Court orders BT to block access to movie pirate site

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."

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Group of US colleges to bring 1Gbps Internet to communities

Next Story

Report: Major IT firms are ripping off the UK government

40 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

So they're going to block access to a website that is basically just a portal to newsgroups, but they're not going to block the actual newsgroups?

Yes, I can see that being a tremendous success.

You have to pay to be able to use Newzbin. Funny. Just registered and after I found the "You need to have a Premium Account to view NFOs!" I removed my account.

ashmedai said,
You have to pay to be able to use Newzbin. Funny. Just registered and after I found the "You need to have a Premium Account to view NFOs!" I removed my account.

30 UK pence per week I do believe gives you access to everything.

artnada said,

30 UK pence per week I do believe gives you access to everything.

True, its almost 4 free but I never had any problem to find and get anything I wanted from other sources. You know...

I love how the Child Porn argument makes it into all of these sorts of stories. The BBC article mentioned it. It's the same old argument that anyone who is against censorship "obviously thinks Child Porn is OK". It's a very slippery slope.

I never even knew this site existed till I saw it advertised on the BBC.

Now I am a member, I don't download illegal content, but, I bet there is a lot of freeware there.

Already a way round it as posted by Newzbin themselves.
"Mafiaafire" if you're suffering lost service. I'm not here on VM.

As for this being splashed all over the World news, congratulations MPAA/RIAA, you're as thick as pigeon pooh really aren't you?

Now millions of people, who had never even heard of Usenet, let alone an actual Usenet search engine, now all know about it. 5 thumbs up from me for sheer stupidity!

Way to go dumb asses!!! lol

This is the "Metallica baaad/Napster" thing all over again!

bwahahahaha

Well that's a a fail and great waste of time, many other websites out there index newsgroups, that are not private, or even require membership.

Unless ISP's are forced to block access to Usenet providers i don't really see this doing anything worthwhile, heck Virgin Media even provide access to binary newsgroups for free.

Marcos_Edson said,
Never heard of Newzbin as well, should I thank that judge for my new knowledge?
Yeah I'm thanking him too. I never knew about the site until now.

Never knew the site and won't affect pirating as I don't know anyone who actually uses Usenet?

I know this may pave the way for other sites to be shut down which isn't great

briangw said,
Wow, one NZB site. I wonder if the Court realizes there are many more?

And what if, next year when the courts help BT and MPA to deicde how to block newzbin and they decide they can't block it, like you said, so they move to block usenet access?
Its a hard thought to swallow, but we really never thought we'd see a ISP being told to block access on its network.

In our western world, no piracy no law enforcement, when elsewhere there is without piracy.
As always, those who cheat have the responsibility of having that enforcement apply to all.

This is very bad indeed! But you know, there will always be new sites, proxies etc.
I hope they will not start to do stuff like this in my country (Netherlands).
I reckon BT must be annoyed as hell by it... if they continue to only do this for BT, BT will start to lose some customers eventually.... I know I would go to another ISP if all these sites were blocked on BT and not on another...

witalit said,
Oh well BT are lame anyways who use them.. VM 50Mb all the way!

Virgin aren't available in all areas like mine so I have to make do with another ISP.

Ferret said,
Never thought i'd see the day the UK started these games !!

The MPAA and RIAA are spending a LOT of money to bribe a LOT of officials the world over...

xn--bya said,
Why BT? what about Virgin Media, Sky, ect.

BT network, that includes ALL DSL providers in the UK. Virgin Media will be next. Just takes time, at least another year before BT and the MPA decide HOW to block users. It might even come down to removing access to Usenet for the BT network, or indeed their own usenet servers they run.

VPN .. problem solved.

If this is going to start a trend, start investing in companies that provide VPN access.. or better yet, start your own VPN company. Many many people may start to use VPNs on a every day scale.

Gaffney said,
I would start a protest against BT.

I hope your not suggesting that BT is the issue here...

Article states
In an unusual move, British Telecom has been ordered by a judge to block access to a web site

If you read the article, it states that BT was "ordered" to do this by a judge or effectively, the law. The problem here is with the judge or the justice system, not BT.

Ricky65 said,
China-like internet censorship here we come.
It's nothing like that at all. Slippery slope arguments are pretty weak.

Now, I don't have much to comment on the merits of this specific case (it's certainly not clear cut either way), but blocking things which are found to be illegal is not really the same thing as China's approach.

yowan said,
Just use a VPN, problem solved

The governments thinks that all the people are as stupid as itself, and doesn't know about VPN.

The problem with such laws is that it blocks access to the common user, advanced users find always loopholes (like VPN).

In Italy it is already like this, some sites are getting blocked at ISP level, the most famous is TPB.

ramik said,

In Italy it is already like this, some sites are getting blocked at ISP level, the most famous is TPB.

TPB is legendary for not ever being shut down permanently. ^^

But on a serious note, yes the situation in Italy is pretty bad.

Caleo said,
Bear witness to the end of the free internet

Chances are when MPA and BT go to talks about how to block the site, they'll agree on blocking it via modified DNS records. As such, the technically enclined who use nzb and indeed usenet as a whole will generally be using alternative DNS servers anyway or at the very least will beable to change it without a problem.

If BT are forced to provide more deeper blocking such as at the IP level, I can see a big move to the deep/underground net and that really isn't going to be good for anyone.

Eitherway, if BT are forced to block Usenet access itself later on, BT's network is going to be flooded with so much Bit Torrent bandwidth it'll be its users who suffer.

Not only that though, there recent was research that says the people who perform copyright theft are actually their main consumers of actual movie tickets, legal dvds etc.