Free streaming options for the latest Hollywood blockbusters and must-see series are few and far between compared to just a few weeks ago. Websites used by millions of people that offered free streams of Squid Game – the breakout Netflix sensation which has become the streaming platform’s biggest ever show – or new 007 film No Time To Die have been blocked across the UK.
As part of an ongoing piracy clampdown, injunctions filed in the High Court have led to a block on these piracy websites. As reported by TorrentFreak, low-cost internet service provider (ISP) TalkTalk is one of the biggest names to comply with this latest injunction and block the sites.
Among the sites that have been blocked are project123movies.com and gowatchseries.online. The former featured illegal free streams of No Time To Die, the final Daniel Craig James Bond movie which was only released in cinemas recently. While the latter site offered illegal access to a huge selection of movies and TV shows, including Squid Game – the South Korean breakout hit which in just a few weeks has become a worldwide phenomenon.
This week, Netflix confirmed that Squid Game had become its biggest ever show at launch, usurping the previous title, Bridgerton.
Other streaming sites that have recently been blocked in the UK are Yesmovies.org, yesmovies.id and vidembed.cc. But the biggest illegal streaming site to get blocked is bflix.to, a website that has over 20million monthly users.
For anyone hoping to get round these blocks by using unblocking tools, they’ve been dealt a further blow. GitHub this week took down the repository and a mirror website for Unblockit, which is a tool that lets people access sites that have been blocked by their ISP.
These latest blocks come after another ISP – Virgin Media – had to hand over details on customers that had illegally watched one particular movie.
Virgin Media customers who illegally watched 2020 thriller Ava, which stars Jessica Chastain and is also available to stream on Netflix, last month received letters saying they had to fork up and pay a cash settlement to avoid facing legal action.
It’s unclear how much the settlement would be, but it could be in the region of hundreds of pounds if not more.
Speaking about the news at the time, a Virgin Media spokesperson said: “We take the privacy and security of our customers’ data very seriously. Virgin Media will only ever disclose customer information to third parties if required by law to do so through a valid Court order.
“In this case a Court order was successfully granted to Voltage Pictures which means a very small number of Virgin Media customers may now receive correspondence from this organisation. Any customer who receives a letter should note that the Court has not yet made any findings of copyright infringement against them. This would be a matter to be determined by the Court in any subsequent claim.”
With such heavy potential fines in store for illegally watching content, the easiest thing you can do to avoid facing the wrath of rights holders is to pay for content legitimately and fairly.
If you’re looking to watch Squid Game then Netflix subscription prices start from £5.99 a month, while No Time To Die is available to watch in cinemas now – with a home release predicted to happen either around Christmas or the start of 2022.
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