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BREIN takes Dutch Spotweb websites offline

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Dutch anti-piracy group Brein said it has taken Dutch Spotweb websites offline through the courts. Spotweb is used for usenet as a successor to FTD. Spotweb is open source software that allows users to locate illegal copies of entertainment content in newsgroups on usenet. Users can set up spotweb so that it is visible to everyone. It then acts as a website. People who do this provide illegal spots (nzb links or references) for unauthorised content. Brein is writing to these type of providers and urging them to stop the practices, to sign an abstention declaration with a penalty of EUR 500 and to pay EUR 150 in costs.

Commercial usenet providers have subscribers who pay to get exclusive access to payservers. Spotweb makes it easy for such subscribers to find the best quality illegal content.

Brein believes that commercial usenet providers are themselves also responsible for the offer on their payservers. Although the content is uploaded by users, the providers store it on their own payservers and keep it available for their paying customers. Commercial usenet providers have a retention time of several thousand days during which they keep the content they store on their payservers available to their customers.

Brein is in legal proceedings against the former largest commercial usenet provider. The Dutch Supreme Court has put questions on the matter to the EU’s Court of Justice. The question is whether a commercial usenet provider itself infringes and, if not, what measures it must then take to prevent infringement.

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