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Movie industry holds up Portuguese web-block programme as best practice

By | Published on Friday 7 October 2016


So a special “Bom Dia” to all our readers in Portugal. Well done you. Lean back, put your feet up and have a little rest. You deserve it, because you’ve put in place the best anti-piracy system of them all. And that’s not me saying that. No, that’s Hollywood. And who doesn’t want the adoration of Hollywood?

As previously reported, last year good old web-blocking, one of the preferred anti-piracy tactics of the entertainment industry, arrived in Portugal. It’s the process via which rights owners can demand that internet service providers block access to websites on the basis said sites exist primarily to encourage or assist in copyright infringement.

Web-blocking is now common in numerous countries, not least the UK, but often securing a web-block requires going to court. However, in Portugal a voluntary scheme was established involving rights owners, the internet service providers and government which means web blocks can be obtained without actually entering a courtroom, making the process quicker and cheaper for the entertainment industry. Which is something the entertainment industry likes.

Now the Motion Picture Association Of America, and its European counterparts, are apparently bigging up the scheme as best practice. According to a SapoTek report, lobbyists for the movie industry have now presented the Portuguese model to Spanish lawmakers and intend to do the same in France.

So well done Portugal, king of the web-blocks, an accolade arguably previously held by the UK, certainly in Europe. Whatever you do, don’t tell Theresa May.