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
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:
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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 day.
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.
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.
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.
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 on this.
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
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
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.
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
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 defendants.
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.
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).