The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, or IFPI for short, appears to be taking on much of the public spotlight in the global war on Internet piracy. Their effort is making some progress, as the UK based BitTorrent indexing site OinK was eliminated in conjunction with the BPI. But there remains one significant stronghold: the Swedish BitTorrent tracker, The Pirate Bay.
The IFPI is diversifying the strategy used against The Pirate Bay in an attempt to overwhelm the BitTorrent tracker. Most recently, the IFPI succeeded in bringing legal pressure to the administration team, as the Swedish prosecutor announced an indictment against the four last week. The monetary claim against them is rather weak at $180,000, however this appears to be a small part of the overall pie.
Now the IFPI has switched over to an old reliable tactic, pressuring the hapless Danish chapter of the ISP Tele2. Tele2 is actually a European wide telecommunications firm, who was most recently pressured by the IFPI to block the AllofMp3.com. However, when the IFPI made its move against AllofMp3.com, the controversial Russian music store was already in a steady state of decline. Why are these two points important?
The IFPI has once again revisited the Danish chapter of Tele2, and has once again succeeded in their pressure to block the undesirables - otherwise know this time as The Pirate Bay. The Swedish publication “The Local” reported today
that the IFPI took Tele2 to an economic dispute court, which ruled in the IFPI's favor. Additionally, because of the decimated state of AllofMp3.com during the initial block, the true effectiveness of Tele2's techniques remain unknown.
So now the IFPI has successfully pressured the local Danish chapter of Tele2 to block The Pirate Bay
. The block hasn't been established yet, and most likely will not be until later today or tomorrow. But what effect will this really have?
That's a bit difficult to ascertain. The Local has reported that the IFPI plans on expanding their campaign to include Swedish ISPs as well. If the IFPI can pressure enough European ISPs to block their users from accessing The Pirate Bay, there might be a significant impact on the file-sharing landscape of Europe. But won’t this only escalate the technological arms race?
Probably. The Pirate Bay is no stranger to confrontation, and seems to revel in the obstacles thrown at it. The IFPI and The Pirate Bay have butted heads in the past, most recently over the IFPI.com domain. The IFPI allowed the IFPI.com domain registration to lapse, which was quickly snatched up by The Pirate Bay. The site was then turned into a mockery of the IFPI, being renamed "International Federation of Pirate Interests." The amusement lasted only a few weeks, as an IFPI complaint to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) forced
The Pirate Bay to return the domain.
There are several options open to The Pirate Bay. The easiest solution is a diplomatic approach to Tele2. However, unless Tele2 has an appeal planned, this approach will likely fail. Another solution, and one that is much more in line with The Pirate Bay's character, is a confrontational/technological solution. Circumventing ISP blocks is rather simple to achieve. If Tele2 blocks The Pirate Bay's domain, the end user simply needs to access a proxy server - and one not located on Tele2's network. Once that is achieved, a Danish user will then be able to hop on The Pirate Bay.
Whether this becomes a true roadblock to The Pirate Bay's dominance remains unclear, however the resolution to this matter - one way or another - will be realized in the near future.