A trial began in Norway on Monday in which the entertainment industry wants a major service provider to block access to The Pirate Bay, a BitTorrent search engine.
Norwegian operator Telenor refused to block access to the site in June after it received a petition for a temporary injunction from a group of copyright holders, including the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
Telenor maintains it will preserve access to The Pirate Bay barring a court order. Under Norwegian law, a service provider is not responsible for illegal activities enabled by providing Internet access, Telenor contends. The trial, in the district court for Asker and Bærum, is expected to last five days, according to a court official.
The Pirate Bay is a search engine and tracker for torrents, which are small files that enable the download of data from multiple sources on a peer-to-peer file-sharing system. The content is not stored by The Pirate Bay but instead on individual users' PCs around the world.
After legal trouble in its home country of Sweden, The Pirate Bay's operators have now distributed the servers that run the site around the world, although ISPs are easily able to block access to the domain.
The Pirate Bay—one of the most popular BitTorrent sites—has been a frequent target for the entertainment industry, with lawsuits filed other countries such as Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands.
In Denmark, some operators block The Pirate Bay while others don't, while in Italy efforts to block the site failed. A Netherlands court recently fined three men associated with The Pirate Bay for failing to block access to the site, but the case is on appeal.
Mikael Ricknäs in Stockholm contributed to this report