Zoekmp3 latest victory in international campaign against pirate music websites
London, June 19th, 2006
The music industry's global fight against illegal website piracy has been boosted by a landmark judgement against a major "deep links" site in the Netherlands.
The ruling against Techno Design "Internet Programming" BV, the operator of www.zoekmp3.nl, clarifies that making available a searchable website of deep links to unlicensed mp3 files for download is illegal in the Netherlands. The judgement by the Dutch Court of Appeal, in favour of the anti-piracy organisation BREIN, overturns a June 2004 decision of the Haarlem District Court.
It is the latest in a series of judgements against "deep link" websites offering thousands of unauthorised links to copyrighted music. Similar websites have been found to be illegal in Australia (mp3s4free.net) and China (Baidu).
The Dutch Court of Appeal ruled that Techno Design was aware that its mp3 search service referred systematically to infringing files and that it benefited commercially from this without taking into account the interests of content owners.
IFPI's General Counsel Geoff Taylor said: "This is a very important decision for the creative industries in the Netherlands and internationally. There has been concern that Holland could become a centre of internet piracy, but this decision shows that the Dutch courts will not tolerate websites building a business out of facilitating copyright infringement. That is an essential condition for the legitimate digital music market to flourish. It sends a clear message to others operating "mp3 search" services that they will be held liable for the damage that they cause."
Techno Design has been ordered to stop offering deep links to infringing mp3 files through zoekmp3.nl or any other website, and to pay costs and damages (to be assessed). Failure to comply with this injunction will lead to fines of €10,000 per day, or €1,000 per infringing file.
Key elements of the ruling:
Notes to editors:
IFPI is the organisation that promotes the interests of the international recording industry worldwide. Its membership comprises over 1400 major and independent companies in more than 70 countries. It also has affiliated industry national groups in 48 countries. IFPI's mission is to fight music piracy; promote fair market access and good copyright laws; help develop the legal conditions and the technologies for the recording industry to prosper in the digital era; and to promote the value of music.
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