- Alert: Section 97A blocking orders—targeting streaming servers (FAPL v BT I)
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IP & IT analysis: The Football Association Premier League (FAPL) sought an injunction against the six main retail internet service providers (ISPs) pursuant to section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988). Five of the ISPs positively supported the making of the orders. Section 97A blocking orders are now commonplace but this is the first time that such an order has been sought in respect of streaming servers rather than a website. In exercising its discretion to make the orders, the High Court found that the orders would not interfere with the ISPs’ provision of services to their customers or require them to acquire new technology. The main effect of the orders would be to impose additional operating costs on the ISPs. There was a small risk of the ISPs being attacked either by hackers or by operators of the servers involved, or of reputational damage to them, particularly in the event of overblocking: but this was not considered a significant risk.
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