UK High Court orders ISPs to block The Pirate Bay

By EDRi · May 9, 2012

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Deutsch: [Britischer High Court entscheidet, ISPs müssen The Pirate Bay sperren |]

The UK High Court has recently decided that The Pirate Bay (TPB) must be
blocked by 5 UK internet service providers. No technical details were
given in the ruling as, according to Mr Justice Arnold, the terms of the
court order (the technical implementation measures) had been agreed to
by the ISPs in question.

In November 2011, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) asked the
group of the big ISPs to voluntarily block access to the site, after a
court order to block Newzbin2 had been issued. At that time, the ISPs
said they would not comply without a court order.

In February this year, the High Court ruled that operators of TPB
website and its users were both guilty of infringing the copyright
of music rights holders. And now, the court order has come, therefore
Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media are compelled
now to prevent the access of users to TPB. BT is still considering its

“As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media complies with court orders addressed
to the company but strongly believes that changing consumer behaviour to
tackle copyright infringement also needs compelling legal alternatives,
such as our agreement with Spotify, to give consumers access to great
content at the right price,” was Virgin Media’s statement to BBC.

Jim Killock, executive director of the EDRi-member Open Rights Group
(ORG), considers the action “pointless and dangerous”. “It will fuel
calls for further, wider and even more drastic calls for internet
censorship of many kinds, from pornography to extremism. Internet
censorship is growing in scope and becoming easier. Yet it never has the
effect desired. It simply turns criminals into heroes,” said Killock.

ORG has also shown concern over the blocking of TPB’s public blog which
should not have been included in the court order and which is an act of
pure censorship, as there is no question of copyright infringement
there. “…the blocking of websites should not be viewed as a silver
bullet,” the ISPA said in a statement adding: “We hope that this
litigation will be followed by the continued development of innovative
fully-licensed online services by rights holders, which is the most
effective way to tackle online copyright infringement.”

In the meantime, TPB has stated that any blocking technique may
be overcome by a range of measure, the simplest solution being that of
using a VPN. TPB is also advising people to change their DNS provider
switching to a DNS offered by the likes of OpenDNS and Google.
TPB also told Torrentfreak that the actual result of blocking was
unexpected, with the decisions of the High Court and the news on the
BBC bringing 12 million more users in the next day on TPB.

The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK ISPs, court rules (30.04.2012)

We don’t have to choose between freedom and copyright (3.05.2012)

High Court orders ISPs to block The Pirate Bay (1.05.2012)

Pirate Bay Enjoys 12 Million Traffic Boost, Shares Unblocking Tips

EDRi-gram: Finnish ISP ordered to block The Pirate Bay (2.11.2011)