BT missing from Pirate Bay High Court slap-down
ISPs, entertainment industry react to web blocking order
BT has been granted more time to respond to an order to block The Pirate Bay that was handed down by the UK's High Court in London late on Friday afternoon.
The Register understands that a separate announcement from BT is imminent.
"We continue to have discussions with the BPI and we hope to announce an outcome acceptable to both of us soon," said the national telco today, explaining its absence from the order dished out to telcos including TalkTalk, BSkyB and Virgin Media by Mr Justice Arnold.
Meanwhile, those ISPs slapped with the order, which followed a judgment in February that found that infamous BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay and its users violated record labels' copyright, have offered up their immediate reactions.
Virgin Media repeated its statement from earlier this year. It said:
As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media complies with court orders addressed to the company but strongly believes that changing consumer behaviour to tackle copyright infringement also needs compelling legal alternatives, such as our agreement with Spotify, to give consumers access to great content at the right price.
BSkyB similarly said its "position remained unchanged" from the February ruling when it told El Reg that it would take "appropriate action" where there is "clear and legally robust evidence of copyright theft". It also said at the time that it would comply with any court orders.
Mobile broadband operator O2 said it had "no option but to comply" with the High Court's order. It also reflected the views expressed by Virgin Media on the business of file-sharing online:
On the wider point about copyright infringement, we have always said that music rights holders should continue to develop new online business models to give consumers the content they want, how they want it, for a fair price.
TalkTalk – the only major ISP in Blighty to currently have implemented network-level anti-malware blockers on its service – unsurprisingly welcomed the order.
“We will comply with the decision made by the court and are in the process of doing this. TalkTalk have always maintained that we are not in principle against blocking provided there is a court order,” it said.
The Open Rights' Group labelled the order as "short-sighted". The outfit's executive director Jim Killock said:
Blocking the Pirate Bay is pointless and dangerous. It will fuel calls for further, wider and even more drastic calls for internet censorship of many kinds, from pornography to extremism.
Internet censorship is growing in scope and becoming easier. Yet it never has the effect desired. It simply turns criminals into heroes.
The entertainment industry, meanwhile, offered some suitably canned statements:
PRS for Music boss Robert Ashcroft said he was "delighted" with the order and claimed it had "sent another clear signal to damaging sites like the Pirate Bay that they will be blocked".
Ashcroft hoped the cutting off of The Pirate Bay would open up a "level playing field for properly licensed digital services".
Richard Mollet over at The Publishers Association branded The Pirate Bay operators "online criminals".
He said: "It is crucial that the High Court provides protection to the book and publishing industry by blocking The Pirate Bay.”
While Chris Marcich, EMEA president and managing director of the Motion Picture Association, opined that the "whole of the creative community will benefit from today's action".
Musicians' Union general secretary John Smith figured it was about time that the High Court caught up with action taken in other parts of Europe.
"The individuals responsible for operating The Pirate Bay have total disregard for the rights of musicians," he said. ®
> "The individuals responsible for operating The Pirate Bay have total disregard for the rights of musicians," he said
And the individuals at Google, who provide all of those same nice links ?
Why not address your business model Mr Fscktard? Incapable? clueless? wanting to retain your extortionate price levels indefinitely?
Methinks any and all statistical measure of piracy in the UK will still go UP this year. In fact, I'd bet on it if I could be bothered.
I can see where the courts are coming from - this is illegal and can't be condoned - but tail-chasing exercises while record companies are still making record profits each years seems a bit silly. Of course you have to do something with the legal framework but it's all a bit pointless and won't change the way the industry records piracy (i.e. everything we didn't sell on a title we wanted to shift 50m units must have been a pirate, no matter the quality or the available data).
I don't pirate, myself, but it's going to increase again. And why would I pirate the junk that they show? I haven't been to the cinema in 5+ years, because it's all junk, and vastly overpriced. You could let me in for free most nights and I still wouldn't bother to go. I re-buy 20+ year old series on DVD to have something decent to watch and not have to worry about the DRM, because everything else is tripe. Even the new stuff I like (e.g. Not Going Out, etc.) I wait for the DVD or just watch on iPlayer. I don't even buy music - never have - because I don't listen to it except by accident if someone else puts a radio on or something.
Yet I still could spend hundreds or even thousands a year on the right media, and the right quality material, if it were available. Still could spend hours in cinemas eating high-markup popcorn if there was anything worth watching at a sensible price (you have to compete with DVD's, games and TV that work out to significantly less than £1 / hour over their lifetimes). Still could be telling all my pals about the film I just saw, etc. I do still spend buckets on games (mostly indie now because the AAA's are thoughtless eye candy). If there was ANYTHING worth doing that for or any way to do it sensibly, I'd be doing it. But there isn't, and I'm not a pirate, do I spend an awful lot of money ELSEWHERE. They count that as "loss of earnings" and pour the rest of their profit into lawsuits rather than content and yet still next year the problem will get worse again (by their reckoning).
Until you realised this, please carry on chasing your tails, media-industries. Here's hoping after about 20-30 shutdowns like this, people just get pissed with the "big 5" ISP's (the only ones required to put this block in place) and move elsewhere instead, or the ISP's and courts get bored with piracy STILL increasing after they've supposedly put measures in place to curtail it (which means the measures are worthless and hence not worth the court's time to implement).
Circumventing this block is seriously as simple as using an ISP that doesn't have it, or any of a million and one more "technical" workarounds.
But I *GUARANTEE* you that next year piracy rates will still rise again. Because the problem is not the pirate, and not the "free" price.
Re: Anyone read the comments on the BBC?
They deliberately confuse the two. In their eyes it's theft of a physical thing right up to the instant where I want to sell it second hand and suddenly as if by magic it's back to the "you only license it" argument.