THE HON MR JUSTICE ARNOLDApproved Judgment
20C Fox v BT
2. Exposure to multiple claims 187-1913. Efficacy 192-1984. Proportionality 199-201A reference to the Court of Justice? 202-203Conclusion 204Introduction1.
This case is about the legal remedies that can be obtained to combat online copyrightinfringement. The Applicants (“the Studios”) are six well-known film productioncompanies or studios that carry on business in the production and distribution of filmsand television programmes. The Studios are members of the Motion PictureAssociation of America Inc, and they bring this application in a representativecapacity on behalf of all group companies of the Studios that are owners or exclusivelicensees of copyrights in films and television programmes. The Respondent (“BT”) isthe largest internet service provider (“ISP”) in the United Kingdom. By thisapplication the Studios seek an injunction against BT pursuant to section 97A of theCopyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (“CDPA 1988”). I will set out the preciseterms of the order sought below, but in essence it is intended to block or at leastimpede access by BT’s subscribers to a website currently located atwww.newzbin.com (“the Newzbin2 website” or just “Newzbin2”). The Studios havemade it clear that this is a test case: if they are successful in obtaining an order againstBT, then they intend to seek similar orders against all the other significant ISPs in theUK. The other ISPs were informed of the present application in case they wished tointervene, but have not done so.2.
The application is a sequel to a successful claim for copyright infringement broughtby the Studios against Newzbin Ltd, which formerly operated an almost identicalwebsite located at the same uniform resource locator or URL (“the Newzbin1website” or just “Newzbin1”). As explained in more detail below, Newzbin Ltd wasfound by Kitchin J to have infringed the Studios’ copyrights on a large scale:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp v Newzbin Ltd
 EWHC 608 (Ch), FSR 21 (“
20C Fox v Newzbin
”). He granted an injunction against Newzbin Ltd torestrain further infringements of the Studios’ copyrights. Subsequently the Newzbin1website ceased operation. Shortly afterwards, however, the Newzbin2 websitecommenced operation at the same location. It operates in essentially the same manneras the previous website, and thus provides the means for continued large-scaleinfringement of the Studios’ copyrights. As described in more detail below, theoperators of the Newzbin2 website are unknown, but the operation appears to havemoved offshore. It is thus effectively beyond the reach of this court.3.
In these circumstances, the Studios contend that the only way in which they canobtain effective relief to prevent, or at least reduce the scale of, these infringements of their copyrights is by means of an order against BT (and thereafter the other ISPs) of the kind now sought.4.
Although the Studios are formally the only applicants, the application is supported bythe following organisations representing other groups of rightholders, a representativeof each of which has made a witness statement in support of the application: