UK Court Orders BT To Block Access To Usenet Site Hollywood Hates
from the this-won't-end-well dept
The ruling itself is quite troubling:
"In my judgment it follows that BT has actual knowledge of other persons using its service to infringe copyright: it knows that the users and operators of Newzbin2 infringe copyright on a large scale, and in particular infringe the copyrights of the studios in large numbers of their films and television programmes," said Justice Arnold in his ruling at the high court in London.There are many problems with this. First of all, an ISP should never be responsible for the actions of its users, and yet that's what the court is saying here. Furthermore, Usenet, which has been around for ages (and, of course, predates the web) does have non-infringing uses as well. Sure, many people do now use it to infringe, but it's pretty ridiculous to blame BT for allowing access to one service that provides access to Newzbin2, because some of its users infringe on copyrights. Furthermore, it's not even "Newzbin" that is making this content available, as the judge wrote. It's users who are making the content available.
"[BT] knows that the users of Newzbin2 include BT subscribers, and it knows those users use its service to receive infringing copies of copyright works made available to them by Newzbin2," Arnold added.
Considering the sites that the entertainment industry has declared infringing -- including the Internet Archive, Vimeo, SoundCloud, Vibe.com and tons of blogs and forums, this is a very worrying sign indeed. Basically, if the entertainment industry is scared of your online site or service, and too clueless to figure out how to use it, you can be booted off the internet in the UK. Scary stuff.