Dutch file-swapper cases collapse due to evidence mistakes

The Dutch Protection Rights Entertainment Industry Netherlands (BREIN) has been sent packing from court after it lost its case against five ISPs. BREIN had tried to get the ISP’s to hand over information on 42 suspected file sharers but the ISP’s refused to do so and they were taken to court.

The court ruled in favour of the ISP’s because of the way BREIN had made a crucial mistake in collecting evidence against the P2P file swappers. The case came down to the fact that BREIN had hired company Media Sentry to find people offering illegal file downloads via P2P. The mistake came about because Media Sentry only checked the Kazaa shared folders but the court ruled that these files could have been for personal use. The court also said there was no proof that these files were actually uploaded to anyone.

While this may be a one off victory the court did rule that ISP’s can be forced to hand over data in the future, but those 42 file sharers seem to be saved for now as it would mean BREIN starting the case all over again.

LEGALThe Dutch Protection Rights Entertainment Industry Netherlands (BREIN) has lost its case against five Dutch ISPs who refused to hand over the names of 42 suspected song swappers. BREIN knew these individuals only by their IP address.

BREINThe court ruled that BREIN made a crucial mistake in collecting evidence against the individuals. BREIN hired US company Media Sentry, which monitors popular online forums and P2P services for copyright infringement and tracks unauthorised online distribution. Apparently the company only looked at shared folders of Kazaa, but these folders may also have contained files for personal use, the court argues. There is not enough proof that these particular files were uploaded.

The ruling isn’t a full victory for the Dutch ISPs. The court argued that ISPs can be forced by law to hand over personal data. However, in order to do so BREIN would have to start all over again

Next time they better get some better proof of file infringment instead of
suing anyone with a shared folder. I guess this costly lesson will make them
think more wisely next time before taking everything straight to court.

Source: The Register