Europe’s least pirate-friendly nation has been revealed

The Motion Picture Association (MPA) has released figures that show that ISPs in Portugal have blocked more piracy-related websites than any other European nation. 

The MPA is the international arm of the Motion Picture Association of America, and it has aggressively sought to protect the intellectual property of its members, chiefly the major Hollywood film producers and distributors – the so-called ‘Big Six’ – by issuing internet service providers with legally binding court orders. 

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Since 2006, it claims to have had close to 4000 websites and over 8000 ‘actual’ domain names hosting or directing users to pirated content blocked by ISPs from across the world.

While service providers from Argentina to Australia have been steadily issuing orders to local service providers, the great majority of compliant countries are located in western Europe. 

Speaking at the conference organised by the French government’s anti-piracy agency HADOPI, Okke Delfos Visser, the head of MPA’s legal department for the EMEA region, said that piracy-related sites are now blocked in 31 countries, according to TorrentFreak.

But while it appears as though European states are the most eager to comply with the MPA, there’s a big difference in the scope of the blockades. 

Portugal tops the MPA’s anti-piracy league, with 944 blocked websites, with Italy and Russia, blocking 855 and 297 respectively. UK courts have issued orders to block 175 sites, earning it fourth place in this list of 20.

On the other hands, in Sweden, former home of The Pirate Bay, just two sites on the MPA’s naughty list have been blocked, while in the Netherlands and Lithuania, only one piracy-related site has been sunk.

Visser added that as well as helping to decreasing access to pirated content, site blocking has the net effect of pushing would-be users towards legal options. In January, the MPAA announced that Netflix, which spent something in the region of $8 billion on content in 2018, was the latest studio to join the organisation.

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The news appears to come from the same conference, the ‘Stratégies internationales de lutte contre le piratage des contenus culturels et sportifs’ talk, where the British Phonographic Industry (BPI)’s director of public affairs Ian Moss spoke of how emails warning people suspected of accessing pirated content to stop, had been sent out to roughly a million subscribers.

Why are rights holders angry about pirates? Because they arrre! Seriously though, if you’d like to discuss how better to ensure that content creators don’t get ripped off while ensuring that online free speech and freedom of expression are essentially preserved, feel free to tell us, in the form of pirate jokes, in 280 characters or less @TrustedReviews on Twitter.