Dutch Anti-Piracy Group, With MPAA's Help, Able To Grab 29 US-Hosted Domains… With No Trial Or Notice

from the everyone-seize-domains-now dept

Now that the US government appears to be endorsing the idea of simply seizing domain names without notice to the proprietors of those domains, it appears that others are doing the same as well. TorrentFreak reports that the Dutch anti-piracy group, BREIN, with help from the MPAA, has been able to get 29 different domain names — all hosted in the US — to point to BREIN’s homepage instead. The owners of those domains were apparently given no notice and no recourse. It sounds like most of the sites did not host any content but linked to potentially infringing content.

Whether or not you believe that simply linking to potentially infringing content should be against the law, we’re seeing yet another example of the simple lack of due process and how this may impact other areas. If BREIN can get US domains shut down, what’s to stop other countries from doing the same thing? China doesn’t like reporting by an American site about China? What’s to stop it from trying to “seize” that domain? Even if we grant the idea that many of these domains were engaged in or encouraging unauthorized copying of works covered by copyright, why should BREIN and the MPAA simply get to shut them down without any sort of trial?

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Companies: brein, mpaa

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Comments on “Dutch Anti-Piracy Group, With MPAA's Help, Able To Grab 29 US-Hosted Domains… With No Trial Or Notice”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

There is plenty of reason it would be important. If the sites are operated by dutch nationals, or have other ties to the country, it is a pretty easy deal.

I do have to say that hdunited had at least one truly funny thing on their site:

“Copyright ? HD UNiT3D 2009-2010. All rights reserved.”

Now if that isn’t lulz, what is?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The American VP Mr. Biden would disagree with you.

The MPAA and others RIAA are entrenched on the U.S. government.

You will be hard pressed to not find a management position not occupied by ex-employees of that industry.

Also there are the many famous figures elected and that are holding right now office inside the U.S. government.

Not to mention bigger players like the BSA, Big pharma and cable/telcos that have great interest on the subject.

The MPAA is the scape goat in this case, they will bear all the bad things this thrust for more control has but are not the only ones pulling the strings.

Qritiqal (profile) says:

Re: Re:

OMG, that was awesome! I haven’t laughed that hard in years.

Oh, wait, you were serious???
Are you talking about RIAA ripping off the artists they claim to be “helping”, or are you talking about fans who spend their hard-earned cash on the crap put out by RIAA clients and then happen to “file share” just a wee bit more?

Qritiqal (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Actually, you haven’t refuted my points.
Also, I DON’T download or buy music that sucks, which really just means I don’t buy or download anything from the major labels.

You claim I use “long-discredited, hypocritical freetard-isms”, yet the only one I used was that file-sharers actually spend MORE on average than non file-sharers (which has been proven). If you don’t believe the proof, go bury your head in the sand some more.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It cracks me up the sense of entitlement artists have.

it cracks me up how freetards think they are entitled to free music and think they can decide how someone else’s art can be disseminated.

How come I don’t still get paid residuals for the gas I pumped at my part time job in high school?

Because you’re a talentless parasite? You tell us.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

OK. So the residuals for pumping gas don’t impress you, but why not answer this question…

I happen to be a surgeon. What I do really does save physical abilities, and yes, even lives. When I do something that has lasting benefit such as relieve an airway obstruction that prevented a person from breathing, or resect a malignant tumor, why am I not paid for that service every day of the rest of the patient’s life. After all, the benefit from that service may continue for years and decades thereafter, and the added value of that service increases with every added day of life that person has. If the person would have otherwise died, did I not make it possible for that person to earn every single paycheck that person earns for the rest of his or her life?
So why am I not paid a residual benefit or royalty indefinitely for every successful surgery? Is it just because I was too stupid to demand that kind of remuneration?
… Of course not. I’m not paid that way because IT’S NOT REASONABLE!!! I need to continue to work every day to get paid every day..
It should be no different for an artist.

And yes. I do find the sense of entitlement in the entertainment and media industries to be extremely galling.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You are not paid a residual because each patient pays you massively for your abilities.

When you start doing heart bypass surgeries for $1 per bypass (quadrapole bypasses on special, $3), then we can talk. Musicians and artists don’t deliver a single finished product to one person (such as a life saving medical procedure), rather, they provide copies of their works to millions of fans on a distributed, time insensitive basis.

Time is key. You don’t have to be here right now to buy the recording. You can buy it tomorrow, you can buy it next year, or 20 years from now. You can enjoy it over the air, on internet radio, or perhaps as the soundtrack to a movie or TV show. You aren’t obliged to a single performance at a single time with no way to carry it forward.

A surgery is time sensitive. It happens now. It happens exclusively to you. For the time the doctor is working, he is 100% there for the patient. He gets paid accordingly. After that, the deal is done, and it ends. The next person who needs the doctor gets and exclusive performance, and pays for it accordingly, and so on.

Two different market places, with very different rules of operation, dictated by what you are selling.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

> You are not paid a residual because each patient
> pays you massively for your abilities.

So a surgeon isn’t entitled to royalties because of massive initial payment upfront?

Okay, then I suppose we can dispense with royalties for all the movie actors and singers and songwriters that get paid massively upfront for what they do as well?

Oh, no? Let me guess, that’s “different”.

Johnny says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Uh OK, so if we go to a concert then the musicians have been paid upfront a very large amount for their work. Why should they be entitled to recurring payments for that paid work and a doctor not?

If anything you can say that the work of the doctor is much more valuable to the recipient, often even allowing that person to continue earning a living, while music adds nothing to that person’s abilities to make a living.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Alright, let’s accept that the market for the doctor’s services is not the same as the market for the artist’s services.

It is nonetheless correct to observe that what the doctor is complaining about is the abuse of perceived persisting or residual value. This concept is exactly what has been used to argue that copyright duration should be extended, and extended, and extended.
It is most certainly what motivated the songwriter who complained to Commerce Secretary Locke that the song he wrote was not becoming the “golden parachute” he had envisioned.
Further, the doctor’s complaint certainly is an “apples to apples” comparison when it comes to the real estate scoundrels who are trying to establish a hidden residual royalty on home sales to be paid to the original developer or home designer each and every time the home is sold – indefinitely.

The problem with songwriters, and artists in general who want their past work to be their “golden parachutes” is that they are using copyright law to allow themselves not to work as long or as hard as they would otherwise have done. Copyright should NOT motivate laziness. This is even more egregiously true in the case of the home designer who was already paid, and now seeks additional payment for the same work.

If you want to keep getting paid, then keep working. – – – Copyright was never meant to be your “Golden Parachute”

When copyright and patent laws are used to incentivize indolence, then they become a threat to our nation’s ability to compete in the world market, for I assure you that for every person who is enjoying the benefits of intellectual property “protection” here, there is someone working very hard in other parts of the world where there happens to be less government enforcement of these monopolies.

Ccomp5950 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I don’t know about all that now.

If you are using RIAA numbers and accounting (or hollywood accounting) and accepting the numbers they put out on the “costs of piracy” which have been debunked by government organizations (GAO), I could see your argument making sense.

But for those of us that don’t readily accept lies, damn lies, and statistics at face value, I’ll go with the other way around.

btrussell (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“The infringer has effectively already admitted owing at least $50 million and the full claim could exceed $6 billion. If the dollars don’t shock, the target of the lawsuit undoubtedly will: The defendants in the case are Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association.”
http://www.thestar.com/business/article/735096–geist-record-industry-faces-liability -over-infringement

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Ah yes, so because you assume they broke the law the people who owned the sites have their property stolen by organizations that are in no way, shape, or form associated with law enforcement and without a trial or warrant of any kind. Yes of course that’s perfectly reasonable.

Since you at one point in time probably drove over the speed limit and because I am president of the Anti-Speeding Organization I say you violated the laws so without trial nor evidence I am now taking your car. Remember if you don’t wanna lose your car, don’t break the law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I didn’t say you couldn’t say it. People would laugh at you, but you could say it.

Harassing the pirates. That’s a good one.

Anyway, you need to read what I wrote again. If someone breaks a law, they aren’t innocent just because it hasn’t been to a trial yet. The trial has zero impact on an event that has already occured. A trial could find a murderer innocent due to invalid jury instructions even though the murderer already admitted his guilt. Doesn’t mean he still isn’t guilty.

A person is guilty the moment they break the law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

“People are guilty the moment they break the law”

Now prove it.

Will you claim that someone killed another person and that is enough?

If you think someone killed someone else that is enough to found him guilty?

Of course you know it is not enough and to be found guilty by the law you must prove it first, if you can’t show laws were broken there is no guilty in the eyes of the law.

Christopher Weigel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

There’s this concept called a “grey area”. And you still don’t quite seem to understand the idea of a Presumption of Innocence. As in, when a case falls in a grey area, you presume people innocent until such time as they’re found guilty.

Anyways, whether or not an individual is guilty, private organizations cannot and should not take the punishment thereof into their own hands. That’s called “vigilantism” and (Gasp!) It’s against the law.

Also, for the record, I have not pirated anything. Nor will I ever. I’ve downloaded cracks for legally purchased, broken software. I do, however, believe in free speech and due process. Which, apparently, are concepts too difficult for your feeble mind to grasp.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Are you stupid or are you just messing with us? The justice system in these United States follow the concept of “innocent until proven guilty”. It is the burden of the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime you are charged of. Until the burden of proof has been met, you are considered innocent.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Belief is not sufficient reason to treat anyone like a criminal. Cursory examination and assumptions do not satisfy the rigors of due process. You want to talk about hypocrites? How about you? You seem to be okay with violating constitutional rights if it means protecting the rights of artists. That’s hypocritical. You have a lot of nerve coming here, calling people thieves, and using that as justification to commit even more heinous crimes.

Let’s be real here. Since when has any artist ever been able to report provable financial losses due to file sharing? The truth is, the artists aren’t hurting in this situation, the publishers are. These people use artists to produce an imaginary good that costs pennies to reproduce and rake in huge profits that almost never get into artists’ hands. The publishers are the ones that lose control of content because of file sharing.

So yes, let’s piss all over the rights of the many so we can protect the rights and profits of the few.

Anonymous Coward says:

“What’s funny about this… Let them keep going. With the judges watching, it’s just enough of a noose to hang themselves.

Of course, in the mean time, it’s a HUGE pain…”

You mean like general Patton’s assessment of the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge
“Hell, let’s have the guts to let the bastards go all the way to Paris. Then, we’ll really cut ’em off and chew ’em up.”

Sorry, might be creeping towards Godwin here, no?

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Legal Basis of this law?

“Guess I’m gonna have to do some reading on this. I’m trying to figure out what legal basis they used to claim this was totally legal thing to do.”

I asked the question …

“Does anyone know if these BRIEN domains were .com and other US TLDs?”

The reason for the question is, trying to figure out if BREIN was assisted by the US ICE, homeSec, Justice, etc in these domain seizures. If so then it probably wasn’t legal from a 1st amendment perspective no matter what country these seizures were done for.

Transfering the domains to BREIN could probably be something else that is illegal by US law, international law, and might violate trade and IP agreements.

Wouldn’t it be funny if the rules and IP agreement that the IP types spent so much time setting were the things that brought them down, or brought them into a greater public light forcing reform.

I’m on a Camel … hand me that straw 😉

Hephaestus (profile) says:

This is getting really insteresting. OnSmash.com and Torrent-finder.com and 80 plus other websites get their Domain Name entries seized and redirected. Now BREIN grabs up another 29 domain names. With the error rates they seem to be having ~20-40 per 1,000 and the first amendment concerns. It is only a matter of time before they seriously screw up and this ends up infront of a court of law in the US.

Does anyone know if these BRIEN domains were .com and other US TLDs?

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Treason

> People easily forget it’s treason to side with a
> foreign country over your own citizens.

Not in the U.S. it isn’t. I can’t speak for what constitutes treason in other countries, but in America, the definition of treason is:

Treason against the United States shall consist
only in levying War against them, or in adhering to
their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

U.S. Constitution, Article III, Section 3

Michial Thompson (user link) says:

Domains aren't property, not even Intelectual Property


No rights are being violated, nothing is being stolen, and nothing is being siezed…

Domain Names aren’t Intelectual property or even physical property. ICANN’t isn’t a Government Agency, nor are any of the other companies that run the DNS systems…

You RENT the domain name, that is why there is a yearly fee, and if it’s not paid you no longer have access to using it, and it goes up for sale to the highest bidder…

There are no 1st or 4th amendment rights being violated here, those rights are only applicatable when it comes to the Government, not provate industry, and if the ICANN’t wants to reassign your domain, its well within their rights to do so.

Welcome to the flaws of the 21st century

drew (profile) says:

Re: Domains aren't property, not even Intelectual Property

Michial, presumably this is just a contract thing then? And i also assume that pretty much every domain agency is going to have a contract that reserves them the right to end the contract as and when they choose at no notice. Presumably in the form of a tick-here-to-confirm-you-have-read-and-understood-the-terms-and-conditions?
Makes sense.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Domains aren't property, not even Intelectual Property

No, it’s not property. It’s a service and as long as the customer continues to pay the agreed fees and isn’t proven guilty of a crime, they don’t have the right to deny you services you paid for. No group or government has the right to take that away from you without due process. The fact remains that an act of censorship was committed without any reasonable proof that a crime was committed. If the government took away your home address and redirected it so that your paycheck was sent to the RIAA/MPAA because they believed that you were a criminal despite the lack of any proof, would you think it’s okay for them to do that?

The intent of the domain seizure was to censor the site and by doing so without proof of a crime nor due process is a violation of the first amendment.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Domains aren't property, not even Intelectual Property

“It’s a service and as long as the customer continues to pay the agreed fees and isn’t proven guilty of a crime, they don’t have the right to deny you services you paid for”

That is not correct at all. Contract law does not require that anyone is proven guilty. In fact, depending on the wording, the agreement can be terminated pretty much for any reason stated in the contract. It is all under contract law, not criminal law.

Innocent until proven guilty doesn’t mean much in contract law.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Domains aren't property, not even Intelectual Property

Since when is one detail considered plural? I misspoke on one detail. I was referring to that some service contracts can be nullified if you are convicted of a crime. It is also true that a contract can be canceled if its terms are violated, but it doesn’t mean that a contract can be broken on a whim. They paid money and both parties agreed on what terms they would be bound by. Unless that contract specifically says that service can be terminated at any time without notice nor reason, they can’t simply take it away. As I said previously, the fact remains that censorship was committed without due process and that is simply unconstitutional.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Domains aren't property, not even Intelectual Property

“No rights are being violated, nothing is being stolen, and nothing is being siezed…”

Tell that to the US Department of Homeland Security, who proudly claim to have seized a number of domains on behalf of their corporate buddies.

“There are no 1st or 4th amendment rights being violated here, those rights are only applicatable when it comes to the Government, not provate industry, and if the ICANN’t wants to reassign your domain, its well within their rights to do so.”

When private industry action are performed at the behest of Government, constitutional rights are very much relevant. As for ICANN acting on its own behalf, you offer no proof for your claim that ICANN are “well within their rights” to “reassign your domain” just because they want to.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Domains aren't property, not even Intelectual Property

So, if Mike decided to remove your login and block your IP from posting here, you’d be OK with that? After all, posting here is not a right, but a privilege.

You’d also be OK if the RIAA decided that michialthompson.com linked to infringing content and removed your domain name, right? Your 1st and 4th amendment rights wouldn’t be removed if your blog disappeared from the internet…


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Domains aren't property, not even Intelectual Property

If he’d done something nefarious, he probably wouldn’t be surprised.

You people need to read up on your law more and understand that most of the actions involved when committing a crime are not protected by any of the amendments you’re trying to use.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Domains aren't property, not even Intelectual Property

Like torture of a non-convicted man, where there has been no argument of confinement for their own safety?

OR like the horrendous wilful ignorance of the RULE OF LAW. Of the sites that have been seized, 85% of them have been given the music for promotional purposes by RIAA members.

IF that’s infringing, then everyone should be barred from living.

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