Open Letter From TorrentFreak To Brein

The infamous anti-piracy watchdog BREIN infringed our copyright earlier this week as they used a quote from one of our articles without attribution. As a follow up to our previous article, we wrote an open letter to BREIN to educate the public about their lack of respect for the rights of people who don't pay them millions.

Here’s what the MPAA has to say about what Brein did: “Piracy is the unauthorized taking, copying or use of copyrighted materials without permission. It is no different from stealing another person’s shoes or stereo, except sometimes it can be a lot more damaging.”

One of our counsels has put together an open letter to BREIN to show how hypocritical they are. They don’t care about copyright, they care about money and blame pirates for the inability of their clients to adapt their business models to technological change.

Letter:

Dear Mr Kuik

Being vociferous exponents of the fight against copyright infringement, your organization is expected to uphold the highest possible standards where the misuse of other people’s intellectual property is concerned.

It has been brought to my attention that your organization has reproduced text from an article published by this website concerning the website SumoTorrent, without prior written consent1 and without complying with the copyright terms applicable to this publication, TorrentFreak2.

Specifically, your organization has selectively and misleadingly quoted from our publication without properly attributing the source, in contravention of the Creative Commons license3 under which this text was published. This is a contemptible infringement of our own intellectual property rights, illustrative of a gross lack of professionalism on your part.

Furthermore, you have mischievously and inaccurately attributed the source of the material stolen from ourselves as being “a pirate weblog”. This amounts to actionable libel, inasmuch that neither the owners nor the staff of this publication , a well respected and widely read source of filesharing news – have ever been accused, suspected or prosecuted, for any so-called act of piracy. We are neither sailors nor thieves of other people’s intellectual property, unlike yourselves.

Your “news release” is peppered with inaccurate information, calculated to mislead and intimidate the millions of legitimate users of the many peer-to-peer filesharing services that are in common use throughout the world. Much of the material that is shared by sites targeted by yourselves such as SumoTorrent is open source, copyright has never been asserted or it is in the public domain. To presume otherwise is to add arrogance to the ignorance your organization has already exhibited.

There is, and there can never be, any legitimacy attached to your harassment5 of those who merely assist in finding the location of such copyright free material. The indiscriminate prevention of people’s enjoyment of their own property, in this case their own computers, is in direct contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights4.

Having learned that you have falsely claimed that a District Court judgment in June 2007 against a specific defendant amounted to some sort of precedent, justifying your demand that others breach data protection principles5 & 6, my expectations of your professionalism are not high.

Whilst I harbor no illusions that you will have the grace to apologize for your unwarranted breach of my own rights in these matters, this letter will serve to educate others and make public your abuse of process, your contempt for the rights of others and your outright hypocrisy.

Sincerely

TorrentFreak Counsel
[email protected]

References:

1: http://www.anti-piracy.nl/nieuws/bericht.asp?nieuwsberichtid=98
2: http://torrentfreak.com/brein-pirates-torrentfreak-071119/
3: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
4: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Convention_on_Human_Rights
Article 1: Obligation to respect Human Rights
Article 7: No punishment without law
Protocol 1: Rights to enjoyment of property
5: Letter from LeaseWeb describing illegal pressure from BREIN
6: EC Directive 95/46

End

We never seriously considered taking any legal action, we were simply mirroring the behavior of these anti-piracy organizations. The main difference is that we aren’t malicious and we pride ourselves on never threatening people.

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