TRON Cryptocurrency Founder Plans to Buy BitTorrent Inc
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More than thirteen years after BitTorrent Inc. entered Silicon Valley as one of the hottest new startups, the company is getting close to being acquired. Justin Sun, the founder of the cryptocurrency TRON, is planning to take the company in and both parties are finalizing the latest details. With a multi-billion dollar market cap, TRON aims to decentralize the web, partly powered by BitTorrent.

Founded by BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen, BitTorrent Inc. is best known for its torrent client uTorrent, which has more than 100 million users.

Despite this massive userbase, however, the company never transformed into the next billion-dollar tech giant, as some as the early investors had hoped.

In fact, it has only gone downhill in recent years, in part due to questionable management practices. Things have calmed down since, but according to new information gathered by TorrentFreak, there is a major change afoot.

A few weeks ago we reported that BitTorrent Inc. qui...

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Steal This Show S03E16: The TAO of the DAO Pt. 2
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Today we bring you the next episode of the Steal This Show podcast, discussing renegade media and the latest decentralization and file-sharing news. In this episode, we talk to Chris Beams again, founder of the decentralized cryptocurrency exchange Bisq.

If you enjoy this episode, consider becoming a patron and getting involved with the show. Check out Steal This Show’s Patreon campaign: support us and get all kinds of fantastic benefits!

This is the second part of our interview with Chris Beams, founder of the decentralised cryptocurrency exchange, Bisq. We discuss the inner workings of the Bisq service, how it compares to the widely used platform Local Bitcoins, and the intricacies of designing decentral P2P systems for financial operations.

From there, we move into some of the political/philosophical implication...

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Legal Blackmail: Zero Cases Brought Against Alleged Pirates in Sweden
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Since 2017, tens of thousands of alleged file-sharers in Sweden have received threatening letters demanding cash settlements to make a supposed lawsuit go away. Yet an investigation carried out by Sweden's SVT has failed to unearth a single instance where a claim has resulted in a conviction for so-called copyright trolls. "Legal blackmail," says a professor of law at Stockholm University.

While several countries in Europe have wilted under sustained pressure from copyright trolls for more than ten years, Sweden managed to avoid their controversial attacks until fairly recently.

With Germany a decade-old pit of misery, with many hundreds of thousands of letters – by now probably millions – sent out to Internet users demanding cash, Sweden avoided the ranks of its European partners until two years ago

In September 2016 it was revealed that an organization calling itself Spridningskollen (Distribution Check) headed up by law firm Gothia Law, would begi...

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Movie Studios Sue Founder & Distributors of Popular ‘Pirate’ App Showbox
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A large coalition of independent movie studios, including the makers of Dallas Buyers Club, has filed a lawsuit against the alleged 'founder' and several distributors of the popular movie streaming application Showbox. In their complaint, they brand the Android application as a pirate tool that's used to mislead the public.

For many years media companies have focused their anti-piracy efforts on pirate sites, including torrent and streaming portals.

More recently, these efforts expanded to streaming boxes, with the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) targeting several vendors of such devices.

This week, a group of independent movie studios has targeted yet another largely overseen element of the piracy ecosystem. Dallas Buyers Club, Cobbler Nevada, Bodyguard Productions, and several other studios are going after the popular Android-based app Showbox.

Showbox hasn’t caug...

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Fully-Loaded Kodi Box Sellers Receive Hefty Jail Sentences
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A court in Wales has handed hefty jail sentences to former partners who ran a business selling fully-loaded Kodi boxes. Michael Jarman and Natalie Forber, who sold more than 1,000 devices over a two year period, pleaded guilty to operating a fraudulent business. Jarmain was jailed for 21 months while Forber, who had no previous convictions, was handed a 16-month suspended sentence.

While users of older peer-to-peer based file-sharing systems have to work relatively hard to obtain content, users of the Kodi media player have things an awful lot easier.

As standard, Kodi is perfectly legal. However, when augmented with third-party add-ons it becomes a media discovery powerhouse, providing most of the content anyone could desire. A system like this can be set up by the user but for many, buying a so-called “fully-loaded” box from a seller is the easier option.

As a result, hundreds – probably thousands – of cottage industries have sp...

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Phone Store Employee Sued For Promoting ‘Pirate’ App Showbox
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Two movie studios have sued an employee of a Hawaiian phone store who allegedly recommended the 'pirate' application Showbox to a customer. The makers of the films 'Mechanic: Resurrection' and 'A Family Man' accuse the woman of contributory copyright infringement and demand damages in federal court.

In recent years, a group of select companies have pressured hundreds of thousands of alleged pirates to pay significant settlement fees, or face legal repercussions.

Traditionally, the companies go after BitTorrent users, as they are easy to track down by their IP-addresses. In Hawaii, however, a newly filed case adds a twist to this scheme.

The studios ME2 Productions and Headhunter, who own the rights to the movies ‘Mechanic: Resurrection‘ and ‘A Family Man‘ respectively, are suing an employee of a phone store who allegedly promoted and installed the...

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BPI Wants Piracy Dealt With Under New UK Internet ‘Clean-Up’ Laws
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This week, Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, announced the launch of a consultation on new legislative measures to clean up the 'Wild West' elements of the Internet. In response, music group BPI says the government should use the opportunity to tackle piracy with advanced site-blocking measures, repeat infringer policies, and new responsibilities for service providers.

For the past several years, the UK Government has expressed a strong desire to “clean up” the Internet.

Strong emphasis has been placed on making the Internet safer for children but that’s just the tip of a much larger iceberg.

This week, the Government published its response to the Internet Safety Strategy green paper, stating unequivocally that more needs to be done to tackle “online harm”.

Noting that six out of ten people report seeing inappropriate or harmful content online, the Government said that work already underway with social m...

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Facebook User Pleads Guilty to Uploading Pirated Copy of Deadpool
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A 22-year-old man from California has pleaded guilty to uploading a pirated copy of the movie Deadpool to Facebook. The film was shared to the social media network, shortly after it premiered, where it was viewed 6,386,456 times. The man was indicted following an FBI investigation last year and faces a one-year prison sentence.

Every day, hundreds of millions of people use Facebook to share photos, videos and other information.

While most of the content posted on the site is relatively harmless, some people use it to share things they are not supposed to. A pirated copy of Deadpool, for example.

This is what the now 22-year-old Trevon Franklin from Fresno, California, did early 2016. Just a week after the first installment of the box-office hit Deadpool premiered in theaters, he shared a pirated copy of the movie on the social network.

To be clear, Franklin wasn’t the person who origina...

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Despite US Criticism, Ukraine Cybercrime Chief Receives Few Piracy Complaints
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In response to alleged failures by Ukraine in the fight against online piracy, last year the MPAA, RIAA and other groups asked the U.S. Government to impose sanctions while the European Commission warned that Ukraine risks damaging relations with the EU. But according to the head of Ukraine's cyber-police unit, complaints received by him are few in number and are actually going down.

On a large number of occasions over the past decade, Ukraine has played host to some of the world’s largest pirate sites.

At various points over the years, The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, ExtraTorrent, Demonoid and raft of streaming portals could be found housed in the country’s data centers, reportedly taking advantage of laws more favorable than those in the US and EU.

As a result, Ukraine has been regularly criticized for not doing enough to combat piracy but when placed under pressure, it does take action. In 2010, for example, the local government expressed c...

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Kodi-Addon Developer Gives Up Piracy Defense Due to Lack of Funds
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Shani, the brains behind the popular Kodi-addon ZemTV, has asked his attorney to stop defending him. The London-based developer says he doesn't have the funds to fight the legal battle against Dish Networks in a US court. As a result, there's a high likelihood that the broadcast provider will win a default judgment.

Last year, American satellite and broadcast provider Dish Network targeted two well-known players in the third-party Kodi add-on ecosystem.

In a complaint filed in a federal court in Texas, add-on ZemTV and the TVAddons library were accused of copyright infringement, with both facing up to $150,000 for each offense.

While TVAddons operator Adam Lackman responded to the allegations last week, ZemTV’s developer ‘Shani’ decided not to reply.

Shahjahan Durrani, Shani for short, never denied that he was the driving force behind the Kodi-addons ZemTV, LiveS...

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