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UPDATE Rights Holders Want Big UK ISPs to Block EZTV and Yify-Torrents

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 (1:11 pm) - Score 3,216

Some of the country’s broadband ISPs have told ISPreview.co.uk that Rights Holders are putting pressure on them to prevent their broadband customers from being able to access two extra website (EZTV and Yify-Torrents), which have both been accused of facilitating internet copyright infringement (piracy).

The development was first suggested by Recombu and we promptly set about attempting to confirm exactly what the situation was, although unfortunately none of the major providers were willing to discuss the specifics; at least not until after a court order had been received.

It is normal practice for Rights Holders, such as the MPA or British Phonographic Industry (UK music industry), to ask ISPs to block the sites voluntarily before later seeking an appropriate injunction (court order) under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. ISPs generally don’t comment until this later stage has been reached.

A Spokesperson for VirginMedia told ISPreview.co.uk:

As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media complies with court orders addressed to the company.”

Recently both Rights Holders and ISPs have been much swifter at both obtaining the necessary court order and then implementing a block. For example, the Download4All and Movie2k websites were both dealt with very quickly (here) and the same could end up being true of EZTV and Yify-Torrents.

Separately it’s known that the BPI are investigating a further 25 websites that could soon become its next targets (here). The effectiveness of such methods, which are easy to circumvent, is often questioned but politicians and rights holders still see it as a viable way of tackling at least casual infringement (though it probably won’t inhibit the hard-core pirates).

UPDATE 21st June 2013

We haven’t previously heard back from BT about this matter but their reply did finally come in last night and interestingly they make a specific claim about not being asked to voluntarily block the above websites. BT, as the country’s biggest home broadband provider, is often the first to be targeted by Rights Holders.

A BT Spokesperson said:

BT has not been asked to voluntarily block these websites. BT will not block any website for internet copyright infringement without a court order requiring it to do so.”

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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