Jonathan Pink — Entertainment, Internet and New Media Partner at Lewis Brisbois, LLP Rotating Header Image

Pirate Update

Pirate update:  No, not the Somalis, the Dutch. 

According to a report in IP360 (and the Associated Press), a Dutch court has given Pirate Bay 10 days to walk the plank – errr, to shut down operations in the Netherlands.  And if they don’t?  There are sharks waiting for them in the churning sea below, to the tune of up to $42,000 per day.  Ouch!  It is not clear from either report how the Court proposes to enforce its order or to block Netherlands-based traffic (one envisions a little Dutch boy, with his finger in the Internet dyke), but that’s what the Court has said and they seem to mean business. 

The ruling, by the way, follows the copyright infringement suit filed just over a week ago by a number of studios (a baker’s dozen, all of whom have the dough to do so).  Pirate Bay has continued to operate notwithstanding a ruling last April from a Swedish court which sent the site’s founders to jail (for one year each), and hit them with a hefty $3.6 million fine based on similar charges.

How is it that Pirate Bay gets him with infringement suits (and, ahem, jail time) when YouTube hosts plenty of material that may well be covered by third party copyrights?  Because unlike YouTube, Pirate Bay distributes torrent files, linking users to the copyrighted material.  It is the users who host the torrents and who are in possession of any infringing material.

Thus, by seeking to circumvent claims of domestic and international copyright infringement, the Pirate walks the plank, while YouTube . . . . walks to the bank. 

Jonathan Pink is a business lawyer with a specialty in copyright, patent and trademark litigation. His clients include many of the biggest names in the automotive and motorcycle aftermarket parts industries, and one of world's largest media companies. He has extensive experience in a wide range of intellectual property and commercial disputes including breach of contract, fraud, and the misappropriation of trade secrets. He can be reached at 949.223.7173, or at jonathan.pink@bryancave.com, and his full profile can be viewed at www.bryancave.com.

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