Having found victory in getting The Pirate Bay blocked in the United Kingdom, BPI (the trade and lobby group representing the music industry in the UK) is looking to get even more Torrent sites blocked in the region. According to the BBC, six UK ISPs including BT, Sky, Virgin Media, O2, EE and TalkTalk, received letters from the BPI asking them to block three torrent sites: Kickass Torrents, H33t and Fenopy.
"Like The Pirate Bay, these websites are profiting illegally from distributing music that isn’t theirs, without permission and without paying a penny to the musicians, writers and producers who created it," a BPI spokesman told the BBC.
You may recall that the majority of UK ISPs refused to voluntarily block The Pirate Bay, instead telling BPI that they would need to have a court order before they would take any action. All of the aforementioned ISPs have said the same thing this time around with this new request to block the three torrent sites. While they are forcing BPI to go to court, UK ISPs are not necessarily fighting the ban requests either – they are simply requiring BPI to use the law to force them to do it.
But a UK Pirate Party spokesperson simply sees this as a new way for rights holders to censor the Internet:
"It looks like web blocking is now a reality in the UK – the BPI have found a way to censor sites they don’t like,” a spokesman for the UK Pirate Party told TorrentFreak. "The excuse is piracy, which totally disregards the legitimate uses of torrent sites, and conveniently neglects to mention that they are a major platform for independent musicians. Essentially, it’s the classic behavior of monopolistic corporate bullies who want to stamp out competition."
"The saddest thing is that they are just cutting off their noses to spite their own faces – just last week we had another study proving that users of file-sharing networks spend more money on music than non-sharers. So here’s yet another self-defeating attempt at censorship, which will not only be ineffective but actually antagonize music lovers and turn them further against the major labels," the spokesperson added.
Will BPI be successful in getting the High Court to block these sites or does their request not meet the threshold of evidence that was met when they successfully blocked The Pirate Bay? Only time will tell. In the interim, Kickass Torrents, H33t, and Fenopy remain online…