High Court internet piracy censorship is bad news for Manchester economy, claims Pirate Party leader

By Matt Scrafton

The leader of the Pirate Party has slammed yesterday’s High Court orders to block three more Internet piracy sites from British IPs, claiming these measures could harm Manchester’s economy.

The UK’s six leading ISPs have been ordered to block the websites Kickass Torrents, H33T and Fenopy, much to the annoyance of music pirates.

Internet campaigners, including Pirate Party Manchester candidate Loz Kaye, have reacted angrily to the news, insisting the harsh measures won’t deter them.

The case was brought to the courts by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), on behalf of the entertainment publishing industries in a move which Mr Kaye claims could prove detrimental to Manchester’s economy.

Critics of the BPI’s tactics claim similar measures were taken against torrent website The Pirate Bay last year and proved unsuccessful.

Loz Kaye, who set up a proxy to bypass last year’s similar orders against Swedish site The Pirate Bay, has spoken out against yesterday’s decision.

He said: “Blocks put burdens on Internet Service Providers which is bad for growth and innovation.

“The UK risks getting a reputation as a tech-unfriendly environment. This will be bad news for Manchester’s economy and our aims to become a tech hub.”

The music industry suffered a blow to traditional retail recently as HMV were forced to close stores across the country as they faced administration.

But Mr Kaye insists the blocking of online file-sharing sites has had little effect. He said: “The British music industry has nothing positive to show from their site blocks and personal legal threats.”

He added: “Looking at sales figures from 2012, you can’t draw the conclusion that stopping access to the Pirate Bay did anything to help artists.”

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