Dutch court orders Internet providers to block Pirate Bay

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A Dutch court Wednesday ordered two local Internet providers to block their clients from accessing Swedish file-sharing site The Pirate Bay, citing copyright concerns.

"Internet providers Ziggo and XS4ALL must block their customers from accessing The Pirate Bay website," The Hague district court said in a press release.

The case was brought by the copyright lobby group the Brein foundation, a trade body representing the Dutch recording industry, which said the website allowed rampant filesharing without authors' consent.

Founded in 2003, The Pirate Bay makes it possible to skirt copyright fees and share music, film and computer game files for free using bit torrent technology, or peer-to-peer links offered on the site, which claims 32 million users.

Its owners have repeatedly appeared in court in the Netherlands and in Sweden, where they have been sentenced for promoting copyright infringements by running the site.

An Amsterdam court in October 2009 ordered the site to remove all links to the work of members of the Brein foundation, but the links can still be found on The Pirate Bay website.

"We have chosen (to go to court), because Ziggo is the largest provider and XS4ALL because it is known for campaigning against limitations on the Internet," Brein's director Tim Kuik told AFP.

Brein wanted to bring other providers to task as well said Kuik, adding The Pirate Bay "earned two million euros (2.5 million dollars) a year in advertising, perhaps, without respecting authors' rights."

The Hague court said about 30 percent of Ziggo's clients and 4.5 percent of XS4ALL's customers recently swapped music, movies or games on The Pirate Bay website.

© 2012 AFP

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