Monday, February 14, 2005

Spamming Pirates Into Legality

In 2005 it's "no more mr. nice guy" for BREIN, the Dutch anti-piracy organisation of the content industry. In its latests news release it bolsters that under its pressure 14 portal sites that provided links to tracks on Edonkey and Fasttrack networks have been closed down. Two are still operating, but will likely be sued by BREIN. But that's just the intermediaries. While there haven't been any lawsuits in The Netherlands against users of file-sharing networks, BREIN is letting it known that this will change soon. Legal action is not even a matter of months, and the organisation is collecting evidence at the moment.

BREIN is giving file-sharers one last chance before it takes off the gloves. It has send 300 000 instant messages via the p2p networks, of which 100 000 were actually received. The message starts as follows:
Attention! You are infringing on copyrights and neighbouring rights. Stop your illegal offering of music and other content to prevent liability for damages.

BREIN has observed that you offer illegal music and possibly also other content, such as movies and games, via the p2p service you use. [...] You are responsible for the damages resulting from your infringement.

BREIN orders you to stop your illegal offering of copyright protected content immediately and keep it stopped.
This is nice indeed from BREIN, a last warning before making American style exemplary legal executions. BREIN's director Tim Kuik denies that the wave of messages is spam: "They got neither a commercial nor ideologically character." (source, Dutch) I would say that these message are both commercially induced, and ideological per se, presenting a copyright ideology that's not shared by the greater part of file-sharers. In the coming months the spam wave will be followed by the wave of lawsuits. Let's see if either one drives file-shares away from the high seas of piracy.

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