p2pnet.net news:- Torrent dump site TorrentSpy’s promise to users that it would never monitor them without their consent is being threatened by a US court decision.
“This is believed to be the first time a judge has ordered a defendant to log visitor activity and then hand over the information to the plaintiff,” says the story. “The decision – arrived at last month but under seal – could force sites that are defendants in a law suit to track the actions of their visitors.”
One of the key issues in the case lodged against p2pnet by Australia’s Sharman Networks and Nikki Hemming, who runs Sharman’s Kazaa P2P file sharing application, is their insistence that p2pnet reveal the identity of an anonymous poster.
However, p2pnet has never kept logs and did not, and does not, know the identities of people who post anonymously to p2pnet stories.
Not long after launching the lawsuit, Sharman dropped out leaving Hemming to carry the ball. She’s continuing the demands.
In the TorrentSpy case, “The owners have been granted a stay of the order in order to make an appeal, which must be filed by June 12, says Ira Rothken, TorrentSpy’s attorney,” says TorrentFreak.
The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) says the order to force a defendant to log visitor activity and then hand over the information to the plaintiff as “unprecedented,” continuing that in general, “a defendant is not required to create new records to hand over in discovery. We shouldn’t let Web site logging policies be set by litigation.”
In a scandal which erupted almost exactly a year ago, MPAA director of legal affairs Dean Garfield (upper right) was alleged to have promised to pay $15,000 for information stolen from Torrentspy.com, “after he [Garfield] and the MPAA reviewed it, if they found it useful”.
Isohunt.com, BTHub.com, TorrentBox.com, NiteShadow.com, Ed2k-It.com and Torrentspy.com were all sued by the MPAA and in March, 2006, Torrentspy.com filed to dismiss the action.
“It’s particularly notable that the MPAA has not denied the allegation they entered into an agreement with the informant, signed by the MPAA’s Dean Garfield, to acquire information about a number of torrent search sites including Torrentspy.com,” Rothken told p2pnet at the time. He went on:
“He assured the informant, when the informant expressed concerns about potential liability for obtaining or providing such information to the MPAA, that the MPAA would protect the informant from any liability for obtaining or providing such information.”
Garfield was also the front and centre in another scandal, this time in Sweden when, with the MPAA behind them, Swedish police units raided Bahnhof, an important Swedish ISP.
TorrentFreak – TorrentSpy Ordered By Federal Judge to Become MPAA Spy, June 9, 2007
reveal the identity – Free speech, libel and the internet age, July 31, 2006
$15,000 for information – ‘MPAA engaged in piracy’, May 26, 2006
raided Bahnhof – Swedish anti-p2p site hacked: more, March 15, 2005
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Tired of being treated like a criminal? They depend on you, not the other way around. Don’t buy their ‘product’. Do bug your local politicians. Use emails, snail-mail, phone calls, faxes, IM, stop them in the street, blog. And if you’re into organizing, organize petitions, organize demonstrations and then turn up on your local political rep’s doorstep, making sure you’ve contacted your local tv/radio station/newspaper in advance. Don’t just complain. Do something!