A UK COURT HAS RULED that BT must block user access to file-sharing web site Newzbin2 within 14 days, must pay for implementing the web site blocking and must also pay the legal costs of the case.
Today's judgement was eagerly awaited since the original ruling in July told internet service providers (ISPs) that they could be ordered to block access to web sites that share content found to infringe copyright.
BT challenged the July decision, claiming it is not responsible for how users employ its service, but ultimately this proved fruitless, as the court ruled that BT must implement the web site blocking within a fortnight.
The ruling also establishes a precedent for the costs of implementation, which the court said fall under the E-Commerce Directive, leaving the burden of web site blocking costs with the ISPs. BT has estimated the initial cost of implementation at about £5,000 and £100 for each subsequent notification. Since BT challenged the earlier ruling it was also ordered to pay the litigation costs of the case.
"Copyright owners can take a great deal of comfort from today's decision," said Simon Baggs, partner and head of IP/Rights Protection at the Wiggin law firm. "The court has conclusively recognised the critical role that ISPs can be required to play in preventing infringement of copyright using their services."
"Today the Court determined the details of the blocking order specific to BT and the Newzbin website resulting from the Court's judgment in July," a BT spokesperson told The INQUIRER. "It is helpful to have the order now and the clarity that it brings."
Last month Newzbin2 released an update to its software that it claimed will allow it to circumvent the BT block. If this is successful we wonder if BT will be forced to constantly change its blocking measures to keep up with the Newzbin2 developers.
Lord Puttnam, President of Film Distributors' Association, welcomed the news, along with a load of other rights holders, publishers and media firms.
"This is a very significant day for the UK's creative industries," he said. "The law is clear. Industrial online piracy is illegal and can be stopped." µ