Legal ruling blows hole in side of file-sharing site

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The decision to make UK ISPs block access to the Pirate Bay file-sharing site is akin to bellowing ‘ice-berg straight ahead’ from the crow’s nest of a certain well-known doomed ocean liner.

If only someone had thought of moving a bit quicker then things really could have worked out very differently.

The internet is so many things to so many people, but it remains an enormous free sweet shop for many. A declining number, no doubt, but a significant one, nonetheless.

What’s more, they sail the sometimes rocky waves of the online world and cast anchor for as little or as long as they feel all is safe and the pickings up plentiful.

At the first sign of a storm cloud on the horizon or an end to the food supply these nomadic folk simply click-click-click and off they go to another site.

And this goes on. And on.

A few high profile ‘crackdowns’ see a few sail off into the sunset never to return, but the majority just get wiser and continue none-the-less.

What is more, the legal system is so unbelievably slow, the Pirate Bay, while gaining support from those who use such services, had long since stopped being a regular port of call for many.

After all, why visit somewhere which has legal teams crawling all over it?

And it has always been the way online.

Years ago it was Napster and Audio Galaxy – back when ISDN connections provided whizz-bang speeds the like of which made your mouth water.

Then the internet was acknowledged as being so full of tasty treats it made Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory look boring in comparison.

You simply pointed your browser in the right direction and pinged off the end of it like a giant diving board, before splish-splashing about gathering as many free things as your feeble download connection could handle. Which, back then, in truth, was probably not much.

But it felt like it.

One thing you could be sure of though, by the time the authorities slowly eased into view, those who used them were nowhere to be seen by the time they boarded, seized equipment and taken them off the high seas.

It’s a little like those who seek their live football illegally. Finding a reliable haven to view Premier League action is one which claims no loyalty – just a steady picture and, ideally, commentary in English. But if the picture keeps going or slowing, well they disappear faster than Fernando Torres’ form following a major transfer.

The web police are faster now, of course. They have speedboats too. And can shutdown operations in moments. But those who fed off them simply head off to find the next person who wants to share their Sky signal with the world.

Blocking off the Pirate Bay’s traffic is too little too late.

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