During the past few days TorrentFreak received documents which show attempts by the UK’s Federation Against Copyright Theft to have streaming video site TheShowDepot.com taken offline. The site was hosted by LeaseWeb in the Netherlands.
“We are requesting the removal of the whole domain from your servers. The website serves no purpose other than to provide access to copyright protected media,” FACT told LeaseWeb in an email, supported by links to 16 episodes of The Big Bang Theory.
LeaseWeb reacted by notifying TheShowDepot of the complaint, warning that a failure “to take appropriate action to prevent future complaints” would result in an IP block of the site’s server.
It’s not clear if TheShowDepot responded “appropriately” or not, but their IP address was eventually blocked by LeaseWeb on November 30. While disabling a whole website based on one complaint might be considered excessive by some, FACT’s veiled threats to LeaseWeb during the course of the exchange will certainly raise the most eyebrows.
“The domain ‘theshowdepot.com’ appears to resolve to IP address 220.127.116.11 which is provided by LeaseWeb B.V,” a FACT ‘Internet Investigator’ told the webhost.
“The fact that LeaseWeb are now aware of this means that should you continue to facilitate the illegal activities of ‘theshowdepot.com’ and accept payment for doing so then ‘LeaseWeb’ may be committing associated money laundering offenses. If the Domain continues to operate whilst being hosted on LeaseWeb servers FACT will consider escalating the action.”
In discussing FACT’s highly unusual claims, LeaseWeb Senior Regulatory Counsel Alex de Joode sent TorrentFreak a clear explanation of where he believes his company’s liability begins and ends.