In what could turn out to be a game changer in the Anti Virus industry, a top Russian anti-virus vendor Dr.Web has rolled out a Anti-virus with a new feature that prevents its subscribers/users from visiting websites which host pirated stuff. The new feature blocks all visits to the websites like Pirate Bay, eutorrents and other torrent farms which allegedly host copyright infringing data like movies or music.
Dr.Web has also started accepting the take down requests from copyright holders against the URLs which host their files illegally and block the user access to such sites. Dr.Web is the first and major Russian Anti Virus maker and its AV suite has been in circulation since 1992. The Russian mega search engine Yandex also uses Dr.Web Anti-spam solutions to scan the email attachments of its subscribers.
This news may be like a divine music for the anti-pirate lobby. The main associations who are associated with the takedowns like MPAA and RIAA have over the years fought with tooth and nail against the torrent farms but without succeeding. These sites heed the takedown notices and start another website in a third country where the internet laws are lax. MPAA and RIAA spends billions of dollars creating awareness among users about the harm these torrents and illegal downloads could cause to their PCs. Their USP has been that these sites spread malware on the back of a torrent or a illegal download.
Dr.WEB has now come to their rescue. As of today, Dr.WEB is activated on almost a million of devices throughout the world and once the user updates his/her version to Dr.WEB 9.0, the new feature will be active. Thus the users who have Dr.WEB on their systems may no longer be able to visit the sites or download the files which have been marked for takedowns because unlike other AV makers blocklists, the Dr.WEB blocklist is based on a database of reports from copyright holders.
Dr.WEB is also asking the copyright holders to submit their “takedown” notices to Dr.WEB, who will then block access to the URLs if the copyright claim is found valid. Dr.WEB believes that this formulae can help it prepare a master database by including all copyright violations.
The other Anti Virus makers like Kaspersky, ESET, Avast etc. have not yet commented on this latest development.