Following a failed attempt to catch a good wind between the Arctic and the Atlantic oceans (read Greenland), The Pirate Bay is now sailing towards the small and icy country known as Iceland. Will it float or sink?
About two weeks ago, the pirate ship and its crew considered sailing away from Sweden, their next destination being Greenland. The decision was not one of their best, as Greenland’s company in charge with all .GL registrations, specifically Tele-Post, was not happy harboring such a “stigmatized” bunch.
But this is no ordinary pirate crew; they are fierce in their cause, they are relentless and determined to stretch their sails to the maximum; and they proved that more than once. For starters, in 2009 the three founders, along with one of the site’s financers, received a one year sentence in jail for promoting copyright infringement and a fine of roughly $3.5 million; the sentences were reduced the next year (except for Gottfrid, who was later arrested in Cambodia and brought back to Sweden [we later found out that Sweden paid $59 millions for Gottfrid's head] to face charges of hacking into several local companies), but the fines were upped to $4.5 million.
So, having to deal with Greenland’s refusal, The Pirate Bay quickly regrouped and dropped the anchor in Iceland.
While the country’s copyright laws are pretty much the same as anywhere else in the world, ISNIC – the company in charge with all .IS registrations – is not as blunt as Tele-Post.
“ISNIC is not responsible for a registrant’s usage of their domains,” the company’s Chief Technology Officer Marius Olafsson told TF.
“Such an action would require a formal order from an Icelandic court,” he continued.
The statement is rather surprising, especially that Iceland is currently struggling to censor internet pornography, something that you find on basically any torrent portal, including The Pirate Bay. However, TPB is not yet out of the danger zone, because, despite ISNIC’s tolerance, a court order could eventually force the registration company to drive the ship away. Let’s hope that’s not the case!
Just as we’ve feared, TPB is forced to move its domain name. A recent TorrentFreak report informed that due to a complaint filed by a Swedish prosecutor (at the end of April), the torrent portal had to sail away towards Sint Maarten (.sx). Meanwhile, Marius Olafsson of the ISNIC told TF:
“When and if such an “order” is received by ISNIC we will refer that to our legal council and will of course respond – how remains to be seen. Remember that ISNIC is an Icelandic company operating under Icelandic laws.”
“I am not a lawyer, but would think that in general Swedish courts do not have jurisdiction over Icelandic companies operating in Iceland. The only thing a Swedish court can do in this case is to order the registrant (who is Swedish) to delete the domain. I fail to see how they can order ISNIC to do anything.”
“ISNIC will legally fight attempts to use the domain name registry system to police/censor the net. We believe that to be ineffective, wrong and dangerous to the stability of the DNS as a whole.”