As a result of an application under 97A the High Court in London ordered Britain’s six largest ISPs (who collectively control around 94% of the market) to block access to the following three major illegal BitTorrent websites: “Kickass Torrents”, H33T and Fenopy. The 97A application was made by BPI and supported by the Motion Picture Association and by U.K. TV and film producers’ trade body PACT.
The Court confirmed that the operators of the sites infringe copyright on a significant scale and it therefore ordered that the three sites be blocked by the ISPs (Sky, BT, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media). This follows on the back of previous similar orders against the Pirate Bay and Newzbin2.
The findings of the order include:
- The applicant, BPI, does not have to pay the ISPs legal costs.
- Website blocking is considered a proportionate remedy (even when considering human rights arguments).
- Users of the sites infringe copyright on two counts (copying and Communication to the Public – CTTP); and, the Court stated that users indirectly benefit financially by uploading copyright content.
- The websites themselves infringe copyright on three separate counts (CTTP, together with authorisation and joint tortfeasorship).
- Notice and takedown procedures offered by the sites are little more than mere window dressing – they are not effective to prevent large scale online copyright infringement, nor do they provide a defence for the websites against copyright infringement.