Universal Music Targeting Domain Registrars To Take Down File Sharing Sites Without Due Process
from the the-next-tactic dept
Since then, ICE has mostly kept away from seizing domains related to copyright infringement issues (focusing instead on trademark issues, which have many of the same problems, but get less attention). However, it appears that the legacy entertainment industry liked what it saw with this whole "target the domains" strategy. TorrentFreak is reporting that Universal Music in Germany went after the torrent site H33t, not by going after the site directly, but by getting the court to issue an injunction against the domain registrar the site used to get its domain. The registrar looked at the injunction -- which told it that it was responsible for blocking anyone using H33t from sharing Robin Thicke's album "Blurred Lines." The registrar, Key-Systems, realized the only way to do that was to take down the entire site, which it did by removing the name servers. H33t quickly popped up on another domain (now with lots more attention due to the takedown attempt).
Either way this is disturbing on many levels. H33t didn't know this was happening and was given no chance to defend itself. The registrar seems equally concerned about the implications of this, and how others might get broad and ridiculous injunctions sent to registrars, rather than the actual party responsible:
This is the first time that a torrent site has been targeted by a copyright holder through a domain registrar. While the details of the injunction haven’t been made available to the public it sets a dangerous precedent. This is also one of the main reasons why Key-Systems is determined to fight the ruling.Already, it's concerning enough that the entertainment industry likes to target secondary players like the tools providers, rather than those who are actually engaging in the infringement. But here it's gone to another level, where the target is a tool provider to a tool provider of someone who may be infringing.
“We regret that we cannot comment in detail on an ongoing legal matter that is yet to be finally decided by the court, however we are determined to get this court order lifted as soon as possible,” Greimann tells TorrentFreak.