London – The U.K.’s High Court has found Usenet newsgroup
search engine Newzbin liable for copyright infringement in a case brought by U.S.
movie studios, TorrentFreak reported. The court now intends to impose an injunction
against Newzbin to prevent it from offering films whose copyrights are owned by
the studio-plaintiffs in the case, who include Fox, Universal, Warner Bros., Paramount, Disney and Columbia.
Newzbin had argued that its site
merely functions like any other search engine, offering links to content housed
The studios noted in their arguments that Newzbin’s own content
categories include "TV," "Music" "Games" and "Movies,"
with subcategories of the latter including incriminating titles like
"Screener" and "CAM."
They also pointed out that Newzbin’s help
guides purport to aid users in finding "obscure music, tv shows, games or
movies. Think of us as a TV guide, but we’re a guide that applies to
Court documents showed that in 2009, Newzbin also generated nearly
$1.5 million in revenue and a profit of $539,000, in addition to paying
dividends of $622,000.
The court found that Newzbin’s site was "designed
and intended to make infringing copies of films readily available to its
premium members"; that Newzbin actually promoted infringement by its
editors and end users; and that Newzbin profited from copyright infringement.
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," said Ted Shapiro, general counsel for the Motion Picture
(DMW previous coverage)