The Dutch file sharing laws are under attack, and anti-piracy groups such as BREIN, the same outfit that wants Mininova shut down, recently made comments that the actions of Bittorrent and Usenet groups were viewed as criminal. If The Pirate Bay verdict is anything to go by, the threat to users downloading is being taken very seriously.
According to a TorrentFreak story, Holland's largest Usenet group (totalling 450,000 members) havn't taken BREIN's words lightly and have assembled a crack team of legal experts and lawyers to fight BREIN where it could potentially hurt them the most: in the courts.
Currently, the law in the Netherlands allows for downloading and file sharing for personal use. This includes Bittorrent movie and music downloads - generally seen as the scourge of anti-piracy groups around the globe.
Holland's legal loophole isn't lost on the 'legal-thinking' management over at Mininova, also based in the Netherlands.
Just recently, we reported how Mininova management have introduced a copyright filter system for upcoming torrents. The system is designed to filter "legal" and "illegal" files from a copyright list; a pre-emptive attempt to appear legitimate in a country desperately clinging to its liberal downloading laws, the sort which feels slightly out of step with the larger and more conservative EU governance on the issue.
FTD Usenet director Ronald Sievers claims that FTD is completely legal and that all claims against it amount to legal slander.
Torrentfreak report that apart from FTD wanting the claims retracted, FTD's legal attack goes further than just settling a dispute between its group and BREIN. In what could be a sweeping judgement affecting the future of file sharing litigation in the Netherlands, FTD seeks to manage how the laws define file sharing in the Netherlands as a whole - Bittorrent, Usenet and others.
As part of their claims, FTD are pursuing the Dutch court to reflect that file sharing is legal in Holland and that BREIN has no jurisdiction over these activities.
It's going to be quite a fight for the FTD legal team, but if successful, could make the Netherlands a haven for disenfranchised Bittorrent providers - with Mininova leading the way.
Could we see the Pirate Bay moving down south? Anything's possible at this point. Likely this will swell the hearts of Bittorrent defenders around the globe, happy to see somebody finally fighting back.