BREIN Successfully Targets a Plex User Selling Access to His Pirated Media Library

By Bill Toulas / April 25, 2019

BREIN wants to communicate the message that no one can fly under their radar no matter how small their offense may seem to be. A Plex user who advertised his library on Reddit caught the attention of BREIN, the Dutch anti-piracy watchdog, who tracked down the user and requested a settlement of €750, and another €500 for each day of non-compliance. The Plex user accepted BREIN’s request and paid the amount, while he also publicly admitted his wrongdoing and stated that he had downloaded the offered material through Usenet and torrent platforms.

Plex is a client-server media player system and software suite that allows users to upload, organize, and stream content on a wide range of devices. The platform is not checking or filtering what content its users upload, so pirates are using it seamlessly. As a user can share his/her library with others by “inviting friends”, illicitly downloaded content can be shared or even sold using the platform. Usually, these pirated-content shares are kept between friends, but the number of cases of people who try to make money out of sharing rich libraries that brim with pirated movies is not a small one either.

In the case of the particular Plex user who was caught in the net of BREIN, the library contained about 5,700 movies and 10,000 TV-shows. The user was asking for money to allow access to this library, and the selected payment platform was PayPal. Now, although no details about how BREIN tracked the pirate down have surfaced, the evidence points to PayPal being the one who gave out the identity information. Plex flat-out denies any involvement on this part, saying that they have no access to the contents of the users’ files and that disclosing identities goes against their Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

BREIN clarifies that they are not specifically targeting Plex users, but only those who are blatantly advertising the sharing of personal libraries that obviously contain pirated content. Back in February, BREIN’s director had stated that casual downloaders are not the focus on this group. Instead, persistent uploaders and seeders should expect a knock by the Dutch copyrights protection firm. From this latest news, it seems that BREIN goes beyond the process of P2P tracking, picking out pirates who try to make some money out of it on any platform.

Are you using Plex? Do you think that the platform will soon be forced to change their content-neutral attitude? Share 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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