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BT under pressure to block Newzbin

BT under pressure to block Newzbin

The Motion Picture Association wants BT to block Newzbin - a Usenet indexing site.

The Motion Picture Association (MPA) is on the warpath against BT, pressurising the ISP into blocking a Usenet indexing website.

In the first legal action of its kind, the MPA has applied for an injunction that, if passed, would leave BT no option but to block its customers from viewing Newzbin - a Usenet indexing site that's now commonly used for piracy purposes.

BT has not only been targeted because it's the largest ISP in the UK, but also because it supplies a website-blocking system called Cleanfeed, which it has traditionally used to deal with websites hosting content relating to child sex abuse.

This isn't the first time Newzbin has been targeted either. The MPA began proceedings against it in 2010, shortly before the Usenet site went into administration. However, the site was then sold and has continued to run from the Seychelles.

In 2010, Newzbin was a member-only site boasting over 700,000 users and charging premium members a subscription cost of 30p a week.

BT has not commented further, other than confirming that it's appearing in court following an application for an injunction by members of the MPA.

Do you think BT should be forced to block access to sites such as Newzbin, or should organisations such as the MPA find other ways of dealing with illegal file sharing? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

50 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Bede 28th June 2011, 11:53 Quote
Tbh I think they might as well block it - people are profiting from crime and therefore should be stopped.
NuTech 28th June 2011, 11:59 Quote
Not sure why the MPA has such a hard-on for Newzbin. Is it because they technically 'won' in a British court yet it is brazenly back up and running under new management? Or because they charge money for access?

It seems so petty to go after a private membership site when places like The Pirate Bay are only a google away.

Maybe my mistake was trying to understand the motivations of the MPA. :?
Flanananagan 28th June 2011, 12:12 Quote
Never heard of newzbin until now. I'm sure a LOT of people will say the same. Good job, MPA. I'll now go check out this site.
enciem 28th June 2011, 12:13 Quote
If you want to use the site you'll be able to use a proxy won't you? Surely this would only stop those that aren't interesting in cheating the system in some way, which probably isn't the people using the site.
Fizzban 28th June 2011, 12:14 Quote
Waste of time IMO. If it gets blocked another will spring up to replace it. They will always be playing catch-up, and the money wasted in the process will be enormous.
BLC 28th June 2011, 12:17 Quote
The merry-go-round of piracy shutdowns continues...

It'll make no difference whatsoever - I'm pretty sure Newzbin isn't the only Usenet indexing site and I'm pretty sure it won't be the last.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bede
Tbh I think they might as well block it - people are profiting from crime and therefore should be stopped.

People profit from crimes far worse than piracy/copyright infringement. Burglary, drugs, prostitution, people trafficking... just to name a few... Not exactly the MPAA's remit, but they might as well be p***ing in the wind for all the good it will do to shut down Newzbin. If it's money they're concerned about, I've got a better suggestion: stop pouring money into DRM.
r3loaded 28th June 2011, 12:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
It'll make no difference whatsoever - I'm pretty sure Newzbin isn't the only Usenet indexing site and I'm pretty sure it won't be the last.
Of course it isn't - there's a similar site around that doesn't get mentioned much but does mostly what Newzbin does. Then there's BinSearch, which is completely automated and just indexes everything available on news servers.
KiNETiK 28th June 2011, 12:23 Quote
Seems like a pointless waste of money for the MPA to do this. There are plenty of sites out there that index the newgroups, this is just one of them. I'm sure that there will be ways around any block that BT enforce anyway.

Instead of expensive legal battles over individual sites, what MPA would be better spending their money on is why people want to pirate films in the first place. Perhaps if legal digital distribution technologies and integration of such weren't: A) a couple of years behind illegal ways of doing it B). Restrictive C). Overpriced, then people would be more inclined to use them.
Necrow 28th June 2011, 12:32 Quote
If they can't stop them they may as well join them.
The MPA should release all movies for free that either have watermarks or are of a lesser quality and then they can charge people 25p per week lol - people that go to the cinema will still go, people that buy DVD / BlueRay will still buy them.
WarrenJ 28th June 2011, 12:45 Quote
What a waste of time. If they get an injunction against Newzbin it will just close and open up under a different name.

Tbh, Newzbin wont stop pirates from being pirates, Newzbin is only there out of convenience.

Why not block facebook under child abuse reasons. Or stop the Daily Mail from distributing bull?
Combatus 28th June 2011, 12:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Necrow
If they can't stop them they may as well join them.
The MPA should release all movies for free that either have watermarks or are of a lesser quality and then they can charge people 25p per week lol - people that go to the cinema will still go, people that buy DVD / BlueRay will still buy them.

I've been saying this for years and you're right. It's only very recently that any decent movie streaming/download services have existed and there's still no all-encompassing service. The various illegal means, be it bit-torrent or Usenet are so popular because they're relatively easy to use and just work.

The argument that people just use them as they're free doesn't hold up any longer either. Plenty of people pay for unlimited downloads on private torrent trackers and membership to Usenet sites and have done for years. Unfortunately places like the MPA are still stuck in the Stone Age and still refuse to invest a bit of money in developing a decent web-based service. If they did, they'd start making shed loads of money again.
Odini 28th June 2011, 13:06 Quote
I really dislike this move and hope that it doesn't hold up in court.

Regardless of any argument such as 'Piracy is hurting the industry' or 'it wouldn't make a difference as another will soon replace it'. The problem I have is the fact that I am being forced to obey the law instead of me choosing to.

It is my right to choose whether I follow the rules, if I choose not to obey and I can expect punishment that has been predefined. This is the very foundation of our law system. I can, for example, commit murder. There is nothing physically stopping me from doing so other then my belief that killing is wrong. It is ME that chooses the correct path not a system of restraint enforced on me.

Removing this right, in my mind, removes my very freedom. Something that I do not wish to give up quite so easily, even more so considering the relatively minor offence.
l3v1ck 28th June 2011, 13:08 Quote
I hope BT win.
Not because I support piracy (which I don't), but because of the legal president this would set. It would be the start of a slipery slope of sensorship by corporations. Simply viewing this website does not mean your commiting a crime. This is another example of copyright owners trying to treat people as guilty unless proven innocent.
IanW 28th June 2011, 13:17 Quote
To misquote B5's Ambassador Kosh:-
"Once the avalanche has started, it is to late for the mountain to vote."
halcyondays 28th June 2011, 13:30 Quote
The first rule about usenet is.... don't talk about usenet!
KiNETiK 28th June 2011, 13:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus
Quote:
Originally Posted by Necrow
If they can't stop them they may as well join them.
The MPA should release all movies for free that either have watermarks or are of a lesser quality and then they can charge people 25p per week lol - people that go to the cinema will still go, people that buy DVD / BlueRay will still buy them.

I've been saying this for years and you're right. It's only very recently that any decent movie streaming/download services have existed and there's still no all-encompassing service. The various illegal means, be it bit-torrent or Usenet are so popular because they're relatively easy to use and just work.

The argument that people just use them as they're free doesn't hold up any longer either. Plenty of people pay for unlimited downloads on private torrent trackers and membership to Usenet sites and have done for years. Unfortunately places like the MPA are still stuck in the Stone Age and still refuse to invest a bit of money in developing a decent web-based service. If they did, they'd start making shed loads of money again.

Agreed.
shigllgetcha 28th June 2011, 13:47 Quote
I love that the music/film world have to bring these things to court themselves, kinda shows no one else gives a ****
shigllgetcha 28th June 2011, 13:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Odini
IIt is my right to choose whether I follow the rules, if I choose not to obey and I can expect punishment that has been predefined. This is the very foundation of our law system. I can, for example, commit murder. There is nothing physically stopping me from doing so other then my belief that killing is wrong. It is ME that chooses the correct path not a system of restraint enforced on me.

You dont have the right to break the law.
Ayrto 28th June 2011, 13:55 Quote
It's well known that the govt. wants to greatly expand the list of ISP level ,blocked and blacklisted sites to a new list that goes way beyond the stuff everyone agrees should be restricted. Their plans are to widen the list to include all sites that host or link to copyright infringement material and more worryingly all 'harmful' content -whatever that is , as it'll obviously be very subjective and could include political sites .

This, combined with an end to net neutrality and the new national default ISP filter, will in all likelihood change the net beyond recognition in the UK -this isn't scaremongering it's coming soon.
fingerbob69 28th June 2011, 14:04 Quote
It sets a precedent.

If the MPA wins this case they could argue that BT and every other ISP has to block ALL usenet indexing sites. Furthermore, it begins to move the responsibility for piracy from the individual to the corporate.

Who would you rather sue for loss of earnings John Smith Anonymous or BT?
kenco_uk 28th June 2011, 14:15 Quote
You're all a bit late I'm afraid. Legislation has been passed through government for the suits to control the internet. If you'd all written to your MPs and got them to sign against the legislation, perhaps the amount of NO votes would have made a difference. You can still write and complain but whether it'll make any difference anymore is debatable.

The last thing I heard was a LibDem was causing a little uprising against the bill: http://www.libdemvoice.org/julian-huppert-mp-calls-for-digital-economy-act-rethink-24471.html

Whether enough signatures will be gathered from important enough people to garner a review of the act is anyone's guess. I'd suggest everyone writing to their local MP and get them to see your lines of reasoning about why it's important that the act should be reviewed and/or scrapped. http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/broadband/368104/mps-call-for-digital-economy-act-debate

Don't just sit on your hands on this one people.
Bozwell 28th June 2011, 14:22 Quote
It is about time the MPA stopped trying to force people into doing things the old way and modernised their distribution models to deliver their products in a way that people want them.
the music industry is just beginning to see the value of selling their wares online at a lesser cost and the film companies need to do the same. If they didn't keep forcing physical media on us at ever increasing prices there would be less urge to pirate them.

Of course there will always be some people out there that want everything for free, but then there are many many more out there currently downloading illegally because products don't come the the form they want them, or are simply too expensive.
Ayrto 28th June 2011, 14:26 Quote
@Kenco _uk

The new national filter for all ISPs is on its way http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3658232/Britains-internet-porn-ban.html think Great firewall of China/UK. It's not a big jump to imagine this system, when fully implemented, will be used to block an ever added to list, of file sharing sites and sites that host URL links.
loftie 28th June 2011, 14:27 Quote
Next step - block google.

And if this gets pushed through, then BT might well remove the filter they have altogether, the filter designed to stop child abuse.
remixme 28th June 2011, 14:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigllgetcha
You dont have the right to break the law.

lol, a legal right in the strictest sense of the term perhaps not...
but Odini was still born with free will and has as much choice in breaking the law as choosing a favoured toast topping in the morning.

If MPA succeed we are one further step along the road to the thought police.
Venares 28th June 2011, 14:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus
I've been saying this for years and you're right. It's only very recently that any decent movie streaming/download services have existed and there's still no all-encompassing service. The various illegal means, be it bit-torrent or Usenet are so popular because they're relatively easy to use and just work.

The argument that people just use them as they're free doesn't hold up any longer either. Plenty of people pay for unlimited downloads on private torrent trackers and membership to Usenet sites and have done for years. Unfortunately places like the MPA are still stuck in the Stone Age and still refuse to invest a bit of money in developing a decent web-based service. If they did, they'd start making shed loads of money again.

What this man said
Hustler 28th June 2011, 14:42 Quote
Anyone else noticed how some direct download file hosting sites are already being indirectly blocked by ISP's via the IWF filter proxies?...

Its become very difficult to download from such sites as Fileserve,Filesonic....and many others.
Ayrto 28th June 2011, 14:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venares
What this man said


Yep, it's the way the MPA has been at war with technology rather than embracing it. Basically if there were movie version of Steam, there wouldn't be an issue.
kenco_uk 28th June 2011, 15:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
@Kenco _uk
The new national default filter is on its way http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3658232/Britains-internet-porn-ban.html - think a UK version of the Great firewall of China. Jeremy Hunt has already told ISPs he wants ALL porn blocked as the default, the extension of this will include sites that allow pirated or links to pirated material , it's over.

Mary Whitehouse lives on. A rolling stone gathers moss, I saw it on Mythbusters or something similar.
Odini 28th June 2011, 15:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigllgetcha
Quote:
Originally Posted by Odini
IIt is my right to choose whether I follow the rules, if I choose not to obey and I can expect punishment that has been predefined. This is the very foundation of our law system. I can, for example, commit murder. There is nothing physically stopping me from doing so other then my belief that killing is wrong. It is ME that chooses the correct path not a system of restraint enforced on me.

You dont have the right to break the law.

I would argue that you do. It is not so much that you can break the law legally, more that you have the right of choice. I am not forced to comply, it is my choice to.

If I make the 'wrong' choice, then I can expect to be punished, however I still have that right.
Ayrto 28th June 2011, 15:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
Mary Whitehouse lives on. A rolling stone gathers moss, I saw it on Mythbusters or something similar.


Once the new national filter is in place, it's difficult to believe it won't be used to block file sharing sites,even if that isn't the stated intention for setting it up in the first place.

Personally, I think the ISPs should call his bluff and refuse to cooperate. I read somewhere, only around 10% of households in the UK have someone under 18 living there anyway, so it's really aimed at adults, whatever they say to the contrary.

Bringing in a system of mass censorship may contravene european law too. And as to his threat to legislate, Tories may find their poll ratings plummeting, if they wielded the legislative axe to bring in such a draconian step . Having to ring your ISP to ask for permission to be 'allowed' access to what is accessible now seems ridiculous.
jamsand 28th June 2011, 16:42 Quote
V for vendetta anyone? lol. Internet laws have modern court system just going "yes well but um and umm well." Rather than battles in court maybe they should take the battles on-line and just try and catch-up
Bazz 28th June 2011, 17:29 Quote
Needed a laugh today, and got what I wanted.......

Block access to an indexing site if you like, there are more then enough to replace as it stands, not to mention you don't need indexing sites lol

Not mention proxies etc.

It would seem their lawyers have no idea what they are doing.

Plus BT would more than likely (and hopefully) tell them where to go!
technogiant 28th June 2011, 18:14 Quote
Instead of all this talk of prohibiting this and prosecuting people for that why don't the media industry turn this huge demand into a paying business.

Why on earth don't they just cut a deal with the ISP's to enable people free access to their material, be it music, movies or games.

How many people would gladly pay an excess on their broadband to be able to download LEGALLY rather than paying for third party VPN's or Cyberlockers to cover their illegal tracks.

The media industry need to stop whining and threatening everyone's freedom and develop a business model to profit from this demand.
Pete J 28th June 2011, 18:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenJ
Or stop the Daily Mail from distributing bull?
Ah, that'd be nice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
The new national filter for all ISPs is on its way http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3658232/Britains-internet-porn-ban.html think Great firewall of China/UK. It's not a big jump to imagine this system, when fully implemented, will be used to block an ever added to list, of file sharing sites and sites that host URL links.
Quote:
Originally Posted by from aforementioned article
Anyone who wanted to access them would have to "opt in" - but first prove they are over 18.
Great. You have to call up and effectively say 'I wanna see nekkid boobies plz', thereby submitting yourself to the judgement of the person helping you.

Think I'm going to stock up on 'educational' material before this happens!
Kiytan 28th June 2011, 19:52 Quote
Love film has a brilliant digital distribution system, depending on what plan you're on you can stream between 100 (I think) or unlimited movies a month from their website (also in HD) prices are pretty good to, However what it sadly lacks is enough choice, if it's entire catalogue was available in that manor, I would definitely subscribe.
It's also easier than downloading stuff as you just click and watch, don't have to wait for it to download (at worse maybe a bit of buffering for some HD films)
Ross1 28th June 2011, 20:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiytan
Love film has a brilliant digital distribution system, depending on what plan you're on you can stream between 100 (I think) or unlimited movies a month from their website (also in HD) prices are pretty good to, However what it sadly lacks is enough choice, if it's entire catalogue was available in that manor, I would definitely subscribe.
It's also easier than downloading stuff as you just click and watch, don't have to wait for it to download (at worse maybe a bit of buffering for some HD films)

There are those of us on virgin who would say downloading in many times better than streaming. You can download what you want during the night, then watch it whenever. With streaming, if you do it during peak time, you can quickly get limited and then be unable to watch it for 5 hours.
Andy Mc 28th June 2011, 21:39 Quote
If they win and all indexing and torrent sites are blocked (which is what will happen) then someone should petition to have google blocked. They link/host/index LOADS of infringing material. This would be the only way to force a rethink of the current systems.

Anyway if the sites are blocked I'll just run my own indexing server...........
Ayrto 28th June 2011, 21:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete J
Ah, that'd be nice.


Great. You have to call up and effectively say 'I wanna see nekkid boobies plz', thereby submitting yourself to the judgement of the person helping you.

Think I'm going to stock up on 'educational' material before this happens!

Hehe, "can you please speak up sir, you say you want to see what?"

It'll probably be error prone as well and not return harmless requests, and going by similar schemes on public computers it'll make all connections slower. If they're gonna insist on a filter it should be an opt in filter imo, you ring up and it's applied, not on by default, as they plan.

With all the hacking recently of accounts and then the publishing of those names and addresses, who'd want their employer finding their name on a list that asked for restrictions to be lifted, or a gf? Yet who wants a net nanny watching over their browsing , it's gonna cause trouble is my guess, if it's as clumsily implemented as it looks likely to be .
Combatus 28th June 2011, 22:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
Yep, it's the way the MPA has been at war with technology rather than embracing it. Basically if there were movie version of Steam, there wouldn't be an issue.
Now there's an idea :D
Bede 29th June 2011, 03:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bede
Tbh I think they might as well block it - people are profiting from crime and therefore should be stopped.

People profit from crimes far worse than piracy/copyright infringement. Burglary, drugs, prostitution, people trafficking... just to name a few... Not exactly the MPAA's remit, but they might as well be p***ing in the wind for all the good it will do to shut down Newzbin. If it's money they're concerned about, I've got a better suggestion: stop pouring money into DRM.

You mistake me. The idea is not primarily to protect copyright etc, instead it is to prevent people making money from it. You can argue about piracy all day long, but there is no argument to support profiting from it.
will_123 29th June 2011, 08:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Odini
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigllgetcha
Quote:
Originally Posted by Odini
IIt is my right to choose whether I follow the rules, if I choose not to obey and I can expect punishment that has been predefined. This is the very foundation of our law system. I can, for example, commit murder. There is nothing physically stopping me from doing so other then my belief that killing is wrong. It is ME that chooses the correct path not a system of restraint enforced on me.

You dont have the right to break the law.

I would argue that you do. It is not so much that you can break the law legally, more that you have the right of choice. I am not forced to comply, it is my choice to.

If I make the 'wrong' choice, then I can expect to be punished, however I still have that right.

This is the most ridiculous argument ever. "right" what does this even mean its so casually thrown around. All you are referring to is the fact that you can make a decision and deal with the consequences.
WarrenJ 29th June 2011, 09:03 Quote
Think we should all campaign that it's a human right to be able to download items if we so wish. Even though we would face punishments if we did.

Human Right's seem to trump all other laws anyway.
Odini 29th June 2011, 09:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by will_123
This is the most ridiculous argument ever. "right" what does this even mean its so casually thrown around. All you are referring to is the fact that you can make a decision and deal with the consequences.

This is my point.

It is a key change, in my mind, from me choosing to obey the law and me being forced to. For example imagine that the government implanted a microprocessor into your head which controlled your actions, making it impossible to break the law. I am pretty sure that you would not be comfortable with this, even though you probably comply with the law anyway so would make little difference to your daily life.

By blocking my access, I am no longer in control of my own actions, thus I am no longer a free man. That is my issue with this case and the possible prescience it would set.
will_123 29th June 2011, 10:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Odini
This is my point.

It is a key change, in my mind, from me choosing to obey the law and me being forced to. For example imagine that the government implanted a microprocessor into your head which controlled your actions, making it impossible to break the law. I am pretty sure that you would not be comfortable with this, even though you probably comply with the law anyway so would make little difference to your daily life.

By blocking my access, I am no longer in control of my own actions, thus I am no longer a free man. That is my issue with this case and the possible prescience it would set.

Yes I see your point. But I disagree on the fact that you have the "right" to the break the law. But I see the angle you are looking at it. You have choice and you always want it to be there.
Odini 29th June 2011, 13:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by will_123
Yes I see your point. But I disagree on the fact that you have the "right" to the break the law. But I see the angle you are looking at it. You have choice and you always want it to be there.

I'm happy to leave it at that as this is what I'm trying to get at. Whether or not it is actually a legal right doesn't change that it is a perceived one.
Denis_iii 29th June 2011, 14:00 Quote
**** the MPA.
They need to move with the times and make it easier to get genuine content then piracy which allows me to watch what I want, when I want, where ever I am with an internet connection.
Go ahead, block newzbin (which I don't use) or any site and I'll simply redirect my traffic via proxy or vpn and access whatever I want. or another site will crop up ITS POINTLESS!!!
Time for the media companies to understand the antiquated rip off consumer monopoly environments are dead and this is the age of content on demand whenever where ever.
For instance, if Netflix was available worldwide with content added several days after first released on cable ie: HBO I would not pirate anything.
sofalover 29th June 2011, 14:52 Quote
The only people that benefit, are the lawyers.

Like the war on drugs they don't want a proper solution while there is money to be made in the industry fighting the 'problem'.

We will always have access to warez, end of.
atlas 30th June 2011, 08:04 Quote
I don't think it's fair to try and make the ISP's the internet's censors.
gabe777 1st July 2011, 21:38 Quote
Or simply use one one of the other hundred NZB indexing sites out there.

OMG... how stoopid are these people ?

BT are so thick, that when they try to stop people accessing Rapidshare at peak times, all you nned to do, is use the HTTPS url... ie. simply add an "S" to each address you want.

Give me strength!
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