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Movie studios want VPN providers to record user data, disconnect pirates

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Virtual Private Network (VPN) services have been primarily used by people who want extra online security and privacy. However, it’s no secret that it’s also being used for piracy.

Some people use VPN to bypass Netflix‘s geographical restrictions. A lot of VPN subscribers are also involved in sharing pirated movies via torrent websites.

This is why movie studios are now targeting VPN service providers. This is years after their main target is internet service providers (ISPs) who fail to disconnect persistent copyright infringers.

Such companies include the studios behind popular movies like the Dallas Buyers Club, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, and London Has Fallen.

Last week, involved movie companies have filed a lawsuit in a Virginia federal court against four popular VPN providers: ExpressVPN, Zenmate, VPN Unlimited, and Surfshark.

Apparently, the rightsholders have already sent thousands of infringement notices to hosting companies, which were said to be forwarded to the said VPN providers. However, the VPNs apparently can’t exactly point which subscribers are involved.

However, movie studios suggest that VPNs can easily solve this issue by logging user data.

Defendants have the capability to log their subscribers’ access to their VPN service but purposely delete the logged information or set up their system so that the logged information is deleted so that they can promote their service as a means to pirate copyright protected Works anonymously.

It’s also said that VPN providers are liable for direct, contributory, and vicarious copyright infringement. This is why the lawsuit is requesting monetary compensation for the alleged damage.

Related

Other than compensation, studios are also requesting VPNs to block popular pirate websites like The Pirate Bay and RARBG.

Movie companies have also requested an order that required VPN providers to disable the accounts of subscribers that they’ve received three unique copyright notices within 72 hours unless the user asks for an appeal.

Via: TorrentFreak

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  1. VPN is responsible for keeping the data confidential – it does not let unauthorized users in, checks the traffic source and makes sure that the transmitted data does not leak out of the network in clear text. I think that they record all user data, but it is unlikely that they will just give it away