Founded over a decade ago, BT-Chat.com has grown to become one of the most popular among movie and TV fans. Ever since, this Canada-based website didn’t encounter any problems; however, a few days ago, the site went offline without official explanation or prior warning. It showed the message “Error 791-the internet is shutdown due to copyright restrictions.”
Acting on behalf of Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Canadian MPA hand-delivered a letter informing BT-Chat.com that Hollywood’s major movie studios demand that they remove all infringing torrents. In the letter, it said:
“We are writing to demand that you take immediate steps to address the extensive copyright infringement of television programs and motion pictures that is occurring by virtue of the operation of the Internet website www.BT-Chat.com (the “Website”).”
MPAA cited the U.S. copyright law and stated that linking to unauthorized TV shows and movies constitutes contributory copyright infringement.
Hollywood movie studios explicitly noted that it’s irrelevant whether or not a website actually hosts infringing material. The letter says “It makes no difference that your website might not have infringing content on it, or only links to infringing content”.
The BT-Chat team have not taken the threats light-heartedly, and they are aware of the consequences if they don’t pull the plug. As a result, instead of facing a potential legal action, shutting the website down was the better move.