Amsterdam
20 March 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

BREIN launches Usenet appeal


Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN is taking its battle against Usenet provider News Service Europe (NSE) to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands.

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal concluded last year that NSE wasn’t liable for pirate users on its network, but was required to offer a notice and takedown procedure.

Usenet is a collection of newsgroups that act as a forum where users can post messages, which are distributed via Usenet servers. Each server holds the posted messages for a certain period of time.

At the time, BREIN director Tim Kuik said that his group was the “moral winner”.

“The judgement is certainly not ideal but the intended result is that Usenet providers must ensure that there is little or no illegal content on their servers.”

But he also said that both parties had been “partially unsuccessful” and may consider appeal.

With regards to BREIN’s application to the Supreme Court, Kuik said the appeal centres on how commercial providers such as NSE are abusing Usenet to “monetise massive infringement”.

"NSE was aware of the unlawful nature of the so-called ‘binaries’ that they keep available for a long time.”

“For the users, it was clear that they could offer unlimited illegal downloads of the latest content. The creators and producers of that content did not see a penny of returns.”

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