Things are heating up in Iceland as they witness the first BitTorrent related lawsuit. Torrent.is, the largest BitTorrent tracker in the country has received a preliminary injunction which has effectively shut down the popular tracker. The case was initiated by four anti-piracy organizations, who filed for the preliminary injunction earlier this month. The regional District Commissioners office granted their request last Monday.
Torrent.is had around 26,500 active users before the site was taken offline, this made it by far the largest and most famous private BitTorrent tracker in Iceland. The tracker only allowed Icelandic IPs to connect to their tracker to ensure fast connectivity between peers.
The tracker was founded in May 2005 and used TBSource , it only recently started to generate media attention, which led to its downfall. The site is owned by Istorrent ehf., which is a company established for that purpose.
Svavar Kjarrval, the head administrator of Torrent.is is determined to put up a fight as he told TorrentFreak: “I’m going to fight this as far as I possibly can. The general public seems to be on our side.”
As a result of the takedown, SnÃ¦bjÃ¶rn SteingrÃmsson, the executive the Icelandic equivalent of the MPAA (SMAIS), received death threats and other hatemail. SMAIS is one of the four organizations that requested the takedown of Torrent.is and has been the leading war against filesharing in Iceland and it can be safely said that Mr. SteingrÃmsson is one of the most hated people in the country.
The war on BitTorrent is getting tougher with (upcoming) lawsuits in Canada, The Netherlands, Hungary and of course the U.S. The question that remains unanswered, however, is whether it is illegal to host, or even link to .torrent files that point to copyrighted material. There is no reason for BitTorrent’s popularity to wane until that’s cleared up.