Piracy crackdown: UK High Court blocks 53 piracy sites

It’s getting ever harder to access pirated music and movies on the web. After years of trying to defeat pirates in various ways, including suing downloaders, representatives of rights holders have found that the easiest and most effective solution is to take their complaints to the high court and ask for the infringing sites to be blocked.

The process, which started with the banning of The Pirate Bay in 2012, is now so straightforward for the likes of the Motion Picture Association and BPI (British Phonographic Industry), that whole batches of sites are getting outlawed at a time. Yesterday there were 40 copyright infringing sites blocked in the UK, today that number more than doubles to 93.

53 new services, including the likes of Rapid Moviez, Torrentz, Sumotorrent, IP Torrents and BitSoup, will soon be inaccessible to customers of the UK's top six ISPs -- BT, EE, TalkTalk, O2, Sky, and Virgin Media. Visitors to any of the blocked services will see a message from their ISP explaining that their chosen site is not available due to an order from the High Court.

"Securing court orders requiring ISPs to block access to illegal websites is an accepted and legitimate measure to tackle online copyright infringement", Chris Marcich, president of the MPA's European division said, following the latest ruling.

"It carefully targets sites whose sole purpose is to make money off the back of other people's content while paying nothing back into the legitimate economy".

There are plenty of workarounds available of course, including VPNs and proxies, so the latest move will have little impact on seasoned downloaders, but the aim is to try and make life difficult for more casual pirates, in the hope they will opt for legal means of accessing movies or music instead.

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What do you guys think of the ruling? Is it a step in the right direction or does the measure just treat the symptoms of piracy rather than actively combat it? Let us know in the comments section below.

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