Movie industry forces BT's hand on Usenet

The Motion Picture Association has  a cunning plan to force BT to switch off a P2P site.

According to TorrentFreak,  the MPA is making an “unprecedented move” against British P2P sites and is starting with the Usenet indexing site

Yesterday, the MPA went to court to obtain an injunction to have BT block Newzbin in the UK.

The MPA said that it used Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, which provides for possible injunctions against “internet intermediaries”.

Article 8.3 of the European Union’s Copyright Directive, of which S97A is the UK implementation, been used to shut down block rogue sites hosting illegal material, with “further cases pending in Germany, Holland and Belgium.”

But in order for the MPA to get an injunction under section 97A they must have asked BT to block the site and been denied.

BT is not saying much at the moment. The outfit has been very reluctant to hand over much to the content industry after it was embarrassed when  its customers’ IP addresses were given to the law firm ACS:Law.

ACS:Law had accidentally leaked the personal details of thousands of users online, including the customers of BT-owned PlusNet.

BT had called for a temporary hold of legal cases in which lawyers request user details from ISPs in order to chase those responsible for copyright infringement. It wanted a test case to be heard in a British court so it knew what to do.

However the MPA’s action is far from being the test case BT wanted. It is a standard injunction move to close down a troublesome website. But it is unlikely to have won many friends at BT, still in the dark about how it should be treating P2P sites and pirates.