Recently, BREIN announced that it will prosecute BitTorrent users by collecting IP addresses and other evidences. The Dutch anti-piracy association said the Dutch Data Protection Authority gave them permission to gather IP addresses of those using BitTorrent.
Southern African Federation Against Copyright Theft (SAFACT) managing director Jacques Allers said an IP address can be collected without permission and is not considered personal data. According to him, “An IP address can only be considered personal data when combined with other user-specific data, such as when it is used to build a personal profile.” He said this is reference to the Promotion of Access to Information and the Electronic Communications and Transactions Acts.
Allers said that they, along with their partners, collect and use IP addresses to support their fight against copyright infringement.
“It should be noted that the use of BitTorrent to download copyright-infringing content is a criminal offence and a number of agencies are working to monitor and catalogue international torrent activity.”
“Safact, together with their international partner the Motion Picture Association and other specialised service providers, utilises such information to remain vigilant in the fight against global piracy.”
An internet user illegally distributed ‘Four Corners’ via The Pirate Bay. After collecting the BitTorrent uploader’s IP address, a court order was obtained and his Internet Service Provider (ISP) sent a subpoena for his information. SAFACT arrested him, but it resulted to a settlement made outside the court. He was the first person to be accused of online piracy in South Africa.
“SA legislation currently requires a court order to allow access to such information associated with an IP address,” said Allers.
“Safact is actively involved in the lobbing of improvement of copyright and cyber-related legislation.”
The movement against anti-piracy has certainly gone global. As an advocate, Maverickeye also exerts necessary effort to protect the entertainment industry, particularly the rights of copyright owners.