Watch out US BitTorrent users, you may be sued for downloading illegal movies

by: Bradley Wint on March 31st, 2010 at 10:35 am

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If you are one of the many users who download movies illegally of the net via BitTorrent clients in the United States, you may be at risk of getting sued. There are reports that the US Copyright Group has filed over 20,000 lawsuits against torrent downloaders, and are planning to file yet another 30,000 suits. They are suing on behalf of independent film producers in Germany.

So how are they finding the perps? Guardaley IT, a German technology company has developed software to monitor real time peer-to-peer activity and can capture IP addresses via the time stamps. They can then match the downloads to a large database to determine whether they are download full length movies (illegal) or just trailers which are legal.

“The genesis of this legal campaign occurred in Germany when lawyers from the US Copyright Group were introduced to a new proprietary technology by German-based Guardaley IT that allows for real-time monitoring of movie downloads on torrents. According to Thomas Dunlap, a lawyer at the firm, the program captures IP addresses based on the time stamp that a download has occurred and then checks against a spreadsheet to make sure the downloading content is the copyright protected film and not a misnamed film or trailer.”

From past instances where companies tried to track down individuals for illegal downloading, many Internet users were wrongfully accused of downloading, but it seems this new system works pretty well according to the Open Copyright Group. They said they were impressed with the results of the program developed by Guardaley IT. So will the huge lawsuit benefit the industry or just cause fans to boycott the independent film producers in general?

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Have Something To Say? 20 Others Did!

  • John Weston – March 31st, 2010 – 11:26 AM

    Does this affect BitTorrent users in Canada?

    • Bradley Wint – March 31st, 2010 – 11:29 AM

      Only US residents so far.

  • Nick – March 31st, 2010 – 11:43 AM

    Oh no all those people who love german granny porn are going to jail!!!. Our courts are going to be filled with perverted granny loving virgins while all the real criminals are free to have sex with hot porn stars and download the latest Justin Timberlake songs!!!

    It will be utter chaos!!!, quick stop downloading german scat porn and think of your future!!!

  • William – March 31st, 2010 – 11:55 AM

    What does mean for any TV shows or Internet Shows?

    • Bradley Wint – March 31st, 2010 – 12:04 PM

      They said indie movies so far, no word on TV shows yet. Guess we can’t sharpen our German speaking skills anymore.

  • o Ian o – March 31st, 2010 – 12:03 PM

    Same question as John.. Does this affect BitTorrent users in the UK.

  • Jay – March 31st, 2010 – 12:56 PM

    John, your not 100% safe either. I’m in Canada and was reported a year and a half ago to my ISP for torrenting a game. A company representing the game company was looking through torrents and copying IP adresses and repoting them to ISPs. I got a warning that any further reports coming back to me and they would cut service and report me to authorities. Needless to say, I haven’t touched torrents since(Megaupload FTW!).

    • Steve C – March 31st, 2010 – 6:29 PM

      You mean mega malware FTW. torrents are still safer than that damn site.

    • Bradley Wint – March 31st, 2010 – 6:38 PM

      Ya, +1 to that. Megaupload, Rapidshare and other don’t scan their uploaded files and there is no user feedback, so basically you’re on your own when download stuff. However with torrents, the sites have feedback sections allowing for users to quickly rate how good or bad a torrent is. The proper ones become more popular are more seeded while the bad ones fall to the wayside.

  • James – March 31st, 2010 – 5:54 PM

    Wow you people have no idea why bittorent works so well do you ? its because you are NOT downloading copyrighted material form anyone, you are getting useless bit of data from people that are later re-assembled to be a digital file of what nature they CANNOT prove, this completely circumnavigates th DMCA and IS NOT ILLEGAL anything they send you or try to do is a scare tactic that they know full well will not hold up in court, I have been torrenting for years on multiple ISPS and am not afraid at all nor will I ever be, do your research.

  • xino – March 31st, 2010 – 7:00 PM

    They will only catch people who are downloading newer movies.

  • kenny kendall – March 31st, 2010 – 7:11 PM

    thank god its only a very small portion of people. i have never dowloaded a german film and dont even live in the us. however i have been warned by my previous uk service provider tiscali about my downloading. so i switched to bt and dowload roughly 80 gb a month and havent been caught.

  • lakerfan420 – March 31st, 2010 – 9:11 PM

    Just use usenet and you got nothing to worry about!

  • Jay – March 31st, 2010 – 10:49 PM

    FYI If you are on the right forums(free and easily searchable on google), viruses from Megaupload are unseen. On the other hand, I have had viruses from torrents in the past.I have also had EXTREMELY fast speed from MU compared to any torrent I used in the past. It seems we have completely opposed views, which is fine.

  • TheOffensiveGamerTheOffensiveGamer – April 1st, 2010 – 12:47 AM

    Listen up you boofheads! In this time of great internet shenanigans, it would be wise to read the following article:
    http://lifehacker.com/372633/protect-your-privacy-when-downloading

  • CanadianAwesomeSauce – April 1st, 2010 – 1:16 AM

    Good thing I live in Canada, eh?

  • matt – April 1st, 2010 – 2:27 AM

    isn’t that why Peer Guardian was created to STOP companies from finding your IP address?

  • nawar – April 1st, 2010 – 8:15 AM

    April’s fool?

    • Bradley Wint – April 1st, 2010 – 10:04 AM

      No.

  • Timm32835 – May 24th, 2010 – 6:42 PM

    This Guardaley IT is for real – I just got hit with a letter from my ISP that included a copy of the subpoena requesting them to provide my identity. The law firm that filed the subpeona has a partner by the name of Dunlap in their name so I’m pretty sure it’s the same group mentioned in the article.

    Any suggestions on what to do?