Over the past year or so the UK has become the easiest country in the world in which to have a website blocked on copyright grounds.
With several successful court orders in hand, it is now a mere formality to have a torrent site or streaming portal blocked by the High Court, and large-scale blocking is only just around the corner.
The blocking expeditions were pioneered by the music and movie industries but they haven’t gone unnoticed by other rightsholders. The BBC reports today that the Premier League is now also joining in.
England’s top football league has informed the major Internet providers that it will request an order from the High Court to block access to the popular sports streaming site Firstrow1.eu.
The Internet providers are not expected to offer much resistance as we’ve seen in the past, so it’s expected that the site will soon be blocked for UK visitors. Worldwide, Firstrow1 has over a million visitors per day and it’s currently among the 500 most-visited websites in the UK.
Firstrow1 is no stranger to anti-piracy efforts. The site previously had several of its domain names seized by the U.S. Government as part of the “Super Bowl Crackdown”. At the time the streaming site quickly moved to a new home and it continued business as usual.
Considering the above we expect that even if a blocking order is issued it might not prove effective. The site’s owners or third-party proxies will simple present measures to circumvent it, starting yet another game of whack-a-mole.
Thus far several dozen websites in the UK have been blocked per court order, including the movie streaming portal Movie2k and the infamous Pirate Bay. The precise amount of blocked sites is unknown as the blocking lists are not public, but if the current trend continues there will be hundreds or more added during the coming year.
TorrentFreak contacted Firstrow1′s co-owner but at the time of publishing we were yet to hear back.