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Despite court cases in the Netherlands and the U.K. forcing ISPs to place blocks on their systems to prevent customer access to The Pirate Bay, the blocks may ultimately prove futile, according to data seen by the BBC and others.

One major U.K. broadband provider said peer-to-peer traffic on its network returned to “just below normal” only a week after it was forced to block customers’ access.

But in the days following the court decision in late April, traffic had reached record levels as a result of the increased media coverage. This backs up earlier claims that The Pirate Bay had a 12 million views traffic boost on May 1, thanks to the “free advertising” by the media.

The ISP — speaking to the BBC anonymously — said that traffic dropped by more than 11% following the enforcement of the block, but with the rise of proxy sites and The…

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