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UK sharpens copyright axe for four more 'piracy' websites

Megashare, Viooz, Watch32 and Zmovie are for the chop
Tue Mar 11 2014, 14:51
Policeman in front of no entry sign

THE LONDON HIGH COURT has ordered UK internet service providers (ISPs) to block four more websites accused of being 'piracy' havens.

Torrentfreak reported that the websites Megashare, Viooz, Watch32 and Zmovie are lined up for blocks. We have checked each of them and can report that no axes have fallen yet.

We have also asked the big ISPs Sky, Virgin Media, BT, and Talktalk if they want to confirm the blocks, but so far none  of them have responded. Sky lists the websites it blocks on an informational webpage, but the above four are not mentioned.

In fact Sky has not blocked any websites since the end of last year when it threw a court ordered curtain over Solarmovie and Tube+. Typically the ISPs are very open about what websites they block, and admit that they block websites upon receiving court orders.

Copyright cartel enforcement outfit Fact told Torrentfreak that it is behind the court order and that it turned to legal recourse after letters went unanswered.

"Fact and the Motion Picture Association (MPA) wrote to four websites asking them to stop infringing creative content," it said. "Collectively, these sites provide access to an enormous collection of films with no permission from the copyright owners. Fact, supported by the MPA, therefore took this court action."

Torrentfreak said that Viooz is the most popular of the four and is in the UK's 500 most visited websites. The four websites let visitors view Hollywood content as streams. We checked them out and found that they link to a fair amount of film content.

Fact told Torrentfreak that was why it went after the websites. "The growth of the legal online market is held back by illegitimate sites," a spokesman said.

"We want an internet that works for everyone, where the creative property of artists and creators is protected along with the privacy and security of all users. The internet must be a place for investment, innovation and creativity and today's verdict represents a step towards realising this."

Although the courts often order such blocks, they are easily circumvented. There is more than a chance that such legal actions and the resulting bans have little real effect other than promoting the websites. µ


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