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BT: Game of Thrones is proof that 'piracy' is becoming acceptable

Claims it's working with other ISPs to curb the issue
Thu Jun 19 2014, 16:08
Online Piracy

UK INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER BT has said that Game of Thrones is proof that 'piracy' is becoming acceptable, and it doesn't like that one bit.

Speaking at an event in London on Wednesday, BT global director of group industry policy Julian Ashworth said that the torrent record set by the season finale of Game of Thrones season four - which saw the show being downloaded illegally over seven million times in just a few days - is proof that 'piracy' is being accepted as normal.

Ashworth said, slamming the growing popularity in illegal downloads, "In an age where content is ubiquitously online, you can see that piracy is increasing - and it's becoming more accepted.

"One only has to look at the final episode of Game of Thrones season four [that] seven million people illegally downloaded, and that makes me sad."

BT claims that it, along with competing ISPs, are working together to stop this, and said that it has been examining better ways to protect copyright, with an initiative likely to tip up soon.

"While ISPs don't cause this problem, we can help. We have been working with the government and other ISPs on ways to protect copyright - and I think an announcement is imminent.

"There are no silver bullets in this fight, and we all have to work together," Ashworth added.

Following Ashworth's talk on copyright, Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, spoke out about 'piracy', and unsurprisingly didn't agree with the BT policy chief's views.

While BT boasted that it is blocking "100s of URLs", Killock said that there are dangers involved in blocking such websites, because it is not being done correctly.

"Let's take blocking of infringing websites - there are risks. The list of sites that are blocked - such as The Pirate Bay - are not in the public domain, and the notices provided by ISPs are very unhelpful," Killock said. "They don't explain the laws, and they don't provide any notice of the court order. This doesn't help anyone who wants to know why a website was blocked - or who wants to challenge it."

At today's event, Bskyb also spoke about copyright, and said that now is not the right time for copyright reform, as it likely would do "more harm than good. µ


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