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BT block isn't working, says Newzbin

Newzbin, the site that links to copyright infringing content, is now blocked by BT. But Newzbin says the block isn't working.

Newzbin (also known as Newzbin2), the controversial members-only site that collects links to copyright infringing content, has been blocked by BT as of 2 November, following a court order. But Newzbin reckons that BT's blockade isn't affecting the site.

In a first-of-its-kind ruling, BT was ordered to block access to the site following legal action against it from the Motion Picture Association, a group that represents major Hollywood studios including Paramount, Disney and Fox.

BT is stopping its customers from visiting the site using a modified version of Cleanfeed, a tool designed to stop web surfers finding child sexual abuse online.

Newzbin itself doesn't seem bothered by the barricade, telling the BBC, "Newzbin2 shall go on, its users shall continue to access the site and its facilities".

Newzbin has issued a downloadable client to its customers that stops the block, and says 93.5 per cent of its active UK visitors have downloaded the block-stopping software.

The client appears to use encryption to hide visitors' identities. TorrentFreak claims that some people trying to access the site are still getting error messages, while others are getting through by typing the site's IP address into their browser.

The MPA already managed to get Newzbin shut down last year, but when the site relocated to the Seychelles, the group took the fight to BT. The telecoms giant warned that a ruling in favour of blocking Newzbin would be the "thin end of the wedge."

The court order against BT could make it hard for other ISPs to resist similar rulings in the future.

Is it fair that service providers are forced to block websites? Is this an erosion of our online liberties? Or a necessary step in the fight against piracy? Stick your opinions in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.