Feeds

back to article Telcos can be forced to turn copyright cop, block websites – EU law man

ISPs across Europe can be instructed to block websites that provide access to pirated material, an EU advocate general said in a non-binding court opinion published yesterday. Pedro Cruz Villalón said that telcos can be ordered to, in effect, operate as buffers between their subscribers and site operators who infringe copyright …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Rol
Bronze badge

Unfair

I suggest blocking access to ALL newsagents, as it is possible a young teenager might get access to some top shelf grumble. It doesn't matter that the newsagent also sells sweets and comics, it's the thought that counts.

10
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Unfair

What crap argument.

It's a criminal offence to sell to an under-age kid, so it's already covered that way.

2
9
Silver badge

"... workarounds to such bans are a few clicks away online."

I would assume that the majority of casual downloaders (in the general public) wouldn't be able to find them easily. I have difficulty finding them and I regard myself as fairly savvy in this area. Do the ISPs keep any record of how many 'blocks' they initiate?

1
0

Re: "... workarounds to such bans are a few clicks away online."

@ Frank Ly "the majority of casual downloaders (in the general public) wouldn't be able to find them easily"

No, they just wait for a court order to force an ISP to announce the name of a newly banned service before using a proxy to access a site which previously they had never heard of. Well played, lawyers, well played.

13
1
Anonymous Coward

wouldn't be able to find them easily

Completely wrong, in my experience. After Sky etc blocked the Piratebay a while back my nephew and just about everyone else I asked about it said they were back downloading just minutes after being blocked, and none of them could be called even basically computer literate. All they had to do was bung a really basic search into a search engine and all the information to get back online was there in easily followed language.

Such as how to set up automatic proxies in their browser and how to find mirrors and proxies of the sites they wanted to reach.

9
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: wouldn't be able to find them easily

nformation to get back online was there in easily followed language.

Such as how to set up automatic proxies in their browser and how to find mirrors and proxies of the sites they wanted to reach.

And they happily and blindly trust that info, no wonder they have more viruses than Porton Down. Some people really are too stupid to be allowed on the internet.

1
8

Re: wouldn't be able to find them easily

Cool. I like it when unsavvy pirates apply information from the first suppied google link. It makes them that much more susceptible to downloading tojans, and ransomware.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

'I like it when unsavvy pirates apply information from the first suppied google link'

Yeah, no kidding. Its hazards r us!. Moreover, many sites topping the google rankings are mere place holders for redirection and not the actual direct torrent file ./ magnet link. The uninitiated risk being stuck in endless loops of ads and redirections... and rewarded with the occasional outright drive-by....

0
0
Bronze badge
Mushroom

asshats of America...

have managed to destroy common carrier status for telcos...

5
1
Silver badge

Re: asshats of America...

"have managed to destroy common carrier status for telcos..."

Not yet. That's why the ISPs have challenged block requests and will only block exactly what is described in the court order. As yet, no court order has been "open" enough to specify something which requires the ISP to look at traffic or logs or to make decisions on what might or might not be "infringing" data traffic.

0
0
Silver badge

Why do these idiots insist on trying to tackle the wrong end of the problem?

The European Court of Justice should have made sure that Pedro Cruz Villalón knew how the internet worked before letting him embarrass them like this.

Using ISP's to regulate access to the internet has been tried before and it's failed spectacularly. In the case of The Pirate Bay, it caused the site to go from just a single site and a handful of mirrors into a distributed mirrored site with urls into the hundreds.

Pedro Cruz Villalón should study the problem he proposes to solve so that he doesn't make the situation worse.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Why do these idiots insist on trying to tackle the wrong end of the problem?

There's a lot more money to be made from treating the symptons than curing the cause if you're the one handing out the invoices and charge by the hour.

5
0
Bronze badge

Re: Why do these idiots insist on trying to tackle the wrong end of the problem? @Crisp

Strictly speaking he said that blocks could be implemented, not necessarily that they should be implemented. A small point I know, but worth mentioning maybe especially since he was asked about this in regards to the legality, not as to whether they were a good idea.

0
2

Re: Why do these idiots insist on trying to tackle the wrong end of the problem?

take a few of the pirate operators and make an example the "Hearts and minds" of the rest will follow.

0
0
Big Brother

And we all know this won't stop at copyright infringement...

5
0
Bronze badge

Funny you should say that...

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131023/debtext/131023-0001.htm#13102356000002

From the entry (my emphasis):

Paul Goggins (Wythenshawe and Sale East) (Lab): Two weeks ago, the head of the Security Service warned about the extent of Islamist extremism. This week, two individuals have been charged with serious terrorist offences. What is the Prime Minister going to do in January when, as a result of his Government’s legislation, some of those whom the Home Secretary has judged to pose the greatest threat to our security are released from the provisions of their terrorism prevention and investigation measures?

The Prime Minister: We have put in place some of the toughest controls that one can possibly have within a democratic Government, and the TPIMs are obviously one part of that. We have had repeated meetings of the extremism task force—it met again yesterday—setting out a whole series of steps that we will take to counter the extremist narrative, including by blocking online sites. Now that I have the opportunity, let me praise Facebook for yesterday reversing the decision it took about the showing of beheading videos online. We will take all these steps and many more to keep our country safe.

I wonder who gets to decide what constitutes 'extremist'?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

'And we all know this won't stop at copyright infringement...'

No kidding! This is just a fact finding mission....

0
0
Anonymous Coward

It amuses me to see that they think they're democratic...

Sure, we may get to vote them into power, but it doesn't mean shit these days.

4
0
Bronze badge

Please Sir

Since you can find all the links on Google can we block them too.....

Sauce for the goose etc etc

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Here's an idea

If you're requested to block a site, wouldn't it be only polite to redirect to a web page explaining why it was blocked and providing names, phone numbers, email addresses, web site details etc. of who requested the block? In case further clarification was required, of course...

5
0

Re: Here's an idea

I completely agree.

The UK/EU appear to be moving on, in great leaps leaps and bounds, towards a system whereby accusation becomes synonymous with guilt - political and corporate mob rule, by any other name.

My thoughts are that (1) Should an ISP be required to block a site on the grounds of accusation alone, then such a block should only stand for a limited period, during which the petitioner should be required to prove, in a court, the offence. (2) Should a petitioner fail to act in accordance with (1) within a given time frame (say 3-6 months) - or fail to prove the offence - then the original petition should be deemed invalid and any links/content should be reinstated.

Of course, that will never happen.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Here's an idea

> My thoughts are that (1) Should an ISP be required to block a site on the grounds of accusation alone, then such a block should only stand for a limited period, during which the petitioner should be required to prove, in a court, the offence.

Well here's another thought: Perhaps it could be blocked *after* the accusation has been proved in court. You know, like we do in a democracy.

3
0
Bronze badge

Re: Here's an idea

For research purposes I searched "torrent wolverine" at Google and it seems to do what you want, in this part of the world at least.

http://www.chillingeffects.org/notice.cgi?sID=1306488

Provides the details, makes for interesting reading.

0
0
Gold badge

@skelband (Re: Here's an idea)

Here's another thought, whilst you are collecting them. Perhaps *only* it could be blocked, rather than also taking out every other site using the same IP address, like the FA's court order did a month or two back.

Back with the original article:

“A specific blocking measure concerning a specific website is not disproportionate, in principle," the advocate general added.

In principle, "in principle" implies that it is possible. In practice, history teaches us that we need harder evidence than that. Even the supporters of this idea should be cautious at this point in time.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

@skelband Re: Here's an idea

"Well here's another thought: Perhaps it could be blocked *after* the accusation has been proved in court. You know, like we do in a democracy."

Why do you assume that a presumption of innocence is a democratic right?

It may be a human right laid down in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. However, it is not a function of political democracy within the UK, which has judicial independence.

0
1
Silver badge

Re: @skelband Here's an idea

> Why do you assume that a presumption of innocence is a democratic right?

Alas you are right.

I should have said a free society.

<sigh> I do remember that we did at least pretend to have one at some point.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

'If you're requested to block a site, wouldn't it be only polite to redirect to a web page'

Sure.. But the cynic in me says the preferred government / corporate implementation would instead ask 'whose asking'... ? With a pretty form requesting the inquiring user fill in their details ...

1
0
Bronze badge
Pirate

Wont work

Especially given that Antuiga and Barbuda might soon have complete freedom from US copyright laws due to their legal spat over online gambling.

Lets see these EU bods try and stop something that has been deemed acceptable, and legal, by the WTO.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.