Articles & Notes — February 22, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Movie industry not to get Newzbin2’s money

usenetThe British courts have told the entertainment industry that it can’t hope to profit from piracy after it made an attempt to seize cash earned by Usenet.

The England and Wales High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, has decided that the movie industry can’t have rights to the money made by the owner of Usenet-indexing site Newzbin2 by violating copyright.

The MPAA, represented by a number of studios, including Universal Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Disney and Columbia Pictures, recently sued David Harris, the operator of the Newzbin2 site, together with Christopher Elsworth, who ran the website’s predecessor Newzbin.com.

The outfit had hoped to get money David Harris earned by copyright violation.

After all it was profits they didn’t receive because at the time they were reluctant to sell their content on the Internet.

Newzbin2 was a UK website which indexed binary files published on Usenet. The website also created files in the NZB format listing all the Usenet messages with the constituent parts of a posted binary file, which let Internet users to download the posted files without any effort.

As a result, the High Court of Justice decided back in 2010 that the website was responsible to the studios for copyright violation since its operators were aware that the vast majority of the content on the site were commercial and protected by copyright law.

The press reports say that the studios already received injunctions to freeze Harris’ bank accounts and accounts of the NZB Foundation who seems to own the property in which Harris lives, as well as accounts of his company Kthxbai, which is alleged to have received payments from Newzbin2, and another company Motors for Movies, who owns the McLaren car Harris uses.

However, the studios wanted more. They required a proprietary injunction that would claim title to Harris’ assets and assets of his business.

The movie industry claimed that as copyright owners they had a proprietary claim to the proceeds of infringement of their copyrights.

Judge Guy Newey explained that a copyright owner doesn’t have a proprietary claim to the proceeds of an infringement of copyright, and therefore refused to grant such an injunction.



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