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BT Told to Block Newzbin Website Within 14 Days

UK Telco BT has been ordered to block access to Newzbin within the next 14 days, as well as any other IP addresses or URLs that the team behind Newzbin might use.

The written judgement (opens in new tab) was issued by the high court and is the first time that a website is facing a permanent block by an ISP in the UK under Copyright law. BT is now legally responsible for blocking the website which includes financing any implementation as well.

The ruling could be extended to other ISPs in the country and potentially to mobile phone operators like Vodafone or Three Mobile.

Justice Arnold sided with a coalition of Hollywood studios as well as the BPI and rejected a request by BT for studios to give a cross undertaking in damages.

He also pointed out that "BT has actual knowledge of other persons using its service to infringe copyright: it knows that the users and operators of Newzbin2 infringe copyright on a large scale, and in particular infringe the copyrights of the Studios in large numbers of their films and television programmes".

BT says that the initial cost of implementation of the blocking order will be £5000 with each subsequent notification priced at £100.

Newzbin2 is said to have more than 700,000 members and generates in excess of £1 million per year by providing copies of films, TV programmes as well as games and music tracks.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.