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UK High Court: Provider Must Block File-Indexing Site

posted on 2011-07-29 23:43 EDT

A judge in London's High Court of Justice ruled on Thursday that BT, the United Kingdom's largest Internet service provider (ISP), must block users from the file-indexing website Newzbin2. The plaintiffs were representatives of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the industry group that includes movie studios such as Warner Bros., Fox, Disney, and Paramount Pictures.

The verdict set the precedent for forcing ISPs to block websites that share or index copyrighted material over the Internet in the United Kingdom.

The defendants, Chris Elsworth, Thomas Hurst, and Lee Skillen, started up and managed Newzbin, a Britain-based website that indexes Usenet discussion groups with posted files. Users on Newzbin (and later on Newzbin2 on servers relocated outside the United Kingdom) pay money to search for archived files and directly download them at maxed-out speeds set by their ISP's.

The MPA argued that Newzbin2 receives over one million pounds (about US$1,643,000) a year from its 700,000 users through the illegal Internet distribution of movies and television programs.

The MPA won a similar case last year, forcing Newzbin to take down links to copyrighted material and payment of damages.

Source: Guardian


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