Oct 242009

The founders of The Pirate Bay have been hit a with new order to remove links to copyright material.

A Dutch court has ordered them to to remove all links to the material of a group of Netherlands-based music and film makers.

The trio could face fines of up to $9m (£5.5m) if they do not comply within three months.


“The verdict is not against The Pirate Bay,” Peter Sunde told the BBC.

“It’s against the former owners of TPB, plus me. Which puts us in a weird position, since none of us have the control they tell us to get. Does the court require us to hack someone else’s system?”

Mr Sunde added that they had not yet decided what to do about the outcome.

Read more on BBC.

Oct 142009

The Local reports:

Swedish broadband provider ePhone is not obligated to hand over customer information to five book publishers, according to a decision by the Svea Court of Appeal which overturns a lower court ruling.

The case, which ePhone initially lost in June in Solna District Court, is significant because it is the first to go to trial since the passage of a law designed to crack down on internet piracy in Sweden.


ePhone argued that the five audio book publishers who filed the lawsuit had not been able to prove that anyone other than users from Sweden’s Anti-Piracy Bureau (Antipiratbyrån) had accessed a server containing sound files for 27 titles which the publishers claimed had been made available for downloading by the general public.

The appeals court agreed with ePhone, finding that the book publishers failed to show that there was probable cause to believe copyright infringement had occurred.

In overturning the lower court’s ruling, the Svea Court of Appeal argued that the copyright protected material on the server, which was linked to an ePhone customer, had not been made available to the public or even to a select group of people.

Since users were required to log into the server and there had been no investigation to indicate that login information had been widely shared, the court concluded that the publishers had not convincingly shown that the audio books had been available to the public.

Read the full story in The Local. BetaNews also provides some commentary.

Sep 162009

Associated Press reports that France’s lower house of parliament approved a law that would cut off internet access for illegally downloading music and films. By one estimate, 1000 people per day could be knocked offline if the bill becomes law, which looks quite likely. Although the details have to be worked out and the upper and lower house versions reconciled, AP reports that:

Pirates who ignore email warnings and a registered letter could see their internet connections cut for up to a year, and they could also face up to €300,000 (£266,900) in fines or jail time.

Even parents whose children download illegally could be targeted for neglecting to police their online activities – after warnings, the family’s internet service could be shut down for a month, and they could be slapped with a €3,750 (£3,336) fine.

Read more on The Independent

Sep 152009

The BBC reports:

The French National Assembly will vote on Tuesday to decide whether to allow the authorities to cut illegal downloaders off from the web.

The hard-line policy has drawn worldwide attention as nations around the globe grapple with the issue of piracy.

An earlier version of the bill was ruled unconstitutional and a compromise version has been hammered out.

The legislation is backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Sep 112009

Asher Moses reports:

Some of the biggest names in the music business, including Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney, have slammed the record labels’ plans to disconnect from the internet people who are caught repeatedly downloading music illegally.

The artists label the plans backward, illogical, expensive and “extraordinarily negative”.

The movie and music industries have been pushing ISPs to implement this “three-strikes” scheme voluntarily for years but talks have stalled.

In Australia, the film industry is now suing iiNet in an attempt to have the courts force ISPs to do more to prevent illegal downloading over their networks.

Behind the scenes, the content owners have been pressuring the Government to step in and resolve the impasse through legislation.

Read more in The Age.

Sep 022009

Anti piracy software lobby group the Business Software Alliance (BSA) has said that it backs disconnecting users who repeatedly engage in software piracy. The group said that the move was necessary because of the failure of other strategies.

“Some anti-piracy content identification and filtering technologies may play a useful role in deterring piracy in some limited cases, but they are not a ‘silver bullet’ solution to piracy,” it said in a policy statement.

“[The BSA supports] the imposition of appropriate sanctions, including blocking a user, blocking a site, and the suspension or termination of internet service for individual repeat offenders,” it said.

Read more on Out-Law.com

Aug 252009

The UK government has published new measures that could see people who illegally download films and music cut off from the net.

The amendment to the Digital Britain report would see regulator Ofcom given greater powers to tackle pirates.

The technical measures are likely to include suspending the net accounts of “hardcore copyright pirates”.

It is believed that Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has intervened personally to beef up the policy.

Read more on BBC.