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UK sites wrongly blocked in Premier League piracy blunder

The Radio Times website as well as other football clubs' pages were caught up in the League's copyright battle.

Access to a slew of UK websites, including the Radio Times, was temporarily blocked by mistake as part of the Premier League's war on copyright-infringing websites.

Several British-based sites were taken offline by the League's action, as they shared an IP address with First Row Sports, a site which streams football games and that attracted the ire of the League.

Last month the Premier League had the errant footy site added to a High Court list of rights-infringing websites that ISPs must ban, the BBC reports. Unfortunately sites including the Radio Times, Blackburn Rovers and the Galaxy Zoo space learning site were also taken offline in the move.

The Radio Times, best known for occupying the side tables of British living rooms, couldn't be accessed by those visiting 'radiotimes.com', but could still be found at good ol' 'www.radiotimes.com'.

The magazine's editor called the gaffe "Outrageous", going on to say, "The Premier League seems to be behaving like the worst sort of blundering striker who's forgotten the first rule of football -- check you're at the right end before you shoot."

Incidentally we looked it up at the first rule of football -- as stated by FIFA (.PDF link) -- and it's actually, "Matches may be played on natural or artificial surfaces, according to the rules of the competition." The second rule of football states that artificial surfaces must be green.

Inadvertently taking down the wrong sites is something of an own goal for the Premier League, which runs the risk of winding up ordinary punters who otherwise may not have cared in the slightest about its various copyright battles.

Scurvy site The Pirate Bay claims that the controversial ISP blockade actually led to record traffic. Meanwhile Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed plans for online porn to be blocked by ISPs, unless customers request access.

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