Studios make their case against free ‘Speech’
Here’s an interesting question. When the regulators seek to ban particular websites for alleged piracy, do they risk gifting those naughty entities valuable publicity?
The question is triggered by the Motion Picture Association’s decision to attempt to shut down Newzbin2, an alleged piracy portal website, using the UK’s Copyright, Design and Patents Act. In an apparently unprecedented move, The MPA, trade body for the studios, is trying to get British Telecom to deny users access to the site.
Momentum Pictures is particularly concerned about illegal versions of a certain Oscar winner. “The survival of our business depends on the revenues we receive for our content,” said a spokesman. “Our film, The King’s Speech, is available on the Newzbin2 website without our consent. Neither we nor the film-makers receive anything for this.”
Representatives of the Hollywood studios argued in court that the problem of illegal file-sharing was “a very significant social evil”.
British Teleco, in turn, argued strongly against the MPA’s case. The Internet Service Provider’s brief said “claimants would seek orders blocking access to websites alleged to contain defamatory allegations or private and confidential information”.
Let’s get back to our original question. A million George VI fans will, upon hearing of the suit, surely make their way straight to the accused website.
Talk really is cheap: Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech