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Warning Illegal Downloaders is Too Expensive, Record Labels Complain. New Zealand's three-strikes anti-piracy law is turning into a huge disappointment for copyright holders.

Warning Illegal Downloaders is Too Expensive, Record Labels Complain

The costs that are involved with sending warning notices and pursuing cases at the copyright tribunal are proving to be too expensive. As a result, only one file-sharer was punished this year. Four years ago New Zealand introduced new copyright legislation under which illegal file-sharers would be monitored, warned, and eventually punished. The country was one of the first to have a Government mandated “strikes” policy, but of the initial enthusiasm among copyright holders very little is left.

While monitoring online pirates is relatively cheap, copyright holders are required to pay Internet providers a $25 fee to forward the warnings to their customers. This means that three strikes costs copyright holders $75, and if they decide to lodge an official complaint after that an additional $200 is added. “We haven’t got rid of it as the regime, unfortunately, is too costly. Language Matters: All The Copyright Lobby's Subtleties. In my previous columns on lobbyist language, I've focused on choice of words to frame the debate - as the side that wins the framing, wins the policy.

Language Matters: All The Copyright Lobby's Subtleties

But small nuances can be even more devious than the selection of key words. We’ve discussed industrial protectionism and content vs container before. To wrap up the theme, I’d like to look at the more subtle points of lobbyist language, which are just as devious – if you copy them, you’re working against your own liberties. The copyright industry doesn’t just choose positive phrases to describe their specific “innovations”. They also try to establish sayings, phrases, and other combinations of words to make them uttered so often they become colloquilalisms, and yet, have very strong values embedded into them. For example, let’s talk about the public domain. Let’s stop right there. Karl Fogel of Question Copyright tweeted about this a while back, referencing Noel Taylor and pointing out something that’s obvious only when you see it. Torrent Site Blockades Are Disproportional, Greek Court Rules.

A Greek anti-piracy group has lost its bid to have various torrent sites blocked by local Internet providers.

Torrent Site Blockades Are Disproportional, Greek Court Rules

The Athens Court ruled that barring access to torrent sites such as KickassTorrents and The Pirate Bay is disproportionate and unconstitutional, while hindering the ISPs' entrepreneurial freedoms. Site blocking actions have become relatively common throughout Europe over the past several years. Copyright groups have won court cases in various countries including the UK, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and France. The rightsholders typically argue that ‘pirate’ sites infringe their rights and demand that ISPs stop forwarding traffic to them. This was also the plan in Greece, where the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AEPI) sued local ISPs two years ago. AEPI wanted the Internet providers to block access to The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, isoHunt, 1337x and H33T, plus several local sites.

TF spoke with Dr. Top 10 Most Popular Torrent Sites of 2015. Making a list of the world’s most-visited torrent sites has been a long-standing tradition at TF, which we continue today.

Top 10 Most Popular Torrent Sites of 2015

At the start of 2015 KickassTorrents is pulling in most traffic followed by Torrentz. File-sharing icon The Pirate Bay is currently down, but gets a mention thanks to a popular copy. Most torrent users rarely change their downloading habits or the places where they get their daily torrent dose. This is also reflected in our annual top 10 where most torrent sites have had a consistent listing for more than half a decade. Like every year there are a few movers and shakers though, and the biggest impact was made by the Pirate Bay raid early last month.

The notorious torrent site has been crowned the most popular torrent site since 2008, but isn’t serving any torrents at the beginning of this year. The Pirate Bay hasn’t gone away completely though. Thanks to one of its top copies TPB managed to secure a spot in 4th place. Torrent Site Fenopy Shuts Down Quietly.

Fenopy, one of the older torrent sites that's been around for nearly nine years, has shut down voluntarily.

Torrent Site Fenopy Shuts Down Quietly

The closure marks the end of what once was described as the first "web 2.0" torrent site. A few days ago Fenopy.se stopped responding, leaving tens of thousands of regular users without one of their favorite torrent sites. The downtime wasn’t related to Pirate Bay’s troubles. Instead, the site’s domain name had simply expired. TF talked to Fenopy’s owner who says that the expiration was not an accident, but planned a long time ago. “Fenopy was being operated by an Artificial Intelligence that I created back in 2011 and was on autopilot during the past 2 years. Fenopy gained a lot of visitors in 2006 when it was the first full-fledged torrent site with a “modern” looking design and nifty web 2.0 features. In recent years the site’s traffic went down considerably, not in the last place because of various ISP blockades.