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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      1. Anonymous Coward
        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".

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            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.

            1. jonathanb Silver badge

              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.

            2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
              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.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              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.

    2. 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.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon 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.

        1. Alpha Tony

          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.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            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.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              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?

              1. AndrueC Silver badge
                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.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              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.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                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"...

              2. Mark 65 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.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @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.

        2. Inachu
          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!

        3. Anonymous Coward
          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.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
        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?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          the end of the internet

          Come on, enough with the over-dramatised fluff.

  2. JakeyC

    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.

    1. g e

      Re: A sad day

      Corporate-interest-driven censorship at that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        1. Not That Andrew

          No, You need to get real.

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              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...

              1. John H Woods Silver badge

                ABH

                *rubs forehead twice*

            2. Dances With Sheep
              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?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                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.

                1. durandal
                  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.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    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.

                    1. durandal
                      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.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  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.

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  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.

              2. Vin King
                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?

            3. JohnG Silver badge

              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.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: No, You need to get real.

                @JohnG - Go and look up Steal in the dictionary: One of the listed meanings is to take someone's words or ideas, without permission.

            4. Steven Roper
              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?

            5. Zack Mollusc

              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.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            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.

            1. error handler

              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.

            2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
              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.

        2. Andrew Norton
          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...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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.

        3. Yet Another Anonymous coward 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?

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Jediben
        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 ...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

    3. Dances With Sheep
      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. :-)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A sad day

      "They comply because they can't afford not to."

      Or until they cannot sell their high bandwidth connections for high prices because if all you are allowed to do is browse the internet and email then you don't need any more than a 2meg connection (if that). THEN the ISPs will complain of restrictive practice when they see their profits fall and the profits of the music and film industry will still be going down, because of the crap they churn out.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't wait to see how the film and record companies profits shoot up now...

    Oh, and can still access the Bay via Anonymouse.org of course.

  4. That Steve Guy

    Where's my hammer?

    *whack* Thats one dealt with, oh look another popped up over there as well!

    1. Velv Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Where's my hammer?

      Think of censored sites like Gremlins - don't get them wet or they'll multiply exponentially.

      And God forbid you feed them after midnight!!!!!

      Anonymous in, three, two, one ............

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    disappointing pay alternatives

    During the Sunday afternoon drought-quenching downpour, I decided to try and pay to stream one of the original Indiana Jones trilogy films - you know classic Sunday afternoon viewing to doze off in front of.

    Ready with credit card I went off to Netflix to have a search - only to find a lack of public search interface. I guess there is a search feature once you've successfully registered but I didn't fancy signing up to tons of spam just to fail to find my film of choice.

    Undeterred I went to Lovefilm. Search interface - tick. Indiana Jones - tick. On DVD rental only. I couldn't seem to refine my search to LoveFilm instant only. Fail.

    Disappointed I went to TPB. Search interface - tick. Indiana Jones - tick. Download in 10 mins to watch - tick.

    I am not a freetard nor do I want to be. I was ready with a credit card to pay there and then to watch content immediately - not wait for a DVD in the post. Does a decent, legitimate movie stream portal exist?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: disappointing pay alternatives

      During the Sunday afternoon drought-quenching downpour, I decided to try and pay for a new TV so I could watch Indiana Jones on it.

      Ready with credit card went to the Dixons website ... ony to find they wouldn't deliver on Sunday. Same with John Lewiis. Fail.

      Disappointed I looked out of window and saw neighbour's new TV. Smash, in through window and moved TV in 10 mins.

      I'm not a burglar nor do I want to be. I was ready with a credit card to pay there and then but no-one would deliver me a TV imnmediately.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Sir

        @thetwatAC : What is your point? What you wrote bears no resemblance to the original scenario.

        You're either trolling, or just another corporate fuckwit. There's a straw-man argument for you.

      2. Jez Caudle
        Thumb Down

        Re: disappointing pay alternatives

        A TV is a physical item. A film that can be streamed is simply a collection of 1 and 0's that can be sent down a wire.

        Better than misplaced sarcasm you might have pointed out that iTunes has an Indiana Jones film available to buy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: disappointing pay alternatives

          A TV is merely a collection of elements that are easily available for free to anyone with a spade.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @ Jez Caudle Re: disappointing pay alternatives

          I agree with your post, but I think I'd rather take my chances with piracy than resort to installing iTunes

        3. Not That Andrew

          Re: iTunes exclusives?

          So is that why Netfix and Lovefilm have such a craptacular selection for streaming? Is all the good stuff iTunes exclusive?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: disappointing pay alternatives

          A film on a DVD is just a pattern of 0 and 1 s too.

      3. Chad H.

        @ AC Re: disappointing pay alternatives

        The situation you describe there is completely different. The Original poster in this chain didn't want something that is unreasonable, nor did he wish to deprive his neighbor of anything.

        We're talking about a move that is easy enought to offer as a stream or download... Sunday Couriers are like hens teeth. Its not as if Dixons et al offered to deliver anything else in their catalogue on a sunday.

        At the end of the day, the only people responsible for the OP not paying for the content are the content providers.

      4. tezzer74
        WTF?

        Re: disappointing pay alternatives

        Ah - You see, Virgin Media are one of those 'Disappointing Pay Alternatives' - Have you seen the rubbish they offer on their 'Pay-On-Demand' System.

        Thinking with their wallets as usual!

      5. philt

        Re: disappointing pay alternatives

        http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: disappointing pay alternatives

        Hear, hear.

        I pay Lovefilm 14 quid a month for an unlimited number of DVDs, of which it has pretty much everything released. Why shouldn't I grab off TBP one or two of the films those DVDs contain, since I have effectively paid for it anyway? All I'm doing is saving Lovefilm postage costs, not taking money from starving artists and media tycoons.

      7. nexsphil

        Oh, you want to talk about crimes?

        Paying corrupt politicians to legislate a business model by subverting the democratic process to restrict public freedom is considered quite a serious crime in some circles

      8. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: disappointing pay alternatives

        @AC who wrote "I'm not a burglar nor do I want to be. I was ready with a credit card to pay there and then but no-one would deliver me a TV imnmediately."

        You're missing the point in a spectactular fashion. It's not about whether the OP did something "wrong" in your eyes. The point is that there is a no easy, reliable and legal way to get this content instantly, despite both the obvious demand and the existing streaming services.

        The various media "associations" have been chasing down "pirates" for years now and they still haven't managed to supply the oh so obvious market demand just sitting there waiting to throw money at them.

      9. Ambivalous Crowboard
        Thumb Up

        Re: disappointing pay alternatives

        During the Sunday afternoon drought-quenching downpour, I decided to try and buy a book because there I had a specific interest in a subject I'm researching.

        Ready with credit card went to the Amazon website ... ony to find they wouldn't deliver on Sunday and I couldn't download the book online as the author hadn't opted in to the Kindle version. I went to the high street, as the Waterstones website said there was one in stock, but the shop was closed.

        Disappointed I complained on my facebook stream, only to find that one of my friends had a print of the book. I went round to his house, picked up the book, said thanks, and then went home all in under 10 minutes.

        I'm not a freetard nor do I want to be. I was ready with a credit card to pay there and then but sometimes it's much easier to get stuff via unofficial channels rather than jumping through hoops put in place by morons who don't understand the system.

        [PS: Putting the 'Coward' in Anonymous Coward?]

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: disappointing pay alternatives

      http://daggle.com/dear-rupert-murdoch-talk-piracy-simpsons-2944

    3. g e
      FAIL

      Re: disappointing pay alternatives

      I went the other way round as I find the Netfilx UI much better on the PS3 (my chosen gadget for the job as it's already connected to the living room TV).

      The Lovefilm UI was dire. NF has a decent search on the PS3 UI, at least, not tried other devices.

      What it's highlighting to me though is that the 'Content Providers' are still restricting stuff by territory. In the US I believe NF has Weeds up to season 5 or 6. In the UK it's stops with season 3. This has resulted in me buying seasons 4,5,6 from eBay secondhand ( no money for The Man) and they will be punted back onto eBay when watched (again someone else not giving money to The Man) while all the time they could have licensed the content and got paid out from my NF subscription (again no money for The Man). I actually MADE a couple of quid punting S04 back onto the 'bay, so Big Media's stupidity/OCD is actually PAYING ME not to use NF in one sense, subsidising the NF subscription in another.

      It's real bullet-meet-foot stuff from the MAFIAA and chums. They still really Don't Get It (tm).

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: disappointing pay alternatives

      AC 12:47GMT

      "I am not a freetard nor do I want to be. "

      You are a lazy chunter, though.

      Worst argument I've heard all year.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: disappointing pay alternatives

        @AC12:47: You're right, I was lazy. The clue was in the words "Sunday", "afternoon", "downpour", "doze" and "off".

        However, that still doesn't stop me from being a content consumer. I would genuinely be interested in your solution to my Sunday afternoon conundrum though.

        I'm so lazy I'm not even going to downvote you. :o)

    5. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: disappointing pay alternatives

      iTunes. Certainly legitimate, not particularly good, but nevertheless appears to be the best of a bad bunch. They only have one Indiana Jones film, and I don't think it is the one you were looking for.

  6. K Silver badge
    FAIL

    DNS or IP block?

    What level is this block operating on, is it DNS based or IP?

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: DNS or IP block?

      It might not actually be legal to implement an IP block, consider http1.1 - they could end up blocking a lot of other people if the hosting is done on shared servers.

      That said, I believe Web Blocker is DPI URL based rather than DNS (other DNS are available after all).

      Oh, and Streisand.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DNS or IP block?

      It appears to be an IP block - still operates after changing to OpenDNS.

      I don't use TPB but I'm not keen on censorship. Plus Virgin have just increased prices and have been wasting my time by messing with SMTP ports. So sod 'em - I've just requested a MAC.

      Any suggestions on alternative ADSL ISPs, preferably with binaries newsfeed?

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        2. Alien Doctor 1.1

          Re: Sir

          No problems at all.

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

            Re: Sir

            Good news then, they are definitely using dpi (deep packet inspection for anyone who doesn't know) and filtering based on URL.

            Use of the https protocol hides the url header from the Web Blocker's 'sight'. It means people don't actually need to switch DNS.

            It also means that Virgin are complying with the court order, but not really bothered if people circumvent it.

            1. tezzer74

              Not sure about DPI

              Not sure where they are up to with Deep Packet Inspection. I remember BT getting into trouble with that one because it 'breached privacy'.

              Surely the fact a proxy can bypass it would suggest DPI cant be at play here because the packets are still passing through Virgin's system, and if they were blocked because of their content (DPI) then the proxy wouldnt solve it.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Not sure about DPI

                Not DPI per se, they've rerouted all traffic bound to TPB IP numbers.

                ....

                5 leed-bb-1a-ae10-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.253.174.21) 15.377 ms 15.880 ms 14.473 ms

                6 know-core-1a-pc200.network.virginmedia.net (195.182.178.146) 34.626 ms 16.189 ms 39.921 ms

                7 wb7301a.network.virginmedia.net (62.30.0.204) 18.366 ms 17.636 ms 18.261 ms

                8 brhm-bb-1a-ge-720-0.network.virginmedia.net (62.30.249.46) 18.404 ms 20.559 ms 19.738 ms

                ...

                Hop 7 is the bogey, our old friend wb7301a, the IWF filter. Google it,

                Remember folks, it's raison d'etre is supposedly CP filtering, so, quelle surprise!, there's an unexpected (hah!) bit of mission creep.

            2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Re: Sir

              Just to clarify, when I say DPI, I don't mean looking at the ultimate data contents of the packets (such as the content of a web page )I mean the <u>http</u> headers.

              From a layer 3 perspective, the url forms no part of the IP header, so looking into the payload (which contains the http header) is therefore DPI.

              If this doesn't make sense, think of it like an onion, with each layer of skin being an address to be removed to reveal the address to send it to next (such as the next layer up in the OSI 7 layer model).

    3. tezzer74
      WTF?

      Re: DNS or IP block?

      It must be DNS block because the Pirate Bay are known for multiple servers and therefore multiple IP. Also, other domains they use are still active.

      When they were closed down in Sweden, it didnt matter because they have servers in many other countries too. Thats how they stay online, because they would have to be sued in each country one after the other after the other etc. This is whay they are trying this tactic instead. A bit like the Chinese and Saudi censorship I guess.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: DNS or IP block?

      Thou shall not block. Use the Startpage search engine which supplies a proxy link with every result. Job done.

    5. Ian 55
      Stop

      Re: DNS or IP block?

      The judgement reckoned that no-one else was using the IP address they thought TPB was on, so it was ok to block it.

      What someone should do is ensure that other sites are on it, preferably ones with enough money to pay lawyers...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    vote with your wallet

    Changing ISPs is fairly easy these days

    (unless you've got bundled services, in which case, more fool you)

    1. g e

      Aye, and buy your digital media secondhand where it makes no odds to you.

      It's not really the ISP's fault, they have a court order to comply with. Starve Big Media of your cash instead.

      1. tezzer74
        WTF?

        Mmm interesting argument, except that BT has delayed their response because at the end of the day the ISP's dont want to have to Police this. On the other hand, Virgin Media provide pay on demand content so it interests them financially as they hope some people will pay for it from them instead of downloading it.

        I prefer physical media myself, I hate to pay a small discount to 'watch it now' but never be able to watch it again. At least if its a physical item, I can watch it when I want to.

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  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We're in the bottom 5 of the worlds nations in terms of crazy copyright protection laws. You can thank Mandelson and Cliff Richard for that (he argued for a huge extension of copyright length, probably to fund a huge extension to his house).

    It's about time governments focussed on the people who really destroy lives, the rapists, muggers, murderers, burglars and the on-line fraudsters.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ok...

      We've been through this time and again: Crimes aren't solved in the order of seriousness, many law enforcement officials work on many differing types of crime at the same time, so you'll never hear "That's rape and murder finished, let's get on with serious assault and armed robbery tomrrow".

      I also note that the longevity of copyright (which I personally don't agree with) is taken as an argument to somehow justify ripping off stuff that was released in the last few years. Again, a very poor method of arguing your point.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ok...

        You also forgot to factor in the big biz factor when determining the order in which crimes are solved.

        Large companies have lots of money, lawyers, lobbyists, and friends in high places. Crimes against large companies, regardless of seriousness, are therefore given precedence and penalties are higher.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ok...

          @AC 15:39 - No, sorry, if that were the case then the banks wouldn't have to fund the Cheque and Plastic fraud unit themselves, that's how little importance it was treated with by the Met. You can't seriously argue that the bank's don't represent big business who have friends in high places, can you?

    2. mhenriday
      Boffin

      AC, you forgot to list the banksters,

      the military-industrial complex, the lobbyists, the MPAA and the RIAA and their subsidiaries in other lands, etc, etc. But then again, they own the government, so that's hardly surprising, innit ?...

      Henri

    3. nexsphil

      > It's about time governments focussed on the people who really destroy lives, the rapists, muggers, murderers, burglars and the on-line fraudsters.

      No money in that

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  11. Martyn 1
    Childcatcher

    Was going to say it will be interesting to see how easy it is to circumvent when I get home tonight, but having read the above comments it seems it will be trivially easy and not worth the effort (I don't use TPB normally anyway ).

  12. TechnicianJack
    Alert

    One site censored. Not long before:

    Google search - Fair labour - no results.

    Google search - Democracy - no results.

    Google search - Why do I have to wear this orange jump suit? - no results.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or...

      "Fair pay for your creative work, without having it ripped off left right and centre"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Or...

        The recording and publishing industries do creative work? That's news to me! I thought it was the artists, who studies show have been receiving more income since file sharing's been around.

        The recording/publishing industries are redundant, since they offer the service of copying which everyone can do now.

        1. Ross 7

          Re: Or...

          "The recording and publishing industries do creative work? That's news to me! I thought it was the artists, who studies show have been receiving more income since file sharing's been around."

          Gotta comment on that one my friend. The artist creates the work, and then sells the rights to distribute it to the distributor. They then distribute it. If they cannot monetise the legal rights they *bought* from the artist, why would they continue to buy them? The artists will suffer more than the distributor. If your work isn't distributed who will know that your gigs are worth paying to attend?

          "The recording/publishing industries are redundant, since they offer the service of copying which everyone can do now."

          There are certainly other methods of distribution beyond what the existing large companies are very good at. Whether they are as effective or not at generating income for the artists is a different point though.

          Just look at how much a new band raked in when on their own label, compared to what they get from signing to Parlophone etc.

          It comes down to this - ppl want to d/l stuff without paying for it because they can. The risks are almost non-existant. They can convince themselves that nobody is being hurt ("I wasn't going to buy it anyway so nobody has lost out") and so it's fine in their opinion.

          The "wasn't going to buy it anyway" argument isn't so great though. It overlooks the point that now you *won't* buy it, whereas you might have changed your mind if you hadn't d/l-ed it.

          I'm also entirely unconvinced by the argument that copying is fine as the owner remains in possession of the item. It stems from a terribly misunderstanding of *what* is being "stolen". The distributor holds the exclusive *rights* and can resell non-exclusive rights. By d/l'ing an item and making a copy of it you infringe those rights, making them less valuable. Like counterfeiting cash for example. As at the top of this post, devalue the rights and the distributors won't pay as much for them. That hurts the artists.

          If you want to d/l stuff then go for it - I don't judge ppl for that. Trying to make your actions seem legitimate is what riles me - it's the actions of a coward.

          1. Keep Refrigerated
            Facepalm

            Re: If your work isn't distributed who will know that your gigs are worth paying to attend?

            Indeed.

            If only there was a way to not rely on these aggressive and slow distributors (who now own the rights to your works) and instead distribute your work fast, efficiently and without artificial release dates and geolocation locks...

            If someone could just come up with the technology then you'd stand to gain a much wider audience who would be willing to attend your gigs!

            That is... as long as you're any good.

            1. Ross 7

              Re: If your work isn't distributed who will know that your gigs are worth paying to attend?

              Artists *can* self distribute as it stands, and many do. Or they can choose to sell their rights to a large distributor. It's their choice. You seem to want to take that choice from ppl.

              Going your own way is great for ppl with smaller ambition - it's cheap! It also has its drawbacks. To stand out from the crowd you need to be *really* good. You also need to buy/rent gear to record with at studio quality, and you need decent production. Not everyone has the skills or money for that.

              Going the contract route also has pros and cons, the money, simplicity and marketing force being the major pros, the limited control over your own work being the major con.

              The "release dates" and "geolocation" arguments are the straw men - I mentioned it in the previous post. Once ppl have d/l'ed a song sans payment how many as a percentage then go on to buy it? If the d/ls are just there to fill the gap until you can buy it, surely *everyone* would buy it as soon as it got released officially in their market? So why is that not happening?

              If you want to test it and see if it's worth it use a Spotify-esque resource. Ofc the "I'm seeing if I want to buy it" is also a straw man, as ppl won't pay for that service either as a rule for the simple reason there's little incentive when you can just d/l for free from TPB etc.

              As above, if you wanna d/l from TPB et al then either admit your intransigence or petition Parliament for a change in the law if you truly believe it appropriate. Simples. Pretending you're doing the artists a favour and only hurting the big record companies only helps *you* feel better about it, not the artists.

  13. Annihilator

    Minor correction

    "notorious BitTorrent tracker website The Pirate Bay"

    AFAIK it hasn't been a tracker in quite some time. It's equal to google in its role.

  14. lucas12
    Happy

    are we living in CHINA? I just recently moved from expensive virgin to PLUS NET A BT subsiduary I am paying half of what I used to play and the speed is twice as fast

    So good riddance virgion

    you won't block me i'm part of the union OH you won't block me I'm part of the union

    HA HA hA HE hE HE HE

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Never a truer word than spoken in jest

      You do realise that the song you quote was actually written as a satire about unions and their refusal to accept that they or any of their members may be wrong about anything?

  15. tezzer74
    WTF?

    Seriously?

    If anybody followed the court case when they 'successfully' sued the founders of Pirate Bay, Pirate Bay insisted that all they were doing was exactly the same as Google, providing links to download files that have been uploaded by users. They store nothing but the links, no copyrighted material etc.

    This move then makes a mockery of every search engine out there.

    You will see its the first result and they provide direct links for them too. If you search for illegal content, Google themselves provide the links that Pirate Bay do!

    Are these people that stupid that blocking the URL will block people accessing the site. You only need Google and will end up there anyway. They havent blocked all of Pirate Bay's URL's, and they own quite a few. Change your DNS provider (google that) and youre in anyway!

    I'm not condoning what they do, I'm pointing out that if you block or censor something, doesnt it make it wrong that one outfit is penalised for what others are doing too?

    Its a pity those who are ruling these things dont actually understand it, but I guess thats always the case. Lets see whats next.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously?

      maybe the uk government should install a big filter system all our internet requests go through

      This should stop people accessing pirated martial

      1. tezzer74
        WTF?

        Re: Seriously?

        Like Saudi-Arabia and other countries do.

        Of course this is the last thing any of us would want.

        BTW, there are people in those countries that circumvent the government proxies. It just creates a society of those who know how to get what they want, and those that do as they are told.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously?

      Two key difference: TPB hosted the torrent trackers, so they actually facilitated the operation of the torrents.

      Google, when asked to take down a link, don't tell the requester to "fuck off!".

      Need I also remind you of the far right links and the incredibly tardy way in which they removed child porn from their site?

      1. Not That Andrew

        Re: Seriously?

        I'd heard about the child porn problem, but I wasn't aware Google had links to the far right.

    3. Not That Andrew

      Re: Seriously?

      While Google is a certainly a better source of links to download pirated material, that its not the only thing they do. They also sell advertising. Whereas TPB only provides links to downloads, the vast majority of which is copyrighted material they do not have the right to distribute

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seriously?

        "While Google is a certainly a better source of links to download pirated material, that its not the only thing they do. They also sell advertising."

        So you're saying google are not just facilitating the distribution of copyrighted material, but profiting from it!

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  17. Nigel R

    'Cracked' DVDs

    As Lovefilm puts no protection around it's DVDs, every 10th was arriving damaged. Probably due to my vertical letter box.

    Did not take long to discover that there is no streaming alternative to that catalogue. Cancelled Lovefilm and still waiting for a digital service (see 2 similar posts above).

    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: 'Cracked' DVDs

      Yup, every time I here one of those DVD's go "thunk" in the post pox I wince. Haven't received any unreadable ones yet, luckily.

      And their streaming service is still pants. You would have thought Netflix opening here would have given them a boot up the jacksie, but no.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sure its been said before but if not, it *is* an IP Block as well as DNS.

    Open DNS and Google DNS give the same blocked page.

    Just proxy round it and bobs your uncle.

    I wouldnt have thought this will hit virgin much as everyone is on a 12 or 18month contract with them, im not paying £500 to get out of contract just to prove a point when the block is easily worked around anyway. If i could get away without penalty and get a similar (excellent in my area) service i would jump though. But in this situation, if went back to DSL i can almost guarantee my connection would get worse in someway, if not all ways!

    I use Google DNS on my router, and i'm now looking into options for using some sort of proxy permenently. I wont pay for a VPN service or anything as a lot of the time these services dont deliver what they promise, as my sister found out with HideMyAss.

    Put it together with the points in this letter,

    http://daggle.com/dear-rupert-murdoch-talk-piracy-simpsons-2944

    And it all really starts to do my head in. All this non-sense with devices accessing media online vs computer browsers, all these companies are doing is making it more appealing to go outside and do something other than watch tv, cause finding what you want to watch is a fucking nightmare.

    My case in point, the only tv channels i might watch are dave for re-runs of top gear, bb2 occasionally and discovery channells. but in order for me to watch these i either need a sky or virgin subscription with additional packages to get one channel. end result. no tv or tv- license in my house. who wins now?

  19. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Changing to opendns didn't help still blocked, not of much problem for me though as i can just ssh tunnel to my dedicated server and get on the site from there if i wanted to, not found the need to go on tpb for sometime though anyway.

    but even VM are admitting that the block is using the same technology they use to implement the IWF block lists, so mission creep already starting how long before the music and movie businesses get legitimate sites blocked where you can buy from outside the UK because they don't make as much profit by having region locking etc.

    1. Keep Refrigerated
      Boffin

      re: Changing to opendns...

      OpenDNS has it's own customisable filter settings, you can access from your account. I think it's set to "Low" (spam, fraud etc...) by default and Pirate Bay might be in that category, but you can change it and create custom filters.

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  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CONGRATULATIONS!

    By blocking the site and having all the media attention you have just advertised the following.

    1. Piracy

    2. How to circumvent an (illegal) block of a web site

    3. Increased the user base of said site

    4. Increased trolling of your comments

    5. For some inexplicable reason made me want a fishfinger sandwich

    1. Toastan Buttar
      Paris Hilton

      Re: CONGRATULATIONS!

      Four of fish and finger pie?

  23. JimM

    How much effort does an ISP actually have to make to comply with the order? For example, is a simple DNS block sufficient or do they have ot employ all possible means?

  24. Aggellos

    dont let the door hit you to hard on your way out

    ah more freetards making money by creating a platform for thieves, Of course it is all about fighting the good for TPB nothing to do with cash, fast cars and big houses.

    Eh rage against the machine so long as they get their cocktail's served on time by the butler.

  25. Jacqui

    Lets get this right - I assume the majorty of the crap on these sites are not dissimilar to the CD's the newspapers give away in sunday issues but without the sony rootkit :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nope

      They offer full access to almost all recent and many back catalogue Albums, Movies, Games in high quality format. The answer as stated is to get the movie/TV studios to wake up to what is happening. The world has gone digital and having a download available months after the DVD release just doesn't cut it with modern consumers.

  26. Mectron

    Virgin Media

    a once great company, NOW A OPENLY CRIMINAL ENTITY THAT NEED TO BE SHUTDOWN AT ALL COST.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Virgin Media

      Are you off your meds? In what way is complying with a court of law being openly criminal?

      1. JDX Gold badge
        Trollface

        Re: Virgin Media

        Clearly by being complicit in the crime of denying teenagers unlimited access to free movies and music in the name of "an open web".

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about the millions of legal downloads?

    The pirate bay hosts a lot of legal downloads, starting with new indie groups to open source software...People have used tpb to promote work to millions of people since the big houses never accepted it, now this tool has been taken away. Are we really sure that this is all about copyright infringements? how many cars kill people every day? are we going to ban all cars? the more I look into it the more I believe this has nothing to do with piracy and more to limit the exposure new artists and software developer have with the tpb. So at this point who is going to compensate the new indie artists and software developers? the BPI?I'm not in favour of piracy but here the final scope is far from the one promoted.

    1. Annihilator
      Thumb Down

      Re: What about the millions of legal downloads?

      What legal downloads did TPB "host" then? Given its all magnets these days, there is no need for a "host" or tracker. They haven't killed P2P which is the tool used by open source for distribution. I've never needed TPB to get my open source software.

      There are plenty of arguments against this block but "legal" downloads ain't close to being one of them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about the millions of legal downloads?

      And some days burglars and muggers give things to charity and help old ladies across the road.

      I'm guessing its considered that the hosting of legal material is insufficient mitigation of those activities judged against the law.

  28. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  29. Alistair MacRae

    Last week I used the piratebay and nothing was illegal...

    I needed a patch for an old game that was taking an age to download at 25kbps X3 Terran conflict , then found it was on the piratebay and downloaded it at 1mbps.

    Very useful and not really illegal AFAIK

  30. Annihilator
    Coat

    5 ISPs... And a website

    Judging by the number of "deleted by mod" where there was once an alternate link, it appears El Reg has been ordered by the courts to block access too?..

    1. janimal
      Thumb Down

      Re: 5 ISPs... And a website

      I was wondering the same, however I'm not aware that the court case stipulated any illegality in linking to a site that is not blocked by the court order.

      I am disappointed by the reg if this is the case.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Response

    And WE responded by blocking access to Virgin Media for 30,000 of our subscribers.

  32. alan buxey
    WTF?

    search system

    Given that TPB moved from being a torrent track system to simply a magnet file search system.....how long until courts tell ISPs to block access to Google (on which I can freely search for magnet links?). Eh? (in fact I can use Google to search for old fashion torrents too....and non secured cctv streams, peoples bank details etc etc)

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder ...

    which of the comment/forum rules all those people whose comments got deleted broke? I think it's important we're told so we can avoid a similar fate ourselves.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: I wonder ...

      Posting links or tutorials on how to circumvent a court order has our legal brains in a tizzy. So rather than risk spaffing all our publisher's cash on QCs, we'll hold fire on those comments for the moment.

      C.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: I wonder ...

        +1 for honesty :) El'reg isn't exactly low profile after all...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I wonder ...

        What about links to links .... to [ad infinitum] ? ;-)

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: I wonder ...

      "which of the comment/forum rules all those people whose comments got deleted broke? I think it's important we're told so we can avoid a similar fate ourselves."

      Private web forums nearly always have the rule "we maintain the right to do what the hell we like".

  34. Nick Gisburne
    Holmes

    Lots of deleted posts here

    I'm assuming the large number of deleted posts are all 'this is what to do to get round the block', in fact I've just spotted the El Reg comment confirming that. Suffice to say, then, that if someone censors a part of the Internet, there will be ways around it and people will find them.

    The block won't even stop people who don't have much technical know-how - they just have to find someone on the web to tell them what to do.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Lots of deleted posts here

      We also assume our readership has plenty of relevant know-how.

      C.

      1. JohnG Silver badge

        We also assume our readership has plenty of relevant know-how.

        ...or they know how to use Google.

    2. Iggle Piggle

      Re: Lots of deleted posts here

      I think we can assume that if El Reg censors a part of the web that's OK. If the government do it, that's bad. Where do we draw the line between good censorship and bad censorship really?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scotland?

    Does this ruling apply to Scotland, with it's different legal system?

    1. ScottAS2

      Re: Scotland?

      No, but you can bet your ISP will behave as if it does. Just like the newspapers did with superinjunctions. <troll>I wonder if this could be a USP for a purely Scottish ISP?</troll> Anyone else remember Scotland Online?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So Sad

    TPB is a bunch of buffoons.

    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: So Sad

      Agreed, but that doesn't make this right.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: So Sad

        However acting like dicks doesn't exactly help their cause - makes classifying them as a bunch of internet vandals far easier to the suits.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is actually very funny and tragic at the same time

    Funny that they think blocking TPB in this manner will have any real long term impact, it will in the short term make Virgin ISP users who use TPB simply find new workarounds which is ridiculously easy to do, and these people will then start getting clued up on how to circumvent any future blocks that could be put in place.

    And tragic that the people who lobbied for the block will just turn around and say "look, this blocking isn't working, we need something much more stringent and stronger to stop the 'bad people'", and minions in power will listen (read: be paid more money by the corporations with vested interest) and things could get worse for everyone. Except those who learnt from the previous blocking that with a few clicks and perhaps a small monthly payment they can circumvent almost all blocks and continue to get their non-DRM content without fuss or worry of being caught.

  38. the J to the C
    Trollface

    but they told me to

    When I phoned Virgin with a support issue, I also asked when sky atlantic would be coming to virgin, at some point was the response, It was then suggested by the operator that i could get the shows from torrents.

  39. ColonelClaw
    Facepalm

    Thank the Lord

    "Why are some websites not available through Virgin Media?"

    "Working with the IWF helps protect children around the world"

    As long as it's done in the name of THE CHILDREN then it must be ok. I will sleep just that little bit better tonight.

  40. Iggle Piggle

    Am I to assume

    That everyone who thinks it is a shame to censor the web would also find it shameful to block child pornography sites, or sites promoting and sharing terrorist information, or sites dedicated to promoting violence against others?

    If you do feel that the typical Internet user is a grown up capable of sticking to the rules of common decency then you are deluding yourself. TPD could have prevented this action by simply not promoting illegally pirated material and simply sticking to promoting copyright free material but decided to stand up to the man and has now found out that the man has a few more tricks up his sleeve. Their comment "music released and promoted exclusively here on TPB is currently in the brittish [sic] top charts" is all fine and good but it's not enough to simply have a few legal files amongst the illegal.

    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: Am I to assume

      As I pointed out to an Anonymous Coward earlier, copyright infringement is hardly on the same level as child porn. Why do people insist on making this false comparison?

      And just because founders of TBP behave in an obnoxious and often manner doesn't make it right. Or should we also block the websites of the BNP and any other organisation you find distasteful?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Am I to assume

      ...it's not enough to simply have a few legal files amongst the illegal.

      So when does YouTube get the same treatment?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Am I to assume

        re: You Tube.

        Because YouTube offers a mechanism for reporting and taking down copyright content that has been posted without permission. Whereas TPB just told people to "fuck off".

        If TPB had taken down torrent links on request and hadn't hosted torrent trackers for them, I very much doubt that we'd be in the situation we are now.

        1. Vengefulbit
          Gimp

          Re: Am I to assume

          BOO! Your argument sucks, and you should feel bad.

          Torrentspy: was a BitTorrent index site, they didn't have a tracker and they complied with take-down requests. They went offline four years, one month, and twelve days ago (1504 days).

          Still in doubt?

  41. crtc
    Happy

    Just funny..

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/02/07/lies-damned-lies-and-piracy/

    It is a service issue. The response from the hysterical crying 'theft' is laughable at best. The assumption that every downloader would have purchased the product at a premium is dillusional. Every download ironically exposes the so called 'pirate' to your media, you have to wonder how many may have thought he new 'Game of Thrones' series would be another lame attempt at TV fantasy only to download a copy, watch it through and then start demanding who they have to pay to see the next episode.

    People want to buy media, they want to pay for it in its best possible form and in high quality but they want reliable and prompt service, people are jumping at the chance, credit card in hand to pay for goods and the industry is not giving them the service they need. People want choice and the industry can give that to them. Micro transactions in games have created massive profits, mobile games are surpassing the high end in sales and demand. Give people the chance and they will throw money at you but block them and they will seek alternatives and the less savoury areas of the internet are able to provide that.

    Utilising bizzare campaigns with 'You wouldn't steal a handbag' only patronises your customers, treat them like idiots and they will walk, treat them with respect and they will buy mud from you. Ridiculous statistics refering to inflated job losses or profits only make the issue worse and censorship is a further failure especially when it is trivial to circumvent, not only does it make the media industry look belligerent but also incompetent and obtuse.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just funny..

      >>The assumption that every downloader would have purchased the product at a premium is dillusional

      Most people who steal Ferrari cars were never going to buy one either.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tick toc......

    The people who supposedly run this country, and the people who finance them, just can't see that the more they piss off the public, the more chance of civil unrest, riot, rebellion, and revolution there is.

    Sometimes when I'm on the phone I get an echo of my conversation, and laughingly remark that I'm being monitored for mentioning such words as rebellion and revolution. It then goes away instantly. Happens on my mobile too. I think someone has stolen my anti paranoia medicine?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tick toc......

      Do you seriously expect me to believe that censoring TPB will result in revolution?

      Hyperbole, hyperbole, hyperbole...

      Oh and paranoia isn't a positive trait.

  43. heyrick Silver badge

    Random thought

    Now that the ISP has taken steps to block access to TPB, they are no longer just a dumb pipe that data (or shit, depending on outlook) goes in one end and falls out the other. As a result of this, can we hold them liable for stuff we do not wish to view? You know, "you block TPB but you allow kiddieporn through?" sort of argument.

    I know it is a largely symbolic gesture; but one, I wonder, that could have a number of interesting consequences.

    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: Random thought

      ISP's have never really just been "dumb pipes" in the UK. And they do attempt

      to block child porn here (the whole Internet Watch Foundation thing)

      1. janimal
        Big Brother

        Re: Random thought

        They allow access to the Daily Mail - that filth should be blocked immediately

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where's my refund?

    Movies and music are probably the only two industries I can think of where if you get something that's not fit for purpose, i.e. crap, it's practically impossible to get a refund. Been to the cinema? Crap film? Ask for a refund? Doubt it. Bought an album full of fillers or a crap film on DVD? Tried to get your money back? Difficult.

    Can you think of any other industry where the raw materials of the product you're buying cost 5p but they ask you to pay 2000 times that to purchase it?

    Re. the Oatmeal comic: spot on, as with other commenters here, netflix and lovefilm still aren't good enough. Neither is Sky. How much longer do we have to wait for a movie service with a back catalogue like Spotify?

    I have zero sympathy for the music and film industries. And the Government for that matter. Bunch of ill-educated arts students bending over backwards to accomodate contributers to the Tory/Labour party coffers. No clue. Tor or a VPN anyone?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Where's my refund?

      "Can you think of any other industry where the raw materials of the product you're buying cost 5p but they ask you to pay 2000 times that to purchase it?"

      A ticket to absolutely any entertainment event. What kind of idiot expects to be able to ask for money back because they "don't like" a piece of subjective art?

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Where's my refund?

      Can you think of any other industry where the raw materials of the product you're buying cost 5p but they ask you to pay 2000 times that to purchase it?

      The property market? Okay, materials are a little more than 5p, but the markup is surely on par?

    3. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

      Re: Where's my refund?

      I did read somewhere that if you left a cinema in the first half of the film you could get your money back.

  45. Not That Andrew
    Pirate

    Is it ok to note that if you visit the Pirate Parties website you might find enlightenment, among other things?

  46. El Presidente
    Thumb Down

    Good luck to El Reg with the forums ....

    "Fair pay for your creative work, without having it ripped off left right and centre"

    Gained 6 negative votes ... proving that many of El Reg's commentards are thick and thieves.

    Feel free to down vote this comment, it's the red arrow button right below here ↓

    1. mhenriday
      FAIL

      Why, thanks, El Presidente, for your kind

      help in directing me to the down-vote button ; I might never have found it otherwise ! As to «El Reg's commentards» being «thick and thieves», you might want to be careful ; given the UK's libel laws, such claims might just be actionable. Of course, you did use the weasel word «many», so you might possibly be able to luck it out....

      Henri

  47. NotMyRealName
    IT Angle

    But...

    Isn't this yet another example of how hopelessly illiterate (innumerate?) governments are when it comes to IT? Well, certainly the UK government!

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Virgin media quite happily

    letting peopl eknow they are complying with the fight against piracy.

    just dont let anyone know about the terrabytes of pirates binaries stored on news.virginmedia.net for their customers to donwload free of charge.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Virgin media quite happily

      Keep it quiet will you? How else can we watch episodes of US TV shows months before they are released in the UK? My approach to the fact that UK viewers lag months behind US viewers is this: if it's a good show I want to be part of the 'buzz' about it on t'Interwebs. Posting on a forum 'Did you see that thing in episode x?' only to get 'yeah we did, five months ago' is somehow less satisfying. Almost without exception I will watch the downloads and then wait until the DVD boxed set comes out, to get the 'full' experience. At some point, someone gets my money, so I'm not a freeloader, far from it. The fact that Virgin has huge amounts of this 'free' stuff on its own usenet servers forms the basis of my defence m'lud!

  49. Sarah Davis
    Coat

    by the same lack of intelligence,..

    .. there are to many people in Britain who drive badly so we should, therefore, shut down all roads !!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: by the same lack of intelligence,..

      Yet another piss-poor argument: If people drive badly, ban them from driving.

      In Internet terms: Band people who download copyright material from the Internet, or ban the sites that supply it, the choice is yours.

      1. the-it-slayer

        Re: by the same lack of intelligence,..

        Driving cars badly can injure/kill people. Downloading copyright material doesn't. There's your difference in black and white.

  50. janimal

    So if they're using cleanfeed doesn't that mean they are now unwittingly educating hundreds of thousands of people how to get around the IWF filters?

    http://www.janimania.com/2012/05/04/pirate-bay-block-endangers-children/

  51. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    Re: No, You need to get real.

    I just wanted to have a go too.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Going, going, going...

    GONE !

  53. the-it-slayer
    Facepalm

    What a shame...

    A day that pretty much says that the music/movie industries have lost patience and are now telling our governments what our ISPs can provide us with. What utter crap. This will make no difference as there are a million and one other torrent sites that can provide the same stuff. Especially private sites that restrict their user levels to stop the common media corp knowing what's going on there.

    Could OFCOM/Government actually start a new framework for what ISPs do now if were going down this line? I thought they were only there to provide us "access" to the internet without boarders/boundaries of influence from any organisation. If we aren't careful, we'll have a "great media firewall" similar to China's own censor firewall wedged between us and the core internet.

    Not great for consumers, not great for ISPs (costs will go up to maintain such filtering/monitoring), not great for freedom. I know most of you will go, downloading pirated material is stealing; however, I didn't kill anyone in the process. Only the media corps killed themselves wanting ultimate control over the the inflated prices, access and limitations on their work. As it's rightly so; if anythings good enough and at the right price, people will buy it.

    Who wants to start a new Internet?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a shame...

      Your POV is totally incorrect. the word is DENIAL. Look it up.

      Government is saying that a website that openly promotes piracy is going to be banned in an effort to reduce piracy which is a crime. Perhaps when piracy becomes a felony with mandatory jail time those in denial will pull their head out of their arse and get in touch with reality.

      If goods are good enough to steal they are good enough to buy. If you can't afford them then you go without. It doesn't matter if it's a pint or a Ferrari. No one is entitled to anything they don't pay for. If you had a clue about staring a new internet you'd already know this.

      1. the-it-slayer
        Pint

        Re: What a shame...

        I'm hardly in denial at all. It's the real world that people are more than happy to go out their way to get something for nothing if it's available. I just don't see the justification for banging up loads (probably a good majority of the UK) of people who have downloaded the content within lets say, the last 5 years. It's people who create the content from copyrighted material is where the efforts should go to restrict this stuff going online. The fact is though, if you put someone in jail for 5 years in one country, someone else will learn how to do it and the problem doesn't go away. That's why banning Piratebay is the biggest waste of time. There's a million and one other sources to go get the material they serve, but don't produce.

        Unfortunately, you can't put a physical value on a few 0s and 1s moving around Internet; that's why people don't feel guilty when downloading copyrighted content for nothing. It can be deleted within a few minutes unlike stealing a car/pint/whatever. The biggest problem is that media corps have not got to grips with technology to stamp what they make something valuable within the digital scope. Also include the copyright boundaries between countries, digital protection technology, inability to share digital purchases (like DVDs, CDs, VHS Tapes, MDs could be on the 2nd hand market or with friends/family). The gaming industry is looking to go down this route now as well. It sucks because people don't always have money and what people should be entitled to is a 2nd route to gain goods at lower prices when people have used them. I can do that with a Ferrari/Pint/whatever that's not in the digital scope.

        Maybe if I could sell a digital copy of a Beatles album (purchased from iTunes) somewhere for less than it's original value, piracy would decrease. Unfortunately, technology has been created/taken control by the public far-ahead of the media corps because they had they fingers in their ears and singing "la-la-la, people will keep buying overpriced CDs forever". How wrong were they when Napster arrived. So really, this won't happen.

        The only other method is to make digital media dirt cheap for the consumer. Oh no, media corps won't do that. They won't make a fortune like they're used to. So in a nutshell, this is the aggressive strategy placed by losing media corps because they don't or won't understand the internet.

        By the way, I don't promote stealing. I'm just offering my take on why it's happening.

  54. Caesarius
    Coat

    Another business model: CCL

    I wonder if the CCL scheme (http://www.ccli.co.uk/) could be adapted from Church Use to Private Use. Currently, a church pays for a yearly licence, and a good proportion of this is passed on to the copyright holders according to the periodical reports from churches saying what material has been used.

    1. Looking at the price list for licences for a whole church to copy and perform copyright material, I'm sure people would want lower prices per person per year. Would people pay something comparable to the Television Licence fee, or would they only accept something lower?

    2. I see that all the copyright holders need to subscribe to the scheme, and that will take a lot of negotiating. Greedy copyright holders might easily spoil things, but it may be a case of "join in or miss out". (Yes, I know that implies people will infringe copyright: I'm trying hard to be realistic ;-) )

    3. Perhaps it is too much to ask people to report every song, film and book they have heard, seen and read each month (the CCL model). Perhaps people would report each download? Perhaps the downloads could be logged by the suppliers? I can see problems with all of these.

    OK, I'm definitely not presenting something workable yet, but we need something better than the government trying to prop-up the present system.

    Thanks for reading this far. I know it's my own fault for posting four days after a hot article ;-)

    Mine's the one with last year's newspapers in...

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Another business model: CCL

      Interesting - and as someone who plays music in a church I never even realised CCL WAS a church-specific thing!

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