Major download site ordered to remove illegal links
The Dutch download site Mininova has been ordered to stop linking to files with copyrighted material by the Utrecht district court on Wednesday.
The ruling was the result of a complaint by the Brein foundation, which represents the entertainment industry in the Netherlands. Brein says Mininova, a so-called torrent site, provides links to thousands of movies and music tracks that can be downloaded without the consent of the copyright holders.
Mininova has previously defended itself by saying that all it does is "supply the technology. We don't know what the links our users send us refer to."
The judge has now ordered Mininova to remove all links to possibly copyrighted
material within the next three months. If it fails to do so, the site's
owners will be fined 1,000 euros per illegal link, payable to the Brein
foundation. The penalty has been capped at 5 million euros.
Brein's director Tim Kuik said he was pleased with the verdict. "Mininova is responsible for what happens on their site and has to see to it that there are no links to illegal files," he said.
Mininova is considering to appeal the verdict. "We are obviously not happy with this verdict," co-founder Erik Dubbelboer said in a statement. Mininova said the judge failed to take into account the measures already taken by Mininova to prevent breach of copyright.
In the past Mininova has already removed some links at the specific request of copyright holders. "That can help with occasional abuses, but not in the case of a structural breach of copyright," Kuik said.