Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin, BT and EE have been ordered to block more file sharing sites in the latest round of the cat-and-mouse war on piracy.
21 sites, including Torlock, Seedpeer and LimeTorrents, will be blocked by the UK’s leading ISPs following receipt of a court order.
Justice Arnold, who was responsible for processing the complaints from the UK music industry said: “All of [the sites] go to considerable lengths to facilitate and promote the downloading of torrent files, and hence infringing content, by their users.”
“Although a few of the Target Websites pay lipservice to copyright protection, in reality they all flout it. Although a few of the Target Websites claim not to, they all have control over which torrent files they index.”
The list of sites that are facing the block is:
Many of the sites listed in the complaint don’t allow users to directly upload illegal content to the site, but include links to places where the torrents are able to be downloaded. This encourages the practice of sharing illegal content, even though the sites aren’t storing any files themselves.
Speaking to file-sharing news site TorrentFreak, the BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) claimed that the 21 sites were the most popular copyright-infringing sites in the UK and needed to be blocked.
While blocking more often than not results in workarounds designed to circumvent bans springing up in a matter of days, the terms of the court orders mean that ISPs will have to proactively ban any mirror or proxy sites thats allow subscribers to visit any of the above sites will eventually be blocked too.
In a bid to circumvent this The Pirate Bay announced earlier in the year that it was working on a private P2P (peer to peer) network that would effectively render site blocking ineffective.
The Pirate Bay has recently started pointing users towards FrootVPN, a new service which promises a ‘secure and anonymous connection to the Internet’. FrootVPN assigns users a new IP every time a user connects and no logs are kept. Only a username and email address are required to sign up. The service, thought to require Bitcoin, is currently free, although the FAQ page states that you’ll have to pay for FrootVPN eventually.
Google is attempting to help in the quest to stamp out illegal file sharing, last week introducing ads on search results pages, pointing users to legitimate places to stream and download specific content.
If anyone starts typing in a well-known illegal content site, the autocomplete feature will be blocked and if they use the words ‘download’ ‘watch’ or ‘free’ after entering a movie or TV show title, they will be able to find legal sources to watch or listen to the media.
The UK Government has also launched a VCAP (Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme) to educate those downloading illegal material about how they are damaging the creative industries.