Last Updated: Oct 14, 2011
News-Service Europe, (NSE) one of the biggest players in the Usenet provider community in Europe was ordered at the end of last month to remove all content from their servers in 4 weeks or face a penalty of 50,000 Euros per day, with a maximum set at 1 million Euros. The judges concern for the anti-piracy laws and whether or not the provider knew what the users were putting on their servers weighed in heavily on his decision. He decided that the managerial and administrative decisions made by the company promoted the illegal activity.
The 4 weeks given to the company wasn’t so much a concern of the company as the impossibility of maintaining watch on between 15 and 20 million messages per day. Automated processes don’t exist yet to handle such a task, and if there were would it check for permissions? The company also claims that this latest action by a court is aimed attacking Usenet down, and accusation that many groups deny. This ruling also goes against the dutch civil defense that ISP’s couldn’t be held liable for the data that people put on their servers, so was a major surprise to everyone in the Usenet community.
BREIN, one of the biggest players in the fight against copyright infringement, managing director Tim Kulk said that a major pillar of the Usenet community. He also went on to explain that the ease of pirated material being found on Usenet made this venue so attractive to consumers. They claim that they don’t want to take down Usenet, just slow (or stop) the piracy.
In the last year the group BREIN,and others have had major wins in the censorship arena. One case against FTD in the Netherlands, the case in Britain against BT, and they currently have cases pending to provide injunctions to prevent companies like PayPal from allowing file sharing sites deemed to be infringing to have accounts. But, who gets to decide who’s infringing and who isn’t?