“Ineffective” Pirate Bay blocking order overturned by Dutch court

At the start of 2012, a Dutch court ordered two of the country’s ISPs, Ziggo and XS4ALL, to block access to The Pirate Bay, due to its frequent use for copyright infringement. Two years later, the providers have won their appeal against the blocking order, meaning customers will get to access The Pirate Bay again. According to XS4ALL’s lawyers, free speech specialists Bureau Brandeis, the key was the block’s ineffectiveness – EU law states that access providers don’t have to take measures that are disproportionate and/or ineffective. Looks like the legal system is catching up with today’s VPN and proxy-filled reality. ISPs in other blockade-happy European countries should take note.

Three-strikes laws don’t stop piracy, researchers say


Gradual copyright enforcement legislation, also known as three-strikes laws, don’t curb piracy: That’s the result of a new study that looked at the effectiveness of France’s anti-piracy legislation, which fines and disconnects users after repeat warnings. Researchers found, according to Torrentfreak, that this simply results in users getting smarter about piracy, shifting from monitored file sharing networks to other sources for unlicensed downloads.

Turns out piracy isn’t dead, after all


P2P piracy may be less in the spotlight than it used to be, but people are still trading a whole lot of files: Data published by Torrentfreak shows that the Pirate Bay saw file uploads surge by 50 percent in 2012, despite various legal attacks against the site that forced it to change domains multiple times, and resulted in it being blocked in a number of European countries. In November of 2013 alone, 74,195 torrents were uploaded to the site. Two years ago, that number was at just 38,319. Those torrents are shared by around 19 million people at a time, according to Torrentfreak.

Anti-piracy pushback

Over the past three months, a new website reports, only 20 percent of the most pirated movies as ranked by TorrentFreak were available legally available for online rental or streaming.