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Spellarella
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PostSubject: BT ORDERED TO BLOCK NEWZBIN SITE   Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:20 am

Newzbin: What happens next?Comments (97)
More from Rory4G? How about some 2G says consumer group

It's safe to say that Britain's internet service providers (ISPs) and creative industries don't see eye-to-eye but in recent months they've been agreed on one thing.

The Newzbin case was going to be a key moment for the regulation of the internet in this country and the battle against piracy.

Yesterday Mr Justice Arnold delivered his verdict in the case which saw Hollywood squaring up against BT.

And the result of the case looks like game, set and match to the movie industry, with the judge ordering BT to block access to Newzbin 2. So what happens now?

If you believe BT, nothing much.

After fighting hard for months against the idea that an internet provider should have any role in blocking piracy, the telecoms giant put out a statement welcoming "a helpful judgement which provides clarity on this complex issue".

That might seem bizarre, but BT believes there is still plenty to play for.


There was no time yesterday to work out the exact way in which the blocking of Newzbin 2 will take place. The warring parties will return to the High Court in October where BT says it will "explain what kind of order we believe is appropriate".

BT suggested in court that the order could apply only to specific files identified by the studios rather than the whole site, but the judge made it clear in his ruling that as just about everything on Newzbin 2 is infringing content, he wasn't minded to ask the studios to provide a daily list of offending files.


The landmark case could set an important precedent
Just how the blocking mechanism will be applied and who will check whether the process is working is far from clear.

But come October, when an order is issued, it will be taken to apply not just to BT but to all the major ISPs, who got a letter before the case asking them to act against Newzbin 2.

Until then of course, the Seychelles-registered website, now enjoying a marketing boost from the case, will continue to operate freely. That will mean plenty more cash for "Mr White", "Mr Pink", and its other owners who seem to be fans of Reservoir Dogs.

You won't find many outside the movie business who believe that blocking Newzbin 2 will have a major effect on piracy. But what the ruling does do is change the balance of power in the standoff between the creative industries and the ISPs.

In recent months, the government has been putting pressure on the two sides to agree a voluntary code whereby copyright infringing sites could be blocked following an order from a judge, but without a lengthy case like the one we've just seen.

When I suggested on air yesterday that ministers would now be more likely to press that kind of agreement on the ISPs, BT's Simon Milner disagreed with my analysis.

But last night I spotted a series of tweets from Ed Vaizey, the culture minister who has been brokering the talks over web blocking.

The first three welcomed the Newzbin ruling, echoing the views of creative industry leaders. The minister, who was apparently at home babysitting, was then engaged in what you might term vigorous debate about the rights and wrongs of copyright by other Twitter users



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PostSubject: Re: BT ORDERED TO BLOCK NEWZBIN SITE   Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:21 am

Newzbin filesharing site has to be blocked by BT, court orders


A High Court judge has ordered BT to block its customers from accessing Newzbin2, a site which provides links to pirated material, the BBC reports.

This is the first time an Internet service provider has been ordered to block access to a site like this. The legal action against BT was launched by the Motion Picture Association, which represents several Hollywood studios including Paramount, Fox and Disney.

Newzbin hosts links to copyright material, including movies, by searching Usenet discussion groups. The MPA already had Newzbin shut down last March, but the site popped up again under the name Newzbin2, operating from the Seychelles.

The MPA's thinking was obviously that if it couldn't shut the site down, it could block users from accessing it. And it's worked, because now a judge has told BT it must prevent its customers from accessing the site. That will affect millions of UK Internet users, as BT is the largest ISP in the UK, although not (it seems) users of other ISPs who buy their bandwidth from BT Wholesale. Not, at least, until the MPA slaps them with lawsuits.


The ruling could pave the way for rights owners to request blocks to other sites, a slippery slope that could see UK Web surfers' access to the Internet seriously restricted. That's something BT itself warned against when the MPA was first seeking the injunction, saying such a ruling would be the "thin end of the wedge".

Now a precedent has been set, it could be much harder for other Internet providers to resist such rulings. Indeed, the MPA has already signalled its intention to go after other ISPs, and has said the ruling against BT is a "victory for millions of people working in the UK creative industries". Millions? Really?


"Newzbin is a notorious pirate website which makes hundreds of thousands of copyrighted products available without permission and with no regard for the law," the group said in a statement.


It feels very heavy-handed to us. Promoting services such as Spotify and LoveFilm that offer reasonably priced, legal and convenient digital access to copyright material seems like much the best way to combat piracy, rather than forcing ISPs to try to block dodgy websites used by a small minority.

What do you think? Is this an erosion of our online freedoms? Should we be restricted in the sites we can visit? Or is it right to stamp out piracy in any way possible?
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PostSubject: Re: BT ORDERED TO BLOCK NEWZBIN SITE   Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:21 am

New website blocking regulations not on the agenda, Government says

The Government has sidetracked plans to create new website blocking laws following a recommendation from the UK's telecoms regulator.

Alternative blocking measures that tackle illegal file-sharing will be explored instead, it said.

Provisions within sections 17 and 18 of the Digital Economy Act (DEA) allow the Culture Secretary to draw up new regulations that would see courts decide whether to force ISPs to block access to pirated copyright works, but for the moment the Government has decided not to write the new laws.

"Ofcom concludes that the blocking of infringing sites could potentially play a role in tackling online copyright infringement, but that the approach set out in the DEA is unlikely to be effective because of the slow speed that would be expected from a full court process," a Government policy statement (10-page / 160KB PDF) on the implementation of the DEA said.

"This would provide site operators with the opportunity to change the location of the site long before any injunction could come into force. The Government will not bring forward regulations on site blocking under the DEA, at this time," the statement said.

In its report Ofcom had said the new laws would not be sufficiently predictable, low cost and fast to implement for rights holders to benefit from.

"We do not think that sections 17 and 18 of the Act would meet the requirements of the copyright owners," Ofcom's report (56-page / 1.99MB PDF) into website blocking said.

"Specifically, we do not think that using the DEA would sufficiently speed up the process of securing a blocking injunction, when compared to using section 97A of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act, which already provides a route to securing blocking injunctions. As a consequence we are sceptical as to whether copyright owners would make sufficient use of any new process," the report said.

Last week the Motion Picture Association (MPA) won a landmark High Court ruling against the UK's biggest internet service provider (ISP) BT. The MPA successfully argued that BT should block its customers' access to a website that provides links to pirated films.

Six major film studios - including Warner Brothers, Disney and Fox – had requested the action.

The High Court made its ruling under section 97A of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act. That section gives UK courts the power to grant an injunction against an ISP if it had 'actual knowledge' that someone had used its service to infringe copyright.

The Act does not specify what purpose an injunction must serve. Section 97A implements the requirements of the EU Copyright Directive which states that countries must ensure that copyright holders have the right to apply for injunctions against intermediaries, such as ISPs, whose services are used to infringe copyright.

The case is the first time that an ISP has been ordered to block access to such a site under UK copyright laws.

In its report Ofcom said that effective website blocking measures could be obtained using existing technical measures.

"If the Government was minded to pursue the objective of implementing a site blocking scheme, we would recommend that further research be undertaken to identify and evaluate alternative legal frameworks which would be more suitable," Ofcom said.

"In particular, we would suggest any research considers how to best harness the potential value of complementary approaches, such as search engine de-listing, measures to constrain advertising and subscription revenue sources, as well as notice and take down approaches. Site blocking could potentially be more effective if it was supported by the appropriate use of such measures," it said.

The technical measure preferred by Ofcom for blocking access to illegal content was re-directing users away from illegal content using alterations to the domain name system (DNS).

"We consider DNS blocking to be the technique which could be implemented with least delay," Ofcom said in its report.

"While it carries a risk of over blocking, since it blocks at the level of the domain (blocking all websites in the blocked domain, when only one may have been infringing), it would be quick to implement, as existing systems could be easily adapted, and would appear to require only fairly modest incremental investment for service providers," it said.

Operators of websites need to be better identifiable in order for blocking measures to work, Ofcom said. It also said ISPs could take days to implement blocking measures under current systems and that automating the process could be a potential solution to speeding up the implementation of measures.

ISPs must also be protected from being legally responsible for "over-blocking" access when implementing a court injunction, whilst the risk of blocking access to legitimate content must also be reduced in order for existing measures to become more useful, Ofcom said.

The Government said it is already working with industry and law enforcement bodies to find better ways to combat websites that infringe copyright.

"We are already exploring measures which target the revenue streams of websites dedicated to infringing copyright, such as banning advertising on these sites and withdrawing payment facilities," the Government's statement said.

"We also want to work with search engines to investigate how it could be ensured that unlawful sites do not appear higher up in search rankings than legitimate sources of digital content, without distorting legitimate online business or harming fair competition," it said.

The Government also announced the implementation of the initial obligations of the DEA in its policy report. Separate coverage of this story will be available on OUT-LAW later.


OFCOMS REPORT PDF

UK NEXT STEP LEGAL PLAN PDF
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PostSubject: Re: BT ORDERED TO BLOCK NEWZBIN SITE   Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:32 am

So the rot has set in, on one side the rotting barrell of civil right and freedome of expression and movement, on the other side the greedy tyrants stamping out those liberites under the loose veil of copyright infringement.




What will the Tryants of Industry think of the UK law currently going though legal proces that allows individuals to copy any item for their own usage.

Such as copying a song from a radio, putting songs and films on MP3 players. Copying TV programs to view later. ALL ARE ILLEGAL TO DO, until this law comes into affect.

Was interesting to hear the legals on this and in particular...... the priracy angle.

Piracy was defined as 'MASS DOWNLOADING OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL WITH THE INTENT TO MAKE PROFIT, WITH NO INTENTION OR GRATIS PAID TO THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER'

Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: BT ORDERED TO BLOCK NEWZBIN SITE   Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:41 am

Ontop of this BT has said, it will comply as ordered it will block access to NEWZBIN. Any other sites it wlil only block after, it has been taken to court and ordered to for each and every site.

Spoiler:
 

As Newzbin blog states, neither BT or Newzbin were present in court, they were not invited or ordered to attend. The case was one sided representation only. BT being one of the riche kids can fight agasint the other tyranical giants, was it no surprise they were not present or given a chance to defend itself...... not really.

Tryannical giants only like to bully the little people. These giants like to pick on the poor, how very brave of them... slap1
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PostSubject: Re: BT ORDERED TO BLOCK NEWZBIN SITE   Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:50 am

Gris Gris wrote:
Piracy was defined as 'MASS DOWNLOADING OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL WITH THE INTENT TO MAKE PROFIT, WITH NO INTENTION OR GRATIS PAID TO THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER'

Spoiler:
 

Am i right to think that (In theory), as long as you aren't downloading, making copies and then selling them for profit that you aren't breaking the rules. As long as it is for personal use then you are not committing piracy?
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PostSubject: Re: BT ORDERED TO BLOCK NEWZBIN SITE   Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:02 am

TK Trooper wrote:
Gris Gris wrote:
Piracy was defined as 'MASS DOWNLOADING OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL WITH THE INTENT TO MAKE PROFIT, WITH NO INTENTION OR GRATIS PAID TO THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER'

Spoiler:
 

Am i right to think that (In theory), as long as you aren't downloading, making copies and then selling them for profit that you aren't breaking the rules. As long as it is for personal use then you are not committing piracy?

In theory yes, if that woops is marked in and passed in law then , that would be sanactioned.

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PostSubject: Re: BT ORDERED TO BLOCK NEWZBIN SITE   Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:23 am

Newzbin2 ruling sets precedent for online copyright infringement

OPINION: Rights-holders must act decisively to show infringers that they are serious after a High Court ruling forced Britain's largest internet service provider to block access to an infringing website.

The High Court has set a precedent for the blocking of websites that contain infringing content under existing UK copyright laws.

Recent focus on copyright infringement has been centered round the Digital Economy Act (DEA), particularly the section which would permit content owners to target websites that infringe copyright. A recent High Court ruling arguably means that new laws are not required as it has clarified that protection is available for rights-holders under existing legislation; a fact that may have largely been lost amidst the controversy surrounding the DEA.

The ruling in the case brought against BT by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and five other major Hollywood film distributors means that BT must act to block subscribers' access to the Newzbin2 website, which provides links to unlicensed film content. It is the first time that a website-blocking injunction has been issued to an internet service provider (ISP) in the UK on the grounds of copyright infringement.

At first glance it appears to be good news for rights-holders. Under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) they can obtain a blocking order against an ISP, meaning that ISPs are obliged effectively to help 'police' the internet in certain circumstances. Rights-holders will invariably wish to obtain similar orders to block access to other infringing sites and against other ISPs.

Take a closer look at the facts of the case though and we can see that it is not quite that simple.

So what did the ruling say? It clarified that to obtain such an order the rights-holder must prove their infringement claims in court and convince a judge to make the order sought. It also reiterates the requirement in the CDPA to show that the ISP has actual knowledge that its service is being used for the purposes of copyright infringement.

In Newzbin2 it was pretty clear cut. The vast majority of films were protected by copyright – around 97 per cent in fact. This was one of the factors taken into account by the judge when agreeing to grant the order and deciding that BT knew that its subscribers were using its service to access and download infringing material.

Not all cases will be so clear cut though. There are many sites that contain a mix of content, both legitimate and infringing. It will be much harder for rights-holders to prove their claims where this is the case. It will also be more difficult in such cases to impute knowledge on the part of the ISP.

What the ruling actually does is create a dilemma for rights-holders. On the one hand they will want to send out a clear message to infringers that they are serious about protecting their rights and their ability to make money from their work. On the other, they are unlikely to want to invest time and effort in taking action in cases that are less clear cut, particularly having an application rejected might prove counterproductive.

In all likelihood, for the moment at least, rights-holders will only pursue an action in cases where it is obvious that there are large amounts of infringing content. The floodgates are unlikely to open in the foreseeable future.

Rights-holders can take heart from the ruling though. This was a test case, which has set a precedent for future actions. The complex issues involved have been considered and the future process for obtaining blocking orders, in clear cut cases at least, can only get quicker and less expensive. Indeed the judge himself recognised this in his judgment.

In the not too distant future we will more than likely see the emergence of standard documents for website-blocking applications, meaning that the process can be dealt with fairly quickly. We may even see this becoming a largely paper application, without the need for a lengthy court process to be followed. If this does happen, we will undoubtedly see an increase in the number of applications for website blocking orders, but it will be a steady one.

For this process to be effective in the fight against online copyright infringement, once alerted to the existence of infringing content, rights-holders must act. Failing to do so would signal that they are not serious about applying these laws to the online world. They need to exercise the powers that they have to act as a deterrent. If they fail to do so it sends out the wrong message to infringers who will continue to act with a blatant disregard for copyright laws.
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