Game of Thrones’ Most Torrented TV-Show of 2016

‘Game of Thrones’ Most Torrented TV-Show of 2016

For the fifth year in a row Game of Thrones has taken the crown for the most pirated TV-show on the Internet. The Walking Dead remains in second place, with newcomer Westworld right behind.

got6For several years in a row Game of Thrones has been the most pirated TV-show, and this year the interest is once again overwhelming.

Game of Thrones has the honor of becoming the most-downloaded TV show through BitTorrent for the fifth year in a row.

This means that its half-decade reign remains unchallenged, despite reports to the contrary.

Although there was no new swarm record, traffic-wise the interest was roughly on par with last year. The highest number of people actively sharing an episode across several torrents was 350,000 at its peak, this was right after the season finale came online.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s no growth in piracy. A lot of people have made the switch from torrents to streaming sites over the past months, which likely had an impact on the numbers.

This year there’s also an important newcomer with the science-fiction western ‘Westworld.’ The new show quickly gained popularity in pirate circles and is in third spot already, which is quite an achievement.

Finally, we see a continuation of the trend of downloaders showing an increased interest in high-quality video. In recent years, many pirates have moved from 480p copies to 720p and 1080p videos, in part thanks to better broadband availability.

Below we have compiled a list of the most torrented TV-shows worldwide (single episode) for 2016, together with the traditional ratings in the US. The ranking is compiled by TorrentFreak based on several sources, including statistics reported by public BitTorrent trackers.

We have decided to stop reporting download estimates in our yearly top lists. Due to various changes in the torrent index/tracker landscape it’s become more challenging to monitor downloads, so a ranked overview makes most sense.

Most downloaded TV-shows on BitTorrent, 2016

rank last year show
torrentfreak.com
1 (1) Game of Thrones
2 (2) The Walking Dead
3 (…) Westworld
4 (5) The Flash
5 (4) Arrow
6 (3) The Big Bang Theory
7 (7) Vikings
8 (…) Lucifer
9 (10) Suits
10 (…) The Grand Tour

Tagged in:

Pirate Bay is The King of Torrents Once Again

Pirate Bay is The King of Torrents Once Again

NEWS

This week The Pirate Bay quietly celebrated its 13th anniversary. Where other giants have fallen in the past, the notorious Pirate ship has stayed afloat. Today we chat with the TPB-team to discuss their remarkable achievement.

thepirateHollywood hoped that it would never happen, but this week The Pirate Bay quietly turned thirteen years old.

The site was founded in 2003 by Swedish pro-culture organization Piratbyrån (Piracy Bureau). The idea was to create the first public file-sharing network in Sweden, but the site soon turned into the global file-sharing icon it is today.

Over the years there have been numerous attempts to shut the site down. Following pressure from the United States, Swedish authorities raided the site in 2006, only to see it come back stronger.

The criminal convictions of the site’s founders didn’t kill the site either, nor did any of the subsequent attempts to take it offline.

The Pirate Bay is still very much ‘alive’ today.

That’s quite an achievement by itself, looking at all the other sites that have fallen over the years. Just last month KickassTorrents shut down, followed by Torrentz a few days ago.

Many KickassTorrents and Torrentz users are now turning to TPB to get their daily dose of torrents. As a result, The Pirate Bay is now the most visited torrent site, once again.

TorrentFreak spoke to several members of the TPB-crew. While they are not happy with the circumstances, they do say that the site has an important role to fulfil in the torrent community.

“TPB is as important today as it was yesterday, and its role in being the galaxy’s most resilient torrent site will continue for the foreseeable future,” Spud17 says.

“Sure, TPB has its flaws and glitches but it’s still the go-to site for all our media needs, and I can see TPB still being around in 20 or 30 years time, even if the technology changes,” she adds.

Veteran TPB-crew member Xe agrees that TPB isn’t perfect but points to the site’s resilience as a crucial factor that’s particularly important today.

“TPB ain’t perfect. There are plenty of things wrong with it, but it is simple, steadfast and true,” Xe tells TorrentFreak.

“So it’s no real surprise that it is once more the destination of choice or that it has survived for so long in spite of the inevitable turnover of crew.”

And resilient it is. Thirteen years after the site came online, The Pirate Bay is the “King of Torrents” once again.

Finally, we close with a yearly overview of the top five torrent sites of the last decade. Notably, the Pirate Bay is the only site that appears in the list every year, which is perhaps the best illustration of the impact it had, and still has today.

2007

1. TorrentSpy
2. Mininova
3. The Pirate Bay
4. isoHunt
5. Demonoid

2008

1. Mininova
2. isoHunt
3. The Pirate Bay
4. Torrentz
5. BTJunkie

2009

1. The Pirate Bay
2. Mininova
3. isoHunt
4. Torrentz
5. Torrentreactor

2010

1. The Pirate Bay
2. Torrentz
3. isoHunt
4. Mininova
5. BTJunkie

2011

1. The Pirate Bay
2. Torrentz
3. isoHunt
4. KickassTorrents
5. BTJunkie

2012

1. The Pirate Bay
2. Torrentz.com
3. KickassTorrents
4. isoHunt
5. BTJunkie

2013

1. The Pirate Bay
2. KickassTorrents
3. Torrentz
4. ExtraTorrent
5. 1337X

2014

1. The Pirate Bay
2. KickassTorrents
3. Torrentz
4. ExtraTorrent
5. YIFY-Torrents

2015

1. KickassTorrents
2. Torrentz.com
3. ExtraTorrent
4. The Pirate Bay
5. YTS

2016

1. KickassTorrents
2. The Pirate Bay
3. ExtraTorrent
4. Torrentz
4. RARBG

TODAY

1. The Pirate Bay
2. ExtraTorrent
3. RARBG
4. YTS.AG
5. 1337X

Streaming Site Operators Face Jail & $1.7m Forfeiture

Streaming Site Operators Face Jail & $1.7m Forfeiture

Posted: 26 Jun 2016 01:23 AM PDT

Founded half a decade ago, Swefilmer was Sweden’s most popular unauthorized streaming site.

Offering all the latest movies and TV shows, Swefilmer (and another, Dreamfilm) captured up to 25% of all web TV viewing in Sweden according to a 2015 report.

Last summer, however, the noose began to tighten. In July local man Ola Johansson revealed that he’d been raided by the police under suspicion of being involved in running the site.

Meanwhile, police continued the hunt for the site’s primary operator and in March 2016 it was revealed that a Turkish national had been arrested in Germany on a secret European arrest warrant. The 25-year-old is said to be the person who received donations from users and set up Swefilmer’s deals with advertisers.

Both men have now been prosecuted by Swedish authorities. In an indictment filed in the Varberg District Court, both men are accused of copyright infringement connected to the unlawful distribution of more than 1,400 movies.

Additionally, the 25-year-old stands accused of aggravated money laundering offenses related to his handling of Swefilmer’s finances.

The prosecution says that the site generated more than $1.7m between November 2013 and June 2015. More than $1.5m of that amount came from advertising with user donations contributing around $110,000. The state wants the 25-year-old to forfeit the full amount. A $77,000 car and properties worth $233,000 have already been seized.

While both could be sent to prison, the 22-year-old faces less serious charges and will be expected to pay back around $3,600.

The trial, which is expected to go ahead in just over a week, will be the most significant case against a streaming portal in Sweden to date.

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

RIAA-Approved File-Sharing Service Hacked, 51m User Details Leaked

Around 51 million user records of a file-sharing service that was first sued and then approved by the RIAA has been leaked online. The iMesh service was part of a shady group of former P2P services operating under the Bearshare, Lphant and Shareaza brands, despite the latter being obtained in the most questionable of circumstances.

imesh-logoBack in 2003, when file-sharing technology was still in its relative infancy, several platforms had aspirations of becoming the next Napster. One of those was Israel-based iMesh, which at four years old was practically a veteran already.

But in September that year an increasingly irritable RIAA said enough is enough and sued iMesh in the United States. At the time, both parties were defiant. The RIAA insisted that iMesh should be shut down, while iMesh’s owners claimed they’d done nothing wrong.

However, in the summer of 2014 an unusual peace was reached, with iMesh paying the RIAA more than $4m in compensation and continuing business as normal. As strange as it may seem, the RIAA appeared to have licensed people they’d already branded as pirates.

There were changes though. iMesh was forced to release a new client that carried filtering technology provided by Audible Magic, with the aim of stopping infringement on the network. From the release of iMesh v6 in October 2005, it’s almost certain that the RIAA had access to vast amounts of iMesh user data.

Now, however, some of that data has landed in the public arena. Following the sudden disappearance of iMesh in recent weeks, LeakedSource is reporting that it has obtained an iMesh database containing 51,310,759 user records.

“Each record contains an email address, a username, one password, an IP address, a Country location and a join date,” the site says.

The breach, which appears to have taken place in September 2013, lists users from 55 countries participating on iMesh. With 13.7m users, the United States was by far the most popular country.

imesh-1
Sadly, as is often the case when such breaches are made public, the password situation on iMesh was pretty bleak.

“Passwords were stored in multiple MD5 rounds with salting. ‘Salting’ makes decrypting passwords exponentially harder when dealing with large numbers such as these, and is better than what LinkedIn and MySpace did but MD5 itself is not nearly hard enough for modern computing. The methods iMesh used, albeit 3 years ago were still insufficient for the times,” LeakedSource notes.

Only making matters worse are the passwords deployed by users. Close to a million of iMesh’s users went for ‘123456’, with more than 330,000 going for the slightly longer variant ‘123456789’.

imesh-pass
For what would turn into a largely crippled file-sharing network, iMesh was still attracting plenty of new users. The leak shows that in 2006, just after the release of the RIAA-approved client, iMesh had 4.8 million people sign up. During 2011, 9.4 million jumped on board. The last data available shows 2.5 million new members in 2013.

Now, however, iMesh is suddenly no more. After more than a decade of working with the RIAA (and even the MPAA who had a deal to limit movie sharing on the service), several weeks ago iMesh suddenly shut down. May 5 is the last date an active page is available on Wayback Machine, boasting access to 15 million licensed songs and videos.

Unsurprisingly, the iMesh shutdown is just one of many. At the same time several other platforms closed down including Bearshare, Shareaza and Lphant. Each show an almost identical shutdown message on their homepages since underneath they were all one and the same software operated by the same company.

But while it is customary for file-sharing fans to mourn the loss of file-sharing services, few with knowledge of how this network operated will be disappointed that these have gone, and not just because of the RIAA deal either.

The original Shareaza and Lphant projects were both subjected to hostile action by Discordia, the owners of iMesh, in circumstances that remain murky to this day. The original and safe version of Shareaza continues on Sourceforge, somewhat against the odds.

 

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week – 04/18/16

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week – 04/18/16

Posted: 17 Apr 2016 11:59 PM PDT

This week we have two newcomers in our chart.

Deadpool is the most downloaded movie again.

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 BD/DVDrips unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart.

Ranking (last week) Movie IMDb Rating / Trailer
torrentfreak.com
1 (4) Deadpool (HDrip subbed) 8.6 / trailer
2 (…) Ride Along 2 5.9 / trailer
3 (4) The Revenant 8.2 / trailer
4 (2) Star Wars: The Force Awakens 8.3 / trailer
5 (…) The Witch (Webrip) 7.2 / trailer
6 (8) Mr. Right (Web-DL) 6.4 / trailer
7 (5) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Cam/TS) 7.5 / trailer
8 (9) The Jungle Book (Hindi Cam) 8.3 / trailer
9 (3) Hail Caesar! (Webrip) 6.8 / trailer
10 (6) Kung Fu Panda 3 (Web-DL) 8.0 / trailer

AnyDVD is Back But Don’t Call Us Pirates, Developer Says

AnyDVD is Back But Don’t Call Us Pirates, Developer Says

Posted: 02 Mar 2016 09:09 AM PST

After coming under pressure from decryption licensing outfit AACS LA, last week DVD and Blu-ray copy-protection circumvention company SlySoft shutdown.

It still hasn’t been made clear if studios including Warner Bros, Disney and technology partners Microsoft and Intel were behind the closure, but for now that’s the working assumption. Having SlySoft flagship product AnyDVD off the market would’ve been a huge feather in their collective caps.

But shutdowns of companies like SlySoft often prove troublesome and earlier this week the first signs of cracks in the closure began to show. With talk of a return under a new banner a hot topic, former developers openly discussed bringing AnyDVD and other products back online.

Making things more interesting was the revelation that SlySoft was not entirely based in Antigua but actually a decentralized operation with developers scattered in countries around the world. Developers who, it transpired, still had access to key SlySoft infrastructure and the will to reanimate the project. In the end, it didn’t take long.

Still sporting a familiar ‘fox’ logo, yesterday a reborn ‘RedFox’ rose from the ashes of SlySoft. Now hailing from Belize with at least some infrastructure in Latvia, the RedFox team delivered their first release – an update to AnyDVD, version 7.6.9.1.

“AnyDVD reborn! SlySoft is dead, long live RedFox!” declared the changelog.

“This is an intermediate release, so old customers can continue to use their existing AnyDVD license to watch their discs. This version can access the new RedFox Online Protection Database,” the group added.

Perhaps of most interest are the new features. In addition to some minor fixes and improvements, AnyDVD also supports new discs, a big first step for a product that just a week ago looked destined for the archives.

The release will only work if users already own a valid AnyDVD license, which suggests that RedFox have access to the old company’s licensing systems, another important step for keeping the business model moving forward. Additionally, old SlySoft products have also returned, including CloneBD and CloneDVD.

But while would-be pirates might find cause for celebration, not everyone in the new RedFox team welcomes being so closely associated with the practice. A developer identifying himself as ‘Peer’ says that comments made by release groups in an article published on TF at the weekend left him feeling “depressed”.

“Pirates were never the intended audience. If SlySoft could have shaken them off, they would have. In fact – some people seem to think, that without piracy, SlySoft wouldn’t have existed,” Peer explains.

For those that primarily used SlySoft’s products for piracy (and the MPAA and AACS LA seem to think that’s a whole bunch of them) the assumption seems reasonable. However, Peer sees things somewhat differently.

“Pirates only made a very small percentage of the AnyDVD userbase. And – given that they are pirates, it’s a valid question whether they were even paying customers,” he says.

“AnyDVD was created out of the frustration of a few people, who got fed up with the unplayability (yes! that word is fitting!) of DVDs and later on Blu-ray discs. So, of course, SlySoft could have easily done without the pirates – and had they, SlySoft might even still exist.”

While one can see Peer’s point (and presuming for a moment we can easily interchange the terms ‘piracy’ and ‘copyright infringement’), the fact that AnyDVD drilled a huge hole through the encryption efforts of AACS LA makes it a seriously infringing piece of software, if of course the trade groups and courts are to be believed.

So, one has to conclude that even without piracy SlySoft would’ve been in trouble, a point not lost on the developer.

“It’s not that the AACS-LA wouldn’t have gone to the same lengths trying – don’t mistake them to be fighting piracy, their goal is a more immediate one, which is to justify their existence,” Peer says.

“They have this huge money-making machine, collect fees for every [blu ray disc] ever being sold without having to really, well, do much (god, I wish I were the AACS-LA), while promising to protect the discs in return, which effectively doesn’t work – so they have no choice but to fight back.”

That fight includes taking down products like AnyDVD and DVDFab, both of which are closely connected (whether the developers like it or not) with DRM circumvention and ultimately piracy.

“You can’t deny that [piracy] is hurting the movie industry. And you can’t deny that we were involuntarily helping piracy. Just like the glass cutter involuntarily helps burglary,” Peer says.

“So, sorry MPAA, AACS and all you people with the fancy acronyms – we can’t help you with the piracy, but since no one is helping us with [playing and backing up] movies, we’re picking up things ourselves.”

Nevertheless, the intentions of the RedFox team will have little bearing on how they are perceived by the MPAA and AACS LA. They will be seen as outlaws with no respect for the laws that the industry groups worked long and hard to have put in place. On that basis alone, this battle is far from over.

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

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week – 03/14/16

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week – 03/14/16

This week we have three newcomers in our chart.

Kung Fu Panda 3 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 BD/DVDrips unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the weekly movie download chart.

Ranking (last week) Movie IMDb Rating / Trailer
torrentfreak.com
1 (2) Deadpool (HDTS) 8.6 / trailer
2 (1) Kung Fu Panda 3 (Webrip) 8.0 / trailer
3 (…) IP-Man 3 7.6 / trailer
4 (3) The Hateful Eight 8.0 / trailer
5 (5) The Revenant (DVDscr) 8.2 / trailer
6 (…) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 6.8 / trailer
7 (…) Point Break 5.3 / trailer
8 (4) The Big Short 8.1 / trailer
9 (8) Spectre 6.9 / trailer
10 (…) Room 8.3 / trailer

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