Dutch court bans Pirate Party links to The Pirate Bay

The Pirate Bay screenshot The Pirate Bay has temporarily rebranded its name while it takes part in a study of file sharers

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The Netherlands' Pirate Party has been ordered to stop publicising ways to circumvent blocks to The Pirate Bay.

The ruling by a court in the Hague follows a complaint by the anti-piracy group Brein.

It had said that the political party was helping users overcome a previous ruling that had ordered two of the country's biggest internet service providers to prohibit access to TPB.

A subsequent order instructed a further five ISPs to block access to the site

The rulings mark the latest action to prevent users from illegally sharing films, books, music and other copyrighted material via TPB's magnet links.

At the end of April the UK also ordered several of its ISPs to prevent users from accessing the Swedish site.

Proxies

The court also upheld an order banning the Dutch Pirate Party from offering a proxy to let users obtain TPB's links without directly visiting the file-sharing site's pages.

The original order had spurred on the Pirate Party to post suggestions for alternative ways to access TPB.

A message posted on the Dutch Pirate Party's homepage described the most recent rulings as "a slap in the face for the free internet".

"The judge decided to give the Netherlands another nudge on the gliding scale of censorship," it said.

"More and more bits of the internet will have to be censored because they might be used to get access to 'infringing' sites, until eventually most of the internet will be unreachable."

UK workaround

Brein could not be reached for comment and the organisation's website appeared to have been taken offline following the verdict.

The UK's Pirate Party continues to offer a proxy-based workaround to TPB despite the High Court ordering five ISPs to prevent access to the site on 30 April.

The party's campaigns officer, Andy Halsall, told the BBC that it had received two million hits to the service over a recent 24-hour period.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) - which has pursued TPB in the UK - declined to comment about whether it planned to follow Brein's lead and take similar action against the local Pirate Party.

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