back to article Million pound Usenet indexer found guilty

Newzbin, a website which indexed Usenet files, but did not host them, has been found liable for copyright infringement by the High Court of Justice in London . Newzbin was a members-only website and had turnover of more than £1m in 2009. It provided members with a search engine for Usenet groups. Precise terms of the judgement …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. TeeCee Gold badge
    FAIL

    That defence.

    "......mainly used to search for Usenet discussions rather than binary content."

    The fact that they called themselves "Newzbin", an obvious play on "NewsBin" (to quote the wobblypedia[1]: "one of the first news clients dedicated to downloading binary content from Usenet"), is a bit of a giveaway here.

    Sawing off one of the few legs your defence has to stand on right at the start? Not a good idea.

    [1] I make no apologies.

  2. Shady
    Stop

    Sounds like...

    "Any of the material we index can be found on any one of thousands of sites on the Internet so pursuit of us is a futile waste of everyones time and money"

    To be read as: "Why are you pinking on us? It isn't fair! If they can do it why can't we? Why are you letting them off?"

    Don't wannabe a shill for the record companies, but if you are going to index copyrighted content and make no effort to remove indexes of copyrighted material, then you are aiding and abetting. Simple as.

    Besides which, I don't believe that they are purely interested in linux distros, RPM's, DEB's or whateverbuntu's. I'd warrant 95% of their indexed content is porn and copyrighted films or music.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not quite true

      They have a takedown procedure as do many other websites. Judging from their own actions they do not ignore these requests either.

      That said, from what I've heard given the categories in use it would be clear to most people what they intended the site to be used for.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: Take down request

        But you do have to send the requests via post. Judge found this to be deliberately cumbersome.

        Having read a lot of it, seems to me the case is for "infringing copyright" and not assisting in it. Does read like the judge forgets halfway through they dont actually provide the copyrighted material

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Perhaps...

          ...it's made more cumbersome to try and avoid abuse of the system by the media industry and thier use of automated processes that often get it wrong?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      95%

      "I'd warrant 95% of their indexed content is porn and copyrighted films or music."

      That's probably because 95% of what is uploaded to Usenet is porn and copyrighted material.

      If the Internet was 95% porn, then 95% of Google's index would be porn.

      1. paulc

        95%

        it is... just turn safesearch off...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Bought laws and judges.

      "Don't wannabe a shill for the record companies, but if you are going to index copyrighted content and make no effort to remove indexes of copyrighted material, then you are aiding and abetting. Simple as."

      Bullshit, imho. Who is _really_ infringing the copyright here?

      The guy who puts something in the Usenet or the company who searches from the material that is _publicly available to anyone_? Even you.

      You see that MPAA is not doing _anything_ to sue those delivering the content, the real infringers. That should be the least requirement before you can sue anybody for abiding.

      "Guilty by giving the address" is the point here and that's ridiculous: It's not by any definition copyright infringment.

      The judge is an idiot and the law is even more idiotic. "Abiding" needs that there's also somebody doing the real "crime" (=infringment) at same court: Did you see those? I didn't.

      So judge decides whatever he wants, basically: I'm 100% sure there is perfectly valid grounds for exactly opposite decision, also.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Pirate

      Re:

      "I don't believe that they are purely interested in linux distros, RPM's, DEB's or whateverbuntu's. I'd warrant 95% of their indexed content is porn and copyrighted films or music."

      If I were paying for their search results I would most certainly hope so!!

  3. eezatehgeeza
    FAIL

    QQsnet!

    This is plain wrong! Surely? Am I the only one to think this stinks?

    On the upside:

    A spokeswoman for the MPA said it was not about to go to war with search engines like Google...

    Because that would be a bucket of FAIL!

    1. Steve Roper

      Of course the MPA's not

      going to go to war against Google, though they were happy to hit Newzbin. For much the same reason that a pack of hyenas might be willing to tackle a gazelle, but know they aren't going to get very far against an elephant...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is there a lawyer in the house?

    While these guys were probably not making the smartest moves possible in the way they represented their purpose, in and out of court, that should still have had no bearing on the case (so don't depend on it for your defence!). Thing is, they're not hosting anything but search results. Like OiNK, and google, and bing, and so on. So why is this indexer liable for the content it indexes, and the others aren't? That alone ought to be enough for an appeal, I say. But you'd need slightly sharper defendants than this. Lawyer comments?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      No, there's never a lawyer on an El Reg forum

      "Thing is, they're not hosting anything but search results"

      From my reading of the judgement (and I stopped about a quarter of the way through) this is not the case, and that's rather the point.

      They were actively involved in manually creating NZB files and hosting them on the site. Had they been just running an algorithm over the internet, they could hide behind the "search results" defence, but once they start authoring and hosting their own content they are surely liable for that content and the judge presumably felt that (unlike a video recorder, say, which has legitimate uses) an NZB pointing to copyrighted material was of no intrinsic value except to assist in copyright infringement.

      Similarly, a search engine that finds a libelous statement should not land in hot water, but a website that employs human staff to translate such statements into various languages for the benefit of subscribers might very well find itself a little warm and wet.

      1. Andy ORourke
        Badgers

        Wasn't that Pirate Bays Defence?

        "Had they been just running an algorithm over the internet, they could hide behind the "search results" defence"

        I thought that's what Pirate Bay tried?

        The main reason Google, Bing, and the larger companies arent being targeted has already been stated. They pay lip service to take down requests and they are simply too big

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Binsearch

    ....and countless others are just as good.

    Nothing to see here ;)

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge
    WTF?

    "This verdict confirms that..."

    "... such websites have a duty of care to prevent the availability of illegal content on their websites."

    Like if you put "<text> torrent" the search box in Google?

  7. Scott Mckenzie

    *sniff*

    It will be missed if it disappears completely....

  8. Armus Squelprom
    FAIL

    The War on Search Engines

    The RIAA rep crows that they're not currently targeting Google but..... "websites have a duty of care to prevent the availability of illegal content on their websites".

    So let's look forward to a China-friendly world where all net searches are automatically filtered to remove anything illegal, offensive or transgressive (by the standards of any individual, corporation or nation with the power to sue). Their version of Web2.0 will look like AOL circa 1993 - just links to nice, safe shopping & hobby sites.

    I'm not a total fan of pirates, hackers, spammers etc, but if I have to take a side I'll stand with them against the smothering embrace of the RIAA pigopoly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      RIAA?

      You can't even get the basics right. It was the MPA not the RIAA.

      Freetards is not very bright today.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Insert acronym

        MPA, RIAA, whatever. They're all trying to do the same thing.

        Same shit, different wrapper.

        I'm all for copyright used appropriately to protect creative work as intended. The RIAA and MPA and other organizations like them are abusing copyright law to protect their oldthink business models and lousy me-too content that's anything but creative.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Hah

    >>A spokeswoman for the MPA said it was not about to go to war with search engines like Google<<

    Yes, because they'd spank you and send you crying home to mommy. No, you don't want to go to war with Google.

    >>She said: "This verdict confirms that such websites have a duty of care to prevent the availability of illegal content on their websites."<<

    No. It proves what any other lawsuit proves. You have more money and can bamboozle judges better than than your victims can show the truth.

    The truth doesn't help in a case like this where a judge probably doesn't even know what a search index is, how to understand electronic process, let alone how to judge a case based on one.

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    But note, *no* content hosted on *their* servers

    This routine is almost as farcical as the US patent office.

    There is a *lot* of binary content on usenet.

    *Some* of it is no doubt copyright.

    But hey, going after the posters might cost *real* money and time.

    Thumbs down for this very poor judgement.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    MPAA..

    Like trying to stop sand falling through your fingers, why dont they just create their own movie download service instead of wasting time with this crap?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Because apparently they are ...

      a bit thick...

      1. ml100
        FAIL

        a bit thick?

        Film, TV and Music industries need to understand simple concepts. Put their prices down and there will be no incentive for people to bother downloading for free.

        If HD movies were sub $5 without DRM who would even be concerned about a free copy? Perhaps only those who would never consider paying at any price.

        I thought it was already an accepted fact that those who illegally download music in UK also spend more on average on music than those who do not.

        If the industry vultures who prey on the creatives who actually make the material we consume werent so short sighted and greedy then they would already be a solution.

        The pr0n industry have embraced and innovated with regard to digital content, some have prospered - those who deserve to fail do so.

        Until creatives, consumers and govt realise the problem is the ignorant tw@ts that run these industries not people who pirate we will all be ripped off / criminalised / exploited.

        This is a win for 17 overpaid VPs at Sony / Colombia and wherever; well done - with enough money who cant confused a stupid judge.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Incentive?

          There are many things in life I'd like but I can't afford.

          I have an incentive for not stealing them, though. It's called 'the law'.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Silly boy

            Ahhh. That old stinker again.

            You don't do something because you are afraid of the authorities, rather than not doing something because it is wrong. You must be a nice person to know.

            A bit like those religious 'tards who think that if you don't believe in Jebus then what would stop you from raping and pillaging all the time.

            Oh yeah, it's not theft you stupid fecker.

            I t ' s C O P Y R I G H T I N F R I N G E M E N T n o t t h e f t .

  12. LAGMonkey
    Unhappy

    annoyed...

    as a regular user fo Newzbin, its intergration with my usenet downloader was second to non at the time i signed up for it. And yes there may be content on its index that is copywrite, but they activly took it down in a speedy manour.

    Much how wikipedia gets its content from users submissions, so does newzbin. You cant control the masses all the time.

    As others have said, Nezbin IMO was an easy target. Bad judges, bad lawers.

    Nar mind, ill just have to get my NZB's from elsewhere.... like Google!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Observe...

      ...freetard spelling, punctuation and grammar

  13. james2kuk
    WTF?

    Erm... ok...

    "not about to go to war with search engines like Google"

    So there is a difference in the way the results are presented to me if I were to type:

    '<Generic Film Name> NZB'

    Or

    '<Generic Film Name> Torrent'

    into Google? I don't think so, google provide me with a snippet of text from the page, plus the link, and also a cached copy should the site be down!

    "This verdict confirms that such websites have a duty of care to prevent the availability of illegal content on their websites."

    Either that makes no sense, or what the MPA mean is websites are responsible for their own content. If that IS what the MPA means then all it does is prove they are talking cr@p, if that isn't what they mean then it proves they are talking cr@p...

    1. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

      Try it

      If I type "avatar torrent" I get a link to a website, not the torrent itself. I can see the difference. Can you?

      1. JonH

        @Anomalous Cowherd

        What happens if you search for "avatar filetype:torrent"?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: Try it

        'If I type "avatar torrent" I get a link to a website, not the torrent itself. I can see the difference. Can you?'

        Two degrees of Kevin Bacon instead of one? Is that where infringement officially ends?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Money

    I think the biggest problem is the fact that they make money.

    The argument many people have used in the past is that the MPAA are not losing any money since the people who download copyright material would not have paid for it anyway. The fact that Newzbin charge a fee shows that people are willing to pay. Not so much freetards as cheaptards.

    1. ml100
      Thumb Down

      money?

      Then surely the correct response is to steal the idea and do it on the legal. If there was a newzbin run by the MPAA then they could capitalise on peoples desire for protected content.

      Im pretty sure even at 10 times the price [Newzbin charges 30p a week] millions of people would pay for a legal alternative.

      MPAA are too stupid to adapt their business model to survive the inevitable. Movies will be downloaded no matter who they sue, someone will get paid - just not them for the moment.

  15. nsld
    Paris Hilton

    Not going after google!

    Of course they wont go after google for the simple reason that the movie industry needs search engines to like it and index searches of its new releases.

    If they went after google all google would do is block all searches related to content from MPAA members, pull trailers from you tube and effectively kill the market.

    Forget the legalities of it all, google doesnt need to win the lawsuits, they will get withdrawn in a shot.

    Paris - equally likely to sue google!

  16. nullvoid

    nullvoid

    it sounds like the reports created by the editors were there downfall, added to the auto imdb link and warez categories they did not have a leg to stand on. but my upmost respect to the owner Cesium, his decision to keep no server logs protected his users/editors anonmymity

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      downloading a .nzb is not downloading the file itself.

      Just because you have the .nzb does not mean you downloaded the file, this is far less watertight than the bit-torrent ip farce that the ambulance chasers use. You cannot prove that just because someone downloaded a pointer to a file, they have the file themselves.

      To prove you downloaded the file, one would need to know which of the many usenet providers you use, and then submit a court order to them to force them to hand over their logs of the threads you downloaded..

      1. ml100

        agreed

        Its odd that this wasnt part of their defence!

        If I use a tomtom to find an exs new house so that I can go round and kill her does that mean tomtom are liable?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Why did they bother?

    There's a tonne of indexers on the web, which people will disperse to. So this will not increase sales revenue in the slightest. It's not like a torrent site where there's a central index to a load of files, with usenet there's multiple indexes to the same files, which you then use your usenet provider to grab.

    It's not even like you *need* an indexer anyway, you could still get your binaries by downloading headers and searching with a newsreader.

    1. DrunkenMessiah

      Absolutely

      Newzbin don't provide anything that you can't get anyway by using a newsreader, they just make it a bit easier to find.

      This case is a joke and as someone above pointed out, it seems the judge forgot the difference between hosting material and indexing it.

    2. matt 115

      RE: No need for index

      Agreed and a large part of the case seems to hinge on this...

      "# As Mr Clark further explained, if a user wished to retrieve such a large group of files directly from Usenet, he would have to identify all the messages they incorporate, download them one at a time and then use a separate software application to assemble them together. This would clearly be an onerous and inconvenient task and take days to accomplish. It could also be extremely frustrating, as Mr Elsworth himself elaborated. A user might spend a great deal of time and effort downloading the majority of the messages only to discover that one message, the final piece in the jigsaw, was missing. In that event he would be prevented from reconstituting the work and his days of effort would have been wasted."

      I reckon it could be done in minutes not days.

      1. ml100

        No need for index?

        The index helps one know what is available - theres no need for the NZB. Equally you could got to TVRage or TV.com and see what was aired last night in USA or IMDB to see what came out on DVD etc,

        Using any usenet client you could just search for the file and select the list of articles yourself. A download and repair takes under 15 minutes and is fully automated by grabit et al....

        Why not post the NZBs on USENET rather than the website, problem solved

  18. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    @nsld

    "Of course they wont go after google for the simple reason that the movie industry needs search engines to like it and index searches of its new releases.

    If they went after google all google would do is block all searches related to content from MPAA members, pull trailers from you tube and effectively kill the market."

    Interesting points. Why you make it sound like Google is virtually a monopoly.

    Thumbs up for the point.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Google is a monopoly

      "Interesting points. Why you make it sound like Google is virtually a monopoly."

      .... maybe because it is?

      At least now.

      It also behaves like one and if you don't believe, read their CEO's comments, he's an ignorant idiot and makes the company slogan "Do no evil" to a some kind of cruel joke to users.

      More realistic would be "Do as much evil you can".

  19. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Legal Alternative. We Are Still Waiting zzzzzzzz

    If only the movie industry would create a decent legal Movie download site.

    (and before the Mactards arrive iTunes is a million miles away from 'decent')

    People are clearly willing to pay for a download service. Trouble is the Movie industry is either too clueless or too greedy to work it out.

    The Movie industry would like to charge you £15 every time you watched a film. Ideally if you watch a film at home they would like to charge every person/animal who catches a glimpse of the screen. If you don't pay you are supporting terrorism or some other such rubbish.

    I would pay for a legal TV episode download site. No DRM, sensible formats and a sensible price is all I ask. Not difficult considering this available for free, now. Its a no brainer. Unless you are an out of touch Hollywood exec.

  20. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Pint

    Questions

    They made a ton of wonga so that made then stick out like a sore thumb!

    Indexing is wrong? Right, so when are Google et al gonna get lynched then?

    1. ml100

      Ton of wonga?

      Turning over just under a million and making 300k profit doesnt sound like a ton of money to me!

      Unless its in pound coins.

      Im sure plenty of ad supported torrent and usenet sites make just as much. Registering as a legal entity in UK was the issue.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Make your results behave the same as google? Yes?

    They state that they have no intentions of going after Google then all newsbin have to do is present there results just like google? Problem solved and no infringement? Simple as, surely?

  22. steward
    Black Helicopters

    Maybe the small indexers should check if Google is being evil

    "A spokeswoman for the MPA said it was not about to go to war with search engines like Google."

    This is a great way for Google to get a legally-allowed monopoly in Blighty, and perhaps all of the EU as well, while Hollywood pays for it.

    I wonder why Hollywood would pay for Google to get a monopoly?

  23. Neil 38

    Slight difference

    I believe the issue was the content of the results, not that a result was provided at all.

    Google provides a generic result, no matter what type of file is searched for, some pertinent text from the site is provided in a summary with your search term in bold, but Google does not provided context specific information.

    Newzbin does and that was the problem. Newzbin provides information specific to the type of content, like video codec and audio format / language for video and platform for binaries etc.

    Another issues seemed to stem around Newzbin actually generating NZB files rather than just serving up a pointer to an NZB file previously generated and held elsewhere.

    1. kingosticks

      That's [not] what she said

      spokeswoman for the MPA: "... It was about how the search results were presented. ..."

      If you search for a picture with google you get its dimensions, file size and type. If you search for a video you get its length.

      Doesn't seem quite fair really.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Metadata is "infringment"?

      "Newzbin does and that was the problem. Newzbin provides information specific to the type of content, like video codec and audio format / language for video and platform for binaries etc."

      So providing more metadata is 'copyright infringment' now?

      Great. Shoot the lawmakers for making such law and judges who enforce it. Even if it's their job, they _should_ know better.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Case without merit

    What newzbin provided more than anything was high quality metadata on usenet. Even if newzbin were to close today (and that isn't happening, looks like an injunction against 20th century fox et al films being indexed), the same content would still be available, would still be on usenet, and would still be indexed on the many other indexing sites.

    Even if this was taken to its logical conclusion, and every indexing site was taken down, everything would still be more available than the pre-newzbin days, as almost every single report these days has a NZB generated by the poster. We just go back to manually searching headers for lists of NZBs and lose all that lovely metadata.

  25. PirateSlayer
    Thumb Up

    Excellent

    Good result.

    "Newzbin called on the MPA to address its broken business model instead of lobbying for restrictive laws like the Digital Enterprise Bill."

    :D. That gave me a good laugh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      @ pirateslayer

      What a prick! You sound exactly like Monty Burns (as do most music & film industry protectionist buffoons).

      Look, it's simple (for the music/film business) to completely wipe out piracy

      1. Don't be greedy.

      2. Don't be greedy.

      3. Don't be greedy.

      4. Give the public as much digital content as is already available but for a fair price*

      * Fair Price :

      Music single : £0.35

      Music Album :£3.00

      Film 480 (DVD) : £3.50

      Film 720 or 1080 (HD/Bluray) : £4.50

      Things change - it's unavoidable. Just because it was easy to rip joe public off before (with physical media) does not mean that you can do it now.

      Stop crying / bleeting about piracy and adopt a new business model that will, if executed properly make more money than ever before (simply by volume) and pretty much wipe out piracy in the process.

      Lastly, as has been widely reported - Music sales are actually up as are film sales and cinema takings. All this crap about piracy etc etc are diversionary tactics for companies and gubberments to exert yet more control and tighter leashes.

      1. PirateSlayer
        FAIL

        See massive piracy thread elsewhere

        :D. So you live on a planet where you can walk into a shop and assign your own prices to everything?

        This is such a blob of fail all I can do is tell you to read the other freetard threads from the last week or so. You are just wrong. You are not proposing or living through a "new business model", you're just a pirate freetard. It's that simple.

        I am not an apologist for the music film business. I have no interest in their businesses, make no money through their businesses. If I want something they are selling, and I think the price is right I buy it. If not...I don't...real simple! Then they will change the price if enough people don't buy it...my god! A market!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    title

    For all the people moaning `it's not fair` etc etc bad MPA, go and read the judgement. And I don't mean skim over it - I mean read and comprehend it. Newzbin were / are doing some very silly things which completely incriminated themselves. After reading that I can see exactly how and why the MPA won, and I am also very sad to see it go - it's by far the best online Sky+ box in existence!

    1. kingosticks

      Oh well

      I agree they did it to themselves and made a lot of money in the process, probably due to being the best at what they did - there is no easier or more convenient way to get the material they index. It's a shame they prosecute the site but don't offer a legal alternative.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Pretty much every usenet provider...

    ... has a search facility of their own these days. I know mine does. I also know that there's not a snowball's chance in hell of them getting hit as it would fall into the "way too expensive to sue" category.

    I have used Newzbin and I'm sure that there's many an ISP that thanked Newzbin and all the other indexing services because of the load taken off their pipes due to all the headers not being downloaded.

    I'm quite willing to pay for content. I'm not willing to pay multiple times for content I have already paid for. Nor am I willing to pay full price to replace (for example) CDs that were sold as "lasts a lifetime, doesn't scratch, degrade etc etc". I paid for the artists work. I'm not paying again, although a nominal fee for media replacement is fine. Otherwise I will continue to rip every bit of media I buy and put it on our LAN.

    I and many like me will just ignore whatever the MPA/courts say. The UK is already a "do as we say, not as we do" society and I've gone well past the point at which I'm going to take any notice at all of the 4376th new offence (thats a guess but there are more than 4300) that NuLab creates.

    The MPA is an irrelevance to 90% of the kids in this country as is copyright. What you going to do? Prosecute them all? I'm sure NuLab would be more than willing to go for that, but anyone with half a brain knows that in these days of CRB checks, once you have a criminal record then there is no incentive to "reform".

    Just ignore the law - really. We have so many spurious laws in the UK now that not even judges know them all.

    Do what you think is right. If you like something then pay for it. If you don't then why keep it?

    However do NOT go down the road of paying for copyrighted material you have ALREADY paid for. Mandelson and his luvvie friends want you to do exactly that.

  28. Absent

    editors

    I reckon this was the downfall of the case. Probably if Newzbin solely offered their automated raw or condensed usenet search facilities they would have won but the fact that they have human editors flagging, categorising and providing extra info on the files means these editors at least would have been well aware the nzb's related to copyrighted content.

    I'm not siding with the MPA, I love Newzbin, but maybe in the law's eyes they took it a bit too far.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What goes around...

    There is a prison cell waiting for dirtbags who believe they are above the law.

    1. jon 72

      oops

      A quick search with Google reveals that they are continuing to index, and in some cases even host copyrighted material from pirated sources. Of course everbody knows this but seem reluctant to mention it to them, let alone take them to court for damages.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      "What goes around"

      Overlooked that the police weren't involved AC?

      Or do you really believe that the UK imprisons people for civil offences?

      Either way, dumb, dumb, dumb.

  30. Craig 2 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Sigh...

    "If I use a tomtom to find an exs new house so that I can go round and kill her does that mean tomtom are liable?"

    If tomtom included a button labelled `find my ex` and maybe `find closest hardware store selling knives` then YES! That's the difference, what is it with people that can't understand the difference between copyright material being available from a search, and designing a search specifically for finding copyright material.

    /rant

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Huh?

      "If tomtom included a button labelled `find my ex` and maybe `find closest hardware store selling knives` then YES! That's the difference, what is it with people that can't understand the difference between copyright material being available from a search, and designing a search specifically for finding copyright material."

      Even if your Tomtom did have the ability to locate your ex and even if it did direct you to the nearest hardware store that sells knives, why would that be illegal - and it's most definitely not an infringement of anyone's copyright?

      I can see how it could be useful to get directions to your ex's house. Maybe she's invited you over for Sunday Lunch - perhaps to try to reconcile your failed relationship - but she doesn't have a carving knife so wants you to pick one up on the way. Your future happiness could solely depend on your knife-wielding abilities in the dining room.

      Of course, you could use that information to sneak into her house and slit her throat whilst she's sat at her dining room table (maybe you disapprove of her new partner, or you can't afford the maintenance payments... who knows?). However, Tomtom isn't responsible for the actions you chose to take once you'd located your ex and had bought a knife.

      I think that indexing sites - whether that be search engines like Google, Bing (hahaha... as if anybody uses Bing), Yahoo et al, or NZB-specific sites such as NewzBin, Binsearch, United Forums, Merlins Portal, NZBIndex.nl, NZB Matrix, etc... etc... etc... - should be treated in the same manner. It shouldn't be illegal for any of them to provide me with details of stuff; it should be illegal for me to commit a crime which I may have been able to do using that info.

      It's not illegal for Tesco to sell me a knife, but it's illegal for me to kill your ex with it. It's not illegal for me to tell you to drive on the motorway at 120mph but it's illegal for you to actually do it. It's not illegal for me to explain that you can rob a bank by wearing a stripey t-shirt and a pair of stockings on your head and brandishing a sawn-off shotgun, but it's illegal....... you get it?

  31. ElReg!comments!Pierre
    Coat

    Ha! That's what she said!

    «- "This verdict confirms that such websites have a duty of care to prevent the availability of illegal content on their websites."

    -Ha, but you'll find that we take EXTREME care to prevent the availability of illegal content on our website. ANY content actually. See, there is absolutely NO content whatsoever on our site, m'lady»

    Not taking any side in this, but the «guilty by hypertext link» fad is idiotic and more and more frightening (see for example the websites banned in Oz for merely linking to banned websites).

    I also note that El Reg voluntarily and repeatedly mention the names of websites that link to copyright-infringing material, thus /de facto/ directing readers towards _criminal_ content. Down with that sort of things, you filthy pirates.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    whos next?

    will they go after the likes of VCDQ.COM next for just reporting whats out there?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eventually they'll get it

    Denial isn't going to change the law. Eventually those in denial will get it or they'll pay for their denial.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE:What goes around...

    No there isn't, at least not in the UK

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Stop ACTA!

    Oh no a precedent for ACTA.... :S

    "[..] welcomed the verdict and said it helped clarify European law on "internet intermediaries". "

  36. Jonathan

    copyright infringement vs out dated business model

    the problem i have with all this is that i am about 100% certain that the recording and film industries are hiding behind intellectual property law to attempt to sustain outdated business models which are no longer valid.

    they make false claims in their defence about the scale of the cost to them (1 download = 1 purchase not made is rubbish. i download... occasionally, hey i admit it, but i haven't downloaded anything for months now and a lot of what i get is either stuff that i want to sample, which i either like and buy or don't like and never listen to again (which i wouldn't have taken a chance on just buying) or stuff i already have on tape or VHS and as far as i am concerned I have purchased a licence to watch/listen to.

    not being a fan of billy bragg's music or generally his politics i was surprised to find myself nodding along to his comments that the record industry may well be floundering at the moment but the music industry is flourishing - that all you need now as an artist is to have 5000 people worldwide who are willign to pay a tenner a year for your output to have the basis of a sustainable career and you don't need a record industry.

    admittedly films might be slightly trickier due to the big upfront investment required for a hollywood movie, but hey... if i really want to see a movie I'll go see it on a big screen (in 3-d) with top drawer sound (and put up with the people behind me munching crisps and translating it into polish the whole way through). if not, then i wait.

    (why can't i get a cheap (similar to pirate dvd priced) say S-VHS quality copy between the theatre release and the DVD release? it'll kill the pirates, it'll get the studios that money and f i like it and want a good quality copy then i can get a discount on the DVD for handing in my S-VHS disc?)

    the advent of the motor car made the whole stagecoach business obsolete. i'm sure alot of stagecoach driver jobs, coachhouse jobs etc. were lost as a result.

    if it was a film studio or a record company running the coaches i get the feeling that they would still be bleating on about how the motor car had kileld their business to this day instead of getting with the program and realising that they need to change their business model.

    when they do that, adjust their distribution networks and pricing accordingly then i'll sympathise with them.

  37. Mectron
    FAIL

    deak UK citizens

    you are now fully owned by the most dangerous terrorist group on this planet: MPAA

  38. Ed Gould
    WTF?

    MPA screws the public again

    *IF* this ruling is correct then every library in the world that has an index is guilty.

    Why isn't the MPA out trying to sue libraries they would be laughed out of court.

    The idea of how long a film lasts or other nonsense is waaaayyyyy beyond copyright laws. Again if this is a MPA concern they should be suing IMDB or the other scores and scores of Internet places that carry such information.

    I can see if there is a page from the script digitized where they might be copy right issues or some other piece of information that this is copyrighted material but the MPA just got lucky and drew a judge that does not have a clue in life how information should be copyrightable.

    All you librarians out there batten down the hatches as the MPA is coming after you next!

  39. Jonas Nagel
    Coat

    @MPA screws the public again

    The only difference with a public library, which conducts an index of books (or music if you want so) is that the library does not tell you how to get the books illegaly (or music for that matter, unless if they have it in archive and lend it to you).

    OTOH I agree with the sentiment of the posters who mentioned that sueing others is not a good company strategy (except for lawyers).

    Mine is the one with the injunction in the pocket.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020