BPI Crackdown on Piracy Sites

News | 24th Oct

Several of the UK’s major Internet Service Providers have been instructed to block three of the largest file-sharing websites.

Written by Kaye Neylon

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI), acting on behalf of the rights holders, has ordered ISPs to prevent access to H33T, Fenopy and Kickass Torrents with immediate effect after alleging the sites are illegally distributing music.

Jungle can report the ISPs have told the BBC that they will comply with the BPI’s demand, but only if a court order is put in place.

This is the latest move from the BPI following a legal battle with The Pirate Bay in April this year which saw one of the most popular file-sharing sites blocked in the UK. Since April the site has lost three quarters of its visitors.

The UK’s biggest ISP, BT, said it was “currently considering” its options.

An official letter from The BPI was sent to six ISPs last week. BT, Sky, 02, Virgin Media, TalkTak and EE were contacted and instructed to block the file-sharing sites. There are hopes all three named file-sharing sites will be blocked before Christmas, a process which is sure to surpass the lengthy legal battle with The Pirate Bay.

London-based Copyright Specialist, Adam Rendle, of law firm TaylorWessing commented on the dispute.

“Whether the BPI can have the sites blocked before Christmas is a question of the courts availability. Two months to issue the proceedings and get a decision is ambitious but not impossible.”

This may mean the BPIs’s hopes for a swift decision may be quashed as none of the ISPs said they were prepared to block the sites voluntarily, and would only do so if forced by the courts.

Figures from web monitoring firm, Nielsen, confirm that over a million users from the UK have visited the three named websites in September alone.


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