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BT will be forced to block access to pirate movie website Newzbin2 following a historic High Court victory for rights holders.

The Motion Picture Association (MPA) filed an injunction against BT in December 2010, using Section 97A of the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, in a bid to prevent broadband customers from accessing the site.

And following the ruling from Mr Justice Arnold, the firm – and other broadband providers – will be required to take action against websites set up to facilitate large-scale copyright infringement.

He said that since BT knows the members of Newzbin2 include its own subscribers, and those individuals use the service to receive infringing copies of copyright works, the firm has a responsibility to act.

"In general, I am satisfied that the order sought by the studios is a proportionate one," Mr Justice Arnold stated.

"It is necessary and appropriate to protect the Article 1 First Protocol rights of the studios and other copyright owners."

The judge ruled that these rights outweigh those of Newzbin2, its users and BT under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Mr Justice Arnold said the order was a narrow and targeted one, and it contains safeguards in the event of any change of circumstances.

"The cost of implementation to BT would be modest and proportionate," he added.

The decision has been welcomed by Chris Marcich, President of the MPA, who described it as a victory for millions of people working in the UK creative industries.

He said the court action was never an attack on broadband providers, but added that the sector needs the firm's cooperation to deal with the Newzbin2 site.

"Newzbin2 is a notorious pirate website which makes hundreds of thousands of copyrighted products available without permission and with no regard for the law," Mr Marcich added.

However, the Open Rights Group has expressed strong dissatisfaction at the ruling.

Peter Bradwell, Copyright Campaigner at the lobby organisation, said that website blocking is a pointless and dangerous act.

"These judgments won't work to stop infringement or boost creative industries. And there are serious risks of legitimate content being blocked and service slowdown," he stated.

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