Dutch Court to Bit Torrent Site Mininova: Remove Links

Aug 27, 2009 4:00 PM PST
UTRECHT, The Netherlands — Bit torrent site Mininova has been ordered to remove all links to copyrighted material, including adult videos.

A Utrecht court decided yesterday that Mininova had the capability to filter links that pointed to commercial videos, as well as other copyrighted material.

The judge in the case gave its operators three months to make the changes or face a penalties equivalent to about $7.1 million.

"We are obviously not satisfied with this ruling," said Erik Dubbelboer, co-founder of Mininova. "The result of this ruling for Mininova is that we have to reevaluate our business operations."

Dubbelboer noted that Mininova may appeal the ruling that stemmed from a suit waged by anti-piracy group Stichting Brein.

In a statement late Thursday, Mininova claimed the ruling was a partial victory and that it was working with Brein on a content filter.

"The court did not agree with Brein on all demands,” Mininova stated on its website. “Specifically, it ruled that Mininova does not infringe copyright and neighboring rights. The court also found Mininova can not be expected to remove files that are 'reasonably likely' refer to infringing material.

“Remarkably, the verdict does not give any consideration to the fact that Mininova has developed a content filter for Brein, nor to the cooperation between Mininova and other organizations of rights holders. This surprises Mininova, because it has always stressed the importance of cooperation."

It is the second major infringement case this year involving a European peer-to-peer network. Pirate Bay was found liable for violating copyright law. Its operators — Peter Sunde, Frederik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, and Carl Lundstrom — were sentenced to a year in jail apiece and ordered to pay $3.6 million in damages. The conviction is under appeal.

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