Piracy

Dutch Court Rules That ‘Rabobank’ Must Hand Over IDs of ‘GoFastIPTV’ Operators

By Bill Toulas / April 30, 2021

The Center Netherlands District Court has ruled that Rabobank is obliged to hand over whatever identification details it has on the operators of the pirate platform that uses the domain “GoFastIPTV.eu” and has given the financial institute five days to comply. According to the court documents, Rabobank will also have to pay 1,775 euros to BREIN to cover their legal expenses, as the Dutch anti-piracy platform is the one that has been chasing the particular pirates so tenaciously all these years.

At the time of writing this, GoFastIPTV is still online, offering subscribers access to 10,000 channels from 50 countries and 85,000 films and TV series episodes from various sources. All that is needed to access this trove of illegally distributed content is a set-top TV box and a subscription. The platform is selling IPTV boxes on the site, so one can buy a pre-configured device for a cost between €83.00 and €155.00. As for the subscription cost, this is set to €15.00 for a month, €30.00 for three months, and €80.00 for a year.

BREIN believes that GoFastIPTV is the largest service of this kind in the Netherlands, so they have been after the operators for over a decade now but could not find out their real identities. Rabobank may have the real name and address of the account holder that received the money from the subscriptions on the platform but has so far denied giving it away.

The bank argued, among other things, that there’s no proof that the account holder is infringing any copyrights himself. Therefore BREIN’s interests and the effort to protect them may be totally irrelevant. As the institute maintains, the contractual relationship with its customer involved ‘bank secrecy’ clauses that are in its discretion to protect and preconceive against the resolution of the interests of third parties.

In addition to this, the bank argues that BREIN has had ample opportunity in the past to acquire that data from other parties and didn’t. As such, they put forth discriminatory practices that will almost certainly damage their business in the long term, creating a negative reputation in the market.

As the court explained in its ruling, it all comes down to weighing up EU Directive 2004/48 (the IP Directive) against the provisions in and pursuant to the EU Regulation 2016/679 (the GDPR), or if you prefer, the value of the fundamental right to personal data protection against the importance of stopping copyright infringement. The court has answered this question by ordering the bank to comply with BREIN’s request, as the interests of the copyright holders prevail over those of Rabobank and the account holder.

The court further explained that even if the account holder is not the infringer (website operator), identifying the owner will possibly lead the investigators one step closer to the infringer. And finally, in Rabobank’s terms, there’s a clause that specifically mentions data processing and sharing with other entities for combating fraud and preventing damage to third parties, so this was actually provisioned in the bank's terms.



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