VPN provider bans BitTorrent after getting sued by film studios


“No logs” VPN company TorGuard has attained a legal settlement this thirty day period with over two dozen film studios that sued the company for encouraging piracy and copyright infringement.

In the settlement, TorGuard has agreed to block BitTorrent traffic for its consumers.

TorGuard VPN to block torrents utilizing firewall

Very last yr, about two dozen movie studios experienced sued TorGuard, declaring the VPN supplier maintained no logs and encouraged on the web piracy by way of its advertising initiatives.

The same established of plaintiffs had earlier demanded $10 million in “damages” from another log-less VPN company, LiquidVPN.

According to court paperwork obtained by BleepingComputer, each the film studios and VPNetworks, LLC  d.b.a. TorGuard, have now agreed to attain a settlement in which the VPN service provider will block torrents on its network.

TorGuard will “use commercially reasonable efforts to block BitTorrent targeted visitors on its servers in the United States applying firewall technologies,” expose the files:

TorGuard blames host for ignoring over 100,000 piracy notices

Because June 2012, TorGuard had been leasing servers and IP addresses from internet hosting provider QuadraNet, until late 2021 when the VPN company notified QuadraNet that it was terminating the support.

Some of these servers ended up applied by TorGuard to offer SOCKS5 proxy products and services to its shoppers.

TorGuard’s Knowedgebase (KB) had thorough recommendations on how its proxy servers could be configured by customers to perform with existing BitTorrent consumers: 

setting up TorGuard SOCKS5 server with BitTorrent
TorGuard SOCKS5 proxy servers can be utilized with BitTorrent clients

Take note, not like with VPNs, visitors routed through SOCKS5 proxy servers is by default unencrypted, making it attainable for intermediary web hosting suppliers to gain visibility into the community flows, should really they decide on to.

Records created by the film studios exhibit that 97,640 copyright infringement notices ended up sent to QuadraNet confirming scenarios of piracy at the SOCKS5 IPs assigned to TorGuard.

An further, 47,219 notices verified piracy linked with other TorGuard IP addresses, by November 2021.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys shared an Excel spreadsheet with TorGuard showing 250,000 “hit dates of verified infringement.” Of these records, about 40% of copyright infringement instances had been involved with one SOCKS5 IP address by itself that experienced been provisioned to TorGuard.

“Since website traffic on TorGuard’s SOCKS5 proxy servers is not encrypted,… QuadraNet could have employed conventional community checking resources to seize details packets of the piracy and affirm the piracy in the notices plaintiffs despatched to QuadraNet,” argue the plaintiffs’ legal professionals.

The movie studios even further argue that network monitoring technologies like deep packet inspection could have been used to reply to piracy notices and block infringing flows.

TorGuard has blamed the mishap on its web hosting company, QuadraNet for failing to well timed forward copyright violation notices to TorGuard’s registered DMCA agent.

“TorGuard values mental house rights of other individuals, as mentioned in TorGuard’s publicly posted guidelines. Experienced QuadraNet sent these notices to our DMCA agent, TorGuard’s everyday small business practices would have been to quickly get methods to prevent even further piracy.”

When TorGuard notified QuadraNet that it was terminating its relationship with the internet hosting supplier, “Quadranet experimented with to persuade TorGuard to continue company by giving diverse conditions,” condition the court docket files.

It is a frequent practice in the internet hosting sector for a service provider to “null route” a subscriber’s IP deal with, successfully terminating a community link, the place it has obtained numerous notices of copyright infringement linked with an IP tackle.

“If QuadraNet had null routed one particular of the IP addresses assigned to TorGuard where plaintiffs sent notices or at minimum forwarded the notices to TorGuard’s DMCA agent, TorGuard would have taken immediate techniques to halt more piracy such as suspending customers and adopting a firewall to filter out BitTorrent targeted visitors as it has now begun to do,” points out the VPN company.

In September 2021, the exact same group of movie studios had sued QuadraNet for not null-routing infringing VPN IPs. The good thing is even though, the plaintiff’s before grievance centered all over VPN (encrypted) traffic and built no mention of SOCKS5 proxies.

As this sort of, the court docket had to dismiss the lawsuit and side with QuadraNet who claimed it had no visibility into encrypted VPN targeted traffic and “was in no way knowledgeable of the conclude users’ online action” on its servers.