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.
We just updated new stats. Check them out here:
This month we not only surpassed the 7 million infringement mark, but actually hit 7.25 million. We’re gaining even more momentum. The more naysayers we encounter the more motivated we become.
We’re also close to becoming the #5 reporting agency for the year according to Google. We are currently #4 for the past month.
This past month we removed our one millionth torrent from piracy sites. We looked into our torrent data and have cataloged over 150,000 different info hashes. With this data, we plan on adding hash-specific search and removal, not only from Google but also from the sites themselves.
Interestingly enough, it was an email we received from a self-described pirate that encouraged us to utilize our hash data more. It’s always a challenge to keep improving our systems. We appreciate constructive criticism from all sides.
We’ve disabled comments on posts. While I wholeheartedly welcome debate, it was clear to me that ‘debate’ was not what we were getting. Hit & Run attacks from commenters who would leave one comment and never follow up, accusations of deleted comments when in actuality we approved all comments, cheap shot insults and basically both sides just yelling at brick walls – it was clear that nothing positive was coming from the comments or my attempts to address them. I’m sure I’ll get flamed for this stance but it’s final. If you want to criticize me, you can do it on your own blog, you’re absolutely free to do just that.
Big things are in the works for Takedown Piracy. Stay tuned for more updates.
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.com, TechDirt.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.
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.
Takedown Piracy, Nate Glass, Google, Microsoft, Lionsgate, 3-year anniversary, 2009, CNBC, CNBC.com, TheDaily.com, TechDirt.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
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For more information please contact:
Check out the new stats we just updated. Over 1 million torrents removed now, and at our current pace, the total number of infringements removed should eclipse seven million this month.
Browse over to http://takedownpiracy.com/stats/ to see our latest stats.
So I stumbled across this poll on a torrent site and I just had to share it. You hear all the time how content owners equate each download with a lost sale. The filesharing crowd is quick to dismiss this. Then they counter with anecdotal stories about filesharing making people buy more than before. It’s all theoretical and it’s pretty easy for people to just say whatever when they are being surveyed, so knowing the actual truth is pretty much impossible.
That being said, according to this actual poll on a torrent site, 57% of the nearly 44,000 respondents are either buying less now that they discovered free downloads, or stopped paying for content COMPLETELY. Nearly 44% claim that they stopped paying for content completely once they found piracy sites. While 40% are either spending the same or more than they were before, with only 9% saying they are spending MORE. You do the math, sounds like piracy is costing copyright holders losses, at least according to this poll.
Cue the “this poll was fixed by the MAFIAA” drones who believe any time the numbers don’t jive with the narrative they want to advance that the numbers must be wrong.
One Year After Launching a Full-Time Operation, TDP Is the
Most Trusted Source for Digital Content Protection!
November 21, 2011 — CHATSWORTH, Calif. — Takedown Piracy has removed its milestone 5 millionth copyright infringement of digital content. The 5 million infringements include an assortment of movies, photos, artwork, and text from clients ranging from mainstream movie producers and athletes to video games and entertainment producers. Takedown Piracy is pleased to offer protection from piracy to producers of digital content, around the world.
To report a copyright violation using Takedown Piracy’s tip page, visit http://takedownpiracy.com/tips/.
Removal number 5 million comes only one year after Takedown Piracy owner Nate Glass turned the company into a full-time venture. “We take a lot of pride in each copyright infringement we remove, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit the 5 millionth doesn’t feel a bit more special,” says Glass. “With the Aikido Program combined with our emphasis on search engine removals, our removal rate is increasing exponentially, as is our message – content will be protected and we will not be stopped in our mission.”
Among the many attributes separating Takedown Piracy from its competitors is its new custom tool, the Aikido Program. The progressive tool is removing hundreds of thousands of copyright infringements each month. The Aikido Program is exclusive to TDP and uses a PHP script to exploit a large piracy aggregation site. It takes a site meant to assist illegal downloads and transforms it into a valuable asset in anti-piracy. True to its martial art namesake, the Aikido Program uses the strength of its opponent to its own advantage.
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.
About Takedown Piracy:
Takedown Piracy (TDP) is an anti-piracy service started in April of 2009. The service was founded by 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 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.
Takedown Piracy, Nate Glass, 5 million, digital content, tip page, protection, piracy, copyright, infringements, illegal downloads, torrent, tube, rapidshare, cyberlocker, DMCA, content, Aikido Program, November 21
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For more information please contact:
There’s a lot of adult studios bitching about piracy these days, but if you listen to them, they seem to get locked in on tube sites and completely disregard the other ways digital piracy is killing our bottom lines. To give you an idea, a recent conversation between myself and a very impassioned adult studio representative went something like this:
Nate: “Yeah and it’s not just tube sites, I mean I could download every single one of your movies the week they come out on some of the torrent sites.”
Studio Rep: “What’s a torrent?”
Another recent conversation about porn-sharing forums went something like this:
Nate: “Dude you guys are getting killed on the porn sharing forums too!”
Studio Rep: “Forums? Like ADT?”
Nate: “No, not like ADT.”
Well for those of you that don’t know what a torrent site or a porn-sharing forum is…here ya go:
Torrent sites are true peer 2 peer filesharing sites. I’ll give you an example of how torrents work. Let’s use “Johnny” as our would-be internet pirate. Johnny gets his hands on a DVD of Big Wet Asses 15, and he takes it home and copies it to his computer (this is called ‘ripping’ in the piracy world).
Johnny re-encodes the video and breaks it up into 2 parts where each part is just the right size to be burned/copied to a blank CD. Then Johnny makes a .torrent file. The .torrent file basically contains information saying “This is Big Wet Asses 15, it’s from Elegant Angel, it’s got Gianna, and Johnny is the person that ripped it and if you want to download it, here’s the code you need to know.” Though it says all those things in a very computer-technical way, that’s the gist of the file’s contents. Think of it like a big .zip file.
Each .torrent file has what is called a “info hash” ID, you can think of this like the VIN for your car or your Social Security Number. It’s unique to that one file, and no other file has that same sequence of numbers. Johnny uses a torrent program like Bit Torrent (similar to iTunes) and he makes his copy of Big Wet Asses 15 available to people (this is called ‘seeding’ in the torrent world). Then Johnny goes to a torrent site and he uploads his .torrent file.
Joe Schmo comes along and goes, hmmmm…let’s see what’s new…oh Big Wet Asses 15…looks good…I want it. He downloads the .torrent file and it says to his bit torrent software: “here’s the info hash ID for that file, let’s look for other people that have it…hey Johnny has that movie…we’ll start downloading it from him.”
Eventually someone else comes along and wants Big Wet Asses 15 too, so they start downloading it…but now they are getting part of it from Johnny and part of it from Joe Schmo. This increases as more people want the file, and more people offer it. Eventually there’s a bunch of people who have the full movie (called Seeders) and a bunch of people still in the process of getting it (called Leechers). This collection of people is called “the swarm”, and a healthy swarm has a ratio of more givers than takers. Think of this like checkout stands at the grocery store. If there’s 100 people trying to check out and there’s 1 register open…it’s going to take you a long time. But if there were 200 registers open, you’d breeze right through.
This all might sound kinda technical but it’s actually quite easy. If enough people are seeding a file, you can easily download a full DVD copy in a few hours depending on your internet speed. After you’re done downloading it, you keep sharing it with the people still trying to complete their download. In fact, most sites require users to share in order to stay active. If you don’t share with other people, they cut you off. This keeps new users able to get just about anything they want, just as long as they give back of course.
What’s really tricky for you as a copyright owner is that the torrent site doesn’t actually have Big Wet Asses 15 anywhere on their servers, the movie itself only resides on each individual’s computer, like Johnny and Joe Schmo’s. However, recent cases have been won against torrent sites for aiding in copyright infringement, so most torrent sites now comply with DMCA notices just to cover their butts. So for adult studios there’s no reason for your content to be on many of these torrent sites because many of those sites would have taken it down, if only you had sent a DMCA for it. Many of those sites will then add your company to their list of “Forbidden Content” meaning that users are instructed NOT to upload anything from your company, and if they do, they risk being banned. What’s even better is that if the site you are sending a DMCA for is a private site (meaning that the .torrents on their site are not uploaded anywhere else), sending a DMCA for it effectively kills that .torrent completely. Everyone that has/wants that file, can no longer get it.
Ok, I explained to you how the torrent sites work, now let’s move on to the forums.
The forums are similar to the forums you’ve no doubt heard of like AdultDVDTalk.com and XXXPorntalk.com, however the porn filesharing forums serve a more nefarious purpose. Their only purpose is the trading of porn between users, for free. These sites get tremendous traffic with some in the top 1000 websites in the WORLD according to Alexa. So what motivates people to go to these sites and give away porn for free?
These visitors don’t do this out of the goodness of their hearts. No, they are actually making money off of your titles. And I’m not just talking about the site owners, I’m talking about the USERS, or more specifically, the UPLOADERS.
You see, there are websites called “File Hosting” sites that are solely designed for the storage of files of all types. Got a big document you can’t email, pictures from your vacation, you name it…you can upload it there and give Mom and Dad the links to download the pictures. The problem is that these sites are most often used for the purpose of hosting copyrighted content. And most of these sites actually PAY users for how many downloads they get. Let’s use a hypothetical example:
Let’s say Johnny gets his hands on a DVD of Homegrown Video 700. Johnny takes it home, copies it to his computer and re-encodes it. Now, Johnny goes to a site like Rapidshare.com and uploads his copy of Homegrown Video 700. Johnny now goes to a whole bunch of forums and posts “Hey guys, you can download Homegrown Video 700 for free at http://www.rapidshare.com/123456/Homegrown Video 700.zip”. For every person that downloads Johnny’s copy of Homegrown Video 700, the site will pay him money, providing he reaches certain thresholds. Most file hosting sites pay users $10 for every 1000 downloads they pull in. There’s other variables like the size of the file, the uploaders previous history, what country the download came from, but the $10 for 1000 formula is pretty average. Instead of money, some other sites give the uploader “points” that they can use to buy “Premium Accounts” which they can then resell for profit. With a premium account, you get faster download speeds, no waiting to download, and anything you upload won’t get deleted for inactivity. And with the points program, there’s no 1000 downloads threshold that need be achieved.
Think 1000 downloads is impossible? There are threads on some of these forums with upwards of 100,000 views. On one of the main forums I monitor, there are about 700 new postings every single day, with almost all of them reaching at least 200 views….that day. And keep in mind, that’s just one site. If Johnny’s smart, he’s going to post his links on all the high-traffic forums.
Now if Johnny can get 1000 downloads from a big forum, plus 1000 downloads combined from the other 4 or 5 forums he also post links in….Johnny just made $20 off of Homegrown Video 700. And if Homegrown doesn’t send a DMCA notice, Johnny will continue to accumulate downloads over time. Of course Johnny isn’t going to limit himself to just 1 title or 1 studio. If Johnny can do the same thing for 100 titles this week or even for the whole month, well you do the math. Ok, I’ll do the math…it’s $2000. For most of these uploaders the strategy is to get as much stuff uploaded, and let the downloads keep accumulating over time since most studios don’t even know about this problem (since we’re all focused on the tubes).
But you’re saying to me…I’ve never heard of Rapidshare.com, who uses that? Well, here’s a fact that should wake you up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat…only fifteen other websites IN THE ENTIRE FREAKING WORLD get more traffic than Rapidshare! That’s right…more people go to Rapidshare.com than go to Microsoft.com, Ebay.com, Craigslist.org, Amazon.com, AOL.com, CNN.com, Apple.com, ESPN.com, and NYTimes.com. Rapidshare is #15 in the world in total traffic, #14 is Twitter, so Rapidshare is almost as popular as freaking Twitter!
And rest assured if you are an adult studio, every single one of your titles is up there. And your New Releases will be on there either on the street date or within the 1st week. It will happen, no matter how much you wish otherwise. Groups actually compete to see who will be the first to upload your movies, so for them, there’s no ‘cherry-picking’ movies, they want them all, and they will get them.
Now, it’s also my belief that the forums and torrent sites work hand in hand. Meaning that in my example above, I think many “Johnny’s” out there get the movie first from the torrent sites, and then re-upload it to the file hosting sites and then spread the links over the forums. Getting a handle on both of these is very important.
What’s the good news? Well, unlike torrent sites, file hosting sites are actually HOSTING the material, so they must comply with DMCA notices or risk a lawsuit. Which is why all of them comply with DMCA notices and extremely fast. And many of them actually add the file to a filter that will not only prohibit that file from being re-uploaded, but it will force the removal of all copies of that same file. For example, if Johnny uploaded a 1.45 megabyte file of Homegrown Video stills, and Joe Schmo uploaded that same file, one DMCA notice sent for Johnny’s file would force the removal of Joe Schmo’s file as well.
I’ve been incredibly effective at cleaning up the forums for my piracy partners. Uploaders are tying to get clever and they are trying to use program to hide the urls of files, but so far none of them have worked to evade me. They try to be cheeky and use name schemes like “[email protected]@”, but I find them nonetheless. Their attempts to evade me show me that my efforts are working.
This is just another way that we’re all being killed by piracy. Everyone knows about the tubes, and there’s no denying they are a huge problem. But don’t overlook the other means that we’re all being ripped off. This isn’t an easy problem to fix. It’s time consuming, it takes a lot of effort, it’s very repetitive, boring and at times, just downright depressing. So if you don’t want to spend hours every day leafing through page after page of porn uploads…put me on the job for you. My rate is cheap and my results are good. Interested?
Email me at [email protected]