Swedish authorities have filed a motion at the District Court of Stockholm on behalf of the entertainment industries, demanding the seizure of two Pirate Bay domain names. In addition to the Swedish-based .se domain the motion also includes the new Icelandic .is TLD. In a rapid response, The Pirate Bay has just switched to a fresh domain, ThePirateBay.sx, registered in the northeastern Caribbean island of Sint Maarten.
Swedish prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad has filed a motion at the District Court of Stockholm, requesting for the seizure of thepiratebay.se, piratebay.se and the new thepiratebay.is domains.
The move comes just a few days after the infamous BitTorrent site switched to the Iceland-based domain, following suspicions that the Swedish authorities would go after the .se domains.
“There is widespread copyright infringement linked to these sites and these domains are used to assist in connection with crime,” Ingblad writes in today’s complaint.
The complaint was filed on behalf of several major movie, music and publishing companies. The Swedish domain registry and the domain registrants, including Pirate Bay co-founder Fredrik Neij, are listed as defendants in the case.
The prosecutor did not explain why the authorities are taking action now. The Pirate Bay has been operating from the .se domain name for over a year and could have easily been targeted before.
The Internet Infrastructure Foundation, responsible for operating the .se TLD, says it will consider its options when a court order comes in. The foundation previously noted that domain names are not the source of the problem as they are easily traded in for new ones.
“We believe the problem in this type of situation is not the domain, but rather its contents. The domain name itself is not an accomplice in act of copyright infringement and if thepiratebay.se, for example, were to be shut down, the site would almost certainly reopen under another top-level domain.”
Last week Iceland’s domain registry ISNIC told TorrentFreak that it would not proactively suspend a domain, and that it would only take action when an Icelandic Court asks them to.
“Such an action would require a formal order from an Icelandic court. ISNIC is not responsible for a registrant’s usage of their domains,” ISNIC’s Marius Olafsson told TorrentFreak.
However, in today’s complaint the Swedish prosecutor suggests that the court has jurisdiction over the .is domain because it is registered to Fredrik Neij, who has Swedish nationality.
But in a lightning quick response The Pirate Bay has already switched to a new domain, ThePirateBay.sx. The .sx ccTLD is for Sint Maarten, a tiny island in the northeast Caribbean located 190 miles east of Puerto Rico.
Control of the island, which has just 78,000 residents, is split between France and the Netherlands. Around 41,000 live on the Dutch side and 37,000 on the French. TorrentFreak has contacted the local domain registrar for comment.
Earlier today the news broke that a new criminal investigation into The Pirate Bay is ongoing, with co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm being questioned in prison last week. Whether today’s domain seizure motion is related to this case is unknown.
Even if the court grants the prosecutor’s request it remains to be seen how effective any seizures will be. Time and again the BitTorrent site has responded by relocating to new domains.
Update: After publication ISNIC’s Marius Olafsson informed TorrentFreak that they do not intend to take away Pirate Bay’s domain based on a Swedish court order.
“When and if such an “order” is received by ISNIC we will refer that to our legal council and will of course respond – how remains to be seen. Remember that ISNIC is an Icelandic company operating under Icelandic laws,” Olafsson says.
“I am not a lawyer, but would think that in general Swedish courts do not have jurisdiction over Icelandic companies operating in Iceland. The only thing a Swedish court can do in this case is to order the registrant (who is Swedish) to delete the domain. I fail to see how they can order ISNIC to do anything.”
“ISNIC will legally fight attempts to use the domain name registry system to police/censor the net. We believe that to be ineffective, wrong and dangerous to the stability of the DNS as a whole.”
Viewed 7017 times by 754 viewers
Yes, The Pirate Bay is down at the moment. No, there’s no reason to panic.
Every time The Pirate Bay suffers a few minutes for downtime, thousands of people start to worry that something awful has happened to their beloved site. Luckily, this is usually not the case.
When the site’s not responding someone probably tripped over a cable, they’re working on software upgrades, replacing hardware or facing another technical difficulty.
And indeed, the current downtime also has a technical nature.
The Pirate Bay team told TorrentFreak that they’re working on a problem that arose after a software upgrade this morning.
Everything should be back to normal soon.
Update: The site’s back after a few hours of downtime.
Viewed 26382 times by 1839 viewers
Categories: Pirate Bay Tags:
But the most famous nexus for digital piracy sailed through the week unscathed. It’s called The Pirate Bay, and it’s the poster child for the kinds of “rogue” overseas sites Congress took aim at with a pair of bills called SOPA and PIPA. (Click here for our explainer: What SOPA is and why it matters.)
BitTorrent is a free software program that lets its 150 million users swap and download large media files. The tool has many legitimate uses, but it’s also heavily used to illegally trade movies and other copyrighted content. The Pirate Bay can be confusing to those who aren’t fluent geeks. Downloading files requires installing and learning to use torrent software, and the site’s ad-choked pages aren’t easy to understand at a glance.
But the system is extremely resilient — and it’s a haven for digital piracy. On Friday afternoon, one day after Megaupload’s death, more than 36 million computers were connected to The Pirate Bay’s network. Recent episodes of the TV shows “Vampire Diaries,” “Big Bang Theory” and “The Mentalist” were among the day’s most popular downloads, along with the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” and the just-released movie “War Horse
Viewed 4678 times by 1092 viewers
Categories: Pirate Bay Tags:
Over the past several years, a rising trend has become a major struggle for the music industry. Its the same trend that led to the creation of Napster, and shut it down. I am referring to the illegal downloading of music, and the industry’s response. Millions of people across America “steal” music off the internet, but is it really such a crime?
Napster and Limewire, some of the first media sharing websites, started this illegal activity on the internet. Teenagers would download thousands and thousands of songs for free, and they still do. When Napster was shut down after the creators were sued for millions of dollars, Limewire continued on. However, a more successful form of downloading music came into being. It’s called BitTorrent, and it uses a “swarm” of hosts to download files. This form of downloading is faster and more reliable than Limewire or Napster. A website called The Pirate Bay is the most successful and popular Torrenting website, even though record companies have tried to shut it down many times.
The websites that receive the most attention, however, are those that follow the Napster formula. Websites that allow members to post and download whatever music they want, without the intermediary of BitTorrent, have been heavily persecuted. Just this week EMI, Sony Music, and Warner Music Group are suing Grooveshark, one of aforementioned websites, for failing to pay royalties. Grooveshark has let its users download music without paying EMI any money. EMI was the only major record label that made a licensing deal with Grooveshark, but their relationship has clearly dissolved.
Rumor has it that EMI is suing Grooveshark $150,000 per song, which amounts to a sickening $17.1 billion. Last year, Universal Music Group sued Grooveshark after it was revealed that Grooveshark employees posted 113,000 pirated songs online. Grooveshark has lost EMI’s trust, so another deal seems impossible. This signals the likely end of another file sharing website.
The most popular website to file-share legally is Spotify, a website similar to Grooveshark, but they seem to have the whole royalties thing figured out. Spotify has limits on how much a single user can download a month, and membership costs money. Spotify exists because it respects the rights of record companies, and any major website that does not will be attacked until its demise. This is the best way to legally share music because it is cheaper than buying CDs, but it still remains in the legal realm.
Record labels think that we (yes I take part in such activities) are stealing their music without any benefit to them. But what is a record label without its artists? Bands, especially not-so-famous bands, want only to get their music heard by the people. Without fans, there is no record deal, without a record deal, there is no money. The easiest way to get people to hear your music is to either post it online for free, or stop whining and let us torrent it.
If I have a car, I will get mad if someone takes it and does not give it back. That would be theft. However, if I have a car that people know is mine, I would let anyone “steal” my car as long as I still had the original car. This is what file-sharing is. No true thievery takes place on torrent websites, its free copying to the possible betterment of the artist. This topic is so heavily disputed because while artists benefit in a way, record companies do not. It is clear that illegal downloading has deeply damaged the music industry, but now that it is unstoppable, record companies have started to focus on touring.
Touring is now the greatest form of income for both parties. Due to the growing number of people who illegally download music, artists rely completely on touring to make money. Illegal forms of downloading and legal blogging spread music very quickly, so small time bands are getting much more publicity. However, record companies only care about how many songs are sold, not just heard. In 2009 a 12 year-old girl was sued by record companies for illegally downloading music not because the artist was mad about losing money, but because record companies want every penny they can get. And the worst part is, the girl even paid to use the website where she got the music. Somehow it was her fault and not the website that failed to pay the royalties.
This kind of persecution will never reach the titans of torrenting. We live in a world where technology dominates almost every facet of our lives, so its not a surprise that we know how to “steal” with it. Record companies might as well give up now. They have tried time and time again to stop The Pirate Bay, but what about the dozens of other torrenting websites?
Music is made to be heard, enjoyed, and loved. For example, do you think that Robert Johnson, essentially the creator of blues music, cared how much money he made? He ended up being arguably the most influential artist of all time, but was he a millionaire? No. The music industry needs to stop caring about the losses in sales and let the people who love the music keep on loving it. Besides, music is best heard live, so focus on touring. I’ll pay through the nose to see my favorite band live, but you will never see me pay for their album.
Viewed 6000 times by 1404 viewers
After a court ordered two of the largest Belgian Internet service providers to prevent their users accessing The Pirate Bay, the local anti-piracy outfit is now urging other ISPs to do the same. Internet providers who refuse to give in to this request within 10 days will be taken to court, a threatening letter explains. The blackmailing tactic seems to have worked, as one of the smaller ISPs has already disabled access to The Pirate Bay.
Late September the Antwerp Court of Appeal ordered Belgian ISPs Belgacom and Telenet to initiate DNS blockades of 11 domains connected to The Pirate Bay.
The Belgian Anti-Piracy Federation (BAF) applauded the verdict, which they see as a landmark decision opening the door to further censorship attempts. And indeed, without hesitation the group is putting the verdict to work in their favor.
NURPA, a Belgian advocacy group which promotes and protects the digital rights of citizens, has learned that BAF has sent a threatening letter to various Belgian ISPs. The group has managed to obtain a copy which they published on their site today.
In the letter, BAF mentions the recent verdict against the two Belgian Internet providers, which they say confirms The Pirate Bay is responsible for copyright infringement on a massive scale. To extend the ruling, the anti-piracy group is demanding that other ISPs also begin banning the site’s domains.
“To ensure an optimal effect, this measure should be implemented by all Internet service providers, not just by Belgacom and Telenet,” the anti-piracy group writes.
The ISPs have ten days to comply, BAF adds, or else the group will take them to court.
“Failing a satisfactory response from you within the time limit, the BAF will begin legal proceedings against you,” BAF threatens.
The letter from BAF was supposedly sent last week, and already appears to have had some effect. The Belgian ISP BASE – which ironically has a “freedom of speech” banner prominently listed on its site – has quietly started blocking subscriber access to The Pirate Bay.
BAF’s letter and BASE’s response are criticized by NURPA, who fear that BAF will continue to push for more censorship measures based on false claims.
“These practices of censorship, which are justified by imaginary losses and imposed by blackmail, show the urgent need for legislation on Net Neutrality in order to establish a legal framework for fair protection of fundamental rights on the Internet,” NURPA spokesman André Loconte told TorrentFreak.
Even if BAF manages to convince all Belgian ISPs to block the 11 Pirate Bay domains, it is doubtful that it will have much of an effect. Previously, a Pirate Bay spokesperson told TorrentFreak that these measures only yield the opposite results.
“This will just give us more traffic, as always. Thanks for the free advertising,” we were told.
And he appears to be right.
A few days after the verdict was announced The Pirate Bay registered depiraatbaai.be, a new domain not covered by the court order. Today, just a few weeks later, this domain is already the 124th most-visited in Belgium, on its way to enter the top 100.
Indeed, the years of legal procedures and subsequent blackmailing are easily circumvented by registering a $15 domain.
Viewed 4135 times by 1079 viewers