The High Court has ruled that UK ISP’s must block access to three more file-sharing websites in a response to a court case brought by the music industry body, the British Photographic Industry (BPI).
Six UK ISPs including BSkyB, BT and Virgin Media, which account for 94 per cent of the UK’s broadband market, must block their users from accessing piracy-related websites Kickass Torrents, H33T and Fenopy.
The presiding judge, Mr Justice Arnold, granted the order to command British ISPs to “take measures to block or at least impeded access by their customers” to the sites in questions.
“The growth of digital music in the UK is held back by a raft of illegal businesses commercially exploiting music online without permission,” said BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor. “Blocking illegal sites helps ensure that the legal digital market can grow and labels can continue to sign and develop new talent.”
This latest blanket block follows a similar ruling last year involving the larger, Sweden-based file-sharing site, The Pirate Bay. Figures from the BBC suggested that the levels on online pirate activity were only affected for a few days by the block on The Pirate Bay, as users engaging in piracy found other routes to access the site or opting to use other similar services.
Understandably, many people are still unconvinced by the effectiveness of a website block for a preventative measure against piracy.
After the Pirate Bay block was put into place, Pirate Party UK offered a workaround for British internet users. Its leader, Loz Kaye, said the BPI is “out of control” in its war on file-sharing websites.
“The British music industry has nothing positive to show from their site blocks and personal legal threats,” he said. “Looking at sales figures from 2012, you can’t draw the conclusion that stopping access to the Pirate Bay did anything to help artists.
The six ISPs named in the High Court ruling have been given 15 days working days within which they must ensure that access to Kickass Torrents, H33T and Fenopy is no longer available.
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