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Court shuts down site that circumvents Pirate Bay blocks

Dutch anti-piracy group wins copyright ruling against proxy operator

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A Dutch anti-piracy group has won a court order forcing the operator of a proxy website to shut the site down after it was used to circumvent blocks to illegal file-sharing site The Pirate Bay.

BREIN won the ruling at the Court of The Hague, according to a report by the Torrent Freak website. The operator of the 'tpb.dehomies.nl' site faces a €1,000 fine for each day they fail to comply with the order.

Earlier this year BREIN won a court ruling ordering two of Holland's largest internet service providers (ISPs) to block their customers' access to The Pirate Bay. The Pirate Bay is a website that enables users to search for and download copyrighted content, including music and films.

However, some internet users have been able to get around the blocking measures introduced by the ISPs. They have set up sites which allow them to access content via proxy servers – bypassing the content filters used by the ISPs.

In addition to winning the court order, BREIN has also sent a number of letters to operators of other proxy sites it claims have enabled users to access The Pirate Bay, according to an automated translation from Dutch technology site Tweakers. The letters threaten similar legal action if the operators keep their sites online.

Tim Kuik, director of BREIN, said the proxy sites have been set up deliberately to circumvent the court injunction relating to The Pirate Bay. "If [the operators of the proxy sites] do not comply [with the letter requests], we [will] keep them liable for damages," he said, according to the Tweakers report (in Dutch).

In February the UK High Court ruled that both the operators of The Pirate Bay and its users are guilty of infringing the copyright of rights holders in the music industry. Mr Justice Arnold said that the operators had the ability to prevent illegal file-sharing from occurring on the site but chose not to. The UK's six biggest ISPs could be forced to block their customers' access to the site as a result of the ruling.

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