U.K. court forces ISPs to block three torrent sites

The court says that Kickass Torrents, H33T, and Fenopy should not be made accessible to the ISPs' customers.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

A U.K. court has decided that three torrent sites should be blocked by the country's largest Internet service providers for alleged piracy.

The U.K.'s High Court today ordered U.K. ISPs to block Kickass Torrents, H33T, and Fenopy after the country's British Phonographic Industry (BPI) claimed that the sites were infringing copyrights on a "significant scale." The BBC was first to report on the story.

Today's ruling comes just months after the BPI asked U.K. ISPs, including BT, Sky Broadband, and others, to block the three sites. The ISPs made clear at the time that they would not comply without a court order. The BPI had initially hoped to have the sites blocked by Christmas, but the legal process took a bit longer.

The U.K. has been the epicenter of a concerted effort on the part of the BPI to take down torrent sites. Last year, the BPI pressed courts to block The Pirate Bay. Once again, a court order was required to succeed, but it came down and the site was inaccessible to the vast majority of U.K. broadband users.

Whether the embargoes have any impact on piracy in the U.K., however, is unclear. The BBC reported today that it was given data on piracy from an unidentified source who has knowledge of piracy levels in the country, and that showed no change in overall piracy in the U.K. following The Pirate Bay's ban.

The war on piracy, of course, doesn't just impact the U.K. Earlier this week, Sweden's Pirate Party was forced to abandon paying for The Pirate Bay's bandwidth after a lawsuit was threatened by the country's copyright regulators. The Pirate Bay quickly shifted its reliance to Pirate Party organizations in Spain and Norway.