Hollywood film studios have won a court case in Britain blocking access to a website accused of flagrant infringement of copyright.
Justice Richard Arnold announced Thursday that he would issue an order which would compel BT PLC, the country's largest Internet service provider, to block access to the Newzbin2 website. The precise wording of the order will be subject to a further hearing in October.
The order was sought by six studios including Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount Pictures Corporation and Disney Enterprises. They were supported by recorded music, video gaming and publishing organizations.
Chris Marcich, European president of the Motion Picture Association, described Newzbin as a "a notorious pirate website which makes hundreds of thousands of copyrighted products available without permission and with no regard for the law."
The judge noted that the studios considered this to be a test case, and that if they won an order they would take similar action against other Internet service providers in the United Kingdom.
"Today's result is an important victory in the battle against a commercial pirate site which refused to operate within the law," said veteran film producer David Puttnam, who is president of the Film Distributors' Association.
BT described the judge's ruling as a "helpful" decision that provides clarity on the issues. "It clearly shows that rights holders need to prove their claims and convince a judge to make a court order," the company said.
The studios had won an injunction last year against Newzbin Ltd. to halt further infringement of copyrights.
Justice Arnold noted that the Newzbin1 site closed down, quickly succeeded by a new site at the same location.
"The operators of the Newzbin2 website are unknown, but the operation appears to have moved offshore. It is thus effectively beyond the reach of this court," the judge said.