In a scenario that mirrors exactly what digital rights advocates warned about, the unrelated Radio Times website was partially blocked to UK Internet users because it shared an Internet Protocol address with First Row Sports, which is a website that was ordered blocked in the UK recently.
Users who attempted to reach "radiotimes.com" (without the WWW.) would be unable to reach the site as the anti-piracy block would take effect. Naturally, Radio Times are less than pleased.
"It's outrageous that our website has been suddenly switched off and our users wrongly informed that it's to protect against copyright infringement," said Ben Preston, according to the BBC News website..
"The Premier League seems to be behaving like the worst sort of blundering striker who's forgotten the first rule of football - check you're at the right end before you shoot."
Other sites reportedly affected incorrectly by the block include the websites of the Blackburn Rovers, Reading and Brentford football clubs, and the Notes from Nature science project and Galaxy Zoo space education site. The way the system works means that ISPs have to rely on rights holders to correctly identify offenders, but this system has been criticized exactly because it could snag unrelated sites just as it has in this case.
Meanwhile, the recently released Pirate Browser (a modified Portable Firefox configured to use TOR and other tools) is intended to bypass these exact blocks, and was downloaded more than 100,000 times in three days.
Written by: James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2013 16:12