Dutch drama: antipirates sue Pirate Bay, are sued in return

The Pirate Bay logoA Dutch antipiracy tried to sue The Pirate Bay admins in a Dutch court, notifying them by "mail, e-mail, Twitter, and Facebook." But the antipirates got more than they bargained for—a Swedish defamation lawsuit from The Pirate Bay crew. The entire saga could only get stranger if Ewoks were somehow involved.

The Pirate Bay logoThere are occasions on which I suspect that the entire raison d'être for The Pirate Bay is to provide content for a wacky reality TV show focused on how to create Internet drama. This week was one such occasion, as a strange lawsuit in the Netherlands brought charges against the site, its operators, and its (possible) future owners, even as Pirate Bay operators filed a defamation lawsuit in Sweden against the main Dutch antipiracy group.

BREIN, or Bescherming Rechten Entertainment Industrie Nederland, is one of the main Dutch trade groups representing copyright owners. It has taken on all sorts of lawsuits, including cases against BitTorrent search engine Mininova and local Usenet providers. It's also trying to convince a Dutch court to make The Pirate Bay block access to Dutch users after the Bay's administrators were convicted in Sweden this spring of aiding copyright infringement.

The case has no end of oddities to it: The Pirate Bay admins are all Swedish, for one thing, not Dutch. They also don't own the site, having transferred control to a murky offshore operation called Reservella at some point before their trial—yet BREIN insisted on summoning the men for trial.

Apparently unsure of how to reach them, BREIN lawyers tried to contact the men through (I kid you not) "an array of means, including mail, e-mail, Twitter and Facebook," according to the AP.

BREIN then added Global Gaming Factory X, the Swedish firm that says it may buy The Pirate Bay domain name later this summer, as a defendant in the case. That despite the fact that GGF has not purchased the site, has no control over its operation, and has publicly stated its plans to relaunch a legal service on the domain.

It wasn't a surprise this week when the three Pirate Bay admins didn't show up in the Dutch court. GGF did send a representative over, and he told the court what GGF had been saying since the very beginning: the deal might or might not go through, it would be voted on in August by the company's board, and it very much depended on getting funding and deciding that the site could become a viable, legal business. (Why the AP spun this as "GGF backtracking on Pirate Bay deal" is unclear.)

That's all strange enough, but BREIN's website (anti-piracy.nl) has been knocked offline by a distributed denial of service attack, and still appears to be down. Chief BREINiac Tim Kuik has apparently laid the blame for the DDoS attack at the feet of The Pirate Bay admins, leading predtictably to this morning's latest bit of news from the bizarre international showdown between the Dutch and Swedes.

"The press representative of The Pirate Bay, Peter Sunde, announces that he is filing criminal charges and lodging a lawsuit for defamation in Swedish court against Mr. Tim Kuik of Stichting BREIN in the Netherlands," announced The Pirate Bay blog this morning. "This is a response to the blatant and outrageous claims publically made by Mr. Tim Kuik. Recently, he has claimed in international press that The Pirate Bay operators and Peter Sunde are engaging in criminal so-called DDoS attacks against the web site of Stichting BREIN."

Sunde decried the attempt to "silence" his voice, saying, "We do not accept any more of the nonsense where anti piracy organisations claim that we have some sort of absurd criminal behavior. We want people to be aware of all the laws that are broken by our political opponents in order to silence us."

The Dutch and Swedish courts now have the tedious job of hashing out all the competing claims, but one thing is clear: if Sunde and his associates ever need to raise the cash to pay off their 30 million kronor fine, they could always partner with Joel Tenenbaum's legal team to write the definitive book on generating Internet buzz.

On the other hand, scratch that idea as a money-maker; the book would just be pirated.

Source: ars technica

Tags: BitTorrent, The Pirate Bay

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