Last week there was a big bang at Germany's largest file hosting portal: Share-Online.biz was confiscated by the authorities. The operators are in custody. The allegation is illegal distribution of pirated copies.
The big question now is: Can the users of Share-Online.biz also be legally prosecuted? Are there warnings?
6 to 10 million users hosted file hosting on Share-Online.biz every month. Authorities in three countries have now put an end to this. Evidence was secured in raids in Germany, the Netherlands and France. According to the authorities, these are "incredible amounts of data".
The platform itself was shut down, the three operators are charged. By spreading copyright-protected series, films and other things, in ten years they have generated over 10 million euros, according to the public prosecutor.
Did the users of Share-Online.biz act illegally as well?
The operators of Share-Online.biz have committed - so it looks - a crime. Pirated copies are no longer a trivial offense today. But what does this mean for the users? One thing is clear: in principle, the authors of the affected works could issue warnings. According to the entrusted with the case Cologne prosecutor's office, it is conceivable that users who have carried out uploads, very well move into the focus of the investigation. If the authorities come to the user data.
Can the Share-Online.biz users be identified?
But this is not that easy: Because it may be that only Share-Online.biz knows the IP addresses of the users and does not save them at all. And even if they do, Internet service providers may only save the addresses for a short time. It is different, however, if Share-Online.biz has logged the real names of the users. This makes it easy to research users.
In general, users had to register with Share-Online.biz to participate in a bonus points system. According to the motto, whoever does the most popular uploads gets more points etc.
Warnings are possible!
An author, whose work as a pirated copy on Share-Online.biz could demand the publication of the data and warn the user. This can cost a few hundred euros. A Warning would only be justified if the user should have clearly recognized that he is acting illegally.
For example, if he streamed a film that wasn't even in the cinema. However, if the act of further dissemination is missing, a warning is not necessarily to be expected. The responsible public prosecutor told Spiegel that "as a rule" both ups and downs Downloads constitute criminal offenses. That's probably a matter of opinion.
Public prosecutor's office is planning to identify mainly "top uploaders" from Share-Online.biz
The first step is to investigate the operators. Then you will "look, if we also Uploader and possibly also Downloadhe can identify ". And: "The focus is on the top uploaders." So it could be that some Share-File.biz users get problems ...
Do not forget: one VPN can successfully disguise your identity if he does not keep log files!