Dutch Court Questioning Why Police Outsourced File Sharing Evidence Collection To Industry Group
from the anti-piracy-group-is-not-the-police dept
We’ve seen numerous bad court rulings in the Netherlands when it comes to attacks on file sharing programs, and one of the big concerns was the seemingly all-too-close relationship between the anti-piracy organization BREIN and Dutch law enforcement. For example, it’s still unclear how BREIN ended up with computer equipment from some of these file sharing operations. Police can confiscate equipment. Private industry groups cannot. It seems that relationship may now be creating some problems for BREIN, as a court is questioning why Dutch law enforcement brought criminal charges against a file sharing site, when it was clearly a civil issue that should have been taken up by BREIN.
The specific case involves a lawsuit that was brought years back, where the owner of the site ShareConnector was eventually cleared on all charges. However, more recently, the Danish Department of Justice decided to appeal. However, TorrentFreak notes that the court has adjourned the case to ask why it’s a criminal matter, and why, if it’s a criminal matter, is BREIN so involved:
The Court wants the prosecutor to explain why the Department of Justice decided to go through with criminal proceedings in a case where a civil one would seem to be more suited. In The Netherlands copyright infringement related offenses fall under civil law unless they are very severe, which doesn’t seem to be the case here.
In addition, the Court weighs in that the evidence in this case has been collected by the Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN instead of the local authorities.
Perhaps BREIN and Dutch law enforcement groups will be reminded that BREIN is not, in fact, part of law enforcement, but a private industry group.