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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Arnold J orders biggest website blocking to date

Fabio pictured while wondering
about the implementation costs
of the blocking order
just issued against him
Following last week's judgment in Cartier v BSkyB [here, a case concerning the possibility of requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to block, or at least impede, access by their subscribers to websites that advertise and sell counterfeit goods] this morning Arnold J returned to the more traditional ecosystem for blocking injunctions in the UK, ie copyright and s97A of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA). As readers will remember, by adopting this provision the UK transposed Article 8(3) of the InfoSoc Directive into its own national law.

What is special about this case is that here Arnold J ordered the biggest website blocking with a single applications to date, with a total of 21 websites (all using the Bittorrent P2P file-sharing protocol) involved. The case is 1967 Ltd & Ors v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & Ors [2014] EWHC 3444 (Ch).

The claimants were record companies claiming on their own behalf and in a representative capacity on behalf of the members of BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) and PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd).

The defendants were major UK ISPs that have a market share of some 95% of UK broadband users.

The 21 websites involved were broadly the same in their operation and service as The Pirate and its likes. This means that they provided an organised directory of content which users could search and browse and from which they could select and unlawfully download the sound recordings or other content of their choice.


The judge found that the websites infringed copyright on three grounds: (1) by communicating copyright-protected works to the public; (2) by authorising infringements by UK users; (3) by acting as joint tortfeasors with UK users.

Arnold J ordered the defendants to block access to the infringing websites and, similarly to what he stated in previous judgments (most recently, Cartier), he held that ISPs should bear the costs of implementing the orders.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The Pirate and its likes"

Are we missing a "a broad inlet of the sea where the land curves inward"?

Anonymous said...

Tried really hard to find the party names / case reference in the post...didn't see it down there in tiny writing as a 'label'. May have been helpful to include it in the main post text..?

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