High Court “Reserves Judgment” at Newzbin2 Blocking Hearing

The parties were back in the High Court Friday in the continuing case of the MPA against UK ISP BT. The latter was previously ordered to block subscriber access to Usenet indexing site Newzbin2 on copyright infringement grounds, but yesterday an objection by a Newzbin2 and BT user was added into the mix. Question is, what effect will it have?

On Friday, BT and the MPA were back in court to hammer out the final details in the pioneering web-blocking case against Usenet indexing site Newzbin2.

Although BT had already lost their case opposing the action, there was a last-minute development when a Newzbin2 and BT user stepped up to intervene in the proceedings.

The individual, known only as “DM”, had already come under pressure from the MPA who, according to Newzbin2’s Mr White, had sent him a bill for “$10,000 in costs” along with a warning that the proceedings could bankrupt him.

Despite these efforts, DM’s application was heard yesterday. TorrentFreak understands that he asked that the full block on Newzbin2 should be avoided, and the MPA should specifically identify which URLs point to infringing material and have those removed instead.

“Congratulations to our user ‘DM’ for having the big clanging balls of steel to intervene on behalf of the users of Newzbin2. He did so in the teeth of desperate ferocious opposition by the MPA and wasn’t fazed by their spineless attempts at personal intimidation,” said Newzbin2’s Mr White in an email to TorrentFreak.

“The MPA were happy to line up their own lackey Copyright Dinosaurs organizations to support their the claim: the BPI, IFPI, Publishers Association and the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment lined up sycophantically and obediently behind the MPA. The MPA hypocrites didn’t feel that it was appropriate for anyone opposing their wishes to be heard.”

Nevertheless, the judge felt that DM’s submission should be aired and he allowed that to go ahead. Whether it has made any difference is yet to be seen.

“The court case concluded but the judge has ‘reserved judgment’ which I’m told means he will deliver his blocking order in an unknown form in a few weeks or so,” says Mr White. “Obviously we are nervous on behalf of our UK users and hope for the best.”

But for ‘DM’ the news on his predicted bankruptcy appears to be good. Because he won his submission he won’t have to pay the costs of the MPA opposing him.

“Of course, £7,500 wouldn’t be enough to buy the MPA any politicians so they probably aren’t that upset. Shame,” Mr White concludes.

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