Jump to content

Movie Company Sues Pirates Who Used an Anonymous VPN


Recommended Posts

The makers of the film 'Angel Has Fallen' have filed a lawsuit against seventeen alleged pirates. According to the complaint, several defendants used the VPN service 'Private Internet Access,' which can expect to be subpoenaed. That effort will likely be fruitless as the VPN doesn't keep any logs. However, with help from information shared by torrent site YTS, users are still at risk.

 

privacy.jpg

 

Millions of Internet users around the world use a VPN to protect their privacy online.

 

Another key benefit is that VPNs hide users’ true IP-address, making them more anonymous. This prevents third-party monitoring outfits from carrying out unwanted snooping.

 

This is one of the reasons why many torrent users have a VPN installed. Instead of displaying their own IP-address in torrent swarms, the VPN IP-address will show up. And when the provider doesn’t keep any logs, that address can’t be traced back to a single user.

Lawsuit Targets Pirating VPN Users

Such a setup seems secure, but it hasn’t prevented the makers of the action movie ‘Angel Has Fallen’ from suing several anonymous VPN users. In a recent lawsuit filed at a federal court in Colorado, the company lists fourteen alleged pirates that used an IP-address of the VPN service Private Internet Access, also .

 

“Upon information and belief, Defendants DOES 3-5, 7-10 and 12-17 registered for paid accounts for Virtual Private Network (‘VPN’) service with the Colorado Internet Service Provider Private Internet Access,” the complaint reads.

 

The lawsuit in question lists the defendants as Does, which means that their true identities are unknown. However, attorney Kerry Culpepper, who represents Fallen Productions in this matter, hopes to find out more through third-party subpoenas.

Info From YTS User Database

The case relies in part on information from the YTS user database that was shared by the operator of the site earlier this year, as part of a settlement. This includes download details of several users, as well as their IP-addresses and email addresses.

 

pia does

 

The attorney has requested subpoenas to compel email providers, Internet providers, and Private Internet Access for more personal information. In the past, we have seen that Microsoft and ISPs such as Comcast will hand over what they have, but with a VPN this isn’t as straightforward.

PIA’s Confirmed No-Log Policy

PIA has a so-called ‘no logs’ policy which means that it can’t link a VPN IP-address and a timestamp to a unique user. This policy has been repeatedly tested and confirmed in courts.

 

Culpepper informs TorrentFreak that he will request a subpoena regardless. He argues that the use of a VPN shows that people were aware of their illegal activity.

 

“It is relevant because it shows they tried to hide their activities. It shows consciousness of the illegal activities,” Culpepper says, while pointing out where PIA warned YTS users that they were at risk.

PIA’s Jurisdiction Angle

In addition, by signing the terms of service, PIA users also subject themselves to the jurisdiction of Courts in Colorado. This is relevant in this case because not all defendants are from the western U.S. state.

 

“Most importantly, if they signed up for an account with PIA they agreed to jurisdiction in Colorado no matter where they are. Most of the PIA users were not in Colorado,” Culpepper notes.

 

pia colorado lawsuit

 

All defendants are accused of downloading a torrent titled “Angel Has Fallen (2019) [BluRay] [720p] [YTS.LT],” as well as other copyright-infringing content that isn’t specified.

Defendants Still at Risk

According to the complaint all defendants have received at least one DMCA notice. Fifteen of them were also contacted repeatedly on their known email address with cease and desist notices and settlement offers, but these were ignored.

 

With this lawsuit Fallen Productions hopes to uncover the identities of the people behind these IP- and email addresses.

 

TorrentFreak contacted PIA for a comment on the lawsuit. The company said that it hasn’t received a subpoena yet and reiterated that it can’t identify individual users.

 

“Private Internet Access has not received a subpoena in regards to this case. Even if we do, our response will be the same as always: PIA does not log VPN user activity,” a PIA spokesperson informed us.

 

That was also confirmed in more detail earlier this year in our annual VPN overview.

 

“There are no logs kept for any person or entity to match an IP address and a timestamp to a current or former user of our service,” PIA said at the time.

 

That said, defendants are still at risk, as their email addresses are known as well. That doesn’t prove anything, as YTS allowed members to sign up with a fake email, but it could lead to people being identified eventually, without PIA’s involvement.

 

If anything, this case shows that using a VPN only offers limited anonymity. When people use a VPN irregularly and leave other information behind, such as email addresses, they may eventually be exposed anyway.

 

A copy of Fallen Production’s complaint, filed as the US District Court in Colorado, is available here (pdf)

 

 

Source: TorrentFreak

Link to post
Share on other sites

A so-called "anonymous VPN with zero log policy" now no longer anonymous and can't be trusted anymore.
 

On 10/28/2020 at 5:30 PM, shamu726 said:

Culpepper informs TorrentFreak that he will request a subpoena regardless. He argues that the use of a VPN shows that people were aware of their illegal activity.

 

“It is relevant because it shows they tried to hide their activities. It shows consciousness of the illegal activities,” Culpepper says, while pointing out where PIA warned YTS users that they were at risk.

Wait a minute, what Culpepper said that he associating VPN use strictly with illegal activities? That was an absurd statement that I ever hear in my life.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/31/2020 at 4:11 AM, zanderthunder said:

A so-called "anonymous VPN with zero log policy" now no longer anonymous and can't be trusted anymore.

 

Private Internet Access is based in the USA and run by a Korean guy.

 

For a long time, countless people have warned against using the services of VPN vendors which are based in the Five Eyes+ countries.

On 10/31/2020 at 4:11 AM, zanderthunder said:

That was an absurd statement that I ever hear in my life.

 

Yeah, it may sound absurd to us but it's the judge in a court of law that's the final say.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, caraid said:

Yeah, it may sound absurd to us but it's the judge in a court of law that's the final say.

But at the end, supreme court can simply reverse the previous judgement when judicial review is posted.

Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, zanderthunder said:

But at the end, supreme court can simply reverse the previous judgement when judicial review is posted.

This is not  supreme court  case it's district court  , they dont have to take it to the supreme court even  if you lose you can just appeal it and take it to High court  but sometimes not taking the lower courts ruling  just can  make it worse on you . If you lose  2 times you can try to take it  to the  supreme court , but  A lot of times the supreme court won't even take  a case unless they see it  worthy enough  .So they can just deny you .:rasta:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...