ISP Blocking Has Led To 4,000 Pirate Websites Being Blocked in 31 Countries

By Nitish Singh / February 11, 2019

One of the most commonly used methods of fighting piracy has been ISP blocking. Over the years, a number of copyright holders have sought assistance from governments and network service providers to block pirate websites on the internet.

According to the head of MPA’s legal department (EMEA) Okke Delfos Visser, over 4,000 websites have been blocked in 31 countries. The statistic factors proxies and backup domains separately with 8,150 ‘actual’ domain names being banned. One of the most notable locations where anti-piracy activities have been ineffective in Africa. However, that may change in the future.

Portugal and Italy have been the most active when it comes to blocking pirate websites. Portugal has blocked 944 pirate websites while Italy has blocked 855. Lithuania is the least active in Europe with just one block. Almost 42% of all global blocking procedures have been handled through government administration while 53% were implemented through civil and criminal court procedures. Site blocking has become more prevalent than ever with 3,000 of the 1,000 blocks being implemented in the last three years.

While most governments and online search engines cooperate with copyright holders, some companies like Google have been hesitant towards site blocking practices suggested by the MPA that would offer the copyright holders complete control over site blocking. MPA responded to Google’s view stating: “If Google was unhappy about this, the company was even more unhappy about the extension of site blocking provisions, (which require Australian-based service providers to disable access to offshore pirate websites), to search engines in another piece of legislation targeting a specific copyright infringement problem.

One of the most difficult issues when dealing with pirate website owners is anonymity. It is very difficult to track down the operators of pirate websites and the damage done by them until investigations and criminal procedures are complete.

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