File sharing website The Pirate Bay has been told by a court in Amsterdam to remove all links to copyrighted material and close off access to Dutch users within three months or face a fine of up to €3m, the Telegraaf reports on Friday.
The case was brought by entertainment industry lobby group Stichting Brein.
The judge said that The Pirate Bay had broken the law by enabling its users to access copyrighted material and that it is ‘extremely likely’ Brein’s members had lost out financially because of this.
Ernst-Jan Louwers, representing the three Swedish Pirate Bay founders, told the court his clients no longer own or manage The Pirate Bay, which has been taken over by a company called Riservella, based on the Seychelles.
‘It’s a bizarre story,’ news agency AP quoted Louwers as saying. His clients now have a ‘big problem’ as they don’t control the site and can’t comply with the order, he said.
‘The court assumes that they’re behind the site — end of discussion,’ Louwers said. He is considering an appeal.
In August, Dutch file sharing site Mininova was ordered to remove copyrighted material links by a court in Utrecht.
In April a Swedish court sentenced the three founders of The Pirate Bay and a fourth man to a year in prison for promoting copyright infringement.
Founded in 2003, The Pirate Bay makes it possible to avoid copyright fees and share music, film and computer game files for free. The site claims to have more than 20 million users worldwide.
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