From Torrent Freak:

Back in 2010, the major movie studios of the Motion Picture Association were pursuing a dream. Rather than deal with each individual file-sharer the companies decided that website blocking could be a solution to mass online piracy.

Their first target was Usenet-indexing site Newzbin, a somewhat soft target considering the site had already been declared as operating illegally in the UK.

Almost five years ago the High Court ruled in the studios’ favor, ordering ISP BT to block the site. This action set a precedent in the UK and in the years that followed a similar process was used to block hundreds of ‘pirate’ sites, with the recording, publishing and sports industries all getting involved.

Currently, sites are blocked on a regular basis as copyright holders are allowed to add new domains to existing court orders if the domains are considered to be closely associated with a previously blocked site. This covers new Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents proxy sites, for example.

However, during the past few days several sites became unavailable via UK ISPs that were not closely associated with sites already blocked, CouchTuner for instance. This was a fairly clear indication that a new High Court order had been obtained.

That confirmation has now arrived, with notification from ISP Virgin Media that it has blocked several streaming sites in compliance with an injunction obtained by the Motion Picture Association on May 5. The sites are Couchtuner.ag, Merdb, Putlocker.is, Putlocker.plus, Rainiertamayo.com (Rainierland), Vidics.ch, Watchfree.to and Xmovies8.tv.

From a traffic perspective,…

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