The British Phonographic Industry have asked courts to block traffic to three torrent sites in the same manner as The Pirate Bay, which was blocked in April. The sites – Fenopy, H33t and Kickass Torrents – allegedly “[profit] illegally from distributing music that isn’t theirs”.

“It is plain wrong,” a BPI spokesperson told the BBC. “The existence of these sites damages the growth of Britain’s burgeoning digital music sector.” The BBC also quoted a copyright specialist called Adam Rendle from London-based firm TaylorWessing, who said that blocking the sites before Christmas would be “ambitious [but] not impossible”.

Like The Pirate Bay, these websites host files called “torrents”, which pertain to other files, such as music or videos, that aren’t actually hosted by the sites. These torrent files can be used in conjunction with an application called a torrent client to fetch the desired data from other people who have the torrent file. This kind of data transfer is called “peer-to-peer”.

Torrent sites have traditionally been tolerated because there is nothing strictly illegal about hosting torrent files, especially as the torrent files themselves do not infringe on copyright. However, ISPs have recently been forced to block these sites by court orders that claim they “facilitate” copyright infringement.