Bahnhof accuses Spridningskollen of trademark infringement and has demanded the shutdown of its website.
Spridningskollen’s business model is the same as US copyright trolls. It searches websites looking for IP addresses, gets a court order to identify the user and then threatens them with either a fine or an expensive court case. Few cases get to court.
Spridningskollen (Distribution Check) uses data gathered by German anti-piracy outfit Excipio, they plan to start by targeting around 1,000 alleged pirates, offering them settlements of around $233.
Spridningskollen spokesman Gordon Odenbark said the process was like speed cameras, where torrent users risk a ‘fine’ if they get caught. This will generate revenue, but could also act as a deterrent, preventing other people from violating rightsholders’ rights.
But Swedish ISP Bahnhof says it has a claim on the “spridningskollen” trademark.
Bahnhof set up the site and the trademark to warn the public about the looming flood of settlement requests. It launched the site Spridningskollen.org, which they say maps the “spread of extortion letters” from copyright holders.
Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung said that it was surprising that those who claim to defend intellectual property rights don’t track it better themselves and it says a lot about the quality level of their so-called initiative.
Karlung wants the hovernment to reform copyright law to prevent excessive and overbroad enforcement tactics.