Dutch Court Ends Some ISP Blocking for The Pirate Bay

Back in November of 2012, Dutch ISPs were ordered to block The Pirate Bay. A court document showed the ruling in which Dutch ISPs Ziggo and XS4All had to block The Pirate Bay, effective within 10 days. The court, in a decision signed by three judges, said there was proof that Ziggo and XS4All subscribers had used the Pirate Bay to download and exchange movies, music and games.

Today, January 28th, the decision for those ISPs has been reversed. The Court of Appeals in The Hague overturned the 2012 ruling and lifted the block on The Pirate Bay in the Netherlands by ISPs Ziggo and XS4All. The court felt that the block was ineffective and disproportionate for the two ISPs.

The Court of Appeals based its ruling on several reports from independent research institute TNO which had performed analysis on XS4ALL's network traffic, and also from a report published by Baywatch in August of 2013 by the University of Amsterdam which showed that digital piracy continued to thrive despite the blocks. Users of The Pirate Bay were simply circumventing the blockade by use of proxies or otherwise.

'The circumstance that, despite the blockade, the number of illegal downloaders has increased indicates that newcomers, at least a significant number of them, are not deterred by a blockade to start downloading from illegal sources,' the court said.

BREIN, the Dutch antipiracy foundation which represents copyright holders in the Netherlands, had sued the ISPs. There are still ISP blocks in place for UPC, KPN and Tele 2, and those cases are scheduled to be heard in March.

It's possible that BREIN may appeal today's decision, and we await news on the other pending cases for the remaining ISPs in the Netherlands which were also ordered to block The Pirate Bay.

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