There was quite a stir during the last month when we announced that Demonoid had been forced to temporarily close following legal pressures. The site returned but blocked Canadian users under orders of the CRIA. Now it appears that this was just the start of action against Canadian BitTorrent trackers.
Following a Canadian newspaper article which branded them ‘The Pirates of Quebec’, two BitTorrent trackers have been targeted by a collective of Canadian music labels.
The administrator of the 1 year old, 46,000 member ‘QuebecTorrent‘ has received Cease and Desist letters from 4 record labels and is being threatened with further action if they don’t comply.
The demands are:
a) Close the site www.quebectorrent.com and any other site of similar nature which you operate.
b) You must agree to never again directly or indirectly operate any other service which enables the sharing of music.
c) You must post a message clearly indicating the closure of the site and inform your users that sharing music via p2p networks is forbidden by Canadian copyright law unless permission is obtained and royalties paid.
In contrast to the situation at Demonoid who chose to block Canadian users rather than close or re-locate, it appears that QuebecTorrent (QT) don’t want to take this lying down and are hoping to fight this action.
Currently the members are being rallied with a view to obtaining donations – the administrator of QT told TorrentFreak that their lawyer is charging 250$ CAD/hour and although he is financing some of the fight, he simply cannot raise all of the funds.
He told us: “The fees so far are confirmed at 2000$ CAD. I am asking the users for 1500$ and I will pay the rest.”
He also outlines two scenarios – if QuebecTorrent loses in court, it will be very bad for P2P as a favorable legal precedent for the majors would result in an anti-p2p ‘crusade’.
Equally, victory could create a favorable legal precedent for P2P which would benefit the whole file-sharing community.
In summing up, the administrator says that he has a stark choice – either people donate to support the legal defense of the site or he will have no choice but to close it in the face of pressure from these labels.
Anyone wanting to help QuebecTorrent fight should consider donating.
Stay tuned, updates to follow