The UK high court has ordered Internet Service Providers to block three websites accused of offering links to pirated material. Kickass Torrents, H33T and Fenopy are the latest websites that will be unavailable to UK consumers. This follows a similar ruling last year which saw popular sharing site The Pirate Bay and its known alternative addresses blocked in the market.
This comes despite data suggesting that the block on The Pirate Bay, had little effect, with traffic to the site actually increasing as users sought ways to avoid the censorship of the site. Of course, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) were on hand to welcome the news, with chief executive Geoff Taylor stating:
“The growth of digital music in the UK is held back by a raft of illegal businesses commercially exploiting music online without permission.
Blocking illegal sites helps ensure that the legal digital market can grow and labels can continue to sign and develop new talent.”
What the BPI consistently fail to realise is that an illegal download does not always constitute a lost sale, being purposefully ignorant to this fact does not mean blocking illegal websites will have an effect on legitimate sales. Blocking websites could lead to a slippery road of censorship which isn’t good for anyone involved.
There are also easy workarounds to any such blocks, with the Pirate Party UK, already offering UK users an alternative way to access The Pirate Bay. Leader Loz Kaye claimed the BPI were “out of control” and that they have “nothing positive to show from their site blocks and personal legal threats.”
“Looking at sales figures from 2012, you can’t draw the conclusion that stopping access to the Pirate Bay did anything to help artists.”
Hopefully, this trend is not one which will gather much steam, however, this judgement is already a worrying sign.
Thanks for reading,