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Police Confiscating Hundreds of Computers Over Movie Piracy Allegations

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by The Scarlet Pimp, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2008
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    Chair moistener.
    so far it's just poland, but don't expect this to stop there...
    (time to use a vpn, kiddies!)

    Police Confiscate Hundreds of Computers Over Movie Piracy Allegations

    Oct. 24, 2016

    Copyright trolling is usually handled in the civil courts but over in Poland, things are getting out of control. Police have reportedly visited hundreds of homes and seized hundreds of computers, each alleged to have shared a movie without permission. There are fears that up to 40,000 people could eventually be affected.

    During the summer, Poland became entangled in what is likely to be one of the world’s most important copyright battles. Alleged KickassTorrents founder Artem Vaulin was arrested in the country, where he continues to fight extradition to the United States.

    Now Poland finds itself at the center of separate but related file-sharing controversy, this time related to the activities of copyright trolls and the authorities apparently working on their behalf.

    Like most areas of Europe, Poland is being targeted by aggressive content owners. These companies trawl torrent networks for IP addresses in the hope they will lead to people prepared to pay a settlement amount to make legal issues go away. But while in the rest of the continent these matters are generally a civil legal matter, in Poland police are deeply involved.

    According to several reports in local media, police have visited hundreds of homes across the country, seizing hundreds of computers alleged to have been involved in the sharing of a comedy movie titled “Screwed“.

    “We have established 2,600 downloads of the film. This applies to about 900 computers,” the District Prosecutor’s Office in Szczecin told local news outlet TVN24.

    The prosecutor’s office say that the seizures were made to protect evidence and stop infringement but the actions of the authorities are causing real concern. TVN24 reports that on a national scale as many as 40,000 people may have downloaded the movie and therefore risk being visited by the police.

    Also raising eyebrows is the evidence authorities are acting upon. It is unclear who obtained the IP address-based evidence or whether it has been subjected to any independent scrutiny. Also controversial is the basis upon which computers are being seized.

    The action is said to be primarily aimed at people who not only download but also redistribute content online. Of course, this describes most BitTorrent users perfectly, since downloading and simultaneous uploading is all part of the process.

    However, the authorities say that their main targets are people cashing in on mass distribution, and that does not accurately describe the general public nor the hundreds, perhaps thousands of people getting caught up in this sweep.

    Nevertheless, legal experts cited by local media insist that while downloading is a civil offense, uploading can be viewed as a criminal matter which could lead to fines or even imprisonment of up to two years. However, the wronged party – in this case a movie studio – can offer the alleged wrongdoer a way out if he or she pays compensation.

    The action is just one of many similar operations to hit Poland in recent months. A year ago, police seized around 1,000 computers alleged to have downloaded and shared the same movie.

    Somewhat worryingly, prosecutors later admitted that they did not verify the technical processes used by the distributors to identify the alleged infringers.

    It was also claimed that in some cases police advised suspects to settle with their accusers rather than face legal action. While it’s not unusual for police to act as mediators in all kinds of disputes, critics felt that the advice was inappropriate in an unproven copyright case.
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  2. umerjutt00

    umerjutt00 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Oct 28, 2011
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    They could take these people to court and settle the issues there but police confiscating the computers sounds too much. The big companies are really stepping up their game against pirates. :(
  3. HoNeYBiRD

    HoNeYBiRD Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    May 1, 2009
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    Geographer, Tourism Manager
    So according to the prosecutor's office, almost everyone downloaded the movie 3 times. Good one. It must be one hell of a movie. lol
    Technologically impaired people are everywhere i guess. Something like this only can happen, if we talk about public computers on campuses for instance, where different people use the machines, otherwise, these numbers doesn't make any sense.

    Similar things happened so many times in the past, even 15 years back where i live, in Central EU. Police raided server rooms and they took everything, not just the private FTPs with pirated content or torrent trackers, which they couldn't access of course, because they were encrypted. If you had a machine there, it was taken too and it was a long ass process to get it back. Legit sites, businesses was taken down, because of the incompetence of the police. But eventually most of the time they needed to give even the private FTPs back to its owners, because they couldn't get to the content.

    Anyway, this is different. They seem to be going after the end users too, not just the main source. Not good.

    Is the article talking about this movie or is it a Polish one? Because that 5.6 imdb score definitely doesn't worth to go to jail for. :)