Downloading of torrents in Germany

285 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi All,

 

Well this may sound naive or plain stupid, but nevertheless...

 

I'm relatively new to Munich and just got an internet connection at home.

 

Would like to know how 'safe' is it to download torrents (mostly movies) in Germany. Is the internet traffic strictly monitored? Would consider it a complete 'no-no' or it's ok if done moderately?

 

Any experiences are appreciated.

 

Ady

 

Related topic: Accused of downloading illegal torrents

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Posted

Quite simply, there is no way to know what the risks are. There is always a chance that you will get a letter from either a lawyer or your local police station threatening legal action. My own view is that torrent downloading is now so widespread that the chances of being prosecuted become smaller and smaller every day.

If you are downloading copyrighted material, then you are committing an offence, just bear that in mind.

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Posted

It's a civil offence, not a criminal offence. A few leecher lawyers in Germany have been entrapping MP3 downloaders, so don't be surprised to receive an invoice in the post if you download popular MP3s.

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Posted

Our 'Vorratsdatenspeicherung' law requires every provider with a user base of over 10,000 to log all communications (landline, mobile and internet) without actual content, meaning they will log your connection data (sender, receiver, time, duration, location). The data has to be stored for 6 months.

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Posted

Probably won't be downloading many mp3s but some english movies that are atleast an year old or more.

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Posted

 

Our 'Vorratsdatenspeicherung' law requires every provider with a user base of over 10,000 to log all communications (landline, mobile and internet) without actual content, meaning they will log your connection data (sender, receiver, time, duration, location). The data has to be stored for 6 months.

... and how would someone get access to that data?

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Posted

Only with a court order as part of an active/ongoing Criminal case.

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Posted

For the moment, yes. The law is under review by the constitutional court. The original law states that the government can access the data at any time without a warrant. This part has been invalidated by a preliminary injunction until the case is decided.

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Posted

It's not OKAY to do it, but there are people downloading regardless.

 

So long as you're not doing a massive amount of downloading, then it shouldn't be a problem.

 

Then again, there was that one woman taken to court in the UK for only downloading music 24 times.

 

Do it at your own risk, i say.

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Posted

I'm trying to download Series 6 and 7 of the Shield. Piratebay seems pretty limited right now. What's the name of that other file sharing site, very popular, and a good alternative to Pirate Bay? The name I forget.

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Posted

 

Only with a court order as part of an active/ongoing Criminal case.

Thank you Darkknight. Just the answer I was looking for.

 

 

There is always a chance that you will get a letter from either a lawyer or your local police station threatening legal action.

So how would a lawyer (especially) know who to send the letter to, or who would tell the police such that they can suspect an alleged miscreant in the first place?

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Posted

 

So how would a lawyer (especially) know who to send the letter

If its anything like the US, they send the letter with IP address date/time details to the ISP who forwards on the letter to you.

 

 

Piratebay seems pretty limited right now.

Seeing as TPB was bought-up and will be used for a legit service, I'd say the pickings there will get even more limited.

Google is your friend so Search... Perhaps you will find a site like Mininova

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Posted

 

If its anything like the US, they send the letter with IP address date/time details to the ISP who forwards on the letter to you.

Nice one, DK. I'll feed, you eat.

So lawyer has sent letter to ISP. ISP sends letter to alleged perpetrator (if that really happens, and ignoring the fact it seems we are not in the US). ISP is not allowed to tell lawyer who that is. Alleged perpetrator throws letter away. What next?

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Posted

Nothing. Without the users details the Lawyers have nobody to go after. The lawyers would have to go to a judge and convince him

that in order to proceed with their case they must have the users details. Only if the judge agrees and issues a warrant will the ISP

be forced to supply the details.

 

DTAG has in the past provided user details to lawyers for criminal activity without a court order, but I doubt they continue to do it,

as after it was made public, many people complained. The other side is that many state judges and public prosecutors have already

gone on record saying they will not help the ??AA orgs. any longer as file sharing is a petty crime and not worth their time unless

the user is sharing a significant number of files.

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Posted

Thank you again DK - so the lawyer must have good reason and sufficient evidence to pursue their case and be able present a case that the alleged perpetrator has committed said crime, and they need this data to prove it, right?.

 

Now let me give you a hypothetical case:

 

A male Indian gentleman, (let's call him "Ady") born 24.01.1979, married (no kids, but wife not working) originally from Pune, speaking native Marathi, second language English, living in Maxvorstadt, Munich. Hobbies include Tennis and hiking. Ady relocated with his company for whom he has worked over 3 years to Germany in late 2008/early 2009, and is working in the IT sector (he has a Batchelors degree in Computer Science, 8 years of experience in software development, mainly in C++ and C#, so as you see pretty clued up in the computer world). Uses a mobile telephone on pre-paid contract from Congstar (not especially relevant to the case, but demonstrates he is careful with his money) and owns an Ipod. Has stated in a public internet forum that he is interested in downloading MP3 files and English movies, possibly even a significant number of files as he needs to feed his IPod, keep his wife at home occupied and may not want to spend the money on a more expensive satellite service.

 

Now I'd say there was sufficient information for preliminary identification of Ady and supposition of a potential crime, wouldn't you? Maybe even enough to approach a court to force the ISP to impart further data?

 

It's all hypothetical of course, but I'd appreciate your valuable and informed opinion.

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Posted

While it's clearly illegal (copyright infringement is a civil offence in most countries, not sure about this one) it seems from the comments of people here and my own googling that the state has little interest in wasting spending our money on pursuing millions of people for this petty infringement/crime.

 

That leaves the internet 'investigators' and dodgy law firms who sometimes lurk on P2P networks noting which IPs upload what and then going to court to get the details behind the IP from the ISP. From there they might send either a warning letter or letter demanding several hundred Euros or so or they'll sue you. Sounds scary but you'd have to be pretty unlucky to have it happen and apparently when they tried it in Britain a lot of people simply ignored the letters with no consequences - they were mainly a bluff on flimsy evidence.

 

And finally there's the dreaded 3-strikes law which doesn't seem to have got far even as an election promise in Germany (http://www.telemedicus.info/article/1379-CDUCSU-Three-Strikes-Verfahren-in-Deutschland-Update.html), let alone France where it was found that it violated some silly old laws from 1789 about 'presumption of innocence' etc. (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/10/france_three_strikes_hadopi_suspended/)

 

This isn't legal advice and you should do your own research and make up your own mind, but I think you'd have to be pretty unlucky for anything to happen.

 

If only TPB would turn into a legitimate service with decent prices and no restrictions we could put all this stupid nonsense behind us and the media companies would get the money they think they're entitled to finally, of course those same media companies would never allow that to happen.

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Posted

 

Probably won't be downloading many mp3s but some english movies that are at least an year old or more.

I do not know what the copyright laws are in the UK but I am sure copyright lasts longer than one year. All the people that put money into a movie project are looking at DVD sales as part of there revenue stream, and as a result of your download they loose that sale.

 

The following is a little snippet from the U.S. Copyright Law of Oct 2007 Chapter 3,

§ 302 · Duration of copyright:

 

Works created on or after January 1, 1978

(a.) In General.—Copyright in a work created on or after January 1, 1978, subsists from its creation and, except as provided by the following subsections, endures for a term consisting of the life of the author and 70 years after the author’s death.

(b.) Joint Works.—In the case of a joint work prepared by two or more authors who did not work for hire, the copyright endures for a term consisting of the life of the last surviving author and 70 years after such last surviving author’s death.

(c.) Anonymous Works, Pseudonymous Works, and Works Made for Hire.—In the case of an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication, or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first. If, before the end of such term, the identity of one or more of the authors of an anonymous or pseudonymous work is revealed in the records of a registration made for that work under subsections (a.) or (d.) of section 408, or in the records provided by this subsection, the copyright in the work endures for the term specified by subsection (a.) or (b.), based on the life of the author or authors whose identity has been revealed. Any person having an interest in the copyright in an anonymous or pseudonymous work may at any time record, in records to be maintained by the Copyright Office for that purpose, a statement identifying one or more authors of the work; the statement shall also identify the person filing it, the nature of that person’s interest, the source of the information recorded, and the particular work affected, and shall comply in form and content with requirements that the Register of Copyrights shall prescribe by regulation.

 

Note: "When you put a "b" inside () the result is ==> ( B) , so the "b" has been modified to "b." with in the text as well as all others.

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Posted

About 7 years ago, my (then) girlfriends sister went on a trip for 2 weeks and sublet her apartment to a friend. For some reason, (god knows why because this is something I would never do), she left her computer there for anyone and everyone to have access to.

About a week after she got home, she received a letter from the local police requesting that she bring her computer in for 'inspection'.

This actually happened, I don't know what her friends had been downloading, i'm guessing shit loads of music, as torrents were not a very well established technology back then.

As far as I know, nothing came of it, I suppose it's possible the police were testing out laws at their disposal which may well now be defunct, but it got me thinking when I heard it.

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Posted

people who are quoting how it is in different countries have again, missed the fact that (often on TT), you are LIVING IN GERMANY. Laws of other countries are absolutely MEANINGLESS.

 

As it so happens, the legal hoops one has to jump through to prosecute somebody effectively makes it very safe for the torrent downloader in germany, it is pretty safe and you shouldn't worry about it.

 

Though, you should ensure you are untraceable as possible, and install a program such as Peer Guardian 2.

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