[pp.int.general] TPB in NL

Andrew Norton ktetch at gmail.com
Fri Jul 31 01:28:44 CEST 2009

On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 5:52 PM, Reinier Bakels<r.bakels at planet.nl> wrote:
> Today TPB was convicted in The Netherlands to make its website inaccessible
> from NL. This is based on a provision in our authors law that allows and
> injunction agains providing means for copyright infringement.
> TPB was convicted to pay the full cost of the procedure (well over 50K
> euro). Accodrding o the EU IPRED1 directive a full procedure cost convction
> is possible, but this amount is outrageous.
> TPB did not show up, and the letter they wrote could not be considered due
> to technicalities of procedural law.
> DO WE SYMPATHIZE WITH TPB? I am asking because a Dutch copyright critic
> argued tonight that TPB is definitely infringing copyright under current
> law. Advocating a change in the law is one thing, but delibeerately
> infringing the law before it is changed is something else.
> First, I wonder whether TPB really infringes copyright, which is both a
> matter of technology and law.

I don't know about dutch law, that's your bailiwick, but I can tell
you about the technology.

Bittorrent involves the creation of metadata. The data is checksummed,
and the information about the files is placed into another file,
that's the basis of the torrent. A hash of that data is also created,
thats the torrent ID, and is pretty much unique. There is also one or
more addresses listed inside the torrent file as a central point of
contact (the tracker address). and the names of the files and their
In short, a torrent file about XYZ, contains no actual copyrighted
data about XYZ, just data about it.
Now, the piratebay site takes these torrent files, and offers these
same metadata files for download. it provides information that is
given in the torrent file, plus periodically updated peer information
(how many people have 100% of the torrent's files, and how many are on
it total) from the tracker.
Downloading the torrent file does not mean downloading the copyrighted
data associated with it. In fact, from my own experiances with
Mininova, the first 30-50 torrent downlaods from Mn do not result in
any peers, it's just other torrent sites getting the torrent file.

As far as the tracker goes, it doesn't even get the torrent file. It
gets an announcement from peers referencing the hash. It does not know
the name of those files, or the data in those files. It just matches
all the peers that say they're using hash 'abc' and passes back data
on that.

There is also another system, called DHT. that's a distributed system
between clients, that passes peer data around. There are also things
called 'magnet links' which basically identify the torrent by it's
hash, and pull the torrent file down via the DHT. No need for torrent
files, sites or trackers now.

Under the US system, TPB might be guilty of vicarious infringement. As
it has no actual 3rd party copyrighted material on it's servers
without permission though, it's not directly infringing copyright

Hope this helps, Reinier.

PS, dont' forget everyone, tomorow my pirate-party.us email address is
switched off, so contact me at ktetch at gmail.com  - update your address

> Second, I wonder whether TPBs actions continue to help PP. Does TPB have an
> activist strategy, or are they just slightly anarchist?
> reinier
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