Netherlands-based anti-piracy group BREIN is one of few such outfits to directly go after both the operators and users of pirate sites.
The Hollywood-backed group doesn’t target random file-sharers but focuses on prolific uploaders, who share hundreds or thousands of files.
This month these efforts led to another victory for the organization. A Breda court ruled in favor of BREIN in an ex-parte case against a 20-year-old student, who uploaded over 750 torrents to KickassTorrents.
Most torrents were targeted at the Dutch public, including a full season of The Walking Dead and the film Avengers: Age of Ultron, both with subtitles.
BREIN argued that the man’s infringing activities were causing irreparable damage for the various copyright holders involved. In addition, his efforts help frustrate the growth of legal services such as Spotify and Netflix.
The court agreed with BREIN’s assessment and ordered the uploader to stop sharing pirated content on KickassTorrents (pdf). Refusing to do so will result in a €2,000 fine per day, with a maximum of €50,000.
Responding to the verdict, the man, whose name is not made public, deleted his account as well as all uploads.
TorrentFreak tracked down what appears to be the user in question. This person frequently uploaded torrents with Dutch subtitles, some of which were mentioned in the case.
BREIN notes that the student also agreed to pay compensation to the copyright holders as well as costs for the legal proceedings. While calculating the appropriate ‘damages’ figure BREIN took the man’s personal circumstances into account.
This means that the uploader has gotten off relatively unharmed, when compared to the million dollar claims we’ve seen elsewhere at least.
It’s not clear how BREIN tracked down the uploader. The anti-piracy group is known to scour the Internet for information that can identify infringers, some of whom are surprisingly easy to find.
In addition, BREIN also uses previously convicted file-sharers to gather intelligence, and rival uploaders also rat out their competitors voluntarily every now and then.
“We do get anonymous tips regarding offenders and from time to time it is clear that a tip comes from a ‘competitor. It’s just like with other crime on any turf,” BREIN’s Tim Kuik told us previously.
Looking ahead, BREIN is planning to intensify its efforts to hold prolific uploaders responsible. Not just those who upload to torrent sites, but also those who simply download and share.
Last week NOS reported that BREIN is preparing to monitor IP-addresses systematically to identify prolific sharers, which they then hope to identify through their Internet providers.