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Telenor shuns IFPI's 'block Pirate Bay' demands

Like asking post office to open every letter, says Norwegian ISP

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Norwegian ISP Telenor has refused demands from representatives of the US music and film industry to block access to BitTorrent tracker website The Pirate Bay.

The Norwegian wing of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) demanded that telecoms group Telenor prevent access to the infamous file sharing site.

According to Reuters the ISP said yesterday the music and film industry had no legal grounds to force it to block access to The Pirate Bay.

It added that ISPs could not be held liable for actions by surfers looking for free downloads.

"Asking an ISP to control and assess what internet users can and cannot download is just as wrong as asking the post office to open and read letters and decide what should and should not be delivered," said Telenor.

The company claimed there was "no legal basis" for ISPs to fiddle with the content its users download.

"At the same time, Telenor does not condone pirating of material and illegal file sharing," it added.

In February 2008, however, it was a different story in Denmark when Telenor-owned Tele2 agreed to a court order blocking access to the Swedish BitTorrent tracker site following demands from the record industry's anti-piracy lobby.

At the time the IFPI said it expected other internet service providers to voluntarily follow suit.

Just last month Ireland's biggest ISP Eircom agreed to block access to any website the music industry claimed was responsible for illegal music-swapping.

The Register asked the Norwegian arm of the IFPI to comment on Telenor's decision, but at time of writing it hadn't got back to us.

Meanwhile, the prosecution and defence in the entertainment industry versus The Pirate Bay trial have wrapped up proceedings in the case.

The court announced a verdict would be due on 17 April. ®

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