Canada is market for TPM trafficking and bittorrent indexing sites says USTR report

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issued a Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets. In the review, the USTR identified markets that typify the problem of marketplaces that deal in goods and services that infringe on intellectual property rights and help to sustain global piracy and counterfeiting. Canada was listed in several of these markets.

According to the USTR “The scale and popularity of these markets can cause economic harm to U.S. and other IP right holders.  In addition, products sold at these markets may pose possible health and safety risks to consumers.”

We were recognized in the following markets:

B2B and B2C

Modchip.ca and Consolesource:  Both sites, reportedly based in Canada, allegedly sell circumvention devices and components used to circumvent technological protection measures on game consoles.

These are the type of sites and services the TPM anti-trafficking prohibitions in Bill C-11 are intended to address.

BitTorrent Indexing

IsoHunt:  Canada-based IsoHunt is one of the largest BitTorrent indexes in the world, ranking among the top 300 websites in global traffic and among the top 600 in U.S. traffic, according to Alexa.com.  At least one U.S. court has found liability in cases involving IsoHunt.

Kat.ph (formerly kickasstorrents):  Another popular indexing site, this site, which reportedly is based in Canada, Ukraine and Romania, is notable for its commercial look and feel.  The site is currently ranked by Alexa.com among the 320 most visited sites in the world.

torrentz.eu (formerly torrentz.com):  This site, which reportedly is based in Canada, Panama and Switzerland, is a major aggregator of torrents from other BitTorrent sites, and currently ranks among the top 150 sites in the world.

These are the types of sites the new enabling provision in Bill C-11 is intended to address.

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4 thoughts on “Canada is market for TPM trafficking and bittorrent indexing sites says USTR report”

  1. Jason White says:

    Most BitTorrent sites exist primarily to encourage or enable copyright infringement, this is true. While they do not actually participate in the copying of content, they certainly do enable others to do so.

    The case of mod chips, on the other hand, is not quite so clear-cut. Many of these mod chips have had legitimate purposes beyond simple copyright infringement, and so each case should be considered individually.

    Also, if I purchase a game console, I am the owner of the console. If I want to take it apart, modify it, or analyze it and tell the world how it’s made, that is my right as the owner. If the TPMs could be compromised by removing a resistor from the circuit board, should instructions for doing so be illegal? How about a firmware patch that does so? I’ve upgraded my wireless routers using open source software – should it be illegal to circumvent the TPMs to put my own software on them?

    Putting TPMs on a pedestal and claiming that they somehow should automatically be untouchable perverts the intent of copyright and IP in general, and subverts my tangible property rights specifically.

  2. Angus McFarland says:

    Why is it that companies cry foul when torrents have their products to download yet they don’t do anything to protect the actual software. For instance, Adobe and Apple software has very weak protection. Microsoft serials are always available for their products as well. Rosetta Stone has absolutely no protection at all too. Yes, these companies have the ability to protect their software from reverse engineering if they really wanted to.

    Most of the blame lies with the software companies themselves, not with the people who download the software. If it wasn’t so easy to install and run software from internet sites, people wouldn’t bother and actually buy it instead.

    Software companies are turning a blind eye to all of this because it gives them free advertising and gets people hooked on their software. People start to use it, get hooked on it and maybe down the road a patch is put into the software in an update the user downloads and installs. This renders the software useless perhaps, of course, after the user has really got the hang of using it. The user then buys the software, so in essence, the illegal download resulted in a sale.

    Yet, software companies are going after people who download their products, knowing full well a scapegoat is needed in order for these illegal downloads to look like it’s not tolerated by software companies at all. The fines end up being huge amounts, going right to the software companies and their team of lawyers.

    What a perfect scenario… flood the internet with software, get people hooked and then their either buy the software or get sued for using it.

  3. TPMS says:

    The real problem isn’t B2B or B2C its P2P.

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