BT under pressure to stop you watching films online

28 June 2011

film_reelHollywood is having a bad time of it at the moment, basically because it is made up entirely of idiots. For example, there's a bit of excitement surrounding a film called Super 8 which has been released in America. However, for some stupid, arbitrary reason, it isn't hitting UK screens 'til August. By this time, you will have invariably seen a whole bunch of spoilers and whatnot, so you may as well watch it online, illegally.

Watching it online means you don't have to deal with idiot humans spoiling your fun in a cinema screen also.

Of course, this is a big problem for those who want to make money from films. So, instead of looking at ways in which the whole cinematic process could be improved, people like the Motion Picture Association have turned against That Nasty Internet for spoiling everything.

Naturally, chasing every IP address on Earth is too time consuming and expensive, so the logical answer is to harangue ISPs so they do the dirty work instead. The MPA have decided to hound BT to block copyright-infringing content by seeking an injunction which will force the ISP to refuse everyone access to download site Newzbin. The MPA is also lobbying the Government to implement a web-blocking system to prevent people from accessing illegal download sites.

However, the ISPs want to be onside with those that pay their phone bills as that's where the money is - not some already wealthy coalition of studios in America.

BT say: “We can confirm that we will be appearing in court, following an application for an injunction by members of the MPA. We have no further comment to make at this stage.”

It is thought that BT will probably tell the MPA to sling their hook because, if they play ball, other ISPs will be able to say 'we would've fought them... come to us with your direct debits please'. The MPA say: "Newzbin has no regard for UK law and it is unacceptable that it continues to infringe copyright on a massive and commercial scale when it has been ordered to stop by the High Court. We have explored every route to get Newzbin to take down the infringing material and are left with no option but to challenge this in the courts."

And what do Newzbin have to say about it all? A spokesperson told The Telegraph that attempts to shut Newzbin down would always fail because “we can run faster than them [the MPA] and shapeshift”.

TOPICS:   Technology   TV   Cool Stuff   Consumer Advice


  • Grassy T.
    Remember when the music industry shut down Napster and completely eradiated music piracy? No it didn’t happen as no matter what you do there’s always another way around. I am glad for once that ‘the suits’ are picking on someone (closer to) their own size, though.
  • Haggis
    Had never heard of Newzbin...thanks to the MPA's publicity I now have a whole new source of pirated content :D
  • plop
    Not only can Newzbin easily change name and relocate hosting providers, but what they offer is a nice frontend for accessing Usenet. Even if they - and every other Usenet indexer - went under for good you could still go direct to the newsgroups. They really are twats aren't they? Cinemas are stupidly expensive. If they cut the price to a more reasonable level I'd go all the time. I'd also happily pay a reasonable amount for a monthly sub to a cinema to go whenever I wanted. What I won't do is pay the price of a DVD to see a movie once.
  • Dick
    Aren't they Newzbin2 now?
  • Chris
    I'm against piracy but especially against censoring the Internet. I really hope BT can get away with this
  • samuri
    they will never win
  • Hollywood B.
    [...] in EnglandPC MagazineFilm studios fight BT over online piracyThe -Bitterwallet -eWEEK Europe UKall 63 news [...]
  • dvdj
    I never understood different release dates for different regions. As you pointed out, if they released it at the same time then a percentage of those downloading would probably go see it at the cinema. It won't stop piracy obviously but at least they'd be getting more money to shut their fat mouths. So anyone know the ccommon reason for regional release dates? Exclusivity?
  • Tim
    Not everything you can download are new release movies either. A lot of both new and old TV shows on there. Myself I occasionally go for episodes of shows that I missed and hadn't managed to record, and online Sky Player won't offer the older episodes in the season for me for free despite the fact I paid the subscription. Try to download from some of the legit US sites that offer them for free, some run by the studios themselves, and it says I can't because I'm not in the US. I also download old shows that aren't repeated anywhere and aren't on DVD.
  • The B.
    The Beeb just shot themselves in the foot too, Torchwood is being shown on the 8th in Yankland and Oz but on the 14th in the UK, you can expect official UK viewing figures for Torchwood to drop through the floor.
  • Phil76
    @ Plop, don't you call £14.99 a month reasonable?
  • Zleet
    I think the logic behind staggered releases used to be to allow multiple red carpet premier's and to build word of mouth but that isn't a good idea nowadays with everyone online so if a film is poo everyone finds out in ten minutes. Why don't the movie industry try adapting rather than reacting for a change.
  • Brad
    £9.50 £9.50 to see a fucking film the other day, then x2 for the Mrs, then I remembered why it was 3 years since id last been to the cinema.....
  • Dave K.
    Excerpt taken from ‘Newzbin has no regard for UK law and it is unacceptable that it continues to infringe copyright on a massive and commercial scale when it has been ordered to stop by the High Court,” said Chris Marcich, European president of the MPA, in a statement. We have explored every route to get Newzbin to take down the infringing material and are left with no option but to challenge this in the courts.’ Two things have obviously never passed the lips of Mr Marcich: the truth, or the tongue of a loving woman. Newzbin2 has never heard a peep out of the MPA; not so much as a Christmas card let alone a DMCA takedown notice. Furthermore Newzbin and Newzbin2 are entirely different organisations: we have never been subject to any court ruling, UK or otherwise, even if Newzbin was. Mr Marcich is well aware that while Newzbin2 uses code derived from the original Newzbin, and their databases, we are an entirely different crew. Unlike Newzbin, Newzbin2 respects copyright and acts on DMCA notices: they just haven’t sent us any. More to the point, we don’t ‘massively’ infringe copyright since we don’t provide any files: we just provide search results & it is up to users whether they do anything with those results. MPA: when will you sue Google? Almost every ‘infringing’ search result found on Newzbin2 can be had from Google, we just do it much much better. Perhaps we might also point out that, not being UK based, we don’t have to respect UK copyright law albeit we do like the wigs.
  • jon h.
    But its theft surely? Has someone not invested x amount of money to provide something that someone can choose to purchase? Annoying though, all that paying for stuff.

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