The ongoing piracy crackdown continues with popular illegal streaming websites used by millions of people in the UK getting blocked. A court has ordered leading internet service providers (ISPs) Virgin Media, Sky, BT, EE, Plusnet and TalkTalk to block access to five piracy portals that are used by tens of millions of people. These ISPs control the vast majority of the broadband market (over 90 percent of fixed line connections) so the block will affect huge swathes of internet pirates in the UK.
The order was issued to Virgin Media, Sky, BT, EE, Plusnet and TalkTalk in an injunction from the High Court. This court order was revealed on Friday, and came after Columbia Pictures, Disney Enterprises, Netflix Studios, Paramount Pictures, Universal City Studios and Warner Bros Entertainment made an application for the ISPs to block the pirate portals.
According to TorrentFreak, the most popular pirate website that has recently been blocked in the UK is tinyzonetv.to. This website, at last count, receives around 16.5million visits each month, with 13 percent of its traffic coming from the UK. Content that is illegally available on the service includes Amazon Prime Video exclusive After We Fell and Netflix horror movie Night Teeth.
The next most popular piracy website which has now been blocked in the UK is Watchserieshd.tv, which was getting around 10million visits each month – with 18 percent of its traffic coming from Blighty.
The service offered illegal streams to Disney Plus hit show Loki as well as Mare of Easttown, a critically acclaimed drama starring Kate Winslet which aired in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW (formerly known as NOW TV).
Another piracy portal that has now been blocked in the UK is Levidia.ch, which had illegal streams to recent cinema releases such as Denis Villeneuve’s Dune and Halloween Kills.
The other piracy sites that were blocked in the UK are 123movies.online/123moviesfun.ch and Europixhd.net. The 123 URLs link to the same site, which receives around one million views each month.
While Europixhd.net has around 2.3million monthly visits. The full High Court judgement, which was issued on Friday, can be read by clicking here.
In it Mrs Justice Falks said: “In my view the Target Websites do authorise infringing acts of copying by users, and indeed positively encourage and facilitate it.
“The fact of extensive copying by users can be inferred from the quantity of material indexed on the Target Websites, their purpose of making the content available and the extent of traffic to the sites.”
The High Court judge went on to add: “The sites provide the means to infringe, and infringement by copying is an inevitable consequence of accessing the material. The Target Websites have the means to control access but have taken no steps to prevent infringement. The activities amount to the purported grant of the right to do the acts complained of.”
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