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UK Court Forces Big Broadband ISPs to Block 8 Internet Video Piracy Sites

Friday, May 27th, 2016 (7:43 am) - Score 4,739
piracy uk illegal internet download

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPA) has convinced the High Court to force all of the major broadband ISPs in the United Kingdom (BT, Sky Broadband, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, EE etc.) to block 8 additional websites that were found to facilitate Internet copyright infringement (piracy).

The MPA first made a request for ISPs to voluntarily block the sites, which is traditionally refused because there needs to some legal ground for imposing default blocks. Failing that the Rights Holder launched an injunction against the providers, which succeeded in harnessing Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) to force ISPs into imposing a court ordered block.

The latest additions to the ever growing list, as confirmed by both Virgin Media (here) and Sky Broadband (here) this week, include eight websites that appear to be largely focused on giving people access to view unlawful video streams of copyright content.

The 8 New Website Blocks
Couchtuner
MerDB
Putlocker
Putlocker Plus
Rainierland
Vidics
Watchfree
Xmovies8

So far well over 100 websites have been blocked from the view of broadband subscribers via this approach, which isn’t even counting the many proxy clones and mirrors that are also covered by the rulings.

However such blocking does not come cheap and Wiggin LLP last year revealed that an unopposed application tends to cost around £14,000 per site. On top of that the additional admin required to maintain the block and keep ISPs up-to-date with related IP changes and new URLs (Proxy Servers) comes to around £3,600 per site per year.

Meanwhile ISPs also incur on-going costs as part of their work to introduce the blocks. EE previously suggested that a “near four figure sum” was involved with each update, while Sky Broadband hinted at a “mid three figure sum” and then roughly half that for future updates. Similarly Virgin Media pegged their own annual costs at a “low five figure sum“.

On the flip side such blocks don’t always stop the targeted websites and indeed they may even help to advertise their existence. But those who engage in Internet Piracy will easily be able to circumvent the restrictions by using all sorts of different approaches, such as DNS changes, HTTPS, Proxy Servers or Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections.

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Mark Jackson
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.
Leave a Comment
10 Responses
  1. What’s the point. A new site will be created within hours of the old one being blocked/forced to close or people will simply use a VPN.

  2. Avatar Jazzy

    You can just download betternet, switch it on and you’re in

  3. Avatar James

    Didn’t know about these sites..I will be sure to use them now with a VPN 🙂

    • Avatar Jazzy

      Betternet is great and it’s just a little icon that sits on your address bar on a PC or works as an app on a phone or tablet. Switch on and switch off when you fancy. It’s also great for use in public wifi like cloud or 02 wifi when they have sites blocked

  4. Avatar Michael

    plusnet is the best

  5. I do hope the bloke above isn’t referring to the abomination that is the so called “isp” Plusnet, I can’t think of any other off hand

    As for those site’s, I wasnt aware of some of them, but i am now, so thanks for that!
    and they work fine, but then they would because i avoid using the bigger isp’s.

  6. Avatar Karl

    “plusnet is the best”

    At being cyptic about traffic management
    Blocking websites and claiming they do not
    Using DPI systems even on https traffic
    Keeping you on hold for ages
    running “free” or special for x months prices to snag you into a long contract

    Did i miss anything?

  7. Avatar Bazman

    Pissing into the wind or Dutch boys finger in the dyke at best

  8. Avatar Alex

    buahahahahaha 20 sec to bypass this shit. LOL

  9. Avatar George Bennet

    Takes you 20 sec? wow, it only takes me 10 seconds to connect to a vpn

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