Much to the elation of the online community but consternation of record labels and movie studios, online file sharing has become more and more widespread.
Downloading so-called ‘torrents’ has become one of the most popular ways to share video and music files online, but Iceland’s biggest torrent download site, www.torrent.is, may soon be shut down after a public hearing took place this week.
Online news site TorrentFreak recently interviewed the head administrator of Torrent.is, Svavar Kjarval, who said, “The plaintiffs are making an outrageous claim. They argue that website and domain owners should always be responsible for copyright violations of third parties. The case could set a dangerous precedent if the court agrees with their claims.”
While Kjarval has distanced himself from the copyright infringement, the Reykjavik District Court is cracking down on people who are distributing knowingly-copyrighted material. Nine individuals recently faced criminal charges relating to file sharing using Direct Connect.
Torrent.is has become the number one sharing site in the country,
and shutting it down would send a strong message to file-share users that their participation comes with the possibility of criminal prosecution.
The Icelandic body that handles artist copyrights wants to see their clients compensated for losses due to sites like Torrent.is – compensation which could top a few million ISK according to executive Snaebjorn Steingrimmson.