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BitTorrent tracker Mininova faces legal action

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Dutch anti-piracy body BREIN says it will ask a judge to halt all activities of Dutch BitTorrent-tracker Mininova, which draws over 30 million unique visitors and five billion downloads a month.

The site started in January 2005 as a successor to Suprnova.org, which went offline in 2004 due to legal issues. Mininova was already the ninth most Googled word in 2006 and Alexa and comScore now rank Mininova well above Swedish site The Pirate Bay.

BREIN estimates the site earns thousands of euros per month by selling ad space. Big advertisers include Dutch Rabobank, among others.

Video makes up 60 per cent of the downloads on Mininova and only 19 per cent is music. However, BREIN claims 90 per cent of those files are illegal. The anti-piracy organisation did ask Mininova to filter its search results, but couldn't reach an agreement even after negotiating for a year and a half.

Mininova-owner Erik Dubbelboer says he will proceed to court with full confidence. The site does have a notice and take down-policy just like YouTube and if a copyright holder asks the site to remove a file, the site wil simply obey. "Mininova is just too big to filter each file," he told Dutch news site Nu.nl. "This is the only proper way to do it."

In related news, Dutch telecom watchdog OPTA today fined two Dutch spammers a total of €510,000 for sending email spam, the largest fine ever issued by OPTA. The spammers ran a 'work at home' scam in which receipients were asked to call a very expensive phone number. ®

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