Largest BitTorrent Site in Iceland Shut Down

ICELAND - A coalition of anti-piracy organizations has forced, the largest BitTorrent site in Iceland, to go offline in the first related lawsuit the country has seen.

While a request for the seizure of all of the site's computer-related hardware was rejected, the regional District Commissioners office granted a preliminary injunction filed earlier this month by four anti-piracy organizations. The injunction shut down the popular tracker Monday., owned by Istorrent ehf., was open only to Internet Protocol addresses in Iceland to ensure fast connectivity. The tracker, founded in May 2005, had about 26,500 active users and used TBSource. Only recently did it draw media attention, which ultimately led to its demise.

"I'm going to fight this as far as I possibly can," Head Administrator Svavar Kjarrval reportedly told TorrentFreak. "The general public seems to be on our side."

Snæbjörn Steingrímsson, executive of the SMAIS, one of the four organizations that filed the injunction against, reportedly has received death threats and other hate mail as a result of the site's shutdown. SMAIS is Iceland's leading organization in the battle against file sharing.

"How this case may turn out will depend on the law as it pertains to Iceland and any international conventions that Iceland may be a signatory to," Canadian Barrister Paul G. Kent-Snowsell told AVN Online. "Depending on what legal precedent may exist in Iceland for or against file sharing and what creative legal arguments are put forth in support of file sharing by Mr. Kjarrval or his legal counsel, this case could set a precedent for other jurisdictions to follow."