The Motion Picture Association has asked more British ISPs to block the Usenet scrubbing website Newzbin2, after they were successful in pushing through a block from the largest service provider in the UK, BT.
Its reason for targeting sites like Newzbin2 and others is due to their linking to pirated content for download. In doing so, the MPA is following in the footsteps of the British Phonographic Industry, which recently put a block order (opens in new tab) on another famous file sharing website, The Pirate Bay.
This latest blocking request comes despite the owners of the Newzbin2 site claiming that upwards of 90 per cent of its user base had methods for circumventing the block.
BBC News (opens in new tab) is reporting that the MPA is engaging in a UK wide crackdown on piracy. The ISPs that have been targeted by the organisation are Virgin Media, Sky and TalkTalk. The first two rolled over immediately and said they would comply, whereas for now TalkTalk has said it was considering its response.
"There are some elements of the order, for instance that we have to pay the costs of implementing it, that we think are inappropriate," said Andrew Heaney, head of regulatory affairs at TalkTalk.
This is a large part of the argument that ISPs are bringing to the table - those that fight the orders at least: why should they be policing UK law, and why should they be the ones paying for it?
The block purportedly cost BT around £5,000 to implement. A legal wrangle with the MPA over this probably wouldn't be worth it for TalkTalk as it would cost far more than simply implementing the block. However, Mr Heaney said they were considering it and that they "may reserve the right to contest it in the future."
The fact that the MPA continues to utilise this blocking strategy shows how out of touch they are. The Newzbin owners recently released information stating that 93 per cent of their users had a workaround that allowed them to bypass BT's block. It's more than likely that the ones implemented by Virgin, Sky and probably Talk Talk would be just as easy to get around.
The MPA's only response to this was that they hoped the block would deter the vast majority of users. Clearly, that's not the case.