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The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK ISPs, court rules
6 years ago

The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK ISPs, court rules

The Pirate Bay screenshot

The Pirate Bay is hosted in Sweden, where it has an active supporter base


File-sharing site The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK internet service providers, the High Court has ruled.


The Swedish website hosts links to download mostly-pirated free music and video.


Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media must all prevent their users from accessing the site.


"Sites like The Pirate Bay destroy jobs in the UK and undermine investment in new British artists," the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said.


The BPI's chief executive Geoff Taylor said: "The High Court has confirmed that The Pirate Bay infringes copyright on a massive scale.


"Its operators line their pockets by commercially exploiting music and other creative works without paying a penny to the people who created them.


"This is wrong - musicians, sound engineers and video editors deserve to be paid for their work just like everyone else."


'Compelling alternatives'


In November 2011, the BPI asked the group of ISPs to voluntarily block access to the site.


The request followed a court order to block Newzbin 2, a site also offering links to download pirated material.


The ISPs said they would not block the site unless a court order was made, as is now the case.


Virgin Media told the BBC they will now comply with the request, but warned such measures are, in the long term, only part of the solution.


"As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media complies with court orders addressed to the company but strongly believes that changing consumer behaviour to tackle copyright infringement also needs compelling legal alternatives, such as our agreement with Spotify, to give consumers access to great content at the right price."


The Pirate Bay was launched in 2003 by a group of friends from Sweden and rapidly became one of the most famous file-sharing sites on the web.


It allows users to search for and access copyrighted content including movies, games and TV shows.


No 'extra pennies'


In April 2009, the Swedish courts found the four founders of the site guilty of helping people circumvent copyright controls.


The ruling was upheld after an appeal in 2010, but the site continues to function.


The Pirate Party UK, a spin-off from the political movement started in Sweden that backs copyright reform, said this latest move will "not put any extra pennies into the pockets of artists".


"Unfortunately, the move to order blocking on The Pirate Bay comes as no surprise," party leader Loz Kaye told the BBC.


"The truth is that we are on a slippery slope towards internet censorship here in the United Kingdom."

Pirate Bay: Fighting a losing battle?
6 years ago

Pirate Bay: Fighting a losing battle?

File-sharing site The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK internet service providers, the High Court has ruled.


The Swedish website hosts links to mostly pirated free music and videos.

But, as the BBC's Daniel Emery explains, copyright holder may still be "fighting a losing battle" in the quest to protect their material.

6 years ago

I don't advocate the theft of someone else's work and investment in a product, but then again, I have a serious concern that this type of thing will be held up as the ostensible reason for broadly cut censorship of the internet eventually allowing the .gov to block anything it wants.

6 years ago

I do see your point David.  It is a difficult position.  It is somewhat what we saw with Napster; you could go there and exchange music with other members and save it into your personal files without paying for the music; all it took was one person to buy the CD or what have you, and they could then share the music from that with anyone that joined for free and desired to download the song(s) from you.  Now we have things like Rhapsody and present Napster when you have to purchase the music.  Much better for the artists that produced it and were losing the revenue the other way.

6 years ago

Upto a point David I agree with you, I would also add, but in the Libraries in the UK, you can rent a number of CD's and DVD's for less than a £1.00 pw take them home then rip them off very easly, I have seen it done.


I for would not in anyway go-down that path, for a number reasons, but the main reason, I do not like putting CD's or DVD's that may not be clean into my Players that someone have more than likely missed handled in oneway or another, I am not been funny when say this, but it is the way I am.


I am of the opinion that CD's and DVD's are cheaper enough without going down the path of down loading or going the the trouble of ripping them off of the same,


in the UK the price for a CD goes from £3.00 upto £12.00 on the DVD's again the price is I think very cheap £4.00 upto £15.00 which I think is very reasonable, Blue Ray is price at £9.00 plus that if a person want's Blue-Ray


9 time out of 10, a CD or DVD will come in at £14.00 within a month or two the CD or DVD will come down in price for instance I brought  the World at War price £80.00, it now worth £25.00 in the shop a drop in price of £55.00.


but in saying this, the young Brit's today think they have right to these sort of items for free, and these are the one's the Government are get at, every CD and DVD cost money to make, Sir Paul Mc Cartney and Sir Elton John are very rich, but they have to work and work hard to get where they are today, and this is what the young one's do not take into consideration when downloading or Ripping off these items,


In my opinion the Courts are well within there rights to Bar the said web-sites, in fact these web-site need to be closed down once and for all, they are not censoring the internet just protecting the Film and Music Industry from Copy Righting and Pirating, so yes I do agree with the Courts in relation to this.

6 years ago

Ray, your last paragraph makes sense.   I happen to agree that some areas need to be protected.

6 years ago

Diane thank you for agreement on the last Para, however, in the other para's I am stating it would much more cheaper in the long run to buy the CD's or DVD's than to rent them from the Library then rip them off, to me it would be pointless, plus by buying we are investing in the Industry iself. 



File-sharers look to VPNs to overcome Pirate Bay ban
6 years ago

2 May 2012 Last updated at 17:32

File-sharers look to VPNs to overcome Pirate Bay ban

Woman listening to music
Young people are looking to other means to access music for free
Related Stories

Young people are increasingly turning to virtual private networks (VPNs) to anonymise their free sharing of music and movies, a new study has suggested.


Sweden's Lund University indicated that there had been a 40% rise in the number of 15 to 25-year-olds using such services since 2009.


Many believe a clampdown on piracy is behind their rise in popularity.


The Pirate Bay has advised visitors to make use of VPNs. It would be illegal to do so to download pirated files.


In its first public response since five of the UK's big ISPs agreed to block their subscribers from the file-sharing site, The Pirate Bay remained defiant.


"As usual there are easy ways to circumvent the block. Use a VPN service to be anonymous and get an uncensored internet access, you should do this anyhow," it said.


Some industry experts now believe that VPNs could become publishers' next target.


Anonymity systems

Once the preserve of the business world, VPNs are secure networks that allow data sharing behind heavily encrypted firewalls.


The fact that they allow users to swap files without being detected makes them perfect for pirates.


"VPNs could become the next front in the battle against piracy," predicted independent music analyst Mark Mulligan.


He pointed to the growing popularity of VPNs such as BT Guard - in this case, BT stands for bit torrent not British Telecom.


Increasingly services such as the bluntly named HideMyAss have been taking extra measures to protect their users, he added.


"Some providers have already starting putting anonymity systems in place, such as not tracking IP addresses and deleting logs after seven days."


The music industry has changed its focus over the last year, away from targeting individual file-sharers to shutting off access to sites via domain name service blocking - meaning anyone typing in the address of a torrent site will not get through.


To achieve this, content providers must come to an agreement with internet service providers to block access or force the block via the courts.


Crackdowns against The Pirate Bay have now been enforced across Europe and are imminent in Britain.


Some have questioned the effectiveness of current blocks.


BT, for example, has adapted its porn filtering system known as Cleanfeed, but has made no secret of the fact that the system is not entirely foolproof.


Use of so-called proxy servers in conjunction with a VPN is one way to circumnavigate the filters.


"BT's Cleanfeed is the Rolls Royce of filtering software but there are always ways around it," said Mr Mulligan.


page 1

6 years ago



Data collected by the music industry body the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) suggests blocking has had a significant impact.


Blocks against the The Pirate Bay in Belgium reduced the service's audience by 84% between August and November 2011, according to Comscore.


In Italy, usage of the service is down by 74%, according to a Nielsen study commissioned by the IFPI. Use of BTjunkie, another torrent service blocked in Italy, was down by 80%.


The fact that young music fans are moving to VPNs signals something of a victory for the music industry, thinks Mr Mulligan.


"The aim of such blocking is not to turn off the tap but to make it as inconvenient as possible to get to such services," he said.


"VPNs add an extra layer of complexity and young people have to pay £5 or £6 a month to use them, which means some of the reasons for doing it are lost."


Virgin Media screenshot

Virgin Media has begun blocking users' access to The Pirate Bay



  • Italy was one of the first countries to block The Pirate Bay following a court order in February 2010, and Italian ISPs have also blocked torrent site BTjunkie
  • In May 2010, Danish ISPs followed suit against The Pirate Bay
  • Austria, Finland and Belgium put up similar blocks in 2011
  • Spain has written website blocking into its Sustainable Economy Act, known as Law Sinde, which came into force in March 2012
  • UK ISPs blocked access to Newzbin 2 at the end of 2011, and in April 2012 were asked to block The Pirate Bay
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