Tag Archives: Dutch Filmworks

Dutch Filmworks Takes Quest to Identify Alleged Pirates to the Supreme Court

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/dutch-filmworks-takes-quest-to-identify-alleged-pirates-to-the-supreme-court-191225/

Piracy settlement letters have become a serious threat in countries all round the world.

Until now, Dutch Internet users have been spared from this practice but local movie distributor Dutch Filmworks would like that to change.

Two years ago the company received permission from the Dutch Data Protection Authority to track the IP-addresses of BitTorrent users who shared pirated movies.

However, that was only the first hurdle. The next step was to identify the subscribers behind the IP-addresses and Dutch Internet provider Ziggo didn’t want to share any customer data without a court order.

The case went to court, where the movie company requested the personal details of 377 account holders whose addresses were used to share a copy of “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”.

This didn’t go as planned for Dutch FilmWorks. In February, the Central Netherlands Court denied the company’s request for data and last month the Court of Appeal reached the same conclusion.

Both courts concluded that Dutch Filmworks’ plans lacked transparency and it’s not clear what the movie company plans to do with the personal data it obtains. Dutch Filmworks said that it could either warn subscribers or request damages, but the criteria remain a guess.

It also remains unclear how large the proposed settlements will be. An initial figure of €150 per infringement was mentioned in the past, but this number could also be significantly higher.

The movie company is unhappy with both verdicts and told the Dutch newspaper NRC that it will take the matter to the Supreme Court. This means that the 377 account holders from ISP Ziggo remain at risk.

In theory, it’s not impossible to obtain an order compelling Dutch Internet providers to hand over personal details of accused pirates. However, the previous verdicts make it clear that Dutch Filmworks has to come with a concrete plan.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court must find a balance between the privacy rights of subscribers and Dutch Filmworks’ intellectual property rights. When there’s too much uncertainty for accused subscribers, their rights tend to weigh stronger.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Dutch ISP Does Not Have to Identify Alleged Pirates, Appeals Court Rules

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/dutch-isp-does-not-have-to-identify-alleged-pirates-appeals-court-rules-191105/

Piracy settlement letters have become a serious threat in several countries.

Dutch Internet users have been spared from this practice, but local movie distributor Dutch Filmworks (DFW), planned to change that.

Two years ago the movie company received permission from the Dutch Data Protection Authority to track the IP-addresses of BitTorrent users who shared pirated movies.

However, that was only the first hurdle, as Dutch Internet provider Ziggo refused to share any customer data without a court order.

The case went to court, where the movie company requested the personal details of 377 account holders whose addresses were allegedly used to share a copy of the movie “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”.

Dutch Filmworks lost this case but swiftly announced an appeal. This ruling was initially expected during this summer, but the Court of Appeal postponed it due to the complexity of the case. After additional deliberation, the Court announced its verdict today.

The Court of Appeal in Arnhem sided with the lower court, rejecting the request for subscriber details. In its ruling, the Court explains that it must find a balance between the privacy rights of subscribers and Dutch Filmworks’ intellectual property rights.

In this specific case, copyright doesn’t outweigh the privacy rights of Internet subscribers. This is, in part, because it remains uncertain what the movie company plans to do with the personal data it obtains. Dutch Filmworks explained that it could either warn subscribers or request damages, but that it would decide this on a case-by-case basis.

“By not being transparent about the criteria it applies when carrying out its intended actions, the interests of the involved Ziggo customer are harmed,” the Court notes.

“In the opinion of the Court of Appeal, this leads to a disturbance of the [rights] balance, in particular in the situation that it is uncertain whether the Ziggo customer involved is actually the infringer,” the Court adds, noting that the subscriber in question may be a third-party.

In addition, it remains unclear how large the proposed settlements will be. An initial figure of €150 per infringement has been mentioned in the past, but this number could also be significantly higher. Transparency is lacking here as well, which means more uncertainty for the potential targets.

After weighing all evidence, the Court of Appeal concludes that the lower court made the right decision. Based on the presented information, the Court can’t grant the request to hand over the personal details of alleged infringers.

“There are no clear and comprehensible criteria based on which an estimate can be made of the consequences for the relevant Ziggo customers, if their personal data is disclosed. It cannot be checked whether the intended measures are in reasonable proportion to the importance that it serves DFW and the privacy interest of the Ziggo customer whose privacy is violated.”

In addition, the Court ordered the movie company to pay €4,000 in costs. Whether Dutch Filmworks will continue to appeal the case is unknown at the time of publication. For now, however, Ziggo customers don’t have to worry about a settlement letter from Dutch Filmworks.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Court Postpones “Complex” Ruling That Could Expose Dutch Movie Pirates

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/court-postpones-complex-ruling-that-could-expose-dutch-movie-pirates-190904/

For many years, Dutch Internet users were allowed to download copyrighted content with impunity, as long as it was for their own use.

In 2014, the European Court of Justice decided that the country’s “piracy levy” through which rightsholders could be compensated, was actually unlawful.

It took another three years for entertainment industry groups to realize the untapped potential of settlement lawsuits but in 2017 it was revealed that distribution company Dutch Filmworks (DFW) wanted to begin monitoring pirates. It didn’t immediately mention it would be seeking any compensation but that always seemed likely.

Later that year it became clear the company would indeed try to do just that, using an initial letter to alleged infringers to request payment.

“[The lettter] will propose a fee,” said DFW CEO Willem Pruijsserts. “If someone does not agree [to pay], the organization can start a lawsuit.”

However, before DFW can begin sending letters, it needs to match the IP addresses of alleged infringers with real identities and for that, it needs cooperation from ISPs. Immediately, ISPs including Ziggo refused to comply without being taken to court.

DFW went ahead wth legal action anyway and targeted 377 of Ziggo’s customers, all alleged to have downloaded the movie “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”. However, the effort failed when in February 2019 the Central Netherlands Court denied the company’s request for data.

The Court didn’t deny that those sharing copyrighted movies without permission were breaking the law. However, it also pointed out that an IP-address alone doesn’t identify an infringer. The Court also had issues with the settlement amount that DFW proposed to extract from alleged infringers, describing the ‘fine’ as “in no way substantiated” in respect of actual damages.

In response, DFW filed an appeal, stating that the judge in the case “agreed with DFW on almost all points” so felt that the ruling should have gone the distributor’s way.

“DFW is of the opinion that this decision should have been in favor of the rightsholder and it is convinced that the claim should be awarded on appeal,” the company said.

Accordingly, the Court of Appeal looked at the case and was due to deliver its verdict yesterday, September 3, 2019. However, a report from NRC now reveals that the decision will be postponed “partly due to the complexity of the case.”

A spokesperson for the Court told the publication that “we’re working hard on it” and a ruling should be handed down no later than November 5, 2019, but hopefully sooner.

While in other regions of Europe, notably countries like Germany and Sweden, the discovery process can be a fairly simple one, it seems clear that the Dutch court wants to take a much closer look at the details.

What those reservations are isn’t yet clear but the earlier insistence from DFW, that subscribers should be responsible for what happens on their connections whether they’re the infringer or not, might be playing a part in the Court’s hesitancy.

On top, of course, any decision in favor of DFW could open the floodgates to other companies seeking to obtain settlements from Internet users, something which would be music to the ears of various copyright trolls, many based in the United States and working on an industrial scale.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.