MP3 Search Engine is Illegal According to Dutch Court

The Dutch court ruled that the MP3 search engine “” is infringing copyright. This is a remarkable ruling, since none of the files that the search engine is linking to are actually hosted at zoekmp3’s servers.

Initially the lower court decided that it was not illegal to link to illegal files, however, the appeal court did not agree.

It is not hard to find copyrighted MP3’s on the internet, a simple search for Radiohead on google returns a list full of copyrighted material. However, according to the Dutch court, zoekmp3 was structurally and knowingly linking to infringing content, and having a disclaimer that the search results might infringe copyright is not sufficient in this case.

Tim Kuik from the Dutch anti-piracy organization “Brein”, the initiator of the case, was delighted to hear the news and stated:

Finally some clarity, you cannot use a website to facilitate the piracy needs of your visitors.

The ruling could possible have negative consequences for the large number of BitTorrent sites that are hosted in The Netherlands. MP3’s and torrents are obviously not the same, and the present ruling will therefore not apply to the BitTorrent search engines and trackers in The Netherlands. However, it is a step in the wrong direction.


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