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

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

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Are you watching Cameron

    Are you watching Cameron,

    are you watching,

    are you watching,

    are you watching Cameron

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Are you watching Cameron

      I never watch Cameron!

    2. Anonymous Coward 101
      Big Brother

      Re: Are you watching Cameron

      Yes he is. And he doesn't care.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Are you watching Cameron

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

    3. smudge Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Are you watching Cameron

      are you watching Cameron

      Yes he is.

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

  2. Ged T
    Coat

    Straightforward enough

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

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

    1. BongoJoe
      Thumb Up

      Re: Straightforward enough

      "Dummies for Politicians"

      seems a fair swap

      1. firu toddo
        Coat

        Re: Straightforward enough

        No way, dummies are far more useful.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Straightforward enough

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Straightforward enough

        Ha Ha. Great point!

  3. Greg 24
    Facepalm

    3...2..1..Blame

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

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

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

    2. JoshOvki
      Flame

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

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

      Just doing what I am told governor

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

      The fault lies with the Premier League.

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

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

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

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

      2. P. Lee Silver badge
        Angel

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

        Indeed.

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

      3. James Micallef Silver badge

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

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

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

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

      4. Annihilator
        Boffin

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

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

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

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

          1. Annihilator
            Boffin

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

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

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

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

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

    5. phuzz Silver badge
      Facepalm

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

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

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

  4. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Surely m'lud

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely m'lud

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Surely m'lud

        "DMCA takedowns don't work that way"

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

  5. Lee D Silver badge

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

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

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

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      or...

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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

      1. John Colman
        Trollface

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

      2. Keir Snelling
        Pint

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

        1. Don Dumb
          Boffin

          My attempt at a poor analogy

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

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

            Re: My attempt at a poor analogy

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

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: My attempt at a poor analogy

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

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

              1. fearnothing
                Headmaster

                Re: My attempt at a poor analogy

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

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

                Pedant icon seems appropriate.

                1. Phil W
                  Joke

                  Re: My attempt at a poor analogy

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

                  Outcome deeply embarrassing for the sender!

    3. Gav
      Happy

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

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

    4. streaky Silver badge
      FAIL

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

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

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

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

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

      1. DragonLord

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

  6. Ian 62

    Lawyerbomb?

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Lawyerbomb?

      O2 shows a message when you visit the site which says

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

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

      to be blocked to protect against copyright infringement."

      Other ISPs show a very similar message.

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lawyerbomb?

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

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

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

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

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

        Seems they are not satisfied with just monopoly abuse.

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lawyerbomb?

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

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

        2. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: Lawyerbomb?

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

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

        3. John Tserkezis

          Re: Lawyerbomb?

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

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

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

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lawyerbomb?

          "This is how the MAFIAA had the law written"

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

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Lawyerbomb?

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

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

            "we don't abide by US law."

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

    2. Infernoz Bronze badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Lawyerbomb?

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

    3. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Lawyerbomb?

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

      Does that fall under libel?

    4. Dick Emery
      Coat

      Re: Lawyerbomb?

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

  7. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Interesting...

    From the judgement:

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

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

    1. Richard 22

      Re: Interesting...

      Given the wide range between high and low, that suggests a good degree of uncertainty in the numbers. So why not "between £5m and £9.5m in annual revenue"? Looks like their expert has confused preciseness with accuracy. Or hoped the court would make this mistake.

      "I wish I could estimate my annual google adsense income with that level of precision."

      I'm sure you can. In fact, I'll do it for you. £1832.47.

      1. James Micallef Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Interesting...

        "Looks like their expert has confused preciseness with accuracy. Or hoped the court would make this mistake."

        Spot on

    2. Graham Cobb
      Holmes

      Re: Interesting...

      and why does opposing council not label it a clear case of 'excrementum bovum'?

      Because there is often no opposing counsel in these cases.

  8. Roo

    Presumably the affected consumers / businesses can seek redress from the judge who prevented them from going about their legitimate business...

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Sue FAPL for redress

      Nope, looks like the judge relied on 'evidence' from FAPL, which was wrong, so it's FAPL's fault and they are the ones to provide redress:

      from the judgement: " First, the orders require IP address blocking of the IP address for FirstRow's domain name firstrow1.eu . FAPL's evidence is that this will not result in over-blocking since that IP address is not shared. The orders also require IP address re-routing and URL blocking for URLs at any shared IP addresses. "

      1. Gordon 11

        Re: Sue FAPL for redress

        Nope, looks like the judge relied on 'evidence' from FAPL, which was wrong

        Isn't that perjury - or contempt of court? (IANAL)

        Either way, the judge in the case should have them back up in front of him/her pronto for bringing the court into disrepute..

      2. Anonymous Dutch Coward

        Re: Sue FAPL for redress

        I don't know how the legal system works over in the UK but the judge gave the court order, didn't he? So he should be responsible for the mess.

        What he then chooses to take out on FAPL is his concern, but not something the poor (sniff) sites that have been wrongfully blocked should have to concern themselves with.

  9. Simon Ward

    Does someone want to volunteer to forward this article to Clare 'OMG Won't Somebody Think Of The Childrenz!!!1!one' Perry MP as a shining example of why her half-arsed porn-filtering idea is doomed to failure?

    Feel free to reinforce the lesson with a length of Clue-by-Four at your discretion.

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      You mean something like this?

      1. Simon Ward
        Happy

        Oh yes!

      2. andreas koch
        Thumb Up

        @ VinceH -

        Absolutely fabulous!

        While it is, of course, dangerous to do this (in Ms Perry's eyes you are siding with child molesters, rapists, pirates and terrorists), I applaud your move. I don't think you'll get a lot of response on it, though; at the most something like: "The technology will improve but we have to protect the vulnerable from danger right now. Isn't that worth a bit of temporary inconvenience?".

        Don't forget that these people are not very technically minded (I'm deliberately avoiding derogatory terms here . . .).

        Anyway, have a thumbsup from me for this!

        1. N000dles
          Black Helicopters

          Re: @ VinceH -

          You can be damn sure the technology will improve. The current thinking will turn out to be a massive fail and the only way we will be able to protects the kiddies from the pedophile terrorists is to mandate Deep Packet Inspection on everything. This whole thing is just the first stage in getting us all to accept that ALL our communications will be logged, filtered and approved by the thought police in future.

        2. VinceH Silver badge

          Re: @ VinceH -

          "While it is, of course, dangerous to do this (in Ms Perry's eyes you are siding with child molesters, rapists, pirates and terrorists), I applaud your move."

          Hence the wording. I merely asked for advice on how to avoid the problem from two experts on the subject, rather than pointing out that filtering is wrong because of the article. I mean, they are filtering experts, aren't they? They certainly seemed to have spoken out a lot about it recently, so I assume they must be. :)

  10. Timmay

    0.0.0.0/0

    Hmm, I see said dodgy website uses an IP address, therefore Mr Judge, can the ISPs block 0.0.0.0/0, that should do it......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Re: 0.0.0.0/0

      Don't you fucking dare!

    2. andreas koch
      Go

      @ Timmay - Re: 0.0.0.0/0

      . . . and 224.0.0.0/4, as you're at it.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: @ Timmay - 0.0.0.0/0

        " . . and 224.0.0.0/4, as you're at it."

        Sorry, but that's redundant.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 0.0.0.0/0

      Wait for the - please block http://*.*

    4. Number6

      Re: 0.0.0.0/0

      IPv6 FTW!

      1. Timmay
        Trollface

        Re: 0.0.0.0/0

        Fine, please also block 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0/0 too

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 0.0.0.0/0

          @Timmay,

          That would be ::/0

  11. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    I can imagine quite a few large companies not being happy with being accused of being pirates by the FAPL. I can also easily imagine that this is quite possibly going to cost the FAPL quite a few pennies in out of court libel settlements, too.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "I can also easily imagine that this is quite possibly going to cost the FAPL quite a few pennies in out of court libel settlements, too."

      What's put forward in court can't be used as the basis of a libel claim.

      What's said OUTSIDE of the court by FAPL is fair game though.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Legitimate sites blocked

    Legitimate plays by the bard blocked.

    Soon the only sites you will access will be government sites. And that's only if you past the turing test, which goes a little something like this.

    *website prompt - Please enter Turing's sexuality in the space provided

    * you - GAY

    *website prompt - you are forbidden from looking at this due to terminology that you have used, the collection team have been alerted to your address.

  13. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

    Seems that the courts are taking on trust whatever the complainants are telling them about the IP addresses - which I can understand in terms of expediency (they don't have the resources or knowledge to know better) but it doesn't look good from a legal point of view.

    Also, it seems like the ISPs are going out on a limb a little bit by restoring access unilaterally - and fair play to them for going against the letter of the court order and implementing a bit of common sense by restoring access to the sites.

  14. Don Dumb
    WTF?

    And the Premier League would rather it continued

    The BBC had more on this, and it has a pretty arrogant and chilling statement from the Premier League. As I can't see the corrections button -

    "The Premier League said it had never intended legitimate sites to be affected. But it also expressed concern at the idea that the ISPs were taking unilateral action.

    "The court order that requires internet service providers to block this website clearly states that any issues they have in implementing the block must be raised with the Premier League before taking any further action," said a spokesman.

    "This is the first we have heard of this issue and are looking into it as a matter of urgency.

    "The fact remains that the High Court has ordered an injunction requiring ISPs to block First Row Sports and we will continue to implement it and expect the ISPs to respect the ruling."

    So in summary, FAPL (FA Premier League) didn't intend but certainly *don't care* if anyone is harmed, they expect everyone to get screwed until *they* decide to take action. Considering FAPL aren't responsible for ensuring internet service (that *was* the ISPs job), they have no incentive to actually sort the problem in any reasonable timeframe.

    While the ISPs may be breaching the specific court order, I would rather that they do breach it to ensure that no one the order wasn't intended for doesn't get affected, while also forcing the FAPL to act a lot more quickly. My bet is that if the ISPs carried on waiting for FAPL to decide, FAPL would take a lot longer to take any corrective order action.

    1. Don Dumb
      Facepalm

      Re: And the Premier League would rather it continued

      And now, having posted, I can see the corrections button.

    2. R Varia

      Re: And the Premier League would rather it continued

      I saw this and it just reinforces what a bunch of arrogant p***ks EPL are. They are not sorry in the slightest about getting their facts wrong.

    3. VinceH Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: And the Premier League would rather it continued

      "While the ISPs may be breaching the specific court order, I would rather that they do breach it to ensure that no one the order wasn't intended for doesn't get affected, while also forcing the FAPL to act a lot more quickly. My bet is that if the ISPs carried on waiting for FAPL to decide, FAPL would take a lot longer to take any corrective order action."

      My thinking was that I'd rather they didn'tbreach it, precisely because it does affect other websites - and therefore the people visiting those sites.

      Why? Because the longer the block remains in place, the more people (Joe Averages, who don't understand how these things work) are going to notice, and sit up and pay attention to those of us doing what is depicted in my choice of icon.

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: And the Premier League would rather it continued

      Does the UK allow for class action suits?

      If so, this could get rather interesting - with the plaintiffs being the damaged parties and FAPL being the defendant

    5. Number6

      Re: And the Premier League would rather it continued

      FAPL is now aware of the problem and the damage it may be causing to other legitimate businesses so it should either immediately tell the ISPs to lift the block until it has sorted a better way of imposing it, or should start paying compensation to the parties suffering loss due to its continued action.

  15. Colin Millar
    Coat

    192.168.0.1

    Thats the one they should be going after

    1. Simon Ward

      Re: 192.168.0.1

      Not to mention 127.0.0.1 - there's an IP address which is a hive of scum and villiany if ever there was.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 192.168.0.1

        I took a look once. You're right - you wouldn't believe the stuff I found. Worst of the worst, and no doubt.

        In news related to this article, the image juxtaposition in the spotlight section works out quite nicely right now...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 192.168.0.1

        I don't want to over-geek a light-hearted comment, but ISPs can't block anything downstream from their connection. Although they could block 192.168.0.1 if you have an ISP supplied self-updating router (ahem BT Home Hub).

        1. Shades

          Re: 192.168.0.1

          I don't want to over-geek a light-hearted comment, but ISPs can't block anything downstream from their connection. Although they could block 192.168.0.1 if you have an ISP supplied self-updating router (ahem BT Home Hub).

          WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    2. tentimes
      Facepalm

      Re: 192.168.0.1

      Bit like sticking finger up your own bum.

  16. Frankee Llonnygog

    Grounds for prosecution of the Premier League

    Police and Justice Act 2006, Section 36

    Unauthorised acts with intent to impair operation of computer, etc

    For section 3 of the 1990 Act (unauthorised modification of computer material) there is substituted—

    “3 Unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of computer, etc.

    (1) A person is guilty of an offence if—

    (a) he does any unauthorised act in relation to a computer;

    (b) at the time when he does the act he knows that it is unauthorised; and

    (c) either subsection (2) or subsection (3) below applies.

    (2) This subsection applies if the person intends by doing the act—

    (a) to impair the operation of any computer;

    (b) to prevent or hinder access to any program or data held in any computer;

    (c) to impair the operation of any such program or the reliability of any such data; or

    (d) to enable any of the things mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c) above to be done.

    (3) This subsection applies if the person is reckless as to whether the act will do any of the things mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (2) above.

    (4) The intention referred to in subsection (2) above, or the recklessness referred to in subsection (3) above, need not relate to—

    (a) any particular computer;

    (b) any particular program or data; or

    (c) a program or data of any particular kind.

    (5) In this section—

    (a) a reference to doing an act includes a reference to causing an act to be done;

    (b) “act” includes a series of acts;

    (c) a reference to impairing, preventing or hindering something includes a reference to doing so temporarily.

    (6) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

    (a) on summary conviction in England and Wales, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both;

    (b) on summary conviction in Scotland, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both;

    (c) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to a fine or to both.”

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Grounds for prosecution of the Premier League

      Ah yes, but this would be "Not in the Public Interest", so no suey-suey.

      1. Frankee Llonnygog

        Re: Grounds for prosecution of the Premier League

        This is criminal, not civil law

  17. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Basic tort law ?

    Surely an innocent commercial website that can demonstrate a monetary loss would have standing to take the ISPs to court for damages ? I would humbly suggest on a basis of negligence.

    Assuming a high-profile win, with lots of zeros attached, then I can see blocking going the way of the dodo.

    Of course the ISPs may then have standing to sue the people who provided the dodgy information - more for incompetence.

    When Big Dave was wibbling on about blocking a few weeks back, I suggested that ISPs would be forced to up their prices, to cover snafus like this. Which will kill it dead.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Basic tort law ?

      <blockquote>Surely an innocent commercial website that can demonstrate a monetary loss would have standing to take the ISPs to court for damages ? I would humbly suggest on a basis of negligence.</blocking>

      You may be negligent in picking the target of your sue-ball. ISP produces copy of the court order specifying the IP address to be blocked. ISPs block it. I would humbly suggest we need to see a copy of the court order first and what actions that instructed the ISPs to take.

      1. Frankee Llonnygog

        Re: Basic tort law ?

        The fact that some ISPs have taken it upon themselves to rescind wrongfully applied blocking could be taken as admitting liability

        1. peter_dtm
          Childcatcher

          Re: Basic tort law ?

          last I looked we still have common law etc

          so the removal of the block is just 'what the man on the Clapham Omnibus would think reasonable'

          we are still a smidgin away from having Napolionic (most Europeam States & especially EU) law thrust down our throats.

          We are ALLOWED to apply common sense as a defence.

    2. Demosthenese

      Re: Basic tort law ?

      The ISPs would have no obligation to third parties to provide access to their websites, and can filter whatever they like, with no duty to those sites.

      They do however have a contract with their customers - whether this contract requires them to provide access any particular sites or category of sites depends on the details of those contacts.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Basic tort law ?

        You may be correct about the details of the contracts, however GETTING them to cough up what's in their filters is virtually impossible.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Block the premier League

    As the FAPL have expressed an absence of concern about collatoral damage, I suggest that all ISPs immediately add the FAPL themselves to the list. After all, they can hardly complain...

  19. paulc

    Sue the pants off them...

    FA Premier League, they're rich enough to employ proper investigators and should NOT have made this stupid mistake.

  20. HereWeGoAgain

    Surely the 'rights holders' can be sued

    for directly causing problems for these innocent third parties?

    And perhaps an offence under RIPA too.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Accountability?

    So rights holders have no accountability for any fuck ups?

    Can affected sites not sue the right holders for lost traffic/revenue?

  22. Luke McCarthy

    Blocking isn't easy

    Only way they could do this properly is looking at the Host: header in requests. Blocking by DNS or IP simply doesn't work.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Blocking isn't easy

      You know that, I know that - unfortunately when the judge studied Roman law at Cambridge in 1938 they forgot to cover it

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge
        IT Angle

        Re: Blocking isn't easy

        The 'net still uses 1938 concepts like packet headers or envelope addresses. ISP's look (or are supposed to look) at the address, not the content. DPI boxen to look deeper ain't cheap.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Blocking isn't easy

          So what you're saying is that the real WTF here is that http lets you put multiple web sites on a single IP address. If these people had only used IPv6, they wouldn't have needed to do that and no colateral damage would have occured. (OK, I'm mixing my layers here, but if we have many more incidents like this then people might start insisting that their hosting provider use a unique IP address (v4 or v6) for each customer, and *then* the limited number of free v4 addresses does start to become an issue.)

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Blocking isn't easy

            Yep. It's an application layer problem, not a network one. Novel idea for promoting IPv6 adoption though. Use it so future takedown notices can target you more accurately. Plus it may still not work. Configure this:

            ipv6 address 2002:0db8:6301::/128 anycast

            on v6 links in several jurisdictions :)

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Oneman2Many

          Re: Blocking isn't easy

          All major ISP's are already using DPI, its been well documented. How do you think they are apply traffic shaping ?

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Blocking isn't easy

            "How do you think they are apply traffic shaping ?"

            In most cases, anything that's not a "well known service" port is getting whacked.

            That doesn't take DPI - and in the cases where DPI is used if they don't recognise the content then it gets whacked anyway.

  23. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    Saw some bunch of nobs in the Metro letters page the other day banging on about banning by IP. "Easy to identify these trolls by their IP address, we all have them, trace them by that!".

    You want to get through to these people, liken IP addresses to those numbers printed on cards you pin to your shirt when you do a running event, they're easily faked, easily lost and easily swapped!

  24. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    The interesting question of legal remedies...

    Hmm... I am not a lawyer. But let's assume that thanks to FAPL or porn filtering or some other screw-up my moderately successful online business disappeared for all of the customers who use certain ISPs. Now, the Internet is, by default, a "best effort" network. This means, in my mind, that no one makes a guarantee or is under any legal obligation to deliver packets to my servers, UNLESS there is a contract that says otherwise. Problem is, I do not have contracts or SLAs or anything with most or all of those ISPs or other autonomous system owners who sit between my servers and my customers. Each of them can decide to block me for any reason at all. So if they get a court order and if they notice that someone else is affected, they will not necessarily invest any effort in pointing the problem out. Were I Google or Amazon or BBC, some of their customers might notice and make noise. But if I am not in that league, and someone who bought some useful stuff from me in the past gets a blocking message (without any alternative contact info, I presume) on the net attempts, they will likely shrug, think that I must be a real bastard, and go to a competitor. And will I even know why the order numbers are down?

    I certainly hope that Mr. Cameron & Co. have a foolproof solution for these kinds of things.

  25. Greg D

    TOR?

    Fuck da police. Use Tor.

    Or any free proxying service.

    Also this sets a scary precedent when any old claimant can get a website blocked with a SEVERE lack of any kind of technical understanding.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: TOR?

      "Also this sets a scary precedent when any old claimant can get a website blocked with a SEVERE lack of any kind of technical understanding."

      This has been the case for a long time. In some cases the plantiffs know full well that they're spouting bullshit and relying on pulling the wool over the judge's eyes.

      Virtually all civil litigation is about who's got deeper pockets first and who's right/wrong second.

  26. Kubla Cant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Clumsy analogy

    Allowing a bunch of lawyers and footballers to mess with anything technical is like taking your watch down to the zoo to see if the chimps can repair it for you.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Clumsy analogy

      Your right, it is clumsy. The chimps at least have a remote chance (they wrote a shakespear play after all)

  27. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    It should be the other way around. The sites should be *correctly* configured so that www.domainname is redirected to the canonical dominname.

  28. Haku
    Facepalm

    "VPNs, VPNs, get yer luvverly VPNs here, five for a pound"

    The more cockups like this the more people are just simply going to resort to Tor, VPNs etc. to step over the ridiculous dumb internet roadblocks the authorities keep putting up.

  29. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Lawsuit time?

    I do hope that it is lawsuit time -- DNSMadeEasy should *DEFINITELY* take the football clubs responsible to court for providing overly broad information to the judge, disrupting DNSMadeEasy's legitimate business. I'm sure they can easily prove actual damages, which the football clubs are fully responsible for.

    Since people bring up DMCA (despite it being irrelevant in Britain)...as much as everyone hates it (including myself), it DOES include a penalty clause for those making false DMCA reports. The way it's worded, it clearly would include those cases where the pigopolists now just say "oops, that was a mistake of our automated system, sorry about that" -- if the takedown victim knew their rights, they could get easy money at that point. Surprisingly I've never heard of this clause being used, but I sure as hell would use it if someone falsely took down my legitimate content.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They did not get the IP address to block from Andrew Crossley by any chance?

  31. Marco van Beek
    Facepalm

    Redirection site?

    Am I the only person here wondering why anyone would use a redirection service? Have they never heard of rewrite rules? Or ServerAlias?

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Redirection site?

      It's been explained a few times and comes down to it being impossible to set a CNAME at the domain level, but perfectly possible to set one at www.domain.

      I'm aware of at least one cases where access to XYZ.BADDOMAIN was blocked by filtering access to the DNS servers and that also wiped out the other few hundred domains hosted at the same nameservers.

      It's on par with using a sledgehammer to kill a gnat, but it's likely to be the next step when the naughty sites do the obvious next step of going ip-agile.

  32. Jeff 11

    All this misdirected ire towards the FA is astounding. Yes, they gave the judge a list of IP addresses but it was the judge who ordered ISPs to block them. However much you may dislike them, the FA do have a legitimate grievance towards their copyrighted material being leeched and profited from, and are certainly entitled to seek a legal solution. The implementation of that solution was extremely stupid, I'm pointing the finger squarely at the legal apparatus for making this collateral damage possible.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Boffin

      The judge can only decide based upon the evidence laid before the Court and the relevant law. They're not allowed to use other information.

      An entity placing evidence before the Court that it knows or could be reasonably expected to know to be false or is deliberately misleading is committing an offence.

      So they should certainly be tried for it, because they specifically said that there wouldn't be collateral damage. Thus they either lied or are simply idiots.

      It would be interesting to see a case where the only defence is "We're complete and total idiots and you should never listen to anything we say ever again."

    2. Daniel B.
      Go

      The burden of evidence is totally within the FA. So basically they're guilty of screwing the pooch, the article even mentions the legal aspects of the ban. BBC, DuckDuckGo and the other affected people should be enabled to sue the FA for zillion pound damages for their downtime. Mostly to serve as a warning to other trigger-happy entities...

  33. Andrew Jones 2

    Surely the infringing company could get around this by doing something like creating a peer2peer video network - they could even rent access to the network to other infringing companies. As for who is responsible and could be sued - if the FAPL specifically stated that "this IP address is not shared with anyone else" then they have wilfully negligent - it's not hard to see that the IP address does not belong to the infringing site:

    http://www.dnsstuff.com/tools#ipInformation|type=ipv4&&value=96.45.82.196

    resolves to http-redirection-d.dnsmadeeasy.com.

    oh look - that address resolves to http://www.dnsmadeeasy.com/ which is a MANAGED DNS service, which provide DNS for thousands of sites.... yep - we'll just block them - because they won't cause any problems at all...... wankers!

    I wonder did FAPL actually try contacting DNSMadeEasy - maybe reading this page http://www.dnsmadeeasy.com/policies/ which clearly states

    "Transmission, distribution or storage of any material in violation of any applicable law or regulation is prohibited. This includes, without limitation, material protected by copyright, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual property right used without proper authorization, and material that is obscene, defamatory, constitutes an illegal threat, or violates export control laws." is prohibited

  34. Nathan 13

    One benefit

    Is that I am building up a nice a nice collection of bookmarks to watch sports on!!

  35. Salts

    A bit like super injunctions ...

    One of the things that lead to the super injunction being shown for the stupidity it represented, was the amount of ridicule it received, I doubt however we will see the same for web filtering, but one can hope.

    I agree with others on the forum, I wish the ISP's had left the sites blocked, as they have no responsibility to check the validity of the IP's in question and are only required to uphold the ruling. The longer the block went on the more people would have seen the damage these half baked ideas can do.

    Though being a cynic, I suspect, as the ISP's that unblocked the IP's are all content providers of copyright material, realised that by continuing to block it would have a negative impact for them, should they wish to self filter some future copyright infringers.

    I am not in the UK at the moment how is the market for small ISP's that include VPN & Proxy as standard?

    1. Peter 82

      Re: A bit like super injunctions ...

      Set up two companies.

      One who has no uk staff/buildings etc. based in Sweden.

      One who is a uk ISP.

      Put a large fiber optic connection between the two.

      The UK ISP only connects it's customers to the one IP address in Sweden. The Swedish company does the routing from there.

      The UK ISP cannot block any IP addresses without cutting it's customers off of the internet as it only connects to one.

      The Swedish company does not have to obey UK law.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A bit like super injunctions ...

        Wouldn't even slightly work.

        If the connections from the end user to the Swedish ISP aren't encrypted, then the middle UK ISP in this scenario would still see all of the web traffic. And therefore have the opportunity (obligation under idiotic law) to filter the "bad" ones + get it wrong and screw things up for others.

  36. localzuk

    Collateral damage is illegal

    Someone earlier said that there would be no recourse for this, as collateral damage is not an issue under law.

    Except that it is. The EU Human Rights Convention covers it in the articles: 6 - right to fair trial and 13 - right to effective remedy.

    The only recourse that I could see is that the victims would be to apply for injunctive relief and claim for compensation through the courts. There's no-one to sue as far as I can see?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great to see

    Congratulations on the staunch defence by UK lawmakers and the courts of people's freedom of expression, even at the expense of having big content brokers go through proper channels when alleging their "property" might be being used unfairly.

    None of that shoot first and ask questions never Yankee stuff. Well done indeed.

  38. Daniel B.
    Happy

    Meh with the ISPs.

    If I were an ISP, after finding out exactly what went down, I'd simply sit my ass and just say "Well, the law tells me I have to enforce this ban. Either take it down, repeal it or change it for me to unban that IP." or even better, just say you'll wait till a court order tells me to unban the IP.

    This reminds me of Montag's plan where he would plant books on the firemen's homes and then report them, thus having the firemen burn themselves down.

  39. The Alpha Klutz

    I flip styles the way you flip a flapjack

    This just shows how silly the assumption that one IP address = one person or one website. It's patently not true and not even IPv6 will fix that.

  40. JustinClift

    Completely trivial to work around...

    **If** a person has access to server(s) outside of the filtered country, then this is completely trivial to bypass.

    Here's an example for OSX, if you have Squid running somewhere else:

    https://gist.github.com/justinclift/6095012

    Voila, encrypted tunnel to remote server, automatically upon every login. Tested it, works perfectly.

    (obviously not as thorough as Tor, but seems fine for casual use)

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe

    Maybe the force of the law shouldn't be used to protect the ability to watch a bunch of overpaid wankers kicking a ball around a field.

    Really, when did we as a society decide this was worth legislating about? Which party manifesto even mentioned this sort of crap? Other than the Republican and Democratic ones, which is probably where the idea came from, of course.

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