In an unusual move, British Telecom has been ordered by a judge to block access to a web site that's been known to offer links of pirated copies of movies. The BBC reports that BT will use filters to keep its users from accessing the web site, Newzbin 2. It's the first time in the UK that a judge has ordered an ISP to keep its users from being able to browse to a specific web site. In his ruling this week the judge stated that he made his decision because "BT has actual knowledge of other persons using its service to infringe copyright."
The site itself "aggregates a large amount of the illegally copied material found on Usenet discussion forums." The UK's Motion Picture Association first went after Newzbin 2 in court in an attempt to shut it down. With this week's court victory, both BT and the MPA will now have to go back to court later this fall to figure out exactly how to block access to Newzbin 2. However the site's owners have threatened to break any attempts to block access to its site by BT.
While some in the industry have praised the court ruling, others don't feel that blocking sites such as Newsbin 2 will work. James Blessing of the UK's Internet Service Providers' Association is quoted as saying, "Trying to put Newzbin and other sites into the same blocking technology would be a bit like shutting down the M1. It is not designed to do that." Another organization, the Open Rights Group, says having sites like Newzbin 2 blocked by ISPs could create "serious risks of legitimate content being blocked and service slowdown."