As predicted several times before and specifically again this past weekend, once the mechanism was put in place to have websites blocked in the UK it was only a matter of time before rightsholders came back to rinse and repeat.
Last month it was discovered that the BPI had begun planning another wave of web blockades and now it appears that the movie industry is doing the same.
Yesterday, TorrentFreak received a tip that rightsholders had approached some of the leading ISPs in the UK with a request to block a further two sites – EZTV.it and YIFY-Torrents. An email from Mark Jackson of ISPreview that came in soon after revealed that ISPs had confirmed the news.
EZTV is one of the most-loved torrent sites around. It first appeared during 2005 in the wake of legal threats made by the MPAA against several torrent sites offering TV shows. EZTV made it to #7 in our Top Torrenting Sites list of 2013 and was the only site to do so by indexing one type of content.
As can be seen from the image below, EZTV’s traffic fluctuates throughout the year in line with TV show release schedules.
EZTV is currently the 578th most-popular site in the UK according to Alexa. Interestingly its Australian rank is 167, a sign that Aussies are being left hungry for TV shows when compared to the rest of the world.
This lesser known site was launched in 2011 and has a relatively low profile when compared to many of the bigger sites such as The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents. However, this site is somewhat of a street-sleeper.
Although it didn’t make our Top 10 list for 2013 it did receive a mention as an important newcomer and as illustrated by the chart below, the site has been growing rapidly ever since. In terms of traffic it’s closing in on EZTV and is currently ranked the 876th most popular site in the UK.
Attractive layout aside, the site has gained popularity due to the distribution of its own video rips (and re-rips), hundreds of which can be found indexed on dedicated user accounts on The Pirate Bay and KickAssTorrents.
Due to the desirability of these torrents among those looking for ‘aXXo’-style branding but at arguably higher quality, the term ‘YIFY’ is currently riding high at #17 in KickAssTorrent’s June 2013 Trends list.
Although there’s no solid evidence at this stage, it’s fairly safe to say that due to the content indexed by the sites the MPA is probably behind the blocking request. The ISPs have said in every previous instance that they won’t block sites without a court order but these days getting one of those is becoming somewhat of a formality.