EU Court of Justice to Decide on Legality of Pirate Bay Blockades – TorrentFreak

The Pirate Bay remains freely accessible in the Netherlands pending the outcome of a landmark lawsuit. Before making a final decision, the Dutch Supreme Court wants clarification from the EU Court of Justice on several issues. Among other things, the EU Court must decide whether The Pirate Bay communicates illegal content to the public.

Source: EU Court of Justice to Decide on Legality of Pirate Bay Blockades – TorrentFreak

Advocate General Doubts Legality of Pirate Bay Blockade

Early last year The Court of The Hague handed down its decision in a long running case which had previously forced two Dutch ISPs, Ziggo and XS4ALL, to block The Pirate Bay.

The Court ruled against local anti-piracy outfit BREIN, concluding that the blockade was ineffective and restricted the ISPs’ entrepreneurial freedoms.

Responding to the verdict the two ISPs quickly unblocked the site and various other Dutch ISPs followed suit.

Meanwhile, the Hollywood-backed group took its case all the way to the Supreme Court and today Advocate General Van Peursem published his conclusion after a careful review.

The Advocate General advises the Supreme Court to stay the proceedings between BREIN and the Internet providers in order to seek clarification from the EU Court of Justice on several matters.

The first question that requires a European review is whether The Pirate Bay is actually communicating illegal content to the public. If this isn’t the case then the EU Court should rule whether ISPs can be ordered to block the site on other grounds.

A decision at the European level will be important, as it may also affect court orders in other countries, such as the UK, Italy and Belgium.

When the questions are resolved at the EU Court, the Advocate General advises to redo the entire trial noting that The Court of The Hague was too strict when it concluded that the blockade was ineffective and disproportional.

The Advocate General’s advice is not binding so it’s not yet certain whether the case will be referred to the EU Court of Justice. However, in most cases the recommendations are followed by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court is expected to release its verdict on October 9th.

Link (TorrentFreak)

Top Torrent Tracker Knocked Offline Over “Infringing Hashes”

In recent years Coppersurfer.tk has quickly become one of the most used BitTorrent trackers.

Running on the beerware-licensed Opentracker software, the standalone tracker offers a non-commercial service which doesn’t host or link to torrent files themselves.

The free service coordinates the downloads of 10 million people at any given point in time, processing roughly billions of connections per month.

However, since last weekend Coppersurfer.tk has been offline. Responding to a complaint from Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, hosting provider LeaseWeb suddenly pulled the plug.

According to a LeaseWeb rep “torrents are illegal” and the company had no other option than to shut down the tracker.

This came as quite a surprise to the operator, since his service doesn’t link to or host torrent files. In fact, Coppersurfer doesn’t know what titles are tracked or where all the corresponding torrents are stored.

Link (TorrentFreak)

YIFY Torrents Faces Domain Suspension, Moves to YTS.to

The popular movie release group YTS, also known as YIFY, has switched to a new domain name. The French domain registry FRNIC has informed the site’s operators that YTS.re will be suspended by the end of the month, an outcome most likely the result of pressure from copyright holders.

YTSOperated by the popular ‘YIFY’ release group, YTS has become one of the most popular pirate brands.

The group releases its movies on various popular torrent sites and its home base YTS.re has also become increasingly popular.

Over the past year YTS gathered fame as the movie source for the “pirate Netflix” app Popcorn Time. Pretty much all popular Popcorn Time forks get their movie releases from the YTS API.

This connection further raised YTS’s profile and turned it into a prime target for various copyright holder groups. Even the U.S. Government chimed in, labeling YTS a notorious pirate site.

Apparently this pressure has paid off. YTS is now being forced to switch to a new domain after being advised by French domain name registry FRNIC that its .re domain is doomed.

“We got a warning from FRNIC that the domain is frozen and will be suspended by the end of March,” a YTS admin informs TorrentFreak while announcing YTS.to as their new domain.

It’s unclear where the complaint originates from, but the MPAA and BREIN would be on top of the list if YTS has to take a guess. The admin is happy, however, that FRNIC informed them in advance so they have time to inform users about the transition.

Link (TorrentFreak)

Popcorn Time “Fan Pages” Nuked By Anti-Piracy Outfit

Released in the first quarter of 2014, any minute now Popcorn Time will celebrate its one year anniversary.

It’s been a roller-coaster ride for the various forks of the project after generating hundreds of headlines between them. Needless to say, many have focused on how the project provides sleek access to unauthorized content.

Predictably that ease of use has proven most popular in the United States but interestingly Popcorn Time also proved itself a disproportionate hit in the Netherlands. Last September one fork reported 1.3 million installs in a population of just 17 million.

No surprise then that Popcorn Time has appeared on the radar of Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN. The Hollywood-affiliated group has been relatively quiet in recent months but is now reporting action aimed at stemming the flow of users to the popular torrent streaming application.

Denouncing Popcorn Time as an “illegal service”, BREIN reports that it has recently shut down “six Dutch Popcorn Time sites” and reached a settlement with their operators.

BREIN usually keeps the names of shuttered sites a closely guarded secret, but on this occasion has chosen to name four out of the six.

PopcornTime.nl, Popcorn-Time.eu, Popcorn-Time.info and PopcornTimeFilms.nl are now non-operational and currently display the warning message below as per their agreement with BREIN.

This site has been removed by the BREIN foundation for propagating Popcorn Time Software.

Popcorn Time encourages illegal use and uses an illegal online supply of films and television series.

WARNING: Popcorn Time software uses peer-to-peer (P2P) technology allowing users to both up – and download. Streaming, uploading and downloading of illegal content is prohibited by law and will therefore result in liability for the damages caused.

NOTE: Uploading is illegal and causes greater damage than a single download.

SUPPORT CREATIVITY: Go to Thecontentmap.nl and see where you can legally download and stream.

Link (TorrentFreak)