BREIN Director Says Casual Pirates Are Safe for Now

By Bill Toulas / February 6, 2019

BREIN’s director Tim Kuik has clarified during a podcast discussion that they are not going after casual downloaders of pirated content, but instead focus on those who supply it. As he went further to explain, their approach to copyright protection aligns with the interests and position of the rightsholders that they represent, and most of them are not interested in chasing “hit and run” torrent users who sit at the very end of the content supply chain. While this may sound reassuring for casual pirates at this point, it doesn’t mean that it is going to stay that way forever.

BREIN is a Netherlands-based anti-piracy association that was formed back in 1998 and has already made historical interventions in the field, like shutting down eDonkey in 2000, ShareConnector in 2004, Oink’s Pink Palance BitTorrent tracker in 2007, while in 2012 they have achieved to win a court case that inducted an ISP blocking order against the Pirate Bay in the Netherlands. That said, BREIN’s stance is declarative of the general approach followed by copyright holders at a given moment, and right now, their piracy-fighting action is not engulfing casual BitTorrent users.

As Tim Kuik said, their in-house software tool can track every BitTorrent user, so no one is flying under the radar. However, their focus is fixed at prolific early seeders and content uploaders, or those who ensure the availability of the torrent by seeding for prolonged periods of time. BREIN can easily analyze the gathered data and pinpoint these users in a torrent swarm, so closing the supply tap will result in the highest possible blow against piracy fire-sharing.

However, if for any reason the suppliers cannot be targeted or stopped, the casual downloaders could be the next level of enforcement for BREIN. Bringing only some of them to court would definitely cause a stir in the community, and the broader population would think twice before grabbing a pirated movie through BitTorrent. BREIN isn’t the only data protection association anyway, as other Dutch conglomerations like DFW (Dutch Film Works) don’t share the same view, and plan to track and target all downloaders with no consideration to their piracy engagement rates.

Do you believe that BREIN can do real damage to dedicated seeders? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, and don’t hesitate to do the same on our socials, via Facebook and Twitter.

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