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MPAA Targets Six BitTorrent TV Sites

Postby SlyckTom » Thu May 12, 2005 10:08 pm

Since the MPAA began its campaign to stomp out piracy in mid-December 2004, their main priority has been BitTorrent indexing sites that distribute movie torrents. As an example of their efforts, the MPAA eradicated such torrent sites as LokiTorrent, leaving only the "You can click, but you cannot hide" catch phrase as remnants. Although the MPAA concentrated mainly on movie piracy, the MPAA has shifted gears as those who distribute TV torrents are now targeted.

In a press release issued today, the MPAA has filed lawsuits against six (6) independent BitTorrent indexing sites. This move comes as little surprise, as many of the MPAA's members also hold considerable interest in TV production as well. In addition, according to a recent survey by Envisional, TV piracy (especially on BitTorrent) has increased by 150%.

“Internet thievery of all creative materials is unacceptable and these thieves need to realize they are not anonymous,” said MPAA President and CEO Dan Glickman.

“There are thousands of people in the entertainment industry who are working to develop, produce, and promote television shows. Those shows and those jobs are worth protecting. Every television series depends on other markets-syndication, international sales – to earn back the enormous investment required to produce the comedies and dramas we all enjoy and those markets are substantially hurt when that content is stolen. On these sites, anyone in the world can download entire television seasons in a single click.”

If we believe the movie industry’s statistics, the MPAA seems to have a better grip on the piracy situation than the RIAA. According to the RIAA, 90% of BitTorrent site operators who have been sued no longer offer torrent files. Also, the MPAA claims that the number of BitTorrent sites in existence has fallen by 40% since mid-December. The RIAA would kill for such numbers.

“Since we began shutting these sites down, the time that it takes to download a file on BitTorrent has increased exponentially which means the experience of downloading copyrighted films and TV shows is not what it used to be,” said Glickman. “We intend to make it even worse. Protecting the television industry is essential.”

This statement seems to contradict the experience many BitTorrent users testify to. Instead, users claim there are actually more torrent sites available and their BitTorrent journey remains on par with earlier experiences – providing they use indexing sites other than today’s targets…

So, who was sued by the MPAA today? Some very familiar faces in the BitTorrent community may be looking at their last days on the Internet.

<a href=http://www.shuntv.net target=_blank>Shuntv.net:</a> This site has around 10,000 registered users in addition to catalogs TV torrents (or at least had.) The indexing portion of the site is "perm down" and links to the MPAA's press release.

<a href=http://www.zonatracker.com target=_blank>Zonatracker.com:</a> Zonatraker is a small Spanish torrent site, although it indexes many new movies in addition to TV shows. Zonatracker's indexing ability still appears operational.

<a href=http://www.btefnet.net target=_blank>Btefnet.net:</a> Btefnet is a very large and well known torrent community of over 48,000 registered users. Many have called this community home since the fall of other larger torrent sites. Btefnet's tracker is still online.

<a href=http://www.scifi-classics.net target=_blank>Scifi-classics.net:</a> This is a very small torrent site, and looking at the home page one would think the site is virtually dead (considering the last news update was in 2004.) However, the forums are quite active, with copious torrents tucked inside. Scifi's tracker is still online.

<a href=http://www.cddvdheaven.co.uk target=_blank>Cddvdheaven.co.uk:</a> The MPAA was smart in the way they handled this site, and used its own statistics against it. "This site has over 8000 registered users,
and averaged over 1500 visits a day in March 2005 according to statistics
posted on the site." The tracking ability of this site remains intact.

<a href=http://www.bragginrights.biz target=_blank>Bragginrights.biz:</a> This site is big on collecting donations – and probably will be more so in the coming days. "IF THE DONATIONS DO NOT GET ANY BETTER THEN THIS SITE WILL HAVE TO CLOSE." It appears the MPAA was quick to use this against this site, stating "It solicits donations to make money." We'll see how this situation plays out. It also appears the site's tracker is still online.

Since news of the MPAA's lawsuits only recently broke, it remains to be seen what action these sites will take. Although most are online at the moment, it should be expected they will slowly go off line in the coming hours and days.
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Postby Nuttyguy » Thu May 12, 2005 10:22 pm

Bastards!

I dont have a TiVo, I dont have a VCR anymore... If im not home, and Lost comes on, what do I do? Im not alowed to download it? Hell, they show it for free on tv, with commercials. I'd be happy to download recent Tv Shows w/ commercials if that was an option.

the MPAA needs to offer these tvshows online, with commercials (to make thier money) and advertise the fact that they are legal. I'd begin to download the shows from them, even if they had DRM, just so I could watch that one episode I missed.

(first post?)
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btefnet.net

Postby shulkman » Thu May 12, 2005 10:48 pm

btefnet.net is showing a "domain has just been registered to one of our customers" thing now. Man this is gonna suck.
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Postby Santa » Thu May 12, 2005 11:00 pm

Are the MPAA dumb or just lousy at math?

The biggest TV shows on today have ratings of 20 million viewers or so...how many registered downloaders were there on btefnet? 48,000? And as far as I know, the commercials have already been aired (and paid) when the eps are ready for download...
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Postby Spywhere » Thu May 12, 2005 11:12 pm

OMG! BTEFNET IS GONE WHERE AM I GOING TO GET TV EPISODES NOW?
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Postby J5ONFIELD » Thu May 12, 2005 11:23 pm

This is a travesty! They took down ShunTv!! Why dont they leave are little groups alone!!!

WHat will the future hold?
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Postby Red_Blue » Thu May 12, 2005 11:37 pm

I don't see MPA/A member TV production companies hosting their own BT sites that offer torrents to episodes with commercials.

So once again, they are offering pure stick, no carrot.

Also the whole idea of claiming losses in markets where some show has 0 visibility and DVD release just a possibility in +"how many years", is proposterous (they are suing Spanish and UK sites as well).

MPAA is so much weaker in trying to claim the moral high ground than RIAA, because they can't show even ONE "legal" paid digital unicast delivery system for TV episodes, with or without DRM (I'm aware of the DRM ridden incredibly horrible streaming 512kbps quality attempts to "rent movies" though).
Last edited by Red_Blue on Thu May 12, 2005 11:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby mea2214 » Thu May 12, 2005 11:39 pm

I wish more sites would move their operations to China or Russia. Imagine the irony with that? Russia and China, two non democratic Communist regime now represent free havens for fair use rights.

ShunTV was actually rather considerate in what they offerred so as not to upset anyone. They didn't offer anything on HBO and many of the shows they had were ones that I had never heard of before. Hardly any of those shows will hit DVD ever. The Daily Show which was their main draw has no value after original show airs. I'm sure The Daily Show has benefitted immensely by having so many people download those shows.
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Postby Califax » Thu May 12, 2005 11:53 pm

Grrr, this just... annoys me. Man, I can see movies and music, but TV? :roll:
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Its fine

Postby bondjames_12 » Fri May 13, 2005 12:26 am

Everyone will just move/make a new tracker/website.
Besides they only took down a few sites.
isotorrent has 134 different sites in there index.
The harder the "wannabe powers" try to stop this medium "internet" the harder we will fight back. In the end we all know were just mad at them for causing a slight in convenience.
MPAA should take note that even though I was not able to get "The OC" from bfnet tonight, which I attribute to there efforts. It only took me 10-15 minutes to find a replacement. I encourge the MPAA to continue there efforts, but really people there going to need to try harder, this is just pathetic.
I love a good cause to fight for!
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Postby ksaturn123 » Fri May 13, 2005 12:29 am

Well to "my understanding" it is perfectly legal to do what you want with public air waves ie... ABC CBS NBC UPN WB and so on. The only limitation that I'm aware of is it's illegal to rebroadcast things off those stations. Uploading a TV episode is not rebroadcasting by any means. If any one of those torrent channels tried to fight this, they'd stand a pretty good chance at winning. The only problem I've seen is they offer stuff like Penn & Teller, Sopranos, Carnivale, and other Showetime/HBO dramas. If they were able to fight and win it would be a huge blow to the MPAA and add fuel for ,well without a good term ,more illegally contented torrent sites lol. If I'm wrong on the legality could someone please send me in the right direction via a website or something on TV and fair use law beside Sony VS. Betamax ;).
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Postby Overnet User » Fri May 13, 2005 12:33 am

I have to say that this is a total disgrace and that I will not ever support these bastards again (MPAA). I am so disgusted at their tactics and I hope they collapse.
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Postby Anonymous » Fri May 13, 2005 12:44 am

This is different isn't it? This is the first time these greed filled individuals have used such blatant language isn't it?

“Internet thievery of all creative materials is unacceptable and these thieves need to realize they are not anonymous,” said MPAA President and CEO Dan Glickman."


Calling downloading TV torrents thievery is like calling breathing air theivery.

Both of them are free and just floating around in the air. How can someone steal something that is freely floating around in the air for anyone to pick up?
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Postby NickC » Fri May 13, 2005 12:55 am

"Protecting the television industry is essential.”


Essential to what? The future of America??? What a load of bull.
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Postby Godzillaland » Fri May 13, 2005 1:00 am

btefnet.com was my favorite site because I could download the episodes I missed the night before or if I went away I could grab them and watch them.


Or I could download and watch shows that I wouldn't see for weeks, months or in some cases years.

Or even download shows that I just can't get here on TV at all.


If they let me download the shows and made them the same way that alot of these great people make them now (high quality pretty small file) with ads in them that I could bypass (because when the ads for TV come on, I flip the channel anyway or just totally ignore them till the show is back on) then I would be happy to download from them.

But they won't. That makes them big idiots.


Oh well, I guess I will have to search for a new place to download from so that I don't miss my favorite shows.
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Postby JunqueMan » Fri May 13, 2005 1:02 am

Spywhere wrote:OMG! BTEFNET IS GONE WHERE AM I GOING TO GET TV EPISODES NOW?


This was on #BT -Efnet :
____________
<oblivionx> 12[04Request12] Message:[04The #BT Website is currently down. Releases are on hold, possibly for the entire night, until we have a better understanding of the current situation. Please be patient and do not PM the ops. We will keep you guys updated.12] - SysReset 2.53
_____________


Hopefully they'll be back soon... :?

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SO STUPID

Postby roastbeef » Fri May 13, 2005 1:09 am

These lawsuits are SO STUPID. They will accomplish NOTHING.

I have cable tv and subscribe to HBO & Showtime. So I missed an episode of a program I am already paying to view & downloaded a copy to watch on my own computer in the privacy of my own home at my convenience.

SO??????

The harm is WHERE??

This is different from recording those programs on a VCR, stand-alone DVD burner or Medica Center PC . . . HOW????????

What colossal bullies. I hope the site owners stand up to them.
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Postby ksaturn123 » Fri May 13, 2005 1:14 am

Happeh wrote:Both of them are free and just floating around in the air. How can someone steal something that is freely floating around in the air for anyone to pick up?


I agree with you 100%.
What they're so pissed off about is DVD sales. This was first brought to my attention like 6 month ago by a channel that did Aqua Teen Hunger Force. They were threatened and shut down because Time Warner (Owners of Adultswim) claimed they depend on oversea DVD sales to even break even on a show. I mean I know that's bullshit and anyone reading this knows that's bullshit, but would a judge know. This didn't become a problem untill recently because they didn't realize the $$$ in DVD sales for TV untill the last 2 years. Take a look for yourself. 2 years ago barely any TV was on DVD. Now almost anything on TV is released on DVD. As a matter of fact if a TV show is doing poorly they'll not air the last few eps hoping you'll buy the DVD to watch those few eps if you were one of the people supporting them and watching it while it aired.

roastbeef wrote:What colossal bullies. I hope the site owners stand up to them.


Me too. I truely believe that the TV torrent based BT sites would win. However the MPAA knows that too. They rely on scare tactics and bullying (burying the sites in legal costs). Not one case has ever went to court over BT. They've all been settled for rediculously high amounts. Talk about bad precedants. I hope all these sites that settled can see the damage they've done by settling. The MPAA sees this as the easy way versus incorperating the technology and using it.
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Postby Overnet User » Fri May 13, 2005 1:22 am

This is on the bottom of http://www.cddvdheaven.co.uk/

Disclaimer:None of the files shown here are actually hosted on this server. The links are provided solely by this site's users. These BitTorrent files are meant for the distribution of backup files. By downloading the BitTorrent file, you are claiming that you own the original file. The administrator of this site (http://www.brokenstones.nforce.nl) holds NO RESPONSIBILITY if these files are misused in any way and cannot be held responsible for what its users post, or any other actions of its users.. For controversial reasons, if you are affiliated with any government, ANTI-Piracy group or any other related group, or were formally a worker of one you CANNOT download any of these BitTorrent files. If you download these files you are not agreeing to these terms and you are violating code 431.322.12 of the Internet Privacy Act signed by Bill Clinton in 1995 and that means that you CANNOT threaten our ISP(s) or any person(s) or company storing these files, and cannot prosecute any person(s) affiliated with this page which includes family, friends or individuals who run or enter this web site. If you do not agree to these terms, please do not use this service or you will face consequences. You may not use this site to distribute or download any material when you do not have the legal rights to do so. It is your own responsibility to adhere to these terms.

I hope they sue the MPAA and whoever looks into them. Hopefully this will show if this works if they don't cave.
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Postby ksaturn123 » Fri May 13, 2005 1:29 am

Overnet User wrote:This is on the bottom of hxxp://www.cddvdheaven.co.uk/

Disclaimer:None of the files shown here are actually hosted on this server. The links are provided solely by this site's users. These BitTorrent files are meant for the distribution of backup files. By downloading the BitTorrent file, you are claiming that you own the original file. The administrator of this site (http://www.brokenstones.nforce.nl) holds NO RESPONSIBILITY if these files are misused in any way and cannot be held responsible for what its users post, or any other actions of its users.. For controversial reasons, if you are affiliated with any government, ANTI-Piracy group or any other related group, or were formally a worker of one you CANNOT download any of these BitTorrent files. If you download these files you are not agreeing to these terms and you are violating code 431.322.12 of the Internet Privacy Act signed by Bill Clinton in 1995 and that means that you CANNOT threaten our ISP(s) or any person(s) or company storing these files, and cannot prosecute any person(s) affiliated with this page which includes family, friends or individuals who run or enter this web site. If you do not agree to these terms, please do not use this service or you will face consequences. You may not use this site to distribute or download any material when you do not have the legal rights to do so. It is your own responsibility to adhere to these terms.

I hope they sue the MPAA and whoever looks into them. Hopefully this will show if this works if they don't cave.


Unfortunately the newer laws enacted in the last say 5 years ,DMCA, Patriot Act, and so on give them a right to bypass that law. For example they could claim that it's a terrorist cell operating a BT site to make money. You and I know that's not true, but it's a good enough lie to bypass due process and most other rights all US citizens have.

I could see trying to shut down filesharing of Movies, Music, Games, and Aps. But screwing with free stuff is where they piss me off. After they're done with they're TV crusade are they going to attack Fan Subbers of Anime next. If anything TV based torrents help the shows out. I would have no idea about Lost, Desperate Housewives, Jack & Bobby, and like 40 other TV shows if I didn't download them for free from BT. Now I tape them (Just in case sites go down). So thanks to thier free advertisers (which they're punishing) I watch thier crappy ass shows.
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haven't been sued...

Postby c0w » Fri May 13, 2005 1:57 am

ShunTV.net has not been sued. (yet.. and hopefully i won't be)
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Postby the_kates » Fri May 13, 2005 1:57 am

Excuse my language, but F*ck this shit. I live in the States, and even I sometimes don't have time to watch my favorite show, and I don't have TiVo either. As for the people overseas? They don't even GET the damn show until YEARS later! I'd like to take that and shove it up MPAA's "holier than thou" ass! Movies, understandable, but TELEVISION? WHAT is wrong with watching an episode on your computer screen vs. watching it on TV? As for calling us thieves, thats a crock of shit. I hope your ass gets sued beyond recovery.
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Postby _eAgLe_ » Fri May 13, 2005 2:34 am

oh damnit!, this is SO typical... The MPAA is crying for help... instead of listening to our suggestions of highquality movies, they do the opposite by destroying the damn sites... wow the MPAA are such nice people, its obvious that its not the money they care about ;););) (Sarcasm)
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Postby 1TMF26 » Fri May 13, 2005 2:39 am

I fucking work when Family Guy comes on...this was the only way for me to watch it. :evil:
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Postby Red_Blue » Fri May 13, 2005 2:47 am

Overnet User wrote:For controversial reasons, if you are affiliated with any government, ANTI-Piracy group or any other related group, or were formally a worker of one you CANNOT download any of these BitTorrent files.

Do they have a clickwrap that effectively controls access to the .torrent files by having all downloaders to agree to that? If yes, then there is probable cause to fail a complaint for computer break-in, unauthorized use or something like that.

If you download these files you are not agreeing to these terms and you are violating code 431.322.12 of the Internet Privacy Act signed by Bill Clinton in 1995...

If they post this fake claim about a non-existent law, they probably haven't covered their bases with the clickwrap contract procedure either. There is no "code 431.22.12".
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