closedownarrowexternal-linklogo-verticalmenu-barsearch Skip to main content
Jump to navigation
BT news

Leading broadband provider BT has been taken to court by the film industry, in an attempt to see internet users blocked from accessing an illegal filesharing website.

The Motion Picture Association (MPA), which represents six leading movie studios, wants to see Newzbin.com – which allows web users to watch pirated content – shut down.

After failing to persuade the broadband industry to take action against web users who violate copyright, the organisation has now turned to the judicial system.

The MPA is seeking a court order forcing BT – which has the ability to prevent website access through its Cleanfeed system – to block its broadband subscribers from the site.

An injunction was originally taken out against BT in December 2010, but the broadband provider has appeared highly reluctant to intervene.

Further evidence of the firm's stance has been seen through its joint judicial review of the Digital Economy Act, which was launched alongside TalkTalk last spring.

BT and TalkTalk have been vociferous opponents of the act's anti-filesharing measures, which entered the statute books in April 2010.

However the High Court recently rejected the judicial review, ruling that the Digital Economy Act is compatible with European law.

An attempt to have this verdict overturned also fell at the first hurdle, with the Court of Appeal refusing to review the High Court's original decision.

Should the judiciary rule against BT in this latest case, brought by the MPA, the firm may be required, however reluctantly, to work more closely with rights holders in the future.

The claimant explained that the upcoming case will be the first in the UK to use section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, as it bids to force BT to use existing technology to protect users' rights.

A spokesperson for the MPA told the Telegraph that BT had been targeted not only because it is the largest UK broadband provider, but also as it has the required website blocking tools already in place.

At present, BT's Cleanfeed system is used to combat websites showing illegal content such as child pornography.

"If this case is successful, we would hope that other broadband providers would take note of the result," the spokesperson added.

Join the conversation

comments powered by Disqus

Stay up to date

  • Google+ Follow uSwitchTech
  • Subscribe to our RSS feed

Latest Comments

Search news