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BT given 14 days to comply with filtering access to NewzBin2
Wednesday 26 October 2011 18:00:24 by Andrew Ferguson

The High Court has given BT fourteen days to implement its blocking of Newzbin following a judgment on 26th October. The blocking will be accomplished using the CleanFeed technology that BT already uses to block sites on the IWF block list.

The question of how much of the BT Group should be subject to the blocking was raised and the decision passed down is that the blocking should be carried out for any connection where CleanFeed is incorporated or available as an option to the customer. This means that connections sold via BT Wholesale where CleanFeed is not available are not affected.

  1. In respect of its customers to whose internet service the system known as Cleanfeed is applied whether optionally or otherwise, the Respondent shall within 14 days adopt the following technical means to block or attempt to block access by its customers to the website known as Newzbin2 currently accessible at www. newzbin .com, its domains and sub-domains and including payments. newzbin .com and any other IP address or URL whose sole or predominant purpose is to enable or facilitate access to the Newzbin2 website. The technical means to be adopted are:
    1. IP address re-routing in respect of each and every IP address from which the said website operates and which is notified in writing to the Respondent by the Applicants or their agents; and
    2. DPI-based URL blocking utilising at least summary analysis in respect of each and every URL available at the said website and its domains and sub-domains and which is notified in writing to the Respondent by the Applicants or their agents.
  2. For the avoidance of doubt paragraph 1 is complied with if the Respondent uses the system known as Cleanfeed and does not require the Respondent to adopt DPI-based URL blocking utilising detailed analysis.
Extract from England and Wales High Court (Chancery Division) Decisions Conclusion

The applicants who are Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal City Studios, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Disney Enterprises and Columbia Pictures are expected to take further action to see blocking carried out by other broadband providers once the blocking is in place and running for BT connections, though reading the full decision it appears the Applicants are hoping to avoid further lengthy court cases with providers simply following the lead from BT in blocking Newzbin. BT was chosen for no other reason than being the largest provider.

The costs of running the blocking will fall upon BT, and BT themselves estimate the cost as £5000 for the initial setup and £100 for each subsequent IP/url that is reported for re-routing/blocking. The danger here being that Newzbin may attempt to fight the blocking by constantly changing IP address or creating thousands of unique url's. The danger here is that the CleanFeed system may have problems coping, as well as eat up significant time/money, BT does have the ability to temporarily stop the blocking, but this is only allowed with the written consent of the Applicants or their agents.

There are other newsgroup aggregator services, that charge for access, so we would presume that in the near future, sites offering similar services to Newzbin will end being subject to blocking requests. The Daily Telegraph coverage highlights research from the Open Rights Group which indicates that only 58% of Bafta Best Film Award winners films are available via lawful downloads. It has been said before and it has to be said again, if a company is going to use the stick approach it should offer a carrot. One idea would be to offer relatively low quality streamed versions of older films for almost free, only charging the current £3.50 to £4.50 for the very latest high definition rentals.


Posted by mixt over 6 years ago
The start of the slippery slope to internet censorship. And also highly unworkable and unscalable. No doubt ruled by some grey haired judge in the high court who hasn't a scooby about modern day technology and how it works.

Above all that, would it not be easier to target the source of the issue (Newzbin) rather than at the client side (the ISP) ?

*Captain Picard Face Palm*
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
Its going to cost this country a lot of money before the dinosaurs realise the deact is so bug ridden it can never ever work. The meeja are on borrowed time, either they modernise or they will become extinct too.
Either that, or they are gonna break our internetz. They will never beat the pirates by force. They have to find a new business model that is fair for all.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
This case does not rely on the Digital Economy Act at all.

Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Pathetic, the applicants should be paying the cost for set-up and additional URL's/IP's to be added.
Posted by shaunhw over 6 years ago
These judges are plainly demonstrating that they are unfit to sit in judgement of anyone.
Posted by PhilCoates over 6 years ago
Maybe I missed something but isn't this a case of the Judges upholdng the LAW over copyright theft?

I assume that their judgment reflects what they can do in law to uphold their verdict. For the tech savvy it may represent no challenge but I suspect what they have passed down is what they can do.

I agree the media companies need to change their game but if you want something that costs money, I was brought up to pay for it.
Posted by fibrebunny over 6 years ago
Well the less tech savvy can always google and find a link to a torrent. Alternatively they can use one of the other sites or search usenet. Newzbin has an app out already to circumvent any blocks. Which will naturally be known to all school kids. Still, I expect they appreciate the free advertising.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Honourable and absolutely correct intentions, sites like Newzbin existing are a bit of a joke in a world with copyright laws, but what a mess.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Dixi, yet the content itself is still there and remains unaffected and accessible by other means. So its a fruitless exercise.

Newzbin is just one of many front end search engines, as fibrebunny says its probably just raising awareness and counter productive.
Posted by shaunhw over 6 years ago


It isn't that they are upholding the law. It is the way they are demanding it be upheld, by imposing extra costs on ISPs (BT for now) for which we will ALL have to eventually pay.

Including those of us who never breached anyone's copyright. The action should have been against the people behind NewzBin if they are indeed breaching copyright, and the IPS should NOT be blamed for OTHER people's wrongdoing.

Its virtually the same as blaming people who make DVD disks/cassettes/recording machines and all that.
Posted by shaunhw over 6 years ago

... BT aren't breaking the law, and I am not sure how the judge can impose any requirement on them at all. Even EU law gives them some kind of common carrier status.

If BT were running the server it is a different matter.
Posted by tommy45 over 6 years ago
Bt or any isp should fight them tooth and nail, bt should appeal it, this is should be against our human rights censorship is wrong, links to content mean nothing they are not copyright or part of it
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Indeed, its like the highways agency being told to block access to a road because on that road is a shop and in the shop window is a poster showing you where to get copywritten and non-copywritten material from a warehouse thousands of miles away and that warehouse has nothing to do with the shop or the road its on
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
Some comments suggest people are not aware of the history
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Didn't realise that as well as the costs to implement this BT also need to pay a significant proportion of the MPA's costs!!! Who was this judge is he insane?

Its not like BT or any other ISP went out of their way to make this available to people, its just another website
Posted by PhilCoates over 6 years ago
Well its frequently said that the law is an ass. The original article makes it clear that the 'mere conduit' defence previously made by BT and others simply does not stand up in court at this time.

The judgement is clear that BT 'knows' whats on NZB, 'knows' it customers access NZB via their BT provided internet access and that those customers are accessing copyrighted material.

The analogy is surely that of a toll road for which the tollroad owners receive a payment from the criminals who drive down it carrying stolen goods.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
But that is just crazy. BT doesn't need to "know" anything it just passing things from A to B. Are BT supposed to actively scour the net for infringement to protect themselves?

That's like saying BT knows its possible for someone to phone someone else on their phone network to commit a fraud/crime/sell stolen goods and as such is complicit
Posted by farnz over 6 years ago
It's not at all crazy; BT (via the Cleanfeed) system has chosen to know a bit about what its customers do.

Its Phorm trials demonstrated that it is capable of knowing a lot about what its customers do.

It's not hard to jump from these two facts to "BT do know what they're passing from A to B".
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
So your saying its BT's job to police what it provides to people as opposed to being a conduit to the Internet?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Whether they know or not they've no reason to do anything about it, you don't sign up to BT Internet and accept they'll provide a nice clean Internet experience you sign up to get the internet, not a filtered / watered down version
Posted by chrysalis over 5 years ago
clueless judge, oh dear.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago

BT is not deciding the sites to block, it is being informed by the copyright holders or agents of infringing sites.

Many file sharing sites comply with take down notices, I presume newzbin has been ignoring these.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Andrew, but there is a difference isn't there?

Newzbin don't host the content so the only thing they can "take down" is the index reference. With p2p sharing the ISP usually contacts the end user who is sharing the file on their network and tells them not to.

So in this case shouldn't the applicants be issuing take downs to the usenet service providers themselves and not those indexing it?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
I think the thinking behind it all is that newzbin are profiting from the index/links.

Newsgroups, a lot of alt.bin has copyright infringing material.

I expect more sites to be targetted, and perhaps even newsgroups as a whole will see more trouble soon. You test one case first, and use this to help with other future cases.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Yeah I suppose that is the big difference they are charging.
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