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Newzbin2 Threatens to Nuke BT's Filters if Blocked

Friday major movie studios won a small victory in the fight against online piracy, as a High Court judge in London ruled (pdf) that, based on the 1988 Copyright, Design and Patents Act, Internet service provider British Telecom (BT) must block access to Newzbin2. Unfortunately, this may spark a war between the site, the carrier and Hollywood itself.

"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 Newzbin 2 infringe copyright on a large scale, and in particular infringe the copyrights of the studios in large numbers of their films and television programs," Justice Arnold stated.

Newsbin2 is a site that connects users to “stolen movies, television programs, games, music and books” loaded on Usenet newsgroups. The original Newsbin site was closed down in May 2010 after a High Court ruling that forced the site to remove Usenet links. The site then re-opened as Newzbin2 a month later using the same code and database, but moved its operations offshore to the Seychelles.

According to the MPAA, an estimated 700,000 members use the Newzbin2 service, generating the operators in excess of $1.6 million USD profit off stolen content a year. Around 70-percent of the content available on Newzbin2 is movies and ripped/recorded television programming. And while cutting access to Newzbin2 from BT customers doesn't shut down the site completely, it's definitely seems like a step in the right direction for copyright owners.

"This ruling from Justice Arnold is a victory for millions of people working in the UK creative industries and demonstrates that the law of the land must apply online," said Chris Marcich, President and Managing Director of the MPAA's European arm. "This court action was never an attack on ISPs but we do need their cooperation to deal with the Newzbin site which continually tries to evade the law and judicial sanction. Newzbin is a notorious pirate website which makes hundreds of thousands of copyrighted products available without permission and with no regard for the law."

But prior to the ruling, Newsbin2 said on Wednesday that if BT makes any attempts to block subscribers from the website, it will "ensure continuity of service to our UK readers" by breaking BT's Cleanfeed filter. This filter is typically used to block access to sites playing host to child pornography – now it will also filter out Newzbin2.

"Our users don't wish Cleanfeed to work and based on a preliminary technical assessment we think it will be trivially breakable. We have the sand, and if needed we will pour it in Cleanfeed's engine oil," said one of Newzbin2's administrators. Friday in a response to the UK ruling, the administrators made the threat again, stating that "we know how it works. Security through obscurity doesn’t work. And after October neither will Cleanfeed."

BT wasn't happy with the threat. "We would be appalled if any group were to try to sabotage this technology as it helps to protect the innocent from highly offensive and illegal content," the company stated. BT said it has no plans to appeal the ruling, and will return to court with the MPA in October to work on how the blocking will actually be carried out.

"Website blocking is pointless and dangerous," said Peter Bradwell of the Open Rights Group ."These judgments won't work to stop infringement or boost creative industries. And there are serious risks of legitimate content being blocked and service slowdown. If the goal is boosting creators' ability to make money from their work then we need to abandon these technologically naive measures, focus on genuine market reforms, and satisfy unmet consumer demand."

  • mauller07
    So being blocked for nefarious deeds they will commit to more nefarious deeds of more extremity, breaking the computers misuse act by damaging a system held by someone else.

    nice going.

    still do not like the way the movie and music industries treat individuals and their ways of extorting people, even when they have not pirated.
  • alidan
    mauller07So being blocked for nefarious deeds they will commit to more nefarious deeds of more extremity, breaking the computers misuse act by damaging a system held by someone else.nice going.still do not like the way the movie and music industries treat individuals and their ways of extorting people, even when they have not pirated.
    im all for breaking this thing.

    it was used to filter out REAL crimes, not big business is muscling its way to get barely crime crime filtered the same way as REAL crimes?

    let 100 guilty go than to imprison 1 innocent.

    in this case its like the prison only holds people who killed 10 people or more and they will be put to death for it. and this judge decides that this person who defended himself in a bar fight (by beating the ever loving s*** out of the other person) gets sent there too.

    im all for the jail break. this is tech ment to keep the worst of the WORST off the internet, not some copyright bulls***
  • gorehound
    filters were created for real crime not for downloading things that may or may not be legal.i say go for it and break the filters.
    and to the MPAA you can come over and lick my welsh corgi's butt.he needs a good cleaning and i know the MPAA can clean up poop good.
    that is all they are good for.
    can't wait till your organization implodes.
  • NuclearShadow
    You know what really angers me about this, something that really grinds my god damn gears?
    The attention it gets. The god damn attention it gets. Piracy.... the news articles, the anti-piracy agencies, law enforcement is getting involved, the courts, hell even the governments of the world. You would think that piracy is the worst crime one could commit on the internet.

    While something much more severe gets little to no attention. Just look as child endangerment and child pornography. For god damn sakes people children are being exploited and raped, the rape recorded and shared over the internet. Piracy has gotten the attention of the news media, anti piracy groups have formed, armies of lawyers, millions of dollars being spent,
    law enforcement gets diverted now to get involves, courts have endless cases they handle,
    the governments around the globe now pass laws involving it. All this god damn attention on piracy. Do you see any real issues like those involving the very lives of children getting nearly this much attention?

    What the hell have we become?
  • SirGCal
    alidanlet 100 guilty go than to imprison 1 innocent.
    Well, actually, copyright violation is a 'REAL' crime... But aside from that argument, this is the planet Earth where the above statement is a hopeful one at best. US, UK, Etc. all would much rather screw over thousands of innocents for the acts of very few guilty. Doesn't matter.

    And it's not just things like this; In the US, the fight for gun rights are in the same boat. Millions of legal and safe practicing hunters and sportsmen are constantly threatened by the acts of a very few. Same thing here, a few jerks trade illegal crap and they block the entire public... IMHO, real mature way to handle it... (rolling eyes)
  • jkflipflop98
    I love how this group of super rich people that run hollywood can shape laws halfway around the world - simply because they don't want to keep up with the times.

    Here's an idea, dumbasses :
    Stream everything you have across the internet in HD. People will pay you for it. Wow that was hard!
  • I think they are going about this the wrong way. They should be suing any and all advertisers on these pirate sites. These companies are the ones paying to keep that content up there, giving profits to thieves. Break the business model by stopping the advertising money.

  • Why don't any of these muppets learn? Look into the reason why people pirate. You will most likely find responses as "DVD/BluRay's are too expensive" (you can lower the price by ditching the 'extras' and just put the god damn movie on it, thats all many people really want), "I want to play it on any of my devices without messing about with DRM" (sell without DRM! People are getting around it anyway), "I can't get it in XYZ country as it isn't sold there", as someone else stated just sell it online at a reasonable cost and let people download it (SD/HD whatever the users chooses) and get rid of these artificial boundaries that say you can only play this DVD in XYZ country, common its not called the "Global Village" for nothing!!
  • maddad
    All Newzbin2 does is organize the content of usenet in an easily searchable format. Even the ISPs give access to usenet. If you are going to block Newzbin2, you will need to filter out every other site that provides the same type service, not just block the one. Piracy might be a real crime, but violent crime rates are around the world are off the charts; Apple has used the Ipod, Ipad and Itunes to make a huge dent in Piracy by offering customers a better service and reasonable prices. MPAA and RIAA should have gotten the message. I would bet they are both involved in illegal activities in their own piracy prevention measures.
  • ct001
    maddadI would bet they are both involved in illegal activities in their own piracy prevention measures.
    No need to bet on that one. They have broken many laws, both copyright and others. One interesting case was where they sent out 'Network monitoring' software to a number of universities (because obviously suing university students is a smart/ethical business practice), and in doing do violated the license agreement of the software they were distributing.

    After the whole napster debacle I voted the only way that truly matters. I stopped purchasing media/going to movies/ect... from anyone/anything affiliated with the MPAA or RIAA.