Category: FileSharing
VLC Media Player Comes Back to iOS

vlc-media-player-iosMusic lovers, home theater enthusiasts and movie buffs everywhere will be thrilled to know that the gurus behind the extremely popular VLC media player can finally offer a media playback solution to Apple iOS users everywhere. VLC is an awesome open source digital media player that can playback virtually any format or file type. VLC player fist made its debut in Apple’s app store two years ago, but later had to be taken out of the app store because of a licensing issue. Now, thanks to a new license obtained by Video Lan, the VLC media player comes back to Apple’s iOS. Some of the most notable new features include new and easier ways to move your media files to your iOS device. The new VLC comes with Dropbox integration and streaming via custom URL. It also includes a rather nifty fileserver that you can use to send files to your iOS device via a web browser on your desktop or laptop computer. You can find VLC for iOS here.

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The Pirate Bay Moves to North Korea

tpb-koreaIn quite an interesting and albeit surprising turn of events, the Pirate Bay is moved to North Korea. A special connection in North Korea has granted the Pirate Bay absolute asylum to host their services. We find it laughably ironical that the Pirate Bay who abdicates freedom of information for the free world, would find it’s home amongst the government of one of the most censorship prone dictators in the world today. No one is sure what this invitation from North Korea will mean for both parties, but one thing’s for sure, North Korea might be opening up to changing their policies on freedom of information some time in the near future. Only time will tell. This is just another example of how the Pirate Bay continues to defeat the big corporations and and their scare tactics by the bullying anti-piracy groups. In the of the freedom of information everywhere, we say good for you Pirate Bay!

Source: TorrentFreak

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IO.COM RIP – The Internet Before There Was Internet

A piece of internet history has been lost but not forgotten. IO.COM has been sold to an undisclosed third party and all of its shell,email and hosted ftp and webserv services have been transferred. To those of you scratching your head trying to figure out what this means, well let me tell you, it is a big deal. You see, before we had the internet we had BBSs or bulletin board systems. BBSs were computers that ran special software that allowed users to dial in and connect to the computer via a hard telephone line. Once connected to the BBS, users had access to a host of services we are familiar with today like email, news feeds(Usenet), webspace for websites. The BBS also allowed other users dialing in to communicate with each other. BBSs were the cornerstone of the internet as they gave birth the first online communities. IO.COM was a domain name that was owned by Steve Jackson Games and it hosted services for the Illuminati Online BBS. Steve Jackson Games was a company that created tabletop games and offered customer support through their Illuminati Online BBS. After it went online in the mid 1980′s, it soon became a flourishing online community where users would chat about all kinds of things – Illuminati Online was a staple in the early internet. But the story and the intrigue does not end there for the IO.COM BBS. The Illuminati Online BBS earned international fame among the computer underground after Steve Jackson Games was raided by the U.S. Secret Service. As it was in those days, people who did not understand technology feared those that did, giving way to the non-tech-savey computer users vs. the hacker elite. The Secret Service was after one so called hacker elite, a member of the Legion of Doom, known as Loyd Blackenship, an employ who worked for Steve Jackson games. The Secret Service had targeted Blackenship after he published a Bell article about the emergency 911 phone system in the hacker magazine Phrack and because he ran a legal BBS from his house where members discussed the hacker underground. That alone put him on the Secret Service’s watch list. During the raid agents discovered GURPS Cyberpunk that Blackenship had been working on at SJG. GURPS Cyberpunk was actually a genre toolkit for cyber themed role playing games – table top ones. After the raid the Secret Service confiscated several computers including the one running the Illuminati BBS taking it offline. They also raided Blackenship’s home. History tells us now that the Secret Service was really on a phishing expedition and did not have anything solid on Blackenship. They siezed the SJG computers because of Cyberpunk that he had been working for the company, but Cyberpunk had nothing to do with the hacker BBS Blackenship was running from his home, that was what the Secret Service was really after. SJG and the Illuminati Online BBS just got caught in the crossfire. In fact, as fate would have it Steve Jackson Games was awarded damages from the Secret Service in the 1990s for the use of what the judge called sloppy police work. The decision in the case led to some of the electronic information protections we now enjoy under the law today – it gave email and electric content the same protections under the law as mail – SJG was represented by the then new Electronic Frontier Foundation and SJG’s case proved to be a landmark case in the establishment of some of the online freedoms we enjoy today. Bye Bye IO.COM…oh how you will be missed. Hackers and non-geeks alike salute you Illuminati Online BBS!

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BREIN Claims that FTD Supporters behind DDOS Attack

BREIN head Tim Kuik claims that FTD supporters are behind the DDOS attack on the BREIN website. He claims that the timing between the FTD takedown and the attack make the culprits obvious. Does it really? Certainly the timing is close but suspicions and conjecture do not equate to facts and BREIN hasn’t been all that good at making friends lately. Not only have they gone after FTD, but also the Swan website and a number of other Usenet sites recently.

DDOS attacks are not the answer however. Arnoud Engelfriet the legal council of FTD in the recent BREIN case states that “Executing DDoS attacks only strengthens the image that filesharing or downloading is a criminal activity, which does not help the cause.” He is right of course. Mixing a legitimate debate of intellectual property laws and an illegitimate attack on a website can easily and quite quickly taint the worthy topic at hand.

There is another possibility for the source of the DDOS of course, BREIN itself. With the history of their heavy handed tactics in the past would it be out of the realm of possibility that they have done this to themselves to continue to muddy the waters between reasonable debate and illegal activity? I would argue that it is not only within the realm of possibility but within the style of their playbook. To look back and find their most recent illegal activity on shutting down a service one only needs to go back to an incident in January. Where they took down sites who’s legitimacy and legality were beyond reproach even by BREIN’s standards. Either way it’s high time BREIN begins acting like the legitimate organization it claims to be.

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You Win Some You Lose Some

TorrentFreak is reporting that our favorite Netherlands anti-piracy group, BREIN, is forcing the shutdown of numerous Usenet and NZB sites. This list includes:,,,,,, and They of course managed to get some leverage with the court win over FTD (all this despite the fact that only 13 of the more then 1/2 million FTD users reported and uploaded infringing content, and even then who’s to say these anonymous persons didn’t actually work for BREIN). According to lawyer Arnoud Engelfriet

“BREIN is using the FTD verdict to threaten other sites into closing. Even though the verdict clearly said downloading is legal and ‘facilitating’ downloading is legal as well, BREIN is now saying that sites that provide NZB files are facilitating illegal downloading.”

It seems to me that BREIN is overstepping its bounds, something it is quite fond of doing. In an separate article TorrentFreak is reporting that BREIN has gone ahead and taken down the site known as Swan. Interestingly, neither the recent FTD ruling nor any other recent event has given them the legal authority to do so and the fine people that run Swan not only managed to seize back their servers but are also looking at suing BREIN. It’s about time someone hit them back. While there is certainly a debatable to be had over intellectual property a few things are painfully clear:

  1. Current intellectual property laws do not work in an environment where a single work can appear in multiple formats all of which can easily be shared across the globe in any number of ways.
  2. Being a rights holder or representative of the rights holders does not give you a free pass to do whatever you want wherever you want.
  3. Rights holders need to re-evaluate their monitization of the work product and investigate alternate means of making money.
  4. You can make money on free and can compete against free.

Perhaps it’s time the companies that supposedly represent the result these creative industries themselves get creative.

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