Anti-piracy organizations are known for their excellent lobbying skills. However, knowledge of the Internet and technology doesn’t seem to be a prerequisite. Recently the Lithuanian anti-piracy outfit changed its name, but forgot to register the new domain. It now belongs to the owner of one of the largest BitTorrent sites in the country.
There are a lot of BitTorrent users in Lithuania, and the two largest BitTorrent sites in the country, Torrent.lt and Linkomanija.net are in the top 20 of Lithuania’s most visited websites.
Of course, a country with plenty of ‘pirates’ has to have its own anti-piracy organization, and Lithuania is no different. The local anti-piracy outfit goes by the name ANVA, an acronym for ‘Antipiracines Veiklos Asociacija’. Their main targets are the local BitTorrent sites, which they have announced they will sue for millions in damages.
To use the word ‘Lithuania’ in a Lithuanian organization’s name requires government approval. Recently, ANVA changed its name to LANVA, after they succeeded in getting this authorization. This seal of approval may give the organization more credibility, but there is a small problem. They forgot to register the domain lanva.lt when they changed their name. Before, they were using anva.lt, but while they did make a new logo with the L included, registering a new domain didn’t come to mind.
Usually, mistakes like this can be easily overcome by paying a certain amount of money to the person who was smart enough to register the domain, but not this time. Kestas Ermanas, the owner of one of the largest BitTorrent sites in Lithuania, registered the domain as soon as he found out about the name change, and he is not planning to hand it over to his arch rival.
The domain Kestas bought currently displays the following message: “This is how it works. Whatever you sink, we build back up. Whomever you sue, ten new pirates are recruited. Wherever you go, we are already ahead of you. You are the past and the forgotten, we are the Internet and the future.”
LANVA has scheduled an emergency meeting next Thursday to discuss what they can do to get the lanva.lt domain in their possession. The chances that they will get the domain through a dispute are very slim though. There have been several cases in Lithuania where large companies sued owners of domain names, and they lost every single time.
This is not the first time that an anti-piracy organization has had a domain dispute with a BitTorrent site. October last year The Pirate Bay got hold of the domain name of IFPI, under which they wanted to launch the “International Federation of Pirate Interests.” The case was later lost by The Pirate Bay, but the fact that they acquired it in the first place is yet another example of the tech illiteracy of these organizations.