The Motion Picture Association has scored a victory in Ireland where several Internet providers have been ordered to block access to eight popular pirate sites. The websites, including 1337x.io, EZTV.ag, 123movieshub.to, putlocker.io and RARBG.to, serve millions of visitors per day. While the blockades will have some effect, they are far from perfect.
Website blockades are spreading throughout Europe, where they’ve become a common tool for copyright holders to target piracy. This is also the case in Lithuania, where a court has ordered ISPs to prevent subscribers from accessing the hugely popular BitTorrent tracker Linkomanija. The affected ISPs are likely to appeal the case as it could restrict freedom of expression and speech.
New research, commissioned by Hollywood, concludes that Portugal’s voluntary pirate site-blocking system is very effective. It significantly reduced traffic to the country’s most used pirate sites and serves as an example for other countries. The MPAA hopes that these results will help to export the anti-piracy measures across the globe.
At TorrentFreak, we write about website blocking on a weekly basis, but it’s not often that we are the target ourselves. This week we are, as major computer security vendor Comodo has decided to block direct access to our site, claiming that we might offer illegal access to copyrighted software or media. Interestingly. Comodo’s DNS blocking doesn’t prevent users from accessing The Pirate Bay and other known pirate sites.
Sony Interactive Entertainment has filed seven lawsuits in the Moscow City Court targeting sites that offer its gaming titles without permission. The aim is to have the sites blocked permanently by Russian ISPs, so that users can longer access the sites by regular means.