Networking in Berkshire - Business Event Details

Newzbin and an important UK decision on online copyright infringement

Hi Friends,

Continuing my information sharing in light of the new Digital Economy Act 2010, I would like to highlight the Twentieth Century Film Corporation and others v Newzbin Limited case. This is an important case which considers the on-line application of the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988 (CDPA), in view of the newly adopted Digital Economy Act 2010 (2010 Act).

Newzbin is a members-only Usenet indexing website that operated a P2P network, by indexing and collating Usenet files, relating to particular works or films. It index listed these files by the name of the film or work and provided reports by Newzbin’s team of editors, giving information about the work.

Newzbin’s premium members could search its indexes and could also, at the press of a button, create files containing all the information needed to re-create an original work, ready to view onscreen or burn onto a DVD, aggregating all the individual Usenet messages, containing tiny components of the overall work. The claimants, including Twenty Century Film Corporation, complained of breach of their copyright.

The court held in favour of the claimants and in doing so, it considered whether the various acts performed by Newzbin could amount to infringement of copyright.

The court ordered an injunction against Newzbin, as well as an enquiry as to damages. This included additional damages for flagrancy, under section 97 of the CDPA, as the court considered that, Newzbin had known very well that, the vast majority of the materials relating to films were commercial and so, likely to be protected by copyright and that, the users of Newzbin who downloaded those materials were infringing that copyright.

For a fuller consideration of this case please visit

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