TDC, Denmark’s largest ISP has decided to block access to The Pirate Bay. TDC took the step following an earlier decision made by a Danish judge who ordered another ISP, Tele2, to do the same. The case is currently under appeal, but TDC
decided to block the BitTorrent tracker as a precaution.
Last year the music industry lobby group IFPI started a case against Tele2, arguing that the ISP was aiding in copyright infringement because it allowed its users to access The Pirate Bay. They did so successfully, as the judge agreed that the
ISP could indeed be held accountable for the traffic its users generate.
IFPI welcomed this proclaimed landmark decision, and put other Internet providers on notice that it would go after them too, warning them to block The Pirate Bay - or else. These threats now appear to have borne fruit. As of today, the largest
ISP in Denmark (TDC) is blocking access to The Pirate Bay.
The Danish case is currently being appealed, and Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde told TorrentFreak earlier: We’re confident that Tele2 will win in the Supreme Court, when they [the court] really dig into the technology and try to
understand the whole concept. It’s important for net neutrality and it’s also important for file sharers in Denmark to have this tried (and won).
The most high-profile anti-piracy case in recent years begins on Monday when four men behind the world's largest filesharing website will stand trial in Sweden.
The team behind The Pirate Bay, which has more than 22 million active users worldwide, are due to appear in Stockholm district court, accused of assisting copyright infringement.
The website does not host any material but acts as a search engine for more than a million torrents , small files that act as pointers allowing people to download copies of music tracks, movies and television shows.
Media and music companies, led by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), have argued that Pirate Bay promotes copyright infringement, and has made millions of pounds in profits since launching in 2003. They are claiming
more than $100m in damages.
Pirate Bay has said its activities are legal under Swedish law because it does not host the material, acting only as a search engine. It has also denied making large profits, saying any money raised through advertising and donations goes into the
maintenance of the site.
The defendants include three of the website's co-founders Fredik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, but prosecutors also charged one of the site's donors, Swedish dotcom millionaire Carl Lundström.
If found guilty, the men could face up to two years in prison and a fine of £100,000 - as well as any damages the court may award.
On only the second day of the most high-profile case yet in the music and film industries' campaign against illegal file-sharing, the chief prosecutor in the Pirate Bay trial at a court in Sweden has dropped half of the charges against the four
The charges dropped are those which relate specifically to assisting copyright infringement, with the case now confined to adjudicating on the question of whether those on trial were responsible for assisting making available copyrighted material.
Everything related to reproduction will be removed from the claim, confirmed Prosecutor Håkan Roswall.
All four defendants linked to the file sharing website PirateBay have been found guilty of assisting in making copyright content available.
Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström were each sentenced to 1 year in prison with a $905,000 fine.
The prosecution claimed that the four defendants were assisting in making copyright content available and demanded millions of dollars in damages. The four all pleaded not guilty.
The court has found that by using Pirate Bay’s services there has been file-sharing of music, films and computer games to the extent the prosecutor has stated in his case, said the district court: This file-sharing constitutes an
unlawful transfer to the public of copyrighted performances.
The court said that the four defendants worked as a team, were aware that copyrighted material was being shared using The Pirate Bay and that they made it easy and assisted the infringements. It categorized the infringements as severe .
The judge said that the users of The Pirate Bay committed the first offense by sharing files and the four assisted this.
It appears that the court chose to not take any of the technical details into account and only judged based on intent. They find it clear that the intention of the defendants is to facilitate sharing of copyrighted works and based their verdict
While the court did not agree with the plaintiff’s exaggerated estimates of losses, it still set the damages at 30 million SEK ($3,620,000). The judge also stated that the usage of BitTorrent at The Pirate Bay is illegal.
The defense put it to the judge that he had folded under intense political pressure. The judge denied this stating that the court made its decision based on the case presented.
Peter Sunde explained that this decision does not mean the end of the line in this case. There will be an appeal which means we are still far away from the ultimate decision - possibly years away. Any appeal from either side must be submitted to
Sweden’s higher Court by 9th May 2009.
As for the fate of the site, Peter has already promised that The Pirate Bay will continue. The site itself was never on trial, only the four individuals listed above.
Mark Harding, director of intellectual property at KPMG, said the verdict was a big shot across the bows of file-sharing sites. He expects the case will spur prosecutors across the globe, especially in the UK if proposed copyright laws
come into force, to take a tougher stance against file-sharing websites. But warned that only a sea change in consumer’s attitude to downloading will put end to the practice.
Simon Levene, joint head of DLA Piper’s intellectual property division, warned that the ruling could also have implications for legitimate websites, including Google, Facebook and YouTube, which host or provide links to copyright material.
And as Phantom pointed out on the Melon Farmers forum, the decision may have opened up websites to be liable for general illegal content on linked sites. Not just for the narrow copyright infringement mentioned above.
Update: Swedish ISP continue to allow access to PirateBay
After the recent Pirate Bay lawsuit and sentence, there has been a lot of noise made about the questionable attitude of the website, regarding complying with their fines. It seems Swedish internet service providers aren't too keen either;
according to ZeroPaid, they're refusing to block the website because, the ruling applies to those charged and convicted, not to them.
Several UK mobile broadband providers have started to block access to The Pirate Bay as part of a new voluntary code of practice. The reason for the block is not related to copyright infringement, but most likely due to the fact that there are
‘adult’ torrents hosted on the site.
BT Mobile Broadband users are disallowed access to the largest BitTorrent tracker on the Internet, instead they get a “content blocked” message.
The code of practice identifies several types of content that could be harmful to children, and encourages ISPs to filter these type of sites. Among the filtered content are gambling sites, pornographic material and hacking tutorials. BitTorrent
or other file-sharing related sites are not blocked according to the code. It is not clear why The Pirate bay ended up on the block list, but the most plausible reason seems to be their diverse adult torrent collection.
The code doesn’t allow any sexually explicit material, legal or not, and The Pirate Bay does offer ‘links’ to such content, although it doesn’t carry any itself - sound familiar?
Customers who want to lift the block to one of the sites may do so by contacting customer service.
A Swedish court has thrown out a request for a retrial by the four men behind The Pirate Bay website.
The four were found guilty of promoting copyright infringement in April and face jail sentences and hefty claims for damages.
The Pirate Bay's lawyers called for a retrial when it emerged that one of the judges in the case belonged to several copyright protection groups.
The Svea Court of Appeal said Judge Tomas Norstrom should have declared that he was a member of the Swedish Association for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Swedish Copyright Association before the case went to trial: The fact
that he failed to shed light on this does not however mean that there was any wrongdoing during the proceedings that would require a retrial. This was not a case of bias.
No appeal is allowed against the judgement.
In response to the ruling Peter Sunde said The Pirate Bay would now file charges against Sweden for violating the human rights of the defendants.
After the announcement of torrent site The Pirate Bay being sold to Sweden's Global Gaming Factory, which are to be list on the Swedish stock market, it has been learnt that one of the mega-popular site's co-founders, Peter Sunde, has
confirmed comprehensive changes, which might result in the iconic web service switching to a new business model.
The Pirate Bay is also thinking of stopping directly hosting torrents, which are used to connect file sharers with each other.
It should be noted that these announcements have come at a time when the possibility of stiff fines and jail terms to be imposed on the Pirate Bay founders looms large.
It is being predicted by many that it is a good thing for Pirate Bay to decentralize its torrent tracking service and hosting torrents across a range of third party services, since it could discourage any future attempts by the recording industry
and Hollywood, to attack the BitTorrent file sharing service via legal means.
It is also being forecast that soon the Pirate Bay could become a legitimate pay-to-download service, going by an announcement from Global Gaming Factory CEO Hans Pandeya, which confirm that they would work with copyright owners to see that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site.
Film Studios led by Disney, Universal and Columbia have decided that the best way to deal with the filesharing site Pirate Bay is to kill it off for good.
Under the auspices of the MPAA, they have launched a new legal action in the Swedish courts aimed at closing down the site permanently. They say that despite the three founders - Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg - having
been sentenced to a year in the clink, they are nonetheless continuing their nefarious operations.
The suit also alleges that Reservella, the Seychelles-based company that The Pirate Bay founders insist owns the website, is in fact merely a front company owned by Neij. Naturally, the three former Pirate Bay principals deny this.
When Pirate Bay lost the earlier lawsuit brought by International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the entertainment companies it represents in the Swedish courts last April, the founders were also fined $3.6 million. However,
Internet cafe company Global Gaming Foundry said in June it would buy Pirate Bay for $7.8 million and turn it into a legitimate operation. GGF has since had second thoughts and the MPAA has vowed to seize any money from the sale that might end up
in the hands of the Pirate Bay founders.
The Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN has won its court case against The Pirate Bay. The Amsterdam court ruled that the site must cease all operations in The Netherlands within 10 days, or else pay penalties of 30,000 euros ($42,300) a person, per
BREIN's lawyer argued that The Pirate Bay is responsible for millions of copyright infringements every day, and that the site should therefore be blocked to visitors from The Netherlands.
This week the music industry sent an email to several Internet providers in Ireland, asking the companies to block their users' access to The Pirate Bay or face legal action.
In a response to this request, Eircom said it would agree and the ISP will block customers access to the Pirate Bay starting September 1st.
Thus far Eircom is the only ISP that has caved in to the threatening letter. UPC and BT Ireland – two other local ISPs – explicitly denied the request from the music industry and said they would rather fight the issue out in court.
UPC has informed the rights holders that there is no basis under Irish law requiring an ISP to block access to certain websites and that it will not agree to a request that goes beyond what is currently provided for under Irish law, UPC
said in a statement. Should the rights holders proceed with their threat of legal action if UPC fails to block access to Pirate Bay, UPC has every intention of vigorously defending its position in Court.
The entertainment industry's latest attempt to sink Pirate Bay comes just three days before the website is allegedly set to be purchased by the Swedish software firm, Global Gaming Factory X (GGF).
Trading in GGF shares was suspended on Friday and there are reports that the firm's chairman - Magnus Bergman - has resigned.
In an exclusive interview with BBC News, GGF's chief, Hans Pandeya, said that the acquisition of The Pirate Bay would go ahead on 27 August as planned: The Aktietorget - the Swedish stock market - said they wanted more information on
investors, which we said we would release after the acquisition. There are risks and possible lawsuits, and this makes people nervous. None [of the investors] wants to give out their details, otherwise the media will attack them.
Pandeya said he had no knowledge of Mr Bergman's resignation, as reported in the Swedish media, but he added that the company knew he was going to leave soon.
A few weeks ago the entertainment industry managed to convince the Stockholm District Court to order Black Internet, the largest bandwidth provider of Swedish BitTorrent tracker site the Pirate Bay, to cut off service to the site until it
exhausts the remaining appeals of its conviction for copyright infringement.
Their ISP, Black Internet, of course complied, citing the expense and labor of appeal, and the site was partially down for 3hrs while traffic was rerouted to other ISPs.
It's CEO now regrets that decision and plans to appeal. This is a very important question for all ISPs and we can't just lay down, said CEO Victor Möller. The district court made a very controversial decision. The entire ISP
business needs some clarity in this matter. A door has been opened and we don't know what's behind it.
He's finally realized that if a court can order an ISP to block one site then what's to stop it from blocking others? Möller says that he plans to join forces with other ISPs who also think it's wrong for the court to order ISPs to block
file-sharing sites like the Pirate Bay.
A little over a month ago, Global Gaming Factory (GGF) announced that its shareholders had agreed to buy The Pirate Bay – the only thing that stood in their path was the actual money transfer. Today the deadline to transfer the money passed
silently, putting an end to the deal and three turbulent months.
After its previous bandwidth provider had to take the site offline due to concerns over an aggressive Hollywood injunction, The Pirate Bay is back in operation with a surprising new supplier. In a move claimed to stand up for freedom of
expression , the Swedish Pirate Party became the site's new host.
Following an injunction obtained by several major Hollywood movie studios, the previous Pirate Bay bandwidth provider CB3ROB took the decision to take the site offline while it digested the legal implications.
That meant that for several hours The Pirate Bay, for the first time in many months, was taken offline. But it soon returned via the Pirate Party.
Today, on 18 May, the Swedish Pirate Party took over the delivery of bandwidth to The Pirate Bay, says the Party's Rick Falkvinge in a statement: We got tired of Hollywood's cat and mouse game with the Pirate Bay so we decided to offer
the site bandwidth. It is time to take the bull by the horns and stand up for what we believe is a legitimate activity.
The Pirate Party say they will provide bandwidth to the site's homepage and search engine. The Pirate Bay is a search engine, and as such it is not responsible for the results, notes Falkvinge.
Perhaps it was only a matter of time and the idea that a single comprehensive DNS could not last forever, or maybe this new idea is itself doomed to failure.
But however it shakes out in the end, the recent proposal by Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde to create a new peer-to-peer domain name system to compete with ICANN's system is intriguing for some, and terrifying for others.
BREIN, the Dutch entertainment industry trade association, has obtained a court order forcing a proxy provider to close down on the grounds that the site facilitated access to a well known file-sharing website.
In January, the Court of the Hague ordered two of the Netherland's largest broadband providers to block the Pirate Bay via both IP and DNS blocking. However, users were still able to access the site via a number of proxy servers, some created
with the purpose of circumventing the blocking regime.
But last week BREIN obtained an injunction requiring the proxy site tpb.dehomies.nl to close down or face a fine of EUR1000 for every day the site remains online. The trade association immediately contacted the operators of a number of other
proxy servers threatening similar legal action if they refuse to close down their services. At least four complied within a week.
In their ongoing efforts to make The Pirate Bay inaccessible, the Hollywood-backed anti-piracy outfit BREIN is now going after the Dutch Pirate Party. BREIN is demanding that the political party ceases operating a proxy site, and is
threatening to sue.
The Pirate Party is not impressed by the demands and has sent BREIN their response as a torrent, fittingly hosted at The Pirate Bay.
Proxy sites sprung up in the Netherlands to work around ISP blocking of The Pirate Bay. In the space of a few days hundreds of individuals setup proxy websites that allow customers of the ISPs to continue using The Pirate Bay.
Countering this move, local anti-piracy outfit BREIN obtained an injunction from the Court of The Hague which instructed the proxy site tpb.dehomies.nl to shut down or face a 1000 euros a day fine. The group is now using this injunction to press
other site owners to do the same.
Last week the local Pirate Party also received a letter from BREIN, demanding the shutdown of their Pirate Bay proxy site hosted at tpb.piratenpartij.nl. However, unlike the site owners that were previously contacted by the group, the Pirate
Party is not caving in. They would rather fight the case in court.
The Party informed BREIN that the proxy site will stay online. To show that The Pirate Bay can be a useful communication tool the Pirate Party sent the letter through a torrent file, hosted on the BitTorrent site at the center of the dispute.
The demands are ridiculous, Pirate Party chairman Dirk Poot told TorrentFreak:
A private lobbying organization should not be allowed to be the censor of the Dutch internet. We were also amazed to find an ex-parte decision attached, threatening Dutch minors with EUR1000 per day fines for operating their proxy. If we would
have yielded, their trick would immediately be played out against numerous other private citizens.
Last week the Dutch Pirate Party refused to cave in to the demands of Hollywood-backed anti-piracy group BREIN, who ordered the political party to take their Pirate Bay proxy offline. As expected, BREIN didn't let the case rest.The group obtained
an injunction from the Court of The Hague which ordered the Pirates to shutter the proxy within 6 hours, or face a fine of 10,000 euros per day.
So the Pirate Party kept the proxy site offline and consulted with lawyers to see what steps could be taken next. However, BREIN wasn't sitting still either and asked the Court of The Hague for a new injunction, specifically naming the Pirate
This injunction was issued, and the court orders the Pirates to take the proxy offline within 6 hours, or face a penalty of 10,000 euro per day. BREIN successfully argued that the proxy is an immediate threat to the effectiveness of the ISP
blockade, and submitted tweets of Pirate Party chairman who confirmed how much traffic the site received.
Faced with huge fines, the Dutch Pirate Party saw no other option than to take the proxy offline, replacing it with a list of tip and alternative proxies. Monday the Pirate Party will file a request to overturn the injunction, meaning that while
BREIN won the first battle, the war is far from over.
Update: Now Hollywood trade group attempts to gag a political party
The Hollywood-backed anti-piracy outfit BREIN is going all out to make The Pirate Bay inaccessible to the Dutch public. After successfully blocking The Pirate Bay through court, and then censoring proxy sites that linked to it, they are now
demanding that the Pirate Party should be banned from discussing how easily Internet censorship can be circumvented. The political party is baffled by the proposed gag-order and has asked the court to lift all censorship efforts.
The case, in which the Pirate Party asked the court to lift all censorship restrictions, was heard by the court. BREIN, however, did exactly the opposite by submitting a rather broad set of new demands essentially asking the court to gag the
In short BREIN's demands are as follows.
The Pirate Party should be banned from operating a reverse proxy for Pirate Bay
The Pirate Party should be banned from operating a generic proxy service
The Pirate Party should be banned from linking to third-party proxies
The Pirate Party should be banned from listing new IP-addresses / domains Pirate Bay registers
The Pirate Party should be banned from encouraging people to circumvent the Pirate Bay blockade
If the Pirate Party violates the above terms BREIN asked for a penalty of EUR10,000 per day, up to a maximum of EUR250,000.
Needless to say, the demands of the anti-piracy group are unprecedented for a copyright related case. It is essentially a gag-order to enforce a previously obtained court verdict. If the court sides with BREIN this will have rather far-reaching
consequences for people's freedom of speech.
The Court of The Hague has handed down another ruling that restricts access to The Pirate Bay website. The Court has forbidden the Dutch Pirate Party from linking to, operating or listing websites that allow the public to circumvent a local
Pirate Bay blockade. The political party is further ordered to shutdown its reverse proxy indefinitely and block Pirate Bay domains and IP-addresses from its generic proxy.
After two Dutch ISPs were ordered to censor The Pirate Bay earlier this year there was an influx of visitors to Pirate Bay proxy sites. In an attempt to take these proxies offline the Hollywood funded anti-piracy group BREIN obtained an
injunction against one of the sites and used this to convince others to shut down as well.
The list of secondary targets included the local Pirate Party, who initially refused to give in to the demands but were later ordered to take their reverse proxy offline by the court. The Pirate Party claimed that the case against them amounted
to a restriction of their freedom of speech, and sued BREIN over the order.
The Court of The Hague then delivered its verdict, which confirms most of the earlier injunction. The Pirate Party is now forbidden from encouraging the public to circumvent the Pirate Bay blockade and from listing or hosting tools that can
enable others to do so. Should the Pirate Party fail to comply with the Court's ruling it faces fines of EUR5,000 per day to a maximum penalty of EUR250,000.
Pirate Party chairman Dirk Poot told TorrentFreak:
For many who where hoping for the law to come to the rescue of basic civil liberties, today must be a rough awakening. This ridiculously broad verdict allows BREIN to take down any site that is posting information that displeases their censors.
A first in Dutch law is that a judge has now also ordered a generic proxy to filter internet traffic as well. BREIN has created jurisprudence that will now allow them to come after any open proxy they have set their sights on.
France has become the latest country to the block world's number one file-sharing site, The Pirate Bay, in an effort to defend copyright-protected content.
The ruling of the Grand Instance Court of Paris ordered the country's leading internet providers, including Orange, Bouygues Telecom, Free and SFR, to ensure all measures are put into place to prevent access (to the site) from French territory
. In addition to the main site address, the court banned around 20 mirror websites and 50 proxy servers that allow users to download content from the Swedish site.
Now internet service providers have 15 days to prevent access to the file-sharing site, which some 28.7% of people in France visited at least once a month last year, according to anti-piracy group Alpa.
The court ruling follows legal action by the anti-piracy group La Societe Civile des Producteurs Phonographiques (SCPP), which represents some 2,000 music labels that brought the request before the court this year.