Several enforcement groups for copyright holders have taken the unusual step of asking Google to remove links for the website blocking notification pages used by Virgin Media, BT and Sky Broadband, which inform visitors when websites have been blocked by a court order.

Over the past few years copyright holders have succeeded, via Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA), in getting the High Court to issue court orders that force all of the United Kingdom’s largest broadband ISPs to block websites (plus any related mirrors or proxies) that have been identified as facilitating copyright infringement (e.g. The Pirate Bay).

Customers of those ISPs (Sky Broadband, BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media etc.) who attempt to visit any of the blocked sites are usually redirected to an automatically generated blocking notification, which explains why the site is not loading and often provides some additional links to further information. For example, Sky’s notification page ( will spew out a message like this:


Virgin Media also runs a similar notification system ( None of the aformentioned redirections contain any copyright infringing content, they are merely information pages that explain that the site has been blocked by a court order and very little else.

However two enforcement groups for copyright holders (RipBlock and Leak Delete) have in recent weeks asked Google to remove the aforementioned notification pages from their index for reasons of copyright infringement (example requests here and here).

Similarly BT’s block page ( has also been targeted, although that one is perhaps more understandable because is also lists all of the blocked sites and the group(s) responsible for the block itself.

It’s entirely possible that this could all be the result of yet more overblocking by automated anti-piracy robots, which sometimes seem to scrape the Internet for any mention of anything even remotely piracy related before asking Google to block them (DMCA take-down notices) via a massive list (millions of URLs per day).

Luckily Google knows not to put implicit trust in such lists, which tend to get more wrong than they do right, and so far the notification pages have not been removed from their index.