back to article Virgin Media cuts Pirate Bay access for millions of punters

Virgin Media has become the first major telco in Blighty to implement a court order blocking access to notorious BitTorrent search website The Pirate Bay. The move follows a demand in London's High Court late last Friday from Mr Justice Arnold, who told Virgin Media, TalkTalk, BSkyB, Telefonica and Everything Everywhere to …

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: Well done...

It's not about blocking access, full-stop. It's about making it clear that it's not allowed - to the casual user who hasn't ever really stopped to think beyond "cool, free movies", the fact you have to circumvent even quite simple obstacles will make it seem much clearer, and probably worry them that they might get some attention for it. Joe Public thinks you can visit sites without anyone knowing, and has no idea how to use VMs and other stuff to be anonymous.

If they can cut users down to tech-savvy geeks rather than the mainstream, that's a huge achievement for their purposes.

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Silver badge

Re: Well done...

"If they can cut users down to tech-savvy geeks rather than the mainstream, that's a huge achievement for their purposes."

Of course it could also educate the masses in the ways of the tech-savvy geek.

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FAIL

Re: Well done...

If they can cut users down to tech-savvy geeks rather than the mainstream, that's a huge achievement for their purposes.

No, that would involve poisoning DNS and/or packet routing and would be a major step towards censorship and the end of the internet or do we all live in China now?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sir

@Sir Runcible Spoon: From your link:

"...The Western countries of the world all complaints about the censorship in Iran, China, Saudi Arabia and so on. But they are really the worst culprits themselves, having double morals in doing an even worse thing themselves...."

Their English aside: There is a word for comparing attempts to prevent people from taking what doesn't belong to them (admittedly by censorship, which I'm non-too keen on) with the kind of censorship which is undertaken by Iran, Saudi, China, where views of people and freedom of speech are censored. That word we're looking for here is "hyperbole".

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Re: Sir

A few years ago, here in the home of the mother of parliaments you weren't allowed to hear the voices of future nobel peace prize winners on state television.

Now that a precedence has been set you can bet this is going to be extended.

I was going to give an example of Sinn Fein or Al Jazeera being blocked next - but I'm guessing it will actually be the sites of non-sponsoring soft drinks makers during the olympics.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sir

Yes, but you were allowed to hear what they had to say, also you were allowed to saterise that decision.

"Under reporting restrictions he has to inhale helium to remove credibility from his statements" springs to mind, there was also a lot of Spitting Image.

Try that in China or Saudi. No? I didn't think so.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sir

And another thing:

Sinn Fein are a legitimate political party

Al Jazeera is a legitimate broadcaster

The provisional IRA were a terrorist organisation who made repeated attempts (many successful) to kill people in Northern Ireland and the UK mainland. They killed people often because they were part of the security services, or just a prominent person of the wrong religion. The pIRA also supplied terrorist training to other terrorist organisations around the world.

There is a massive difference.

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Re: Sir

It used to be illegal to broadcast the voice of a member of Sinn Fein. To get round that, the BBC had to get an actor to voice-over the video of Gerry Adams saying something.

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Re: Well done...

'Of course it could also educate the masses in the ways of the tech-savvy geek.'

It doesnt exactly take a savant to google 'VPN', fork over a fiver a month and follow the instructions on a website to set one up. If someone is computer literate enough to install U Torrent and find genuine torrrents instead of fake ones, then they easily possess the level of ability it would take.

This is certainly going to make life more interesting for the intelligence community as an explosion of VPN-useage means an explosion in encrypted traffic they can't easily monitor.

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Thumb Up

Re: Well done...

The only reason why I like this article is because it lets me know that tons of bandwidth was just freed up and there will be less lag in the gaming community!

Hurray!

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Holmes

Re: Sir

> Al Jazeera is a legitimate broadcaster

It's also far better than anything the US Crudstream Media can put out. Plus, no fatlips/blonde anchorwomen. Win.

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Anonymous Coward

the end of the internet

Come on, enough with the over-dramatised fluff.

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Anonymous Coward

Of course it could also educate the masses in the ways of the tech-savvy geek.

Not a chance. The masses barely understand what an email client is. And I mean the educated masses, not grandparents.

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Pirate

Re: Well done...

"fork over a fiver a month" for a VPN to get free access to copyright infringing material.

I wonder what the break even point would be if everyone who downloads music/tv/films paid a fiver a month to subscribe legitematly to a site which offered all those files? Non-DRMed ot course.

Sometimes, selling thing cheaply to a market can make more profit than selling things at a high price.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well done...

Why pay a fiver a month for a VPN when the UK pirate party is hosting a mirror of the pirate bay and isn't blocked by court order?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well done...

Non-DRMed and Non-Geolocated.

The problem with legal services like Spotify and Hulu is the endless "Sorry, this content isn't available in your country" bullshit. More even than DRM, this is why I download stuff illegally. These bastards want all the benefits of globalism for themselves (e.g. outsourcing) but aren't willing to let the general public benefit from it (e.g. geolocation), and I'm sick of it. So I'll continue torrenting, and forking out for a VPN, until:

1) There is no DRM whatsoever on content;

2) There is no geolocation restriction applied to content;

3) The same range and scope of content is offered as is offered on a torrent site (i.e. not just one company's content like Sony or Warner, but a huge range of stuff, past and present);

4) Past content is kept available indefinitely, not "grandfathered" or deleted or "out of print";

5) I can download all I want for a fixed monthly fee (say $20 / month)

With regard to that last point, going over my torrent usage for the ast few years, I notice that some months I might download a fuckton of stuff, then go a month or so without downloading anything at all. This usage pattern would be likely to continue for a $X-per-month all-you-can-eat service. That means that some months they'd get their money from me without me downloading anything at all, while other months I'd really get my money's worth. Overall, they'd be making a shitload more than they are now.

But no, control and power over peoples' consumption choices seem to mean more to them than money.

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Anonymous Coward

Non-DRMed and Non-Geolocated.

Yes, absolutely, If I has a penny for every time I've gone on YouTube in the UK to find a UK based video and found that "Sorry, this content isn't available in your country"...

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@Alpha Tony

>It doesnt exactly take a savant to google 'VPN'

Please explain how the masses are going to know to google VPN as opposed to FRO, KMB or KJFHDSKFJHKLJHE. That last one's garbage by the way but you never know it might make sense to somebody on a different field.

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Unhappy

Re: Well done...

Ordinarily I'd be wary of going to a mirror of another site. In this case though they are probably equally dubious. I wouldn't personally go to either of them. That doesn't mean I agree with the court ruling though. Censorship is bad whether it impacts me or not.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sir

Fell for the old IRA and Sinn Fein are two totally separate entities did we? Two words - Martin McGuiness. Now go search just how involved that fucker was.

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Silver badge

Re: Well done...

Why VPN? They're so far behind the times legally it's astounding. They're outlawing TPB as everyone is on newsgroups where you can download at over 3MB/s and the server does SSL.

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A sad day

Irrespective of whether or not The Pirate Bay was 'bad' or 'good', it's a sad day, sat here atop the slipperly slope of censorship.

Sure, sites have been taken down in the past, blacklists have been used to filter the illegal stuff out of our reach, but this is definitely another level.

My predictions for the years to come, if we don't manage to reverse this:

- 'Ordinary' people will become familiar with using proxies, TOR, VPN etc. as part of 'normal' internet usage to circumvent the ISP-level blocks. Kids will show their previously tech-unsavvy parents how to do so and once their use reaches a critical mass, the Govt., Judges and Lobbyists will take note.

- Rather than see the mass avoidance of censorship as a wake-up call that the whack-a-mole censorship can never work for long - if at all - they'll add the proxy servers, VPNs, TOR nodes to their hitlist because they're obviously a BAD THING that enables people to do BAD THINGS.

- ISPs and website owners will be ordered to maintain some sort of net ID scheme, whereby they must attribute every action on the internet to an individual, else they're liable for their customers' actions. They comply because they can't afford not to.

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g e
Silver badge

Re: A sad day

Corporate-interest-driven censorship at that.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh get real

TPB is not a grey-area site, it exists specifically to help people get content they have not paid for. And yes I'm sure you can describe 'morally legitimate' uses to get content you have paid for due to 'corporate greed'... but the clue is in the name of the website.

TPB also lose any credibility or sympathy I might give them for 'fighting the man' by the attitude they display here: http://thepiratebay.se/legal. They are arrogant little twits - typical cocky keyboard warriors - who have set out purely to flout the law, end of story.

You don't claim child porn sites shouldn't be censored, blocking illegal sites is not censorship but - a rare thing in this modern mess of legal crapola - simple common sense.

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Bronze badge

No, You need to get real.

Are you serious or just trolling? Copyright infringement is hardly on the same level as child porn.

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Black Helicopters

Re: A sad day

Careful Mectron, that sounds a lot like encitement to commit criminal acts to me. Well, I say 'sounds' but I can't hear that well for all these helicopters going overhead ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A sad day

@Jediben - That's ok, Mectron is so obviously a keyboard warrior that no-one in law enforcement will take him even as seriously as the Robin Hood airport guy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No, You need to get real.

"Are you serious or just trolling? Copyright infringement is hardly on the same level as child porn."

Now it's YOU who is trolling.

Theft is hardly on the same level as child porn. But it's still theft. ABH is hardly on the same level as child porn. But it's still ABH.

Mind if I squat your house? It's raining.

Ah. Thought not.

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Pirate

Re: A sad day

"Ordinary' people will become familiar with using proxies"

Proxies ?

Is that a bit like using google translate then?

A bit like translating a "forbidden' website from Esperanto to English and ignoring the warning that the original wasn't in Esperanto?

Cool. :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No, You need to get real.

Heh... Couldn't figure out what ABH stands for, I'm assuming it has something to do with Bodily Harm... But, when I went searching, the one that stood out was "Anonymous Blow Hard" - draw your own conclusions...

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Boffin

Re: No, You need to get real.

"But it's still theft."

Repeat after me:

"Copyright infringement is not theft'.

If I steal something from you, you no longer have it.

If I *copy* something from you, you still have it.

Maybe you have trouble understanding the concept of a copy?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No, You need to get real.

@Dances with sheep: Call it what you want if a copy is taken without paying the copyright holder for that copy, he still doesn't get the money the law and society say he is due for that work.

No iffs, no buts, no prevaricating with semantic arguments about the specific meanings of words:

Someone has obtained something for free and an other person has not received the money due for that thing.

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Headmaster

Re: No, You need to get real.

It's not a semantic argument. Theft (as defined by the helpfully named Theft Act 1968 in the UK) tells us that "A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it"

When you accuse someone of theft, you're accusing them of a very specific offence. An indictable one, at that. Copyright infringement is, simply put, not the same as theft. This is a matter of fact, not opinion.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No, You need to get real.

It is a semantic argument because you're using a legal definition for a common word whereas the definition in the OED - that which most people understand to be the meaning of a word - specifies that "theft" includes (and I'm paraphrasing from memory, because I'm pretty sure their definitions are copyright) causing someone not to get something which is due to them or which they would otherwise get.

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Holmes

Re: No, You need to get real.

Not being an OED subscriber, I can't comment on their entry. However, I note with interest that the Cambridge University Press dictionary sayeth that theft is "(the act of) dishonestly taking something which belongs to someone else and keeping it" and dictionary.com (Random House's offering) says "the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another; larceny."

Both definitions are heavy on the "taking" and "property" and very thin on the "copying" or "getting something for free" which you assert to be the common parlance for theft.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No, You need to get real.

Once again you illustrate how little you know about what you're talking about.

> Call it what you want if a copy is taken without paying the copyright holder for that copy, he still doesn't get the money the law and society say he is due for that work.

Neither law nor society make any guarantees about monetary compensation for a work that's been copyrighted. It does allow the author to be identified as the author and owner of the work and to place restrictions on who can copy it. Just because someone creates a work and offers copies for sale, he is in no way guaranteed a right to receive any recompense, let alone profit, from the venture. Ultimately the only arbiter of what a work is actually worth is the consumer.

No iffs, no buts, no prevaricating with semantic arguments about the specific meanings of words

All I can take from this is that you don't like arguing semantics and what words mean because you know your grasp of the words you use (eg, "copyright", "theft", "due") is so tenuous that you know you will lose any argument based on them.

Personally, I support the idea of copyright as a way of enriching culture and hopefully providing some recompense for artists and creators. Unfortunately, I think people like you end up doing more harm than the good you think you are doing.

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FAIL

Re: Oh get real

Just like to point out, i've a few torrents on there, including a book. ALL are fully legal to be on there. In fact, SIX of the torrents I have on there include panel discussions talking about the legality of such blocks, and the legality of sites like this,

It's almost as if they completely ignored the thousands of LEGITIMATE uses of the site...

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Re: No, You need to get real.

"Theft is hardly on the same level as child porn. But it's still theft."

...but copyright infringement is not theft.

From the Theft Act 1968 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/60):

"A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly."

Note the bit about "permanently depriving" - making a copy of some property does not permanently deprive the owner of the property and copyright infringement is not theft under the law in England and Wales.

Also, it may surprise you to learn that TPB links to many torrents that do not represent copyright infringement.

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Thumb Up

Re: No, You need to get real.

This is why counterfeit money should be legal. We're not stealing the money, we're just making copies of it. In fact, all counterfeit goods should be legal. Nobody should have any sort of protection on the creations they make, and we should all be allowed to freely benefit from and monetize anybodies creations, without their ability to stop us. I totally agree with you. Copyright infringement isn't theft at all. I'm sick of fascists who believe that just because they invested time and money into the creation of something, they should be the only ones to benefit from the sweat of their brow. Hell, they didn't even create it. They paid someone fair wages to create it for them, so why should we have to pay for it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No, You need to get real.

Kindly post a link to the document which lists crimes in order of severity. Illegal is illegal, and far more people are interested in a)preventing and b)accessing pirated content than they are in a)preventing and b)accessing child porn.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh get real

That's an utterly ridiculous argument to make. By this logic we shouldn't take down a child-porn website if someone posts some nice cooking recipes on the site.

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Silver badge

Re: Oh get real

And you don't think every other site on the Internet Watch Foundation naughty list will also get banned now?

What are you? Some sort of supporter of child pornography or something?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No, You need to get real.

"..if a copy is taken without paying the copyright holder for that copy, he still doesn't get the money the law and society say he is due for that work."

How naive can you be? The holders of commercial copyright are the publishers. They can claim to be due some money if they provide a service by producing copies that people want to buy. Since modern technology makes copying easy, the record industries et al. are redundant and aren't due anything. As for the artists producing the work in the first place, most of the studies show that since the advent of file sharing, their income has increased. In most countries it's a case of the total income remaining roughly constant, but more going to the artists and less to the publishing/recording industry.

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Facepalm

Re: No, You need to get real.

You do realise, Doug Glass / JimC / PirateSlayer / Turtle, that downvotes still count against your named account even when you post AC, don't you?

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Re: No, You need to get real.

You can duplicate my house with your duplicating equipment if you want. It will keep the rain off. You can even make alterations and improvements as you do so, doesn't affect me. You are welcome to copy the alterations and improvements I have made. A lot of hours were spent designing and building the stained glass window, but you can copy that no problem, buddy.

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Re: No, You need to get real.

Kindly post a link to the document which lists crimes in order of severity.

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/

http://sentencingcouncil.judiciary.gov.uk/sentencing-guidelines.htm

HTH.

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Stop

Re: No, You need to get real.

AC - there is no need to post a list. You will find that the sentencing rules for crimes indicate how severe the legislature thinks an action is. Hence we have murder with mandatory life sentence, manslaughter and rape (for example) with maximum life sentences, and so on down to common assault with very short sentences, with possession of child porn somewhere between the two (I don't have time to look up the specifics at the moment).

Do you know what the maximum sentence for the type of domestic copyright infringement you are so incensed about is? I'll tell you - nothing. That's because it isn't a criminal offence. That's how severe the legislature thinks this is.

I also suspect that there are far fewer people than you think that are interested in preventing and accessing "pirated" content.

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