Tag Archives: Excipio

Piracy Fines For Dutch Pirates, Starting This Autumn

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/piracy-fines-for-dutch-pirates-starting-this-autumn-170828/

In 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that the “piracy levy”, used in the Netherlands to compensate rightsholders for illicit downloading, was unlawful. In the immediate aftermath, downloading from unauthorized sources was banned.

Three years on and illegal downloading is still considered by rightsholders to be a problem that needs to be brought under control. This means that BitTorrent users are the number one target since their activities also involve uploading, something that most courts consider to be a relatively serious offense.

With that in mind, Dutch film distributor Dutch Filmworks (DFW) is preparing a wave of anti-piracy activity that looks set to mimic the copyright-trolling activities of similar outfits all over the world.

A recent application to the Dutch Data Protection Authority (Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens), revealed that DFW wishes to combat “the unlawful dissemination of copyright protected works” by monitoring the activities of BitTorrent users.

“DFW intends to collect data from people who exchange files over the Internet through BitTorrent networks. The data processing consists of capturing proof of exchange of files via IP addresses for the purpose of researching involvement of these users in the distribution or reproduction of copyrighted works,” it reads.

People who are monitored sharing DFW titles (the company says it intends to track people sharing dozens of releases) will get a letter with an offer to settle in advance of being taken to court. Speaking with NOS, DFW CEO Willem Pruijsserts now reveals that the campaign will begin in the autumn.

“[The lettter] will propose a fee,” he says. “If someone does not agree [to pay], the organization can start a lawsuit.”

Quite how much DFW will ask for is not yet clear, but Pruijsserts says the Dutch model will be more reasonable than similar schemes underway in other regions.

“In Germany, this costs between €800 and €1,000, although we find this a bit excessive. But of course it has to be a deterrent, so it will be more than a tenner or two,” he said.

In comments to RTLZ, Pruijsserts confirmed ‘fines’ of at least hundreds of euros.

According to documents filed with the Dutch data protection authority, DFW will employ an external German-based tracking company to monitor alleged pirates which will “automatically participate in swarms in which works from DFW are being shared.” The company has been named by RTL Z as German company Excipion, which could be linked to the monitoring outfit Tecxipio, which began as Excipio.

In conversation with NOS, Pruijsserts said that “hundreds of thousands” of people watched films like Mechanic: Resurrection without paying. This particular movie is notable for appearing in many piracy cases in the United States. It is one of the titles pursued relentlessly by lawyers acting in concert with notorious copyright-trolling outfit Guardaley.

Perhaps the most crucial element moving forward is whether DFW will be able to get ISPs to cooperate in handing over the personal details of allegedly infringing subscribers. Thus far, ISPs Ziggo and KPN have indicated they won’t do so without a court order, so further legal action will be required for DFW to progress.

When DFW’s application for discovery is heard by the court, it will be interesting to see how far the ISPs dig into the anti-piracy scheme. Finding out more about Guardaley, if the company is indeed involved, would be an intriguing approach, especially given the outfit’s tendency to scurry away (1,2) when coming under intense scrutiny.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

ISP Lands Supreme Court Win Over Copyright Trolls

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/isp-lands-supreme-court-win-over-copyright-trolls-170505/

Every day, millions of people use BitTorrent to obtain free movies, TV shows, and music but many aren’t aware that their activities can be monitored. Most monitoring is relatively benign but there are companies out there who make a living from threatening to sue file-sharers.

These so-called ‘copyright trolls’ share files along with regular users, capture their IP addresses and trace them back to their ISPs. From there, ISPs are asked to hand over the alleged pirates’ names and addresses so trolls can extract a cash settlement from them, but most ISPs demand a court process before doing so.

Over in Norway, a company called Scanbox Entertainment hired German anti-piracy outfit Excipio to track people sharing the movie ‘The Captive’. Between November 27 and December 1, 2015, the company reportedly found eight customers of telecoms giant Telenor doing so. While the numbers are small, initial cases are often presented this way to attract less attention in advance of bigger moves.

During December 2015, Scanbox sent a request to the Oslo District Court to force Telenor to hand over its subscribers’ information. It also asked the Court to prevent the ISP from deleting or anonymizing logs that could identify the alleged infringers.

In May 2016 Scanbox won its case, and Telenor was ordered to hand over the names and postal addresses of its subscribers. However, determined to protect its customers’ privacy (now and for similar cases in the future), the ISP filed an appeal.

At the Court of Appeal in September 2016, the tables were turned when it was decided that Telenor wouldn’t have to hand over the personal information of its customers after all. The evidence of the alleged infringements failed to show that any sharing was substantial.

But after coming this far and with lots of potential settlement payments at stake, Scanbox refused to give in, taking its case all the way to the Supreme Court where a panel of judges was asked to issue a definitive ruling. The decision just handed down by the Court is bad news for Scanbox.

In essence, the Court weighed Scanbox’s right to protect copyright versus Norwegian citizens’ right to privacy. If the former is to trump the latter, then any copyright infringements must be of a serious nature. The panel of judges at the Supreme Court felt that the evidence presented against Telenor’s customers was not good enough to prove infringement beyond the threshold. The panel, therefore, upheld the earlier decision of the Court of Appeal.

Torgeir Waterhouse of Internet interest group ICT Norway says that online privacy should always be respected and not disregarded as the rightsholders and their law firm, Denmark-based Njord Law, would like.

“This is not about enforcing copyright, this is about what methods are acceptable to use within the law,” Waterhouse says.

“This is an important decision that sends an important message to the licensees and Njord Law that the rule of law can not be set aside in their eagerness to deal with illegal file-sharing. We are very pleased that Njord’s frivolous activity has been stopped. We expect licensees to act responsibly and respect both privacy and the rule of law.”

ScanBox is now required to pay Telenor almost $70,000 in costs, a not insignificant amount that should give reason to pause before future trolling efforts get underway in Norway.

Full decision (Norwegian, pdf)

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

BitTorrent Expert Report Slams Movie Piracy Evidence

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/bittorrent-expert-report-slams-movie-piracy-evidence-170210/

In recent years many people have accused so-called ‘copyright trolls’ of using dubious tactics and shoddy evidence, to extract cash settlements from alleged movie pirates.

As the most active copyright litigant in the United States, adult entertainment outfit Malibu Media has been subjected to these allegations as well.

The company, widely known for its popular “X-Art” brand, has gone after thousands of alleged offenders in recent years earning millions of dollars in the process. While many of its targets eventually pay up, now and then the company faces fierce resistance.

This is also true in the case Malibu launched against the Californian Internet subscriber behind the IP-address 76.126.99.126. This defendant has put up quite a fight in recent months and invested some healthy resources into it.

A few days ago, the defendant’s lawyer submitted a motion (pdf) for summary judgment, pointing out several flaws in the rightsholder’s complaint. While this kind of pushback is not new, the John Doe backed them up with a very detailed expert report.

The 74-page report provides an overview of the weaknesses in Malibu’s claims and the company’s evidence. It was put together by Bradley Witteman, an outside expert who previously worked as Senior Director Product Management at BitTorrent Inc.

In common with other aspects, Malibu’s file-sharing evidence was also carefully inspected. Like many other rightsholders, the adult company teamed up with the German outfit Excipio which collects data through its custom monitoring technology.

According to Witteman’s expert analysis, the output of this torrent tracking system is unreliable.

One of the major complaints is that the tracking system only takes 16k blocks from the target IP addresses, not the entire file. This means that they can’t prove that the defendant actually downloaded a full copy of the infringing work. In addition, they can’t do a proper hash comparison to verify the contents of the file.

From the expert report

That’s only part of the problem, as Mr. Witteman lists a range of possible issues in his conclusions, arguing that the reliability of the system can’t be guaranteed.

  • Human error when IPP enters information from Malibu Media into the Excipio system.
  • Mr. Patzer stated that the Excipio system does not know if the user has a complete copy of the material.
  • The Excipio system only take 16k blocks from the target IP addresses.
  • There has not been any description of the chain of custody of the IPP verification affidavits nor that the process is valid and secure.
  • IP address false positives can occur in the system.
  • The user’s access point could have been incorrectly secured.
  • The user’s computer or network interface may have been compromised and is being used as a conduit for another user’s traffic.
  • VPN software could produce an inaccurate IP address of a swarm member.
  • The fuzzy name search of file names as described by Mr. Patzer could not have identified the file kh4k52qr.125.mp4 as the content “Romp at the Ranch.”
  • Proprietary BitTorrent Client may or may not be properly implemented.
  • Claim of “zero bugs” is suspect when one of the stated components has had 5 over 431 bugs, 65 currently unresolved.
  • Zero duration data transfer times on two different files.
  • The lack of any available academic paper on, or security audit of, the software system in question.

In addition to the technical evidence, the expert report also sums up a wide range of other flaws.

Many files differ from the one’s deposited at the Copyright Office, for example, and the X-Art videos themselves don’t display a proper copyright notice. On top of that, Malibu also made no effort to protect its content with DRM.

Based on the expert review the John Doe asks the court to rule in his favor. Malibu is not a regular rightsholder, the lawyer argues, but an outfit that’s trying to generate profits through unreliable copyright infringement accusations.

“The only conclusion one can draw is that Malibu does not operate like a normal studio – make films and charge for them. Instead Malibu makes a large chunk of its money using unreliable bittorrent monitoring software which only collects a deminimus amount of data,” the Doe’s lawyer writes.

Stepping it up a notch, the lawyer likens Malibu’s operation to Prenda Law, whose principals were recently indicted and charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, money laundering, and perjury by the US Government.

“Malibu is no different than ‘Prenda Law’ in form and function. They cleverly exploit the fact that most people will settle for 5-10K when sued despite the fact that the system used to ‘capture’ their IP address is neither robust nor valid,” the motion reads.

Whether the court will agree has yet to be seen, but it’s clear that the expert report can be used as a new weapon to combat these and other copyright infringement claims.

Of course, one has to keep in mind that there are always two sides to a story.

At the same time the John Doe submitted his motion, Malibu moved ahead with a motion (pdf) for sanctions and a default judgment. The adult entertainment outfit argues that the defendant destroyed evidence on hard drives, concealed information, and committed perjury on several occasions.

To be continued…

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Accused File-Sharer Beats ‘Copyright Trolls’ in Finnish Court

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/accused-file-sharer-beats-copyright-trolls-in-finnish-court-170207/

finlandStarting three years ago, TV-show and movie distributors in Finland began sending out thousands of settlement letters to alleged pirates, demanding payments of between 600 and 3,000 euros.

The letters in question are sent by the law firm Hedman Partners on behalf of known “copyright trolls,” and threaten legal action if accused pirates refuse to cooperate.

These are not hollow threats either, as rightsholders have taken several people to court already. A case last year resulted in victory when a man was ordered to pay more than 32,000 euros in damages to Crystalis Entertainment and Scanbox Entertainment.

However, in very a similar case the pendulum swung the other way this week.

Earlier, Crystalis and Scanbox filed a lawsuit against a person who they accused of downloading three episodes of the pirate TV-series “Black Sails” and the movie A Walk Among the Tombstones via BitTorrent.

The rightsholders employed the German tracking company Excipio, who linked the defendant’s IP-address to several BitTorrent swarms, concluding that the account holder must have been the infringer.

However, after a careful review of the evidence provided by both parties, the Finnish Market Court decided otherwise.

According to the Court, the rightsholders failed to provide sufficient evidence to link the downloads to the subscriber in question.

The defendant rightfully pointed out that the Wi-Fi network was unsecured so anyone could have downloaded the files. In fact, tests revealed the network could be accessed by anyone within 300 meters of the router.

In addition, a forensic analysis of the defendant’s computer and network hard drives revealed no trace of the infringing files or even a BitTorrent client.

Taking these and other issues into account, the Market Court ordered Crystalis and Scanbox to pay the defendant’s legal fees, which total €28,135.60. The case is not completely over yet, as there is still an option to take it to the Supreme Court. But for now, it offers a glimmer of hope for many other accused pirates.

For the rightsholders, this is the second setback in a few weeks. Last month the Finnish Government announced an investigation into the recent wave of cash settlement requests for alleged piracy offenses. According to the authorities, copyright legislation is not designed for the public to be “milked.”

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

Copyright Trolls Abandon Sweden in a Blaze of Bad Publicity

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/copyright-trolls-abandon-sweden-in-blaze-of-bad-publicity-161101/

trollsignIn the US, Europe, and Canada, copyright holders have been teaming up with piracy monitoring firms to develop a new flow of revenue. Together they track down alleged pirates and hit them with a demand for cash settlement – or else.

This so-called ‘copyright-trolling’ hit Sweden earlier this year. An organization calling itself Spridningskollen (Distribution Check) headed up by law firm Gothia Law, said its new initiative would save the entertainment industries and educate the masses.

“One can compare it to a speed camera. In the same way that a speed camera only records those who drive too fast, only those Internet users who share copyrighted material without permission are logged,” said spokesman Gordon Odenbark.

Those ‘speeding fines’ were set at around $250 but backed up by threats that they would increase if file-sharers were uncooperative. Predictably there was a huge backlash, both among the public and in the media, but few expected the announcement that came yesterday.

“Gothia Law, who on behalf of rights holders in the film and television industry created Distribution Check, is now ending its involvement in the file sharing issue,” the firm said.

“In a short time, Distribution Check has given rise to criticism but also a decline in illegal file sharing. This without a single collection letter being sent out.”

Noting that in a short time the anti-piracy campaign had generated intense debate, the law firm also went on to claim that it had been a success.

“Knowledge of an individual’s legal responsibility is higher today than it was before the initiative was launched. It also established that the method to address a claim against a person who held a particular IP address through which copyrighted materials were distributed illegally, is in full compliance with both Swedish and European legislation,” the company added.

The claim that the campaign had somehow achieved its aims is somewhat weak, especially when one considers the legal and administrative costs that have been accrued in what was a sizeable operation.

That is further compounded by the fact that no letters being sent out means that a) all the threats and promises were hollow and b) zero revenue was generated. Perhaps worse still, those threats were made by a law firm that now has to deal with damage to its reputation among both its clients and the general public.

“The polarized debate focused on how to act to avoid the Swedish law. Many hold the belief that it is socially acceptable to withhold the truth in order to escape the penalty for a criminal act, which also seriously damages the cultural sector,” Gothia said.

“As legislation and public opinion differs in a significant way, Gothia Law has now ended its involvement in the file-sharing issue.”

It is quite something for a law firm to state that it’s backed out of a project because people have no respect for the law. Then again, it’s not unusual for law firms to get involved in this type of work only to find that it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Still, the company signs off with its successes, which were apparently achieved in just two months and without sending out a single letter.

“The initiative has meant a certain success for rights holders who will continue to protect their own interests in the file-sharing issue. Not only has the issue risen on the agenda, during the time that has passed since the initiative was launched, illegal downloading in Sweden also declined,” Gothia said.

While it’s reportedly true that file-sharing in Sweden is on the decline, it seems unlikely that this campaign had much of an effect on that since its launch in September. Nevertheless, Gothia insists that it did.

“The decline in sharing of the 150 titles represented by Distribution Check has been greater than the overall decline. For some titles, the download has fallen by 17 percent,” the company concludes.

It’s difficult to see the announcement as anything less than a damage limitation exercise but for local ISP Bahnhof, the news is still welcome. Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung has been Distribution Check’s most vocal critic and through his company has been a thorn in the side of the project. Now it’s all over, people can relax again.

“This means that ordinary families do not have to come home to mysterious invoices that you have to think about whether to pay or not,” Karlung says.

“Hopefully this means that the copyright industry will seriously leave the 90s behind and put their resources into better experiences instead, such as Netflix and Spotify have done.”

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

ISP Trolls Copyright Troll With A Taste of Its Own Medicine

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/bahnhof-trolls-copyright-trolls-160922/

bahnhofIn recent years file-sharers around the world have been ordered to pay significant settlement fees, or face legal repercussions.

These so-called “copyright trolling” efforts have been a common occurrence in several countries, with Sweden one of the latest hunting grounds.

One of the organizations leading the way is Spridningskollen (Distribution Check). Using data gathered by German anti-piracy outfit Excipio, they plan to start by targeting around 1,000 alleged pirates, offering them settlements of around $233 (2,000 kronor).

While many Internet providers don’t put up a real fight to protect their subscribers, privacy conscious Bahnhof is. Not only does Bahnhof delete all logs that could link IP-addresses to alleged infringements, the company is also pushing back in other creative ways.

Previously they accused Spridningskollen of trademark infringement and this week they followed up this threat with a more concrete warning.

Giving the “trolls” a taste of their own medicine, Bahnhof sent them an invoice for the exact amount they also ask from accused pirates, to settle the alleged trademark infringement.

“You’re infringing our trademark ‘Spridningskollen.’ Bahnhof filed for the trademark on 2016-08-31, with the launch of the website Spridningskollen.org,” the settlement invoice reads.

The anti-piracy outfit uses Spridningskollen.se for their website and Bahnhof urges the company to pay up and take it down, or else.

faktura

“Choose to pay 2,000 kronor and switch off your site Spridningskollen.se as soon as possible, or face legal action when the trademark application has been processed,” they write.

“You can say that this letter is a settlement offer. If the infringer of the trademark does not pay the rightsholder the case can proceed to trial, which is far more costly for all involved.”

It’s unlikely that the anti-piracy coalition is going to comply voluntarily, as the trademark application can be disputed. Nevertheless, Bahnhof’s provocative approach is refreshing to say the least.

When asked, most ISPs will say that they have the best interests of their subscribers at heart, but very few companies are willing to go above and beyond and highlight possible abuse.

And adding some irony in the mix makes it all the better.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

‘Will Trump Shut Down The Pirate Bay?’

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/will-trump-shut-pirate-bay-160911/

trumpdNo, Trump personally can’t and won’t shut down The Pirate Bay. Period.

Excuse me for the clickbait title and the strange intro, but since it’s the topic of this opinion piece, I thought it was warranted.

Here’s what’s going on.

The torrent community is in turmoil after the shutdowns of KAT and Torrentz. We’ve written about this extensively, but there’s a rather frustrating side-effect that we haven’t discussed so far.

For some reason there’s a slew of news sites, prominently featured in search engines and on social media, that keep spreading fear and panic about a looming Pirate Bay shutdown.

These publications take every piece of file-sharing related news, often sourced from TorrentFreak, and rewrite it in a way that suggests the world’s number one torrent site may disappear, or is already gone.

Here are just a few headlines I’ve seen over the past few days. Click on the links at your own risk.

    • Pirate Bay, Extra Torrent Shutting Down; Fans In Search For Best Torrent Alternative (link)
    • The Pirate Bay (TPB) Shut Down Imminent After Service Partner Faces Piracy Lawsuit (link)
    • Goodbye The Pirate Bay? Cloudflare Under Fire For Helping TPB, Terror Groups (link)
    • The Pirate Bay to shut down soon? (link)
    • The Pirate Bay Shut Down Rumors: Once Site Goes Down, US Library Of Congress Might Be The Next Piracy Haven (link)
  • Pirate Bay to Shut Down…

    mobileapps

    • The Pirate Bay To Shut Down Soon As Excipio Starts To Shoot And Kill Torrent Sites? (link)
    • TPB Now Leads The Pack Of Torrent Sites, But Might Shut Down Soon? List Of Top Torrent Sites Inside (link)
    • The Pirate Bay (TPB), KickassTorrents, Torrentz Shut Down: US Library of Congress As Next Alternative? (link)
  • These reports have absolutely nothing to do with an apparent Pirate Bay shutdown of course.

    The last one, for example, bizarrely connects concerns the RIAA has about access to digital works at the Library of Congress, to the potential demise of TPB, which is pure nonsense.

    Pirate Bay Declared Dead

    isportsnonsense

    Many other articles follow the same format, writing nonsensical trash such as the following:

    “Other torrent sites such as TorrentFreak is not happy with the growing population of The Pirate Bay but they do appreciate the role that TPB is playing in the world of torrent sites.”

    The quote above comes from The Parent Herald, which also suggests that copyright trolls plan to fine The Pirate Bay. Clearly, they have not read the TorrentFreak article on the topic, which they’re quoting, or they simply don’t understand it.

    Might Shut Down Soon?

    patentherald

    So why are these “news” sites reporting this type of doom and gloom? The short answer is ad views. The clickbait articles are shared on social media, appear in Google news and in search results.

    The latter can bring in thousands of views. If people Google for “The Pirate Bay,” these headlines are featured as “news” and beg to be clicked on, generating revenue for the sites in question. For the very same reason you’ll see numerous articles about KAT and Torrentz alternatives.

    Click, Click, Click

    tpbnews

    Why are we complaining about this? Well, these news reports are picked up by other sites and shared among thousands of people. At TorrentFreak we do our best to report news as accurately as possible, and these clickbait articles go directly against this, often using our name.

    We have addressed the clickbait issue in the past but in recent months it has gotten much worse.

    While there are many different sites guilty of this practice, we recently stumbled upon a ring of related publications that all belong to the same company. They carry names such as Parent Herald, iSports Times., University Herald, Mobile&Apps and share a similar layout and design.

    The owner in question, according to the copyright statement, is the New York based company IQ Adnet, which is… surprise surprise, an ad network that specializes in premium digital and native advertising. That explains everything.

    There’s not much we can do about this, unfortunately, besides telling people what’s really going on and venting our frustration every now and then.

    In the meantime, we’ll be waiting for these sites to pick up the Trump angle, which shouldn’t take long.

    For the record. At TorrentFreak we don’t use pay per view ads, partly to get rid of the pageview obsession. This means that the clickbait title we used for this article doesn’t bring in any extra money.

    Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

    Swedish ISP Attacks Copyright Trolls, Over Trademark Infringement

    Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/swedish-isp-attacks-copyright-trolls-over-trademark-infringement-160905/

    trollsignIn recent years, file-sharers all across the world have been threatened with lawsuits, if they don’t pay a significant settlement fee.

    The process was pioneered in Germany where it turned into an industry by itself, but copyright holders have also targeted alleged pirates in the UK, United States, Canada and elsewhere.

    Earlier this year, rightsholders began targeting Sweden, with more details appearing in public last week.

    One of the organizations leading the way is Spridningskollen (Distribution Check). Using data gathered by German anti-piracy outfit Excipio, they plan to start by targeting around 1,000 alleged pirates, offering them settlements of around $233 (2,000 kronor).

    Spridningskollen spokesman Gordon Odenbark compared the process with speeding cameras, where torrent users risk a ‘fine’ if they get caught. This will generate revenue, but could also act as a deterrent, preventing other people from violating rightsholders’ rights.

    Interestingly, however, shortly after Spridningskollen announced its plans the group itself faced allegations of intellectual property rights violations. Swedish ISP Bahnhof is accusing the group of trademark infringement, noting that they have a claim on the “spridningskollen” mark.

    “Bahnhof was the first to apply for the Spridningskollen trademark rights at the Swedish Patent and Registration Office,” the ISP announced.

    Earlier this year Bahnhof was the first ISP to warn the public about the looming flood of settlement requests. To help the public understand the severity of the issue the ISP launched the site Spridningskollen.org, which they say maps the “spread of extortion letters” from copyright holders.

    Bahnhof’s Spridningskollen.org

    spridningskollen

    Now that the anti-piracy group has ‘stolen’ their name, Bahnhof plans to take action over the apparent trademark infringement.

    “It is surprising that those who claim to defend intellectual property rights don’t track it better themselves. It says a lot about the quality level of their so-called initiative,” Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung says.

    The ISP is demanding that the website of the anti-piracy group, Spridningskollen.se, is shut down.

    “Our lawyers are looking into it. We see the many different ways that interfere with their operation. Extortion letters are unethical, anachronistic and counter-productive,” Karlung says.

    In addition, Bahnhof is calling on the Government to reform copyright law in order to prevent excessive and overbroad enforcement tactics.

    Until then, the ISP vows to protect its subscribers from the copyright trolling practice as best as they can. This means that if copyright holders demand IP-address info and user details from Bahnhof, they will fight this in court.

    Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

    Attention Swedish Pirate Bay Users, Copyright Trolls Have Arrived

    Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/attention-swedish-pirate-bay-users-copyright-trolls-have-arrived-160902/

    tpbEvery day, millions of people around the globe use file-sharing networks. Much of that sharing involves the unauthorized downloading and/or distribution of copyright material.

    In response, some companies have decided to monetize the activity by tracking alleged infringers back to their Internet service providers and by a variety of methods, getting them to pay a fine.

    Commonly known as copyright trolling, this business model has been deployed in the United States, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere. To date, Sweden has escaped its clutches, despite being home to The Pirate Bay and a large number of file-sharers. That is now about to change.

    In a new announcement, an organization calling itself Spridningskollen (Distribution Check) says it is about to launch a new initiative to punish those who file-share. The aim: to save the industry and educate the masses.

    Distribution Check says that since the start of the year, German anti-piracy outfit Excipio has been monitoring the activities of Swedish file-sharers. That data will be used to track alleged file-sharers back to their ISPs.

    “One can compare it to a speed camera. In the same way that a speed camera only records those who drive too fast, only those Internet users who share copyrighted material without permission are logged,” says spokesman Gordon Odenbark.

    Initially, the group says it will target between 500 and 1,000 file-sharers and each will be asked to settle for around $233 (2,000 kronor).

    “At this moment, we have said that we are only asking for [$233] per film, but that amount will be increased. I can almost guarantee that we will raise the damages in the fall,” OdenBark says.

    These “cheap now, expensive later” claims are classic copyright troll tactics which are designed to encourage prompt payments from alleged file-sharers. But of course, some will refuse to pay, and for those individuals the threat of legal action via local firm Gothia Law are already being dangled.

    “The amount [being demanded] is lower than the Swedish courts have sentenced file-sharers to pay historically, so you can consider it as a kind of settlement,” the company says on its website. “If you pay the sum, rights holders will stop their demands and both parties can avoid a costly and time-consuming trial.”

    In common with similar schemes in operation in the UK, Distribution Check are trying to promote their project as an educational exercise. They say that in the first instance there will be a YouTube piracy awareness campaign. That will be followed by the settlement demands.

    “Sure, it may seem hard to tackle individual file-sharers in this way, but to get a behavioral change, it’s probably necessary. A similar initiative has been operated in Germany and Finland, and it has been proven to work,” the company says.

    “Ultimately, it is about the film and television industry’s survival. Illegal file sharing of copyrighted material costs the cultural sector several million in lost revenues annually. With Distribution Check, we want to ensure that television and movie companies get paid for their work, so that they can continue to run their business.”

    Users concerned about the titles involved in this dragnet should look to content offered by Scanbox Entertainment, Noble Entertainment, Atlantic and Crystalis Entertainment, who are all Distribution Check partners.

    More often than not, copyright trolls have more bark than bite, so their threats should be taken seriously but with a decent pinch of salt. In the meantime, customers of ISP Bahnhof can probably sleep more soundly than most. The ISP certainly won’t be handing over identities to trolls without a fight.

    Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.