UK court makes website operators liable for linked content
LONDON, ENGLAND – Newzbin Ltd., a website that helps subscribers to
illegally download movies and other entertainment, has been held liable for
copyright infringement by the High Court of Justice in London today.
Although the precise terms of the Court order will be announced later this
week, the judgment is clear that the Court will order Newzbin to stop
giving users access to the films and television programmes that belong to
the member companies of the Motion Picture Association. In the ruling
issued today, the court found that the UK-based company engages in
copyright infringement even though the protected content does not reside
directly on its website. Rather, Newzbin provides links to unauthorized
copies of copyright works, including films, TV programmes, commercial
software as well as other illegal content. Newzbin charges a monthly fee
for subscribers to use its services and has built a substantial business
based on copyright infringement.
“We welcome the Court’s decision today,” said Ted Shapiro, the Motion
Picture Association’s general counsel for Europe. “Newzbin is a source of
immense damage to the creative sector in the UK and worldwide. 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. This decision will help to support the continued
investment in new legal online services and the creation of new films and
television shows for enjoyment by audiences both in the UK and around the
The Court ruling clarifies the implementation of European legislation in
the UK, finding that the services of Internet intermediaries are
increasingly being used by third parties to infringe copyright, and that
such parties are in the best position to bring such illegal activities to
Shapiro said that the MPA remains committed to its core mission of
encouraging and pursuing common-sense solutions that support the creativity
of the motion picture industry and offer film fans the widest possible
choice of movies and TV programmes to enjoy.
About the MPA: The Motion Picture Association (MPA) serves the interests of
major motion picture companies, home video and television industries in the
global marketplace: Paramount Pictures Corporation, Sony Pictures
Entertainment Inc, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Universal City
Studios LLLP, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Warner Bros.
The MPA investigates and reports on activities infringing intellectual
property rights, assists with the resulting criminal and civil litigation
to protect their copyrights, and conducts educational outreach programs to
teach movie fans around the world about the harmful effects of copyright
theft. These film studios in aggregate are the largest investors in the UK
film industry, making such major films as Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes and
Alice in Wonderland in the UK as well as carrying out a wide array of
post-production work here. These activities generate thousands of jobs each
year in the UK.
For more information about the MPA, please visit www.mpaa.org.