BPI secures High Court illegal website crackdown

The High Court has today (28 February 2013) handed down judgment in a major copyright case that has been described as “a wake-up call for illegal websites”

As a result of today’s judgment, the UK’s six biggest Internet service providers (ISPs) will be forced to block three illegal Bittorrent – or peer-to-peer – websites.

The case was brought by the music industry trade body BPI. General counsel Kiaron Whitehead coordinated the BPI’s case, instructing Forbes Anderson Free partner Andrew Forbes, Blackstone Chambers’ Ian Mill QC and Maitland Chambers’ Edmund Cullen QC along with Blackstone juniors Tom Richards and Shane Sibbel.

Welcoming the judgment, Whitehead described the ruling as “a wake-up call for illegal websites”.

“Website blocking has been re-confirmed as a proportionate remedy for copyright infringement,” added Whitehead. “The judgment will assist copyright holders across the whole of Europe and help encourage online consumer confidence.”

The judgment follows BPI’s successful case last year to block The Pirate Bay (3 May 2012). In the High Court yesterday Mr Justice Arnold ruled that three more internationally popular file-sharing sites, KAT, H33T and Fenopydo, infringe record company copyrights and should be blocked.

KAT in particular was recently identified by the executive office of US president Barack Obama as among the top most-visited sites in the world.

The court has made consequential orders today requiring BSkyB, BT, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media to implement the blocks.