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Pirate Bay block comes into force in Finland

Customers of the Elisa and Saunalahti internet service providers can no longer use those internet connections to visit The Pirate Bay website. Helsinki District Court ordered the ISPs to block the Pirate Bay last October, but the block went into effect on Monday.

Image: YLE

Elisa was the first company pursued because more than one third of its customers use the torrent site. The company has appealed the decision.

The companies say that the block will not affect customers’ use of other websites. The Finnish branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, IFPI Finland, sought the block on The Pirate Bay in October.

The Pirate Bay is a Swedish site listing torrents that facilitate the exchange of computer files among internet users, some of which are copyright protected.

Pro-piracy attack

The website of Finland's Copyright Information and Anti-Piracy Centre was unavailable on Monday afternoon, possibly because of a denial of service attack by Finnish activists of the group Anonymous, protesting the block imposed on The Pirate Bay.

AnonFinland announced responsibility for the action in Twitter messages, referring to the court-ordered ban on access as "elisagate" and criticising it as censorship.

As of Monday evening, at least one Pirate Bay mirror site in operation on servers outside Sweden was reportedly not blocked to Elisa and Saunalahti customers. Meanwhile, one domain name that previously linked to The Pirate Bay, but now takes users to the website of Electronic Frontier Finland was blocked for Elisa and Saunalahti subscribers.