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O2, Be Broadband axe Pirate Bay access

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Telefonica, which owns the O2 brand and fixed-line provider Be Broadband, is implementing a High Court order to block conventional web access to file-sharing search engine The Pirate Bay.

O2 confirmed to The Register that it will join BSkyB, Virgin Media and Everything Everywhere by cutting off www.thepiratebay.se from its network.

“The main UK internet providers were ordered by the High Court to block access to specific IP address and URLs used by The Pirate Bay website. We have no option but to comply with this order and will be doing so overnight,” an O2 spokeswoman said today.

Meanwhile, Be Broadband put out a statement on its blog late on Wednesday that immediately angered some of its customers. It said:

Overnight we'll be implementing a network-wide block of known Pirate Bay websites to comply with the court ruling in late April.

Legally we need to comply with court orders but wherever possible we leave it up to you.

Be Broadband also provided a screenshot of what its subscribers can expect to see when they attempt to access The Pirate Bay, whose administrators and users were ruled in February to be liable for infringement of music companies' copyright.

Some Be Broadband customers hit back by claiming they would take their "business elsewhere".

Two telcos are yet to comply with the order: TalkTalk has until 13 June to do so, while national telecoms giant BT has been granted more time.

A spokesman for music lobbying group the BPI, which represented the nine record labels in the UK listed as claimants on the High Court judgment, told El Reg that BT was expected to come to an agreement with BPI "in due course".

We asked TalkTalk to comment on this story, but it hadn't got back to us at time of writing. ®

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