After an injunction obtained by two movie studios against an ISP with alleged links to The Pirate Bay was dismissed, the parties have returned to court demanding that VPN provider OVPN hands over information relating to the notorious site. OVPN informs TF they will fight the injunction “the entire way”.
Early June, movie companies Svensk Filmindustri and Nordisk Film, supported by anti-piracy partner Rights Alliance, obtained an IP address from Cloudflare which they hoped would lead to The Pirate Bay.
The parties subsequently went to court in Sweden and obtained an injunction compelling local ISP Obenetwork, to which the parties had linked the address, to hand over information about its dealings with the site.
It soon became clear that the IP address wasn’t operated by Obenetwork and had actually been allocated to Swedish VPN provider OVPN. As a result, the Stockholm District Court threw out the injunction but the movie companies weren’t done just yet.
New Court Injunction Targeting OVPN
Undeterred by this setback, the movie companies and Rights Alliance returned to court last week demanding that OVPN, on pain of financial penalties, should hand over customer information relating to the IP address including name and address, how long the service had been used for, and how much was paid for it.
“The defendant [OVPN] sells VPN services. A VPN service means that the traffic was tunneled off the original [IP address] via a VPN service and then out to the internet. This means that only the VPN service’s [IP-address] is publicly visible,” the application reviewed by TF reads.
Citing an earlier TF interview with OVPN, the applicants stated that they now believe the IP address does belong to the VPN provider and was in use by The Pirate Bay early June. Furthermore, in common with the matter against Obenetwork, the applicants asked the court to keep OVPN in the dark about the application. However, according to OVPN’s David Wibergh, that was unsuccessful.
Case is Already Public Knowledge, Secrecy Unjustified
“The Rights Alliance filed that we should not be involved, but the court overruled that decision and referenced that we were already made aware of the circumstances due to [TorrentFreak’s] article where I was quoted,” Wibergh informs TF.
“The Rights Alliance requested a penalty of 100,000 SEK if we did not provide the requested information, as well as a penalty of 100,000 SEK in case we delete any user information connected to who had the IP address at the specified time, i.e penalties connected to information that we don’t have.”
OVPN Will Fight the Injunction
As previously reported, OVPN states that its entire structure is built to ensure that no logs can be stored, with servers locked in cabinets and operated without hard drives. The studios are seeking names and addresses, the length of time the service was in use, and how much was paid for it.
However, while OVPN could in theory have a username it could hand over, there is no requirement for its customers to provide physical or email addresses, or pay with anything other than Bitcoin or cash.
“We are responding to the court order [Wednesday], as we were made aware of it [Monday] and were only given 48 hours to provide a response,” Wibergh informs TF.
“We have retained legal counsel and are contesting the injunction in court. As always, we are prepared to go the entire way to ensure our customers’ privacy and safety.”
Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.