Dutch court threatens to fine filesharing website

27th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

The court says as much as 90 percent of files shared on website Mininova are copyrighted material and have to be removed within three months.

The Hague – Filesharing website Mininova must remove its links to copyrighted items within three months or risk a fine of up to EUR 5 million, a Dutch court ruled on Wednesday.

Dutch-based Mininova, which claims to be "the largest torrent search engine and directory on the net", acted unlawfully by allowing users to exchange films, games, music and television series, said the district court in Utrecht in the central Netherlands.

"Mininova encourages the users of its service to make copyrighted material available via its platform," read a statement issued by the court.

"This allows users to share protected material with each other and prevents the copyright owners from deciding how and under which conditions, including payment, their works should reach the user."

The court cited research findings that 80 to 90 percent of the files shared on Mininova were copyrighted material.

From its inception in January 2005 to June 2007, some two billion downloads were carried out via Mininova.

The case had been brought to court by copyright lobby group Stichting Brein, which obtained a similar ruling against another filesharing website, The Pirate Bay, in July.

In that case, a judge in Amsterdam ordered The Pirate Bay to "cease infringing the copyright of the members" of Stichting Brein in the Netherlands.

The Pirate Bay, which claims to have some 22 million users worldwide, has applied for a retrial, due to be heard on 5 October.

AFP / Expatica

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