Film makers win file-sharing case against Newzbin


Film makers win file-sharing case against Newzbin

Warwick Ashford

The film industry has won a legal battle in the UK against a website accused of illegal file-sharing.

Several film companies, including Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Brothers and Disney, won an injunction against Newzbin in the High Court in London.

Newzbin claimed that it merely provided search functionality, but the court found the website had provided a system allowing users to download films and infringe copyright.

The court said there was no doubt Newzbin had developed a substantial business, with over 700,000 members and an annual turnover of more than £1m.

Newzbin had implied it had authority to permit the copying of films and had provided members with the means to do so, the court ruled.

A damages claim by the film companies is to be heard in a separate hearing at a later date.

Film, TV series, recorded music and software are the industries most hurt by digital piracy, according to the latest report by the International Chamber of Commerce's Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy.

The report predicts that digital piracy could cost Europe €240bn and 1.2 million jobs by 2015.

With eight out of 10 people admitting to downloading material illegally, according to a recent survey, the controversial Digital Economy Bill, now before the House of Commons, contains provision for websites to be blocked and for citizens' internet accounts to be cut off for alleged illegal file-sharing.

But critics have slammed the proposed legislation, saying it is "at odds" with the government's vision of making it easier for citizens to transact with government services and use government data via a superfast broadband network that will reach every home in the country by 2020.

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