Stu­dios make their case against free ‘Speech’

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

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

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