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Danish ISP may fight order to kill access to Pirate Bay P2P site

Tele2 plans to meet with telecommunications firms to discuss whether to fight the order

By Jeremy Kirk
February 6, 2008 12:00 PM ET

IDG News Service - One of Denmark's largest Internet service providers is considering fighting a court order to shut off its subscribers' access to The Pirate Bay, the embattled file-sharing search engine.

Tele2 AB was ordered to shut off access last week after a court concluded that The Pirate Bay facilitates the trading of copyright material without the permission of rights holders, according to a translation by the Danish Pirate Party, a digital rights activist group.

Tele2 complied, but it plans to meet on Monday with other telecommunications companies on whether it should challenge the ruling, Nicholai Pfeiffer, chief of regulations for Tele2, said today. So far, other Danish Internet service providers have not shut off access.

"In this case, we think it is needed to have a clarification of the legal grounds, and that is why we are discussing this with the other companies," Pfeiffer said.

The court's ruling was hailed by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which, along with other industry groups, is lobbying governments to force service providers to take stronger measures against piracy, such as content filtering.

The latest legal move in Denmark has a precedent. Last year, a Danish court ordered Internet service providers within the country to block AllofMP3.com, a Russia-based Web site that sold albums for download well below market prices. The service providers complied. Recording industry groups charged that the site was a fraud and that it was not paying royalties for the music it sold.

But concerns abound over whether Internet service providers should be forced to take responsibility for content that goes across their networks. In a statement today, Tele2 said that discussions over copyright issues should take place between those who have the rights to the content and those who are hosting it, not network operators.

The situation in Denmark is just the latest fracas involving The Pirate Bay, which is based in Sweden. Last week, Swedish authorities charged four people affiliated with the BitTorrent search engine with facilitating copyright violations.

The Pirate Bay's owners have said they do not host illegal content on their servers but merely allow people to find torrents, or small information files that coordinate the download of content from computers around the world via peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. After a police raid, the site's servers are now located outside of Sweden.

The Pirate Bay quickly moved this week to restore service to Tele2 subscribers by setting up a new Web site. Tele2 subscribers trying to visit The Pirate Bay can go to The Jesper Bay, according to the TorrentFreak blog. The site gives instructions on how to get access to The Pirate Bay.

Rune Pedersen of Computerworld Denmark contributed to this report.

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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