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Re: [tor-talk] Legal problems: TOR relay & Torrents in .de

On 2/17/2013 9:38 AM, Nick Sheppard wrote:
On 04/02/13 12:33, Hendrik Neumann wrote:

I've been running an exit node from my home network for ca. a year or
so. Now I've receviced mail from 21st Century Fox's lawyers in Germany
accusing me of torrenting a movie. Since all I offer via Torrent are
some old PC-BSD-ISOs and "House on Haunted Hill", I'm pretty sure it
must have been a user from the TOR network.

Hi Joe,

Of course you're right, and I could easily be making the wrong assumptions about the regulatory regime where Hendrik is.

Repeat disclaimer:  I'm not a lawyer.  Don't rely on me in court!

At this distance from the facts, all I can really do is point out possibilities, suggest lines of enquiry, and offer encouragement.

There has been one interesting development. The Google search for 'ipoque GmbH 21st Century Fox' (time set to 'past year') that gave no results yesterday now gives four hits. One is my own post. The others are in German and do seem relevant:


seems to be describing Hendrik's situation exactly - so it MAY be genuine; and the other (duplicated) hit is:


which (I think) offers advice about the same situation. I'm relying on very rusty school German and Google Translate, which is not a lot of help! I certainly can't judge whether those sites are genuine.

I have no idea why these two didn't show up in my search yesterday - I was searching in all languages. Maybe Google's search engines were prompted by that to cast their net a little wider?

Any use, Hendrik?

Nick Sheppard
Thanks Nick. I "translated" the 1st page you linked. It's a bit rough, but the main theme seems to reference downloading, P2P sharing, etc., of the file(s) and possibly ? hosting the file for d/l. A Tor relay does none of those things, unless Hendrik also did some d/l'g from the same Tor IP. Assuming he did NOT:

The lawyers may / may not know how a Tor relay works. They may not care. They may just cast as wide a net as possible & see what they can haul in. They likely don't care if persons are actually guilty, as long as they make money. They know / hope a certain # of people will pay out of fear / ignorance or because they actually d/l a copy righted movie / game. Lawyers regularly try to get money out of persons having no legal liability to pay anything.

The lawyers are either ignorant how a Tor relay works or just on a fishing expedition. They may / may not know Hendrick hosts some torrents & figure he had a hand in torrenting this movie. Again, they probably don't care if he's guilty of anything, as long as he pays. If I were to run an exit relay (which I probably wouldn't - for this type reason - until things change), I would not host torrents on the same server, even though they may not be copy righted. It could create appearance you're also in both the torrent hosting & Tor relay business.

If Hendrik hasn't left any details out (intentionally or not), he doesn't seem to fit into the type persons they're targeting (based on the translated web page). He didn't share the file, didn't d/l it, didn't host it. I would put those details & some other facts / explanations, I mentioned in earlier post (or have a lawyer do it) & send a certified, return receipt letter to them. I'm guessing in Germany, they have the burden of proving he ACTUALLY did something illegal. Other than explaining the facts, as a good faith act, he doesn't have the burden of proving he's innocent (AFAIK). Certainly not in response to what's basically a form letter.

Unless in Germany, you're responsible for anything someone d/l's through your server. But then, as I said, the ISPs would quickly go bankrupt. Unless they have "special immunity" from such liability.
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