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British Phonographic Industry

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Court orders Pirate Bay Block


A UK court has ordered the country’s internet service providers (ISPs) to block the Pirate Bay website for copyright violations, using technology initially  intended to block illegal pornography sites.

Pirate Bay is a torrent search engine that allows users peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing links to files and although in the past it allowed users to download  copyright material such as films, music and programs. It also though provided quite legitimate file sharing of users own produced files.

The site itself does not host or have copyright file content so a ban would mean that those sharing legitimate files through torrents would no longer be able to in the UK audience due to a Internet ISP ban of the Pirate Bay torrent search engine in the UK – another example of growing online censorship.

Could a Ban work though?

A simple ban is unlikely to work due to the fact that the site could be copied or re-hosted elsewhere – just as when WikiLeaks was ‘mirrored’ elsewhere when it faced it’s ban by ISPs through US Government pressure; however anonymizing software could bypass simple a ISP block.

The only effective way to block such torrent search engines such as Pirate Bay would require software that would inspect internet traffic – “deep packet inspection” that also blocked the anonymizing software.

Such a task the James Ball commenting in the Guardian newspaper “would require apparatus as sophisticated as the great firewall of China.”

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