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Newzbin woes March 4, 2010

Posted by deepsharer in lawsuits, usenet.

Looks like I am late to the story about Newzbin being sued. Anyway seems the trial ended yesterday. Maybe these guys are pessimists but it looks like they anticipating a partial defeat:

It’s always difficult trying to guess what a judge is thinking as his questions and comments, where probing of either parties submissions, may be no more than professionally required scepticism. Nonetheless, here is our guess.

Our hunch is that they will fail on some of their assertions but will probably win on others. They may not be able to prove damage or loss from copying, but they may convince the court we have facilitated others in obtaining their works.

If they win then, as we said in a previous news story, Newzbin will not be shut down. In all probability there will be ‘enquiry as to damages’ (the legal expression) and a new mini-trial over the terms of an injunction compelling us to block material of the Claimants. For example we may be required to develop filter mechanisms. At the moment we remain unfiltered and we would fight for the current notice and take down system that we already use. Again this is just our best guess and we may be well wide of the mark.

My experience of these things suggest the judge will argue about how wide the injunction will be. Presumably Newzbin want it just to relate to specified films and the MPAA want it against an copyright film of theirs.

Filtering would be a disaster though. Mininova etc showed that when that happens the popularity of the site just collapses. I hope Newzbin have a Plan B.

I’ll try and have a chat with the guys on IRC and see what’s up.