Info World has just informed the IPKat that Switzerland has warned Logistep, a company that tracks file-sharers for copyright infringements, that its tactics violate Swiss telecommunication law. Under Swiss law, the identity of a subscriber to an ISP can only be revealed for the purpose of a criminal case, not a civil one, since the IP address of a computer controlled by a subscriber is considered "personal" information. To protect its position, Logistep has asked Swiss prosecutors to open criminal cases. A civil action is then initiated against the file sharer while the criminal case is ongoing. At this point, it seems that prosecutors usually drop the criminal case and leave everything to the civil action. Logistep has until 9 February to respond to the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner.
Left: starting young - Logistep training its staff on the latest dodging techniques
The IPKat concedes that Logistep's tactics so far have been a neat way of dodging the Swiss telecoms laws. But file-sharing is a neat way of escaping the likelihood of an action for copyright infringement and that's also a sort of dodge.
Meanwhile, the IPKat's friend and fellow blogger Tomasz Rychlicki has sent him this link to an item from Sophos about the first arrest of a computer virus writer in Japan -- for copyright infringement. According to this news item:
"Police in Kyoto have arrested three men, who are said to have been involved in a plot to infect users of the P2P file-sharing network Winny with a Trojan horse that displayed images of popular anime characters while wiping music and movie files. The malware, which has been dubbed Harada in media reports, is believed to be related to the Pirlames Trojan horse which Sophos reported intercepting in Japan last year.Noting that the effect of this virus was to erase shared files, the IPKat can't help wondering about the motivation of the virus writers. Were they just seeing what they could achieve, or did they have some inherent moral or economic ground upon which to oppose file-sharing?
According to Japanese media reports, the three men have admitted their involvement in the crime. Masato Nakatsuji, a 24-year-old student, is said to have written the malware, while 39-year-old Shoji Sakai and Katsuhisha Ikema, 35, are said to have distributed the malicious code via Winny.
The Pirlames Trojan, which is believed to be related to the arrests in Japan, was distributed via Winny and displayed cartoon images.
"Normally you would expect malware writers to be arrested for breaking into computers with their code or damaging data, but in this case he is accused of breaching copyright because he used cartoon graphics without permission in his Trojan horse. Because this is the first arrest in Japan of a virus writer it's likely to generate a lot of attention and there will be many people watching to see the outcome," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Malware is truly a global menace, impacting on every user of the internet, and it is good to see police around the world doing their bit to tackle the problem." ..."