Hollywood wins piracy case against Newzbin


A group of top film firms have won a piracy case against a file-sharing site.

The UK High Court of Justice in London awarded an injunction against Newzbin, following a complaint from film makers with the Motion Picture Association (MPA), including Twentieth Century Fox and Disney.

Membership-only Usenet site Newzbin argued that it was essentially a search engine and doesn't host content, but the court disagreed.

In the ruling, the court said the site had 700,000 members and turnover above 1 million. "There is no doubt that the defendant has developed a very substantial business," the ruling said.

The MPA's general counsel for Europe Ted Sapiro welcomed the decision, saying it clarified European copyright laws.

"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," he added.

Newzbin said the ruling was a waste of time. "Any of the material we index can be found on any one of thousands of sites on the internet so pursuit of us is a futile waste of everyone's time and money."

The terms of the injunction and any penalties will be announced later this week.

UK politicians are set to consider a bill that would give the Government the ability to shut down websites for hosting pirated content.