Virgin Media blocks Newzbin2 file-sharing site

The ISP has followed BT, Sky and TalkTalk in complying with a court order forcing it to stop access to the Usenet aggregator, after six movie studios won a copyright infringement case

Virgin Media customers across the UK can no longer access Usenet aggregator Newzbin2 after the ISP complied with a court order requested by content rights holders. 

The block came into effect on Tuesday afternoon, in response to the court's demand that the ISP prevent users from accessing the site due to concerns over the circulation of pirated content. The order was issued on behalf of six US film studios , all members of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

Newzbin2 has been blocked by Virgin Media.

Virgin Media told ZDNet it received the order a week after it was issued on 27 July, but waited until after the London 2012 Olympic Games to introduce the filtering.

Other major ISPs have already put similar blocks against Newzbin in place. BT and Sky began their filtering in October and December respectively, while TalkTalk was forced to stop access in February. All did so to comply with orders enforcing a court ruling handed down in July last year.

Newzbin2 is the successor to Newzbin, which shut down in 2010 due to legal action against it. The site describes itself as a search engine for content on Usenet bulletin boards. As such, it provides a way for people to find copyrighted content posted by others; it also provides a tool to speed up downloads of material from Usenet.

While it put the block in place, Virgin Media suggested that providing legal access to copyrighted movies online would help cut back on piracy.

"As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media complies with court orders addressed to us, but we strongly believe that changing consumer behaviour to tackle copyright infringement also needs compelling legal alternatives to give consumers access to great content at the right price," Mark Wilkin, a forum manager for the ISP, wrote on a community forum on Monday.