ISP blocking has become a prime measure for the entertainment industries to limit the availability of pirate sites on the Internet.
In recent years more than 4,000 sites have been blocked throughout Europe, Asia, Latin America, and even Down Under.
Spain hasn’t been spared from these blocking efforts. Historically, the country has a high piracy rate. Local pirate sites, in particular, tend to be relatively popular.
This hasn’t gone unnoticed by Hollywood’s anti-piracy outfit, the Motion Picture Association. Representing major movie studios, the group has been active in courts around the world and a few days ago it welcomed a new blocking victory in Spain.
Following a complaint from Disney, Columbia, Universal, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, and Universal Cable, a Barcelona court ordered four major Internet providers to expand their pirate site blocklists, El Pais reports.
The order directs Telefonica, Vodafone, Ono and Orange to prevent users from accessing the Spanish-language sites Exvagos1.com, Seriesdanko.to, Seriespapaya.com, Cinecalidad.to , Repelis.live, Pelispedia.tv, Cliver.tv, Descagasdd.com and Pepecine.me.
Stan McCoy, president of the Motion Picture Association’s EMEA division, believes that the blockades are necessary to lower the piracy rate. However, he also stresses that ISPs themselves are not accused of any wrongdoing.
“The companies are not accused of anything bad in and of themselves, but they are notified because they access unauthorized content through their service,” McCoy says.
The ISPs are not fiercely protesting the orders but they are not willing to cooperate voluntarily either. They believe that website blockades require judicial oversight.
“Our position has not changed at all. It simply does not depend on us, but in order to block access [to a site] it is necessary for a judge to rule on the matter”, Telefónica explains.
“Any action by an Internet provider must be executed based on a court order,” a representative from ISP Orange adds.
This isn’t the first Spanish blocking order this year. In March, ISPs were already ordered to prevent subscribers from accessing Elitetorrenz.biz, Mejortorrent1.com, Gnula.nu, Mejortorrent.org and Gnula.se
A few weeks earlier, 1337x.to, Limetorrents.cc Torlock.com and Torrentfunk.com ExtraTorrent.cd Masquetorrent.com, and Isohunt.to were blocked.
According to Genbeta, it’s becoming harder to circumvent such pirate site blockades. Previously people could simply change to a third-party DNS provider, such as Google of Cloudflare, but this isn’t good enough anymore. That said, a VPN service, proxy, or the Tor browser still do the trick.