Last Updated: Mar 06, 2012
According to sources, in 2011 alone the Dutch blocked, or removed, in the area of 600 websites alleged to participate in piracy. The agency that controls such actions, Brein, has also managed to completely block the very popular bit torrent site, Pirate Bay, inside their borders. Presently, the British government is going after injunctions against the same site in their country also.
Brein may have only taken down 600 websites, but they also managed to get their blocks enacted on more than 60,000 advertisements that originated from individual private sites. They have also gone as far as to selectively block Usenet services, but the mainstay in this last year was the some 383 sites offering bit torrent downloads.
All of these hits come at a time when censorship and blocking of the internet is strong and fresh in the media eye. And when censorship, monitoring, and blocking comes to mind, one thinks of China or Iran. With China being one of the largest and most active threats of copyright piracy and infringement. Even more embarrassing to the censorship issue is the fact that technology exists and is easily available for those that wish to gain access around the Dutch blockades. This has been proven time and again in the Middle East and even a couple of European countries.
In an attempt to compensate for this reality, Brein also is seeking to restrict payment providers from providing service to site owners. When they deem that a site engages in piracy, the order the site to disclose their payment info, in this info is the name of the site owner, which they go after directly. But they can only do this inside their borders.
Brein says that because of this, many services and providers that engage in piracy, to any extent, avoid using Dutch servers. The agency claimed that these such sites and services change server locations frequently, in attempts to find countries that are otherwise engaged and copyright law isn’t a priority. In other words, if a site is taken down, it simply relocates to another server in a matter of a few days at the most. And for many, there are warnings and there isn’t even an interruption in service.. Usenet has been targeted many times in the past by this, and many other, agencies. Injunctions and blocks have been used in the past, but efforts at total blackouts have often failed.
VPN services are often used to skirt these restrictions also. And granted, while some of these sites that are being blocked are contributing to the piracy problem, there are many that are not. There are many Open Source software, and other informational sites being blocked and financially stifled. And again, another underground movement is created, because if the people want it, they will find a way to get it.