SumoTorrent's Former Hosting Provider Ordered to Pay Damages

Rhett Pardon

AMSTERDAM —  The Court of The Hague has found that XS Networks, the former hosting provider of torrent site, is responsible for damages copyright holders suffered through the torrent site’s activities.

SumoTorrent, a torrent search engine and directory, started up in March 2007 and has been linked to the trading of all types of content, including porn.

BREIN, an antipiracy group, had asked XS Networks to shut SumoTorrent down and hand over the personal details of its owner, but XS Networks refused  and said it would only respond to a court order.

Later, BREIN sued, arguing that XS Networks acted negligently when it refused to take the site down when asked to do so.

Today, a Dutch court agreed with BREIN, ruling that by keeping the site online XS Networks acted unlawfully against the interests of copyright holders represented by BREIN.

The court allowed the watchdog to collect unspecified damages against XS Network, as well as legal costs. It also ordered XS Networks to hand over all personal data they have on the operator of SumoTorrent or pay a penalty of 10,000 euros a day.

“The unlawful characteristics of the [activities on] SumoTorrent were evident. Moreover they were obvious to XS Networks, or should have been obvious to XS Networks,” the court said.

The ruling, first reported by TorrentFreak, sets precedent to the liability of hosting providers for user-generated websites in the Netherlands.

View ruling by The Court of The Hague