THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- A Dutch court, in a landmark ruling, said a web hosting company is liable for damages for hosting a file-sharing site it knew to be violating copyrights.
In a suit brought by a Netherlands anti-piracy group, a court in The Hague has found XS Networks guilty of facilitating copyright infringement by refusing to take action to shut down a site it knew to be illegal.
Although XS Networks has ceased doing business, the court held it liable for previously renting its servers to the file-sharing website SumoTorrent.
The anti-piracy group Protection Rights Entertainment Industry Netherlands said it was still worth pursuing the case.
"We take down more than 600 sites a year -- these are sites which give access to illegal content," Tim Kuik, the head of the group, told the BBC. "If the sites are uncooperative, we go to the hosting provider that has to take them down according to a Dutch law, which states that if a site [falls into the category of] 'evidently illegal sites', the hosting provider has to take it offline.
"What is new now is that the court has ruled that a hosting provider that doesn't act promptly becomes liable for damages," he said.
SumoTorrent is still operating, having moved its data to servers in Ukraine before the case came to court, the BBC reported.
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