Court Orders Mininova to Remove All Illegal Torrents

Or face a fine of up to 5 million Euros

By on August 26th, 2009 13:11 GMT
Mininova has lost a lawsuit filed by the Dutch anti-piracy organization BREIN and the judge ordered the torrent site to remove all infringing content within three months. While the court didn't hold Mininova responsible for the illegal content linked to on the site, it believed that the torrent aggregator could do a lot more to prevent the content from reaching the site.

BREIN filed a lawsuit about three months ago arguing that the site took very little measures in preventing torrents with copyright infringing material from being added and that it should implement better tools for filtering the illegal content. Mininova has a takedown policy that allows copyright holders to contact the administrators and ask for the removal of content that infringes on their properties.

The anti-piracy organization, though, asked for a filter to be set up to block the illegal torrents from reaching the site. While Mininova was happy to comply with this request, the two parties disagreed on who would supply the hash tags of known infringing content that would be used by the new filter, with each passing the responsibility to the other.

The court found for BREIN, agreeing that Mininova, the largest torrent indexer in the world, didn't do enough on the matter and ordered it to remove all infringing torrents within three months or face a 1,000 Euro fine for every torrent that linked to copyrighted material, up to a maximum of 5 million Euros. The court also rejected the website's defense that it was impossible to have human operators screen all of the torrents.

It believes that the method the site currently uses to remove adult content torrents or the ones that link to viruses or face files can be extended to scan for infringing content as well. The moderators that handle this at the moment should be able to do the same for torrents linking to illegal content. The court also agreed with BREIN by concluding that the site did profit from the copyrighted material from the ads it served. Mininova plans to appeal the verdict within the three months. 

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