Yesterday saw the internet hold their hands over their hearts and bow their heads in remembrance, as Torrentz.eu, one of Europe’s biggest torrent search sites was downed by a request to its Polish domain registrar from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). However, just 24 hours later, the site is back online and easily accessible, after lawyers working for the torrent meta-search site pointed out the unlawful nature of the takedown.
Torrentz.eu lawyers sent a lengthy email to the site’s domain registrar, Poland based Nazwa, stating that there was no legal grounds for its company to hold the domain hostage. They pointed out a previous case where ICANN ruled that a court order would be required for a permanent takedown of a domain to take place. Since that wasn’t present in this instance and in-fact, PIPCU hadn’t made any legal demands whatsoever, Nazwa rescinded its earlier decision and reversed the takedown.
The Torrentz team and the site’s users are no doubt happy with the decision, though PIPCU is less so. TorrentFreak managed to get a statement from the unit:
“At the first instance of a website being confirmed as providing copyright infringing content, the site owner is contacted by officers at PIPCU and offered the opportunity to engage with the police, to correct their behaviour and to begin to operate legitimately,” a spokesperson said.
“If a website fails to comply and engage with the police, then a variety of other tactical options may be used including; contacting the domain registrar informing them of the criminality and seeking suspension of the site and disrupting advertising revenue through the use of an Infringing Website List (IWL) available to those involved in the sale and trading of digital advertising,” it concluded.
This statement hints at perhaps what will be PIPCU’s next move, pushing for advertisers to move away from Torrentz.
This news adds Nazwa to a growing list of domain registrars and ISPs which refused to bow to industry lobby group and police pressure, without the presence of a legal court order. Most famously, back in January, the Dutch ISP Ziggo won a case that had been ongoing for several years, after a court ruled that blocking websites from being viewed was a restriction of its customers right to freedom of information.
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KitGuru Says: It should probably be made clear, that KitGuru doesn’t condone piracy, but neither do we like to see companies bullied into unlawful action.