The Motion Pictures Association (MPA), which had filed a case to block Newzbin 2 from providing their members with pirated content, has been successful in their objective.
Newzbin 2 is a members-only site, that allows its users to access illegal copies of movies and TV programmes.
The case was under Justice Arnold, who has ruled that BT must block access to this website, as he believes that BT has knowledge of persons who use this service and cause copyright infringement.
The judgement states, “In my judgment it follows that BT has actual knowledge of other persons using its service to infringe copyright: it knows that the users and operators of Newzbin 2 infringe copyright on a large scale, and in particular infringe the copyrights of the studios in large numbers of their films and television programmes.”
Rights holders have stated that Newzbin, the original site of Newzbin 2, which had been banned earlier, makes £1m a year from 700,000 members, but does not have any licence to do so.
While this judgement is a clear victory for the MPA, it is quite certain that BT and Newzbin 2 will appeal against it.
In the meantime, the MPA has every intention of following up, by targeting other services that also infringe on their copyright.
The judge has directed BT to use their CleanFeed technology to prevent Newzbin 2 from accessing content illegally. On the other hand, Newzbin 2 has threatened that if this is done, they will have to break the BT filters, which they do not think would be very difficult to do.
Digital Rights groups such as Open Rights Group have disapproved of the verdict. A statement issued by them says, “Website blocking is pointless and dangerous. These judgements won’t work to stop infringement or boost creative industries.”
Either way, this judgement is a landmark ruling and could open the floodgates for a number of other copyright owners to sue similar services and get them blocked or shut down in a misguided attempt at resurrecting the out-of-date recording industry.