Big Content trolls have issued bills to Germans who visited a porn website and streamed content.
Like most copyright trolls, the a Swiss-based firm that owns the content hosted by porn site Redtube hopes that Germans will be too deeply shocked that it becomes known that they visited a porn site and just pay up before it gets to court.
According to Chip.de the unnamed Swiss company is demanding $344 for each clip watched so you could be in for a stiff bill.
The law firm U+C which has been hired by the company claims to have received a go ahead from a local court, and as many as ten thousand warnings may have been sent to users, for porn shows watched in August.
But German online publication Stern thinks that the court in Cologne may have issued a wrong verdict, and should not have allowed lawyers of to go forward and ask ISPs to disclose names and addresses associated with the IPs which allegedly streamed the porn shows.
Under German law, online streaming is not the same as filesharing. Users streaming shows are simply watching content that is hosted on a different site, whether it is legal or illegal. Users were not aware whether the shows they streamed were obtained legally by Redtube, as the site did not say.
The feeling is that any court will chunk the case, but there will not be many Germans who want to go to court and proudly say, “I saw donkey porn” but I did it legally.
It is not clear how their IPs were actually shared with the law firm sending out the warnings in the first place, but their privacy has clearly been violated in some sort of way.
Chip.de suggests that these users may have been targeted with malware that harvested their IP addresses in order to be later used in such legal proceedings. If that is the case, the Swiss company could find itself on the receiving end of criminal charges.