Torrent.is Loses Legal Battle, Pirates Worldwide Lift Eye-Patches to Cry

Torrent.is Loses Legal Battle, Pirates Worldwide Lift Eye-Patches to Cry

In what appears to be another blow to European file sharers, Iceland-based BitTorrent tracker Torrent.is has finally lost a lengthy court battle. You can get the inside scoop here if you can read Icelandic (or if you trust Google’s translation).

Torrent.is, founded in May 2005, was far and away the most used BitTorrent tracker in Iceland, with about 26,500 clients during the height of its popularity. Its popularity outside of Iceland was virtually nonexistent (the site was private to Icelandic IP addresses) but the loss in court is sure to bolster the European anti-piracy movement.

The drama in the courts began in November 2007. Svavar Kjarrval, owner of Torrent.is, received an injunction forcing him to shut down the site. In a somewhat surprising outcome, Torrent.is won in both the lower court and in Iceland’s Supreme Court. This was all well and good, until the STEF (the Icelandic equivalent of the RIAA in the US) filed a new case based simply on new claims of copyright law violations, thus, bringing the proverbial ruckus back to the courts. Once again, Torrent.is was victorious in the lower court but that still wasn’t good enough for STEF and the case returned to the Supreme Court.

STEF came out on top as the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on February, 11 2010 verifying and enforcing the initial injunction from late 2007. Aside from shutting the site down, Kjarrval must pay about $3,350 in legal fees. Remaining optimistic, Kjarraval was quoted as saying, “The battle might be lost but the file-sharing war has not ended.” Here is a link to a PDF of the official press release issued by Torrent.is in both Icelandic and English.

Now you know something about how the Icelandic court system works. And to think you only thought Iceland had belligerent pop stars, ethereal minimalism, and massive debt.

• Torrent.is: http://blog.istorrent.is

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