The verdict is in: British Telecom must block users from accessing the Newzbin 2 website, an aggregator of links to pirated movies and other content.
The ruling could provide a much needed precedent for future suits initiated by the artistic content industry, since this is the first time that an ISP has been ordered to comply with their requests by a court of law.
BT says it won’t lodge an appeal to the ruling, and that it actually considers it helpful. “It clearly shows that rights holders need to prove their claims and convince a judge to make a court order,” it said in a statement. “BT has consistently said that rights holders need to take this route. We will return to court after the summer to explain what kind of order we believe is appropriate.”
This ruling instructs BT to use CleanFeed – the blocking technology it already uses for obstructing access to sites with child abuse images – to block the Newzbin 2 site, reports the BBC.
A previous version of the site has already been banned from linking to pirated content by an UK court, and the operators responded by setting up the current version on infrastructure outside the country.
They are, naturally, not happy with this new unfavorable verdict and have announced their intention of trying to sabotage the blocking technology.
Another group of people who have a problem with this ruling are those gathered around the digital rights organization Open Rights Group.
They argue that this decision won’t help the creative industry and that it could set a dangerous precedent. “What will qualify a site to be worthy of blocking? Who makes the decisions about what people people are allowed to see online?” they ask.
The Motion Picture Association has indicated that further court actions against other ISPs can be expected.