Online Piracy ISPs order to block certain file sharing sites

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The UK authorities are beginning to take action on those people who share files illegally online, with some of the country’s biggest broadband providers receiving the order to block users from accessing several big file sharing sites.

Virgin Media, BT and BskyB, have taken action against three movie and music file sharing sites as they join forces with the entertainment industry in order to combat piracy – as ordered by the courts of course, however they aren’t the only ones a lot of other services out there provide Anti-Piracy Services. This means that the companies that operate 94% of the broadband market have stopped access to Kick Ass Torrents, H33T and Fenopy completely.

It’s tempting to say that piracy is a growing problem, but until recently (and the court ordered blocking of The Pirate Bay) very little action had been taken against sites pirating entertainment releases, which could be anything from an episode of a TV show within half an hour of its initial broadcast; any film currently out at the cinema in the UK, US or elsewhere, available in DVD quality; or even music files that have leaked out before artists have even finished working on them. The newest measures taken by the broadband providers could be another step in the right direction.

…or at least that could be the case for the entertainment industry. It’s debatable whether users will believe the steps are positive for them, as torrents are not inherently illegal – though they can be used to transmit materials illegally. The fact that these sites are so popular too – according to Alexa data Fenopy was the 116th most popular site in the world back in February – means that there’s bound to be an effect on UK users, who may well just go out looking for another, less secure torrent site.

The nature of these sites means that people accessing them without knowing what they’re doing; or visiting some of the shadier torrent sites; means that they expose their computers or mobile devices to a world of problems when they go browsing through the internet’s darkest recesses. The mounting potential costs of either a) contracting a virus or having spyware installed on your machine which may kill it off; or b) being caught sharing files illegally and charged for damages; means that UK users may begin to think twice before visiting the most unscrupulous torrent sites, which can only be a good thing for the businesses involved.

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