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Friday, February 07, 2014
Court Rules Domain Registrar Responsible For Torrent Site's Copyright Infringement

A German court has ruled (German) that a domain registrar can be held liable for the copyright-infringing activities of a torrent site that it has registered.

Last month, the Regional Court of Saarbr?cken in Germany ruled in a case between Universal Music and Key-Systems, the German registrar of the domain name for, a torrent tracker site.

Universal wanted to prevent unauthorized distribution of music owned by its artist, bringing a case against Key-Systems in court. Key-Systems argued that it was not responsible for the copyright infringement.

According to the court's ruling, the German domain registrar had to prevent access to If someone notifies the registrar of a clear violation of the law, it must examine the specific allegation and close the domain if necessary, the court ruled.

Facing a €250,000 fine, Key-Systems removed the torrent tracker's web site from DNS and more than 240,000 torrents become unreachable.

Of course, the ruling could be used for other legal obligations against German registrars, if left unchallenged.

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