Late October 2016, we reported on an alarming state of affairs in Poland, the place police had visited lots of of houses throughout the nation, seizing computer systems alleged to have been concerned within the sharing of a comedy film titled Screwed.
In some instances, police reportedly suggested suspects to settle with copyright holders reasonably than face legal motion, one thing critics felt was notably inappropriate in an unproven copyright case. Now it appears that historical past is repeating itself within the area, with folks being focused over downloads of an area thriller titled Drogwka.
While that is of concern in itself, the alleged offenses passed off through BitTorrent means again in 2013, 4 complete years in the past. Native journalist Marcin Maj at Bezprawnik, whos additionally an IT safety teacher at Niebezpiecznik, has been documenting the actions of copyright trolls in Poland for a while. He picked up the story this week after he realized that police had seized an alleged file-sharers computer.
After talking with native police, he subsequently discovered that 200 to 300 different folks had been given the identical treatment.
Maj says that after presenting an extended record of inquiries to authorities, he realized that these seizures have been occurring repeatedly for a couple of yr, following a legal grievance filed by a regulation agency. Its that this level that the uncomfortable nature of this complete operation turns into apparent.
In 2013-2014, lawyer Artur Glass-Brudzi?ski reported quite a few copyright infringements (movie sharing) to the prosecutors workplace, and the prosecutors workplace began to establish folks behind the indicated IP addresses, Maj informs TF.
Its essential to know that within the Polish legal system, its inconceivable to sue somebody who’s unknown to a plaintiff [John Doe]. However you’ll give you the chance to at all times begin a legal proceeding.
Such a legal continuing was filed in 2014 however it appears that Glass-Brudzi?ski used the method to realize a secondary benefit.
As a barrister of the [copyright holder], Artur Glass-Brudzi?ski had entry to the prosecutors documentation. So he used this to acquire recognized names and addresses, with out ready for the tip of the legal continuing. These folks had been simply witnesses, however Glass-Brudzi?ski despatched hundreds of letters to them, suggesting they’re suspects, which was not true, Maj says.
So, in impact, a legal motion was used to realize entry to private particulars that had been subsequently utilized in civil actions. Thats utterly legal and fairly frequent in Poland however many view the method as problematic.
Polish legal professionals see this as one thing not fairly moral, Maj studies. Now Glass-Brudzi?ski faces a disciplinary court as a consequence of his letters had been fairly deceptive. No matter that, nevertheless, legal proceedings are nonetheless underway.
A listening to passed off earlier than the Disciplinary Court docket November thirteen however a decision will take a while to succeed in since there round eighty folks concerned within the case. Within the meantime the present legal case continues, with a quantity of problems.
For instance, its fairly possible that many individuals could have modified their computer systems since 2013, however the police are required to grab those folks at present have. Additionally, Maj studies that after talking to individuals who acquired calls for for money fee, many report having had nothing to do with the alleged offenses. However there’s a broader drawback round such instances in general.
As we reported final yr, prosecutors admit that they don’t confirm the technical processes that the copyright holders use to establish the alleged infringers, that means that lots of of members of the basic public are subjected to property seizures primarily based on untested evidence.
Polish prosecutors usually resolve to grab computer systems simply because they acquired an IP deal with record from a lawyer. Typically even prosecutors dont wish to try this, however copyright homeowners complain to the courts, and the courts problem an order to grab machines. Thats deeply absurd, Maj says.
Many occasions I’ve requested prosecutors in the occasion that they test the technique used to trace pirates. Many occasions I’ve requested prosecutors if they’ve discovered proof on each seized laptop. The solutions? No. They dont test the technique of monitoring pirates, and proof is discovered solely sometimes.
There are clearly mounting issues in Poland with each proof and discovery-based loopholes offering copyright holders with a major benefit. Whereas questionable, its at present all authorized, so it appears possible that so lengthy as victims can acquire entry to non-public info through legal instances, the money threats will proceed. Its a subject lined in a report compiled by Maj and the Trendy Poland Basis (Polish, pdf)
Computer seizures and our report had been mentioned within the decrease home of the Polish parliament in 2016, on the assembly of the Commision of Digitalization, Innovation and New Applied sciences. Many politicians are conscious of the issue and so they declare we should always do one thing to cease bullying and seizures. Sadly, all of it ended with was declarations, Maj concludes.
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