Netherlands: BREIN establishes directory of piracy repeat offenders

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The Dutch copyright advocacy group BREIN initiated a six month campaign to partner with Dutch ISPs in an effort to track frequent uploaders of copyright-protected works that ‘seed’ the Internet for widespread downloading.  Launching on December 15, 2020, it will use automation to find Dutch IP addresses through which infringing uploads take place.

IP addresses that have been seen operating for more than seven hours, at least twice over a four week period, will be flagged by the algorithm. The project’s priority is to identify work that originates in The Netherlands.

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BREIN will send alerts to users of Internet service providers through which BREIN has detected uploads made via their IP addresses.  Individual consumers are not the initial targets of this initiative.  Success of the project will depend upon ISPs’ willingness to participate.

Read the original BREIN announcement (Translated from Dutch via Google Translate)

Read details about the tool that was developed for BREIN, called ‘AFLU,’ the Analysis Program for Frequent and Long Term Uploaders. (Translated from Dutch by Google Translate)

Why it matters

At its start, the project will send emails but not implement any enforcement activities.  Sending notices to the users of IP addresses where uploads have been detected may seem to have little purpose – after all, isn’t BREIN simply telling the pirate that it has been detected and to stop?

But that’s not so simple.  One tactic used by pirates is to steal IP addresses from consumers and use them for illicit activities without the consumer’s knowledge.  BREIN worked with Dutch authorities to ensure that this practice does not violate privacy protections that are available to consumers in the EU and The Netherlands.

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