Archive for May, 2012

Pirate Bay Blocked in UK

The UK High Court has ordered that the internet service providers (ISPs) Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2, and Virgin Media (BT was also named but requested “a few more weeks” to consider its position”) must block users from accessing Pirate Bay’s website. 

Pirate Bay is a search engine used to locate torrent links for both legal and illegal filesharing. BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor stated that the High Court came to this decision after confirming that The Pirate Bay infringes copyright on a massive scale. He stated that: “Its operators line their pockets by commercially exploiting music and other creative works without paying a penny to the people who created them”.  

There is speculation as to whether this ban will be effective since site operators, or indeed “volunteers” (as happened with the attempted ban on “Wikileaks”), may recreate a similar website to the Pirate Bay at another web address. Even if the ban is effective, the costs and inconveniences are a burden to the ISPs and not the people who are violating copyright.

Whether the ban proves to be effective or not, it is a clear signal that the courts remain keen to protect copyright. A Virgin Media spokesman said that changing internet users behaviour, for example by providing“compelling legal alternatives” which offer consumers access to music at the right price (like Spotify), are needed to “tackle copyright infringement” properly and in the long term. 

By Stephanie Leung, Intern, New Media Law LLP

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