back to article ISPs handbagged: BLOCK knock-off sites, rules beak

The UK's biggest ISPs must block websites that flog knock-off goods, after a successful High Court case brought by luxury goods firm Richemonte, the first time trademark pirates have been blocked in the EU. Richemonte, Swiss-based holding company for brands including Cartier (watches), Alfred Dunhill, and Montblanc wanted six …

  1. John Robson Silver badge

    Site blocked

    Observed traffic down.

    And VPN traffic? given that only the torrent file/magnet link need to be vpn'd...

    Statistics measure use of gate, ignore broken fence...

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    These rules are becoming so convoluted and interlaced that soon you won't be able to do anything at all online.

  3. badger31

    Blocks are ineffective against VPN users.

    They're next.

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Blocks are ineffective against VPN users.

      I actually think this will be a bit more effective than blocks against ThePirateBay et al.

      People who visit ThePirateBay know it is not a legitimate site, and will find ways round the blocks. People who visit sites selling knock-off goods may well be looking for, and believe they have found, a site selling the real thing. Having been alerted to the fact that the site does not sell genuine products, they will not seek to find ways round the block, because they don't want to visit a fake site. People who do want to buy fakes will go to other sites where it is perfectly clear that it isn't the genuine product, because those sites are a lot cheaper. The sort of knock-off sites referred to here are generally slightly cheaper than the real thing, but not so cheap that it looks too good to be true.

  4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  5. Zog_but_not_the_first

    "BLOCK knock-off sites, rules beak"

    Goodbye eBay.

  6. the spectacularly refined chap

    Still a little harsh

    I'm not going to leap to the defence of the knock off sites but why on Earth should the ISPs get landed with the bill? They have no contractual relationship with the sites in question, the existence of these sites is not aided or abetted by them in any way, yet they have to stump up the costs of the blocking, an action initiated by the trademark holders for their own benefit.

    Is this remotely scalable? If it is a question of a dozen or so sites you might argue it is simply an expense of being in the industry, but if every other trademark holder starts along this road, and hundreds of thousands of sites are blocked on equally valid grounds the collective burden becomes significant. The only rational way to proceed is surely that if you want the block for your benefit and you take it to court then you pay for it.

    Or put another way, why should the ISP's customers in turn pay extra for having their Internet access diminished?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Still a little harsh

      "why on Earth should the ISPs get landed with the bill?"

      You raise an excellent point. Should the various worlds Post Offices be obliged to stop scam letters being sent through their systems, eg the scammy "lottery" schemes etc (it's "easy", they have physical addresses at least on the inside)? If not, why not? It's as if the lawmakers think that anything illegal and internet related, not being physical, is easy and cost-free to block.

      Using this new blocking logic, then how come so much money is "lost" from illegal downloads since not being physical, obviously have little real value. :-)

  7. Only me!
    Big Brother


    Let's face it, most people that buy a fake will not buy an original Gucci bag.......

    But does it have a wider issue....eBay, Gum Tree, Alibaba......might be in for a rough ride.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I found another scam the cops!

    £620 for a plastic pen with a bit of gold plating. Clearly a site designed to rip of the gullible.

  9. i like crisps

    £250 quid for a pen or...

    ...99p for a pack of 20 black ink ballpoints from contest!

  10. Shades

    Blocking the Pirate Bay Worked So Well...

    Its still only 1 click, or 2 at most, away. Who advises the idiots in charge, more idiots?

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. hplasm

      Re: Blocking the Pirate Bay Worked So Well...

      "Who advises the idiots in charge, more idiots?"


      It seems that it is idiots all the way down.

  11. Mage Silver badge

    I'm baffled

    If the sites are doing illegal stuff, take them down.

    You don't block the road to a dodgy shop. You get a warrant, court order, prosecution and close them.

    This is plain lazy and wrong.

    1. ratfox

      Re: I'm baffled

      Take them down? How? Go after the hosting company? It's in China and doesn't care about your yapping. Revoke the domain name? The next day the site exists under a slightly different name. As pirate bay has shown, it's remarkable how difficult it is to get rid of a website you don't like.

      Some would argue that this is a feature, rather than a bug, of the Internet.

      1. Fluffy Bunny

        Re: I'm baffled

        "Take them down? How? Go after the hosting company?"

        I think his real point was not to take the site down, but to take the company selling pirated goods down.

    2. WonkoTheSane

      Re: I'm baffled

      It seems that you've never played the game "Whack-a-Mole"?

  12. Crazy Operations Guy

    An arms-race that will never end

    The fight between Rights Holders and Infringers is a fight that will never end. The only thing that ever change is how screwed we, the innocent consumers, are from all the collateral damage.

    1. Cipher

      Re: An arms-race that will never end

      Ahem... We, the consumers, *are* the collateral damage...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I truly don't wish to be controversial but this whack-a-mole tactic will never be defeated. Am I alone in thinking that it's time goods whose only intrinsic value is their branding and not their materials should not be defended by the state?

    If these pens/handbags/etc were made of wonder materials or contained technology or developments which differentiated them from knock offs... then people wouldn't be content with buying the knock offs. The free market shouldn't be constrained by these rules - if your goods are so simple that they can be copied with neglible difference in quality then why not allow that to take place?

    I fear/anticipate/look forward to the future arguments that will be made when 3D printing becomes mainstream and higher quality and people can printer their own plastic nick nacks. Someone WILL want to stop them.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Justice Arnold discussed the whack-a-mole question - the whole thing is well worth a read.

      "Am I alone in thinking that it's time goods whose only intrinsic value is their branding and not their materials should not be defended by the state?"

      Design is protected and brands are protected by IP. Whether you like the brand/poem/song/manbag in question is good or bad is irrelevant - protection means that things you don't like get protected along with things you do like. The idea being that you will get the same protection if you ever invent something that needs protection.

      And I'm sure you can find another idiot - it's the internet.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      IPR is there to encourage the free market - without it, we can see what happens. Without the temporary exclusivity, everyone profits from that invention or creation except the inventor or creator.

      Personally I'm looking forward to an African or an Indian kid making a brilliant invention that I can 3D print at home - and getting millions in tiny payments for it from around the world.

  14. Cody

    noble and peculiar!

    "Mont Blanc Outlet helps you enjoy the most exquisite design, elegance, nobleness and peculiarity on Mont Blanc."

    I've no desire for a real Mont Blanc, still less a fake one, but out of curiousity went to one of the sites mentioned. The above is a quote, yes, you too can enjoy nobleness and peculiarity. Oh dear.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, thanks to this ruling, I now know where to get a Montblanc knock-off from cheaply.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021