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UK court rules ISPs must block file sharing website

The UK High Court ruled on Monday that British Internet service providers (ISPs) must block the file sharing website The Pirate Bay [website]. All of the ISPs, except one which requested additional time to consider the ruling, have one week to comply with the ruling [Guardian report]. The lobbying group requesting the block stated that the block was necessary to prevent the encouragement of copyright infringement. Critics of the ruling argue that it is pointless however because the block is easy to circumvent and it also represents a dangerous step forward for Internet censorship.

In February the UK High Court ruled that The Pirate Bay planned to infringe copyrights [JURIST report] which allowed the plaintiffs to obtain this court order requiring ISPs to block the website. Earlier that month the Swedish Supreme Court [official website, in Swedish] declined to hear an appeal [JURIST report] of the convictions for copyright infringement of Fredrik Neji, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundstroem, the founders of The Pirate Bay. The three founders were initially convicted [JURIST report] in April 2009. Despite the convictions, the website remains operational.

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