Illegal website Newzbin2 to be blocked within 14 days



26th October 2011

 

The High Court today agreed the terms of the Order that requires BT to block illegal website Newzbin2.  This is the first time a website has been blocked by an ISP in the UK under copyright law.  The ruling places responsibility directly on BT not only to block the site but also to finance the implementation.

 

Within 14 days, BT will block the Newzbin2 site, preventing the illegal operators from using BT’s service to flout the law, making it more difficult for Newzbin to profit to the tune of over £1 million per year from other people’s work. It will also protect BT’s customers from obtaining poor quality products which could also threaten the safety of their PC.

 

The Order has been structured flexibly to minimise the opportunities for the operators of Newzbin to circumvent the block by developing new variations of the site.

 

In July, Arnold J. of the High Court of Justice in London handed down his landmark judgment.  It reflects a clear recognition that under the existing law, courts can issue orders to prevent illegal activity online and that ISPs are best placed to take that action. This comprehensive and unequivocal judgment set a clear legal precedent which will enable content creators and distributors to secure greater cooperation from ISPs to address content theft on the internet and in particular to deal with websites that are focused on wholesale copyright theft.

 

The blocking of Newzbin2 was welcomed across the creative industries:

 

Spyro Markesinis, Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Momentum Pictures said:

“We welcome the granting of the Order as we did the original judgment. There is a real concern that films such as The King’s Speech will not be made if these rogue sites are allowed to undermine legitimate sales and syphon off illegal profits.  But we recognise this is only a first step.  We will continue to work not only with government and the ISPs to stop piracy, but also with our digital partners to bring the best, most attractive offers to consumers via legitimate channels.”


Christine Payne, Chair, Creative Coalition Campaign, a partnership between trade unions representing workers in the creative industries and organisations in the music, film, TV, publishing and sports sectors, said:

“At last we have a way to protect our property online. This is a great day for the thousands of businesses and millions of workers who have been fighting against the industrial, anonymous online money makers.”

 

Lord Puttnam CBE, President of Film Distributors’ Association, said:

“This is a very significant day for the UK’s creative industries. The law is clear. Industrial online piracy is illegal and can be stopped.”
 

Richard Mollet, Chief Executive Officer, The Publishers Association, said:

“Today’s Order is fair, proportionate and clear.  This will give the British creative sector more confidence to continue our investment in online business models.”
 

John McVay, Chief Executive, PACT which represents independent film, television, digital, children's and animation media companies said:
“PACT has said for a long time that websites which pirate content should not be allowed to trade as this undermines the ability of legitimate businesses to recoup their considerable investment which they need to re-invest in more new UK content, unlike pirate sites which do nothing to encourage the UK’s creative industries. Working with the ISPs and with the backing of the courts at last we have a way of tackling the pirates.”


Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive, BPI commented:

"It is high time that British musicians and creators had an effective way to deal with websites and services that rip off their music.  This judgment is an important first step in that direction and shows responsible ISPs the way forward."

 

Chris Marcich, President and Managing Director (EMEA), MPA said:

“This is a win for the creative sector. Securing the intervention of the ISPs was the only way to put the commercial pirates out of reach for the majority of consumers. This move means that we can invest more in our own digital offerings delivering higher quality and more variety of products to the consumer.”