Web blocking and filtering is a hot topic in the UK this week, both for porn and piracy.
Earlier this week TorrentFreak revealed that the Motion Picture Association (MPA), together with FACT, had obtained a court order to block access to the TV torrent site EZTV.
The movie industry group had previously asked the site’s owner to cease operating, but when no reply was received they asked the High Court to instruct ISPs to block the site.
The providers did not fight the case and on June 25 an order was granted by a High Court judge. Yesterday, a month later, all major ISPs began blocking access to EZTV.
Virgin’s blocked notice
Since the order has not been made public it’s not known which IP-addresses and domain names are covered by the blockade, but EZTV’s sister site ezRSS appears to be covered as well. Whether this is intentional or the result of over-blocking is unknown at this point.
Adding to the confusion, FACT previously informed TorrentFreak that YIFY-Torrents is also covered by the court action, but this site is still accessible to most people in the UK. TorrentFreak reached out to FACT to clarify the position and we will update the article when we receive a response.
In any case, the blockade of EZTV certainly won’t be the last of its kind in the UK. The music industry has announced plans to request court orders for a dozen more websites and the movie industry will do the same.
“We have made it clear that we will seek action against sites that continue to provide unremitting mass access to infringing content following due legal process,” FACT told TorrentFreak earlier this week.
Whether the blockade will be very effective remains to be seen. People are still able to access the site though proxies or VPNs and the first proxy sites dedicated to EZTV are already online.
Update: FACT told TorrentFreak that YIFY-Torrents isn’t covered by the same order as the group stated earlier. Instead it is part of a separate case that is still pending in court.