For VPN Provider HideMyNet DMCA's ABC's Not As Easy As 123
from the you-are-the-weakest-link-goodbye dept
As I was looking for a VPN provider myself and got tipped about HideMyNet, which is missing from Torrentfreak's overview, I decided to ask them the two questions myself:
Your service has been recommended to me multiple times, but before I start using your service, I have two questions.
1. Do you keep ANY logs which would allow you or a 3rd party to match an IP address and a time stamp to a user of your service? If so, exactly what information do you hold?
2. Under what jurisdictions does your company operate and under what exact circumstances will you share the information you hold with a 3rd party?
A few hours later I received their response:
A baffling response which, besides being rude, also shows the company is completely clueless about the DMCA. We got in touch with a lawyer who's a DMCA expert who had the following to say:
1) Yes, any serious company would. I would be concerned about the quality of a company who did not. If no logs are kept it'd be impossible to respond to a DMCA complaint which puts the company liable for a 100,000$ fine. I highly doubt you're going to find any company willing to risk that sort of liability on a 5$/month vpn account. Good luck!
2) USA - Also, it's the jurisdiction of the server endpoint -- Not the company itself.
"Sounds bogus to me. 17 USC 512(m) says the safe harbor is not conditioned on "monitoring the service." However, the service provider will be asked for evidence of its takedown practices, but the service provider only has to give what it's got. The $100k fine is made up too."
Classy, HideMyNet. Inventing a $100,000 fine to scare potential customers into using your service instead of a competitor's. Lesson learned: always make sure a service actually knows what it's talking about before handing over your money and beware of VPN providers that will sacrifice your privacy regardless of whether you are in violation of some country's copyright laws or not.
So what was it HideMyNet: simply unaware of the law? A case of untrained sales representatives being allowed to make up facts? Scared of the weight and money the entertainment industry's lobbies are throwing at suing the hell out of honest companies? Or do you have other motives to hide behind the DMCA?