For years now the movie industry has been seeking compensation for losses from copyright infringement through litigation. Especially in the digital age, various movie making companies throughout Hollywood and elsewhere have been suing for copyright infringement resulting from individuals illegally streaming their movies through BitTorrent technology.
While this litigious strategy initially focused on getting IP addresses of all alleged individuals who may have breached copyrights, this trend is moving up the chain to an area of greater authority and deeper pockets. The companies providing VPN services have been the latest in the crosshairs of Hollywood, and the battle is getting fierce.
Hollywood vs. VPN providers
According to a recent article in Wired magazine online, a group of Hollywood movie production concerns have brought a lawsuit against ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA), two VPN providers. According to the accusations, these VPS service providers openly advertise that they do not keep logs of their users’ activities. This means that they cannot reveal their users’ activities to comply with copyright infringement lawsuits.
According to the plaintiffs, this practice openly encourages people to use their services for illegal downloading, and the “no-log” approach is a failure to do everything possible to stop online pirating.
From bad to worse
But the Hollywood film companies did not stop there with their accusations. They also said that the defendants’ services and their advertising methods promote other criminal activity to be committed with their VPN services. Among these criminal activities the plaintiffs included harassment, stalking, illegal hacking and even murder.
What does the future hold?
Of course, the defendants are fighting against these claims. But the important thing to note here is that the battle is getting nastier than ever, and there is no clear-cut correct answer to these issues.
While VPNs provide users with protection of their privacy, which is an important interest; VPNs do not provide much protection against copyright infringement, which is another important interest.
There is no way to predict how the courts will rule in these cases and how the law will settle. It is important to be cautious in your use of these tools and talk with an experienced lawyer if you are involved in a BitTorrent copyright infringement lawsuit.