back to article Big Blighty telcos ordered to block three BitTorrent search sites

A High Court judge ruled today that Britain's six biggest telecoms providers should block three BitTorrent tracker websites - one of which is allegedly fronted by Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Swartholm Warg. BT, BSkyB, EE, Virgin Media, O2 and TalkTalk were all ordered by Mr Justice Arnold to shutter access to downloads …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will they ever learn

    Pyrrhic victory, plenty of proxies out there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tech minded folk will always find a way around these things. This takes some of the ease of getting torrents away from regular PC users though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Go

        Judges are not tech minded though

        See the classic Not the nine o'clock news judge sketch:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VgwxKW0J6I

      2. My Alter Ego

        Or just use a smaller ISP - AAISP, Xilo, etc. I've just tried on our backup ADSL line - not blocked, whereas our Leased Line is. Actually that surprises me as the previous bans didn't affect us.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will they ever learn

      Good of the judges to name them, I would never have known about these excellent trackers otherwise.

    3. Tom 13

      Re: Will they ever learn

      Not sure even that phrase applies. More like Pyrrhic encounter.

      Frankly, while I loathe the freeloaders, I'm even more disgusted with the ham handed attempts at stopping them. There is a defined manner for recovering damages from people who pirate music: identify them and sue them for damages in the appropriate court. But the IP industry doesn't want to go through all that hard work so they go after third parties instead. Besides which, it's bad PR when they go after individuals. I could probably even put up with them lobbying for changes to the law such that the primary vehicle for infringement needs to be proved in court and once proven the small fry go through some administrative process defined in the legislation. But this crap with trying to blacklist websites has to stop.

  2. Crisp Silver badge

    Blighty telcos ordered to play whack-a-mole again.

    This should solve the problem once and for all.

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Blighty telcos ordered to play whack-a-mole again.

      They will do this a few times and they will say it's too much work and that they should be allowed to just send the telcos an email asking them to block any site they don't like.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, I'd not heard of these site, I'll go have a look

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice one Sky.

    Nice to have a handy list of blocked websites so we know where torrents can be easily found.

    Please keep it up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: so we know where torrents can be easily found.

      umm, tried Google?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: so we know where torrents can be easily found.

        Presumably these are quality sites.

        Googling reveals lots of sites, but these are probably better than most...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice one Sky.

      and:

      Nice to have a handy list of blocked websites so we know when to use a proxy to access our torrent search sites.

      Please keep it up.

  5. dotdavid
    Go

    Off-the-record company comment

    "Blocking these sites is a good first step towards freeing the internet from the tyranny of these pirates, but we all know who the real bad guys are. As the article put it, "workarounds can be easily found by anyone capable of using Google." Once we block this Google thing, then finally our Copyrights shall be safe for ever more."

    1. Ian Yates
      WTF?

      Re: Off-the-record company comment

      Ha! "Tyranny"... whatever next. Perhaps they don't know what the word means? Bless.

    2. koolholio
      Joke

      Re: Off-the-record company comment

      Wouldnt that affect Googles usage? I wonder if 1/3rd of its searches would drop (because 1/3rd of the internet supposedly uses Torrents oh and Usenet, probably including some legitimate business users?)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Off-the-record company comment

      "Once we block this Google thing, then finally our Copyrights shall be safe for ever more."

      so they just want stop the dissemination of knowledge... that's always a great banner to fly

  6. frank ly Silver badge

    I feel a bit more relaxed now

    "Music fans shouldn't have to worry that sites distributing music online are illegal and unethical. "

    I've been worrying about this for a long time. Now they've shut down these bad sites, I can relax and happily download stuff from my usual site.

  7. Ol'Peculier
    FAIL

    Have they not learnt from the proliferation of Pirate Bay proxies that are out there?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Gosh darn it, sue them for breach of... oh hang on ....

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      FAIL

      "Have they not learnt from the proliferation of Pirate Bay proxies that are out there?"

      Well, it's been 10 hours since this article was posted, so I presume proxies for these three specific sites have already been set up!

      Woo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo ooo-ooo-ooo ooo-ooo-oo

      Woo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo ooo-ooo-ooo ooo-ooo-oo

      Woo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo ooo-ooo-ooo ooo-ooo-oo

      Woo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo ooo-ooo-ooo ooo-ooo-oo

      Barbra Streisand!

  8. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    Lawyers fees?

    Look guys, if you really enjoy playing whack-a-mole that much, take the family out to Margate and stick 50p in the machine.

    It'll be a lot cheaper.

    1. Ashton Black

      Re: Lawyers fees?

      Exactly. The lawyers need to be seen to be doing, something. Even if ineffective, in the longer term.

      1. Kurt S
        Holmes

        Re: Lawyers fees?

        A cynical person might suggest at this point that the reason for their chosen measures are to ensure the workarounds are easy enough so they can still get to the stuff themselves.

  9. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Internet should be free from meddling by the media cartels

      ... and the musicians want to eat. Your point is?

      I want more money; it doesn't mean I can walk into a bank and help myself. Don't like "the man" then go elsewhere (there are plenty of indie labels out there), but please don't think that you have some right to free content.

      1. Grave

        Re: Internet should be free from meddling by the media cartels

        err, if a musician wants to eat, he should perform live like all selfrespecting artists did for millennia. oh wait, they want basically print money, do nothing after onetime performance? thats like "hey i fixed your computer, now you have to pay me everytime you turn it on and everytime you use it for something". artists in this society are mid-slaves to master-parasite-middlemen who squeeze the enslaved masses beyond bleeding.

        1. pPPPP

          Re: Internet should be free from meddling by the media cartels

          > thats like "hey i fixed your computer, now you have to pay me everytime you turn it on and everytime you use it for something".

          No. It's like "I got myself some education, followed by numerous years of experience, so that I can charge you to fix your computer and use the money for food and houses and stuff, rather than just doing it for nothing and living on the street and starving".

          If you think it's that easy to make an album, why don't you go and do one this evening? We'll all look forward to listening to it tomorrow.

          Or maybe "proper artists" (as opposed to manufactured) spend years or even decades touring the country in a van in the hope that one day they will get signed and be able to afford to pay for a recording studio, sound engineers and so on. All while they put up with various dead-end part-time jobs in the hope that they will make it, knowing fine well that they might not.

          And yes, I know many people who have done exactly this. Some have made it. Some haven't. It's a big gamble but I don't begrudge those who are now wealthy because frankly they did it off their own back through hard work.

        2. kryptonaut
          Stop

          Re: Internet should be free from meddling by the media cartels

          Anyone is free to create something and stipulate conditions under which it may be used.

          If I create an album and say "help yourselves, this is publicity for my upcoming tour" then that's fine, go ahead and copy it to your heart's content. But if I say "This took me two years to create and I would like to be paid for that, so if you want to be able to listen to it then you have to pay me <x> for that privilege" - then that's what should happen. If you don't want to pay me, don't get the album. That's the deal I'm offering, you have no right whatsoever to change it.

          Just because you are able to copy something for free, doesn't mean you have the right to do so. That right may or may not be granted by the originator of the work.

          1. Ian Yates

            Re: Internet should be free from meddling by the media cartels

            No one will benefit if the only people able to release music are those with a massive pot of money to fund the time and effort. It'll just be corporately-sponsored music acts everywhere.

            Personally, I don't copy music because I can afford to pay for it. Although, I do have a personal limit of £5 for a typical album and will happily wait until they hit that mark.

            I also equate the effort the artist put in to producing the album as the same that I might in to creating a piece of commercial software; if I did, I'd want to get paid when someone wants to make a copy for their own use.

      2. Stevelane
        Devil

        Re: Internet should be free from meddling by the media cartels

        Well that's what bankers do.

    2. Grave

      Re: Internet should be free from meddling by the media cartels

      "The only way the govt / lawyers can prevent this sharing is to lock down the Internet to such a degree that they resemble a facist or communist state."

      ehm, you mistake "communist" for "totalitarian". common mistake for brainwashed capitalist slaves.

      Communism comes from the Latin word communis, which means "shared" or "belong to all". so internet is in fact communist :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Internet should be free from meddling by the media cartels

        Agree 100%. Some people need to learn some history and see why there are so many Republics now, particularly the ones that actually turfed out the ruling cabals and monarchies and didn't let them come back in by stealth. In fact checking out what "Republic" actually means would be a good start. I don't believe it means "letting financial organisations and companies do what they darned well please regardless of the population's wishes".

  10. Shades
    Stop

    All UK users must go to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200.

    "UK users of the websites who have accounts with the defendants have infringed, and are continuing to infringe, the claimants' copyrights by copying the claimants' sound recordings on a large scale." - Mr Justice Arnold

    What, all UK users? So, all UK users have illegally downloaded sound recordings from one or more of the claimants? I'd like to see him prove that in a court of law!

    1. Andy Barker

      Re: All UK users must go to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200.

      It specifically says "who have accounts" are infringing.

      However I agree with your general direction - they are asserting that by having an account with the site you have infringed a copyright. Quite possibly true, but I could sign up and not use the account.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All UK users must go to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200.

        "I therefore conclude that UK users of the Websites who have accounts with the Defendants have infringed, and are continuing to infringe, the Claimants' copyrights by copying the Claimants' sound recordings on a large scale."

        those who have accounts with the defendants - the defendants being BT, Sky, Virgin etc - the judgement implies that everyone who has an account with the defendants is guilty of copyright infringement if they use the Websites - even if they end up there by accident, and don't download any torrents at all.

        On that basis, if one MP is a known, admitted liar & criminal like Mr Huhne, then all MPs are also criminals (although that may be true) as they use the same facilities (government buildings), as are - by extension - those who work in government buildings. Simply using the facilities is proof of guilt?

        "The Claimants have again adduced evidence from Thomas Sehested of MarkMonitor. Mr Sehested's evidence is that between 15 October and 5 December 2012 (i) torrent files for all of the sample recordings were available for download on each of the Websites (subject to minor exceptions in the cases of H33T and Fenopy), (ii) by means of those torrent files, at least 15% of each album comprised in the sample recordings was being shared by a user via an account held with each of the Defendants and (iii) at least 1% of each album had been downloaded by MarkMonitor from each user account. Thus users of the Websites who have accounts with each of the Defendants (and who are therefore in the UK) have been engaged in sharing (and thereby making unlicensed copies of) the sample recordings."

        Presumably MarkMonitor had the Websites permission to download and use their data for this purpose, and the permission of the user account holders in question to disclose their information to third parties? Oh, and where does it follow that just because someone has an account with BT they are in the UK at the time they accessed the site? Has this judge just outlawed the use of BT accounts for WiFi hotspot accounts when roaming overseas, or has he just proven - as if more proof needed! - that the judiciary chooses not to keep up to date with technology?

      2. Allan Thomas
        Go

        Re: All UK users must go to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200.

        Then everyone should have some fun with this and sign up high profile anti piracy figures to torrenting sites and download a few torrents against their name.

        No doubt law enforcement will get around to arresting these naughty, naughty people (after RIAA, MPAA, etc members accidently leave briefcases full of case at the local cop shop) and make an example of them. I wonder if the trials will end up something like in NZ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/31/rianz_gets_tiny_little_copyright_win/.

    2. TheVogon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: All UK users must go to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200.

      Especially since downloading isn't illegal. Only distributing (uploading) is.

  11. Paul Smith
    FAIL

    Minority report?

    Who is this judge to tell others to stop me from doing something I want to do? What idiot was defending this case?

    If I break the law, and the state can prove it, then the state can prosocute me.

    If I cause you loss, and you can prove it, then you can sue me.

    By what authority does this judge claim the right to demand someone else restrict my behaviour?

    1. Ashton Black

      Re: Minority report?

      As much as I find this current 'attempt' at behavioural change a joke, I don't think you've thought this through. There are many laws which require a third party to change/restrict something to prevent you from breaking a law. For example, gun control. Restrictions on the sales of certain chemicals, seeds and animals. Your argument could apply to all of these, but should it?

      1. billse10

        Re: Minority report?

        yes and no (sorry).

        The argument should not apply in the case where "I" commit an criminal offence: I should be prosecuted - by the Police/CPS, as they are the people charged with enforcing criminal law (not charities, for example, who have no business crying poverty then paying lawyers more than minimum wage). In this case, surely these are civil offences, so isn't suing infringers the correct way forward? However in this case the judge has effectively decided that site access should also be denied to those who have done no wrong: if EMI etc want to stop this sort of thing, they should sue the individual infringers against whom they have specific, lawfully-gathered (no snooping on people's web traffic by anyone other than a warrant-holding police/security officer), and if they are too lazy to do that, they should be told to go home and stop wasting the courts' time.

        I wonder what would happen if someone who merely liked the adverts shown on one of the sites in question and never downloaded a thing then sued BT for blocking access to site without any evidence of wrong doing? Would the same judge support suppression of free speech?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Minority report?

      There are many cases where joe public isn't allowed to do something they want to, which may result in something illegal happening. In fact, probably most law is there to stop someone who wants to do something from doing something which is considered by the state to be non-desireable.

      I want to be able to smoke dope, while driving at 100mph on the motorway, but the law says I can't.

      I'm also unclear as to how you think a _judge_ doesn't have the right to make legal proclamations?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: Minority report?

        > I'm also unclear as to how you think a _judge_ doesn't have the right to make legal proclamations?

        I think that you have misunderstood his point, which I don't think was well stated.

        There are certain things that are (almost) undisputably illegal e.g. sex with children for the purposes of producing pornography.

        However, there seems to be a trend these days to try to tackle those actions by introducing laws to ban other related behaviour that is not, of itself, detestable (regardless of what you personally think of that person), e.g. looking at pictures of underage pornography.

        Banning people from accessing websites is not and should never be illegal, and certainly not as a method of preventing people from copyright infringement.

        The "crime" itself should be addressed directly, not by roundabout means, because those roundabout means are often overly general and undermine the morale authority of the original law.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Minority report?

        <i>"...I want to be able to smoke dope, while driving at 100mph on the motorway..."</i>

        You'd only think you were doing 100mph. In reality you'd be parked up on the hard shoulder.

        </Cheech&Chong>

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Minority report?

      no-one defended the case:

      "The Defendants did not appear and were not represented "

      Which is lame. Or stupid. Or an abuse of their customers' rights.

      Or all three.

    4. FutureShock999
      Boffin

      Re: Minority report?

      The same laws that say I cannot buy a .50 calibre machine gun and mount it on a tripod, loaded, aimed at the front door of your house...even though I haven't pulled the trigger yet..

      See - machine guns only exist to threaten or kill, and these sites only exist to pirate. So both can be banned a priori.

      And that is not to say if banning pirating is good or bad, just saying that there are actions that can be banned "a priori" in a legal sense, because the likely outcome is known.

  12. ed2020
    FAIL

    Who cares?

    TPB blocking on Virgin Media is so trivial to circumvent it's laughable. Took me all of thirty seconds to trial a theory when it was implemented and the first one worked.

  13. Grikath Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Useless...

    Serious filesharers and downloaders laugh at such blockades. The more casual downloader will use Google and find any of the hundred ways to circumvent these blockades quickly enough.

    And if all else fails for the computer illiterates (of hwich there are still plenty) , almost everyone has a friend/family member who is versed in the above, and who will usually happily provide a copy of whatever you need.

    1. John Sanders
      Unhappy

      Re: Useless...

      I'm sorry to say this because I mean no disrespect for the judge.

      But the judge is the only one who is useless here. I know that he is there to apply the law, and I know that pirating stuff is not legal because it is a form of copyright infringement.

      I say that he is useless because the recording companies and their lobbies are abusing his ignorance to set a precedent, and a dangerous one, censorship of any kind is always a dangerous slippery slope, there is no shortage of people with vested interests and dishonest politicians that can exploit the precedent for sinister purposes.

      The judge may consider that it is legal to censor, and he may even think he's doing some good to someone, but it is not fair, and it is completely useless, as the internet is designed to avoid damage.

      I'm not saying pirating is fair, but pirating will not kill anyone, nor crush anyone, nor poison anyone.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Retards at BPI

    think its better to "block access" to some sites than to take down these sites, or remove said content. Good work, keep it up.

  15. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    FAIL

    And remember

    The rpiia or whatever they are called will never go after the biggest source of links to copyrighted material on the internet... google....

    Because google has lots and lots of money for better lawyers than they've got

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Confused...

    "BT has consistently stated that copyright infringement is wrong and argued that rights holders should use the courts to enforce their legal rights and that we will comply with a court order as a result of any such case."

    Yet in one of their own adverts the student goes into his bedroom and downloads Duran Duran's entire back catalogue to impress the girl... now we all know students have no money so all we can assume is that its pirated....

  17. Andy Fletcher

    This whole legal problem with sharing...

    ...seems to be moving so quickly I can't keep pace with it. Trouble is, I suspect the law isn't able to keep pace with the technology either - and in all likelyhood never will.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Torrents ? Seriously ?

    Surely any self respecting freetard has ponied up for a NZB index site and binary usenet archive ?

    I can get an HD TV program in under 3 minutes ;)

  19. Mr Young
    Coat

    I surely hope

    ISP's someday and somehow recognize themselves as the dumb pipe they are! VPN and trust article would go down nicely btw

  20. DJGM
    FAIL

    Three little words apply here . . .

    . . . They ... Never ... Learn.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Three little words apply here . . .

      > . . . They ... Never ... Learn.

      Wrong. You're missing the point. Organisations have a "life" of their own. The BPI will continue to attack infringement, however ineffective it is, because if it stops doing that it ceases to have a reason to exist. It would be organisational suicide.

      It will never stop until its paymasters withdraw funding, regardless of how daft or irrelevant its actions are.

  21. Stevelane
    Mushroom

    evolution

    Piracy like death is the engine of evolution for the digital music market. The big media holding conglomerates are like dinosaurs that roamed the earth until they got to big to survive as monsters until only the birds remained. Birds I can live with but not dinosaurs.

  22. Jo 5
    Unhappy

    Bit i use those sites for non copy righted material. And for game patches etc that are uploaded by game publishers. How bout we all go stand outside the media giant's offices and blockade them and interrogate every person going in and out asking if they are legitimate or not? tossers.

  23. Cannorn
    WTF?

    Worrying....

    It's worrying that a Judge can make such an erroneous and sweeping (false) statement as

    "UK users of the websites who have accounts with the defendants have infringed, and are continuing to infringe, the claimants' copyrights by copying the claimants' sound recordings on a large scale."

    I suppose you could argue that he may have meant SOME of the UK Users but it sounds a lot to me like he's saying simply having an account with these people automatically makes you guilty of copyright infringement which is absolute hokum.

  24. Senior Ugli
    Pint

    "labels can continue to sign and develop new talent."

    LOL. You mean manufacture music for the masses by voting down to a favourite that is then shafted in our faces and ears all the time.

    Personally, I prefer using bandcamp and Soundcloud where at least the majority of money is going to the artist, and theres no suits to get in the way who want a new ivory back scratcher.

    Kickasstorrents is a particularly great site, not just for music but movies too.

  25. LaunchpadBS
    Facepalm

    Hahahahahaha

    Hahahahahaha...seriously these fools spend so much time and money pursuing these "Evil torrent sites" you have to wonder if they have any idea at all of how it all works, my 8 year old nephew laughed when his father told him he couldn't download music anymore as their ISP blocked these torrent sites, he then went on to tell me he hadn't used those in 3 years, his words were "Torrents are so last decade old man" and I'm only 30.

  26. taxman
    FAIL

    Slipping standards

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/09/11/pirate_bay_co_founder_gottfrid_swartholm_warg_faces_hacking_allegations/

    This does not mention UK taxman but Swedish Tax Board.

    And to think my taxes have (probably) paid for this reporters educashun.

  27. Frankee Llonnygog

    Oh dear

    I just left Talk Talk for a smaller, better ISP. Now I find I am completely unprotected against these evil torrent sites. What ever shall I do? (Apart from buying more shares in my ISP, who must be loving all the new business the courts are pushing to them)

  28. CAPS LOCK Silver badge
    Happy

    I'd never even heard of these site...

    ... and now I have.

  29. Ian 45

    Prosecute Google?

    How about prosecuting Google for giving links to the torrents?

  30. Tequila Joe
    FAIL

    Really...He said that?

    "...Blighty's big name ISPs were told by Mr Justice Arnold to kill access to The Pirate Bay website..."

    Hmm, does this mean these ISPs are legally obliged not to let any networked traffic out of their own networks - bearing in mind once a person can get out on to the internet they can definitely access TPB?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WIN WIN WIN!

    - Media industries are happy

    - Judge is happy

    - Pirates are happy

    Success all round ;)

  32. Paulusar
    Big Brother

    So much for free speech

    I thought only countries like China tried to censor the web. Good to see freedom alive and well in the UK.

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