MPAA Wins U.K. Court Case Against File-Sharing Site

In a legal first in the U.K., a judge has ruled that a website, Newzbin 2, which offers links to free movies, must be blocked.

London -- A High Court judge has ruled that British Telecom must block access to a website which provides links to pirated movies, according to the BBC.

Newzbin 2 is a members-only site, which aggregates a large amount of the illegally copied material found on Usenet discussion forums.

The landmark case is the first time that an ISP has been ordered to block access to such a site.

It paves the way for other sites to be blocked as part of a major crackdown on piracy.

In his ruling, Justice Arnold stated: "In my judgment it follows that BT has actual knowledge of other persons using its service to infringe copyright: it knows that the users and operators of Newbin2 infringe copyright on a large scale, and in particular infringe the copyrights of the Studios in large numbers of their films and television programs."

He continued: "It knows that the users of Newzbin2 include BT subscribers, and it knows those users use its service to receive infringing copies of copyright works made available to them by Newzbin2."

The MPAA launched the legal action as a last-ditch attempt to close down Newzbin 2.

Chris Marcich, president and managing director (EMEA), MPAA said: "This ruling from Justice Arnold is a victory for millions of people working in the U.K. creative industries and demonstrates that the law of the land must apply online."

The MPAA signaled its intention to pursue other ISPs.

The judge ruled that BT must use its blocking technology CleanFeed - which is currently used to prevent access to websites featuring child sexual abuse - to block Newzbin 2.