Court Forces ISPs to Block File-Sharing Sites

Dennis Faas's picture

A court in the United Kingdom has ordered all Internet Service Providers there to stop providing subscribers access to three well-known file-sharing (or 'torrent') sites, including Kickass Torrents, H33T, and Fenopy.

Citing piracy concerns, the UK High Court ordered every single Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the United Kingdom to stop providing access to the aforementioned torrent sites.

It's certainly a more direct approach than that taken by anti-piracy groups in the United States, which recently unveiled a 'Six Strikes' strategy.

ISPs Demand, and Receive, Court Order

The ruling follows a complaint by the country's British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which insisted that Fenopy, H33T, and Kickass Torrents were each allowing users to share copyright-protected media files on a "significant scale." (Source:

The BPI originally requested UK ISPs -- including Sky Broadband and BT -- to block these sites roughly three months ago.

The trade association, which represents the British record industry's major record companies, had originally hoped to have access to these pages terminated by the 2012 holiday season.

However, at that time the Internet Service Providers responded that they would not comply with the request. In fact, the ISPs indicated that they would not act until an official court order was handed down.

BPI's Anti-Piracy Campaign Having Little Effect: BBC

This is hardly the first time the British Phonographic Industry has used the courts to press Internet Service Providers into blocking access to file-sharing websites.

The BPI made headlines around the world last year when it pressed ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay, arguably the web's most prominent torrent site. In that case a court order was also required.

In the weeks that followed supporters of The Pirate Bay established workarounds that allowed UK residents to continue accessing the site.

(The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) recently reported that these strategies had resulted in no visible decline in piracy levels in the United Kingdom.) (Source:

It's entirely possible that similar methods will be used to help support H33T, Fenopy, and Kickass Torrents.

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