High Court Orders Big UK ISPs to Block 19 More Piracy Websites – ISPreview.co.uk

internet piracy uk copy

The High Court in London has, following a case raised by the Motion Picture Association of Europe (MPA), issued a new injunction that forces most of the major UK broadband ISPs (e.g. BT, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, Plusnet etc.) to block 19 websites that were found to be facilitating internet copyright infringement (piracy).

Such blocking orders, which are underpinned by Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA), are expensive to bring but have in recent years become quite common. Hundreds of websites have been blocked through this approach (thousands if you include their many proxies and mirrors), usually including file sharing (P2P / Torrent), video streaming sites and those that sell counterfeit goods (infringe trademarks etc.).

NOTE: Back in 2015 Wiggin LLP claimed that an unopposed application tends to cost around £14,000 per site, while the cost to ISPs of keeping such systems up-to-date came to around £3,600 per site per year.

Despite the cost of all this, Rights Holders often deem it to be a price worth paying as part of their wider efforts to discourage casual piracy. Some studies (example) have similarly suggested that blocking piracy websites tends to result in increased traffic going to legal alternatives.

Both Sky Broadband (here) and Virgin Media (here) maintain a public list of the websites that they’ve been asked to block by court order, which doesn’t include the many associated mirrors and clones that are also included in such orders. According to TorrentFreak, the latest order was only made on 1st July 2021, and it normally takes a bit of time before such things are fully implemented, thus the 19 new additions (some of which are mirrors of existing blocks) aren’t yet showing up on the aforementioned lists.

The 19 Additional Sites (Domain Suffixes Removed)

The catch in all this is that such blocks don’t always stop the websites themselves, and indeed they may even help to advertise their existence. Furthermore, those who actively engage in internet piracy will easily be able to circumvent the restrictions by using all sorts of different approaches, such as DNS changes, Proxy Servers or Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections. Mind you, DNS providers may be the next target (here).

Source of this news: https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2021/07/high-court-orders-big-uk-isps-to-block-19-more-piracy-websites.html

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