Thursday 22 February 2018

BT to block file-share site after UK ruling

Kevin Rawlinson

ILLEGAL file-sharing websites face a fight to survive after Hollywood studios won a landmark UK high court ruling forcing BT to block access to Newzbin2, a site providing links to illegal downloads of films, music and games.

The decision paves the way for record companies, film studios and other copyright owners, such as the Premier League, to force other major UK internet providers to ban file-sharing sites.

In what is thought to be a legal first, the Motion Picture Association of America took BT to court under the 1988 Copyright, Design and Patents Act in its capacity as an internet service provider (ISP).

Frustrated in its attempts to shut down Newzbin2, it wanted to force BT to "block or at least impede access (to Newzbin2)" by its subscribers.

Mr Justice Arnold said the studios, including Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Disney "made it clear that this is a test case" and intended to seek similar orders against the UK's other major ISPs. He said Newzbin2, which has around 700,000 members, provided the means for "continued large-scale infringement of the studios' copyrights".

The judge said he did not "anticipate a flood of... applications (against other ISPs)".

But an industry insider said cases were likely when a formal ruling against BT was handed down in the coming months.

He said all five major ISPs, which cover 95pc of the UK's internet users, would face cases to block file-sharing sites. (©Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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