UK ISPs ordered to block The Pirate Bay

01/05/2012

Internet providers in the UK have been forced to stop their users accessing The Pirate Bay file sharing site. 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. A sixth ISP, BT, requested "a few more weeks" to consider their position on blocking 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.

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."

However, it's not entirely clear how the High Court ruling will square with the European Court of Justice's ruling that "EU law precludes the imposition of an injunction by a national court which requires an internet service provider to install a filtering system with a view to preventing the illegal downloading of files."

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 it will now comply with the request, but warned such measures are, in the long term, only part of the solution.

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.

This UK development comes a month after the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft lost its High Court appeal against iiNet over online piracy.

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