We’ve posted our updated stats on the /stats page so head on over and check that out.
Also, we’re working on releasing a lot of stats that show which sites we’ve had to remove the most from. Thinking of doing a Top 10 for each type of infringement. So stay tuned for that.
It’s been a great month, new clients have came on board and we’re rolling out new programs almost weekly now.
A big thanks to all our supporters, we couldn’t do it without you!
Recently, it was brought to our attention that the pro-piracy blog TorrentFreak had ran an article about a torrent site that was experiencing a Denial Of Service attack. While that part is nothing new, the interesting part was that the majority of the article seemed to focus on Takedown Piracy’s involvement with this piracy site which then seemed to suggest that TDP was somehow involved in the whole fiasco.
First, go ahead and read the article written by Enigmax at TF:
Okay, now that you’ve read that take, we’ll give you the actual story.
About a year ago we first started getting complaints about this piracy site. The site in question is a torrent site that specializes exclusively in pro-wrestling and MMA torrents. We had a client who had produced his own documentary and the film was being pirated via this site. We sent them a notice to remove and they ignored the notice. The site was also soliciting “donations” in order to fund their operation and those donations were going through US-based Paypal in clear violation of the TOS of Paypal.
So we sent Paypal the proper paperwork and Paypal cut off funding for the site. The site responded by switching payment processors and moving to WebMoney, also US-based. Again, we filed a notice with WebMoney and had the service cut off. Then the site switched to Google Wallet, but this time they added a new wrinkle. They set up a fake “web hosting” business along with fake testimonials and everything to be the “front” they used in order to process payments using Google Wallet. This part of the story is shown in more detail on our blog – here.
After closing down so many of their payment options, the admin of the piracy site contacted us with the following email:
From: Staff <[email protected]> Subject: DMCA for specific file Message Body: Hello, I am a member of staff at a wrestling website called XWT. I have been reading your article and wanted to know what specific torrent files/URL's you are wanting taken down? Thank you.
On 5/8/2013 at 9:40 PM, “Nate Glass” <[email protected]> wrote:
Both appear to have been finally removed.
In the future, may I use this email address to request copyright
infringing torrents be removed?
Owner, Takedown Piracy
Yes, that would be fine. Can we confirm that your client will be satisfied with the result and reports will cease on our donation options?
On 5/8/2013 at 11:54 PM, “Nate Glass” <[email protected]> wrote:If you will remove upon notification by myself for my current and future clients, then yes.
Note that I included future clients, because I had a deal in the works with an independent pro-wrestling organization and wanted to make sure our deal would cover them.
The response from XWT:
Are there any current clients that you need to provide DMCA’s for?
At this time – no. Though we have clients about to come on board that we will need to provide DMCAs for.
And their final response at the time:
Fast forward a few months, we had not had any run-ins with them until our documentary filmmaker gave us a heads up that his movie was appearing on the site again. Upon inspection we saw that the site was back to soliciting PayPal “donations” again, this time using a fake business that charged you for “custom avatars”. We then sent the site three takedown notices. 2 for our documentary filmmakers, and 1 for the indy organization we had just added to our client roster. The documentary torrents were removed, but here’s the response we got to the notice for the indy group:
These torrents will NOT be removed. I would suggest contacting the website below considering they are the source for a lot of the packs found on my website.
So you know full well that this is copyrighted material of Ring of Honor and you are refusing to remove it?
Torrent files are not the actual video file, they are simply meta links. They are also being hosted within a country where torrents are legal, if you would like to bring this up with my host, that is your choice.
As i said, the majority of these meta links are downloaded from http://rudos.tv which provide full direct download links to actual video files to which they charge a membership fee in order to download them and stream them, i would suggest you contact them for actually breaking the law before threatening me.
So we’ll play the payment processor game again. I thought we had already went through this and you stated you would remove when we sent you a notice. So now you are going back on your word.
You don’t care to reply to what i just said to you? Torrent files are not breaking the law within the country they are hosted. They don’t even contain copyright information within them either.
And yet you refuse to contact a website that is fully sharing copyright material and making people pay for that copyrighted work.. what a joke.
If you think what you are doing is perfectly legal then that’s your opinion man. Having dedicated sections using the trademarked names among everything else is pretty obvious. You might want to research the idea of “contributory copyright infringement” or read up on the IsoHunt case.
Then there’s that whole fake “web hosting” business you were running in order to profit from the content distributed with the help of your site. Which, by the way, I still have all the evidence of.
And now you’re taking money…AGAIN. You want to point the finger at Rudos but you’re just as much of a profiteer as they are. Both of you are making money off work that you didn’t do. If you think they are bad then you must hate to look in the mirror, because you are no different.
But don’t worry, we’re filing notices on Rudos already, you aren’t being singled out.
However, I will be sharing all this information with the attorneys for WWE and UFC.
My point is, within the law of the country my website is hosted in, these torrents are legal. There is no if’s or buts about that. Let me point you to the Oink case, SceneTorrent case, FileSoup case, Richard O’Dwyer case among others. And let me point out that movie studios were backing the majority of those cases that fell through.
Collect your evidence, but i hope you have a name and address to attach to all of that.
When you are dedicating sections to specific content producers using their trademarked names, etc., I don’t think the legality of the contents of a torrent file are your only concern.
And yes, I have the name and address you list in your WHOIS. Unless that information is false, which seems to be a cowardly move if you really feel that you are 100% legal, what would you have to hide by giving false information?
But I’m no lawyer, I’ll just pass along all this info the attorneys for ROH, UFC, WWE etc.
I asked you to remove Colt and Nigel’s movie and a few months ago you did that because you were running out of payment processors (guess they didn’t think what you were doing was 100% legal either), you said you would remove anything I sent you a notice on in the future. Now you are going back on your word. Easiest thing would have been to remove the ROH stuff and be done with it.
But instead of that you want to play this game again except now you want to put yourself in the crosshairs of even more companies. This was avoidable but you chose to make it more difficult.
Their final response:
One or two torrents i would consider removing. 100’s? I don’t think so. Do whatever needs to be done, any further contact will be ignored.
At this point we proceeded to have their Paypal account suspended again. It’s also important to note the last batch of email exchanges happened on August 30th, 2013.
Unbeknownst to us, but knownst to others, while this was going on XWT was experiencing a DDOS attack. DDOS stands for Distributed Denial Of Service and it’s a way people try to bring down and cripple websites that have drawn their ire.
According to this piracy website, the attack in question had at least been going on since August 8th.
On August 25th, five days before our exchange, the following was posted in the XWT Forum (note “X” is the username for the XWT owner):
What appears to be happening is one piracy site (Rudos) is pirating wrestling material and then charging users for access to the materials. But then those materials are ending up on XWT for free. Thus there’s no reason for anyone to pay for access to Rudos, they just wait until it shows up on XWT for free. This makes Rudos mad and someone there has apparently been attacking XWT over this.
Even though the site’s forum itself seemed to think the rival pirates were behind the attack, that didn’t stop the site from trying to place the blame on the companies whose content the site was ripping off.
XWT told TorrentFreak that the site’s datacenter managed to trace the attacks back to companies linked with a pair of sports organizations.
Of course, TorrentFreak didn’t need any proof to substantiate that claim. Because it’s a great headline and red meat for their cult-like readers. Reading the comments for the article illustrates that point perfectly. Even though the actual facts and site itself seem to contradict TorrenFreaks article, the confirmation bias of TF’s readers is in full effect. They want to believe that somehow the MPAA is behind this so they will blindly ignore anything that might challenge that outlook.
This comment from a TF poster went unresponded to:
Another classy TF poster:
Not to be outdone:
What’s even more interesting to us is the way the Rudos connection is completely glossed over by the TF crowd. We may have our disagreements with XWT but at least we can agree on collecting money for access to pirated content being a really shady thing to do. In fact, there USED to be a code of ethics for pirates which included a core tenant that you don’t profit off of piracy. These days, that rule seems to be long gone. In fact, there now appears to be absolutely nothing pirates can do that would make other pirates call them out on it. Long gone are the ethical pirates, replaced by selfish sheep repeating whatever Kim Dotcom tells them, or whatever garbage comes out of the EFF these days.
This article by TF could have been summed up for their readers as:
Noble pirates picked on by meanie copyright holders, but it has nothing to do with other pirates. MPAA probably involved, and the Illuminati.
Let us just state for the record. Takedown Piracy had absolutely 0% to do with any DDOS attack on XWT. We don’t do DDOS, we don’t approve of it and we think it’s the coward’s way out. It’s the computer equivalent of flipping over the Scrabble board because you’re losing. If XWT doesn’t want to respond to our notices, we’ll work through legal channels to seek remedy for our clients. We think it is pretty shoddy journalism to not even question the story you are reporting on, to not get each side of the story, instead focusing your story on the false narrative that incites your readers (some seeming to prefer violent retribution) is a disgusting perversion of journalism.
New Custom Tool NEMESIS™ Analyzes Tube Sites to Discover & Remove Pirated Movies!
July 1, 2013 — CHATSWORTH, Calif. — Takedown Piracy announces the development of its new program, already delivering a blow to tube sites. The renowned anti-piracy service calls its exclusive custom tool Nemesis™. With the implementation of the Nemesis program, Takedown Piracy has now removed nearly 100,000 pirated full-length movies and scenes.
Nemesis is named after the Greek goddess heralded as an agent of divine punishment for wrongdoing or hubris. The Nemesis tool analyzes tube sites to pinpoint videos likely to be infringing on copyrights, so the Takedown Piracy team is able to verify the infringement and have the pirated content removed.
“The goddess Nemesis carried out retribution against those who committed evil deeds and received undeserved good fortune,” states Takedown Piracy owner Nate Glass. “Digital pirates are exactly that – people who profit off the work of others. Nemesis and Takedown Piracy are coming to get them, and we have already found a ton of movies, which may have otherwise gone undetected.”
Nemesis is proving to be a comprehensive tool, changing the landscape for pirate uploaders. “We’ve already seen several prolific pirate uploaders ‘retire’ or stop uploading movies altogether,” says Glass. “We’ve been able to get others kicked off the sites by showing they are repeat infringers.”
According to Glass, many of the offending accounts were being used for financial gain in addition to uploading free content. “A lot of uploaders use the stolen content as a way to promote their own businesses. We’re more than happy to dish out justice and put these guys out of business.”
In addition to the creation of Nemesis, Takedown Piracy developed custom tools the Aikido Program™ and Aikido 2.0, as well as its advanced SEO program, Search Clean™. Aikido 2.0 uses a PHP script to exploit large piracy aggregation sites. It takes sites meant to assist illegal downloads and transforms them into valuable assets in anti-piracy. True to its martial art namesake, the Aikido Program uses the strength of its opponent to its own advantage. Search Clean is responsible for eliminating infringements from even the largest search engines, like Google. The tools and programs remove hundreds of thousands of copyright infringements at an incredible speed.
Takedown Piracy actively tracks at least nine different ways content may be pirated, providing widespread coverage. Takedown Piracy’s army of servers offer protection in the following areas: Cyberlocker sites like Rapidshare, Torrent sites, Tube sites, Auctioned or unauthorized DVD resellers, Search Engines, Image Hosts, Blogs, Forums, Social Media.
For more information about Takedown Piracy’s services, click here.
About Takedown Piracy:
Takedown Piracy (TDP) is an anti-piracy service started in April of 2009. The service was founded by 15-year entertainment industry veteran Nate Glass. TDP offers copyright holders an affordable and highly effective means to fight back against content thieves. For less than the cost of a part-time, minimum wage worker, copyright holders can benefit from Glass’ expertise and passion for protecting copyrighted content from thieves. To date, TDP has removed over 20 million content infringements. Leading piracy websites are closely monitored to always provide clients with immediate service and protection. Every month detailed reports are provided to clients with each action taken on their behalf. A price can’t be placed on trust, but with Takedown Piracy, clients can be sure the company has their best interest in mind 100% of the time. For more information, visit www.TakedownPiracy.com or www.Twitter.com/TakedownPiracy.
From the “What Do We Have Here?” file:
We have recently been dealing with a site that has been trading in the content of one of our clients and despite numerous DMCA notices, the site refused to remove the infringing content. Now before you assume our client is some big corporation with oodles of money, I should tell you that the client in question is a single individual, who made an amazing and heartfelt documentary about his trials and tribulations as an independent contractor in a very rough and tumble industry. It was received tremendously by fans and critics and was financed via Kickstarter donations and every copy sold was literally handpacked and shipped by the filmmaker.
So in other words, spare me the “MPAA is a corporate monopoly blah blah blah” arguments. This is a small business owner we’re talking about here.
Anyway, so we sent this site numerous DMCA notices, yet no response from the site. We DMCA’d their host (Luxembourg-based Root.lu) who also ignores notices about copyright infringement. So we were forced to take other measures. The first of which was to hit them where it hurts – their wallet.
You see, this site sells access to these pirated materials. Using the false pretense of “just covering server costs” the site solicits “donations”. For a fee you can have access to terabytes of content from other small businesses.
So we notified their payment processors which initially included Paypal, Webmoney, and Google Checkout. Paypal cancelled their processing, Webmoney eventually did too, and finally Google Checkout.
This didn’t deter these guys from continuing to try and profit from the hard work of others. Their next move was to remove the public donation options and try and hide just how they were processing money. They required would-be donators to Private Message the owner of the site and ask for the process to go about making a donation.
So using an undercover account we Private Messaged the admin and asked how we can make a donation:
So we checked out the site referenced by the admin:
Looks legit right? But apparently according to the admin of the piracy site, this is a front to process payments for the copyright infringement site. But it got us curious as to all the other information on that site, I mean after all – there’s freaking testimonials and everything.
So let’s check out those testimonials. The first one from John Shipley seems nice. Let’s throw it into Google and see what comes back:
Wow! Apparently John gives a lot of hosts the EXACT same testimonial:
Apparently it’s a family affair – here’s Peter Shipley’s review:
Well now we can see that John has converted to Islam:
And then he reverted back to his christian name, except he lost a -y in the process:
I think you see what’s going on here. There are dozens more of John/Peter/Zulfiqar‘s testimonials on oodles of web hosting sites.
You can do this for every single “testimonial” on http://grand-host.org/testimonials.html
The best part might be this from Grand Host’s Privacy page:
Grand-Host is committed to developing long lasting relationships based on trust. As such, Grand-Host will do everything in its power to ensure that your right to privacy is maintained and protected. Our Services are not directed at children under 13 years of age.
One would have to wonder how much trust you can put in a company with fake testimonials.
Well as it turns out, the reason why these “testimonials” are the same for so many web hosting sites is that instead of using real customer testimonials, these sites are using a template:
So it’s not even clear that Grand-Host.org is even a real company, or is merely a front to be used to launder the money derived from the piracy site. Both sites are registered to the same individual:
This also begs the question of how legit the other sites are that are using the same fake testimonials. But that’s a whole other question for the FTC to decide. And then again, this site isn’t hosted in the United States. Plus we wouldn’t want to deprive this site of their ability to use fake testimonials lest we want to hear from the copyleft how this is the exercise of free speech and how much better the internet is because you can launder money through what might be a fake business with fake customers in order to profit from someone else’s work – what piracy apologists would describe as “innovation”.
Needless to say, we will continue to put pressure on this site, though at this point our suggestion to our clients is to start looking at litigation as a possibility. Using a US-based company (Google) to launder money to support your copyright infringement site seems to be just begging for a lawsuit.
And yes, this does pass the Office Space definition of “money laundering”:”
“To conceal the source of money…as by channeling it through an intermediary.”
If I was the owner of this site, I’d be hoping to not wind up in “federal pound you in the ass prison” too.
Recently we were alerted to a site using video footage from one of our clients movies on a Youtube-esque website. The client had not given this site permission to use this footage and they wanted us to send the site a DMCA notice.
Upon inspecting the site we noticed the following things this site was doing that were highly questionable:
1. The content was not “user uploaded” but was uploaded by the site owner himself (the site owner would later confirm this in an email.
2. The site had no registered DMCA agent with the US Copyright Office. Not that it would help with every other thing they were doing wrong but if you’re going to be in the business of using other people’s content, you should register a DMCA agent.
3. The videos uploaded by the site owner had had their original watermarks overwritten by one placed there by the site owner that advertised not the content owner, but the infringing site. Removing a watermark is pretty cut and dry copyright infringement. See here.
4. When confronted about these actions the site owner claimed he was an affiliate of the content creator and thus this gave him the right to use any amount of the footage as he wanted to. He then claimed he “forgot” to add a banner for the affiliate, but that he would add one immediately. Note: there were several other infringing videos on the site, nearly zero having affiliate banners. It’s easy to see he only added the banner after being caught. Though he still was using a full length chunk of the movie, nothing close to “promotional” content.
5 When asked what made him think he could use any length of material he wanted without getting the permission of the copyright holder he replied “No one told me I couldn’t use that much of the movie”. I believe in legal terms he’s attempting the willful blindness defense which I think ranks right up there with the “Chewbacca Defense” when it comes to a sound legal strategy.
This is a person running a for-profit website that makes money off of copyright infringement. I can’t believe they actually ran this business plan by any sort of lawyer, but in their emails to us, they acted incredulous that we would have the nerve to call them out.
Just another example of the egregious exploitation sites like this engage in every single day. And there would be a line of ideologues a mile long ready to defend this guy with hollow arguments about DJ remixes, copyright terms and claim this is somehow “fair use”.
Check out our latest stats update. We’ve now removed over 15 million copyright infringements.
Just updated new stats through November 2012.
Over 13 million now. Might get close to 15 million by year’s end.
Of note, we’ve passed 2 million torrent files removed, which is noteworthy since there is a false perception out there that torrent sites don’t remove.
Normally when I get emails from a reader of this site, it’s a hater. Sometimes it’s an ASCII art middle finger, other times it’s an insult on par with the zingers my schoolmates came up with in sixth grade. But every now and then….every now and then….ya get a breath of fresh air. This is one of those examples. To protect the innocent the name has been changed:
From: Pootie Tang <[email protected]>
My name is Pootie Tang, and I’m not a journalist or hate-mailer, just a curious college student. Every day I check the news on various websites (Youtube, Reddit, different blogs, this site), and daily there are new stories about how terrible copyright is, how awful the enforcement polices are, etc. Your site is the only one I’ve found that says otherwise on a semi-regular basis, but unfortunately not as often as the other sites. Your site also seems to have more statistics than stories, but sadly I am more curious in the stories than the numbers at the moment. I was wondering if you would share the success stories of copyright law and its enforcement (and/or your opinion) with me, either by email or just more often on this website, or even other sites you know of that update regularly. In case you’re curious why I am doing this, I like to keep a balanced view of the world and feel that my perception has been skewed by increased negative reviews of these laws. I also don’t care if you share this email with anyone, I just request that if it is in a public place my last name and email address are redacted to prevent the hordes of internet morons from ruining my life for wanting to keep an open mind. Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you.