BREIN Forces Torrent Sites Offline

The Dutch organization BREIN took action this week, resulting in the dismantling of two BitTorrent sites.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

The Dutch anti-piracy organization sent a cease and desist letter to the web host provider of According to BREIN, there was no action on part of the web host or the torrent site owner on a prior demand for 6 weeks. On Monday, BREIN visited the hosting provider to repeat these demands. As a result, the hosting provider sent a cease and desist letter to the site operator, and the website was shut down.

While the investigation may appear straightforward, BREIN ran into difficulties identifying the site owner as the website’s registration details are falsified. On further investigation, they discovered another website,, had the same false registration details. It was alleged that the website hosted 650 torrent ‘links’ and had 11,000 registered users.

Because of the hosting provider’s inaction for six weeks against the “illegal” torrent sites, BREIN is seeking additional damages of upwards of 280,000 Euros against the web host. This is an unusual move in copyright enforcement, considering ISPs are generally granted safe harbor against third party “misuse.”

“If a cease and desist [order] to the site operators is impossible or without result, BREIN contacts the hosting provider and demands immediate cessation and the disclosure of identity details of the site operator.” BREIN said, “Providers who then knowingly and willingly continue hosting the illegal sites can also be held liable.”

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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