The Pirate Bay to be Blocked by British ISPs
The highest court in the United Kingdom has ordered the country's Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block all access to popular torrent site 'The Pirate Bay.'
The new ruling marks a stunning turn of events in what has been an ongoing war between copyright defenders and supporters of torrent-based websites.
The UK ISPs affected by the order include Everything Everywhere, O2, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media. Each of them must now prevent their users from accessing The Pirate Bay website in one way or another.
Proposed Blocking Process Unclear
However, it currently remains unknown exactly what that 'blocking' process will entail.
Because The Pirate Bay is essentially a search engine providing users with links to downloadable content at other online destinations, it's unclear if the ban will require ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay's domain, to its Internet Protocol (IP) address, or to physical servers hosting The Pirate Bay.
Regardless of how that may work out, the court order has some people cheering, others chiding.
"Blocking The Pirate Bay is pointless and dangerous," said the Open Rights Group's Jim Killock, defender of the torrent methodology. "It will fuel calls for further, wider and even more drastic calls for Internet censorship of many kinds, from pornography to extremism." (Source: forbes.com)
But copyright protectors, including British Recorded Music Industry chief executive Geoff Taylor, are celebrating the court order.
In a recent interview, Taylor insisted The Pirate Bay and sites like it line "their pockets by commercially exploiting music and other creative works without paying a penny to the people who created them." (Source: wired.com)
ISPs On Board; Pirate Bay Unfazed
Already a number of ISPs have announced they will support the new court order. "As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media complies with court orders addressed to the company," a Virgin spokesperson said.
However, the spokesperson added that Virgin "strongly believes that changing consumer behavior to tackle copyright infringement also needs compelling legal alternatives...to give consumers access to great content at the right price." (Source: wired.com)
For its part, The Pirate Bay appears unfazed by the news. "This will just give us more traffic, as always. Thanks for the free advertising," a spokesperson said. (Source: forbes.com)
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