Sky Blocks Newzbin after MPA Gets Court Order

December 16, 2011 -

UK service provider Sky is the second company compelled by legal actions from Motion Picture Association to block site Newzbin. The MPA hopes that this will keep Sky customers from accessing the site. Earlier this year service provider BT was compelled to block the site after a court order, and the MPA has vowed to force other service providers in the UK like TalkTalk and Virgin Media. Newzbin's members-only pages provide links to pirated films and music, but they don’t actually host any pirated content.

Sky tells the BBC that it had acted after receiving a court order demanding it remove access to the site. The broadband provider's action follows a similar move by BT in November, and the MPA says it wants other ISPs to follow.

"Sky is working with the rest of the industry to implement a sustainable framework for tackling piracy," a Sky spokesman told the BBC. "When presented with clear and robust evidence of copyright theft, we will take the appropriate action in respect to site blocking, as we have with Newzbin 2."

Virgin Media told the BBC that it would obey the law, but would not act until it had received a court order compelling it to take action.

"As a responsible ISP, we will comply with any court order addressed to us but strongly believe such deterrents need to be accompanied by compelling legal alternatives such as our agreement with Spotify, which gives consumers access to content at the right price," a spokesman told the BBC.

A spokeswoman for TalkTalk added: "We are not in principle against blocking, provided a court decides. We have received no such order in respect of Newzbin."

If you are wondering what SOPA would look like in America, the tactics being used in the UK are a slight illustration.

But for lawmakers in the U.S. trying to ram the bill through committee so it can get the full attention of the House, there's another illustration being drawn by a defiant Newzbin: a work-around. The group behind Newzbin has told the BBC that most of its active members in the UK had downloaded workaround software to overcome BT's Cleanfeed block. No doubt the software will work with other service providers.

Source: BBC


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