Editor ©RapidTVNews | 29-07-2011

CIn a major success for content owners in their battle against piracy, the UK High Court has ordered that incumbent broadband provider VBT must block access to the Newzbin 2 online video service.

The move, said to be the first time that an ISP in the UK has been ordered to block access to pirated copy, is being claimed to have set a legal precedent.

Newbiz 2 is the second version of a members-only online repository of bit-torrent streams of material that content owners assert has been made available illegally. The original site the Newzbin website was forced to close down following legal action by content owners. This new case ups the ante considerably in the battle by content owners, led by The Motion Picture Association of America.

Summing up his ruling on the case whereby the MPAA charged BT with removing access to the site, which could have profound implications for video service providers, Justice Arnold stated: "In my judgment it follows 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. It knows that the users of Newzbin 2 include BT subscribers, and it knows those users use its service to receive infringing copies of copyright works made available to them by Newzbin 2."

Speaking on behalf of the UK Film Distributors' Association, president Lord Puttnam, said: "Today's result is an important victory in the battle against a commercial pirate site which refused to operate within the law. Finally, it seems we have a way to deal with rogue sites which will benefit the film industry, including UK independent distributors and, more broadly, the entire creative sector."