The High Court has ruled that file-sharing site The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK internet service providers.
For the unaware, The Pirate Bay is perhaps the most popular file-sharing site on the web and allows people to access a huge range of content including movies, games and TV shows.
Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media must all prevent their users from accessing the site. BT have requested “a few more weeks” to consider their position on blocking the site.
A statement from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said: “Sites like The Pirate Bay destroy jobs in the UK and undermine investment in new British artists,” while BPI’s chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “Its operators line their pockets by commercially exploiting music and other creative works without paying a penny to the people who created them. This is wrong – musicians, sound engineers and video editors deserve to be paid for their work just like everyone else.”
While this ruling surrounds music, it is going to downloads of every shape and size including TV and, yep, movies.
Which is nonsense. The arguments against online filesharing are as flawed as those that surrounded home recording in the 80s and branded kids that recorded eachothers’ cassette tapes as pirates. Not that I’m condoning piracy, quite the opposite. I just feel we should resist attempts to control the internet, as it’s a pernicious process. With SOPA and now CISPA in the States, we are following suit in the UK and are on a slippery slope towards internet censorship.
Ultimately, these measures are pointless as they can be got around using proxy servers or simply going to other filesharing sites.
Furthermore, entertainment producers and providers just aren’t keeping up with their audiences, and leave people with little choice but to find other ways of accessing content when legitimate means don’t cut it. Putting aside the argument that a new DVD shouldn’t cost £15 (though that is a valid complaint), many people simply cannot get hold of the films and TV shows that are being shoved down their throats. Have you seen The Cabin In The Woods yet? Why not? See it. See it now. Watch it now. Why haven’t you watched it? All your friends have watched it. You’re a loser. Your parents hate you. Watch it now… And so on and so on until the impressionable teenager who the adverts are aimed at and who doesn’t have a multiplex nearby gives in and Googles “free download Cabin In The Woods.”
But that doesn’t explain why adults download illegally. However, this does, and is based on a real situation experienced by a friend in who lives in New York.