UK Recording Industry Looks To Censor More Sites With No Trial Or Conviction

from the hello-slippery-slope dept

Once the UK recording industry realized that UK courts would order ISPs to block websites it didn’t like, it appears that the industry, led by BPI and PPL began putting together a list of over two dozen sites that they’re asking to have blocked by all UK ISPs, even though many of the sites on the list have never been tried in a court of law or convicted of copyright infringement. Included on the list, for example, is Grooveshark, who has been sued, but has not yet been found to violate copyright laws. It may very well be true that there is infringement on many, if not all of those sites. But, generally speaking, there’s this thing called due process that allows a site to defend itself before being censored from an entire country. Just because a site has some infringing content does not mean that the entire site should be blocked — or you’d have absolutely no user generated content sites online, because the liability would be too high. The UK courts started down this slippery slope by allowing sites to be blocked, and now the record labels are just going to keep piling the list higher and higher.

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Companies: bpi, grooveshark, ppl

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Comments on “UK Recording Industry Looks To Censor More Sites With No Trial Or Conviction”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Probably because going to court would require them to actually present their evidence, and as they are still mostly at the ‘IP address = person’ stage, a demonstrably false way of identifying infringers, they know they’d be in real trouble as soon as someone computer savy was called by the defense to show how weak their identification methods actually are.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Funny. SOPA provided for adversarial hearings.

Really? When was that? One of the last minute mark-ups before it was killed by the public outcry?

A lot of what I read was law scholars complaining that SOPA violated the First Amendment by not providing an adversarial hearing before taking actions like cutting off monetary funding. Like this one:

You losers should make up your minds.

My mind is made up. Maybe you should quit trying to revise history.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

No, you losers should stop cherry picking what you want to address at any given moment. So what if SOPA allowed for that? There’s nothing in the current law that disallows them, and SOPA was so full of other dangerous and unworkable crap that nobody in their right mind would support it just because it happens to have a clause somewhere they agree with.

I know its hard for someone with as limited intellect as yourself to address an entire issue or consider all the implication of what’s happening, but do try to keep up.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

How about a trial in front of a judge and jury? Surely if the sites are guilty of the crimes they are being accused of, and the goal is justice, rather than stamping out potential competition, that wouldn’t be an objectionable proposition, would it?

I mean, the only real reason I can think of to skip the ‘trial’ part entirely is if the sites aren’t actually guilty, or at least guilty of all the crimes they are being accused of, and the ones making the accusations don’t want such ‘inconvenient facts’ coming to light in a court room.

Anonymous Coward says:

and the thick fuckers in the UK courts will do exactly as the BPI wants, removing and blocking even more sites without making more options available to customers. bringing more and more censorship into what is supposed to be a democratic country, making it more like the countries that are frequently condemned for doing that very thing eg China, Iran, N.Korea makes the UK look exactly like it is, a country of double standards which are swapped according to the result desired at the time! the USA started this shit! it’s about time it admitted how wrong it was to allow it to begin and stop threatening countries that dont do similar to itself. perhaps then, some progress will be made that is amicable to all parties!

Zakida Paul (profile) says:

This really pisses me off.

Justice and due process mean nothing anymore.

On one hands we have the courts willing to censor websites on a whim and massive surveillance by government who are looking for powers for even more.

On the other hand we have legislation that passed which bring back the days of secret courts. No juries, no publicity.

And the worst thing is, mainstream media gives zero coverage to what is happening. We are marching towards the Orwellian nightmare like a herd of lemmings to a cliff and anyone who points this out is branded part of the ‘tinfoil hat brigade’.

Anonymous Coward says:

Pfft. Grooveshark has been blocked by at least 2 ISPs in Denmark by a permanent “temporary” court-order… One of the blockings on mobile phones is happening through an A-DPI technology. Looking at the kiwi law and the argumentation and specifically outright lies we are seeing from the ministers on the usefulness of packet surveillance (only a small number of the packets are logged for inspection, which costs many millions while the data are utterly useless for the police even though they fiercely defend the need for it!) I think it is safe to say that any kind of privacy online will die if this continues!

out_of_the_blue says:

A matter of proportionate ease.

“generally speaking, there’s this thing called due process” — You admit to infringement on those sites, which is EASILY done on “teh internets”, and so it’s logical that shutting them down should be as easy. Otherwise the pirates are so much advantaged that they — well, LOOK at the internet for all the proof needed of what happens without recognition of other people’s rights to the income from their creative works. The Masnick is again just wailing that pirates can’t steal all they want.

Besides that, “sites” are not persons with inherent rights, but are commercial entities that agreed to some restrictive terms in getting the site name — besides must obey common law terms like “don’t take what isn’t yours”.

Take a loopy tour of! You always end up same place!
Where Mike “supports copyright” but always overlooks or excuses piracy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: A matter of proportionate ease.

If I punch you in the face in real life, I won’t be punished for it until I’m tried and convicted in a court of law by a jury of my peers. In fact, I can kidnap you, brutally rape you and mutilate your body until you’re dead, and it’ll be the exact same: no punishment until I’m tried and found guilty in a court of law. Funny how that scenario is somehow less heinous than being accused of secondary or tertiary infringement on government-granted artificial monopolies.

Keroberos (profile) says:

Re: A matter of proportionate ease.

First they came for the pirates,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a pirate.

Then they came for the hackers,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a hacker.

Then they came for those who disagreed with the governments abuses,
and I didn’t speak out because I didn’t disagree with the governments abuses.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

One of these days, you will come crying about due process for you–you better hope there’s someone left that gives a crap about you.

horse with no name says:


Ahh yes, the sites are censored. Someone goes over and deletes the material off their servers so nobody can ever see it.

Wait, that’s not the case. The sites aren’t being censored. The sites still exist with all of their content.

Would you consider using geo IP to redirect people to a mobile site as censorship? After all, the real site wouldn’t be reachable anymore, as the user would always get sent to a different site. Does that mean mobile users are censored?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: censorship != deletion

“Censorship is the prevention of communication between two consenting parties by a third. Outright deletion of material is sufficient but not necessary for censorship.”

Censorship is the CONTROL of communication between two consenting parties by a third. Outright deletion of material is sufficient but not necessary for censorship.

There fixed your logic issue.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: censorship

now wait just one durn tootin’ minute there, pardner…
aren’t you the same jerkoff who insists that hiding a comment here in techdirtia is the same as egregious ‘censorship’ ? ? ?
doesn’t it ever occur to you that wanting to have it both ways equals a massive failure in logic and consistency ? ? ?

(which is the bottom-line stance of the MAFIAA as well:
laws for thee but not for meeeeeeeee ! ! !)

the thing MANY of us dislike about you is your intellectual dishonesty and lack of consistent principles…

art guerrilla
aka ann archy

Beech says:

Re: censorship

So if you are on a soap box preaching about the joys of copyright, and police want to stop you it is only censorship if they hack into your brain and delete your thoughts? Maybe telling you to shut upis also censorship. Maybe locking you in a soundproofed cell for the rest of your life isn’t censorship, after all, you can still talk all you want, they’ve just removed everyone else’s ability to hear you.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: censorship

“Wait, that’s not the case. The sites aren’t being censored. The sites still exist with all of their content.”

Wait…so when you and your ilk scream at Techdirt for “censoring” your comments when they’re reported…they’re not in fact censored now? After all, the comments are still there, with all their content. They’re not being deleted. Which is it?

horse with no name says:

Re: Re: censorship

Wait…so when you and your ilk scream at Techdirt for “censoring” your comments when they’re reported…they’re not in fact censored now?

You can’t have it both ways, can you? If Techdirt isn’t censoring, then clearly the Brits aren’t either. Make your minds up, I’m waiting.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: censorship

When the Techdirt community reports a comment, it is hidden from view but still accessible to anyone. Techdirt staff and management do not get into legal trouble if someone views these comments.

These sites though in the UK…the ISPs have to go to some effort to block them, or face sanctions. While pointless (since you only need a proxy or VPN to view them anyway), if the judge sees that Blocked Site A can be viewed on ISP B, he’ll go ballistic that they’re violating his order.

What the judge is doing in the UK is censorship. The sites may still be there with all of their content, but the onus is placed on third parties to try and ensure no-one accesses them. Techdirt doesn’t censor.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 censorship

No, it’s funny to look at tools like you try to move the goalposts, while doing a great job of dismantling your own arguments.

Here, for example. The hiding of comments here has two components that don’t apply to the attempt to block the sites in question. One is that there’s no attempt at censorship, just a warning that a certain proportion of the community here agrees that the comment in question is “abusive, spam, trollish or otherwise inappropriate”, as the report button is marked.

The other is that there’s a clear message with a one-click was to show the comment again. That’s not applicable to using a proxy or VPN, since the average user won’t know how to do that – blocking any legitimate speech on those sites from a majority, unlike the hiding of comments here, which block nothing.

But, hey, thanks for admitting that any attempt to censor content in this ways is about as useful as a chocolate fireguard to anyone who knows what they’re doing. Won’t you join us in going for workable and effective solutions, rather than the constant useless (and hugely damaging to legitimate activity) methods promoted by the idiots in charge and their corporate masters?

Violated (profile) says:

Denied seeing

It gets worse when you realise that the last Judge who ordered KAT, Fenopy and H33t to be blocked directly said that rights holders do not need to comply with the DMCA & EUCD when take-down notices are simply too much hassle.

The law can be ignored if it is too much hassle? So one commercial business can censor away rivals? Where those rivals have never been convicted of any wrongdoing?

Welcome to the UK where such censorship is quite normal. I can only hope this time a strong defence can be made headed by Grooveshark and backed up by ISPs and more. The latest OFCOM report gives them some good ammo this time.

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