Copyright holders drop bid to block Pirate Bay in Norway

Norway's performing rights society and other copyright holders will not appeal to Norway's supreme court

Copyright holders have given up legal efforts to force Norwegian ISP Telenor to block file-sharing site The Pirate Bay, one of the parties to the case said on Friday.

The copyright holders, led by Norway's performing rights society TONO and by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry Norway (IFPI Norge) Norway have lost two rounds in the Norwegian court system, and have now decided against appealing the case to Norway's supreme court, the organizations said.

The goal was to see if it under Norwegian law is possible to order an ISP to block access to The Pirate Bay, and two clear court decisions have now said that is not the case, according to TONO. Spending more resources on the case would at this point be a waste, according to IFPI.

The copyright holders' interpretation of the courts' verdicts is that Telenor contributes to The Pirate Bay's illegal acts, but that this action is not itself illegal in Norway.

This, the organizations said, raises the question of whether Norwegian law adequately implements the European Union Copyright Directive, a matter they would like Norwegian legislators look into.

Although Norway is not a member of the E.U., it has agreed through its membership of the European Economic Area to implement certain E.U. directives in national legislation, including the EUCD.

The battle between Telenor and the copyright holders started in February last year, when Telenor received a letter from copyright holders, including IFPI and TONO, demanding that it block access to The Pirate Bay.

Telenor has throughout this process maintained that there is no legal basis for any ISP to act in the interests of digital intellectual-property rights holders by blocking individual Web sites. ISPs blocking sites doesn't solve the problem of illegal file sharing, it just moves the problem elsewhere, according to Telenor.

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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