Wednesday, February 13, 2008 10:19 AM
One of Denmark's largest ISPs said on Wednesday it will fight a court injunction mandating that it shut off access to a file-sharing Web site, in what could be a closely-watched battle with the music industry in Europe.
Tele2 met with representatives of other ISPs on Monday and decided to challenge the injunction, said Nicholai Pfeiffer, Tele2's chief of regulations.
As a result, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is understood to have filed on Tuesday a further justification for the injunction with the court, Pfeiffer said.
Tele2 has complied with the injunction andblocked its customers from accessing The Pirate Bay, a Web site that hosts torrents, or small information files used to download larger files from the BitTorrent P-to-P (peer-to-peer) network. The IFPI alleges that Danish Internet users are using BitTorrent to download, without authorization, copyright content that they found using The Pirate Bay's list of available torrents.
No other Danish ISP has been ordered to shut off access to The Pirate Bay. However, IFPI plans to send letters this week to other Danish ISPs asking them to also block The Pirate Bay, said Jesper Bay , spokesman.
"Whether they are going to do that or not, it's up to them," Bay said, adding that IFPI hasn't decided whether to pursue more injunctions.
Bay said the injunction has two purposes: It sends a signal to ISPs that they have a responsibility to stop piracy and to users that downloading copyright content without permission is illegal.
The content the IFPI objects to is actually hosted on the PCs of users around the world. The torrents coordinate the download of file fragments from different PCs, and those fragments are eventually linked together to form a complete file that can then be uploaded to other machines. BitTorrent has many legitimate uses, including software distribution, and is used by some media companies to deliver their content.
The record industry has employed companies specializing in file-sharing forensics to track down individual Internet users it says are sharing copyright content illegally. It also sought to shut down Web sites such as The Pirate Bay that are part of the P-to-P network.
The Danish court concluded that Tele2 was assisting in copyright infringement. Tele2, as well as other ISPs that have come under pressure, maintain they are blind to what their customers transmit on their networks and should not be responsible for policing content.
"Our overall view is we don't actually want to take sides in this dispute between IFPI and The Pirate Bay," Pfeiffer said.
The Pirate Bay said on Friday that traffic from Denmark has shot up 12 percent since Tele2's block was imposed. The Pirate Bay also set up an alternative Web site for Tele2 customers giving them instructions on how to circumvent the block.
Meanwhile, The Pirate Bay faces trouble in its own waters. In Sweden, charges of profiting and encouraging copyright infringementare pending against four peopleinvolved with the Web site.