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Virgin Media, BSkyB Must Block File Sharing Site, Court Rules

May 02, 2012

British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY), Virgin Media Inc. (VMED:US) and three other U.K. Internet-service providers must block a Swedish file-sharing site after a judge said they were aware The Pirate Bay was used to infringe copyrights.

Judge Richard Arnold in London said in a ruling today that expanded on an injunction issued on April 27 that the ISPs “have actual knowledge” that the Pirate Bay site is used for illegal purposes.

The ruling, a victory for nine music companies including Sony Corp. (6758)’s British unit, follows a Feb. 20 judgment where Arnold ruled that The Pirate Bay violated the record labels’ copyrights.

“The High Court has confirmed that The Pirate Bay infringes copyright on a massive scale,” Geoff Taylor, the chief executive officer of the British Recorded Music Industry group BPI, said in an e-mailed statement. “Its operators line their pockets by commercially exploiting music and other creative works without paying a penny to the people who created them.”

The Pirate Bay allows downloading of digitized music and films with software called BitTorrent that enables complete works to be assembled from pieces on other users’ computers. The site has faced civil and criminal proceedings in other countries, including in Sweden. Arnold said in February that the website was openly opposed to the record labels’ copyrights.

“You can always count on that our enemies, will do the right thing, after they’ve tried everything else,” The Pirate Bay said in an e-mailed statement.

A spokesman for BSkyB said the company plans to block the site in the near future. Virgin Media didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

The case is Dramatico Entertainment v. British Sky Broadcasting, High Court of Justice Chancery Division, HC11C04518.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at

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