UK Judge Rejects Studios' Demand for File-Sharing Profits

posted on 2013-02-07 23:55 EST

UK High Court Judge Guy Richard Newey denied claims that Hollywood studios 20th Century Fox, Universal, Warner Bros., Paramount, Disney and Columbia Pictures were owed profits made by the website Newzbin2 from copyright infringement.

Newzbin2 is an indexing website that provided download links to copyrighted material such as movies and music. At its peak, the website directed 700,000 users to 75 different ripped copies of The King's Speech, for which studios claimed "several hundreds of millions of pounds a year" in losses. Studios were able to obtain a court order forcing the site to remove pirated material, and then the Internet service providers Telecom and Sky blocked access to the site. It ultimately shut down in November.

The judge wrote that, had he found in favor of the studios, the lasting effects could cripple creativity and innovation: "A person might be deterred from pursuing an activity if he perceived there to be even a small risk that the activity would involve a breach of copyright or other intellectual property rights … that could have a chilling effect on innovation and creativity."

The Motion Picture Association stated it is seeking to appeal the decision in a statement given to The Hollywood Reporter publication.

Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news tip

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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