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SBD Global/August 16, 2013/Media

EPL Accidentally Blocks U.K. Internet Sites In Battle Against Copyright Infringement

The EPL's battle against copyright-infringing websites "went badly wrong this week" when it mistakenly caused U.K. Internet providers "to block hundreds of unrelated websites, including those of Blackburn Rovers and the Radio Times," according to Robert Cookson of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The Premier League last month won a court order to prevent British Internet users from accessing First Row Sports, "a Swedish website offering video streams of football games around the world." But in its attempt to block the pirate site, the Premier League mistakenly asked the U.K.'s six biggest Internet service providers -- including BT, Virgin Media and Sky -- to block an Internet protocol address "that is used by hundreds of other companies." Radio Times Editor Ben Preston said, "It's outrageous that our website has been suddenly switched off and our users wrongly informed that it's to protect against copyright infringement." Spokespeople for BT, Sky and Virgin said that "they removed the block after the mistake was brought to their attention." All the affected sites "were customers of a company called DNS Made Easy." The person said that the problem arose because the Premier League "had asked the ISPs to block an IP address used by DNS Made Easy in the mistaken belief that it was associated only with First Row Sports" (FT, 8/15).

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