With infrastructure often spread around the world and multiple domains in backup, shutting down access to torrent and streaming sites can be a complex affair. Even when national legal systems provide the necessary tools, the process can be extremely drawn out, not to mention ineffective.
The case of The Pirate Bay provides a perfect example. Deemed illegal just about everywhere, the site has remained online despite the efforts of law enforcement, countless legal professionals, and courts around the globe. The world’s most notorious torrent site doesn’t play by the rules, a point certainly not lost on Paul Pintér, Sweden’s national coordinator for IP enforcement.
Pintér, previously a computer crime and forensics investigator with the Stockholm County Police, has headed up a specialist anti-piracy unit since 2010. He feels that the police need more powers to shut down sites such as The Pirate Bay.
In a memorandum submitted to the Government, Pintér says that websites that violate copyright or trademark law should be blocked by Internet service providers. Furthermore, while preliminary investigations are underway, domain names should be seized by the authorities.
“They commit crimes, they should be removed from the Internet. I see it as an additional tool to combat piracy,” Pintér told IDG.
Pintér understands the problems only too well. The process to seize The Pirate Bay’s .SE domain has dragged on since 2013 and now sits with the court of appeal. A decision was due this week but Punkt SE (IIS), the organization responsible for Sweden’s top level .SE domain, informs TorrentFreak that the decision has been delayed again.
“If we have a site selling counterfeit clothing or an illegal streaming site, and you can seize its domain during the investigation, it is gone during that time. It is a good preventive measure if nothing else,” Pintér says.
Being able to quickly seize a ‘pirate’ domain would certainly be an asset to the police but there are those who will question whether that would trample due process. Pintér suggests that wouldn’t be the case.
“I want the law to be technology neutral. We carry out seizures in many, many other cases, everything from computers to money,” Pintér says.
Nevertheless, adjustments would have to be made. In his memorandum to the government Pintér calls for changes in the law that would allow police to seize not only tangible items such as physical property, but also intangible items such as domain names.
Furthermore, rather than relying on entertainment industry companies to take their own legal action, Pintér would like amendments to the law that would allow copyright or trademark infringing sites to be blocked by ISPs.
“I’m not talking about blocking everything. I’m talking about sites that contain criminal material. I don’t see a difference between child pornography, copyright infringement or trademark infringement – for me it is a crime,” Pintér concludes.
Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.