Many people in the UK may well have noticed that access to sites like Kickass Torrents, Fenopy and H33t has been blocked, in the latest efforts of the BPI to stop music piracy. This is due to the ruling that was handed down via the UK High Court at the end of February this year by Mr Justice Arnold, who carried out the request made by the BPI.
The blocking of the sites began today, just under a month after the order was given, meaning that people in the UK will no longer be able to access Kickass Torrents, Fenopy or H33t and will be looking for workarounds.
The UK ISP’s that have been ordered to block the three file sharing sites are:
- Everything Everywhere
- Virgin Media
The Music companies that bought about todays decision (under the umbrella of the BPI) are:
- Emi Records Limited
- Infectious Limited
- Liberation Music Pty Limited
- Polydor Limited
- Simco Limited
- Sony Music Entertainment Uk Limited
- Universal Music Operations Limited
- Virgin Records Limited
- Warner Music Uk Limited
- Weainternational Inc
This is not the first time that the UK High Court has ordered such a ruling though, as the same blocking order was also carried out via the same UK ISP’s last year when they were ordered to block The Pirate Bay. However, the effect of the ban wasn’t what the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) were hoping for, as people very quickly found simple workarounds in the form of free proxy servers that were set up almost immediately. Then all people had to do was to simply connect via a proxy server or VPN and just update their bookmarks. The effect of The Pirate Bay ban did have a positive effect though, but for the Bay itself who enjoyed a huge surge of 12 million extra visits to the site in one day as word of the blocking started to filter around the web. The Streisand Effect was in full force that day, and I have no doubts that now the blocks are starting to roll out, the same boost in traffic will happen for the other sites.
Ironically, it was only 3 days ago that the European Comminssion’s Joint Research Center released their investigation into the effects of piracy on digital music sales, which concluded that online piracy doesn’t hurt digital music revenue, but actually found positive links between online piracy and visits to legal music stores. The paper conclude that the music industry really doesn’t have anything to worry about. The reasch paper can be found below:
As with last years ineffective ban, the same is also happening this year with simple workaround that already existed being used instead. One of the main workarounds, for Kickass Torrents at least, is to use the free proxy Come.in which gives free access to Kickass Torrents as well as The Pirate Bay. As for H33t and Fenopy people can just choose any one of the proxy servers in this list and carry on as usual.
Basically: http://come.in/ >Torrent Site of choice>Update bookmarks>Done
What a waste of the ISP’s time.
Below are 7 other free proxies that will enable people to access Kickass Torrents even though they are blocked in the UK.
People should note though that there will always be dubious proxy sites out there that use major ISP blocks like this one, to try and trick people into paying to use their service or redirect you to a poisoned site. The 7 that I have listed above for Kickass Torrents are fine, but be wary of others out there. The other way of course is to simply use a VPN (more secure) which will also hide your online activity and give you access to previously geo-restricted sites like Hulu or the BBC’s iPlayer. My VPN of choice is CactusVPN (and I have tried and reviewed quite a few in the past) due to its non retention policy with logs, simple interface, the unlimited switching of servers plus a dedicated NL server that supports P2P. It’s also a great price and very worth it if you use your laptop in bars of cafes who provide free, yet insecure wi-fi connections.