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Judge: Big Five ISPs must block The Pirate Bay

'Musicians, sound engineers, video editors deserve to be paid for their work'

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As expected, the High Court has ordered British ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay. Five ISPs – Virgin Media, TalkTalk, BSkyB, Everything Everywhere and Telefonica – are involved in this case, which was brought by nine record labels.

In February, Justice Arnold gave the labels the green light to pursue blocking orders. Back then, Arnold ruled that the ISPs were jointly liable for infringement: "The operators profit from their activities," he declared, "thus they are jointly liable for the infringements committed by users."

Virgin Media said it was happy to point punters to legal alternatives such as Spotify. The labels include indie Rough Trade, and er, Virgin Records – which was bought by EMI in 1992.

The Newzbin2 case, pursued by movie companies, established costs at £5,000 per site. But each block applies to a single destination and must be considered by a judge on its merits.

Rights-holders still want speedier and cheaper access to the enforcement of blocks on a range of infringing sites. In particular, the Premier League is vexed by pop-up streaming sites that show a football match, and disappear shortly after an event.

“The High Court has confirmed that The Pirate Bay infringes copyright on a massive scale. Its operators line their pockets by commercially exploiting music and other creative works without paying a penny to the people who created them. This is wrong – musicians, sound engineers and video editors deserve to be paid for their work just like everyone else," said BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor in a statement. ®

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