Dutch ISPs Refuse To Block The Pirate Bay

Dutch ISPs Refuse To Block The Pirate Bay | TorrentFreak.

Two large ISPs in the Netherlands have said they will not be blocking subscriber access to The Pirate Bay, as demanded by the Hollywood supported anti-piracy outfit BREIN. T-Mobile and KPN argue that blocking websites is a threat to the open Internet, and suggest that the entertainment industry focuses on new business models instead. BREIN is now expected to take the ISPs to court.

pirate bayTwo weeks ago, the Court of The Hague ruled that Ziggo, the largest ISP in the Netherlands, and competitor XS4ALL have to block access to The Pirate Bay.

The ruling was the first to bring broad censorship to the Netherlands and in a response XS4ALL said they were “bitterly disappointed”, noting that fundamental rights had been traded for “commercial interests.”

For BREIN, the Dutch anti-piracy group that started the court case, the verdict wasn’t quite enough. The Hollywood-backed group wasted no time issuing requests for other ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay as well. Or else.

After internal discussions two large ISPs – KPN and T-Mobile – are now on record stating they will not honor BREIN’s request. This means that millions of Internet users in the Netherlands will still be able to access The Pirate Bay without having to go through proxies.

Speaking out against censorship, both Internet providers state they will only block The Pirate Bay following a court order and that innovation is a better way to deal with the problem of piracy.

“KPN sees the blocking of websites as a drastic measure for which a court order is required,” KPN said in a statement, adding that innovation is needed to curb piracy.

“KPN doesn’t believe a blockade is the right solution. What is needed are robust, attractive business models that are easy to use and offer a fair deal to both producers and consumers of content.”

T-Mobile also said that it will only respond to court orders, while it emphasized the value of an open Internet.

“T-Mobile strongly supports an open Internet and is fundamentally against shutting off access to websites. Dutch law is very clear when it comes to blocking access to the Internet. T-Mobile will only respond to a court ruling, not to demands from a private party such as BREIN.”

If BREIN follows up on threats that were made earlier, both ISPs can expect to be sued by the anti-piracy outfit in the near future. Ziggo and XS4ALL, meanwhile, are expected to enforce the blockade this coming Wednesday, February 1st.

Whether the blockade will have much of an effect is yet to be seen. Judging from what happened in other countries when the site was blocked, users will quickly find ways to route around the blockade to regain access to the world’s largest torrent site.