Movie companies demand that VPNs log user data and disconnect pirates

Alexandru Poloboc
by Alexandru Poloboc
News Editor
With an overpowering desire to always get to the bottom of things and uncover the truth, Alex spent most of his time working as a news reporter, anchor, as well as TV and radio... Read more
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  • After the ISP suing spree that went on over the years, the piracy lawsuits have expanded, with VPN providers as the main targets.
  • One of the main accusations is allowing VPN subscribers to bypass the geographical restrictions of streaming services such as Netflix.
  • Filmmakers also argue that some VPNs even partner up with notorious movie piracy websites, in order to promote their services.
  • Besides the money, the movie companies also seek the immediate shutdown of websites such as RARBG, or the infamous Pirate Bay.
Movie piracy

You should probably know, if you’re into this kind of stuff, that a group of movie companies continues its legal efforts to hold VPN services liable for pirating subscribers.

A new pending lawsuit lists service providers like Surfshark, VPN Unlimited, Zenmate, and ExpressVPN as defendants.

Besides damages, the filmmakers want the VPNs to block pirate sites and start logging user data. The accused companies have yet to respond in court.

As a direct result of the growing threats against online privacy and security, VPN services have become increasingly popular in recent years.

Filmmakers ask for RARBG and The Pirate Bay to be shut down

It’s already a well-known fact that millions of people use VPNs to stay secure and prevent outsiders from tracking their online activities.

However, as with regular Internet providers, a subsection of these subscribers may be engaged in piracy activities.

Throughout the years, we’ve seen copyright holders take several ISPs to court, under charges of failing to disconnect repeat copyright infringers.

Now, these lawsuits have expanded, with VPN providers as the main targets.

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started and people spend more time at home, downloading and pirating movies of all sorts, the numbers have grown to staggering heights.

These above-mentioned lawsuits were filed by a group of independent movies companies that also took it upon themselves to go after piracy sites and apps.

Among them are the creators of blockbusters and award-winning movies such as The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Dallas Buyers Club, and London Has Fallen.

One of the main accusations is allowing VPN subscribers to bypass the geographical restrictions of streaming services such as Netflix.

The filmmakers bring to attention various examples of promotional pages where the VPN providers claim that their services can bypass blocking efforts and other restrictive measures.

In some cases, these VPN providers don’t even go to the trouble of hiding such actions, as the following announcement from UnlimitedVPN shows.

Besides bypassing geographical restrictions, the movie companies also list many examples of VPN subscribers who are directly involved in sharing pirated movies via BitTorrent.

And while BitTorrent can also be used legally, the VPN companies allegedly promote their service as a tool to download copyright-infringing material anonymously.

And that’s not all! Filmmakers also argue that some VPNs even partner up with notorious movie piracy websites, in order to promote their services.

As an example, the website YTS.movie encourages the use of ExpressVPN. It’s not immediately clear whether ExpressVPN is aware of that, however.

Hold on to your chair, because the list of grave accusations continues in a manner you wouldn’t have expected.

The movie companies also allege that VPN customers are engaged in other types of inadmissible conduct under this privacy shield, including racist comments, child pornography, and even committing murder.

Based on these claims, as well as others, the filmmakers argue that the VPN services are liable for direct, contributory, and vicarious copyright infringement.

Besides the money they solicit for these frauds, the movie companies also request that the VPN services start blocking known pirate sites such as The Pirate Bay and RARBG.

How do you feel about these legal actions being taken by these production companies? Share your opinion with us in the comments section below.

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