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Norwegian Court Spares The Pirate Bay

Norwegian Court Spares The Pirate Bay
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Nov 11, 2009 5:00 PM PST    Text size: 
OSLO, Norway — A Norwegian court has given a reprieve to file sharing site The Pirate Bay, by ruling that its ISP, Telenor, does not have to prevent users from accessing the website.

Norway's largest Internet service provider, Telenor, has been under pressure by a variety of organizations including music industry group IFPI, which sent Telenor a warning in February asking the company to bar access to The Pirate Bay.

Telenor declined, citing a lack of legal basis for compliance with the request and asserting that no ISP should be required to intervene in copyright disputes between client websites and intellectual property owners by blocking access to the accused websites.

"We are deeply skeptical of blocking," Telenor's Information Manager, Alte Lessum, stated. "Our attitude is that we monitor the network, and not our customers. We think it is a dangerous road to embark upon to block some content. We believe the correct way to go to deal with illegal file sharing, is to facilitate legal downloadable content."

Telenor's Ragnar Kårhus reportedly stated that the company follows Norwegian law, not music industry demands, which the company should not need to comply with.

"This would be the same as demanding that the postal service should open all letters, and decide which ones should be delivered," Kårhus said.

A court case ensued and a Norwegian court agreed.

"It is important that these kind of decisions should be made after handling in the judicial system," Kårhus added, "namely the police and a court of law."

Reflecting the 'open minded' viewpoint towards digital property rights seemingly expressed by the court, Norwegian Minister of Education, Bård Vegar Solhjell reportedly commented that rights holders should not resist changes in the marketplace, but embrace them.

"All previous technology advances have led to fears that the older format would die," Solhjell said. "But TV did not kill radio, the web did not kill the book, and the download is not going to kill music."

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