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Piratebay takes on Allofmp3-blocking ISP

Tit-for-tat

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A world famous Swedish file sharing links site has begun a campaign against a major Swedish internet service provider (ISP) after it blocked access to controversial Russian site Allofmp3.com.

In what has become a war of attrition, Piratebay has blocked subscribers to ISP Perspektiv because Perspektiv blocked users' access to Allofmp3.com. The intention is likely to be to encourage Perspektiv users to leave the company by blocking access to the enormously popular Piratebay.

"After careful consideration we have, for the first time ever, decided to block an ISP because of their management," said a statement from Piratebay in an informal translation posted online by a third party.

Allofmp3.com is controversial because the US and European record label industry groups say it is illegal but the company says the music download site complies with Russian copyright law. It pays into a collecting society but that society is reported not to have made payments to artists.

The US music industry and government have both lobbied the Russian government hard to have copyright law changed and to encourage the government to clamp down on Allofmp3.com.

It is that kind of lobbying which Piratebay seems to suspect is at play in Perspektiv. The group's statement said that it believed that Perspektiv had put the interests of powerful media companies above the interests of their subscribers.

File sharing is much more socially acceptable in Sweden than in other European countries. Downloading music there was only recently made illegal and a political group connected to Piratebay stood in the last Swedish elections. Around 1.2 million Swedes, out of a population of nine million, told the census that they are involved in file sharing.

"As one of the larges websites in Sweden we will not sit silently and watch some of our basic rights be restricted," said the Piratebay statement. "If we want a working and good society even on the internet we must stand up for one another and show courage when it is needed."

"Perspektiv Bredband has every right in the world to block whichever site they want on their own net," it said. "And their customers have every right in the world to change to a new ISP which does not take upon itself the task of ensuring collective conscience."

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

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