Pirate Bay block prompts Anonymous to launch DDOS

A court ruling that forced a Finnish ISP to block The Pirate Bay has angered the hacktivist group

Anonymous has struck the websites of two anti-piracy organizations, a day after Finnish ISP Elisa blocked access to The Pirate Bay search engine in response to an injunction requested by one of the organizations.

The Finnish site for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the website for the Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre (CIAPC) of Finland were both offline, apparently as a result of a distributed denial-of-service attack, said Antti Kotilainen , CIAPC's managing director. CIAPC does work for the IFPI, he said.

"It doesn't really affect our work but of course it's annoying," Kotilainen said.

The owner of the Twitter account "@anon_finland" took credit for the attack, writing on Monday that "we'll keep it down as long as want."

On Monday Elisa stopped its subscribers accessing The Pirate Bay and other associated websites and domain-name servers, to comply with a temporary injunction issued by a Helsinki court at the request of IFPI Finland in October. Elisa has filed an appeal with Helsinki's Court of Appeal, according to a company statement.

The IFPI is asking for injunctions that would force two other major ISPs, TeliaSonera and DNA, to block The Pirate Bay, Kotilainen said. Those rulings may be released as soon as next month, Kotilainen said.

If granted, the injunctions would mean the website would be blocked in about 80 percent of the Finnish broadband market, Kotilainen said.

The Pirate Bay enables users to search for torrents, or small information files that coordinate the download of content among people using the BitTorrent file-sharing system. For years, it has drawn the ire of the entertainment industry, who allege that most of the content it indexes has been shared in violation of copyright protections.

In November, IFPI Finland and music companies Warner Bros., EMI, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment filed a civil suit in Finland against three men affiliated with The Pirate Bay: Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg. The suit asks the court for compensation and for the three to stop infringing copyright, Kotilainen said.

Kotilainen said he holds little hope for compensation.

In April 2009, the three men plus Carl Lundström, were each sentenced to one year in prison in a Stockholm court for being accessories to crimes against copyright law. The court ordered that the four pay about 11 million Swedish kronor to Twentieth Century Fox and €41,467 (US$54,000) to Sony Music Entertainment in Sweden. They were also supposed to forfeit 1.2 million Swedish kronor (US$140,000) in advertising revenue generated from the site.

In 2010, three of the four men lost an appeal, but they hope Sweden's Supreme Court will take on the case, according to the TorrentFreak blog.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com

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