News Roundup 30 January 2017

BREIN shuts down ‘Pirate Cinema’ on Facebook

The anti-piracy group BREIN has shut down a popular Facebook page that functioned as an online cinema by live-streaming popular films to tens of thousands of followers. The page was operated by a Dutch man, who has been charged with an ex-parte court order though has agreed to a €7,500 settlement. This is the first case of its kind concerning a Facebook Live streaming page. In early 2012 BREIN brought a landmark lawsuit against Pirate Bay, which led to widespread questioning of the legality of P2P file-sharing in the Netherlands.

In this recent case, the page, LiveBioscoop (Live Cinema), was started by a 23-year-old from Rotterdam. Anyone can post an infringing video or song on the Facebook page, which regularly streams films with the help of Facebook’s very own live streaming service. In only a short space of time, the site attracted 25,000 followers, who could vote on films that should be streamed next.

Facebook Live pirate stream
Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN has shut down a popular Facebook page that streamed movies to tens of thousands of followers.

The site then came to the attention of the Dutch press last week when the newspaper the AD reported on the activity of LiveBioscoop and Livebios. BREIN later said they would investigate the issue. The operator of the page was confronted by the anti-piracy group and charged with an ex-parte court order from a local court. The man agreed to stop infringing and signed a settlement of €7,500. The Facebook page is still running but infringements have stopped.

BREIN director Tim Kuik said the following:

“This is just stealing revenue from cinemas and rightsholders. It has to end as soon as possible. That is why we have opted for an ex parte injunction with a penalty, instead of first issuing a summons”.

The other ‘pirate cinema’ on Facebook wasn’t referred to by BREIN but is no longer accessible. The site operator decided to voluntarily take it down to avoid potential problems.

Trump signs off on ‘no privacy for non-Americans’ order

In a recent executive order, US president Donald Trump seems to have undermined an essential data sharing agreement between the United States and Europe. On an executive order targeting immigrants into the US, one section in particular noted data protections that would not be extended beyond US citizens or permanent residents in the country.

Section 14 of the Enhancing Public Safety order reads:

“Agencies shall, to the extent consistent with applicable law, ensure that their privacy policies exclude persons who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents from the protections of the Privacy Act regarding personally identifiable information”.

In this case, agencies refer to the NSA, the FBI and other integral government-related organizations. The order directly contradicts a central component of the new Privacy Shield agreement between the US and Europe that provides core legal safeguards for the transfer of data between US and European businesses. The agreement is intended to ensure non-Americans are not treated as second-class citizens by US organizations.

The privacy framework was developed quickly last year after the previous Safe Harbour arrangement was ruled illegal by Europe’s highest court in October 2015. Having been in place for six months, it is still on probation in relation to Europe’s data protection policy, and it’s fairly certain it will be challenged in the courts.

Trump Enhancing Public Safety Order
US President Donald Trump has signed off a new, privacy diminishing order targeting immigrants to the United States. Source: Pixabay

The European Commission released the following statement: “The US Privacy Act has never offered data protection rights to Europeans.” The statement identifies two new pieces of legislation that it believes make the new Privacy Shield legal under European law. “The Commission negotiated two additional instruments to ensure that EU citizens’ data is duly protected when transferred to the US:

  • The EU-US Privacy Shield, which does not rely on the protections under the US Privacy Act;
  • The EU-US Umbrella Agreement, which enters into force on 1 February.

To finalise this agreement the US Congress adopted a new law last year, the US Judicial Redress Act, which extends the benefits of the US Privacy Act to Europeans and gives them access to US courts.”

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