Merely mentioning file names is illegal in the Netherlands

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Usenet community FTD has lost the lawsuit it had started pre-emptively against the Brein foundation to establish that its activities are legal.

FTD’s members publish information about where to find binary postings that contain works published without copyright owners’ consent. According to a very annoyed Arnoud Engelfriet, one of FTD’s lawyers (photo), the judge held that mentioning file names isn’t just aiding illegal publication, it is a form of illegal publication in itself if the person doing the mentioning is performing a key role in getting the work distributed.

The judge in this case, C.A.J.F.M. Hensen, has a job on the side teaching people how to fight ‘piracy,’ and as such has a clear interest in establishing as hard a line as possible in copyright law.

Brein calls itself an ‘anti-piracy’ bureau, and is the Dutch equivalent of the infamous RIAA. FTD is considering an appeal.

(Photo of Arnoud Engelfriet by Petra de Boevere, some rights reserved.)

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