Digital Legal Top Stories

High Court orders blocking of three more BitTorrent sites

By | Published on Thursday 28 February 2013


The High Court in London has issued injunctions ordering the UK’s six biggest internet service providers to block access to three major BitTorrent websites, Fenopy, H33t and Kickass Torrents.

The ruling follows legal action by record label trade body the BPI, and follows earlier rulings that forced net firms to block access to file-sharing services Newzbin and The Pirate Bay after a court had deemed both sites to be liable for the copyright infringement they enabled.

Welcoming today’s injunctions, which will be served against Sky, BT, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media, BPI boss Geoff Taylor told CMU: “UK music labels have innovated to build one of the most vibrant digital music sectors in the world. But the growth of digital music in the UK is held back by a raft of illegal businesses commercially exploiting music online without permission. Music fans shouldn’t have to worry that sites distributing music online are illegal and unethical. Blocking illegal sites helps ensure that the legal digital market can grow and labels can continue to sign and develop new talent”.

Web-block injunctions are not without controversy, with some arguing that they are too extreme a sanction, and anyway don’t work because anyone who wants to can easily circumvent the blockades. The Pirate Bay claims its traffic goes up whenever blocks are instigated because of the publicity surrounding such moves, though the Newzbin site went offline last year due to the challenges and personal legal risks of operating a blocked site.