DecryptedTech

Monday03 October 2022

Verizon does not want to rat on porn downloaders


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Every once in a while a producer of pornographic content starts trying to take legal action against pirates. They typically focus on users of BitTorrent and similar protocols. Practically any person who has downloaded any content through BitTorrent could automatically be considered a pirate [Although this is far from reality as there are many legitimate uses for BitTorrent – Ed]. However, due to procedural and other errors they are somehow unsuccessful in their intentions.

Now these same pornographic film makers have been angered by U.S. telecom operator Verizon because they do not want to give the names of their customers who have potentially shared pornographic content via BitTorrent. Therefore, the company Patrick Collins Inc., which was characterized as copyright troll for pornographic material, Third Degree Films and Malibu Media has directly sued Verizon in the hope that the court will force Verizon to drop its objections and to give the required information about their users.

Specifically, Verizon believes that its users have a right to privacy under the First Amendment and that the data searches would create unnecessary work. Prosecutors say that the First Amendment cannot be used to protect anyone against copyright infringement and offered a $40 fee for each IP address whose information would be given by Verizon. It will be interesting to see if Verizon will protect their users, or if they will give in. Twitter had similar issues few months ago when a New York court asked for tweets from an Occupy Wall Street protester, but they didn’t want to give anything, hopefully for all the Verizon users and their privacy the telecom operator will do the same.

[Ed – Although there is a question of privacy and the cost of the IP address searches there is also another issue that exists in the US is the validity of using an IP address to identify someone. It is well known that consumer IP addresses are dynamic and might not remain attached to the same household. It is also known that the public IP address does not identify an actual person. It represents a modem and not a person. What happens beyond that modem cannot be accurately confirmed so it makes using an IP address very shaky, still copyright holders will use anything they can these days…]

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Last modified on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 23:34

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