Several movie companies have joined forces by filing a lawsuit against several VPN service providers. Filmmakers believe they facilitate online piracy and advertising to get around geographical restrictions. They claim compensation from VPN service providers, but they also keep log files of user data from now on.
This is according to a complaint (PDF) filed in federal court in the US state of Virginia, he writes. TorrentFreak.
VPN advantages at a glance
Internet users are increasingly concerned about their online privacy. They don’t want big tech companies like Google and Facebook, search engines, governments, service providers, and other data collectors looking off their shoulders. For this reason, VPN services have become increasingly popular in recent years.
A virtual private network or VPN is a service that allows you to browse the Internet securely and without revealing your identity. A VPN encrypts all your internet traffic and hides your IP address. No one will then be able to see your browsing history, not even your service provider. Thanks to a VPN, advertising companies like Google cannot create a profile for you: after all, you are anonymous.
Finally, with a VPN, you can bypass internet blocking and geo-restrictions. Thus, watching a series or sports match on Netflix that is broadcast only abroad is very easy. Curious how you will watch the Formula 1 race in Zandvoort from outside on Sunday? Then keep an eye on VPNGids.nl.
Fighting online piracy in the Netherlands
A VPN has many advantages, but it also has a downside. After all, a VPN can also be used for illegal activities. For example, last year the Amsterdam Court of Appeal ruled that Ziggo and XS4ALL must block all IP addresses and domain names in The Pirate Bay. With the help of a VPN, it is very easy to circumvent this ban. Users can then download their favorite movies, series, music, games and other copyrighted material without inconvenience.
All kinds of parties are trying to put an end to this kind of practice. In our country, Stichting Brein wants to work against “repetitive bit tower lifters”. The collection community considers them as the lubricant that keeps the illegal content exchange going. The organization is trying to tackle online piracy through media campaigns and targeted emails.
Dutch Films Works has been fighting for the rights of filmmakers and other rights holders in the film world for years. The movie distributor came up with the idea of fining illegal downloaders 150 euros for each movie or episode they downloaded from an illegal source. The German company Tecxipio has collected the IP addresses of illegal downloaders of Dutch Film Works. The interest group tried to collect their names and address details through the court. However, at the beginning of July, the Supreme Court ruled that Ziggo does not have to provide the personal data of its customers to the movie distributor.
Filmmakers: VPN Providers Make Online Hacking Facilitate
In the United States, filmmakers are taking a different path. Instead of blocking websites or dealing with providers, they focus their attention on VPN providers. Several movie companies are suing ExpressVPN, Surfshark, VPN Unlimited, and Zenmate VPN for their involvement in widespread copyright infringement.
The list of allegations is long. For example, film makers accuse Assassin’s Bodyguard, Dallas Buyers Club employment London has fallen VPN providers provide users with the means to evade the geo-restrictions of streaming services. Worse yet, they even advertise it. “The defendants are promoting their VPN services as a means that can be used to illegally copy copyrighted material without being arrested,” the indictment reads.
Finally, according to the filmmakers, these VPN providers work closely with notorious websites that promote online piracy. Some sites put a container that lists the user’s IP address and country of origin. “Your ISP can track you unless you use a VPN with no log,” it reads. To prevent this, users are advised to install a VPN, including a link to the provider for a subscription.
Filmmakers ask VPN providers to keep logs
Film companies have sent thousands of notices of copyright infringement to ISPs. These are in turn directed to VPN providers. They say they can’t assign individual members because they use a shared IP.
According to the filmmakers, there is a simple solution to this, which is to record and save log files. “[VPN-aanbieders] They have the ability to log subscribers into their VPN service, but either intentionally delete the logged information or set their system to delete logged information so they can promote their service as a way to copy anonymous copyrighted works, the plaintiffs wrote.
Movie companies argue that VPN providers are directly guilty of copyright infringement. So they demand compensation for all the damages they have suffered. Additionally, they want providers to block websites like The Pirate Bay for their members and keep log files. Finally, they want VPN service providers to suspend the accounts of members who receive three or more copyright notices within 72 hours.
ExpressVPN, Surfshark, VPN Unlimited, and Zenmate VPN have not yet responded to the allegations.
LiquidVPN has previously sued for promoting online hacking
This is not the first time that the VPN provider has been sued by a group of movie companies. The same thing happened to LiquidVPN at the beginning of March. The company has been accused of promoting and enabling online piracy. Prosecutors demanded damages of up to $150,000 per film, block sites that illegally provide copyrighted material, and ban customers who often break the rules.
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