More torrent sites blocked in UK, Ireland

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More torrent sites blocked in UK, Ireland

Efficacy of blocking debated.

Six of the United Kingdom's largest Internet providers have been asked by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) organisation to block more file sharing sites which it alleges are illegally distributing music.

In a letter to providers BT, Sky, Virgin Media, O2, EE and TalkTalk sighted by the BBC, the rights holder association wants three sites — Fenopy, H33t and Kickass Torrents — to be cut off.

"Like The Pirate Bay, these websites are profiting illegally from distributing music that isn't theirs, without permission and without paying a penny to the musicians, writers and producers who created it," a spokesman for the BPI told the BBC.

The BPI believes the three sites will be blocked quickly, thanks to a legal precedent which saw The Pirate Bay blocked in the UK after a court order in April.

Already, the ISPs have said they will comply with the request but only if it is accompanied by a court order.

After the April court order, Nielsen Net Ratings reported that UK traffic to The Pirate Bay dropped by 75 percent.

However, a provider BBC spoke to said users are finding ways to circumvent the block and that illegal download traffic on its network recovered quickly within a week of The Pirate Bay being cut off.

The move to block websites was also criticised by lobbyists The Open Group, which called web blocking "an extreme response" and asked courts to consider the rights of users and any legitimate usage of the sites in question.

Separately, BBC reported that Irish provider UPC blocked access to The Pirate Bay for its customers for two days.

UPC users saw a notice saying The Pirate Bay had been blocked due to a court order obtained by the Irish Recorded Music Association or IRMA.

The block has now been lifted and UPC said there is no court order.

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