Tag Archives: dmca

Hotfile found liable for staggering amount of copyright infringement

When 89% of your top uploaders are repeat infringers – you might be liable for copyright infringement.

Crime Scene
Crime Scene by Alan Cleaver On Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/

 

I could write about the recent Hotfile decision, or you can just read the great article over at Copyhype.  In fact, you should just read the article over at Copyhype.

Piracy stats updated

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!

TDP

Confirmation Bias, Sensational Journalism and How Money Motivated Pirates Get A Pass

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:

http://torrentfreak.com/ignoring-dmca-notices-bittorrent-tracker-subjected-to-attacks-130831/

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.

We responded:

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?

Nate Glass
Owner, Takedown Piracy

Their response:

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?

Our response:

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?

Our response:

At this time – no.  Though we have clients about to come on board that we will need to provide DMCAs for.

Nate

And their final response at the time:

ok 🙂

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.

http://rudos.tv/

Our response:

So you know full well that this is copyrighted material of Ring of Honor and you are refusing to remove it?

His response:

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.

Our response:

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.

Nate

His response:

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.

Our response:

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.

Cheers!

Their response:

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.

Our response:

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.

Nate

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.

xwt2

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):

xwt1

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:

xwt3

Another classy TF poster:

xwt4

Not to be outdone:

xwt5

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.

“Nobody told me I COULDN’T pirate it”

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”.

Enet Inc. US-based ISP ignoring DMCAs?

I’ve sent many DMCAs to Enet Inc, and a strange thing has happened….absolutely nothing.

This is strange because Enet appears to be a US-based webhost.  Surely, a US-based webhost wouldn’t ignore DMCAs, doing so would subject them to considerable penalties and loss of their safe harbor.

The piracy forum Mastiya.com is hosted on the IP address: 209.190.121.234

http://geoip.flagfox.net/?ip=209.190.121.234&host=www.mastiya.com

Apparently that is a eNet Inc. IP address.

Mastiya is well known piracy site, according to Google’s Transparency Report:

http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/copyright/domains/mastiya.com/

With big copyright holders like Warner, Universal and Fox all reporting Mastiya URLs to Google.  I’m sure Enet wouldn’t want to be in the crosshairs of ignoring their DMCAs too, right?

According to Enet Inc’s website, their abuse address is [email protected] (http://ee.net/abuse.php)

Yet emails sent to this address never get a response or action.

I can’t even find Enet in the US Copyright.gov’s list of Online Service Providers, another required act for those wishing to have Safe Harbor.

So as far as I can tell Enet is not in compliance with the DMCA.  If that were true then it would be open season for copyright holders to sue them.  Not registering a DMCA agent and then ignoring DMCAs won’t look good in court me thinks.

If Enet is reading this, feel free to contact me, I’m dying to know why I’ve never received a response to any DMCAs I’ve ever sent you.  I was going to email this to you but since you ignore all my other emails…well you know.

Piracy site uses extortion with copyright holders

One of the most common myths surrounding piracy sites is that they are non-profit, that they are just “sharing” with others and that they aren’t money motivated like those dirty capitalists.

Recently, we sent a fully DMCA compliant notice to a large torrent site.  While our notice was accurate and fully DMCA compliant…we did forget one thing.  The lump of money the piracy site demanded.

Here’s their takedown policy: (Click to enlarge)

So not only does this site profit by selling ads using other people’s hard work, but in the event you want your property removed from their website, it’s going to cost you $50 for EACH instance of copyright infringement.  The process of removing URLs is something many piracy sites simply automate.  Now I know the piracy apologists out there (and you know who you are) like to tout the myth that piracy sites are just some non-profit freedom fighters fighting against the evil corporations, but how can you guys defend this?  Something tells me we won’t see TechDirt, ArsTechnica or TorrentFreak doing an article about this, since it conflicts with the narrative they like to push.

And since the pirate apologists love to trump up made up stories ($72 trillion dollars anyone?), let’s play that same game with them.

Takedown Piracy is closing in on our 7 MILLIONTH infringement removed.  So how can we twist that around to make up a scathing headline against piracy?  Oh yeah:

7 million infringements

x

$50 per infringement removed

=

TORRENT SITE DEMANDS $350,000,000 TO REMOVE MATERIALS

 

That was fun!

Takedown Piracy Ranked on Google’s Top 5 List of Copyright Infringement Reporters

Ranked Above Music Studios, Software Developers, &

Expensive Anti-Piracy Companies, Takedown Piracy

Demonstrates Its Superior Services!

May 25, 2012 — CHATSWORTH, Calif. — Takedown Piracy is listed amongst Google’s top 5 reporters of copyright infringements.  The internet giant’s most current transparency report citing copyright statistics records the leading organizations requesting Google remove search results linking to allegedly infringing content (per Google.com).  Ranked above music studios, software developers, and anti-piracy companies costing more than 10 times as much, Google’s list demonstrates Takedown Piracy’s superior services.

 

To view Google’s list of top copyright infringement reporters, visit http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/copyright/.

 

To view Google’s profile on Takedown Piracy’s effectiveness, visit http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/copyright/reporters/1620/.

 

Takedown Piracy owner Nate Glass states, “Much of our effectiveness may be attributed to persistence.  It’s that persistence which has us in the same company as NBC / Universal and BPI for sheer volume of infringement reports to Google.  Actions speak louder than words, and I’m proud our clients can look on Google and see what we’ve done for them.”

 

Takedown Piracy’s new SEO program, Search Clean™, is responsible for eliminating infringements from even the largest search engines, like Google.  Combined with its custom tool, the Aikido Program™, Takedown Piracy is removing hundreds of thousands of copyright infringements at an incredible speed.

 

Takedown Piracy recently celebrated its 3-year anniversary combatting piracy.  Created by Nate Glass in 2009, Takedown Piracy is known for its highly effective and affordable services, while always operating with the utmost integrity.  Whether harnessing the power of its one-of-a-kind customs tools or following up on an individual file reported through its free piracy tip page, Takedown Piracy has been responsible for the removal of over 6.5 million copyright infringements.

 

For more information about Takedown Piracy, visit http://takedownpiracy.com/why-use-takedown-piracy/.

 

Takedown Piracy continues to be in the media spotlight for its renowned effectiveness fighting piracy.  Featured on CNBC.comTechDirt.com, The Daily.com, the 1709 Blog, and more, word is spreading about the small but mighty company, and its David versus Goliath story.

 

Wanting to better involve the fans of Takedown Piracy’s numerous artist clients, the company created a tips page.  Millions of additional eyes provide Takedown Piracy with an army seeking out illegal downloads on torrent, tube and cyberlocker sites.  Users are asked to report the copyright owner and a link to the infringement.  To report a copyright violation using Takedown Piracy’s tip page, visit http://takedownpiracy.com/tips/.

 

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.

 

To view a statistical breakdown of infringements removed by Takedown Piracy, visit http://takedownpiracy.com/stats/.

 

About Takedown Piracy:

Takedown Piracy (TDP) is an anti-piracy service started in April of 2009.  The service was founded by 14-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 6.5 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.

 

About Google:

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.  Google has packed a lot into a relatively young life.  Creators Larry Page and Sergey Brin named the search engine they built “Google,” a play on the word “googol,” the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros.   Google Inc. was born in 1998, when Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim wrote a check for $100,000 to that entity—which until then didn’t exist.  Since Google’s inception, it has grown to serve hundreds of thousands of users and customers around the world.  After going public in 2004, Google began to expand through its acquisition of companies like Keyhole and YouTube.  As of 2009, Alexa listed Google.com as the internet’s most visited site.  For more information, visit www.Google.com.

 

Keywords:

Takedown Piracy, Nate Glass, Google, Microsoft, Lionsgate, 3-year anniversary, 2009, CNBC, CNBC.comTheDaily.comTechDirt.com, AVN Media, magazine, digital content, Twitter, Google, tip page, protection, piracy, infringements, illegal downloads, torrent, tube, rapidshare, cyberlocker, DMCA, content, Aikido Program, SEO, 6.5 million

 

# # #

 

For more information please contact:

 

Takedown Piracy

www.TakedownPiracy.com

[email protected]

Copyright infringers think this defense will hold up in court

I would say this is only slightly better than the Chewbacca defense and not nearly as good as pleading insanity.

Also, while I have airbrushed out the name of the site you should know a few things:

1.  This site is purely FOR PROFIT.

2.  This site created different sections for the works of different copyright holders.  Something tells me you can’t claim you don’t know what’s going on on your site when you have different sections for specific companies.

3.  This site does not comply with DMCA notices.

4.  This site is not “user uploaded content”.  The only people able to post on this site are the site owners themselves.  You can’t claim ignorance or the “we just index content” when you decide what content is indexed because you’re the one that uploaded it.

5.  Despite being clear cut criminals, there will be a hoard of freeloaders commenting here to defend these actions.

Another one bites the dust

A few years ago there were 2 really big adult torrent sites.  Empornium and PureTNA.  Once DMCA companies such as mine and others started hammering these sites with DMCAs, combined with lawyers threatening to shut them down, these 2 sites eventually folded.

The #3 adult torrent site at the time was Cheggit.net and nearly all the old users from Emp and PTNA migrated there to upload and download copyrighted content.

At first the site tried hiding in numerous offshore countries where they would not have to comply with DMCAs but eventually they tried to become DMCA compliant by hiring DMCANotice.com to handle DMCAs.  Once word got around that Cheggit was complying, myself and at least one other removal company began monitoring the site daily resulting in 100s if not 1000s of torrents were being reported every day.  The site complied with these notices quickly and without incident.  This immediately resulted in panic on the forum as users pleaded with the site to move offshore again and to stop removing torrents.  If you’ve seen my “Talk Like A Pirate” screenshots on Facebook, nearly all of them came from this site.  Myself and the other removal company were literally removing content within minutes of it being posted.

Eventually the site went into a maintenance mode, which they had remained in for nearly all of the past week.  Eventually it was revealed today that the site was going dark and shutting down.  The owner (who had been identified as a New Mexico or Oklahoma resident), was vague as to the exact reasoning but mentioned that starting in December 11 (when we started monitoring) it became too difficult to keep the site compliant.  I’m sure there was legal pressure as well and I know my company wasn’t the only one involved in takedowns so a big kudos to everyone else involved.  I know both myself and Eric from RemoveYourContent were on this daily.  I can’t stress this enough how much effort both Eric and myself put into this from our end.  I’m sure more will come out in the coming weeks and we’ll learn about others who were involved in taking this site down, in addition to the general climate post-Megaupload where copyright infringers are learning there are repercussions for violating the rights of others.

No doubt the freeloaders will migrate somewhere else and try and reestablish their den of thieves.  But we will be there waiting.