In the present day and age piracy is perhaps more scattered than it’s ever been.
Torrent sites, streaming services, cyberlockers, mobile apps, linking sites and many more are all labeled as infringing sources.
But, the piracy problem is not restricted to ‘shady’ sites and services alone. On many ‘legal’ platforms there’s a wide availability of copyright infringing material as well, YouTube included.
Despite the availability of fingerprinting technology in YouTube’s controversial Content-ID system, it’s very easy to find full copies of popular films on the site, as we’ve illustrated in the past.
This is also what an observant Dutch copyright holder discovered a few days ago. However, instead of merely issuing a takedown notice, the rightsholder contacted local anti-piracy outfit BREIN.
BREIN, which has a track record of going after pirate uploaders of all shapes and sizes, took immediate action. The group managed to trace the person behind the ‘anonymous’ YouTube account, who had promised viewers that he’d upload a new movie every week.
“BREIN managed to identify the anonymous uploader and forced him to cease his infringing activities,” the group writes, adding that YouTube uploaders may have to pay for their infringing activities.
“On YouTube, illegal uploaders should also be aware that they could face a cease and desist order with a penalty clause for future infringements, and a settlement amount for those committed in the past.”
In this case the infringer, who is described as a “young man”, was let off without having to pay any damages but BREIN adds that repeat infringers may not be as lucky.
“In this particular case we have settled without payment of compensation from the uploader, that will be different in case of repeat infringement,” BREIN director Tim Kuik informs TorrentFreak.
Although the anti-piracy group didn’t need YouTube to hand over the personal details of the uploader, BREIN says it can take the necessary legal action to do so if needed. Previously, they did the same with an eBook pirate who used Google Play.
This is not the first time that BREIN has targeted an individual uploader. Earlier this year it also focused on Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents uploaders, a prolific Usenet uploader, and a Facebook music pirate. These were all ordered to pay thousands of euros in damages.
While we don’t know the exact circumstances it’s possible that the YouTube uploader was a minor, which may explain the lack of a monetary settlement. For BREIN, however, the larger goal is to let pirates know that they are vulnerable, also on YouTube.