Finnish file-sharers cut off from the internet per court orders

The Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre (CIAPC), a Helsinki-based organization, struck a major coup on its home turf against music file-sharers this week. A Finnish judge this week approved the group’s request to force ISPs to cut off three alleged pirates’ internet connections.

Jonas Mäkinen of Finland’s Pirate Party called the decision “unreasonable” in a discussion with TorrentFreak. “This is indeed a worrisome addition to the anti-piracy arsenal,” said Mäkinen. “ISPs should not be forced to take back anyone’s right to send electronic messages privately, be it love letters or torrent traffic.”

Finland is no stranger to copyright infringement. Earlier this year a Finnish court fined a couple 820,000 Euros for creating an illicit file-sharing hub which contained nearly 50 terabytes of infringing content. Last month marked a two-fold move by anti-piracy crusaders in the country directed at notorious Swedish BitTorrent provider The Pirate Bay: Finnish music producers sued, and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s local arm sought a legal ruling that would force Finnish ISP Elisa to block the site altogether – not unlike what’s happened this week albeit on a much grander scale.

It’s unclear if the ruling will set a new precedent for how the country deals with suspected illegal digital activities, or how other countries could tackle piracy problems.

The news comes just one day after the UK branch of the Motion Picture Association started a three-day legal hearing to determine if it could compel British ISP BT to prevent its customers from accessing usenet index site Newzbin, which houses links to scads of possibly illicit files. The outlet was closed by court order last year but quickly relaunched, essentially prompting the new calls for direct action by ISPs.

No verdicts have been issued on either the Elisa or BT case, though we could hear something on the latter this week. (via TorrentFreak)

Do you believe ISPs should be held responsible for what their customers view online and be forced to cut them off if they’re engaged in illegal activities? Let us know in the comment section.