Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Kodi v17 “Krypton” Beta 6

Kodi 17 features a huge amount of work in areas like video playback, live TV and PVR/DVR, the music library, skinning and more. It features a new default skin, as well as a new default touchscreen skin, named Estuary and Estouchy, respectively. With all this work done over the months some bugs might slip through and were hoping to quickly squash the coming beta releases. The changes for this sixth beta are the result of the continuous effort from the developers, either from inside the team or outside to get v17 into final release shape. and any outside. We sure would like to thank every one involved with either development, testing or simply helping out others with question.

Fixes done in this Beta 6:

• Show select dialog for director button in the information panel if there’s more than one director
• Fix video stall on Android during skipping of video or when opening the player controls
• Fix potential memory leak in image handling
• Fix several problems in the cmake build system
• Redact username and password from the log if user has advancedsettings.xml
• Fix creating temp folder when handling add-on updates on Windows which fixes the problem from Beta 4
• Fix possible crash on handling certain fonts
• Fix possible EPG lock up
• Fix ASS subtitles on Windows
• Fix memory leak with ASS and certain regular subtitles on all platforms
• Revert change that broke RTL (right to left)  language subtitles
• Force re scan of music file tags to makes use of the newest available library structure
• Fix not updating the favourites menu item after changes had been made
• Add privacy policy screen in system information
Remember last used subtitle service when searching again
• Fix hash checking in add-on installer which caused certain add-on not downloading when multiple repositories were installed
• Fix conversion of POPM music tag values to the new 0 to 10 rating
• Fix several issues to further improve controller support
• Update CEC library with additional fixes
• Fix some tag reading issues from music files

A full list of changes can be found here

• Microsoft has rolled out a fix for users of the Kodi UWP version in combination with AMD videocard that had BSOD. For more information see: Blue screen with error code 0×139

Known problems

• Upgrading the skin you are currently using fails on Windows. Temporary solution is switch back to the default Estuary skin and let the other skin update and then switch back.

We are trying to find the cause solve these problems. Of course there are some more however these are the most noticeable ones. Remember this is still Beta software so please be patient.


What’s new?

Privacy policy

Your privacy is an important factor that the XBMC Foundation and Team Kodi considers in the development of all of our software and services. We are committed to being transparent and open. This Privacy Policy explains generally how we receive information about you, and what we do with that information once we have it. As such we have added this privacy policy to our website and also made it available from within Kodi itself to read.


WARNING:  This of course does not mean your privacy is totally protected. In the end you are still responsible yourself for whatever you install or share. For the official Kodi repository we have a set of strict rules in place for any add-on that is added or updated and strive towards protecting the users from any harm that might come from using them. However once you decide to install any other repository or add-ons from outside our official repository you must make sure you are informed of any consequences. Do not blindly install any add-on but make sure to read up on what it does and what it might share with others. If you are not sure then take the safe route and don’t install it.

You might want to read this: Be aware what additional add-ons you install

Force music tag re-scan

With Kodi v17 a lot has changed in regards to the music library and part of this has been better tag scanning and usage. For this to work to it’s full potential it’s mandatory for your music files to be re-scanned and the available tags to be extracted. After you upgrade and enter the music library a choice will be giving to re-scan now or later. As this re-scan can take up quite some time and resources you can answer NO and continue browsing your library. Once you exit library and re-enter you will be prompted again asking to re-scan. Once you answer YES Kodi will start scanning all your music files and extract the tag data they contain to a certain degree. As mentioned this process takes quite some time depending on the size. During this time Kodi might be somewhat slower than normal. Do note that this will not reset your library to a new state or that you will loose data. It will simply update what is available and will leave all play counts and the rest as they were.



Estuary and Estouchy: next generation

Past March we announced that v17 would feature a brand new default skin called Estuary and since then it has been included in every build we have released. During this period our developers kept improving on how it looked, behaved and made use of the latest features that got included from what is shaping up to be the final release of v17. Since more and more users also started to use these development builds we started to receive a lot of feedback, where most was positive there was also some negative or at least constructive comments. As we are not deaf to these comments and try to create the best experience, our skin developer phil65 went back to the drawing board and rethought on how to incorporate this feedback into wat should become the final skin. With some help from ryanmah for the mockups, ichabod-fletchman for helping out this didn’t resulted in a total rewrite but simply reworking some parts of how the skin looks and behaves. The underlying skin code still remains the same for a very large part except for the parts where a smarter way of doing this magic was found. The visual top layer what you will see should still feel quite familiar if you have used any past v17 builds as not everything was redone.

At same time the touch skin Estouchy also got matched by our senior skin developer ronie to match the Estuary look.

For some screenshot you can visit the release announcement here: Default skin: Next Gen. Regardless you’ll see when you install this new update.



As previously noted, this is only a small summary of all the improvements in Kodi 17. For more, see the Alpha 2 and Alpha 3 posts. Should you want to download and install this build please visit our download page. You can install these build just on top of your current Kodi installation.

•  Official Kodi 17.0 development downloads (near the bottom of the page)
•  LibreELEC Raspberry Pi / x86  versions can be found here

Bug reports

Please report any problems on our forum and not on the release announcement as it is not a reporting or help section. Don’t forget we also have some official tablet/phone remote controls for both Android and iOS. You can find the links to them on the download page.

Donations or getting involved

Getting involved is quite easy. Simply take the plunge and start using these 17.0 Krypton builds. If you use these builds, we encourage you to report problems with these builds on our forum first and after that, if asked, submit bugs on Trac (following this guide: How to submit a bug report). Do note that we need detailed information so we can investigate the issue. We also appreciate providing support in our Forums where you can. You can of course also follow or help promote Kodi on all available social networks. Read more on the get involved page. We are always happy to receive a donation by which you show your support and appreciation, and t-shirts and Raspberry Pi cases may still be found on the sidebar for purchase. All donations and other income goes towards the XBMC foundation and are typically used for travel to attend conferences, any necessary paperwork and legal fees, purchasing necessary hardware and licenses for developers and hopefully the yearly XBMC Foundation Developers Conference.

from Kodi

Court Awards Damages Following Bogus DMCA Takedowns

sadyoutubeEvery hour of every day, millions of DMCA-style takedown notices flood into service providers all over the globe. Google alone has received a billion in the past 12 months.

While the majority of these notices comply with the law, a percentage are duplicates, erroneous, or flat-out malicious. Until recently, however, no one had ever been held to account for sending bad notices, but a case in Canada has changed that.

Whyte Potter-Mäl c Topdawg Entertainment Inc. is a curious case that has its roots back in 2011 when rapper Jonathan Emile asked fellow rapper and songwriter Kendrick Lamar to contribute to the track ‘Heaven Help Dem’. Lamar agreed and provided a verse in 2012.

“We sent [Lamar] an email outlining what we wanted to do and they got us on the phone and said they were feeling it and that they would go ahead and do the song,” Emile told Billboard.

“We paid Kendrick Lamar for a feature, and once we paid them, they basically stopped communicating with us altogether. It was understood that we’d take care of the paperwork with the lawyers, so we paid them and they basically disappeared… we couldn’t get in contact, so I just continued producing my album and with the verbal agreement we had, and we put out the song in 2015.”

Heaven Help Dem was supposed to be the lead track on Emile’s debut album, but instead it was quickly pulled from YouTube, iTunes, Soundcloud and other sites following bogus copyright claims from Lamar’s label Top Dawg Entertainment Inc., Interscope Records and Universal Music Group.

Emile says that after going back and forth with the labels, they realized that they had no right to take the track down. By then, however, the damage had been done and all momentum to promote the song had been lost. Also faced with the prospect of fans believing that he had stolen the verse from Lamar, Emile decided to take the labels to court in Canada.

In a case before the small claims division of the Court of Quebec, Emile asked for a token amount in damages – just CAD$15,000 – after the labels removed his work from the Internet for two months after bogus copyright claims. None appeared in court to defend themselves and Emile won by default.

“It’s only after the intervention of this lawyer that the song was reinstated on the social media,” the Court’s judgment reads.

“While the song was down, and even after it was reinstated, it is clear from the evidence provided that the incomes of the Plaintiff and his reputation was negatively affected from the false report of the Defendants.”

In most cases there would be earlier rulings to look back on, but the Montreal Court said that it was unable to find anything similar on file. Instead, it used Copyright Act to determine an appropriate damages award.

“In these circumstances, and after reviewing sections 28.1, 28.2, 34 of the Copyright Act, sections 6 and 49 of the Charter of human rights and freedoms and the Cinar judgment [1] from the Supreme Court, the Court will allow the discretionary amount of $5,000 as moral and material damages to be solidarily paid by the Defendants and an additional amount of $1,000 per Defendant as punitive damages,” the Court ruled.

Speaking with Legal Feeds, IP expert Noel Courage said he’d never seen a case where someone had been sued over a takedown notice.

“The Court seemed to say that the takedown affected the moral rights of the musician’s work or performance,” he said.

“Moral rights are the musician’s rights to the integrity of a work. These rights can be infringed if the work is modified without consent, and prejudices the musician’s reputation or honour. This is the first I have heard of the use of moral rights in response to a web music takedown.”

While the Court’s decision will be welcomed by those who believe the DMCA is too often used as a weapon, Courage said that the case doesn’t set a strong precedent due to it being heard before a low-level court.

However, “it may give companies pause before giving takedown notices.”

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

from TorrentFreak

UK ISPs to Start Sending ‘Piracy Alerts’ Soon

uk-flagIn an effort to curb online piracy, the movie and music industries reached an agreement with the UK’s leading ISPs to send warnings to alleged copyright infringers.

Mimicking its American counterpart, the copyright alert program will monitor the illegal file-sharing habits of UK citizens with a strong focus on repeat infringers.

The piracy alerts program is part of the larger Creative Content UK (CCUK) initiative which already introduced several anti-piracy PR campaigns, targeted at the general public as well as the classroom.

The plan to send out email alerts was first announced several years ago when we discussed it in detail, but it took some time to get everything ready. This week, a spokesperson from CCUK’s “Get it Right From a Genuine Site” campaign informed us that it will go live in first few months of 2017.

It’s likely that ISPs and copyright holders needed to fine-tune their systems to get going, but the general purpose of the campaign remains the same. This means that the focus lies on education.

While it may be quite scary for people to see that their piracy habits are being tracked and reported, the campaign stresses that they prefer the carrot over the stick.

“Educational emails will help account owners and others who use their accounts to do the right thing and get their content from legitimate sources,” the spokesperson informed us.

The alert emails will be similar to what we’ve seen in the United States, except that there are no direct punishments tied to them. They will, however, list details about the pirated files that were shared and how this can be prevented in the future.

“As well as providing links to help the customer find legal sources of content in future, the email will direct the user to further resources to answer any questions they may have about how the information was obtained and how to make sure their account is not used to infringe content again,” we were told.

“We realize that some people might not realize their account has been used to share files, for example if their children have been illicitly downloading content and then sharing it without their parent’s knowledge.”

Pointing people towards one of the many legal alternatives is a central goal, through which CCUK hopes to decrease piracy rates over time.

The “Get it Right From a Genuine Site” team is confident that they can drive some significant change. Several benchmark measurements were taken prior to the campaign, so its effectiveness can be properly measured once it’s underway.

Talks about this type of alert system have been on the agenda for almost a decade. Ironically, however, now that it’s getting close to finally being implemented, P2P file-sharing is on the decline.

Over the past years, most pirates in the UK have shifted towards direct download and streaming services. Since the copyright alerts only target P2P sharing, it will have less of an impact today than it would have a few years ago.

To what degree the new anti-piracy campaign will convert pirates into paying customers has yet to be seen. In any case, it won’t pass by unnoticed.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

from TorrentFreak

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Antigua & Barbuda Threatens to Punish U.S. With Piracy Free-For-All

pirate-runningFor years, the small Caribbean country of Antigua and Barbuda had a flourishing gambling industry, with an estimated 5% of all countrymen working in gambling-related companies.

However, measures taken by central, regional and local authorities in the US seriously affected the cross-border supply of gambling services, with Antigua’s High Commissioner to London stating that they had subsequently shrunk “to virtually nothing.”

In desperation, Antigua filed a dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO), which it won. A 2005 ruling by the WTO found that denying Antiguan gambling companies access to the US market violated free-trade.

In 2007 the WTO ramped up the pressure, granting Antigua the right to suspend U.S. IP rights up to $21 million annually. With little progress made in the dispute, in 2013 Antigua threatened to launch its own ‘pirate’ site, which prompted a sharp response from the US.

“If Antigua actually proceeds with a plan for its government to authorize the theft of intellectual property, it would only serve to hurt Antigua’s own interests,” the U.S warned.

After three years without such a site appearing, a release from the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Board (DSB) indicates that Antigua and Barbuda has finally run out of patience and is ready to suspend protection of US intellectual property rights. A letter from a government representative to the WTO explains the situation.

“It has been 12 long years since an Arbitration panel, established under the rules and procedures of this body, issued a decision that found the United States of America in violation of international obligations under the General Agreement on Trade in Services.

“Over that entire 12-year period, my small country with a Gross Domestic Product of just $1 billion has been deprived of trade revenues which now exceed $250 million. For my country’s tiny economy, $250 million is a meaningful sum of money,” the statement reads.

Pointing out that $250m represents only 0.0003% of just one year of GDP for the US, the letter adds that over the past 12 years, the US has enjoyed a trade surplus with Antigua and Barbuda of more than $1 billion.

“Over all this time my government has patiently engaged in good faith consultations with the Government of the United States in the genuine hope that the harm done to our economy by US action would be repaired through a settlement that recognizes justice and fairness.

“Alas, the US has not been able to propose terms for a settlement that would even remotely compensate for the harm that has been done to our economy and continues to impact it negatively.”

The statement from Antigua and Barbuda adds that while the US continues to defy WTO rulings, it remains the most active user of the institution’s Dispute Settlement System, something which threatens to undermine the integrity of the WTO.

“[T]he protracted failure by the US to settle this matter, despite the fact that it is not compliant with WTO rules, has the potential to collapse confidence in the efficacy and credibility of the rules-based trading system.

“Antigua and Barbuda, one of the smallest economies in the world is yet to reap any benefit from having prevailed against the United States through the rulings and recommendations of the DSB,” it adds.

In a final warning that the gloves are about to come off, the statement concludes that time is running out and in a matter of weeks, unless something is done, United States intellectual property will receive no protection

“My government has almost exhausted its patient efforts to reach a settlement with the US. This is regrettable since, on our side, we have always conducted our relations with the US at a high level of regard and cooperation.

“We advise this body that we are now engaged in a final effort with representatives of the US Trade Representative’s Office to reach an agreed settlement. We hope that a sense of right will prevail. But, we cannot go beyond the end of this year.

“In light of the above, Antigua and Barbuda now informs the DSB that, if an appropriate and beneficial settlement is not reached with the US by year-end, the government will be compelled to take action to enforce the suspension of copyright on the sale of US intellectual property, consistent with the award of the DSB.”

The United States says it remains committed to resolving the matter but is “disappointed that Antigua and Barbuda had characterized the US as having acted in bad faith when the US had taken a constructive approach to resolving the matter.”

The US said it had put forward a package of concessions but Antigua and Barbuda are the only WTO member blocking the proposals.

Attorney Mark Mendel, a lawyer in Ireland who previously led the fight for Antigua at the WTO, informs TorrentFreak that a number of options remain open for the Carribean country.

“A couple of years back, when Antigua last came very close to implementing the remedies given them by the WTO, we had identified a significant number of areas where the suspension of United States intellectual property rights would, we had assessed, have had the desired effect,” Mendel explains.

“By ‘desired effect’, I mean the purpose of the remedies as given in the WTO rules – to put substantial domestic pressure on a recalcitrant government from a completely ‘innocent’ sector of the economy so as to encourage the government to comply with WTO rulings or at least agree a reasonable settlement. Since that time, all of those very well considered options exist, as do a few more that might even be more promising.”

Mendel says that since the remedies have been approved by the WTO, technically there will be no ‘pirating’, and whatever the Antigua and Barbuda government decides to do will be in compliance with the law.

“The only party in violation of International obligations in this dispute is the United States and I have all confidence that Antigua will continue to conduct itself in accordance with the agreed rule of law,” Mendel concludes.

The next meeting of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Board is scheduled for mid-December. Whether any progress will be made to end the 12-year dispute remains to be seen but if not, 2017 could be an eventful one for pirates of the Carribean.

The full letter Antigua & Barbuda sent to the WTO is available here (pdf).

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

from TorrentFreak

Police Shut Down France’s Largest Pirate Site

zonetelecharAfter seizing several servers of the popular private music tracker two weeks ago, the French military police have now caught an even bigger fish,

With millions of regular visitors, Zone-Telechargement was ranked the 11th most-visited website in the entirety of France.

Telechargement is French for “download,” and the site offered direct downloads of a wide variety of pirated content, including films, series, games, and music. However, yesterday afternoon the site suddenly became inaccessible.

After some confusion, the French Gendarmerie took credit on Twitter, stating that an investigation had concluded that the download portal caused rightsholders 75 million euros in losses.

Gendarmerie Nationale Tweet


Founded in 2011, Zone-Telechargement’s popularity soared after the shutdown of Megaupload, which was also hugely popular in France until its shutdown early 2012.

Interestingly, it appears that the site wasn’t the only target yesterday. DL-Protect, another large direct-download site and the 19th most popular website in France according to Alexa, also went down.

While the police only mentioned one site, Zataz reports that this direct download site was targeted by the police as well. In common with the action against, French music industry group SACEM also played a role in yesterday’s actions.

The police have yet to issue a full press statement on their investigation, but thus far no arrests have been announced. SACEM informs TorrentFreak that they will issue a comment later today.

With two prominent shutdowns in one month, it’s quite clear that the Gendarmerie’s cybercrime division and SACAM have online piracy high on their agenda.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

from TorrentFreak

Monday, November 28, 2016

Amazon Prime original shows are now available globally

Amazon Prime Available Globally imageOne of the downsides of streaming through pay services becomes evident if you are not from the United States. Most of the content in platforms that require a subscription is restricted geographically. You can circumvent this restriction by using a VPN to stream media. Connecting to a VPN every time you log in to your […]

Amazon Prime original shows are now available globally is a post from htpcBeginner.

from htpcBeginner

Google Asked to Remove a Billion “Pirate” Search Results in a Year

google-bayCopyright holders continue to flood Google with DMCA takedown requests, targeting “pirate links” in the company’s search results.

In recent years the number of notices has exploded, breaking record after record.

This week TorrentFreak crunched the numbers in Google’s Transparency Report and found that over the past 12 months Google has been asked to remove over a billion links to allegedly infringing pages, 1,007,741,143 to be precise.

More than 90 percent of the links, 908,237,861 were in fact removed. The rest of the reported links were rejected because they were invalid, not infringing, or duplicates of earlier requests.

In total, Google has now processed just over two billion allegedly infringing URLs from 945,000 different domains.

That the second billion took only a year, compared to several years for the first, shows how rapidly the volume of takedown requests is expanding. At the current rate, another billion will be added by the end of next summer.

Most requests, over 50 million, were sent in for the website However, according to the site’s operators many of the reported URLs point to the same files, inflating the actual volume of infringing content.

Google takerdown requests over time


The surge in takedown notices was also placed on the political agenda. In the UK, for example, proposed amendments to the UK’s Digital Economy Bill propose fines for search engines that fail to properly target piracy.

At the same time, the U.S. Government is considering changing the current takedown requirements.

The Copyright Office launched a public consultation in order to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the current DMCA provisions. This review is still ongoing and was extended earlier this month.

Thus far the consultation already triggered heavy criticism of the DMCA process from various copyright groups. However, according to Google itself, the current system is working just fine.

“The notice-and-takedown process has been an effective and efficient way to address online infringement,” the company informed the Copyright Office earlier this year.

“The increasing volume of URLs removed from Search each year demonstrates that rightsholders are finding the notice-and-takedown process worthwhile, efficient, and scalable to their needs.”

While Google believes that the millions of reported URLs per day are a sign that the DMCA takedown process is working correctly, rightsholders see it as a signal of an unbeatable game of whack-a-mole.

Various copyright holders and industry groups have asked the Government for broad revisions.

Among other things they want advanced technologies and processes to ensure that infringing content doesn’t reappear elsewhere once it’s removed, a so-called “notice and stay down” approach.

For now, however, nothing has changed, so it is expected that the number of reported pirate links will continue to increase.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

from TorrentFreak

Guide: How to Stop Buffering in Kodi Media Center?

stop buffering on kodiWhen you have settled down to watch your favourite movie there is nothing worse than buffering on Kodi. Your movie plot is unfolding and getting to the good bits when you are presented with the Kodi buffering notification. This often happens with streamed content but this is now the most widely used media type. The interruptions can […]

Guide: How to Stop Buffering in Kodi Media Center? is a post from htpcBeginner.

from htpcBeginner

UK Police “Don’t Anticipate” Working With Copyright Troll Partner

cityoflondonpolicePeople familiar with file-sharing settlement schemes in the UK are likely to have heard of Robert Croucher.

This businessman is a partner of German-based monitoring company Maverick Eye, who in turn are deeply involved with notorious copyright trolling organization Guardaley. Together, these companies have sent countless thousands of so-called ‘pay-up-or-else’ letters to alleged file-sharers all around the globe. The stated aim is the protection of copyright but the end result is a profitable business.

Earlier this year, Robert Croucher was involved in an unfortunate incident outside Raffles, an exclusive London club. He ended up pleading guilty to assaulting an Uber driver and was sentenced to five months in prison.

Last week, however, Croucher sent out a press release in which he explained that he himself had been the victim, and after an appeal had been released 16 days into his sentence.

Of greater interest to observers were new claims made by Croucher in respect of his anti-piracy work. His suggestion was that he’d now become involved in doing some work to raise funding for PIPCU, the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit. For clarity, here’s the relevant section of the release, verbatim.

“These revelations are made public this week as Mr. Croucher reveals his work on a private funding initiative for the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit and other law enforcement agencies worldwide to combat digital piracy,” the release read.

Intrigued, we contact Croucher’s company Hatton & Berkeley for clarification.

“Press will receive further information this week regarding private funding of law enforcement agencies,” the company said.

After publishing our piece, Croucher himself got in touch.

“For avoidance of doubt, ‘I do not fund’ or have ever stated that ‘I am to fund PIPCU’,” he wrote, questioning our interpretation of his statement.

So again, we tried to find out what else “[working] on a private funding initiative for the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit” might mean.

With no response, I suggested to Mr Croucher that if he’s indeed working on a private funding initiative, then it might be fair to say that he’s somehow facilitating or enabling the raising of funds – or at least that’s the impression he’d been trying to give.

Another statement from his company noted that “years of [Croucher’s] work on copyright protection and law enforcement financing was significantly undermined” while he was in prison. If we received information on what this meant, we were happy to update the article, we told him. No response was received. Another avenue, however, proved a little more fruitful.

Last week we also sought comment from PIPCU on their relationship with Mr Croucher and this morning they were kind enough to send a response. It doesn’t shine much light on what ‘private funding initiative’ Croucher is talking about, but it certainly clarifies the position of the police.

“The City of London Police’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit works in partnership with the creative industries as part of our work to fight intellectual property crime. As part of this work we engage with many organizations whose interests mesh with our own,” PIPCU’s Eddie Townsend told TF.

“Hatton & Berkley is a firm we have met with but we do not have any current arrangements in place to work with them nor do we anticipate working with them in the future. We do not receive any funding from Hatton & Berkley.”

Clearly, the impression of some type of working relationship with PIPCU would add credibility to the anti-piracy work being undertaken by Mr Croucher. However, that can currently only be interpreted through the vagaries of carefully worded press releases that promote discussion but reveal very little meat on the bone.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

from TorrentFreak

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week – 11/28/16

benhurThis week we have three newcomers in our chart.

Ben Hur is the most downloaded movie.

The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are Web-DL/Webrip/HDRip/BDrip/DVDrip unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart.

Ranking (last week) Movie IMDb Rating / Trailer
1 (…) Ben Hur 7.1 / trailer
2 (1) Pete’s Dragon 7.1 / trailer
3 (…) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (TS) 7.1 / trailer
4 (3) Snowden 7.4 / trailer
5 (7) Doctor Strange (Cam/TS) 8.0 / trailer
6 (4) Suicide Squad 6.7 / trailer
7 (2) Jason Bourne 7.7 / trailer
8 (…) Sausage Party 7.2 / trailer
9 (7) War Dogs 7.2 / trailer
10 (6) The BFG 6.6 / trailer

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

from TorrentFreak

Sunday, November 27, 2016

IPTV: Mass Piracy That’s Flying Largely Under The Radar

Anyone with a Kodi setup understands how it works. Download the software, install a bunch of third party addons, and enjoy TV shows, sports, movies and PPVs, all for free.

While millions have fun doing just that, even the leading experts in Kodi setups acknowledge that they are limited by the content being provided by third parties. Sometimes the quality is good and the service is reliable, but at the other extremes people can spend more time getting stuff to work than actually watching and relaxing.

For those who simply can’t stand this kind of messing around, going legit is the sensible option. Subscribe to a big TV package with a local provider, pay for all the sports and PPVs, tack on the movie package, throw in Netflix for good measure, and then sit back and enjoy the ride. Trouble is, it costs a fortune.

However, somewhere in the middle lies a third way. It’s a lurking piracy monster that is getting very little press.

IPTV is short for Internet Protocol television, which is a fancy way of describing TV content that’s streamed over the Internet rather than via terrestrial, satellite, or cable formats. That said, thinking this is all IPTV has to offer would be a big mistake.

We aren’t going to name names, but the service shown to TF this week boasts more than 3,000 live and premium TV channels from all over the world, many of them in HD quality. Apparently a bigger package of more than 4,000 channels is also available if you really want to gorge on media.

Streamed over the web, the channels can be viewed on a range of devices, from VLC Media Player on PC, through to Android and Apple apps. However, the jewel in the crown is a tiny little device called a Mag Box.


A Mag Box is a cheap Linux-based box that plugs into any modern TV and utterly transforms the way streaming pirate content is consumed. Instead of reams of text in a VLC playlist, for example, Mag Boxes and an appropriate IPTV service are almost indistinguishable from the real deal.

Channels are presented in Electronic Program Guide format (EPG) and switching from one to another is achieved in fractions of a second. Poor photography skills (and dodgy Christmas wallpaper aside), the menus are very well presented.


As shown in the image above, when a channel is selected a moving preview appears in the window on the right. Under that sits an EPG covering the next few hours which allows for planning ahead. Also accessible are full channel EPG views that are easily as good as many commercial offerings.

But while at first glance these services seem dedicated to only live TV (albeit on any channel you could imagine, anywhere in the world), many have another trick up their sleeve. The service we saw also carries hundreds of the latest movies, up to 4K in resolution and even in 3D. They too can be accessed from professional looking menus and play, interruption free, every single time.


Also on offer is a massive ‘catch-up’ service which provides all the latest episodes of the most popular shows on-demand. Shows appear to be available minutes after airing and can be paused and skipped within a convenient media player setup.

Instead of using dedicated hardware, many IPTV users also use Kodi to view these kinds of streams. There are plenty of tutorials available online which detail how to activate the PVR component of the popular media player to access these kinds of services. However, from what we’ve seen so far, the Mag Box experience is head and shoulders above everything else.

So what’s stopping everyone from dumping torrents and web-based streaming services and jumping over to premium IPTV products right now? Well, it’s the same old story – cost.

Like a good VPN service, a decent IPTV service costs money – a few dollars, pounds, or euros per month. Depending on what they’re offering, Netflix-style deals are possible but for those who simply must have everything, it’s closer to double that price per month, or less if one subscribes for a whole year.

That being said, as we’ve seen before in many areas of piracy, these pirate IPTV services offer massively more bang for your buck than official offerings. The only practical problem is that there aren’t enough hours in a lifetime to watch everything they have to offer. The selection is bewildering.

Needless to say, these services are definitely illegal, certainly when it comes down to offering them to the public. Whether it’s illegal for users to watch these streams is down to individual countries’ laws, but on the whole the legal system is untested in both Europe and the United States so prosecutions seem unlikely, at least for now.

The video embedded below shows a similar IPTV service to the one seen by TF. It is not the actual provider and we certainly don’t endorse any of these products

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

from TorrentFreak