Swedish Anti-Pirates Threaten BitTorrent Trackers

When the Pirate Bay verdict came in last Friday, many feared that the copyright holders would use it as ammunition against other sites. Indeed, Antipiratbyrån - the Swedish anti-piracy office - is now going after BitTorrent trackers with that verdict in hand. They demand that the trackers stop their activities, threatening them with legal action.

A few days ago we reported that many Swedish BitTorrent trackers had shut down voluntarily, fearing that they might end up in the same position as the four defendants in the Pirate Bay (mis)trial. Their suspicions were not far off, as the Swedish anti-piracy office is sending out emails to those who operate BitTorrent trackers where copyrighted material is being shared.

“We noticed that you, through the activities with swedvdr.org, similarly engaged in copyright infringement of several works whose rights belong to our principals. You are hereby requested to immediately take the necessary measures to prevent the ongoing incursions,” wrote Antipiratbyrån in an email to the operator of the Swedvdr BitTorrent tracker.

The demands are as follows:

- Delete all Torrent files from swedvdr.org referring to copyrighted works.
- Take steps to prevent future uploads to swedvdr.org of torrent files.
- Take measures to prevent the ability to upload or download torrents.

The email from the anti-piracy office of course ends with a threat. “Unless your contribution to the incursions have stopped by 29th April 2009, we have advised our clients to take legal action against you,” they write.

While Swedvdr did indeed comply with the request to shut down the site, TTi, another popular private tracker announced that it will only post torrents with consent from the copyright holders from now on. “TTi will only concentrate on bands/artists that want to spread their material on the Internet and are waiting for a record contract,” TTi staff announced.

“Because of all the turbulence and insecurity about whether it’s okay to run a tracker or not, we have now decided to go full out on bands that want to be discovered through the Internet. We of course realize that many of you are disappointed about this suggestion, but we have decided that this is the best for the future of TTi,” they add.

Closing the site is not an option according to TTi staff.

It came as no surprise that Antipiratbyrån was going to use the TPB verdict to their advantage. Their counterpart in The Netherlands, BREIN, has been doing the same thing for years. Ironically, this will only mean that The Pirate Bay will see an increase in visitors.

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