German injunction knocks The Pirate Bay offline temporarily

The site is expected to be up and running again soon

A German court injunction won by Hollywood studios against bandwidth provider CB3ROB took the bit torrent site The Pirate Bay offline. But the site is expected to be up again soon, according to its director.

The district court in Hamburg ordered discontinuation of service for The Pirate Bay for linking to six torrents for movies from The Walt Disney Studios. If CB3ROB does not comply with the demands of the injunction won by the Motion Picture Association (MPA), CB3ROB director Sven Kamphuis risks a €250,000 (US$308,730) fine per copyright infringement and imprisonment up to a maximum of two years.

Kamphuis, however, does not agree with the terms set by the German courts and sees no harm in providing bandwidth to the torrent site, arguing this is core business for ISPs (Internet service providers). The provider offers a single Internet connection and is not responsible for the information provided through these connections, he said. Kamphuis is demanding compensation from the MPA for losing a paying customer and because the injunction violated provider rights, regulated by European Union law.

Kamphuis blames the MPA for exploiting a loophole within German law. Besides compensation, Kamphuis is calling for a new court hearing and that he be present for it. The injunction was enforced without hearing from Kamphuis or The Pirate Bay.

"If we don't do this, anyone who sends an angry letter will be able to shut down any site. This, in my opinion, is not at all agreeable," Kamphuis said Monday.

Just to be sure that The Pirate Bay will continue operating, Kamphuis is arranging for a new carrier for the site. That way, CB3ROB can't be held responsible, and the MPA will have to file a new lawsuit. The switch between carriers should render the injunction useless because the arguments used to obtain the injunction won't be viable in court.

A week ago, The Pirate Bay blocked access to the Disney torrents, but Kamphuis said that he only wants to make sure he will be able to file a valid complaint about the injunction.

Meanwhile, The Pirate Bay may be offline. "The site is poorly accessible at the moment because it is using auxiliary networks maintained by The Pirate Bay itself," Kamphuis said. Kamphuis predicted that a deal with another carrier will be negotiated "within hours."

The implications of the injunction caused by the MPA will therefore be insignificant, he said. "They might think that they are succesful. But this is the only thing that they could come up within the last six months. What are they thinking? All they have managed to do is damage Disney's good name and achieve a few hours downtime for The Pirate Bay. But those torrents are still running, they don't need The Pirate Bay to download," he said.

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Loek Essers

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