October 2011 saw a court order served on BT Retail for it to use its CleanFeed system to block access to Newzbin after a costly court battle for BT. A month later in December then Sky joined the blocking after another court order, and now a third order has resulted in TalkTalk being ordered to block access to Newzbin.
The news has emerged on the Slight Right of Centre website, which delves into the legal situation and how existing laws that are nothing to do with the recent Digital Economy Act or ACTA are involved.
All the previous court orders have given providers 14 days to comply, and so we assume the latest order will be no different. How effective the orders are is unclear, the blocking will stop the casual user who stumbles across Newzbin through search engines or links, but existing users are likely to use one of many work arounds to continue using the site.
One increasingly popular workaround is that people are paying for VPN connections to access the content, which raises the question, if people are willing to pay for a VPN link, then why are they not willing to pay for the content directly? The most likely reasons being, availability, prices charged, portable content (i.e. no DRM) and encoding quality of material that sites like Newzbin can offer.
The question now is whether in a few more weeks, will we see another court order, issued to a provider like Orange or O2, or are the targets going to be other websites. Expansion to encompass more sites offering a similar service runs the risk of increasing the frequency of false positives, (i.e. blocking sites unintentionally).