Newzbin was a UK site enabling access to binary files posted to Usenet. It was the first site to be blocked under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 section 97A. It later reappeared as Newzbin2 before finally closing in November 2012.
Newzbin was an indexing site which indexed binary files posted on Usenet in order to facilitate access to content on Usenet. Newzbin was taken to court on March 29th 2010 by the Motion Picture Association, and was found infringing copyright under section 20 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
The site was shut down by its operators, but a similar site later resurfaced as Newzbin2, hosted in the Seychelles.
In July 2011, the Motion Picture Association applied for an injunction against BT (and BT only), under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to block access to Newzbin2 using Cleanfeed, BT’s own filtering software. The injunction was granted, but the matter was adjourned for clarification over how exactly the blocking would take place. The use of Cleanfeed is not technically the same as IP blocking; it is worded as such, but this was revised in the third hearing.
While the case was adjourned, Newzbin2 released some free software which would allow users to circumnavigate Cleanfeed. This prompted the court to give BT 14 days from October 26th 2011 to block Newzbin2 entirely. The blocking order was extended to Sky in December 2011, TalkTalk in January 2012, and Virgin Media in August 2012.
The exact form of blocking is as follows:
- (i) 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
- (ii) 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
- 2011-12-23 How Even Highly-Targeted Censorship Can Lead To Overblocking
- Source: Glyn Moody, Techdirt
- Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and others v Newzbin Limited 2010 EWHC 608, Chancery Division, England and Wales, 2010-03-29
- Film industry seeks BT blocking order in Newzbin2 piracy case, Guardian, 2010-12-16
- Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp & Oth v British Telecom 2011 EWHC 1981, Chancery Division, England and Wales, 2011-07-28
- Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp & Oth v British Telecom 2011 EWHC 2714, Chancery Division, England and Wales, 2011-10-26
- Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation & Ors v Harris & Ors 2014 EWHC 1568 (Ch), 2014-05-16
- Virgin Media Blocks File-Sharing Site After Receiving Court Order, TorrentFreak, 2012-08-14
- Newzbin2, the MPAA’s Usenet Enemy #1, Calls it Quits, TorrentFreak, 2012-11-29
- High court finds Newzbin's 'ops' man liable for copyright infringement, 2014-05-28