Anonymous VPN users could be identified in movie company's lawsuit

brucek

Posts: 577   +700
TechSpot Elite
I don't understand the headline, the VPN company says they have no logs, and nothing in the article implies the VPN company turned over any info?

Of course the VPN was never going to protect you if you willingly provided your name, address, etc. to the server you connected to on the VPN...

 

Axiarus

Posts: 592   +389
And this is why

A) if you are really worried, you dont just use 1 VPN, and
B) you dont use a VPN based in a Five Eyes country. PIA was originally owned by a london media company and was later bought by Kape Technology, another london based company. England is one of the Five Eyes. That also reminds me
C) dont use a VPN from western europe either, or from a publicly traded company.
D) dont use a VPN from a fourteen eyes country either.
Lets say I use a US based VPN. That VPN has laws that protect them from unlawful hacking. A VPN based in Panama does not have this. In the US they have to get a subpoena, at which point the VPN company says, "We don't keep logs, you are SOL." PIA has been told to give what they have multiple times. Guess what? They had nothing.
 

Kazkas

Posts: 18   +56
Switzerland, Sweden - especially the Swiss. Both tend to tell foreign prosecutors to go pound sand when they get any kind of legal motion for private information.
Sweden is in Fourteen eyes. Switzerland is not, but wiki tells they have “focused cooperation” with Five Eyes..
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,069   +896
How about make movie access reasonable and convenient? The copyright term length should be no more than a decade or two.
Well, a decade may be too short, but certainly the present situation of up to 120 years is outrageously overstretched. Blame Sonny Bono and Disney for that one. Before the Sonny Bono Act, the law was more reasonable.
 
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mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,690   +960
Sweden are you effing kidding, They are scum and bend over for Hollywood and USA all the time. It's also why they went after Assange years after he was already cleared of the rape allegations. Do not not trust Sweden!
Sweden is in Fourteen eyes. Switzerland is not, but wiki tells they have “focused cooperation” with Five Eyes..
Shouldn't be a problem for 99.99% of pirates out there. The CIA isn't going to hunt you down because you 'stole' a movie. If they have another reason to hunt you down, then yeah, they'll use those connections - but if you've ended up on the CIA's radar, you aren't using a consumer VPN to begin with.
 
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Paultimate

Posts: 21   +11
The more they try and punish people like this the more they will lose. We aren't going away. We demand you provide better ways to access content at reasonable prices or we will simply get it ourselves. If you want us to buy, provide quality content transition from the studio to the screen or go eat dicks. Aint no one paying the $120++ per month to subscribe to all of the streaming services. Most people have 1, maybe 2. Figure it the **** out.
 
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deemon

Posts: 312   +100
Can someone explain to me, what the concept of "illegally downloading" even means?
No, don't even try to answer. It was rhetorical question.

I would understand "illegally uploading", but when it's already up, it's not my duty to verify (mind you, it's usually impossible even to verify before actually downloading the stuff) the legality of the stuff I am freely able to download/stream/whatever from the internet. It's like someone uploads a copyrighted movie to youtube, and I am then illegally watching it? hell no. it's like I go to netflix and watch a movie, I have to ponder does the netflix actually is showing me the "legal" content or not? NO. why I, as an end user, would want or even have to even ponder about such stuff? No I don't. Why should I even think about it about any other site? No, I don't.
That is as long as the stuff I am ordering isn't obviously illegal - like drugs or guns (if it's illegal to own such a thing wherever you are) or whatever is illegal at your location. But "downloading a file" is not illegal anywhere as far as I know; "using a torrent protocol" isn't illegal anywhere as far as I know. When it comes to "legality" of the given file -- it's not possible for a normal consumer to even guess from just the file name beforehand; and/or if the file was uploaded there by legally by the movie maker itself or illegally by someone who "stole" it (yes, I could guess/assume, but I don't have to, as there is no law that asks me to be forensics expert for such a thing).

(entirely different scenario is, when I actually break into some db or environment via hacking and then downloading something. But when the stuff "is just there for everyone to download/watch" ... I fail to even understand anything illegal about it.
Another example would be, if there is ... perfectly OK tv put out next to dumpster on a public street I would assume it's completely OK to just take it. As long as you are not breaking and entering someone's property for that obviously. Sound to me this movie company is suing you for taking this tv... who in their right mind would do that? are they like completely lost it?)

Absolutely MAXIMUM they should be able to ask me as a "punishment" in this scenario would be to either return the blissfully ignorantly obtained "illegal" (when they have proven to me, they didn't upload it themselves and it actually was put up there "illegally" in the first place) item when possible (sure, I can upload the file back to their server, when I even have it at that moment anymore); or delete the item. That's it.

Am I missing something? Does the world work somehow differently elsewhere?
 
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Endymio

Posts: 1,069   +896
When it comes to "legality" of the given file -- it's not possible for a normal consumer to even guess from just the file name beforehand...
That might work as a legal defense for the first file you download. After you pull down a few dozen Hollywood blockbuster movies, though, it'll be difficult to convince a federal judge you had no idea that material was copyrighted.

In any case, you're confusing criminal and civil copyright infringement. Criminal infringement cases are rare, and the standards are more stringent. In a civil case (as the instant case of this article), there is no requirement that the infringement be knowing or intentional.
 
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Krackan

Posts: 77   +84
They are going to have to throw the entire US in Jail if they are going after individuals.
Ah, nothing like an edgy "everyone in the US is bad" comment. What lovely country do you hail from that is full of nothing but do-gooders and morally righteous people?
 

Evernessince

Posts: 5,461   +6,133
Ah, nothing like an edgy "everyone in the US is bad" comment. What lovely country do you hail from that is full of nothing but do-gooders and morally righteous people?
lol, your assumptions precede you I see. I never said anything you are implying here.
 

TsVkK

Posts: 55   +25
17 unknown individuals... lol.

This is clearly a scare campaign like years before. Trying to stop people torrenting by force is impossible so what they do is create media hype, even toting that using a VPN isn't safe, and then try and divert people away from it through fear of prosecution.
Let's pretend for a moment that a company with no logs could serve you up though...
There is no proof, just like 99% of the failed lawsuits from every other round of this exercise. Just because a device from your IP address downloaded a movie does not mean it was you. Your VPN, bank and/or ISP cannot release your details without a subpeona and that has a high requirement to get signed.
In reality the only time you become prosecutable for torrent copyright infringement is if you agree to pay and tell them who you are, or if after a large investigation they finally raid your house and find the movie or whatever on your computer. Getting that information to bring those subpeonas, raids and potential pirates to court is long, involved and costly.

I might go pirate this film now, just to salt the perceived wound. Screw you Hollywood, stop making this cookie cutter trash and expecting to rake in 100's of millions.
 
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Endymio

Posts: 1,069   +896
Your VPN, bank and/or ISP cannot release your details without a subpeona and that has a high requirement to get signed.
The mere allegation that a specific IP address was used to download copyrighted material is sufficient to gain a subpoena in most cases. Your only practical hope to prevent this is to file an immediate motion to quash, and for most individuals involved in such a suit, that alone is going to be more expensive than simply settling. And, of course, the chances of that motion succeeding without a hard argument in its favor are slim.

If you're living in your parents basements and your total net assets are a computer and your '89 Civic, you can roll the dice that the plaintiffs won't proceed with the suit. For most other people, the risk of an exorbitant settlement (the law allows $150,000 per instance of willful infringement) just simply isn't worth it.
 

OortCloud

Posts: 471   +290
Sweden are you effing kidding, They are scum and bend over for Hollywood and USA all the time. It's also why they went after Assange years after he was already cleared of the rape allegations. Do not not trust Sweden!
Good old Switzerland - nothing is too much trouble when it comes to making money and being morally bankrupt.