In the aftermath of the Pirate Bay verdict, Sweden has witnessed the demise of many other BitTorrent trackers. But not quite enough according to music industry lobby group IFPI, who are now threatening the hosting providers of torrent sites. The host of private BitTorrent tracker TorrentBytes appears to be one of the first targets.
When the defendants in the Pirate Bay trial were sentenced to one year jail plus a hefty fine, a shock wave went though Sweden’s BitTorrent communities. Several trackers decided to close voluntarily, while others did so after the local anti-piracy bureau applied some pressure.
Despite the fact that the Pirate Bay verdict is to be appealed, the decision is still being used as ammunition by the various anti-piracy outfits, and they have already taken out several trackers across Sweden. More recently, IFPI has discovered a new, more convenient and possibly more effective way to (try to) shut down the remaining torrent sites.
Instead of targeting the tracker owners, IFPI is going directly to the hosting providers with a request to take the sites offline. One of the providers that has received a letter from IFPI is DCP Networks, who rent servers to TorrentBytes - one of the larger BitTorrent trackers.
In their letter IFPI argues that the tracker they host is making “a large number of” copyright works available to the public, and that the users of the site are infringing the copyright of IFPI members. IFPI ends the letter by asking DCP Networks to take necessary actions to make sure that this activity stops, or else “IFPI intends to take necessary measures.”
IFPI lawyer Magnus Mårtensson told DN.se that the letter received by DCP Networks is not something strange or unusual. IFPI has contacted several other hosting providers and site owners Mårtensson said. What they aim to do here is extend the (yet to be appealed) verdict of “assisting copyright infringement” and apply it to hosting providers as well.
At the moment TorrentBytes seems to be (back) online, indicating that the hosting provider has not gave in to IFPI’s demands. Although the Pirate Bay verdict doesn’t apply to anyone but the convicted and their unique circumstances, it is likely that some hosting providers will agree to IFPI’s request, fearful of a costly legal procedure.