Four more filesharing and streaming sites will be blocked by the UK’s leading ISPs – BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and EE – this week.
In the firing line this time are Megashare, Viooz, Watch32, and zMovies. The sites provide free access to recent titles including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, 300: Rise of an Empire and The Monuments Men for free, while inviting viewers to enjoy games of Whack-A-Mole, only with dubious-looking pop-up windows instead of moles.
The blocking order was sought by the MPA, which represents the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) internationally.
The MPA has confirmed to Recombu that the sites will be blocked by these ISPs at some point this week but a solid date hasn’t been announced.
Megashare says that it doesn’t actually host any films on its server but simply embeds links to various other sources. That approach clearly hasn’t washed with the MPA which has now sought an order for the site to be blocked.
The blocking of the four sites is the latest round of an ongoing fight between rights holders and their representatives and file sharing sites.
In November 2011, the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) asked BT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk to block famous file-sharing network The Pirate Bay, an action which was refused unless a court order was sought. The BPI obtained the necessary order from the High Court and the blocking of the Pirate Bay began in April 2012.
Since then, UK ISPs have been ordered to block numerous sites suspected of illegal filesharing, including Kickass Torrents, H33T and Fenopy, Movie2k and Download For All and several more inluding Torrentz.eu and BitSnoop.
In many cases, once a court order has been handed down and a ban applied, various workarounds such as proxies and mirror sites quickly spring up. It’s become increasingly common for rights holders to seek orders blocking multiple sites and their derivatives at once.
More recently, Pirate Bay insiders have revealed plans to develop a private, encrypted P2P network that works in a manner similar to Bitcoin. The future Pirate Bay would circumvent IP address blocking as it would exist on user’s hard drives instead of on a central site.
Image: Good Eye Might/Flickr