Portuguese 'Anti-Piracy' Site Blocking Used Against US Video Game Developer

from the because-reasons dept

One of the reasons why many people are opposed to various “site blocking” laws, is that inevitably such things get abused. And while the US successfully stopped SOPA’s site blocking plan, plenty of other countries went ahead and implemented something similar — including, apparently, Portugal. Yet, earlier today, reports came out that the Portuguese site-blocking system was now blocking the website of an American video game development shop called Carbon Games.

Now, it does appear that someone just screwed up here. It’s not happening on all Portuguese connections, but it did happen on multiple ISPs according to the initial report on Reddit. Also, it seems they only blocked the version of the website where the URL starts with “www.” Get rid of that and people could access the website without a problem — again adding to the likelihood of a general screwup. Oh yeah, also, it looks like if you use any other DNS provider, such as Google’s DNS, you’d avoid the blocks (another reason why blocking at the DNS level is kind of stupid).

Either way, even if it was just a “mistake,” the fact that it happened at all should be a huge concern. When entire websites can be blocked without any real review or due process, it opens the door to much more serious and widespread censorship. It’s again troubling how quickly many in the copyright realm ignore the nature of this slippery slope.

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Companies: carbon games

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Comments on “Portuguese 'Anti-Piracy' Site Blocking Used Against US Video Game Developer”

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20 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I love how you care more about catching pirates even if it means ruining innocent people in the process. I would probably be considered a pirate apologist since I prefer the proven innocent till guilty method. Also, I think your definition of few is wrong. Usually a few is around 3-5. The mistakes you are talking about have happened thousands of times and techdirt has reported on many occasions.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“I love how you care more about catching pirates even if it means ruining innocent people in the process”

Point of order: these people don’t even care about “catching pirates”. They only care about the appearance of such in order to lock out legitimate competition and prop up outdated business models. As long as they get paid in the short term, the damage they do long term is irrelevant.

That’s why they support things that don’t work at all at reducing piracy (website blocking, traffic shaping, lawsuits against customers, etc.), while supporting things that negatively affect both customers and their own bottom line (high prices, DRM, windowing, restrictive regional licencing).

The fact that innocent people get their businesses and rights destroyed in the process is just collateral damage. It’s simply not as profitable to make the changes needed to actually catch pirates while protecting the innocent.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

I’m surprised to not see any translation in the article:

Per the principle that Portuguese text generally looks like really poorly written Spanish, here’s my translation of the message, as someone who speaks Spanish but not Portuguese:

The site that you are trying to access has been blocked in the carrying out of a notification by the Regulatory Entity

Capt ICE Enforcer says:

Great news for Carbon Games

This is incredible news. Under the different trade packs Carbon Games is now able to take the Portuguese government into arbitration and win/earn multiple billions of dollars for the damages caused. That will teach those foreign nations for discriminating against US companies.

Invoice for damages.

$60,000 website downtime
$740,000 for lost sales during that time.
$10,000,000 for damages from false accusations
$60,000,000 for damages to future games they no longer want to make due to PTSD of having website blocked.
400,000,000

Anonymous Coward says:

the UK is one such country that just goes ahead and block websites, all without any oversight, without getting in touch with the admin or whoever is in charge of the sites and all on the say-so of an industry that is so bias, it wouldn’t make the slightest difference what else the sites did, including supporting multiple charities! Cameron is so far up Hollywood’s ring, he cant even see the light! then add in the ridiculously high punishments for downloading or sharing a movie or music disk and we get to the state we’re in now, with the entertainment industries practically running the whole planet! and if that doesn’t frighten anyone, it damn well should do!!

tqk (profile) says:

When I started learning sysadmin stuff ...

… they warned us about the One Day WordPerfect Course graduate. “They think they know everything there is to know.” “Stand aside. I’m an expert!” These people should never be let anywhere near the controls of anything unsupervised. If only we could get these weekend warriors to test their weapons on themselves before pointing them at others, we’d need to worry about this a lot less often. A little knowledge can be dangerous.

“Is this thing loaded?” Bang. “Ow.” Thud.

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