A pair of domains operated by The Pirate Bay are at risk of seizure following legal action by Swedish authorities. The man behind December's raid, prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad, says that the domains should be canceled or placed under state control. The domain registry involved has criticized the move.
Originally filed at the District Court of Stockholm back in 2013, the motion targets Punkt SE, the organization responsible for Sweden’s top level .SE domain. Ingblad’s assertion is that since The Pirate Bay is acting illegally, domain names are necessarily part of that site’s ‘crimes’ and should be tackled like any other part of its infrastructure.
The Stockholm District Court decided to order the seizure of two key domains owned by The Pirate Bay, however it is unlikely that the site's operation will disappear completely. The motivation for the seizure is that The Pirate Bay is an illegal operation, thus its domains are tools used by the site to infringe copyright.
While two of the domains (ThePirateBay.se - the site’s main domain and PirateBay.se - a lesser used alternative) will be will be put out of action, the District Court dismissed the prosecution’s case against Punkt.se, the organization responsible for Sweden’s top level .SE domain.
New research from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre shows that shutting down pirate website such as The Pirate Bay is relatively ineffective and potentially counterproductive.
In the working paper entitled “Online Copyright Enforcement, Consumer Behavior, and Market Structure” researchers examined clickstream data to see how legal and illegal consumption habits changed in response to the shutdown. Results show a short-lived decrease in piracy (after which piracy levels return to normal) and only a small increase in the use of legal services.
The Netherlands’ general attorney Robert van Peursem said that he wanted the European Court of Justice to evaluate whether or not Pirate Bay is distributing infringing content or not. He said that the European court should decide if a local case can continue in trying to force ISPs Ziggo and XS4ALL to the TPB. The case is being pursued by an anti-piracy group called BREIN, which was supported by Hollywood and has been ongoing since 2010.
The Dutch Supreme Court referred a landmark case against the file-sharing website Pirate Bay to the European Court of Justice on Friday, a move that could lead to a precedent in efforts to curtail the sharing of copyrighted movies and music online. The Luxenbourg-based court has been asked to consider two main points: whether Pirate Bay's actions infringe European copyright laws and to what extent a court can order internet providers to block subscribers access to illegal websites.
The European Court of Justice has ruled that BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay is directly infringing copyright, in a move that could lead to ISPs and governments blocking access to other torrent sites across Europe.