After a series of High Court orders obtained since 2012, six of the UK’s major ISPs are required to block access to dozens of the world’s most popular ‘pirate’ sites.
Over the past several years the number of blocked domains has expanded to well over 1,000, with popular torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents being the main targets.
The blocks are somewhat effective, at least in preventing subscribers from accessing the domains directly. However, there are plenty of alternative routes people can use instead, including many reverse proxies.
To remedy the situation the High Court permits copyright holders to expand the blocklists with new domains, provided that they are alternative ways to reach already blocked websites.
This week more than 80 pirate (sub)domains were added, including several proxies for popular torrent sites including The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, ExtraTorrent and BitSnoop.
More than a dozen of these new additions are subdomains of the proxy portal unblocked.li, which allows UK visitors to bypass the blocking restrictions and visit their favorite pirate sites.
In recent months unblocked.li has gained a steady user-base and it is currently among the 150 most-visited domain names in the UK.
Considering the nature of the site, the proxy portal is not going to surrender easily. Indeed, TorrentFreak has learned that the new blockade is seen as only a minor and temporary inconvenience.
“We have several domains ready in case unblocked.li is blocked,” the operator of Unblocked.li says.
“We will launch a new domain once we receive enough complaints of the site not loading or showing blocked. It’s a pretty simple task now since we have automated the migration to new domains with scripts and APIs,” he adds.
At the time of writing the Unblocked site has already switched over to the new unblocked.red domain, and others will likely follow, repeating the same steps in a few months.
And so the whack-a-mole continues, with copyright holders adding new domains to the blocklists, and site owners hopping from domain to domain.
Below is the full list of newly blocked (sub)domains as reported by one of ISPs.