back to article UK ISPs must block access to Nintendo Switch piracy sites, High Court rules

The UK's largest internet service providers must block access to websites that enable people to pirate Nintendo Switch games, the High Court has ruled. Sky, BT, EE, Talktalk and Virgin Media have been ordered to "block, or at least impede access" to four sites that help distribute pirated Switch games, or facilitate copyright …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Let the whack-a-mole begin

    ISPs will block existing addresses, and the pirates will find other ones. Repeat until somebody makes a big mistake and gets caught.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let the whack-a-mole begin

      Or the crims will hack the government servers & use those to host the pirated files which will get the government itself forced on the banned sites list. The government will find out about it & try to clean their servers but then the crims will find other government servers to pwn & the game starts a fresh round of whack a mole. Muhhahahahahahahahaha!

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Let the whack-a-mole begin

      Because of course there is absolutely no way to get round the ISP block. It is completely impossible.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Let the whack-a-mole begin

        No security is impregnable, but it doesn't have to be. It just has to raise the barrier enough to prevent X% of the loss, where 'X' is a closely guarded secret.

        1. aks Bronze badge

          Re: Let the whack-a-mole begin

          I only argue with the use of the term "loss". Just like with other downloads, the "end users" had no intention to pay full price. If they couldn't get it for free, they'd move on. There's not even "lost opportunity".

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Let the whack-a-mole begin

          Anyone capable of hacking a Switch will likely not have an issue bypassing such filtering.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let the whack-a-mole begin

      I just sold my launch model switch (with Zelda) to a mate for a knock-down price - looks like it has added value that needed to be taken into account :)

    4. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Let the whack-a-mole begin

      And in useless once DNS over HTTPS is widely deployed. They will just stick the sites behind Cloudflare making IP blocks ineffective too.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aren't UK laws optional these days ?

    Seems the government doesn't have to comply, so maybe none of us should ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Aren't UK laws optional these days ?

      well, it's one law for the plebs, and an another law (optional) for the masters.

      disclaimer (1): it would be unfair to suggest this is unique to this gov or this country. To a degree it happens, more or less blatantly, everywhere.

      disclaimer (2): which doesn't make it any less disgraceful.

    2. beast666

      Re: Aren't UK laws optional these days ?

      EU law is supreme over UK law. Funnily enough, that's how we're going to get WTO-deal UK Independence on the 31st Oct.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Aren't UK laws optional these days ?

        I think you will find WTO will also trump UK law, it certainly won't be any better.

      2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

        Re: Aren't UK laws optional these days ?

        You're assuming the WTO will still be relevant by then. Trump seems to be blocking it as much as possible these days.

        And the UK is already independent, it's a member of a treaty organisation called the EU in the same way that it's a member of the United Nations or the WTO.

        Incidentally, if EU law trumps UK law, how come EU directives need to be made into law in each individual state within two years before they actually become effective? Sounds more like a sovereign parliament implementing the agreements of a democratically elected parliament of a treaty-based organisation to me. Because if they're not democratically elected, then I'd like to know who I've been voting for in those EU elections all these years...

        1. tybalt

          Re: Aren't UK laws optional these days ?

          There is a difference between a regulation and a directive. A directive can also have direct binding effect on a UK court (as a shield not a sword - google it).

          Regulations have direct effect.

        2. CommanderGalaxian
          Holmes

          Re: Aren't UK laws optional these days ?

          The U.S. doesn't rely on WTO rules - it strikes empire level trade agreements with subordinate powers. The UK will shortly be one of those subordinates.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Aren't UK laws optional these days ?

        No - EU law is enshrined in UK law by parliament. Doing so is entirely optional (but is a prerequisite to benefit from things like access to European markets).

        Also, we (used to) have a say in EU law, but we won't anymore (we'll still need to follow it for any and all exports to the EU of course).

        1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          Re: Aren't UK laws optional these days ?

          "...we'll still need to follow it for any and all exports to the EU of course"

          Well, in so far as China and New Zealand "follow" EU law in order to sell their wares into the EU, and the way the UK already "follows" US law in order to export to the US, etc.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Aren't UK laws optional these days ?

        >EU law is supreme over UK law.

        Can you give one or two examples of EU Law hoisted upon the UK which we'll be getting rid of come Independence Day?

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Aren't UK laws optional these days ?

          Having to legally be a net contributor of ~ £10 billion a year to the EU budget? The EU courts being able to override the UK Supreme Court? EU restrictions on say VAT rates on different products?

    3. CommanderGalaxian
      WTF?

      Re: Aren't UK laws optional these days ?

      You do have to wonder about the sort of nugget who downvoted such a tautologically true statement.

    4. veti Silver badge

      Re: Aren't UK laws optional these days ?

      Laws are always optional. All it takes is a willingness to accept the consequences of breaking them.

      1. Christoph Silver badge

        Re: Aren't UK laws optional these days ?

        In Australia even the laws of Mathematics are optional.

  3. steviebuk Silver badge

    Pointless

    "ISPs can be forced via a court order to block websites found to heavily facilitate internet copyright infringement."

    When DNS over https become the main, the ISP can put the block in but will be ignored by the masses.

    1. DougMac

      Re: Pointless

      One reason that there is a flag domain name an ISP can implement to have browsers opt out of DNSoH negotiation by browser at the start.

      That doesn't prevent an advanced user from implementing their own DNS setup, just like now. But due to measures like this, DNSoH is going to probably be flagged by all ISPs in UK and other places that require these blocks.

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: Pointless

        > One reason that there is a flag domain name an ISP can implement to have browsers opt out of DNSoH negotiation by browser at the start.

        That flag is only effective, though, if the user has left the setting at default. If they've actively enabled DoH, then it is ignored.

        At least, that's what Firefox's documentation claims :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pointless

          If we see this blocking becoming problematic, these defaults may change in the future.

          But either way, I think the sort of people looking for the material which is blocked will be perfectly capable of finding ways to circumvent the blocks - leaving the rest to suffer when something perfectly innocent gets inadvertently blocked in the process.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: opt out of DNSoH negotiation by browser at the start.

        Depends where DNS is being done. Any browser will need to get through my piHole first.

        1. Carma

          Re: opt out of DNSoH negotiation by browser at the start.

          There's a handy list of DoH servers to add to your blacklist here https://github.com/curl/curl/wiki/DNS-over-HTTPS If you're using Firefox, use about:networking#dns to check how effectively you're blocking DoH (and if you choose to, IPv6) there is supposed to be a pihole update coming to deal with the https://use-application-dns.net/ canary, regardless of configuration. On a side-note, whilst checking traffic at my router, I also found that some devices had a DNS server hardcoded and used that address id the pihole was blackholing their requests, so it may be worth checking that all DNS traffic is blocked at the router, save for your pihole IP address, obviously!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pointless

        This was added by Mozilla just so they can say, they "tried", it will be interesting to see if pressure is applied to have the "If manually" set override removed.

        Personally, I run a PiHole with the the DNS-over-HTTPS module.. Then just because I can, I tunnel this over a VPN (using Policy based routing).

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: When DNS over https become the main

      How does that work then? I understand that DNS queries under HTTPS aren't readable, but once you've found the address of a pirate site and try to connect to it the ISP will be able to block you, no?

      What am I missing here?

      1. James 29

        Re: When DNS over https become the main

        Depends. DoH isn't a full solution as the ISP can still deep inspect the SNI part of the packet to see what website you requested.

        ESNI removes this problem (but is not yet widely supported or switched on in broswers), and combined with networks like Cloudflare, the ISP has no idea what website you are trying to reach

        https://www.cloudflare.com/ssl/encrypted-sni/

        1. Snake

          Re: When DNS over https become the main

          Thank you for that link, it is very interesting. But I just want to say this for the record, to anyone who is listening:

          I'm on record on this forum, since at *least* 2104, stating my belief that TCP/IP is fundamentally broken due to not having encryption baked-in as default:

          https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/all/2014/12/23/jpmorgan_breach_probe_latest/#c_2396849

          Yet here is one of the largest companies on the internet, Cloudflare, saying the same thing, in 2018:

          https://blog.cloudflare.com/esni/

          "The fact that encryption wasn't built into the web from the beginning was, in our mind, a bug."

          Yet very few people believed me over the years, mostly downvoting my opinion when I post it

          https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/all/2015/06/05/china_fingered_for_theft_of_four_million_records_from_us_government/#c_2535078

          https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/all/2017/04/10/internet_society_full_encryption/#c_3152056

          https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/all/2019/03/05/chinas_navy_hacking/#c_3731089

          et al.

          So I am taking this time to say: You're welcome

          1. Saruman the White

            Re: When DNS over https become the main

            While I respect your opinion, it is being stated without any context of when TCP/IP was developed.

            You have to keep in mind that TCP/IP was developed in the mid-70's, and at that time cryptographic technology was highly classified and treated as a weapon for export purposes. So yes - encryption *could* have been baked into the design of TCP/IP at a fundamental level, however doing so would have placed such massive legal constraints on it that it would have meant that the original ARPANET (which eventually grew into the Internet that we all know and love) would never have expanded outside of the shores of the USA. We would probably have seen some other technology fulfilling that role instead, one that would have been developed with the same legal constraints and hence have had the same flaws.

        2. SolidSquid

          Re: When DNS over https become the main

          While this is true, trying to do deep packet inspection of all traffic on the fly would be so unworkable (and bog down connections so badly) it's very unlikely the ISPs would be willing to do it. Against a specific individual and with a court order or as part of a criminal investigation sure, but not against every single connection just to blacklist a few sites

          1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

            Re: When DNS over https become the main

            Some of them already are doing it.

            I mean you're right, the cost and complexity of it is huge, and they'd probably really rather not do it if they were given the choice. The problem is, they don't have a choice - the Govt requires them to have measures in place.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: When DNS over https become the main

        sabroni - I suppose one IP address could host a thousand websites and the ISPs don't have permission to block 999 of them.

      3. JetSetJim Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: When DNS over https become the main

        > What am I missing here?

        err Tor?

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: err Tor?

          I understand that Tor isn't easily blockable but we're discussing encrypted DNS requests.

          And despite a couple of answers it's still not clear why hiding the ip address lookup stops ISPs blocking the ip addresses that are found.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: err Tor?

            "[...] it's still not clear why hiding the ip address lookup stops ISPs blocking the ip addresses that are found."

            The single IP address may be a large host running many HTTPS services for many different suppliers. The host then uses another level of information inside the request to route it to the correct web site on its internal servers.

    3. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Pointless

      I have an SSH tunnel to a dedicated outside server.

      To my knowledge, over all the years I've been doing that, not one dedicated server provider is subject to these kinds of blocks.

      Any consumer is (i.e. my home connection, the leased line in work, etc.) but not datacentres.

      And most datacentres a) don't care unless your name pops up somewhere, b) have explicit terms that VPN is fine so long as it terminates at the server and isn't just a passthrough, c) are easily replaced by just about any other datacentre from another provider in seconds.

      Thus I have a route to double-check all my DNS is identical from two locations (home and the dedicated server), and I also have things like DNSCrypt and DNSoTLS if I want it.

      Blocking DNS at the moment is really like asking the Royal Mail not to deliver packages that look like CDs to a particular person at a very particular address. Nothing at all to stop you using an alternative courier, obscuring the actual recipient, obscuring the contents of the parcel, or just having them delivered to the side-door or shed.

      Ironically, I don't pirate anything whatsoever, and even pay proper licences for things like my forum avatar (on sites that let you have them, *cough*). If I can't get it legally, or only in an incredibly restrictive way, I just don't see why I'd try to... they obviously don't want my custom or me to watch it, so problem solved.

      Hell, even my emulators are backed by having an original physical copy of the games I used to play lying around should anyone question it. And I'm not even sure why I'd want to hack an expensive piece of hardware such that it probably wouldn't play future official games, just for the sake of a cheap game.

      If a game's good... pay for it.

      But if even I can bypass these restrictions with nothing more than a router with a VPN option, running SimpleDNSCrypt, or even a VPS that costs a pittance each month, I don't see that you're hindering the true pirates at all.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If this was actually an issue then Nintendo would have been blocking them

    As to UK law being optional then since these are merely regulations rather than common law then after opting out presumably they are.

    An increasingly attractive option with the current state of prohibition on anything that a wellfunded minority is willing to pay to push through.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If this was actually an issue then Nintendo would have been blocking them

      Of course, they own the inernet, right?

  5. John Robson Silver badge

    Quantify losses...

    Because I can't imagine they're actually that great - what you have is people playing with games they wouldn't have bought...

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Quantify losses...

      people playing with stealing games they wouldn't have bought

      FTFY

      1. FIA

        Re: Quantify losses...

        people playing with stealing pirating games they wouldn't have bought

        FTFY

        (The distinction is subtle but important).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Quantify losses...

        Lets fix your comment.

        Stealing.

        You have a a car, I steal the car, you no longer have the car.

        Piracy.

        You have a car, I copy your car, you still have your car.

        Piracy is not theft or stealing. I'm not saying piracy is right but it needs to be treated differently and not at the behest of corporations that lobby governments.

        Piracy exists in games because they are too expensive. £60 for game? Then DLC on top of that. Disgraceful.

        Piracy exists in television and movies because you now have to subscribe to multiple services to get everything.

        Piracy exists in football for the same reason.

        I will close with the argument that piracy wouldn't exist/be as bad if these companies and rights holders didn't try to screw every single last penny out of people. If all the Nintendo switch games were £20 I doubt many people would actually pirate them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Quantify losses...

          "piracy wouldn't exist/be as bad if these companies and rights holders didn't try to screw every single last penny out of people. "

          Or if the companies didn't try to recoup their expenses in hiring developers to create game in the first place, then publishing it, and turn a profit (as each of us is wont to do) on that investment.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Quantify losses...

            Yes but you miss the point, if it's a fair price and not worth pirating then no one will pirate and they will make more money. When you are charging £60 for a game then adding DLC at more cost then the temptation to pirate becomes too much. Pirates pay nothing at all.

            Nintendo made 1.8b profit on 9.7b of revenue ($) 2018 so don't tell me they can't afford to do it. The large difference between profit and revenue as we all know will be to avoid tax because they certainly didn't pay out 7.9b in operating costs when a lot of the games and the switch itself were made prior to that up to it's release in 2017.

            1. Cxwf

              Re: Quantify losses...

              They absolutely paid that out in operating costs. The numbers you listed give 18.5% profit margin, which is a great number- Apple’s margin is higher than that, but most companies are far less, usually single digits.

              This doesn’t really counter your other point that they could afford to be less strict here - I just want you to come at it from the right direction.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Quantify losses...

                You do realise these are "billions" were talking about here and a console that was finished in 2017 so there are only manufacturing costs which is the same for all the software released prior to 2018. I'm sure they do put a healthy chunk into R&D each year without doubt but profits are the taxable part of a companies revenue so are usually kept artificially low. That's beside the point, games being too expensive encourages privacy in my opinion.

            2. Stevie Silver badge

              Re: Quantify losses...

              "Yes but you miss the point, if it's a fair price and not worth pirating then no one will pirate and they will make more money."

              Real evidence from the last 20 years suggests you are dead wrong.

              "Pay what you want" experiments in music distribution crashed on the rocks of freetard economics more than once. REM tried it. U2 Tried it.

              Software will *never* be cheap enough for thieves to start paying for it if they do not have to.

              Sure, there are niches where the "cheap means no stealing" works. Gaming has a fringe industry built around the concept. But in the mainstream the idea always runs afoul of the digitally entitled.

              1. TheVogon Silver badge

                Re: Quantify losses...

                You need to see this video to understand the difference between copying and theft:

                https://youtu.be/IeTybKL1pM4

              2. TheVogon Silver badge

                Re: Quantify losses...

                The "its free" model seems to work just fine for say Fortnite.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: the temptation to pirate becomes too much

              Right. So you have a problem with self control.

              Nintendo should definitely give you games then. Otherwise what would you eat?

        2. Electronics'R'Us Bronze badge
          Holmes

          Re: Quantify losses...

          I agree; to expound a bit...

          Piracy (as defined by the software industry) occurs for the same reason as smuggling - economics.

          If an item is locally highly taxed, then either:

          1. A person goes to a locality it is not heavily taxed, purchases the item and returns home with local government none the wiser although there have been occasions state police set up at the state line for this type of thing (there are many examples of this *)

          2. A person goes into business to buy the same items more cheaply and sell them into the market (avoiding the local taxation). With a connected world, this is easier than ever.

          Game piracy is the same; the higher the price of an item, the fewer will choose to buy it at full price (there are exceptions of course where an item may be required) but it may not reduce the total demand for the product and hence an industry pops up to satisfy that demand.

          I am not looking at whether this is right or wrong; it is simply rational economic behaviour.

          This is one of the reasons that the so-called 'harm' to game publishers is a lot lower than actually claimed; if the game were not free (or at a significantly lower price) the publisher would have no revenue stream anyway for those copies.

          * This happens a lot in the USA where sales taxes are set at state (and even county / city / municipality level just to make things more confusing). Massachusetts residents regularly popped across the state line into New Hampshire for things like alcohol and cigarettes in the late 90s due to the very different levels of taxation. When I lived in Pennsylvania and worked in New Jersey I would always fill the tank in NJ (fuel was much cheaper there even though fuel stations required attendants!).

          I seem to recall that the denizens of northern Michigan would routinely flock across into Canada for the same reasons.

          Another amusing one is that Delaware has a 0% sales tax, so residents around Philadelphia (a short drive really) would pop down to the very conveniently located mall just inside the state line to buy high value stuff.

          1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

            Re: Quantify losses...

            "Another amusing one is that Delaware has a 0% sales tax, so residents around Philadelphia (a short drive really) would pop down to the very conveniently located mall just inside the state line to buy high value stuff."

            ...And then they'd bring the stuff into the local store for warranty repairs. Thus the Radio Shack in Delaware would get the profits from the sale but our store was liable for the cost of the repair.

            We LOVED customers who did that. VERY amusing.

        3. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Quantify losses...

          It isn't even piracy, it's copyright infringement.

        4. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Quantify losses...

          "Piracy exists in football for the same reason."

          You wouldn't steal a football...You would? Oh. Well you wouldn't download a football would you?

        5. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Quantify losses...

          Theft of revenue stream is still theft. Ask the Cable TV services.

          Here's a thought: If your neighbour starts piggy-backing your paid-for TV channels, shouldn't he sub-up for a share of the costs, or don't you care on the grounds that "you still have the TV program"?

          We must agree to disagree. Once someone starts playing the game, their "wouldn't have paid for it" rings hollow, and is irrelevant anyway. Theft.

          In my opinion.

          1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

            Re: Quantify losses...

            Section 1(1) of the Theft Act 1968 states that: 'A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another, with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.'

            I don't think there is any intention at all. The pirate does not care if someone else pays for the software therefore there is no intention to permanently deprive the copyright holder of the revenue stream.

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Quantify losses...

          Personally I pirate games and I buy games. There is no way I am spending £60 on a game I might not enjoy. I pirate nearly every big game released and most of them last five minutes before I switch it off and uninstall. The ones I enjoy, I buy. If they were cheaper I would be much more inclined to take a chance.

          1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

            Re: AC

            "I pirate nearly every big game released and most of them last five minutes before I switch it off and uninstall"

            It sounds like you should look at reviews or even a Youtube gameplay video first to save yourself some time.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Re: AC

              Personally I play so few games these days they are either highly researched and 'right up my street' or they're 'free' (eg Subnautica or ps+).

              Which is ironic because I can afford anything I like now. When I was a kid I pirated pretty much like the AC did above and bought games I really liked after testing a *lot* for now't. So all in all I probably spent 10* as much when I was a pirate than I do now, go figure.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Sir Runcible Spoon

                Same here. And a study from Germany years ago showed pirates have larger legal media collections than non-pirates years back.

                The film, music and game industries still to this day will not acknowledge this.

      3. JulieM Silver badge

        Re: Quantify losses...

        In order for theft to have occurred, someone must have been permanently deprived of something.

        Please tell me what anyone has been deprived of, when someone makes a copy of an existing game?

  6. Teiwaz Silver badge
    Coat

    Hmm, (and a bottle 'O Rum)

    I don't know if it's a mis-spent youth playing Monkey Island, but whenever I read headlines using the word 'Pirate' to refer to illegal duplication of software or media, I think of 'Har Har', cut-throats, wooden legs and Grog (oh, and terrible singing).

    The former just doesn't gel with latter in my head.

    Does this mean I'll never grow up?

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Hmm, (and a bottle 'O Rum)

      Growing old is mandatory - growing up... not so much

    2. LeahroyNake Silver badge

      Re: Hmm, (and a bottle 'O Rum)

      Money island has just be re-release on steam.

      Don't forget to run freaky quick when you have the pweter mug melting in your hands lol

    3. phuzz Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Hmm, (and a bottle 'O Rum)

      When you were playing Monkey Island, weren't you also surrounded by adverts like this, and warnings that "Home taping is killing music"? I think of piracy in those terms at least as much as Treasure Island.

      (Ironically when I first played Monkey Island on my Amiga it was via a pirated copy. I've since bought it at least once.)

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Hmm, (and a bottle 'O Rum)

        Yes, probably. But irrelevant.

        The 'Yo Ho Ho' image dominates for 'pirate'.

        If there's an afterlife 'eternal' punishment for 'Piracy' sweaty little poseurs caught taping Metallica or Genesis albums will have been consigned there along with various peg-legged 'coloured beards' parrot abusers and eye-patch wearers, but fortunately, I think the universe is much better designed than the U.S justice system - or at least I hope.

  7. beast666

    Thanks for letting us know!

    I know what would make a good Christmas present now.

  8. mark l 2 Silver badge

    You think that the ISPs are really bothered about whether you use DOH or a VPN to get around government or court mandated site blocks?

    The ISPs will do the bare minimum to block access to websites that costs them the least amount of money to do, usually by sink holing the DNS requests on their DNS servers. If you happen to have your computer set to use different DNS servers or using DOH in your browser and can get passed the blocks, so what? The ISPs don't care as they still get your monthly payment and they can show they have implemented the blocks if someone from the government comes to inspect. The ISPs won't do anything about people using DOH until the law says they have to do so, as it will cost them money to install more equipment with no gain to them to do it off their own backs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Add to that the fact that BOFHs at ISPs are known to dabble themselves ;)

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Whatever they do, I think it's more than just sinkhole the DNS requests. You still get "This is blocked by a court order" message even using Google DNS on say Virgin Media.

      EE is apparemtly too small for these blocks to apply to them even though owned by BT and I can happily browse any otherwise blocked sites on my mobile phone if I don't have a VPN to hand.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thought that I would look at the document, see what sites they were blocking. It's not about blocking piracy sites, it's about blocking sites that provide the SX dongle and software. But that is kind of pointless when you can just get the opensource atmosphere right off github. Are they going to block github next, that would be funny.

  10. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Nice try, you won't be able to stop any piRRRRRRRates that easily.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yum, PieRats

  11. J. Cook Silver badge
    Devil

    Here's a legit reason to go the 'Arrrrrr' route:

    Getting content that the current owner of refuses to make available via any commercially accepted means except via broadcast.

    There was a rather good cartoon made back in the mid 90's. it was only three seasons, but it does have a fanbase. Said property was created by a certain mega-corp with mouse ears.

    As of this writing, I can only find the first two seasons of that show for commercial sale on DVD. (We'll politely ignore the fact that it took mega-corp nearly ten years to release the second half of the second season...) They've never released the last season on dvd. ever.

    If I want that magical last season for completion's sake? Guess what, I have to put on my eyepatch and fire up the ol' bittorrent client, because that's the only place I can get it without doing rather a lot of work. (plus, other people have been polite enough to do said work and put it on said torrent sites...)

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Facepalm

      what is the definition of...

      ...entitlement?

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      After I was made redundant at one employer I sat watching episodes of a US animation series (the excellent Duckman) on YouTube whilst waiting for my final meeting. Somebody said if I liked that so much maybe I should buy a copy of the DVDs instead of just watching it on the internet which they equated to piracy. I said that I'd love to but it hasn't been released in the UK. Therefore I can't buy it but I could import a copy once the bbfc have given it a rating. Given how much they charge to do that and the inevitable length of time it would take I'll stick to YouTube.

      Oh and is that copy of WinZip on your machine a licensed copy? He went quiet after that.

  12. karlkarl Bronze badge

    That's fine. I was planning to buy a Switch in about 10 years once the "anti-piracy" / "anti-digital preservation" twats like UKIE lose interest and want it to all go into landfill like a bunch of environment killing arseholes.

    I am only just getting to the end of my (almost entirely free) Playstation 3 collection so I am in no rush :)

  13. ZenCoder
    Linux

    This won't hold up in the USA.

    iPhone Dev Team came out with the first jailbreak. I used it to install games on my 1st gen iPod touch. There was zero piracy. There was no app store, nor public plans to one day have an app store, there was only native features and web apps.

    Their initial efforts were in large part why jailbreaking was granted a DMCA anti-circumvention exemption.

    If you read the article the court found almost 300 non pirated games created for Jailbroke Nintendo switches.

    Allowing side loading while checking adding anti-piracy fingerprint checks in the firmware you will get rid of 95% of the resources developed toward circumvention.

    Or you can try to make proxies, VPN and github banned as well. Good luck with that.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: This won't hold up in the USA.

      But then we don't have high school massacres every couple of weeks so, you know. Swings and roudabouts.....

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nintendo should keep quiet as they sell psychologically addictive smack to kids.

  15. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    It seems to me there are at least two issues here...

    1. It's likely that some level of piracy is good for a gaming platform, I seem to recall music pirates bought a lot more music than non-pirates.

    2. Increasing incentives to use technologies such as VPN will make the jobs of security agencies more difficult through the can't-see-the-wood-for-the trees effect.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    VPN

    So the high court still hasn't heard of VPNs then? Long may this ignorance continue.

  17. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Only the largest internet service providers? That's ok then, I'll use a small ISP.

  18. Tempest
    FAIL

    I think I've Heard A SImilar Story Before ...

    something about a Dutch Boy, a finger and a dike.

    Just another delusional judge.

  19. ShortLegs

    Did someone say "usenet"?

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