Pirate Bay Still Blocked in Denmark

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The Danish Eastern High Court ruled last week that it is up to Internet service providers to ensure that their customers do not use the Swedish torrent-tracking site The Pirate Bay to download illegal content.

This ruling upholds a previous court order in the case between the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the Danish ISP (Internet service provider) Tele2.

Since February this year, Tele2's customers have not been able to access the Pirate Bay because an injunction forces Tele2 to block access at the DNS (Domain Name System) level.

Last week's ruling upholds this decision and will probably cause the IFPI to insist that all Danish ISPs block access to the site. Italian ISPs have already blocked access.

That is what happened in the case of Allofmp3. With the help of the court, the IFPI ordered Danish ISPs to block customers' access to the popular but disputed Russian online music store.

Danish ISPs don't want to be forced to act as Internet police, and this has pushed the Danish telecommunications industry to support Tele2 in the Pirate Bay case.

Copyright holders, though, want to protect their rights in music, movies and other entertainment content and end the financial loss they believe that use of The Pirate Bay entails.

Nicholai Kramer Pfeiffer, regulatory affairs manager at Tele2's owner, Telenor, said the company is considering applying for permission to appeal the case to the Danish Supreme Court, with the support of other Danish telecommunications providers.

"The Supreme Court only hears matters of principle, and we believe that this case falls under that category," he said.

He finds the current ruling unclear. "The court order does not create the clarity we had hoped for. It mentions DNS blocking but does not bring final clarification of situations we might encounter in the future," he said.

IFPI Denmark now awaits the decision of the telecommunications industry.

But even if the case is appealed to the Supreme Court, the IFPI expects the other Danish ISPs to follow the current court order and block access to The Pirate Bay, said Jesper Bay, marketing director at IFPI Denmark.

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