Pirate Bay ban could be on horizon
21 February 2012
by James Daniels
The British Phonographic Industry, representing a group of eight music companies, is seeking to have the Pirate Bay blocked in the UK, after a high court ruled that the infamous torrent site is directly responsible for the large scale breach of copyright rules.
The other side of the legal battle is being fought by six internet service providers including BT and Virgin Media, who represent the vast bulk of the industry. The ISPs would be responsible for carrying out the block, should the application to block the Pirate Bay be successful.
The ruling sought by the British Phonographic Industry is similar to the block ruling passed by the High Court last October, demanding that main internet service provider BT block any IP addresses associated with filesharing site Newzbin2. That ruling was handed down by Mr Justice Arnold, who also made the latest judgement regarding the Pirate Bay.
Justice Arnold said during his verdict that “the operators of the Pirate Bay induce, incite or persuade its users to commit infringements of copyright, and that they and the users act pursuant to a common design to infringe.” He also noted that the operators had profited from the site, and as such, were equally responsible for the copyright infringements of their users.
The opposition from the ISPs is due to their belief that the kind of block proposed for the Pirate Bay would be ineffective and futile. Mita Mitra, Head of Internet Policy at BT, has pointed out that blocks have never been truly effective, due to the existence of proxies and the willingness of filesharing sites to adapt.
Meanwhile, the Pirate Bay is already preparing for further legal skirmishes. At the end of February, they are set to stop offering torrents altogether and switch to offering magnet links. Magnet links differ from torrent files, as they are less easy to block, among other things.