News of the conviction of four people responsible for The Pirate Bay file-sharing site spread quickly, and the IFPI, an international affiliate of the RIAA, is now targeting web hosting providers who host file sharing web sites.
The web hosts, they argue, are accountable for content and should shut down the file sharing sites, despite the fact that the sites in question do not illegally distribute music.
The IFPI’s actions raise new questions about privacy and how involved a web hosting provider should be in the daily activities of their clients. Web hosting providers do not generally monitor their clients, unless there are specific terms of service violations or activity that would cause harm to the servers.
DCP Networks, the company responsible for providing hosting services to TorrentBytes, one of the larger BitTorrent sites, reportedly received a letter from the IFPI, requesting them to shut down the site.
IFPI lawyer Magnus Mårtensson told DN.se that the letter received by DCP Networks is not something strange or unusual. IFPI has contacted several other hosting providers and site owners Mårtensson said. What they aim to do here is extend the (yet to be appealed) verdict of “assisting copyright infringement” and apply it to hosting providers as well.
It remains to be seen whether there will be any legal basis for the IFPI claims, but their letters to web hosting providers might be enough to convince some to reject any clients with torrent tracking web sites.