MPAA releases pirate sites list + UK ISPs block more sites
The Motion Picture Association of America is always quick to swipe at Google for pointing to a plethora of pirate sites and torrent files via its popular search engine.
Yet a month after the Hollywood studios released a study criticizing Google because 82 percent of all infringing URLs came from Google’s search engine, the MPAA is ironically unveiling a pirate’s-dream report of its own (.pdf) — one listing the globe’s major torrenting sites, cyberlockers and even brick-and-mortar marketplaces.
No, the MPAA hasn’t gone to the Dark Side. It is publishing a master list of the major piracy locations in a bid to combat piracy.
The MPAA included the piracy listings — all providing infringing movies, games, software and hard goods — as part of a filing unveiled today with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The office invited the public last month to supply it with names of “potential Internet and physical notorious markets that exist outside the United States.”
The illicit sites are likely to be included next year in the trade office’s “Notorious Markets List.” With that master list, the United States “encourages the responsible authorities to step up efforts to combat copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting in these and similar markets.”
No reason to fret if your favorite piracy place isn’t among the dozens the report lists from Argentina to the United Kingdom.
“This list should not be understood to be comprehensive. It does, however, indicate the scope and scale of global content theft and it introduces some of the ongoing challenges rights holders confront in protecting their intellectual property,” according to the MPAA report, signed by Michael O’Leary, an association vice president.
Absent from the MPAA piracy chronicles is IsoHunt. The Canadian-based torrent tracker shuttered last week, ending nearly seven years of litigation with the MPAA.
The most obvious online site in the report was The Pirate Bay which, like most online piracy sites, takes advantage of the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol. Programmer Bram Cohen released the efficient method of transferring files in 2001.
UK ISPs ASKED TO BLOCK 21 FILE SHARING SITES
The sites, including the likes of Torrentz.eu, BitSnoop and ExtraTorrent are to be blocked on October 30.
BT and Virgin Media have confirmed that the block will be implemented in the next two days.
A BT spokesperson said: “BT will only block access to websites engaged in online copyright infringement when ordered by a court to do so. BT has been ordered to block access to these websites, and will do so within the timeframe set out in the court order.”
Gareth Mead, a Virgin Media spokesperson added: “We’ve received court orders requiring us to block a further 21 file-sharing sites found to be infringing on copyright. As a responsible ISP we obey court orders addressed to the company.”
Sky typically does not comment on which sites it blocks but states that it always complies with court orders as and when they’re received. Sky refreshes a list of sites that it’s been asked to block on its ‘Our approach to protecting copyright’ page. So far, Torrentz.eu and the others have not yet appeared.
TalkTalk has yet to respond to a request for comment.
A report from TorrentFreak first revealed that Torrentz.eu, BitSnoop and ExtraTorrent would be blocked in the UK at the end of the month.
Recombu Digital has obtained the full list of sites that are to be blocked:
This latest wave of site blocking measures is the biggest yet. Previously, rights holders had sought court orders for sites like The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, Movie2k and EZTV.
The length of time it took for court orders to materialise meant that there was time for those involved in file sharing to set up mirrors and proxies. Obtaining orders to block several sites all at once makes it easier for rights holders to bring the fight to the pirates.