Monday, March 5, 2018

Belgian ISPs join with rights owners to request latest anti-piracy web-blocks | UNLIMITED | CMU


The latest round of web-blocks in Belgium, which could see 33 websites and 450 domains blocked on copyright grounds, is working a little differently than normal. Three ISPs are joining an entertainment industry trade group in requesting the blockades.

Web-blocking is where music or movie companies seek court injunctions forcing internet service providers to block their customers from accessing copyright infringing websites. It is now a preferred anti-piracy tactic of many in the entertainment industry.

In most countries, ISPs initially object to web-blocking when it is first introduced, but ultimately fall in line and comply with any court orders that come their way. Although in some countries – the Netherlands in particular – they put up more of a fight.

Across the border, Belgian net firms Proximus, Telenet and VOO are joining with the Belgian Entertainment Association in requesting the latest round of web-blocks. The ISPs seemingly see web-blocking as an inevitability, and reckon that collaborating with the rights owners in this way makes the whole process more cost efficient from a legal perspective.

You might think that if the ISPs are on board with web-blocking they could just block offending piracy sites without the bother of going to court at all. However, the net companies seemingly want judicial oversight to ensure that they don’t fall foul of European Union e-commerce rules by instigating the blockades.

Torrentfreak quotes Belgian Entertainment Association legal rep BenoĆ®t Michaux as saying: “This joint request is a little unusual. Things are changing, there is a certain maturation of minds. We realise, from all sides, that we must tackle the problem of piracy by blocking measures. There is a common vision on what to do and how to handle piracy”.


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