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UPD BPI Warn Six of the Largest UK ISPs to Block 3 More Piracy Websites

Tuesday, Oct 23rd, 2012 (8:33 am) - Score 1,040

As expected the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), a trade body that represents the UK music industry, has this week called on six of the country’s biggest broadband ISPs to block three additional websites that it accuses of helping to facilitate copyright infringement (internet piracy).

The private letter, which has been published by the BBC and was issued to BT (PlusNet), Virgin Media, Sky Broadband, O2 (BE Broadband), TalkTalk and EE (T-Mobile and Orange UK), is part of a first warning notification before the BPI seeks a court ordered injunction under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act; the same tactic they used to get The Pirate Bay and Newzbin2 websites blocked.

The news itself is by no means unexpected. As we reported in July 2012, a leaked letter from the music licensing firm PPL to the BPI clearly outlined a list of six new P2P (BitTorrent) File Sharing sites that the group had an interest in pursuing (here). Unsurprisingly the three sites listed today – Fenopy, H33t and Kickass Torrents – were all on that same list.

A BPI Spokesperson said:

Like The Pirate Bay, these websites are profiting illegally from distributing music that isn’t theirs, without permission and without paying a penny to the musicians, writers and producers who created it. It is plain wrong. The existence of these sites damages the growth of Britain’s burgeoning digital music sector.”

Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group, said:

Web blocking is an extreme response. The orders are often indefinite and open ended, and will be blocking legitimate uses. The BPI and the courts need to slow down and be very careful about this approach.

The BPI seem to be trying to speed things up and that is not good. It will lead to carelessness and unneeded harms.

As an approach, censorship is a bad idea. It leads to more censorship, and is unlikely to solve the problem it seeks to address.

Digital music is going through a period of real growth because it is trying to innovate: this is a much more effective approach than copyright crackdowns.”

As usual none of the related ISPs have agreed to voluntarily block the sites, which will force the BPI to use the same court process as it did before. Interestingly the BPI is hoping that their previously established precedent should speed up the process and ensure that it’s completed before Christmas. Such a timescale seems optimistic but perhaps not unrealistically so.

The BPI has already spent around 6 months gathering the necessary evidence and will thus be in a strong position to win the case, although many still doubt the effectiveness of such measures given how easy it is to circumvent skin-deep ISP blocks. On the other hand we welcome the fact that the courts are being used for this, which is the proper course of action and helps to prevent mission creep.

It’s also worth remembering that there were three other sites on the original PPL list including Extratorrent, Demonoid and Torrent Reactor. Clearly the BPI has decided that it has enough evidence to target the other three before these but we still expect to see the rest follow the same path sometime next year.

UPDATE 12:09pm

Added a comment from the Open Rights Group (ORG).

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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