File sharing block request follows Pirate Bay relaunch

Tue 23rd of October 2012, filed under Internet News

Crackdown on illegal file sharing to continue

Three more file sharing websites look set to be blocked, after the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) made a request to six major internet service providers (ISPs).

The BPI alleges that these websites are distributing music illegally, following a similar long-running battle with the well known Pirate Bay, which moved to cloud based servers last week in their latest move to avoid access to their service being blocked.

The six ISPs involved are Sky, BT, TalkTalk, EE, O2 and Virgin Media, who were informed of the request last week in a letter which was not originally intended to go public. They have told the BBC they will comply with the requests, but only if a court order against these websites is put in place.

Block to be in place by end of the year

It is believed that over a million people accessed these three websites last month, a total which could be greatly damaging to the music industry through lost earnings. Many users will have been turning to these sites after a court ruling ordered Pirate Bay to be blocked.

The number of organisations looking to take down Pirate Bay is so great that in 2009 they were forced to relocate to a nuclear bunker to avoid detection, as well as the recent shifting to the cloud.

A spokesperson for the BPI told BBC News that these websites were making money illegally "from distributing music that isn't theirs", before continuing to say: "It is plain wrong. The existence of these sites damages the growth of Britain's burgeoning digital music sector."

The spokesman confirmed that they were looking to avoid a lengthy legal battle similar to the one which occurred with Pirate Bay, attempting to get the offending websites blocked by Christmas.

Tom Glass, creative director at theEword, remarked: "Illegal music downloads have been blamed for dramatic drops in the profits of the industry, so it is only natural that the BPI would respond in this way. Once these sites have been blocked, legal downloading sources such as iTunes will be hoping for an increase in profits."

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