Culture Secretary Calls Web Companies to Block Piracy Sites

The UK's culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has called for businesses to cut ties with websites that link to pirated content while likening such sites to merchants selling counterfeit goods. The BBC reports that during a speech delivered to the Royal Television Society, Hunt encouraged internet, advertising and credit card companies to cease doing business with websites that host or link to pirated content as it would make it harder for such sites to stay afloat. 

"Unlawfully distributing copyrighted material is theft - and a direct assault on the freedoms and rights of creators of content to be rewarded fairly for their efforts," he said. "We do not allow certain products to be sold in the shops on the High Street, nor do we allow shops to be set up purely to sell counterfeited products. Likewise we should be entitled to make it more difficult to access sites that are dedicated to the infringement of copyright."

According to the Beeb, the government would "ideally" like to see Google block these types of websites. However, Google has said that copyright holders can already report violations directly to Google and made no indication that it would be willing to put such a block in place. If search engines, advertising agencies and credit card companies were to cut off websites that enable piracy, it would certainly have a massive impact. However, the backlash against companies taking such action likely wouldn't be small, either.

The BBC reports that Mr Hunt's proposals are suggested measures for the upcoming Communications Act that's scheduled to come into law in 2015 and will stand alongside the Digital Economy Act (DEA). Read the full story here.

Create a new thread in the UK News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • Anonymous
    What a Jeremy Hunt he is. Sites that perpetrate downloading of pirate movies and software spring up all the time how could we ban them all. We are moving towards total censorship by the state. Freedom of speech is already a joke now this attack on the internet is another move towards a state controlled existence. Maybe the reasons behind piracy should be examined in more detail, you buy a dvd or blu ray on release and pay top dollar for it then six months later it is in the bargain bin and you feel ripped off. That is the media producers problem because they have an unfair and exploitive business model so instead of addressing you're business strategy you lobby governments to bring out the sledge hammer. Another issue is the fact that if i buy a movie on dvd but want to watch it on my laptop or tablet then downloading it from a torrent site is far easier than trying to rip it on to my hard drive. The internet sales model for media is a poor deal for consumers with premium prices getting charged(dvd's from supermarket are often cheaper)with resstrictive DRM and lousy(read lossy) formats getting used to lessen their bandwidth bills and increaase profits. The RIAA and MPA are disgusting in their practice's and governments would be better directing their attention to ending these legalised mafia's.
  • Anonymous
    Amen !