Newzbin Ltd., a website that helps subscribers download movies and other entertainment, has been held liable for copyright infringement by the High Court of Justice in London today.
Although the precise terms of the Court order will be announced later this week, the judgment is clear that the Court will order Newzbin to stop giving users access to the films and television programmes that belong to the member companies of the Motion Picture Association. In the ruling issued today, the court found that the UK-based company engages in copyright infringement even though the protected content does not reside directly on its website. Rather, Newzbin provides links to unauthorized copies of copyright works, including films, TV programmes, commercial software as well as other illegal content.
Newzbin charges a monthly fee for subscribers to use its services and has built a substantial business based on copyright infringement.
"We welcome the Court's decision today," said Ted Shapiro, the Motion Picture Association's general counsel for Europe. "Newzbin is a source of immense damage to the creative sector in the UK and worldwide. This is an important decision and it sends a clear message that websites focusing on providing viewers with pirated film and TV programmes infringe copyright and are liable for their actions even where those websites don't themselves host the content. This decision will help to support the continued investment in new legal online services and the creation of new films and television shows for enjoyment by audiences both in the UK and around the world."
The Court ruling clarifies the implementation of European legislation in the UK.