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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

UK Copyright Outfit Advised for Transparency

The Open Rights Group made an attempt to avoid complications of website blocking, at the same time having in mind transparency and accountability. The outfit asked ISPs to maintain the public lists of blocked sites, provided by the entertainment industry.

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In 2012 the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) in cooperation with ISPs managed to block such websites as The Pirate Bay and Newzbin2 across the country. Nevertheless, these giants were only the primary targets, while received injunctions enable the outfit to block other sites providing access to “rogue websites” via alternative addresses. The lists in question are sent to ISPs that ultimately apply the blockage.

In the meantime, the Open Rights Group asks for transparency and accountability, because this method can easily result in mistakes. For instance, The Pirate Bay injunction lets the music industry lobby group to ask Internet service providers to block www.thepiratebay.se, its sub-domains and all other IP addresses or URLs serving to enable or facilitate access to TPB.

According to media reports, the latest collateral damage appeared to be The Promo Bay – a completely legal site started by The Pirate Bay. In the meanwhile, ORG believes that other sites could share the same fate.

According to Jim Killock, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, the BPI is planning to obtain blocking orders for around 50-100 sites, and each order will allow the outfit to create a ban list of clone websites or IP addresses. Killock points out that these ban lists might end up blocking up to 500 or more domains and IP addresses, all at the behest of the British Phonographic Industry.

As you can understand, there is a clear need for transparency, because there are too many mistakes, which are only being corrected thanks to public pressure. That’s why the Open Rights Group call on Internet service providers and the UK music industry to publish the blocking lists in order to ensure legal transparency and public accountability.

At the moment, the BPI hasn’t provided any comments regarding the ORG’s initiative.

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