Website blocking has become one of the leading anti-piracy mechanisms of recent years.
It is particularly prevalent across Europe, where thousands of sites are blocked by ISPs following court orders.
This week, these blocking efforts also reached Germany. Following a provisional injunction issued by the federal court in Munich, Internet provider Vodafone must block access to the popular streaming portal Kinox.to.
The injunction was issued on behalf of the German film production and distribution company Constantin Film. The company complained that Kinox facilitates copyright infringement and cited a recent order from the European Court of Justice in its defense, Golem reports.
While these types of blockades are common in Europe, they’re a new sight in Germany. Vodafone users who attempt to access the Kinox site will now be welcomed with a blocking notification instead.
“This portal is temporarily unavailable due to a copyright claim,” it reads, translated from German.
With the blocking efforts, Constantin Film hopes to make it harder for people to access the site, although this measure is also limited.
For now, it seems to be a simple DNS blockade, which means that people can bypass it relatively easily by switching to a free alternative DNS provider such as Google DNS or OpenDNS.
And there are other workarounds as well, as operators of Kinox point out in a message on their homepage.
“Vodafone User: Use the public Google DNS server: 188.8.131.52, that goes the .TO domain again! Otherwise, a VPN or the free Tor Browser can be used!” they write.
While the measure may not be foolproof, the current order is certainly significant. Previously, all German courts have denied similar blocking orders based on different arguments. This means that more blocking efforts may be on the horizon.