Tuesday, April 12, 2005

World's Nicest Litigators Launch International Wave P2P Lawsuits

The largest wave of international file-sharing lawsuits started rolling this morning in Amsterdam. At a press conference the head of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), John Kennedy, announced that legal actions are taken against more than 950 persons in 11 (European) countries. He showed some pretty high self-esteem: "We have been responsible and transparent litigators - some might say the nicest litigators in the world."

The nicest litigators in the world have now put their eye on several European countries for a new round of nice litigation. Amsterdam was likely chosen to bring this nice message, so that the Dutch anti-piracy organisation BREIN could bring some extra attention to its own nice message: the first lawsuits against uploaders in the Netherlands start today. Last month Dutch ISPs forwarded 50 cease & desist orders for BREIN to their customers. The fruitful result: 7 people settled for an average of 2100 euros, 43 did not react to the threat of nice litigation. BREIN will now have to get a court order for the ISPs to provide the names and addresses of those 43. There is no legal basis for ISPs to hand over such information to private persons or organisations like BREIN, and it may prove a long road of nice litigation for BREIN to actually see any result.

My personal favourite vision from this morning's press conference came from the director of Dutch collecting organisation BUMA/Stemra. He not just thinks that it is a shame that ISPs do not automatically deliver the name and address information of their customers, but apparently he complained that
Thanks to the increasing storage capacity of devices and the increasingly fast broadband connections providers and hardware producers make it very easy for consumers to copy music.
Well, why not sue those providers and hardware producers for contributory liability? Demand restriction of hard disk capacity to 20 gb and a return to dial up modems for private persons. Anything to protect the music, right?
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Sources:
IFPI site with Kennedy's speech, press releases and statistics on file-sharing
WebWereld 1, 2 [Dutch]
Bits of Freedom news letter on BREIN'S litigation with PDF of cease & desist letter [Dutch]

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