MPA pushes other ISPs to block Newzbin

By | Published on Monday 14 November 2011


The Motion Picture Association has written to Virgin Media, Sky and TalkTalk asking them to follow BT’s lead in blocking access to their customers to the Newzbin file-sharing community.

As previously reported, earlier this year the MPA successfully obtained an injunction ordering BT, as the UK’s biggest internet service provider, to block access to its customers to Newzbin, the file-sharing site which provides links to a lot of unlicensed movie and music content. It was the first web-blocking injunction issued in the UK on copyright grounds. The MPA had previously successfully sued Newzbin for copyright infringement, but the site’s owners relocated to Sweden, outside the jurisdiction of the English courts.

The MPA’s letter asks the three other major UK ISPs to voluntarily instigate a block against Newzbin. The net firms are considering their responses, though they are likely to say they won’t block Newzbin without an injunction, but that they won’t fight any such injunction in court. Though TalkTalk has expressed concerns that the injunction issued against BT said the net firm, not the content owners, should meet the cost of instigating and maintaining the web-block.

Of course web-savvy file-sharers will always be able to circumvent blocks put in place by ISPs against certain websites, though content owners hope such blocks will deter more casual online copyright infringers. As previously reported, using the precedent set in the Newzbin case, record label trade body the BPI is leading a coalition of content industry bodies in calling on BT to also block access to The Pirate Bay.

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