Shut Down In Massive European Police Raid | Anonymous Retaliates Against GVU

1 min read Logo is the latest website to be taken offline for linking to copyrighted material. This despite previous cases suggesting linking rather than hosting such content cannot be classed as illegal, at least in Europe. Shut Down

has been shut down after a series of co-ordinated raids by European police on locations spread across Germany, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. is (or was) reportedly the world’s largest German-language site of this kind.

The site’s raison d’être is to link to streams of movies and television shows, mostly the German-language versions. Kino is the German word for cinema. There are dozens of sites doing similar on the Web, and they’re not exactly hard to find thanks to Google and other search engines. has been around for several years, and boasts around 4 million visitors-per-day, making it one of the most-trafficked websites in that part of Europe. But that fact has clearly made it a target for the authorities.

Linking Vs. Hosting

The problem is that once again this is a site that links to rather than hosts illegal content. In the U.S. even this has been deemed (probably) illegal, but in Europe the admins behind both TV-Links and the music-oriented OiNK have been cleared of wrongdoing thanks to Section 17 of the European Commerce Directive 2000.

Hosting copyrighted content on a website is always going to get you in trouble, but linking to other sites which are hosting the content instead is a legal gray area. Which is how Google gets away with it.

Anonymous Retaliates

The disparate hacking collective Anonymous has already retaliated against GVU (the German Federation Against Copyright Theft), taking its website down with a DDoS attack. According to GigaOM, it cited its reason for doing so in a YouTube video, stating:

“We believe that running a search engine for videos isn’t illegal… That’s why we immediately reacted by taking down the GVU website… Knowledge is free, and streaming is, too.”

I’d have to agree, as I spelled out in previously. Websites hosting copyrighted content should expect to be targeted and potentially taken offline, but those merely linking to other sources? That doesn’t sit comfortably with me.

[Via TorrentFreak]