Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN is famous for taking on pirates both large and small. From The Pirate Bay to people dealing in IPTV boxes and sundry media, BREIN is rarely out of the headlines for long.
One of BREIN’s current strategies is to track down pirates, make them admit to their crimes, and then negotiate a settlement. This usually involves agreeing to cease-and-desist and handing over some kind of cash payment, to go towards any supposed losses incurred by its copyright holder partners and the costs of pursuing the case.
While some people keep to the agreed terms, others do not. BREIN says it doesn’t let these cases lie. Case in point, a man who sold pirated copies of eBooks in the Netherlands.
According to BREIN, the 38-year-old operated under the name Ebookplaza and Alexnav, selling thousands of eBooks via sites including Marktplaats.nl, Speurders.nl and Tweedehands.nl. This caught the attention of BREIN, who tracked the man down.
“Taking into account the man’s capacity to pay, BREIN reached a settlement consisting of a declaration of abstention with a penalty clause and a contribution to the costs of 450 euros,” BREIN said in a statement this morning.
BREIN believes its original offer to settle was reasonable but still, no payment was forthcoming. The man did not respond to reminders and a summons was returned marked as “address unknown.” But despite the relatively small settlement amount, BREIN wasn’t prepared to let the case go.
After discovering the man had protected his data with the authorities, BREIN took steps to find out where he now lived and after a procedure discovered he hadn’t moved away at all. BREIN sent in the bailiffs who were handed email ‘evidence’ that the case had been dismissed. According to the anti-piracy group, that email was faked.
“That the email was forged was not only apparent from the incorrect terminology – after all, it is not a criminal case – but in particular because the sender’s address was not in use at the time. BREIN then summoned the man. He did not appear at the session,” the anti-piracy group explained.
As a result, a judge sitting in Eindhoven has now awarded BREIN an even higher amount plus costs – 1,421 euros – with interest added on top until the date the amount is settled in full.
“This man got a very reasonable settlement and now he has to pay a lot more. We will not let him escape that,” says BREIN chief Tim Kuik.
“Whoever burns his buttocks must sit on the blisters.”