According to news first broken by TorrentFreak and subsequently confirmed by MusicWeek, the UK music industry is undertaking a validation exercise prior to issuing the next round of site blocking requests.
As previously observed on this blog, following the landmark "Newsbinz 2" decision, both the record industry and movie industry have used the section 97A injunction route as a way to prevent consumers from accessing illegal file sharing sites.
In this latest move, PPL has written to a number of its members in order to verify that they have not licensed a range of sites, from the blatantly pirate Isohunt to Grooveshark, a site which in the past has at least asserted that it is licensed. This is a pre-cursor to issuing proceedings, as rightsholders are clearly concerned that the section 97A process remains totally rigorous and is not discredited in the manner in which, for example, the Norwich Pharmacal process against file sharers was discredited by ACS and others.
No doubt we will shortly hear that proceedings have actually been filed against at least some of the names on the list.
In the meantime, are the rightsholders concerned that their activities have been leaked? This blogger thinks that is unlikely - most of the sites concerned are unlikely to change their spots ahead of any possible court action and it seems implausible that they did not know that they were unpopular among rightsholders - after all, according to TorrentFreak, some of the sites had been the subject of hundreds of thousands of take-down requests aimed at google and requiring google to remove specific links, while others operate their own DMCA take-down protocols and have received similarly large numbers of requests.