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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

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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.

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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.