In addition to corporate blocking solutions that categorize sites as unsuitable for viewing audiences based on their own secret rules, almost every month news breaks of entertainment industry groups aiming to have sites blocked at the ISP level.
Most recently Austrian anti-piracy group VAP completed its mission to have two streaming sites – Movie4K and Kinox – blocked by local ISPs. The achievement was the culmination of years of work through the Austrian courts right through to the European Court of Justice and back again.
Several local ISPs (UPC, 3, Tele2 and A1) are now all blocking the sites and it’s widely expected that not only will VAP return for blocks of additional sites, but it will also be accompanied by recording group IFPI who will take on Pirate Bay and other sites.
In the meantime, however, the Austrian division of the Pirate Party is complaining loudly about what they view as web censorship. So today, just a few hours from now, they intend to give the Hollywood-affiliated group a small taste of their own medicine.
At 2pm Austrian time, party members and their supporters say they will descend on VAP headquarters in Vienna to air their opinions on blocking and other censorship measures. The organizers hope that their small offline ‘blockade’ will in some way mirror those experienced online.
Under the slogan “Block the Blocker”, the pirates say they will form their own symbolic obstruction outside Wiedner Hauptstrasse 63, 1040 Vienna, to raise awareness of why web filtering is highly problematic and useless for protecting artists. It’s a position broadly shared by several political parties in Austria including the Greens.
Of course, the pirates won’t be able to fully block access to VAP’s building, since that would be against the law. However, if they did manage to achieve that somehow – even unintentionally – VAP employees could simply enter their workplace through another entrance, or perhaps an adjoining building.
And with Kinox now circumventing the ISP blockade after adding a new .TV domain, there won’t be a pirate present today who doesn’t appreciate that irony.