A court ordered to block seven websites that offered music without authorization

1337x is found among the blocked websites. One of the most visited at worldwide level, with an annual benefit of 1.3 million dollars.

The commercial court number 1 of Barcelona has ordered to block seven websites that offered unauthorized access to protected music content, as reported in a statement by the Intellectual Property Rights Management Association (Agedi), which denounced the activity of these pages. The ruling establishes that the main Internet providers in Spain will have to prevent access to these seven pages, which, as the court now supports, infringe intellectual property rights: Masquetorrent.com, Isohunt.to, 1337x.to, Limetorrents.cc, Torlock.com, Torrentfunk.com and Extratorrent.cd. This entity, which gathers music producers already won two years ago a court ruling at the commercial court of Barcelona, obliging to block access to a similar content website, in that case, Exvagos, for the same reasons.

As a consequence of the new court ruling, the most important internet providers which operate in our country, from Movistar to Vodafone, Orange and others, will have to preventthe functioning in Spain of these websites, which plundered authors, performers and music producers, and became very popular. This was particularly outstanding in the case of the1337x site that has had more than 85 million visits over the last year, had ranked 274 worldwide in the Alexa ranking, according to data compiled by SimilarWeb. In addition, according to the Site Worth Traffic service, which specializes in calculating the benefits of web pages, this website could have obtained an annual profit of around 1,314,606 dollars.

Both 1337x and the other six portals used a BitTorrent protocol for file exchange «point to point» (peer to peer or P2P, in computer jargon). The portals presented in an orderly manner lists of contents, especially music, movies, series and other works protected by intellectual property rights. In the specific case of musical contents, the systems they offered classification and cataloging systems with which any user could locate the desired content in a simple and immediate way. Artists, albums or songs, with additional information about these files, and without permission from the owners of the works or consideration for them, enabled searches.

The end of impunity

This second ruling endorses «categorically» the judicial procedures initiated in Spain by AGEDI since 2016 to apply the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) according to which the intermediaries that provide services to third-party offenders have an important role in the fight against piracy and should suspend such services to eradicate infringements against intellectual property.

The president of Promusicae, Antonio Guisasola, has celebrated that «the recent action of the justice is contributing decisively to end the era of impunity» for the offenders. «We have suffered long years of open bar for those who believed that music was a good that could be plundered and distributed without the slightest scruple”, he said. “In the end, creators and producers’ efforts will not go to waste. Beyond the global hard-hitting economic crisis, music industry has suffered a dramatic period that destroyed tens of thousands of jobs and put at a serious risk the very development of our cultural assets. The decisive implemented changes to encourage new and more accessible consumption patterns need the support from legal and administrative authorities to get rid of unfair competition of illegal businesses and court rulings like this one which proves that we are moving forward in the right direction.” He concluded.