In a continuation of the website blocking phenomenon, an anti-piracy group fresh to the action has applied to have several major torrent sites blocked at the ISP level in Greece. AEPI, the Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property, has filed at court to have KickAssTorrents, isoHunt, 1337x and H33T all rendered inaccessible to subscribers. Sources inform TorrentFreak that The Pirate Bay will also be targeted later this month.
Site blocking actions have been slowly creeping into acceptability around Europe over the past couple of years, at least with anti-piracy outfits and courts.
More recent and notable successes for the entertainment industries include the blocks against major torrent sites in the UK, and in Italy where a total of 27 domains were blocked last month.
In addition to sundry other countries already initiating court-ordered blockades, action can be expected from other major regions in the months to come. Spain has been allowed off the United States’ naughty step after agreeing to bring in tough new measures, France has its eye on future domain blocking, and just this week Norway moved a major step towards infringing site censorship.
Today we can report that yet another entertainment industry anti-piracy group has gone to court to have someone of the world’s largest torrent sites blocked by ISPs. According to court papers filed at the end of last month, The Greek Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AEPI) is targeting a total of ten sites.
The list of domains includes KickAssTorrents, isoHunt, 1337x and H33T, plus several local sites – Greek.to, Greek-Team.cc, P2Plaent.net, Tsibato.info, GreekDDL.eu and Greek-Best.com
On April 30 AEPI’s demands were heard by the Athens Court (court papers, Greek PDF). The anti-piracy group initially requested a temporary injunction against several ISPs including OTE, Wind, Vodafone, Forthnet, Hellas Online, On Telecoms and the academic GRNET, to force them to block the above sites by IP and DNS.
AEPI argued that an immediate injunction is required to stop the sites further damaging their members’ businesses but the ISPs countered by informing the court that the sites have been open for years so urgency is not an issue.
“It should be noted that this is the first time a case of this magnitude and importance has appeared before a [local]court, even for temporary measures,” Greek news outlet ADSLGR told TorrentFreak in a comment.
“The option to block access to sites raises serious questions on the issue of the protection of Net Neutrality. The decision is expected within the next few days and will take effect until there is a ruling about the injunction measures asked by AEPI. Even if there is no concept of ‘legal precedent’ in the Greek Law System, it is believed that a ruling favoring AEPI may influence future cases in Greece.”
TorrentFreak sources have confirmed that later this month The Pirate Bay will also be targeted by AEPI. The anti-piracy group did not immediately respond to our request for comment.