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Newzbin Sued by the MPA
December 4, 2008
Thomas Mennecke
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In October of this year, Newzbin reported that it was anticipating legal action against its Usenet indexing service by a yet unnamed entity. Over a month later, Newzbin reports that it has been sued by the MPA (Motion Picture Association). The MPA is the international version of its US-based counterpart, the Motion Picture Association of America.

According to Newzbin, the indexing service has been suspending some reports due to complaints - something that community members have noticed over the last several months.

"You may have noticed that recently we suspended a number of existing reports. This was done after receiving notification from the MPA that those reports were potentially of their copyrighted works. This suspension will remain until the reports are verified not to be infringing."

"Despite this, in the last week, we received notice that the MPA have filed for an injunction against us. We are thus now going through the motions of filling out paperwork etc and will see what happens next. There's not much else to tell you at this stage; we'll keep you posted."

In the courts, it's been rather easy to justify the pursuit of P2P/BitTorrent indexers, considering many preconceive the P2P realm as nothing more than a piracy network. This isn't the case with Usenet. The Newsgroups have been long considered a legitimate avenue of discussion on a wide variety of topics. It's not until recently the otherwise good name of the newsgroups has been tarnished by the motivations of politics.

Anyway, the point is that it's easy to say to a judge, "Hey, these guys index stuff on P2P networks, let's sue them a few million." The answer to this question is usually, "P2P networks!?!? Sure!". Now, the answer might be, "Aren't the newsgroups a source of conversation and information too? Why is it bad to index that?"

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Newsgroups/Usenet :: Indexing Sites
Entertainment Industry :: Other

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