Following a series of High Court orders, six of the UK’s major ISPs are required to block access to dozens of the world’s largest torrent sites and streaming portals.
It all began in April 2012, when member labels of the BPI moved to have the notorious Pirate Bay blocked by the country’s leading providers. Shortly after in July the same year, the MPA successfully argued that Usenet indexing site Newzbin2 should share an identical fate.
Some six months later, popular sites including Kickass, H33T and Fenopy were blocked too, with others such as Movie2K and EZTV joining them shortly after. And in July 2013 the Premier League joined the blockers, with a High Court order against First Row Sports.
Ever since, the MPA, BPI, Premier League, book publishers and even watchmakers have been obtaining blocking orders covering hundreds of URLs, in the hope that somehow this will prevent or at least reduce infringement of their rights.
Whether they actually achieve those aims is something rarely discussed but that’s not the only thing being kept quiet. On a regular basis the rightsholders listed above add new domains and new URLs to existing court orders which ISPs are obliged to comply with. No public announcements are made to advise the public, aside from the ‘page blocked’ messages supplied by their ISPs.
Nevertheless, TorrentFreak has learned that October has been a particularly busy month on the web blocking front, with rightsholders adding dozens of domains to existing orders covering almost 90 URLs. They cover official sites, clones, fakes, proxies (general and dedicated) plus assorted mirrors.
On the torrent site front, Demonoid.ws (plus three Demonoid proxies operated by proxyunblocker.org), 7torrents.info, seventorrents.org, seventorrents.pro, soupbit.me, torrentalter.org and ez-torrents.com are now present on the list.
After their main sites were blocked in an earlier court order, several TorrentDay and TorrentButler proxies have also been targeted.
Unsurprisingly, Popcorn Time related domains also make an appearance including getpopcornti.me, popcorntime.is, popcorntime.party and popcorntime.re.
Targeting isoHunt, its clones, proxies and Popcorn Time-style software isoPlex, new URLs to be blocked include izohant.com, izohant.net, izohant.org, isohunters.com and several unblockers operated by unblockme and torrentunblock.com
Action has also been broad on the streaming front. Several PrimeWire related domains (primeseries.to, primewire.fr, primewire.is, primewire.org, primewire.sg, gxiso.com) are the main targets along with several Viooz and Vodly-related domains at viooz.ph, vodly.at, vodly.be and viooz.ac.wwwunblocker.com.
Other streaming related URLs added to the blocklist cover a range of main domains and proxies for letmewatchthis (.at and .link), several LosMovies proxies operated by TorrentProx.com, plus 10 movie25, movie2k and movie4k proxies hosted at ProxyKings.com.
The grouping of the domains and URLs above shows that copyright holders are continuing with their strategy of targeting not only main domains, but also any others that could facilitate access by another route. This ensures that copyright holder blocking measures deter not only casual pirates but also those a bit more determined to find an easy way around blockades.
In total around 90 URLs are covered by the latest action, all of which should be blocked by ISPs including Virgin, Sky, TalkTalk and O2 during the coming days.