star in the film.read more View the full article
  2. Bad news today for you Hellboy fans out there. Despite fan desire for a third installment of Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy series, the writer-director took to Twitter to announce once and for all that there will never be a part three. Commence sadness. Hellboy 3 Sorry to report: Spoke w all parties. Must report that 100% the sequel will not happen. And that is to be the final thing about it — Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) February 21, 2017 Rarely do we see a filmmaker take a stand like this on a sequel because, well, this is Hollywood and you never say never when it comes to any sequel. Heck, in the past couple of years we've seen sequels to movies decades after the original, so clearly the door is always left open for more. But not so with... Read More View the full article
  3. Artist and photographer Rashid Johnson will make his feature directorial debut with the project based on Richard Wright's classic novel.read more View the full article
  4. One sign of a would-be classic album: Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” went gold last month — a decade after its release. Another indicator? The Americana singer and songwriter’s breakout long-player is being celebrated through a new tribute album that will feature expert interpreters including Dolly... View the full article
  5. Last year, adult entertainment publisher ALS Scan took things up a notch by dragging several third-party intermediaries to court. The company targeted CDN provider CloudFlare, advertising network JuicyAds, and several hosting providers, including Chicago-based Steadfast. Steadfast was not happy with the allegations and has recently asked the court to dismiss the case. Among other things, the company argued that it’s protected by the DMCA’s safe harbor provisions. “Steadfast does not operate or manage the Imagebam website. Steadfast does not in any way communicate with or interact with Imagebam’s individual users. Steadfast only provides computer storage,” the company wrote in its motion to dismiss. In a tentative ruling issued this week, the California District Court agrees that the allegations in the second amended complaint (SAC) are not sufficient to hold the hosting company liable. Merely hosting a pirate website is not enough to argue that the host contributes to the alleged copyright infringement on the image sharing site, Judge George Wu argues (pdf). “In short, the Court is unaware of any authority holding that merely alleging that a defendant provides some form of ‘hosting’ service to an infringing website is sufficient to establish contributory copyright infringement. “The Court would therefore find that the SAC fails to allege facts establishing that Steadfast materially contributed to the infringement,” Wu adds. Among other things, the Court notes that ALS Scan fails to allege that Steadfast provides its hosting services with the goal to promote copyright infringement, or that it directly encouraged Imagebam to show pirated content on its website. In addition, the vicarious liability allegation is insufficient too. This requires the copyright holder to show that the host has control over the infringing actions and that it financially benefits from them, which is not the case here. “Here, the SAC contains no allegations that Steadfast has a direct financial interest in the infringing activity or has the right and ability to stop the infringing conduct,” Judge Wu writes. As a result of the lacking evidence and allegations to support a secondary liability claim, the Court tentatively granted Steadfast’s motion to dismiss. The ruling does keep the door open for ALS Scan to file an improved complaint, but for now, the victory goes to the hosting provider. Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services. View the full article
  6. Check out Scott Feinberg's in-depth conversations with actors and actresses, directors and screenwriters, songwriters and a sound mixer — from A (as in Casey Affleck) to Z (or at least W, as in Denzel Washington).read more View the full article
  7. He'll topline the drama that will bow its first two hours in 1,000 Imax theaters over Labor Day weekend before later premiering on ABC with extended episodes.read more View the full article
  8. Vince Staples, “BagBak” (Def Jam). The smart, agile Long Beach rapper seems to float across the futuristic synth bars on his new track. Staples, who is only 23, has been on a thrilling run since his “Stolen Youth” mixtape in 2013. His confidence seems to be growing alongside his skills as a writer,... View the full article
  9. A decade after they used early social media platforms to break through alongside Kid Sister and Flosstradamus, the Chicago rap phenoms are back to claim what's theirs View the full article
  10. Chance the Rapper shared an extended sneak peek of a new collaboration with Future. View the full article
  11. 'Godfather' actor Carmine Caridi, the only AMPAS member to be expelled for sharing screeners, reflects on his Oscar infamy ("I was doing a guy a favor, and he screwed me") and a career that might have been.read more View the full article
  12. Along with "fake news" and "low-life leakers," the Academy Awards have been the target of some of Donald Trump's most withering tweets. The author of 'The Narcissism Epidemic' suspects that behind the bluster is a yearning to be taken seriously by Tinseltown.read more View the full article
  13. Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Reed Hastings openly challenge a president who may scrap net neutrality and curb globalist growth as Rupert Murdoch and more see opportunity in the chaos.read more View the full article
  14. THR's awards analyst Scott Feinberg predicts the winners while chief film critic Todd McCarthy offers his picks for who really deserves the Academy Award. View the full article
  15. Last week after almost three years of legal wrangling, Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Nordisk Film and the Swedish Film Industry finally achieved their dream of blocking a ‘pirate’ site After losing an October 2015 trial at the Stockholm District Court, the rightsholders went to appeal last September, a hearing that ran for several days at the brand new Patent and Market Court. Last Monday the court ruled that Bredbandsbolaget, the ISP at the center of the action, must block The Pirate Bay. For the rest of Europe, where blocking is becoming more and more commonplace, it was just another day at the office. Back in Sweden, however, the reaction was more animated. It appears that Internet service providers don’t like the idea of becoming copyright policemen and as a result, none voiced support for the decision. In other EU countries where blocking injunctions have been achieved, ISPs have often resigned themselves to the same fate and smoothed the process moving forward. The rightsholders are still holding on to the idea that might be a possibility in Sweden, as spokesman Per Strömbäck told IDG this morning. “We believe that the legal situation is now clear and that ISPs should act in loyalty with Bredbandsbolaget and apply the same rules,” Strömbäck said. “We believe and hope that we will get to a solution as we have in Norway, Denmark and the UK, where telecom operators cooperate and all block the pirate sites.” But the signs are not good. Last week ISP Bahnhof absolutely slammed the decision to block The Pirate Bay, describing the effort as signaling the “death throes” of the copyright industry. It even hinted that it may offer some kind of technical solution to customers who are prevented from accessing the site. For those familiar with Bahnhof’s stance over the years, this response didn’t come as a surprise. The ISP is traditionally pro-freedom and has gone out of its way to make life difficult for copyright enforcers of all kinds. However, as one of the leading telecoms companies in Sweden and neighboring Norway, ISP Telia is more moderate. Nevertheless, it too says it has no intention of blocking The Pirate Bay, unless it is forced to do so by law. “No, we will not block if we are not forced to do so by a court,” a company press officer said this morning. Telia says that the decision last week from the Patent and Market Court affects only Bredbandsbolaget, indicating that a fresh legal process will be required to get it to respond. That eventuality appears to be understood by the rightsholders but they’re keeping their options open. “It depends on how [the ISPs] choose to act,” Strömbäck told IDG. “One can have lot of hypothetical scenarios in which some follow, but others do not. Or where some protest loudly and generate debate.” Thus far, no ISPs have publicly indicated they’re a “follower”. Telia will not be “following”, while one can safely put Bahnhof into the “protest loudly” category. There are plenty of others, however, so it will take more time to see how this plays out. Interestingly, way back in 2008 after the IFPI forced Danish ISP ‘Tele2’ to block access to The Pirate Bay, Telia received a letter warning that legal measures would follow if it didn’t follow suit. The ISP refused, noting that blocking would be illegal in Sweden. While subsequent decisions from the EU and indeed Sweden’s courts have now indicated otherwise, it’s been nine long years since that initial threat to the ISP. But in all that time Telia hasn’t changed its position. Almost a decade ago it advised copyright holders to move away from the idea of blocking and concentrate on providing better legal alternatives instead. Entertainment companies have indeed made significant progress on that front, but today Telia is standing by its long-standing advice, that blocking will not provide the solution. Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services. View the full article
  16. Brad Grey's exit comes amid a $450 million loss, a tug-of-war with Viacom's CFO and a plan to impose a "steering committee" to greenlight movies, which may hurt the effort to recruit his replacement.read more View the full article
  17. Research into online piracy comes in all shapes and sizes, with equally mixed results. Often the main question is whether piracy hurts legitimate revenue streams. In recent years we have seen a plethora of studies and most are focused on the effects on movies, TV-shows and music revenues. But what about comic books? Manga in particular has traditionally been very popular on file-sharing networks and sites. These are dozens of large sites dedicated to the comics, which are downloaded in their millions. According to the anti-piracy group CODA, which represents Japanese comic publishers, piracy losses overseas are estimated to be double the size of overseas legal revenue. With this in mind, Professor Tatsuo Tanaka of the Faculty of Economics at Keio University decided to look more closely at how piracy interacts with legal sales. In a natural experiment, he examined how the availability of pirated comic books affected revenue. The research uses a massive takedown campaign conducted by CODA in 2015, which directly impacted the availability of many pirated comics on various download sites, to see how this affected sales of 3,360 comic book volumes. Interestingly, the results show that decreased availability of pirated comics doesn’t always help sales. In fact, for comics that no longer release new volumes, the effect is reversed. “Piracy decreases sales of ongoing comics, but it increases sales of completed comics,” Professor Tanaka writes. “To put this another way, displacement effect is dominant for ongoing comics, and advertisement effect is dominant for completed comics,” he adds. For these finished comic seasons, the promotional element weighs heavier. According to the Professor, this suggests that piracy can effectively be seen as a form of advertising. “Since completed comics series have already ended, and publishers no longer do any promotion for them, consumers almost forget completed comics. We can interpret that piracy reminds consumers of past comics and stimulates sales.” The question that remains is whether the overall effect on the industry is positive or negative. The current study provided no answer to this effect, as it’s unknown how big the sales share is for ongoing versus completed comics, but future research could look into this. Professor Tanaka stresses that there is an important policy implication of his findings. Since piracy doesn’t affect all sales the same (it’s heterogeneous), anti-piracy strategies may have to be adapted. “If the effect of piracy is heterogeneous, it is not the best solution to shut down the piracy sites but to delete harmful piracy files selectively if possible,” Professor Tanaka adds “In this case, deleting piracy files of ongoing comics only is the first best strategy for publishers regardless of whether the total effect is positive or negative, because the availability of piracy files of completed comics is beneficial to both publishers and consumers,” he adds. The research shows once again that piracy is a complex phenomenon that can have a positive or negative impact depending on the context. This isn’t limited to comics of course, as previous studies have shown similar effects in the movie and music industries. — The full paper titled The Effects of Internet Book Piracy: The Case of Japanese Comics is available here (pdf). Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services. View the full article
  18. A former Nickelodeon exec writes about the "enormous" financial impact of Latinos as the group still lacks representation on the big screen, "leaving hundreds of millions in future revenue on the table."read more View the full article
  19. Following an extradition hearing lasting 10 weeks back in 2015, a New Zealand District Court judge ruled that Kim Dotcom and his former Megaupload colleagues could be extradited to the United States to face criminal charges. Dotcom immediately announced an appeal to the High Court, which took place over four weeks last September. Justice Murray Gilbert handed down his decision today, one that’s both thought-provoking and controversial. At the very center of the US Government’s case against Dotcom and former colleagues Mathias Ortmann, Finn Batato and Bram van der Kolk, is the notion that the quartet engaged in criminal copyright infringement. Indeed, it was stated on numerous occasions that their case is the biggest copyright infringement case of all time. However, in his 363-page ruling (pdf), Justice Gilbert found that there is no equivalent copyright crime in New Zealand that would allow Dotcom and his co-defendants to be transferred to the United States under the extradition treaty. “One of the central issues in the case is whether copyright infringement by digital online communication of copyright protected works to members of the public is a criminal offense in New Zealand under the Copyright Act,” an announcement from the Court reads. “The High Court has held that it is not, contrary to the conclusion reached in the District Court. The appellants have therefore succeeded with one of the main planks of their case.” While this might initially sound like the best possible news for Dotcom and his colleagues (and it may yet prove useful), that’s not the full picture. The US Government wants to extradite the quartet to face trial on a total 13 counts, which include allegations of conspiracy to commit racketeering as well as money laundering and wire fraud. So, while the copyright infringement charges have now been ruled out as grounds for extradition, the other charges remain. In today’s ruling, the High Court found that while the District Court’s decision of December 2015 was flawed in detail, its conclusion that the extradition of Dotcom and his colleagues can go ahead still stands, “because there are available pathways for extradition” on each count. “[T]he High Court has confirmed that Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk, Kim Dotcom, Finn Batato (the appellants) are eligible for extradition under section 24 of the Extradition Act 1999,” the Court’s summary reads. According to Justice Gilbert, the core of the case deals with a conspiracy to defraud – an extraditable offense – but in comments this morning, Dotcom said that even that shouldn’t be applicable. “I’m no longer getting extradited for Copyright. We won on that. I’m now getting extradited for a law that doesn’t even apply,” he wrote. “The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that copyright charges can’t be fraud charges. Let’s just ignore that minor detail over here in New Zealand.” In a statement, Dotcom’s barrister Ron Mansfield said that having won the copyright infringement argument, it is “extremely disappointing” to have a negative outcome overall, but all is not lost. Supporting Dotcom in his assertion that the US Supreme Court has ruled that copyright infringement is not fraud, he explained that the situation in New Zealand doesn’t support it either. “The High Court has accepted that Parliament made a clear and deliberate decision not to criminalize this type of alleged conduct by internet service providers, making them not responsible for the acts of their users,” he said. “For the Court to then permit the same conduct to be categorized as a type of fraud in our view disrupts Parliament’s clear intent. The High Court decision means that Parliament’s intended protection for internet service providers is now illusory. That will be a concern for internet service providers and impact on everyone’s access to the internet.” It will be of little surprise to learn that despite this ruling, the battle isn’t over yet. Mansfield confirms that this “politically charged and misunderstood case” will now head off to the Court of Appeal. “We remain confident that this last point, which would prevent extradition in this complex and unprecedented legal case, will be resolved in Kim’s favor in a manner consistent with Parliament’s intent, international law and, importantly one might think, the United States’ own law,” he concludes. So what next for this epic case? In the short term, it’s expected that both sides will challenge aspects of Justice Gilbert’s ruling at the Court of Appeal. Depending on the outcome there, the case could conceivably move to the Supreme Court and from there into the hands of the Minister of Justice. All of that could take another two years – or more. Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services. View the full article
  20. Following a Digital Economy Bill committee two weeks ago, we first learned that copyright holders and search engines were close to finalizing a voluntary anti-piracy code. Following roundtable discussions chaired by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office, the parties worked hard to reach a deal that everyone could live with. These kinds of discussions are not new. Similar talks have been ongoing for more than half a decade, but without success. However, this time the Government turned up the pressure to the maximum, threatening to force search engines into cooperation by law if consensus could not be reached. This approach appears to have reached its goals, with the world’s first anti-piracy agreement between search engines and rightsholders being officially announced today. The deal is a partnership between Google, Microsoft’s Bing, and several organizations in the creative industry. Under this new anti-piracy code, search engines will further optimize their algorithms and processes to demote pirated content in their search results. The aim is to make infringing content less visible and at a faster rate. At the same time, legal alternatives should be easier to find. “This should start to trigger faster and more effective demotion – and delisting. That should also mean that legal content sources are better promoted and artists and creators better rewarded,” Eddy Leviten, Director General of the Alliance for Intellectual Property informs TorrentFreak. The changes should take effect by June 1st and are targeted at the UK public. This means that search results may not be impacted to the same degree elsewhere. The parties have also agreed to cooperate more closely and share data to optimize future anti-piracy strategies. This includes efforts to make sure that pirate search terms do not show up in autocomplete suggestions. “Autocomplete is an area where it has been agreed we need to work – and it will need cooperation to look at what terms are delivering consumers to pirate content,” Leviten clarifies. The news was made public by several creative industry players, but it’s expected the UK Government, which played an important role in facilitating the talks, will follow with an announcement later today. The rightsholder groups are happy that an agreement was finally reached and hope that it will help to steer search engine users toward legal alternatives. “Pirate websites are currently much too easy to find via search, so we appreciate the parties’ willingness to try to improve that situation,” says Stan McCoy, President & Managing Director of the Motion Picture Association EMEA. While the agreement is a milestone, it’s also clearly a compromise. The measures announced today are not substantially new. Google, for one, has been demoting pirate sites in search results for several years already and it previously banned various pirate terms from autocomplete. Under the anti-piracy code, these measures will be intensified. More far-reaching demands from rightsholders, such as removing pirate sites from search results entirely or a takedown-staydown policy, are not part of the deal. Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of UK music group BPI, recognizes that the new partnership isn’t going to stop piracy entirely but hopes that it will help to improve the current situation. “There is much work still to do to achieve this. The Code will not be a silver bullet fix, but it will mean that illegal sites are demoted more quickly from search results and that fans searching for music are more likely to find a fair site. “We look forward to working with Google, Microsoft and our partners across the creative industries to build a safer, better online environment for creators and fans.” TorrentFreak also reached out to Google to hear their vision on the landmark agreement, but at the time of publication, the company hadn’t replied. Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services. View the full article
  21. This week we have three newcomers in our chart. Doctor Strange, which was released as Blu-Ray rip a few days ago, is the most downloaded movie. The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are Web-DL/Webrip/HDRip/BDrip/DVDrip unless stated otherwise. RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart. This week’s most downloaded movies are: Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer Most downloaded movies via torrents 1 (3) Doctor Strange 8.0 / trailer 2 (…) Moana 7.8 / trailer 3 (1) Arrival 8.3 / trailer 4 (2) Hacksaw Ridge 8.5 / trailer 5 (…) Assassin’s Creed (Subbed HDRip) 6.3 / trailer 6 (4) Passengers (Subbed HDrip) 7.1 / trailer 7 (…) Allied 7.1 / trailer 8 (6) La La Land (DVDscr) 8.8 / trailer 9 (10) Lion (DVDscr) 8.0 / trailer 10 (5) Jack Reacher: Never Go Back 6.3 / trailer Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services. View the full article
  22. Soulquarius had the type of buzz inaugural festivals could only hope for. The stacked lineup was an ambitious tracing of the last quarter century of R&B, and the daylong Saturday festival at the Observatory grounds in Santa Ana had long been sold out. New jack swing and R&B representing the... View the full article
  23. After a reign of roughly a decade, basic old-fashioned BitTorrent clients have lost most of their appeal today. While they’re still one of the quickest tools to transfer data over the Internet, the software became somewhat outdated with the rise of video streaming sites and services. But what if you can have the best of both worlds without having to install any separate applications? This is where the Brave web browser comes in. First launched early last year, the new browser is designed for privacy conscious people who want to browse the web securely without any unnecessary clutter. On top of that, it also supports torrent downloads out of the box, and even instant torrent streaming. To find out more, we reached out to lead developer Brian Bondy, who co-founded the project with his colleague Brendan Eich. “Brave is a new, open source browser designed for both speed and security. It has a built-in adblocker that’s on by default to provide an ad-free and seamless browsing experience,” Bondy tells us. Bondy says that Brave significantly improves browsing speeds while shielding users again malicious ads. It also offers a wide range of privacy and security features such as HTTPS Everywhere, script blocking, and third-party cookie blocking. What caught our eye, however, was the built-in support for BitTorrent transfers that came out a short while ago. Powered by the novel WebTorrent technology, Brave can download torrents, through magnet links, directly from the browser. While torrent downloading in a browser isn’t completely new (Opera has a similar feature, for example) Brave also supports torrent streaming. This means that users can view videos instantly as they would do on a streaming site. “WebTorrent support lets Brave users stream torrents from their favorite sites right from the browser. There’s no need to use a separate program. This makes using torrents a breeze for beginners, a group that has sometimes found the technology a challenge to work with,” Bondy says. Brave downloading The image above shows the basic download page where users can also click on any video file to start streaming instantly. We tested the feature on a variety of magnet links, and it works very well. On the implementation side, Brave received support from WebTorrent founder Feross Aboukhadijeh, who continues to lend a hand. Right now it is compatible with all traditional torrent clients and support for web peers will be added later. “WebTorrent in Brave is compatible with all torrent apps. It uses TCP connections, the oldest and most widely supported way for BitTorrent clients to connect. We’re working on adding WebRTC support so that Brave users can connect to ‘web peers’,” Bondy says. While the downloading and streaming process works well, there is also room for improvement. The user interface is fairly limited, for example, and basic features such as canceling or pausing a torrent are not available yet. “Currently, we treat magnet links just like any other piece of web content, like a PDF file. To cancel a download, just close the tab,” Bondy notes. What people should keep in mind though, considering Brave’s focus on privacy, is that torrent transfers are far from anonymous. Without a VPN or other anonymizer, third party tracking outfits are bound to track the downloads or streams. In addition to torrent streaming, the browser also comes with a Bitcoin-based micropayments system called Brave Payments. This enables users to automatically and privately pay their favorite websites, without being tracked. Those who are interested in giving the browser a spin can head over to the official website. Brave is currently available a variety of platforms including Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, and iOS. Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services. View the full article
  24. Clyde Stubblefield, a drummer for James Brown who created one of the most widely sampled drum breaks ever, died Saturday. He was 73. His wife, Jody Hannon, told the Associated Press that Stubblefield died of kidney failure about noon at a Madison, Wis., hospital . He had been suffering from kidney... View the full article
  25. T Bone Burnett has produced pretty much any artist you’d want to listen to and even had a prolific solo career in his own right. But it’s rare to get original songs from him these days. Which is why his new project is so intriguing. Well, that and the fact that it’s a spoken-word concept album... View the full article
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