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ISP makes moves to block piracy in London schools with domain blacklist

Internet service provider (ISP) the London Grid for Learning (LGfL), a not-for-profit group that provides broadband to over 3,000 schools throughout London, is canning access to a large number of pirate sites.

The blacklisting initiative will rely on a database of domains put forward by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU, I guess) and this “Infringing Website List” is the same as the one used by EU advertisers earlier this month to prevent adverts popping up on piracy websites.

The initiative is being led by LGfL’s DigiSafe group, and as such it’s unsure whether anti-piracy measures will also affect TRUSTNet, the branch of LGfL that serves schools throughout the rest of the country.

This isn’t a new precedent. In the UK, many of the larger ISP’s already block several pirate domains. Sky, Virgin, TalkTalk and BT have all blocked many piracy websites. However, this came about after legal action from the movie and music industries that saw the High Court sanction the blocks.

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Meanwhile, LGfL’s block appears to be entirely voluntary, but considering their business is in connecting schools around the capital city to the internet, it makes sense that they would take a swing at piracy.

“LGfL DigiSafe is committed to partnering with relevant stakeholders in order to achieve our mission of saving schools money and keeping children safe,” says Mark Bentley, LGfL’s online safety and safeguarding manager.

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“By working with City of London police to block its List of Infringing Websites to our community of over two million students we not only prevent children accessing inappropriate material but also provide reassurance to senior leaders that this illegal activity cannot be committed on the `school site, meaning headteachers do not need to fear liability for copyright infringements.”

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