From Iceland — STEF Issues Injunction Against Telecoms

STEF Issues Injunction Against Telecoms

Published October 23, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Copyright holders interest group STEF has issued an injunction against many Icelandic telecoms to block access to and The Pirate Bay.

MBL reports that The Performing Rights Society of Iceland (STEF) has already filed an injunction against telecoms Voda­fo­ne, Hringdu, Sím­inn, Tal and 365 Media, asking the court to rule in favour of ordering them to block access to torrent sites The Pirate Bay and its Icelandic cousin, (now known as The injunction against Síminn fell through on technicalities, and the judge in the Tal case recused themselves as being unfit to hear the trial.

While most of these telecoms have been resistant to block access to these sites, 365 Media expressed a willingness to explore the idea, and STEF has urged Síminn and Tal to do the same. However, both telecoms have responded by saying that they did not consider it their place to block their customers from accessing websites, and would not do so without an injunction.

As reported, tens of thousands of Icelanders visit both sites every year, and this has been a source of frustration for STEF, who have contended that file sharing violates copyright and deprives artists of revenue.

STEF managing director Guðrún Björk Bjarnadóttir told reporters that a recent Reykjavík District Court decision ordering Vodafone and Hringdu to block their customers from accessing the Pirate Bay and 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”.

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