In January, the Czech Republic updated national copyright law to reflect the provisions of the EU Copyright Directive. The updated legislation requires online services to prevent pirated content from being re-uploaded. File-sharing service Hellspy attempted to comply with the new rules but when that turned out to be unworkable, decided to shut down instead.
To the global audience, Hellspy may not be a household name, but in the Czech Republic, it’s widely known.
Founded in 2009, the file-sharing and hosting platform grew out to become one of the country’s most-visited websites. This didn’t go unnoticed by copyright holders, including the RIAA, who repeatedly complained about widespread piracy on the platform.
Operating in the face of legal pressure is a challenge, but Hellspy always felt that it had the law on its side. If users uploaded copyright-infringing content, the company would swiftly remove it after being notified by rightsholders….