In recent years, Swedish movie outfits and Hollywood studios, including Disney, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros, have been working hard to get local ISPs to block The Pirate Bay.
The first success came a few years ago when a blocking order was issued against local Internet provider Bredbandsbolaget. This was later followed by an interim order against Telia, Sweden’s largest ISP, which was struck down on appeal and sent back to the lower court.
During the second try of the case movie companies again requested a blocking order against The Pirate Bay, as well as three other sites, Dreamfilm, FMovies, and NyaFilmer.
Last month this case was decided in favor of the rightsholders, with the court not only issuing a blocking injunction but also one that can be extended
The Swedish Patent and Market Court ordered Telia to block access to the four pirate sites to prevent these from facilitating further copyright infringement. In addition, the rightsholders are also allowed to add new domain names and IP-addresses going forward.
The movie companies requested this expansion option since blocking orders are often circumvented through new domains and proxy sites. Telia objected to the request for such a “dynamic” blocking order, but the court sided with the copyright holders.
“It is clear that the services change domain names and URLs and that this is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to bypass the effect of a blocking procedure,” the court writes.
“A blocking injunction should, therefore, in order to effectively serve the rights holders’ interest in preventing infringements, not merely target specified domain names and URLs,” the order adds.
This effectively means that Telia must update its blocklist when it’s made aware of changes. Any new URLs and IP-addresses have to provide access to any of the four pirate sites, including The Pirate Bay.
Telia also objected to the general blocking order and questioned whether the rightsholders had shown any proof of infringement. However, the court refuted these arguments and stressed that, under EU law, ISP can be ordered to stop pirating subscribers.
The case resulted in a clash between several rights that are defined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In this instance, the property rights of the movie companies weigh stronger than Telia’s right to entrepreneurial freedom.
Hans Eriksson, Senior Associate at the law firm Westerberg & Partners, highlighted the case at IPKat, believes that dynamic injunctions, which can be updated regularly, will become more and more common.
“Dynamic injunctions like this one are likely to be the future for blocking injunctions in Europe,” Eriksson tells TorrentFreak.
The Market Court’s injunction is valid for three years. If Telia fails to properly implement the blockades, it risks a penalty of 500,000 Swedish Krona (€47,500). Telia is not happy with the outcome, however, and has already filed an appeal.
A copy of the Patent and Market Court’s order, in Swedish, is available here (pdf).