Technology

ISPs told to block 21 pirate sites

Pirate flag
Image caption UK ISPs have now blocked a whole range of sites

UK ISPs have been asked to block 21 more websites that are believed to be linked to pirated music.

The court order follows an application by the BPI which represents the British music industry.

The list includes BeeMPS, Abmp3 and several torrent sites, which link to copyright infringing material.

Previously ISPs have been asked to block access to the Pirate Bay and seven other websites.

The new blocks must come into force by Wednesday, 30 October.

"We asked the sites to stop infringing copyright but unfortunately they did not and we were left with little choice but to apply to the court," said Geoff Taylor, BPI chief executive.

Gareth Mead, a Virgin Media spokesman said: "As a responsible ISP we obey court orders addressed to the company."

BT also said that it would block the sites.

Casual pirates

The BPI and other copyright holders regard site blocking as a more effective tool in the fight against piracy than targeting individuals which was originally the plan under legislation passed in the Digital Economy Act.

The BPI feels that the blocks currently in force have "significantly reduced the use of those sites in the UK".

But music analyst Mark Mulligan thinks that other developments are more responsible for the decline in usage of file-sharing sites.

"As things move more towards cloud-based models and streaming, there is less use of peer-to-peer sites," he said.

"While such blocks will deter the casual pirate, there are still plenty of workarounds for those more determined to get content for free."

Much of the focus of copyright infringement has shifted from music to illegal film and TV downloads.

According to the TorrentFreak website, popular TV show Breaking Bad was downloaded 500,000 times from various sites when the final episode aired in October.

Popular torrent site isoHunt closed this month following a lengthy court battle with the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) although it appears to have been resurrected by new owners just two weeks after the shutdown.

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