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1: US Indictments and Raids of Piracy Group Members in ‘The Scene’ Throw Top-Tier Piracy World Into Chaos
First off today, First off today Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that the upper echelon of the piracy world, referred to as “The Scene” has been thrown into chaos as the United States issues indictments against members of several of the key groups within it.
Online piracy, as with most things, has a hierarchy. At the top of that hierarchy is The Scene, which operates what are called topsites. Scene groups are the ones that initially obtain illegal copies of movies and TV shows, often before official release, and share them there. That content inevitably is leaked to more traditional piracy sites and to the public at large.
According to reports, authorities have carried out raids and made arrests in several countries, targeting members of key groups in The Scene. This is backed up by at least three US indictments of members alleged to participate in The Scene. Of particular concern for members of The Scene is the indictment of Umar Ahmad, AKA “Artist”, due to his broad reach, which expands well past the groups he is directly affiliated with.
Next up today, Freddy Mayhew at the Press Gazette reports that the Guardian News and Media, the organization that owns The Guardian newspaper, has filed a complaint with the hosting provider of guardianmeme.com, a site that enabled users to create parody headlines.
The site is currently offline but the letter was shared online via a different Twitter account, @grauniadmeme, that was also been targeted. That account has no connection to the website and, instead was a parody of The Guardian’s earlier reputation for typos. According to that account, the person behind guardianmeme.com has “decided to pull the plug”.
According to the complaint, the meme site was using copyrighted images of the authors to create the fake memes. If the site had not been shuttered, the Guardian had threatened to take legal action.
Finally today, Mix at The Next Web reports that a 2016 anti-piracy campaign launched by the European Commission resulted in a 12% reduction of advertisements appearing on pirate websites.
The initiative aimed to work with advertisers, including Google, to deprive pirate websites of advertising revenue. According to the report, the campaign was effective at reducing the overall advertising on such sites but there was a notable increase in branded advertising.
That said, the report did not speculate on how effective the effort was at reducing overall pirate site revenue.