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back to article OWN GOAL! 100s of websites blocked after UK Premier League drops ball

Hundreds of legitimate websites were branded pirates and effectively kicked offline this week - after a court ordered UK ISPs to block access to an IP address they all shared with a copyright-infringing site. That network address - 96.45.82.196 - resolves to DNS Made Easy's http-redirection-d.dnsmadeeasy.com service, which is …

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FAIL

Are you watching Cameron

Are you watching Cameron,

are you watching,

are you watching,

are you watching Cameron

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Headmaster

Re: Are you watching Cameron

I never watch Cameron!

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Big Brother

Re: Are you watching Cameron

Yes he is. And he doesn't care.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Are you watching Cameron

although she's aged quite well she isnt on my top list unfortunately.

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Unhappy

Re: Are you watching Cameron

are you watching Cameron

Yes he is.

And he is concluding that it is trivially easy to block websites.

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Coat

Straightforward enough

Can't we get "Just call me Dave" and "Terribly Teccy Theresa" on the case? They seem to know tons about internet blocking...

Mine's the one with the copy of Dummies for Politicians in the pocket...

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Thumb Up

Re: Straightforward enough

"Dummies for Politicians"

seems a fair swap

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Straightforward enough

What a pitty is didn't take down Mum's Net as well, then we would see the Daily Rabid change it's tune.

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Coat

Re: Straightforward enough

No way, dummies are far more useful.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Straightforward enough

Ha Ha. Great point!

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Facepalm

3...2..1..Blame

The question is who is responsible for ensuring the takedown request is valid? The ISP's are quite happy to sit back and let these cock ups happen as it just highlights what a flawed process it is.

The rights holders are responsible to a point but the buck should probably stop with the courts who have a duty to examine the request for its validity.

Now, does anyone know what ip range the Daily Fail uses..?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 3...2..1..Blame

The ISP's are quite happy to sit back and let these cock ups happen

More likely the ISPs are taking action that the courts are instructing them to do. Its not always a good idea to tell a Judge that his instructions are stupid ... even if they are.

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Flame

Re: 3...2..1..Blame

If I was the ISP I would do exactly the same, they are instructed by the law to do so. I would also leave them blocked until I was told otherwise courts.

Just doing what I am told governor

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 3...2..1..Blame

The fault lies with the Premier League.

The Judge can only act on the information presented to him and the Premier League told the court that that IP should be blocked. The ISP's were not represented at the hearing and neither was the owner of the IP - DNS made easy. It was the duty of the Premier Leagues technical experts to obtain all relevant information about the IP - including contacting the IP owner - and to present this to the Judge so that he could make an informed decision. They failed to do this.

The ISP's were presented with a court order to block the IP, it wasn't an invitation to negotiate with the Premier League about blocking the IP, it was an order to block it. That it was they did.

Hopefully, the Premier League will be forced to pay compensation to the innocent parties affected by this and, as a result, ensure that their actions do not adversely affect any innocent parties in the future.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 3...2..1..Blame

Just to add, it also shows that the Premier League never actually contacted the owner of the IP to get this resolved. Premier League went right to the legal route, got the court order and had it implemented. Hopefully those sites that were impacted will file a lawsuit against Premier League and let them be on the receiving end. Premier League says it suffered losses, well, your actions made others suffer losses and now it is time for you to pay.

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Angel

Re: 3...2..1..Blame

Indeed.

Block legitimate content three times and you should lose your internet connectivity. ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 3...2..1..Blame

I like the fact that the ISP's are pushing responsibility back onto the courts, so now I would expect every single website that was wrongly blocked to sue for loss of revenue, defamation, libel/slander?(associating their site with one that was supposed to be blocked, although I disagree with this block, surely they should have been forced to stop serving to the UK not us block their site in entirety)

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Re: 3...2..1..Blame

"The Judge can only act on the information presented to him and the Premier League told the court that that IP should be blocked."

It's flabbergasting that a judge would issue a court order just on the say-so of the Premier League. I would guess that at the very least, the judge would require some proof of infringement (actually seeing waht a site does), and some proof that the infringing site really resides at that IP.

OK, maybe at that point it does require some technical knowledge to understand the effect that blocking the IP will have on other non-infringing sites, but it's worrying that the people making both the accusation and the judgement have no clue about this. What about restricting this type of judgement to a special court with appointed experts and judges who can at least be trained to have a clue?

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Boffin

Re: 3...2..1..Blame

"The Judge can only act on the information presented to him and the Premier League told the court that that IP should be blocked"

Ah, but they probably didn't say that an IP be blocked, rather a website. That was certainly the case in TPB (so they didn't just switch IP and carry on).

The court asked them to block a website. They've blocked access to an entire server. Granted, the court won't see a difference, and the ISP has never had the tools to do anything else!

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Facepalm

Re: 3...2..1..Blame

"Now, does anyone know what ip range the Daily Fail uses..?"

Yes, every DNS server. This is The Register for fucks sake, surely you know how to use nslookup/dig? (or at least google for instructions)

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Re: 3...2..1..Blame

> Ah, but they probably didn't say that an IP be blocked, rather a website.

Yes, they did. All news articles I've read state that they were ordered to block an IP address.

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Boffin

Re: 3...2..1..Blame

"So far as sub-paragraph (v) is concerned, two points should be noted. First, the orders require IP address blocking of the IP address for FirstRow's domain name firstrow1.eu . FAPL's evidence is that this will not result in over-blocking since that IP address is not shared. The orders also require IP address re-routing and URL blocking for URLs at any shared IP addresses. "

They kind of do both. The specific IP isn't mentioned anywhere in the court order, just "firstrow1.eu". They also contradict each other, by saying that sharing isn't a problem (it is) but also that URL-blocking is required. URL blocking wouldn't have cause this issue (though the server would see all valid traffic coming via the ISPs Cleanfeed proxy servers, similar to the Wikipedia album cover screw up a few years ago).

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Surely m'lud

the Premier League should be investigated for possible perjury? They told the court porkies.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surely m'lud

DMCA takedowns don't work that way. They are intended to protect the MAFIAA and as such, so long as the requester can claim/show "good faith" they are beyond censure.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surely m'lud

"DMCA takedowns don't work that way"

They don't work any way in the UK. Woo that rhymes, celebratory beer.

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So it's like getting a court order against Joe Bloggs of 12 Winsome Drive, and then stopping EVERYONE living at 12 Winsome Drive. And the garages behind it. And their neighbours. And their gardener who just happened to be there at the time.

I don't see how this court order could really be valid and legal - it's affecting innocent people who weren't party to any crime or civil suit whatsoever.

And quite how difficult would it be to have blocked the DNS you intended to block. Sure, they can work around it but they could change IP just as easily too. What moron ever thought that an IP or DNS block is in any way useful, selective or proportionate? Granted, I "own" the IP addresses I use so it's only me on my server, only my work on my work IP, and only my house on my allocated static IP. But it's a very different story when you get into servers and even more different if those servers are already illegal in the UK (i.e. they obviously can't just arrest the people running them or they would have done so).

Let's just hope that this makes the court so embarrassed that they don't try it again. Just a shame it wasn't something more vital than Radio Times - like a government website, or Facebook or similar. How long until some court orders Akamai IP's to be blocked and takes out half the Internet?

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Anonymous Coward

or...

...Level 3 or Global Crossing or...

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No, this is like getting a court order against Steve down the pub near Woking, and locking up everyone you find in a pub near Woking.

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Trollface

To be fair, if you're in a pub in Woking, you've probably earned it

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Pint

No, this is like wanting to revoke a liquor licence for the Red Lion, Wilmslow, but only writing the pub name, and not the town on the paperwork, and causing all Red Lions to have their licence revoked, in every town.

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Boffin

My attempt at a poor analogy

Actually I reckon it's more like wanting to revoke the liquor licence for the Red Lion but identifying it by its postcode. And thus the pub next door, the restaurant and the supermarket across the street getting their licenses revoked too. If they had gone by name ("FirstRow1.eu") rather than address, they would have actually got closer to getting it right. Still miles away from anything that would work mind.

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Gav
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Happy

Actually It's more like getting a court order against Joe Bloggs of 12 Winsome Drive, when in fact your beef is with Joe Bloggs of 18 Arcadia Avenue. But you never bothered to check you had the right address, and the court just took your word for it.

Next time anyone has reason to sue someone, please, just for a laugh, put their address down as 10 Downing Street, London. Apparently the courts don't bother checking before granting you permission to send the bailiffs round. That would be funny.

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Re: My attempt at a poor analogy

Actually it's more like wanting to revoke the liquor licence for the Red Lion, identifying its postcode, and then shutting down everything in that postcode.

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Re: My attempt at a poor analogy

Actually, I reckon it's like wanting to shut down the Red Lion in Woking (I don't know why Woking keep invading my analogies) and instead sticking your head in a lion's mouth.

Daft and ultimately counterproductive, but fun to watch from a safe distance.

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Headmaster

Re: My attempt at a poor analogy

Just because there weren't enough of these already...

Isn't it more like wanting to block the owner of a P.O. box, but instead blocking the building which contains his - and a couple hundred other people's - P.O. boxes?

Pedant icon seems appropriate.

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Joke

Re: My attempt at a poor analogy

Isn't it more like posting naked pictures of yourself to your girlfriend/boyfriend at the house they share, but not bothering to put a name on the envelope? Thus exposing yourself (and your massive stupidity) to all the people at that address, and probably everyone they know.

Outcome deeply embarrassing for the sender!

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FAIL

"I don't see how this court order could really be valid and legal"

It isn't, the people who got the court order have a legal responsibility to supply the *correct* IPs which they clearly didn't bother doing.

"FAPL's evidence is that this will not result in over-blocking since that IP address is not shared"

Not for nothing but the judgement itself is pretty hilarious. "The interests of FAPL and the supporting rightholders in enforcing their copyrights clearly outweigh the Article 11 EU Charter rights of the users of the Websites, who can obtain the copyright works from lawful sources"

^ This is plainly nonsense. What lawful source can I use to get what games I want and not pay for the chaff at a reasonable price? Answer: There isn't one.

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Any one that's operating out of Antigua and selling US owned copyright stuff.

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Lawyerbomb?

So if you had a successful commercial site paying your bills that suddenly became unavailable because of this...

1) Complain to? You're probably not a customer of all 4 ISPs so you dont have a business relationship with them. How do you get your site unblocked?

2) Notify? Other than seeing your income suddenly drop, how would you know you were blocked?

3) Sue? Who's responsible? The ISP? The court? The copywrite holder? Who pays me my compensation?

Even if you were quick of the blocks, noticed the problem, figured out what it was, and had it up and running on another service within a day or two you could have lost thousands and have spent hundreds sorting yourself out. Through no fault of your own.

Internet filtering...The new cluster*bomb*.

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Re: Lawyerbomb?

O2 shows a message when you visit the site which says

"The page you're looking for has been blocked.

We're complying with a court order that means access to this website has

to be blocked to protect against copyright infringement."

Other ISPs show a very similar message.

They would have a case for taking libel action against the ISP for claiming that the site was involved in copyright infringement when they are not.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lawyerbomb?

No. The ISP is complying with the law (a takedown was issued).

The requester of the takedown made it in good faith, they did not break the law. The "perjury" part only applies to whether or not the request was legitimately made on behalf of a copyright owner. Collateral damage is not part of the law.

This is how the MAFIAA had the law written so that they could remove anything they wanted pretty much without censure, even if not justified based on common sense (hence why the whole thing is automated these days).

Next up, MS issuing takedown notices against Apache Open Office.

Yes, you read that right. MS is demanding that ISPs remove links to a competitor product.

Seems they are not satisfied with just monopoly abuse.

Interestingly, that takedown should result in charges of perjury, as MS (or their agent) do not own the copyright to Apache's Open Office.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lawyerbomb?

"MS (or their agent) do not own the copyright to Apache's Open Office"

Microsoft have hundreds of patents around OSs and Office applications - almost certainly AOO infringes loads of them...That's likely the basis of any such request...

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Re: Lawyerbomb?

This is not an EUCD takedown notice. That would be issued to the hosting provider of the infringing content. They, however, are probably not based in the EU, and therefore won't respond to EUCD notices, or in the US where they would respond to DMCA notices, the US equivalent.

This is an order to ISPs to block access to websites using the same technology that is used to block access to child porn.

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Facepalm

Re: Lawyerbomb?

Sue the cretins who request the over broad blockage, for obstruction of business and loss of revenue, and sue the court for negligence; this isn't the ISPs fault, because they face liability if they didn't do what the stupid court told them too! Oh and sue the government for gross incompetence and negligence for allowing these FUBAR censorship cases to even be heard in court.

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Re: Lawyerbomb?

"Next up, MS issuing takedown notices against Apache Open Office. Yes, you read that right. MS is demanding that ISPs remove links to a competitor product. Seems they are not satisfied with just monopoly abuse."

Not quite. Your example mimics this story, but not for the reason you stated. It appears they were looking for the the "office" string in torrents, and requested a ban on all of them. It just so happened that many were torrents to valid open_office links.

This is not the first time a too-broad selection was used, and most certainly not the last. At least it makes those making the claim look like idiots. :-)

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Re: Lawyerbomb?

You sue the premier league for failing to differentiate your website from those in question.

Does that fall under libel?

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Coat

Re: Lawyerbomb?

I think you mistyped *bomb* I think you meant *fuck*.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lawyerbomb?

"This is how the MAFIAA had the law written"

Oh for god's sake, you've already been told. This is the UK, not the US. DMCA, MPAA, RIAA don't mean anything here, and believe it or not we don't abide by US law.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lawyerbomb?

"This is the UK, not the US. DMCA, MPAA, RIAA don't mean anything here, and believe it or not we don't abide by US law."

Incorrect. The MAFIAA (via their sock-puppet the BPI) wield a lot of clout in the UK. It was the MAFIAA that had the various laws around the world written roughly the same way. The EUCD isn't that different from the DMCA.

"we don't abide by US law."

Also incorrect. The UK is subservient to the USA in every matter. This will change within the next decade as we start to obey our new Chinese masters (we've already given them total control over our communication infrastructure - probably how Cameron plans to censor the Internet).

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Interesting...

From the judgement:

"FAPL's expert witness Dr David Price estimates that FirstRow is likely to be generating between £5,360,680 and £9,505,564 in annual revenue"

That is one incredibly 'expert' witness. How does he get such remarkably precise numbers? I wish I could estimate my annual google adsense income with that level of precision. How do these people get away with it, and why does opposing council not label it a clear case of 'excrementum bovum'?

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