BITTORRENT A method of transferring data over the internet. BitTorrent is a highly efficient way to transfer large files between a number of individuals. Unlike most other file-sharing methods, BitTorrent uses swarming methods to almost completely eliminate queuing and enhance transfer speeds.
BITTORRENT TRACKER The central management point for a BitTorrent swarm (a group of peers downloading and uploading a particular file).
CAM A pirated copy of a film made using a (usually digital) recording device within a cinema. Video and audio quality is generally low. Picture is often cropped or filmed from an angle and audience sounds (e.g., laughter) are present on the copy.
CAMMER An individual who illegally records films in a cinema.
CLOUDCOMPUTING The use of online storage and computing services supplied to users on demand. The content being processed or stored using cloud computing does not reside on the local disk of the user’s computer. Large companies use a vast number of powerful computers to provide this service.
CLIENT A program used by a peer (an individual) to connect to a file-sharing network and interact with other users.
CYBERLOCKER An internet hosting service specifically designed to host user files.
DIGITAL PIRACY The unauthorised copying and resale of digital goods (e.g. software, music files).
DNS (DOMAIN NAME SERVER) What translates human readable names (e.g. “www.microsoft.com”) into the binary IP addresses that are actually used to move data packets around the internet.
DOMAIN NAME A domain name locates an organisation or other entity on the internet; it allows you to reference internet sites without knowing the true numerical address.
DVD BURNER A DVD burner can copy the content of a DVD onto blank writable DVD media. DVD burner towers are standalone machines with a master tray and, usually, around ten burner trays.
ENCRYPTION The process of scrambling, or encoding, information in an effort to guarantee that only the intended recipient can read it.
ENCODER A Release Group encoder is the person who converts acquired content from one format to another; capable of refining, syncing, converting and compressing the audio and video files into a single file.
FTP (FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL) File Transfer Protocol is used to send whole documents or collections of documents stored in one computer to another through the internet.
GIGABYTE (Gb) 1 Gigabyte = 1024 Megabytes. A gigabyte is a measure of memory capacity and is roughly one thousand megabytes or a billion bytes.
HASH VALUE Most modern peer-to-peer networks use a hash marking system to refer to specific files. All files are given a hash value, which is a combination of numbers and letters to uniquely identify the file. Numerous filenames may be associated with a file, but this does not change anything about the file’s hash value. This allows each user to find all sources to a particular file no matter what file name each user has given the file.
INDEXING WEBSITE (aka linking website) A website that provides organised and searchable hyperlinks that directs a user to content hosted on other websites.
INSTANT MESSAGING Technology similar to that of a chat room, it notifies a user when a friend is online allowing them to exchange messages.
INTERNET RELAY CHAT (IRC) A virtual meeting place where people from all over the world can meet and talk about a diversity of human interests, ideas and issues. Participants are able to take part in group discussions on one of the many thousands of IRC channels, or just talk in private to family or friends, wherever they are in the world.
INTERNET HOSTING SERVICE An internet hosting service is a service that runs internet servers, allowing organisations and individuals to serve content to the internet.
IP ADDRESS Each computer connected to the internet is addressed using a unique 32bit number called an IP address. These addresses are usually written in Dotted Quad notation, as a series of four 8bit numbers, written in decimal and separated by dots. For example: 220.127.116.11. Each number in the IP address falls between 0 and 255. So if you ever see something that looks like an IP address with numbers outside those ranges, it’s not a real address. For example, a computer running virtual websites will have an IP address for each website it hosts. In addition, a pool of IP addresses may be shared between a number of computers. For example, on a dynamic-IP dialup connection, your computer will be allocated a different IP address each time you connect.
ISP (INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER) A company that sells access to the internet via telephone or cable line to your home or office. This will normally be free where the user pays for the telephone charge of a local call or by subscription – where a set monthly fee is paid and the calls are either free or at a minimal cost.
LINK Any text or graphic coded and formatted so that clicking on it automatically displays a second document or image.
LINKING WEBSITE (aka indexing website) A website that provides organised and searchable hyperlinks that directs a user to content hosted on other websites.
MAGNET LINK A link used to download via peer-to-peer networks. The magnet link contains a hash value, which does not hold information on the location of a resource, but allows for the identification of other individuals with copies of the desired file(s) at any given time.
MEDIA CARDS Small sized data storage media that are more commonly found in digital devices such as cameras, PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistants) and music players. They can also be used for the storage of normal data files, which can be accessed and written to by computers. There are a number of different formats including a Smartmedia card, SD Expansion Card, Ultra Compact Flash, Compact Flash, Multimedia Card, and Memory Stick. The cards are non-volatile; they retain their data when power to their device is stopped and they can be exchanged between devices.
MEGABYTE (Mb) 1 Megabyte =1024 Kilobytes.
MEMORY Often used as a shorter synonym for random access memory (RAM). Memory is the electronic holding place for instructions and data that a computer’s microprocessor can reach quickly. RAM is located on one or more microchips installed in a computer.
MEMORY STICK A USB storage medium. See USB Storage Devices
NETWORK A group of computers and associated devices that are interconnected by communication paths. A network can involve permanent connections, such as cables, or temporary connections made through telephone or other communication links. A network can be as small as a few computers, printers, and other devices, or it can consist of many small and large computers distributed over a vast geographic area.
PEER An individual client (usually representing an individual computer and individual person) on a file-sharing network.
PEER-TO-PEER (P2P) On the internet, peer-to-peer (often referred to as P2P) is a type of transient internet network or protocol that allows a group of computer users with the same networking program, to connect with each other and directly access files from one another’s hard disk drives. Typically the most commonly shared files include pictures, movies, music and software programs.
PRIVATE TRACKER A walled-garden BitTorrent network which requires users to sign up or gain an invitation before they can become members.
PROXY SERVER An enterprise that uses the Internet; a server that acts as an intermediary between a workstation user and the internet so that the enterprise can ensure security, administrative control, and caching service. A proxy server can improve performance by supplying frequently requested data, such as a popular web page, and can filter and discard requests that the owner does not consider appropriate, such as requests for unauthorised access to proprietary files.
R5 A pirated copy of a film made from a DVD Region 5 release. Region 5 releases are usually lower quality than retail DVDs released elsewhere but are often on sale earlier before a DVD version is available elsewhere. They are often a direct Telecine transfer of the film to DVD disc and do not have any additional features. Often without English audio and recognised movie Release Groups will usually add this to any pirated R5 release.
RELEASE GROUP An organised group of individuals dedicated to providing pirated versions of the latest content such as films or television episodes. Release Groups specialise in a particular type of content and race each other to be the first to upload a new release.
THE SCENE A term of reference used to describe an underground community of people that specialise in the distribution of copyrighted material, including movies, television shows, music, games and eBooks.
SCREENER A copy of a film issued to voters for major film awards such as the Oscars or BAFTAs. Awards screeners are now almost exclusively issued on DVD.
SERVER Specific to the Web, a web server is the computer program running on a computer that serves requested HTML pages or files.
SERVICE PROVIDER (ISP) A person, organisation or company that provides access to the internet. In addition to Internet access, many ISPs provide other services such as web hosting, Domain Name Service and other proprietary services.
STREAMING AUDIO/VIDEO Listening or viewing media files from the internet in real time as opposed to saving the file and playing it later.
SWARM A group of peers downloading and uploading a particular file online.
TELECINE A digital copy of the film made using a telecine machine and an original print of the film. These are now rarely seen and most of those that do appear are made in Russia and feature Russian audio or hardcoded Russian subtitles.
TELESYNC A pirated copy of a film made using direct (often digital) audio and whiich can also feature better quality video than a cam.
TOPSITE A highly private FTP server, often holding numerous terabytes of content, to which Release Groups affiliate and which contains the most recent content pirated by release groups. Highly secretive and difficult to access without knowledge of individuals within the warez community.
TORRENT FILE A torrent file stores metadata used for BitTorrent. A torrent is data about a target file, though it contains no information about the content of the file. The only data that the torrent holds is information about the location of different pieces of the target file. Torrents work by dividing the target file into small information chunks, found on an unlimited number of different hosts. Through this method, torrents are able to download large files quickly. When a downloader initiates a torrent download, the chunks of target file that are needed can be found easily, based on the data from the torrent itself. Once all the chunks are downloaded the client can assemble them into a useable form.
TRACKER (BITTORRENT TRACKER) The central management point for a BitTorrent swarm (a group of peers downloading and uploading a particular file).
URL(UNIFORM RESOURCE LOCATOR) The address of a file accessible on the Internet. An example of a URL is: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sfront.htm, which describes a Web page to be accessed with an HTTP (Web browser) application that is located on a computer named www.usatoday.com. The specific file is in the directory named /sports and is named sfront.htm.
VPN (VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK) This usually refers to a network in which some of the parts are connected using the public Internet, but the data sent across the internet is encrypted, so the entire network is “virtually” private.
WAREZ Pronounced “wares”, this is a term used on the internet to refer to pirated software.
WEB SERVER A computer on the internet or intranet that serves as a storage area for a webpage. When asked by a web browser, the server sends the page to the browser.