BT gets 14 days to block Newzbin2

Web-blocking begins...


Websites and IP addresses will become unreachable for the first time in the UK for copyright reasons. The High Court has ordered BT to block subscribers access to Newzbin 2, as well as any other sites or end points it uses. BT has 14 days to implement the measure, and must pay for it, too, a cost estimated at £5,000 initially.

US movie studios brought the case over Usenet scraper Newzbin, and although BT tried to argue that copyright infringement wasn’t any of its business, and that policing it was intrusive, a court comprehensively rejected its arguments earlier this year.

Both sides then declared they were happy: with copyright industries saying they’d established an important principle (they had), and BT arguing that a slow and expensive procedure was still required (it is).

BT must pay the full costs – and the costs of notifications. The High Court rejected BT's move to share costs with the studios.

The judge said it was a price ISPs had to pay for immunity, when looked at the bigger risk picture.

“The exposure of intermediaries to an injunction under Article 8(3) is part of the price which they pay for immunity from claims for damages under Articles 12(1), 13(1) and 14(1) of European Parliament and Council Directive 2000/31/EC of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market (“the E-Commerce Directive”).”

In case you’re wondering, “site” means destination. Soon after the earlier judgement, users could access Newzbin2 unlicensed material thanks to a browser plug-in. The judge said that was still accessing Newzbin2.

“I do not consider that the Studios should be obliged to return to court for an order in respect of every single IP address or URL that the operators of Newzbin2 may use. In my view the wording proposed by the Studios strikes the appropriate balance.”

There are many, many alternatives to blocking websites, some with driving analogies. The PRS proposed a “traffic lights” warning instead, preferring to give punters advice than stop them doing something they shouldn’t. Another alternative involves totting up “speeding points” for actively infringing in a known dodgy area.

You would think all are preferable to the illiberal measure of site-blocking, which is as expensive to fight as it was before. But ISPs are anything but sympathetic in this area – and none of them, nor the any of the “copyfighting” digital rights groups have been able to find one they can support, either.

So, alas, web-blocking it is. ®

Related link

The Judgement

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading
  • Utility biz Delta-Montrose Electric Association loses billing capability and two decades of records after cyber attack

    All together now - R, A, N, S, O...

    A US utility company based in Colorado was hit by a ransomware attack in November that wiped out two decades' worth of records and knocked out billing systems that won't be restored until next week at the earliest.

    The attack was detailed by the Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) in a post on its website explaining that current customers won't be penalised for being unable to pay their bills because of the incident.

    "We are a victim of a malicious cyber security attack. In the middle of an investigation, that is as far as I’m willing to go," DMEA chief exec Alyssa Clemsen Roberts told a public board meeting, as reported by a local paper.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021