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BT Ordered To Block Pirate Site Within 14 Days - UK Court

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- U.K. telecommunications firm BT Group PLC (BT.A.LN) has 14 days to block access to a pirate website, the U.K. High Court said Wednesday, following legal action by an association representing six major movie studios. After issuing a blocking order in July, Justice Richard Arnold Wednesday outlined the terms of the order, which said BT has two weeks to block Newzbin2 and any other Internet protocol addresses or webpages that the operators of Newzbin2 may use. BT also has to pay the implementation costs of the blocking order, which the company estimates at an initial implementation cost of around GBP5,000 and GBP100 for each subsequent notification, according to Justice Arnold's judgment. "Each side contends that the other should pay the costs of implementing the order. In my judgment the costs of implementing the order should be borne by BT," he said, adding that "the studios are enforcing their legal and proprietary rights as copyright owners and exclusive licensees." The Motion Picture Association undertook legal action on behalf of its members: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, part of Walt Disney Co. (DIS); Paramount Pictures Corp.; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., part of Sony Corp. (SNE); Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.; Universal Pictures, a subsidiary of NBC Universal; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. (TWX). Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. is owned by News Corp. (NWS), owner of Dow Jones & Co. and The Wall Street Journal. Chris Marcich, MPA's president and managing director in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the order is "a win for the creative sector." "Securing the intervention of the ISPs was the only way to put the commercial pirates out of reach for the majority of consumers. This move means that we can invest more in our own digital offerings delivering higher quality and more variety of products to the consumer," Marcich said in a statement. BT said in a brief statement that "it is helpful to have the order now and the clarity that it brings." Justice Arnold also ordered BT to pay the costs of the application from Dec. 16, 2010 to July 28, 2011. From July 28, 2011 to date each party will pay their own costs. No specific details were provided. -By Lilly Vitorovich, Dow Jones Newswires; 44-0-207 842 9290; lilly.vitorovich@dowjones.com

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