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Danish ISP ordered again to block Pirate Bay

Landmark decision or just a needle prick?

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Danish ISP Sonofon (part of Tele2) has once again been ordered by a Danish court to block the controversial Swedish BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay. The record industry represented by The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) calls it a landmark ruling and says the decision confirms the illegality of Pirate Bay.

The judgment delivered Wednesday by the Danish appeal court upholds the decision earlier this year requiring access to the Pirate Bay to be blocked. The court believes Sonofon is contributing to the infringements by allowing access to the pirate site.

IFPI Chairman and CEO John Kennedy believes the decision "sets a precedent for other countries and highlights the key role that ISPs should play in helping protect copyright online". Jesper Bay, head of the Danish IFPI, expects other ISPs to follow suit, he told the Danish magazine Computer World.

However, the IFPI may have picked the wrong ISP: Sonofon does not have substantial broadband operations in Denmark and is losing market share. Also, Tele2 could still take the case to the Supreme Court.

The original court case to force Danish ISP Tele2 to block The Pirate Bay was initiated by the IFPI itself earlier this year. A similar Danish court order obtained by the record industry in 2006 to cut off the murky Russian music download site AllofMP3.com at DNS level was quickly sidestepped by internet users - as was the blocking of The Pirate Pay.

So far, IFPI's actions against The Pirate Bay haven’t exactly diminished the Pirate Bay's popularity. The site is actually celebrating its fifth birthday this week and reached 25 million users earlier this month.

The four individuals responsible for setting up and running the site are facing criminal prosecution in Sweden and the hearing is scheduled to begin in February in Stockholm. ®

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