back to article BSkyB blocks The Pirate Bay for millions of Brits

BSkyB's broadband biz has cut off conventional access to The Pirate Bay website following a High Court order at the end of last month. Virgin Media was the first to block, just days after Justice Arnold told VM, BSkyB and three other ISPs – TalkTalk, Telefonica and Everything Everywhere – to comply with the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does anyone still use the Pirate Bay?

    Or is this just a flagship case?

    Buying 2nd hand DVD's/CD's for years.

    Its the only way to legally fight back!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does anyone still use the Pirate Bay?

      And so it was written on Google, 'how do I access piratebay now it has been blocked?'

      So now Google will be taken to court......... Perhaps forced to censor results?

  2. frank ly

    BSyB statement

    Why didn't they just say, "We have blocked access to The Pirate Bay in accordance with an order placed upon us by the High Court - (reference details)" ?

    Did the court order specify the nature of any public announcement regarding this matter?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm on Virgin Media who were among the first to block and it took only minutes to get round it. Thus begins another legal round of whack-a-mole and who really benefits?

    Please tell the media groups to improve their legal offers: no "sorry it won't play on this machine" DRM crap, no "sorry you can't watch that yet as you live in the wrong region" crap, and no "I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that" crap of blocking user actions like skipping sections, etc.

    Finally, I don't expect it to be free like TPB, but come on I can buy the DVD for £5 including postage and of that the studio gets £1-2 max, so can I have that as on-line DRM free version?

    Nope? Then I'll buy the DVD and rip it (at least I get a backup and can play in legacy equipment) or TPB if its hard to get or too much time/hassle via legal channels.

    Competition - means you have to improve your service/cost ratio, and the likes of TPB is the only real competition for copyright industries who get monopoly rights.

    1. Tapeador

      Re: Whack-a-mole

      "Competition - means you have to improve your service/cost ratio, and the likes of TPB is the only real competition for copyright industries who get monopoly rights."

      The first clause - you mean, things must be cheaper, otherwise you'll steal them. How close to zero would you like your art to cost? Well we know. Closer. Party to a transaction aims to maximise utility. Big fucking surprise.

      The second clause - TPB which has no production costs, is "competition" (bullshit); and copyright industries have "monopoly rights" - bullshit again. The product, i.e. art, is something you can make yourself. You can source it through another non-stealing method, such as substitute a cheaper form of entertainment. You can choose not to consume it at all.

      The fact is, art is special and precious such that if someone has devoted their life to making a unique product, that cannot be substituted, then if you decide you MUST have it, then, rather than deciding you should steal it, and wrecking their ability to make more art, or be paid for what they've done, you should instead pay them what they ask. It is perverse you call them a monopolist, when all that makes you steal their product and wreck the industry they belong to, is your love for what they've given their life to create.

      1. chr0m4t1c

        Re: Whack-a-mole

        >The first clause - you mean, things must be cheaper, otherwise you'll steal them. How close to zero >would you like your art to cost? Well we know. Closer. Party to a transaction aims to maximise utility. Big >fucking surprise.

        I doubt he means that at all, what suspect he means is that he can buy the physical media from a shop or online for less than he can buy his "only plays on one device" digital media and for that smaller sum he can not only play the media in any cheap DVD player (let use DVD for the sake of brevity), but he can also rip that media to play on probably any digital player he wants.

        A couple of random examples:

        Sopranos Season 6 part 2, £21.99 on iTunes, £14.44 on Amazon.

        Iron Sky £13.99 on iTunes for HD, £11.99 on Amazon for BluRay *including a digital copy*.

        I like to pay for my media, but how do those prices make /any/ sense at all? And why the F. do the media companies think we would pay more for "digital only" compared with "physical + digital" copies?

        The only logical conclusion you can come to is that they are staffed by greedy imbeciles. If our equally stupid and corrupt governments stopped protecting these morons from market forces with ill-thought laws (we are living in a capitalist society, so things should be driven by the market not legislation), then they just might get a clue and sort out their pricing structures.

        Now. You may use the above as a reading comprehension test, which of the following have I inferred:

        1) I am a pirate that never pays for anything.

        2) All copyright is evil.

        3) I do not value creative works.

        4) None of the above.

        Good luck!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "The first clause - you mean, things must be cheaper"

        If you had read my post with a bit more thought you would have seen that it is largely the pointless crap put in my way as a paying customer that makes TPB attractive, not to mention availability which is not always possible via approved means (in fact, the Goodies mentioned by another is one torrent I recently got because of the episodes it has that are not on the DVDs I have been able to buy).

        What part of "ratio" did you not understand?

    2. Benjamin 4

      Re: Whack-a-mole

      I agree. I tried to buy a box set of the goodies (complete), it doesn't exist! They've been transferring episodes onto dvd for over seven years and have produced four dvds each of which have 6 episodes on and cost £20-25 each. If they sold a box set for £25 I'd buy it, but who do they expect to buy those, and what do they expect us to do when we want to watch episodes not yet available?

  4. Andrew 63

    Roll on...


    I'm sure they'll pop up with an attack on someone...

    1. dotdavid

      Re: Roll on...

      ...and it'll probably be BSkyB, even though all they're doing is conforming with a court order.

      Still even if they *did* get the target right I have yet to see a DDOS attack actually achieving any of their political aims, apart from perhaps publicity.

    2. NogginTheNog

      Re: Roll on...

      Probably The News Of The World website :-D

  5. JimmyPage Silver badge

    The elephant in the room

    *how* will the block be implemented ? Will the Cleanfeed system be subverted (intended to block access to *illegal* content) to block access to legal content ?

    1. night troll

      Re: The elephant in the room

      Cleanfeed seems to be the way VM are blocking it (unsuccessfully).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good news for Pirate Bay, good news for everyone

    BSkyB punters who hadn't heard of PB may ask geek friends what this is all about. The geeks will explain about censorship and circumvention. Every time another person learns how to circumvent censorship the world becomes a better place.

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Wau Holland once said

      Wau Holland, one of the founding fathers of the CCC in Germany once said that the advantage of censorship in schools is that it will teach children how to deal with it.

      Of course he said it in German which makes it a pun.

      To deal with: "(damit) um gehen" (lit. to handle it)

      To circumvent: "umgehen" (lit. to go around)

  7. ukgnome
    Big Brother

    I agree sky (sort of)

    They have invested in material that falls under copyright, so they do at least have a legitimate stance.

    However, I don't use their films as it is set a a silly price. I use netflix instead.

    Censoring the internet by creating blacklists will never fully work.

    Only by fair trading can this problem be lessoned.

    1. Paul_Murphy

      Re: I agree sky (sort of)

      With music I tend to go either direct to the artist (Jonathon Coulton for instance) or get a cheap CD from Amazon or Ebay.

      What I find interesting is that people with legitimate uses for using TPB are being unfairly treated - torrents do not necessarily mean illegal files, yet the legal system seems to be avoiding that debate.


  8. Tony Paulazzo

    'Oh they're the Judean Peoples Front...'


  9. P. Lee Silver badge

    may I be the first to laugh?


  10. Chad H.

    Congrats BPI

    You just spent millions causing a one time delay of 30 seconds in people reaching TPB. I'm sure your members must be proud.

    Or would they have prefered that money you wasted to be added to the Royalties pot.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That'll do it

    Copyright Protected!

    Now just lean back and watch people start buying insane amounts of material, because now that they can't download it they will all buy it instead!

  12. Chris007

    yet more publicity for TPB

    will these [media] companies never learn?

    1. Robert Baker
      Paris Hilton

      Re: yet more publicity for TPB

      It's the Streisand Effect all over again — remember the IWF's attempt a few years back to block access to a certain album cover on Wikipedia, because they decided that the cover in question (which had been available for some 30 years) had somehow suddenly become porn? Seldom has any Wikipedia page received so much traffic in such a short time. :-)

      This'll be the same thing again, I tells yer, Jim lad...

  13. DJ Smiley

    At least now maybe the virgin bashing will stop

    So all those people who went "I've moved to sky because virgin suck up to the UK Courts".... umadbro? ;)

    Seriously tho, I'm sure i'm not the only one who spotted the rush of "bad" news about virgin, shortly after the block came into effect, I've no doubt that blocking on this scale did cause some hiccups and that they may explain some of the oddities seen on virgins network lately (of course others will cry that its just over loaded etc etc).

    Now we can sit back and enjoy the amusement as sky and the other providers start having the same hiccups.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: At least now maybe the virgin bashing will stop

      Enjoy your race to the bottom.

      BTW the Virgin bashing is deserved.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: At least now maybe the virgin bashing will stop

      I'm glad that I'm on Three, one of the major UK ISPs but which always seems to get overlooked when these court orders get handed down -- Three by name, free by nature...

  14. Volvic

    So if you need to check your bill online it's probably best to do it now!

  15. adam payne Silver badge

    How many people will be leaving these ISPs?

  16. The Axe

    Already there are many results to the search "how to get round ISP blocking of pirate bay". So major fail.

    1. night troll

      @ The Axe

      About 195,000 results (0.20 seconds) at the moment. ;-))

  17. Big_Ted

    OK then Sky

    If its so important to protect the copyright etc of those who supply you with tv content then why don't you block usenet and all p2p services ?

    Lets be honest almost all the traffic on them is copyright material being downloaded illegally. But then if you did block it people would go elsewhere and maybe cut their phone and tv services at the same time. Two faced is what you are, you couldn't care less about people downloading copyright material or you would have blocked it a long time ago as soon as requested to do so.

    Is there single company that Murdock has his grubby little hands in that doesn't spout lies and half truths at the drop of a hat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OK then Sky

      STOP saying 'downloaded illegally'. There is nothing illegal in downloading (or buying) an unauthorised copy. It is the copying and distributing of the material that is in breach of copyright, not the acquisition og the copy. P2P customers are fair game only because they 'share' whilst downloading, it is for this reason that lawyers don;t go after usenet download customers (instead they go for the usenet servers which distribute the content).

      Likewise, you are not breaking the law if you purchase a dodgy copy of a film down the local market. The person who made the copy, and distributed the copy could be done, but you can't - mainly as copying is not theft, and hence you are not buying stolen goods.

      The correct term would be 'legal downloading of unauthorised copies' - only if you reshare are you in trouble.

      1. midcapwarrior

        Re: OK then Sky

        Knowlingly purchasing a stolen item does not it a legal transaction.

        1. chr0m4t1c

          Re: OK then Sky

          Very true, but we're talking about copyright infringement, which despite the attempts to paint it as such is not theft.

          Thus; if someone steals a DVD and sells the stolen item to you, they are guilty of theft and you are guilty of receiving stolen goods.

          If someone buys a DVD, copies it and sells you the copy, they are guilty of copyright infringement and you are not.

          *You* can continue to call it theft, but the law is very clear on these cases.

          Yes, I am aware of the argument that the person receiving the copy is "stealing" the income of the people who made the original, but those arguments only hold up in cases where it can be shown that the person receiving the copy would have otherwise bought a new legitimate copy. And most of the time, that just isn't true.

          Also, I'm not sure you can really say that income has been stolen when it wasn't given in the first place; if I make myself a burger at home, am I stealing income from McDonalds? If I watch a film on TV instead of buying it, how is that different from simply downloading it?

          These are complex questions which cannot be solved with simple solutions nor are they helped along by misleading straw-man arguments.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: "Lets be honest almost all the traffic on them is copyright material being downloaded illegally"

      References, please ?

      Because I use P2P to download Linux distros.

      In case you didn't know, a Linux distro is generally 2-3 GB a pop. Seems to me that a film is not that big, unless, of course, it's BluRay.

      I also go to PB (and other Torrent sites) to find examples of applications in my field that are made available in that manner. Such applications can range from 10MB to a full GB on occasion. And I know that I am not alone in this case.

      Finally, as an avid gamer I am prone to finding and downloading mods for my favorite games. Mods are, in case you didn't know, fully legal changes made to software that accept it. Some mods can exceed 2GB in cumulative patches. Heck, Battlefield 2 required official patches that were 500MB apiece.

      In any case I dispute your assumption and demand that you back your figures up, lest I take you for a simpleton and a troll.

      And don't go telling me that my behavior is exceptional. Modding Skyrim has become an international sport, to mention only that one.

  18. Nigel Brown

    Not that I use TPB very often..

    but on reading this news this morning, I first tried accessing the page to confirm the block was in place, 30 seconds and a quick Google later and I was on via one of the proxys.

    Epic fail.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not that I use TPB very often..

      Yep, same here....

      Ho hum, i was inconvienienced for the entire time it took me to type:

      "free uk proxy" into Bing

      The "ban" suddenly doesn't seem to apply to me either...


      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Shhh !!

        Keep it to yourselves ! Crow too loudly and someone official might have to do something about it.

        And, knowing how the government manages IT projects, it can only end in tears.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not that I use TPB very often..

      Put the proxys away and simply change the .se to .ee.

      /me shudders at the thought of public free proxy servers.

  19. Reue

    Took me

    seconds to bypass this block.

    I do however pay for lovefilm streaming (£5 a month) and would happily pay quadruple that amount if there was a service which allowed me to stream the avaliability of content so easily accessible through torrents.

    Unfortunatly no such service exists as the big studios cling to their hopelessly outdated business models rather then adapt. Whats more frustrating is alot of the US prime-time shows are freely avaliable for streaming on their own websites.. but for US citizens only.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Availability

      Hear, hear. I find myself in the same situation.

      If the content I wanted (Music, Films, TV) was readily available in decent quality I would be quite happy to pay a reasonable price for it. A subscription model would be ideal. However, this is not the case.

      I do pay for LoveFilm these days so I feel I do my bit in respect of remunerating the artists and so on. What little I'm really interested in, that I can't get under acceptable terms I will torrent.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never used it so my ISP blocking it isn't really of interest to me anyway

    1. M Gale

      How many sites get blocked until it is of interest to you?

      (and why did my last post get yanked?)

  21. Mondo the Magnificent


    To quite BSkyB:

    "We have invested billions of pounds in high-quality entertainment for our customers because we know how much our customers value it. It’s therefore important that companies like ours do what they can, alongside the government and the rest of the media and technology industries, to help protect their copyright"

    In fact most people value it more when it's free!

    Anyway ThePirateBay has taken a little bit of a nosedive lately and most people flock to alternative sites and those nice little intimate "Donate $5 via PayPal for membership" torrent sites with much improved trackers and decent seeds, which equals decent download speeds

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Mudrocks!

      If you're going to do that you might as well pay for a LoveFilm, Netflix, or cable package.

      We all know what 'freetard' without the 'free' spells.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Me too

    there are quicker ways to get movies etc.

  23. Alan Brown Silver badge

    @ 2nd hand DVDs

    The book, music and movie industries have made several attempts to shut down the secondhand markets in the last 20 years. It's only in e-sales they've suceeded.

  24. Mectron

    time for a civil war

    This is illegal cencoring of the internet. (beside Piratebay is a perfectly LEGAL SITE). This to stop buying anything that contain DRM of any kind. Protest need to be organize and the Olympic need to be disturbed and trashed to the point that they wll have to cancel them.... or restore access to the Pirate Bay.

    1. Paul_Murphy

      Re: time for a civil war

      Nice to see a well-reasoned and articulate post on the forum - keep up the good work!

      Please note that I think that TPB is a legal site and is doing nothing wrong, and if the copyright bully boys actually cared about their business they would embrace what is a very effective distribution system and use it to widen the circle of fans of their artists.

      What is currently happening is more along the lines of a mad person cutting off their limbs because they are bleeding (or some other illustration of a stupid action).


  25. geekguy

    Utterly pointless

    All anyone will do if desperate to use the pirate bay is to open a vpn connection to another country that doesn't have it blocked and carry on as normal. Utter fail

  26. CHRoNoSS

    billions a pounds a manure

    yup tell me the shows that are riveting sci fi? tell me the fantasy show that rivets me and lasts more then 13 episodes ?

    haha i feel soooo sorry for brits funny continuum is made in Canada so dont say its your show.....

    boned boned boned i guess your all awash with fees is more like it.

    time to turn brits into americanized dumb shit drones , thats your new world order YOU GETTING NO TV/ENTERTAINMENT that is allowed to stimulate your mind.....

    NOW get back to ugh ugh thump wwe on syfy channel.....

    1. Paul_Murphy

      Re: billions a pounds a manure

      Wow - Mectons' post was a tower of lucidity compared to this - how old are you? 11?


    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: "tell me the fantasy show that rivets me and lasts more then 13 episodes ?"

      I will always upvote a fellow browncoat

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: billions a pounds a manure


      English.. Do you speak it?

      I feel so sorry for Canadians if you are an example of the educational system there.....

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    all it took for me to access TPB was

    start timer 00m:00s *click*

    open bookmarks

    click on TPB

    Page opens


    time 00m:03s

    no problems here

    I'm in the UK using a LLU ISP no VPN or fancy browser re-direct stuff needed! ;)

    1. King Jack

      Re: all it took for me to access TPB was

      You do realize that not ISPs are blocking the TPB? Gold star for being able to use a timer.

  28. Old Handle

    We have invested billions, therefore censorship.

    That's kind of alarming if taken seriously, isn't it?

  29. cosmo the enlightened

    Whack a mole - the next phase

    The companies will now move to the next generation fight which will restrict the second hand resale markets. Watch as the new gaming consoles will only download content - no DVD purchased to resell, or one time only activiation codes with DVD resale having to pay full face reactivation rates.

    The problem with the media companies is that people have such fragmented lifestyles nowadays; mobile apps, online movies, music, games. The companies hark back to the good old days when people spent their money only on the records and video tapes that they controlled the release of into shops on the high street. They blame pirating for their drop in revenue when it is changing demographics and lifestyles and spend patterns that are the real change.

    The revenue stream genie not only left the bottle a long time ago, he built a small high rise, and moved into the penthouse suite with virtual handmaidens bringing him his every whim.

  30. Crisp
    Paris Hilton

    Conventional Access

    So maybe it's time for a little unconventional access.

    Paris... because, well... you figure it out.

  31. Senior Ugli
    IT Angle

    Arnt we dealing with the sort of people who think a jukebox is new music technology?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Sky have blocked access (cannot display webpage) to, but (and many other torrent sites) still work fine - you can find them on google.

    So TPB allows u to find .torrent files, google allows you to find .torrent files also, maybe we should start to sue them ?

  33. tommitytom

    Such a load of shit. This block can be bypassed in seconds by anyone that knows how to use Google...

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, if they use DNS to block, then switch to another DNS server

    If they use the Cleanfeed system then use HTTPS, as unless they actually block the IP, then they can't stop access to the site over HTTPS, well I guess they could do a 'man-in-the-middle' attack, but harder to do, and also illegal last I checked.

    And worst case scenario, use a secure proxy.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oooh that sites illegal ?

    So I should go there and see what the fuss is about then :-)

    Banning is the same logic used on records like Sex Pistols God Save the Queen, and we all know where that got to in the charts, Or Frankie Goes to Hollywood ?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So Sad or not

    Who cares about TPB?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So Sad or not

      "Who cares about TPB?"

      That would be anyone who despises censorship. Everyone else should keep on taking the blue pill and believing the Ministry of Truth...

  37. QuarkMan

    Never ceases to amuse me

    They will never learn, maybe only when they go out of business and some smart alec comes along and does what they should have done 5 years ago!

  38. JaitcH

    Murdoch, Fox, BSkyB have more worries than PirateBay

    This crowd claim they have "billions of pounds in high-quality entertainment for our customers because we know how much our customers value it. It’s therefore important that companies like ours do what they can, alongside the government and the rest of the media and technology industries, to help protect their copyright."

    One of the theirs are the Fox Studios in Hollywood, so the statement is somewhat self-serving.

    What Murdoch should be concentrating on is the Chinese-sourced satellite encryption-cracking activity.

    Whilst satellite receivers have to be licenced with the government in VietNam and the Peoples Police are quite proficient in spotting misdirected antennae - the licences only permit reception of Vietnamese owned satellites - there are substantial proliferation of cracked decoder cards all over the region - many viewers see forbidden / censored channels which must be costing the old man millions.

    In some countries such as Cambodia or Laos they even have illicit signals hived into special channels so only favoured locals can see the channels.

    Mind you, IMO, a lot of Murdoch programming is trash and not even worth the cost of a hot card.

  39. Zot

    Isn't this more of a legal obligation rather than trying to stop thieves?

    I saw an increase in Internet sales after MegaUpShitLoad was shut down.

    This needs to be a global thing, but it's difficult to really know what it will actually do.

  40. Arnie

    fox/murdoch invested billions?

    in a shitty silverlight, drm'd, standard definition webplayer. Anytime+? how do you like your dolby 2.0? puh-lease.

    When they bill these services and sell them like they add value to the product and the alternative is free, of better quality and easier to watch/listen it is difficult to see where the money went.

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