EU turns the screw on free Netflix, Sky TV and Prime Video streams with new crackdown

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Lawmakers in Brussels this week have turned the screw on internet pirates, putting increasing pressure on those that use free and illegal Netflix, Sky TV and Prime Video streams. It was just a few days ago that Express.co.uk reported that the EU is looking at ways to ban people from looking at websites which promote online piracy at the very first point of access. And now, hot on the heels of that news, it’s been revealed the European Parliament (EP) has taken a vote that will severely dent internet pirates operations.

This week MEPs voted through to approve the Digital Services Act (DSA), which includes various measures to help combat online piracy and bring EU legislation in keeping with the current, modern digital age, TorrentFreak reported.

The DSA includes measures on how takedown notices are dealt with by online services, along with upload filters – which would automatically ban content users try to upload which is deemed illegal.

There was pushback from both sides when the DSA first draft was revealed, with those in favour of more stringent copyright measures feeling it did not go far enough, and others feeling it was too drastic.

Squid Game: Jung-jae Lee stars in trailer for Netflix series

When the vote came to approve the DSA an amendment was tabled which would have effectively banned the use of these controversial upload filters.

However, despite the late bid to stop these measures MEPs voted against banning upload filters – with 434 against and 242 in favour.

The news came as a disappointment to Pirate Party MEP Patrick Breyer, who is on the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties.

Breyer tweeted: “Internet corporations use unreliable upload filters against supposedly illegal content – with much collateral damage. The majority won‘t even limit automated censorship to content that is manifestly illegal irrespective of its context.”

In recent years copyright holders have been ramping up anti-piracy efforts, with major Hollywood studios such as Netflix and Disney teaming up to form the Motion Picture Association (MPA), who – along with its anti-piracy partner the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) – have led the charge to block hundreds of piracy websites used by millions of people.

While you may be tempted by websites that offer free streams of paid-for content, watching any such streams, or downloading pirated torrents, is illegal and no different to stealing a Blu-Ray from your local high street entertainment store.

Besides being against the law, not paying for content legitimately means money doesn’t end up going to the content creators themselves and doesn’t help fund their work. Without this, you wouldn’t have shows such as last year’s smash hit Squid Game being possible.

News of the recent vote on piracy measures comes days after it was revealed the EU was working on a new programme that would ban internet users from visiting websites that promote piracy at the very first point of access.

The way this works revolves around the Domain Name System (DNS), which is an essential part of the way the internet operates – and has been for decades.

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