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Copyright Infringement Battle in Romania
For a long time this European country had no troubles with file-sharing related lawsuits, since there were none. But that peacefulness ended when vPlay.ro was targeted by the CNA (local Council For Audio-Visual). The website in question is currently the best portal that hosts different TV series, most of which are made in the United States.
First of all, Romania’s copyright legislation doesn’t differ much from the rest of the Europe, which means that if Internet user gets caught downloading illegal content they risk going to prison for one to four years. Nevertheless, no case of copyright violation has been registered in Romania thus far, at least not one noted by the press. Taking this into account, CNA’s only job was to filter what they saw fit. In the meantime, vPlay.ro has been offering its services for over two years now, and not without success. However, a few days ago there was an announcement made, saying that the portal might go offline very soon. The first question the industry observers had was: why now? Apparently, it’s not likely for the anti-piracy outfit to not know about the portal. So, why now?
Like the entertainment industries throughout the globe, the anti-piracy outfit wants to protect its own pocket, particularly if it suddenly grows thicker. Recently, PRO TV, one of the country’s most po****r TV channels, started a site called voyo.ro, and it was about local TV series: on Voyo people can watch PRO TV’s shows for a nominal fee.
Of course, opening the site wasn’t enough. Another thing they did was to force down one of the po****r Internet service providers (RCS-RDS) to choke the broadband of their subscribers who visited vplay.ro (although this fact was never officially admitted by the parties). As a result, the ISP complied, but just for a while. In a month, the broadband provider decided to lift the traffic limit, and PRO TV responded with filing a complain to the anti-piracy outfit. The CNA has informed the police about the content of this portal and 41 others. Some of them have been already closed down.
Romania seems to be shaken by this copyright infringement, and the protests are already taking shape, both online and offline. The experts can’t predict what will follow, but it will be interesting to see anyway.