Sky blocks Newzbin, important legal and technical questions need answering

James Firth james2 at
Thu Dec 15 17:08:43 GMT 2011

Clive Feather wrote:
> Because the first few were fought, ISPs expect to get their costs when
> obeying a Norwich Pharmacal order *and* lack of active defence doesn't
> mean
> they admit the validity of the request - the order should still be
> scrutinized by a court to see if it's proportionate and necessary.
> Hopefully we'll get to a similar situation: the ISP shouldn't have to
> fight
> explicitly and the court should require the applicant to prove
> proportionality etc.

The problem I'm hearing (second hand) is lack of knowledge of specific
technical issues on all sides - counsels and the judiciary.  The "truth"
cannot be established without hearings and calling expert witnesses.  The
net result is that assertions made by the applicants risk going unchallenged
(for fear of costs).

I'm less optimistic than you because I'm hearing, on all accounts, it's a
bloody mess.  Exacerbated if rights holders continue their established theme
of arguing black is white.  No-one really has a grasp on how far this will
go, both with Newzbin wrt other ISPs and, potentially, with other sites.

Good point on public disclosure of the blocking list.

James Firth

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