ISPs refuse court order because blocking torrents is pointless
Governments and ISPs blocking anything online is problematic and wholly redundant. Anyone with the vaguest ability to use a search engine can soon work out ways to slip behind a hurdle and get to what they want on the internet.
And now, a pair of ISPs in Holland have overturned a court order which was forcing them to block access to the Pirate Bay. Ziggo and XS4All took the case to the Court of Appeals saying that it was utterly pointless blocking these sites and, amazingly, the court ruled in their favour, reversing the order.
"The service providers' subscribers in any case mainly use proxies or resort to other torrent sites," the appeals court said. "The blockade is therefore ineffective."
Anti-piracy groups (in this case, BREIN) are obviously unhappy with the result and said that traffic in The Netherlands to the Pirate Bay was down thanks to ISPs stopping access. This is in the face of an increase in torrenting. BREIN director Tim Kuik is considering an appeal, and said: "The verdict of the court is negative for the development of the legal online market because it needs protection against illegal competition."
"The purpose of the blocking of The Pirate Bay of course is to decrease the infringements via The Pirate Bay. It is contradictory that the court finds that this goal indeed is achieved but then still rejects the blocking because users can go to other sites."
The ISPs meanwhile, popped the champers and said the ruling was a "victory for the free internet."
Will we see UK ISPs following suit and taking on the Tories and entertainment industry? The first that does - and wins - stands to win a load of new customers and money talks, even if they only gain popularity through the facade of being a rebel.