Earlier this month, a piece of software by the name of Torrents Time launched, taking most of the hard work out of watching pirated video content. Within a few days The Pirate Bay had added support for the plugin, suddenly becoming a massive source of streaming video.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Hollywood wasn’t happy about this, and earlier this week the first shots were fired. Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN sent a cease and desist letter to the team behind Torrents Time, saying that the group was “facilitating the distribution of infringing content,” Torrent Freak reports.
“By offering Torrents Time, which is primarily engaged in the facilitating, enabling, and participating in the making available of infringing files, according to the law and jurisprudence of The Netherlands you are acting unlawful and infringe the copyrights and neighboring rights of others, including the rights holders whose interests are represented by BREIN,” lawyer Peter Haringsma wrote in the letter.
The Torrents Time website is hosted by LeaseWeb, which is based in the Netherlands and isn’t a stranger to file-sharing related legal issues. If the Torrents Time team doesn’t cease distribution of the software, BREIN theatens it will contact the hosting provider, obligating it to pull the group’s website.
BREIN refers to Torrents Time as “illegal software,” and while it is certainly being used for shady purposes, the software uses BitTorrent, which isn’t illegal in and of itself. This has been a contentious issue as long as the protocol has existed, but Torrents Time is using this to argue that what its software does isn’t illegal by nature.
Torrents Time has a legal team of its own, and has responded to BRIEN’s threat with an aggressively worded message of its own. “In your letter, you take the liberty of accusing my clients of distributing an ‘illegal application.’ We deny that allegation, as being un-substantiated, false and illegal in itself, under the laws of the Netherlands,” the letter reads.
“You are therefore advised to seriously re-think you cease and desist demand and advise my Clients that you withdraw your demands,” the response continues. “You are also hereby warned not to attempt to take action against any third party who utilizes Torrents Time or hosts it or co-operates therewith in any other manner.”
At the time of this writing, the Torrents Time website is still online. This likely isn’t a result of the Torrents Time legal team’s threat, but it may mean that BREIN is looking for additional ammunition before it heads back into battle.