People normally sign up for VPN services because they want to protect their data, hide their IP address and secure their identity. Lately though, an increasing number of VPN users are using these services to unblock streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu along with torrenting websites such as The Pirate Bay and KickAssTorrents.
Unfortunately, a VPN service has announced that it will no longer offer services to enable access to The Pirate Bay. The only good news is that the VPN in question isn’t a major player in the industry. In fact, the service is primarily an internet service provider and only provides a VPN service as a side product.
The ISP has signed agreements that, in part, require it to block access to some of the biggest torrent sites in the world. Apparently, these agreements were signed in response to a copyright firm’s lawsuit which has the backing of major Hollywood film studios.
This isn’t the first time ISPs and VPNs have been forced to restrict access to certain types of websites. Courts around the world are ruling in favor of copyright groups and punishing file-sharers.
However, more recently, copyright groups and law firms have started to go after entities at a level higher than websites and uploaders. That is ISPs and services that enable access to copyright-infringing websites.
More specifically, Hurricane Electric, which offers internet service to thousands of people, was forced by a law firm to hand over information regarding people who pirate files using torrenting sites. Sophidea, Inc. is an ISP that’s a customer of Hurricane Electric. This ISP also runs a VPN service that leverages additional Hurricane Electric services that enable customers to access online resources through IP addresses that belong to Hurricane Electric.
A company by the name of Killing Link Distribution made a complaint against one of Hurricane Electric’s customers, Sophidea, Inc., claiming that the VPN service’s customers accessed piracy resources online to download and distribute copyrighted movies. Killing Link, instead of asking for compensation, demanded permanent injunctions to stop the VPN service from unblocking sites that offer pirated content.The two parties made an additional agreement a couple of days later with Sophidea agreeing to restrict access to torrenting sites like The Pirate Bay and others. While these agreements affect only one small player in the VPN industry, the repercussions could grow if similar agreements begin to affect large VPN services as well. If this continues, it doesn’t look good for torrenting sites.