Usenet: The Next Target in the War on Piracy

The first rule of Usenet is, you don't talk about Usenet. This rule kept Usenet providers and users out of sight from anti-piracy organizations for years, but this is about to change.

Usenet The Next Target in the War on PiracyUsenet is catching up with BitTorrent in terms of popularity, partly because it is considered to be safer. However, this increased popularity also has a dark side to it, as anti-piracy organizations start monitoring newsgroups.

Tim Kuik, managing director of BREIN – the Dutch branch of the MPAA – told the Dutch news site Webwereld that the increased attention from computer magazines over the past year lowered the nerd-factor of the Usenet. Because of this it’s now become one of the main targets of anti-piracy outfits.

Kuik further said that BREIN made a blacklist of Usenet providers who structurally infringe copyright. Their plan is to urge these providers to stop their services and compensate the content owners for their losses. Some might argue that Kuik’s words are yet another loose threat to make it seem like no pirate is safe, but there is some truth in his statements.

TorrentFreak talked to an insider, who works closely with anti-piracy organizations like the MPAA and RIAA, and he also noticed that the Usenet has been getting more attention lately. “BitTorrent is still enemy number one, but there is a significant growth in Usenet monitoring”, he said. Some Usenet providers now use BitTorrent sites to advertise their services and according to our source, this is another big reason why it caught the attention of anti-piracy outfits.

The people in charge at most anti-piracy organizations hardly know how to write an e-mail, if it’s not in the media, it’s not a target. If only people kept to rule number one this probably would have never happened.

The Usenet providers are not impressed by BREIN’s strong words though. Remco Habets from Usenet provider Usenet4u said in a response: “BREIN often makes statement that lead to nothing. One and a half year ago they also said that they were going to take on newsgroups, we’ll see”

To be continued…

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