Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN has targeted operators of pirate sites for more than a decade, and more recently it started going after uploaders as well.
The rightsholder-backed group doesn’t target random file-sharers but mostly focuses on prolific uploaders.
Over the past few months the group has gone after several torrent site uploaders, with some success. However, BREIN’s enforcement actions go further than BitTorrent alone, they also keep an eye on Usenet.
This week the anti-piracy group announced that it has settled a dispute with a large-scale Usenet uploader, who shared over 18,000 music albums, discographies, and compilations.
The man agreed to pay €15,000 in damages and stop his activities effective immediately. If not, an ex-parte court order requires him to pay an additional fine up to €50,000
According to court records, BREIN used the message-id of NZB files to confirm that the man was indeed the uploader, and also linked these to posts he made on NZB spot-sites.
After he received the court order, the uploader posted a message on one such site informing fellow users that he had been forced to quit.
“This morning I was ‘honored’ with a visit from the bailiff on behalf of BREIN. To cut a long story short, I am sentenced to pay a hefty sum of money for my work as a spotter / poster. Perhaps there are people who would just continue, but I’m out,” the uploader wrote.
BREIN director Tim Kuik is happy with the outcome and stresses that they have their sights set on pirates of all kinds.
“BREIN previously announced that it would expand its actions against illegal uploaders. This doesn’t only affect BitTorrent uploaders as in previous cases this year, but also uploaders to Usenet and file-hosters or cyberlockers” Kuik says.
“In addition to the present case, there are still more investigations ongoing. We don’t warn illegal uploaders, but immediately offer them a settlement. If someone does not want to settle, a court proceeding will follow, to recover the full damages and costs,” he adds.
It’s clear that the anti-piracy group is becoming more active against uploaders. For many years the Netherlands was considered a relative safe haven for file-sharers, but if left up to BREIN this will no longer be the case.
Looking ahead, BREIN is planning to go after uploaders on a much larger scale to increase the catch-rate.
The anti-piracy group has started to systematically monitor IP-addresses of torrent swarms, in order to identify the IP-addresses of prolific sharers. They then hope to identify the account holders through their Internet providers.