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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Virgin Media Also Blocked Newzbin2

Virgin Media followed the example of BT, Sky, and TalkTalk – all major UK ISPs – and blocked access to Newzbin2, a popular file-sharing portal in the British Usenet networks.

The Internet service providers didn’t do this voluntarily: the move followed the victory of 6 film studios over a copyright infringement case. The court handling the case handed down a decision saying that all of the aforementioned broadband providers must block access to Newzbin2.

So, Virgin Media launched the filter a week ago to prevent all its users to access the website due to concerns over its pirated material. In the meantime, also of interest is that the film studios (Universal, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, Columbia Pictures and Disney) are all members of the Motion Picture Association of America – better known as the MPAA.

Media reports revealed that Virgin Media received the order only a week after it was issued (in the end of July), but decided to postpone the blockage until the London 2012 Olympic Games were over.

Other British ISPs – BT and Sky – started their filters last year, in October and December, while the provider TalkTalk was forced to block access only this past February. However, all of these largest Internet service providers followed the court order which was issued a year ago. Newzbin2, if you don’t know yet, is the successor of Newzbin, the blocked file-sharing portal, and seems to share the same faith, since the former was closed down in 2010 following legal actions taken against the service.

Mark Wilkin, a forum manager for Virgin Media, announced that as a responsible ISP, they would complies with court orders while strongly believing that changing consumer behaviour also needs compelling legitimate alternatives to provide consumers access to content.

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