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ANALYSIS: GDPR Fails to Shield Virgin from Porn Trolls’ Probe

Aug. 19, 2019, 12:00 PM

Virgin Media invoked the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as a shield against copyright trolls seeking to expose the identities of Virgin’s broadband subscribers. While the Virgin customers alleged to have downloaded pornographic movies were not unmasked, the GDPR did not keep them veiled; the trolls themselves botched their chance.

In this type of litigation, “trolls” are copyright holders or licensees who file infringement suits against John Does alleged to have acquired copyrighted content illegally. Armed with only an IP address, trolls seek names and addresses via court orders requiring ISPs to disclose customer account information. Trolls then send...

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