Reykjavík District Court has today ordered ISPs Vodafone and Hringdu to block their customers from accessing the Pirate Bay and Icelandic torrent site Deildu.net.
RÚV reports that this is the first time Icelandic telecoms have been allowed to deny access to a website due to violation of copyright. It is uncertain at this time if the matter will be appealed.
Tens of thousands of Icelanders visit both sites every year, and this has been a source of frustration for The Performing Rights Society of Iceland (STEF), who have contended that file sharing violates copyright and deprives artists of revenue. As such, they have sought legal recourse with local authorities to block access to torrent sites, in particular the Pirate Bay and Deildu.
STEF managing director Guðrún Björk Bjarnadóttir told reporters that the court decision marks a “milestone” on the use of torrent sites in Iceland, expressing the hope that the precedent set will make blocking torrent sites “an easier matter than having to go through a long legal process”.
However, anyone who is a customer of Vodafone and Hringdu can still access the two sites if they know how to operate a proxy server. Guðrún said she recognises this, and that “the fight continues”.
Similar legal cases involving two other Icelandic telecoms, Síminn and Tal, аre still in the works.