The MPAA and Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN have collaborated to disable the domains of 29 BitTorrent, Usenet and other file-sharing sites accused of illegally linking to music, movies, TV shows and games. Despite serving Dutch users, the sites avoided Dutch law by being hosted in the US.
"This year we have made over 600 of these sites inaccessible," said BREIN's Tim Kuik. "These 29 apparently thought that in America they could go undisturbed. That is incorrect," Kuik said, noting that BREIN could shut down sites in other countries with the aid of foreign colleagues like the MPAA.
The affected sites haven't been released as Kuik believes it would only amount to free publicity (the sites should be back online once they find a new hosting service). It's believed that hd-united.com is one of the disabled sites as it was redirecting visitors to BREIN's homepage at one point.
That last tidbit is a little troublesome. TorrentFreak suggests that, not only has a private anti-piracy outfit forced a US hosting provider to disable sites without legal intervention, but it's a foreign organization, and they were granted enough power over the domain to redirect its traffic.
Call us paranoid, but that's a slippery slope, no matter your stance on copyright infringement. What's stopping other foreign groups from making a phone call and shutting down US sites because their content (or linked content, in this case) is deemed illegal in another country?