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Sky follows BT in blocking Newzbin2

Sky has blocked access to a copyright infringing website following a UK court order, the company has said.19 Dec 2011

The internet service provider (ISP) cut off access to Newzbin2 on 13 December following the court order. It is the second UK ISP to block Newzbin2 after a High Court ruling earlier this year forced BT to deploy filtering technology to prevent its customers accessing the site.

Newzbin2 is a members-only site which collates links to a large amount of illegally-copied material including films, music and computer games, found on Usenet discussion forums.

"We have received a court order requiring us to block access to this illegal website, which we did on 13th December, 2011," Sky said in a statement.

"As and when clear and legally robust evidence of copyright theft is presented, we will take appropriate action in respect to site blocking, which will include complying with court orders," the ISP said.

In July the High Court ordered BT to prevent its customers accessing Newzbin2. In October, following further court hearings involving the ISP and the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the Court ordered BT to use its 'Cleanfeed' filtering technology to "block or attempt to block" its customers' access to Newzbin2.

The MPA, representing six major film studios, had requested the action under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. That Act gives UK courts the power to grant an injunction against an ISP if it had 'actual knowledge' that someone had used its service to infringe copyright.

The operators of Newzbin2 have previously claimed that they have developed software to enable BT customers to circumvent the Cleanfeed system.

In November the MPA contacted TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Sky requesting that the three ISPs also block access to Newzbin2, but both TalkTalk and Virgin told Out-Law.com that they would only act if ordered to do so by a court. Neither TalkTalk nor Virgin has subsequently received court orders to block Newzbin2, according to a report by ZDNet.

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Expertise in Copyright

Copyright is an extremely valuable, often unrecognised or misunderstood right which protects a whole range of original materials including written materials, software, artistic materials, music and dramatic works. It arises automatically without the need for registration in most countries and protects these materials from unauthorised copying. It is essential in business to identify such rights, ensure they are owned by the correct entity, properly protected, enforced and exploited.

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