MPA asks British ISPs to block file-sharing

Copyright owners are moving to have file-sharing sites blocked in the UK. A few weeks ago, a judge ordered Britain's largest ISP, BT, to block access to the file-sharing site Newzbin2, and now three more ISPS have been asked by the MPA to do the same, ZDNet reports.

Out of the three who were asked to block access, only one, Sky Broadband (part of the Sky Broadcasting Group, which News Corp owns a substantial stake of), have said that they intend to comply. The other two, Virgin Media and TalkTalk, say that they don't intend to follow through unless given a court order. BT was also asked to expand the block to include The Pirate Bay, according to The Guardian. Wasn't it just the other day that Britain's Foreign Secretary, William Hague, was criticizing China for Internet censorship? Since the court order blocking access to Newszbin2, the British web is now no longer considered 'open' either.

 

Even though copyright owners are doing the right thing by trying to protect their content (it is, after all, their livelihood ), blocking whole websites or, worse, file-sharing in general, is not the answer. Believe it or not, peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing does have legitimate uses; from downloading Ubuntu to updating your World of Warcraft installation, we use P2P technology quite regularly, sometimes without even realizing it. While blocking a site like Newzbin2 doesn't cut out file-sharing in general, it doesn't take much foresight to see what might come next.

By blocking access to a site like Newzbin2, they are probably also blocking access to some amount of genuine content as well. By passing the injunction that blocked access from BT, British courts have set a dangerous precedent that will be hard to reverse, one that has opened the door to having other sites censored and one that could, potentially, lead to other forms of corporate censorship. Still, you've got to commend those ISPs who are willing to stand up against them. What will it take to get the courts to start doing the same thing?

 

Image courtesy of Newzbin2

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42 Comments

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Totally relate to that. Worst company for this is Icon Entertainment. I rented "The Darwin Awards." I had to sit through literally 30 minutes of pre-movie junk that I could not skip. How do I know?

20 minutes in:

"Can't fast forward, skip, jump, anything, maybe I can click this top menu button.... wtf? Why did it stop?"
*pushes play*
*whole intro starts again*
"Are you ****ing kidding me??"
*checked watch*
*did not dare touch the controller*
*30 minutes later the movie started*

I have never rented another Icon entertainment film. I refuse to on the principle that it wasted almost an hour of my time on advertisements, after I paid to watch the damn movie...

Brian Miller said,
What jurisdiction does the American MPA have over the UK?

As of this current day and age, all companies seem to have global jurisdiction... Apple and Samsung anyone?

CrimsonBetrayal said,
As of this current day and age, all companies seem to have global jurisdiction... Apple and Samsung anyone?
Yes, that's kinda why they're defined as multinational or global companies. If they sell or provide services in a country they certainly have a right to representation.

Good for those ISPs. Screw Sky for bending over and allowing the MPA to give them a spanking.

Looks like a VPN company will be getting my money soon!

My one desire is that people would understand what it is they're petitioning against, fighting for, suing to ban, etc. So many times these situations arise, and it's all because people don't actually understand the causes. There is no reason why they can't force these news servers to filter content. I mean sure, they might not get it 100%, but they'll get it pretty damn close.

The lawyers who represent these companies (MPA, MPAA, BPI, IFPI), know as much about how the technology works as a first grade student in primary school. If it's a requirement of any other job to know what it is your doing, why aren't lawyers expected to live up to the same standards and understand what it is they're fighting for/against?

This whole blocking sites is kind of like cutting off a hand when there's an infection on a finger than can be healed with antibiotics... I just wish if they were going to fight for their cause, they'd do it intelligently. I have absolutely no problems with them protecting their intellectual property. I do have problems with them encroaching on the rights of others while doing it. Freedom of speech is only free until you offend someone, so why is this any different??

I know its not the exactly the same but.....

This seems to me like auto insurance companies saying We pay to much in claims, we want all governments to ban any auto that goes more than (insert your countries max speed limit here). So that no one will ever drive 1 mile over a posted speed. "For the safety of its people" and "To protect the insurance companies ability to operate".

Just an example on how anything can be turned.....

I haven't even looked, but I bet more than half the people in this thread will complain because they're addicted to stealing stuff online lol

Spirit Dave said,
I haven't even looked, but I bet more than half the people in this thread will complain because they're addicted to stealing stuff online lol

It's nothing to do with stealing stuff. I'd prefer they work with the companies and find a solution that works for everyone, rather than cutting off the hand because the finger is infected. It's a simple educated decision rather than a knee-jerk reaction to a problem that becomes larger every day...

For once the genius of this argument works in favor of the people. Normally a few "bad apples" cause new laws to ruin things for everyone. Where if you look at the numbers for newsgroups, I think you'll find the majority of content and use is indeed for copyrighted material. The legitimate use is the only thing that's kept the greedy global industries at bay. It's being chipped away little by little like all your other freedoms. You'll wake up one day just like you did when Napster went away and it'll just be one less thing you have easy access to that you thought was safe.

The thing is Newzbin2 can be used for legal things right? Which case they'll be stopping peoples rights to use the website.

This is going to be a real problem, censorship! It's digusting.

These companies and organisations are completely out-of-touch. Maybe they should ask, "Why do people choose to pirate over purchasing ligitimately?", Maybe it's because people don't want to be advertised about piracy, when they purchased the product in the first place. T_T

Younha said,
These companies and organisations are completely out-of-touch. Maybe they should ask, "Why do people choose to pirate over purchasing ligitimately?", Maybe it's because people don't want to be advertised about piracy, when they purchased the product in the first place. T_T

A little off-topic, but that's always ****ed me off too. Buy a DVD, and what's the first thing that comes on screen when you hit play? An un-skippable 30 second advert telling you that piracy is bad.

F**k off, you're preaching to somebody who just BOUGHT your product you idiots! The pirates and their customers are busy watching a nice 1:1 copy with those annoying pre-movie adverts removed.

It's the same with DRM in computer games. The pirates strip out the DRM in the versions they provide, meaning the only people affected and inconvenienced by DRM are the actual paying customers.

This is a lesson in stupidity from those so-called anti-piracy organisations.

This is why we have DMCA C&D court orders, to protect copyright. Banning P2P because of a few bad eggs is such a backward step for technology.

The Teej said,
This is why we have DMCA C&D court orders, to protect copyright. Banning P2P because of a few bad eggs is such a backward step for technology.

Even the DCMA is used fraudulently (literally) by members of the MPA, IFPI etc.

To anyone who thinks that this is a good thing because the site promotes piracy, do remember, censorship is not good, not good at all and this just opens the flood gates.

If this all goes the way I see it going, in a few years time there's going to be riots on the streets about getting the open internet back..

Blocking sites isn't the answer. We all know that.

New sites / workarounds would pop up within hours. Its extreme naivety to think this would help in any way. Other than making share sites responsible for any files it shares (therefore all files submitted would have to be vetted by mods before going live and that would take quite some manpower I reckon) then I can't see a feasible answer.

All this has done is given the rest of the competition an unfair advantage and selling point to take customers from BT and to secure new customers.

A judge has asked BT to block it and they did. Has a judge asked other ISPs to block it? No, he did not. MPA are just trying to piggyback on the momentum. Sky Broadband have nothing to comply with, but they thought they would be nice guys and play along. It's admirable that other ISPs are in favour of the correct judicial process. It will probably end up being a formality for MPA to get a court order to get other ISPs to comply, but they still need to do it. You don't ask, you don't get.

vanx said,
A judge has asked BT to block it and they did. Has a judge asked other ISPs to block it? No, he did not. MPA are just trying to piggyback on the momentum. Sky Broadband have nothing to comply with, but they thought they would be nice guys and play along. It's admirable that other ISPs are in favour of the correct judicial process. It will probably end up being a formality for MPA to get a court order to get other ISPs to comply, but they still need to do it. You don't ask, you don't get.

Indeed, Sky and Virgin have a huge conflict of interest here

Gaffney said,
These corporations can F Off, this bill shouldn't have been passed so quickly.

When the government is corrupt it must be refreshed from time to time. People across the world have gotten too soft due to globalism. Our food, water, and entertainment has been infected with the very intent to make us lazy and not fight back for what's right.

There will always be another way.

They should create better services. Streaming subs like Spotify and Zune are a step in the right direction. Funny how downloading and watching a film is less annoying than a real disc version.

oceanmotion said,
There will always be another way.

They should create better services. Streaming subs like Spotify and Zune are a step in the right direction. Funny how downloading and watching a film is less annoying than a real disc version.


For me personally: Steaming ftl...

I like to own stuff...

Then again, nowadays ALL is licensing (as in your FEELING IT as legit costumer) ... Whether it's bought or rent...

Surely the days till IKEA will license tables and shelves are about to come soon, right?...

GS:mac

Yeah, it's not for everyone but it's ideal for many. It's a nice alternative method, and a step in the right direction, now they just have to make the side of full purchases more open.

Glassed Silver said,

For me personally: Steaming ftl...

I like to own stuff...

Then again, nowadays ALL is licensing (as in your FEELING IT as legit costumer) ... Whether it's bought or rent...

Surely the days till IKEA will license tables and shelves are about to come soon, right?...

GS:mac


I thought it has always been a matter of licensing, wether that information arrived on a CD, a DVD, or even a tape. You never actually owned the information on those devices, just a license to play the content.

TCLN Ryster said,

I thought it has always been a matter of licensing, wether that information arrived on a CD, a DVD, or even a tape. You never actually owned the information on those devices, just a license to play the content.

Did you ignore the part about "FEELING" it...?
I know it was always about licensing, but you start to feel that the more you move on in time...

GS:mac

I was listening to NPR the other day, and they were doing a show about Spotify. Spotify uses P2P to allow for their streams to be super-fast and have license agreements with the music industry also, so add that to the list of another legitimate use of P2P.

sonrah said,
I was listening to NPR the other day, and they were doing a show about Spotify. Spotify uses P2P to allow for their streams to be super-fast and have license agreements with the music industry also, so add that to the list of another legitimate use of P2P.

But there is illegal activity, we must get our act together and ban technology that...
*We are sorry, but due to the organization being cut off the internet due to it's illegal use potential, we could not receive the rest of this BS message.*

GS:mac

sonrah said,
I was listening to NPR the other day, and they were doing a show about Spotify. Spotify uses P2P to allow for their streams to be super-fast and have license agreements with the music industry also, so add that to the list of another legitimate use of P2P.

wasnt there an university in the UK that banned spotify because it was using upstream bandwidth over P2P which was against uni policy?

Julius Caro said,

wasnt there an university in the UK that banned spotify because it was using upstream bandwidth over P2P which was against uni policy?


Haha oh boy...

University LAN & WLAN or even dormitory LAN/WLAN?

GS:mac

Julius Caro said,
wasnt there an university in the UK that banned spotify because it was using upstream bandwidth over P2P which was against uni policy?

It was Oxford.

Philip James Fry said,
Isnt MPA based in the US?..Don't stick your nose in other countries business. Derp.

Ok boys and girls, the MPAA is in the US, the MPA is the UK Music Publishers Association. They were fronted by the BPI, the UK RIAA counterpart. To think that greed only exists in the US is at best ridiculous.

schubb2003 said,

Ok boys and girls, the MPAA is in the US, the MPA is the UK Music Publishers Association. They were fronted by the BPI, the UK RIAA counterpart. To think that greed only exists in the US is at best ridiculous.

The MPA is the international front of the MPAA. Although they often work with the BPI and IFPI on racketeering operations like this.

Glassed Silver, Schubb and M2yS4U, thanks for clearing it up. Had problems finding that info

Although since this is the internet..where you usually dont accept defeat....

stfu h0m0s, gtfo f4gs-