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Web-blocking fully underway in Norway

By | Published on Friday 15 July 2016

Web Block

Web-blocking is now fully up and running as an anti-piracy tactic in Norway, following a court ruling that orders internet service providers in the country to block their customers from accessing eight piracy websites.

Norway actually joined the web-block party with an initial ruling last year, the entertainment industry there having decided to try and secure injunctions forcing piracy blockades onto ISPs in 2014. It was the movie industry that requested eight more sites now be added to the block list, with the resulting injunction confirming this is now a readily available option for copyright owners in Norway seeking to limit access to piracy sites.

Welcoming the latest ruling, one of the lawyers representing the Motion Picture Association, Rune Ljøstad, told Torrentfreak: “Together, the decisions create a clear legal basis in Norway to block sites that make copyrighted works available to the public without permission”.

As previously reported, in most countries, when web-blocking is first proposed, there is a negative reaction to the move, either by the ISPs themselves or by lobbying or political groups like The Pirate Party. Some point out that it is relatively easy for people to circumvent the blockades, while some raise other concerns. Though once a few web-blocks are in place, the anti-piracy tactic tends to become less controversial.

Though the Norwegian Pirate Party has nevertheless hit out at the latest web-blocks in its country, falling back on that common if not entirely convincing practice of equating copyright protection with censorship.

“I’m afraid that blocking sites will have a domino effect”, Torrentfreak quotes local Pirate Party leader Tale Haukbjørk Østrådal as saying. “If we block copyright infringement now, what will be the next thing our society accepts to block? The path from blocking torrent sites to censorship is short, and I do not wish to go down that path”.