Piracy

Filmmakers Want ‘Leaseweb’ to Hand Over the Identities of Pirate Customers

Written by Bill Toulas
Published on August 27, 2021

Yet another case of an internet service provider being pressed by copyright holders to do more to tackle piracy on its customer base has emerged in the U.S., as a group of movie studios has obtained a subpoena that obliges ‘Leasweb’ to give away identification details on 456 of its customers. Those users have been confirmed to be very prolific in sharing movies via BitTorrent, but the filmmakers only hold their IP addresses for now.

Leaseweb is a Dutch cloud computing and web services company that has remained neutral in the fight between rightsholders and pirates. In February 2019, they offered 14.4 petabytes of internet bandwidth to the Tribler torrent sharing project, and in 2013, they supported Megaupload with 630 servers. Whatever the movie companies think of these moves, they surely don’t believe that Leaseweb affords to keep a neutral stance, so they are now forcing them to do more whether they like it or not.

The group of the filmmakers requested Leaseweb to terminate its services to the 456 customers they had identified via a letter sent to the company back in October 2020. This was offered as a way to settle the case outside of court, and it also involved a term on paying for the damages incurred by the copyright violations. As it seems, though, Leaseweb didn’t agree to the terms and declined the offer, so the plaintiffs escalated their actions.

The approval of the DMCA subpoena obliges Leaseweb to give away the following details about the targeted subscribers:

Source: TorrentFreak

If Leaseweb holds valid information on these 456 customers, the group of moviemakers could use it to launch legal action against the pirates. However, this is rarely the case as operators of notable pirate platforms know how to hide their identities from service providers as they know they can’t rely on the determined resistance of these companies to data requests. It is seldom the case that these subpoenas ever yield anything useful for a widespread legal action to manifest, but as always, we’ll have to wait and see.



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