ISP blocks Cuevana, users find digital shortcuts

Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 31-12-2011

Argentine Internet service provider IPlan has become the latest company to join the ever growing list of public enemies of Cuevana by blocking access among its customers to the popular, controversial, free online video website.

The news was confirmed by Cuevana, which on its Twitter account announced in Spanish: "We have just verified that the ISP IPlan (Argentina) has blocked Cuevana altogether. #censuranacuevana [#cuevanacensored]."
IPlan admitted to newspaper La Nación that the company had indeed taken such a step, which it said was justified following a judicial order.
The move was remindful of a similar decision made earlier this month by another Argentine ISP, when Telecentro also blocked access to the OTT company – although it later backtracked.
As has been the case lately with every new chapter in the growing saga between the OTT company created by Tomás Escobar and a group of content rights owners that now includes the likes of HBO, Turner Argentina and the Argentine Union of Video Editors, the news was greeted with a mixture of approval and outcry in Internet forums.
Among the views supporting the crackdown against Cuevana, the common denominator was the pointing out that it is absurd to pretend that, just because the OTT company does not host the video titles it indexes on its own servers, it is not violating intellectual property right laws.
Among those who think the portal is not doing anything illegal – or are simply willing to risk themselves being charged with illicitly downloading unauthorised content – there were those who even found and shared a way to bypass the IPlan roadblock.
"No need for such a fuss. All IPlan did was to delete Cuevana from its DNS," posted in a forum an online reader of La Nación, identified simply as me_grimlock. "Using a DNS from someone else (for example Google or OpenDNS) it works OK. Believe me, I have IPlan and I watched a movie a few minutes ago".
"This is an attack against net neutrality," opined matias_cmg, another registered user of La Nación's news website. "However, you can still use proxies or VPN services to access the site. Simply google 'Free VPN services' and that's it, people. No need for alarm."
"Use Google's free DNS: and and the blocking problem is over," was the even more specific recommendation by Anark0. "All they did was to redirect to another place."
If the Argentine audiovisual industry is serious about putting an end to the Cuevana phenomenon, it will need to go beyond simply trying to block the site from individual ISPs.