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Everything posted by NelsonG

  1. When the 2017 Grammy Award nominations were unveiled in December, a lot of fans had one question after perusing the names in the album-of-the-year field: Beyoncé, Adele, Drake, Justin Bieber and Sturgill Simpson. Sturgill who? The nod to the latest work from the Kentucky-born singer and songwriter... View the full article
  2. A new documentary based on music mogul Clive Davis’ bestselling 2013 autobiography, “The Soundtrack of My Life,” will open the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on April 19, accompanied by a concert with several of the stars Davis discovered or helped usher to new career heights. Aretha Franklin,... View the full article
  3. A new documentary based on music mogul Clive Davis’ bestselling 2013 autobiography, “The Soundtrack of Our Lives,” will open the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on April 19, accompanied by a concert with several of the stars Davis discovered or helped usher to new career heights. Aretha Franklin,... View the full article
  4. This week KickassTorrents’ alleged owner Artem Vaulin asked the Illinois District Court to dismiss the criminal indictment and set him free. The fundamental flaw of the case, according to defense lawyer Ira Rothken, is that torrent files themselves are not copyrighted content. In addition, he argued that the secondary copyright infringement claims would fail as these are non-existent under criminal law. District Court Judge John Lee previously questioned the evidence in the case and according to Rothken, it is certainly not enough to keep his client behind bars. This is also what he told the court during the hearing this week, stressing that torrents themselves are not copyrighted. “We believe that the indictment against Artem Vaulin in the KAT torrent files case is defective and should be dismissed. Torrent files are not content files. The reproduction and distribution of torrent files are not a crime,” Rothken tells TF. “If a third party uses torrent files to infringe it is after they leave the KAT site behind and such conduct is too random, inconsistent, and attenuated to impose criminal liability on Mr. Vaulin. The government cannot use the civil judge-made law in Grokster as a theory in a criminal case.” Furthermore, Rothken argued that the US indictment is flawed because it fails to allege an actual criminal copyright infringement anywhere in the world, the United States included. The defense likened KickassTorrents to general search engines such as Google instead. On the other side of the aisle stood US Department of Justice prosecutor Devlin Su. He urged the court to wait for the extradition hearing in Poland before ruling on the request, noting that Vaulin should come to the US voluntarily if he wanted to speed things up. According to the prosecution, KickassTorrents operated as a piracy flea market, with an advertising revenue of about $12.5 million to $22.3 million. Comparing it with Google is nonsense, Su argued. “Google is not dedicated to uploading and distributing copyrighted works,” Law360 quotes the prosecutor. It is now up to the Illinois District Court to decide how to move forward. The defense is hoping for an outright dismissal, while the U.S. wants to move forward. Meanwhile, over in Poland, Vaulin remains in custody after he was denied bail. Facing severe health issues, the Ukrainian was transferred from Polish prison to a local hospital a few weeks ago, where he remains under heavy guard. Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services. View the full article
  5. When Maren Morris started writing songs for her major-label debut, “Hero,” the 26-year-old country singer “knew where my musical compass pointed,” as she put it recently. A self-described “’90s baby,” Morris grew up in Texas listening to Johnny Cash, Chaka Khan and the Spice Girls, and she wanted... View the full article
  6. The Tribeca Film Festival will open this year with a documentary and concert to celebrate Clive Davis, the legendary music executive who signed stars from Janis Joplin to Whitney Houston. The screening at Radio City Music Hall will be followed by a concert by artists signed by Davis including Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson and Earth, Wind & Fire, the festival announced Thursday. View the full article
  7. Chance the Rapper will storm the 59th annual Grammy Awards with blessings and good vibes. View the full article
  8. Nigerian police said Thursday they would not allow an anti-government protest planned in the commercial hub Lagos by music star 2Face. The popular Afro-Pop artist, whose real name is Innocent Idibia, called on Nigerians earlier this week to march on February 6 in protest of the government's handling of the country's economic crisis. "Information reaching us revealed that some hoodlums are planning to hijack the peaceful protest. View the full article
  9. Chance the Rapper, Sturgill Simpson and Little Big Town are among the latest additions to the lineup of performers slated for this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony on Feb. 12, along with veteran R&B singer William Bell and blues-rock guitarist and singer Gary Clark Jr. They’ll join previously announced... View the full article
  10. ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — The last-minute cancellation of a well-known music festival in Timbuktu that had drawn thousands of foreigners marks a missed opportunity to bring hope to a former tourist hub struggling to recover after years of extremist threats, organizers said. View the full article
  11. “Do you want to get mean?” So goes the new song from the long-running Mavericks, a band whose rootsy mix of styles often has been more a cause for celebration than social commentary. The track, “Easy as It Seems,” is from the act’s forthcoming “Brand New Day” album, due March 31, which will be... View the full article
  12. Plus, get reviews of the latest offerings from Train, Ty Segall and more. View the full article
  13. In July 2011, the Czech division of the Pirate Party reacted angrily when a local anti-piracy outfit targeted a 16-year-old who they accused of posting links to infringing content. Under the slogan “Linking is not a Crime” the party launched Tipnafilm.cz, its own pirate movie download site, quickly followed by another indexing 5,800 titles. “We challenge the Anti-Piracy Union to stop bullying the under-aged and to aim its preposterous claims at the Pirate Party,” the pirates said at the time. In a declaration of “open war,” the Czech Pirates went on to launch TV-focused site Sledujuserialy.cz (I Watch TV Series). That provoked a response from the Anti-Piracy Union, and in January 2016 the party became the subject of a criminal prosecution, which they welcomed with open arms. Sledujuserialy.cz – I Watch TV Series “Our goal is to change the copyright monopoly law so that people are not fined millions for sharing culture with their friends. However, until we achieve that, we will fight in courts over interpretation and enforcement of the law,” the party said. But now, a year later, the action against the party has fizzled out. Despite offering 1,205 videos without permission from copyright holders and standing accused of causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses, the Prague District Court has stopped the prosecution in its tracks. After consulting EU case law, particularly the landmark GS Media ruling in the Netherlands, it was found that since the Pirates ran their site without generating revenue, they weren’t in violation of the law. “The sledujuserialy.cz website was non-commercial. Therefore the owner of the website does not have the obligation to check the ‘legality of hyperlinks’ on his website, i.e. we did not have to check whether the content was online legally,” party spokesman Mikulas Ferjencik informs TorrentFreak. “Unfortunately, if our website was commercial we would have to check it. The good thing about the current decision is that it specifies ‘non-commercial’ pretty broadly, i.e. no financial profit for us.” While the absence of revenue played its part, the problems for the Pirates’ adversaries did not stop there. Although the Czech Anti-Piracy Union (CPU) complained to the Pirate Party about links to copyrighted content present on their site, it failed to provide evidence that it was authorized to act on behalf of copyright holders whose content was allegedly being infringed. “The court stated that a random letter from anyone is not good enough to make us obliged to take down the links even if it is from the CPU, which is notorious for enforcing harsher copyright law,” Ferjencik says. “However, they provided this evidence to the court in the criminal procedure. This means we cannot put the website back online so easily, as we would have to remove hyperlinks to illegal sources first, as we now officially know these are illegal sources.” Under same GS Media EU ruling, knowingly linking to infringing content, even without commercial interests, is illegal. Commenting on this week’s ruling, party vice-president Jakub Michálek says that the value of hyperlinks shouldn’t be understated and anti-piracy outfits shouldn’t overreach. “If we want a working digital economy, where also the artists make money, we cannot turn sharing of a hyperlink on a video a crime. This ruling is important for legal certainty of all Internet users as it states that you do not infringe copyright by linking unless you know that the content was uploaded illegally,” Michálek said. “The court also confirmed that the Czech Anti-Piracy Union cannot act as the Internet Police and they cannot ask other actors to take down content, without providing evidence that they act on behalf of the copyright owners.” Party chairman Ivan Bartos says that the criminal prosecution is proof that rightsholders are clinging to their old business models, which appear to be doing rather well, despite piracy. “We view the whole case as a fight between a modern and backward understanding of the world and digital reality. The criminal prosecution is proof that the old structures do not want to innovate. Instead, they rely on their old business models, which do not have much to do with reality,” Bartos says. “Last year, 13 million people went to the Cinema in the Czech Republic, it is the highest number in the last five years. If this is the result of piracy – and I believe it is – the filmmakers should thank us instead of suing us.” The decision of the Prague court (pdf) is not yet final and the public prosecutor could still file an appeal. Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services. View the full article
  14. D.R.A.M. put a classical spin on "Broccoli" while visiting NPR's Tiny Desk concert series. View the full article
  15. A weekly roundup of must-hear music recommended by Times staffers. This week’s picks include the solo debut from Sampha, a familiar face to fans of Drake and Solange, among others, as well as the return of veteran SoCal punks TSOL. Sampha, “Process” (Young Turks) This young British singer has established... View the full article
  16. Willie Nelson is showing no signs of slowing down as his 84th birthday approaches in April. He will release his latest studio collection, “God’s Problem Child,” on April 28, one day before he blows out the candles on his next birthday cake. It’s his first album of newly written songs since 2014’s... View the full article
  17. Drew Barrymore's new show premieres on Netflix. View the full article
  18. Nicki Minaj makes the Young Money reunion official with Drake and Lil Wayne in new pictures View the full article
  19. An often heard excuse from pirates is that they can’t find the content they’re looking for in their home country, at least not for a decent price. The movie industry has repeatedly attacked what they see as a myth, pointing out that movies and TV-shows are more widely available than ever before. In addition, they are putting action behind their words. In the US, Hollywood’s MPAA launched the movie and TV search engine WhereToWatch, to help people finding legal content. An interesting service, but also hard to find in search engines, especially when it first launched. Yesterday, several major players in the Dutch film industry came out with a similar initiative. They’ve apparently learned from the mistakes others made, as the legal Film.nl search engine was built with pirates in mind. Like other “legal” search engines, the site returns a number of options where people can watch the movies or TV-shows they search for. However, those who scroll down long enough will notice that each page has a targeted message for pirates as well. The descriptions come in a few variations but all mention prominent keywords such as “torrents” and reference “illegal downloading” and unauthorized streaming. The original descriptions (in Dutch) This includes the following (translated) message for torrent users, which appears under the heading “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story torrent” “Don’t Wrestle With Nasty Torrents. Ignore the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story torrent. Just go for the safe, fast and legal alternative. Film.nl gives you access to all providers of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Very easy. And then you can make your own choice.” Another description targets unauthorized downloading in general. “Do you feel like watching Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Don’t download it illegally then. There really are other ways to watch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” it reads. And finally, those who are interested in streaming the movie, are inaccurately informed that a legal “Rogue One” stream is available. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is also available for streaming, but make sure to use the offerings of real providers. They provide good streams so you Rogue One: A Star Wars Story can enjoy it legally, without any worries,” it reads, adding that nothing in life comes free. There are of course no legal streams for the movie yet, but that’s the downside of these automated descriptions. The upside is that it will bring in quite a bit of traffic to the site. While the piracy related messaging is unusual, it’s actually quite clever. Since a lot of people are searching for “torrent,” “streaming” and “download” related terms combined with movie and TV-show titles, it helps to keep search traffic away from pirate sites. In other words, it’s a smart search engine optimization trick, helping it to directly compete with pirate sites on this front. The big question is whether people who search for “Movie X torrent” will be satisfied with the results Film.nl offers. That said, from a movie industry perspective, it definitely beats doing nothing at all. Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services. View the full article
  20. The Grateful Dead and punk rock have largely occupied distant corners of the pop music universe, but the Bay Area jam band’s celebrated motto — “What a long, strange trip it’s been” — also describes perfectly the storied history of veteran Southern California punk group TSOL. The Times is premiering... View the full article
  21. The definitive backstory of a series that began as "the worst pitch you've ever read" (see it yourself!) as the seminal comedy starts its final season and all the major players spill on the (very NSFW) sex scenes, those racism charges and what the "voice of her generation" does next.read more View the full article
  22. Anti-piracy operations come in all shapes and sizes but it’s movies, music and TV shows that grab the majority of the headlines. Games, software, and eBooks trail closely behind, but it’s rare that other types of digital print see enforcement action. Italy, one of the most aggressive countries when it comes to sweeping anti-piracy actions, has just changed all that with one of the largest enforcement operations ever seen in the publishing niche. Following an investigation carried by rightsholders and the Public Prosecutor of Rome, a total of 50 domains involved in the unlawful distribution of news and magazine content have been seized by the country’s Special Unit for Broadcasting and Publishing. According to an announcement by the authorities, all of the sites have now gone dark after offering “vast quantities” of material originally published by major newspapers and periodicals including Cosmopolitan, Fashion Magazine, and Vanity Fair. The operation, dubbed “Odyssey 2”, was carried out under the directives of the Special Command Units of the Guardia di Finanza, a militarized police force under the authority of the Minister of Economy and Finance. Fulvio Sarzana, a lawyer with the Sarzana and Partners who specializes in Internet and copyright disputes, says that the sites were probably under the control of separate entities. “The variety of sites and the diversity of hosting and domain registrations leads me to think that these are different cases,” Sarzana informs TorrentFreak. “The methods vary but generally the digital kiosks work this way; someone buys the paper or digital versions of newspapers through a duly registered account and then makes them available on the website.” Until now, Italy has employed the same “follow-the-money” approach used by authorities in other jurisdictions, whereby site owners are identified via payments made by advertisers and similar business partners. Now, however, it claims to have developed a ‘new’ “follow-the-hosting” approach, which allows it to identify site operators, even when they use Cloudflare to hide the location of their servers. While details on the techniques used by the authorities are thin, uncloaking server locations in this way is nothing new and can be achieved when Cloudflare is ordered to do so by a competent court. The sites in question, which were not named by the authorities, are said to have served millions of users with pirated content. This, to a background of national media groups losing a third of their turnover over the past five years. Big anti-piracy operations to protect publishers are extremely rare but with their market closing in and ad revenues falling, more could certainly follow in the future. Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services. View the full article
  23. Documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus is making her narrative-film debut with the Amazon Studios project.read more View the full article
  24. Big Sean performed ‘Moves’ with a bunch of senior citizens on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ View the full article
  25. With tens of thousands of visitors per day, torrent site Ahashare has built a decent sized community in recent years. The site has an active team of uploaders and many regular visitors, or should we say had? For the past few days, the site has been unreachable on its regular Ahashare.com domain. Roughly a week ago the site vanished without a trace. After some digging, it appears that the site’s domain name has been suspended by Public Domain Registry (PDR), with a “clienthold” status. We have seen this status on suspended domains before. According to ICANN the clienthold tag is uncommon and “usually enacted during legal disputes, non-payment, or when your domain is subject to deletion.” Clienthold…. TorrentFreak contacted the site’s team via the publicly listed address hoping to find out more, but we have yet to hear back. The site’s operators are quiet on social media as well. The Twitter account posted the last site update more than five years ago. Two weeks ago a new tweet was posted linking to what seems to be a counterfeit sunglasses site, suggesting that it’s compromised. Generally speaking, domain name suspensions are easily countered if sites switch to a new domain. Thus far it looks like the Ahashare team hasn’t done this yet, so it’s possible that more is going on. Ahashare.com in better times Ahashare registered its domain through the Indian domain registrar PDR, which is no stranger when it comes to suspensions. The company previously seized the domains of ExtraTorrent and several other popular torrent sites. However, in recent years there might have been less compliance. The MPAA now lists PDR as a non-cooperative registrar in a recent recommendation to the Government, but it’s possible this doesn’t apply universally. Whether Ahashare will return in the future is unknown, but in the meantime, the site’s users will have to look elsewhere for their daily torrent fix. Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services. View the full article
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