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Saturday, February 25, 2012

American Publishers vs Irish File-Sharing Sites

A coalition of American publishing groups has started legal action in Ireland against file-sharing websites they accuse of copyright violation. The targets of the suit are a music-sharing service and a couple of sites accused of sharing copyrighted ebooks.

The Serious Organized Crime Agency of the United Kingdom has seized the domain name of one popular music website, thus enacting their statement that they would consider unauthorized file-sharing services as organized crime threats.

A week ago, the court had Ireland-based online service Library.nu and ifile.it closed down, after two largest publishing groups have blamed them of making illegal money in excess of $10 million annually. The action against suspected file-sharers was taken in the frame of fresh opposition to anti-piracy legislation in the European Union. Online advocacy groups have been heavily disputing Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement for a while now, which has already been signed by 22 European states, including the United Kingdom.

The Association of American Publishers, in cooperation with the International Publishers Association, suggested that one of the targeted sites was liable for releasing more than 400,000 copyrighted ebooks for free. The representatives of the outfit claim they consider the lawsuit a considerable step in closing down a couple of the largest “notorious” websites stealing the works of the publishers and others, while also capturing the enormous investment of time and cost the copyright holders need to protect their work. They pointed out that for any notorious website that is shut down, there were always hundreds more of the similar services demanding similar effort.

The shut-down of the music service RnBXclusive and the issuing of a warning to the website’s visitors revealing the risks of unauthorized downloading have pushed prompted the online advocacy organization, Open Rights Group, to demand an urgent meeting with Serious Organized Crime Agency’s representatives. Last week, the pro-copyright outfit also confirmed that the lawsuit has also targeted 3 other services. Meanwhile, police reports say that the first of the anonymous services had voluntary closed down, the second was considering shutting, and the last one kept insisting it was only distributing legitimate content.

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