A report revealed over the weekend that a copyright claim from the Universal Music Group was behind the shutdown of torrent-hosting H33t.com -- one of the most popular file-sharing websites online -- for illegally sharing the Robin Thicke album “Blurred Lines.” H33t.com, which has begun hosting torrents again at new URL H33t.eu, was taken down last week due to a court order, although it was unknown exactly what entity made the copyright claim.
Update 9/28: The h33t replacement URL is down.
The German division of Universal Music Group obtained a temporary injunction against Key-Systems, H33t.com’s domain registrar, effectively shuttling the website. The shutdown, which is known as a domain name seizure, effects only H33t. Since the site’s administrators registered a new domain at H33T.eu, H33T has once again begun hosting torrent files, allowing file-sharers to illegally download copywritten material.
The report came from TorrentFreak, a news site that focuses on P2P and torrent technology. “We have indeed been served with a court order granting a temporary injunction requiring us to ensure certain content is not made available,” Key-Systems told the site. A German court passed the temporary injunction due to a complaint from Universal Music GMBH, the German arm of the media giant.
Key-Systems said that they were “determined to get this court order lifted as soon as possible.” Requests for comment from Universal Music Group have not been returned as of this writing. H33t’s administrator told the site that the legal decision was a result of “outdated courts making decisions in … cases where they demonstrate their high level of ignorance.”
TorrentFreak suggests H33t’s unique takedown policy: Copyright holders can request the site remove a torrent linking to intellectual property, however H33t charges $50 for the takedown. H33t also refuses to comply with Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices, claiming that it falls outside the jurisdiction of U.S. law.