VPN provider bans BitTorrent after getting sued by film studios


“No logs” VPN provider TorGuard has reached a legal settlement this month with over two dozen movie studios that sued the company for encouraging piracy and copyright infringement.

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

TorGuard VPN to block torrents using firewall

Last year, over two dozen film studios had sued TorGuard, claiming the VPN provider maintained no logs and encouraged online piracy through its marketing efforts.

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

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

TorGuard will “use commercially reasonable efforts to block BitTorrent traffic on its servers in the United States using firewall technology,” reveal the documents:

TorGuard blames host for ignoring over 100,000 piracy notices

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

Some of these servers were used by TorGuard to offer SOCKS5 proxy services to its customers.

TorGuard’s Knowedgebase (KB) had detailed instructions on how its proxy servers could be configured by customers to work with existing BitTorrent clients: 

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

Note, unlike with VPNs, traffic routed through SOCKS5 proxy servers is by default unencrypted, making it possible for intermediary hosting providers to gain visibility into the network flows, should they choose to.

Records produced by the film studios show that 97,640 copyright infringement notices were sent to QuadraNet confirming instances of piracy at the SOCKS5 IPs assigned to TorGuard.

An additional, 47,219 notices confirmed piracy associated with other TorGuard IP addresses, through November 2021.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys shared an Excel spreadsheet with TorGuard showing 250,000 “hit dates of confirmed infringement.” Of these…