There are plenty of options for copyright holders to frustrate the operations of pirate sites, but one of the most effective is to attack their domain names.
In recent years, various entertainment industry groups have called on the domain name industry to help out on this front.
As a result, the MPAA signed a landmark agreement with the Donuts registry under which the movie industry group acts as a “trusted notifier” of “pirate” domains. A similar deal was later announced with the Radix registry.
Not all registrars and registries are welcoming these types of voluntary actions. The Public Interest Registry (PIR), which oversees the registrations of .org domains, was previously asked by the RIAA to suspend The Pirate Bay’s domain name. However, the organization chose not to do so.
Many registrars and registries don’t like the idea of acting as “content police.” Instead, they prefer these matters to be handled through the courts instead. This is one of the main reasons why The Pirate Bay, after more than 15 years, is still accessible on its .org domain.
Ironically, the infamous torrent site moved to over a dozen other domains in the past, fearing a .org domain seizure. However, while many other the other domains were suspended or taken by court order, thepiratebay.org stands tall.
The question is whether things will remain this way, as PIR is in the process of being sold to private equity firm Ethos Capital. At the moment, PIR is part of the Internet Society, which is critical of stringent copyright policies, but its new owner may see things differently.
Possible policy changes are also a concern many organizations and groups have. A few days ago, EFF, Wikimedia, Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Demand Progress, and several others, sent a letter to Internet Society President Andrew Sullivan, urging him to stop the sale.
The groups are concerned that Ethos may raise domain name prices and that it will implement rights protection mechanisms. In addition, they caution that domain names could be suspended for alleged illegal activity, without any judicial oversight.
Ethos will have “the power to implement processes to suspend domain names based on accusations of ‘activity contrary to applicable law’,” the letter reads.
The organizations are concerned that this will put NGOs at risk. However, the same issues are very relevant for The Pirate Bay as well. After all, that will be one of the prime candidates for a voluntary domain name suspension.
Thus far there is no indication that Ethos has any plans to do so. However, if we look closely at the company we do notice something worth sharing. Erik Brooks, the founder and CEO of Ethos Capital, served (or serves) on the board of the Donuts registry.
Yes, that’s the same Donuts the MPAA has an agreement with to suspend copyright-infringing domains. Brooks joined the board after that deal was struck, but it’s an interesting observation nonetheless.
TorrentFreak reached out to both the Internet Society and Ethos Capital for further details but at the time of writing, we have yet to hear back.
We doubt that The Pirate Bay is worried about any of this. While it may become more likely that they’ll lose their original .org domain sometime in the future, the site always has alternatives ready. We have little doubt that they still have a few lined up, just in case.
Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.
Post a Comment