After operating for almost five full years, the BitTorrent giant Mininova deleted over a million torrent files from its site during November last year.
Mininova was left with little choice, having been forced into these drastic measures by a negative verdict in their court battle with local anti-piracy outfit BREIN.
The Dutch court told Mininova that it had to remove all infringing torrent files from its index, while threatening the site with huge fines for non-compliance. That selective task, however, proved technically unfeasible. Instead, the site’s owners took the decision to remove all torrents uploaded by regular users, many of which were not infringing any copyrights at all.
Following this decision Mininova started to lose visitors at a rapid pace. A year after the court decision the site lost most of its traffic, as former users looked for alternative torrent sites with a wider variety of content.
Meanwhile, the legal battle between Mininova and BREIN continued in the background. Mininova appealed the verdict at the Court of Amsterdam and BREIN prepared a damages claim on behalf of the entertainment industry.
In addition, both parties began negotiating a mutual agreement that would be acceptable to all parties involved, and they succeeded in finalizing that today.
“Both parties have now reached a settlement. Mininova will abide the verdict of the Court of Utrecht and will withdraw the appeal. In order to settle the matter permanently, Mininova pays Brein an undisclosed amount of money,” the Mininova team announced.
Instead of fighting the decision with all means available to them, Mininova decided that it was for the best to pay a settlement fee instead. The agreement announced today puts an end to the ongoing legal battle between Mininova and BREIN.
Mininova co-founder Niek told TorrentFreak that he’s happy with the outcome, and relieved that the legal proceedings are finally over. For more than two years Mininova has negotiated with BREIN, both in private and in the court room, and the current outcome was seemingly inevitable.
“Even though Mininova filed pro forma appeal, we strongly felt that giving up on it was a sacrifice BREIN made. After all Dutch case law makes clear appeal of verdict would’ve been decided in favor of rightholders,” BREIN’s head Tim Kuik told TorrentFreak.
“We both agreed settlement was preferable over a long drawn court battle over damages. We carry no grudge and wish the guys from Mininova the very best with their new ventures, including the Mininova site in its present form that it took since 29 November 2009,” Kuik added.
Mininova will continue to operate as a torrent site with authorized uploaders only, as it has been for the past year.