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Thread: Anti-Piracy Group Takes Out Usenet Indexer

  1. #1
    VinX's Avatar ▄ █ ▄ █ ▄ █ ▄ BT Rep: +5
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    Anti-Piracy Group Takes Out Usenet Indexer

    Anti-piracy group BREIN is well known in the BitTorrent community,
    having already managed to shut down hundreds of small sites. The Dutch
    outfit is currently being sued by a group of Usenet enthusiasts after
    it called their site illegal. Undeterred, it’s now flexing its muscles
    to get NZB sites closed down too.

    Funded by the movie, music and gaming industries, BREIN has been a
    thorn in the side of BitTorrent sites for years. More recently the
    outfit extended their activities to target sites frequented by Usenet
    users. They labeled the Usenet community FTD as criminals, and are
    currently being sued for doing so.
    On TorrentFreak we’ve also had issues with BREIN after they labeled
    us a ‘pirate weblog’ and then used material from our site without
    proper attribution. Our legal counsel had to jump in, in an attempt to stop their libelous writing and harassment of smaller website operators.

    As expected, this didn’t have much effect, and BREIN continued their operations claiming a few dozen
    victories by shutting down smaller torrent communities. They usually
    operate by sending emails to the site’s admins or hosting providers
    claiming that their activities are illegal, ordering them to shut down
    or face legal action.

    Besides torrent sites, BREIN is also targeting Usenet indexers,
    claiming that they assist in copyright infringement. The NZB files
    found on many of these sites can be considered as Usenet’s answer to
    .torrent files as they point to content hosted elsewhere. They also
    make the otherwise-complicated Usenet downloading process relatively
    easy to master. BREIN does not like the fact that NZBs bring Usenet to
    the mainstream and considers sites hosting those files to have the same
    function as torrent sites and is targeting them in much the same way.

    One of the NZB sites threatened by BREIN is BNI-online. The site received an ultimatum,
    with BREIN ordering them to stop their ‘illegal’ activities within 48
    hours or be taken to court. The site has responded to this request and
    ceased its operations.

    Splendid, the site’s founder explains that BREIN’s threats are one
    of the reasons for closing down the site. At this point we can not
    confirm that any other sites have closed after similar threats, but it
    wouldn’t be a surprise. Every torrent or NZB site hosted in The
    Netherlands will be approached by the anti-piracy outfit sooner or

    This week, BREIN will be in court
    with another Dutch based site, Mininova, and TorrentFreak will of
    course keep you updated on the outcome and progress in this trial.

    Source : TorrentFreak

  2. News (Archive)   -   #2
    jetje's Avatar former star
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    Sep 2002
    The site that is going head to head with Brein is the dutch FTD community. It has over 450.000 members.

    It was on speaking terms with Brein and even adjusted the site by taking out the NZB direct link option. After implementing that in their software Brein still said they were handling illegal operations. FTD's response is that they now are completely legit according to dutch copyright laws. Those laws are saying that downloading for personal back up use of music and movies is legal even if the originally source is pirated. Uploading of that content is in the Netherlands not legal! FTD site is just a place were people tell eachother what they have seen on USENET.

    FTD demands Brein stops harrassing them, and asks a financial penalty of € 100.000,- if Brein doesn't stop saying that they are a pirate site doing illegal stuff.

    FTD = Fight To Defeat with news about this trial (in Dutch!)
    Last edited by jetje; 05-18-2009 at 12:14 PM.

  3. News (Archive)   -   #3
    If the content was any good in the first place I believe people wouldn't resort to torrents etc. I've bought many games and not finished them and movies I've not enjoyed....

  4. News (Archive)   -   #4
    SonsOfLiberty's Avatar The Lonely Wanderer
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  5. News (Archive)   -   #5
    Hairbautt's Avatar *haircut
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    ^What'd she say?

  6. News (Archive)   -   #6
    SonsOfLiberty's Avatar The Lonely Wanderer
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    Capital Wasteland

    It is very common indeed for anti-piracy groups to go after sites linked to file-sharing. However, in The Netherlands the tables have recently been turned as the FTD Usenet community is taking legal action against anti-piracy group BREIN. TorrentFreak spoke with FTD’s lawyer to discover exactly why this worm has turned.

    Founded in 2001, FTD is The Netherlands largest Usenet community with around 450,000 members. FTD and its associated software allows its members to report the location of material they find on Usenet, which could include the usual movies, music and TV shows. This caused it to be a target for notorious anti-piracy outfit BREIN.

    Not wanting to be bullied for what it considers to be a completely legal operation, FTD took the unusual step of taking BREIN to court, after Tim Kuik, the head of the outfit, said that FTD and its operators were committing a crime. FTD’s owners and lawyers vigorously deny this claim, the details of which can be found in our earlier report.

    So what led up to this legal showdown? TorrentFreak spoke with FTD’s specialist IT lawyer, Arnoud Engelfriet, of Ictrecht law firm.

    “In January of this year, BREIN announced they were ‘going after Usenet’ and
    specifically singled out FTD as their first target,” Arnoud told TorrentFreak.

    Naturally this position was of concern to FTD, but instead of burying their heads in the sand they actually contacted BREIN with a view to discovering where their differences lay and sorting them out amicably.

    “Shortly after that, FTD engaged in negotiations with BREIN to find out what their objections were and how we could overcome them,” Arnoud told us. The discussions led FTD to pro-actively modify how they operate to ensure that there could be no doubt as to their legality.

    “We even voluntarily made some changes to the FTD platform to ensure there could be no doubt we were in the clear,” Arnoud explained. But their attempts to engage and negotiate with BREIN came to nothing.

    “After we made the changes, we got complete radio silence from BREIN. No confirmation, no rejection, nothing,” Arnoud explained. “Only after several days we found out what BREIN thought - but only by reading the online news. That was a huge disappointment.”

    Indeed, ignoring the outstretched hand and making their intentions against FTD public, BREIN chief Tim Kuik spoke with Dutch publication Volkskrant and the resulting article titled “You do not pay for it, it’s unlawful” labeled FTD’s operations criminal. “Although they [FTD] are not carrying illegal content on their servers, what FTD does is simply criminal,” said Kuik.

    Usually at this point a site being bullied by BREIN would either dig in its heels and wait for the lawsuit and injunction against them, or capitulate in fear of being destroyed.

    “We could have waited for preliminary injunction proceedings, which is BREIN’s weapon of choice,” Arnoud told us. But that would have taken too much time, and since preliminary injunctions leave little room for a thorough investigation of all relevant facts, the risk was that FTD could be forced to close down for all the wrong reasons.

    So FTD did something quite unusual in these cases - it went on the offensive against BREIN instead.

    “At that stage, we felt that doing nothing would leave the sword of Damocles over our heads,” Arnoud told TorrentFreak. “BREIN is very fond of making continuous ominous statements in the press, and that could create a FUD environment for FTD. Therefore we decided to go to court and ask for an official declaration that downloading is legal, that it’s also legal to inform people about materials to download and to offer a platform to let people inform each other,” he added.

    FTD also wants a public statement from BREIN correcting its assertion that its operations are criminal, and a declaration from the court that FTD’s operations are fully legal.

    “We fully expect to win our case. BREIN is big on statements but often short on facts and legal arguments to back them up,” Arnoud told TorrentFreak.

    “We have the law and the facts on our side.”


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