A recent study of the advertising revenue made by piracy sites shows that the most visited websites for illegal distribution of content in Germany gen-erate an income of 33 million Euros per year through visits by German users.
Most of the advertisements are placed by the Internet gambling industry (22.3 percent), mostly with licenses from Germany (Schleswig-Holstein), Gibraltar or Malta. They are followed by German and international browser game providers (12.1 percent). Advertising of branded companies is rare. Study: Ads are financing piracy weiterlesen
Would you cycle on a busy motorway? Probably not – and in most jurisdictions, you would promptly be arrested if you did. What does this have to do with the Internet? Quite a lot, actually. Road traffic rules and regulations are a prime example of rules which have adapted to changed circumstances over time.
“Euro Perspective on Outdated DMCA: Cycling on the Autobahn”
Eco, the largest Internet industry association in Europe, stands for free Internet and liability exemptions for Internet providers. Why?
All you have to do is take a look into their membership list and you will find a great deal of acquaintances who distribute pirated movies to customers in Germany and other markets:
- Cloudflare (also called crimeflare), USA: Content delivery network which is used by 9 out of the top 10 portals for file-hosters.
- Cyando, Switzerland: Owner of the most important filehoster Uploaded. According to the regional Court of Munich, Uploaded is aiding and abetting copyright infringers.
- Dancom, Belize: Content delivery network / data center for the most important portal for videohosting (bs.to).
- OVH, France: Data center for 3 of the 10 most important filehosters (zippyshare.com, filer.net and megacache.net).
- Voxility, Romania: Data center for the most important videohoster streamcloud.eu.
- M247, UK: Data center for movie-blog.org, a top 5 filehoster portal and thevideo.me a top 10 videohoster and other videohosters such as openload.co, promptfile.com and vidbull.com.
- Leaseweb, Netherland: Data center for the top 5 videohoster shared.sx.
Additionally there are other members, who offer dataspace and Internet connection for hosters with thousands of copyright infringing movies, e.g.:
- Akami with cyberlocker.ch and ultramegabit.com.
- Hetzner with fileshark.pl.
- Link11 with easybytez.com.
- Nforce with uploadable.ch and fileparadox.in.
- Plusserver with uploadbaz.com.
- Serverius with OzOfiles.com.
The Financial Times has reported that the Dutch film producers have filed a claim for damages from the government because it tolerated illegal downloads until a verdict of the ECJ forbade this.
A study estimated a loss of € 78 million in a market that has a total volume of € 500 million.
A MPA employee published an overview on blocking orders in regard to copyright in Europe.
According to this the following countries have blocking orders:
1 – Italy (238 blocked sites)
2 – United Kingdom (135)
3 – Denmark (41)
4 – Spain (24)
5 – France (18)
6 – Portugal (15)
7 – Belgium (13)
8 – Norway (7)
9 – Austria (6)
10 – Ireland (2)
10 – Greece (2)
10 – Iceland (2)
11 – Finland (1)
In many countries “The Pirate Bay“ has been blocked. In Sweden the domain registration of thepiratebay.se could be withdrawn. So “The Pirate Bay” has lost many visits. Starting with 436 million visits in July 2014 they lost 35% of all visits until March 2015, which had 285.5 million visits.
Therefore “The Pirate Bay” is trying to distribute their customers across several alternative domains (e.g. thepiratebay.la).
According to data gathered from Similiar Web, only 9 of 46 domains are important (more than a million visits); nine domains had less than 500 visits per month.
|The Pirate Bay visits (data from similiarweb.com)
Proxies can be used to circumvent blocking measures. There are a many on Google, but we tested 267 and found data only for 161 proxies.
|Visits on The Pirate Bay-Proxys (similarweb)
|not enough data
Only 26 proxies had more than 100,000 visits in July and two with more than a million. Visits to proxies rose by 24% between March and July 2015 with 28,445,000 visits.
So the traffic to “The Pirate Bay” is still concentrated on a few sites.
The MPA (Motion Picture Association of America) has recommended safety measures to avoid the illegal distribution of movies. Amazon published these measures and Torrentfreak reports:
Spamhaus reports on German and Austrian Internet registries helping cybercriminals. Countless cybercrime pages are registered by Denic and Nic.at. Complaints are useless because both organizations say they are not liable. They only delete domain names by court order or if they violate their terms and conditions.
Unlike Austria and Germany, Switzerland and Russia have implemented appropriate mechanisms in their regulation or registrar agreements.
Most of the malicious domain names are registered through a German-based registrar called Key-Systems. Some of the reported domain names have been suspended, but now the registrar seems to be recommending that its customers move the domain name to a different registrar: “What we are now seeing within ccTLD .at is ridiculous: Several registrars, mostly German-based, are moving malicious domain names around between each other. Once you report a malicious domain name to one of these registrars, they will just transfer it to a different registrar.”
The German Supreme Court hears a landmark case concerning the blocking of websites which violate copyrights; the proclamation of the verdict will be on November 26th.
BGH I ZR 3/14 (Liability of access providers for copyright infringement of third parties)
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that banking institutions can not rely on banking secrecy when the owner of a trademark wants to know who the holder of a bank account is which has been used for paying counterfeit items.
In the initial case, the Stadtsparkasse Magdeburg refused to give information on the holder of the account.
This verdict supports rights holders who have paid for a counterfeit item and therefore the perpetrators account information is exposed.
In the case of copyright infringements on the Internet this is normally not the case because there are 3rd parties involved. Then the right to information is not enough. According to the Higher Regional Court of Cologne, the rights holder has no right to be informed about the uploaders bank account details.
[European Court, C-580/13, 16 July 2015]
On the judgment of the Higher Regional Court Cologne (OLG Köln):
If a registrar of a domain knows that there are untruthful statements on this website (and this is confirmed by the owner of the page) and he does not take action to prevent this, he is liable as a so-called „interferer“.
[LG Köln, 13.05.2014, Az. 28 O 11/15]
According to a verdict of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), an operator of a commercial online forum can be responsible for third party comments. If he does not remove offensive comments without delay, he has to pay damages:
“where third-party user comments are in the form of hate speech and direct threats to the physical integrity of individuals (…) the rights and interest of others and of society as a whole may entitle contracting states to impose liability on internet news portals, without contravening article 10 ECHR, if they fail to take measures to remove clearly unlawful comments without delay, even without notice from the alleged victim or from third parties” (Paragraph 159 of the Grand Chamber judgment)
Looking at this verdict you can assume that commercial hosters who do not take measures against illegal content have to fear damages in the near future.