Posts tagged ‘Portugal’

TorrentFreak: Non-Existent ‘Pirate Site’ Added to National Blocklist

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

stop-blockedIn recent months Portuguese Internet providers have started to block hundreds of websites that allegedly link to copyright infringing content.

The voluntary blocking regime was formalized last summer through an agreement between several parties including the Ministry of Culture and the Association of Telecommunication Operators.

The agreement allows copyright holders to add new pirate sites without any intervention or oversight from a court, something which has now led to some unusual blocks in recent weeks.

Aside from barring sites on questionable grounds, it appears that a simple typo can also get a website blocked. A few days ago a local news site spotted that one of the blocked domains is Forummaximus.net, which didn’t even exist at the time it was added.

Copyright holders were probably trying to block Forum-maximus.net, with a hyphen, but somewhere in the process someone made a mistake.

Forummaximus.net Not registered (image via)
ptblock

As a result, Portugal’s blocklist included a domain that wasn’t even registered at the time. After the news broke someone eventually registered the URL, but without any infringing purposes it seems.

Still, visitors who try to reach the newly registered domain get the following error message (translated):

“The site that you’re trying to reach was blocked due to an order from the Regulator Agency.”

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At the time of writing the correct site has been blocked as well, but the ‘typo’ error has yet to be corrected.

In this case the collateral damage is limited. However, it’s worrying that the lack of oversight from a court or third party organization can result in non-existent domain names being blocked.

It’s a fine example of how slippery the blocking slope can get.

TorrentFreak has reached out to local anti-piracy group MAPINET, who investigate the sites that are reported, to find out more about what went wrong. Thus far we haven’t heard back.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

TorrentFreak: Portugal’s Piracy Blocklist Censors U.S. Game Developer

This post was syndicated from: TorrentFreak and was written by: Ernesto. Original post: at TorrentFreak

carbongamesIn recent months Portuguese Internet providers have started to block hundreds of websites that allegedly link to copyright infringing content.

The voluntary blocking regime was formalized last summer through an agreement between several parties including the Ministry of Culture and the Association of Telecommunication Operators.

The agreement allows copyright holders to add new pirate sites without any intervention or oversight from a court, something which has now led to some rather unusual collateral damage.

This week several people noticed that the website of indie game developer Carbon Games was blocked as well. Instead of access to the company’s website, visitors in Portugal see the following message.

“The site that you’re trying to reach was blocked due to an order from the Regulator Agency”.

The blocking message
ptblock

The issue was first reported by Revolução dos Bytes, which confirmed that the blockade is active across several large ISPs including NOS, MEO and Vodafone.

Generally speaking sites are added following complaints from copyright holders. The reported sites are then investigated by local anti-piracy group MAPINET and will end up on the blocklist if there’s enough evidence of systematic infringing activity.

Sites that fall into this category should contain at least 500 links to infringing material or have one-third of the site dedicated to facilitating copyright infringement. This doesn’t appear to be the case for the Carbon Games site.

The good news for Portuguese gaming fans is that the blockade is easily circumvented. In addition to using the non-www address which isn’t blocked, people can change their DNS to something that doesn’t rely on their ISP, such Google DNS or OpenDNS.

MAPINET has yet to comment publicly on the unusual blockade and we will update this article when we find out more.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.