Swedish domain admin comes out against Piratebay.se seizure

The administrator is named in prosecutor's action to seize domain name

Swedish top-level domain administrator .SE has to its surprise become directly involved in the local Prosecution Authority's court case to seize thepiratebay.se and piratebay.se, but it hopes to explain to the court that forcing domain names off the Internet does not help.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority battle with The Pirate Bay and the people involved with the site has been a long and winding road. Its latest attempt to stop the site is to seize its Swedish domain names.

About two weeks ago .SE received an advance notice that the Prosecution Authority had filed a petition with the Stockholm District Court, requesting the seizure of two domain names, thepiratebay.se and piratebay.se, CEO Danny Aerts wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

The case itself didn't come as a surprise, but the fact that the domain administrator was one of the defendants did. In the eyes of the prosecutor, .SE has become some form of accomplice to criminal activity, a perspective that is unique in Europe as far as he knows, Aerts said.

At first .SE received only two weeks to respond, but the deadline has now been prolonged until the beginning of June.

The company's position is that seizing domain names is ineffective and disproportionate. Aerts compares it to removing the sign for a store; it will be harder for customers to locate the store, but the store nevertheless remains in place and customers who manage to get there can still shop there, he wrote.

"We have an educational task ahead of us in explaining to the District Court what a domain name is, what .SE does and the fundamentally incorrect nature behind seizing a domain name forever," Aerts said.

In anticipation of the seizure of its .se domains, The Pirate Bay has moved on and currently uses .sx, which belongs to Sint Maarten, an island in the Caribbean.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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