Copyright vigilantes Brein seize servers illegally
Dutch MPAA representatives Brein have broken the law by removing computer equipment worth hundreds of thousands of euro without a court order, law professor Ton Jongbloed told Tweakers.net last Tuesday. Brein seized 8 servers from hosting provider Al Transa last January.
The Brein foundation claims that the servers contained the warez site SWAN, although its not clear how it reasons that this makes it OK to break the law. Owner Craig Salmond says he will report the foundation to the police for theft, unless Brein gives back his hardware and offers a formal apology. His lawyer added that computervredebreuk, illegal hacking of a computer would also be a possible charge. Internet lawyer Arnoud Engelfriet sees a charge of fraud as more likely to lead to a conviction, whereas the lawyers of IT en Recht are putting their money on a charge of vigilantism.
According to Webwereld, Brein gained the ability to log in to Salmond’s servers before they took the computers. Engelfriet thinks a charge of theft is unlikely to stick, as the maintainer of the 8 computers, another provider called Worldstream, voluntarily handed the machines over to Brein.
On a totally unrelated note, in December 2010 a judge decided to keep a 16-year-old script kiddie another two weeks in jail (by now he has been released) after he allegedly had hacked websites of MasterCard and Visa in retaliation for their treatment of Wikileaks front man Julian Assange. Call it a hunch, but I have severe doubts that we will ever hear of Brein manager Tim Kuik receiving a similar treatment at the hands of his good buddies at the Justice department. I doubt he will even ever spend a second in jail, at least not for copyright related matters. He just doesn’t fit the profile, never mind that the wealthy Brein foundation is in a much better position to make the prosecutor look silly than a gormless teenage high school student is.