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Everything posted by NelsonG

  1. Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Paul Williams, and others are advocating for fair limits on AI use as part of ASCAP’s Stand With Songwriters dayView the full article
  2. The new version of “Divine Hammer” appears on the band’s 30th anniversary reissue of Last SplashView the full article
  3. When Russia invaded and then annexed Crimea in 2014, Ukraine’s vision for the future would be challenged like never before. On its western borders lay peace, opportunity, and the European Union. To the east, war, regression, and Vladimir Putin. Following Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, even closer ties with the EU became a matter of national urgency for Ukraine. Despite widespread destruction and unimaginable loss of life, work to welcome Ukraine into Europe has somehow pressed ahead. Efforts to align Ukrainian law with EU norms face considerable challenges, but progress is being made. Reforming media legislation is just part of Ukraine’s path to EU membership and during the summer, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed new legislation to update Ukraine’s advertising environment to standards required by the EU. After a three-month introductory period, the new rules will start being enforced early October, including measures that govern advertising on the internet. Limiting Pirate Sites’ Ability to Generate Revenue The amendments cover a wide range of issues from discrimination to product placement and beyond. The amendments relating to online advertising are considerable but of particular interest is a section that outlaws placement of advertising on pirate platforms, in clearly defined circumstances. Law of Ukraine No. 3136-IX The reference to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) concerns the WIPO Alert ‘blacklist’, a centrally-maintained database of piracy platforms nominated by rightsholders in participating countries. In Ukraine’s case, pirate sites and services are identified as part of the ‘Clear Sky‘ initiative and then added to a national blacklist. Ukraine’s blacklist currently contains over 3,600 domains and is available for scrutiny in a public Google spreadsheet (here). Once forwarded to the WIPO Alert database, any included domains are subject to the advertising prohibition detailed in the new law. Transparency on Eligibility According to WIPO, participants in the WIPO Alert program provide information on the criteria and procedures that result in a domain appearing on their respective national blacklists before being placed on WIPO Alert. Ukraine’s legal amendments explain as follows: The central executive body, which ensures the formation and implementation of the state policy in the field of intellectual property, determines the procedure for the formation, maintenance of the national list and consideration of applications for the inclusion of a website in the national list, informs the World Intellectual Property Organization of the information from the said national list and also publishes the national list on its official website. The website is included in the national list based on the results of consideration of the application of the subject of copyright or the subject of related rights…which is submitted on behalf of the applicant by his representative – a lawyer or a representative in intellectual property matters…providing adequate evidence that the website owner has, within the last 365 days, committed: three or more violations of intellectual property rights that have not been remedied by the website owner as of the date of submission of such appeal; or two or more violations of intellectual property rights, which were registered by the applicant before the date of such appeal, and at the same time there is a failure to comply with the requirements of the eleventh part of Article 56 of the Law of Ukraine On Copyright and Related Rights. Video sharing sites, media platforms and other services registered in accordance with the Law of Ukraine “On Media” cannot be included in Ukraine’s national advertising blacklist. Ukraine Beats Most of the EU While Ukraine has received widespread criticism for unaddressed and at times rampant online copyright infringement, its participation in WIPO Alert puts it ahead of nearly all EU member states. Italy participates in the program through telecoms regulator AGCOM, Lithuania through its Radio and Television Commission, and Spain through departments under the Ministry of Culture. No other EU country participates, despite having similar ‘pirate’ blacklists of their own. Ukraine is not yet listed as a participant in the WIPO Alert program, at least according to current WIPO information. Whether its inclusion will have a significant or indeed any effect on pirate sites’ ability to generate revenue is unknown. At least in part, Ukraine hopes to remove or at least reduce the prevalence of gambling advertising on local pirate sites, but the odds of success probably aren’t great. From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more. View the full article
  4. The title track from her new album marks her first official music videoView the full article
  5. Her debut album Good Luck was nominated alongside work by Alvvays, Feist, Daniel Caesar, the Sadies, and Snotty Nose Rez KidsView the full article
  6. When Italy passed new law on July 14, many believed that when the new Serie A football season began on August 8, IPTV pirates would draw their last breaths as legal football platforms burst back to life. In the event, none of these things happened. For various reasons, Italy’s new blocking system wasn’t ready and was never likely to have been. Initial technical meetings on security matters, even blocking itself, still hadn’t taken place. A meeting eventually went ahead on September 7; telecoms regulator AGCOM turned up, as did the government’s cybersecurity experts. Also in attendance, anti-piracy groups FAPAV and SIAE, representatives from the football league, plus Amazon and Google. Those who didn’t take part included cloud providers, satellite broadcasters, and VPN companies. According to DDay.it, AGCOM told the meeting that more companies need to participate in the project and everyone needed to “hurry because there is a deadline to meet.” With the new season now five weeks old, the new deadline remains unclear. As recently as late August, insiders said that the system would be up and running late September or early October. That isn’t going to happen, but there will be another technical meeting in October to talk about what should happen when it eventually does. Piracy Shield: It Does What It Says One thing running to schedule is the system’s name. Telecoms regulator AGCOM has opted for the self-explanatory brand ‘Piracy Shield’ accompanied by a shield-shaped fingerprint logo with Piracy Shield written on the front. A splash of pink perfectly matching the theme on TorrentFreak rounds things off nicely. Interestingly, Italian tech news site DDAY managed to obtain some screenshots of Piracy Shield. Whether they depict the software in action isn’t clear but from a presentation perspective they are pretty basic, to say the least. Piracy Shield Tickets Information on how the system will operate also falls short of expectations, at least when compared to the media hype of the last few weeks and the inherently technical nature of sophisticated pirate IPTV operations. “The platform will be automatic, and is a sort of Content Management System that manages tickets. Nothing sophisticated or complex,” DDAY reports. “Rightsholders will have access to the dashboard via an account and will be able to create a new ticket where they enter a name, the IPs or domain names to block, and the digital proof, then a screenshot.” Get it Right in 60 Seconds The report suggests that once a ticket has been created, there will be just 60 seconds to cancel it. Once that time has expired, the blocking request will be sent to AGCOM where an unspecified automated system will first check to ensure that all fields have been populated as required. While it would make more sense to fix deficiencies before they’re submitted to AGCOM, DDAY reports that AGCOM will not check any blocking requests before it validates them. Once validated, AGCOM will instruct all kinds of online service providers to implement blocking. Consumer ISPs, DNS providers, cloud providers and hosting companies must take blocking action within 30 minutes, while companies such as Google must block or remove content from their search indexes. Automation and APIs Given that an entirely manual system would be hilariously inadequate, Piracy Shield will be accessible through APIs. These will allow rightsholders to automatically create tickets which, according to DDAY, will trigger an automatic block with no human intervention whatsoever. Whether there are provisions for quickly correcting errors or taking action in the event of inadvertent overblocking is unclear. DDAY reports that during the meeting on September 7, someone asked who is responsible for the blocking ‘whitelist’ containing domains or IP addresses that should never be blocked because they’re crucial for the functioning of the internet. “[At] the moment there appears to be no plans in this sense,” DDAY reports. Similar concerns noted that while IP address and domain blocking will be executed immediately, subsequent unblocking for even legitimate reasons will be subjected to an extended manual process. Don’t Worry About Security….. When an unnamed person asked if it was possible to see Piracy Shield’s source code, the question was reportedly “glossed over” with assurances that other people will carry out penetration tests. That the source won’t be made available is standard practice for anti-piracy companies; they have a product and ‘trade secrets’ to guard. That raises the question of who developed Piracy Shield. Media reports last month indicated that Serie A bought it and then gave it to AGCOM as a gift. We couldn’t find any mention of the developer, so we turned to the screenshots published by DDAY for any potential clues, preferably something unique. Impossible to find using regular reverse image search engines, it appears the Piracy Shield ‘fingerprint’ logo doubles as a favicon. Chinese ‘internet-of-things’ search engine FOFA indexes favicons and from there it was trivial to see where Piracy Shield had a web presence recently. SP Tech appears to be a reference to SP Tech S.R.L, a brand protection, content monitoring, anti-piracy startup that has strong rightsholder connections in Italy and whose name appears in numerous industry piracy reports. FOFA helpfully links an SP Tech website to AGCOM thanks to this code snippet, which also mentions Piracy Shield to round things off. From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more. View the full article
  7. The Virginia hardcore band worked with Ian Mackaye and Don Zientara on its first new material in a dozen yearsView the full article
  8. The Riot Days program takes the collective across Canada and the United States in November and DecemberView the full article
  9. The new vinyl edition features an unreleased song called “Two Generations of Excess” and acoustic versions of album tracksView the full article
  10. The unearthed version of “Daysleeper” is part of an 11-song set they played, impromptu, while filming a guest appearance on the teen drama Party of FiveView the full article
  11. With three new categories, this year’s ceremony in Sevilla, Spain, is the first one held outside of the United StatesView the full article
  12. Their collaborative new single is the result of mutual appreciation for each other’s musicView the full article
  13. Manson blew his nose on a concert videographer in New Hampshire in an “egregious” assault, a judge saidView the full article
  14. During the summer of 2003, Swedish pro-culture organization Piratbyrån was making a name for itself; sharing news and educating people on how they could share media online. What the group’s members didn’t realize at the time, is that the plans they made would create a ripple effect that still has an impact decades later. Like many other people mesmerized by the unbridled ability to share files over the Internet, the new BitTorrent protocol caught Piratbyrån’s eye. From one thing came another, and Piratbyrån decided to start their own tracker. A Swedish Torrent Tracker When this idea was first brought up isn’t clear, not even to the site’s founders, but at the end of 2003 The Pirate Bay was presented to the public. “We have opened a BitTorrent tracker – The Pirate Bay. From there, you can download and share games, movies, discs, TV shows and more,” the short announcement reads, translated from Swedish. A New Torrent Tracker One of the group’s unwritten goals was to offer a counterweight to the propaganda being spread by local anti-piracy outfit Antipiratbyrån. The pro-culture group saw sharing as something positive instead, and a file-sharing website would surely bring this point across. The Pirate Bay first came online in Mexico where Gottfrid Svartholm, aka Anakata, hosted the site on a server owned by the company he was working for at the time. After a few months, the site moved to Sweden where it was hosted on a Pentium III 1GHz laptop with 256MB RAM. This one machine, which belonged to Fredrik Neij, aka TiAMO, kept the site online and included a fully operational tracker. This early setup was quite primitive, as shown here, and some of the hardware was later put on display at the Computer Museum in Linköping. The Pirate Bay server http://torrentfreak.com/images/tpb-laptop1.jpg Piratbyrån initially planned to create the first public file-sharing network in Sweden but, in the years that followed, the site grew out to become a global file-sharing icon. While The Pirate Bay team was proud of this success, it was not without consequences. Initially, various takedown messages from copyright holders were met with mocking responses, but the legal pressure became a heavy burden. Behind the scenes, the US Government applied pressure on Sweden, urging the country do something about the taunting pirate site. At the same time, the site’s founders noticed that they were being shadowed by private investigators, who smelled blood. The Raid The pressure eventually reached its first peak when The Pirate Bay’s infrastructure was raided. May 31, 2006, less than three years after The Pirate Bay was founded, 65 Swedish police officers entered a datacenter in Stockholm. The policemen had instructions to shut down the Pirate Bay’s servers, and that’s exactly what they did. Footage from The Pirate Bay raid For most pirate sites the road would end there, but The Pirate Bay was no ordinary site, and it wasn’t planning to cave in just yet. Shortly before the raid began, Gottfrid noticed some unusual activity. He warned Fredrik who, as a precaution, decided to make a backup. This turned out to be a pivotal moment in the site’s history. Because of this backup, Fredrik and the rest of the Pirate Bay team managed to resurrect the site within three days. Instead of hiding in the shadows, Pirate Bay’s spokesperson Peter Sunde, aka Brokep, told the world that The Pirate Bay wasn’t going anywhere. This swift and defiant comeback turned the site’s founders into heroes for many. The site made headline news around the world and in Stockholm, people were waving pirate flags in the streets, a sentiment that benefited the newly founded Pirate Party as well. The Turning Point There was also a major downside, however. The raid was the start of a criminal investigation, which led to a spectacular trial, and prison sentences for several of the site’s founders. Pirate Bay supporters at the first day in Courthttp://torrentfreak.com/images/pirate-flags1.jpg This became another turning point. Many of the early Piratbyrån members cut their ties with the site. Gottfrid, Fredrik and Peter also left the ship, which was handed over to a more anonymous group ostensibly located in the Seychelles. The outspokenness of the early years eventually gave way to the silent treatment. While the site’s moderators are easy to reach nowadays, the people (Winston) who pull the strings at the top remain behind the scenes at all times. This was made quite obvious when the site disappeared for weeks following another raid at a Stockholm datacenter in 2014. At the time, even the site’s staffers had no idea what was going on. The Pirate Bay eventually recovered from this second raid too, but by then something had clearly changed. The torrent site now seems content with just being there. Over the years the site simplified its setup by removing the tracker, introducing magnet links, and further decentralizing its setup. The ability to comment was also sacrificed at some point, and user registrations were closed for years, although there’s some progress on that front now. The Mods and Admins Today’s manual user registrations are processed by a dedicated moderator team, which also ensures that the site remains free of spam and malware. This team of volunteers is separate from the site’s ‘operator’ and many have been in that role for over a decade. Earlier today, Pirate Bay admin Spud17 posted a message in the Pirate Bay forum to celebrate the 20th anniversary. “Most of the current TPB Crew have been here for well over 10 years, many for much, much longer, and we’re proud to be associated with the world’s most iconic torrent site,” she notes. “We volunteer our time freely to help keep the site clean, nuking the fakes and malware to kingdom come, and help edit/move/delete torrents as and when uploaders request help in the forum’s Account Issues subforum.” Crypto Miner and Token After two decades, TPB still manages to make headlines on occasion. For example, when yet another country orders Internet providers to block the site, or when it suddenly decides to ‘deploy’ its users to mine cryptocurrency. The last major project was announced in 2021 when The Pirate Bay released its very own ‘crypto’ token out of the blue. There was no official whitepaper for these PirateTokens, but the torrent site envisioned the ‘coin’ being used to access VIP content or donate to uploaders. These plans never came to fruition and the token price soon entered a freefall. After a few months, the official token announcement disappeared from the site as well, leaving token holders with worthless digital memorabilia. The Pirate Bay itself isn’t going anywhere it seems. The events listed above are really just a fraction of events spanning 20 extraordinary years. The question now is whether the site will survive until its 25th anniversary. — Note: The 20-year anniversary logo was created by theSEMAR. From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more. View the full article
  15. Unblock porn sites for free from anywhere in the world with a VPN.View the full article
  16. Elon Musk might put Twitter/X behind a paywall, stating that it's "moving to a small monthly payment" system to combat bots.View the full article
  17. Unblock and watch Kayo Sports for free from anywhere in the world. Stream AFL, NRL, cricket, football, and more live or on-demand.View the full article
  18. A lifetime subscription to Micmonster AI Voiceovers is on sale for £48.11, saving you 49% on list price.View the full article
  19. Unblock and watch BBC iPlayer for free from anywhere in the world.View the full article
  20. Bypass geo-restrictions to watch India vs Australia 2023 ODI series for free from anywhere in the world.View the full article
  21. Here's the answer for "Wordle" #822 on September 19, as well as a few hints, tips, and clues to help you solve it yourself.View the full article
  22. A strategy guide for the September 19 'Quordle,' a puzzle game similar to 'Wordle,' but which gives the user nine guesses to figure out four different words.View the full article
  23. The Microsoft AI research team inadvertently shared a link that gave visitors full permissions to 38TB of private company data.View the full article
  24. Former President Trump is one of the most interesting characters to ever appear on the American political landscape. Trump’s ability to attract and generate controversy will go down in history, as will his numerous appearances in copyright infringement lawsuits. Musician Eddy Grant filed a complaint against Trump in 2020 and three years later there’s little positivity to report for anyone involved. Ignorance and Emotion Fuel Fire The background to the lawsuit can be summarized as follows: during the presidential election campaign, someone affiliated with Trump and his campaign posted this animation on Twitter depicting a struggling Joe Biden. The Trump campaign’s decision to include the 1982 hit ‘Electric Avenue’ as background music infuriated Eddy Grant, the British singer-songwriter behind the track. While his song being used without permission provided Grant with a legal avenue for retaliation, court filings made it clear that Grant was deeply offended that his music was being used to promote Trump’s campaign. A confident Trump recently claimed he could end the war in Ukraine in 24 hours. That sits in stark contrast to the record in this case which currently consists of 108 filings spanning over 36 months. Three Years of Toxic Waste While Grant is a principled man, he doesn’t come off as unreasonable. A short phone call from Trump, freshly enlightened after 10 minutes on Wikipedia learning about the Brixton Riots, what caused them, and why the use of Electric Avenue was never meant to offend, couldn’t have hurt. Bridges can always be built towards common ground; the parties’ shared appreciation of Chuck Berry, for example, or how Grant survived a heart attack in 1971 and may be willing to share some tips. Instead, Trump rejected Grant’s offer to settle the case. In a motion to dismiss, the soon-to-be most powerful man in the world, rich beyond most people’s imaginations, told Grant he would get nothing for his involuntary contribution to the presidential campaign. Because Grant had created the track for entertainment purposes and Trump had used it for political commentary, that was a “fundamentally different and new purpose” and covered by the doctrine of fair use. Use Was Not Fair In October 2021, U.S. District Judge John Koeltl said each of the fair use factors weighed in favor of Grant. The Trump campaign’s use of Electric Avenue was little more than “wholesale copying” and it had no license or permission in place to render that legal. However, in a move that validated calls for justice and social equality found in many of Grant’s songs, Trump’s legal team reminded the musician that some people remain more equal than others. “Plaintiffs’ claims against Donald J. Trump are barred, either in whole or in part, by Presidential absolute immunity.” What was said during the subsequent deposition of Donald Trump is not part of the public record but the fact that a deposition took place at all is both remarkable and by now, fittingly depressing. Grant’s Motion for Summary Judgment On September 15, 2023, the plaintiffs and defendants filed motions for summary judgment at a Manhattan federal court in an effort to avoid the case going to trial. Grant’s motion states that despite the earlier rejection of a fair use defense, Trump’s team remain undeterred. “Defendants will rely on the affirmative defense of fair use, which the Court rejected at the pleading stage. Discovery has revealed unequivocally that Defendants’ use of the Works was not transformative and does not comport with any theory of the fair use doctrine,” the motion reads. “The defense, which Defendants have the burden of proving, should be rejected again as a matter of law and Plaintiffs’ motion that Defendants committed copyright infringement should be granted in its entirety.” For reasons that are not immediately obvious, large sections of the motion are redacted, especially those relating to the deposition of Dan Scavino, Trump’s social media advisor. In summary, Grant believes he’s on solid ground and $300,000 in potential damages can’t be nullified by a defense of fair use. Trump’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment The motion from the defense opens with the plaintiff’s assertion that the animation in question, provided to the Trump team by a third party, infringed two copyrights; a sound recording and composition in the Electric Avenue backing music. But then the following: “There can be no material dispute, however, that Plaintiffs only plead a copyright registration covering the composition (i.e., the written music and lyrics) of Electric Avenue, registered at around the time of its publication in 1983,” the motion reads. “Plaintiffs nevertheless claim that they own a valid copyright registration covering the sound recording (i.e., the fixation of a series of musical and spoken sounds to a ‘phonorecord’) of Electric Avenue by virtue a copyright registration for a ‘greatest hits’ album (which they described to the Copyright Office as a ‘compilation’) that contains the song Electric Avenue.” To put things mildly, that isn’t ideal for Grant. As the plaintiffs explain, the Copyright Office’s position on compilations is that registrations do not cover their constituent parts, unless they were unpublished at the time of registration. “Because Electric Avenue was indisputably published long before the registration that Plaintiffs assert covers its sound recording, Plaintiffs failed to plead and produce a valid copyright registration for the sound recording of Electric Avenue. “Therefore, their claim for infringement of the Electric Avenue sound recording (Count II of their Complaint) must be summarily dismissed, as it is axiomatic that Plaintiff own and plead a valid copyright registration covering the alleged infringed work is a prerequisite for maintenance of a federal copyright infringement action,” the motion adds. With no valid copyright registration covering the sound recording, Count II of the complaint must be dismissed, Trump’s legal team conclude. Lawsuit Hurts All On the basis that fair use is a legal defense, not immunity from legal action, the Trump team’s actions represent yet another chilling effect on those who rely on fair use to conduct research, teach, learn or report on current events. The message here is that if a third party is wealthy and stubborn, a fair use defense that has no realistic chance of success can be dragged out for years until the rightsholder runs out of money, or indeed the will to carry on. In this case, a fundamental administrative issue could mean that the court has no other choice than to side with those who benefited from a copyright work, refused to pay for that right, and then prevailed through sheer financial staying power and pure luck. That fair use was the vehicle adds insult to injury. From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more. View the full article
  25. Panos Panay shook up the tech landscape after announcing his departure ahead of the Microsoft Surface event.View the full article
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