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The organization responsible for Sweden’s top-level domain is facing court action after refusing to disable or seize two domains operated by The Pirate Bay. The Internet Infrastructure Foundation, the body that administers the .SE TLD and engages in projects to better the Internet, now faces a court showdown. The prosecution office is claiming that the foundation is guilty of assisting those who assist others to engage in copyright infringement.IIS SEEarlier this year, the operators of The Pirate Bay received word that Swedish authorities would try to disrupt the site’s operations by seizing its .SE domains.The Internet Infrastructure Foundation (IIS) is the body with responsibility for Sweden’s top-level .SE domain. Since it handles .SE domain registrations, IIS is the organization with control over Swedish domains operated by The Pirate Bay.Earlier this month, IIS received news that the Swedish Prosecution Authority had filed a petition with the Stockholm District Court demanding the seizure of two Pirate Bay-related domains – thepiratebay.se and piratebay.se. The prosecutor is now treating IIS as an infringing party in the long-running fight between The Pirate Bay and copyright holders.“The legal system has not been able to shut down the service after the previous guilty verdict against TPB,” IIS Chief of Communications Maria Ekelund told TorrentFreak.“Therefore the prosecutor has opened a new case against both the domain holders and .SE. The prosecutor is accusing .SE of assisting TPB who are assisting others to commit copyright infringement.”Just to be clear, in their criminal trial The Pirate Bay’s former operators were found guilty of assisting in copyright infringements carried out by the site’s users. IIS are now being accused of assisting people who were previously found guilty of assisting other people to commit copyright infringement. The users of TPB, who according to the court actually committed the offenses, have been left out of the process altogether. Not so IIS.“In the eyes of the prosecutor, .SE’s catalogue function has become some form of accomplice to criminal activity, a perspective that is unique in Europe as far as I know,” says IIS CEO Danny Aerts.“There are no previous cases of states suing a registry for abetting criminal activity or breaching copyright law.”In considering what IIS may have done to deserve being taken to court, Aerts turns to IIS’s responsibility to link readable URLs – such as Google.se – to their IP address equivalent. Their part of the connectivity job is important, but they aren’t the only organization involved in the process.“.SE translates the .se domain names to name servers, a name server operator translates this into an IP address and a resolver operator (such as Telia) helps .SE respond to the most frequent queries,” Aerts explains.“IP addresses are subsequently allotted to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) through RIPE. And IANA grants us the right to administer the top-level .se domain. Perhaps I should also remember to mention Google, which helps you find the address if you do not know the domain name.”What Aerts describes is a complex interconnected system designed to help the Internet function, with each organization and function playing its own crucial part.“Where should the line be drawn for legal processes and matters of liability?” Aerts questions.Since IIS are refusing to comply with the prosecutor’s demands, the case will now proceed to court.“.SE will naturally respond to the prosecutor’s perspective. We have an educational task ahead of us in explaining to the District Court what a domain name is, what .SE does and the fundamentally incorrect nature behind seizing a domain name forever,” Aerts says.Another sad consequence of this case is that IIS will be forced to divert funds away from its educational efforts in order to fight in a third-party battle between copyright holders and The Pirate Bay.“This will be an expensive process and, although our lawyers will find it an interesting case, these are funds that we would rather spend on our investments in schools or digital inclusion,” says Aerts.If IIS wins, and many people way outside the copyright debate hope that they will, then the status quo will remain. However, if IIS lose they could be forced to deregister the domains, remove their name servers, or watch as the domains are seized or placed on Sweden’s block list. While the outcome is uncertain, what is almost guaranteed is that The Pirate Bay will live on.“Removing a domain name can be compared to taking down the signs hanging outside the shoe store. Although this would make it more difficult for customers to find the store, it would still be there and any customers who were able to find it would be able to continue buying shoes there,” Aerts concludes.