Feeds

Big Blighty telcos ordered to block three BitTorrent search sites

Judge demands action from BT, Sky, Virgin Media, O2, EE and TalkTalk

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A High Court judge ruled today that Britain's six biggest telecoms providers should block three BitTorrent tracker websites - one of which is allegedly fronted by Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Swartholm Warg.

BT, BSkyB, EE, Virgin Media, O2 and TalkTalk were all ordered by Mr Justice Arnold to shutter access to downloads search engines Fenopy, H33T and KickassTorrents (KAT), after 10 record labels successfully acted as claimants in the case.

This is the latest in a series of blockades demanded against websites that tout torrents to copyrighted material online.

In April 2012, Blighty's big name ISPs were told by Mr Justice Arnold to kill access to The Pirate Bay website, following an earlier judgment in which it was ruled that users of the infamous site had violated record labels' copyright.

However, many have argued that - while the telcos all complied with the order - the effect of cutting off subscribers' access proved to be largely fruitless: workarounds can be easily found by anyone capable of using Google.

Mr Justice Arnold said of Fenopy, H33T and KAT in his judgment that "each of the websites operates as a substantial profit-making business".

He continued: "UK users of the websites who have accounts with the defendants have infringed, and are continuing to infringe, the claimants' copyrights by copying the claimants' sound recordings on a large scale."

In today's ruling, the judge also noted that the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry lobby group had apparently uncovered that Swartholm Warg had been listed as one of the domain registrants of Fenopy under the name of Gottfrid Swartholm.

He was one of four members who founded TPB in 2003, and was convicted - along with Peter Sunde, Carl Lundstrom and Fredrik Neij - of being an accessory to breaching copyright laws six years later. More recently, Swartholm Warg was facing allegations of playing a role in an attack on the UK's taxmen and IT consultancy biz Logica.

The British Recorded Music Industry (BPI) obviously agreed with the judge's order, basically saying he was on song. Its boss Geoff Taylor said in a statement:

Music fans shouldn't have to worry that sites distributing music online are illegal and unethical. Blocking illegal sites helps ensure that the legal digital market can grow and labels can continue to sign and develop new talent.

The country's largest telcos were quick to offer straight-jacketed comment on the matter. BT told The Register:

BT has consistently stated that copyright infringement is wrong and argued that rights holders should use the courts to enforce their legal rights and that we will comply with a court order as a result of any such case.

The court has decided that Fenopy, H33T and Kickass Torrents should be blocked and we intend to do this.

BSkyB simply pointed us to this slightly stale statement on its website. The lengthy ruling can be viewed here. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.