The BPI, the representative voice for independent and major record labels, has confirmed the High Court website blocking of pirate music sites and apps – which previously applied only to users of fixed line broadband networks – is being extended to users of mobile networks, starting with EE, part of the BT group.
Website blocking is a powerful legal remedy for those who own and invest in copyright and brands from music, film, sports and gaming industries, whose rights are being infringed online.
The record industry has championed website blocking, investing heavily to protect artists and fans.
In the last decade, BPI has secured multiple High Court judgments and Orders against the UK’s four biggest broadband providers – the BT group, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media – blocking over 70 illegal sites and apps, and thousands of related sites infringing music copyright.
EE is already blocking those pirate music sites on its fixed line network, but today’s news represents the first time since website blocking began in 2011 that a mobile operator has begun blocking the sites.
It is a significant development. Ofcom numbers show that in the last quarter of 2021, UK mobile subscriptions increased to 85 million.