Access Blocked! There are now 500 websites blocked by UK ISPs, when you count all the mirrors and proxies

The ever growing list of unlawful websites blocked in the UK for infringement copyright and trade mark rights has hit a 500-milestone, once all of the mirror and proxy sites also blocked are taken into account. Here we provide resources for those interested in the full extent of UK blocking, as well as a complete list of UK blocking litigation to date.

Blocking injunctions are a rare example of the often conservative English courts leading the world in their efforts to combat online infringements. This particular mechanism puts the burden onto the UK’s five major ISPs, a burden which has risen from 1 block in 2011 to 121 blocks up to now in 2015.

The blocks have been ordered under s.97A Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and s.37(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981. The blocks cover BitTorrent trackers; streaming sites; websites selling counterfeit products; and Popcorn Time sites. Music, film, sports matches, luxury goods and eBooks are protected. The burden on the ISPs is ever growing.

A complete list of the blocks, and the judgments and orders which granted them, is hard to find.

This website - http://www.ukispcourtorders.co.uk/ – registered to BT – has a good list. There are also lists on the websites of Sky and Virgin Media. We were unable to locate one for EE.

TalkTalk, however, has what appears to be the most comprehensive. In addition to blocking the main sites the subject of blocking injunction applications, ISPs are also required to block mirror and proxy versions of the sites, as and when they arise and are notified by rightsholders. TalkTalk’s list, which includes at least some of these sites as well, has 500 different sites listed. For ebookee.net, one of the first eBook websites to be blocked, TalkTalk lists at least 13 domains, including www.ebookee.net.prx.proxyunblocker.orgwww.ebookee.net.prx.proxywebsite.co.uk, www.ebookee.net.prx.torrentunblock.com, and www.ebookee.net.prx2.unblocksit.es.

As might be expected, all of these lists are consumer, not lawyer, focused, so we have created our own more legal-friendly list, with links to all of the freely available law reports and a few words of commentary on each.

You can access it here and we will endeavour to keep it up to date as the jurisdiction continues its rise and rise.

You may have seen a similar version of this article on the IPKat, where it was blogged by Darren Meale - you can find it here.

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.