29 Jul, 2011

Federation against software theft applauds decision which represents a milestone and heralds working with the ISP community 


The Federation Against Software Theft has welcomed the High Court Ruling today which compels BT to stop its UK customers accessing links to the Newzbin 2 web site.


 Julian Heathcote Hobbins, General Counsel, FAST, stated: “This Ruling is a watershed, and legitimate online sites will be encouraged, as one cannot compete with online piracy where paid for product is available for free. It is no different in principle to excluding counterfeit goods in shops on the high street. This has to be welcomed.”


 Newzbin 2 is a members-only site, which aggregates a large amount of the illegally copied material found on Usenet discussion forums. An original entity named Newzbin was closed down after a High Court ruling in 2010 ordered it to take down links to copyright protected works.


 At the time, Mr Justice Kitchin said: “I have found that the defendant well knows that it is making available to its premium members infringing copies of films.”


 Julian added: “The Performing Rights Society For Music (PRS) has been campaigning for some time now for legitimate search engines to highlight differences between legal and illegal content. This initiative, which aims to flag links to sites that offer legal and illegal downloads by either green or red coding, is one we fully support.”


 “The decision to pursue the website via ISPs represents a change of tactic for rights’ holders and one that does not represent an attack on service providers,” he added.


 “There is no doubt that a re-establishing of the law around the issue of internet infringements is having a notable impact on behaviour.  FAST has campaigned hard in this field and has often cited research from the media law firm Wiggin to support this fact.  When challenged, the overwhelming majority of file-sharers cease. Our stance has always been one of carrot and stick – ensuring that customers are educated on the economic impact of piracy as well as advocating compliance with the law protecting creators. The proliferation of infringements can only be negative on growth,” concluded Julian.













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