British music industry bids to block three more file-sharing sites

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) is seeking court orders to block three torrent sites

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) is seeking to block file-sharing sites Fenopy, H33t and Kickass Torrents, the BPI said on Tuesday.

"We are seeking court orders requiring ISPs to block access to three infringing websites," said BPI Director of Communications, Adam Liversage, in an email. The BPI wants the U.K. ISPs BT, Sky, Virgin Media, O2, Everything Everywhere and TalkTalk to block access to these sites, Liversage said.

"The matter is currently being considered by the court and it isn't appropriate to comment further at this point," he added.

BPI's bid to get court orders to block the torrent sites follows a ruling by the British High Court ordering U.K. ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay in April last year. The ISPs were asked to block access voluntarily, but refused without court orders.

The Pirate Bay ruling, as well as a 2011 ruling forcing BT to block Newzbin2, paved the way for more sites to be blocked, said U.K. consumer rights organization Open Rights Group (ORG) in a blog post on Monday.

"Website blocking is an extreme response. There are growing fears this precedent will make it too easy and quick to block sites. Time needs to be taken to consider the legitimate use of the sites," the ORG said. Furthermore, user rights are not well-represented in these cases, according to ORG.

Therefore, the ORG is planning to start influencing the legal process by hiring a legal officer to ensure user rights are adequately represented in the future, said Jim Killock, executive director of the group. The group started fundraising for a legal officer last year but needs more funds to attract one, Killock said.

The hearings against the three sites were scheduled to take place on Tuesday, but were moved to next week, according to Killock.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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