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ShareConnector Trial Finally Resumes
July 7, 2007
Thomas Mennecke
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Three or four years ago, eDonkey2000 was the prime avenue to download files online. Indexing sites such as ShareRector became popular resources to find the latest releases. However like many popular indexing site, it was forced offline with legal pressure from the entertainment industry.

It was soon replaced by a multitude of smaller indexing sites, including a site called ShareConnector.com. Within months, ShareConnector was considered a top alternative to ShareReactor. Yet like ShareReactor, it too was kicked off line by the Dutch copyright enforcement firm BREIN.

But unlike most indexing sites that are banished from the Internet, ShareConnector made a comeback in February of 2005. Believing there was nothing illegal about ShareConnector, Adi, the administrator of the eDonkey2000 indexing site, restored the database complete with content links. His argument for legality stems from the assertion that they do not actually host any copyrighted files, rather only index content existing on the network.

“As we all know it's not illegal by Dutch law to put eD2k links on a webpage, it's just a hashcode which describes a file so it has nothing to do with localization,” Adi wrote. “Without any (real) investigation they assumed BREIN was right and gave permission to FIOD-ECD (piracy tracing department) to seize the servers and take SC offline. That day only 1 person was arrested our SC ISP Zefanja, his computers etc. were seized and he was 2 days in jail.”

The initial phase of the trial began in June of 2006, however no significant progress was made. The judge presiding in the case was concerned with the quality of the evidence, and postponed the trial until a later date. The legality of indexing content was not addressed.

"The trial ended not how I expected and hoped to go," the owner of ShareConnector told Slyck.com. "Because of this the whole issue about eDonkey links and the role of ShareConnector wasn't the subject of discussion, instead only the fact that the investigation wasn't right and the possible collaboration between BREIN and justice was in question."

Now, after considerable delay the trial is set to resume on July 9 and 10. To the satisfaction of Adi, the matter of linking to eDonkey2000 content will finally be addressed.

“During our first court case back in June 2006, it became evident that the so called investigation was a total mess based on lies and manipulation,” Adi states on ShareConnector.com. “The pile of papers which they call research is nothing more than a showoff to the authorities to dig in the truth and make it all look like something big, criminal and illegal is going on. The case was suspended because the jury ruled that BREIN and FIOD-ECD first have to prove they were careful in their case against us.


“Finally one year later the case will take place, once again in Rotterdam. At last after 2.5 years, the case will be handled with respect to the content. The outcome should be known 2 weeks after the court case.”

The gravity of this judgment is significant. If BREIN loses, it could set a precedent which establishes that meta-linking to content, but not actually hosting content, is legal. Wouldn’t that ruin their day?

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
eDonkey2000 :: ed2k Indexing Sites

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