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UK Gov Aim to Make ISP Piracy Website Blocks Cheaper and Easier

Friday, June 15th, 2018 (12:09 pm) - Score 1,678
internet piracy flag

The United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) appears to have echoed the British Phonographic Industry’s (BPI) recent call (here) for it to be made both cheaper and easier to get websites – those that facilitate internet piracy – blocked by major broadband ISPs, possibly by removing the court process.

At present the largest broadband ISPs (e.g. BT, Virgin Media, Sky Broadband and TalkTalk) can only be forced, via a court order, to block websites if they are found to heavily facilitate internet copyright infringement (piracy), which is supported via Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. So far well over 100 piracy sites have been blocked as a result of this (plus several thousand proxy and mirror domains).

The existing process can be both expensive and time consuming for both Rights Holders and broadband providers, although the ISPs did this week win a useful ruling that indemnifies them against shouldering some of the biggest costs of such blocking orders. But at present this only applies to blocks stemming from the abuse of a Trade Mark (here).

At the end of last month the BPI, which represents the recorded music sector, called on the Government to help bring the costs down by imposing a new “duty of care” upon online intermediaries and establishing a “fast-track process for blocking illegal sites.” On top of that they also called for measures to “remove the accounts of repeat infringers.”

This week the IPO published both their ‘Corporate Plan 2018-2019‘ and ‘Strategy 2018 to 2021,’ which among other things seemed to echo some of the BPI’s demands.

IPO Statement – Reducing IP crime and infringement

Reducing IP crime requires a multi-faceted approach. The UK is already a world leader in the enforcement of IP4. We want to build upon what we are doing to create a paradigm shift around infringement. Before we can make this happen we need to improve our knowledge around consumer understanding of IP crime and infringement and what works to change behaviour in this space.

We need to understand the strengths and challenges of our enforcement approach, continue to invest in education and intelligence, and maintain and increase our capacity to lead.


We will commission the second phase of the Enforcement Framework Review, and develop proposals to address any gaps identified. We will be considering if there ways to reduce the cost of enforcement for rights holders, such as court costs, time taken to bring cases to court, or more administrative approaches, such as administrative blocking injunctions.

• Understand the pros and cons of administrative site blocking by March 2019.
• Generate ideas for simplifying access to justice by March 2019.
• Consider the case for widening Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court (IPEC) powers by March 2019.

We perhaps shouldn’t be surprised at any of this, particularly in light of the current Government’s internet safety strategy and their move to ban commercial porn sites that fail to offer an approved Age Verification system etc. The easier it becomes for government’s and commercial firms to impose censorship against internet content (either legal or illegal), the more those restrictions will inevitably be expanded.

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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.
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5 Responses
  1. Avatar un4h731x0rp3r0m

    “The United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) appears to have echoed the British Phonographic Industry’s (BPI) recent call (here) for it to be made both cheaper and easier to get websites – those that facilitate internet piracy – blocked by major broadband ISPs, possibly by removing the court process.”

    AH i see they want to stop all those naughty criminals listening to music and watching films without paying but when it comes to law they do not want to be tied down with a legal process placed upon thereselves.

    Me thinks the movie industry and its friends have been watching one too many reruns of Judge Dred, no doubt standing there screaming something about the courts are not the law “I AM THE LAW”.

  2. Avatar Graeme

    They will deter the casual pirate but people who want to get round the block can easily

  3. Avatar dragoneast

    More of the eternal government mission to return to some mythical past Golden Age when masters ruled and the serfs did as they were told. I gather they’ve set up a Working Party to consider as successor to the Queen to exhume Queen Victoria and put her back on the throne (somewhat derailed when they discovered she had lots of German relatives) so are now looking at King Arthur (offering a megabucks reward for the return of the Sword of Exalibur – you know the one which slays all your enemies and grants all your wishes!)

  4. Avatar hmmm

    utter fail clowns

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