In what could prove to be a very significant move, the High Court has ordered internet service provider BT to block download site Newzbin2.
The judge ruled that BT knowing that the site hosts copyrighted content is sufficient enough a fact for the company to have to take action.
"In my judgment it follows that BT has actual knowledge of other persons using its service to infringe copyright,” Judge Arnold stated.
“It knows that the users and operators of Newzbin2 infringe copyright on a large scale, and in particular infringe the copyrights of the Studios in large numbers of their films and television programmes.
“It knows that the users of Newzbin2 include BT subscribers, and it knows those users use its service to receive infringing copies of copyright works made available to them by Newzbin2.”
The decision falls in line with proposals backed by Culture minister Ed Vaizey earlier this year. Detractors have criticised the proposals, claiming they mark “the beginning of the end for the free internet”.