back to article Belgian telcos ordered to blockade Pirate Bay

The Belgian Anti-Piracy Federation (BAF) has urged all Belgian ISPs to block freetard site The Pirate Bay after a higher Antwerp court ordered Belgian cable company Telenet and telco Belgacom to make the site inaccessible to their subscribers. The banning order comes after an Antwerp Commercial Court last year believed such a …


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  1. David 39
    Thumb Down


    as above, hah don't forget it's a legimate linux iso source too!, ah there is my coat

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And how exactly do they plan to block it?

      So is the blocking done...

      a) by poisioning the ISPs DNS cache - so the user just chooses a different DNS provider, or

      b) by blocking traffic to the site's IP addresses - so the user goes via a VPN connection?

      The fact that only a few people currently know how futile these blocks are doesn't mean the defeats won't become mainstream once implemented.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The Pirate Bay isn't a legit iso source tool, the iso source tool is the torrent, TPB is an indexing site, focused on giving people access to copyright material. Taking down TPB will not prevent people from downloading legitimate ISOs.

  2. John G Imrie

    I hope not

    "It is the government’s responsibility to protect the legal economy and to enforce the law, also on the internet," managing director Christophe Van Mechelen said in a statement.

    This is the same line of reasoning that lead to the British sending gun boats to China in support of Opium smuggling and attempted to block William Wilberforce's bill to abolish the slave trade.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Can you just run me through your thinking, how is a government upholding the law the same as running guns to support Opium smuggling or preventing the abolition of the slave trade?

      1. David Neil

        Both of the examples were legal enterprises until the law was changed?

        1. david wilson

          @David Neil

          >>"Both of the examples were legal enterprises until the law was changed?"

          Yes, but it's still a classic preach-to-the choir analogy which basically depends on the prior conclusion that copying stuff without paying is some sort of fundamental good, and trying to do anything to cut down copying is Evil.

          And the Wilberforce comparison is pretty dubious anyway - since that didn't so much involve law enforcement trying to block him from doing something, as inertia on the part of people who had to change their minds for the law to be changed the way he wanted it changed.

      2. John G Imrie

        It's not up to the Government to protect anything.

        Upholding the laws is supposed to be in the province of the Courts, not the Government. Allowing the Government to uphold the laws makes it harder to oppose them as opposing the laws is seen as an attack on the Government, and attacking the Government makes you a Terrorist.

        However that's a sideline as my main quibble with Christophe Van Mechelen's statement was his thoughts on the Government protecting the legal economy. I picked the two examples above to show that even in the same country the 'legal economy' can change.

        If the UK decided to ban cigarets on health grounds, as the Chinese did with Opium, would he be supporting a war to force the British to allow the importation of cigarets?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For those that balk at the Freetard tag

    How about -






  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Given, in my experience, Piratebay has been completely useless for the last two or three years, what's the loss?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Ever heard of DHT's?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear BAF,

    Don't bother blocking The Pirate Bay, we've all moved on to other more reliable indexers. When everyone, including your Granny and the family dog knows about Pirate Bay and uses it, it tends to stop carrying the "good stuff". You may wish to visit a few torrent forums if you wish to find out where we've gone, although by the time you've found them and spent months getting a court order to block those too, we will have moved on again.

    Thanks for raising the awareness of torrents as a source of free software and media, believe us when we say we are grateful for the publicity, we couldn't have done it without you!

    Yours, lots of love

    The Freetards!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now I know why Belgium is such a dirty word.

    1. Nights_are_Long

      Unless it is accompanied by Beer or Waffles*.

      *= The only exception to that is the ones sold by Morrison's, they prity much blow nut chunks.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      For those that missed it, this was a Douglas Adams reference ... or at least I think it was.

  8. PyLETS

    DNS blocking ?

    So all a Belgian ISP has to do is not resolve * addresses. So all a customer of such ISPs have to do is run their own DNS resolver or use another DNS resolver not controlled by the Belgian courts.

    Next they'll go back to a court and require firewalling the IP address/es . 5 years later (or the amount of time it takes for a judge to understand a workaround) they'll order blocking proxy and VPN businesses. Don't think the law will act nearly as quickly as technology routes around this censorship.

    Big Brother

    Encryption? Proxies? P2P?

    I sympathise completely with people who want to protect their work, but this type of blanket communication censorship is futile.

    If you can't change opinions, censorship won't make any difference. People will always find ways to circumvent restrictions... using proxies, encryption, and VPNs for example.

    On the plus side, we're creating a future generation of adults in Europe who will have outstanding counter surveillance/counter censorship skills.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >>"On the plus side, we're creating a future generation of adults in Europe who will have outstanding counter surveillance/counter censorship skills."

      Well, I guess when they grow up they might have /some/ skills, but on the other hand, if they spend all their time playing games and watching porn, are they really likely to be much of a threat to Big Brother?

      If the revolution wasn't televised, would they be likely to notice it?

      1. Evil Weevil

        "If the revolution wasn't televised, would they be likely to notice it?"

        They wouldn't be able to download the TV show of it, for a start.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Anonymous Cowerd

    "It is the government’s responsibility to ... enforce the law"

    No it isn't. It's their responsibility to draft legislation and have it approved into law.

    The responsibility for enforcing the law belongs to the police and the judiciary.

    1. NukEvil

      You must be a 'Merkin. Because if you weren't, you would know that different countries have different systems of government, and therefore, different ways of enforcing their laws. Sure, the police enforce the law in your country, but it's probably totally different in Belgium.

      1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

        @ NukEvil

        Really...? In Europe, the police and courts aren't part of the government...? What do you use... private security forces and courts...?

        Oh... Wait... You mean that the courts and such aren't part of the legislative or administrative arms of the government, but are a separate judicial branch...

        ...Just like in the U.S.

        Fail fail.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    can this rule effect other _legal_ but _foreign_ sites that compete with the local sites?

    example, a site got the right to sale American movies worldwide and will invoice its customer in RMB (never going to happen, just an example). Since this site charges in RMB and is having a Chinese price tag, local sites that charges in GBP or Euro and are having an European price tag will have a lot of difficulty to compere against it. Will such ruling allow local sites to block the legal foreign site.... or do they already have that through other means?

    1. Shades


      You SELL something, or you put something up for SALE!

      WhyTF are more and more people starting to do this? Is sale and sell becoming the new loose and lose?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: SELL! SELL! SELL!

        thank you for taking the time to point out the error in my EngRish.

  12. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    To AC...

    "..Can you just run me through your thinking, how is a government upholding the law the same as running guns to support Opium smuggling or preventing the abolition of the slave trade?.."

    I think that what the OP was getting at was that trading in opium to China and slaves to America was a legitimate activity at one time, and the UK government of the day enacted various provisions to support this legitimate trade, under heavy pressure from the slave and opium traders. This is similar to the way that pressure from copyright owners is forcing legislation over copyright today.

    The OP implies that, in the same way as opium and slave trading became illegal, so too will all-encompassing copyright regulation of information.



    1. John G Imrie

      Thank you

      Once again I know what I want to say but need someone else to say it for me.

      The OP

  13. John I'm only dancing

    Belgian artists?

    Don't they mean Belgian artist....aka Plastic Bertrand... ca plain pour moi, a blatant rip off Jet Boy Jet Girl.

  14. Rob Crawford

    I'm confused

    "BAF believed that many Belgian films, TV shows and albums of Belgian artists"

    When did these spring into existence?

  15. Velv

    My dad had a great expression - "you can't fart against thunder"

    Piracy will continue. The freetards will always be one step ahead of the law. Where there's a desire, someone will find a way. Take the defence industry as an example - worth billions because governments are prepared to invest in the cutting edge. Never underestimate the desires of a coding junkie in their bedroom to defeat the system, and time and techy knowledge are something they have in abundance.

    There are a few thousand labels and studios out there. There are millions of freetards. Now, does the name Custer mean anything to you?

    1. Sentient


      Your dad sounds like a smart man.

  16. kevin king

    Well seems the Belgium justice department have messed up in the ruling and mention all domains with www.piratebay.* but not looks like they have completely messed the ruling up


  17. Sentient

    These ISP's will like this

    Given that they happen to also sell content via 'their' cable and that in Belgium there's little or no competition.

  18. Lord Lien

    Take down access to PB.....

    ... it will get mirrored somewhere else & another 10 torrent sites will pop up. Your pissing in the wind on this.

  19. Mectron

    Belgium is not a ENEMY of humanity

    it should bet cutoff (internet wise) from the rest of the planet, until it is justice system is cleaned up (it is corrupted beyound repair).

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