BREIN Wraps Up IPTV Piracy Battle by Seizing .EU Domain Names

Views:404 Time:2023-08-15 08:10:52 Author: NiceNIC.NET

BREIN Wraps Up IPTV Piracy Battle by Seizing .EU Domain Names | NiceNIC.NET

BREIN is systematically taking down pirate IPTV services, especially those that cater to Dutch consumers. The anti-piracy group recently closed the books on a multi-year case against the once-largest IPTV service in the Netherlands. While the matter had a successful outcome, it took multiple trips to court to wrap things up neatly.

 

breinThe Internet is littered with shady IPTV services that offer a lot, for very little money.

 

These deals often seem too good to be true and in most cases they are; at least for those who prefer to stay on the right side of the law.

 

Chasing IPTV Pirates

Anti-piracy groups around the world are actively trying to shut down these illicit operations. In Europe, Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN is at the forefront of the battle.

 

In 2017, BREIN booked a prominent victory at the European Court of Justice, which ruled that it's illegal to sell devices that are pre-configured to access copyright-infringing content. The "Filmspeler" decision was the death knell for sellers of pirate streaming boxes.

 

Paired with the earlier GS Media ruling, which held that companies with a for-profit motive can't knowingly link to copyright-infringing material, rightsholders could rely on a powerful enforcement tool.

 

Target: GoFastIPTV.eu

With these high-profile court rulings in hand, BREIN went after hundreds of pirate streaming tools and operators of IPTV services. One of its main targets was GoFastIPTV.eu, which offered unauthorized access to movies, TV shows and pay TV channels, plus more than 85,000 on-demand titles.

 

BREIN was initially unable to track down the operator through its regular private enforcement options. The paper trail went all over the world through companies in the UK and Brazil, eventually running dead at a hotel in Lisbon, Portugal.

 

There was one significant lead left, however, as the IPTV service used the Dutch Rabobank to process payments. The bank wasn't willing to hand over data voluntarily, so BREIN decided to take the matter to court instead, where Rabobank was eventually ordered to cooperate.

 

Operator Located, Case Settled

The bank's information led to a breakthrough that allowed BREIN to track down the IPTV operator in South America. The person initially failed to respond to communications but that changed when BREIN went back to court once more.

 

Through the renewed legal pressure, the anti-piracy group negotiated a conditional EURO 70,000 settlement with the operator of the now-defunct GoFastIPTV.eu service. In addition, the operator faced a fine of EURO 25,000 per day should the service be restored, plus a EURO 10,000 fine for each future infringement.

 

This settlement was a major victory against the once-largest IPTV broker in the Netherlands and although the ink dried for a while, there was still one loose end to tie up. BREIN also wanted to seize the associated gofastiptv.eu, acs-hosting.eu, and iptvgo.eu domains, which were registered in the name of a fall guy.

 

Final Ruling to Seize .EU Domains

This final kink couldn't be sorted out as part of the settlement, as the operator didn't control the domain names directly. This meant that BREIN had to go to court once again to secure the domain names.

 

In an announcement this week, BREIN reported that this final obstacle has been overcome. The anti-piracy group obtained a court order that required the 'fall guy' to hand over the domain names and while that person failed to do so, the EU registry did eventually cooperate.

 

The IPTV domains weren't actively being used anymore but BREIN is pleased to see that the registry handed them over, meaning they can't be used for piracy services in the future.

 

That said, the anti-piracy group would have preferred if the online intermediaries had been more cooperative from the get-go. That would have saved time, money, and multiple trips to court.

 

"The intermediaries involved could have cooperated faster and on a voluntary basis in ending this illegal trade and identifying the anonymous trader. That often happens but, in this case, the practice turned out to be unruly," says BREIN director Tim Kuik.

 

"But perseverance wins. We persevered and in the end, all our claims were met."

 

Seizures Can Work, Sometimes

After years of legal action, BREIN now has pretty much everything it wants from GoFastIPTV's operator. The settlement amount hasn't been paid in full yet, but there's a payment arrangement that's still ongoing.

 

Meanwhile, the group is redirecting the newly seized domain names to a page that informs people about the illegal nature of pirate IPTV services.

 

"Creating and offering great content costs money. Support that creativity and don't let money disappear into the pockets of criminals and profiteers," the notice reads, warning that users of these IPTV services also break the law.

 

Interestingly, that page displays an animated gif of The Pirate Bay logo that sinks after running into an iceberg.

 

The message BREIN is trying to send is clear, but The Pirate Bay example may not be the best. While some Pirate Bay domains were seized or suspended in the past, the main thepiratebay.org domain remains online to this day.

 

When asked about this, BREIN's director admits that domain seizures don't work that well for The Pirate Bay.

 

"There were attempts to seize TPB domain names, but these had no effect because new ones were immediately taken into use," Kuik says.

 

Kuik notes that legal actions in several jurisdictions would be required for these seizures to work. But since The Pirate Bay actively evaded attacks on its domains, domain blocking is a better option.

 

Source from Torrent Freak

 

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