Mininova has lost its civil dispute with Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN. The judge ruled that Mininova is not directly responsible for any copyright infringement, but ordered it to remove all torrents linking to copyrighted material within three months, or face a penalty of up to 5 million euros.
Mininova were sued this spring by BREIN, an outfit which protects the rights of several large entertainment industry corporations.
Today, the judge ruled that the world’s largest BitTorrent indexer has been ordered to clean up its site and remove all torrents that link to infringing content.
BREIN’s intention was not to shut down the site. Instead, the organization called for a filter based on infringing keywords and possibly digital fingerprints to guarantee that the rights holders have sufficient means to protect their content.
The court agreed with BREIN’s assessment that Mininova is not doing enough to protect the rights of copyright holders, and ordered the site to remove all torrent files that link to infringing content within three months, or pay a penalty of 1000 Euro per infringing torrent with a maximum of 5 million euros ($7 million).
Mininova’s notice and takedown policy that allows copyright holders to remove infringing torrents is not sufficient, the court said. Interestingly, the recently announced copyright filter that Mininova launched together with the Motion Picture Association (MPA) wasn’t mentioned in the verdict.
The court did not agree with Mininova’s defense that it is impossible to moderate all torrents that are uploaded to the site. It further said that Mininova is encouraging its users to download copyrighted material, helped by the several moderators that the site has in place.
The moderators keep the site clean and ‘family friendly’ by removing torrents that link to adult content, viruses and fake files. They do this proactively and in response to user feedback, the court concluded, pointing out that they should also be able to moderate torrents that link to copyrighted material.
It was further concluded that Mininova profits from copyright infringement though the ads that appear on the site.
Mininova co-founder Erik Dubbelboer said in a response: “We are obviously not happy with the verdict.” Mininova is considering to appeal the decision, which they have to do within three months