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Dutch clog up The Pirate Bay (again)

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A Dutch court has ordered two popular ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay, or face fines of €10,000 a day. The case was brought by Dutch anti-piracy coalition BREIN.

The case dates back to a 2009 court decision to block access to the Swedish-founded site.

Court-ordered blocks are becoming almost routine. On Monday a Finnish district court ordered that ISP Elisa must block access to The Pirate Bay, a judgment which Elisa is appealing. Hollywood studios also succeeded in legal moves requiring BT to block access to Usenet scraper Newzbin2.

Copyright owners argue that the costs and difficulties of enforcing their rights are unfair: Newzbin cost hundreds of thousands in legal fees and 18 months, by which time the site had moved on. The blocks are also less than watertight, but copyright holders say that matters less.

The UK government has said it won't implement measures to block access to websites that are now on the statute book. Talks to draw up voluntary replacement agreements, between creative industries and ISPs, rumble on in the background.

Coincidentally, the BREIN site is currently offline. Perhaps they've gone to a smoke-free bar to celebrate. ®

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