Record industry could save £200m as court order extends blocking of pirate websites to mobile networks


Tuesday, July 12, 2022 6:41 a.m.

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The music industry celebrates this morning after a High Court order forces mobile providers to start blocking pirate music websites which could save the recording industry £200m pounds per year.

Website blocking acts as a powerful legal remedy for those who own and invest in copyrights and trademarks in the music, film, sports and gaming industries, whose rights are violated online.

The recording industry has therefore championed the tool, investing heavily to protect artists and fans.

The order, which was secured by the British Phonographic Industry record company’s trade arm, will extend blockers to mobile networks, starting with EE; it previously only applied to users of fixed broadband networks

Over the past decade, BPI has won several High Court judgments and orders against the UK’s four largest broadband providers – BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media – blocking over 70 illegal sites and apps, and thousands of related music copyright infringing sites.

EE already blocks such pirate music sites on its landline network, but today’s news marks the first time since website blocking began in 2011 that a mobile operator has started blocking the sites.

Ofcom data suggests that in the last quarter of 2021 UK mobile subscriptions rose to 85 million.

“There are now more mobile subscriptions than people in the UK and we want these fans to enjoy genuine music sites and be protected from illegal sites as much as they already are on their broadband and wifi” said BPI General Counsel Kiaron Whitehead, the attorney. responsible for designing and implementing the music industry’s website blocking strategy.

Whitehead added: “Mobile data connections are faster and more reliable than ever, and a quarter of people now connect to the internet via 3G, 4G and 5G rather than broadband and Wi-Fi. increased risk of music piracy. The operators of these pirate sites earn millions of pounds a year, with no money going to the creators of the music they operate.

BPI said it hopes that with EE now blocking access to its mobile network, more consumers will be protected. more artists, performers, music publishers and record labels will benefit; and more music fans will be able to support their favorite artists and discover new music legally.


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