EE to block mobile music piracy sites and apps

“EE believe in supporting content creators by combatting piracy across both our mobile and fixed networks”

It’s been announced that EE will become the first mobile provider in the UK to block mobile music piracy sites and apps.

Back in 2012, the BPI (British Phonographic Institute) successfully petitioned the courts to block file-sharing site The Pirate Bay, with home broadband providers ordered to ban an additional 70 sites that allowed people to download music illegally.

And today (July 12) EE has decided to extend that ban from fixed line broadband networks to include its mobile networks as well.

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Speaking to the BBC, an EE spokesperson said: “Historically the majority of piracy took place on fixed line networks, but as network speeds increase and content file sizes for music decreases, mobile networks are seeing a rise in piracy. EE believe in supporting content creators by combatting piracy across both our mobile and fixed networks.”

Last year, it was revealed that UK customers have taken out over 85 million mobile phone subscriptions.  “There are now more mobile subscriptions than people in the UK,” said BPI General Counsel Kiaron Whitehead. “And we want those fans to enjoy genuine music sites and be protected from illegal sites as much as they already are on their broadband and wi-fi.”

BPI estimates that online piracy currently costs the record industry £200 million a year, with that figure set to rise as mobile data usage increases. According to the BPI, a quarter of people now connect to the internet over 3G, 4G and 5G rather than broadband and wi-fi.

“Mobile data connections are faster and more reliable than ever,” said Whitehead. “That growth brings with it the risk of increased music piracy. The operators of these pirate sites make millions of pounds a year, without a penny going to the creators of the music they exploit. We are therefore pleased that EE – which was the first mobile network to launch 5G to the UK population – has now become the first mobile network to block pirate sites which are subject to our High Court blocking Orders under section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.”

Earlier this month, it was announced that Travis Barker and Aitch would be among a host of artists set to launch new NFTs with LimeWire, as the file sharing site relaunches as a crypto marketplace.

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The popular peer-to-peer file sharing service was ordered to be shut down in 2010 following a court injunction that was issued by US federal court judge Kimba Wood.

LimeWire is now set to return in its new guise as “a one-stop marketplace for artists and fans alike to create, buy and trade digital collectibles without the technical crypto requirements of the current NFT landscape”.

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