Bulgarian actions against online piracy – "collateral damage"

By EDRi · May 23, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Bulgarian authorities went beyond the EU limits in investigating Internet
users and website owners in 2005 according to MEP Antonyia Parvanova who
thinks the Bulgarian officials have caused the bankruptcy of some Internet
clubs and brought serious damages to a website owner by prosecuting people
who had not actually committed any crime.

She believes that these cases should be investigated and she stated she
would address this matter to the European Commission to verify whether the
actions of the Bulgarian authorities did not infringe the European laws,
especially article 11 of the Chapter of Human Rights.

Rumen Petkov, Bulgaria’s Minister of Interior, stated the actions involving
the serisure of all the equipment of some Internet clubs followed by very
strong mass media coverage had been triggered by EU pressure to “control
Internet piracy”.

The case was dismissed after two years of litigation, the Internet clubs
were found not guilty and the equipment was returned but the clubs has
already gone bankrupt and the equipment was already outdated.

Actions were also taken against the “black boards” where users post and
exchange what they have. One of these actions was against ArenaBG.com, one
of the most popular websites of this kind. As a result of the police raids
and prosecution the owner was out of business. According to Parvanova, due
to the publicity created around the case and to false reports regarding his
wealth he had to hide for fear of being kidnapped.

These cases were brought to the attention of Parvanova by representatives of
EDRI-member Internet Society Bulgaria.

Bulgarian crackdown on “pirate” Internet captures no one (12.05.2007)

EDRi-gram – Bulgarian Police ordered ISPs to block US-based torrent tracker