IFPI Convinces ISP To Just Hand Over Hard Drives Of Torrent Site

from the that-seems-questionable dept

This is not the first time something like this has happened, but the IFPI somehow convinced Swedish hosting company Itstaden/ServerConnect to simply hand over the hard drives of one of its hosting customers, LimeTorrents. The IFPI apparently has been pressuring ServerConnect for moths, claiming that it could be liable for any infringement on LimeTorrents, but rather than filing a lawsuit, it simply said that ServerConnect should hand over the harddrives and it did. I'm curious how this is legal. It may depend on the specific contract ServerConnect has with its customers, but it seems that handing their hard drives over to a private party without any sort of court order almost certainly breaks the user agreement, if not local privacy laws.


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    Marcel de Jong (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 12:56am

    Reminds me of AlTransa vs BREIN

    Similar thing happened in The Netherlands, where BREIN took the hard drives of an alledged torrent site.

    The datacenter (WorldStream) that housed the serverracks of webhoster AlTransa, is located in The Netherlands, but that datacenter didn't own the racks.
    The owner of the racks (and the hosting party itself), Craig Salmond, resides in Costa Rica.

    But, nonetheless, the datacenter gave over the servers to BREIN, after BREIN came by and threatened the datacenter people.

    A single email was sent to mr. Salmond to notify him that his servers would be confiscated, on the suspicion of hosting a torrentsite called Swan.
    No judge was involved with this server raid, making it a theft of hardware by BREIN, aided by Worldstream.

    And instead of a police investigation, BREIN decided it would investigate the server hardware itself. Keeping up its claim that it found illegal content on the server hardware. But I think their actions make any evidence they bring forward in a court of law, out of the confiscated hardware, inadmissible, if it ever comes to a lawsuit.

    Sorry, I only have links in Dutch on this particular story:
    http://webwereld.nl/nieuws/105793/brein-moet-in-beslag-genomen-servers-inleveren.html

    htt p://webwereld.nl/nieuws/105819/aangifte-tegen-brein-om-serverdiefstal.html

     

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      Christopher (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 6:21am

      Re: Reminds me of AlTransa vs BREIN

      In any sane country in the world, it would make this stuff inadmissible because the servers were basically stolen.

      However, a lot of countries are not sane anymore on this issue.

       

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    drewmerc (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 2:22am

    The IFPI apparently has been pressuring ServerConnect for moths

    must be old servers if the have moths

     

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      paperbag (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 4:03am

      Re:

      If you are going to make fun of a typo, please don't make one of your own.

       

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        Greg G (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 6:27am

        Re: Re:

        Agreed.

        And this is the 2nd post that I've read today where there has been a typo.

        Other one was in the title Blog Posts About Crusing Around The Caribbean On New Boyfriend's Sailboat Leads To Alimony Reduction

        Maybe it's just me, but that probably should be "Cruising".

        Looks like Mike was probably kinda tired when he wrote those up.

         

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      anymouse (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 8:54am

      Re:

      Just wait for moth 2.0... the next revolution in distributed data transfer protocols, the data literally flies out of the server.....

       

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    darryl, May 3rd, 2011 @ 2:41am

    Who is IFPI - we all do not know every acronym, BTW

    I wondered about those pesky moths too :)

    Who is IFPI and who cares ?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2011 @ 3:27am

      Re: Who is IFPI - we all do not know every acronym, BTW

      You really, truly, lack the research skills to find out what IFPI stands for?

      That's just way too depressing before a first cup of coffee.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2011 @ 4:57am

      Re: Who is IFPI - we all do not know every acronym, BTW

      The best part is that at least a dozen of us caught the moths (get it? caught the moths?) and are willing to post about them, but probably couldn't summarize the meat of the post if you paid us. (In moths.) Easily distracted.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2011 @ 3:55am

    IFPI = International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

    Guess what they exist to do.

     

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    abc gum, May 3rd, 2011 @ 4:33am

    Another real life example as to why cloud computing is not seen by many as a viable solution.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2011 @ 4:57am

      Re:

      The term cloud computing was essentially a meaningless marketing slogan designed to distract people from the reality of handing data over to third parties. -- Richard Stallman

      And with both major crashes within one week, I hope it opens up people's eyes. The carelessness of handing over sensitive data, not matter how legal, can come back to bite you in the ass pretty damn hard.

       

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      chris (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 6:45am

      Re:

      Another real life example as to why cloud computing is not seen by many as a viable solution.

      i disagree. if anything, virtualized hardware will make it harder to track these things down.

      think about it: a rack of 6 physical servers is actually running 120 rented servers. which of those 6 is actually running the site that you have a problem with? do you confiscate all 6 and knock 119 other servers offline while you figure out what the problem is? do you just confiscate the 1 server and take 19 others with it?

      add to that a little forethought, say a non-US registered domain name for your questionable site (all of my favorite trackers are going to .me, .it, or .ph), good backups, and a second or third server in a different country with a different vendor, and you see the problem that seizing physical hardware presents.

       

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      chris (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 6:54am

      Re:

      Another real life example as to why cloud computing is not seen by many as a viable solution.

      i disagree. if anything, virtualized hardware will make it harder to track these things down and keep these sites offline.

      think about it: a rack of 6 physical servers is actually running 120-300 rented virtual servers. which of those 6 is actually running the site that you have a problem with? do you confiscate all 6 and knock 119-299 other servers offline while you figure out what the problem is? do you just confiscate the 1 server and take 19-49 others with it?

      do you just have the vendor take the 1 virtual server offline and email the VHD/VDI files? this is where block crypto comes into play on the virtual server side.

      add to that a little forethought, say a non-US registered domain name for your questionable site (all of my favorite trackers are going to .me, .it, or .ph), good backups, and a second or third server in a different country with a different vendor, and you see the problem that seizing physical hardware presents.

       

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    Christopher (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 5:17am

    Get out of jail free.

    Assuming the Swedes have a rational evidentiary system, nothing on the hard drives is admissible. The HDD owners have a good case for larceny, though. Props to the hijackers, though, it's bold.

    -C

     

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      The eejit (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 6:32am

      Re: Get out of jail free.

      Hell, it probably opens the Hosting service up to aiding and abetting liability. Nice work.

      I also like eating moths (or is that months? I'm not sure now.)

       

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      Tor (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 9:29am

      Re: Get out of jail free.

      I'm quite (although not 100%) sure that evidence based on the contents of the hard drives is valid in a Swedish court. We have no concept of "objection, your honour" here. I think the evidence is practically only limited to materials that are not covered by a doctor's or lawyer's confidentiality.

      For example, there is Swedish case law that establishes that if the police use wire-tapping based on suspicion of a certain crime and the tapped calls reveal a completely different type of crime, then that evidence may still be used in court.

       

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        Bergman (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 9:58am

        Re: Re: Get out of jail free.

        The US has a similar law about unrelated crimes. But if the police wiretapped illegally here, then everything they overhear becomes inadmissible in court.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 1:21am

      Re: Get out of jail free.

      Sweden has a very rational evidence system.
      Evidence is evidence. To ask someone to disregard evidence because it is obtained illegally would not contribute to better judgements. If the evidence was obtained illegally it is used as evidence, and the illegal act of obtaining it is prosecuted as whatever crime it may be.

       

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    NullOp, May 3rd, 2011 @ 6:19am

    Yet another....

    This is yet another example of threats and bullying. Sad to hear the ISP caved on this one. Without any legal paperwork in hand the ISP could be in for some real legal issues. It will depend on the laws and how deep everyone's pocket is.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2011 @ 7:44am

    Doesn't strongarming a company into handing over hardware outside of proper legal channels like this fit the definition of "piracy" more than making copies of data?

     

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    btr1701 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:35am

    Drives

    > it seems that handing their hard drives over
    > to a private party without any sort of court
    > order almost certainly breaks the user agreement,
    > if not local privacy laws.

    Forget privacy laws. How about laws prohibiting theft of property? The drives don't belong to the ISP. They don't have any legal right to give them to anyone (save perhaps law enforcement with a valid warrant).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 10:50pm

    I'd love to see IFPI be charged for illegal copying of copyrighted materials on the harddisk, but very unlikely...

     

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