Following the huge pressure it successfully put on LeaseWeb to shut BitTorrent sites, anti-piracy outfit BREIN smells blood as it casts a wider net to force other ISPs to shut down other huge sites, including the likes of Mininova, TorrentSpy and BTJunkie.
During the last month we’ve reported a few times on the likelihood that BREIN pressure would lead to a shuttering of BitTorrent sites at LeaseWeb. After LeaseWeb issued an ultimatum for BitTorrent sites to leave its hosting by December 1st, at least ten major sites left for hosting in new countries such as Sweden, while others felt that re-locating within the Netherlands would be acceptable, providing it was with another ISP.
BREIN director Tim Kuik is proud of these successes in The Netherlands, and although some sites have moved outside BREIN’s ‘jurisdiction’ by moving abroad, he is delighted that they have “swept the Dutch pavement clean” of torrent sites.
It seems that BREIN is not planning to stop yet, as Kuik once again threatens BitTorrent sites that are still hosted in The Netherlands: “If they do not disappear, civil legal action will follow, or even criminal legal action.”
So who will be their next target? The site Dutch site Tweakers.net is reporting that established names such as Torrentspy, mininova and Btjunkie may be targets shortly.
BREIN intends to use the everlasting.nu case to force ISPs to cough up torrent site admin’s details. However, Kuik admits the difficulties in tracking down the owners of many torrent sites as the administrators take extraordinary steps to hide their identities, including giving false details to their hosting provider. Clearly, even if BREIN gets information from the ISP, there’s every chance that these details are false, giving the site admins the chance to relocate and start again with a different host, possibly in a different country.
Last week TorrentFreak asked BREIN why they didn’t take action against sites like mininova. Their address is easy to find since they are a registered company in The Netherlands. Tim Kuik from BREIN did not want to comment on that question (scared they will lose?), but it now looks like they have shifted strategies, and target the ISPs now.
BREIN is about to start pressurizing other Dutch ISPs after their successes at LeaseWeb, who incidentally still host dozens of other BitTorrent sites. Kuik issued a veiled threat to ISPs who accept these anonymous accounts: “Hosting providers who do not check that their customer data is correct run the risk that they themselves could be held responsible for the actions of those customers.”